Jesurgislac’s Journal

October 27, 2008

The awful self-pity of the self-righteous bigot

On 1st July 2005, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, told the Cortes Generales:

We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members. In the poem ‘The Family,’ our poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because, ‘How does man live in denial in vain/by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?’ Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years have, been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied, and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty.

On Tuesday 4th November 2008, voters in the state of California will be asked to decide if their state shall remove the right to marry from same-sex couples: Proposition 8.

The campaign for “Yes on 8″ has sent blackmail letters to No on 8 donors in efforts to raise money (for example), used images of children without their parents consent, and supporters of the measure have violently attacked opponents (as for instance), after the attack described (and recorded on vidcam) at the previous link:

I stood there for another minute or two, checking the phone’s applications for damage. One of the other sign-wavers, a teenage boy standing nearby, leaned over and whispered “fuck you, dyke.”

Even though I wasn’t hurt besides a small scratch on my hand, and my phone was okay, being attacked definitely shook me up. I was a bit tearful. Call me naive, but I never thought I’d actually be in physical danger just for shooting footage of their activity and pulling the edge of a person’s sign out of my eyes. Verbal insults, sure. But attacked by an anti-gay activist? In one of the most queer-friendly neighborhoods in the bay area? Yikes.

The man holding the “Vote No” sign noticed that I was in tears and approached me. We hugged to a chorus of jeers, exchanged some reassuring words, and I turned to leave. Someone called after me: “keep crying, and keep walking.”

These people are campaigning to remove a basic civil right from their fellow citizens. They are doing an ugly thing, and they are doing it in ugly ways. Blackmail, using children’s images without their parents’ knowledge or consent, verbal and physical abuse.

Orson Scott Card, though he lives in North Carolina, a state which has passed legislation to ensure that same-sex couples who marry legally can’t have their marriages recognised, has gotten very involved as a Mormon in fighting what is religiously abhorrent to him. (There is a long post here outlining why the Mormon Church is fighting this decision, related to their fight against the acceptance of black people in their church.)

What distress this political attack by their church on the civil rights of LGBT people has caused some Mormons is described here:

The thought of going to church in her southern California LDS ward makes Carol Oldham cry. She can’t face one more sermon against same-sex marriage. She can’t tolerate the glares at the rainbow pin on her lapel.
Oldham, a lifelong Mormon, is troubled by her church’s zeal in supporting a California ballot initiative that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. She feels the church is bringing politics into her sanctuary.
“It has tainted everything for me,” Oldham said, choking up during a telephone interview. “I am afraid to go there and hear people say mean things about gay people. I am in mourning. I don’t know how long I can last.” (Salt Lake Tribune)

In a column entitled Disagree but don’t be unkind, Orson Scott Card wrote on 23rd October 2008:

Some people have misunderstood the LDS Church’s position on Proposition 8 in California, and its opposition to gay marriage. They think that we are “against homosexuals” — that we think of “them” as our enemies, and that individuals who have entered into “gay marriages” pose a direct personal threat to us.

Certainly Carol Oldham, Orson Scott Card’s sister in the church, would say so. As would Wendy Reynolds, who writes:

I grew up in Utah and was raised Mormon. When I first moved from Utah, back in 1995, I was always shocked when people asked me if Mormons were Christian. However, when the church so strongly backs and advocates measures that discriminate, I can clearly understand why people think Mormons are not Christian. What would be truly impressive and the Christian thing to do, would be to take all the money raised by the members of the church in support of this proposition, millions of dollars, and use it to help people that are in need. That money could be put to much better use.

Orson Scott Card argues that in fact the Mormons aren’t fighting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in order to keep lesbian and gay Mormons from getting married: he asserts that the LDS are “pretty good at going our own way” and claims that lesbian and gay Mormons are as likely to be discouraged from embracing their freedom to marry as any Mormon is likely to be discouraged from “smoking, drinking or taking drugs”. It is a dreadful comparison, really. Discouraging young people from making use of addictive substances which are commonplace and legal in the surrounding culture – coffee, booze, tobacco – is quite a different thing from discouraging young lesbian and gay people from making a lifelong committment to the person that they love. Certainly one may drink coffee and wine in moderation without any ill-effects, but refraining from coffee or wine has no known ill effect. Whereas there is no way to bring children up in the belief that they are disgusting to their parents without ill effects: there is no way to deny people basic civil rights without ill effects.

To quote the rather splendid Kip Manley:

I can only say what I’ve said before, to other homophobes: Mr. Card, do you not dare to presume to defend our marriage. Same-sex couples have been getting married all around us for decades, and they’ll keep on doing it, whether you manage to hold the line or not: men will kiss their husbands as you write your brave polemics; wives will continue to feed each other cake, whatever you think is right. They’ve always had the love and the cherish and the honor, and the recognition of their friends and family, and nothing you can do will take that from them. Nothing. All you can manage is to rewrite the tax code. Make it more of a grinding hassle to deal with insurance and wills. Keep loving families apart at times of illness and accident and death. Condemn children to needless, nightmarish legal quagmires. For this you would tarnish the rings on our fingers, and turn our vows into ashes.

Card goes on to say:

We do not believe that homosexuals, by entering into a “marriage,” are personally hurting anybody. Where the law makes such a thing available, even temporarily, those who “marry” are not our enemies. We believe the law is wrong and the marriage is not, in any meaningful way, what we mean by marriage.
But my family and I are perfectly able to deal with such couples socially and keep them as friends, as long as they show the same respect and understanding for our customs and beliefs as we show for theirs.
…..
My family and I have close friends who are gay, some of whom have entered into lawful marriages. They know we don’t agree that their relationship is the same thing or should have the same legal status as our marriage, but we all accept that strong and clear difference of opinion and move on, continuing to respect and love each other for the values we share.

I guess this would be like the white Mormons who had “close friends” who were black, back in the pre-1978 days when Mormons were required to believe that black people could only enter the Celestial Kingdom as servants? Orson Scott Card does note that where his “close friends” would not accept that he was always going to regard them as inferior people in inferior relationships, who ought to be harassed by the legal system and denied basic civil rights, and insisted that he accept them as his equals, the friendship always ended. But what is sickening is his assertion:

What is odd is that in every case they called me intolerant. They misunderstood the meaning of “tolerance.” Tolerance implies disagreement — it means that even though we don’t agree with or approve of each others beliefs or actions, we can still live together amicably. When we agree, we aren’t being tolerant, we’re being uniform.

I think what Orson Scott Card misunderstands is the meaning of friendship. If you regard someone as your inferior, if you deny them civil rights, you are not their friend. Orson Scott Card may think he has gay friends – in the same sense as a white bigot probably thinks he has black friends – and it’s even possible (indeed, quite likely) that some gay people who know Orson Scott Card have made a point of just ignoring his awful opinions on the basis that public disagreements with a well-known person seldom end well. Card is right that this is tolerance: but it’s not friendship. Card’s real friends were the ones who wanted to be friends – the ones Card drove away because they wanted friendship from him, not a disdainful tolerance. This friendship they asked of him Card calls “uniformity or submission” – and he rejected it. That Card could not bear to be friends with someone who was lesbian or gay and demanded more than passive disdain from him is sad for him: what’s ugly is that he blames them for demanding too much from him:

It makes me sad when people are so intolerant that they cannot bear to be friends with anyone who disapproves of some action or opinion of theirs. But I believe that if we could only be friends with people who never disapprove of something we do, we will end up with “friends” who either don’t know us very well, or don’t care about us very much.

Card goes on to say – it’s his third point:

Even if we fail to overturn the current legal movement toward gay marriage, we can treat our opponents politely and kindly, even when they do not extend the same courtesy to us.

There is no polite and kind way to deny people their civil rights. As I wrote in You cannot invite someone halfway in, you cannot expect to keep people grateful and humble forever for simply not being brutalised. Card’s writing on this topic – I’ve linked to two examples above – has been neither polite nor kind.

I’ve read more than I want to of Orson Scott Card on same-sex marriage over the past little while, and this

Only those who try to use the force of law to promote homosexual behavior and homosexual marriage to our children, and who would forbid us to publicly teach and express our belief that marriage is only meaningful between heterosexual couples, move into the category of enemies of freedom. And that will be because of their attempt to suppress religious freedom, freedom of speech and press, and the right of parents to control their children’s moral education.

is a recurring theme: Orson Scott Card is repeating dreck.

It is dreck, of course: in no state in the US is same-sex marriage “compulsory” (whatever that would look like!), and in no state in the US is it forbidden for homophobic parents to teach their children that they believe same-sex couples ought not to be allowed to marry.

But it is a very peculiar reversal. In 25 states in the US, the enemies of marriage have banned recognition of same-sex marriage: in 19 states, they have banned recognition of same-sex civil unions. Yet, in the view of Card (a view which Mark on A Deo Lumen seems to share: I am in hopes that perhaps Mark will explain why he identifies those who want the freedom to marry as “the enemies of freedom”, since Orson Scott Card himself seems to have nothing new to say on the subject) the people who are using the power of the legislature to enforce their beliefs and repress disagreement are somehow, in Card’s mind, supporting “religious freedom”.

It may be that he is simply lying: he claims outright that even though he is doing his little all at the request of the current LDS President to enforce the current religious beliefs of the Mormon Church of the state of California:

We do not think that any belief system, whether it calls itself a religion or not, should be imposed on other people by law — we won’t impose ours on them, and we won’t let them impose theirs on us or our families.

If this statement were true, Orson Scott Card should be a fervent supporter of No on 8… the question is: is Card consciously and conscientiously lying, in the hope that he may fool some of his readers as to what Proposition 8 is about, or has he fooled himself?

The LDS still disagrees with inter-racial marriage, for example: this paragraph might as easily have been written in 1967 in opposition to Loving vs Virginia:

In fact, I believe that even those who absolutely believe in gay [inter-racial] marriage should join us in opposing any law that is forced on an unwilling majority by the dictates of judges. For those that are wise will recognize that once judges are given such power, that power has as much chance of being used against them as for them.

He goes on to ask what reasons Mormons have “as citizens” for opposing same-sex couples having the freedom to marry:

Legalizing gay marriage has huge legal implications far beyond letting same-sex couples enter into marriage contracts. Once “marriage” has been so radically redefined, it will become unlawful and discriminatory for schools or any other public facility to favor, for instance, heterosexual dating or dancing.

Absolutely true, and furthermore, I don’t see the problem. Why should a lesbian student be forced to date only boys, or a gay student forced to date only girls? Why shouldn’t girls dance with girls, if they want to, or boys dance with boys? What is this “freedom” that Orson Scott Card supports, if it doesn’t include the right of high school kids to date and dance as their fancy takes them, and not rigidly in mixed-sex couples only?

Since our culture (like all human cultures throughout all of history) is oriented toward promoting the maximum opportunity for reproductive success for all members of the community, but channeled in a way that will best promote the survival of the community, such a radical change should not be entered into lightly.

Wait, what? The Mormon Church supports high school girls getting pregnant by high school boys? Tell me something, parents: which would you rather: your daugher going to the Senior Prom with the girl she’s currently in love with, or your daughter missing the Senior Prom because she’s giving birth that week: “Hey, I just maximised my opportunity for reproductive success – that guy I was dating last week’s the father.”

He’s got five “reasons” why same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and none of them are worth more than a hill of beans – indeed, less: you can eat the beans.

His final assertion, however, is outrageously untrue:

No serious attempt has been made to consider anything more than a general feeling that “tolerance is good” and “discrimination is bad.” Yet we are proceeding headlong into a vast social experiment whose consequences, as far as we can see, risk serious damage to many in order to create only the most marginal benefit for a few.

The case for giving same-sex couples the same freedom to marry as mixed-sex couples enjoy is one that has been exhaustively discussed for well over 20 years. Orson Scott Card’s claim that no one, anywhere, has expressed anything but a “general feeling” of approval for tolerance and opposition to discrimination is just… a lie. I really don’t think I can assume he’s merely ignorant: if he is, he has certainly worked to maintain his ignorance. The issue is, as every serious person on the pro-marriage side has made clear from the very beginning, that this is about justice: this is about equality.

From the US alone:

Coretta Scott King: Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.

Mildred Loving: I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people civil rights.

Brad Pitt: Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8.

Even Google!: However, while there are many objections to this proposition — further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text — it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

Janis Ian: We got married because we could. If we could have gotten married in the United States, we would have. When the opportunity to get married in Canada presented itself, we grabbed it. As a couple, we wanted the same rights and the same social recognition our heterosexual friends have. We also got married because, just like coming out, public figures need to do that to make the rest of the world aware. I think it’s important that people are made aware, because at the end of the day it’s a civil rights issue.

(To which Orson Scott Card’s response, a few months later, was : So if my friends insist on calling what they do “marriage,” they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is. Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage. They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won’t be married. They’ll just be playing dress-up in their parents’ clothes. Janis Ian is one of those “former friends”, I guess.)

As for the second half of Card’s assertion, given that the first same-sex civil unions were made law in 1989, nearly 20 years ago, while in the US nearly half the states in the union are still militantly repressing any legal recognition, this is the kind of “rushing headlong” that looks more like a heel-dragging delay on a civil rights reform with long-proven benefits and no known drawback.

But what, I confess to you, finally impelled me to write this – the disgust I feel at the awful self-pity of this self-righteous bigot – was this closing statement, framed as a series of questions, in which this supporter of a widespread attack on religious freedom and civil rights in the United States asks with horrid pathos:

Why the hostility toward even the slightest opposition? Can’t our opponents wait to get their way until they have persuaded a clear majority? Can’t they listen to people with ideas that are different from theirs?

Dude. When you try to take away people’s civil rights because you have majority support, you can at least have the courage and honesty to admit that the people whose civil rights and religious freedom you want denied by law are not going to like you for it.

42 Comments »

  1. I appreciate the open discussion, but don’t think you have a very good grasp or reference on the beliefs of the LDS Church. I recently posted on my blog something about this very issue. I have a lot of family in California and lived there myself for a while. I also believe strongly in preserving marriage. My blog entry is found here and links to authoritative information from the LDS Church about their beliefs:
    http://jeromatron.blogspot.com/2008/10/gay-marriage-is-civil-right.html

    The official position of the church is found here as a list of links:
    http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/same-sex-marriage-and-proposition-8

    When you say the following:

    “Since our culture (like all human cultures throughout all of history) is oriented toward promoting the maximum opportunity for reproductive success for all members of the community, but channeled in a way that will best promote the survival of the community, such a radical change should not be entered into lightly.”

    where are you getting that? It certainly isn’t from any official LDS Church source because it is not the belief of the church. Please take the links I’ve mentioned into consideration and get reliable sources for the beliefs of the church. You are certainly free to disagree, but please understand their position.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Jeremy — October 27, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  2. Happy to have a discussion on this. I talk regularly to other Christians who share your concerns about self-righteousness on the right, in general, and appropriate legal protections for gays or lesbians who desire to enjoy the legal benefits of traditional marriage. If two people are committed to one another and are citizens of a given nation (in our case, the US), then it seems reasonable to have certain legal protections. Whether those protections should be the same as heterosexual marriage, and whether it is inherently “gay bashing” self-righteousness to question whether equal protection is appropriate or best for society, well, that is where everyone needs to come to the public square with an open mind.

    I am eager to have that discussion, and I don’t profess to have all the answers.

    I also would like to hear a response from supporters of gay marriage to this site: http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html. I can understand that some would read this site and level the “self-righteous bigot” charge at words like “onslaught” and other charged words. I am not looking for a counterbashing of this site’s claims, but instead a reasoned response to those concerned about a push to advocate or even describe homosexuality in the education of young people.

    The thought/question forming in my mind is this: Is there a compromise solution where the majority will can be expressed in defining marriage as between one man and one woman, while also extending appropriate legal protection to the minority (at least in the US) who have a different definition?

    We are in difficult territory where each side will need to recognize the needs and interest of the other. The first step is transparency: What does each side really want. Perhaps we can have that discussion first. Then, we can have a dialogue about what is truly achievable together, if anything.

    I welcome thoughts…

    Comment by adeolumen — October 27, 2008 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  3. Most churches say NO to prop 8, as do all true Christians.

    Comment by Robert — October 27, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  4. Jeromy: but don’t think you have a very good grasp or reference on the beliefs of the LDS Church.

    Really? I got my information on the beliefs of the LDS church with regard to same-sex marriage from a letter which was sent from the First Presidency to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29th June 2008. Obviously that letter doesn’t represent the beliefs of all Mormons – indeed, I quoted two who heartily disagree: but a letter from the Quorum of the Presidency of the Church would appear to me to have a claim to represent the beliefs of the LDS Church. In fact, I see it’s the first item linked to on the link you provided…

    where are you getting that? It certainly isn’t from any official LDS Church source because it is not the belief of the church.

    From the column I linked to, by Orson Scott Card, to which I am responding. It’s a consistent theme of Card’s in all his anti-gay marriage columns: that mixed-sex marriage must be made the only option, to “maximise reproduction”.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 27, 2008 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

  5. Mark: I appreciate your reasoned response.

    I talk regularly to other Christians who share your concerns about self-righteousness on the right, in general, and appropriate legal protections for gays or lesbians who desire to enjoy the legal benefits of traditional marriage. If two people are committed to one another and are citizens of a given nation (in our case, the US), then it seems reasonable to have certain legal protections. Whether those protections should be the same as heterosexual marriage, and whether it is inherently “gay bashing” self-righteousness to question whether equal protection is appropriate or best for society, well, that is where everyone needs to come to the public square with an open mind.

    I think that people who believe same-sex couples ought to have different/lesser/fewer rights than mixed-sex couples should justify their belief: I have not yet seen it justified in any sensible way, and it’s fair to say I don’t think it can be sensibly justified. (Most of the arguments I have read on this subject I covered in the basics.)

    The thought/question forming in my mind is this: Is there a compromise solution where the majority will can be expressed in defining marriage as between one man and one woman, while also extending appropriate legal protection to the minority (at least in the US) who have a different definition?

    In the UK, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was intended to meet religious objections to same-sex marriage: civil partnership gives same-sex couples virtually identical rights to marriage (there are a couple of tax and pension loopholes which will eventually disappear) without the name of marriage and without permitting religious celebration at the legal ceremony. I don’t think this is a perfect answer, but it is certainly better than what the US currently allows for same-sex couples, and it was designed to meet those objections from religious people. The difficulty with putting this forward as an acceptable solution is that appears the most activist religious people who object to same-sex marriage, will also object to any legal relationship otherwise identical to marriage. (Lillian Ladele, a former registrar in a London borough, claimed an objection to civil partnership on religious grounds, in which she was supported by the Christian Institute: another evangelical Christian campaigning organisation, the Evangelical Alliance, objected to civil partnership from the outset.)

    Furthermore, Christian campaigners against equal rights for same-sex couples have succeeded in banning legal recognition of same-sex civil unions in 19 states of the US. If their only objection was to the name of marriage, they would have no reason to object to a civil union with the some/all of the same rights as marriage. It does not seem to me that it is worthwhile offering the compromise of equal legal recognition when this plainly will not satisfy the most activist and outspoken Christian opponents of the freedom to marry.

    We are in difficult territory where each side will need to recognize the needs and interest of the other. The first step is transparency: What does each side really want. Perhaps we can have that discussion first. Then, we can have a dialogue about what is truly achievable together, if anything.

    I think (from discussion with LGBT people in the US) that most would accept the equivalent of what most LGBT people in the UK accepted: civil partnership, recognised as legally equal to marriage across the whole nation. It would be far better that the current situation.

    But the anti-marriage activists have managed to ensure this option will not be available. When DOMA is repealed or struck down by the Supreme Court, three states in the US already recognise marriage: it is too late to require those states to provide only civil unions. The end of DOMA will ensure that states across the US will be required to recognise any married couple as legally married, as will the federal government. Further, absent DOMA, a state without civil union legislation will have no choice but to recognise same-sex civil unions as legal marriage – they’ll have no other mechanism for recognition.

    I am not looking for a counterbashing of this site’s claims, but instead a reasoned response to those concerned about a push to advocate or even describe homosexuality in the education of young people.

    I think people who are “concerned” that young people will grow up aware that some people are lesbian or gay, and that same-sex couples can marry, are homophobic bigots – there is no reason to want to keep children ignorant that being lesbian or gay is normal but the settled conviction that it’s not. I address some of the specific points they make in my post on dreck – in particular, that these people express strong “concern” against activities tending to halt or to make unacceptable homophobic bullying.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 27, 2008 @ 9:01 pm | Reply

  6. jesurgislac:

    You obviously have strong feelings in opposition to proposition 8. I feel the opposite about the proposition. All I was trying to say was please go to an authoritative source for doctrines and teachings of the LDS Church. I don’t believe I have ever heard at any time at church that it is okay to hate or to treat anyone poorly because of their sexual orientation. In fact I’ve often heard the opposite – to be kind, to love one another – without precondition or stipulation.

    It appears that there is a lot of hatred here. I’m sorry if you feel you have been mistreated, but many of your assertions about the LDS Church are simply inaccurate or misrepresented.

    Comment by Jeremy — October 27, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  7. I don’t believe I have ever heard at any time at church that it is okay to hate or to treat anyone poorly because of their sexual orientation.

    So you’ve never heard anything from the LDS church about supporting Proposition 8 – you’re saying you got the idea that it’s okay to treat lesbian and gay people that poorly purely on your own? I don’t find that claim convincing, given that you yourself linked to the letter the First Presidency sent out to the bishops of California instructing them to tell their congregations to support Proposition 8.

    That letter was supposed to be read to all congregations in June, instructing them that lesbian and gay people do not deserve equal civil rights, that same-sex couples and their children are not the kind of families your God wants or plans for, and that because your God doesn’t want these families Mormons should work hard to make sure that these people and their families are not treated as equals by the state of California. That is a message of hate: that is a message instructing Mormons that it’s not only okay to treat lesbian and gay people poorly, it’s an approved work.

    I’m perfectly prepared to accept that Orson Scott Card himself is making stuff up about what Mormons believe – I know him best as a science-fiction writer, though I know he’s also a lifelong Mormon. But as I said: I do believe the First Presidency is an authoritative source, and from that I take my assertion that the LDS church teaches hatred and mistreatment of gay people.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 12:10 am | Reply

  8. Both sides (which are equal subscribers to a religion, either traditional/overt or alternative/covert) have successfully picked a fight, couching the issue in terms of freedom vs. oppression, each with their own slant.

    Marriage, according to the state, is a legal construct. It is a legal contract between two parties, which once entered into the state gives and protects certain ‘rights’ for that legal entity. Similar to a Corporation, an LLC, or a partnership in business. The legal reference to ‘marriage’ in constitutional law is meant to refer to a ‘legal entity’ not a biological, natural, or religious one.

    My solution: dissolve the legal construct of “marriage” and call everything a “civil union” which may be entered into by two consenting adults. If people want to be “married” they should do so at the religious ceremony of there choosing. If they want to enter into a partnership for legal/tax/etc purposes, enter into a ‘civil union.’

    Both Republican’s & Democrat’s seek to legislate their own religion, which is not the purpose of social contracts (our Constitution(s) were built on the social contract theory).

    yours truly one awfully, pitying, self-righteous bigot, ;)
    kerrin

    Comment by kerrin — October 28, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  9. kerrin: My solution: dissolve the legal construct of “marriage” and call everything a “civil union” which may be entered into by two consenting adults. If people want to be “married” they should do so at the religious ceremony of there choosing.

    You’re just changing “the group that can’t get married” from lesbian and gay people to atheists and people who partner across religions.

    People who propose this “solution” make me tired; it is so appallingly stupid. Marriage has been recognised as a civil institution in the United States since the country was first constituted. The notion that it should be changed now, causing massive international complications for couples who have to explain in other countries that no, they’re not married, they’re atheists, or she’s a Jew and he’s a Catholic, or he’s a Mormon and she’s a Baptist, so the United States doesn’t permit them marriage, they only have civil unions… that really would be to redefine marriage for everyone.

    Oh, and –

    Both sides (which are equal subscribers to a religion, either traditional/overt or alternative/covert) have successfully picked a fight, couching the issue in terms of freedom vs. oppression, each with their own slant.

    - this is rubbish. A couple who want to get married are not “picking a fight” – they just want to marry. It is the people who oppose the couple’s freedom to marry who are picking the fight.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 12:41 am | Reply

  10. You’re just changing “the group that can’t get married” from lesbian and gay people to atheists and people who partner across religions.

    Any group of individuals can call it whatever they like, they’re at liberty to do so. Atheists or mixed religion unions can hold their own private ceremony if they so wish however they want. In my view the legal construct of two partners is seen across the United States and other countries that recognize a legal partnership between two people.

    People who propose this “solution” make me tired; it is so appallingly stupid.

    Sorry to tire you. It seems as though you are being a little bigoted towards this idea. I didn’t call your idea stupid. ;)

    Marriage has been recognized as a civil institution in the United States since the country was first constituted.

    Sure. A civil institution built around a legal contract, nothing more. Let’s keep it that way, allow two consenting adults to hold this legal construct. All I’m advocating is the removal of the word ‘marriage’—call it whatever you want. I’m only proposing this removal because of its cultural and historical ties to religion. Leave it’s biological or natural definition to religion and belief systems—are you not for separation of Church and State?

    A couple who want to get married are not “picking a fight” – they just want to marry. It is the people who oppose the couple’s freedom to marry who are picking the fight.

    I am referring to a political fight currently between the “right” and “left.” I do not oppose freedom or liberty in the slightest. Those wishing a legal contract that affords them ‘rights’ by the state should be able to obtain such. I am advocating that the word ‘marriage’ be removed because it has little to do with a social contract recognized by the state.

    Comment by kerrin — October 28, 2008 @ 3:17 am | Reply

  11. I’d like to see something like France has–there is the civil version of marriage, and then, if someone chooses it, the religious ceremony, which has no bearing on the actual legality of the union. Of course, before that I’d like to see the state affording equal legal rights to everyone. Then we can fight over what to call it.

    Prop 8 is awful, and more than that, it’s just stupid. HOW is a heterosexual marriage threatened by gay marriage? I’ve yet to figure it.

    Comment by lowly_adjunct — October 28, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  12. lowly_adjunct: I’d like to see something like France has–there is the civil version of marriage, and then, if someone chooses it, the religious ceremony, which has no bearing on the actual legality of the union.

    Well, you live in the US, don’t you? That’s the system that the US has. The religious ceremony doesn’t make the marriage legal: the actual legality of the union is provided by the civil authority, always. (A minister of religion can apply to become someone who can also provide the civil version of marriage, but even then they can’t marry legally anyone who doesn’t have the civil license from the civil authority.)

    Agree too hard with the rest of your comment, of course…

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  13. Kerrin: In my view the legal construct of two partners is seen across the United States and other countries that recognize a legal partnership between two people.

    Absolutely. And the name of that special legal partnership is marriage. It is stupid to propose that couples who are married ought not to be allowed to call themselves married because they are not religious.

    All I’m advocating is the removal of the word ‘marriage’—call it whatever you want. I’m only proposing this removal because of its cultural and historical ties to religion.

    You could with equal validity (and without any international complications) propose that couples who want to married in a religious ceremony only, without any validity from the civil authority, refer to what they have as a “religious union” – because “marriage” has cultural, historical, and legal associations with civil authority.

    I am advocating that the word ‘marriage’ be removed because it has little to do with a social contract recognized by the state.

    Historically, traditionally, culturally, the word marriage identifies that social contract recognised by the state, and has done so since long before the United States existed – and long before the words “right” and “left” identified sides in politics.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  14. It is stupid to propose that couples who are married ought not to be allowed to call themselves married because they are not religious.

    That is not what I am saying. They can call it whatever they want on whatever basis they want—they are free to call it “marriage.” Beyond the legal contract provided by the state it is their private right to call it what they want. The state does not need to dictate anything other then the legal contract that protects their rights.

    …because “marriage” has cultural, historical, and legal associations with civil authority.

    But the western form of marriage has roots in many ancient customs and socioeconomic forces (e.g. early forms of marriage were arranged by parents). To simply appose my proposition, which by the way is fair to both “sides” of the “left” vs. “right” argument, because of civil authority’s historical involvement in using the word ‘marriage’ seems weak to me. Civil authorities involvement in the “institution of marriage” was historical speaking primarily rights oriented (legal). For example ancient Rome enacted laws to protect women from their husbands so they couldn’t punish, sell, or kill them—rights protection by the civil government.

    Historically, traditionally, culturally, the word marriage identifies that social contract recognized by the state, and has done so since long before the United States existed – and long before the words “right” and “left” identified sides in politics.

    True. So now you want tradition, history, and culture to make your case? This sounds like a “conservative” making their case. ;) Is it not important to recognize where social contracts err and correct them? Slaves protected as personal property needed the 14th Amendment to correct that “Historically, traditionally, culturally” ‘mistake’ in the social contract.

    Comment by kerrin — October 28, 2008 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  15. That is not what I am saying. They can call it whatever they want on whatever basis they want—they are free to call it “marriage.” Beyond the legal contract provided by the state it is their private right to call it what they want. The state does not need to dictate anything other then the legal contract that protects their rights.

    So you’re actually proposing as a new idea the current system – the state supports the marriage contract, and individuals are free to call it what they like. Okay. I guess some people might want to call their marriage licence their civil union licence…

    Yeah, yeah, I know, what you’re proposing is the other way round: you’re suggesting that the state governments in the US should stop issuing marriage licences, and start issuing civil union licences.

    To simply appose my proposition, which by the way is fair to both “sides” of the “left” vs. “right” argument, because of civil authority’s historical involvement in using the word ‘marriage’ seems weak to me.

    No. I oppose your proposition because it’s stupid. One: there is no point to it. Two: it will never happen, because you will never get people to support the idea that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.

    I just pointed out for your information that your belief that marriage has nothing to do with civil authority is historically, factually, completely wrong.

    So now you want tradition, history, and culture to make your case?

    No: that’s what you tried to do – you claimed that marriage was religious by appealing to “cultural and historical ties to religion”. Now you’re trying to assert that because I refuted your attempt to have “tradition, history, and culture to make your case” by pointing out you’re factually wrong, that I am sounding like a “conservative”? Nope: just like a person better-educated than you are. I’m sure your argument would embarrass some well-educated conservatives, too.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  16. Nope: just like a person better-educated than you are.

    Ah, okay. You win.

    Comment by kerrin — October 28, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  17. Ugh. What a horrid little man Card is. (I’m afraid now to reread Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, which I liked, because I’m afraid I’ll see the crazy now that I know it’s there.)

    Mark@2 – I read the link you provided. Thanks for the laugh.

    I was particularly amused at the fellow who failed the bar exam because he wouldn’t answer questions about same-sex marriage. You can expect to fail the bar if you refuse to answer questions about something that’s legal in the state where you’re taking the exam. Dunne’s not a martyr for his beliefs. He’s just an idiot.

    Likewise, the argument that allowing same-sex marriage will oblige schools to teach about it or allow teachers and civil servants to marry persons of the same sex is ridiculous. Well, yes. That’s not an actual argument.

    I’m not from Massachusetts and can’t provide information about the HIV or domestic violence rate, though I suspect MassR is skewing statistics. However, has it occurred to you that same-sex marriage might lessen the HIV rate? After all, a married couple is more likely to be monogamous and thus spread less HIV. As for DV, they might want to address the higher rates of DV among heterosexuals before they start gay-bashing. (Is the cited sum for gay relationships exclusively?)

    Of course businesses and insurance are required to extend coverage to married couples of the same sex. They’re benefits granted because of married status. This should be obvious.

    Re businesses being “tested”: again, I’m not from MA, but I suspect business discrimination against gay couples was illegal before same-sex marriage was legalized, so that argument doesn’t hold water.

    Any other “arguments” you want me to address, Mark?

    (Though – Romney! That was surprising.)

    Comment by Rebecca — October 28, 2008 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

  18. One: there is no point to it.

    The point is that it ends the silly argument between left and right and gets something done. The country can move on to other issues.

    Two: it will never happen, because you will never get people to support the idea that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.

    I never said nor am I saying people “shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.” I’m saying they get married in a private ceremony and obtain a legal union fro

    One: there is no point to it.

    The point is that it ends the silly argument between left and right and gets something done. The country can move on to other issues.

    Two: it will never happen, because you will never get people to support the idea that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.

    I never said nor am I saying people “shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.” I’m saying they get married in a private ceremony and obtain a legal union from the state. They still get married.

    I just pointed out for your information that your belief that marriage has nothing to do with civil authority is historically, factually, completely wrong.

    I did not say, “nothing to do with” I said “little to do with a social contract.” Yes marriage has been used throughout history by government. Lets limit the use of the term to non-legal documents. If ‘marriage’ is a natural or biological union, why must the state say anything about it in a legal document?

    …you claimed that marriage was religious by appealing to “cultural and historical ties to religion”.

    Just to be clear, I acknowledge marriage, as an institution, has ties to both civil government and religion ‘traditionally, historically, and culturally.’ I’m trying to separate the two (e.g. church/religion and state separation). If what you want is civil liberties for all, which I also want, why can we not give people even more freedom to define the private ceremony of marriage however they want? Why does must the state define what a marriage is?

    PS. I am not a “conservative” nor do identify with the ‘right.’ By way of full disclosure, I would identify with the classical liberalism or libertarianism the most.

    Comment by kerrin — October 28, 2008 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  19. The point is that it ends the silly argument between left and right and gets something done.

    No, it would not.

    The homophobic bigots who object to same-sex couples getting married do not, as they have made clear repeatedly, object only to couples using the word “marriage”: they object to LGBT people having equal civil rights, or even basic human rights. So even if same-sex couples are given civil unions, while mixed-sex couples get to marry, this would not end the “right”‘s argument, because that’s not the core of their argument. Assuming you had the power to instigate legislation ruling that no one ought to be allowed to marry legally, you would merely begin another argument….

    I never said nor am I saying people “shouldn’t be allowed to get married any more.”

    Yes, you are. Ignoring the irrelevant issue of whatever private religious ceremonies people may go through: you are arguing that no one in the US should be able to marry legally, they should only be able to register a legal civil union. The religious ceremony has never been the legal marriage.

    I did not say, “nothing to do with” I said “little to do with a social contract.” Yes marriage has been used throughout history by government. Lets limit the use of the term to non-legal documents.

    So every single piece of legislation across the US which refers to married couples must be rewritten, in order to give civil unioned couples the same rights they would have had if they had still been allowed to get married? I realise that you have to be pretty much a complete policy wonk to have an idea of how big a job that is: but in the UK, which has only three different sets of marriage legislation, to legislate for civil partnership legally identical to marriage, required a Act the size of a telephone directory which took well over a year to draft – to be sure that no items of legislation had been omitted. You’re advocating a change to American legislation which would be about 16 or 17 times the size… and which would at best accomplish nothing useful, and at worst, could mean that in many countries round the world which did not bother to pass legislation recognising American civil unions as equivalent to marriage, American couples moving abroad would find themselves in legal limbo: in a legal relationship not recognised by the country they lived in.

    I’m trying to separate the two (e.g. church/religion and state separation).

    Civil marriage, and the religious ceremony, are already separate in US law. You are trying to destroy the civil institution of marriage.

    Yes marriage has been used throughout history by government. Lets limit the use of the term to non-legal documents. If ‘marriage’ is a natural or biological union, why must the state say anything about it in a legal document?

    Because marriage is a civil institution.

    If what you want is civil liberties for all, which I also want

    Aside from wanting to prevent people from getting married. ;-)

    , why can we not give people even more freedom to define the private ceremony of marriage however they want?

    People already have complete freedom to define the private ceremony however they want. It just doesn’t have any impact on law.

    Why does must the state define what a marriage is?

    Because that’s the nature of civil marriage.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 28, 2008 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  20. Thanks for a response that didn’t reference my lack of education or the stupidity of my argument. :) I have not meant to offend your intelligence in the slightest.

    The homophobic bigots who object to same-sex couples getting married do not object only to couples using the word “marriage”

    True. Are there many of these people though? Can we not appeal to the sensible people on the right? There seems to be less people who think this way then there use to be. This is anecdotal, but I haven’t heard much “gay bashing” in recent years compared to the 80′s. There is other such anecdotal evidence that suggests this may be so. Perhaps you are right what I purpose will not do away with the “left” vs. “right” issue but it is a compromise that affords the most freedom and liberty for all Americans—the state would not define ‘marriage’ the people would.

    Assuming you had the power to instigate legislation ruling that no one ought to be allowed to marry legally, you would merely begin another argument…

    Why must there be “legislation ruling that no one ought to be allowed to marry legally?” Why wouldn’t an amendment work? Something similar to the 14th amendment (it’s not that long), but for legal civil unions.

    American couples moving abroad would find themselves in legal limbo: in a legal relationship not recognized by the country they lived in.

    If done right other countries might follow our lead in freedom and liberty. Also, Americans could easily enough obtain the legal document required for the country they wish to reside in. Just like getting a new drivers license.

    I asked, “If ‘marriage’ is a natural or biological union, why must the state say anything about it in a legal document?”
    You answered,

    Because marriage is a civil institution.

    Sure right now marriage is a civil institution but my question is, “why must this be?” Remove the state and is marriage not a natural or biological union for which people have different definitions? Currently marriage has both natural/biological definition and civil definitions according to the state, I’m not seeing why it must be both. Why can the state not just stick to the civil/legal definition?

    Are you opposed to individuals having the freedom to defining ‘marriage’ outside of the states legal contract for legal unions?

    I’m opposed to the state defining ‘marriage’ because it limits the freedom of the individual to choose how they want to define a natural or biological union. Removing the term lets religions do what they like and atheists do what they like. Why is this not good for everybody?

    Comment by kerrin — October 29, 2008 @ 12:45 am | Reply

  21. Can we not appeal to the sensible people on the right?

    The sensible people on the right don’t object to same-sex couples getting married.

    In any case, leave “we” out of this, Kerrin: it’s your stupid idea.

    Why must there be “legislation ruling that no one ought to be allowed to marry legally?”

    Of course there needn’t be such legislation: it’s a stupid idea. But it’s your stupid idea that people ought not to be allowed to marry legally: in order to enforce that idea, supposing you were in a position of power enabling you to do so, you would need to legislate it if you wanted it to happen. Unless you were supposing that you would be an absolute monarch: in that case, you would just need to dictate your mandate and have it enforced by your police. Even absolute monarchs, however, in general find it convenient to have their will written down in the form of legislation.

    If done right other countries might follow our lead in freedom and liberty.

    *bwah* Okay, that’s funny.

    Also, Americans could easily enough obtain the legal document required for the country they wish to reside in.

    You really are completely ignorant about this, aren’t you? Just fantasising happily in a SarahPalin style without any actual thinking going on?

    Sure right now marriage is a civil institution but my question is, “why must this be?”

    Because that’s how people want it to be, and until someone appoints you absolute monarch with the right to rule over other people’s freedom to marry, that’s how it will be.

    Why can the state not just stick to the civil/legal definition?

    That’s what the state does; that’s what you are objecting to, right?

    Are you opposed to individuals having the freedom to defining ‘marriage’ outside of the states legal contract for legal unions?

    Of course not. Why would you suppose I did?

    I’m opposed to the state defining ‘marriage’ because it limits the freedom of the individual to choose how they want to define a natural or biological union.

    No, it doesn’t.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 29, 2008 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  22. jesurgislac,

    Lessons learned. Thanks for your help.

    Checkin’ out SarahPalin style. *wink-smile* ;)

    Comment by kerrin — October 29, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Reply

  23. What, with a dead moose? Thanks very much, but how will my cats eat it all?

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 29, 2008 @ 8:49 am | Reply

  24. A place to store your meat is your right as an American. If elected we’ll subsidize fridge ownership for all American’s just like previous administrations ensured home ownership for all. ;)

    Comment by kerrin — October 29, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  25. I’m British, thank you. We don’t go for fridges big enough to store a moose.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 29, 2008 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  26. Right on. I’m British but naturalized in 2006.

    Cheers,
    kerrin

    Comment by kerrin — October 29, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  27. Good grief. The British educational system really failed you, didn’t it? I thought for sure you had to be native born American…

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 29, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  28. Probably just dumb by nature. Education couldn’t solve this problem.

    Comment by kerrin — October 29, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  29. I never said you were stupid. I said your “solution” was stupid, which it is.

    But you’re badly educated and arrogant. You’re badly educated, because you’re unaware that getting married in countries outside the US is genuinely not as simple – or as cheap – as “obtaining a new drivers’ licence” in the US – and you’re arrogant, because you went on defending your stupid idea without bothering to do any research or give it any serious thought.

    Comment by jesurgislac — October 29, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  30. The battle for free speech and conscience by Craig A. Huey, from iSupportMarriage.com.

    [Ed: Franco originally cut-and-pasted the entire article, a practice I object to. Link and quote, please.]

    Comment by Franco — October 29, 2008 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  31. jesurgislac,

    I must apologize. I often don’t take into account how my writing is perceived by others on the internet (this really does show that I am stupid, since I haven’t learned this by now). Much of my “silly” statements were facetious in nature. The drivers license comment was one of them. These issues are obviously very important to you and I should not have taken them so flippantly. I sincerely apologize.

    cheers,
    kerrin

    Comment by kerrin — October 30, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  32. Apology accepted. Thank you.

    Seriously: learn to use smileys. Or the “/Fe” tag to indicate irony. You may have thought you were coming out with stuff no one could take seriously, but it is impossible to hear “tone” over the Internet, and I had heard identical stuff coming others who were not joking.

    Comment by Jesurgislac — October 30, 2008 @ 4:52 am | Reply

  33. Jes:

    Answering late, having been eaten by student essays–I should’ve been more clear. System like France has, in the sense that ONLY the state can legalize a union, and the religious bit is ceremonial fluff for the family. I would dearly love to strip the power to perform legal unions/marriages out of the hands of any religious group, period-full-stop. That might put a stop to the other line of crap out there, that scary ol’ Prop 8 will force churches to marry teh gayz who will, they are sure, be beating down their doors to demand such a service from them out of spite. Or something.

    Comment by lowly_adjunct — October 31, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  34. System like France has, in the sense that ONLY the state can legalize a union, and the religious bit is ceremonial fluff for the family.

    Yes, that’s the system you have in the US. Ministers of religion can obtain the power to legalize a marrage from the state – they can perform all the religious bits they like, but it won’t be legal without the authority of the state. There are plenty of same-sex couples who have got married in religion by pastors who didn’t think God made people gay in order to force celibracy them.

    What I think you mean is that people are forced to have the state’s ceremony separately from the church ceremony. That is a system common in Europe, but I don’t see any need to copy it – as the religious opposition to civil partnership in the UK demonstrated, claims that religious bigotry is all about the name of marriage are frankly a lie: it’s an excuse, not a reason. It’s same-sex couples having equal rights, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – and our children – being protected against discrimination. that offends them. Giving in on that is something like pretending these “conservative Christians” who oppose birth control and paid maternity leave actually care about preventing abortions.

    Comment by jesurgislac — November 1, 2008 @ 12:36 am | Reply

  35. See Getting Prop. 8 Straight for the LAW on Prop. 8 before you vote on it.

    Comment by Jessie — November 1, 2008 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  36. it’s an excuse, not a reason

    Of course it is. There IS no *reason* to oppose equal rights for people. But I do like the forced separation of ceremonies, because there is the very muddled notion here that religion and government are somehow allies, and that marriage is a joint effort of God and State, even if everyone knows you can get married at the courthouse.

    The problem is complex…we’re fighting over the word marriage and its shifting meaning. In one basket, with people who want to keep the word marriage for hetero unions but don’t mind civil unions for gays; and in another basket, we have people using the same rhetoric (marriage should mean straight people only!) but wanting to deny gays any kind of legal unions at all. And then you get people who say marriage is a covenant before God, blah blah, hysterics, oh, think of the traditions! (To which I want to ask–okay, you want traditional marriage? Ask your parents to arrange it. Have no choice in your spouse. Maybe no divorce option, either.) What’s puzzling and infuriating to me is that with Prop 8–we HAVE civil unions for gays guaranteed by the state. We’re fighting over the *word*, and whether we can call a gay civil union marriage or not. It’s clearly discriminatory, and it’s clearly religious. I think if the god-bit is that important to a couple, then great. Let them do the god-bit separately. Shift the rhetoric and remind people that no, really–marriage is a state matter, and quit conferring the right to perform a state function to religious officials.

    Comment by lowly_adjunct — November 1, 2008 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

  37. The reason why I think this is bad tactics (though admittedly, without any direct knowledge of the situation on the ground) is that:

    If it’s always been the practice in the US that you can choose either to get legally married in a religious ceremony or to go down to the courthouse/city hall and get married in a civil ceremony, then taking away that ability from couples who want to be able to wrap both the religious ceremony and the legal ceremony up in one tidy package is only going to cause resentment – especially if it is (as it will be) blamed on Teh Gayz. Never a good idea to level down – always level up.

    Second, the people who are most energised and most committed towards banning same-sex marriage – are the very people who won’t be one bit appeased by giving them back their excuse. The most vicious attacks on civil partnership in the UK came from religious-right figures complaining that this was gay marriage “in all but name” – and still do (I’ve blogged about Lillian Ladele, etc). And, as I’ve blogged about in the Dreck post, you get these people complaining about pro-equality actions in states where same-sex marriage is banned and no civil unions are allowed.

    Sure, there exist people who are vaguely uneasy at the idea of same-sex marriage but think civil unions with all the rights of marriage would be a good idea. But, at least according to polls on this issue in Canada, those people don’t regard this as that important an issue – they might well vote “Yes on Prop 8″ given the option if they’re at the polls anyway, but it’s not something that energises them, that they’re committed to. It’s not that important to them.

    Comment by jesurgislac — November 1, 2008 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  38. This post is truly disappointing. The bottom line of this long-winded, vacuous tirade is that if you don’t agree with gay marriage, you MUST be an intolerant bigot. Well, that’s the greatest bigotry of all.

    None of this surprises me. In many places where gays have gained political favor, they actually suppress disagreement with the gay agenda.m How ironic that those who clamor most loudly for tolerance are often the most intolerant of all.

    Comment by maddog — November 3, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  39. The bottom line of this long-winded, vacuous tirade is that if you don’t agree with gay marriage, you MUST be an intolerant bigot.

    The bottom line is: no one has been able to show me any reason for opposing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples – except being an intolerant bigot. Yes, I am inclined to be long-winded: if you feel my writing is “vacuous” do feel free not to read further.

    In many places where gays have gained political favor, they actually suppress disagreement with the gay agenda.

    I never have managed to get a copy of the gay agenda. Somehow I keep missing the gay meetings where it’s circulated.

    How ironic that those who clamor most loudly for tolerance are often the most intolerant of all.

    To give you a religious perspective on this:

    About here, inevitably, someone will chime in with what they seem to think of as the trump card for the religious totalitarian perspective. Aha! they will say, so what you’re saying is you’re all for tolerance, except when it comes to people who are intolerant!

    Well, yeah. And also, duh. Antonyms are incompatible. Opposites are opposed. That’s not a particularly noteworthy observation, so I’ve always been baffled as to why this bit of adolescent wordplay was regarded as meaningful.

    Here again, though, I think Patel’s terminology is helpful. Intolerance is, necessarily, totalitarian. So when I say I favor freedom — whether freedom of conscience or of any other sort — then, yes, what I’m really saying is that I’m all for freedom except for when it comes to people who want to impose totalitarianism. This exception does not, as the JV sophists would have it, negate the claim that “I’m all for freedom.” It simply demonstrates that, unlike them, I’m aware of what words like “free” and “tolerant” — and their opposites — actually mean. – Fred Clark, Slacktivist, “Totalitarians vs. Pluralists”

    Comment by jesurgislac — November 3, 2008 @ 9:03 am | Reply

  40. It seems more like you’ve closed your mind to rational arguments against gay marriage. But I will hope otherwise and give you links to the little I’ve written on the subject (these are variations of the same article written for two sites):

    The Absurdity of Same-Sex Marriage

    On Helium.Com

    Politically Correct Hypocrisy (Updated)

    And, no, you DON’T really know what freedom and tolerance actually mean. You only “tolerate” opinions that agree with your own on this issue, and IMPOSE them through your own totalitarianism. Don’t bother trying to hide it with you sophistry. It is easily exposed.

    Comment by maddog — November 3, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  41. The Absurdity of Same-Sex Marriage
    On Helium.Com

    I refute the argument that same-sex couples “can’t have children” and so can’t be allowed to marry in my post on The basics: why it’s necessary to support equal marriage.

    Politically Correct Hypocrisy (Updated)

    The existence of legislation protecting people against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is certainly linked to the equal marriage issue. I comment upon the idea that it’s essential to a Christian’s religious liberty to be able to actively discriminate against LGBT people in my post: What I Like About Christianity.

    You only “tolerate” opinions that agree with your own on this issue, and IMPOSE them through your own totalitarianism. Don’t bother trying to hide it with you sophistry. It is easily exposed.

    Maddog, really; I have approved each comment you – and others who disagree with me – have made on this topic. I allow you, and others, to post links to websites with a vast deal of nonsense on this subject with which I profoundly disagree. So claiming that you can “easily expose” my lack of toleration, that I won’t tolerate the expression of opinions that disagree with me, is kind of absurd, don’t you think? The fact that you can post a comment on this blog making this claim turns your claim into a self-refuting absurdity.

    Comment by jesurgislac — November 3, 2008 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

  42. I’m sorry I’m so late getting here; even though this thread is more than a week old, I still wanted to stop and say “thank you.” I’ve been bogged down in a ridiculous and word-twisting debate in comments on another blog and I feel like a salmon that is swimming upstream in ignorance and delusion and this is like a breath of fresh air (except that’s a really bad simile since fish don’t breathe air, so I’m sorry but still — thank you.) What was really eye-opening was your inclusion of Card’s text; now I understand where beetlebabee and mommycatz got the words they keep hurling at me.
    Could you please immigrate and run for governor of California or Florida or Arizona or Arkansas?

    Comment by WaltzInExile — November 15, 2008 @ 12:34 am | Reply


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