Family Issues

Dueling Protests

The socially conservative Summer for Marriage Tour hits Madison, Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis.—Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which opposes same-sex unions, has brought his 23-city bus tour here in hopes of drawing a crowd. He has succeeded, but not in the way you might expect.

On a warm weekday, with the university students mostly on vacation and the legislature in recess, the state Capitol grounds have a placid midsummer air. But with the appointed time of noon at hand, that is about to change.

As Brown stands at the foot of the Capitol, watching a few sympathizers gather around a lectern, a distant rumble intrudes on the quiet. Marching up State Street are 200 or 300 demonstrators, carrying signs and chanting slogans, all attracted by the chance to repudiate the NOM message as noisily as they can.

On first glance, this may look like a fine place to hold a rally on behalf of what NOM calls "traditional marriage." It's the seat of government in a socially conservative state whose voters voted by a 59 percent majority in 2006 to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

On second glance, though, it looks like the worst possible venue. Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus have long been famous as a hotbed of counterculture lifestyles and left-wing activism. Green Party candidates have been elected to several city and county offices. The same-sex marriage ban lost overwhelmingly here.

So why would NOM hold a rally where it is sure of being badly outnumbered by motivated and well-organized critics? Maybe because that's what it wanted. The Summer for Marriage Tour could have been called the Come Shout Us Down Tour.

The endeavor has managed to make opponents of gay marriage look like a brave, embattled minority, even though they constitute 53 percent of the public and have gotten their way in all but a few states. At today's rally, NOM supporters just number two or three dozen.

NOM's website (www.nationformarriage.org) focuses not on any outpouring of support for its cause, but on the protesters who have appeared at its rallies, including some it accuses of disruptive and intimidating tactics. "Watch the shocking video here!" it proclaims, linking to a clip from a somewhat raucous event that, in truth, falls short of shocking.

The organization specializes in a form of political jujitsu, leveraging its foes' weight against them. As chairman Maggie Gallagher tells me, "The counter-protests are holding down our physical numbers, but they're expanding our online activist community."

But the protesters, separated from the NOM group by police tape, are not deterred. They have lots of handmade signs—notably "Jesus Had 2 Dads and He Turned Out OK, Right?" and "Traditional Marriage = 1 Divorced Man + 1 Divorced Woman." And they rarely flag in chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia's got to go" and "Take your hate out of our state."

The racket continues throughout the rally, which does not seem to surprise the NOM advocates. They spend much of their time denouncing their opponents for trying to shout them down—which, given that NOM has loudspeakers and the protesters don't, is unlikely to happen.

Violence or bullying would make good footage for NOM, which has a videographer on hand, but the crowd of mostly young people is not in that sort of mood. Are they loud? Sure. Obnoxious? No doubt, if you're on the receiving end. Scary? Not a bit.

If they are going to storm the stage, they will have to trample over me on their way, and I detect no reason for worry. A couple of them even lean over the police tape asking for hugs from the NOM supporters. (They get a few takers.)

It's hard to get terribly outraged when a group that goes out of its way to be drowned out by its critics almost gets drowned out by its critics. But the people here to support "traditional marriage" can accurately claim that they have been impeded in their effort to communicate their views.

You see, NOM and its allies attest that after all, they don't want to deny the other side the right to speak. They just want to enjoy the same right.

To which the other side might reply: Hmm. Kind of like what we say about marriage.

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  1. Good morning reason!

    Activists in the minority as part of a fiendish plot? LOVE IT!

    1. Oh, so sorry. They were activists in the majority who hatched a fiendish plot to appear to be in the minority. Even better! Is this a Rove plot or is it Cheney?

      1. Well, you can hardly blame them, the pro gay marriage side got so intolerant so quickly of anyone who would dare hold the majority opinion that they pretty much invited this. One day nobody wanted gay marriage, including gays, the next day you were an evil troglodyte to be boycotted if you dared have reservations about it.

        I’m for gay marriage, but I’m also for political movements not being nasty scolds of their opponents, for tactical reasons if nothing else.

        1. As soon as you can name a social political movement which DOESN’T scold their opponents for being immoral, I’ll gladly agree that those advocating gay marriage have gotten out of hand.

          1. Said this in another thread, and several times in the recent past, but:

            Gays should focus all of their efforts on domestic-partnership parity, and give up on the sheer symbolism of a marriage license, which is just a permission slip granted by a government functionary to use the phrase “we’re married”.

            1. It’s not purely symbolic. If gays only cared about symbolism they could already have everything they want, just by adopting the language and the symbols. The only thing that matters is equal rights, and that means the same type of license with accompanying rights and benefits that straights get.

              1. Every individual in the U.S.A. already has equal rights, however diminished by the U.S. government.

                You’re calling for superior privileges for a group based upon a bizarro sexual fetish.

                1. Gays don’t want equal rights. They want the special rights marrieds get. I’m OK with gays getting the same rights, but then I’ll ask why can’t singles pass on their estate tax free, assign their pensions, get the cash equivalent of partner benefits from their employer tax free?

                  1. Homosexists have already the same license privilege to marry as all adults of sound mind do in any of the 50 U.S. states and possessions.

                    Homosexists agitate for an extra license privilege — to marry based upon a sexual fetish.

                    Repeal the 16th. End the ridiculous quasi-Marxist income taxatin and redistribution governance scheme of the U.S.

                    1. Al Wayswright,

                      It’s not a fetish. You’re gay.

                    2. You amuse, Tony. Name calling is the last bastion of a loser to an argument. Congrats Tony!

                      Homosexism is living by the sexual fetish of same sex sexual activity.

                      All fetishes arise from mind disorder. Yet, nearly all fetishes bring no harm to the one ensconced it in.

                      However, granting someone license for taxation and welfare privileges based upon a sexual fetish is most bizarre.

                    3. All fetishes arise from mind disorder.

                      You’re like some kind of amazing, bigoted scientist who just makes stuff up! Cool!

                    4. You amuse Les.

                      The “Bigot” card always is good for a chuckle.

                      No one feels sorry for you because you descend from inferior DNA and thus lack the capacity to achieve a self-actualized, ordered mind and thus become an ?berman.

                    5. Homosexuality is not a fetish, nor a “mind disorder.” The best scientific studies to date suggest that homosexuality is caused by a hormone imbalance by the mother during a short specific period to a developing fetus that affects how the brain develops. It is a permanent, irreversible physical attribute.

                      Lets look at things that are actual fetishes: foot fetish, armpit fetish, uniform fetish, pain fetish, b&d, s&m, blond fetish, diaper fetish (strange, I know). However anyone who holds one of these fetishes isn’t limited to only their fetish, they are perfectly capable of being “turned on”and appreciating something or someone from outside their fetish. Someone who is ONLY attracted to the same sex and NOT the opposite sex isn’t someone who is experiencing a fetish. This is because, contrary to what you might think, homosexuality isn’t a choice made by the homosexual and it isn’t merely a preference.

                      Think about it: the 11 year old boy who knows nothing about fetishes DOES know, thanks to society, that homosexuality is “wrong” and when he finds himself at puberty being attracted to other boys, and not to girls, he is terrified, hates himself, prays to god to change him and make him “normal,” and had the option to simply “choose” his sexuality existed, who in their right mind would choose to be homosexual? Because of all the acceptance and compassion floating around? Because of the gay bashing welcome committee carrying crow bars and baseball bats?

                      A fetish is a preference and a choice, homosexuality is not. This is why things like psychotherapy, shock treatment, aversion therapy and chemical castration have never worked to “cure” homosexuality (unlike fetishes.)

                      Perhaps this is why homosexuality has been observed in almost all mammalian species on the planet. Or are you suggesting that chimpanzees, cats, dogs, etc are also capable of engaging in foot and uniform fetishes?

                      The “homosexuality is a disease,” in all its manifestations, never gets boring. Old, yes, but never boring.

                    6. If a woman is ugly, stupid, and has a bad personality, should it be illegal to marry her just for her big tits? Breastists exhibit a bizzarro fetish indeed, hardly a basis for benefits in both legal and taxatory status, in any regard whatsoever.

                    7. But how can marriage really be a right if the state can tell you who you can choose to marry?

                      That has always escaped me. And not just about gays: same goes for polyamory and incest. Gay marriage restrictions are nothing that the old Miscegenation laws weren’t.

                    8. Rights do not come from the state. The state grants privileges in the form of licenses.

                      States merely agree to recognize the rights you have inherent already. That does not mean representatives of a state does not violate your inherent rights.

                      There is no such thing as gay marriage. Merely, there is licensure of marriage.

                      Granting a license for what amounts to a sexual fetish — homosexism — seems most bizarre.

                  2. Right. They want equal special rights. When straights are willing to give up there’s we can talk about your plan.

                  3. +10000. I’ve wondered this myself. I certainly see why gays want the same rights as straight married people, and in that regard I support them. But what about single people?

                2. You’re calling for superior privileges for a group based upon a bizarro sexual fetish.

                  It’s not bizaare! Didn’t you know everyone is really a secret homomsexual/lesbian? We just don’t know it yet. We’ve all been brainwashed to think that it’s heterosexuality that is ‘natural’.

              2. But if gays HAD those equal rights, they wouldn’t NEED the paper, which is just a symbolic offering of X amount of dollars in exchange for a document. Nothing more.

              3. It’s not purely symbolic. If gays only cared about symbolism they could already have everything they want, just by adopting the language and the symbols. The only thing that matters is equal rights, and that means the same type of license with accompanying rights and benefits that straights get.

                It is about symbolism; that is why there is a battle over the very definition of marriage.

            2. How bout this no special priveleges or consideration for anyone who is married. No Government compensation for getting married. Problem solved. Government out of marriage.

              1. Toolbag,

                No spousal immunity? You think straights are going to give up their rights so that gays can be equal?

                1. You think straights are going to give up their rights so that gays can be equal?

                  I don’t think they will, but I think they should.

              2. “Government out of marriage.”

                Government still needs to be involved at least as far as the implicit contractual obligations are concerned, but much of the involvement is really unnecessary. I support credits for children, but this is also ultimately unrelated to marriage.

                1. I’ve been trying to tell Tony that, DLM, but he keeps insisting that, no DAMMIT, gays have to be able to get married in order to be equal

                  My argument is, if gays had every legal right as straight married folks, gays wouldn’t NEED to get married. It’s just a formality, anyway.

              3. I would go for that.

              4. That would be the most libertarian thing to do, I think.

                Shame both the organized gays and the organized traditionalists disagree.

                1. The authentic libertarian opposes the privilege of licensure for marriage conferred to gays to marry those of same sex because the authentic libertarian does not want to expand the size of government and welfare.

                  The authentic libertarian works to erase all laws which authorizes agents of the state apparatus to regulate and control adult behavior, especially when it is done so as a means to maintain power.

                  The authentic libertarian first works to repeal the 16th Amendment, which gives rise to the income taxation and redistribution scheme.

                  Short of that, the authentic libertarian seeks to eliminate deduction based on marital status or child dependency.

                  The faux libertarian, one indoctrinated into false beliefs, champions licensure for marriage for a homosexist precisely because of fetish of homosexism.

                  1. Yes the true libertarian should come down on the side of restricting equal rights on an issue that is actually part of political reality.

                  2. You forgot to mention that the authentic libertarian must always refer to homosexuality as homosexism, followed by “fetish” and “bizarre.”

                    Al, glad you’re here to remind us all that we’re not as authentic as you are, and for letting us all know that libertarianism is a well defined construct with rules and regulations of thought.

                    I know: YOU SHOULD WRITE A MANUAL!!

                  3. You should add that the “authentic libertarian” is one who commits himself to unrealistic and unattainable goals, because his ultimate aim is not to improve reality, but to win an imaginary pissing contest, in which the victor is whoever can take idealism to the most absurdist extreme.

              5. Yes. Government out of marriage. Period. Civil unions all around. Marriage can be left up to the churches and whichever faith/community group do decide what its definition is.

                Conveniently enough, there are plenty of churches who see marriage as being a union between two people, regardless of their sex. SO… The churches (the Christian ones, anyway) who disagree with their fellow Christians on the matter of what is and what isn’t marriage can go stuff themselves, because there obviously isn’t a consensus.

                However, the need for equal benefits under civil unions across the board are aparent: heterosexual married couples who adopt children automatically become the child’s legal parents as a couple, at the same time. Gay civil union couples who adopt have to each, separately, adopt the child (and pay the fees, and go through the acceptance/rejection process). Heterosexual married (and civil union) couples automatically have the right to visit their sick and dying loved ones in the hospital. Gay civil union couples aren’t always so lucky.

                The list goes on and on. And the fact that anyone needs a “right” to visit their dying spouse in the hospital is totally retarded, IMHO, but there it is… We live in an unequal world. Lets work on that, shall we?

  2. Where’s the gratuitous second page?

  3. I teach a financial planning class at the charismatic church my wife attends. I am somewhere between a liberal Christian and an agnostic (I would like to believe in an afterlife, but not one ruled by a homo-antagonistic murderer who is obsessed with his creations’ privates). I am constantly amazed by the assumption that religion is under nationwide vicious attack in a country where an agnostic has less chance of being elected to national office than an open sodomite. Of course, if you define “attack” as a loss of privilege, then their position may make sense.

    1. The lack of agnostic and athiest office holders has less to do with their beliefs and more to do with their lack of organization. Even belonging to a small, independent church can give a beginning politician enough networking opportunities to give his campaign a chance of success. How close is your local agnostic church? How often do you attend it or do other activities that center around agnosticism? If agnostics and atheists don’t bother to show up to religious events, they wont create the social capital to get their fellow believers into office.

      1. Um, part of the benefit of being an atheist is I don’t have to wake up on Sundays. What the hell is a atheist/agnostic religious even supposed to be anyways?

        1. If that’s what makes you happy, more power to you. Just don’t bitch to me about a lack of atheists and agnostic office holders. Sleeping in on Sundays doesn’t get anyone elected, or cause much to change in society. If you want to sleep in, then don’t expect to have influence. If you want influence, then get yourself out of bed.

        2. The Objectionists, the Society for Ethical Culture, and Reconstructionist Judaism are 3 atheist/agnostic churches you can join. Although I think the Reconstructionist Jews might have slid towards theism over the decades. Look all 3 up and see if you might fit in with any of them.

          1. Atheist churches are akin to Anarchist clubs to me. A bit counter intuitive.

            Oh and by the bye, militant/evangelical atheists are just as distasteful and annoying as militant/evangelical Christian.

            1. *Shrug* To each his own. For what it’s worth, I left my local Reform Jewish church mostly because it was too political.

        3. What’s with all this “anyway(s)” bullshit????

      2. Polls routinely find that the majority of likely voters would be highly unlikely to vote for a non-religious candidate. Afterall, we can’t have a president who doesn’t end every speech with a heartfelt “God bless You and God Bless America!”

        1. Conservatives lost their shit when Obama even mentioned what is 15% of the country in his inaugural speech.

        2. Atheists and agnostics are more likely to be “liberals”, who have a highly developed capacity for tolerance, which allows them to look past the theological excesses of the religious candidate. Meanwhile, most religious people believe that anyone outside of their denomination will be condemned to hell upon judgment by God, making the religious less likely to overlook an agnostic candidate’s lack of religion.

          Agnostic politicians have been succesfully discriminated against because agnostic voters are too accepting.

    2. (I would like to believe in an afterlife, but not one ruled by a homo-antagonistic murderer who is obsessed with his creations’ privates)

      Much is merely primitive and childish *conceptions* of God. If you can’t get past the kindergarten versions, you will of course have trouble.

  4. Real news would be a guy getting pelted with empties from both sides for suggesting that the state shouldn’t be granting special advantages to married people of any sexual orientation.

    1. No, you can’t marry yourself! *Bottle to the head*

    2. Why are you calling equal rights special advantage? This debate can get confusing.

      1. It’s a special advantage if people who choose to marry ANYONE gets tax breaks or any sort of govt. granted advantage over someone who chooses to stay single. There’s an argument to be made that the government should just get out of the marriage business, period.

      2. It’s a special advantage over people who don’t want to get married or people who want to marry more than one person. I honestly don’t see why people think gay marriage would ruin the institution of marriage but getting in bed with government hasn’t already done so.

  5. Well, they have 53%, but it’s the wrong 53%.

  6. While I will admit the “Jesus Had Two Dads” is fairly clever, one was just a deadbeat dad that let another man raise his child. Which doesn’t really have bearing on the gay marriage debate.

    1. Gays should have the right to be deadbeat dads, too!

      1. Haha, yeah, but God and Joseph weren’t a gay couple, it was more a stepfather kinda situation. Kind of a dumb sign, if anything, it kinda takes away from all their “divorce sucks” signs. After all, even Jesus came from a broken home.

        1. Oh, I thought they were referring to God and the Holy Ghost.

          1. At that rate, he was his own father too. He had three fathers, himself, Yahweh and the Holy Ghost, who were all separate and the same. So basically no way to try to base human family situations on.

        2. Hey, he’s not my kid! You slept with God – it’s God’s kid; let him pay your child support. I’m getting a lawyer. And not just any lawyer – a real aggressive Jewish lawyer.

        3. How do you know Mary wasn’t a transvestite? That would make the miracle that much more miraculous!

    2. Was that the bearing straight?

  7. From the article:

    “the people here to support ‘traditional marriage’ can accurately claim that they have been impeded in their effort to communicate their views.”

    Of course, Chapman uses this fact as the basis for blaming the *supporters* of traditional marriage. You see, these traditional-marriage folks have deviously provoked the gay-liberation crowd to engage in disruptive tactics, all to make the gay-libbers look bad.

    Of course, if the gay-libbers want to avoid that kind of trap, they have an obvious option: Don’t engage in disruptive tactics against peaceful protesters, even peaceful protesters with whom they disagree. Now that they know the full sinister agenda of the traditional-marriage crowd, the gay-libbers can simply say, “ah, I get it, those guys *want* us to be disruptive so they can show the videos and embarrass us. Let us counteract this insidious plot by *not* being disruptive!”

    1. Do you know who *else* engaged in peaceful protests, knowing in advance that his actions would “provoke” opponents into trying to disrupt him? We have a national holiday in that guy’s honor – Martin Luther King.

      Incidentally, do you know what Martin Luther King’s niece, Alveda King, is up to nowadays?

      http://www.priestsforlife.org/staff/alvedaking.htm

      1. Yeah, and you know why he did that? Because his opponents were assholes. And there was a large crowd to win over by watching assholes beat on decent black people.

        Gay marriage proponents kind of shortened all this and went straight to calling the large crowd assholes.

        1. A lot better than the things gay marriage opponents call the other said.

  8. How about a little Occam’s Razor here?

    Maybe, just maybe, the reason NOM does nothing anymore but kvetch about counterprotesters is because every substantive argument it ever tries to make is quickly, decisively — and correctly — refuted.

    Gallagher is smacked down every time she appears on any neutral venue in any debate with any informed opponent — only to wail and gnash her teeth at the end about people call her — oh the horror! — a bigot.

    The anti-gay bigots won the battles but lost the war. What gay rights advocates need to learn now is, when it comes to NOM, it’s “move along, people — nothing to see here…”

  9. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    Lou
    http://www.anonymous-surfing.es.tc

  10. The endeavor has managed to make opponents of gay marriage look like a brave, embattled minority, even though they constitute 53 percent of the public and have gotten their way in all but a few states.

    It’s partly because the LGBT activits are too loyal to the blue team. Obama sat in the Illinois Senate for years without sponsoring any pro-LGBT bills. No one called him on it during the campaing. Then the LGBT crowd was shocked when Obama failed to do anything for them after he got into the white house. I read that granting spousal immigration visas to the same-sex spouses of Americans is now off the table. Rallying at the steps of a state capital is all well and good, but it’s time to play hardball. It’s time to rally outside of campaing events held by any politician (Republican and Democrat alike) who failed to grant equality to LGBT individuals when he had the opportunity.

    1. Very true. Hard to see how you win when one party that won’t pass your legislation or stand up for you is bigots and hatemongers, and the other party that won’t pass your legislation or stand up for you has your complete loyalty.

      1. jtuf, you’re being racist for calling out Obama’s inaction on LGBT legislation during his way-too-brief stint as a mere senator.

        Report yourself to the nearest reeducation center.

        1. +1, Libertarian Guy 😀

      2. Maybe the entire reelection of George W. Bush hinging on baiting homophobes in key states has something to do with it.

        1. Though the pressure seems to be off the gays for the time being. The GOP is back to its roots for this cycle: baiting racists.

          1. The GOP baits racists? Cool.

            Oh, wait… do you mean ALL racists, or just evil white rich privileged males who might be racist?

            1. They’re baiting white racists. It’s an old strategy, but maybe it’ll work again.

              1. Well, I’m all for baiting ’em. Brings ’em out of the woodwork.

                ALL of them. Even the brown racists.

        2. Maybe the entire reelection of George W. Bush hinging on baiting homophobes in key states has something to do with it.

          Was Obama running against Bush?

          1. Was Obama running against Bush?

            He’s *still* running against Bush.

          2. conventional wisdom among democrats is that kerry lost because the anti gay marriage measures on various state ballots brought out bush voters that otherwise would have stayed home. So team obama deliberately stayed away from the issue and that’s why they won. i.e. the election results had nothing to do with the fact that kerry and mccain are repulsive human beings.

        3. What exactly was the pro-gay rights platform Kerry ran on again?

  11. Why isn’t the libertarian debate ever gear towards getting government out of ALL marriages?

    Gays or straights or whatever shouldn’t be asking the government who they are allowed to love.

    1. Why isn’t the libertarian debate ever gear towards getting government out of ALL marriages?

      That’s true. It’s never been mentioned in any gay marriage thread ever.

    2. Because that’s never gonna happen. If you can’t have your utopian dreams in one hand and practical steps toward equal rights in the other, what use are you?

      1. Ha ha ha! Fucking practical steps, like electing someone who has never done anything for you? Who you knew would not help you once elected?

        Jesus Christ, you are a troll or a fucking dumbass. Here’s a practical step for you: Get your head out of your ass.

        1. Given the two choices in the last election, Obama was the obvious better choice if you care about gay equality. Not perfect, just better than any Republican.

          1. There were more than two choices. You are the flip side of the TEAM RED idiots who tell us to forget about the War on Drugs, the Wars in the Middle East, the wiretaps, torture, etc. Suck it up, libertards, and vote for whatever douchebag the GOP tosses our way, because they’ll be 20% better than the Democrats on economic freedom issues.

            It’s this simple – I’m not voting for someone I agree with 13% of the time just because he’s marginally better than a guy I agree with 10% of the time. I’ll vote for the person I agree with 75% or more. I don’t care if that person only gets 1% or less. I don’t “win” with Mr. 13%.

            Americans have been “pragmatic” and “realistic”, and they haven’t “thrown their votes away”. Where has it brought us? Two never ending wars. $13 Trillion dollars of debt, and an economy that’s in the shitter because of constant government intervention. A society where many personal choices that are no one’s business are “crimes against society” and punished with prison sentences equivalent to those one would get for brutally injuring another person. If this is “pragmatism” and “realism”, FUCK pragmatism and realism.

            1. Given our election system (and I believe it to be inherently flawed), voting 3rd party is almost always to vote for a spoiler, i.e., benefiting the party you like least. The party duopoly is a result of the system, not an overabundance of sheeplike voters. The last president not to really be a part of one of two major factions was George Washington. I’m all for going toward a more proportional, parliamentary system where minority parties have more of a say, but that would require heavy constitutional editing. Pragmatism and realism are the only thing you have, otherwise all you have is patting yourself on the back for being pure and useless.

              1. I see no real difference between R and D politicians (with maybe three or four exceptions) so “helping the party I like least” isn’t a worry for me.

                There will be a sea change eventually, if only for the simple reason that we are accumulating debt at unsustainable rates. The TEAM RED TEAM BLUE people have been pretty good at convincing people there are real differences between the different wings of the ruling party, but it can’t continue.

                1. BP to me that’s an unfortunate attitude to take. False equivalencies tend to give a pass to the worse of the two parties. But I guess you’re forced into thinking they’re equal if you consider torture and warmongering to be the moral equivalent to raising taxes a little or trying to provide universal healthcare.

                  1. So Obama has stopped torture, then? Last I heard, they still allowed it under “certain circumstances” (e.g., whenever they want), and they were still allowing rendition – sending people merely accused of crimes to countries where torture is widely known to be used. As far as “warmongering” is concerned, I wasn’t aware we’d left Iraq, despite Obama’s promises.

                    Trying to provide universal healthcare is an unreal goal. Where’s your “pragmatism” now? You should know damn well it can’t be done – the only thing that will happen is a further distortion of the current, distorted, health care system.

                    Considering the cynical (corporatist) means Obama has used to try to jerry-rig a “universal” health insurance system, that you still grant credence to their claims is amazing.

                    1. Meh. Every other advanced country has managed to do it, and the shitty HC law we got was indeed a result of too much corporate interference in policy. One party more or less wants universal healthcare, while the other considers being owned by corporate interests its raison d’etre.

                    2. And all those countries are going broke doing it, providing terrible service, or switching to more free market models.

                      And the idea that the Democratic Party isn’t owned by corporate interests is rich (pun intended, I guess).

                      We might as well agree to disagree at this point. Neither of us will convince the other.

                    3. The Dems are too beholden to corporate interests. Just not as much, and the only way to get rid of that problem is to elect more Democrats who are willing to make the laws that protect against that corruption. The GOP freaking invented the concept and have no intention of doing anything about it. That’s all I’m sayin.

                    4. WE are pure and golden! THEY are evil and corrupt! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

                    5. Tony, we’re beginning to privatize our health care system, because it has been a massive failure.

                  2. False equivalencies tend to give a pass to the worse of the two parties. But I guess you’re forced into thinking they’re equal if you consider torture and warmongering to be the moral equivalent to raising taxes a little or trying to provide universal healthcare.

                    They’re not exactly equal, but if one party supports murder and the other supports slavery then there can be no reconciliation with either. One party doesn’t care if it destroys physical lives and the other doesn’t care if it destroys emotional lives, i.e. forcing the citizenry to work progressively longer to support its debt and inflation habits until everyone owes their soul to the company store.

              2. Pragmatism and realism are the only thing you have, otherwise all you have is patting yourself on the back for being pure and useless.

                Statistically speaking, your vote is useless either way in all but the smallest states. I just prefer the choice that doesn’t lead me into depression for supporting evil.

          2. The two “choices in the last election” was like choosing between dipping your nut sack in boiling oil, or boiling water.

            Oh, you’re just talking about gay stuff, Tony. I thought you meant on ALL matters.

            1. Oh I mean all matters too, but perhaps you’d enjoy being at war with Iran with President Palin’s finger on the button (McCain having long since died of exhaustion).

              1. Are you kidding me? McCain’s various family members have been with us for 100+ years. Unfortunately, that bastard has plenty of gas left in the tank.

              2. No, Tony… let me remind you, I did not vote for McCain, nor would I vote for Palin.

                Jesus, dude… hyperbole much?

          3. I think Bob Barr was the better choice in 2008 for those who cared about LGBT equality.

          4. “Gay equality”? What kind of foolery rhetoric is that?

            Demanding to be granted superior, extra privileges to specific persons of a group because they define themselves collectively is the opposite of equality.

            Homosexism is a fetish, and as a fetish a mind disorder, as all fetishes are, albeit a harmless one.

            Demanding the license to marry based on a fetish is a bizarre way to confer privileges in a society.

            Face truth. Agitation by gays for the licensure to marry — there’s no such thing as “gay marriage” — arises because gays want surviving spousal death benefits of Social Security and other collectivist welfare schemes.

            1. Just keep telling yourself that, Captain Composte.

              1. Wow, the display of your unoriginal wit amazes all.

                Shouldn’t you feel the least bit remorseful for pilfering from the man who coined ‘Captain Obvious’?

                Who raised you? I’d love to meet your mommy and daddy to see what pieces of work they must be.

            2. Let me try a couple of edits to your post:

              Face truth. Agitation by gays straight for the licensure to marry — there’s no such thing as “gay straight marriage” — arises because gays straights want surviving spousal death benefits of Social Security and other collectivist welfare schemes.

              If you want to bring equality by eliminating the legal recognition of all marriages, I won’t object.

              1. Congratulation. You’ve discovered the strike through HTML tags.

                Yet, changing display doesn’t change the content.

                You cannot usher from the realm of truth that persons with a sexual fetish who strive to make their sexual fetish their focus of living — homosexism — agitate for licensure strictly on the basis of this fetish.

                Should government grant license for marriage? No.

                Why does government do so? Is it not to support an exponential rate income taxation and redistribution scheme?

            3. gays want surviving spousal death benefits of Social Security and other collectivist welfare schemes.

              One of the “benefits” my wife gets because I “contribute” to Social Security is a survivor’s benefit. Given that sexual orientation is not a component of the OASDI tax, why shouldn’t they want it? They are stuck paying the same premium as those of us with the heterosexual fetish pay.

              1. Correlation is not causality.

                Your wife could get the benefit — you’re alive still, right — not because you pay a flat tax on wages dedicated to fund a specific welfare program, but because it is decreed in law that your wife should get it upon your demise.

                Oh, and there’s no such thing as “heterosexual fetish.”

                1. Your wife could get the benefit — you’re alive still, right — not because you pay a flat tax on wages dedicated to fund a specific welfare program, but because it is decreed in law that your wife should get it upon your demise.

                  My wife already gets the benefit. She gets the cash if she has me rubbed out.

                  OASDI is not a flat tax; it has a wage base. A straight guy making $200,000 does not pay twice as much as a gay guy making $100,000.

                  A surviving spouse gets nothing if their spouse did not contribute to Social Security. The estate of an unmarried individual, be they single or in a union unrecognized by the state, gets shit for their “survivors benefit” too.

                  Oh, and there’s no such thing as “heterosexual fetish.”

                  There is no such thing as a homosexual fetish either. A fetish is sexual arousal from an inanimate object (or a animated part of the human body that is not sexual in nature). There is nothing done between homosexuals that isn’t done between heterosexuals. Or would you like to interfere with heterosexuals who engage in oral sex and anal sex?

                  So in review, everything you said is wrong.

                  1. You amuse swillfredo.

                    Your wife does not get the benefit. Merely, she qualifies for the benefit under current law.

                    She could die first or the law could change, which in either case, she would not get the benefit.

                    OASDI is a flat tax exactly. Each person who is obligated under law pays the EXACT SAME RATE — the essence of a flat tax.

                    Under current law, any surviving spouse qualifies for Social Security when he or she reaches at least the age of 62.5, regardless of ever having worked.

                    Your false belief — “There is nothing done between homosexuals that isn’t done between heterosexuals.” — is most amusing.

                    Homsexists do not engage in vaginal intercourse. Lesbians lack penises. Gays lack vaginas.

                    Homosexism is a fetish and as such, a mind disorder, as all fetishes are.

                    Persons get stuck in a mind loop of obsessive attraction when under fetish.

                    Homosexism is no different than bestialism, giantism, necrophilism or any other fetish.

                    Agitating for the license to marry based upon a sexual fetish is most bizarre.

                    Would we deem it right to grant a license to marry to a woman who foricates with dogs or oralates donkeys, a license that would grant survival benefits to the dog or the donkey allocated from Social Security welfare funds?

                    1. You amuse swillfredo.

                      Right now I am standing at the feet of the master although I have yet to figure out how much of yours is intentional. You are completely avoiding my points but that is okay; you are entertaining.

                      Your wife does not get the benefit.

                      Let’s try an experiment. The next time you rent a car buy all of the extra insurance. When you turn in the car, providing you have not wrecked it, tell the rental agent that you want your money back because you did not get any benefit from the insurance you bought. See how that works out. The benefit is the coverage, not the cash.

                      Under current law, any surviving spouse qualifies for Social Security when he or she reaches at least the age of 62.5, regardless of ever having worked.

                      That is an incorrect statement. They get nothing if their spouse did not pay into Social Security, and if they do collect the age they begin is not necessarily 62.5.

                      Lesbians lack penises. Gays lack vaginas.

                      Straight women lack penises too. That is part of what makes them women.

                      Homosexism is no different than bestialism, giantism, necrophilism or any other fetish.

                      With the mild exception of the fact that those activities do not involve a consenting human partner you are spot on. And please tell me what giantism is.

                      In general a debate needs to have commonly accepted definitions. If you cannot understand or refuse to accept the definition of fetish then the conversation is pointless. You may be struggling for the word paraphilia but it is hard to say.

                    2. You amuse, swillfredo pareto. Again!

                      Crying and whining claiming that others have avoided your points merely because you refuse to face truth does not make it so.

                      By your own example, it’s clear that you do not get waht insurance is.

                      The policy is written for an exact term. The seller sells the right to make a claim under terms and condition. The buyer buys the right to make a claim.

                      Upon return of the rental car, termination of the contract arises.

                      An insurance contract gives one party a right of action against another under specific condition. That’s all it does. Money gets paid, called a premium, to buy the time-limited right of action.

                      Thus, never again should you try to discuss economics. Thus subject is beyond your comprehension.

                      Instead of gleefully displaying your ignorance to the world through this message board, how about you head over to the Social Security Administration’s web site to find out this fact: Anyone who reaches the age of 62.5 qualifies for Social Security, REGARDLESS if they ever worked.

                      Work is not a qualifying criterion for eligibility of Social Security.

                      Have you ever heard of Google? If you are curious, most amusing swillfredo pareto, look up giantism, which involves consenting adults.

                      It is refreshing to see that you have come around to truth — homosexism is a fetish and as all fetishes, a mind disorder.

                      Good luck with the rest of your false beliefs. Hopefully for you, and for those who must tolerate you daily in person, you are young enough that the years ahead of you offer you a chance to mature.

                    3. By your own example, it’s clear that you do not get what insurance is.

                      Social security is not, never has been, and never will be insurance. It is a pay-as-you-go transfer payment. Feel free to check with any human resources department to confirm that your “contributions” are called payroll taxes, not insurance premiums.

                      Crying and whining claiming that others have avoided your points merely because you refuse to face truth does not make it so.

                      The points you have avoided are these:

                      First, all wage earners are forced to “purchase” a survivor’s benefit through their OASDI taxes. Setting aside children, under current law the definition of a survivor is an opposite gender, legal spouse. Single people and people in a relationship outside of marriage pay the exact same taxes and cannot get a traditional survivor’s benefit.

                      The second point is that homosexuality is not a fetish.

                      Work is not a qualifying criterion for eligibility of Social Security.

                      As you suggested I went over to the Social Security website.

                      How do you qualify for retirement benefits?

                      When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits.

                      The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work).

                      Here is the link: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10035.html

                      Have you ever heard of Google? If you are curious…look up giantism, which involves consenting adults.

                      I looked it up. Nothing. I appreciate the softballs but I can only assume you are a troll/sock puppet/false flag or someone who is off their medication. But you are an entertaining one.

                    4. Most amusing swillfredo pareto.

                      So tell us. What kind of anti-psychotic meds are you taking or are you merely dressed in a dirty, soiled winter parka sitting in a public library in the middle of July?

                      Again, you do not get what insurance is.

                      Now you conflate OASDI with your rental car insurance example.

                      Do you have the attention span of a flea or merely a mediocre IQ?

                    5. Who is this “we” you speak of? I was never consulted for this apparently monumental decision, and if I had been, I would have replied with a curt, “none of my damned business”, just as it’s none of my business whether Bill Gates rolls all of his money in the shape of a dildo for his favorite whore to use.

                    6. Let me slow it down for you. Substitute the phrase ‘us, the members of society’ for ‘we’, if that’s too big of a word for you.

      2. *Sigh* I think I speak for the crowd when I say that I am thrilled with any step, no matter how small, that reduces the influence of government and increases personal freedom. Conversely I will loudly object to any steps taken in the opposite direction. There is the ideal and there are steps that can be achieved in reality. Being a grown-up I understand that things are rarely exactly as I would have them.

        1. So you’re against gay marriage then? See, this whole thing is about government regulation of gay marriage–gay people can get married in the eyes of their divinity of choice right now–and have been able to for years(I was best man at a lesbian wedding years ago…in a church….with all the trappings–and the bachelor party was insane).

          I have seen multiple marriages as well.

          All done outside the aegis of the State. Isn’t that better?

          Why not work towards the disinvolvement of the state?

          1. Because until that day comes (never) there will still be a class of people who lack equal protection under the law. You can tolerate that?

            1. Then work to gain domestic-partnership parity with straight married couples, Tony. Focus your energies on that goal, and you don’t NEED the fucking piece of paper.

              Jesus, it’s so simple, gay folks… just do that, and forget about the permission slip.

              1. What are you talking about? What piece of paper? The marriage license that grants the rights and benefits we’re talking about?

                It’s not a permission slip. You can call yourself married to your poodle for all anyone cares. The whole point is the legal rights.

                1. Then work to gain domestic-partnership parity with straight married couples, Tony.

                  Your reading comprehension (or lack thereof) continues to be a source of entertainment.

                2. Tony, I’ll lay it out one more time:

                  If gays had every legal right as straight married couples, gays wouldn’t NEED that permission slip. Which is ALL a marriage license is, when you boil it down.

                  That, and symbolism. Which is why gays push so hard for it.

                  I’m all for the legal rights part, but cannot understand why your side is pushing for the government paper angle. I’m also for straight unmarried couples having the same legal rights, as I’ve said before as well.

                  Really, I don’t see why we’re at odds on this topic.

            2. Until the need for law is gone there will always be some person or people who lack equal protection under it based on one criteria or another.

              One works towards getting rid of the need for law, which is a good thing, instead of working towards making the law more intrusive and cumbersome.

          2. I am not sure of where in my post you got that idea. I am entirely comfortable with marriages of any flavor, polygamist, gay etc. being placed in the arena of private contract and taken out of governmental purview.

    3. Gays or straights or whatever shouldn’t be asking the government who they are allowed to love.

      So what does love have to do with marriage?

  12. Seems to me that to get your opinion out there it makes better sense to demonstrate in places where you’re going to meet people who are against that opinion. Oh, sure, you can get together with a bunch of your anti gay marriage friends and wave around placards and give speeches about how you’re against gay marriage, but if you do this, you’re not really doing anything–everyone there already agrees with you.

    But if you go where people don’t agree with you or are on the fence you can make–or lose converts.

    And isn’t making converts the point?

    Besides, the pro-gay marriage folks have already lost in Wisconsin, this gives them something to do besides mope.

    Oh, one last thing–that ‘jesus had two dads’ thing is wrong. Jesus had one dad, Joseph. See, that whole trinity thing means that God used the Holy Spirit(an aspect of Himself) to insert Jesus(an aspect of Himself) into Mary. So, technically speaking, He put Himself into Mary so she’d give birth to Him. The only ‘dad’ he had was Joseph–and he was a stepdad.

  13. To which the other side might reply: Hmm. Kind of like what we say about marriage.

    Congratulations! You nearly made it an entire article just reporting on the protesters.

    Alas, you had to end it with this bit of truthiness that deceptively makes it appear the argument is all tied up neatly in a pretty bow.

    No one says gays can’t marry. Nobody even asks if someone is gay when they apply for a marriage license, so it doesn’t even factor into the decision of whether to issue a marriage license or not.

    1. It has to do with treating men and women as identical and interchangable in all situations instead of equal. Gay marriage then makes sense. I’m waiting for the court order that all restrooms must be unisex since it would be discriminatory (separate but equal) to have separate restrooms for men and women. I doubt women would feel all that thrilled going into public restrooms with urinals on the wall and all the toilet seats up. I’m sure they’ll get used to it, though. 🙂

      1. It IS discriminatory for those reasons, and imposes larger construction and maintenance costs. However, in a country with the hangups on sex that the gay marriage battles reveal, you have a fat chance of (Jesus forbid!) having males and females do their waste management in the same place. But they should, yeah.

        1. 1) I find it dubious that there would be higher costs. People wouldn’t use the bathroom less?there wouldn’t be a need for less toilets, there just wouldn’t be a wall between them.

          2) What does sex have to do with bathrooms? I assume it was just common decency that gentlemen don’t do their waste management in the presence of the ladies and vice versa. Or are you some kind of caveman?

          1. Reaquiring an additional wall usually also requires to make the tubing more complex. Usually. Of course a good design can make it costless or cost-negligible.

            There is a sex hangup the moment you emphasized that it was ladies and gentlemen who have to be separated (As for me, I am ok with not doing it in the presence of anyone, whichever they are). If the issues are about privacy and sanitation, they are much the same whatever gender the other people are. Plus I never said I was against private stalls, and, really, see no need for standing up urinals not to have the privacy that toilets have. Why they can’t be in the same room regardless of gender is the part I attribute to “conservative” attitudes to genitalia.

  14. …or maybe they chose madison because it’s the capitol of wisconsin and that way they could get more of the ‘luminaries’ from the state govt to show up…

  15. You see, NOM and its allies attest that after all, they don’t want to deny the other side the right to speak. They just want to enjoy the same right.

    To which the other side might reply: Hmm. Kind of like what we say about marriage.

    Both sides have the same right to marry one person of the opposite sex.

    1. Do you still cling to this absolute bullshit? That would be perfectly fine if there were only heterosexuals.

    2. And they also have the same right to marry one person of the same race.

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