And Bush claims to protect liberty
July 30, 2003 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Bush looks to ban gay marriage and implies gays are "sinners." I'm not surprised; I guess the neo-cons got jittery when Bush refused to do their bidding and have asked for the value of their campaign contributions.
posted by Bag Man (199 comments total)

 
I am mindful that we're all sinners and I caution those who may try to take a speck out of the neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own," the president said.

i'd stick my log in his eye in a second, and i'm not even gay. fucking worthless, proselytizing bastard.
posted by quonsar at 9:21 AM on July 30, 2003


neocons? I always figured it was the religious types who cared about the gay rights stuff. Do I need a chart to figure out the particular hatredd patterns of various rightwing groups now?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:22 AM on July 30, 2003


quonsar - i'm shocked!

You passed on the opportunity to scold Bag Man for posting two links to the identical same AP Wire story?

For shame!!
posted by Irontom at 9:23 AM on July 30, 2003


I am sick and tired of reading news stories that have whole words missing from their copy. The more and more news articles I read online, the more and more I see it and the more it upsets me. This article missed the word "during" or possibly "at."

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and I believe we ought to codify that one way or the other and we have lawyers looking at the best way to do that," the president said during a wide-ranging news conference at the White House Rose Garden.

It's the responsibility of the author or the editor to figure out what word should go there, but it is vitally important that they get their damned grammar right. Is this what we can expect from the NYtimes and other news sources?
posted by Hammerikaner at 9:27 AM on July 30, 2003


Well, I agree with his interpretation of marriage (man+woman= family). I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth. I applaud Bush's decision.
posted by 111 at 9:31 AM on July 30, 2003


Is this what we can expect from the NYtimes and other news sources?

I'm guessing this is a virtually unedited wire feed, not final copy (though that doesn't explain this).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2003


What's Bush about to say in the picture on the CNN page?

F...
posted by nthdegx at 9:34 AM on July 30, 2003


What is the sound of 111 hand clapping?
posted by psmealey at 9:34 AM on July 30, 2003


As long as a marriage has legal ramifications (different taxation etc.) it's not fair to exclude homosexuals or other groups. What probably should be done is a new all encompassing name for relationships like marriage, something like Union. So marriage could be considered a union as well as common law unions. That way the fundies don't have to compromise (which they should but they wont) and the law is now fair to alternative relationships.

That doesn't mean there should be a cease fire to battle over gay marriages. It's just that once the legal equality is there it's a more interesting and better debate.
posted by abez at 9:34 AM on July 30, 2003


I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth.

I think I speak for everyone here at Mefi when I say that your comfort is far more important than treating people equally under the law.
posted by goethean at 9:38 AM on July 30, 2003


Chumming for the Fundies with this proclamation.

Liberia for "Brother" Pat Robertson to protect this gold mine interests.

Imperialism for the neocons with Iraq. Can we call it Operation Proselytizing Iraq yet?

Corporate feudalism for Poppy. An old family tradition.
posted by nofundy at 9:39 AM on July 30, 2003


I think there ultimately will have to be some sort of legal "union" (or whatever it might be called) to afford gays the same sort of "legal ramifications" (to use abez's term) as heterosexuals, because ultimately the courts can't help but find different levels of taxation (among other things) that are in essence based upon sexual preference to be legal.

And gay marriage has nothing to do with neocons, many of whom would consider themselves progressive on social issues. This is an attempt to shore up the base, the base being the religious conservatives who felt utterly slighted by the SCOTUS decision on sodomy and have hinted at withholding support from the GOP unless they get tossed a few bones (pun intended).
posted by kgasmart at 9:40 AM on July 30, 2003


Yeah, I don't think that hating on gays is a neoconservative thing. Traditionally, neocons were socially liberal, and many--like the Weekly Standard's David Brooks--see themselves as "pro-gay-rights." I'm sure that there are some individual neoconservative homophobes, but social conservatism--unless the whole militant exceptionalism thing is "conservative"--is not part of their platform. As usual, the intolerance and institutionalized discrimination is coming from religious folks.

If it were solely up to Kristol, Perle, et al, I'm sure that our blood-fueled corporate empire would be gay-friendly.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:40 AM on July 30, 2003


Well, I agree with his interpretation of marriage (man+woman= family). I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth. I applaud Bush's decision.

Well, thats unfortunate, because other families will continue to go on, despite you being "uncomfortable". In the 50s, perhaps people were uncomfortable of African Americans being in the same diner as them, did it make it right to exclude them? Just because something is uncomfortable, it doesn't give the right to discrimination.
posted by benjh at 9:41 AM on July 30, 2003


"Wherever you go, you carry a message of hope - a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, 'To the captives, "come out," and to those in darkness, "be free".'"

G.W.B.
posted by carfilhiot at 9:44 AM on July 30, 2003


Power of Pride™
posted by Dean King at 9:45 AM on July 30, 2003


I agree totally w/abez that it would make it far less threatening to heterosexuals to reserve the term marriage for a man and a woman. Call it a civil union, give equal non-religious rights to gays and eliminate the whole religious angle.

It's a good thing that this is such a hot-button issue for many people - I don't believe that Bush will get away with this. I think there are enough people, gay and straight, who feel that the government cannot discriminate in the awarding of civil benefits (insurance, co-owning rights etc) on religious grounds.

Man, this really gets my panties in a twist.
posted by widdershins at 9:47 AM on July 30, 2003


I have to say, having watched all of the press conference in question, this thread is unrepresentative of what Bush actually said. No fan of Bush me, but..

He was asked point blank how he felt about homosexuality, and his response, to me, was as close to live and let live as you'll ever get from a Republican.

The stuff about gay marriages, well, sure, we need something to ensure gay couples have the same legal and financial rights as heterosexual couples, but marriage isn't it. Bush didn't actually say any more than that.
posted by ascullion at 9:53 AM on July 30, 2003


If anyone has devalued the institution of marriage, it would be the same hetrosexual population that seems to hold it in such high regard.
posted by 2sheets at 9:55 AM on July 30, 2003


I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth.

Aw, c'mon, I wanna adopt a gay guy. I understand they don't eat much and are very clean.
posted by jonmc at 9:55 AM on July 30, 2003


As long as a marriage has legal ramifications (different taxation etc.) it's not fair to exclude homosexuals or other groups

The great irony in all of this that Bush may help to bring about legal gay marriage (or at least ensure that states/the Feds can't outlaw it) if his law is pasted. How do you ask? Because such a law may be deemed to violate the 14th/5th Amendment equal protection , as abez points. Without such a law no on can sue to get their equal protection rights. With such a law, it gives people an opportunity to bring the issue to court. Bush may have inadvertently set in motion legal gay marriage in the US.

Also lurking in this the issue that Congress may the lack the power to pass such a law (which also goes to my first argument).

Oh, and the articles are not word-for-word the same.
posted by Bag Man at 9:55 AM on July 30, 2003


Well, I agree with his interpretation of marriage (man+woman= family). I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth. I applaud Bush's decision.

"It must be hard work running a nation as dynamic and successful as the USA. Anyway, people look up to you all the time, so your words and actions are welcome as usual."
posted by quonsar at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2003


goethean, although I'm not quite sure that you speak for "everyone here at Mefi", this issue is not about inequality at all, since same sex union is another thing-- a matter with legal/financial implications etc as mentioned by many others above. I'm simply one among billions of people worldwide who define marriage as a heterosexual union.

Main Entry: mar·riage
Pronunciation: 'mar-ij also 'mer-
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Old French, from marier to marry
Date: 14th century
1 a : the state of being married b : the mutual relation of husband and wife : WEDLOCK c : the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family
2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3 : an intimate or close union
- mar·riage·abil·i·ty /"mar-i-j&-'bi-l&-tE also "mer-/ noun
- mar·riage·able /'mar-i-j&-b&l also 'mer-/ adjective

(via m-w.com)

posted by 111 at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2003


What's Bush about to say in the picture on the CNN page?

F...
ellatio rules!
posted by quonsar at 9:59 AM on July 30, 2003


One question I have: if the hardcore social conservatives withold their vote, where will they take it? The same question can be asked about any of the recognizable voting blocks.

I mean, I can see how NAACP President Kweisi Mfume can force Democratic candidates to appear at the national convention by declaring them "persona non grata", but would he really advise his members not to vote for the Democratic candidate? Would Pat Robertson really tell the 700 Club "Don't Vote for Bush"?

It's just always seemed like such an empty threat to me. For those with strong ideologies, the two party system doesnt leave a whole lot of other options if your first choice playmate pisses you off.
posted by Irontom at 9:59 AM on July 30, 2003


Hey 111, next time you're in Toronto (are you close to us, sweetie? you haven't bothered to put zipcode/city/email on your user-page), why don't you drop in for dinner with me and my un-family. Maybe on our anniversary? We're celebrating 5 years of un-commitment. We won't invite you to the wedding... we don't want to make you uncomfortable. You can even bring whatever religious text or dictionary you'd like to read from, if you want to say grace at the dinner table.
posted by stonerose at 10:02 AM on July 30, 2003


OK. Specks? Logs? Logs in eyes? I take it the homosexuals have the specks and the heterosexuals have logs. So homosexuals are little bitty sinners while heteros are major sinners? What hetero sins y'all suppose he's alluding to?

And is this a special Bush-brand nugget of cornpone wisdom or has anyone heard it before?
posted by kmel at 10:02 AM on July 30, 2003


"On the other hand, that does not mean that someone like me needs to compromise on the issue of marriage," --Bush

What a fuckwit.

Yes, because it's such a "compromise" for someone like you to simply let citizens of different sexual orientation do as they please. What a burden on you. Love is love, and shouldn't need Religion threaded into the concept of marriage by a puritanical government if two people want to spend the rest of their lives together. God knows, I've seen enough short-lived heterosexual Christian marriages be profoundly dysfunctional. So are those the examples we're supposed to follow?
posted by dhoyt at 10:03 AM on July 30, 2003


OK. Specks? Logs? Logs in eyes?
kmel, it's a bastardization of a well known bible verse.
posted by quonsar at 10:04 AM on July 30, 2003


111- Wow, a dictionary definition of marriage. Did you happen to read the third definition?
posted by McBain at 10:07 AM on July 30, 2003


Two things:

- It's not a political thing entirely, as even Clintion siged the "Defense of Marriage Act".

- As a non-religious person, I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Kinsley that we should have civil unions that have legal standing in terms of taxes and family rights, and can occur between any two people. I was never comfortable with the actual legal terms of "marriage" because it's pretty much a religious recognition thing. If I could have, I would have gotten a civil union instead.

So fine, keep gays out of marriage, but let straights out too, by giving us a new legal standing that is free of the church's baggage. In this case, separate but equal is fine by me.
posted by mathowie at 10:07 AM on July 30, 2003


Luke 6:41-42: "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."

The Bible is weird.
posted by waxpancake at 10:09 AM on July 30, 2003


You know what? Bring it on. I'd love to see how our reps and senators vote.

It's not just about taxes, guys. It's that gay partners are not legal next of kin, and are at the mercy of blood relatives at times of greatest crisis. If I were to have a child, my partner could not have him admitted to the hospital without me there. We can go through some legal hoops to ensure our privacy as a family, such as giving each other power of attorney and having my partner become the child's legal guardian, but there are plenty of examples of couples trying to close every loop and still getting plenty of hassle from blood relatives and authorities.
A study came out today showing that the most recent Supreme Court Decision on this issue actually caused the polls to go down on gay/lesbian acceptance. Sometimes, to get two steps forward, you have to occasionally go one step back.
posted by pomegranate at 10:09 AM on July 30, 2003


goethean, although I'm not quite sure that you speak for "everyone here at Mefi", this issue is not about inequality at all, since same sex union is another thing-- a matter with legal/financial implications etc as mentioned by many others above. I'm simply one among billions of people worldwide who define marriage as a heterosexual union.
<proceeds to give dictionary definition>


Yeah, good work on that one. I, for one, solve all my complex moral decisions by just looking in the dictionary.
posted by bshort at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2003


"Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."

translation: regime change begins at home.
posted by quonsar at 10:12 AM on July 30, 2003


mathowie, the DOMA was intensely 'political.' Clinton, for his part, wimped out when he signed it (at midnight, with no ceremony, to signal his "shame".)
posted by stonerose at 10:12 AM on July 30, 2003


I've seen enough short-lived heterosexual Christian marriages be profoundly dysfunctional. So are those the examples we're supposed to follow?

Good point, well made. So why does the gay community seem desperate for the validation that they feel 'marriage' would provide? I'm -genuinely- curious. Why not start all over with something better?

On preview - I'd also happily opt out of marriage, if it didn't mean I'd effectively be signing away all my rights. In the UK, unmarried fathers have fewer rights than terrorists
posted by ascullion at 10:14 AM on July 30, 2003


A different study: Poll finds majority for gay marriage in South Jersey. Plus Vatican Takes Aim At Gay Marriage. Both of these recent developments suggest the opponents to the trend are becoming more and more marginalized over the long term - whereas I think pomegranate's poll (both versions) will turn out to be a momentary, um, lapse of reason. When the Pope has to mount a "campaign" to remind people of one of the most basic, famous prejudices of the world's most powerful religion, I say something's up.
posted by soyjoy at 10:14 AM on July 30, 2003


Bush is just sticking the finger with his dyke. Gays have come too far along to go quietly into the concentration camps.

And what mathowie said about civil unions. In spades. My mom didn't want to get re-married, even though she and my stepdad have been together far longer than she and my dad. They felt forced into it as they approached/passed retirement age and it was a strictly financial decision, which made the ceremony a bit silly. Everyone already knows the love they have for each other, and if a civil union alternative was offered, we wouldn't have had to hear people go on and on about a love and commitment that had already been demonstrated each and every day to those who cared.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:14 AM on July 30, 2003


this issue is not about inequality at all, since same sex union is another thing-- a matter with legal/financial implications etc as mentioned by many others above. I'm simply one among billions of people worldwide who define marriage as a heterosexual union.


I don't understand the proprietary connection to the word "marriage" that those against gay marriages have. Polls have rather consistently shown that majorities of the American people are against gay marriage, but if you ask about "civil unions" that are defined as EXACTLY the same thing as marriage, just without the word "marriage," the opposition drops significantly, perhaps to where majorities are in favor of it. What is so threatening about the word "marriage" as it relates to homosexuals?

I am also profoundly uncomfortable with the way that most objections to gay marriages are founded in either a) religion or b) raw bigotry. Our political system was set up with a "wall of separation" between church and state, and religious objections should not inform our political realities (regardless of the fact that has happened, does happen, and probably will continue to happen). Are there any good arguments against gay marriage that do not appeal to God?
posted by norm at 10:17 AM on July 30, 2003


Now, if you would call it "Fiffle-foofying" instead of marriage, THEN that's OK, even if it means exactly the same thing from an emotional/legal/and financial sense.

It's just the word "Married" that gives 'em the willies.

Right?

OK - women can no longer urinate. Us guys do it standing up, so we call dibbs. Same goes for pee-pee, sending water under the bridge, draining a pint, whiz, and piss.

Find your own damned feminist word for it.

(Heh. Go South Jersey! There you go folks - make fun of North Jersey and leave us Phillyburbans out of it.)
posted by Perigee at 10:18 AM on July 30, 2003


So fine, keep gays out of marriage, but let straights out too, by giving us a new legal standing that is free of the church's baggage. In this case, separate but equal is fine by me.

But that's the point, Matt. Robertson is terrified of a seperation between church and state of such magnitude: differentiating a legal spousal union and the ceremonious classification of "married" drives a huuuuuuuge spike into the heart of Robertson and his ilk's "Christian nation should have Christian-based laws" rhetoric.

If Robertson gave a shit about keeping his religious beliefs seperate from the political ones, then he wouldn't be the head of a national political action committee devoted to fusing religion and politics together. Making legal civil unions brings Robertson's biggest fear into play: that of his religous motives being cast further into irrelevancy in the eyes of any constuct which gives him actual power over the American people.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:18 AM on July 30, 2003


Clinton, for his part, wimped out when he signed it (at midnight, with no ceremony, to signal his "shame".

Did he at least snap the pen in half afterward so nobody could have "the pen that signed The Defense of Marriage Act"?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:19 AM on July 30, 2003


Are there any good arguments against gay marriage that do not appeal to God?

Demanding that gays have 'marriages', since the word 'marriage' obviously has a lot of baggage that's quite distateful to gays, is a form of surrender to and acceptance of heterosexual norms.

That's what Mr. Militant Queer that sometimes sits in my forebrain says, at least.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:21 AM on July 30, 2003


111, darling, I can't invite you to dinner directly because [you anonymous troll] you won't tell us your email or where you live [you wimpy little troll]. Please RSVP and suggest a date. I need to know how many pre-pubescent boys to have on hand, and how many bottles of poppers to chill. Just bring along a bottle of lube and a crucifix, sweetie. Nothing fancy.
posted by stonerose at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2003


Chumming for the Fundies with this proclamation.

Exactly. Politician realizes that the largest percentage of the U.S. poulation is also the lowest common denominator (who hate "towelheads" and gays). Politican panders to this group. Politician wins huge approval ratings.

Sick, sad, abhorrent, and perfectly logical.
posted by Shane at 10:23 AM on July 30, 2003


Just bring along a bottle of lube and a crucifix, sweetie. Nothing fancy.

Sorry, who's the troll?
posted by ascullion at 10:25 AM on July 30, 2003


Aw, c'mon, I wanna adopt a gay guy.

Ye gods...me too. I miss my gay men, there aren't nearly enough of them in rural Texas. (Although, really...who could blame them?)

In all seriousness, this is just absurd. Pomegranate is right about being at the mercy of relatives. Some dear friends of mine have been partners for almost 20 years. When one of them got sick (and no, it wasn't aids), the other one couldn't sign anything at the hospital, and the family was able to keep him from visiting until the day before his partner died.

His family took over the funeral, refused to have it at their local church, which has a large gay population, refused to honor the wishes of the deceased about being buried in a plot that the partners had purchased together. They took the body, cremated it, and refused to have any service or memorial whatsoever. Nobody knows what has become of the ashes...but they sure did show up at his house with a moving van the next day, trying to load everything up and cart it off to auction. (Fortunately, that didn't happen as the house is in the name of the living partner and he was able to have them escorted off the property until the will is probated.)

The fact is, that many people are "uncomfortable" about homosexuality. But one person's discomfort does not override the basic human rights that we all should be able to enjoy.

You'd never hear someone say "Oh, that nigger, spic, wop, raghead doesn't deserve the same rights as us, because their skin makes me uncomfortable...so we should legislate against them." (Well out loud, anyway.) But you hear plenty of people defending the same action because of which naughty bits people want to press up against one another. That's just twisted.
posted by dejah420 at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2003


One minute you have a speck in your eye, next thing you know there is an emergency surgery to remove fly larva.
posted by bargle at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2003


(shd be "population" above)
posted by Shane at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2003


a) sorry about the doubling up there. dunno how that happened.

b) I knew that there would be a backlash of some sort to the Supreme Court decision and the fact that gays are such a topic of discussion right now. The issue is how much force and longevity that backlash might have. I think that the bill actually WOULD pass, but then in twenty years the Supreme Court will reverse it and talk about how shameful that we ever felt like we had to pass such a law. Maybe we'll even get reparations. (I kid.)
posted by pomegranate at 10:27 AM on July 30, 2003


The Bible is weird.

*reports WaxPancake to John Ashcroft for maligning the Bible in public, thereby undermining US status as nation-most-favored-by-God*
posted by divrsional at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2003


fyi, cnn's poll is currently at 48,000 people, with 63% saying that marriage should be legally defined as man-woman. Fucking sad.
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2003


I feel uncomfortable about straight people getting married based on internet polls and reality TV shows. Or because someone gets "knocked up". Or because someone wants to escape a bad home life. Or because of about 47,000 different bad reasons. Where's my constitutional amendment?
posted by JoanArkham at 10:36 AM on July 30, 2003


the largest percentage of the U.S. poulation is also the lowest common denominator

I'm not sure that's true. The key factor with the conservative constituency is not entirely about numbers: it's a matter of being organized and having consistent voting patterns. If you're going to pander to a base, you want a base that makes it's demands and wishes and preferences known, and votes consistently and reliably in response.

Back when certain social issues like civil rights were first put on the table, it was easier for liberal politicians to energize their base. But that base is very hard to pin down now, and not broadly motivated in any consistent way on any positive issue. This, I think, gives the right a disproportionate sway. The left doesn't really know what it's for, and is not particularly focused about what it's against. The right knows exactly what it's for and what it's against, and they hang together a lot better.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:40 AM on July 30, 2003


I'm uncomfortable with issues like gay adoption and so forth.
Aw, c'mon, I wanna adopt a gay guy. I understand they don't eat much and are very clean.

jonmc yeah, but I've been told they listen to camp disco music and Barbra Streisand all day.

stonerose, this is the 1st version of my reply to your 10:02 comment:

good luck and God help you. Male and female He created them. BTW, I would gladly accept your invitation if I lived in Gay Canada; homosexuals tend to be good conversationalists and don't have bad taste in food.

Then, on preview, you lost it. This is why homosexuals are still not trusted by many; below the veneer of a justified plead for civil rights, sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers and, whenever it explodes, as in your 2nd (10:22) comment, people get wary.

McBain, yeas I have; I took it for a metaphor (as in ) but perhaps I'm naive.
posted by 111 at 10:42 AM on July 30, 2003


Why is it the government's business what legal arrangements two adults make between each other regarding property and power of attorney?

Legally, marriage is simply an agreement about property and power of attorney.

For the government to intervene in such argeements for religious and 'tradition' reasons is clearly unconstitutional.
posted by Argyle at 10:43 AM on July 30, 2003


You'd never hear someone say "Oh, that nigger, spic, wop, raghead doesn't deserve the same rights as us, because their skin makes me uncomfortable...so we should legislate against them." (Well out loud, anyway.) But you hear plenty of people defending the same action because of which naughty bits people want to press up against one another. That's just twisted.

But you DID hear people in Mississippi and Alabama and the like saying something like this, and not that long ago, really. One of the things that I think makes the religious right most uncomfortable is the realization that the issue fo gay rights is not that far removed from the issue of minority rights - except they might say the former is based on what people do rather than what they are, though if you believe that homosexuality is probably biologically determined, that shoots the argument out of the water. Which is why religious conservatives will never believe this, all evidence be damned.

At the same time, however, to avoid much of the nastiness that is certain to accompany this issue anyway, perhaps gays and their supporters may have to accept the idea of "union" instead of "marriage." Unfair to reserve "marriage" and all its social and moral implication solely for heterosexuals? Of course. But what is it gays really want - legal standing or the right to this terminology?

Really, can we avoid all-out civil war on this?
posted by kgasmart at 10:45 AM on July 30, 2003


ascullion, I hope you're still on this thread, because I don't think anybody else read your post, and you were right on the money.

This MeFi thread takes his statement out of context (which other headlines, stories and discussion on the news will surely do as well). I also watched his press conference, and his answer to this question did not state any new policy (we already knew he opposes gay marriage). But taken out of context it is easy to attack him as hyper-reactive liberals like to do.

What IS news is that he says "we're all sinners" . Damn, he said something I agree with. That's news.
posted by msacheson at 10:47 AM on July 30, 2003


111, you haven't explained how a gay couple's marriage harms you.

You opinions on who should be allowed to get married are just opinions. There are people who wouldn't allow mixed-race marriages (such as mine) to exist either. That's their opinion too. Thankfully, the law doesn't recognize their opinion (which I certainly hope you don't share) and hopefully one day soon it won't recognize yours either.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:48 AM on July 30, 2003


Bush is just sticking the finger with his dyke.

Well, WolfDaddy, that would give him cause to have a more complex approach to gay civil rights, wouldn't it?

fyi, cnn's poll is currently at 48,000 people, with 63% saying that marriage should be legally defined as man-woman. Fucking sad.

GeekAnimator, it's like norm said. Marriage has its roots in the church, and those are hard roots to ... um, uproot. I think there are hojillions of Americans, gay and straight, who would opt for some non-"marriage"-named civil union approach that gave participants all of the legal benefits of marriage without the churchy/synagoguey/mosquey/etc. connotations. And I say that as someone that, given the choice, would have opted for the church marriage. That still leaves the matter of gay marriage — gays that want to be married in the church — but then it's a church, not a state, decision and is therefore predicated on the beliefs of the individuals and cultural institutions involved, not the legal structure that binds them.

I would be surprised if we get through two more presidential terms without gay partners (as recognized by some union) having all the benefits of marriage with respect to estate, insurance, taxes, etc. It's patent discrimination, and was a violation of the church/state business to begin with to have so many "rights" tied into a religious ceremony.
posted by blueshammer at 10:48 AM on July 30, 2003


sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers

Can anyone explain to me the concept of "criminal resentment"?
posted by Skot at 10:51 AM on July 30, 2003


111, since you're the only one here actually standing up for the man/woman exclusive definition, do you have an answer to my question? I'll restate it:

Are there any good arguments against gay marriage that do not appeal to God?
posted by norm at 10:51 AM on July 30, 2003


Are you required to go to a municipal structure and obtain a piece of paper stating that you are binding your personal and private life with this fool that apparently doesn't know all the things about you that we do? Yeah, well, let any two grown adults get one of those, and call it a civil union contract(which is all it is, and it's just so the state and the insurance companies can figure out if you're due benefits, and who is allowed to fight over the Ibizan Hound and the DVD collection in divorce court).

Marriage? That's between you, your obviously deluded and soon to be disappointed partner, and whatever group you hang out with that is led by a dude in a funny hat, or whatever it is that causes your spiritual bells to ring.

That second one, with the dude in the hat? Yeah, that never comes up in court, does it?

Dude in the funny hat doesn't want to sanctify Adam and Steve? Whatever, go to the Unitarians, or the judge, or Bob's Church, or the Captain of a cruise ship, or don't go anywhere at all. The church stuff has about as much to do with the law as a NASCAR race, anyway. It's the legal papers that make the difference.

Honestly, I don't see what the big fuss is about letting individuals merge their individual legal entities into a single incorporated entity.

BTW, Bush said "we're all sinners". As few times as I agree with Bush on anything, and also being agnostic to a point of near irreligiosity, I still can't think of one good counter-argument to that statement.
posted by dglynn at 10:53 AM on July 30, 2003


This is why homosexuals are still not trusted by many; below the veneer of a justified plead for civil rights, sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers and, whenever it explodes, as in your 2nd (10:22) comment, people get wary.

Oh, 111. You really shouldn't respond to trollish comments from devious homosexuals, custom-designed to draw more of your bigoted, antediluvian biases to the surface.

Everyone else - sorry if I went over the line, but anonymous bigots who tell me my family doesn't count... well, I see that as an attack on the family, you might say.
posted by stonerose at 10:54 AM on July 30, 2003


Taking notes...

"Homosexuals are good conversationalists and don't have bad taste in food."

"African Americans have a great sense of rhythm, and they do that yodely thing when they sing."

"People from Middle Eastern Countries run all the gas stations and live in tight family structures."

---------------------

"Caucasian Americans are great at being judgemental and demeaning all at the same time."

That's it - I wanna go Nelly. I haven't had much luck at the dating scene lately anyway, so what the hey? I'm beginning to distinctly dislike the clique I fit in demographically, so any woprld I am welcome to is better than the place I come from.
posted by Perigee at 10:54 AM on July 30, 2003


I miss my gay men, there aren't nearly enough of them in rural Texas.

So it's just steers now?
posted by teg at 10:55 AM on July 30, 2003


For the government to intervene in such argeements for religious and 'tradition' reasons is clearly unconstitutional.

And it's not even very conservative, either. There is a lot of talk--mostly accurate--that the "left" doesn't have good defined talking points. But the "right" just spouts their talking points while doing the opposite. I guess that big dongs are more of a threat to republicans than big government.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:57 AM on July 30, 2003


I'm getting so sick and tired of all this anti-gay bullshit! The best (most "Christian," if you follow me) three Christians I know at my church are all gay men. Two of them are a couple who wistfully talk sometimes about how nice a church marriage would be.
posted by alumshubby at 11:01 AM on July 30, 2003


I'd just like to state tha t if gays get to have non-religious civil unions then I want them too. Equal rights for Heteros!
posted by Space Coyote at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2003


Just out of purient curiosity, if we allow same-sex marriages, what should be the rule on polyamorous relationships? A contract between two people is a lot easier than three, or four, or however many your "poly" constitutes.

Just for clarification, I think same-sex marriages should be legal.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:04 AM on July 30, 2003


This is why homosexuals are still not trusted by many; below the veneer of a justified plead for civil rights, sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers and, whenever it explodes, as in your 2nd (10:22) comment, people get wary.

I think Malcom X had the same issue. I wonder if he was queer too, or if it's just a natural human response to being told you are a worthless piece of crap and having your rights withheld because of your color/orientation/religion.

Being gay may or may not be a choice, but being a bigot and using your religion as an excuse for your own "uncomfortable nature" certainly is.
posted by jopreacher at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2003


the largest percentage of the U.S. poulation is also the lowest common denominator

I'm not sure that's true...


With all due respect to whatever you just said, "George," I believe your zip puts you in Portland(?)

Where I currently live, a politician who bashes gays and Arabs is bound to get votes. Even in the corporate environment in which I currently work, one person has quietly whispered a "nigger joke" to me, as if it were some kind of secret password amongst white-folk or some bonding right of passage. At other jobs I have had similar experiences, even to the point of someone showing me a "business card" proclaiming him a member of the KKK (the card may have been a joke but he was not joking.)

I don't think you understand these people until you live in the midst of them. I'm almost grateful for the experience, as it is has given me unique insight into a U.S. I would never have imagined, insight into a U.S. that many people (you?) might not understand.
posted by Shane at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2003


I've never seen this argument before, and I don't know why, but here goes: denial of marriage/civil union benefits to same-sex couples is not a "gay rights" issue, it is blatant gender discrimination. Look at it this way:

"I, Person A, wish to marry Person B. The government is not allowing this to happen because I am a man. If I were a woman, I could marry Person B, but I as a man cannot. This is gender discrimination."


Any comments?
posted by yesster at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2003


GeekAnimator, thanks for the tip on the poll. I just voted twice...
posted by Hammerikaner at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2003


"Then, on preview, you lost it. This is why homosexuals are still not trusted by many; below the veneer of a justified plead for civil rights, sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers"

Wow, 111, I love your immediate leap to justification of baseless stereotypes. "You seemed perfectly ok until you opened your mouth and showed how you're exactly what everyone fears about your type."

Hmm, let's just imagine you were talking to a black person and said the same thing - repugnant.

Don't judge anyone else by the actions of one person who you arbitrarily categorize into the same 'class' of persons.

Forget 'gay' or 'straight'. I am an individual, who's rights are supposed to be protected under the constitution - equally. Unfortunately, the right you may have as a 'heterosexual' (a completely meaningless variable in regards to your rights versus those of others) is not equally extended to those who are homosexual for nothing but baseless, moral/religious reasons. Exactly what the constitution is supposed to protect us against.
posted by PigAlien at 11:11 AM on July 30, 2003


Luke 6:41-42: "Why do you see the speck..."

waxpancake, yes, the Bible is weird, but that's just St. Luke's way of saying "Pot. Kettle. Black."
posted by alumshubby at 11:11 AM on July 30, 2003


teg - Don't forget the beers.

Space Coyote - Heteros can get civil unions. Although my grandmother-in-law questioned the legality of my marriage since "they didn't mention God"!

I personally think the poly marriage thing is way too complicated, but if people want to why not? Don't multiple individuals get together and form corporations which bind them legally to each other?
posted by JoanArkham at 11:12 AM on July 30, 2003


Can anyone explain to me the concept of "criminal resentment"?

I'll bite! Basically, Skot, what happens is that people who do dirty nasty things to themselves are criminals, but with a little too much encouragement from liberal relativists who don't believe in right and wrong, they start thinking they can advertise their filthly nation-destroying lifestyle to the world. And when right-thinking morally upright citizens don't step aside before their sinful plot to destroy America, they get upset, but they are so used to repressing themselves that they can't express it fully. But having been encouraged by the liberal wingnuts, they take out their wrathful energy in even more licentious behavior than ever before. When anal sex stops satisfying their lust for sin, they move on to bestiality, necrophilia, even sex with rocks! And that's not to mention the drugs. It's well known that sodomy is a gateway to month-long speed-downer-X-crack-martini benders during which the gay army recruits more easily molded 12-year-olds who are confused by the amoral messages of today's popular music and latch onto anything that promises a lifestyle of gluttony, lust, and avarice.

Basically, gay people scare 111, so he resorts to calling them names or accusing them of crimes or at least subversiveness.
posted by daveadams at 11:13 AM on July 30, 2003


msacheson - thanks. Glad to see my afternoon watching rolling news wasn't completely wasted!
posted by ascullion at 11:15 AM on July 30, 2003


The people most opposed to homosexuality are those who, deep down, are most unsure about their own (hetero)sexuality.

We all know this, whether it's cloaked in the guise of God or morals or whatever. It's psychology. Kneejerk reactions like this always have their roots in insecurity. They feel threatened.

The question is, in regard to gay marriage is: how exactly are they threatened in this case?


And yeah, indeed I tremble for my country when I hear our President at news conferences (a) quoting the Bible (b) incorrectly (c) using bad grammar.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:15 AM on July 30, 2003


yesster - I haven't seen that argument, either. It's pretty clever.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:15 AM on July 30, 2003


For the government to intervene in such argeements for religious and 'tradition' reasons is clearly unconstitutional.

You're clearly not a lawyer who deals in constitutional law, because that statement is incorrect in oh so many ways.
posted by gd779 at 11:18 AM on July 30, 2003


Don't read too much into that, GeekAnimator, Free Republic regularly sends its members off to online polls to skew them into some sort of ersatz reflection of what they think the nation should be thinking about something. It's especially prevalent with CNN polls. Considering this is a poll on gay marriage, an analogy to "like flies to shit" would be appropriate.
posted by phong3d at 11:19 AM on July 30, 2003


don't you see? 111 isn't a homophobe, he's against homosexual marriages because it's not in the dictionary. yeah, thats the ticket!

in other news, I'm working on a time machine for people trapped in 1800s.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:20 AM on July 30, 2003


Ye gods...me too. I miss my gay men, there aren't nearly enough of them in rural Texas. (Although, really...who could blame them?)

You'd never hear someone say "Oh, that nigger, spic, wop, raghead doesn't deserve the same rights as us, because their skin makes me uncomfortable...so we should legislate against them." (Well out loud, anyway.) But you hear plenty of people defending the same action because of which naughty bits people want to press up against one another. That's just twisted.



Okay, I just have to ask...... Just how long have you lived in Texas? I've lived here all of my life - if you don't count those 2 years spent in Hell itself... California.
And believe me, there are plenty of homosexuals in rural Texas - which is where I live. And I also hear about the "nigger, spic, raghead" problem a lot. Out loud.
posted by bradth27 at 11:20 AM on July 30, 2003


"BTW, Bush said "we're all sinners". As few times as I agree with Bush on anything, and also being agnostic to a point of near irreligiosity, I still can't think of one good counter-argument to that statement."

I for one will go on record as saying that "we're all sinners" is nonsense. I don't believe in sin and I've never been a sinner. George Bush can take his 'sinning' back to his church and keep it there, it doesn't belong in public office.
posted by PigAlien at 11:21 AM on July 30, 2003


fyi, cnn's poll is currently at 48,000 people, with 63% saying that marriage should be legally defined as man-woman. Fucking sad.

Fucking statistically invalid. (Not that you'd have tremendously different numbers with a proper poll -- but polls with self-selecting samples are so sketchy that serious news sources should demonstrate their integrity by ditching them.)

Anyway -- that's 6-4. The wrong side is decisively ahead...but it isn't like we're a fringe group. Any way you look at it, we're a minority poised to become the majority within a few short years.

Just out of purient curiosity, if we allow same-sex marriages, what should be the rule on polyamorous relationships? A contract between two people is a lot easier than three, or four, or however many your "poly" constitutes.

In principle, I think they should be recognized. But in this case I think we'll have to bow to logistics -- there's most likely no way to offer legal rights in a practical way. (Hospital visitation? Health benefits? Community property? Forget it.)
posted by Epenthesis at 11:22 AM on July 30, 2003


More debate-by-dictionary. I love the Right, they're so much fun.

I'm constantly amazed at how the Right spouts off about getting the government out of our lives in every way shape or form... except when it comes to their own personal hobby horses, like marriage and abortion. Then they're suddenly all for grinding the government jackboot on the neck of the citizenry forever and a day, amen.
posted by Cerebus at 11:23 AM on July 30, 2003


So once again we've established that most of us here on mefi have no problem w/gay unions (111 excepted) and that we think the word 'marriage' is creating most of the problems.

Public majority is not far beyond, and legal acceptance not far behind that. Yey!
posted by widdershins at 11:23 AM on July 30, 2003


Thanks Civil_Disobedient. My philosophy professor didn't like the argument 12 years ago, but couldn't actually find anything wrong with it either. I think it is a very neat strategy, because it would basically show that we already have constitutional protection for much of same-sex "rights" issues. The strategy is quite simple: rather than talk about homosexuality, rights, etc., we just talk about my gender. If I were a woman, I could do X, Y, Z with my partner. But because I am a man, I cannot. Nothing "gay" needs to be mentioned. The point is strategy, and this approach really is almost impossible to refute.
posted by yesster at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2003


McBain, I meant "yes" and "as in a partnership".

norm, George, here's a definition from the Etymology Dictionary (recent FPP by Ufez Jones):

marry - c.1300, from O.Fr. marier, from L. maritare "wed, marry," from maritus "married man, husband," of uncertain origin, perhaps ult. from "provided with a *mari," a young woman. The obsolete oath (M.E.) is the name of the Virgin Mary.
posted by 111 at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2003


Space Coyote - Heteros can get civil unions. Although my grandmother-in-law questioned the legality of my marriage since "they didn't mention God"!

Yup. Th' wife and I got hitched in Virginia for various reasons, one of the biggest being that your ceremony can be performed by anyone who's paid the modest fee to be a "one time celebrant". Basically, they just act as a bonded witness who has to send in a bit of paperwork before the state will release the certificate. My father-in-law officiated and God was never mentioned.

BTW, Virginia's kind of like the Vegas of the east if anyone out there was looking to elope. No wait period, no blood test, no residency requirement, and the above mentioned no muss no fuss celebrant thing.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2003


This stuff with 111.. sure, you've all managed to out him as a troll, well done.

A number of people who are otherwise considered normal and well balanced have expressed opposition to the idea of same sex marriage (while expressing support for civil unions). Yet, those of you so in favour of the idea are the ones who've reduced this debate to the level of religion and name calling.

Are there any good arguments against gay marriage that do not appeal to God?

Norm: Yes. I'm not at all religious, but I don't think same-sex marriage is the right way forward. Marriage is, fundamentally, an union under the eyes of God, and I don't
see anyway around that. We all need something a littlle more twenty-first certury to relfect who we are as individuals. There's nothing worse tha watching couples who've never spent a day fearing God in their lives toadying up to a vicar just to get a date for a wedding.

The desire for same-sex marriage seems, to me, to be nothing more than an attempt to obscure difference. I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for gay couples, but marriage would do nothing to further acceptance of the gay community.
posted by ascullion at 11:27 AM on July 30, 2003


This has been mentioned above, but as a conservative, evangelical Christian, I really wish the government would have nothing to do with "marriage" at all. Why do I need the government (state, local, OR federal) to recognize commitments I make to my wife and to God? Marriage always has been primarily a religious sacrament that has been co-opted by the state for the purposes of taxation and social control.

I'd argue that the licensing of marriages is a MAJOR breach of the separation of church and state. Keep the state out of religious sacraments. Then, let the government recognize civil unions if they want. I don't really see the point other than for taxation and social control. Bottom line -- if homosexuals want to get "married", then I'm all for it.
posted by marcusb at 11:28 AM on July 30, 2003


Shane,

With all due respect to whatever you just said [...]

This goes down in my book as the most inadvertently funny line of the day. May I steal this one?

That out of the way, in response to your post, one hopes that your experience reflects the fact that the insane ones tend to stay in the mind but that doesn't necessarily mean they constitute a majority. I've lived many places, (and the one I live in now is not so enlightened as you suppose), and have met people who surprise you by being bigots and others who surprise you by not being bigots.

I stand by my posting (even if you didn't read it), that the right-wing base owes its power to being more of a bloc and more easily pleased by pandering politicians, and that it may not be a matter of numbers at all.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:29 AM on July 30, 2003


Oh, and, not sure if not-Brits realise this - in the UK, gay couples are about to get civil unions. Straight couples locked out, sadly..
posted by ascullion at 11:33 AM on July 30, 2003


111:norm, George, here's a definition from the Etymology Dictionary (recent FPP by Ufez Jones):

marry - c.1300, from O.Fr. marier, from L. maritare "wed, marry," from maritus "married man, husband," of uncertain origin, perhaps ult. from "provided with a *mari," a young woman. The obsolete oath (M.E.) is the name of the Virgin Mary.


Also from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

pencil - c.1325, from O.Fr. pincel "artist's paintbrush," from L. penicillus "paintbrush, pencil," lit. "little tail," dim. of peniculus "brush," itself a dim. of penis "tail." Meaning "graphite writing implement" apparently evolved late 16c.

Or as Huxley has a character say in Eyeless in Gaza a pencil is a "teeny, tiny penis". Etymologically speaking. So is writing with graphite an act of masturbation, or is perhaps etymology irrelevant in this particular context?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:35 AM on July 30, 2003


May I steal this one?

It's all yours, GS. Unless you're being sarcastic about my sarcasm, in which case...

Yeah, I see what you're saying. My views are emotionally-charged, 'cuz, well...ya just gotta live here, or ya wouldn't ever believe...
posted by Shane at 11:35 AM on July 30, 2003


zzz

Oh my god, people with prejudices are so boring, especially when they can't even see their own ignorance.

"I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for gay couples"

Well, ascullion, let me ask you, how would you feel if I said, "I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for republicans." I mean, if sexual orientation is a choice, so is political orientation.

I could make oh-so-many arguments about how one's political orientation could be negative for a child.

What's that, you say? Oh yes, children need strong role-models of both sexes. After all, we only have the best interests of the children at heart! Think of the children!

Ok, I'll think of the children in abusive, alcoholic, heterosexual, biggoted, ill-educated environments. They're obviously doing so much better than those kids with two dads.

What about people who can't wear matching clothes? The children will obviously be subject to ridicule!

Ok, I've had enough of responding to this ignorance.
posted by PigAlien at 11:36 AM on July 30, 2003


Marriage is, fundamentally, an union under the eyes of God

Sooooo, you don't think I'm really married either? Cool! I can still fornicate!
posted by JoanArkham at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2003


I was personally in shock by the blandness of his comment. He was asked, point blank, what he thought of homosexuality. I expected the bible thumping to commence, complete with hell and brimstone. Instead, he said basically that homosexuals are NO MORE SINNERS than the rest of us and America welcomes all. THAT IS IMPRESSIVE, coming from him, I think. I'm sure his conservative fans out there wanted to throw up when he passed up such a great chance to rain the wrath of God down over gay people.

He also stated that he believes that man-woman-marriage stuff. This is NOT NEW NEWS. It's also not shocking to hear him say it. Yes, it's too bad he feels this way and I agree that it's wrong to deny marriage to gay people, but I thought, on the whole, he had a very level-headed and non-ultra-right-wing answer to a point blank question. I doubt he really believes it, but I was impressed that he didn't cater to the absolute lowest common denominator that he could have and I expected...
posted by aacheson at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2003


Here's a gay adoption case study. My two friends Becky and Becky adopted a 14 month old girl from China last year. Had she remained in her Chinese orphanage, she would have almost certainly grown up totally impoverished, with little education and poor healthcare. Instead, the Beckys brought her here to Texas where she lives in a home filled with love, attention, fun, and healthy food.

The Beckys have been in a committed relationship for twelve years and they both adore their daughter. Becky H. stays at home with the kiddo and Becky R. works. They take her to music class together on Saturdays. They play together all the time. Never at any moment is this kid missing out on love, safety, affection, or positive role models. On the weekends, we all get together and the kids play while we eat takeout.

So just what the hell about this makes someone uncomfortable? Can anyone honestly say that the Beckys' daughter would have had a better life as an unwanted girl child in China? When I read comments like 111's, I find it so dispiriting, because I am certain that if he actually knew these people, his opinion would change. It's that proud ignorance that baffles and frightens me.

I'm a good parent, but the Beckys are better parents than I am. The idea that there are so many people who would actively bar them from parenting, and who would thus bar their daughter from her chance at a happy childhood--all for the sake of some vague sense of "discomfort"--is one of the most depressing things I can imagine.

</derail>
posted by vraxoin at 11:39 AM on July 30, 2003


I'll meetcha up front with the big guy, ascullion. I want to be there when he explains the whole thing.

SOmebody ought to explain the whole thing to W, as well - the irony is incredible, since god is taken out of context...

...to remind you, in case you haven't spent much time in your god-fearing life reading the book:

"Judge not, that you be not judged.

2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

3And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

4Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.


An amazing view you have of Christianity, when you can take the words of your God in one case as disposable, and his next sentence as pious gold.

If you think I'm disgusted, you oughtta hear what God thinks of it.
posted by Perigee at 11:41 AM on July 30, 2003


PigAlien, I see that "all sinners" statement as a "nobody is perfect" statement. I don't think anyone is going to hell, but I am fairly certain that no one is perfect.

And on preview, Epenthesis, it sounds like polyamorous marriage groups would just need better accountants. Then again, who doesn't?
posted by dglynn at 11:41 AM on July 30, 2003


My partner and I have been together for 12 years, resisting the "marraige" label as much as possible. We've lived the reverse American Dream (had a kid first, bought a house second - now we're getting married). Why? Lots of reasons, but the legal bullshit is enough to drive you wacky even if you are heterosexual - I can only imagine the difficulties of same sex couples.

Getting the church out of the ceremony is pretty easy. We'll probably solemnize a friend to perform the ceremony. Don't know if all states has this but here in Massachusetts - we keep those old laws around.
posted by dhacker at 11:41 AM on July 30, 2003


aacheson, I see what you mean, but Bush specializes in soft-selling things in his speeches, and taking hard-right turns when it comes to policy. Think: "I'm a uniter, not a divider... I'm a compassionate conservative..." Have you ever seen an administration, in your lifetime, that is more divisive? Have you seen an administration less compassionate?

So, he talks like a politican. He doesn't want to shock anyone. He throws out words that his hard-right constituents seize upon like manna from heaven. All the while, look at the content of this story: he has his lawyers working on ways to limit free expression. Doesn't this ring a bell? Homeland Security was sold as a way to protect you, and then used to limit civil liberties in appalling ways.
posted by stonerose at 11:43 AM on July 30, 2003


I caution those who may try to take a speck out of the neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own,

Is he talking about Log Cabin Republicans?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:48 AM on July 30, 2003


Hey, dglynn, I understand your interpretation of Bush's statement was that no one is perfect, but Bush doesn't interpret it that way. He interprets it as "we're all sinners" - i.e. there is a god who has set rules for us and if we break them, we're sinners, and anyway, we're all sinners because adam and eve ate the apple way back when... oh dear, where was I?

I'm sorry, believe what you will, but don't get up there and tell me your religious beliefs have any jurisdiction over my being's 'sinful' or 'unsinful' status.
posted by PigAlien at 11:53 AM on July 30, 2003


'Your religious beliefs' being the impersonal plural, and not you personally, dglynn...
posted by PigAlien at 11:57 AM on July 30, 2003


I miss my gay men, there aren't nearly enough of them in rural Texas.

So it's just steers now?



And beers.

No queers, just steers and beers. Sounds really depressing - and somewhat malodorous. If living in close proximity to a large gay community is wrong, I don't want to be right.

As for gay adoption, I would much rather a stable, loving gay couple adopt a child in need than to leave it to be raised by the state in foster care, group homes, etc..

When I worked in a treatment facility for Severely Emotionally Disturbed teens, I worked with children who has for the most part been raised by the state after they were abandoned by or removed from the custody of neglectful, abusive parents. I can confidently say that many of the problems I observed in these kids were the result of being bounced around from foster homes to group homes to treatment facilities and back again. These are the kids no one wants to adopt.

I have met and heard of quite a few gay couples who adopt these troubled, traumatized children and the results I've observed are nothing short of spectacular. If it were my call, I'd legalize gay adoptions nationwide in a heartbeat.

111, I really hope you have the opportunity to meet some of these families. I think you'd be pleasantly suprised
posted by echolalia67 at 12:00 PM on July 30, 2003


Great points, aacheson. I agree with you. (everyone else is yelling too loudly to hear, though)

We'd be good together. What are you doing tonight?
posted by msacheson at 12:03 PM on July 30, 2003


A number of people who are otherwise considered normal and well balanced have expressed opposition to the idea of same sex marriage (while expressing support for civil unions). Yet, those of you so in favour of the idea are the ones who've reduced this debate to the level of religion and name calling.

My question is, what is the point behind this "separate but equal" word play? How would civil unions be different from marriage? And what about the denominations that do celebrate homosexual marriage?

One of the things that gets lost in this is that marriage has not always just meant a union between a man and a woman. I was just reading Tycho and Kepler and one of the many things that got Tycho kicked out of Denmark was his common-law marriage to a commoner. (Tolerated by the previous King who was himself forbidden from marrying below his station.) The Catholic Church granted permission to King Henry II to invade Ireland with orders that Henry reform the too-independent Irish church and ban marriage between cousins, (a practical impossibility given the very rural population and an overly broad definition of "cousin".) At each step along the way towards a more liberal view of marriage, advocates of the old order lamented the demise of family values.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:08 PM on July 30, 2003


While the gay activists and other uber-liberals go apoplectic over Bush's opposition to gay marriage, they don't seem to put any type of political pressure on their own candidates to come out in favor of it. On the issue of gay marriage and gay civil rights, the Democrats are all talk and no action. Remember, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in response to the possibility that gay marriage could become legal in Vermont and Hawaii. President Bush was still in Texas then.

By the way, where do the leading (i.e. Kerry, Dean, Gephardt, Edwards and Lieberman) Democrat candidates stand on gay marriage?
posted by Durwood at 12:09 PM on July 30, 2003


While the gay activists and other uber-liberals go apoplectic over Bush's opposition to gay marriage, they don't seem to put any type of political pressure on their own candidates to come out in favor of it.

Um, that would be like putting pressure on water to be wet. All the major players are at least in favor of civil unions. Dean, while governor, signed the nation's first gay civil union bill into law.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:17 PM on July 30, 2003


Not to be deliberately mean or anything, Durwood, but this is like the third or fourth time I've seen you ask what a Democratic candidate feels about a certain issue in the last few weeks. No offense, but I'm pretty sure some of them might have websites which address this. I've heard that Howard Dean likes the internet somewhat.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:18 PM on July 30, 2003


Not all republicans and/or conservatives - even neo-cons for that matter - are against gay civil unions. . In fact, a great many of us see this, like most social issues, as a matter that government should stay out of. And we vote.

Personally, I think the trend is toward increased acceptance. Our culture is increasingly gay-friendly, and those that aren't are being marginalized - and in response, they are getting louder and more strident. This too shall pass.

In re: gay adoption? There are far too many children who need safe, secure homes to dismiss it out of hand. Vet the homes properly (which goes for all adoptions) and go.
posted by UncleFes at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2003


By the way, where do the leading (i.e. Kerry, Dean, Gephardt, Edwards and Lieberman) Democrat candidates stand on gay marriage?

I saw this at slate while looking up civil union op-eds:

"[I signed] the civil unions bill. And it said that marriage is between a man and a woman, but same-sex couples are entitled to the exact same legal rights as I have: hospital visitation, insurance, and inheritance rights"
-- Howard Dean
posted by mathowie at 12:21 PM on July 30, 2003


On the issue of gay marriage and gay civil rights, the Democrats are all talk and no action.

Wrong, at least for Dean.
Dean in The Advocate talking about Civil unions, which were also a big issue when he was governor of Vermont (one that almost lost him the election). He has some very realistic things here to say about the whole "civil unions vs. marriage" thing too. Does that help, Darren?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:25 PM on July 30, 2003


Then, on preview, you lost it. This is why homosexuals are still not trusted by many; below the veneer of a justified plead for civil rights, sometimes a violent, criminal, profane resentment simmers and, whenever it explodes, as in your 2nd (10:22) comment, people get wary. -111

I'm certain that that simmering resentment has nothing to do with the fact that they are denied the ability to have civil unions--that is, discriminated against--by a country that claims to seperate church and state. Aren't you?
posted by goethean at 12:29 PM on July 30, 2003


Well, ascullion, let me ask you, how would you feel if I said, "I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for republicans." I mean, if sexual orientation is a choice, so is political orientation.

Firstly, PigAlien, don't dismiss everything you don't agree with as a prejudice. It's an opinion, nothing more/

Secondly - I imagine, if I was a Republican (or even an American), I'd be upset at what you said. But I never suggested that sexual orientation was a choice. All I'm saying is, gay people are differnet. I think we spend far too much time in our society papering over difference, rather than recognizing we all have different strengths. Sure, maybe gay people should be allowed to foster children, in the short term, I'm sure lots of gay couples would make wonderful caring parents. But it's not fair on the chld.

You can ignore your parents political persuasion if you come to disagree with it, but you can't go back in time and learn what it would have been like to be held or comforted by a mum and dad who we love and trust. That's a crucial part of how we learn to relate to other adults, and it's not fair to take it away from anyone.

Sure, some kids might never have that - but that doesn't mean it's right to stop others from experiencing it.
posted by ascullion at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2003


We don't need any special protection, no extra laws to guarantee/legalize same-sex union -- to ask for this only reinforces the beliefs of some who think that we are asking for "special rights." All we need to do is show that current law already provides this protection, and get a court to establish this as a precedent.

All it takes is for a courageous couple to go ask for a marriage licence. Then, when it is denied, they sue the responsible government body, and claim gender discrimination.

Yes, gender discrimination.

All one of the parties has to do is claim that, were his/her gender different, then the marriage would be permitted. The government is simply discriminating based on the gender (NOT sexual "orientation") of one of the parties wishing to marry.

There is no legal reason this kind of lawsuit shouldn't be successful.

The pieces are all there, folks. It just takes someone with courage to pick them up and run . . . . (i'd do it myself, but I'm single, and have nobody of any gender or species that I'd want to marry).
posted by yesster at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2003


I for one will go on record as saying that "we're all sinners" is nonsense. I don't believe in sin and I've never been a sinner. George Bush can take his 'sinning' back to his church and keep it there, it doesn't belong in public office.

Thank you for making this point, PigAlien; you saved me the trouble.
posted by rushmc at 12:42 PM on July 30, 2003


An excellent, pragmatic, solution-minded approach, yesster. I applaud you.
posted by UncleFes at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion - Reading your post, I think I understand why Republicans don't want gay marriage. While some don't want to acknowledge homosexuality as natural (i.e., no choice, God made me this way), and others are afraid the wrath of God will striketh them downeth, I think the biggest reason is that people somehow think If little Billy has two gay men as role models, he will grow up gay, too. And that's what they're really afraid of.

Personally, I think children will become healthy, properly-adjusted adults when their parents are in a loving relationship -- regardless of their sex. I'd rather see a child raised by two women who were in love with each other, respected each other, didn't get drunk and beat each other up, etc., than have a husband/wife combo that are abusive to either themselves or the kid.

And more then that, I'd rather have a gay couple adopt a child than have that child grow up without any parents. Wouldn't you?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:56 PM on July 30, 2003


All I'm saying is, gay people are differnet.

Umm.. how? I'm not referring to any particular person here, but this is acactly the arguments people would have used against interracial marriages a couple of decades ago.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:59 PM on July 30, 2003


[checks watch] Ah, the "won't someone think of the children" gambit is right on schedule...
posted by rushmc at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2003


you can't go back in time and learn what it would have been like to be held or comforted by a mum and dad who we love and trust.

Then I assume you'd vote to outlaw divorce for couples who have children? And I assume we should also take children away from widows and single mothers? That dog won't hunt, my friend; it's a ridiculous double standard.

Listen--what children need is to be raised by people who love them. Period. My parents' values are not my values and my parents' lifestyle is not my lifestyle. But they loved me, got me an education, and kept me safe from harm--and that's all that really matters where parenting is concerned.
posted by vraxoin at 1:02 PM on July 30, 2003


Yesster, I think that argument is among the strategies employed by those arguing the gay rights cases (I know I've heard it before - this article calls it "logically convoluted" although it never explains why, and it doesn't strike me that way...)

Are there any good arguments against gay marriage that do not appeal to God?

Norm: Yes. I'm not at all religious, but I don't think same-sex marriage is the right way forward. Marriage is, fundamentally, an union under the eyes of God,


how is that an argument against gay marriage that does not appeal to god?

the desire for same-sex marriage seems, to me, to be nothing more than an attempt to obscure difference. I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for gay couples, but marriage would do nothing to further acceptance of the gay community.

what are the differences that proponents of gay marriage are attempting to obscure which you believe should be kept in the open?

You can ignore your parents political persuasion if you come to disagree with it, but you can't go back in time and learn what it would have been like to be held or comforted by a mum and dad who we love and trust. That's a crucial part of how we learn to relate to other adults, and it's not fair to take it away from anyone.

What about all those children of hetero couples who never get to know what it's like to be held or comforted by two moms at a time? Or those poor children of bob and jo who never get to know what it feels like to be cared for by alice and sam? Children learn to relate to adults through their parents and the friends of their family, and their teachers and many others as well. Plenty of children never get much attention from one or both of their parents anyway. Parents are individuals, and their gender is a less important component of their personality than many other things. Gay parents will never have children by accident, so you can be sure they're entirely committed & happy about the choice they make, too.

Personally, I would want both halves of the dna involved in any parenting, but some adoptees feel no need to search out their genetic history, and some parents-to-be don't mind an anonymous donor for half or all of their kid's personality, so I don't see why there should be any difference imposed when it's a gay couple going that route.
posted by mdn at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2003


Not to be deliberately mean or anything, Durwood, but this is like the third or fourth time I've seen you ask what a Democratic candidate feels about a certain issue in the last few weeks. No offense, but I'm pretty sure some of them might have websites which address this. I've heard that Howard Dean likes the internet somewhat.

You are ALWAYS mean to me, but I will forgive you. We are all sinners, right?

In any event, it's clear to me that Bush is being beaten up here based upon his opposition to gay marriage. Well, folks, he's not alone because he has a lot of Democratic company. Lieberman, Gephardt and Graham all voted in favor the Defense of Marriage Act several years ago; Most of the Democratic candidtates for President have either come out against gay marriage or have remained silent.
posted by Durwood at 1:09 PM on July 30, 2003


i did not choose this lifestyle.
it is not a "preference", like a preference for coke over pepsi.
i cannot simply decide to change.
i cannot be "cured".
i will not love "the sinner" yet hate "the sin".
i was born this way, and i'll die this way.
my hatred for the likes of george w. bush is genetic.
posted by quonsar at 1:15 PM on July 30, 2003


Thanks for that link, mdn, - I've never seen my argument in use before. I don't see what's "logically convoluted" about it either.
posted by yesster at 1:15 PM on July 30, 2003


I'd rather see a child raised by two women who were in love with each other, respected each other, didn't get drunk and beat each other up, etc., than have a husband/wife combo that are abusive to either themselves or the kid.

Do you actually believe that abuse only occurs hetero relationships? You'd be wrong.
posted by jbelshaw at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2003


people somehow think If little Billy has two gay men as role models, he will grow up gay, too. And that's what they're really afraid of

I don't think that's neccessarily true. What's most important is that the child has the fairest start in life available to it. The relationship between a child and its parents sets the framework for every relationship that child will ever have - so what if little Billy/Billette grows up straight, but can't relate to women because he/she had two dads, or vice versa? I'm not saying that's what will definitely happen - I'm open to any research that will tell me I'm wrong - but we don't know enough about it.

I'd rather have a gay couple adopt a child than have that child grow up without any parents. Wouldn't you?

Maybe - but I'd still rather that child had straight parents that treated it right. Do we only give gay people children that have no other choice? That doesn't seem right.

Spacecoyote: Gay people are different because we're all different. That doesn't mean all gay people are the same, they're all diferent from each other, just as all black people, and so on, are different from each other. The point is - growing up in a minority changes you. that's what I was getting at.

MDN: Just because some children suffer through divorce/death, etc, and miss out on having one parent, doesn't mean we should endorse that as a way of life. Does it?

And, hey, if it makes you feel any better - I don't think single people should be able to go to a sperm bank and choose to have a child on their own either.

For the first time in my life, I'm starting to feel right-wing..
posted by ascullion at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2003


If little Billy has two gay men as role models, he will grow up gay, too.

This line of thinking has always amused me coming from the far right, because it's utterly self-defeating in its presumption that the 'gay lifestyle' is utterly superior to the straight one ... so superior that mere exposure to it will cause a young'un to immediately become gay.

As with most everything else, it's nature and nurture.

But then I never had a recruiter stop by my house to give me free track lighting if I signed up for three years, so I guess my view is a bit skewed...
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2003


"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.


"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

"And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."

-Romans 1:24-31

You can't sever the root of God's Word from the fruit of a Christian's ethics.
posted by aaronshaf at 1:31 PM on July 30, 2003


You can't make practical, worldly use of a fruit that hasn't been removed from the plant it grows on.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:38 PM on July 30, 2003


The pieces are all there, folks. It just takes someone with courage to pick them up and run

yesster, I think the strategy may be a good one, but I also fear there may be a piece that's not in place...Without this, it seems, the definition of "gender discrimination" is heavily dependent on context, and marriage could be argued as a context in which gender discrimination has no legal applicability.

Gay people are different because we're all different. That doesn't mean all gay people are the same, they're all diferent from each other, just as all black people, and so on, are different from each other. The point is - growing up in a minority changes you. that's what I was getting at.

Nice dodge, ascullion, but logically bogus. If we're all different, then we're all the same in being different, so there's no need to mention it. You know that what you meant is "gay people [as a class] are different [from us]." And again, growing up in "a minority" doesn't change you - thousands of people grow up double-jointed and it has no social impact. It's growing up in an oppressed minority that makes the difference. The solution, obviously, is to remove the oppression, not to further restrict the minority.
posted by soyjoy at 1:40 PM on July 30, 2003


You can't sever the root of God's Word from the fruit of a Christian's ethics.

When the theocracy is officially established, I'm sure that will go on all the money. Until then, however, we have this crazy little thing called the First Amendment. Here's another quote for you, from that radical leftist Thomas Jefferson:

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.... Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
posted by vraxoin at 1:43 PM on July 30, 2003


Wowzers! The comment in this thread I most agree with came from an evangelical Christian! yesster has a clever approach, but marcusb hits this right on the head. One's definition of "marriage" stems from one's religious beliefs, hence this is a freedom of religion, separation of church and state issue, end of story.
posted by badstone at 1:49 PM on July 30, 2003


You know that what you meant is "gay people [as a class] are different [from us]

It's the height of arrogance to tell someone what they meant, or didn't mean, to say, soyjoy. That's not what I said, and I've already explained what I meant.

If we're all different, then we're all the same in being different, so there's no need to mention it.

Now that's logically bogus. It's because we're all different that we need to cherish it.

It's growing up in an oppressed minority that makes the difference. The solution, obviously, is to remove the oppression, not to further restrict the minority.

Yes, agreed. That's what I should have said. And, yes the solution is to remove the oppression - but you do that through reeducation - allowing gay couples to bring up children is a long winded and messy way around it.
posted by ascullion at 1:49 PM on July 30, 2003


"All I'm saying is, gay people are differnet. ... Sure, maybe gay people should be allowed to foster children, in the short term, I'm sure lots of gay couples would make wonderful caring parents. But it's not fair on the chld.

You can ignore your parents political persuasion if you come to disagree with it, but you can't go back in time and learn what it would have been like to be held or comforted by a mum and dad who we love and trust."


The implication here is that gay people are different in that they are unable to love their children or inspire trust in them. Rather, they're "wonderful, caring parents" "in the short term" - you know, like when you have a pet and then get bored of it later.

Speaking from my own experience, poppycock. That may not have been what you meant, ascullion, but in that case, what did you mean?

Your claims about "how the child relates to others" simply don't make sense. Parents are not the only person a child interacts with - do you think the home is the only chance little Billy will have to interact with someone of the opposite sex?

"Sure, some kids might never have that - but that doesn't mean it's right to stop others from experiencing it."

Nor is anyone advocating taking children away from loving heterosexual couples and giving them to gay couples.
posted by nickmark at 1:51 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion, if you make too much concessions some of this people will demand that you kiss the rainbow-colored flag and marry a puertorican sailor in no time.

gottabefunky, mcsweetie, is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that? Why is it homophobic?
posted by 111 at 1:53 PM on July 30, 2003


MDN: Just because some children suffer through divorce/death, etc, and miss out on having one parent, doesn't mean we should endorse that as a way of life. Does it?

I didn't say that. I said that children with gay parents will have different benefits and different deficiencies from those with hetero parents. CHildren of a hetero union will never get to have a relationship with two daddies - is that unfair to those children? The point is, all parents are individuals. If neither of your parents is a musician, does that mean you won't know how to relate to musicians? If both your parents are cat people, will you be unable to understand dog people?

I don't think I learned to relate to males by relating to my father. I think I learned to relate to males by relating to males.

on preview:
Now that's logically bogus. It's because we're all different that we need to cherish it.

fine, but in what particular way are gay people as a class different that you believe means they shouldn't raise children?
posted by mdn at 1:54 PM on July 30, 2003


111: How old where you when you started having this "preocupation" with other people's sexual preferences? How was your relationship with your mother? You see a turtle lying on its back in the middle of the road in the desert, you're not helping it. Why aren't you helping it, 111???
posted by signal at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2003


You can't sever the root of God's Word from the fruit of a Christian's ethics

I'd believe that if I thought that, for example, you forced your wife to remain silent in church, with her head modestly covered and wearing simple clothes and no jewelry of any sort.

In any case, the passages you cite aren't relevant to the question of whether a gay couple should receive a legal marriage. There's nothing in the Bible that I'm aware of that speaks to which sorts of people should be able to give and receive power of attorney for others, or which sorts of people should and should not be allowed to own property jointly, or which people should or should not be allowed to make medical decisions for someone else in time of need.

And unless you're holding the supremely heretical belief that somehow it was Caesar and not the Church that was given the power to bind and to loose, that it's Caesar and not Christ's ministers that is the true apostolic succession, that's all that a legal marriage is.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:04 PM on July 30, 2003


You see a turtle lying on its back in the middle of the road in the desert, you're not helping it. Why aren't you helping it, 111???

because those lousy stinking shell-dwellers all deserve to be run over by semi-tractors!
posted by quonsar at 2:08 PM on July 30, 2003


is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that?

No, it clearly happens, so it's not unthinkable. It's just a little sad that people would be "repulsed" by the sight of other people in love.
posted by turaho at 2:08 PM on July 30, 2003


I think Yesster makes a compelling argument, but I happen to support gay marriage/gay civil unions/gay whatever, and so any arguments that advance the cause are more likely to past to sound reasonable to me.

As for polyamorous unions, there are two simple ways to do this, without rearranging existing laws.

1) Each marriage/union is treated exactly like a 'normal' marriage. A marries B, and AB enjoys all the benefits of marriage. A marries C, and AC enjoys all the benefits of marriage. B and C have no legal relationship, even though both are married to A. B and C can also marry each other, and enjoy all the benefits of marriage. You can add partners as needed. Benefits: easy to implement, keeps current structure. Downsides: if person A dies, and B and C hate each other, it might get messy.

2) Simply allow adults to decide who is a 'member of the household' and accord all adult members of a household all the rights normally accorded married couples, which includes inheritance, next of kin, etc. The members of the household would probably need to sign something, similar to the current marriage agreement/license. Benefits: radically redefines marriage/unions. Downsides: radically redifines marriage/unions.
posted by infinity-bound at 2:10 PM on July 30, 2003


The implication here is that gay people are different in that they are unable to love their children or inspire trust in them. Rather, they're "wonderful, caring parents" "in the short term". Speaking from my own experience, poppycock.

Nickmark: I don't doubt the ability of gay people to raise children - but I do wonder what the long term effect of that would be on a child. going through this thread, I'm increasingly unsure of where I stand. Essentially, I think I think this..

It's unfair to force a child to grow up into an oppresed minority when there's no reason to do so. And even if the child didn't grow up to be gay, he or she would be altered by the experience. Like, supposedly, when a child grows up with Catholic parents, but doesn't turn out Catholic - there are a whole lot of issues to be worked out.

But then again, maybe the effects of that are no different to the effects of growing up with parents with republican persuasions. Or disabled parents. And so on. I just have a suspicion that the experience would alter a child's growth and future behaviour.

But maybe it wouldn't. I don't know any gay couples brinigng up children, so all my thinking is just that thinking. Those of you that feel I'm personally trying to undermine your childraising efforts - I'm not. I hope you and your families are very happy.

But should the state officially sanction gay couples as parents? I just don't know.
posted by ascullion at 2:13 PM on July 30, 2003


signal - huh?

111 - no, it's not unthinkable to be repulsed by two men kissing. That's simply not your taste, and that's fine. But what does that have to do with legalizing gay unions? Nobody (contrary to your glib little joke to ascullion) is trying to make you or anyone else kiss a man. The issue at hand is that two adults who love each other and have made a commitment to each other should be entitled to the same rights whether gay or straight. That's it. Nobody is trying to make you gay.
posted by widdershins at 2:15 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion, you may very well have meant something different than soyjoy's interpretation. But please be aware that I and probably a number of others read your words exactly the way soyjoy laid 'em out. So rather than an accusation of arrogance, perhaps a more meticulous clarification would be in order.

If you want arrogant, here ya go: from my individual, personal POV, the logic underlying your statements has been a self-contradictory mess from the start of the thread, and very closely resembles an attempt to continually retrench as an unsupported bias is exposed again and again.
posted by clever sheep at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2003


"We're all sinners."

Oh please Bush, take your faith-based guilt back to your church. Take your Jebus rationalizations for being a bigot with you too.

Some of you can deny that this isn't about religion all you want, but the words are written on the wall. Bush's phrasing is obvious as an appeal to some holy authority. Religion, pure and simple.
posted by skallas at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2003


gottabefunky, mcsweetie, is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that?

Is it unthinkable that your opinions of other people's sexuality doesn't matter one iota?

I think it's gross when fat people kiss [before people grill me, note that I am fat, and that I wouldn't enjoy watching myself kiss another fat person, though my partner is not fat, so I may never have the chance to really know], or when homeless people who smell like urine make out at my bus stop. I also think it's gross when people vote Republican and drive perfectly shiny pickup trucks in the city.

I will be setting up a program through which these poor souls can trade in their children and their larger right to reproduce in exchange for my approval. Oh, and I expect all of you to give a shit.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:24 PM on July 30, 2003


I just have a suspicion that the experience would alter a child's growth and future behaviour.

And you'd be slightly right. Only not in the detrimental ways you seem to be implying. The only "difference" found so far in studies is that the children don't always accept tradtional gender roles - particularly the girls. That's not a bad thing. Otherwise, "of the dozens of studies on kids with gay parents to date, none has shown any noticeable detriment to the child of gay parents."

(Also, perhaps more succintly, summarized here.)
posted by dnash at 2:35 PM on July 30, 2003


But please be aware that I and probably a number of others read your words exactly the way soyjoy laid 'em out. So rather than an accusation of arrogance, perhaps a more meticulous clarification would be in order.

Clever sheep, the clarification is there if you choose to read it.

the logic underlying your statements has been a self-
contradictory mess from the start of the thread, and very closely resembles an attempt to continually retrench as an unsupported bias is exposed again and again.


That's nonsense. My argument is this, and has been all the way through the thread - gay couples should be entitled to all the rights traight couples have, except the right to rear children.

Why? Because it might - might - harm the child. I don't know for a fact either way, but surely it's an issue worth considering.

surely the whole point of a debate like this is to be challenged on the way you think about an issue. I'm thinking about this more carefully than I was an hour or two ago - I'm sorry if you confuse a bit of reflection with a "self-contradictory mess".

Dnash: Interesting, I'd be more convinced if you'd posted some independent sources.
posted by ascullion at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion - look, I don't want to be slamming you about equivocation when you're in the middle of questioning your own stance (or as 111 puts it, "kissing the rainbow-colored flag and marrying a puertorican sailor"), but...

... on preview: long-winded verbal analysis deleted in favor of "what clever sheep said."
posted by soyjoy at 2:39 PM on July 30, 2003


111: You're under the mistaken impression that we actually care what anyone feels when they see two men kiss. In fact, it is irrelevant to our rights what anyone feels about the issue. I could care less if your head exploded when you see two men kiss.

Let's go over this one more time: How you 'feel' about the subject has absolutely nothing to do with our constituional right to live our lives in peace as we see fit and our right to full and equal protection under the law.

Get over it!
posted by PigAlien at 2:39 PM on July 30, 2003


Clever sheep, the clarification is there if you choose to read it.

See, I shouldn't have deleted that. Short version:

All I'm saying is, gay people are differnet. I think we spend far too much time in our society papering over difference, rather than recognizing we all have different strengths.

If what you meant was "we are all different from each other," why didn't you say that in the first place instead of "gay people are differ[en]t"? I think that's the clarification we're waiting for.
posted by soyjoy at 2:44 PM on July 30, 2003


If what you meant was "we are all different from each other," why didn't you say that in the first place instead of "gay people are differ[en]t"? I think that's the clarification we're waiting for.

Because it's gay couples that we're talking about, that's why. Nothing more sinister than that.
posted by ascullion at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2003


Because it might - might - harm the child. I don't know for a fact either way, but surely it's an issue worth considering.

I knowe plenty of people who have massive issues for life due to their overly Christian parents - no "might" about it. Surely banning Christian parents is an issue worth considering.
posted by badstone at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2003


"I just have a suspicion that the experience would alter a child's growth and future behaviour. " _Every_ experience of significance will, in some way, alter the child's growth and behavior. You notably didn't include race in your list of characteristics a child might not share, but it's more and more common for adopted children to differ racially from their parents. Do you have the same reservations about that?

You say it's unfair to force a child into an oppressed minority. But if the state takes that attitude, we say to the prospective parents, "No, you're not able to provide a good enough home for this kid, based on factors outside your control, so you don't get one." By saying that, we perpetuate the oppression. Rather, we should work against it by having the state endorse the minority's rights, saying to the world "there is no good reason these people, as a group, shouldn't be parents."

Furthermore, given that there are lots more kids in need of loving homes than there are straight couples looking to adopt, should the state be looking at every opportunity to get them into families? Even supposing it's true that a child is worse off raised by two gay parents than by two straight ones (which is not at all clear), it's still better that the child be raised by two gay parents than in a state-run institution or left to fend for itself.

I do appreciate your honesty in confessing your uncertainty.
posted by nickmark at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2003


I firmly believe that marriage should be a sacred, holy union, between a man and a woman....


...decided on by a studio audience over the course of a few weeks*. Or did 'Married by America' not cheapen the sacredness of marriage?

And FWIW, children raised by gay couples show pretty much exactly the same rate of homosexuality as the children raised in other households. Those children raised by gays do tend to be more tolerant and open-minded, however.

*John Stuart, I believe, said that.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2003


Oops - that should read "shouldn't the state be looking..."
posted by nickmark at 2:56 PM on July 30, 2003


Wow, this is a fast-moving thread!

ascullion, I see you made an effort to clarify your position, and so for whatever it's worth to you, that's points in my book.

In your latest post, you wrote:
maybe the effects of that are no different to the effects of growing up with parents with republican persuasions. Or disabled parents. And so on. I just have a suspicion that the experience would alter a child's growth and future behaviour.

Maybe it's just because I'm a kid of Catholics who declared agnosticism by my teen years (with no resulting "issues", either!), but I think your model overstates the influence of parental lifestyle on the child's lifestyle choices.

Furthermore, I'm not sure why you see being raised by gay parents as being a possible *negative* influence. Those kids can't possibly help being exposed to examples of heterosexual coupledom elsewhere in their upbringing--other relatives, schoolmates, TV, you name it--so it's not like those gay parents will be their only role models. Rather, kids raised by homosexual couples might have an opportunity to grow up with exposure to multiple models of successful partnerships and families. Sounds like an advantage to me!

On further preview, I see you wrote:
gay couples should be entitled to all the rights traight couples have, except the right to rear children. Why? Because it might - might - harm the child. I don't know for a fact either way, but surely it's an issue worth considering.

Can you specify the nature of the harm you fear? Because I can only speculate as to what that might mean, and I don't want to put words into your mouth.

That said, I must ask if you think it's a disabled person's right to rear a child. And a much older but still fertile couple's right to rear a child. Both those situations could be argued (but wouldn't by me!) to offer potential albeit nebulous and supremely wishy-washy "harm". E.g., a paraplegic might not be able to hug you tight and play catch. Or your mom had you at a very late age, and so your birth weight was low.

I'm hoping these examples come off as ridiculous. It's meant to illustrate that there's a wide range of "harmful" parenting situations out there even when you set aside an appalling prevalence of actual neglect and abuse. Are you prepared to take a legal stand against the rights of all such "harmful" parents? Or just the gay ones?
posted by clever sheep at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2003


The more I think about it, the more I think my objection to this is twofold.

Firstly, every child should have the opportunity to be loved by a mother and father

But I suppose, two men - is - better than a foster home.

The other point, which I haven't raised as yet, is that the intolerance that would result from having gay parents would restrict the child's development.

But I wouldn't object to parents of different races having children.

I'm now thinking that any -good- parents are better than no parents. Maybe I'll change my mind again, who knows..

But I stand by what I said about marriage. Gay couples are better off without it...
posted by ascullion at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2003


And what I take two paragraphs to say, badstone nails in two sentences. Badstone, get down with your bad self!
posted by clever sheep at 3:01 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion:
"The other point, which I haven't raised as yet, is that the intolerance that would result from having gay parents would restrict the child's development."

Not to put to fine a point on it, that's the same kind of logic that some used to justify banning mixed-race marriages.

Denying gay people rights because of others' bigotry? Is that what you see as a solution?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2003


Okay, ascullion, round 3.... And please, I hope you don't feel as though I'm picking on you. It's just that your arguments seem so much more worth the keystrokes than those of, say, 111.

Heeeere we go:
every child should have the opportunity to be loved by a mother and father

What specifiable benefit is provided by being loved by an XY and an XX acting in parental capacity? Or is it the assumed balance of masculine and feminine personality traits being modeled that is so important? Or the societally normative gender roles?

In other words, what makes this particular family configuration so valuable? Why should we argue for it (even restrict rights in the name of it!), rather than arguing for any other configuration? For example, say: "every child should have the opportunity to be loved by an extended-family grouping or child-rearing collective"?

The other point, which I haven't raised as yet, is that the intolerance that would result from having gay parents would restrict the child's development.

So potential discrimination against the parents is a reason to...uh...discriminate against the parents?

In addition to pointing back to my previous post, in which I argue that exposure to multiple types of successful partnerships presents a potential advantage, allow me to quote nickmark:
You say it's unfair to force a child into an oppressed minority. But if the state takes that attitude, we say to the prospective parents, "No, you're not able to provide a good enough home for this kid, based on factors outside your control, so you don't get one." By saying that, we perpetuate the oppression. Rather, we should work against it by having the state endorse the minority's rights, saying to the world "there is no good reason these people, as a group, shouldn't be parents."
posted by clever sheep at 3:29 PM on July 30, 2003


gottabefunky, mcsweetie, is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that?

no. but how does that justify denying adults the ability to get married?

Why is it homophobic?

I think it's the "repulsion" part.
posted by mcsweetie at 3:38 PM on July 30, 2003


...Besides, ascullion, haven't you seen "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" yet? Absolute proof positive that being raised by two gay men would lead to mastery of some subset of the traits of fashion excellence, hip cultural awareness, interior decorating savvy, grooming know-how, and cooking finesse!

/sarcasm [clarification: I love the show!]
posted by clever sheep at 3:47 PM on July 30, 2003


is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that? Why is it homophobic?


homophobia
n : prejudice against (fear or dislike of) homosexual people and homosexuality
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2003


haven't you seen "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" yet

Hasn't made it to London yet, I'm afraid..

Incidentally, it's very late in London, and I'm losing my train of thought. But quickly..

So potential discrimination against the parents is a reason to...uh...discriminate against the parents

No it's not. But should the art of child-rearing really be the vehicle through which solve discrimination? I tried to address this earlier, when I said allowing gay couples to bring up children is a long winded and messy way to reeducate people.

What you say about gender roles is interesting, though. I do think it's important for a child to be brought up by two genders of parent - but maybe what people have been saying is true - maybe those influences can come from more than just two sources..

It's been an interesting discussion, but I have to sleep now. I will definitely log back in tomorrow though, to see what else is said. One of the most interesting discussions in a while, this. Well, to me, anyway..

G'night
posted by ascullion at 4:10 PM on July 30, 2003


But should the art of child-rearing really be the vehicle through which solve discrimination?

Absolutely! I learned typical southern United States prejudices from my parents first. First. If this is art, then I want its funding cut.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:27 PM on July 30, 2003


should the art of child-rearing really be the vehicle through which solve discrimination?

The art of child-rearing should be the vehicle through which people--regardless of sexuality--rear children.
posted by jpoulos at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2003


child-rearing is what people like 111 are afraid of.
posted by quonsar at 4:37 PM on July 30, 2003


is it unthinkable to simply be repulsed by the sight of two men kissing or something like that?

Many people were once repulsed by the sight of a man and a woman kissing, too, but most grew out of it around puberty.
posted by rushmc at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2003


By the way, where do the leading (i.e. Kerry, Dean, Gephardt, Edwards and Lieberman) Democrat candidates stand on gay marriage?

Since You Asked.
posted by benjh at 4:58 PM on July 30, 2003


ascullion wrote: should the art of child-rearing really be the vehicle through which solve discrimination?

I'm sympathetic to your position. But to pre-emptively say that all or most gay couples shouldn't adopt (or reproduce) is to ignore the huge variety of social circumstances in which they live. For example, here in Toronto, a kid raised by two gay parents wouldn't experience much, if any, discrimination. It might be different in Lubbock, Texas. Or, it might be fine, if the kid and parents have a tightly-knit social network of supportive straights and gays. Again: these are adults we're talking about. We need to trust them with the choice. If anything, they're likely to think about their decision much more thoroughly than many straight couples, simply because of this potential obstacle to their childrens' happiness. It's really pretty insulting to hypothesize that - although we can be good parents in other ways - we're likely to spawn children to prove a point. We know, more than many others, what it feels like to have an alienated, difficult childhood. Most of us, I like to think, take this lesson into account when deciding whether or not to have kids.

All of this points to Bush's fundamental(ist) hypocrisy: he is all for families making their own choices... except when the family isn't like his. Then, he makes the choices for us.
posted by stonerose at 6:03 PM on July 30, 2003


You can't sever the root of God's Word from the fruit of a Christian's ethics.

Yes you can, if you believe St. Paul is and was a malignancy on the contemporary legacy of Jesus as preeminent philosopher/humanist of his time. Who knows anymore.

Furthermore, even if you agree with Bush's sinner quip how do you reconcile the lack of anything remotely charitably Christian in any of the maladministration's policies, coverups, smear campaigns, destruction of thousands of innocent lives and lie upon lie, to obscure the undermining this man and his evil minions are doing to your god and faith?

Is it that the maladministration has all of the fundamental christian talking points covered? "Shoo. Well if he hates X because god told 'em so, who am I to argue against such baseless, coke addled, incurious authority?"

Wake up Christians and save your faith from these reckless hypocrites murdering and destroying in your god's name.

No planet no faith. Know planet Know faith. Errr, something like that.
posted by crasspastor at 6:04 PM on July 30, 2003


Yesster, your argument is a particularly good one because, if accepted by the court, it would change the analysis from what's known as rational basis scrutiny (afforded to discrimination based on things like sexual orientation), to intermediate scrutiny (discrimination based on sex), thus making the government's case much harder to win. (For the non-lawyers out there, this website does a reasonable job of explaining the levels of scrutiny, albeit by different names).

As soyjoy pointed out, it's a theory that has been batted about in the legal community, mainly by law professors in law review articles. The theory has actually received its greatest exposure in the realm of Title VII litigation.

As you might be aware, Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of most "innate" traits/characteristics, including sex, but pointedly makes discrimination based on sexual orientation permissible. A small but eloquent number of lower level courts have shown a willingness to entertain the argument that discrimination against a gay employee is equivalent to discrimination on the basis of sex -- the employee is discriminated against because of the sex of the person s/he is in an intimate relationship with.

The reason why this is a convoluted argument is that the Title VII protection should legally attach to the employee in his or her own right, but this argument only stands if considered in the context of another person, i.e. the second party with whom the employee has an intimate relationship.

It seems that the same problem is inherent in arguing that reserving the freedom to marry to opposite sex couples is discrimination based on sex. The right to marry is the right of an individual to marry who s/he chooses, not the right of the couple to marry each other. If this matter was litigated as sex-based discrimination, the court would most certainly want to know who was being discriminated against on the basis of sex. The "first" person in a same-sex relationship is not being discriminated against on the basis of his or her sex, because s/he is free to marry. S/he just can't marry the "second" person, if that person is the same sex. But it's not the second person who's suing, and so on. The interesting thing is that this issue wasn't raised in Loving v. Virginia, the famous miscegenation case.

Sorry for the long comment, but you seemed genuinely interested ...
posted by lassie at 6:11 PM on July 30, 2003


Am I the only gay Mefite who has raised a daughter?

What are the tests I need to put her through to ascertain if she has been adversely affected?

Who judges?

And - to go back on topic - my wish is for equality, and as mathowie has said - "civil unions are for gays and straights". Which is why the British proposals are flawed, prejudicial and worthless. Equal rights for all: why settle for anything less?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:47 PM on July 30, 2003


"fyi, cnn's poll is currently at 48,000 people, with 63% saying that marriage should be legally defined as man-woman. "

All right, who called out the troops?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:48 PM on July 30, 2003


lassie -

thank you VERY MUCH for your long commentary --- I am a former philosopher, so I value argumentation quite highly. I am also legally-sensitive, so I understand that strategy matters. Your response was better than I ever expected.
posted by yesster at 7:09 PM on July 30, 2003


dash_slot-: congratulations! not that it's any of my business, but how old is she?
posted by stonerose at 7:10 PM on July 30, 2003


oh --- and strategy-wise, I think that, in general, it is best to avoid/eliminate/bypass the quagmire of complex issues with simplifying approaches. It is hard to find them, but they're worth it. In short, a lot of the stuff that people argue about really can be avoided, by either making it unneccessary, or surpassing it.
posted by yesster at 7:12 PM on July 30, 2003


dash_slot -- obviously, if she values the constitution, thinks that human rights matter more than corporate rights, wants accountability from her public servants, takes a critical view of authority figures, and places a higher value on individual liberty and civil rights than the government's interests in security and corporate protectionism, then she's been irrepairably damaged. Shame on you!
posted by yesster at 7:16 PM on July 30, 2003


lassie - great job. I had already formulated that argument myself, but was too tired to try and put it down in a logical fashion. Thanks for saving me the trouble!
posted by PigAlien at 7:20 PM on July 30, 2003


I have rarely been as proud of my country as the day my Prime Minister announced he would legalise same-sex marriage.

Sure, JC was pushed into it by the courts, but from what the government has said, the bill will likely be the right path by not forcing churches to sanctify same-sex marriages. If the nation's Catholics, Muslim, Jewish and other congregations choose to continue in their pigheaded bigotry traditions, that is their right. But they will take another step away from the Canadian mainstream (and they will likely not even realise why the faces in their pews are getting older and fewer.)

That, fortunately, is the overriding and unavoidable reality: Poll numbers reveal that more and more Canadians support same-sex marriages and support increases the younger the age group.

In other words: The people who use religion and tradition to justify their ignorance and bigotry will lose this fight, just as they lost the fight over slavery, over segregation and over women voting, working and controlling their bodies.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:33 PM on July 30, 2003


Sorry - but I just thought of this - -

Lassie, your very well-reasoned response stated that the problem with my argument was that it depended upon a characteristic extrinsic to the person at question. However, there is legal precedent and general jurisprudence that both parties to a litiginous situation can agree to "facts of stipulation" or whatever they may be called. Basically, both parties agree that certain facts can be stipulated. So, lets say that both parties (the state and myself, via power of attorney) stipulate that the gender of party "A" is "g." Once that fact is stipulated, then the issue becomes the gender of party "B," who rightfully claims that it is his/her gender that is problematic regarding the action of the government. All party "B" has to claim is that were his/her gender different, the government would have granted the marriage request. This clearly isolates the point of contention upon the characteristics of the claimant.

Any response?
posted by yesster at 9:01 PM on July 30, 2003


lassie - thanks for the shoutout, but it was mdn, not me, who actually pointed to the extra-yesster examinations of this strategy.

Since you have the legal savoir faire, though, could you address the stumbling block I mentioned earlier? It's one thing to charge sex discrimination in specific areas where sex discrimination has been prohibited, but is there any such prohibition in the arena of marriage, or anything analogous to marriage? That's why I brought up the ERA - if it had passed, we could, I think, proceed to build the case tomorrow because there would be a general prohibition to fall back on. But I worry that without same it would be more easily and quickly shot down. Maybe I'm wrong. I'd love to be.
posted by soyjoy at 9:31 PM on July 30, 2003


Associated Press: Vatican Starts Campaign Against Gay Marriages. Mmm-hmm. Would I be too cynical if I were to suggest a vast right-wing conspiracy?
posted by stonerose at 5:56 AM on July 31, 2003


Not to bring this all back to me, but I think the only possible argument (besides the "marriage=church; state out of marriage" bolshevism) against gay marriage that doesn't refer to God is the "think of the children" argument where children could be exposed to hostile environments and prejudice because they grow up in a household headed by homosexuals.

This is the same argument posed against allowing interracial adoption, which the Supreme Court finally put to rest in Palmore v. Sidoti, a 1984 case. A relevant portion is quoted below:
The question, however, is whether the reality of private biases and the possible injury they might inflict are permissible considerations ... We have little difficulty concluding that they are not. The Constitution cannot control such prejudices but neither can it tolerate them. Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect.
posted by norm at 6:12 AM on July 31, 2003


mdn, sorry about the misattribution earlier.

Yesster, your strategy is once again creative, but I don't think it will do the trick. If I understand it correctly, it's a two step process to attempt to get around the individual rights issue. First, person A sues the State because she can't marry person B who is of the same sex as she is. Then, person A stipulates out of the suit in some manner, leaving person B to pursue the claim with a better chance of success because it is, after all, person B's sex that is of issue here.

There are three problems that I can see with this strategy. First, person A's sex is not at issue here. The State is not disputing the sex of either A or B. In fact, if the State was broadminded enough to recognize the fluidity of sex, we would have a much more interesting scenario on our hands. Second, I don't believe you can even stipulate to facts not in dispute in constitutional claims. This is more common in contract and criminal law cases. Third, which kind of ties in with the first point, even if the State was disputing the sex of A, and A could stipulate out of the matter, you would still be left with the knotty problem of B's standing to continue with the claim.

The standing issue is at the crux of the point I made earlier. If we accept the basic constitutional theory that individual rights adhere only to the individual, then B must bring her own claim rather than piggyback into court on A's shoulders. But if B brings her own claim, A is then in the same position B was in the earlier situation, and we're all back at square one.

And finally, in response to soyjoy's question, it's possible that if the ERA had passed the pro-gay marriage camp would have had more ammunition to work with. However, my cynical bent leads me to believe that it would only have helped if the right to marry anyone one chooses was explicitly included in the language of the statute, and history tells us that would have been unlikely.

The closest analogy I can think of off the top of my head is contract law. By and large, the State cannot infringe upon our right to enter into contracts with anyone we choose to. It is ludicrous to imagine a world in which my right to contract with someone would be conditioned upon the sex of that person. Stripped of its religious underpinnings, marriage is really nothing but a contract between two people, so the State should really have no power to dictate the race, sex, national origin, or any other characteristic of the two parties.

me and my long comments again. :)
posted by lassie at 6:28 AM on July 31, 2003


thanks again, lassie
posted by yesster at 7:58 AM on July 31, 2003


Awestruck. A long and serious, relatively flame-free debate on a serious topic.

Beautiful.
posted by Perigee at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2003


Allow me to say that the state is wrong to recognize the institution of marriage, as it relates to a religious and moral angle, in any way.

What is marriage to the government? Is it a legal guarantee that the individuals will love one another? The goverment certainly can't legislate feelings. Is it that the couple will only have sexual relations with each other? No, because adultery is not illegal, nor is a lack of sex within a marriage. Is it the legal right to have children? No, because unwed couples can have children as well.

So, since the government can't really alter the behavior of two consenting adults unless it adversely affects another person, isn't marriage just a tax shelter and declaration of property rights? I'd probably use the terminology "civil union," since "marriage" may evoke a religious definition, but legal marriage has little to do with morality and everything to do with property and taxes.

Adoption and such are a completely seperate issue. It may be to the favor of a homosexual couple that wants to adopt if they have a legally-recognized civil union, but it's hardly a necessity.
posted by mikeh at 11:11 AM on July 31, 2003


The desire for same-sex marriage seems, to me, to be nothing more than an attempt to obscure difference. I'd like to see equality in all areas - bar child rearing - for gay couples, but marriage would do nothing to further acceptance of the gay community.


ascullion I am a single guy raising a daughter by myself. Are you suggesting you intend to remove her from my custody?

I hope you bring a gun.
posted by filchyboy at 8:45 PM on July 31, 2003


Or are you saying that if I develop a long term intimate relationship with another man that then you will remove her from my custody?

(Let's get this straight as I want to make sure we are prepared. After all she's nine, and by the time those niggardly christian fucks have their way with her she may be an adult voter.)
posted by filchyboy at 9:27 PM on July 31, 2003


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