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February 26, 2004 2:25 PM   Subscribe

America's Anti-family Experiment. Orson Scott Card weighs in on how same sex marraiges are destroying America. Presented purely for your edification.
posted by Wulfgar! (142 comments total)

 
Oy. Blah-de-blah-blah-blah. Nothing I haven't heard before.

I'd been told that Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" and its sequels were some really entertaining science fiction books, but now I don't even want to read them. I didn't realize Card held such uninformed, unoriginal, un-thought-out views as these.

By the way, does this mean we're going to have another 400-message thread?
posted by Tin Man at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2004


Hysterical hyperbole - check!
Fear mongering - check!
Declaration of disproven sterotypes as fact- check!

Jeebus Priest, what a tool.
posted by echolalia67 at 2:39 PM on February 26, 2004


I'd been told that Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" and its sequels were some really entertaining science fiction

Bah, don't go beyond Ender's Game. The sequels went way beyond what was ultimately a well thought through short story.
posted by thanotopsis at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2004


The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.

I stopped reading right there.
posted by machaus at 2:42 PM on February 26, 2004


Ender's Game was good, it went downhill after that.
posted by substrate at 2:44 PM on February 26, 2004


Gee, I care what he thinks almost as much as I care what Harlan Ellison thinks.

Lets hear what George Lindsey has to say about this topic!
posted by Dillenger69 at 2:44 PM on February 26, 2004


Sadly, not that surprising given the whole mormon thing. What a tool indeed.
posted by lobakgo at 2:45 PM on February 26, 2004


Let's take a poll of our volunteer military -- especially those who specialize in combat areas -- and see what civilization it is that they actually volunteered to defend.

The civilization I volunteered to defend, as an armor crewman in Germany in 1985, was one that favored the rights of the individual over the prejudices of society. As a bonus, there were plenty of cute, available guys in my unit - woohoo!

I understand his religious (Mormon, I think) background and all that, but what I don't understand is why he thinks it's better for the state not to provide any incentive for monogamous relationships for us. I think that open homosexuality without the possibility of gay marriage is more of a threat to heterosexual marriage and societal mores in general than with it.

The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.

What a load. Sure, there are lots of gays who'd rather be straight, since they're surrounded by people telling them how bad it is to be gay, and denying them rights and all that. The molestation thing is just a bunch of crap, though. You could make the same argument that there are people who'd have otherwise turned out gay, but for being molested by straight people.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:48 PM on February 26, 2004


There is some interestingly disingenuous logic throughout that piece. Like this choice one "Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all"

So, I guess under the same logic, the ban on interracial marriage of ages past wasn't unfair, because white people could easily marry other white people?

As I've read the recent writings from the self-appointed defenders of marriage, I've realized that most of them decided that they didn't like homosexuality viscerally, and then came up with the reasons afterward.
posted by aubin at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2004


Hey, he's entitled to his opinion.
posted by crunchland at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2004


So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage.

Oh, is THAT all?

Ignoring the fact that you will not be bound to the person you love and have legal entitlements to THEIR proceedings, what a great idea! I'm sure having two cross-married couples in the same house is JUST the thing to provide a stable image of marriage and provide tranquility.

And really, where does a Mormon get off discussing anyone else's marriage values -- this from a religion that still has polygamy at its fringes. Best to clean out your own house first, Orson.

Look: against gay marriage? Don't have one. Card tries to equate gay marriage with all the other trivializations already made to marriage, but if the horse is out of the barn on those, I'm afraid.

I would much rather see two old dykes married for the rest of their lives than one more 23 year old rush into a stupid marriage...

Shame on Orson Scott Card.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:56 PM on February 26, 2004


1) Do we *really* need another thread about this?
2) Why do we care what *this* man thinks about it?
3) Card is gay. His denial and conflict about this leads to some great fiction. But seriously, the man is wacko.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:56 PM on February 26, 2004


By the way, does this mean we're going to have another 400-message thread?


NortonDC, whaddya reckon?
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:59 PM on February 26, 2004


This is a bit reminiscent, to me, of Michel Crichton's recent berserker lecture circuit madness - on which, at such eminent institutions as Caltech, he launched into vituperative denunciations which equated believers of Global Warming ( 99.9% of climate research scientists at this point, I'd guess) to fringe cult members.

This sort of thing - pockets of extreme crankiness in otherwise relatively reasonable people - is more common than most would think.

Heh heh.
posted by troutfishing at 3:00 PM on February 26, 2004


"I'm sure having two cross-married couples in the same house is JUST the thing to provide a stable image of marriage and provide tranquility."

That's actually not that crazy. There are all sorts of marriage arrangements all over the world, wherever you look at human societies.

Just about anything works.

I guess 2 gay men who are legally 'married' to 2 lesbians, all pooling their financial resources to raise a bunch of kids would really freak out a bunch of people, though.

I'm surprised that we don't hear about that happening.

It would have to be harder than just having 3 roommates, though.

Oh, that Orson. What a card.
posted by geekhorde at 3:07 PM on February 26, 2004


This guy seems to be ...confused..a lot confused.

But homosexual "marriage" is an act of intolerance. It is an attempt to eliminate any special preference for marriage in society -- to erase the protected status of marriage in the constant balancing act between civilization and individual reproduction

What ?

In other words, society will bend all its efforts to seize upon any hint of homosexuality in our young people and encourage it.

Eh ? Encourage homosexuality ? Like saying being homo is hip ? I haven't seen MTV promoting being heterosexual is a-la page either (oh yeah but maybe it's because I ditched MTV when they removed music videos from programming). And society isn't MTV either.

Homosexual "marriage" won't accomplish what they hope. [..omissis..].They will make it harder for us to raise children with any confidence that they, in turn, will take their place in the reproductive cycle. They will use all the forces of our society to try to encourage our children that it is desirable to be like them.

This guy may have some paranoid problem ; I guess he thinks he's seeing heterosexual vs homosexual agendas and propaganda machines left and right. Oh but maybe he's happy he finally found a job in one of these.

But I have to agree with him that parents shouldn't leave their children ALONE (he's just blaming tv, not suggesting the following really)it doesn't matter where alone in front of TV or PC, just not alone trying to learn in a environment that isn't exactly promoting understanding and learning, rather exploitation and short term pseudo-thinking.
posted by elpapacito at 3:12 PM on February 26, 2004


Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all.

Ditto with lesbian women. Many have married men and borne children. And while a fair number of such marriages in recent years have ended in divorce, there are many that have not.


Living a lie = a good marriage? This is obviously some obscure definition of "sacred" of which I was previously unaware.
posted by RylandDotNet at 3:16 PM on February 26, 2004


Guess I'm in the minority here--I liked Speaker for the Dead even better than Ender's Game. Xenocide was not as good as the first two, but still worth reading. Children of the Mind I didn't like at all. I haven't read the Shadow books in the series.

I'd been told that Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" and its sequels were some really entertaining science fiction books, but now I don't even want to read them. I didn't realize Card held such uninformed, unoriginal, un-thought-out views as these.

Because he has deplorable political views, his science fiction can't be worth reading? Does Bobby Fischer's rabidly anti-American views make his chess games any less brilliant? That's what I would call an "uninformed, unoriginal, un-thought-out view."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:17 PM on February 26, 2004


"Do you want to know whose constitutional rights are being violated? Everybody's. "

wrong fuck wad. tradition and social trends aren't protected.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:40 PM on February 26, 2004


y6y6y6 - 1) Do we *really* need another thread about this?
2) Why do we care what *this* man thinks about it?
3) Card is gay. His denial and conflict about this leads to some great fiction. But seriously, the man is wacko.


1) Probably not. But the whole point of the "need" argument kind of looks suspect, given the context, wouldn't you agree?

2) I've been reading a lot of arguments against same sex marraiges, and this is the first REAL attempt I've encountered at reasoned thought for same sex marraige leading to the destruction of civil society, from a socialogical viewpoint. I was fascinated because it was well written. Specious assumptive generalizing crap, but very well written. We should care because this will become the manifesto of the anti-gay marraige crowd. (Notice, please the grouping of words.)

3) Now, you're just being cranky.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:44 PM on February 26, 2004


I don't want to hear any bullshit about ffamilies and society being threatened until there is a serious underpopulation problem.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:45 PM on February 26, 2004


I had to truncate that comment to emphasize the menacing "heh heh" there....

But, anyway - Orson Scott Card should pull his head out of his ass and investigate the actual veracity of some of his accusations. For example :

A far stronger case can be made that Bible-belt Christianity is a chief culprit the destruction of the American family and it's supporting moral superstructure* for the fact that divorce rates, in the US, are highest in the deep South. Guess where they are lowest - the Midwest? Not. The "Liberal" Northeast - ho, ho. I guess Northern liberals are more moral than conservative Southerners ? Well, I wouldn't go that far - there's a lot more to it than that. But those who would hold Conservative America Christian culture up as a shining example clearly have some learnin' to do.

*if indeed the institution of the American family is all around us - a somewhat dubious claim in the first place. Teen pregnancy rates, for example, were far higher in the 1950's in the US than they are today. Crime and various other indexes of social "anomie" were also, I seem to recall, higher around the turn of the century ; and cheap, widely available contraception did wonders for the reduction in out-of-wedlock births.

For some reason, this deep cultural conflict between conservative Christianity and liberalism brings to my mind Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor" - Jesus returns to Spain, or Europe, during the Spanish Inquisition, and few actually pay him much mind. But he is sucked up by the dragnet of the Inquisition anyway, and the Grand Inquisitor - a highly educated Torquemada sort - recognized Jesus for the terrible threat he represents, and decrees that Jesus be put to death. His reasoning ? - well, it's really very similar to that of those Bush Administration Neocons who follow Leo Strauss, a political philosopher who held that pure Democracy is impractical, and that the masses need to be deceived for proper, effective governance. In the context of Dostoevsky's tale, Jesus' existence represented a threat to the absolute authority of the Catholic Church - the truth would not benefit the broad masses, argues the inquisitor....

I see this same inclination - that of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor - in those who would limit the teaching of sex education in schools.

A friend of mine, who taught for several years in the deep South, explained to me his perceptions of the dynamics which led to the very high rates of divorce and infidelity in the South - Premarital sex is considered sinful by many in the Deep, evangelical South and so often couples marrysimply for sex and without much consideration of personal compatibility. So - predictably - many of these marriages soon devolve into conflict, cheating, and divorce. In the North, of course, people screw around before marriage. They have 'boyfriends' and 'girlfriends' and develop a much more informed view of love, sex, marriage, the whole bit. They are much more likely to walk into marriage later, eyes open, and with a sense of humor and awareness of the pitfalls.

So : knowledge = morality, or moral behavior ? Well, I suppose.... But I'll leave that to the monkeys.

Eeek Eeeek!!
posted by troutfishing at 3:45 PM on February 26, 2004


Let's talk about this some more!!!
posted by xmutex at 3:50 PM on February 26, 2004


Of course, in our current society we are two generations into the systematic destruction of the institution of marriage. In my childhood, it was rare to know someone whose parents were divorced; now, it seems almost as rare to find someone whose parents have never been divorced.

I don't think this can be blamed on homosexuals...
posted by black8 at 3:53 PM on February 26, 2004




Am I wrong, or is Ender's Game just an overcooked remake of Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint (guy playing games surprised to find he's waging galactic war)? I'd find out myself, but I started trying to read Ender's and got tired of dialogue like "fart face."
posted by inksyndicate at 4:02 PM on February 26, 2004


oops wrong thread.. damn you mozilla and your tabs.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:02 PM on February 26, 2004


"3) Now, you're just being cranky."

No. Really. I've read many of Card's books. The theme of child abuse runs through most of them. And following his main characters leaves me with the impression that many are homosexual. I seriously think this quote is autobiographical.

"The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally."

Card is speaking about himself here.

Try this - Reread the entire article, or better yet one of Card's books, such as "The Lost Boys", and imagine it is written by a man who is struggling with the abuse he suffered as a child and his own homosexual yearnings.

Think about it. Card is obviously a very intelligent person. and yet the article is filled with assertions given as fact which are so ridiculous that we can't even believe we're reading them. This is a man who wants to be caught. And wants to be outed. Don't read it as the ranting of a crazy man, but as a cry for help from so deep inside that Card himself doesn't even see it.

I think if you read it again in that light you'll see what i mean.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:06 PM on February 26, 2004


RylandDotNet, a homosexual person in a traditional marriage is not necessarily living a lie. After all, what would the lie be, so long as both parties were honest with each other? Think about what you really do mean when you use the phrase "living a lie", and you may find that you are assuming that anyone who has arranged his or her life with goods other than sexual satisfaction in mind is therefore living a lie.

I am not a homosexual, but if I were, I think I'd much rather live my life in the context of a traditional marriage than to give my life over to perversion. I have homosexual friends who struggle with these issues, and I believe some them would be happier in traditional marriages than they are as single homosexuals who refrain from perversion.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2004


Wulfgar! Thank you for posting this. It is the first reasoned argument against gay marriage I have read, and I have been wanting to hear one for some time. Though you do have to filter out a lot of the completely irrelevant sections, tone down the paranoia, and question the idea that reproduction is and should be everyone's goal, the article gives a good idea about why some are against gay marriage.

It leaves a question, though. Who else feels this way? Do most people hold similar beliefs (similar to his core idea, anyway) but not express them? It seems to fit with the general cries of "destruction of family" etc. that I've heard, but do those people have these reasons or do their reasons go little further than "it's wrong"?
posted by whatnotever at 4:13 PM on February 26, 2004


y6y6y6, I read it exactly the same way.
posted by machaus at 4:20 PM on February 26, 2004


um, peeping_Thomist? you wanna clarify your defintion of perversion?
posted by dolface at 4:21 PM on February 26, 2004


Yeah, man. You can just let them do the perversion to you, and then it's all good.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:28 PM on February 26, 2004


troutfishing, Best. Comment. Ever. Interesting to note that Laura Bush lists The Grand Inquisitor as her favorite book, because she finds it "inspiring." Not troubling.... inspiring.
posted by stonerose at 4:33 PM on February 26, 2004


Surely there is something to be said for the female and male dichotomy?

I feel in traditional roles, same sex would be hard pressed to give what male and female could provide.

However, our civilization is changing.

Please, give me more soma. . .
posted by the fire you left me at 4:38 PM on February 26, 2004


Let's take a poll of our volunteer military -- especially those who specialize in combat areas -- and see what civilization it is that they actually volunteered to defend.

Um, the one I signed up to defend was the one where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights for all.

I can't take this evil INSANITY anymore.

*runs screaming from room, straight into wall*
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:39 PM on February 26, 2004


"The Massachusetts Supreme Court has not yet declared that "day" shall now be construed to include that which was formerly known as "night," but it might as well."

Doesn't day already include night? I didn't actually get past this point. What was the rest of the article about?
posted by MetalDog at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2004


I enjoyed his "Memory of Earth" series. But I completely disagree with almost all of his real-world views.
posted by moonbiter at 4:43 PM on February 26, 2004


peeping_Thomist:

I am not a homosexual, but if I were, I think I'd much rather live my life in the context of a traditional marriage than to give my life over to perversion. I have homosexual friends who struggle with these issues, and I believe some them would be happier in traditional marriages than they are as single homosexuals who refrain from perversion.

I am a homosexual, and I'd rather live my life in the context of a traditional marriage too. Of course, we probably differ on what that means exactly, since I would be married to my gay life partner of over fifteen years.

I also like to refrain from perversion, but I suspect we probably differ on our definition of that as well, since my definition doesn't include my making love to my life partner.

In any case, your opinions about how you'd rather live if you were a homosexual are about as useful as my opinions about how I'd rather live if I were a Martian.

In my opinion, the perversion is yours - you are applying your unnatural, human-created belief system as the standard for my natural behavior. Homosexuality is far more natural than Christianity.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2004



Jeebus Priest, what a tool.


I'll see your tool, and raise you an asshole.
posted by deadcowdan at 5:16 PM on February 26, 2004


amen, me & my monkey : >
posted by amberglow at 5:20 PM on February 26, 2004


Hmm. Upon reading my comment, I suppose it could be construed to be an insult to the poster I quoted. For the record, the immature namecalling I childishly indulged in was directed solely at the author of that puzzlingly incoherent rant this thread is discussing.
posted by deadcowdan at 5:27 PM on February 26, 2004


I blame Mork.
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2004


not Mindy? or Orson?
posted by amberglow at 5:33 PM on February 26, 2004


There are few, if any, human beings who have disappointed me as much as Orson Scott Card.

Interesting theory, y6. See Songmaster.
posted by rushmc at 5:57 PM on February 26, 2004


Let's take a poll of our volunteer military -- especially those who specialize in combat areas -- and see what civilization it is that they actually volunteered to defend.

Personally, as a volunteer military member, I would like to think that I serve greater masters than the current culture, indeed, I would style myself fighting for the idea that humanity constantly struggles to assert a better version of itself, and this may be it. In those terms, we have a duty to constantly improve the lot of civilization for those affected by it.

Regardless, I'm usually a fan of Card's work. I loved Speaker for the Dead, I liked Xenocide, and I even liked Children of the Mind. I usually read his columns, and I disagree with 90% of his opinions. But then again, I disagree with most of my friend's opinions too, but I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I mean, regardless of how I don't agree with his assessment, I like his work.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:02 PM on February 26, 2004


I am sick and tired of hearing about how this is "a state issue" or "we need to protect marriage". It is neither.

This is, in fact, a civil rights issue. It's quite simple. Majority rules in democracy, unless it is regarding individual rights. For example, let's say the majority of the people in a southern state thought that blacks should be slaves, does that mean we make blacks slaves? No. Or lets say in another state, the majority says that Christianity should be taught to all children in public schools. Do we do that? No, because of the seperation of church and state.

That harm to individuals must be weighed in relation to what is happening to everyone else who might be infringed.

Will anyone be harmed by allowing gay marriage? No. Does the majority of America think homosexuals are kinda icky, except when turning straight men into metrosexuals? Probably so. Does that mean we allow that majority to dictate the individual rights of the group? Of course not. Because as long as individual rights exist, majority doesn't rule in those cases.

Some people relate homosexuality to beastiality. Forgetting for a moment that it is a species difference. When two men or two women decided to love each other, it is consensual. When a man or woman does a dog, it is not consesual, because the dog can not pass consent. If dogs were intelligent life, who could talk and think like we do, then maybe. But they aren't, they are dogs.

So let's stop all the rhetoric right here, stop declaring state's rights for individual liberties, and just move on with life.
posted by benjh at 6:27 PM on February 26, 2004


Just the other day I was tempted to approach an obviously married heterosexual couple and threaten the sanctity of their marriage. Then I realized it was logically impossible since sanctity is a synonym for words such as inviolability,impregnability (hehe) and unassailability.

So if marriage is a fortress what could they possibly fear? But then I lack the super powers of homosexuality which must include things like desanctification rays.
posted by srboisvert at 6:31 PM on February 26, 2004


What's most interesting about this is how Card's making the tragic mistake that his characters always make in his own books. The Ender series is largely about the violence caused by the inability to understand the Other - the Buggers in Ender's Game are depicted as That Which Will Bring Ruin To Our Way Of Life. Ender leads a slaughter of them, only to encounter their Queen and learn that the creatures are sentient and the war's predicated on fear of the unknown.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:36 PM on February 26, 2004


adamgreenfield: *runs screaming from room, straight into wall*

*picks adam up, dusts him off, hands him a beer*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:42 PM on February 26, 2004


In any case, your opinions about how you'd rather live if you were a homosexual are about as useful as my opinions about how I'd rather live if I were a Martian.

The opinion wasn't merely a projection of what I imagine my private preferences would be if I were homosexual. In the real world, I personally know homosexual people whose lives are quite difficult. More than one has been attracted to the idea of a traditional marriage with a member of the opposite sex, but hasn't found a suitable partner.

I don't see why that is so amazing. As you must know, many men in prison take up homosexual liasons even though they are not homosexually oriented. I am heterosexual and have been happily married for decades, but I know that if I chose to, I could have tolerably satisfactory sexual relations with another man. It wouldn't be my first choice, but (if I didn't think it was wrong) the hydraulics of the matter would not be that complicated.

Again I ask: when people mock the idea of a homosexual marrying a member of the opposite sex and having children as "living a lie", what do they have in mind? What is the lie supposed to be?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:43 PM on February 26, 2004


Situational homosexuality is what you're describing, peeping, and it's not the same as being homosexual. Soldiers do it too. Any human could mechanically have sex with any other human if they got off as a result of it, or needed to express their power over another (as in prisons). Getting off is not what homosexuality is.
posted by amberglow at 6:48 PM on February 26, 2004


*receives beer with gratitude*
*beseeches stavros silently for many another, with disturbingly imploring eyes*
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:49 PM on February 26, 2004


That Orson Scott Card comes off as a bigoted fascist is hardly news.
posted by NortonDC at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2004


The lie is that they are betraying themselves to conform to what others think they should be. Any society that demands that of its members is not a society I want to belong to.
posted by eilatan at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2004


How about this - If two consenting adults want to get married, we let them get married, and just think of it as none of our business. Good? Are we done here? Great, let's go home.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:01 PM on February 26, 2004


Nobody thinks it strange that he calls the aliens "Buggers"?
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2004


I'll see your tool, and raise you an asshole.

Words cannot express how much I didn't need that image. Oh, and get a room.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:13 PM on February 26, 2004


I personally know homosexual people whose lives are quite difficult. More than one has been attracted to the idea of a traditional marriage with a member of the opposite sex, but hasn't found a suitable partner.

You don't see a connection between their lives being difficult and the way society treats them? You don't think they're attracted to the idea of a "traditional marriage" for reasons like the fact that some people voice the opinion that their natural state is "perverted", that they're denied equal rights because of their sexual orientation, or they're assaulted and even killed because other people don't approve of their choices in partners? Have you considered, maybe, that the problem isn't intrinsically theirs, but is thrust upon them by intolerant people, and that they consider taking refuge in the societally acceptable "traditional marraige" in order to provide themselves with shelter from the vocal, legal and often violent disapproval of people who cannot accept that we are not all the same?
posted by biscotti at 7:34 PM on February 26, 2004


Wow, that Salon piece is one pile of horrid journalism.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:46 PM on February 26, 2004


We still allow sterile people to marry fertile people, correct? How is a sterile man marrying a fertile woman any different than a gay man marrying another gay man? You're not going to be getting any biological children out of that affair, correct?

"Well, fertility tests aren't conducted before marriages so it's impossible to test yadda yadda yadda"

Well, by that logic, we can't determine whether gays can bear children without "testing" them - I believe the blood tests and such have been outlawed, anyway. If the production of children is considered one of the primary motivations for marriage, legislation-wise, then why isn't fertility tested when people get married?

That's a classic strawman argument, I admit, but I figure whatever twisted logic the anti-gay marriage people are using needs all the help it can get.
posted by Veritron at 8:07 PM on February 26, 2004


y6y6y6 - There have been two times I was reading a book and chuckled to myself 'this guy is gay.' Once while reading Fight Club, and the other was while reading Ender's game. I was right about Chuck... so it wouldn't surprise me if ol' Orson was too.


"Homosexuality is far more natural than Christianity"
W3RD! Ever heard of christian penguins, dogs, or seagulls?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 8:31 PM on February 26, 2004


And really, where does a Mormon get off discussing anyone else's marriage values -- this from a religion that still has polygamy at its fringes. Best to clean out your own house first, Orson.

I'm going to pick on this statement as a jumping off point for everything I have to say to the gay marriage proponents who, I think, have some justification for being upset at Card's statements, but are still missing the use of them. I'm doing it because it's illustrative of two problems I think are important.

As far as Orson cleaning out his own house, there's no cleaning out of the house to be done that hasn't been done. The organization Most Everyone(TM) would call the Mormons actively discourages polygamy and excommunicates anyone who thinks they're not serious about it. Unless you've got the idea that the Mormon authorities should either take up law enforcement itself (bad idea, right?), or that they somehow exert a shadowy influence discouraging law enforcement from pursuing and prosecuting crimes related to polygamy (they don't) there's really nothing else to be done. If you really believe this is a problem with the Mormon church, you don't understand both the mainstream body of the church to which Card belongs. Or the splinter groups which broke off of it -- and yes, they really are completely distinct entities, even if they have a common social ancestor. Splinter is a far more accurate term than "fringe".

It's also worth examining something else I've always wondered: how is it that people who are so all fired up about getting acceptance for any two consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want when it comes to being able to marry each other actually get upset when that count extends to three people -- or more -- who might want to get together and start a household. Or four? There's such a complete intellectual disconnect between those points that I actually refuse to believe that this is really the problem my friends and acquaintances who are also for gay marriage have with polygamy. It's not about who lives with who and has sex with who, really, is it? It's about worrying about abuse in the culture and whether or not people are given choices about whether to opt in or out, and when you frame it in those terms, it's something almost everybody can agree on.

The funny thing about both those points is that despite the fact that they're damn obvious to anyone who has some real familiarity with Mormons and polygamous communities and will take their thinking beyond knee jerk reactions, the viewpoints Ogre Lawless expressed -- that polygamy itself is a problem and that the Mormon church doesn't actively discourage it -- are still pretty common. Why is that?

Because most of us, even those who write for a living are terrible at articulating issues like this and working for common ground. Especially in language, in appeal to metaphor, story, and sources of respect that members of other communities and cultures can understand. People are self-righteous, short-sighted, low on time, and sometimes just thick.

I'm a Mormon. I was raised one in Utah. I love the place, though I'm very glad I don't live there right now because I like to see the world and get to know how different people think and I like that about Southern Cal. There are a lot of people in Utah who probably firmly believe that the following statement of Card's is firmly true:

"The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally."

I don't know how true it is overall. I can tell you that I know people for whom it seems to be completely true, and people for whom it doesn't. Based on that experience, I think that Card's presentation is an absurd extension, and this isn't the only place I think he trips in the article, as badly as Ogre Lawless tripped in his reverse attack on Mormons and Polygamy.

But I'm also a person who thinks that gay marriage proponents actually understand less about what their opponents -- who are also for better or worse their neighbors and fellow citizens -- are after, what their concerns and values are. I've spent hours listening to gay acquaintances (not to mention reading discussion on Metafilter), and I probably still don't get their position fully but there's a lot more that I understand that I didn't used to, and I see legitimacy to some of it. I know other people on my "side" who feel the same way. And my question to gay marriage proponents lately has been: can you say the same thing? If you can't get anything out of Card's article other than "oh boy, there goes another right-wing whacko, firing off his mouth", then the answer to that is probably not.

More succinctly and snarkily, wake up people: this isn't the blaspheming-gay-whore-faggots vs. the hate-filled-brainless-backward-self-righteous-hatemongers. It's easy for many of us to ask "Why do they hate us?" when it comes to terrorism and come up with more complex, nuanced, and true answers than "Because they hate freedom." It's the same way here.
posted by namespan at 8:34 PM on February 26, 2004


But I'm also a person who thinks that gay marriage proponents actually understand less about what their opponents -- who are also for better or worse their neighbors and fellow citizens -- are after, what their concerns and values are.
I think most of us understand those concerns and values, but feel they have no place when establishing laws and rights in a secular society made up of many different people living their lives in many different ways.
posted by amberglow at 8:39 PM on February 26, 2004


It's easy for many of us to ask "Why do they hate us?" when it comes to terrorism and come up with more complex, nuanced, and true answers than "Because they hate freedom." It's the same way here

Here's the thing, though, namespan - it would be much easier for those on the "pro" side to understand where those on the "anti" side are coming from if those on the anti side could come up with good, complex, nuanced arguments which are relevant to legislation to support their position. As it is, the arguments presented by the anti side seem to consist entirely of religion, tradition and babies - important, of course, but personal and not really relevant to marriage legislation. In your entire (well-written and eloquent) post you haven't actually put forth a single argument, just suggested that we all might benefit from understanding each other's concerns and values, but you didn't explain what the one thing (legislation regarding gay marriage) has to do with the other (personal concerns and values).

And what amberglow said.
posted by biscotti at 8:56 PM on February 26, 2004


amberglow, you said Situational homosexuality is what you're describing, peeping, and it's not the same as being homosexual.

Right. That was my point. In a similar way, those homosexuals who marry members of the opposite sex might be said to be practicing situational heterosexuality. What I want to have explained to me is why a homosexual who chooses, with a fully informed partner, to live a life of situational heterosexuality, should be accused of "living a lie". What's the lie?

When Card says that marriage has always been open to homosexuals, he is correct. Card is also exactly correct that there can be no such thing as "gay marriage". So, by pretending there is, we lose the ability to use the word "marriage" to describe the covenant between a man and a woman through which the miracle of human life is transmitted through time.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:59 PM on February 26, 2004


amberglow, I think your comment is fair enough and is at the heart of what it means to be good neighbors. I wish I had more time to try and think out the apology and get it right in terms I think would be more accesible to people who haven't grown up with my set of experiences, but I don't, so I'll try clumsily and briefly. At the heart of the issue for many hetero-marriage folks is the idea of what marriage should mean, rather than what people are allowed to do. Card works himself up into the frenzy because he fears this is about meaning as well -- a fight where a practice that has strong meanings attached to it is co-opted and turned into something else without those meanings. I share some of this worry, even as I sympathize with anyones desire to choose not only who they share life with but who can have standing to direct care in case of severe health problems or all sorts of other real day-to-day practical issues.
posted by namespan at 9:12 PM on February 26, 2004


But situational homosexuality is not pleasurable or desired--it's just getting off, or a power play. It's not the normal expression of someone's natural inclinations and desires. A gay man who marries a woman would be able to have sex (probably by closing his eyes and thinking of a guy) but wouldn't be happy or fulfilled--his desires are not for women--that's why it's living a lie--it's pretending to be something he's not.

What you describe as a covenant between a man and a woman, others describe as a joining together of 2 people in love to share their lives. See the difference there? One uses religious wording, and another doesn't. And when the government is involved--and it's heavily involved in marriage--religious wording and beliefs have no place. In the government's eyes, it's a legal status, entitling the bearers to receive certain rights and benefits under the law (over 1000 of them).
posted by amberglow at 9:14 PM on February 26, 2004


the covenant between a man and a woman through which the miracle of human life is transmitted through time

Oh, please. No such covenant is required. Only lustful rutting.
posted by rushmc at 9:16 PM on February 26, 2004


Card works himself up into the frenzy because he fears this is about meaning as well -- a fight where a practice that has strong meanings attached to it is co-opted and turned into something else without those meanings.
The government, by bringing civil marriage complete with licenses and laws and regulations into existence, coopted that religious meaning long long ago. I believe in the "joining hands under God" meaning too, and I can go to a Reform Temple and get that marriage to another man, but that still won't give me the rights and benefits straight people get--there are really 2 marriages in this country--one religious, and one legal and civil.
posted by amberglow at 9:17 PM on February 26, 2004


It's not the normal expression of someone's natural inclinations

Homosexuality is not a natural inclination.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:18 PM on February 26, 2004


So, by pretending there is, we lose the ability to use the word "marriage" to describe the covenant between a man and a woman through which the miracle of human life is transmitted through time.

Why, it's Father O'Hoolihan himself! Teachin' the catechism on the internet, no less! /Irish ;)
posted by y2karl at 9:18 PM on February 26, 2004


And biscotti, you're right. I'm a terrible apologist too, but as a slight defense, I thought this groundwork was more important to lay before I try arguments.

Incidentally closest legislative type action I'm a proponent of is civil union. The ire of the right is focused on the attack on the meaning, it's what's important to us. Sidestep it and provide the benefits people need to live out their lives. As far as the battle over the meaning goes, well, leave the question alone. If those who use one of the avenues more than the other bring more honor two it, the culture will know over time. If y'all are lucky, we'll continue to tarnish marriage so much that unions might become the more respected/accepted institution. ;) Or maybe one will continue to mean something more to some people than others.
posted by namespan at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2004


Wow, that Salon piece is one pile of horrid journalism.

Oh, absolutely. The author comes out looking almost as bad as Orson.
posted by NortonDC at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2004


Homosexuality is not a natural inclination.

Yes, it is.
posted by NortonDC at 9:23 PM on February 26, 2004


No such covenant is required. Only lustful rutting.

That's wrong. Children have a right to be born of parents who love each other, and marriage is a public act that declares this condition has been met. So a covenant is required.

That's not to say that it's physically impossible to beget and bear children via lustful rutting, but such conduct violates the rights of those children. So a covenant is literally a requirement of having children, but it's a moral requirement, not a physical one.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:26 PM on February 26, 2004


Shucks - I got off my lazy tush and read the graffiti on the wall. Card is so easy to trash, I feel a sense of guilty pleasure......It's an absurdly lazy and hyperbolic rant : "we all know the course this thing will follow. Anyone who opposes this edict will be branded a bigot; any schoolchild who questions the legitimacy of homosexual marriage will be expelled for "hate speech." The fanatical Left will insist that anyone who upholds the fundamental meaning that marriage has always had, everywhere, until this generation, is a "homophobe" and therefore mentally ill.

Which is the modern Jacobin equivalent of crying, "Off with their heads!" "


Yup. There's a guillotine in my town square already......

"So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage." - So marriage is a union between a man and a woman, as decreed byt G_d. 'mmmmkay?

"In order to claim that they are deprived, you have to change the meaning of "marriage" to include a relationship that it has never included before this generation, anywhere on earth. " - Yeah, and Democracy was unthinkable a short few hundred years ago. I guess kings and queens were ordained by G_d then, and democracy is satanic, or.......

Could the unthinkable become the norm? ( oh my )


"So not only are two sexes required in order to conceive children, children also learn their sex-role expectations from the parents in their own family. This is precisely what large segments of the Left would like to see break down. And if it is found to have unpleasant results, they will, as always, insist that the cure is to break down the family even further.

The War On Marriage

Of course, in our current society we are two generations into the systematic destruction of the institution of marriage."
- Mr. Card should rise from his ideological couch to run a fact-check. As I metioned earlier in this thread, conservative Christianity seems to be behind rising divorce rates.

"The damage caused to children by divorce and illegitimate birth is obvious and devastating." - well, besides the aforesaid point, illegitimate births were far higher before the introduction of those birth control methods and education that card would love to outlaw.

Sadist.

"So long before the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided to play Humpty Dumpty, the American people had plunged into a terrible experiment on ourselves, guided only by the slogan of immaturity and barbarism: "If it feels good, do it!"

Civilization depends on people deliberately choosing not to do many things that feel good at the time"
- Including excreting unsubstantiated crap through one's keyboard? I guess that feels good at the time.....
posted by troutfishing at 9:28 PM on February 26, 2004


Homosexuality is not a natural inclination.

What Norton said. Sorry--it's very natural--and it's been proven to exist throughout recorded history and in most if not all animal species studied. (another review of Biological Exuberance)
posted by amberglow at 9:29 PM on February 26, 2004


peeping_Thomist, marriage, if one takes a family-centric view, is about raising children, not producing them. And I've got news for you: gay people raise children, too. Might it be good to have those children raised in a family marked by a public and binding proclamation of loyalty and love? Or do only kids raised by straights deserve that?
posted by NortonDC at 9:36 PM on February 26, 2004


Children have a right to be born of parents who love each other, and marriage is a public act that declares this condition has been met.

Um, I'm sorry, and I mean this in the nicest way possible: what fucking planet do you live on?

For most of human history, right down to this day, I feel safe in saying that the majority of children have been born to parents who tolerated each other at best. The institution of marriage as seal of romantic love is largely a recent development, and a Western one at that.

Marriage in any event does no such thing. In fact, the only rational reason one would be against gay marriage is that us straight people have made such a botch of it that you'd hope they'd aspire to something better.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:37 PM on February 26, 2004


"By including a provision regulating the most intimate of relationships into the Constitution, the traditional analysis that the court has used to limit government power will be fundamentally changed and the right to privacy, if it is not destroyed completely, will be severely curtailed."
posted by homunculus at 9:43 PM on February 26, 2004


The phrases "had to get married" and "shotgun wedding" and their meaning attest to the many times love hasn't been involved in marriages--let alone arranged marriages (probably the most common historical form of marriage where love wasn't even a factor at all).

Here we have couples in love that have made a lifelong commitment to each other--some raising children, some not--who want the same rights and benefits other couples and families have. They wouldn't be the ones destroying marriage in this country.
posted by amberglow at 9:46 PM on February 26, 2004


peeping_Thomist: I don't need books from Amazon or any kind of study, peer-reviewed or otherwise, to tell me you're wrong about homosexuality. What I do have is a fully, painfully examined life, full of desires and discipline, soul-searching and sacrifice. Not once in 45 years has it ever occurred to me that my desire to be intimate with someone of my own sex is unnatural.

If I'm reading your posts correctly, you are a married man with some bisexual tendencies. Clearly you view those tendencies as unnatural. That's your prerogative. It is one that appears to be morally and religiously founded. Most people in the world, believe it or not, do not share your religious or moral beliefs. (Most do not share my sexual orientation, either, but I'm not telling them what to do with their lives.) Specific moral and religious beliefs are not a sound basis for civil law, as the founders of this country so eloquently established. Your opinion is valid. Your extension of that opinion into my private life is invalid and unacceptable.

Please note: this is not negotiable. What is happening in San Francisco and Massachussetts is inspiring in the same way that the founding of this country was. The colonists did not ASK England for independence (well, actually, some did, and were refused). They took it as their natural right. England did not like it any better than you like "gay marriage." And quite frankly, I'm no more in love with that particular phrase than you are. It's marriage, which is a covenant between two human beings, perhaps to have children, but just as importantly, to honor the faith and sacrifice and commitment that allow us to grow and evolve toward compassion and harmony.

You have my sincere and abiding compassion in coming to terms with this fact of life.
posted by divrsional at 9:58 PM on February 26, 2004


namespan, I appreciate your clear-headed explanations of your perspective, even though, as you say, you haven't layed out your aurgument in full. I wish that more opponents of gay marriage would try to lay out their objections without resorting to the same tired "think of the children, it will end civilization as we know it".

I was raised Catholic and raised to believe that marriage is a sacrament. Despite being with odds with the church, I still believe that to be true. That's a piviotal point for me - I believe that marriage is and should be considered a sacrament, a demonstration of love and religious faith. As such, it should not be regulated by government and should be left up to individual denomination as to whether or not they want to extend that sacrament to same-sex couples. Some churches will, some won't - their choice.

The state's only responsibility should be to deal with the legal issues of marriage - power of attorney, extension of health benefits, taxes based on combined income & deductions allowed for dependent offspring, legal protection of the best interest of their children should the couple split, and so on. In other words, government only role should be to perform and regulate civil unions, irregardless of gender combination.

I am furious when I see things like "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire", Britney Spears getting married on a lark, people who "trade up" when their spouse starts to age, etc. Those things, to me, do far more to degrade and erode the signifigance and meaning of marriage. Don't even get me started on the wedding industry - they prey on people's dreams and fears, telling men that a $12, 000 diamond ring is the ONLY way to show a woman that you love and value her, telling women that $2, 000+ is such a paltry price to pay for a dress you'll wear on "the most important day of your life".

/tangental rant - I'm in the exploratory phase of planning my wedding and am shocked by how many blatant rip-offs are part-and-parcel of the whole process.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:41 PM on February 26, 2004


To be frank, it is no ones business what gender my spouse is. But, just so you know, my spouse is a woman, and I am a man.

And last time I checked, despite all the gay people getting married in San Francisco, our marriage is fine. Our marriage has not been destroyed by all this.

Ultimately, it's about civil rights. Hopefully, in 20 years we'll look at people who are intolerant of homosexuals as as distasteful as the racist people who oppressed black people in America until very recently.

What I would like to see is 'marriage' itself not recognized by the state at all. If you want to be 'married' by a church, fine, go and get married. You'd still have to go down to the courthouse and register your 'civil union'. The two things should be separated, for everyone. If one class of people may marry freely, but another cannot, under the law, then both classes of people are not protected equally under the law.

Also, the hypocrisy of the people on the right who screech about interference from the Government and how EVIL it is, just astounds me. These are the same people who are so willing to have the Government take away the civil rights of a class of people.
posted by geekhorde at 10:54 PM on February 26, 2004


One interesting thing about this article is the number and intensity of preemptive strikes he takes against the predicted disagreement; demonization on a "shock-and-awe" scale. It's a tactic that seems to have become very popular these days: you provide the reader with a reassuring context in which to put the anticipated counterarguments, and then they can say "wow, Card was right about what they would say -- he must be right that they're all a bunch of life-hating, marriage-hating America-hating haters too!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:17 PM on February 26, 2004


What geekhorde said. Its the easiest solution towards harmony. Its a very AMERICAN solution. But few seem to speak it.

Gay people married to each other, especially those who choose to have kids, truly take a stake in the stability of the society, and in marriage itself. The more that have a stake in it, the stronger it becomes.

Elements of the other side don't WANT gay people to have a stake in this. They seek to push us to the breaking point, at which time they can declare us a threat, even terrorists. Then round us up and send us off to the camps.

Of course there are people against gay marriage that don't think it through that far. Probably most of them. But I am convinced there is an important element who sees it exactly this way. fascists need an enemy, they need a "them".

Sad but not surprising that Card would take his position. Sad too he can't seem to separate church and state like a good American. But we suffer with a rash of people who decided that this separation was a bad thing. In my opinion, that's the true evil in America that is out to destroy the family and other things we hold dear, such as freedom and justice for all.
posted by Goofyy at 1:40 AM on February 27, 2004


More succinctly and snarkily, wake up people: this isn't the blaspheming-gay-whore-faggots vs. the hate-filled-brainless-backward-self-righteous-hatemongers.

This is MeFi - there can be no middle ground it seems (hence the hysterical pile-on above). For example, some people don't get that I have no problem with homosexuals at all (lived with one for 6 months), yet find homosexual acts viscerally disgusting. Unfortunately I don't fit the neat pigeonhole/strawman to burn down. All I see here is a giant strawman made out of Orsen, his every opinion debunked and ridiculed because you disagree with some of his opinions. Does anyone here disagree with all of his opinions?

I disagree with about half of what he says - all of which is his misunderstanding that homosexuality is not natural, but nurtured, or that homosexual marriage will degrade the meaning of marriage - I think the family courts are doing a better job of that, but agree with the rest of what he says (the down-grading of fatherhood in society, the importance of trust, and of course, his rant on divorce). How awkward I am to straddle the middleground!

Here's a quote from the article linked in the FPP:-

People lacking in fundamental self-esteem don't need gold stars passed out to everyone in their class. Chances are, they need a father who will say -- and mean -- "I'm proud of you."

Agree/disagree with the above?

This sad thing about this thread is how scripted and predictable the posts are.
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:18 AM on February 27, 2004


/tangental rant - I'm in the exploratory phase of planning my wedding and am shocked by how many blatant rip-offs are part-and-parcel of the whole process.

Not to hijack, echolalia, but I'm in the same boat and I have come to realize that bemused detachment is really the way to go about it.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:05 AM on February 27, 2004


It's really too bad that Card is recycling anti-Mormon and anti-Catholic propaganda, but there appear to be a shortage of arguments one can use when trying to define yet another group as "a danger to the family."

(At least until the early twentieth century, anti-Jewish propaganda also traditionally included allegations that we were "anti-family," but since we didn't proselytize, we were usually considered more a danger to ourselves than to others.)
posted by thomas j wise at 5:26 AM on February 27, 2004


The state should not attempt to regulate who should and should not be getting married. After all this does not sit very comfortably with how republicans view the state (federal/state government), in its night watchman capacity, why feel the need to interfere when it comes to marriage. It always amuses me to see such fear and hysteria when talking about this subject. It always reminds me of one of my schoolteachers who maintained you pick on people (i.e. intimidate people) because you recognise in them something you find distasteful in yourself.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:27 AM on February 27, 2004


Specious assumptive generalizing crap, but very well written.

That is an oxymoron.
posted by archimago at 6:28 AM on February 27, 2004


The state should not attempt to regulate who should and should not be getting married.

As a centre-left atheist, I have no problem with extending marriage to include gay unions. And instinctively, johnnyboy's statement is my own. Between informed consenting adults, the state shouldn't get involved.

But... where do I draw the line? I'm not talking about people marrying minors or their dogs (hence the informed consenting adults proviso), but other, currently socially or legally unacceptable marriage unions between adults.

For example, polygamy. Why not? As long as all the involved parties are fully cognizant of the situation, why shouldn't this be allowed?

How about close relatives or siblings. Why not? Sure there is the issue of genetic abnormality in their offspring, but 1) maybe they don't want kids, and 2) we don't deny traditional hetero couples the right to produce children even when there's a demonstrable chance of genetic problems. An argument could be made from a power perspective (a parent could exert tremendous power or influence over a child, for example, to persuade them to marry), but even then we don't deny bosses the right to marry their employees.

I'm sure there are other examples as well. And please don't dismiss this as a slippery slope fallacy. I'm not suggesting allowing gay marriage will lead to something "worse". I'm wondering on what rational basis do we allow, well, any marriage to exist? What should the rules for marriage be?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:37 AM on February 27, 2004


I repeat: mutual consent, no demonstrable harm.

Beyond that, it's no one's business.
posted by divrsional at 6:45 AM on February 27, 2004


Card's statements about single parenthood could use some evidence/support. I could just as easily argue without proof that it's not the absence of a same-gender role model that hurts a child's psyche but the feeling of being abandonded by a parent that leads to self-esteem issues. How many "lost" children are living joint custody relationships and how many are living with one parent while the other has chosen to disappear or has been cut off from their child? Children want to feel loved and feel safe, and any adult in their life that abandons them takes away that love and safety.
posted by archimago at 6:47 AM on February 27, 2004


Homosexuality is not a natural inclination.

Yes, it is.
posted by NortonDC at 9:23 PM PST on February 26



this has likely been a point made before, but animals are also known to kill and have wars, does that make it justifiable or *gasp* right? (what happened, such that the use of that word is unacceptable anymore)
posted by quadrinary at 6:54 AM on February 27, 2004


It's interesting to note how even the best of us tend to be more a rationalizing animal than a rational one. If you read the range of what Card has written, fiction as well as non-fiction, you see that he's not just a good storyteller, he's a very intelligent man, a passably deep thinker, with a passionate concern for thinking about what is right. Most of his moral opinions, other than his views on homosexuality, I can respect as well thought out, even when I disagree with them. In the case of homosexuality, however, he's clearly started with his conclusion, then rationalized backwards to find "facts" that would support that conclusion.

I don't know if this is just due to his religious indoctrination or if ybybyb is onto something.

I can criticize Card for rationalizing rather than reasoning in this instance, but I won't summarize the man as an asshole. I can't guarantee that I'm not doing the exact same thing in some other aspect of my world view as he is on this issue.
posted by tdismukes at 6:55 AM on February 27, 2004


this has likely been a point made before, but animals are also known to kill and have wars, does that make it justifiable or *gasp* right?

The fundamental difference being, of course, that wars and killing harm people.
posted by biscotti at 7:01 AM on February 27, 2004


Children have a right to be born of parents who love each other

Nonsense. You might argue that that would be the ideal situation, but there is no such "right" that guarantees one the ideal.
posted by rushmc at 7:07 AM on February 27, 2004


*Doffs cap to troutfishing and ghostinthemachine*
posted by johnnyboy at 7:14 AM on February 27, 2004


How many "lost" children are living joint custody relationships and how many are living with one parent while the other has chosen to disappear or has been cut off from their child?

Good question. Joint custody is a difficult arrangement for obvious reasons (most divorces are acrimonious) so I'd guess very few.

Children want to feel loved and feel safe, and any adult in their life that abandons them takes away that love and safety.

There are many other parents deliberately alienated from their children, by the custodial parent. I class a "deadbeat" parent as either one who has done a runner or a custodial parent who has deliberately shut the other out of the child's life. Both are selfish for different reasons (obviously the best interests of the child are not on their minds). Morally they are as bad as each other. In both situations, the child will undoubtably feel abandoned.
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:21 AM on February 27, 2004


The opinion wasn't merely a projection of what I imagine my private preferences would be if I were homosexual. In the real world, I personally know homosexual people whose lives are quite difficult. More than one has been attracted to the idea of a traditional marriage with a member of the opposite sex, but hasn't found a suitable partner.

Well, then, good for them - let them get married. Nothing's stopping them. You might ask yourself why the homosexual people you know are having difficult lives. I suspect I might have a difficult life if I were surrounded by intolerance.

I know plenty of heterosexual people with difficult lives, but I'm not suggesting they enter into same-sex affairs or relationships.

I don't see what any of this has to do with me, though. I'm not having difficulty accepting my homosexuality, but I am having difficulty getting the state to acknowledge the importance of my relationship to my life partner. The state has no problem acknowledging the importance of Britney Spears' quickie Vegas marriage. I, on the other hand, have to pay lawyers and accountants to ensure that my life partner has a subset of the rights of a spouse.

In a similar way, those homosexuals who marry members of the opposite sex might be said to be practicing situational heterosexuality. What I want to have explained to me is why a homosexual who chooses, with a fully informed partner, to live a life of situational heterosexuality, should be accused of "living a lie". What's the lie?

I won't accuse them of anything, but to pose that as a solution for me is absurd. I choose to live the life I currently live.

Homosexuality is not a natural inclination.

Really? How do you know that? I wonder where I picked it up then? It must have been that same-sex Catholic high school. Damn!

Is Christianity a natural inclination? Should our state and society be free to persecute Christians if it's not? I eagerly await your answer, peeping_Thomist.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:25 AM on February 27, 2004


"For example, polygamy. Why not?"

Personally I don't have a problem with this in principle. The problem is the application. As practiced in this country polygamy has generally been a relationship where many women are subservient to one man. And in many, if not most, cases (and I have some personal connection to this) the women are kept in these relationships through threats and coercion. We can quibble over that, but I think that's more accurate than not. It's a relationship based on power and authority and control, to the detriment of many people involved.

In short, people used to have this right, they screwed it up for everyone, now it's illegal. I say if people want to make it not illegal again they should try and make their case. So far I think they've failed in that. That is, demonstrable harm has been pretty demonstrable.

"How about close relatives or siblings. Why not?"

Well, here we have science showing rather clearly that such marriages can be dangerous. Even if the couple decide not to have kids, accidents happen. Unplanned pregnancies aren't exactly rare in this county. The why not seems obvious.

"I repeat: mutual consent, no demonstrable harm."

I like this idea.

"animals are also known to kill and have wars, does that make it justifiable or *gasp* right?"

No. The issue was whether homosexuality was natural. Since it occurs in natural about the same rate it occurs in humans, we can conclude it is.

But what you are trying to do is point to something absurd and then make a logical connection where one doesn't exist. Just because something occurs in nature doesn't mean it's right. Think about this assertion:

"There are gay penguins, so same sex marriage is right."

But of course this is apples and oranges. It's a logical fallacy. The gay penguins only counter the argument that being gay is a crime against nature. If you try and extend it to justify same sex marriage, you do so at your logical peril.

Homosexuality exists in nature. And same sex marriages are "right". But one doesn't imply the other.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:42 AM on February 27, 2004


So would it be fair to say, y6y6y6, that if society allowed gay marriage for a time but found it to be problematic (as polygamy now is), then you would be in favour of once again making it illegal?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:35 AM on February 27, 2004


Specious assumptive generalizing crap, but very well written.

That is an oxymoron.



*Precisely!* And rather indicative of how this current debate is and will shape itself, IMO of course.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:54 AM on February 27, 2004


".....if society allowed gay marriage for a time but found it to be problematic....."

Sort of. If same sex marriage leads to large numbers of people being subjugated and abused more so than in traditional marriages it seems to me we might be better off without it.

But this is a difficult issue to pin down. First of all you shouldn't overplay my objection to polygamy. If polygamy were legal tomorrow I don't think I'd lose any sleep over it. And secondly we can agree, I'm sure, that even traditional marriages are "problematic".

At the end of the day however I think this is a silly line of reasoning. We're still waiting for those opposed to same sex marriages to give us the reason it even *might* be problematic. In the last thread the reasoning seemed to be that it would be harmful to civilization, but the mechanisms for that couldn't be given. In this thread the argument seems to be that gay men really don't want to get married, which seems like a very poor way to assert that they shouldn't get married if they want to.

So. Problematic? No, I don't think something should be illegal just because it's problematic.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:55 AM on February 27, 2004


archimago-
I read a study which discussed the effects on daughters whose fathers were either primarily absent (such as travelling frequently), dead, or divorced. There was something of a hiearchy of disturbance, with daughters of dead fathers being least, and divorced the most. The mental disturbance wasn't necessarily severe, but there was some. Along with the potential drawback of feeling 'unwanted,' it was thought that another drawback of the mothers' attitudes toward their husbands, and how that affected the girls' self-esteem. Widowed mothers tended to have more positive attitudes toward their husbands than divorced mothers.

SpaceCadet:
While I am highly pleased by the fact that you intellectually sympathize with me, I have to admit I find the 'viscerally disgusting' attitude toward gay sex sort of disturbing. It's like my attitude toward potato salad. I find it disgusting and nauseating. However, others who either like potato salad, or just don't find it as repugnant as I do, tend to be a little startled and disturbed by the force of my disgust. It's a little strange to find that someone feels so strongly toward something you think of as a subject that isn't worth the effort of thinking about. I think that may be why so many people have issues with your attitudes toward homosexual issues in general.
posted by stoneegg21 at 10:16 AM on February 27, 2004


The "unnatural" one is as stupid an argument as I've heard. Here are some of its flaws:

1) It's meaningless. What does "unnatural" mean? Is homosexuality supernatural? One must assume proponents of the argument mean something like "man-made."

2) Animals species other than people contain homosexuals.

3) Even if it were true, should it be illegal? Why isn't aspartame illegal? By any argument, it must be as unnatural as homosexuality. Isn't marriage itself, with its contract and legal status, unnatural? What about playing video games? Now THAT is an unnatural behavior.

When a smart, mostly rational human being uses "unnatural" as an argument against homosexuality, I'm forced to conclude that his/her true reasons are unspeakable. ("I hate gays and want them to just disappear.")

Next issue: using studies comparing two-parent homes to single-parent homes as a justification AGAINST a type of marriage.
posted by callmejay at 10:20 AM on February 27, 2004


Who do you think is volunteering for the military to defend America against our enemies? Those who believe in the teachings of politically correct college professors? Or those who believe in the traditional values that the politically correct elite has been so successful in destroying?

Card's gross mischaracterization of political correctness makes him sound like he's channeling a.m. radio.
posted by mecran01 at 10:43 AM on February 27, 2004


First off I want to jump into the thread by saying I share divrsional's opinion about mutual consent, no demonstrable harm. If two people of the same sex want to get hitched in or out of a church and call it marriage, that's fine with me. Making it a federal issue and clarifying the definition of marriage so that everyone understands that means between a man and a woman is the wrong direction to go in, but this country has been headed in that direction for the last few years anyway thanks to Bush's precision flying skills (and God as his copilot, of course.)

Just because other animals appear to form homosexual bonds with each other doesn't make it any more natural, does it? That's the one thing I have trouble understanding, wrt homosexuality. I do think it helps define homosexuality as something that's not exclusively a human thing, sure. But none of us would be here now if it weren't for generation upon generation of the pairing at one point of male and female parts, even if that took place in a test tube, or through some kind of surrogate parenting. Love is universal, I have no problem with that. I have no problem with thinking of a same-sex couple raising a child—a child one of them may or may not have had a hand in creating—as a family. But the ability to produce future generations and leave a legacy behind still requires some kind of assistance from someone whose sex organs are different from yours.
posted by emelenjr at 10:52 AM on February 27, 2004


basically, the thought is that animals don't make conscious decisions or choices to engage in one sexual activity over another, as gay humans are said to do--they act on impulse and desire. (doing what comes naturally). Many antigay people say that we're just making a choice and acting unnaturally or deviantly, but see their sexual behavior as natural (and don't think they made a conscious choice to be straight).
posted by amberglow at 10:59 AM on February 27, 2004


In order to "hate the sin, love the sinner" it is of course helpful to believe that they are separable. This, I believe, is the source of many Christians' belief that a homosexual is just someone who practices homosexuality rather than someone with a completely different sexual orientation. This illuminates the contention that such people can simply marry someone of the opposite sex and not act on their "deviant" urges. It also explains their fear that some otherwise straight children, if told that it's okay to be a homosexual, will become one.
posted by callmejay at 11:09 AM on February 27, 2004


Chalk me up as another one who sees something...quirky about Card's vehement anti-homosexuality stance. I remember reading "Ender's Game" and being surprised by the description of that "beautiful" Arab kid who comes into the group about halfway through (forgot his name), which Card (and the character of Ender) spend like two paragraphs talking about how gorgeous and graceful he is. I haven't read the book in years and that passage still stuck in my head, probably because I was dealing with my own sexuality at the time I read it and was (pleasantly) surprised to read something like that in an otherwise straightforward (heh) shoot-'em-up book.

And Card was a theatre major too, and has spent time writing about how easy it is for theatre majors to get sucked into the deviant lifestyle... :-)

I hesistate to bring this up, though it's already been raised others in this discussion, because it makes it seem like the overused "oh, if you hate homosexuality, then you must secretly be gay!" meme is being spread just a wee bit too thin. But Card, an otherwise bright guy, does seem to have this weird moral blind spot on this one issue and does live in an extremely close-minded (on this issue) religious group. And his writings, both fiction and non, seem to touch on themes and expressions of homosexual longing interspersed with vehement discussions of why gays are bad, mmmkay? So it's just a little bit "methinks he dost protest too much" for my tastes.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:18 AM on February 27, 2004


"But the ability to produce future generations and leave a legacy behind still requires some kind of assistance from someone whose sex organs are different from yours."

Yep. But I don't see how this supports the idea that homosexuality isn't natural.

Keep in mind that many things which can be demonstrated to be detrimental to the propagation of a species are none the less evolutionary adaptations which help propagate that species. Sounds weird, but it's a fact.

For example - People of African ancestry are more prone to certain diseases. And these diseases may reduce their ability over a lifetime to produce more offspring. Obviously evolution should have weeded out these traits long ago, but has not. Why?

Only recently we've found that these traits provide a tradeoff. While the genes may shorten life span in one way they also increase life span in other ways. So there is a net gain in life expectancy even though the genes lead to greater incidence of disease. While it at first seems contradictory, the traits do indeed increase reproductive rates across the gene pool.

Here is the point - Homosexuality has existed in the animal kingdom for millions of years and across many species. If it was a trait or gene that, on balance, reduced reproductive rates we wouldn't see it all over the place. It either wouldn't exist or it would be very rare.

The fact that homosexuality is seen in so many species seems to be proof that it is a net plus for reproductive rates. We don't know why, but that seems to be the way the math works out.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:22 AM on February 27, 2004


Let me chime in with my Card reader hat on. (apoligies to languagehat.) I can't say that I'd thought of it before, but I think what people are saying about Card's work rings true. I have been struck in more than one of his books by the lyrical description of the male characters. I'll add to the list of those mentioned the character of Abraham (yes, that Abraham) in his book Sarah. Card dwells for a moment on Abraham's strong legs and sandalled feet, and it did strike me at the time as an unusually sensual description. Also, no description of a woman or girl in the considerable fraction of his work which I have read has been remotely memorable. There are also recurrent themes of childhood violence and abuse, with more time spent on male genitalia (Ender, Songbird) than you see in most young adult books.
posted by callmejay at 11:34 AM on February 27, 2004


...not to mention few significant romantic relationships, with one of the most important male-female relationships in all of his writing belonging to Ender and his sister.

(I'm not entirely comfortable pointing to an author's work and claiming latent homosexual feelings, as I don't think it should usually be important or a bad thing, but if it can help us understand some of the cause of the anti-gay feelings out there, it might be useful.)
posted by callmejay at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2004


What I want to have explained to me is why a homosexual who chooses, with a fully informed partner, to live a life of situational heterosexuality, should be accused of "living a lie". What's the lie?

Well, first of all, I doubt this hypothetical fully informed couple is going to be announcing the true motivation of their marriage to all their friends: "Oh, thanks for the lovely toaster! By the way, Bill and I just got married so he can resist a life of homosexual perversion. Who wants cake?"

Second, and most important, is that a gay man is never going to feel the same way about a woman, no matter how close friends they are, as he is about another man who he truly loves. If the sanctity of marriage - making a declaration of love and bonding - is so important, why would you want to dilute it by encouraging people who don't love each other and can't bond in that special way to engage in the practice? Wouldn't that in fact hurt the foundations of marriage even more?
posted by jess at 11:53 AM on February 27, 2004


y6y6y6, thank you for solving that for me. That's probably the best way anyone has ever explained that to me.

Still, though: Homosexuality may not be a trait or a gene that lowers reproductive rates on the whole, but a homosexual penguin's reproductive rate is just about zero unless he takes a break and goes for a romp in the snow with a female. And from that come the questions about infidelity, promiscuity, the frequent criticism of homosexuality as a hedonistic lifestyle, etc. That's why I'm trying to understand why homosexuality can't be seen as a weakness of some kind on the genetic or biological level. Do homosexual animals (humans included, although humans admittedly do put a lot more work into choosing partners) not get the urge to reproduce or do the suppress it?

On the subject of Orson Scott Card/Ender's Game, which I have not read:
GREASED MEN.
posted by emelenjr at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2004


For that matter,
CONTACT SORDORS

(I get the icks when I think of him, too.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:45 PM on February 27, 2004


Do homosexual animals (humans included, although humans admittedly do put a lot more work into choosing partners) not get the urge to reproduce or do the suppress it?

Hmmm... well, as with anything, I don't think it's possible to generalize here. I, for one, sometimes think it would be nice to make a little Tin Man (or Tin Woman) and have him or her running around out there. It doesn't feel like a biological imperative, though. It's just that I'd like to leave something behind when I die, whether it's a body of writing, or a bunch of people who have great memories of me, or something else.

If you mean do I get the desire to have intercourse with a woman -- well, I've never tried it, and I admit I'm curious as to what it would be like. Whether that's because of a biological imperative, social pressure, or natural curiosity, I don't know.
posted by Tin Man at 12:48 PM on February 27, 2004


Still, though: Homosexuality may not be a trait or a gene that lowers reproductive rates on the whole, but a homosexual penguin's reproductive rate is just about zero unless he takes a break and goes for a romp in the snow with a female. And from that come the questions about infidelity, promiscuity, the frequent criticism of homosexuality as a hedonistic lifestyle, etc. That's why I'm trying to understand why homosexuality can't be seen as a weakness of some kind on the genetic or biological level. Do homosexual animals (humans included, although humans admittedly do put a lot more work into choosing partners) not get the urge to reproduce or do the suppress it?

I've read a supposition that homosexuality is an altruistic behavior that increases reproductive success of the group. I don't know if that's true.

But in any case, I don't know if there's a biological urge to reproduce in the male of the species. There is an urge to have sex, which in heterosexuals often leads to reproduction. There are certainly cultural and personal factors that make people want to reproduce.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:14 PM on February 27, 2004


And in many, if not most, cases (and I have some personal connection to this) the women are kept in these relationships through threats and coercion.

The same can be said of many 2-party marriages—would you call for a prohibition on them too? Abuse is abuse, which is a separate issue from how many people choose to participate in a relationship.
posted by rushmc at 1:15 PM on February 27, 2004


I reject the notion that the highest goal of human life is to breed. Further, I find the fact that some of you seem to accept this as a given...disturbing.
posted by rushmc at 1:27 PM on February 27, 2004


"would you call for a prohibition on them too?"

I don't remember calling for a prohibition on anything. And as someone who has been in not a few polyamorous relationships, I can assure you that I'm not a "prohibit" sort of person. And didn't I say this as well:

And secondly we can agree, I'm sure, that even traditional marriages are "problematic".

I seem to be making your point for you. What are you on about?
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:35 PM on February 27, 2004


Not only disturbing, but it is going to fuel the population problems into the next century.

Spacecadet, no one seemed to take up your challenge here. I think it's that other than the obvious point of how nice it would be to have a father around to offer praise instead of a gold star he engages in speculation.

"Huge numbers of children are deprived of two-parent homes, because society has decided to give legal status and social acceptance to out-of-wedlock parenting and couples who break up their marriages with little regard for what is good for the children."

The laws were not set up to ruin the lives of children. Whether or not staying in a bad marriage is worth it for the children is something determined on a case by case basis. I would counter that most marriages end because staying together with an abusive, drug-addicted, etc. spouse is deemed worse for the children.

If I don't back this up with statistics, then excuse me for using the same tactics as Card.
posted by john at 2:58 PM on February 27, 2004


i saw a divorce court commercial on tv. it was low budget.
posted by Satapher at 3:58 PM on February 27, 2004


Combing through Card's prose looking for gay nits is not a helpful exercise; it is precisely this kind of spurious ideological creep, a kind of adjacency-spawned parasitic seepage, which will color the core of many of the arguments against gay marriage. Avoid this kind of thing. Stop carelessly indulging yourselves.

I can criticize Card for rationalizing rather than reasoning in this instance, but I won't summarize the man as an asshole. I can't guarantee that I'm not doing the exact same thing in some other aspect of my world view as he is on this issue.--tdismukes

Wonderful statements like this receive too little attention. So I'm giving it some. I wish someone heavily invested in all of this would take the time to deconstruct their fervent, un-biologically driven marriage imperative a little beyond its romantic (and tax-exempt) artifice.
posted by Opus Dark at 4:14 PM on February 27, 2004


The fact that homosexuality is seen in so many species seems to be proof that it is a net plus for reproductive rates. We don't know why, but that seems to be the way the math works out.
My personal explanation: If everyone that could have kids had them, we'd be drowning in people, so it acts as a regulator on population (like people who are sterile). And gay uncles and aunts have always been useful, in any context.
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on February 27, 2004


Combing through Card's prose looking for gay nits is not a helpful exercise

Without commenting on whether or not it's a helpful exercise, it must be said that it's not a difficult one. Fish in a barrel, really. But are you implying that it's not important that he says rabidly anti-gay things, and that these have no bearing on his thesis; that we should sort of read around them? Why? He wrote them, and he wrote them to be read. If you don't want people to read them and react to them, that's your worry, mate.

this kind of spurious ideological creep, a kind of adjacency-spawned parasitic seepage

Wow. The Carroll passage quoted at the beginning of the article comes rather strongly to mind at this point.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:39 PM on February 27, 2004


I have to admit I find the 'viscerally disgusting' attitude toward gay sex sort of disturbing. It's like my attitude toward potato salad. I find it disgusting and nauseating. However, others who either like potato salad, or just don't find it as repugnant as I do, tend to be a little startled and disturbed by the force of my disgust. It's a little strange to find that someone feels so strongly toward something you think of as a subject that isn't worth the effort of thinking about. I think that may be why so many people have issues with your attitudes toward homosexual issues in general.

stoneegg21, exactly. You don't like potato salad, I don't like gay sex. Same level. Visceral disgust. At last, somebody who understands me. You don't hate people who love potato salad, and I don't hate people who love gay sex.

Wouldn't you find it strange for people to have issues for your disliking of potato salad? I find it strange for people to have issues of my visceral disgust towards gay sex.

Wonderful statements like this receive too little attention. So I'm giving it some. I wish someone heavily invested in all of this would take the time to deconstruct their fervent, un-biologically driven marriage imperative a little beyond its romantic (and tax-exempt) artifice.

Opus, this is Metafilter. No middle ground.
posted by SpaceCadet at 5:55 PM on February 27, 2004


But are you implying that it's not important that he says rabidly anti-gay things, and that these have no bearing on his thesis[...]

Oh dear. Let me rephrase.

I'm saying that insinuating from Card's prose that he is or might be gay is counter-productive; this is exactly the kind of pseudo-random extrapolation which frightens many conservatives; indulging in such speculation, however innocently, only reinforces conservative anxieties - those doomsdayishly jittery predictions of random, unfocused, unintended consequence - which are or soon will be (as the article illustrates) one of the cornerstones of the anti-gay-marriage argument. I am merely suggesting pragmatically flavored restraint. Rather than reinforce the closely-held notion that proximity and institutional equality will stimulate some sort of disagreeable osmosis, a better approach would be to demonstrate that it won't, that it doesn't.
posted by Opus Dark at 6:40 PM on February 27, 2004


I was raised Catholic and raised to believe that marriage is a sacrament. Despite being with odds with the church, I still believe that to be true. That's a piviotal point for me - I believe that marriage is and should be considered a sacrament, a demonstration of love and religious faith.

So what, no marriage for atheists? how about agnostics? what about non-Christians? non-Catholic Christians?
Your particular church may make such decisions about whether or not they'll marry a given pair of people, but surely as long as there's a church out there willing to perform the ceremony, non-Catholics should be allowed to get married as well?
posted by juv3nal at 7:10 PM on February 27, 2004


Wouldn't you find it strange for people to have issues for your disliking of potato salad?
I dont think its so much finding it strage what people think, its their actions.
If he started equating scat fetishes with people who like potatoe salad then other people might take issue with him...
posted by Iax at 7:11 PM on February 27, 2004


Santorum on the 700 Club.
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on February 27, 2004


I reject the notion that the highest goal of human life is to breed. Further, I find the fact that some of you seem to accept this as a given...disturbing.


Maybe not the highest, but it's the only goal. On a species level, of course, but still the only goal. To think otherwise is romantic, and more like religionist thinking. It's all life-forms do, insure ways of replicating the DNA of their species, and usually their own individual DNA at that.
posted by Snyder at 1:35 AM on February 28, 2004


So then we should all be killed as soon as we've fulfilled our breeding duty (or it has been shown we can't fulfill it), which is the only reason we're here. It will clear the ground for future generations and greatly ease the pollution problem. To think otherwise is romantic.
posted by languagehat at 6:44 AM on February 28, 2004


"Maybe not the highest, but it's the only goal."

With reproductive rates dropping like a rock over the last century, I think we should accept that we've left this goal behind long ago. Other species may be trapped in evolutionary cycles, but humans will have to find other goals. Surely in the centuries to come we'll devise ways to live forever. What use will we have for breeding have then?
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2004


So then we should all be killed as soon as we've fulfilled our breeding duty (or it has been shown we can't fulfill it), which is the only reason we're here. It will clear the ground for future generations and greatly ease the pollution problem. To think otherwise is romantic.

languagehat, the only reason you're here is because of the only reason you're here.
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:05 AM on February 28, 2004


Maybe not the highest, but it's the only goal.

You are confusing the mechanism by which genes propagate with the nature and potential of the species. Which is a rather breathtaking mix-up, really. I can't imagine what it must be like to hold such a limited, mechanistic, reductionist view of oneself.
posted by rushmc at 7:14 AM on February 28, 2004


Quick note Snyder: sexual selection isn't the only evolutionary mechanism.

Moving on... would I be right in assuming that Bowen v Roy (1986) essentially killed any legal move to have special entitlements and financial incentives paid without precisely meeting the government's "conditions placed on receiving government benefits", therefore leading to the current state of affairs?
posted by snarfodox at 7:53 AM on February 28, 2004


Building on a few of the comments above, I also had problems with the statement that "The dark secret of homosexual society... is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape...".

Really, I find the statement sort-of offensive. It seems like the heterosexual man is writing from a position of privilege as compared to homosexual men or women of any orientation. From that position of privilege, he is sweeping everything complex and ambiguous about family and sex (that continuum from rape to fully consensual sex being the one item selected for discussion) into the homosexual sphere, leaving him free and clear in the morally certain (supposedly) heterosexual sphere.

Also, he assumes that rape is what causes homosexuals to be unhappy being homosexual (for those who are unhappy anyway). But we wouldn't assume that a woman who was initiated into her sexuality via rape would regret her heterosexuality for the rest of her life!
posted by loafingcactus at 11:58 AM on February 28, 2004


So what, no marriage for atheists? how about agnostics? what about non-Christians? non-Catholic Christians?
Your particular church may make such decisions about whether or not they'll marry a given pair of people, but surely as long as there's a church out there willing to perform the ceremony, non-Catholics should be allowed to get married as well?


Huh? I never said anything about people not being able to have a ceremony if they're not Catholic. Where in the heck did you get that from? I don't think you were reading my post very carefully.

All I said is that the government should get out of the religion business and focus on the laws related to marriage/ civil unions, like the laws that protect individuals from being coerced into marriage (for example, underage girls in splinter Mormon polygamous groups), regulate work-related benefits, collect taxes related to a combined income of indviduals in comitted relationships, and the well-being of any off-spring of the union of two people.

This proposed constutional amendment with the "...marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman" language would allow the government to promote a particular religious world view that is not shared by many of it's citizens. Government has no business doing that - they are not supposed to be in the business of regulating and defining what is "sacred".

In the scenario I envision, the couple would go and register their civil union down at their local city hall. Then, if they wished to do so, the "marriage" ceremony could/would be performed by anyone they wanted who is allowed by law to do so - a Wiccan priestess, an Iman, a Rabbi, a Minister/Priest, a Justice of the Peace, or a Universal Life Minister, which seems to be the option most of my non-religious friends use when they want to have a ceremony to share in their union with friends and family - whatever the couple prefers. And I'm quite sure atheists and agnostics could come up with something they'd feel comfortable with - maybe having the president of the local chapter of Atheists of America do the honors, for example.

It all comes down to making the concept of marriage an individual choice and having government regulate the legal issues related to marriage or civil unions.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:57 AM on March 1, 2004


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