Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gay marriage looms as 'battle of our times' |

Gay marriage looms as 'battle of our times' |
"Gay marriage looms as 'battle of our times'

As Senate prepares to argue marriage amendment, room for compromise between religious freedom and equal rights seems thin."

With poverty on the rise for the last five years, debt reaching record levels, soldiers dying 8000 miles from home the issue the Republican's bring to the fore is boys kissing.

I'd like some of the conservative folk out there to explain why this is of any concern to non-gays? Don't they realize that there are (most likely) already gay couples living in their neighborhood? That they already share a home, a car and talk about the same problems straight couples do?

So what if our hypothetical Tom and John get married? They have been living together for 10 years and would like the same protections married couples take for granted: like the right to visit each other in the hospital, etc. etc.

I'm sure the refrain is "it sets a bad example for children" ... yeah, two people who love each other and want to make a commitment is a "bad example". This is likely the same parent who takes their kid to a wrestling match where two adult males pretend (rather graphically) to pummel each other into submission.

If you want to talk about values, lets value love and commitment -- where-ever they are found.


Capt. Fogg said...

Funny you should mention it, but there is a gay couple living right down the street from me. They're in their 70's, have a beautiful home and maintain it impeccably - a couple of good neighbors.

I think one of the problems the crusaders have with such people is that they undermine the stereotypes. They would prefer you to think of them as child molesters and spreaders of disease and provokers of God's wrath.

bombsoverbaghdad said...

Once upon a time, I supported gay marriage. Now I oppose it. I'm fine with civil unions, etc, but not marriage. I have gay neighbors, too, and we are cool with them, but they are also extremely nasty. They have all kinds of men running in and out of the house all the time, and they walk their dogs in short robes. It's pretty darn gross.

On a massive scale, widespread homosexuality is terrible for a society. And I believe strongly in family--I don't even support no fault divorce...

Reign of Reason said...

It's the same story with so many minorities: its much easier to believe the stereotype than take people as individuals.

I know a few gay couples here too. At least one of them would be married if the law allowed it. And, again, what difference would it make to me if they did marry? – none.

bombsoverbaghdad said...


Stereotypes don't only apply to minorities. I know plenty of minorities that stereotype white folks, and plenty of gays incorrectly think straight folks are biggots.

You are always quick to answer your own questions with this unshakeable certainty. If men starting marrying men on a massive scale, it would have absolutely no implications for our society???

Reign of Reason said...

True – stereotyping happens to non-minority groups… I stand corrected.

However, because you’ve encountered a “bad” experience with gay men, doesn’t mean they are all the same. I know gay men in committed, monogamous relationships.

Besides – you seem to hold this couple to the marriage standard when society has told them that there relationship isn’t worthy of (public) commitment: essentially conditioning people with one set of beliefs then expecting different behavior. Ludicrous.

Also, I also know married straight couples that fool around… So what is your point?

Marriage, civil unions, whatever. The point is government should be blind to the sex of the person you fall in love with and want to make a commitment with… it is the most personal of choices and one government should respect.

You also mention that “widespread homosexuality is terrible for a society” … what makes you believe legalized marriage would increase the incidence of homosexuality? You really don’t believe in the “choice” argument do you? Sexuality is a continuum… but where you fall on it is largely determined by your genetics. I can no more chance my sexuality than you can.

And what would be so terrible if homosexuality somehow miraculously jumped from 5-10% of the populace to say 20%.


bombsoverbaghdad said...


Then we just have a fundamental disagreement. Whether it's genetic or learned, homosexuality is deviant behavior. THAT DOES NOT MEAN I HATE GAYS!! I live near them, and my boss is gay and in a committed relationship.

I disagree with equating a person's sexual prediliction with his race or sex. Gays assert rights based upon who they want to have sex with. That is RIDICULOUS.

I assume you are a single man who doesn't plan on having a family???? To me, the only people that really push hard for gay marriage are non-family-oriented people.

Do you support polygamy???

Reign of Reason said...

“Homosexuality is deviant behavior” …

We do have a fundamental disagreement. Why do you believe this?

It certainly isn’t “normal” – since it is exemplified by approx 5-10% of the population. But it occurs in many different populations… manly in higher mammals…. And is therefore “natural”.

I didn’t equate sexual preference with race or sex, but it is similar in that it is not under a persons control: could you “switch” and make yourself more attracted to men than to women?

I do plan on having a family. I do not as of now. I am, however, engaged. As for pushing – it’s a matter of equality. If we (government) doesn’t treat people fairly we are all at risk for discrimination.

As for polygamy, I have no such urges (for another mate), but if people can make it work who are you or I to say no, "you" can't live with two women.

Raise your kids they way you wish, and I will mine... What I oppose is the majorities opinion being implemented in law.

Reign of Reason said...

Besides, you never addressed my point:

What if you (and society) taught your kids that long-term, male-female relationships aren’t normal… and didn’t provide a social structure that honored them. What if those relationships had to be hidden – kept out of sight in everyday experience. What effect do you think that would have on such relationships?

More promiscuity? More self-doubt and even self-loathing (as exemplified by many younger gay people)?

So how do you expect homosexuals to form lasting, monogamous relationships when society tells them they can’t/won’t form that type of relationship?

You don’t see it, but its exactly your attitude that is part of the problem. By paying lip service to homosexuals (I don’t dislike them), but still segregating them you are perpetuating the problem.

bombsoverbaghdad said...

Just because a male monkey takes a swipe at another monkey's butthole once in a while doesn't mean that a man should.

If our society taught kids that male-female relationships are NOT normal, it'd be the end of society as we know it. You think Bush has power now, he'd take over the world if that happened because the American people would be lost in a greater morass than they already are. The same folks pumpin this Iraq WMD crap are the same ones pumpin' gay marriage. The media. Kids are already sexually confused enough as it is, with dudes kissing on TV and stuff.

I frankly don't give a hoot about "healthy" long-term homosexual relationships and it's not my job to encourage them. Society doesn't need to tell them everything. If that's someone else's choice, fine. I really don't hate it, but I don't want to SEE it.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

There are so many pieces to this.

Regardless of whether homosexuality is "deviant" behavior or not, the fundamental question should be whether government should have any involvement in marriage. If you believe in limited government, the answer must be a resounding NO. Gay marriage and polygamy can, and should, be legal for exactly the same reasons - what consenting adults choose to do with their personal lives is no one else's business.

BOB, if government can tell gays not to marry or place other restrictions on marriage, why couldn't it legally bar marriages between blacks and whites.

Reign of Reason said...

Reign of Reason said...

No one is forcing anyone to “see it” … if you don’t like what’s on TV, change the channel.

As for your neighbors: That’s life. Hey, I have to look at unattractive, obese women in my workplace and in the store everyday…. It grosses me out. But should the government deny them certain rights it gives to others because they freak me out?

Actually, Bonobos (genetically the closest ape to homo-sapiens), Penquins, and a variety of other mammals form LONG TERM homosexual relationships. They aren’t simply taking “swipes” at eat other:

"In his 1980 book Homosexual Behaviour: A Modern Reappraisal, psychiatrist Judd Marmor states that homosexuality is far from being "unnatural" in the statistical sense. It occurs in all higher species, even when members of the opposite sex are present and presumably available for mating."

Look, you don’t have to like it – but the simple fact is homosexuality exists: whether by personal preference or by genetics – it doesn’t matter. We live in a free society where people can choose their mates. The government should now be used to favor one set of mate-choices over another.

If you think some people’s choices are a bad influence on your kids, or society as a whole that’s your right. But it’s simply bigoted to say the government should discriminate against this segment of the population.

I have no idea what your correlation between WMD propaganda and gay marriage is...

Reign of Reason said...

II -- I agree.

The argument is the same: gay marriage or interracial marriage. Opponents say “its different – homosexuality is a behavior and race is innate” – but they probably don’t REALLY KNOW any gay people – people who have struggled with their sexual identify – literally agonized over it.

Again, why does anyone care whether Tom and John get married? It doesn’t effect them at all.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Yes, but that's beside the point.

Government used the same argument re: gay marriage to bar interracial marriage - that preventing such marriages promotes stability, welfare of the children, health of society, blah, blah, blah.

The only relevant question, in my view, is whether government should stick its nose in marriage and the answer is NO.

Marriage is a religious institution and if there is a church out there that is willing to marry two men or multiple people, where does the state get off interfering with religion?

bombsoverbaghdad said...

I reject in total the comparison of the gay marriage movement to the interracial marriage laws of the past. One thing that really PISSES ME OFF is when I hear gay folks compare their struggle to get married with black peoples' struggle to walk down the street without getting LYNCHED! I HATE THAT.

Governments proscribe conduct. I can't walk around the streets naked because of LAWS. Laws draw the line. I support a law that restricts marriage to a man and a woman.

Reign of Reason said...

No one is comparing marriage rights to the larger struggle blacks faced in the middle of the last century. However, there is a useful comparison between the specific struggle to legalize interracial marriage and gay marriage. The arguments used to bar each are analogous.

Government laws are their to PROTECT the freedoms we enjoy – not to apportion them according to arbitrary social sentiment. That’s the point of the Bill of Rights – government (and law) exists to protect our freedom, not constrain it (constraint applies when an action would violate the rights of another – I see no such issue with gay marriage.)

As II said – government has no business regulating what types of people get married. If they choose to bestow privileges on married couples (tax breaks, visitation rights, etc. etc.) they MUST be applied without regard to race, color, religion or who you decide to stick your penis in.

Reign of Reason said...

BTW... gays are still enduring some of the terror you mention in your comment: how many gays have been killed simply for being gay? Some have been drug behind cars... tied to trees and left for dead, … their gathering places bombed, etc.

I don't argue that it’s as widespread as the experiences of black America, but it’s interesting to note that the same attitude and arguments are used now as were then... and they are often religiously based arguments – or the simple “I don’t like it -- it makes be feel weird" argument (taken to the extreme).

Reign of Reason said...

BTW... gays are still enduring some of the terror you mention in your comment: how many gays have been killed simply for being gay? Some have been drug behind cars... tied to trees and left for dead, … their gathering places bombed, etc.

I don't argue that it’s as widespread as the experiences of black America, but it’s interesting to note that the same attitude and arguments are used now as were then... and they are often religiously based arguments – or the simple “I don’t like it”.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Oh so insolent BOB!

You are a lawyer and you understand precedent and principles. If precedent says it is okay for the government to restrict one type of marriage, what is there to limit the extent to which government can constrict other types of marriage?

You are arguing results, and I am waiting to hear principles. If you accept government interference with marriage, then why couldn't the government constitutionally prohibit blacks and whites from marrying?

Remember Loving v. Virginia?
The trial judge, in upholding the convictions against the couple, reasoned as follows

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

In upholding the constitutionality of these provisions in the decision below, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia referred to its 1955 decision in Naim v. Naim as stating the reasons supporting the validity of these laws. In Naim, the state court concluded that the State's legitimate purposes were "to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens," and to prevent "the corruption of blood," "a mongrel breed of citizens," and "the obliteration of racial pride," obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy. The court also reasoned that marriage has traditionally been subject to state regulation without federal intervention, and, consequently, the regulation of marriage should be left to exclusive state control by the Tenth Amendment.

I am not comparing the gay issue to civil rights issue. Such a comparison is utterly unnecessary with regard to this discussion and truly is a red herring upon which too many are willing to feast. Again, as I have said before, the only relevant question is whether the gummint should interfere with marriage.

Intellectual Insurgent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bombsoverbaghdad said...

So, II,

Can the government pass laws that ban polygamy???

Intellectual Insurgent said...

I do not believe such laws are constitutional. The First Amendment provides for freedom of religion and, to the extent the practice of one's religion does not intrude on the rights of others, there should be no interference with that right. Hence, if Mormons and Muslims want to have polygamous marriages, why should anyone else care? What consenting adults choose to do among themselves is no one else's business.