Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 28, 2011

“Jesus wants me to hate you!”

This is Jeffrey:

First, we were created in Godd image. Second, God gave you free will to make your own choices and act on your own feelings. third, it is a feeling that you get that makes you like the same sex, therefore, it is not any different than a rapest who feels he has to rape women to be sexually fulfilled. Also the molester who gets off on touching little kids. It’s all acted out on feelings that you have. I have feelings that I feel strongly about, but it doesn’t make them right or ok. Also with the bible it talks about traditions and ideas that are created by man and laws set by man. You cannot take what man created and use it to conflict what God has said! We are all created for a purpose in life. Unfortunately being gay isn’t one of those purposes. I see a lot of desperation to twist and contort the bible. You cannot compare specific law of man in the bible with specific law of God in the bible. It specifically says in the bible that God looks down on homosexuality not eating shrimp!

This is David:

  1. When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.
  2. The push for SSM is — at least de facto, if not deliberately — an attempt to destroy traditional Christianity.
  3. The drive for SSM is but the latest stage of the sexual revolution, and at every one of that revolution’s earlier stages (casual fornication, unmarried cohabitation, out-of-wedlock childbirth, abortion), it has served to undermine marriage; why would any reasonable person imagine that this latest stage will be any different?
  4. SSM is the reductio ad absurdum of marriage. If persons of the same sex can get married, doesn’t marriage then mean anything — and nothing?
  5. Marriage was instituted for the begetting of children, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do
  6. A growing child has a profound psychological need for a mother and father. Two mothers won’t do, and neither will two fathers.
  7. The undermining of marriage has had disastrous consequences for millions of children who have grown up fatherless (and usually in poverty). These consequences, while bad among all racial groups, have been worst among African Americans — in some cases frustrating the movement toward socioeconomic parity between black and white.

David says, rather pathetically, that he thinks these arguments are good arguments, “but, in practice, I find that the arguments don’t persuade anyone who is not already convinced”. He asks, with extraordinary blindness “Why have many of us in the anti-SSM camp been unwilling to deploy the argument that homosexual behavior is immoral/unnatural?” I have no idea why he thinks this hasn’t been happening, but it’s possible that people who are opposed to equal civil rights for LGBT people haven’t been attacking in quite that way in David’s hearing as much as he’s used to, in the last few years, just because coming out as openly homophobic and bigoted is found to be counterproductive.
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August 25, 2010

On the comparison of torture with equal marriage

Republicans Must Not Support Gay Marriage

Based on an actual post by a conservative blogger who was against torture in 2004, but who by 2009 was comparing the evils of allowing gay marriages to be federally recognized to the evils of allowing people to be tortured.

satire begins, for the sake of those without an irony-detector

I generally support the 9/11 Commission Bill [I suppose I could have picked out another piece of legislation, but it suited my sense of irony to pretend that we live in an alternate universe, where Republicans had decided to support gay marriage as a weapon in their War On Terror - which makes as much sense as supporting torture]. However, Sections 3032 and 3033 are very disturbing. They make it very easy for the US to accept gay marriages performed in other countries in order to allow such people to get married in that country.

I strongly believe in the principle of policing your own. I am a Republican and a regular advocate for the Republican Party. You should consider this post a kind of ‘toughlove’. As such I have some harsh words for the sponsors of this bill. This portion of the bill is morally, ethically, and politically wrong. It may be that you did not know all of what you were sponsoring (the bill is 300+ pages). But you should know now, and you should take action to change it.

There are so many things wrong with the idea of allowing gay marriage that I hardly know where to start.

First, it is wrong to treat people that way.

Second, these rules involve gay people. It is bad enough that we sometimes allow the wrong people to get married. Can we live with ourselves as a nation if we have condemned innocent men to get married to each other? If the French experience with PACS is any guide, the regularization of gay marriage causes an explosion of men getting married. They moved from the low hundreds to the thousands in just one year. That would likely involve at least a hundred innocent men getting married.

Third, it is a well understood conservative principle that people tend to push past the bounds of the legally permissible. Even though we have banned the use of gay marriage in our country, the line between gay marriage and non-marriage is still skirted from time to time. Overzealous gay people sometimes go a bit further than we allow. If we move the line to allow for gay marriages performed elsewhere, where will those who go a bit further go? They will go to using a person’s children against them. They will send a man and his wife to these other countries so both can be forced into same-sex marriages. I can’t predict exactly how it will work. But I know for a fact, and you do too if you think about it, that gay people push the line and push it hard. If we move the line so far as to allow gay people to go to other countries to get married, the actuality will go even further. You should also note that such exporting of gay marriage will never be under the classic ‘ticking bomb’ scenario which is sometimes used to justify gay marriage. If we have time to send them to another country, the information isn’t so crucial as a ‘ticking bomb’.

Fourth, gay marriage is rarely more effective than other marriages. Why open ourselves up to such horrors without even a payoff?

Fifth, for those not convinced by the above, it is politically stupid. This plays into all the left-wing fears about conservative blindness to the problems of the gay system. It makes all the whining about a ‘gay state’ look a bit less crazy. It provides a perfect example of willingness to abandon our country’s principles in the war on terrorism. Voters want tough, but they do not want crazy. We are at a crucial stage in a vital campaign. Throwing it all away by playing into every swing voter’s concerns about Republicans possibly going too far is just plain stupid. So if your heart is hardened to the moral implications, at least pay attention to the political implications.

My message to Republican leaders is this, either listen to the moral implications, or at least learn Dan Rather’s lesson. The blogosphere is beginning to focus its attention on this issue. Look at the number of trackbacks to katherine’s post. It isn’t just going away. Put it to rest now. Admit that you hadn’t fully thought through the implications of this small section of the bill and move on. It would be the height of foolishness to risk the American public’s backing for the War on Terror on a practice which is both highly immoral and typically unhelpful. We are going to have to steel the public’s nerves for a lot of things to come in the future. It would be a shame to waste time and energy defending the unhelpful and indefensible instead of dealing with other issues which are highly useful to the war and merely tough to defend.

August 13, 2010

Five ways to talk to the religious right about marriage

This post was inspired by Five Ways To Talk To The Left About Same-Sex Marriage, by Eric Pavlat, and the discussion thread that followed.

The “religious right” in this instance may be Catholic or Evangelical or Baptist… as I noted to Pavlat in his post, “the left” in his definition would include Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The post which led me to Pavlat’s had already used the title Five Ways To Talk to the Other Side About Same-sex Marriage, or I might have used that.

1. Bear in mind that pretty much everything these people know about homosexuality or transgender identity is wrong.

If you want to know the kind of stuff they’ve been told is The Truth About Homosexuality, the Friendly Atheist blog recently paid for two people to attend an AFTAH event and hear the kind of stuff being said and write an outline of it post-event: but for example: Pride events are portrayed as public orgies in which people have “dangerous sex” right on the street. (This is the kind of thing that would only make sense to people who have not only never attended a Pride rally or march as participant, but also have never had one held in their home town.) And being gay or lesbian is “caused” by having been molested by an older gay or lesbian person: for a more detailed account of how this kind of unspeakably cruel lie is promoted to the homophobic parents of LGBT children, see Love Won Out.

Also, right at the start: in eleven countries round the world same-sex couples can already marry: in about twenty more same-sex couples can register a civil union with rights equivalent to marriage: and in none of them has the freedom to marry led to any of the awful consequences which the anti-marriage activists evoke.

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August 5, 2010

The turning of the tide

Three weeks ago, Miguel Angel Calefato, 65, and Jose Luis Navarro, 54, who had lived together unwed for 27 years, became the first same-sex couple to marry legally in South America, after Argentina lifted the ban on same-sex couples marrying. (BBC)

Two weeks ago, the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, said “Anyone who can marry a couple currently should be able to marry same sex-couples. This is about justice for everyone. Civil partnerships have been a wonderful thing, but they are not equal; being separate isn’t being equal and the Government would be wise to move towards equality as soon as possible.” He said the argument that allowing gay marriage could threaten the institution of marriage, was “a silly idea”. “I don’t think any gay couple have ever made a married couple feel less married.” (Herald) The cause of equal marriage in the UK has been boosted by the government’s decision to consult on a change in the law. On the Monday after Miguel Angel Calefato and Jose Luis Navarro got married, the deputy LibDem leader Simon Hughes predicted that same-sex couples would have the right to civil marriage in the UK before the next General Election is due in 2014. (Pink News, with video clip)

And today in the US, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8 — the 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California — in a 136-page ruling. The lawsuit against Prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, marked the first federal court challenge of a state law banning same-sex marriage. The case is expected to eventually wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Dallas Voice)
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December 11, 2009

This is what Republicans think of families

A lot of Republican politicians trade heavily on being “family values” politicians. By which they mean, they support a ban on same-sex couples marrying and a ban on the children of same-sex couples having two legal parents.

What they don’t mean by “family values” is any support for actual families, living together and supporting each other, caring for their children.

If you’ve ever talked to an anti-marriage activist, you generally find that while they’re willing to admit that same-sex couples exist, they are utterly unwilling to acknowledge that they have children: they are too busy carrying a big sign that says in large friendly lying letters that they want to PROTECT children, to think for a moment about the children their bans on marriage and adoption and their promotion of homophobia in schools are attacking. For them, those children are invisible, inaudible, unwanted problems who should never have been born. (About six months ago I had a depressing series of discussions with Renaissance Guy, one of the breed of right-wing “Christians” who hold it to be an essential tenet of their faith to promote legal discrimination against same-sex couples and their children: RG is far from the only such religionist to believe that homophobia is more central to Christianity than caring for children, he just runs a more open blog than most of his co-religionists.)

I’ve been convinced for years that homophobic, racist, and misogynistic bigotry are all growths from the same root, but I’ve been becoming more and more convinced recently that class discrimination is tied in with this too: see the post I wrote a year ago about the attitude that only wealthy families can have fine children (Persephone embraces Hades).

In the Seattle Times this week (Via, via) there’s a fresh example of children officially determined not to exist because of Republican policies.

On the face of it, a “family values” politician ought to have thought well of a woman like Rachel Porcaro: a single mom, granted, no husband around to help support her two kids, which must be one strike against her, but: She’d moved to live with her parents: she was working and taking care of her kids. A family: grandparents, mom, and kids.

But: Rachel Porcaro earned only $18,992 a year. In Seattle, that put her and her two sons below the poverty line. And, she got the “earned income tax credit” which is tax relief for the working poor. Republicans – those “family values” politicians – call that “welfare by the back door”. When the Republicans were in control of Congress, a head-of-family in receipt of earned income tax credit was more than twice as likely to get audited than the rest of the 140 million American taxpayers. Apparently the Republicans would prefer it if a woman like Rachel Porcaro was on welfare, rather than being a working single mom earning barely enough to get by on: tax audits are bitterly discouraging. Granted poor people may commit tax fraud as well as wealthy people, but auditing poor people more than wealthy people is a thoroughly backwards way of going about it – unless you care more for protecting the wealthy and penalizing the poor than you do about actually recovering money from tax cheats.

Not the end of the story, though. Rachel Porcaro’s children were declared non-children by the IRS. She was earning so little they decided she couldn’t claim them as tax dependents: and they disallowed any other claim because there weren’t enough receipts to prove she – or their grandparents – were keeping them in food and clothing.

Republicans claim they’re pro-family. Rightwing Christians claim they’ll vote Republican because they believe in protecting families and children. But these imaginary ideals somehow evaporate into poison gas when they’re faced with the real families, the actual children, directly and visibly harmed by right-wing policies and Republican politicians.

October 16, 2009

Bigots never think they’re bigots

And when a man like Keith Bardwell refuses to perform the marriage ceremony for two adults legally allowed to be married, he’ll claim it’s for the sake of the children or because these kind of relationships don’t last long.

Four decades since Loving vs Virginia, and racist scumbags still think they have the right to judge the success of a relationship by the colour of the couple’s skins. The least surprising thing about Keith Bardwell is that he believes himself not to be racist.

People who argue that same-sex couples ought to be denied marriage invariably claim not to be homophobic, too.

July 9, 2009

We “love” you: we just don’t want you in the pool with us!

It’s been in the news recently: a private sports club in Philadelphia which accepted a fee of $1900 for the children of Creative Steps summer camp to swim in their pool one day a week for the summer – but after the first day the kids showed up, returned the fee and told Creative Steps they shouldn’t come back.

Why? Well, the sports club president John Duesler says: “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club.” The kids of Creative Steps were black. The Valley Swim Club was, covertly until this week, whites only. (They’re so disturbed by news of their very public racism, that their website www.thevalleyclub.com has now been replaced with a message denying everything.)

There’s a happy ending to this story: not only did the kids of Creative Steps get offered an alternative swimming venue by Girard College, a local ice-cream store, Gumdrops and Sprinkles, gave them a day of free candy and ice-cream making. So the kids may have learned that rich white people can be mean as knives, not wanting to share what they have in case it’s “polluted”, but they’ve also got the message that most people are not like that.

What does this kind of petty prejudice – we aren’t sharing our facilities with you – remind me of? Why, the changing the definition of marriage argument: the don’t let same-sex couples get married elsewhere and think they can be recognised as married at home argument; the don’t let corporations think they can buy advertising in gay magazines argument; the don’t let schools teach children to love and respect each other argument; the teach homophobia and promote self-hatred argument. It’s all much the same, but on a much wider scale: these bigots are splashing and screaming that they want the queers out of their pool.

Marriage in their view is not about pledging to love, to honour, and to cherish the one your love till death to you part; it’s not a civil right necessary to the orderly pursuit of happiness, as the Supreme Court decreed 42 years ago; marriage is a privilege, a strictly limited pool, and allowing lesbians and gays in the pool will “change the complexion of the club”.

Slacktivist wrote in May last year:

Imagine, for example, that California’s legislature had passed a law stating that the Irish were forbidden from getting driver’s licenses. Such a discriminatory law would have been quickly voided by the courts. Anti-Irish bigots would have decried that ruling as “judicial activism,” but that’s an epithet, not an argument. The state’s constitution simply will not tolerate new law that attempts to exclude particular classes of people from the same rights and protections available to everyone else. Voters might well respond to the court’s decision by passing a ballot measure redefining a “driver” as a “non-Irish person,” and thus excluding by semantics those whom the constitution did not previously allow them to exclude by statute, but I can’t imagine the courts finding this transparent ploy convincing. This hypothetical anti-Irish proposition wouldn’t be any more constitutional or legitimate than the shamefully non-hypothetical anti-gay Proposition 8 is.
…..
Supporters of Proposition 8 were forced to resort to Lying for Jesus — pastors will be jailed! your church will be forced to conduct gay weddings! your organist may become even more flamboyant! — because they weren’t able to articulate any honest basis for opposing this right as an equal right. The ‘vixen and I got our marriage license on the same day that George Takei and Brad Altman got theirs. The wedding of George and Brad neither picked my pocket nor broke my leg, so what possible cause would I have had to object to it? What reason would I have to deny George and Brad the same happiness that my wife and I were permitted to enjoy? Such exclusion makes no sense unless we appeal to some imagined grave consequences such as those dreamed up by the Liars for Christ.

And here again we see that basing policy on imaginary fears and imaginary grave consequences leads to different, but very real, grave consequences. When we choose to make laws based on imaginary fears, we see our own rights reduced to mere privileges. This is what always happens when we place fear on the throne.

This fear – that if the black kids are allowed to swim in the same pool with the white kids, the “atmosphere” will change: that where two men or two women are able to marry, this “changes the definition of marriage”, dovetails in my mind with a parable Fred retold earlier this year: the workers in the vineyard. These people are not content to enjoy their own orderly pursuit of happiness – you feel (I do) they are terrified that other people are somehow getting away with something. Rather than taking joy in their own marriage (if they can) and at least ignoring the people getting married in a way they don’t approve of, they grumble “These couples who were wed recently worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.”

“Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

Yes. Yes, they are.

April 10, 2009

Maggie Gallagher says NOM

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

(For past posts on the claims by Maggie Gallagher and her nommy crew, see Maggie Gallagher redefines marriage, They’re trying to ‘protect marriage’ with this dreck?, and, for the benefit of the Christians still earnestly trying to figure out where in the Bible Jesus said anything about same-sex marriage, Jesus just sat down with sinners, he didn’t offer them health insurance!)

moar lolcats under the cut
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April 7, 2009

But we are winning…

XKCD - AntiMindvirus image

I dunno. What is this obsession with incest, polygamy, and bestiality that most of the anti-marriage movement seem to have? I just stumbled across yet another of these people. [redacted name and link to blog]

FWIW, “MK”, Dan Savage has the right of it, and in words simple enough for even you to understand: “Bestiality is wrong, wrong, wrong, because an animal cannot give its consent.” That may be the problem, of course: these creatures howling at the edge of the world don’t really understand the concept of sexual consent, any more than they have any more understanding of what marriage involves – I mean real marriage: real commitment to another person, to love, honour, cherish, live with and long for. Until they have got a basic understanding of sexual consent, one hopes they do not, in fact, engage in marriage – if they could find anyone, since their notion of marriage is strictly limited to “Are we interfertile?” and not in any way touching on “Are you the one person I want to be with for the rest of my life”.

So for them, and particularly for you, Matthew, you zoophiliac, go read A Modest Proposal: The Thorny Issue of Sexual Consent.

In the mean time: that XKCD cartoon is addressed to me, to all of us who support marriage as a civil liberty essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness: the doors are opening, and love is coming in. However sad and horrible these people are, however vicious their attacks on families and on marriage and even on simple human loving – they are on the losing side.

Let me try and remember that.

Update – not an afterthought, exactly, because it’s one I had before.

I was at a friend’s funeral last week. And it was sad and strange – he had been slowly dying for years, but it was like: he had been almost dying so long that we all kept thinking he would keep doing it forever. But it occurred to me, sitting with his other half’s parents at the post-funeral meal afterwards, I mean really and literally right there and then – because my friend, like myself, had been a long time involved in gay equality activism – that even twenty-five years ago, a funeral like this with both their families and all their friends mingling, with a church service and the pastor who was the officiant at their wedding attending the burial, would have been all but unthinkable. Yet it is so. Now, today, 2009: this is how it is.

And I thought, for my friend as well as for myself: We got to do what not many people ever do. We live in a better world, a kinder and more generous and less hatefilled world, than the one we were born in, than the one we grew up in. We helped build it, this better world: it’s part of your legacy, as a gay activist, it will be part of mine.

He’s dead. I go on building.

April 3, 2009

Good news for Iowa on Friday

While the Californian Supreme Court ponders the justice of allowing a majority to vote civil rights away from a minority, the Iowan Supreme Court has done the right thing:

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court rules that gay marriage would be legal in three weeks, starting April 24. (Des Moines Registrar)

The Christians who believe that homophobia is the will of god, that God needs the help of legislators to enforce His will, and that true meaning of marriage is interfertility (not, please note, love, devotion, mutual respect, companionship, faithfulness, shared parenting, mutual and absolute support till death – none of that is “marriage” to thse hatefilled Christians) – are out in force, wanting to run another anti-marriage campaign. But, apparently,they won’t get any support from the legislature this session – and I hope that by November 2010, it will be clear to all except the nuttiest that they have already lost this argument.

Go Iowa!

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