One More Nail…

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…in the already well-sealed coffin of the "gay partnerships killed Scandinavian marriage" argument in Slate.

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  1. Then pray enlighten me, Gary. Are you gay? If so, when did you realize it? If not, how can you possibly make such blanket, unsupported and subjective statements about it?

    I dated a lady for a while who had been married for over ten years and had a daughter in middle school. Sometime after her divorce, and after she and I had stopped seeing each other other than as friends, she decided she was in love with another woman. It’s hard to make an argument that the decisions she made then were somehow “at the core of her being” if she was perfectly happy in conventional relationships and raising a daughter in the conventional way all those years before. It was clearly either a choice she made, or she was a slave to her glands, which I give her the dignity of not believing.

    Thing is, Gary, you keep waving the “bigotry” and “civil rights” flags, yet you haven’t made a cogent case that that is what this issue is about. You just lay that on the table as if it is a given. What exactly makes it bigotry, and not simply a matter of appropriate social norms like the prohibition against public sexual expression? Not being snotty. I really want you to explain this to me.

  2. Jeff: that explains it, you are feeling a little insecure because a lady you dated switched teams.

  3. Jeff Clothier,

    I don’t have to be gay to defend gay people and their human rights; the same is of course true of blacks, people of various ethnic background, the religious, etc. Indeed, whether I am gay or not is beside the point.

    “It’s hard to make an argument that the decisions she made then were somehow ‘at the core of her being’ if she was perfectly happy in conventional relationships and raising a daughter in the conventional way all those years before.”

    How do you know she was perfectly happy? Lots of gay people try to fit in (again “pass”) for many years before giving up. Its obvious why they try to pass; all of the social and political oppression they would have faced otherwise channeled them into a certain direction (that and the sort of self-loathing taught to many gay people in their youth). You act is the environment she grew up in was perfectly accepting of her sexuality, when indeed it wasn’t.

    “Thing is, Gary, you keep waving the ‘bigotry’ and ‘civil rights’ flags, yet you haven’t made a cogent case that that is what this issue is about.”

    Look; bigoted scum like Eric and Kurtz see gay marraige as a bad thing. That must neccesarily mean that they aren’t particularly in favor of homosexuality outside of marraige either (if gay marraige is bad, then there must be something about gay people that makes it bad). That’s bigotry in my opinion.

  4. xray – Yes, that would be the easy answer, wouldn’t it, except you’re wrong. She didn’t “switch teams” when we were together, and I told her if it was serious, invite me to the commitment ceremony, if and when, and I meant it. This was neither my first or last contact with people who identify themselves as “gay” or “homosexual.”

    As I said, I am pretty neutral on the whole subject because I really don’t feel I understand enough about it. But as a neutral, I am willing to explore both sides of the debate to see which makes most sense to me. I refuse to simply give in to those waving the rainbow flag and calling it a civil rights issue before even attempting to convince me that it is. M.L. King didn’t do that. He spent years working to change hearts and minds before he started fomenting nonviolent protest, and always, he maintained at least outward, visible and verbal respect for his opponents – something gay activists and Gary don’t always seem willing to do.

  5. Jeff Clothier,

    BTW, if you must really know, I’ve batted for both teams over my life. I can go into greater detail if you would like. I don’t why it is that whenever you get into a discussion about gay marraige someone in the opposition always has to ask – “Are you gay?”

  6. Jeff,

    Good note on less indignation. Let’s just discuss and maybe we’ll all learn something.

    “Anybody whose entire being is centered on their sexuality, it seems to me (opinion) hasn’t grown up yet, like a fifteen year old boy who can’t keep his hand off his peepee.”

    I think this is a fundamentally mistaken impression. My wife is much more important to me as a person and partner than as someone to have sex with. She is part of my life to the point of being a part of my identity. The same feeling is held by homosexuals towards their partners.

    Being gay isn’t just about who you want to have sex with, it’s about who you can fall in love with. Since you’ve never been told (by large segments of society, at least) you shouldn’t find women attractive and you certainly shouldn’t fall in love with them and if you hold hands with one in public, in most of the country, you risk being physically assaulted, it’s easy to forget that homosexuality is about so much more than mere sexuality.

  7. Jeff Clothier,

    Conservative Christians and their allied bigots don’t have any respect for homosexuals, so its not particularly distressing for me to tell them what I think of them. I mean, its not gay people bombing and killing conservative Christians, its the other way around.

  8. Gary,

    Because it’s a valid question that has a bearing on the discussion. If you were discussing invertebrate biology, and had strong opinions on it, I’d most likely ask you if you are an invertibrate biologist. Credentials lend credence to an argument, do they not?

  9. What a thread.

    Gary is not being polite, but he is more right on the appropriate use of examples.

    Jeff: In your masturbation example, the law applies equally to homo and heterosexuals, in that they can’t do it in public. But if heteros do it to each other in private, they can claim tax deductions, benefits, etc., whereas the law does not allow that to same sex partners. So it is fair for public sexual display, but not for civil contracts.

    Eric: it was “conservative” to be against civil rights initiatives b/c they trampled on “states rights,” and by conservative doctrine states are more important and more likely to be right than the feds. Smaller unit of gov’t is better, etc. etc. A true libertarian should not be for things just because they are in the Constitution, but rather should be concerned with liberty and minimal gov’t. As such, freedom-trampling Jim Crow needed to go, even if the precious states supported it.

  10. Gary,

    “Conservative Christians and their allied bigots don’t have any respect for homosexuals, so its not particularly distressing for me to tell them what I think of them. I mean, its not gay people bombing and killing conservative Christians, its the other way around.”

    True, as far as I know. King did not reciprocate with violence either, or even with much harsh language. Consequently, he was a very eloquent voice and force for equality before the law.

    If I were you, that’s where I’d make my case – equality before the law. Natural or human rights are those held by all individual human beings because they are human beings and cannot be abrogated by national law. In fact, national law is supposed to be a mechanism to uphold those human rights. Civil rights are those granted by government as a consequence of citizenship. To the extent that homosexual persons are citizens, each one of them, in theory, is entitled to equal standing in civil law.

    Read or listen to MLK’s speeches, and you find a strong thread of individualism, of human, as opposed to civil, rights being the goal, equality before the law for ALL people, not just those who belong to his aggrieved group, and above all, humility. If the gay movement wants to align itself with the black struggle, they ought to take a page from their book, wouldn’t you agree?

  11. “I don’t why it is that whenever you get into a discussion about gay marraige someone in the opposition always has to ask – “Are you gay?””

    My impression of why Jeff asked was that it’s related to the question of whether gay people choose to be gay. Hence the follow-up question about your (hypothetical) initial realization of your homosexuality.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never known anyone, gay or straight, who felt that they in any meaningful way chose to be gay or straight, the claims of various “gay reclamation” groups notwithstanding. Whether the control of sexuality is genetic or environmental (or, as it almost certainly is, a complex interaction of the two), I personally don’t see any reason to think it’s a moral choice.

  12. “If I were you, that’s where I’d make my case – equality before the law.”

    Isn’t that the case that virtually all proponents of gay marriage (myself included) have been making all along? Equality before the law would require the gov’t to recognize a consensual relationship (marriage) between two gay people, just as it does for two straight people (ignoring for now any questions of >2 people).
    That’s how I’ve always understood the main argument in favor of gay marriage.

  13. J –

    “For what it’s worth, I’ve never known anyone, gay or straight, who felt that they in any meaningful way chose to be gay or straight, the claims of various “gay reclamation” groups notwithstanding. Whether the control of sexuality is genetic or environmental (or, as it almost certainly is, a complex interaction of the two), I personally don’t see any reason to think it’s a moral choice.”

    I am strongly tempted to agree with you there, but that’s not quite where MY quandary comes in. I am waiting to be convinced that this is a civil rights issue, not a moral one. I don’t give a fig for sexual mores or morals. Not practicing your particular peccadillos in public or forcing others to appreciate them when they find them distasteful, to me, is simply a matter of good taste and manners.

    The problem is that civil rights, since the ’64 civil rights act, has devolved into a constant war between demographic groups of one sort or another, each one claiming victim status, and each one fighting for their slice of the pie not for all persons, but for members of their particular little cadre. Where does it end? That was the point of my previous “masturbation community” example. It sounds ridiculous now, but 20 years ago, gay marriage would have sounded equally absurd.

    I guess my question – and it is a serious one, I am truly open to being convinced – is in what way does an inclination toward buggery and sodomy, or, to put some polish on it, the tendency to form romantic attachments with people of your own gender – entitle you to recognition and acceptance by law or by custom by virtue of that inclination?

    It would seem to me that the effect gays want would be the same if laws were passed saying that each person has the right to assign his or her Federal or State granted benefits to any other person with whom he or she shares a household and other personal affairs, that each person has the right to grant anyone of his or her choosing hospital visitation rights, right of survivorship and power of attorney, etc. But these are not what the “gay community” is asking for.

    They apparently – correct me if I’m wrong, Gary – not only want these things, but want their practices to be considered “normal” by the majority public, and they want government to force that “normalcy.” That is the part I’m not sure is appropriate, or that rises to the level of a civil rights struggle.

  14. ‘”Core of their being?” Anybody whose entire being is centered on their sexuality, it seems to me (opinion) hasn’t grown up yet, like a fifteen year old boy who can’t keep his hand off his peepee.’

    My marriage with my wife is at the core of my being. We don’t fuck in public, but we do walk down the street holding hands, with wedding rings, and everyone who passes us knows that we are man and wife, cloven as one flesh.

    If I couldn’t have that bond with her, it would be like someone carving a basketball-sized chunk of joe out my torso, and the thought that millions of my brothers and sisters have to endure that is a massive injustice than decent people must not stand for.

  15. One of the primary characteristics of bigotry is assuming that you can draw sweeping conclusions about a person from the group he belongs to, or about a group as a whole from what some members of the group do. Examples include saying that “conservative Christians” kill gays, or that people who are opposed to gay marriage are, from that one fact alone, shown to subscribe to a particular view about gays.

    Those who freely toss charges of bigotry around may themselves be practicing it.

  16. ?in what way does?the tendency to form romantic attachments with people of your own gender entitle you to recognition and acceptance by law or by custom by virtue of that inclination??

    I don?t think it requires any more recognition than the tendency to form romantic attachments with people of the opposite sex does. And since straights can have their romantic attachments recognized through marriage, it seems to me that gays should be able to also.

    I think various people in the gay community and their supporters and sympathizers probably want a lot of different things, but from a gov?t action standpoint this is the most important one. It doesn?t have to mean that the gov?t is saying homosexuality is normal, moral, or anything else the gov?t isn?t qualified to rule on ? it?s simply saying homosexuals have the same basic rights as heterosexuals.

    I think the problem a lot of people have with various civil rights laws is that they sometimes prevent private citizens from acting on their own personal convictions, not that those laws prevented gov?t-sponsored racism (Jim Crow, etc.). In the same way that the gov?t shouldn?t discriminate based on skin color, I think its discrimination based on sexual orientation in the recognition of relationships is a civil rights issue. Private citizens are still free to think gays are immoral, unnatural, icky, or whatever else they might think. (I realize in practice that this will require some recognition of gay marriage by private individuals, but that?s a problem with these laws in general, not with gay marriage specifically; and of course it?s a reason why many advocate the gov?t getting out a marriage altogether).

    On a tangential note, there?s a well known and respected population geneticist who?s been active in research for more than 50 years whose name is Jim Crow. Not surprisingly, he chooses to go by James F. Crow. That?s an unfortunate name.

    On another tangential note, your masturbation example reminded me of a Kids in the Hall skit based on the fact that they were on Canadian gov?t TV. The skit was called ?Screw You, Taxpayer!? Various people would advocate stupid/insulting/outrageous positions, then say the the viewer may not like it but they were supporting it, and the audience would jump up and yell, ?Screw you, taxpayer!? One person spoke in favor of public masturbation.

  17. joe – There is nothing preventing gay couples from promenading down the parkway hand in hand and demonstrating their mutual devotion now. In certain places like Castro Street in San Francisco, it may even be the norm.

    There is also nothing preventing gay couples from declaring, sanctifying, consecrating, whatever verb you choose, their union now. The only thing at issue is forcing the majority public – either a 90% or a 99% majority depending on whose figures you use – to accept it as a legitimate lifestyle worthy of state sanction after about 5000 years of cultural taboo, religious indoctrination and obvious biological imperatives.

    Certainly it is an issue of justice, but justice goes both ways.
    Are we being unjust, for instance, in not granting Communists an equal say in government when communism is antithetical to almost every value the country was founded under? Looked at one way, it’s just damn unfair. Looked at another way, the institution of communism is so outside the value system of a democratic republic that upholds individual rights and private property that it simply cannot be tolerated. Many of our fellow citizens truly feel that homosexuality is a similar institution in that respect. I would submit that it is the place of the aggrieved minority to demonstrate the justice of their case rather than simply shouting “bigotry” and “injustice” and assuming that by doing so the case is made.

    In the case of blacks, three hundred years of chattel slavery, a four year national tragedy, the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent Jim Crow laws pretty much tipped the argument in their favor. Still, the majority of the civil rights movement got behind an eloquent leader who was willing to make the case again and again alongside acts of nonviolent resistance.

    I’m still waiting for the “Gay Martin Luther King.” The fact that there isn’t one says to me that either the “movement” hasn’t found a voice capable of delivering their message and changing hearts and minds, or that their message, their cause, simply isn’t worthy of an MLK to deliver.

  18. J –

    I find your arguments very persuasive. I am one of those who feels the whole problem is being approached in the wrong way. “Marriage,” to me, is not an institution over which government should have any say at all. I have ancestors who were married by common law, in essence just claimed squatter’s rights over each other, jumped over a broomstick and were married. They didn’t ask, they TOLD the local constable they were married, and that was it.

    The concept of a “marriage license” and the state granting any favors or penalties at all based on marital status is stupid. I would happily join all gay and straight people in abolishing civil marriage entirely and keep it where it belongs, within the realm of society, church and most importantly, between those who profess and enter into it.

  19. a ref – “We don’t have any communists participating in our government because they can’t win elections, not because they are banned. ”

    Exactly!!! They can’t win elections because they haven’t persuaded the vast majority of their case. Like right-wingers in school board elections, they could possibly rally so many of their troops behind a stealth candidacy one day that they could gain some limited power but that would be circumventing the will of the overwhelming majority, it would not be a demonstration of the justice of their cause.

    Gay people wanting to marry are in a similar quandary now.

  20. Jeff,

    Publishing of banns. Wedding rings. Announcements in the paper. Decorating the honeymoon car. “Before God and Man…” You want to talk about tradition? The public recognition of a marriage has been an inherent part of the institution since it was established. Denying that recognition is a denial of the union.

    Perhaps you are part of the “Me and my old lady don’t need no paper or preacher” set, but those of us who are married are aware that the recognition of that marriage is part of what makes it real.

    I suppose interracial couples in ‘Bama 1935 could have just shacked up. No harm, right?

  21. So joe – you’re saying if the tribe or the state didn’t accept you and your blushing bride that you would be somehow less than married? I thought that boundless communion of souls you talked about earlier was beyond all that.

    You are correct in saying that PUBLIC recognition of marriage has a long historical tradition, but GOVERNMENT sanction of marriage is another matter. It only became consequential with the advent of the welfare state when there was a taxpayer-provided pie to slice up – Social Security benefits to be bestowed to a spouse upon your death, for example.

    Here in Iowa, it was a decade or two into the 20th century before you had to go to the Justice of the Peace BEFORE you wed, to get permission, instead of TELLING him afterwards that you were married, usually in one church or other. Often you just told each other you were married and got knocked up – or the other way around – and then registered the fact at the county seat so there would be no property dispute. My great grandparents were married that way.

  22. “You are correct in saying that PUBLIC recognition of marriage has a long historical tradition, but GOVERNMENT sanction of marriage is another matter. It only became consequential with the advent of the welfare state when there was a taxpayer-provided pie to slice up” Um, no, government recognition of marriage goes back the earliest bronze age city states.

    I’m sorry to hear your great grandparents were welfare bums prior to World War I. But I have to admit, that’s a pretty neat trick.

  23. Jeff:
    “after about 5000 years of cultural taboo, religious indoctrination and obvious biological imperatives.”

    You can’t be thinking of American culture, your timeline goes back at least an order of magnitude too far. That being said, what about Roman, Greek, and Spartan history, to name just a few examples?
    Homosexuality is far from a universal historical taboo.

    “Are we being unjust, for instance, in not granting Communists an equal say in government…”

    Huh? There is an active Communist party in America, and they put candidates up for many public positions. You are free to vote for them. 😉

    “I would submit that it is the place of the aggrieved minority to demonstrate the justice of their case…”
    The gays have, at least in Massachusetts.

    “In the case of blacks, three hundred years of chattel slavery, a four year national tragedy, the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent Jim Crow laws pretty much tipped the argument in their favor.”

    Huh? How did that “tip the argument” in their favor? It sounds more like an argument for your status quo. “There is 300 years of cultural taboo, religious indoctrination …”. White society didn’t suddenly rise up and say “my gosh, look at the 300 years of injustice we have perpetrated, we must amend our ways”. No, it had to be thrust in their face, over and over, by (as you mentioned) people such as MLK.

    Gay people may not have had (or have) their “Gay Martin Luther King”, although I don’t follow the issue closely enough to be certain. But I do know that there has been plenty of minor luminaries, as well as plenty of “martyrs”.

    I do know one thing, if George Bush II succeeds in embedding discrimination into the constitution, I’ll start looking for a country to immigrate to.

  24. TJ- You may have to, but I hope not.

    “Huh? How did that “tip the argument” in their favor?” I meant it is obvious to most people now that justice was on their side. It is not so obvious to the majority at the moment in the case of gays wanting civil marriage. It may come with time, assuming somebody can make a cogent enough case to change those hearts and minds. I simply don’t see that happening.

    joe- There was no welfare in Iowa at that time. It was root, hog or die, and many died. My great grandfolks’ folks came from northeast Germany and homesteaded three farm properties in western iowa. Bums, they were not.

  25. joe – I share your respect for Hellenic culture, but there are those who argue that sexual permissiveness, particularly the buggering of young boys as an accepted practice, led to the downfall of Greek society rather than being a hallmark of it. I don’t have an opinion on it myself.

  26. “My great grandfolks’ folks came from northeast Germany and homesteaded three farm properties in western iowa. Bums, they were not.”

    Then it was pretty assinine of you to assert that people only got the government to recognize their marriages with the coming of the welfare state.

    Ole!

  27. joe – That wasn’t what I asserted. I asserted that “It only became consequential with the advent of the welfare state when there was a taxpayer-provided pie to slice up” Which is why all the angst about marital benefits now. If it weren’t about money, gay folks would be DECLARING their marriages rather than asking permission to have them.

    Read carefully, my friend, and don’t count your ole’s before they are hatched.

  28. Why do you suppose your progenitors bothered to register their marriage with the government, rather than just “delcare” it? They must have considered it pretty consequential.

    Which, of course, it was. You might not like it, but “government recognition” of a marriage is, and has always been, part of “social recognition.” A black person in the antebellum South had no legal standing to object to the molestation of his wife by a white man, because black people’s marriages weren’t recognized. But hey, what does that matter?

    Oh, and if I were in your shoes, I would have ignored the question about the interracial couple in 1935, too.

  29. Jeff: the difference is that non-elected communists are allowed to form their party, send out newsletters (get watched by John Ashcroft 😉 just like the rest of us. But Democrats and Republicans win and the communists lose, or more realistically can’t even get the signatures to be put on the ballot to lose. Gay couples are asking to be married so that they can be king and queen over the rest of us; they just want to be married like the rest of us (at least I am already married).

    I think that a better analogy is maybe discrimination against Christians in other countries that one reads about (China? Saudi Arabia?). Again, clearly they have not made a popular enough impression to be embraced by these governments, but I think that we can agree that it is wrong to persecute them over beliefs, even if most Saudis and Chinese are unimpressed with Christianity.

  30. joe, you should have been here earlier. We were covering the contrasts between the black struggle for civil rights and the current foment over gay marriage. There just isn’t that one to one correspondence. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, or sharecroppers to interior decorators.

    Gays can vote. They are counted as entire people in the U.S. constitution. They can sit anywhere they want to on public transportation. They were never owned as chattel by straight people. They are free to marry outside their racial or ethnic group, they simply have to marry someone of the opposite gender.

    It isn’t a question of civil rights. It is a question that, currently, the definition of marriage used in civil affairs is a male and female. We can argue the historicity of that till we’re blue. Gays cannot marry one another according to most state civil law not because they are being discriminated against, but because the arrangement does not currently fit the standard definition of marriage. It would be like getting a driver’s license in order to open a business. They are non sequitur to one another.

    I am not advocating this point of view, merely stating it.

  31. Has anyone ever really, seriously believed that gay marriage will hurt heterosexual marriage?

  32. a ref – I think I agree, that is a better analogy. Religious behavior is chosen behavior, and yet it is sanctified in law, beginning with Constitutional law. Not so with homosexuality, for good or ill. It is not religious or political belief or behavior, but psycho-social and sexual. Most of our law was not set up to take that sort of demographic into account.

  33. ?There just isn’t that one to one correspondence. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, or sharecroppers to interior decorators. Gays can vote. They are counted as entire people in the U.S. constitution?.?

    I really don’t think this argument holds water. Gays don?t have to be discriminated against in the exact same ways as blacks in the 50?s for gay marriage to be a civil rights issue. Straights are given gov?t recognition for their relationships; gays aren?t. There?s a form of institutionalized discrimination going on here.

    ?It isn’t a question of civil rights. It is a question that, currently, the definition of marriage used in civil affairs is a male and female.?

    One could just as easily have argued, when there were laws against interracial marriage, that it wasn?t a question of civil rights but of the definition of marriage (that it could only be between people of the same race). How is this situation different? Two gay people are not given gov?t recognition for their relationship, while two straight people are, for reasons that the gov?t has no business being concerned with.

  34. True, the two struggles are not equivalent in every way. But it does not follow that they have nothing in common. Let me take your explanation, and demonstrate what they do have in common.

    They are free to marry outside their religious or linguistic, they simply have to marry someone of the same race. It isn’t a question of civil rights. It is a question that, currently, the definition of marriage used in civil affairs is people of the same race. We can argue the historicity of that till we’re blue. People of different races cannot marry one another according to most state civil law not because they are being discriminated against, but because the arrangement does not currently fit the standard definition of marriage.

    It is the “standard definition of marriage” that is discriminatory, just as it was 50 years ago.

  35. J – I agree, gov’t has no business being concerned with it, but since it IS, and government is subject to politics, and politics is 50-50 at best on this subject, probably more like 70-30 against, gays are going to have to do way better than they are doing in the hearts and minds department before they are successful. As I said, I think they, and we, are going about it the wrong way. Joe disagrees, as he LOVES government meddling in his personal life, apparently, and thinks they ought to meddle with everybody equally. I simply have a different take on the matter.

  36. No sir, but the article does point out one difference between the Euros and the U.S. Namely that most of the European countries that have green-lighted same sex “marriage” have done so under what U.S. lawmakers would term a “separate but equal” arrangement. My understanding is that this would not be constitutional under U.S. law. Nor would the more militant members of the movement accept, in my opinion, anything short of total victory. They are not interested in compromise, however beneficial to their cause that compromise may be.

  37. Damn, and I was hoping to get post #69 in this thread! 🙂

    Look, I don’t claim to know what all gays want, but I do have a pretty good notion of what all citizens deserve: Any 2 consenting adults (or more in Utah 🙂 should have the right to sign a contract to share property, power of attorney, etc. etc. etc. The emotional, spiritual, social, or other significance of this contract is a matter for the couple, their church, and their friends and family. The important point is that they’re consenting adults who should be able to enter into any consensual arrangements that they want.

    I really couldn’t care less whether the same-sex couple, when they go to the courthouse or city hall to sign the contract, sign a piece of paper that says “civil union” while the hetero couples sign a piece of paper that says “marriage.” What I care about is that all pairs (or larger groups in Utah 🙂 of consenting adults get the same legal rights.

    Of course, I would be the first to say that there is far more to marriage than legal rights. But that’s the only part that the gov’t has any real authority over. Of course, some people on both sides of the issue dispute that. To some opponents of gay marriage, even a “civil union” is a way of saying “We the people of [insert state name here] approve of your wicked lifestyle.” To some advocates of gay marriage, anything less than an identical piece of paper from the gov’t (regardless of the substance of the contract) is a way of saying “We the people of [insert state here] regard yours as a second-class relationship, and we’re rubbing it in your face.”

    Anyway, I don’t see this as a case of a minority trying to force the majority to change its institutions. I see this as a minority saying “Hey, we’re consenting adults who would like to sign some contracts with one another, now please let us do so.”

  38. joe – “It is the “standard definition of marriage” that is discriminatory, just as it was 50 years ago.”

    That may be so. It is one of your more logical arguments, seems to me. But discrimination isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Do we not discriminate, that is, make choices and judgements about, people when found guilty of a crime and sent to prison? If we did not discriminate, then we would love and trust all people equally regardless of character, trustworthiness, etc.Discrimination in and of itself is not a bad thing. By discrimination, we set acceptable and unacceptable standards. For good or ill, homosexual union is simply not generally accepted as an acceptable standard. You are correct to say that is a case of discrimination. But the case that that is unjust discriminatoin rising to the level of civil rights has not been made.

    When I talked about MLK before, what I meant to say was that, in my opinion, due to his constant willingness to state the case, he prepared hearts and minds in such a way that nonviolent protest would be seen as just and fit by a growing percentage of Americans. He laid the groundwork, in other words. There was no one to do that after the Civil War, and so, despite Emancipation, blacks were seen as second class citizens at best for the next 100 years.

    It could be said that television is now filling the MLK role with increasingly positive, or at least harmlessly amusing, portrayals of gay people. They tend to be pastiche and stereotyped, much like minstril shows and “Amos and Andy” style radio were, but at least they are getting some air play. It would help if there were at least one strong, logical, sympathetic voice for gays rather than dozens of strident, shrill ones.

    “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” doesn’t quite stand up against “I have a dream…”

  39. ?gov’t has no business being concerned with it, but since it IS, and government is subject to politics, and politics is 50-50 at best on this subject, probably more like 70-30 against, gays are going to have to do way better than they are doing in the hearts and minds department before they are successful.?

    But there were certainly some unpopular (at least regionally) decisions made by the federal government during the most contentious years of the civil rights movement. I?m sure you?re well aware of the protests, blockades, intimidation, kidnapping, and murder that accompanied federal gov?t enforcement of civil rights laws in the South. If this really is a civil rights issue (as I obviously think it is), I think popularity is a very poor way to determine law. From a practical standpoint, you may very well be right that this wasn?t a good way to make gay marriage an issue; from a good gov?t standpoint, it shouldn?t be the job of gays to make people like them before they can get married.

    ?Joe disagrees, as he LOVES government meddling in his personal life, apparently, and thinks they ought to meddle with everybody equally.?

    From what I gather, joe and I are more or less in agreement on this issue. But he?s more qualified to respond regarding how much gov?t meddling he wants, and I?m sure he will.

  40. thoreau –

    Excellent points. I take issue with one, though:

    “”Hey, we’re consenting adults who would like to sign some contracts with one another, now please let us do so.” That would be compelling if there weren’t *other people’s money* involved. That’s what I meant earlier when I stated that this question of state sanction wasn’t crucial until so-called “entitlement” programs and employer regulations became commonplace.

    Currently, when a Social Security recipient dies, and there is no legal spouse or heir, those monies are no longer paid out. They remain in the fund and are presumeably used elsewhere, to pay other recipients, for example. There is a huge fiscal, tax and monetary consequence to expanding the definitions of legal marriage, or to extending marital benefits to nonmarried persons. Right of survivorship is a huge issue, the effects of which will have consequences for those other than just those newly enjoying recognition.

  41. Of course the same consequences would ensue if the rate of straight marriage took a sudden jump, which conservatives would love, but then again, they are not fond of social welfare programs in the first place, either.

  42. Jeff-

    In regard to other people’s money being involved, if somebody signs a contract saying “I’ll pay survivor benefits to whatever individual you designate”, I don’t have much sympathy if the payer says “Whoa, I didn’t realize you might designate a gay person.”

    Of course, some of the money involved is not the result of an open-ended but voluntary contracts. Rather, it’s the result of legislated benefits. I think most libertarians would agree that, as a matter of principle, benefits shouldn’t be legislated for anybody. But, as long as they do exist, I hardly think that gay marriage is going to add significantly to the burden. We’re talking about a tiny percentage of the population here.

    Of course, what to do about the person who has no objection to paying legislated benefits for heterosexual spouses but balks at homosexual spouses? Well, I don’t know what to say there. But I’m not going to say to gays “Sorry, but your right to enter into a voluntary contract to share property, power of attorney, etc. is put on hold until we get heterosexuals to relinquish all of the legislated benefits that some people want to deny to you.”

  43. “I’m surprised by your question. You’re a libertarian, right? You’re aware that most of your fellow libertarians (and many conservatives like Goldwater) opposed the Civil Rights Act, opposed the Brown decision, and other civil rights laws. ”

    As a libertarian, I believe in the rights of the individual and the equal application of these rights to all people regardless of arbitrary factors such as race or gender.

    As much as I oppose some of the more extreme notions of the civil rights movement (i.e. affirmative action, reparations etc), I agree with the basic tenants that all people should be free of discrimination on the basis of skin color, genitalia, etc..

    Sadly, the LP platform says that anti-discrimination laws should go. However, who ever said I agreed with the LP’s interpretations of libertarian philosophy?

    “To answer your question, do a little homework on your own party’s philosophy and history. You’ll get it.”

    First of all, I may be a libertarian, but I’m not a Libertarian Party member. However, a quick search of their WWW sites reveals that the LP backs the notion of gay marriage. So I’ve done the homework.

    As long as marriage remains a publicly licensed and sanctioned institution, it must be applied equally to all consenting adults as long as there is no fraud or coercion involved. Does that mean allowing marriage between family members? Sure, I’ll accept that. Polygamy? Fine by me. If you don’t want the state to recognize a gay marriage, the only option left is for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely.

    Religions, of course, can deny these marriage if they wish. However, since religions can and do change over time it is not inconceivable that a certain faith could change it’s mind on the issue. There is also the possibility that new faiths could allow such unions. In either case, preventing them would be a clear violation of freedom or religion.

    “As for Gary Gunnels, he apparently believes that repeating the same statement over and over again (Kurtz is a bigot! Kurtz is a bigot!)somehow makes it true. ”

    I’ll tell you what makes it true: You can not deny an individual their rights and then claim it was not done out of hate. The act is malicious in and of itself no matter what superstitious religious nonsense you blather. As long as no one’s life, liberty, or property is being harmed, there should be no reason to ever deny a human the ability of love or associate with whom they choose. So spare me the bullshit about how you oppose gay marriage and not hate gays. I’m not buying it.

  44. thoreau – Again, good points. My point was that there is a logical and practical point of resistance to expanding the legal definition of marriage as well as legal/moral ones. I agree that the whole thing OUGHT to be moot, but sadly, it isn’t.

    Mark S. – “So spare me the bullshit about how you oppose gay marriage and not hate gays. I’m not buying it.”

    I am inclined to agree with the poster who says this attitude is a case of doing exactly what you desipise in others, that is, discriminating and assuming moral turpitude on the part of those with whom you disagree. I don’t hate gays. Hate is like drinking poison and expecting somebody else to die. I try not to engage in anything so self destructive, selfish bastard that I am.

    Nevertheless I am not convinced about gay marriage. I am here precisely to discuss the matter and hopefully gain some insight. thoreau has been helpful in that regard, as has J. I have to say all you and Joe have done in the main is to throw oil into the fire.

    Where’s Frank the Flamethrower? Somebody’s doing his job.

  45. Captain,

    That was Andrew’s argument.

  46. And why exactly are we for government defined and sanctioned marriage?

  47. D Anghelone: We aren’t.

  48. D Anghelon,

    Andrew argued that without it all of civilization would collapse; and that this was the best way to serve the “needs of the state.”

  49. “Parenthood within marriage is still the norm?most cohabitating couples marry after they start having children. In Sweden, for instance, 70 percent of cohabiters wed after their first child is born.”

    It has always been thus. In Norse culture, marriages were not considered consumated until a child was born. In some cases, a ceremony wouldn’t be held until the wife had given birth.

    Kurtz: dishonest or ignorant?

  50. joe,

    I know so many Swedes who had children and then got married five, six, seven, etc. years after they had their first child.

  51. Kurtz and others assert that gay marriage will somehow damage the institution of heterosexual marriage. They may even trot out statistics about European countries to suport their case. The one thing they never do, though – at least as far as I can tell – is explain exactly HOW gay marriage adversely effects hetero marriage. Even if Kurtz’s interpretation of the data was correct, no one has established any sort of causative link between gay marriage and the decline of hetero marriage. Until such a link can be identified and confrimed, all “evidence” is merely circumstantial at best, coincidental at worst and it “proves” nothing.

  52. If any of you can be bothered, here is Kurtz’s initial response to the Slate articles.

  53. Eric,

    More obfusaction and confabulation on his part. I’m personally sick of bigots like Kurtz trying to hide their pre-modern prejudices with social science jargon.

  54. Gary,
    I’m sick of people demonizing those who disagree with them by resorting to juvenile name-calling.

  55. Eric,

    I call a racist a racist; I call a bigot a bigot.

    Here’s an example of you and your ilk:

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/05/20/nc.logcabin/index.html

    (CNN) — Gay Republicans in North Carolina said state party officials told them their group isn’t welcome at a convention this weekend because “homosexuality is not normal” and their agenda is “counterproductive to the Republican agenda.”

    Bill Peaslee, a spokesman for the state GOP, said its leaders rescinded their offer to grant the Log Cabin Republicans a table at the convention because “in our opinion, they’re not really a Republican organization. Their political agenda is different than our political agenda.”

    “While they call themselves loyal Republicans, they spend more time and more resources pointing out what’s wrong with the party than what’s right,” Peaslee added. “They’re attacking Republicans. We’re in the business of electing Republicans. They’re not loyal.”

    Ed Farthing, the Log Cabin organizer in North Carolina, said he had purchased a table at the party’s convention on behalf of the group in April. The party accepted the money and issued a table, he said.

    On Tuesday, Chairman Ferrell Blount reversed course, returning the money and informing Farthing that “the North Carolina Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans do not seem to share the same agenda.”

    “Your group will not have a table at our convention as this would seem counterproductive to the Republican Party’s agenda,” Blount wrote, according to Farthing.

    In a written statement, Farthing said, “Chairman Blount’s actions are an affront to fair-minded Republicans across the state of North Carolina. To flip-flop and refuse to allow loyal Republicans a seat at their own convention is petty and short-sighted.”

    Farthing drew support from his group’s national leaders.

    “Log Cabin Republicans believe that at a time when our country is at war, we ought to be bringing Republicans together, not dividing them, and certainly not excluding them from their own state convention,” said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans.

    A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee declined to wade into the squabble.

    “Each of the state parties run their own conventions, so decisions about state party conventions are made by state parties,” said RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson.

    “The Log Cabin Republicans and the College Republicans are not formally affiliated with the Republican National Committee. They say they’re Republicans, so I assume they are, but they have always been separate and distinct groups.”

    The North Carolina Republicans’ platform states that homosexuality “is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle either in public education or in public policy.”

    The platform says that state Republicans oppose gay marriage, tax benefits for unmarried partners and “special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity.”

    “We also stand united with private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, who defend moral decency and freedom according to their own long-held and well-established traditions and beliefs,” the platform reads.

    The state party plans to amend parts of its platform at this weekend’s convention.

    But Peaslee said he did not expect party leaders to change the section on homosexuality.

  56. You know a good way to test Kurtz’s theory is to calculate the number of 2 year old, only children with unwed parents. Though, it still wouldn’t mean that this is because of gay marriage. I am a firm believer that gay marriage does not weaken marriage, but that as marriage is weakened (less permanent) and associated less with procreation the justifications for preventing homosexuals from getting married get weaker.

  57. Eric,

    It should be noted that Ghandi had to turn down the post of PM in India because the opposition were such nativist scum that they couldn’t abide a “foreigner” being in the office. That clearly deflates all of your earlier arguments.

  58. Gary,
    My point is that you don’t know squat about Kurtz other than he opposes gay marriage. If you think that makes one a bigot, that’s your problem for your own failure of imagination. It is possible, believe it or not, for one to oppose gay marriage and not hate gay poeple. You may not be able to fathom that basic concept, so instead you throw out the name-calling.

    I have an idea. Respond to Kurtz with reasoned, substantive, and serious arguments. Name-calling doesn’t cut it.

  59. Eric,

    It doesn’t take imagination to know the truth. Kurtz is a bigot. Just as people who oppose “interracial” marraiges are bigots.

  60. Fred & Gary,

    The Scandinavian nations are good examples for laissez-faire marriage?

  61. “Has anyone ever really, seriously believed that gay marriage will hurt heterosexual marriage?”

    As far as I can tell, the argument from Kurtz and his ilk seems to be that individual marriages won’t necessarily be damaged, but the institution as a whole will be damaged, and then they trail off into a cloud of “cheapening” and “sanctity” and such. It’s the socialization of marriage. In other words, they’ll pay lip service to liberty and rugged individualism with regard to other subjects, but when it comes to marriage, I guess we’re all in it together or something.

  62. D Anghelone,

    I would say they are a good illustration of why marraige is not a pre-requisite for a happy family life. Marraige is a social institution created by humans; as such humans can mold and change it as they will. Now the religious twits assume that it comes from “Gawwwwwwwwwddddd!!,” and you can see if that if that is your pre-supposition vis a vis the nature of marraige, how the religious wouldn’t think changing it is a good idea. Of course the fact is that marraige has changed in innumerable ways over human history, and there is no particular reason why marraige as extended to homosexuals won’t work, nor is there any evidence whatsoever of harm from gay marraige.

  63. Yes, they make the evasive 2-step “Well, it won’t actually harm any marriages, but it will cheapen marriage. And cheapening this precious social institution will destroy society.” Only they never make it clear how this particular type of cheapening will destroy society.

    We’re now on day 5 of gays getting married in Massachussettes. My wife and I remain 100% heterosexual and deeply committed to one another. If any cracks do appear in the foundation in the future I will of course cast the requisite blame on gays, because that would be so much easier than examining how we have acted toward one another.

  64. “It is possible, believe it or not, for one to oppose gay marriage and not hate gay poeple.”

    Errrrrr… how? It’s like saying that you don’t hate blacks but are opposed to civil rights.

  65. Mark S.,

    His remarks remind me of those of my grandfather complaining of blacks not “staying in their place.”

  66. Mark S. – “t’s like saying that you don’t hate blacks but are opposed to civil rights.”

    I’m not sure that’s true. A lot hinges on whether or not you believe homosexuality is primarily nature or nurture. Many blacks don’t equate the struggle for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights for blacks because they sincerely believe that “gayness” is learned or chosen behavior while “blackness” is not. Without good data either way, it’s hard to make a cogent argument one way or the other.

    To be clear, I’m not against gay people marrying one another. I’m not wild about the concept, probably because of my upbringing, which is hard to shake off, but I’m not particularly against it either.

    Either way I’m not sure it rises to the level of a civil rights issue because gay people are perfectly free to marry now – they just have to pick a partner of the opposite gender. Plus, although I find them obnoxious, religious people have a perfect right to express their views that expressions of homosexuality is a sin. I don’t agree with them, either, but they have the right to express that point of view, and to do what they can to have those views expressed in law.

  67. Mark S.
    “Errrrrr… how? It’s like saying that you don’t hate blacks but are opposed to civil rights.”

    I’m surprised by your question. You’re a libertarian, right? You’re aware that most of your fellow libertarians (and many conservatives like Goldwater) opposed the Civil Rights Act, opposed the Brown decision, and other civil rights laws.

    To answer your question, do a little homework on your own party’s philosophy and history. You’ll get it.

    As for Gary Gunnels, he apparently believes that repeating the same statment over and over again (Kurtz is a bigot! Kurtz is a bigot!)somehow makes it true.

    And I love this: “Kurtz is a bigot. Just as people who oppose “interracial” marraiges are bigots.” So, because racists 50 years ago opposed interracial marraiges, Kurtz is a bigot! There’s a logical fallacy lurking around there somewhere.

  68. Ugh, what an incoherent post. Anybody not get my point there?

  69. I got your point: it’s not bigotry if its targetted against people who chose to be part of the out group.

    For example, it’s not antisemitic to believe that Jewish converts are greedy, clannish, and conspiratorial, but it is antisemitic to believe that those born into the faith have those attributes.

  70. Jeff Clothier,

    “Without good data either way, it’s hard to make a cogent argument one way or the other.”

    In don’t think it matters whether it is genetics or a “choice.”

    “Either way I’m not sure it rises to the level of a civil rights issue because gay people are perfectly free to marry now – they just have to pick a partner of the opposite gender.”

    In other words they have violate the core things about their beings in order to avail themselves of the benefits of some social goods (in terms of Jim Crow this is equivalent to “passing”).

    “…religious people have a perfect right to express their views that expressions of homosexuality is a sin.”

    Sure they do; just like Bush and Eric’s friends at Bob Jones University can express their view that interracial marraige is a “sin.” No one is saying they can’t drone on and on about their stupid, bigoted and pre-modern attitudes.

    “…to do what they can to have those views expressed in law.”

    And so does David Duke? So what?

  71. Eric,

    “So, because racists 50 years ago opposed interracial marraiges, Kurtz is a bigot! There’s a logical fallacy lurking around there somewhere.”

    No, that’s not my line of argument at all, and you know it, you lying sack of shit. I am saying they are the same type of bigotry; they are the same damn thing. We always drag you neanderthals towards liberty and freedom and away from bigotry; I’m not quite sure why.

    BTW, why would a libertarian oppose Brown? I can see why they would oppose the Civil Rights Acts (as they apply to public accomadations at least that are not provided by the government). But really, come one – defending state-based discrimination, that flies in the face of several provision of the 14th Amendment? Indeed, taxing people, that is blacks, and then siphoning those funds and applying the majority of them to white schools? Only scum like yourself would defend such.

  72. joe,

    Good one. 🙂

  73. Item of possible interest: Harvard has just announced that it will recognize same-sex marriages for benefits purposes.

  74. Eric and Storm Thurmond probably got along well.

  75. Okay, fellas, I’ll play, but let’s play nice. A little less indignation, please, we’re just discussing.

    “I don’t think it matters whether it is genetics or a “choice.””

    The first three words here are key. Your opinion only. Where’s your data? That’s my point. If it is merely behavioral, then we have another problem. Instead of homosexuals, let’s say it’s “masturbators.” Everybody is part of that “out” group, aren’t they? What if the “masturbation community” came out for civil rights not only for those who masturbate in private with the lights off, but also for those who want to do so in public with positive social sanction and supported by force of law?

    You might be tempted to say that “civil rights for masturbators” is ridiculous. I would agree. There are many who maintain that homosexuality is a behavioral fetish no more sanctified, dignified or worthy of praise than chronic masturbation, addiction to pornography or pedophilia, AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT. Again, we have very little data one way or other. The jury is still out and the debate rages on.

    I am pretty neutral on the subject myself, but I do tend to get irritated by those all up in my face about “civil rights” for those who practice some alternative sexual ethic.

    “Core of their being?” Anybody whose entire being is centered on their sexuality, it seems to me (opinion) hasn’t grown up yet, like a fifteen year old boy who can’t keep his hand off his peepee. There is more to life.

  76. Eric,

    Stop being a bigot.

  77. Eric,

    I really want you to justify and demonstrate why ending government-mandated discrimination based on race in American public schools is anti-libertarian.

  78. “Has anyone ever really, seriously believed that gay marriage will hurt heterosexual marriage?”

    As a talk show host, I can assure you they’re out there.

  79. Jeff Clothier,

    Quit being so PC about bigotry.

    “The first three words here are key. Your opinion only. Where’s your data? That’s my point.”

    The data exists in the lives of the people who are gay; as I said, it doesn’t matter whether its genetic or not (though the notion that it doesn’t have some basis in genetics is about as anti-scientific as one can get).

    “Instead of homosexuals, let’s say it’s ‘masturbators.’ Everybody is part of that ‘out’ group, aren’t they? What if the ‘masturbation community’ came out for civil rights not only for those who masturbate in private with the lights off, but also for those who want to do so in public with positive social sanction and supported by force of law?”

    Oh that’s such a pathetic attempt to poison the well. Public sex is banned across the board; no group is left out or in. However in the case of gay marraige, certain individuals are banned from the public benefits offered to others solely on the basis of age-old bigotry.

    “‘Core of their being?'” Anybody whose entire being is centered on their sexuality, it seems to me (opinion) hasn’t grown up yet, like a fifteen year old boy who can’t keep his hand off his peepee. There is more to life.”

    You make the rather stupid assumption that sexuality = sex (how typical). They aren’t the same things.

  80. Jeff Clothier,

    BTW, if every group of discriminated persons in America (or anywhere else) had taken your “Uncle Tom” attitude, I can say with certitude they would still be under the heel of those discriminated against them. There is a basic choice here: you either fight putrid scum like Eric and Kurtz, or you suffer under their prejudices. The former position has worked wonderfully in America regarding gay civil rights; accordingly we’ve seen vast improvements since the 1960s – this is no time to stop.

    On a final note, its easy for an individual like yourself to tell an oppressed group to “bide their time.” It costs you nothing, and you can posture some false moral highground in the process. Well, to quote Bush, you are either with us or against us – my suggestion is that you make your choice – freedom for gay people, or tyranny. As a point of interest it should be noted that the former does not require the degradation, oppression, etc. of anyone’s liberty; the latter does.

  81. I simply think its an excellent cover for many; much as “States’ Rights” was an excellent cover for racism.

    I agree 100%. My point in the post is that I view legislated benefits as a separate issue. One might oppose legisation that regulates health insurance, but that shouldn’t get in the way of letting any 2 consenting adults (or more in Utah 🙂 enter into voluntary contracts to share property, power of attorney, etc. It makes no sense whatsoever to say to gays “Well, we will let you enjoy this fundamental right, but only after we’ve eliminated some of the kinks that meddling legislators inserted. And if that requires waiting until hell freezes over, well, sorry.”

    What interests me about self-described libertarians is that they’re perfectly willing to let all sorts of other issues get in the way of individual liberty if the group in question is unpopular with the right wing in this country.

  82. Nice discussion on “gay marriage.” Now let’s look at civil unions, a “compromise” measure that is at least as likely as “gay marriage” to take root in this country. Let’s consider some of the possible consequences of government-recognized “civil unions” between two people of the same sex.

    To discuss these possible consequences, let me invoke the following quotations, and you guess who it is that I’m quoting:

    “. . . The great irony is that civil unions aren’t actually a moderate choice. On the contrary, they have far more radical implications than gay marriage.

    “Consider France, which allows gay people to apply for something called a civil solidarity pact. Because this option isn’t limited to same-sex couples, it has caught on like wildfire, and as many as half of those who register are straight. (One reason? The pact can be dissolved by either party on three months’ notice.) Other European nations have embraced similar arrangements in recognition that many heterosexuals prefer a less binding commitment than marriage. . . .

    “. . . -Rest assured that once civil unions become commonplace, he[erosexual]s will demand to be included-and they ought to be.”

    “Gay Marriage” won’t hurt heterosexual marriage, this guy suggests, but “civil unions” will.

    What bigot uttered these words? Was it, perhaps, Pat Robertson? David Duke? Louis Farrakhan? An aging Nazi?

    No, it was Richard Goldstein, writing in *The Advocate,* a leading gay paper (see “Civil Unions: The Radical Choice,” February 3, 2004, http://www.advocate.com/html/stories/907/907_goldstein.asp).

  83. The article from The Advocate is interesting, but it is also premised upon the assumption that civil unions will be a failure from the start. That is, the situation described in France is one in which the legal commitment of a civil union is very different from that of marriage. The civil union solution can only work as a measure of equality if it has the same legal effect as marriage.

    Also, there is an interesting legal distinction between the Vermont ruling that led to civil unions in that state and the ruling in Massachusetts that led to legal same-sex marriage. For an explanation, see the following article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/02/06/findlaw.analysis.grossman.mass.ruling/

    Regardless of whether civil unions or full marriage equality is the answer, neither would be federally recognized under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If DOMA is simply repealed, then true equality before the law can only exist if states allow for same-sex marriage. Otherwise, federal law could possibly be modified to recognize civil unions or other arrangements that states create and provide that the federal benefits resulting therefrom shall be the same as what married couples enjoy.

    You may argue that by bringing the federal government into this, it is only becoming a matter of trying to extort the welfare state. This is not true, as gay couples receive no recognition under immigration law, whereas a non-resident alien spouse of a U.S. citizen can receive a Green Card relatively easily.

  84. Torquemada,

    He suggests no such thing; that’s your particular spin on his statements.

    Furthermore, the Pactes are under fire now; and the gay marraige debate has been entered into once again in France.

  85. Gary G. –

    “On a final note, its easy for an individual like yourself to tell an oppressed group to “bide their time.” It costs you nothing, and you can posture some false moral highground in the process. Well, to quote Bush, you are either with us or against us – my suggestion is that you make your choice – freedom for gay people, or tyranny.”

    Yada yada yada – Man I have tried to be civil, but your over-infalted rhetoric makes it damn near impossible. Let me make this clear as I can to you – I don’t give a royal rat’s ass if a couple of fellas wanna get married. Gals either, for that matter. But it does seem to me (opinion) that linking that desire to the black struggle of the fifties and sixties and since only seems like hyperbole, particularly with as tiny a minority as many here have admitted the homosexual community to be. It adds to the cartoonish image and prancing self-importance many gay activists and their politically correct straight supporters seem to display, and diminishes the accomplishments of the black civil rights movement. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Many black leaders have disavowed a connection between their experience and that of homosexuals.

    It is not the idea of the deviants down the street getting a marriage license and all the benefits attached that bugs me. I don’t think they should even HAVE to get government permission to wed, nor should anyone else. To that extent, I am in your corner.

    What bugs me is the flag-waving, “We Shall Overcome” language being used. It is certainly a question of fairness, perhaps even justice, but civil rights? Please…

  86. D –

    “You may argue that by bringing the federal government into this, it is only becoming a matter of trying to extort the welfare state. This is not true, as gay couples receive no recognition under immigration law, whereas a non-resident alien spouse of a U.S. citizen can receive a Green Card relatively easily.”

    Good points, but the issues of survivorship, taxation of benefits and other such priviledges which are only truly crucial in light of the way Social Security, Medicare and other social welfare programs operate are at the forefront of the argument for recognizing gay marriages. I venture to say a commitment ceremony or a church wedding would be more than adequate for many gay, and straight couples, for that matter, were money not an issue. Particularly, other people’s money.

  87. Jeff Clothier,

    “I am inclined to agree with the poster who says this attitude is a case of doing exactly what you desipise in others…”

    Oh spare me. Please. Conservative Christians can on a daily basis malign, abuse, physically assault (and it happens all the damn time) and even kill homosexuals for being homosexuals, yet somehow it is the gay person’s job to “turn the other cheek.” Fuck that! Do you realize how many gay people I know who have been physically assaulted and the cops didn’t do shit about it? Sat there and watched it happened? In Auburn, Alabama, where I went to graduate school, the local gay and lesbian school group had to go to the 11th circuit to get school funding for their campus organization that was open to every other group imaginable (and this was in the mid-90s)! Fuck you and your fucking “roll over and die” attitude.

    If you want to live as a second-class citizen, fine; I sure as hell won’t. I sure as hell fucking won’t put up with scumbags like Kurtz whose goal in life is to keep an entire class of citizens marginalized based on irrational prejudice.

    The sad part of this of course is that I would never do to religious conservatives what they attempt to do gay people; deny them liberty, criminalize their behavior, etc. I’ve always known that while I would defend their liberty, they’d have me on the scaffold or in some re-education camp.

    To be blunt, your attitude sickens me.

  88. thoreau,

    “I think most libertarians would agree that, as a matter of principle, benefits shouldn’t be legislated for anybody.”

    I simply think its an excellent cover for many; much as “States’ Rights” was an excellent cover for racism.

  89. Actually, I take back some of what I just wrote.

    Leftists would settle on the notion that ALL victims (or at least all victims in their coalition) are equally worthy of a handout. Libertarians, however, would be more likely to prioritize. Not because we’re pragmatists (God no!), but because so many big government boondoggles are related to victim status.

    Unless, of course, the complaint is related to whatever our pet issue might be 🙂 In that case, even the tiniest infringement is proof of the coming dictatorship. And I’m just as guilty as any! 🙂

  90. Jeff Clothier,

    “…Man I have tried to be civil, but your over-infalted rhetoric makes it damn near impossible.”

    I’ve been nothing but civil to you.

    “Let me make this clear as I can to you – I don’t give a royal rat’s ass if a couple of fellas wanna get married. Gals either, for that matter.”

    Given your willingness to engage in this discussion that statement seems less than credible.

    “But it does seem to me (opinion) that linking that desire to the black struggle of the fifties and sixties and since only seems like hyperbole…”

    Why? Because the rights of one class of individuals are not as important as another class of individuals? The basis of your entire argument is your personal hierarchy of who deserves rights more – and to be blunt, that personal hierarchy is likely based directly on your own stupid prejudices – prejudices which you even admit to. If you don’t like me being in your face about this, then my suggestion is that you shut up. Because I won’t shut up; I won’t be smothered; I won’t be mollified.

    “…particularly with as tiny a minority as many here have admitted the homosexual community to be.”

    What does size of the minority have to do with anything? This is a distinction without substance. Are you arguing that small religious group, for example, or a small ethnic group, can be openly discriminated against by the Government? Simply because of their size. Please, re-assess this rather stupid statement of yours.

    “It adds to the cartoonish image and prancing self-importance many gay activists and their politically correct straight supporters seem to display, and diminishes the accomplishments of the black civil rights movement.”

    That’s right, because faggots, we ought to just stay in the closet. Fuck you. Again, the only reason you could argue this is some feeling on your part that our struggle is either meaningless or simply not important. Sorry, but our struggle is important and if you don’t like that fact, then you can kiss off.

    “I’m not the only one who thinks so. Many black leaders have disavowed a connection between their experience and that of homosexuals.”

    So what? That’s beside the point. Its long been known that the oppressed or the formerly oppressed have no problem oppressing other people or denying others rights that they have. Indeed, America has a long history of this – for example Irish-Americans and their attitudes towards blacks.

    “What bugs me is the flag-waving, ‘We Shall Overcome’ language being used. It is certainly a question of fairness, perhaps even justice, but civil rights? Please…”

    You haven’t demonstrated why it isn’t a civil rights issue at all; all you’ve done is try to repeat over and over again that the issue is not important. Well, to the individuals who want these rights (and its more than simply marraige we’ve been fighting for – decriminalization has been paramount of course, as well as the right to organize groups in schools, etc.) it certainly is; and we see it as a Civil Right – and in my opinion that’s all that counts. I certainly don’t think gay people should have to play the martyr to your Victorian sensibilities about sexuality – or that of any other person. And essentially that’s what you want – you want us to stay in the closet, shut up, and otherwise not offend your delicate sensibilities. *wah* *wah* *chuckle*

  91. Jeff Clothier,

    “Good points, but the issues of survivorship, taxation of benefits and other such priviledges which are only truly crucial in light of the way Social Security, Medicare and other social welfare programs operate are at the forefront of the argument for recognizing gay marriages.”

    Bullshit; survivorship deals with all sorts of issues wholly unrelated to any government monetary benefit – be it visitation rights, honoring testamentary devices, custody issues vis-a-vis children, citizenship issues, etc. These are the things that concern every gay couple I’ve ever met when it comes to marraige. Well, that and they simply want to get married; which has its own emotional component to it that is difficult to describe or quantify.

    “I venture to say a commitment ceremony or a church wedding would be more than adequate for many gay, and straight couples, for that matter, were money not an issue. Particularly, other people’s money.”

    Most people don’t get married because of some future SS check they might receive from the government. Your attempt to make this into some sort of issue of venality is most telling.

  92. Gary,

    “You haven’t demonstrated why it isn’t a civil rights issue at all; all you’ve done is try to repeat over and over again that the issue is not important. ”

    It is typically not expected, logical nor often even possible for one to prove a negative. The affirmative case is the one that must be proven, and the only case you have made for why this rises to the level of a civil rights matter basically boils down to “We want what we want when we want it, which is now,” the logic of a twelve-year-old who can’t get his mom to buy him a GameBoy.

    “Most people don’t get married because of some future SS check they might receive from the government. ”

    True enough, but it sure figures prominently in the “We want the same “rights” as straight people” argument because it is chiefly those benefits which are lacking in homosexual relationships, as they are in nonmarried heterosexual relationships in most states.

    Let me offer a concrete suggestion: If you wanted to form a coalition, you might try aligning with single heteros and nonmarried hetero domestic partners wishing to end artificial advantages aimed at married people, particularly parents. If it is equity you want, let every American play on the same level field with the same set of advantages and benefits regardless of their marital status.

    This way no one has to subsidize anyone else’s particular lifestyle choices.

  93. Jeff-

    I won’t defend all of our country’s marriage policies, or the multitude of economic regulations, subsidies, tax code provisions, etc. that put the gov’t in at least an indirect role in so many activities.

    But many legal aspects of marriage that would still exist even in a perfect libertarian state. People would still be signing contracts to share property and power of attorney and whatnot.

    And I won’t say to consenting adults who want that right “Sorry, but your right to sign such contracts has to be put on hold until other anti-libertarian legal aspects of marriage are modified. But once hell freezes over you better believe your right to marry will be protected!”

  94. thoreau –

    I think our friend Gary would argue that the right to “enter into contracts” is not the aim here. If he does, then he is contradicting himself. Nevertheless, most of the legal benefits of marriage – those that don’t concern themselves with entitlement benefits or other third-party monies – can be accomplished by other means. One can write a will such that a domestic partner of either gender can inherit, for example, and, if I am not mistaken, enheritance taxes don’t ensue for such a bequest until it reaches something in the neighborhood of a million-five.

    One can assign power of attorney to anyone he or she chooses in some states, and make it contingent upon death or incapacitation.

    In short, what Gary and company want is

    A. The government to wave a magic wand over their union,
    B. The force of that magic-wand-waving to instantly grant acceptance by the majority community that their arrangement meets social/sexual/moral norms, and
    C. Access to provisons that government entitlement programs grant the spouses of recipients in normal marriages.

    Again, in the interest of equity and equality before the law, I don’t have too much problem with A. and C., but I do think B. is a stretch. Being in a behavioral minority has its price – a price legislation often cannot mitigate. Robert Heinlein put it something like: If you live somewhere where everyone rubs blue mud in their navel, it’s safer to rub blue mud in your navel yourself”

    That’s why I think that the “hearts and minds” process is more important for these folks right now than the “gimme my slice of the pie” process. Fact is, they are making progress on both, but stridency on the part of folks like Gary doesn’t help.

  95. “Oh spare me. Please. Conservative Christians can on a daily basis malign, abuse, physically assault (and it happens all the damn time) and even kill homosexuals for being homosexuals, yet somehow it is the gay person’s job to ‘turn the other cheek.'” So writes Gary Gunnels.

    By now it’s clear that Gunnels is trying to push a hatred-filled stereotype; there’s little point in trying to argue with such people. I have little use for Christianity or for political conservatism, but someone who tries to convince us that they’re a gang of literal thugs and killers has jumped off the deep end.

  96. Jeff-

    Your biggest objection, at least according to the previous post, is that gays are demanding societal approval via gov’t fiat rather than winning hearts and minds. Well, what if gays were issued “civil union” licenses with every legal benefit/right/etc. of heterosexual marriage except for the word “marriage” on the piece of paper from the gov’t?

    Undoubtedly some gays would object. My question is, would you object?

  97. thoreau – No, actually, I wouldn’t. Especially provided that civil unions are available to other couples regardless of gender preference.

    What I have a problem with is the idea of a group that defines itself solely by behavior rather than ethnicity or creed signing up for victim status and demanding special consideration on the basis of that behavior. There is simply no end to that sort of thing. Pedophiles (yes, I know there’s no connection) could do the same thing. In fact, they do, which is why NAMBLA exists.

    My ancestors were Mormons. They tried for acceptance with the majority community in terms of their marital practices and were rejected. Instead of pushing the issue to unreasonable extremes, they assimilated, for the most part. Polygamy is no longer part of the Mormon creed, and is illegal. I would have a hard time convincing the rest of American society that I should be allowed to marry half a dozen young ladies, some possibly VERY young, and have that arrangement sanctioned by government and by society. Is that society’s problem, or mine?

  98. Jeff-

    Fair enough. But as far as societal approval, the gov’t sanctions all sorts of contracts that wouldn’t necessarily get societal approval. For instance, one could sign a contract with a gay porn magazine whereby the subscriber agrees to provide money and the publisher agrees to provide a monthly supply of gay porn. The courts would enforce that contract should either party not keep its end of the deal, but nobody would extrapolate from gov’t recognition of a contract to broader societal approval.

  99. Thoreau,

    Okay, but I think you’re wandering rather far afield. If enforced acceptance wasn’t what these folks wanted, and if they were entirely disinterested in entitlement benefits, then wouldn’t a commitment ceremony or a church wedding from some friendly denomination be sufficient?

  100. I suppose one could make a case that blacks were, by law, denied a much broader scope of rights than gays are, by law, denied. (We’ll leave aside issues of what scope of private sector discrimination each group faces/has faced because it’s a much wider issue, and because most people here would argue, however rightly or wrongly, that the private sector raises a whole different set of questions.)

    Now yes, I know, marriage is a pretty darn fundamental right. And yes, I know, the legal benefits of marriage touch on a wide variety of issues. I’m in no way convinced that gay marriage is a narrower issue than Jim Crow, but I’m in no way convinced that it’s just as broad an issue either.

    And I’m not really interested in the question because it would involve a game of “Who’s the bigger victim?” That game is best played by leftists, and it’s funny to hear people on this forum start in with “this is nothing compared to what blacks have faced!” because there aren’t many leftists on this forum. We may not all be libertarians, depending on how stringent your definition is, but certainly there’s only a handful of posters who would acquiesce to being called leftists. Although I should note that conservative college students now consider themselves an oppressed group. “Victimhood-not just for lefties anymore!”

    Anyway, all I know is that nobody has yet given me a convincing argument for why the gov’t should deny gays the right to enter into contracts to share property, power of attorney, etc.

  101. I am also concerned the extent to which religious people ( I am not one.) who truly believe that homosexual practice is a mortal sin will have *their* civil rights abrogated over time, not necessarily by gay marriage per se, but by subsequent acts that might be eased by the passing of gay rights legislation. I am always interested in a balance of rights, and the least possible coercion among people. Note that black americans did not seek to turn the tables on white Americans, merely to join their ranks as fullfledged citizens. I wish I could find the quote, but I believe MLK said something once along the lines of “Those who claim civil rights should behave in a civil manner.”

  102. Jeff Clothier,

    I have yet to be snarky; indeed, I am quite serious. And if anything was juvenile, it was your “puns.”

    “I am personally not wild about the idea of it being trumpeted as a civil rights matter, however, nor as some sort of moral imperative equal to that of the black struggle.”

    Why? Do you know homosexuality was punishable by death at one (in America); and that this sentence was carried out on many occassions (in America). That people have been jailed, killed by mobs, etc. all for being gay. If you don’t understand the nature of the danger associated with homosexuality, nor the nature of the abuse heaped upon homosexuals – by their own governments – then you don’t know the history involved. Or let me put it another way; the U.S. government until the last few decades has a long tradition of banning the use of the mails for homosexual publications. Please, pick up a book and end your ignorance.

    “African American spokepeople are at best 50-50 on the comparison to their quest for civil rights.”

    So? Big deal. Why is this some sort of important or even adequate metric? Shouldn’t the abuse and legacy of official government discrimination against homosexuals be enough in itself?

    BTW, with regards to holocaust, tens of thousands of homosexuals died in Nazi concentration camps; they were forced to wear pink trianbles. You can read about it in: Robert Plant, “The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals”

    BTW, by the comment you made concerning Jews and the holocaust you appear to discount the millions of others the Nazis killed in both the camps and as slave laborers elsewhere – be they gypsies, Poles, Slavs, etc. Perhaps you should visit the holocaust museum in D.C.

  103. Jeff Clothier,

    “I am also concerned the extent to which religious people ( I am not one.) who truly believe that homosexual practice is a mortal sin will have *their* civil rights abrogated over time, not necessarily by gay marriage per se, but by subsequent acts that might be eased by the passing of gay rights legislation.”

    *chuckle* That’s right, the evil homosexuals are gonna conspiratorially take their rights away.

    “I am always interested in a balance of rights, and the least possible coercion among people.”

    What you appear to be interested in balancing those rights away.

    “Note that black americans did not seek to turn the tables on white Americans…”

    Actually, a minority did; ergo, the Black Panthers. No gay rights group has ever advocated anything remotely along the lines of the Black Panthers, SDS, etc.

    “…merely to join their ranks as fullfledged citizens. I wish I could find the quote, but I believe MLK said something once along the lines of ‘Those who claim civil rights should behave in a civil manner.'”

    When gay people start blowing up straight bars, throwing bricks into gay establishment, start assaulting straight people for being straight, etc. we can talk; right now its the reverse. If a few harsh words are enough to make you into a coward, then again, don’t expect me to ever depend on you.

  104. Gary,

    My friend, you are the king of snark, and I applaud you for it, although it doesn’t advance your case.

    “That people have been jailed, killed by mobs, etc. all for being gay…” Of course. Sodomy laws are only now becoming passe’ in some places, and it’s more than high time. But people are also mobbed and killed for having too much money, for wearing the wrong jacket in the wrong neighborhood, and for various other reasons. I’d love to see some stats comparing the number of lynchings of blacks vs. the number of killings specifically because the victim was homosexual.

    “Please, pick up a book and end your ignorance.”

    If I were you, I’d check out my bookshelves before you spout off. But this isn’t the place to play “I’m wider read than you are.” I’ve been to the Holocaust museum twice, and I am aware that there were many ethnic groups, and homosexuals, slaughtered. To learn that, all you have to do is attend a production of “Caberet.” But this is all tangental to my points at best, as are most of your comments.

    “Why is this some sort of important or even adequate metric? Shouldn’t the abuse and legacy of official government discrimination against homosexuals be enough in itself?”

    Black folks ought to have their say on the subject, particularly as you are painting your quest as comparable.

  105. Gary –

    “If a few harsh words are enough to make you into a coward, then again, don’t expect me to ever depend on you.”

    Since I have no idea what the hell you mean by that, I can’t comment, other than if it makes you feel better, I don’t expect you ever to depend on me.

  106. Jeff Clothier,

    “But people are also mobbed and killed for having too much money, for wearing the wrong jacket in the wrong neighborhood, and for various other reasons.”

    Given your rationale, this makes the holocaust or any other event similar to a mugging. You can’t have it both ways.

    “I’d love to see some stats comparing the number of lynchings of blacks vs. the number of killings specifically because the victim was homosexual.”

    So let’s see, your rationale is that if more blacks were killed than say homosexuals, then they deserve more rights. Please, think through your statements before you make them. If anyone is going on about “victimology” here, its you by the way.

    “If I were you, I’d check out my bookshelves before you spout off.”

    I’m sure mine are more packed than yours.

    “I’ve been to the Holocaust museum twice, and I am aware that there were many ethnic groups, and homosexuals, slaughtered.”

    Then why did you rather stupidly apply the holocaust explicitly and only to Jews? Please, you lack credibility more and more.

    “But this is all tangental to my points at best, as are most of your comments.”

    You’re the one the who brought it up! If its tangential, then don’t bring the subject up. I suspect its “tangential” now because I’ve shown up to be a fool.

    “Black folks ought to have their say on the subject, particularly as you are painting your quest as comparable.”

    So only black can make this determination? As an undergraduate we had fairly young woman in one my American Revolution seminar who made a fairly similar statement vis a vis the history of women; she was roundly criticized for such outright bigotry and stupidity. Black people have no more “special” position to determine the nature of these issues as anyone else does; indeed, I wouldn’t even make an argument about homosexuals having some “special” insight into issues of gay rights – particularly because I do not view these “gay” rights or “black” rights, they are universal “human” rights. You view them as “special” “gay” rights; or “special” “black” rights. To me this is as bigoted as a supporter Jim Crow.

  107. Jeff Clothier,

    “Since I have no idea what the hell you mean by that, I can’t comment, other than if it makes you feel better, I don’t expect you ever to depend on me.”

    It means exactly what it says; you’re a coward, and if ever there was some time in the future when some issue of tyranny was involved, you would fold like man made out of paper that you are.

  108. The thing I can’t figure, Gary, is why are you still arguing with me? I have repeated over and over again that I am not specifically against your right to marry whomever you choose. If you’re a Druid, marry a tree if you like, mate out of species if you want to, be my guest.

    Do I have misgivings about it? Yes. But why should that stop you as long as you get what you want?

    Am I going to be a wholehearted and enthusiastic supporter? Probably not. Why? Because there’s a whole bloody lot of injustice, crime, abuse, predjudice and hatred around, and no end of just causes. Yours just simply isn’t very high on my particular list.

    I can’t really tell in all the hysteria if it’s really what you’re doing, but I give you credit for attempting to change my mind and generate some passion for your cause. I have to say, though, calling me an asshole and implying I am homophobic (A term I find laughable, I’m afraid. Aside from a few leathermen and female impersonators I ran into on Bourbon Street in New Orleans once, I don’t find you folks particularly scary.) isn’t the way to go about it.

    But you’re working too hard, son. I am not your enemy, and will not stand in your way. Go forth and conquer. Storm the Bastille and lift the oppressive boot of the straight white man from the neck of homosexuals everywhere. I’ve said several times before on this thread, I wish you well.

    If that’s not enough, what else do you want from me?

  109. Jeff Clothier,

    “The thing I can’t figure, Gary, is why are you still arguing with me?”

    Because you choose to respond to my comments.

    “I have repeated over and over again that I am not specifically against your right to marry whomever you choose. If you’re a Druid, marry a tree if you like, mate out of species if you want to, be my guest.”

    Actually, you only came to that position after a great deal of argument; indeed, to beging with your not convinced either way. I and others have shown you the errors of your ways, and turned you away from the “dark side.” 🙂

    “Because there’s a whole bloody lot of injustice, crime, abuse, predjudice and hatred around, and no end of just causes. Yours just simply isn’t very high on my particular list.”

    That’s a perfectly acceptable position; but to me that is different from your earlier comments.

    “I can’t really tell in all the hysteria if it’s really what you’re doing, but I give you credit for attempting to change my mind and generate some passion for your cause.”

    Indeed, I respect the passion of my opponents, which of course makes me work triply hard.

    “I have to say, though, calling me an asshole and implying I am homophobic (A term I find laughable, I’m afraid. Aside from a few leathermen and female impersonators I ran into on Bourbon Street in New Orleans once, I don’t find you folks particularly scary.) isn’t the way to go about it.”

    When you start comparing homosexuality to child molestation, I find that indicative of something else. And you were an asshole for trying to put words into my mouth.

    “Storm the Bastille and lift the oppressive boot of the straight white man from the neck of homosexuals everywhere.”

    Straight people as a rule aren’t oppressive; a minority of them clustered in various conservative religious and “traditionalist” organizations are. Indeed, its not only Christians involved in this, Muslims are far more horrifying in aggregate terms regarding their views and practices vis a vis homosexuality – which can carry a death sentence in say Saudi Arabia. In my mind, gay rights are part, but a very important part, of a larger fight against the forces of barbarism and anti-modernity in this world.

  110. Hmm, pretty high-falutin’ lingo, there, pard, but I get the gist. And I don’t believe I was trying to put words in your mouth, but merely to interpret the gist of some of your previous comments. We all interpret one another’s thoughts and filter them through our own experience and worldview. I could have accused you of putting words in my mouth on any number of occasions.

    I am skeptical, as a rule, of people with a cause. In my experience, the cause tends to blind them to the larger picture, and tends to make them feel more on the outs than they actually might be. Not always, but many times.

    Some advice, for what it’s worth, from an old schoolteacher and half-assed political hack:

    A. Don’t suspect everyone who disagrees with you, even on unshakeable principle, of being your enemy. Chances are they are acting in self-interest, just as you are. If you find the place where self-interests intersect, you may make a friend, or at least an ally. The fact is I haven’t changed my position one bit since this thing started. I stated in my very first post of this thread:

    “To be clear, I’m not against gay people marrying one another. I’m not wild about the concept, probably because of my upbringing, which is hard to shake off, but I’m not particularly against it either.”

    That’s where I still am. I’m going to vote your way, if the opportunity arises, but I am not going to march for you. I’m sorry about that, but that’s how I feel. Why? Because it simply isn’t in the spectrum of things I feel strongly about, and I admit to some canalized notions of what constitutes legitmate sexuality and what, on the other hand, is simple deviance. I think it is too much to ask other people to have to legitimatize my particular notions of bedroom behavior and tendencies, and I prefer not to be asked to legitimatize others I find distasteful. The fact that nature tends toward two opposite genders to propogate the species is unfortunate for you, and I am sorry. Others disagree with me, and let the squeakiest wheel get greased, say I. Just please don’t send me the bill.

    You wasted a lot of what I hope you will agree with me was pretty strong rhetoric on someone who was not truly your enemy. That old saw about “If you’re not with me, you’re against me,” is dangerous. You lose more friends with that attitude than you gain, and often risk further delegitimatizing your cause. I call this “The Richard Nixon Effect.”

    B. Ask someone’s permission before you compare your experience to his. It could be you don’t understand his experience as well as you think, no matter how many books you’ve read or museums you’ve attended. White folks of all stripes have a hard time talking intelligently about the black struggle. When I’ve tried, my black friends often tell me gently and lovingly that I am talking straight out of my ass. I’m sure you wouldn’t disagree. And I usually just shut up around my Jewish brother in law.

    C. Rhetoric is your best weapon. Use it sparingly, and in appropriate calibre. This one trips me up all the time.

    I invite you, all and sundry to my occasionally updated blog: A Perpendicular View, or to email me at the link below.

    Best of luck, Gary. I shall trouble you no more as I am already two days past a deadline. The last word is yours.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  111. garym,

    “By now it’s clear that Gunnels is trying to push a hatred-filled stereotype…”

    Yes, after all, we know that people like Jerry Falwell do not exist. Its just a “stereotype.” Sir, when you’re actually confronted with these people, you opinion will change. As I stated earlier, I will defend their right to say what they want to say (the reverse is not true), but I won’t stand in silence.

  112. Jeff Clothier,

    “The affirmative case is the one that must be proven…”

    Yet you try to affirmatively demonstrate that important civil rights issues are not at issue here; indeed, that’s the crux of whole argument. Therefore, my statement that you have not proven such is perfectly reasonable and on point. Sorry, but you’ve lost all credibility now, you fucking liar. *chuckle*

    “True enough, but it sure figures prominently in the ‘We want the same ‘rights’ as straight people’ argument because it is chiefly those benefits which are lacking in homosexual relationships, as they are in nonmarried heterosexual relationships in most states.”

    Sorry, but marraige is essentially a “right” for heterosexuals in America; if you have an issue with that, then I suggest you try to change that. But to argue that homosexuals must be treated as second-class citizens to fulfill your notions of ideological purity is absolute hogwash and denies reality.

    “This way no one has to subsidize anyone else’s particular lifestyle choices.”

    Its heterosexual “lifestyles” which are of course “subsidized” now; partly on the backs of homosexuals and single people I might. Please, quit erroneously trying to act like some great new benefits in comparison to the rest of the population would be granted to homosexual unions – that is simply a flat out lie on your part.

  113. Jeff Clothier,

    “I think our friend Gary would argue…”

    Listen asshole, don’t you dare speak for me.

    “Nevertheless, most of the legal benefits of marriage – those that don’t concern themselves with entitlement benefits or other third-party monies – can be accomplished by other means.”

    Means which of course which cost lots of $$$$, are not as iron-clad in the courts as even the most lax intestacy laws, and have the potential as not even being recognized on numerous state “public policy” grounds. Before you discuss estate law, take a class in it. Sorry, but marraige cuts hundreds of laws and legal precedents which are continually used to overturn the will of the testator.

    “One can assign power of attorney to anyone he or she chooses in some states, and make it contingent upon death or incapacitation.”

    These are also challengeable in similar ways as above; marraige provides the survivor, etc. with far greater protection than any testamentary device can. In fact, it works in unison with state laws like joint tenancies to provide the sorts of protections that cannot be found in wills, revocable trusts, etc.

    “A. The government to wave a magic wand over their union…”

    Actually, we want the same rights as heterosexual couples.

    “B. The force of that magic-wand-waving to instantly grant acceptance by the majority community that their arrangement meets social/sexual/moral norms…”

    No, not really. As is implied by many of my earlier statements I don’t expect the bigots to love us. So here, you are lying once again.

    “C. Access to provisons that government entitlement programs grant the spouses of recipients in normal marriages.”

    Actually, I would get rid of all entitlement programs; however, since they exist, and since homosexual couples bear especially hard burdens in subsidizing heterosexual married couples, I think it only fair to mitigate such by opting into the system. Again, quite speaking for me asshole.

  114. Jeff Clothier,

    “What I have a problem with is the idea of a group that defines itself solely by behavior rather than ethnicity or creed signing up for victim status…”

    Who wants “victim status?” Not I. Indeed, I want victory for gay rights, not victimhood. Sorry, but your attemtpt characterize this as some appeal to victimhood is loathesome and utterly dishonest.

    “…and demanding special consideration on the basis of that behavior.”

    How exactly is equality in treatment a “special consideration?” Hell, I’m not asking for affirmative action or anything like that; I am asking for equality in treatment. The fact you don’t recognize this goes back to your attempt to prove that gay rights are not really civil rights.

    “There is simply no end to that sort of thing. Pedophiles (yes, I know there’s no connection) could do the same thing. In fact, they do, which is why NAMBLA exists.”

    Because obviously homosexuality entails adult consensual sexuality and child molestation doesn’t. Its pretty obvious that given this example you’ve proven your true colors; despite all your protestations to the latter, you really don’t like homosexuals; indeed, they bother you a lot, especially when they don’t stay in the closet.

    “My ancestors were Mormons. They tried for acceptance with the majority community in terms of their marital practices and were rejected. Instead of pushing the issue to unreasonable extremes, they assimilated, for the most part.”

    So because your ancestors were cowards, gay people should be too? In the future, when other elements of my rights are stake, I’ll no not turn to you. *chuckle*

  115. Okay, Gary, I promise never to speak for your asshole.

    Bottom line – you should pardon the pun – To the extent you are for ending (again, no pun intended), entitlement programs such that none of us need subsidize the other, I applaud you. If that happened, you and I would have very little to disagree about.

    Do whatever you like, just please don’t send me the bill.

  116. ?In short, what Gary and company want is

    A. The government to wave a magic wand over their union,
    B. The force of that magic-wand-waving to instantly grant acceptance by the majority community that their arrangement meets social/sexual/moral norms, and
    C. Access to provisons that government entitlement programs grant the spouses of recipients in normal marriages.?

    I would agree with you that the only appropriate ones here for gov?t action are A and C, but those are really the only ones involved in recognition of gay marriage. As I mentioned above, any private person is still free to think whatever they want about gays. Interracial marriage was recognized in a lot of places long before it was considered acceptable or moral by most people in those places. And also from above, I know in practice marriage laws would require some acceptance of gay marriage by private individuals, but this is a problem with the laws in general and not gay marriage specifically. We’re all required to “accept” to some degree all marriages, whether we think they’re appropriate or not.

    ?What I have a problem with is the idea of a group that defines itself solely by behavior rather than ethnicity or creed signing up for victim status and demanding special consideration on the basis of that behavior.?

    What in the world is a creed if not (broadly speaking) a behavior? No one is forced to join a particular religion or believe in a particular spiritual code. I think homosexuality is a lot less a behavior than religion for reasons mentioned in an above post ? I don?t think anyone chooses to be gay; they simply choose to have or not have homosexual relationships (in the same way that straights choose to have or not have heterosexual relationships).

  117. Jeff Clothier,

    So, first you wholly misrepresent my views (indeed, create views for me), then you try to act snarky about it? *chuckle* Please, at least have the dignity to admit your error.

    J,

    Thankyou for skewering Jeff Clothier; it was great to see.

  118. J –

    “? I don?t think anyone chooses to be gay; they simply choose to have or not have homosexual relationships (in the same way that straights choose to have or not have heterosexual relationships).”

    You could be right. But all of our founding documents have something concrete to say about religious belief and expression. They have nothing to say about homosexuality. Nearly all the erroneous and wrongful language concerning blacks has been corrected by amendment and by legislative action through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, etc. I wish Gary et al good luck passing a Homosexual Rights Act if such is their wish. I daresay it will be a tough row to hoe, given so little precedent.

    I’ll say it one more time – I am not specifically against allowing gays to enter into civil marriages. I hope Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is unsuccessful in his bid to overturn that right in his state. Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, at least in theory, these marriages are supposed to be recognized anywhere, although the federal Defense of Marriage Act and similar DOMAs in about a dozen and a half states may make that difficult.

    I am personally not wild about the idea of it being trumpeted as a civil rights matter, however, nor as some sort of moral imperative equal to that of the black struggle. African American spokepeople are at best 50-50 on the comparison to their quest for civil rights. Many are as sensitive about it as jewish folks tend to be when some try to compare their less substantive complaints with the Holocaust.

    Just a few pertinent links:

    AP Top Story:Black Clergymen Come Out Against Gay Marriages

    Black Caucus Resists Comparison of gay ‘marriage’ to civil rights…

    and to be fair:

    Black leaders call gay marriage a ‘civil right’…

    Religious leaders urge gay-marriage support

  119. Gary,

    Sorry. I forgot you’re the only one who gets to be “snarky.”

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