Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival


Sexual Orientation and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….


These values are enshrined in our Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights of every American.


Generation after generation, people have fought to get rid of the “….except for”s: except for blacks, except for women, etc.  Today, we challenge the latest prejudice to raise its ugly head and seek to repudiate the fundamental American dedication to freedom and equality for all. The idea that there should be God-given life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness “except for gays” is unworthy of our national character.
      

If someone thinks homosexuality is immoral, they have a right to believe that. But they do not have the right to change our fundamental freedoms. For many, many people, getting married is one of the most important things they will ever do in the pursuit of happiness. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the Constitution of the United States that suggests any group of people has the right to limit another, no matter how many referendums or propositions they put onto a ballot. The U. S. Constitution reigns supreme.
      

I do not feel the upset I would have expected to feel about the recent ruling by California’s Supreme Court. I don’t feel the upset because it seems so clear to me that this issue is already decided in the hearts and minds of Americans. We have a new generation of citizens who can’t even believe we’re having this argument; for whom the inalienable rights of all people – yes, all people – is such a no-brainer that they are stymied by the fact we’re even discussing this. They don’t see gays as second-class people, and they don’t think they should be treated as second-class citizens. In my heart, I believe that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to agree with them. God loves gay people every bit as much as He loves the rest of us, and the idea that “God shall not be mocked” means that He isn’t. God is limitless in His love, and asks that we at least make the effort to be limitless in ours.



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Sofia

posted May 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm


Marriage is a contract like a business partnership. The enterprise being contracted is the long-range project of family; the economic risk takers are, primarily, the woman and the children.
Marriage law exists to define the project being contracted, compel the adult partners to fulfill their economic and educational duties to the kids and each other), and provide stiff economic penalties against desertion by one or more of the adults. That’s what marriage is. That is what marriage law does. As we see, gay marriage doesn’t address any of the realities that heterosexual marriage law addresses.
Let gays forge civil unions if they find any contractual need to do so. But, heterosexuals produce lots of babies and economic dependents, which is why they need a marriage contract at all. If babies were born as full grown adults, there would be no marriage law for anyone.



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James Gilmore

posted May 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm


Let gays forge civil unions if they find any contractual need to do so. But, heterosexuals produce lots of babies and economic dependents, which is why they need a marriage contract at all.
By your logic, a fertility test should be required for all couples seeking marriage; the infertile, the elderly, and those who don’t intend to have children should be restricted to civil unions alone. I’d like to see you tell that to an infertile couple: “Sorry, you can’t have kids, so we’re not letting you get married.” If you’re reducing the whole notion of marriage to procreation, those are the logical outcomes of that reduction.
Also, despite the desire of the old sexists (no matter whether they’re overt or buying into the sexist and patriarchal oppression that is “complementarianism), we no longer live in a society where it’s expected that a woman will be financially dependent on anyone, and thank God that that oppressive expectation has gone the way of the dodo. It is no longer an “economic risk” for a woman to remain unmarried (unless, of course, she wants to become a Christian pastor in some denominations, ironically the last place in our society where the sin of overtly sexist policy is accepted).



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Sofia

posted May 29, 2009 at 10:27 pm


Absurd. A fertility test is not required on heterosexuals, for everyone already knows that the human species is wildly fertile (to the tune of billions) and that infertility is a *rare* defect.
Next, no one creates laws around rare exceptions and medical defects; laws are written to address the experience/situation/needs *of some vast majority.* Writing law that can apply to every exception broadens the law too widely to be of any use to the majority situation that required the law in the first place. Gay marriage is way, WAY too broad to be of any use to heterosexuals and their kids. And that leaves them vulnerable to destitution at a high rate of incidence.
For sure, traditional marriage law exists because of fertility and the economic risk it places upon heterosexual spouses and the children they produce. Gays don’t experience any of that, and thus don’t qualify for “marriage” contracts.
Finally, marriage among heterosexuals produces economic dependents, and divorced women–along with their kids–face high rates of chronic poverty. This is not because of sexism and patriarchy but rather biology. A woman who has 1-5 kids will be out of the workplace for long stretches at a time, thus out of the running for economic independence. The woman’s vulnerability, created by her biology, requires her to depend upon her spouse for partial or full provision. If her spouse is trying to leave her, she *needs* strong legal recourse against him, for the sake of her own economic survival with the children. This is what marriage law can provide, and gay marriage laws and no-fault divorce laws provide no legal protection whatsoever for the heterosexual family enterprise (marriage).
It is a huge economic risk for women to have kids without a legally contracted spouse. It’s like walking a tightrope without a net. Unwed mothers are typically poor or welfare moms due to economic realities of raising kids alone.
So, gay marriage law is BAD marriage law. It leaves kids and women totally exposed to rampant spousal abandonment. Let gays arrange a contract for their needs, and let straights devise a contract that meets their needs. That’s the only workable solution for America.



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Your Name

posted May 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm


Sofia — seriously, don’t you realize that reproduction was decoupled from the sex act about 30 years ago? Test-tube babies, invitro, baby Louise? Perhaps you’ve heard of them. That invalidates your argument completely — Sally’s egg/Jenny’s womb/invitro/sperm bank = baby without a straight couple involved, John’s sperm/donor egg/surrogate/Jeff’s love for new kid = kid. This is happening every day — these kids need to be protected under the umbrella of family recognition too, no? — denial of equality doesn’t help these kids or make them go away.



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Chris

posted May 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm


How does the same marriage for gay people and straight people change the requirements that a man has to his wife and kids in marriage?
That makes no sense at all.



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Your Name

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:40 am


i don’t know why I’m in isolation, or what just happened.



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Your Name

posted May 30, 2009 at 3:02 am


Well, the problem with your argument is that it is not accurate in terms of the law. The Declaration of Independence has no legal weight whatsoever nowadays — it was simply a declaration of separation from England.
As for the Constitution, it does not address marriage at all. The regulation of marriage is a matter left to the individual states. The Constitution does not prohibit discrimination either, if there is a rational basis for the discrimination. One could argue that for millenia, marriage was the union of a man and a woman and it is really a different thing than a same-sex union.
For years, homosexuals have been proclaiming that they are different and want to develop new forms. One wonders why gay people would want to imitate the tired old hetero institutions of marriage and divorce. Why not create something new, different and better?



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 5:47 am


Marianne,
Thank you for a very loving and highly rational post.
It’s a pity so many people feel threatened by the love and acceptance you suggest.
I won’t waste my time arguing with those above raising the usual absurd objections to granting gays and transgendered human status.
Every single one of their arguments has been refuted, many many times here on Beliefnet. OK, have to say this: The subservient role of women and the non-existence of a right to marriage have already been rejected by US courts. That dog won’t fight and I am appalled to hear it suggest. Women are human beings and loved of God.
I live in a country which accords gays and transgender full human status. My husband and I have been married for a little over four and one-half years now, he has been my life-partner for over 24 years. This monogamous, faithful, true and loving partnership is the joy of my life.
Our secular marriage is the legal recognition which makes it possible for us to realize our commitments to each other, it makes clear to society that we are one. All marriages in my country are civil unions, by the by.
Our Christian marriage shows our church community the depth of our love for each other and God. No church is compelled to marry us, many do and with each passing year more see their way clear to welcoming us.
At this point in time, it is obvious that the US will soon have secular marriage for all – heterosexual and gay. Those of you who oppose our marriages have no arguments which stand against secular marriage. You can only continue to practice a policy of scorched earth, exactly as was done in the period leading to and, sadly, to this day following on from interracial marriage.
Your opposition to those Christian and Jewish bodies which grant us religious marriage is certainly your right. You should, however, be aware that in so doing you are seeking to deny other Christians and Jews the expression of their profound belief in God’s will.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 9:07 am


To YourName, none of the rare cases you cite changes the reality for the world’s 6 billion heterosexual couples for whom marriage law is written as a necessity.
In legal matters, rare exceptions never overthrow the rule around which the law is written. In fact, rewriting the law to accommodate all exceptions to the rule destroys the usefulness of the law—the law becomes too broad to address the specific needs of the parties.
And I didn’t even need to address the appalling and unethical nature of the exception you cite, wherein abandonment of one’s own flesh and blood children is being done intentionally for money. And it’s also unjust to intentionally deprive a child of a mom or a dad. These are the types of things that could only be justified in the most desperate of circumstances–like in a jungle.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 9:18 am


Chris,
The broadening/redefinition of marriage law to include non-reproducers renders the law useless to reproducers. Using one legal code for radically different circumstances is a disaster. For example, would you use the law for business partnerships to address your purchase agreement of your home??? No, for doing this would fail to address the needs of both you and your bank. So it is with having reproducers use a non-reproducers contract.
Ultimately, it is women and children who suffer most from bad marriage law. Gay marriage law is bad marriage law when applied to the circumstances of reproducers. Let homosexuals create their own legal code that addresses whatever needs they come up with, and let heterosexuals create their legal code which is written to address the mass creation, nurture, and education of billions of citizens worldwide.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 9:35 am


Panthera, what’s this “full human status” nonsense? No one says gays or children or mentally handicapped or polygamists aren’t fully human. When we write laws, they never cover everyone; rather, they address some specific situation being experience by some large majority.
I have no problem, by the way, with your partnership. The problem is that the contract written for your circumstances simply doesn’t/can’t address the circumstances of the worlds 6 billion reproducers, who desperately need law to address their unique economic risks. You see, for heterosexuals, marriage is not a love/joy/romance contract–it’s a family raising contract.
And of course we have arguments against gay marriage. It’s lunacy to ask reproducers to enter legal agreements contract written around cohabitating non-reproducers. The code simply doesn’t address the unique needs and economic risks of people raising families. And children and women are the ones who suffer most from bad marriage law. Sex is hugely economically risky for heterosexuals (but not for homosexuals).



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 9:58 am


Sophia – and has that always been your name? Your style reminds me wildly of another charming lady from our past here.
If we pretend for the sake of argument that your point is valid – marriage should only be for people raising children, then there are two problems I see with you denying me human status.
One, even in the US – a country where we are sub-human and without rights, between 20 and 40% of all gay, (male-male, female-female) and transgender couples are raising or have just raised children. That is – even conservative Christians admit this – several hundreds of thousands of children denied the most basic of rights. Are you seriously arguing for taking away their rights? Forcibly removing them from their adoptive and biological parents?
Second, if the sole focus of marriage rights and obligations were coupled to the raising of children, then it would follow that all women past child-bearing age, all men not demonstrated to be fertile, all couples who can not or do not want children must immediately be divorced…or forbidden to marry.
I agree with you that children and families need protection. Where we disagree is in your assumption that secular marriage is not also valid for gay families – and two men or two women making a life-long commitment to each other are a family.
The current institution of marriage works just fine for gays and transgendered and heterosexual couples throughout the rest of the Western World – the US stands nearly alone here. We have lower divorce rates (as do the US states recognizing gay marriage) and lower abortion rates than do you – all such countries.
We have higher rates of children surviving their first year, their first five years.
We all have health care and good schools for your children. You don’t.
Perhaps you really should be focusing on the shameful way your country treats children instead of attacking my family.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 10:54 am


Panthera, no one is “denying you human status.” Please stop using that red herring to divert attention away from the issue. The fact is, there is no law on the books that applies to everyone everywhere always. So it is with marriage law. This practicality of law has nothing whatsoever to do with human/subhuman designations.
About your statistics. First, you admit that few homosexuals are raising adoptive children. I already knew this, for homosexuality is non-reproductive, and adoption is a rare situation. Therefore I ask you: why should the State re-write a law addressing the needs of the 99% reproducers in a way that assumes non-reproduction??? Does that sound logical to you? Of course not. In fact, doing this would be disastrous to the 99% who have grave long-range economic risks associated with their heterosexuality.
Next, although laws are made to address the needs of some majority situation, they are never required to then go out and find and regulate every rare exception. It is enough that the law be created by the majority to deal with the needs of the majority circumstance.
I’m glad you agree that children and families need legal protections. Wow am I glad we agree to that good starting point, for that is the real issue. The problem is that you’re failing to see that a marriage law written for non-reproducers is useless to reproducers. Gay marriage law is a legal code that does not have kids and economic dependents in view whatsoever. Such a legal code is devastating to reproducers, who have grave economic circumstances needing protections in law.
Again, I have no problem with your partnership and I celebrate your deep human connection. But any law written for homosexual partnerships cannot ever assume kids in any way or address the grave economic risks for which heterosexuals require relevant contract law.
Gay marriage law does not work fine for reproducers. In fact, it’s useless. The gay scenario is non-reproductive and the straight scenario is reproductive. The law is correct to rightly discern the different circumstances.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 11:43 am


Sophia,
Denying a class of citizens a fundamental right such as marriage automatically denigrates them to sub-human status.
The fact that practically the entire Western Culture except the US recognizes secular gay marriage (civil unions, marriage, eingetragene Partnershaft) without having to rewrite one iota of the law should lay to rest your concerns. All these countries have done is to elevate us to human status and permit male-male, male-female and female-female marriage.
Your suggestion that because we are a minority, we are not entitled to civil and human rights is a direct violation of the principles upon which the US is built – protection of minorities from the tyranny of the majority.
We are not discussing bending or changing the status of one single male-female marriage here when gays and transgendered are also granted full citizenship and human status.
I applaud your focus on protecting children. We gays also have children, we are entitled to the same protections as everyone else and the institution of secular marriage makes it possible for us to fulfill our mutual obligations (also to our children).
By the by, even if we were to believe the absurd contention that we are only 3% of the population (that is the most conservative view, every reasonable statistician considers the percentage to be higher than 3% and lower than 10% of the population), then you are still talking about denying rights to between 9 and 30 million people.
But even if it were only two men or two women, injustice is injustice.
Again, I plead with you – your fears that somehow “marriage” must be rewritten are just plain false. Too many US states, too many countries have granted us marriage with only positive consequences for those fears to hold. There is also no single court or legislature or proposition in the entire US which suggested or has implemented any such change as you fear.
Finally, really and truly – is a family only those who have children growing up in their homes? Why should my husband be denied my presence at his side should he become ill, simply because our love is not heterosexual?
Look, the US is going to eventually catch up to the rest of the world in the cause of human rights. Why not look at how the rest of the Western world has done it instead of pretending that this is untrod ground? Americans are also part of Western civilization, even if the last eight years might cause us to doubt the “civilization” aspect…



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Sam

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm


The bottom line is the definition of marriage is EVERYONE’S business.



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James Gilmore

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm


The bottom line is the definition of marriage is EVERYONE’S business.
You’re right. It’s everyone’s business when one group of people is denied one of the most basic of human rights due to the regressive bigotry and small-mindedness of people who think that their sect’s interpretation of a religious text justifies society-wide discrimination.
Or, as Dr. King put it in Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The fight for marriage equality is everyone’s fight, just as the fight against racism and sexism is everyone’s fight.



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James Gilmore

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm


Therefore I ask you: why should the State re-write a law addressing the needs of the 99% reproducers in a way that assumes non-reproduction???
You have yet to demonstrate in even the slightest way that gay marriage would affect the marriages of those who choose to procreate. Please tell me what exactly gay marriage does to hetero marriages? Whose marriage is affected? If you can’t show concrete examples of demonstrable effect from verifiable and reliable sources, then your entire argument – which is based on the rather preposterous notion that acknowledging the equal marriage rights inherent in all people will somehow ruin hetero marriage – is completely shot down. You must demonstrate that point.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm


Good on you James!
I have never understood this refusal of conservative American Christians to acknowledge the experience of other parts of Western civilization.
Is it provincialism?
My marriage is an enrichment for our village and everyone around us – just as every hetero marriage is.
I think these arguments are more red-herrings cast out by people who are incapable of understanding that a man can truly love a woman as a person, and thus are terrified that if this “special” status is lost, women will be relegated to the sub-human status we currently, um, enjoy.



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RWG

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm


Some questions :
1. At what point do we define social-cultural prohibitions / memes / traditions / elaborations / embellishments as Church Doctrine ?
2. At what point do we define church rules/laws/doctrines/elaborations as Sins?
The question is important because we know many examples of Clergy/ Religious Leaders confusing social norms and interpreting/elaborating/embellishing the Words of God and Christ out of context, converting church doctrine(s) into Sin, excommunicating and even murdering under the premise of heresy. Examples include: “the world is flat” – “witch hunts – “handicapped & deformed are of Satan” – racism – slavery – Bi-Racial Marriage – political views – indulgences – the list goes on.
3. If we worship Christ, why are we to hold to prohibitions (including elaborations and embellishments) written out by “religious leaders” (men who created the Historical/Pauline Epistles/General Epistles/Wisdom books over centuries) to the same degree as Sins clearly defined in the Ten Commandments (delivered directly to Moses from the Hand of God on Mt Sinai), and teachings / attitudes of Christ as triangulated in first hand accounts of the disciples (The Gospels, occurring during the Ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ)?
4. If we are to hold a literal/conservative/traditionalist view for all books beyond the Gospels, why do we not adhere to the many doctrines/laws/ prohibitions called out in those books: shaving of beards, pork, killing anyone who is of another religion, handling of slaves, role of women, etc, etc.?
5. If I condemn, “run away from”, and deny brethren a place at Christ’s table under guise of doctrine, elaboration, and embellishment, what Sin(s) – as defined in the Ten Commandments and teachings of Christ – am I committing?
6. Christ speaks adamantly about marriage, divorce, and the fact that some should not marry:
MATHEW 8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
If we are held to the letter of the “Law” (as the Pharisees did), why do we allow divorced people to partake of the elements and hold church office even though Christ himself admonishes divorce and, in the very same passage, talks about “eunuchs” and those who chose not to marry? Who are these “eunuchs” ? Why does Christ discuss their existence in the same passage? Why do we allow heterosexual people in the church greater “room for error” ?
7. Under a conservative/literal/traditionalist interpretation of the bible, are those born as Hermaphrodites or with Testicular Feminization forbidden to develop physical relationships? Have there not always been homosexual people, in all societies, throughout all time?
8. There is no doubt that Christians must not knowingly continue to engage in a sinful life. That is a given. Can you develop a stronger argument that homosexuality is truly a Sin in the eyes of Christ and not simply another doctrine developed by religious leaders, tradition, and minor prophets within some social-cultural contexts
“Research suggests that the homosexual orientation is in place very early in the life cycle, possibly even before birth. It is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure which is surprisingly constant across cultures, irrespective of the different moral values and standards of a particular culture. Contrary to what some imply, the incidence of homosexuality in a population does not appear to change with new moral codes or social mores. Research findings suggest that efforts to repair homosexuals are nothing more than social prejudice garbed in psychological accouterments.” APA 1994
The teachings & attitudes of Christ will stand the test of time and science and will ultimately outshine the teaching and attitudes of “religious leaders” who devise doctrines and social-cultural morays that “elaborate” and “embellish” on God’s clear intent.
“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God… ??ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’ ??TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’ ??THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’ ??FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ ??FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ??SIX: ‘You shall not murder.’ ??SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ??EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.’ ??NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ ??TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.’
With great respect: These questions are of paramount importance, not to the writer ( a straight – married – Christian ) but for clergy who continually condemn and deny gay people a place at Christ’s table. Clergy live in a cloistered environment, cared for by their parishioners. Parishioners are exposed to gay people in everyday society. Real homosexual people are not liars, thieves, adulterers, charlatans, hypocrites, Godless atheists, promiscuous male prostitutes, rapists, child molesters, or pagan ritualists: they are family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even fellow worshipers. In an effort to live as a conscientious Christian, my focus is to extend compassion and love, regardless of sexual orientation. It is extremely disconcerting that some clergy hold stead fast to traditions and doctrines – rather than the teachings of Christ – perhaps jeopardizing their own place in Christ’s Kingdom and acting as modern day Pharisees. Many first hand biblical accounts describe Christ’s attitude toward the arrogance of Pharisees.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm


RWG:
Wow.
After the conservative American Christians hang Jesus up by his thumbs, they’ll be after you next.
After all, you are actually trying to live as He commanded us to.
Seriously, thank you.
You really have hit the nail on the head – it is a question of purposefully oppressing us and making a big deal of our love for each other in order to avoid dealing with the very long list of problems that all Christians confront.
Hatred of minorities to promote one’s own political goals is not exactly new…



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm


Panthera,
First, gay attraction is a taste/preference in the bedroom. It is not a “class” of citizens such as being black or female. It is akin to tastes for food.
Next, all law is written for some practical circumstance or enterprise and thus relates narrowly to that circumstance and the people in it. Traffic laws pertain narrowly to vehicle owners. Medical laws pertain narrowly to doctors. Marriage laws pertain narrowly to reproducers. In no case are these legal codes denigrating non-drivers, non-driver, and non-reproducers to sub human status. Really. You have to stop this “subhuman” nonsense if I am to take you seriously. It’s an unserious charge.
Your human civil rights are not being harmed if you can’t perform surgeries. Your human and civil rights are not being harmed if for some reason you can’t own or operate a vehicle. Likewise, your human and civil right are not being harmed if you cannot marry.
As to “tyranny of the majority,” that’s better known as “democracy.” You ought to have better respect for democracy, as it’s the best system there is, and dictatorships are a great danger to everyone.
We agree that children and economic dependents are at the center of this debate. The result is that we can’t draft marriage laws for non-reproducers and have them be of any use to reproducers. Face it, the difference between sex that produces no humans and sex that produces billions of humans is a huge difference! Obviously, one requires no legal contract whereas the other requires robust legal protections.
Again, if homosexuals find that they have a need to develop a legal code for specific issues like health care (as you mentioned) or something else (make some suggestions), that’s great. They should do so. But to co-opt and redefine marriage law, which addresses the unique needs of reproducers, is not the way to go, unless you’re purposely trying to harm heterosexual dependent spouses and their children through weak useless law.



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Robert McNulty

posted May 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm


“Real homosexual people are not liars, thieves, adulterers, charlatans, hypocrites, Godless atheists, promiscuous male prostitutes, rapists, child molesters, or pagan ritualists: they are family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even fellow worshipers”
What do you have against people who love multiple women? people who make money off sex? adults who have desires for young teens? pagans who like doing rituals? people who like to tell a tall tale or two? or people who take things from giant retailers who don’t miss the items?
Sheesh. You’re a bigoted sort.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm


Sigh.
Medicine and science came to the conclusion way back in the 20th century that homosexuality is not a preference but innate.
The more we learn from MRI technology and the more advanced our statistical analysis becomes, the more firm data have accumulated to support the conclusions made back in the early 1970s. Homosexuality is not a choice, anymore than heterosexuality is.
Sofia, I don’t understand your refusal to accept that marriage is also open to non-reproductive heterosexuals and to gays – many of whom do have biological and adopted children.
Either you are being intentionally obtuse or you are just plain not willing to apply the logic of which you are otherwise clearly capable – by restricting marriage exclusively to reproduction, you are re-defining the meaning of the term. Not even the Catholic Church demands a couple must be procreative anymore prior to marrying them.
As for the whole question of democracy, again – the purpose of a constitution (and the US Constitution is one of the best) is to protect minorities against mob rule. Now, we just had eight years of rule by dictatorial people in the US. It certainly should have been an object lesson as to why the rights of the majority are always limited by their affect upon the minority.
I should mention that I live in a democracy which, until not all that long ago was anything but. My great-great grandfather made notes in his journal as a child of his father’s decisions regarding matters which today would be handled by elected representatives or plebiscite decisions – my family were the local counts. You know, jolly old Europe, where your count votes as opposed to democracies, where your vote counts. And yet, even back then, there were limits to what he could do to the Roma and Sinti and Jews…thank goodness.
You are arguing for a form of democracy which is mob rule. Be careful what you wish for. The era of conservative Republican voting fundamentalist Christians is drawing to a close in the US. If you really want a democracy in which my rights are subject to mob rule (told you we were sub-human, thanks for proving it) then you need to be prepared for the day when your version of Christianity is in the minority.
Come on, we’ve been down this road many times before. By all means, let us work together to bring the rights and welfare of children in America up to the levels they enjoy in Europe. But let’s not pretend that they are your real reason for denying me human and civil rights.



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James Gilmore

posted May 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Your human civil rights are not being harmed if you can’t perform surgeries. Your human and civil rights are not being harmed if for some reason you can’t own or operate a vehicle. Likewise, your human and civil right are not being harmed if you cannot marry.
If you’re told you can’t perform surgeries because you’re black and the medical school doesn’t accept black people, your human and civil rights are being harmed. If you’re told you can’t own or operate a vehicle because you’re a woman, your human and civil rights are being harmed. Likewise, if you’re told you can’t marry the person you love because you’re both the same sex, your human rights are being harmed. Everyone in this country has a right to equal protection under the laws – everyone. No exceptions.
As to “tyranny of the majority,” that’s better known as “democracy.” You ought to have better respect for democracy, as it’s the best system there is, and dictatorships are a great danger to everyone.
You really don’t understand the United States if you think we’re a democracy, and you really don’t understand true democracy if you think it’s as simple as “50%+1 always rules.” The United States has enshrined in our Constitution the notion of inalienable rights – including the right to equal protection under the law. That right cannot be taken away by a simple majority – and we would be right in saying that if the Constitution were amended to remove rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or equal protection under the law, the United States would be an oppressive and tyrannical regime. Democratic theory understands certain rights – including equal protection under the law – as absolutely necessary for the continuation of healthy democracy.
We agree that children and economic dependents are at the center of this debate.
We do? When did we agree to that? I certainly didn’t. I don’t think children and “economic dependents” (whatever the hell that means in a world where we rightly acknowledge that women can take care of themselves) should be at the center of this debate at all. This debate is about whether the right of LGBT individuals to equal protection under the law is acknowledged, or whether we will allow bigots to continue to make the US deny the rights of its LGBT citizens.
The result is that we can’t draft marriage laws for non-reproducers and have them be of any use to reproducers.
Again – the natural conclusion of this is that the infertile, the elderly, and those who don’t want to have children should also be banned from marriage. If you’re dividing the world into “reproducers” (who are entitled to marriage) and “non-reproducers” (who aren’t), then those three groups would certainly fall into the second category.
Face it, the difference between sex that produces no humans and sex that produces billions of humans is a huge difference!
In the eyes of the law, there is no difference at all, nor should there be. The intent of a couple to procreate – and a couple having sex while on the Pill or other forms of birth control are certainly having “sex that produces no humans” – should be completely disregarded when considering questions of equal protection under the law.
Obviously, one requires no legal contract whereas the other requires robust legal protections.
That isn’t really obvious. You’re going to need to spell out your logic. You’re also going to have to spell out why exactly these “robust legal protections” must include marriage – and why, if you do believe that marriage is a necessary legal protection, you don’t favor a law requiring all parents to be legally married, with criminal or financial punishments for those who aren’t.
Meanwhile, you still have yet to address my objection. Why? Are you unable to provide any documented evidence from reliable and verifiable sources demonstrating clearly discernible causality in which same-sex marriages actually affected heterosexual marriages in any way? Without that evidence, your entire argument is completely moot – not that it had a whole lot of value to begin with.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm


James,
I can understand the anxiety over the status of women in a marriage. Conservative American Christians have enormously higher divorce rates than the rest of us – it is pretty much normative for the man to leave the woman high and dry with a few kids while he goes out and finds “hisself” a newer, sleeker, younger “more Christian” model.
That’s just the way they are, so we have to accept it, even if it offends our sexual mores.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm


Dear Panth, my fully human friend:
Homosexuality is an innate preference, like one’s preferences for certain foods, or the heterosexual male’s preference for many women. But it is a rare preference among humans.
Not all innate desires are correct or good, however, and this is where the human capacity for reasoned decisionmaking comes into play, as an override of mere base impulse and desire. If a man desires a stable family, he must use his will to overrride his tendency to pursue many female partners. If a man of homosexual preferences desires a family, he too must use his will to overrride his tendencies.
Next, you asked me to imagine that marriage is for non-reproducers. But I fully disagree, for if children were born at fully independent adults, the contract of marriage simply wouldn’t exist at all anywhere for anyone. It is the reality that babies are helpless and require round-the-clock care for 15-20 years which produces severe economic risk and thus the need for contractual legal stipulations.
I don’t know if you are a U.S. native, but the U.S. Constitution was written to create a federal government with very few powers and responsibilities, thus preserving most lawmaking to the local and state communities. It does not exist to stop “mob rule,” but rather to stop the historical tyranny of supreme federal power, be it the King or a Dictator. By severely limiting federal power and dispersing that power instead among lots of state and local communities, the Founding Fathers believed they could ensure a free people permanently. Federal power is the greatest threat to a free people. By contrast, majority rule IS the will of the free people and their right to self governance.
I tell you what, Panthera. If you’re willing to help us heteros eradicate no-fault divorce and reinstate permanent marriage law for the sake of kids and dependent spouses, I’ll consider that allowing gays to sign up isn’t a bad idea and worthy of consideration. But only under those conditions, for those are the only legal conditions that can save children and dependents from ruin.



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EEM

posted May 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm


“For many, many people, getting married is one of the most important things they will ever do in the pursuit of happiness.”
What I love about this debate is that it shows how much we value marriage as a source of happiness–that being in a monogamous, committed relationship is a great source of stability, contentedness, and happiness. I can’t think of anything more traditional or conservative, to defend marriage as an ideal social institution for couples to establish a life together and argue that all couples should have the right to enter it.
It is ironic that liberals (who conservatives have regarded as libertine, amoral, and opposed to tradition) are the ones so strongly promoting and defending the institution of marriage.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm


Hey James,
If you’re told you can’t perform surgeries because you have weak eyesight or shaky hands, your human and constitutional civil rights are being harmed. Right? That’s discrimination. If you’re told you can’t operate and own a vehicle because you’re IQ is 60, your human and constitutional civil rights are being harmed. Right? That’s discrimination. See, all laws are created to address some particular situation and cannot include everyone. That’s just the nature of law and circumstances, not bigotry.
Among heterosexuals, marriage exists *due to the fact* that they have lots of babies who aren’t born as fully independent beings and require long-range care from the adults who sire them. And for what reason do you propose that marriage would need to exist for homosexuals?
Next, the U.S. constitution nowhere says anything about marriage, meaning it’s a STATES RIGHTS issue.
Unlike you, Panthera can at least see the issue from the child’s perspective, and the perspective of the economically dependent spouse. You obviously don’t realize what an economic risk it is to raise kids. I assume you don’t have any and that’s why you don’t get it.
And if you keep throwing around words like “bigot,” I’ll have no choice but to call you a child hater and a misogynist. Please let’s not go there. Name calling is of no help.
The contract of marriage exists only because children are not born as independent adults. So, the law has to reflect this via stipulations like “permanence” and “parental responsibilities” and stiff economic penalties against departing adult partners. None of this applies to gays. If gays were the only people on our planet, they would produce no such code of law, for they have no need for such a contract.
You are nuts if you think the State should not recognize any difference between beings that produce, nurture, and educate the citizenry vs. beings that do not. The State has a clear interest in protecting the very machinery from which it is derived and nurtured from infant to adult. Nature has designated heteros as the manufacturer of the citizenry and State. So, take it out on Mother Nature if you are unhappy with that reality. (Or, just partner with someone of the opposite sex to produce and raise babies, and hold your nose a few times a month if you really must.)
But for sure, heterosexuality comes with huge long-term personal economic risk for all heteros who are sexually active. And that is why we heteros have a contract. It’s not because we need a special contract to affirm our status as “human.”



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm


Sofia,
My country doesn’t permit no-fault divorce. Divorce is possible, but requires a one year period of separation (and no living with a new partner in that time) and absolute priority is making sure the children are taken care of. No dead-beat dads. Whichever parent doesn’t live with the children has visiting obligations and both parents must set aside money each month for the children. Both parents are financially responsible for their children through their college degree or until they are 21 or 25, depending on their education.
It works. Divorce is a bad thing, but forcing a woman to live with an abusive husband is worse.
I think we are just going to have to disagree on the constitution – I’ve read it, agree that too much power has devolved to the feds and see no hope at this point for any change if the 50 states want to stay together.
Of course, if Texas wants to leave, I doubt the other 49 would insist upon following the letter of their incorporation agreement into the union…it would be more the case of don’t let the door hit you on the way out and can we help you pack and seeing a two week exodus of Volvo driving, white wine drinking intellectuals into New Mexico…
Yee-haw.
Dual-citizenship.
Um, homosexual orientation actually is anatomically pronounced – gay men have the same brain structure as straight women with both hemispheres able to work together (explains why so many gays are in the arts and natural sciences, doctors, teachers and military – multitasking brains and muscles.)
((I can’t park worth a damn!))
So it is pointless to try to fight nature, better to accept and be happy that we have a group of 3-10% who have many useful functions to support the culture and children – same as wolves, dolphins and all the other successful high order social mammals. It would make more sense to be happy that we want to have life-long marriage – that’s a clear trend to your side which many young straight men do not show.
I do not understand why children are so mistreated in the US.
It’s funny that many people confuse the loudest idiots screaming that they are “liberal” with gays. The Republican party (not noted for being knee-jerk leftists) counted four million gay votes they lost to Obama in November 2008. That would have tipped the scales pretty much.
Give us our rights and you will find the knee-jerk left agenda in the gay movement evaporate overnight. Keep up the scorched earth policies and we will trend ever more away from the Republicans, just like the Hispanics.
Out of here for a while babysitting this weekend…have a good Sunday.



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James Gilmore

posted May 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm


If you’re told you can’t perform surgeries because you have weak eyesight or shaky hands, your human and constitutional civil rights are being harmed. Right? That’s discrimination. If you’re told you can’t operate and own a vehicle because you’re IQ is 60, your human and constitutional civil rights are being harmed. Right? That’s discrimination. See, all laws are created to address some particular situation and cannot include everyone. That’s just the nature of law and circumstances, not bigotry.
And yet, gay and lesbian partners are completely capable of the love and partnership required for marriage. They are not constitutionally incapable of anything our society understands as a prerequisite for marriage – unless you’re counting natural procreation, in which case your own logic demands that the infertile, elderly, and intentionally childless also be excluded. There is no way around that fact. If you consider the ability to naturally procreate as a necessary part of marriage, then the infertile, elderly, and intentionally childless are equally incapable of true marriage by your logic.
Among heterosexuals, marriage exists *due to the fact* that they have lots of babies who aren’t born as fully independent beings and require long-range care from the adults who sire them. And for what reason do you propose that marriage would need to exist for homosexuals?
You need to reread your history. Historically, marriage has been a property arrangement in an extremely misogynistic and patriarchal system, designed to present a woman (or, more appropriately, a woman’s virginity) as the property first of her father, then of her husband. It wasn’t to protect women and children – it was to own them. Historically, it was the functional equivalent of slavery. Fortunately, we no longer view it as such, and can see it in a different context – that of two people loving one another enough that they desire to bond for life.
Further, I don’t think marriage needs to exist for anyone – but that doesn’t mean that everyone shouldn’t be equally free to choose to marry the person they love. In the United States, the burden of proof is on the person who would deny rights to demonstrate that said denial is necessary in order to protect the rights of someone else. Thus far, you have failed to make that case.
Next, the U.S. constitution nowhere says anything about marriage, meaning it’s a STATES RIGHTS issue.
Funny, the Supreme Court didn’t seem to think that was the case in Loving v. Virginia. The Fourteenth Amendment makes the equal right to marriage an issue for the United States as a whole.
Unlike you, Panthera can at least see the issue from the child’s perspective, and the perspective of the economically dependent spouse. You obviously don’t realize what an economic risk it is to raise kids. I assume you don’t have any and that’s why you don’t get it.
That I choose not to have children isn’t the point here. The point is that neither I nor a gay or lesbian couple should be penalized by law for not choosing to have children – which is exactly what you’re proposing.
As an aside, there’s an undercurrent throughout your comments that seems to imply that those who do choose to reproduce are somehow better or more worthy of rights than those who do not choose to reproduce. I don’t think I need to tell you why this is problematic.
And if you keep throwing around words like “bigot,” I’ll have no choice but to call you a child hater and a misogynist. Please let’s not go there. Name calling is of no help.
If the shoe fits, wear it. I’m neither a child-hater nor a misogynist, and nowhere in my comments will you find any indication that I am. Those who oppose basic human rights for LGBT individuals, though, do hold a bigoted view. Thinking that one subset of humanity is unworthy of equal rights is a bigoted view no matter how you cut it.
The contract of marriage exists only because children are not born as independent adults.
Do you have some sort of citation for this claim you present as unquestioned fact, or are you just making it up? Please demonstrate through the use of historical legal documents that the sole purpose of marriage is procreation. You’re also going to have to demonstrate, of course, that this continues to be the only reason the contract of marriage exists.
At the end of the day, though, if you think the sole purpose of marriage is procreation, logic still demands that you exclude the infertile. If you claim that the sole purpose of marriage is procreation, and at the same time claim that the infertile should be allowed to marry but gay and lesbian couples should not be, it’s clear that you’ve singled out gay and lesbian couples for discrimination. Your own logic demands that infertile couples would also not be permitted to marry.
You are nuts if you think the State should not recognize any difference between beings that produce, nurture, and educate the citizenry vs. beings that do not.
So you’re explicitly claiming that the state should privilege those who reproduce over those who don’t? Yikes.
(Or, just partner with someone of the opposite sex to produce and raise babies, and hold your nose a few times a month if you really must.)
In other words – if you want equal rights, turn hetero (in my case, I already am hetero) and reproduce. Only then will you be deemed worthy of basic human rights like marriage.
But for sure, heterosexuality comes with huge long-term personal economic risk for all heteros who are sexually active. And that is why we heteros have a contract.
By that logic, a contract should be required by law in order to engage in sexual activity. If the risk is such that a contract is absolutely necessary, why do we not legally penalize those who don’t have one when they engage in sexual activity?
It’s not because we need a special contract to affirm our status as “human.”
And yet, throughout your writings, there’s a notable undercurrent of moral superiority – an implicit claim that those who do choose to procreate are somehow more human or more productive than those who don’t choose to. By denying the most basic of human rights to one subset of couples who are incapable of naturally procreating – and again, unless you’re going to deny marriage to the infertile or the elderly, you aren’t being logically consistent, and thus are singling out one group of people for discrimination – you’re implicitly saying that they are not human. It’s that simple.
Oh, and you still haven’t provided clear and indisputable evidence that equal marriage rights affect hetero marriages in any way. Do you not have any such evidence?



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 7:11 pm


Panthera,
Divorce should not be possible, except in extreme situations, and the guilty party must be forced to pay harsh economic consequences for departure. That’s what heterosexuals (and any business partners, really) require in good marriage law, if they are to be protected from being defrauded. The U.S. non longer has strong marriage law that functions to keep the couples together. No-fault divorce redefined marriage law from being permanent to being temporary. Gay marriage will further define marriage from being a family contract to a mere cohabitation contract. That spells additional trouble for heteros in the U.S.
It is not pointless to fight nature. Humans do it all the time. We have all manner of natural inclination that, if acted on, rob ourselves or others in significant ways. For example, the refusal on your part to partner with a member of the opposite sex means you don’t get to raise your own kids. If I refuse to reign in certain desires, I, too, would not be fit for marriage and raising kids. So, I choose to subject some of my desires for the benefit of some greater good—namely, raising a family. Any human with a will can do it, though it will be easier for some, admittedly.
Children are mistreated via serial divorce. When the adults remarry one or more times, the first set of kids are without a true home of their own, and are often outcasts to the new primary families of their mother and father. It’s a rip off. Kids are the ones who get harmed by divorce, and the only way to stop it is by good strong marriage laws that compel the adults to fulfill their vows to their children and spouses–under penalty of law.



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Panthera

posted May 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm


Sofia,
Got to be brief here, but a few things.
1) It would be unfair to pretend I love a woman as I love my husband. I can’t.
2) I would never leave my husband, he’s used his own body to shield me when I was attacked and he nearly got killed himself defending me. I may not be the sharpest tooth in the jaw, but when you’ve found someone who loves you like that, it’s the real thing.
3) After over 24 years, I can feel his emotions on another continent, know when he’s awake…it goes both ways. He’s my soulmate.
Remember, the real Bible, not these abominations the American fundamentalists use, mentions David and Jonathon in exactly those same terms – they were as one. So we know there is room for our love in God’s plan even if not in the hearts of fundamentalists.
3) When I said you can’t fight nature, I meant it. Please accept you’re not going to get a straight man to love another man romantically, nor a gay man to love a woman otherwise than as a sister…which is precisely the feelings I have towards my dearest women friends.
It’s God’s will, and it is good so.
As for bearing kids, um, no. I love my friends’ kids and have helped raise two generations of their kids, including the two asleep in front of the fire right now (at this time of year, nutty but what the heck…who else is going to spoil them rotten…). I am a very good adopted uncle, I’d be an awful husband and father in a hetero marriage. How on earth could I teach a child about loving a woman when I can’t? Nor wish to…
But I can be and try to be a loving spouse to my husband.
It’s a question of honesty.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm


Panthera,
Divorce should not be possible, except in extreme situations, and the guilty party must be forced to pay harsh economic consequences for departure. That’s what heterosexuals (and any business partners, really) require in good marriage law, if they are to be protected from being defrauded. The U.S. non longer has strong marriage law that functions to keep the couples together. No-fault divorce redefined marriage law from being permanent to being temporary. Gay marriage will further define marriage from being a family contract to a mere cohabitation contract. That spells additional trouble for heteros in the U.S.
It is not pointless to fight nature. Humans do it all the time. We have all manner of natural inclination that, if acted on, rob ourselves or others in significant ways. For example, the refusal on your part to partner with a member of the opposite sex means you don’t get to raise your own kids. If I refuse to reign in certain desires, I, too, would not be fit for marriage and raising kids. So, I choose to subject some of my desires for the benefit of some greater good—namely, raising a family. Any human with a will can do it, though it will be easier for some, admittedly.
Children are mistreated via serial divorce. When the adults remarry one or more times, the first set of kids are without a true home of their own, and are often outcasts to the new primary families of their mother and father. It’s a rip off. Kids are the ones who get harmed by divorce, and the only way to stop it is by good strong marriage laws that compel the adults to fulfill their vows to their children and spouses–under penalty of law.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 8:18 pm


James,
For heterosexuals, marriage law isn’t about love and partnership: it’s about protecting the children and dependent spouse from economic destitution arising from desertion when things get unloving and difficult—which they do after a short while. Go sit in on any divorce court proceeding to see that what I’m saying is absolutely true. Obviously, none of this applies to gays, for gay sex doesn’t produce babies/long-range economic risks for the adult partners requiring legal protections. For heterosexuals, good marriage law (1) stipulates permanence of contract and (2) large payment to children and non-guilty spouse if partner leaves.
Notice that neither of those critically important stipulations really applies to gays in any way. That’s why we need TWO different legal codes to address the very different living circumstances between homosexuals and heterosexual families.
Perhaps this will help. Three college roommates living together don’t sign any contracts with each other, for none of the parties is at risk from the others. But if they suddenly start a 20-year-minimum business together with heavy cash investments and shared assets, each of the parties is at huge economic risk–thus the need for contracts.
In the above example, heterosexuals are like the college roommates that start at 20-year-minimum business together. Gays are like the college roommates who do *not* have grave personal economic risk, thus no need for any contract.
Marriage was never a form of slavery. That’s absurd. One could not sell and trade one’s wives and children. However, marriage was and still is a shared ownership. My kids are MY kids, and you can’t take them, nor can they take themselves out of my care. My spouse is MY spouse, and you can’t take my spouse. Moreover, I can’t just run away with or without the kids, without some just cause. So, it is a contractual relationship dealing with economic circumstances. Gays just don’t have anything like that, for their sex does not contain with it long-term economic risk.
Next, you wouldn’t be getting penalized for not having children. You just wouldn’t be eligible to enter a child-raising contract, so long as you refuse to partner with someone with whom you would likely produce kids. I’m not being penalized because I can’t be a doctor. It’s just that there are many legitimate requirements of the medical field that disqualify me. Should I ask the U.S. government to strike down those requirements so as to restore my equal rights? Of course not.
The state has no interest in sponsoring all humans who live together. Instead, the state has an interest in sponsoring the heterosexual machinery from which the citizenry is produced, nurtured, fed, and educated. Heterosexuals provide a major service to the nation in that they create, nurture, and care for its members from infancy into adulthood. What services do gays provide to the State?
If I am a “bigot,” you are most definitely a child hater and misogynist, for you want a loosely and broadly defined marriage law that is a mere temporal cohabitation contract and thus does not protect women and children from widespread abandonment by a contractual partner.
Marriage contract is about sex/procreation. It grants the adult partners *exclusive rights* to exchange sexual reproductive acts under penalty of law if one of the partners breaks the exclusivity agreement. Moreover, it stipulates that each parent is directly responsible for raising the children that come from those sexual acts, again under penalty of law. This is what marriage is for heterosexuals. Gays have nothing like it to contract. The economic risk that requires the contract arises from the sexual activity itself, which for heterosexuals produces babies requiring decades of round-the-clock care and provision. Again, gay partners have no similar risk associated with their sex acts.
The state absolutely privileges companies and groups that provide it with various services. And the State privileges heterosexual contracted couples because they provide 24-hour day care services to the state which the State would have to provide if the adults simply abandoned the kids and each other and walked away freely.
If you want State benefits, you must provide the same 24-hour daycare service to the State that heterosexuals do. I don’t care how you do it, but if you’re about equality, then dammit you and your partner better be doing equal child-raising work for the State that heterosexuals have to do by virtue of their biology!
We used to shun those who had sex without a contract for the exact reason I’m saying; heterosexual sex among non-marrieds produces kids no one is committed to raising, thus the State has to raise them at taxpayer expense! Good marriage law must not allow this chaos and serial reckless victimization of children.
Every aspect of heterosexual marriage law that matters, James, pertains to who’s taking care of the kids and whose paying for it. Sorry, but gays simply don’t have this situation and can’t have this situation, for nature has not tasked homosexuals with the procreation and nurture of the world’s next billion citizens. That’s a real difference requiring different contract law.
Let gays and other long-term roommates have their own civil contracts that suit whatever economic or health needs they can find. But for sure, gay sex doesn’t produce babies and thus doesn’t require the family contract known as marriage.



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Sofia

posted May 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm


Panthera,
You are wrong to think you couldn’t bond with someone of the opposite sex, even if it was in some ways less thrilling or romantic. In exchange, you would gain the bond/excitement of raising your children together as a common bond and shared life-long joy and project. In truth, long-lasting heterosexual marriages aren’t about deep love and romance, but rather the **deeper and more meaningful satisfaction** of partnering together to raise a family and take care of each others basic everyday needs. Perhaps gays have an overly romanticized and unrealistic view of marriage? Many heterosexuals do, and that’s why they head for divorce quickly when the kids come and the romance turns into work! If heteros went into marriage understanding that it’s all about the kids, they wouldn’t panic when the hard work begins.
I could partner with a person of the same sex if it meant working on some common life-long project such as raising kids. I may not always feel it, but, hey, neither do most heterosexual couples after a few years. The romance of courtship is nature’s way of luring heterosexuals into the long-term hard work of raising families.
I pretend to love my spouse often, and so it is in reverse. Other times love comes easy. Welcome to long-term relationships.
Cheers to your fella for being a true hero to you. Really, that’s heroic devotion, and I applaud it.
But I would point out that marriage law for heteros exists to stop people from leaving during the hard times, the unloving times, the times when it is work to like one’s spouse, or when raising the kids is making you lose sleep or hair or your mind. THAT’s when the law kicks in and does it’s most important work on behalf of the kids and dependent spouses.
The experience of two people having powerful automatic affections for each other for decades is very very rare in human experience. That’s why we need marriage law. Marriage law compels the couple to fulfill their vow even when the love is gone and the going gets rough and no one FEELS much like raising kids for the next 17-20 years. The law therefore saves the children from abandonment, as is right for the kids.



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Panthera

posted May 31, 2009 at 5:43 am


Sofia,
I have thought for some time whether to mention it or not, figure it is best to do so:
While I have a thick skin – have to, around here – I suspect quite a few gay men and women would be deeply offended at the suggestion (implied or direct) they abandon their partners for someone of the opposite sex.
I wouldn’t have married my husband (and remember, in my Christian church and in my country’s laws, we are married) if I hadn’t meant it for life.
I know that you are struggling to work with the very foreign concept for you of true gay commitment. Really and truly – the suggestion doesn’t go over very well.



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RJohnson

posted May 31, 2009 at 8:39 am


Sofia: “Again, if homosexuals find that they have a need to develop a legal code for specific issues like health care (as you mentioned) or something else (make some suggestions), that’s great. They should do so. But to co-opt and redefine marriage law, which addresses the unique needs of reproducers, is not the way to go, unless you’re purposely trying to harm heterosexual dependent spouses and their children through weak useless law.”
Here in Iowa our marriage law has been changed by Supreme Court edict. The change, and the ONLY change made, was to include people of the same gender as being eligible for marriage.
You have made the statement that such a change endangers children and women, yet you have provided no support for your opinion. I think it is well past time for you to provide some evidence of your assertions. Let’s use Iowa as the example here. How has the change in our marriage law put women and children at a disadvantage. No generalities, dear…please get to some specifics. What are the SPECIFIC detriments to this change in law?



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Sofia

posted May 31, 2009 at 11:12 am


Hi, R. Johnson.
Laws determine how a mass society behaves and what outcomes the society will experience. Bad marriage law has the unavoidable outcome of high divorce rates among the citizenry. For heterosexuals, these broken marriages in turn produce chronic unstable environments and poverty for dependent spouses and children.
For marriage law to effectively protect the needs of heterosexuals and their many kids, the law needs to (1) contain the stipulation of permanence (no easy desertion for contracted partners) and (2) levy severe economic penalties against deserting spouses, on behalf of the children and the defrauded spouse.
Your current marriage law in Iowa–which is now merely a generalized temporal cohabitation contract–provides no long-term protection of heterosexual spouses and kids, and thus ensures rampant high divorce rates. Your marriage law does not stipulate permanence or economic justice against deserting parties, thus leaving Iowa’s women and children exposed and vulnerable to rampant spousal abandonment.
(BTW, it was hard to watch a handful of self-important judicial dictators strip your state of its democratic rights to self government. That kind of judicial tyranny over the people is unacceptable in free countries where The People, not elite dictators, are to be the ultimate deciders of their law.



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James Gilmore

posted May 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm


Your current marriage law in Iowa–which is now merely a generalized temporal cohabitation contract–provides no long-term protection of heterosexual spouses and kids, and thus ensures rampant high divorce rates.
Again, I ask: Where is the evidence? Without documented evidence from reliable and verifiable sources demonstrating clearly discernible causality in which same-sex marriages actually affected heterosexual marriages in any way, your argument is moot. Your entire argument rests on the notion that recognizing the basic human rights of LGBT individuals will somehow affect heterosexual marriages and cause an epidemic of divorce. Without evidence that this is so, your argument is based on a faulty premise, and thus should be discarded by any responsible person.
(BTW, it was hard to watch a handful of self-important judicial dictators strip your state of its democratic rights to self government. That kind of judicial tyranny over the people is unacceptable in free countries where The People, not elite dictators, are to be the ultimate deciders of their law.
Again: What did you think of the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia, in which “self-important judicial dictators” stripped the people of the state of Virginia – and every other state in the union – of their right to ban marriages between people of different ethnic backgrounds? If 50%+1 of the population of a state thinks interracial marriage should be illegal – should it be? What if 50%+1 thinks Jews shouldn’t be allowed to marry, or atheists? Are all our rights subject to the whim of the majority?
Democratic theory holds that they should not be – that there are rights that should be considered absolute within a truly democratic society. Among those rights is the right to equal protection under the law – a right you seem to think simply doesn’t apply to LGBT individuals.



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Sofia

posted May 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm


James,
Marriage law in Iowa is easy in, quick out–no problem. That’s a disaster for heterosexuals with kids, but no disaster for homosexuals. And that’s the trouble with applying a broadly defined gay marriage code to heterosexuals. It doesn’t work, and the kids are the ones who suffer most.
It’s gay marriage LAW that hurts heterosexuals, due to its irrelevance in ineptitude in addressing heterosexual family life whatsoever.
Laws matter. They create the outcomes of society. Gay marriage legal code, when applied to heterosexual living, is a total disaster for women and children, for it doesn’t compel anyone to stay together, and kids are nowhere assumed or expected. Why is this so hard for you to understand? The world’s 6 billion heterosexuals have kids, and thus a legal code that doesn’t address the economics of kids and family is a disaster to heterosexuals.
I admit I’m surprised at your anti-democratic views. The only other possibility is dictatorship of a handful of elites. How does that sit with you?



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Sofia

posted May 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm


Oh and James,
What business partner would agree to use a code of law that didn’t adequately address the specific issues of his business or protect him from economic ruin at the hands of neglectful business partners?
Correct. No sensible business person would agree to use such a code of contract law.
Likewise, the legal code of gay marriage fails to properly address the real worldd economics of heterosexual partners and their kids. Therefore, gay marriage law is absolutely dangerous to heterosexual contractual partners and their dependents.



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Panthera

posted May 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm


James,
I’ve decided to back out of this thread – I fear there is no means of assuaging fears without a basis in reality.
Thank you for your support, I’ve come to admire your intellectual honesty and willingness to stand up for the oppressed.
Sofia, I’m going to have to leave this one where it is, we aren’t going to be able to make progress here and I don’t want to choke off discussion by other people.
All my best wishes, truly.



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RJohnson

posted May 31, 2009 at 5:54 pm


“Your current marriage law in Iowa–which is now merely a generalized temporal cohabitation contract–provides no long-term protection of heterosexual spouses and kids, and thus ensures rampant high divorce rates. Your marriage law does not stipulate permanence or economic justice against deserting parties, thus leaving Iowa’s women and children exposed and vulnerable to rampant spousal abandonment.”
What absolute and utter nonsense. The law today contains EXACTLY the same protections for heterosexual spouses and kids that it did prior to the ruling of the state Supreme Court. Any defect in the law with regard to women and children that is perceived as being present today was there prior to the decision, and your protestations to the contrary demonstrate your ignorance of the law.
But, once again, I offer you the opportunity to support your assertions with evidence. You are entitled to your opinion, and to the expression of it. But if you truly wish to persuade anyone of the merit of it we need more than just the “I say so” you have offered so far.
So…cite away.



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RJohnson

posted May 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm


Sofia: “Marriage law in Iowa is easy in, quick out–no problem. That’s a disaster for heterosexuals with kids, but no disaster for homosexuals. And that’s the trouble with applying a broadly defined gay marriage code to heterosexuals. It doesn’t work, and the kids are the ones who suffer most.”
That was the state of the law for years prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, Sofia. No fault divorce was here well before same sex marriage. Your analogy fails on that alone.
But don’t let that stop you…rave on, dear lady. Tell you what…since no fault divorce was legal here well before President Bush took office, I’m going to make the case that President Bush is the reason women and children have so little protection under Iowa marriage laws.
Yeah…I know. It makes exactly as much sense as your argument.



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T

posted June 1, 2009 at 9:53 am


I don’t understand why everyone is so “surprised.” I have long felt that the gay community and their supporters have overestimated the support for gay marriage. For the state of California, considered to be the most liberal of all states of the union, to be able to pass a constitutional amendment and uphold it in the courts is proof of that.
The American people are not in favor of discrimination. They support “gay rights” but not “gay marriage.” Gay activists don’t seem able to understand that distinction.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:23 am


Sofia,
“Gay marriage is way, WAY too broad to be of any use to heterosexuals and their kids.”
So what? Heterosexual marriage is way, WAY too broad to be any us to homosexuals and their kids. Is ‘usefulness’ now a criterion for getting married – even for heterosexuals?
Speaking of absurd …



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:28 am


More Sofiablather …
” Let homosexuals create their own legal code that addresses whatever needs they come up with”
What? The existing legal code now precludes homosexual citizens? Ditto the Constitution?
Hint: Our “needs” are the same as yours. Or don’t you want our children to have the same rights, responsibilities, privileges as yours?



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:31 am


Sofia,
“And of course we have arguments against gay marriage. It’s lunacy to ask reproducers to enter legal agreements contract written around cohabitating non-reproducers.”
Since reproduction is not a requirement of marriage – not even for you betterosexuals – you really don’t have a valid point. In my immediate family, out of 5 heterosexual relatives, 2 are “non-reproducers” – yet they were allowed to get married.
Do better!



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:34 am


Sofia,
“no one is “denying you human status.” Please stop using that red herring to divert attention away from the issue”
We are being denied equality under the law. And in turn, could YOU kindly stop using YOUR red herring of ‘reproducers’ since clearly non-reproducing hets can get married.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:35 am


“The broadening/redefinition of marriage law to include non-reproducers renders the law useless to reproducers. “
Clearly the law already included “non-reproducers”. Get a clue.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:40 am


“Gay marriage law is a legal code that does not have kids and economic dependents in view whatsoever.”
Except, of course that there is no such thing as “gay marriage law”. Marriage laws cover all citizens, gay or str8. Plus, it is a blatant lie to say that we do “not have kids”. Many of us do.
“Such a legal code is devastating to reproducers”
More nonsense. You ‘reproducers’ lose nothing when gay citizens are finally allowed to marry the person they love.
What nonsense you type.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am


“First, gay attraction is a taste/preference in the bedroom.”
First, that’s a lie. Sexual orientation is an innate and immutable characteristic. If your statement were true, it would mean that you cold choose to become a homosexual because currently, your taste, your preference is for the opposite sex. You could very easily change your preference. Couldn’t YOU?
“It is not a “class” of citizens such as being black or female. It is akin to tastes for food.”
The CASC says you’re wrong. Quit lying!
“Marriage laws pertain narrowly to reproducers.”
Odd how it encompasses heterosexual non-reproducers, eh? More false witness.
“Your human civil rights are not being harmed if you can’t perform surgeries.”
Speaking of “unserious” charges. NO one is asking for the right (?) to perform surgeries.
“your human and civil right are not being harmed if you cannot marry.”
Hmmm, let’s take away your right to marry (freedom, actually) and see if you don’t feel diminished, demeaned, debased, discounted.
“As to “tyranny of the majority,” that’s better known as “democracy.” You ought to have better respect for democracy, as it’s the best system there is, and dictatorships are a great danger to everyone.”
Except America isn’t a “democracy”; it’s a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution is there to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Learn your own civics, why don’t you?
“We agree that children and economic dependents are at the center of this debate.”
We do agree on that, but you refuse to acknowledge that some homosexuals have children and you also refuse to acknowledge that some heterosexuals don’t. Reproduction is not a requirement of mariage – anywhere.
“The result is that we can’t draft marriage laws for non-reproducers”
It already exists!
“Again, if homosexuals find that they have a need to develop a legal code for specific issues like health care (as you mentioned)”
Marriage already covers that, but thanx anyway.
“But to co-opt and redefine marriage law, which addresses the unique needs of reproducers”
Funny how marriage law also happens to cover (heterosexual) non-reproducers.
“unless you’re purposely trying to harm heterosexual dependent spouses and their children”
You have never shown that treating gay citizens equally before the law DOES “harm heterosexual dependent spouses and their children”. Merely saying it doesn’t make it so.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm


“If you’re told you can’t perform surgeries because you have weak eyesight or shaky hands, your human and constitutional civil rights are being harmed. Right?”
I like it when nonsense is posted as if it were rational thought or reasoned debate. I hope your next surgery is performed by a surgeon with weak eyesight AND shaky hands. I mean, that fully human surgeon is so qualified to cut you open.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm


“You obviously don’t realize what an economic risk it is to raise kids”
And you obviously don’t realize that some gay people also have kids. Why do you want to exclude them from the protections of the laws you so blithely tout?



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm


” the refusal on your part to partner with a member of the opposite sex means you don’t get to raise your own kids”
Ever hear of adoption? Even heterosexuals who adopt aren;t ‘raising their own kids’. And so what?



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm


“Gays are like the college roommates who do *not* have grave personal economic risk, thus no need for any contract.”
This is a lie from the pit of he11, Erin.
Way too many gay people who’s partner/spouse has died have had their own homes taken from them by the deceased’s ‘family’. Seems it’s heterosexuals that we need protecting from.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm


“Marriage contract is about sex/procreation.”
Poppycock. I’ve never once heard any marriage vows that talked about promising to have sex and babies. Sheer and utter nonsense.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm


R. Johnson asks for proof that same-sex marriagge harms opposite sex marriage, citing the ONLY change to the law in Iowa is that it now allows same-sex couples to marry.
Instead of such proof, Sofia repeats the lie that:
“Your current marriage law in Iowa–which is now merely a generalized temporal cohabitation contract–provides no long-term protection of heterosexual spouses and kids”
If it doesn’t do that now, it didn’t do that before. Thus the change did not cause this ‘harm’.
No wonder you are no longer believed, Erin. Ooops, I mean Sofia.



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Husband

posted June 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm


“You are wrong to think you couldn’t bond with someone of the opposite sex”
Such arrogance, to tell someone that you don’t even know that they are “wrong” about their very own nature.
DIS-MISSED!



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Spot

posted June 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm


I noted that MarriageNewsNow.com is asking whether or not Cheney came out in favor of gay marriage, and I’m going to say he sort of did. After all, his daughter is gay.



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Panthera

posted June 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm


And another state just granted us human status: New Hampshire’s governor signed the bill recognizing us as human and entitled to civil rights.
The fight is not over by a long shot – but we have the christianists on the run.
Of course, given that their answer to doctors who provide abortions to women who would other die in their last trimester is to murder them, I do hope the governor is well protected.



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Sofia

posted June 4, 2009 at 8:58 am


No, R. Johnson:
Follow redefinition of marriage closely and logically, using reason:
(1) The implementation of no-fault changed the contract from permanent to temporary, and made the contract easily dissolvable by the deserting spouse without penalty
(2) The broadening of the law to include gays changes the contract from children-oriented to NOT-child-oriented.
Now, that NEW definition suits gays fine, but it economically crushes heterosexuals and their many millions of children through 50% divorce rates. The law doesn’t protect the economic dependents–namely women and children–from the long-range economic devastation of spousal abandonment.
I know you can use your powers of mind and reason to grasp the economics here. If you can’t, try applying the contract to business partners and a business arrangement. No business partner would EVER enter the type of weak and unjust contract that gay marriage law forces upon heterosexuals and their millions of babies. Gay marriage law offers heterosexuals NO LEGAL PROTECTION against personal economic devastation.
But gays have no similar economics to worry about. The gay economic scenario different and requires very different contract law.



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Panthera

posted June 5, 2009 at 6:41 am


I swane, the only thing conservative Christians think about is gay sex.
If men, then:
Either in the one sense: Yeah! – Two women kissing is hot
or
In the “icky” sense – O. My. Gawd. He’s got his tongue in that guy’s mouth! I’m gonna hurl!
That’s it.
Y’all have nothing else on your minds except gay sex.
24/7.
I don’t know whether it has occurred to any of you conservative Christians out there, but I’m going to share a little secret with you.
Here’s a little exercise for the naive amongst you: Go ask a man, any man what would happen if women were as eager to have sex any time and any place as men are. Never mind the properly conservative Christian answer he gives you (obviously you’re going to be asking some guy you know and he doesn’t want to have you holding a come-to-Jesus on him right there) pay attention to that brief, but very happy wide-eyed look of joy in his eyes.
And there you have the answer: We are demanding our human right to marriage for many reasons. Sex is not one of them.
Gays are perfectly capable of and do have sex outside of marriage.
We get married >not because we want to have sex with each other, we get married because we have chosen to spend the rest of our life with one person, forsaking others. Giving and receiving mutual love, friendship and support in the good times and the bad, the lean and the rich, the healthy and the sick, right up through old age. Even if and when one of the partners decides he wants kids the day the other partner just completed his Ming Vase collection.
Without that marriage certificate, our relationship is subject to being torn apart at the whim of any one at all. No, all those suggested legal contracts don’t do diddly, my husband and I have spent several tens of thousands having them drawn up for when we have to be in the US…and now had to go to court twice (won both times) because conservative Christians just laugh at the legal documents…they know, by the time the cops and the district attorney and finally a judge have overruled them, the poor woman or man’s spouse will have died. Alone.
It’s really that simple. Secular marriage has nothing to do with your conservative Christian church. You hate us, we don’t much care for you, either. Just, take your beliefs out of the public sphere and leave us alone. You can always console yourself that if we are right, God will forgive you. If we are wrong, well – yee- haw! Y’all get the pleasure of knowing we are burning in eternal hellfire.
You win both ways.



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Mary Davies

posted June 5, 2009 at 9:42 am


What’s the best reason explaining why traditional marriage should be the law for society? That’s the question MarriageNewsNow dot com is asking in its friday vote marriage poll. Weigh in.



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Panthera

posted June 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm


Mary Davies,
Since when are we Christians permitted false witness?
Those ten “reasons” are so full of lies it is beyond belief.
You should be ashamed of yourself.



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Husband

posted June 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm


Interesting that so many, er, ‘invitations’ to go to the [anti-] Marriage “news” website have appeared on so many threads lately.
Must be hurtin’ for clicks is my guess.
So ‘sad’ to watch them self-immolate on their pyre of lies.



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Panthera

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:49 am


Husband,
It is scary. Here, I am a human being, married to a wonderful man.
In a few weeks, my marriage is not acknowledged (our marriage exists none-the-less) and I am sub-human.
When we see the twists and turns the conservative Christians have taken these last days to justify the murders they have committed, the question arises: How many more must die before they accept that their hateful words have actions?



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seamus

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm


There are over 13000 children in the presently 18000 legal same sex marriages in California.
Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese stated clearly the bishops agenda in a manner that in previous times struck fear in Jews and Hugenots, in the following statement.
“I am grateful to the Catholic Community of Los Angeles for your commitment to the institution of marriage as fashioned by God and to work with such energy to enshrine this divine plan into our state’s Constitution,”
In giving so much material support for the passage of Prop 8 without giving pause to reflect on the astonishing elevation of the right to marrry as a basic human right amd subject to the close scrunity level of protection of the equal protection clause, the catholic leadership has participatied in a divisive undermining of the authority of the Court and in imposing as a tyranny of the majority that eviserates the equal protection clause for all Californians.
Pope Benedict said “The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions,”
The pope also spoke of the inalienable rights of the traditional family, “founded on matrimony between a man and a woman, to be the natural cradle of human life”.
What was so interesting in the California Supreme Court’s reasoning is its defense of the familial aspect of same sex marriages. If the Pope and the US Conference of Bishops want to conflate Catholic theology and secular law, they would be wise to read the Court’s concern for the families of same sex unions. The cradle for adopted, neglected or abandonned children,is found in all unions, including same sex and is more in keeping with sacramental theology where all, through Christ, become the adopted children of God.
Ironic that a secular Court has so much to teach the Church in this regard , which is increasingly identifying itself as the last refuge of bigotry.



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my name

posted June 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm


Sofia:
“Divorce should not be possible, except in extreme situations, and the guilty party must be forced to pay harsh economic consequences for departure.”
I’ll bet your dictatorship would be really neat.
Since you obviously haven’t been told so enough, I think the fact that you are able to breed makes you special.
About as special as the cats that live on my block.
I’m able to breed too. Does the fact that I choose not to (Mind you I am a birth control using heterosexual) make me a lesser person in your eyes.
From what you have to say I’ve taken you to be a twit, and therefore, lesser in my eyes.



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Your Name

posted June 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm


Sofia typed:
“For heterosexuals, marriage law isn’t about love and partnership”
Lyin’ fer Jesus seems to now be a favored sport around here. Every single one of my heterosexual friends with whom I shared this found this statement to not only be false, but also laughable.



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mary davies

posted June 15, 2009 at 6:35 pm


The MarriageNewsNow dot com alert says that Prejean now officially has gay marriage aggressors on the run. The gay lesbian community is calling on gay attack dogs to back off fast.



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Husband

posted June 16, 2009 at 9:36 am


Mary,
Is your site that desperate for hits that you need to come trolling here?
Please take note: we’ve been to your site. We found/continue to find it full of lies.
You. Are. Not. Credible.
(P.S. Nor is Ms Prejean.)
(P.P.S. There’s no such thing as “gay attack dogs”. You just made that up.)
P.P.P.S. The “gay lesbian community” will NOT back off in our quest for equal treatment before the law, nor will we be “calling on” ourselves nor our allies to back off.)
Hint: If you have to resort to lying to make your ‘point’, you’ve already lost.



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