knowing when to get out of the way


Freddie deBoer used to blog at, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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169 Responses

  1. E.D. Kain says:


    First let me say I’m absolutely in favor of equal marriage and terminology and all of that for gays and straights.

    My concern can be summarized by “it’s all in the timing” honestly. I fear that the hurried, messy legalistic approach of the current movement is resulting in unnecessary backlash. In Arizona the Constitutional ban on gay marriage is a symbolic defeat; but in California it is quite real, and truly tragic.

    The civil rights of the sixties was certainly a good thing, a necessary thing, and well-timed, but it came on the coattails of literally hundreds of years of building political momentum. The gay rights movement does not have that momentum, at least not yet.

    And so essentially I merely argue for more cultural oomph. Sometimes good ideas cannot bloom until old people, and the old ideas they harbor, move on, shuffle off their mortal coils and all that…Report

  2. John says:

    It was the “hurried, messy legalistic” approach that started the civil rights successes. Until then it didn’t matter a hill of beans what anyone else thought, as far as actually being allowed to participate in society as a whole human being.
    Now, do I think that passing a law will end the problem? No. There’s much social work to be done after that. But FIRST we protect rights, and then we change attitudes, as far as I’m concerned.Report

  3. E.D. Kain says:

    Alright, John. Now what’s the silver bullet? With the Supreme Court stacked against gay marriage, little political will in Washington, voter initiative sprouting up in the States…?Report

  4. Elle says:

    I had to stop reading somewhere in the second paragraph, even though I dig what you are saying… and I’m not sure if you are consciously replacing the word sex for the word gender, or if you are willfully blurring the line between the two, but in this context it is incorrect.

    Arguments surrounding marriage between two people of the same or different gender speaks of the gender roles they assume, roles which are constantly changing, even if slightly, between heterosexual and homosexual men and women alike.

    My gender is different to my mother’s gender etcetera etcetera. If anyone was arguing against marriage because of gender, then their argument falls apart by the definition of the word (and if your dictionary says otherwise, you need a new one).

    Two men can have different genders. Two women can have different genders. I can be in a relationship with a woman who displays more masculine qualities, leans toward masculine behaviours etc, or there could be an even balance between the two. I on the other hand could be typically feminine, and yet still, my gender is going to be starkly different to say, a character on gossip girl.

    This matters because I can think of many straight couples whose genders are almost identical, and many gay couples whose genders are very different.

    Not sure how many gay people you guys know but just thought I’d point it out. Gender is fluid. It can’t be applied to refer to the coupling of gay people.

    If however we are speaking of sex, that is anatomy, then it is an entirely different thing altogether.Report

  5. Elle says:

    By the way… I am well aware that I just wrote seven paragraphs because of one ill-used word. It just occurred to me how ridiculous that is. OoopsReport

  6. Freddie says:

    I think, if you think about it, you’ll see that from my perspective, gender and sex could be used interchangeably in this dialogue, while from someone else’s perspective, they couldn’t.Report

  7. jake says:

    The debate is improperly framed.

    Marriage is a religious institution that the State has decided to recognize to further purposes that the State considers important, to wit, social stability and reproduction. at least one of these policy goals (reproduction) is absent in a same sex marriage. of course, some hetero couples won’t ever have children, but it would be nearly impossible to identify these couples.

    also, i’m not sure what the goals of the same sex marriage movement are. a change in nomenclature alone? if so, this seems like an awful waste. most advocates of same sex marriage rely on vague concepts of “equality” or “justice,” but what exactly are the rights sought? and why should these rights be granted in light of the fact that there seem to be legitimate differences in the way that gay couples can fulfill the state’s policy goals?Report

  8. Freddie says:

    There are literally hundreds of rights and privileges conferred through marriage that cannot be duplicated through other means.Report

  9. Bob says:

    Josh, I’m not going to debate the merits of your short history of marriage, because right or wrong, it is history, or sociology, or anthropology, the way it has been.

    But when you say the argument is improperly framed I am going to take issue. The debate is status quo vs. change. And I think it is clear you stand for the status quo. Fine.

    The question is framed exactly right. Will government treat it’s citizens equally with respect to marriage? The notion of equality, thank god, evolves. It does not take a lot of historical knowledge to recognize that fact.

    Governmental privileges given to married people number in the hundreds, as Freddie said. I have seen figures that get into the thousand range. No matter the number it is without question that government is picking winners and losers here. And so the question, is this equality before the law? I’m saying no.Report

  10. John says:

    “Equality under the law shall not be abridged on account of gender.”

    That’s a start.Report

  11. Bob says:

    I think I would prefer “Equality under the law shall not be abridged on account of gender or sex”Report

  12. matoko_chan says:

    Noble effort Freddie, but it is a single branch of a tree, a part of a greater problem.
    Let me repeat, there is no valid secular reason to oppose same sex marriage. SecularRight has not provided one, no one has provided one.
    Because there isn’t one.
    This is the base problem.

    With that one line, the president “seems to be trying to redefine American culture, which is distinctively Christian,” said’ Bishop E.W. Jackson of the Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Va. “The overwhelming majority of Americans identify as Christians, and what disturbs me is that he seems to be trying to redefine who we are.”

    Earlier this week, Jackson was a guest on the popular conservative Christian radio show ‘Janet Parshall’s America,’ where a succession of callers, many of whom identified themselves as African-American, said they shared the concern, and were perplexed and put off by the president’s shout-out to nonbelievers…

    Jackson says: “Obviously, Jewish heritage is very much a part of Christianity; the Jewish Bible is part of our Bible. But Hindu, Muslim, and nonbelievers? I don’t think so. We are not a Muslim nation or a nonbelieving nation.”

    The arguments I see represented from thoughtful (but basically wrongheaded) commenters basically sum to “We own teh culture, therefore we can dictate laws.”
    This is mob rule, like the Ancients warned us against.
    This is what wiped the Pythagoreans, mathematekoi and aukousmatikoi alike.

    …there are three forms of governments and their perversions…and the perversion of a Republic is a Democracy…”


  13. matoko_chan says:

    I understand the difficulty of selling this to the xian base.
    They simply don’t have the substrate to value the citizenship over crude tribalism argument.
    So you sell the argument by telling them they will lose forever unless they modulate their claim on the autonomy and validity of mob rule.
    And this is true because they are no longer the biggest mob.

  14. Bob says:

    Freddie, with regard to your original post “knowing when….”

    Your arguments for pursuing legal remedies first are reasoned, and I have no major quibble with them. I have given my opinion in other comments in this discussion, and will not repeat them here.

    I just want to say that it is because of cultural factors that even discussing gay marriage is on the table, and recognized one state. (From what I read New York might be next.) Any way, I think it is clear that all the small cultural steps have brought us to the place where this issue can be legitimately debated.Report

  15. Ed says:

    If marriage is solely a “religious” institution then every society in the world is religious and there is no such thing as a secular society. Thus, by reverse logic, marriage is not solely a religious institution. It is more than that.

    The difference between same sex marriage and traditional marriage is the natural ability to procreate. It is a pure scientific argument for traditional marriage, one to which a same sex couple can never hope to achieve. That is the reason for traditional marriage and that is why same sex marriage will never exist on the same plane.

    Marriage is an ideal. The vows of marriage are an ideal. They are not a reality but an ideal that a couple strives for. The reason I bring this up is every time I mention the scientific basis for hetero marriage as being the ideal (of every society on earth) is that someone always cites an infertile couple or an unhappy couple as examples of marriages that don’t fit the ideal. Guess what? No marriage fits the ideal but most strive for it. And gay marriages can never meet the ideal of a stable, naturally procreative relationship.

    Civil unions? Absolutely. No doubt. Will some civil unions be stronger and greater than some hetero marriages? Absolutely. But they aren’t the same.Report

  16. Elle says:

    Freddie, I was by no means trying to point score… my poorly worded point about knowing gay people was just that as biology determines sex and society assigns gender, within the gay community the distinctions are not so straightforward and I think many people in this debate miss this point (especially those who oppose same-sex marriage and use gender to underpin their argument).

    In some cultures, men identify as feminine, have sex with (only masculine) men, and do not consider themselves gay. In (Western) Samoa there is no word for homosexual, and the men who sleep with these feminine identifying men think of themselves as traditional men who sleep with women, because it is the gender of the two men concerned that determines whether their sexual behaviour conforms to social norms. In some societies, in Asia and Africa, people who do not identify with traditional roles are assigned a third gender.

    I realise that I have contributed nothing to this discussion, but I think that exposure to these debates within the gay community both locally and globally might change your vernacular in this regard.Report

  17. John says:


    I am completely confused by your argument. Is marriage the same in every culture? Clearly not. Is it religious in some cultures? Clearly. Are the ideals of marriage the same in every religious OR non-religious culture? Again, clearly not.

    So what does procreation have to do with it? The one commonality across all cultures that I have seen is FAMILY, not procreation. In this regard, all marriages that provide for family should be treated equally. This remains true whether there are natural children, adopted children or only parents and extended family (or not!)

    Therefore, all marriages should be recognized by the state.
    Further, we don’t distinguish about death, do we? We distinguish about funerals. My take is that we should treat marriage the same way. In fact, most communities require that the a marriage license be issued prior to a ceremony taking place.

    Elle, nice try, but unfortunately, the discussion about sex vs gender is more culturally confused than even you have pointed out. Many of my gay friends would be horribly upset with the characterization you pointed out, while others would be right behind you. Oh Well.Report

  18. Ed says:

    Hey John, the underlying posit of family has been until the last century natural procreation and the ability to achieve that. That one simple but oh-so-crucial distinction made marriage what it is and has always been. Have times changed? Yes. But that doesn’t mean the ideal shouldn’t still exist. You can call it FAMILY but that presumes procreation since the beginning of time until the last 30 to 40 years.

    I agree that a civil union should be recognized by the state but not be the equivalent of a marriage. I am speaking again in ideals. I am sure that there are gay partnerships that are “better’ than hetero but that doesn’t mean that I believe they are equal. It also goes beyond procreation. It is about the marriage of equals yet differences. The sexes are different and in the flora and fauna they seem to be necessarily complimentary. I don’t believe that gay relationships between humans as a whole match anything else in nature.

    The religious argument is trotted out by gay marriage advocates is that the sole reason for marriage is a religious reason. My point is that even secular societies have marriage. You reiterated my point by saying different cultures have differing reasons for marriage. Therefore, the argument to remove religion from marriage and that will make it open to all, including gays, is falacious.Report

  19. Elle says:

    Hmmm, I actually didn’t characterise gay people as any one gender or another. I thought that was my point? Unless you are talking about the Faa fa’fini in which case I was merely citing numerous ethnographies.

    I do agree though, that as gay couples already are parents, whether through adoption, fostering, surrogate, IV, or the traditional method, denying these families who already exist the same protections and privileges because of their same-sex pairing makes no sense. Especially if we are concerned with preserving the institution of marriage.

    Surely the growing number of non-wedded life-long relationships where children are involved or not does more to erode this institution than does extending it to include any human coupling.Report

  20. John says:

    Ed, please give me a cite to prove what you’re saying. Otherwise, looking back at non-european histories (South American, Eastern) will demonstrate that it is NOT procreation that marriage provides for, but MONEY, ie property rights and care for the elderly.

    And you have completely missed my argument, as well as several others’: since marriage is NOT primarily religious in nature, it MUST be allowed to all. If it WERE primarily religious, that would be a different story. The OBJECTIONS to SSM are almost entirely religious in nature, even if they are couched, as yours are, in more clouded terms.

    Elle, I was saying that there is not absolute consensus among the GBLT community (not even among the researchers) about the use/non-use of gender vs sex. My daughter, who is engaged, talks about SSM as “gender-neutral marriage”. Her choice, the English language is ambiguous.Report

  21. Elle says:

    Oh and John, there is no discussion about sex versus gender, there is only confusion as to their meanings. It is not akin to nature versus nurture at all.Report

  22. Elle says:

    Okay, I see your point John. We can respectfully disagree on that one.Report

  23. jake says:

    You wrote: There are literally hundreds of rights and privileges conferred through marriage that cannot be duplicated through other means.
    * * * *
    The question is what rights are conferred by marriage that are not conferred by civil unions. So what are they?Report

  24. Freddie says:

    The question is what rights are conferred by marriage that are not conferred by civil unions. So what are they?

    The right to not live under a “separate but equal” facsimile that inherently degrades the partnerships.Report

  25. matoko_chan says:

    The difference between same sex marriage and traditional marriage is the natural ability to procreate. It is a pure scientific argument for traditional marriage, one to which a same sex couple can never hope to achieve. That is the reason for traditional marriage and that is why same sex marriage will never exist on the same plane.

    Adoption, invitro, host wombs, ectogenesis.
    If you are going to support families, support ALL families.
    Single mom families, single dad families, grandparent families, same sex parents families, black families, brown families, yellow families, purple familes.
    Otherwise please shove your religious bigotry where the sun don’t shine.Report

  26. Bob says:

    Jake, you write, “The question is what rights are conferred by marriage that are not conferred by civil unions. So what are they?”

    I’ll give you two:

    1. Tax advantages given to married people by the federal government.

    2.Survivor benefits under social security.Report

  27. Bob says:

    Jake, you write, “The question is what rights are conferred by marriage that are not conferred by civil unions. So what are they?”

    I’ll give you two:

    1. Tax advantages given to married people by the federal government.

    2.Survivor benefits under social security.Report

  28. jake says:


    Many married couples pay higher taxes than they would if they were to file separately. Remember the “marriage penalty”? In fact, if two people making roughly the same salary as one another enter into a civil union, they will reap huge tax benefits by maintaining their separate filing status.

    You are right that SS benefits are not available for those people in civil unions. But is the right to collect someone else’s social security a fundamental right? Is this what everyone is worked up about?

    * * * *


    Your reasoning here is difficult to understand. You haven’t identified any meaningful differences between civil unions and gay marriage, so I assume that you don’t believe that there are any. In fact, you referred to civil unions as a facsimile (virtual copy) of marriage. So, again, your position is that the difference between civil unions and marriage is nomenclature only.

    I’m unmoved by your repeated use of the phrase “separate but equal” because I don’t believe the comparison to Brown is apt, and in fact, many people would find it insulting. As you know, at issue in Brown was whether black children could be excluded from state-run public schools, thereby excluding them from each successive level of society and perpetuating the quasi-aparthied that existed at the time. Somehow, you have drawn from this decision that when gays live together, they have a constitutional right to be called “married” rather than “civilly united.” Even if you take the position that marriage and civil unions are “state institutions” in the same way as public schools and that civil unions are inferior to marriage, I don’t see how allowing gays into marriage would “completely integrate them into the American experience” (whatever that means).

    As the south park underpants gnomes would put it:
    Gays can get married
    Gays are accepted into society

    My original point has gone unchallenged. For better or worse, the state wants children and they offer citizens many incentives to have children. Most hetero couples can procreate, and most gay couples cannot or will not have children. If you can get me stats from states where gay adoption or in vitro is legal indicating that gay couples procreate or adopt at the same rate as hetero couples, then you would have a point that gays should be allowed to marry. Otherwise, the state would have a policy justification to favor straight couples.Report

  29. Freddie says:

    Once again, the idea that civil unions and marriage are legally identical, where it true, would be a mark against separate institutions, not for them. If they are identical, what is the purpose of giving them different names, other than to degrade? None; none at all. Difference for the sake of difference is inevitably insulting. If they’re identical, there can be no purpose for different nomenclature other than to insult.Report

  30. Freddie says:

    For better or worse, the state wants children and they offer citizens many incentives to have children.

    Then why is the state silent on the thousands of married couples with no intention to ever procreate? Why shouldn’t sterile people be legally barred from marriage? Why couldn’t gay couples who have already adopted then procure a marriage? Why couldn’t a gay person with a biological child decide to rear that child with a person of the same sex and then get a marriage license?Report

  31. John says:

    I’m unmoved by your repeated use of the phrase “separate but equal” because I don’t believe the comparison to Brown is apt, and in fact, many people would find it insulting.

    you are either being willfully ignorant or fail to read for comprehension. Civil unions do not automatically provide for:
    Equal IRS treatment for inheritances.
    Equal standing for child rearing vis a vis schools.
    Automatic consideration by hospitals as the next of kin in the even of sickness and death.
    Automatic abilty to direct medical care for minor child
    Name changes.
    SS Survivor benefits for children
    SS Disability benefits for children
    JTWROS for bank accounts (as an automatic thing)
    Presumption of nontestifyability of husband or wife (wrong words, I’m not a lawyer)
    Ability to take children out of the country without a MAJOR hassle, sometimes not doable at all
    Ability to assign Life insurance benefits to spouse without major hassle

    these and hundreds of other little common issues are AUTOMATIC when you get “married” but not when you have been through a “civil union” .
    The biggest one? Non-portability: just because i am in a civil union in one state does not allow me to have ANY rights in another. Further, ALL the things we’ve mentioned are subject to beaurocratic revision at any time.

    THAT”S the difference.Report

  32. John says:

    Sorry, but the SS benefits should read:

    SS Survivor or Disabilty benefits for spouse or childrenReport

  33. matoko_chan says:

    Freddie is EXACTLY right.
    The only reason to oppose SSM is ignorant religious bigotry.
    And EVERYONE here, and at the “SecularRight” absolutely knows that.
    Just acknowledge it so that we can move on please and advance the dialog.Report

  34. matoko_chan says:

    That is whole problem inna nutshell. The conservative intelligentsia knows right from wrong. But how to communicate that to teh Base?
    Here’s a question for Klein, Payne, Douthat, Poulos, Klein, Manzi and Reihan…..are you leaders? Or are you panderers?Report

  35. Bob says:

    Jake, your response to me is below, just there to refresh your memory. First, the fact that all married people do not benefit by IRS rules dose not negate the fact that some do. So to state the obvious, some same sex married might benefit, some might not. Same rules for every one, equality. Two, SS benefits to survivors is the law. Your injection of some rather nebulous term, “fundamental right,” is way off the mark. Define fundamental right and we can discuss that. Short of that definition I will only point out that governments confer rights that may fall short of any definition of fundamental rights and SS benefits may fall into that category. Again, only a plea for equality.

    But Jake, I have a question for you. Now that several of us have give you the examples you requested have you changed your mind?


    Many married couples pay higher taxes than they would if they were to file separately. Remember the “marriage penalty”? In fact, if two people making roughly the same salary as one another enter into a civil union, they will reap huge tax benefits by maintaining their separate filing status.

    You are right that SS benefits are not available for those people in civil unions. But is the right to collect someone else’s social security a fundamental right? Is this what everyone is worked up about?Report

  36. Bob says:

    Jake, for your edification I want to point out the the term of “separate but equal” originated in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. There the Court established the dubious concept that the state could establish separate institutions, based on race, just as long as they provided equal service. Brown v. Board over tuned Plessy, a decision I am sure you agree with.

    So with that bit of history, does the argument the Freddie offers have any more weight for you?Report

  37. matoko,

    I’m a blogger.Report

  38. matoko_chan says:

    I’m a blogger.

    All the more reason for you to be honest.Report

  39. matoko_chan says:

    Look…..why can’t people/bloggers/etc just admit the truth?
    There is no valid secular reason to oppose SSM.Report

  40. E.D. Kain says:

    I become instantly wary, regardless of position, when anyone starts to say things like “my position is the truth!” I hold supreme authority on “the truth” and anyone who disagrees does so against “the truth!”

    This is no way to dialogue. And by the way, I agree with you. I can find no reason to legally ban gay marriage either.Report

  41. matoko_chan says:

    Sowwy for shouting, but I’m extremely tired of people like Heather McDonald promising a valid secular for opposing SSM and failing to deliver.
    There simply is none.
    I would just like smart people, who do the substrate to understand this, to admit it. There is no way to have intelligent discourse on an issue that rests on a false positive.Report

  42. Ed says:

    A valid secular reason? No same sex couple can ever naturally procreate. Never. Ever. Basically, all of nature requires a union of opposing sexes to continue its existence. Yes, there are a few asexual reproductive species when times are tough but even those species opt for natural procreation. This is enough for me. No religion involved.

    Civil unions with all attendant rights work for me. Also, how many societies in the world allow for gay marriage? Under 10. The majority of the world whether religious or not sees marriage as singularly heterosexually based while the more progressive nations extend civil rights benefits to same sex partners. It is not due to a lack of education or familiarity with gay people but due to nature itself. I don’t need religion to tell me how nature works and to elevate a non-procreative relationship to the same ideal as one that is naturally procreative is equating two things that are not inherently equal on this very specific but very necessary footing.Report

  43. E.D. Kain says:

    A valid secular reason? No same sex couple can ever naturally procreate. Never. Ever.

    I call bullshit. No sterile man can ever produce offspring either, nor a barren woman. Should they be barred from marriage? What about quadriplegics? Nature dictates their inability to reproduce as well, no matter what.

    The procreation argument is a false flag. It has nothing to do with marriage in this day and age. Besides, gay marriage provides more family units for adoption, arguably a “non-natural” means of gaining children, but something that exists regardless.Report

  44. matoko, as a supporter of same-sex marriage, I’m not sure in what regard you feel I’m not being honest. Is it that I tend to veer away from calling anyone who opposes same-sex marriage a bigot or a religious ignorant? I mean, at the end of the day I agree with you that there is no valid reason to oppose same-sex marriage, that’s why I support it. But I don’t find it particularly useful to engage those who do oppose it in an antagonistic fashion. That stems partly from my own personal ticks and partly from a strategic perspective on how and what one is able to derive from engagement.Report

  45. I would add that I think there is room for non-secular discussions about accepting same-sex marriage, as well. But Chris is in a better position to discuss those avenues than I am.Report

  46. Ed says:

    To E.D. Kain

    Your argument is one that comes up every single time I make my statement. The infertile straight couple. And because of this couple, this supposed couple, gay relationships are the equivalent. Not in nature. If you have an infertile animal that appears fertile, the opposite sex will still approach for procreation. That is nature. Your argument doesn’t work for me.

    The lack of being able to procreate does not overrule natural instincts as shown but every living thing on the face of the earth. You can’t disagree with nature unfortunately. It simply is.

    Your rationality, however, is charming. The use of the word “bullshit” makes your argument much more persuasive.

    The procreation argument has everything to do with why every society in the world except for maybe 5 -10 recognize marriage as between a man and woman and not man-man or woman-woman. Whether it is explicit or not is a separate issue.

    Simply because the last 30 or 40 years have allowed for fertility treatments and adoption has been a part of life for many years doesn’t override natural drives and instincts for the race or species to continue. If we didn’t have that drive, we wouldn’t be here. I can’t argue with that. If marriage is the supremely ideal way of humans manifesting that instinct, it will always be heterosexual.

    There is no discrimination against gay men or women intended. I view individuals as individuals whether gay or straight and all should have equal rights. Civil unions with equal rights are where I stand.Report

  47. E.D. Kain says:

    Your argument is one that comes up every single time I make my statement.

    There’s a good reason for that, and I’m sorry but your riposte is empty and unconvincing. Not in nature, huh? And in nature I suppose there are such things as Marriage and Government, right? In nature two male dogs don’t hump each other, right? Come on, you want to use nature as a guide for determining human laws? Isn’t Civilization supposed to go beyond the laws of nature?

    And the fact is, separate but equal will never be “Equal Rights” – did we not learn that during the 60’s? You can’t issue forth a statement like that without (perhaps unintentional) duplicity.Report

  48. Ed says:

    Two male dogs humping each other do not a civilization make. And that is an act of domination, not sex. There is no intercourse.

    That being said, laws extend from human nature. Morality, ethics, etc. are the basis for laws. Humans are different from animals with the ability to codify behavior. Thus, marriage is human creation that extends upon observed human behavior. Anything I write to you will be empty and unconvincing. It doesn’t matter to me if I convince you or not. It is up to you to convince me that marriage should be changed not the other way around.

    And the old separate but equal argument is trite. Equating the unfair treatment in so many aspects of life – schooling, access to public facilities and utilities, etc. -to the lack of the right for some gay men and women to marry is ridiculous on its face. That argument holds no water in comparison to what the original Supreme Court cases stood for.

    There is no separate but equal here. In my world, gay men and women can go and register for civil unions as can hetero men and women. However, marriage, if so chosen, is reserved to hetero unions. This is how it is done in most countries that allow civil unions and those countries don’t have the separate but equal case law for opponents to incorrectly cite.Report

  49. E.D. Kain says:

    Is someone suggesting marriage be changed? I can’t imagine my wife and I feeling that somehow our marriage was different should gays be allowed to marry, too. Wait-gays are marrying in MA and Canada–and guess what, my marriage is still exactly the same as before. Not one damn thing different about it.

    And no, two dogs humping one another does not make up Civilization. That’s why the “in nature” argument is useless. Civilization is made out of a breadth of things, including tradition, reason, trial and error, etc. etc. etc. Yes, nature plays a role, but one cannot say “In nature this and this don’t happen and thus shouldn’t happen in Society” first of all because, likely in nature you can find examples of just about everything imaginable (visit a Bonobo enclave sometime) and because the two are simply different. Civilization is not nature, nor is nature Civilization. Nor should they be.Report

  50. Ed says:

    If you are not suggesting that marriage should be changed, then why get upset? Let’s leave it as it is. End of discussion.

    The in nature argument is useless TO YOU. Not to most people. And civilization codifies desirable human behavior. That is what civilization exists for. Not everything exists in civilization because society chooses what it wants. But civilization is an extension of the desirable parts of nature, trying to play those up while trying to diminish our baser instincts such as murder. Thus, civilization is an extension of nature not a mirror of, which is what you suggest I meant. Never said it.Report

  51. E.D. Kain says:

    First of all, I’m not “upset” and second of all I’m suggesting that gay marriage would not change marriage. Obviously. Not that we shouldn’t lift the current set of rules that prevent it.

    Ah, and thank you for elucidating me on the belief of “most people” which handily seems to be your own as well. Funny how that works. Civilization does exist to codify desirable human behavior, and marriage just so happens to be desirable behavior by societal standards at least. And yet, as a Civilization we have not gone the course of banning divorce–because obviously there are myriad ways in which human behavior works, and many, many trade-offs that need to be made in order to preserve civilization as we know it. And yes, you are correct to say that civilization is an extension of nature–but it is not only that. It is also a reaction to nature. Often it goes directly against nature. There is not always a rational reason for this. One might say that marriage is irrational altogether from the standpoint of nature, and yet in civilization it is an empowering act, creating stronger units than the individual. In nature, however, might it make more sense to eschew monogamy altogether?

    In any case, bringing the gay community into the fold of marriage, into the mainstream, as equals under the law and the nomenclature, is an act that will strengthen our society and civilization, not weaken it. There is not one piece of scientific or sociological data that would suggest otherwise.Report

  52. Ed says:

    There is not one piece of evidence to suggest that it will harm our society either to leave things the way they are. If this is so strong an urge, why have only 5 to 10 countries drafted laws to allow gay marriage while many, many more have permitted civil unions? You’ve made no point here.

    Not upset? Your emphatic use of the word “bullshit” in an earlier reply suggests otherwise.

    You try to lump me in with “most people” as your way of attempting to diminish my personal argument, as though I am not thinking for myself. On the contrary, I think for myself and I reflect upon what greater society is doing, whether I agree or not. I am only relating my perspective on what I see. Someone asked for a secular argument and I gave one regardless of what most people think. “Most people” on this website might think differently than me but so what? It is a silly way on your part to try to diminish what I have written without addressing cogent thoughts. Silly.Report

  53. E.D. Kain says:

    You were the one to bring “most people” into this, actually, suggesting that you yourself were in the majority opinion. Read your own comment. And I use the word bullshit when I’m happy as often as when I’m upset. I have a propensity for swearing which I need to work on, I’ll be the first to admit it.

    What harm will not allowing gay marriage do to society? Well, it will be a huge political distraction in the future; it will carry on one of our worst traditions, which is that of discrimination; it will cause one group of people to be trod upon by the rest, and we will all be guilty of tyrannical actions against our fellow man. It will exaggerate the importance and tone of this conversation on this one topic at the behest of others. Etc. etc. etc. The less harmful path is legalization of gay marriage.Report

  54. Ed says:

    In your opinion it is the less harmful path. In many other people’s opinion it is the more harmful path.

    How is one group trod upon? What tryannical actions? Worst traditions? Rhetoric, much?

    Read up on Denmark and how successfully they’ve integrated civil unions, not marriage, into their society for the last 16 years (the longest on record as far as countries go). Your argument bespeaks of a louder national discussion than I believe we are in for. I know the history of this discussion in other countries. You should read up on them.Report

  55. John says:

    I think we should stop playing whack-a-mole with Ed. He has changed arguments, brought up irrelevancies and in general acted troll-like.

    JMHO, but I’m bowing out, to go work on getting the ERA passed. That’ll shut him up good.Report

  56. Ed says:

    Good luck, John!Report

  57. matoko_chan says:

    “But I don’t find it particularly useful to engage those who do oppose it in an antagonistic fashion.”
    Neither is it possible to make any progress starting with a false premise, Scott. You cannot persuade those laking the basic substrate to grasp this. ^^ look up there at Ed.
    Far more practical to explain that opposing SSM will lose them votes and not result in their desired outcome than to try to reason with them about the basic wrongness of the separate but equal argument.Report

  58. Ed says:

    If that last post was meant to be insulting, about lacking the substrate to grasp this, well, me and the rest of the civilized world don’t have the requisite substrate except for about 5 to 10 societies.

    Education doesn’t protect people from ignorance. Don’t try to claim intellectual superiority because my argument is so simplistic. I am a longtime NYCer with all of the indie credentials you could wish for. I support civil unions but not gay marriage. There is no need for me to explain my understanding of nature. If you can’t understand that, maybe your substrate needs some fine-tuning.

    If supporters of SSM were such a strong voting block, hmmm, how many states would not have defined marriage as between a man and a woman? A few pockets in the large cities on the coasts doesn’t mean much – except for loud voices in major media which is problematic as far as my position is concerned, I concede. But the media loves a fight and loves an underdog. That is how SSM will win.Report

  59. matoko, at some point I think the conversation comes down to a good faith discussion about a position in itself. Sure, go ahead and start by having a tactical discussion, I don’t find what you’ve proposed to be antagonistic in a way that makes me cringe. But if we’re going to realize some of full-bodied equality, over time we have to have the more difficult discussions in an up front, honest, and respectful manner.

    Let me put it this way: from a certain perspective, marriage equality advocates need only play the waiting game as the demographics of those supporting marriage equality are increasing, while the opposition is dwindling. At a certain point, there will be enough of a shift to realize the legal victory that Freddie stresses. At that point you can continue to have tactical discussions with those who continue to stand in opposition to maintain the legal victory and build a sense of permanence around its entrenchment.

    But at some point, one has to go one step further and start engaging people on the issue itself to realize a broad cultural shift that includes as universal as might ever be realized true respect and dignity for same-sex couples.

    My only point in all of this is that it strikes me as better to start that work sooner rather than later. That some people just won’t come around doesn’t cause me much in the way of concern, such is the cause with any struggle for equality. But having up front, good faith discussion with people can potentially cause a lot more people to come around than focusing solely on tactical discussion.

    Again, I stand in a both/and place on this, not an either/or.

    Thanks for the great dialogue, by the way. Very appreciative to have you and everyone taking the time to read and comment at the League.Report

  60. matoko_chan says:

    Let me put it this way: from a certain perspective, marriage equality advocates need only play the waiting game as the demographics of those supporting marriage equality are increasing, while the opposition is dwindling.

    I’m sure apologists like you said the same thing to slaves, black kids in the days of segragation academies, and mixed race couples.
    Judicial fiat FTW!Report

  61. E.D. Kain says:

    Gosh, matoko, do you come into every comment thread with your fists flying?

    Look, from another perspective, segregation, slavery, etc. did only end because enough of a demographic shift had taken place; enough old bigoted people had shuffled off their mortal coils and enough younger, more open-minded people had taken their place. Things don’t just magically happen. Do you think the Supreme Court is currently stacked to overturn marriage inequality? Hell no. So this is not black and white in terms of process, even if the ends seem to be…Report

  62. Okay matoko, I’ve explained myself ad nauseum and you’ve started hurling accusations, so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Though, I think it odd that you should pick fights with people who are seeking the same outcome as you, but differ in terms of tactics.Report

  63. E.D. Kain says:

    Oh come on Scott, you ARE un-American! (eh, you damn kanuck…)

    I lived in BC for a couple years, so I’m only slightly un-American…Report

  64. Ed says:

    My last post on this message: there is no groundswell of support for gay marriage in any major way. Put “gay marriage” into google news and see what I mean. Here is a sample:

    ‘”Everything but marriage” bill for gay couples’ in Seattle
    “Gay group wants ‘partnerships’ on ballot” in Arizona
    “Wyoming Moves To Ban Gay Marriage” in Wyoming obviously

    and this is a small, small sample just on the first two pages. Gay marriage is not inevitable and for those who think it is, you are reading the wrong tea leaves. It is not homophobic to grant the same rights and not call it marriage. It is not discriminatory.

    The argument that I made for marriage being nature based and the argument against it being that there are couples that cannot procreate-there have always been couples that couldn’t procreate but there has never been a cry for gay marriage like now, never before. That is because only recently has there been such a thing as a queer identity. Gay sex has always happened and always will. To identify oneself as gay is new and I don’t know if it is right or wrong. It doesn’t seem to match anything else in the natural world.

    I don’t care though about whether someone identifies him or herself as gay. But I do not see gay marriage as an ideal to aspire to.Report

  65. Bob says:

    Ed, I have no idea what you are saying when you write, “The argument that I made for marriage being nature based….” I will grant that mating is nature based, and some species mate for life but to assert that marriage is nature based is very strange. What exactly, or where exactly is the marriage ceremony in nature? Would you assert that divorce is nature based since many species only stay together long enough to raise their young? And what about reptiles, say snakes, that don’t have any sort of parental relationship, neither the male or female? Same with fish, no parental relationship. I ask these questions without any reference to gay marriage or civil unions, I just need (?) an explanation of the words quoted above.Report

  66. Ed says:

    Marriage is a symbolic union of the state of nature whereby basically every living organism requires a member of the opposite sex to procreate. Marriage enforces the strength of this union. Its that simple, to me, maybe not to you. I am a highly educated person living in NYC and I’ve read up on lots of reasoning for and against gay marriage and I believe it boils down to it being a symbolic union of natural instincts. It just so happens that basically every society has some form of marriage between heterosexuals. If that is not symbolic of the supreme union of male and female, what is? So many societies also have male and female deities that require both to coexist for nature. You don’t hear about two male deities getting it on or two female deities getting it on.

    One century of gay identity is not a tradition. It is an anomaly. I am not saying gay sex is not natural but to elevate gay relationships to the level of heterosexual relationships reflects NOTHING in nature.Report

  67. Bob says:

    Well as a highly educated person living in NYC you should know there is a little something called asexual reproduction. So when you write “…basically every living organism requires a member of the opposite sex to procreate.” you are wrong. Now, now, don’t think for a minuet I think that asexual reproduction counters your marriages arises in nature argument. It does not. I bring it up only to show that nature is much more diverse than your argument seems to allow. And I still do not accept your sexual reproduction equals marriage position. Marriage has more to do with property rights, the female being the property, than science.Report

  68. Ed says:

    The asexual reproduction argument is silly. Most asexual reproduction is due to a lack of the opposite sex at the time. For instance, certain female lizards will asexually reproduce when no males are around and then spawn only males and then reproduce naturally with those male offspring and only then can female lizards be born. As a norm, asexual reproduction generally isn’t a norm. This argument is trotted out again and again and its trite.

    If it was solely about property rights, a marriage would only extend to the immediate couple, according to your reason for marriage, and not to the lineage purposes of marriage. Procreation creates lineage and ensures property rights reinforcing heterosexual marriage. Historically, only a heterosexual couple can naturally reproduce.

    By your implication and not by my statement, we should have no laws like traffic signals since they don’t exist in nature. In trying to refute my argument, you basically say that since there is asexual reproduction, we should chuck marriage. We should be lawless and not encourage societal norms. I don’t argue that we mirror nature, I argue that we encourage behaviors for certain societal beliefs. A bloodline has been considered worthwhile in every society, it seems . You only get a natural bloodline through natural procreation. Marriage reinforces the bloodline. Pretty straightforward to me.

    I never argued that sexual reproduction equals marriage. You’re either attempting to simplify my point or don’t understand it. There are myriad reasons but underlying it is extending the bloodline and protection of the bloodline for property right purposes. It does all go back to the hoped-for ability to reproduce and continue the bloodline.

    Again, one century of gay identity is an anomaly in the history of the world. Marriage as an institution isn’t built to accommodate this new thing. The same reasoning does not exist for gay marriage and is not reflective of anything else in the real world (I will stay away from the word “nature” if that helps). What does gay marriage resemble that it should be elevated by the human race to so symbolic a spot that eons of history should be changed for a relatively new and rare phenomenom? Most people, religious or not, agree that it is not a societal ideal yet create room for it to exist, i.e. civil unions.Report

  69. Bob says:

    “By your implication and not by my statement, we should have no laws like traffic signals since they don’t exist in nature.”

    Ed, where did the above come from?Report

  70. Bob says:

    “It does all go back to the hoped-for ability to reproduce and continue the bloodline.”

    Two questions Ed,

    1. In the historical context where do you place this “hoped-for” outcome?

    2. Isn’t this “hoped-for” out come a function of culture, especially as it relates to marriage? Marriage being a really really recent development of human history and prehistory I just cant buy you nature argument.

    The genus homo dates to about 2.5 million years ago. Modern humans to about 200, 000 years ago. The intuition of marriage, state sanctioned marriage, is at best several thousand years old. I grant that neither anthropology or history provides us with reliable information regarding marriage, but history does show that church/state interest in marriage is of recent vintage. Again undercutting your nature argument.Report

  71. Ed says:


    My nature argument is that marriage is an idealization of the male-female relationship that bascally exists in all living things except for rare times like asexual reproduction. Hopefully, we can all agree that we need intersexual activity for the world as we now it to go on, not just for humans but all life. Marriage is mans’ codification of that union with additional motivation including bloodline, property, etc. But it is a codification of male-female unions that exist in nature. I am not arguing that marriage is nature but that it is mans’ codifying of behavior that exists in nature. Whether polygamous or not, it has always been male-female, as coupling in nature is, notwithstanding nature under duress, meaning no mates leading to asexual reproduction. My nature argument is simple – it takes male and female to reproduce, egg and sperm, one produced by man, one produced by woman. Marriage is mans’ way of exalting that natural action, protecting it, enhancing it with additonal rights that are only specific to humans. It is simple belief, don’t complicate it. I don’t believe that it is an argument because I don’t have to convince anyone of what I believe. The only argument is the one against marriage as it currently stands.

    You said asexual reproduction means my nature argument doesn’t work. You misstated my argument by saying that I said marriage is a mirror of nature. If I did argue that marriage was a mirror of nature, by arguing asexual reproduction as disproof of marriage as nature, you were in effect arguing that there should be no laws if any anomaly exists, thus no laws, because there is always an exception. Do you see that your argument doesn’t grasp what I am stating?Report

  72. Bob says:

    Ed, you really need to re-read my comment, #68. There is NO way for you to argue that I am arguing against “traffic signals” or any other law. Buddy, it’s just not there.

    I think you have pretty much conceded that marriage is cultural, not nature, so I’m satisfied with that. I could pick at your last post, for example, your “all life” is dependent on male female “intersexual activity,” since asexual reproduction continues and that type of reproduction is very important for the world to go on “as we now (sic) it….”

    But I think we have pretty much exhausted this whole thing.Report

  73. Ed says:

    Its funny that you use the word “exhausted” because I am exhausted too. I thought a lot about this since last posting and your posts have made me evaluate my point of view which is yet to be determined. Thank you for the rational discourse and respect. Nice blog, not too nasty, which is rare and unusual. My opinion may be changing based on all of these posts of mine and others.Report

  74. Bob says:

    Ed, thaks to you. Yeah, we both remained civil, no small accomplishment. Maybe we will cross swords another day. It has been fun.Report

  75. Dan says:

    In case anyone is still here, I wonder how Ed’s opinion is changing, if it is at all. He sounds like an intelligent guy who has, for whatever arbitrary reasons, decided that he doesn’t want to see same-sex couples be allowed to marry and have all the rights and benefits that heterosexual couples have. To me, his arguments sound hollow and disingenuous.

    Let’s face it, with more than six billion people burning through the world’s natural resources at an alarming rate, concern about promoting procreation should not be a significant part of this discussion. If anything, humanity is going to have to start figuring out how to cut down on procreation. And, by the way, it’s common knowledge that “homosexuality” indeed exists in nature outside of humanity.

    But Ed also writes about social stability. He sees heterosexual marriage as an ideal to strive for. I argue that with marriage equality, humanity will only move closer to the ideal of marriages as stable, lasting and loving relationships between two adults. It is human nature for individuals to strive toward societal ideals. In a society that does not confer equal rights on same-sex unions–especially where inheritance and social welfare are concerned–many gay people will continue to supress their true identity simply to retain an ideal to strive for. Some might call this misguided or dishonest, but it will happen, and the result will be the continued introduction of a destabilizing factor into marriage. To put it a little more bluntly for exhausted readers, our society still encourages gay people to stay in the closet and marry people of the opposite sex. That takes us in the opposite direction of our supposed ideal, however unattainable, of marriage.

    The fact that only a few countries have moved to recognize same-sex marriages only underscores how far we have left to go. The United States supposedly stands for freedom for all. We should be leading the way. Instead, we are being left in the dust by countries like Colombia, to name the latest. Colombia doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages yet, but its Constitutional Court just ruled that on a common-law basis, same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples. This covers inheritance, labor and social security. It means that same-sex spouses (and that’s how the Court refers to them) cannot be compelled to testify against one another, and that the same-sex partners of Colombian nationals are eligible for Colombian citizenship.

    If we are the bastion of freedom that we like to consider ourselves, we need to move faster in the United States. To receive their full civil rights, same-sex Americans should not have to wait for people like Ed to become sufficiently comfortable with the idea. We’ve already seen how long that can take, and it’s a sad, shameful story. Societies evolve and change, Ed, and thank god for that.Report

  76. Dan says:

    Make that homosexual or gay Americans, not same-sex Americans. I guess it’s past my bedtime.Report

  77. Ed says:

    The content on here was pretty civil til you chirped in.

    I want examples in nature of two animals engaging in full blown gay sex. Please. Two females pleasing each other in full sexual relations. Or two males with full insertion.

    Or failing that, how about a lifetime commited gay relationship amongst two animals? With sex, of course. I know that some animals couple for life. Do those same species also mate homosexually for life?

    The theory behind marriage is lifetime commitment. I don’t see anywhere in nature where there is gay lifetime commitment except some humans which makes us odd. Well developed brains can be a wonderful thing but they can also take us very, very far away from our true nature as animals.

    Your comments that I sound “hollow and disingenous”: do you understand what disingenous means cause I think you don’t.

    You shouldn’t write past your bedtime. You sound screechy and your vitriol seems to come out.Report

  78. Ed says:

    Oh, yeah, societies evolve. Look at Rome and its implosion. That was evolution. And some species evolve to the point of extinction. Your argument is moot.Report

  79. The Bad Yogi says:

    Actually, Ed, it’s you who seems to be up past bedtime, as I don’t see anything in Dan’s comments that warrant YOUR vitriol.
    Personally, I think that we should find examples in nature of marriage ceremonies, inheritances and the internet, or just toss out all Ed’s posts. Otherwise, using the most COMMON understanding of the word “evolving” we would understand that it implies that we can go past what nature has given us. I won’t take the red herring of the Roman Empire; it’s a great example of somone usign the word evolution without any understanding.

    Ed has demonstrated a persistent unwillingness to engage the arguments, but simply repeats his position. Is this productive?Report

  80. Ed says:

    Bad Yogi
    Your on his side so you don’t see the tone of his statement. Hollow and disingenuous? Implying that I’m not evolving like other superior minded folk? That is condescending, pure and simple.

    Evolution includes extinction. Look it up. How about the Mayan society? We are all waiting for your explanation on that one. Why did that one disappear? Maybe they evolved to Nirvana.

    Who on here has shifted his position? You apply certain standards to me because you disagree with me but read all of the other posts and give me an example of someone who hasn’t made the same argument. If you can’t, kindly keep your opinion to yourself.

    Why is Dan’s use of societal evolution sound yet when I cite an example it is a red herring? Please elaborate. I guess in your view of evolution, it is full of benevolence and grace and no darkness or death. Evolution is purely positive, right? Onward and upward?

    Okay, according to your theory, since we don’t see marriage ceremonies in nature, we shouldn’t have them for humans. Great theory. Does that apply in all areas of humanity or just the ones you disagree with? For instance. there are no traffic laws in nature so why should we have stoplights? Or painted lines? Or tickets for speeding? Yeah, lets let nature be our only guide and disregard ALL manmade instutions because obviously, since they don’t exist in nature, they are completely in error (even though every single society in the world, 100%, have marriage ceremonies). Good argument. I will call this the “Return to Nature” argument. Oh, by the way, if we do return to nature, can you cite examples of other animals engaging in long term, monogamous, homosexual relationships? Please, I am waiting for that one.

    I had a very civil, interesting, educated dialogue on here recently. Currently, all of those qualities are missing from your post and Dan’s post.Report

  81. Dan says:

    I see Ed hasn’t heard about the devoted pair of male penguins that were recently caught trying to steal eggs from other penguin couples. Ed, I’m not going to hunt down graphic examples of gay animal sex for you, especially when scientists can’t even agree on whether animals other than some primates experience pleasure during copulation.

    Your points just don’t add up to a logical argument against same-sex marriage. They’re just an emotional case against change that you’ve decided you don’t want, and a very weak justification for continued discrimination on the basis that it is longstanding.

    You’re wrong on another point, too. There is a groundswell of support for same-sex marriage in this country. A lot more people support same-sex marriage now than supported interracial marriage when the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on interracial marriage in 1947. The US Supreme Court took 20 more years to get rid of remaining anti-miscegenation laws around the country, mostly in former slave states that clung to those laws in purported defense of the “laws of nature”. Let’s hope we’ve learned something and won’t take so long to give same-sex couples their full civil rights.

    Evolution and change are certainties. Survival is a separate issue. I can’t guarantee that our society or even humanity will survive. The odds may well be stacked against us, and I certainly don’t think that our survival hinges on marriage equality for same-sex couples. But isn’t it time we did what’s right? Ed, what have you got to lose?Report

  82. Ed says:

    “Ed, I’m not going to hunt down graphic examples of gay animal sex for you”. I didn’t ask for graphic examples. Where is your mind at? I am not kidding about this and I am not being provocative. In a purely scientific sense, I want someone to cite an example of a long time, sexually active, homosexual, monogamous relationship in that natural world between two animals. Because I can cite numerous examples of hetero life unions.

    I love the male penguin argument. Do you know if they ever had sex? Or are they “buddies”? If they haven’t had sex, which they haven’t, okay, lets mirror them in society. Gays can marry but can’t have sex. Don’t like it? Well, that’s what your example shows – gays can couple but don’t engage in sex. Your argument holds no water.

    Your arguing that lack of gay marriage is akin to 300 years of forced servitude thru slavery? Ahem.

    I want full civil rights for gay couples. 100% civil rights. But not marriage. It doesn’t make sense.

    Civil unions. It is the answer and it works. It worked in Denmark for 16 years. Why not here? A caveat: each state has its own laws regarding marriage, there is no national law on marriage.

    Maybe it is discrimination but it may be based on being discriminating. Although I support absolutely that every gay man and woman should have full inheritance rights, visitation rights, taxation rights, etc. that every married hetero couple has, I don’t see that a change in marriage is required. Gays are seeking a condoning of their behavior. If not, civil unions fulfill the request of equality. Full equal rights. But if it is only marriage that gay men and women will settle for then it is actually more than rights that are sought. Societal approval is sought. Lets be honest.

    I am not anti-gay-sex. People can do whatever they want. But to ask for my approval-I am only speaking for my approval, no one elses-by elevating that relationship to the level of a lifetime relationship that doesn’t compute with the rest of the natural world, I don’t approve of raising it to that level.Report

  83. Dan says:

    I see. I don’t think you had previously mentioned your non-approval. Admittedly, it was evident in your arguments.

    I am glad that you support 100% civil rights as you describe them. But I don’t see how you equate the granting of marriage equality with the granting of approval. This whole thread has presumably been about civil marriage, and where civil rights are concerned, approval is not a factor, and that’s my main point. All segments of society are entitled to their civil rights even if the majority opposes that or cannot comprehend it in the case of a certain group.

    Just as I did not bring up animal sex (and by the way I have no idea how the two male penguins may or may not have achieved physical gratification together, and that’s irrelevant; individuals have different definitions of sex, and sexless marriage is not uncommon), nowhere did I mention slavery. I mentioned anti-miscegenation laws upheld in the name of conforming to the so-called “laws of nature,” which is a very relevant comparison here.

    You mentioned that your point of view had yet to be determined and that your mind might be changing – may I ask in what direction?Report

  84. The Bad Yogi says:

    Ed. Thanks for accusing me of an inability to read for comprehension. Now can we stop accusing the other of what we are doing ourselves? The reality is that his personal opinion of your post is not the attack that you claim it is. And no-one but you has implied that you are not as evolved as others (whatever that would mean.) As well, his discussion of societal evolution included a real example of American society (Miscagenation laws) while yours was just a way of deflecting (The Roman Empire is gone!) What does that have to do with Societal evolution? You can’t just bring up the words, you have to use them in a way that presents a real argument for it to be taken seriously.

    Every single point you make in your response to me is you asking me to show what YOU claim was neccessary. Sorry, but I don’t play that game. YOU show me that a society should have all its laws duplicated in nature, and then I’ll engage in this. You are the one saying that gay marriage is “not found in nature”, not me. We’re saying that nature is a starting point and we as a society can grow past that limitation. What do the Roman Empire, the Mayans or, for that matter, the ancient indian tribes have to do with this? The fact that another society existed and does not any more doesn’t imply ANYTHING about Civil Rights for gay men and women. Unless you are claiming that those societies failed BECAUSE of Gay Marriage? I don’t think that would stand up to scrutiny.
    You reveal your agenda here:

    “Gays are seeking a condoning of their behavior.”
    No, they are not. And this is a perfect example of a straw man, and of your unwillingness to actually engage the argument. What gay men and women (not “Gays”, that’s actually like calling black people “Blacks”; they have other defining characteristics) are seeking is that they not be treated differently than others, solely on account of their bedroom habits. You have confused and muddled the issue repeatedly with interjections of nature, children and evolution, while ignoring, but not dealing with, all offered answers. This is not a discussion then, but a repetition of your arguments. Others here have repeatedly tried to deal with your red herrings (Roman Empire! Gay animal sex! Slavery! And a pony!) but you refuse to engage them directly. I actually think you might have a sympathetic ear or 2 here, but not the way you have proceeded.

    Seriously, Ed. People here have gone way, way out of their way to help you see that your arguments don’t holfd water. If you want to say (as I believe you have said and mean),”I don’t believe that gay people should be married, but that they should have equal rights,” then fine. But trying to buttress that argument the way you have gone about it weakens your case, rather than convincing others of your correctness.
    And my name is Yogi, btw (I know there was no way for you to know that.) The Bad Yogi is what my children’s friend’s parents call me. 😉 So as not to confuse me with The Good Yogi.Report

  85. Bob says:

    Hey Ed, Hey Dan, I have been enjoying the dialog. Ed, we had many exchanges a few days/weeks back. Enjoyed “talking” with you.

    So guys what do you think of this proposal?

    Last week, on National Public Radio, Doug Kmiec, a cultural conservative but a supporter of Obama during the election, made this suggestion, an attempt to “end” the culture wars.

    States should only recognize civil unions. Marriage should be a religious ceremony. To be clear, both straight and gay couples enjoy government sanctioned unions. Marriage would be optional, a religious choice.

    This sounds good to me, as long as Federal benefits follow. Social Security, tax benefits, etc.

    Ed? Dan?Report

  86. Ed says:

    You don’t get to frame the argument Yogi. I am not arguing on your terms. I was asked for a secular reason against gay marriage and I proposed that marriage is based upon lifetime hetero unions as presented by nature. I never said marriage existed in nature. But lots of people read it that way and once they did they wouldn’t let go.

    I think that the supporters of gay marriage are one of the most closeminded, self righteous groups that I have ever encountered. Say your for civil unions but not marriage and you are discriminating.

    I will say this again loud and clear. If it is about equal rights, which everyone says it is, then civil unions with every single damn right of marriage is in fact equal rights.

    Okay? Does that make sense?

    Next, if you ask for gay marriage, then there is something intangible that you are seeking, not just equal rights. If it is just rights, who the hell cares if it is civil union or marriage. You’ve got the rights. Keep moving. But to want marriage is to want equal recognition of gay relationships in relation to marriage. What is that? What “right” is that? Where in the constitution is that “right” listed? It isn’t about inheritance, it isn’t about visitation or tax issues, it is not about a right, but a need to be acknowledged. Society chooses which behavior, and it is behavior, to acknowledge. I am only one member of society and I only speak for myself.

    One of the main reasons why Rome came apart was due to anything goes policies. Bachanal. Order eventually led to chaos and the empire fell. That is evolution as well as his example. I didn’t deflect, I countered. Do you understand how debate works? I don’t have to answer his proposal with a defense. I can cite an example of an opposite conclusion. It is shorthand but it is allowed in debate. No deflection – superior debating skills maybe.

    Here’s your agenda: “We’re saying that nature is a starting point and we as a society can grow past that limitation.” “We’re”? So, you don’t think for yourself? Do you feel as though you all think alike because I bet you don’t. That is the fallacious thinking here on you and others parts. Groupthink. That’s caused a lot of trouble over the ages. Too many examples to cite. But examples of it are in California now where gays are “terrorizing” those who voted against gays in Prop 8. Gay men and women are only doing it because of groupthink and because they feel as though others have their back. You probably can’t see out of it because you are in it. I can see it. It is actually very closeminded and actually leads to evolving of the group into extinction. Check history. Groupthink doesn’t allow new thoughts into the group, only the same old, same old. I saw it here. But you didn’t. I am sure.

    My position has only changed in the amount of time that I pay attention to the issue. If gay marriage happens, so be it. I won’t fight it. I will fully support civil unions. I am exhausted by the beligerence of gays under the guise of “if you knew how it felt to be denied a right for this long, you’d be angry too”. It is a small, small but very vocal minority within the gay minority that is pushing the agenda of gays. I don’t have the energy to care that much.Report

  87. Dan says:

    Bob, it sounds good to me too, as long as federal benefits follow, and as long as the state “gets [entirely] out of the marriage business,” as the saying goes. I have long thought that civil unions should be an option for all couples in this country. However, given the puritanical views of so many Americans, I think there may be almost as much opposition to this proposal as to same-sex marriage. Don’t you?Report

  88. Bob says:

    Dan, I agree to some extent, perhaps a large extant. There will always be the “dead endears,” those that will never accept any sort of gay reorganization, unions. But I hope those dead endears are a minority, and a minority that diminishes as time goes by. Younger people seem more accepting of diversity. So will Kemic’s propasial be accepted tomorror? No. Will it be accepted over time? I hope so.Report

  89. Dan says:

    Ed, you certainly *seem* to have a lot of energy to expend on this. And I have to say that I share Yogi’s feelings on the incoherence of your arguments. You may call it debating shorthand and superior debating skills, but I call it changing the subject and wishing your opponents’ arguments away. Your repeated references to the animal kingdom and your clinging to your arbitrary definitions of sex (“penetration,” “full-blown sex,” etc.) and marriage seem, well, desperate.

    And yet you sound almost passionate when you state that gay men and women should have 100% equal civil rights, with the exception of the “marriage” nomenclature. Are you willing to stand up and advocate for this, or is it just what you tell people when you’re arguing against same-sex marriage? Are you otherwise just a bystander when it comes to gay rights, a person with no stake in the outcome? Because it seems to me that someone who purports to be educated and intelligent–which you do, above–should make an effort to move society in the direction of equal rights for all, and not in the opposite direction. If you are only arguing that gay people should have equal rights in the context of trying to deny them equal marriage rights, then your net contribution to the civil rights of the minority in question is negative.

    You have implied that I shouldn’t have “chirped in” here and that Yogi should have kept his opinions to himself. I propose that if it is the case that you are only willing to argue for gay civil rights in this context–and let me emphasize that I don’t know whether it is, because you haven’t told us yet–maybe you are the one who should be keeping his opinions to himself. That way you would have a smaller negative net impact on the whole issue of gay rights. Notice that I don’t say a neutral impact, because those who are silent on issues of civil rights effectively take a stand against the minority.

    Frankly, Ed, I hope that despite your frustration with the supporters of gay marriage you are willing to stand behind your convictions and do your part to help gay men and women get the rights you feel they deserve. You seem to put passion behind your convictions, and you could make a positive contribution without necessarily promoting “same-sex marriage.”

    I am gay, I do have a personal stake in this, and I ask for your support. Most of all, I ask for it on behalf of gay Americans who may well die before receiving their full civil rights, and for gay adolescents who may enter adulthood knowing that unless they remain closeted, they may never be able to enjoy the rights and privileges that others do.Report

  90. Dan says:

    Bob, I think the proposal definitely will be accepted over time. I don’t know whether that will be before or after the acceptance of marriage equality. In both cases, I think that those who care have to do more than just wait for others to come around.Report

  91. Ed says:

    I can no longer respond. My words are enough.

    Bob, it was nice to hear from you, too, although you’ve caught me at exhaustion once again. I will think about your proposal. From a constitutional standpoint, it makes sense regarding the separation of church and state.

    No more tonight.Report

  92. Cascadian says:

    I don’t have a problem with separating civil unions and marriage. I just require that straights can choose civil unions with all rights and protections. Save marriage for the religious. It would be better if the gov got out altogether but as long as there were options, I wouldn’t bet on marriage outside the bible belt.Report

  93. Bob says:

    Dan, let me me clear. I reject, I said reject, Ed’s nature argument. Marriage is a cultural concept. Nature has nothing to do with it. Just ask a plant which plant is the father of the seed. Ed has a very narrow definition of nature. But since I see “marriage” as cultural I see any resolution of the marriage question as a cultural/political question. Hence, compromise. If equal right are granted under the rubric “civil unions” or “marriage” I really don’t care. Once again, let me be clear, I would want “marriage” for all, but “civil union” for is a realistic compromise.Report

  94. Bob says:

    Ed, no response necessary from my point of view. We have both had our say. I really do respect what you say. We just don’t agree.Report

  95. Bob says:

    Casadian, the “gov [can’t get] out altogether .” Property is involved. No matter if it is marriage or civil union division of property must be decided upon death or divorce.Report

  96. The Bad Yogi says:

    Bob, Dan, I appreciate your words and thoughts. My daughter is gay and “engaged”, so this is not a matter of logic for me.
    I too will bow out.
    Thanks to the OGs for hosting this.


  97. Bob says:

    Yogi, it’s love not logic. Your daughater has a great Dad.Report

  98. Dan says:

    Bob, I would be happy if that realistic compromise became reality, and we’re certainly in agreement on the “nature” argument as well. Thanks to you and Yogi both. By the way, Yogi, your daughter is lucky to have you as a father. People like you can and will make all the difference.Report

  99. Cascadian says:

    Bob: that’s true but the government deals with all sorts of property claims and contracts. It can continue to do so under civil unions or domestic support or whatever fancy name you want. The point being that separating the sacred/religious aspects of the institution from the social network that families provides, allows for those that care to maintain a “marriage” of their own definition. Government needs to get out of the religious aspects and focus on the simple property matters. The Church needs to pick up the ball and sanctify the unions of their choice on their own authority. They don’t the state.Report

  100. Bob says:

    Cascadian, I don’t think there is a lot of day light between our positions.Report

  101. Ed says:

    Bob, I respect your opinion as well. However, I take heed to your statement that I have a narrow definition of nature. I believe you have a skewed definition of nature whereby you raise deviation from the norm to the level of the norm as your argumentative positition. Why do scientists even define it as deviation? Why not just make everything the norm? That is how I see your definition of nature and that is skewed. By the way, asexual reproduction only happens in the absence of an opposite sex member. If there is an opposite sex memeber, natural procreation occurs. So in times of stress on certain species, asexual reproduction will occur. But the norm will always be natural procreation. That asexual reproduction argument is the exception that proves the rule that natural procreation is favored.

    To many others, not just Bob, I agree, marriage is cultural. However, EVERY culture, until recently, marriage = man and woman. I’ve always said that it is man’s way of exalting the naturally procreative relations amongst opposite sexes. I never said that marriage existed in nature. But I will go on to state without doubt that long term, monogamous, sexually active, homosexual relations amongst any animals other than humans do not exist in the absolute. So why should we as a race exalt those relations to the level of marriage as a cultural instituion or cultural tool, if you will.

    I will support civil unions. I would voice my opinion openly on that fact. I fully mean what I say about equal rights. If anyone asked me to, I would contact my reps in congress, senate, etc., I would sign petitions, I would attend a rally. I mean what I say.

    As far as the state getting out of the marriage business, all of our laws have judeo christian roots so if you start cherrypicking laws based upon religious roots, you have a lot of work ahead of you. I see the point about civil unions for everyone and it is both agreeable to me and disagreeable at the same time. I don’t support it, ultimately.

    I don’t think a compromise is necessary for 3 to 4% of the population, of which only a portion of that population wants to take advantage of the right to marry. There isn’t universal agreement amongst gays that the right to marry is what is desirable. Some gays have said why would we want to copy that institution. We can have something else altogether. This is what distinguishes this movement from the 14th amendment’s addressing of discrimination against Af. Americans. ALL Af. Americans wanted the right to vote, the right to equal facilities, etc. , but not all gays want the right to marry. There is a definite distinction.Report

  102. Cascadian says:

    As far as the state getting out of the marriage business, all of our laws have judeo christian roots so if you start cherrypicking laws based upon religious roots, you have a lot of work ahead of you.

    Job security.

    What other aspect of government has as much implied religious content? I argue that many if not most would prefer an institution without the religious content. Why should I be forced to partake in a religious activity so that I can have a family of my own choosing. The LGBT community has had better luck arguing that the gov should be out of everyone’s bedroom than sodomy in particular should be legal. Likewise, they will do better to strip religion out of all state unions for everyone, allowing the religious to provide their own content in the way of their choosing. In that way, they will have access to much more than 3 or 4 percent.Report

  103. Ed says:

    The 1st Amendment wasn’t written to keep religion out of laws. It was written to disallow a state religion whereby one religion would be favored over any other. Marriage laws do not favor one religion over another. Marriage laws are not christian, not jewish, not hindu, etc. They do not disobey the 1st Amendment.

    It is erroneous to read the 1st Amendment as disallowing any religious interjection into any government issue. One religion can’t be favored over any other thereby leading to an official state religion or the appearance of one. Thus, marriage laws as they are written are not unconstitutional and not problematic.Report

  104. Bob says:

    Cascadian you write,”The LGBT community has had better luck arguing that the gov should be out of everyone’s bedroom than sodomy in particular should be legal.”

    Wrong. The U.S. Supreme struck down all sodomy laws in 2003, Lawrence v.Texas.Report

  105. Cascadian says:


    Marriage laws do not favor one religion over another. Marriage laws are not christian, not jewish, not hindu, etc. They do not disobey the 1st Amendment.
    To the extent that marriage laws don’t accommodate extremist Mormons, Muslims, Pagans or Pastafarians, they do discriminate. If all that is necessary is that they don’t discriminate against a couple of religions, it should be just as legal to craft legislation that favor pagans and Pastafarians at the expense of Evangelicals.

    To the extent that marriage has a religious component, I believe it to be inappropriate governmental activity.

    Bob: Griswald came long before Lawrence.Report

  106. Bob says:

    Ed the following is from your message # 72, “My nature argument is that marriage is an idealization of the male-female relationship that bascally exists in all living things except for rare times like asexual reproduction.” You said further on in that message, “Marriage is mans’ codification of that union with additional motivation including bloodline, property, etc. But it is a codification of male-female unions that exist in nature. I am not arguing that marriage is nature but that it is mans’ codifying of behavior that exists in nature.”

    The above is the reason I say you have a narrow view of nature. There are no “male-female unions” on the flora side of nature. Pollination occurs as blind chance. The birds bees or the breeze that spread pollen is hard to define as unions. Sexual reproduction? Sure. Unions? Not so much. Or take the example of spawning Salmon. The females lay eggs and males swim over the eggs and and release their sperm. Sexual reproduction but difficult for me to see this as any kind of union especially as it might apply to human intuitions.

    I just can’t accept, do not see, how nature has anything to say about marriage. Nature is diverse.

    Ed, this is my last word on this particular subject. I will read any response you might post, but I think I have expressed by position as best I can.Report

  107. Ed says:

    You can believe it to be an inappropriate government activity but that doesn’t make it unconstitutional. The jurisprudence of the 1st Amendment will lead the action taken, not personal feelings.

    Discrimination against religions is not the rational behind the 1st Amend. One religion cannot be favored suggesting a state religion; that is why the 1st Amend was written, to avoid the rule of law combined with religion that most of the drafters of the const. were subject to. Marriage doesn’t suggest a state religion.Report

  108. Bob says:

    Cascadian, both Griwald and Lawrence upheld the right of privacy. Griswald was largely about contraceptives. Lawrence v. Texas overturned the sodomy laws of Texas and hence all sodomy laws.

    The following are the first two paragraphs from the NYTimes article reporting the decision. “The Supreme Court issued a sweeping declaration of constitutional liberty for gay men and lesbians today, overruling a Texas sodomy law in the broadest possible terms and effectively apologizing for a contrary 1986 decision that the majority said ”demeans the lives of homosexual persons.” The vote was 6 to 3.

    “Gays are ‘entitled to respect for their private lives,’ Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said for the court. ‘The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.’ ”

    The only point I was making was that in message #103 you said the LGBT community had little success in fighting against sodomy laws. Once again, the Supreme Court has overturned all sodomy laws. I would call that very succesful.

    Perhaps I miss understand what you were saying.Report

  109. Cascadian says:

    Even if ‘marriage’ started as religiously neutral. It isn’t any longer. Through the political process, it has become a tool and weapon to impose the moral and cultural preferences of a very particular religious segment of the population on the rest of society. It has become a way to establish a particular kind of religion.

    Canada has some interesting sex/constitutional cases coming up. One is the polygamist Mormons in Bountiful. They will be arguing that the definition of marriage is an infringement on their religious beliefs. Granted, this is not under the US constitution, never the less, many of these arguments will be forwarded. We’ll have to see how it goes but most give heavy odds to the Mormons succeeding.Report

  110. Cascadian says:

    Bob: The point I was trying to make is that there would be no Lawrence without Griswald. That it’s easier to enlist the support of more people if the goal is to get rid of governmental intervention for all people than to go for a particular off the bat. I’m sure many heterosexual Texans are just as relieved that blow jobs and anal aren’t illegal and are just waiting for the day where they can own more than three dildos, but they wouldn’t have gotten there if it weren’t pointed out that government didn’t belong in the bedroom in the first place (Griswald).

    The LGBT community will have much better luck arguing that everyone be able to be free from the churche’s influence in their relationships, rather than LGBT should be allowed to participate in an institution which has questionable allegiance in the first place. This is one reason why I have very little sympathy for Sullivan, and much of the SSM movement.Report

  111. Bob says:

    Cascadian, wrong wrong wrong.

    Griswald did not stop the Court from upholding sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick. Lawrance specifically overturned Bowers and the Court apologized for Bowers. There is no straight line from Griswald to Lawrance.Report

  112. Ed says:

    Canadian jursiprudence has nothing to do with US constitutional law. I am curious to see how Canada handles it but do they have a 1st Amendment? I am skeptical also about the claim that the Mormons are heavily favored. I need to know the source to determine whether I believe a statement like that.

    Your argument that marriage is a weapon is erroneous. Marriage has been in existence for what, hundreds if not thousands of years and now some very small group of people claim that they should have a new right recognized under the existing laws that has never been recognized before in the known history of mankind and groups react to protect the institution as it stands but it is being used as a tool by those who are acting to keep it as it has been for all time? A new right is being sought. It is not those in charge seeking to impose their beliefs it is those seeking the change who are seeking to impose their beliefs that gays should be allowed to marry. Gays are using marriage as their tool to batter anyone opposed into submission by being labeled a bigot even if you support full civil rights.Report

  113. Bob says:

    Ed writes in # 113″…now some very small group of people claim that they should have a new right recognized under the existing laws that has never been recognized before in the known history of mankind….”

    Not exactly.

    Same sex marriage is known in history. It would be more accurate to say the same sex marriage is rare. But to assert that it “…has never been recognized before in the known history of mankind…” is inaccurate.

    Consult the Wikipedia article on Same-sex marriage, history.Report

  114. Ed says:

    You’re are absolutely correct about gay marriage being rare. As I was writing, I saw that but I am at work and posted too quickly.Report

  115. Cascadian says:

    Yes, the court did overturn Bowers because it didn’t get Due Process right. They overturned it by looking, in part, at Griswold:

    We conclude the case should be resolved by determining
    whether the petitioners were free as adults to engage in the
    private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the
    Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the
    Constitution. For this inquiry we deem it necessary to reconsider
    the Court’s holding in Bowers.
    There are broad statements of the substantive reach of
    liberty under the Due Process Clause in earlier cases, including
    Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510 (1925), and
    Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390 (1923); but the most pertinent
    beginning point is our decision in Griswold v. Connecticut,

    381 U. S. 479 (1965).”

    Both Eisenstadt and Carey, as
    well as the holding and rationale in Roe, confirmed that the
    reasoning of Griswold could not be confined to the protection
    of rights of married adults. This was the state of the law
    with respect to some of the most relevant cases when the
    Court considered Bowers v. Hardwick.

    Scalia, in his dissent, argues that the majority misreads Griswold. I find it difficult to deny Griswold holds an important position in Lawrence. That there is no path from one to the other, seems blatantly wrong.Report

  116. Cascadian says:


    Canadian jursiprudence has nothing to do with US constitutional law. I am curious to see how Canada handles it but do they have a 1st Amendment? I am skeptical also about the claim that the Mormons are heavily favored. I need to know the source to determine whether I believe a statement like that.

    They don’t have a First Amendment, no right to free speech. But, they do have protection of religious freedoms and a requirement to prove harm in morality claims.

    Here’s a piece that discusses some of the difficulties.

    My argument has nothing to do with SSM. When the SSM opponents claim that there is a sacred institution at risk, they give content to the institution that not all agree with. I’m willing to give them that marriage is a sacred institution and that they should have the religious freedom to decide who partakes in that institution. What they can’t do is to co-opt me. If marriage is a sacred Christian, or other religious institution, then I want a completely secular version for myself.Report

  117. Bob says:

    “That there is no path from one to the other, seems blatantly wrong.”

    Cascadian, I never never never said that. I maintain that Griswald did not overturn sodomy laws. Bowers upheld sodomy laws. I’m only saying (1) it took Lawrence do overturn sodomy laws (2) there is no straight line from Griswald to Lawerance.

    And beside that was not my original point. You wrote in #103, “The LGBT community has had better luck arguing that the gov should be out of everyone’s bedroom than sodomy in particular should be legal.” Well that is factually incorrect since Bowers struck down all sodomy laws. I know I know you say that is not what you meant, but that is what you wrote. What you wrote was incorrect.

    I’m in no way denying the import of Griswald, it has been more than helpful in establishing and expanding the right to privacy, but as you well know the Right hates Griswald and would probably overturn it given the right case.Report

  118. Cascadian says:

    We must be using line and path at cross purposes. I agree that it took Lawrence to legalize sodomy. I argue that the decision was based in a history that started with Griswold. Though Lawrence is absolutely necessary for gays, it’s quite important for straights that want something other than the missionary position. The whole line of reasoning is compelling because very few people of any stripe want government in their bedrooms, a broad concept birthed in Griswold. Similarly, the LGBT community would find success easier if they argued for something that would be valuable to a range of individuals, including straights, rather than as a civil right to be extended to a left out group.

    I’m sure many folk would like to overturn Griswold. I consider myself on the right and am in favor of throwing out the fourteenth amendment all together. So, I suppose, ultimately you’d have to include me as well.Report

  119. Bob says:

    I’m going to regret this, but please explain, “…am in favor of throwing out the fourteenth amendment all together. ” Is it the fourteenth or the incorporation doctrine?Report

  120. Cascadian says:

    It’s a bit of both. There’s so much that I don’t like within the fourteenth itself. However, its hard for me just to get beyond the procedural problems in its enactment.Report

  121. Bob says:

    OK, I read your reply. Can’t say anything at this point.Report

  122. Ed says:

    The secular case against gay marriage:

    Please read it and refute. To fine tune my earlier argument, yes, homosexual behavior exists in animals albeit on a minimal level. However, gay identity only exists in humans as a relatively new phenomenon. Before anyone says “yes, but a heterosexual identity doesn’t exist in the animal world either”, well, the only reason a hetero identity exists in humans is to counterpose the new self-identified homosexuals. If homosexuality as an identity didn’t exist, heterosexuality is the norm and doesn’t need to have a category or an identifying label. Its simple logic.

    There have also been societies that haven’t frowned upon homosexuality in history, ie, greeks, indian tribes, yet have not embraced gay marriage. So, what this means is that there has not been bigotry since homosexual activity was condoned. Greeks recognized it happens and accepted it but did not promote it via marriage since sexuality is fluid and realized that homosexual behavior today does not lead to gay identity tomorrow unlike race where if one is black today, he or she is black tomorrow. See the difference.Report

  123. Cascadian says:

    Ed, the piece you cite is pretty easy to refute. The propagation of the population is not the only good we support when we encourage the formation of families nor is it the only way we as a society have chosen to populate the country…. immigration.

    I particularly liked the conclusion where the author argues that the danger of gay marriage is that it enshrines sexual desire as the basis of marriage. To my ear this sounds a lot more like young het love than an evolved gay relationship. My mind goes to young Palin before Sullivan. Ultimately, there’s little argument for the benefits of marriage from a traditional standpoint given that standpoints track record.

    As to the rest. If I can’t trust government to be competent regulating banking, why would I trust them in my bedroom or defining the form and content of my family.Report

  124. Ed says:

    Did you read the same article that I posted? Where is your “easy” refutation exactly? Cause I can’t find it.

    And I guess according to your (flawed) logic, we should get rid of government regulation in ALL areas of our lives? Or should it just be the ones that you in particular don’t like?

    According to your argument as well, brothers and sisters who are in love should be able to marry, multiple partners should be able to marry, where does it end exactly? Oh, I guess with no government regulation (and its resulting anarchy), anything goes. Interesting argument. Great refutation. Really… great.Report

  125. Jaybird says:

    I work with a number of righty types who oppose gay marriage. They see marriage as a social good and, as such, it needs to be protected.

    I am married to a lefty type who supports gay marriage. She sees marriage as a social good and, as such, it needs to be extended.

    For my part, I kinda see marriage as outside of the competence of government. If two gay guys can’t get “really” married, there isn’t any law that any government can possibly pass that could make two gay guys married. If Leviticus 20:13 is right, then there is *NOTHING* that any human being can do to make two gay guys married and saying they are doesn’t make them so.

    That said, if two gay guys *CAN* get married, the government is committing a great wrong by making distinctions between this couple and that couple and if God says “hey, whtevs, I made this world so everybody could have a good time, right?” then fighting gay marriage is directly flying in the face of God.

    In either case, I don’t see government having the competence to know the mind of God.

    If you want to talk about tax purposes, though, I totally think that any two people should be able to join together in a tax-purpose type relationship for whatever reason they want to (even if they are related).

    I will say that it sort of surprises me that an eternity of torment doesn’t seem to be enough for the fundy types, though. You’d think that’d be sufficient but no. They want to make life crappy in this world too.Report

  126. Dave says:


    The article is rather unimpressive and it completely inconsistent in articulating any legal principles that the Iowa Court did not already rebut in its recent opinion.

    His basic argument is that because we already prohibit certain forms of marriage discrimination, it’s perfectly okay to engage in this form of marriage discrimination.

    He then proceeds to tell us that it is important that we save resources to give them to those married couples who are procreating but if some opposite-sex couples happen to receive those benefits too, then oh well, nothing’s perfect. Oh, and old people? Well, they can’t procreate but it happens so rarely that it’s not worth worrying about.

    Is it any wonder why opponents of same-sex marriage get their asses kicked in court when forced to justify their underlying motivations?Report

  127. The Bad Yogi says:

    Ed, way back when (, I gave you a list of 11 things that came along automatically with marriage, in response to your request. You never responded.

    Now, I’d like to ask you another question. Please do me the courtesy of responding to this one.

    If a law could be passed to make “partnership” (or another euphemism of your choice) exactly equal to marriage in all respects except the word itself, would you support it? You have implied several times that you would, and I would like you to move it from implication to statement. If you do, then what do you see as the difference between gay marriage and civil unions, that is not religious? If you don’t, which parts of the “marriage contract” do you not want gay people to have?


    John, the Bad YogiReport

  128. The Bad Yogi says:

    The other point I want to make, the reason why I had left this thread until now, is that opponents of gay marriage do not have any reality on the damage that this whole thing is doing to gay, lesbians, bi-sexual and transvestites/transgendered/transsexual folks. I know them on a personal basis (as I said, my daughter is bi, and “engaged”), and see on a daily basis the hurt and emotional toll it takes. Given that the consensus science is that sexual orientation is inborn, not aquired, the folks against gay marriage are fighting an uphill battle solely for the purpose of self-aggrandizement: to make themselves feel superior. This really sucks.
    There is no evidence that gay marriage is damaging to society in general nor to individuals: all the evidence is the other way. To have to constantly demand to be treated as normal, rather than weird/dangerous, is something that the opponents have no reality on, and cannot see, no matter how often we say it. Ed is a perfect example: he bobs and weaves, and ducks and offers strawmen, and ad hominiens, and never actually engages the core argument. I hope that my question above brings out something new: I desperately want people to confront the reality of their views, so that they can begin to act differently. I don’t expect it. But I also don’t want to pick on Ed: he is offering the best responses he has, for a situation he sees as both intolerable and uneccessary; he is not evil, IMO, just seriously misguided. That’s why I had to come back once more.

    As always, thanks to the OGs for the space.

    John, The Bad YogiReport

  129. Ed says:

    I realized that to engage in arguing with the gay marriage movement is to give it credibility. Gays are interested in the fight and not the actual rights. Refer to Salon from February 08 regarding gay marriage in Mass. and how such a small number of gays are actually getting married.

    So I ignore you and your self-righteousness. Yes, gay marriage will probably pass but gay identity will pass into oblivion. It is only 40 years old and it is due to the American Psychological Association amending its code to take homosexuality out of the pathology category. However, the same organization last year added a new caveat to its code for the first time ever. It has acknowledged that some (formerly) self-identified gay men and women have been helped out of their lifestyle, orientation, choice, whatever you want to call it and actually are living more satisfying, happier lives in hetero relationships. Self-identified is crucial since NO ONE can define anyone else as much as gay men and women want to claim a person who has one homosexual experience in their entire life as gay but in denial. (Ha! talk about self-righteousness). No one gets to claim who is gay and who isn’t except that person him or herself. The APA is not full of fundamentalists. It acknowledges psychological well being and has done so not due to a political movement but real results. Do a web search and find it out yourselves.

    People see demons everywhere against gays. But that’s not accurate. There are not demons everywhere but gays love a fight, love a soapbox, love to rebel, love to be self-righteous and also portray themselves as victims even though they are one of the wealthiest groups in the country. So to engage in arguing is to give the gay movement the soapbox it needs. I abstain. Because we’ll see, once gays get marriage, such a small amount of people will take advantage of it, it will have been a worthless fight and gays still won’t be happy as a group. That lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to happiness and it never will.

    But we won’t have to hear the self-righteousness anymore, the screeching, the nails on the chalkboard. I could pick apart every single argument above but its pointless because no one EVER acknowledges where I am right except one time one guy asked me, okay, well do you at least support civil unions, which I do. He couldn’t refute my arguments like no one else can on here.

    I am reposting this and I will discuss it if anyone wants to but I will not engage in any other discussion. Here is my repost: ONE SINGLE ACT HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR TODAY DOES BNOT NECESSARILY LEAD TO GAY IDENTITY TOMORROW UNLIKE RACE WHERE IF ONE IS BLACK TODAY, HE OR SHE IS BLACK TOMORROW.

    The point being we don’t need to change laws for something fluid like sexuality unlike needing to changes laws for something that will never change like race. Sexuality is self-defined, race is not. One is subjective, one is not.Report

  130. Cascadian says:

    Quite apart from “straights” that find they’ve been gay longer than they knew, what about religion? If the test for equal rights is a fundamental unchanging aspect of oneself, religion doesn’t qualify either?Report

  131. The Bad Yogi says:

    Actually, at this point Ed has actually and finally revealed his true colors, ones that many of us here had suspected, but found ourselves unable to actually demonstrate, due to his lack of actual engagement.
    I’m sorry for that, but it is what I expected. And it points out EXACTLY why we need the laws changed: under the surface of a seemingly amiable, open guy was a religious argument, that he kept trying to restate as if it were natural law. Anyone see the similarities between this and the creation science arguments?

    Ed, your arguments were refuted at least 5 times that I can count, followed by your changing the argument each time. You were arguing to win, the rest of us were trying to understand. And you NEVER ONCE actually engaged the argument, so saying that “I could if I wanted to, but it would give too much credibility to TEH GAYS” is just a 5-year-old’s response.

    Sorry you have so little compassion, and so much anger.Report

  132. Ed says:

    Bad Yogi, you are guilty of projection. Everything you said about me you recognize because you practice it. Your screen name is not ironic.
    Stop trying to cram me into the fundamentalist section. You say I’m not engaged. ADDRESS MY ARGUMENT – OTHERWISE YOU ARE NOT ENGAGED. You’re a name caller. You’re angry. You are self-righteous. The bile must be backed up into the back of your throat. You don’t argue-you’re a name caller. That’s it. You are one of the ones who shouts down opposition but has nothing to say himself. You are in the front ranks, a private, not a general. Don’t fool yourself that you are more than that and you’ll be a happier person.

    Cascadian -Religion – look up the bill of rights. Everyone has a potential interest in the spiritual life. Religion should be protected. The same cannot be said about homosexuality.Report

  133. Ed says:

    Bad Yogi wrote: “under the surface of a seemingly amiable, open guy was a religious argument.”

    Huh? Wha? Religious argument? What are you reading? You’re finding things that don’t exist. I want to write more but I think that confuses you so I will keep it short and simple.Report

  134. Cascadian says:

    Everyone has the interest of keeping the government out of the bedroom. As far as religion, it’s always a case of rights for me but not for thee.Report

  135. Bob says:

    “Please read it and refute.”

    Ed, not sure I can refute, prove wrong, the points Adam K. made in his post but I will dispute them.

    Adam’s first point, state regulation of marriage, is only descriptive. He provides a very short history of marriage laws in some states. Clearly such laws prove nothing regarding a universal truth regarding marriage. Laws change and vary from culture to culture. So to argue against SSM on account of history of state laws is very weak. Societies attitudes change and when they change laws must often be changed to come into compliance with the change. Recognizing SSM is a political question fraught with cultural and religious issues. For me state involvement in marriage should be only contractual, provide rules for entering the contract and ending the contract. In 2009 a political controversy exists with regard to who may sign such contracts, it’s that simple and that difficult.

    Adam also makes an economic argument against SSM, it will deprive governments of tax revenues. I’m willing to give this argument some credence but governments are not without tools to correct any short fall. Governments change tax laws and tax rates all the time to meet needs and changing conditions. If SSM proves to be a drain on the treasuries Congress and state legislatures can correct the situation. Have any studies been made regarding the cost, lost revenues, to governments if SSM becomes recognized? What has been the economic impact on European governments that recognize SSM?

    With regard to procreation I’d like to associate myself with the comment made by Dave in #126. Overt encouragement, tax breaks, for procreation by governments seem wrong-headed in the 21st century. I will grant that several west European countries and Russia have low, maybe, negative birth rates but lack of population is not a problem world wide.

    I find the arguments Adam offer without merit, I’m suprised you find them note-worthy.Report

  136. Dave says:


    You’re making this way too easy for me.Report

  137. Ed says:

    Good for all of you.Report

  138. Ed says:

    Cascadian wrote: “Everyone has the interest of keeping the government out of the bedroom. As far as religion, it’s always a case of rights for me but not for thee.”

    Cascadian, wow, I didn’t realize that this was just about sex. I thought it was about marriage. You might want to change your fight to sodomy laws to be accurate in your arguments. Otherwise, your statement, simple, trite, not cute, not accurate, and lacking in any argument whatsoever – in other words, arguing with you is a waste of time.Report

  139. Dave says:

    Otherwise, your statement, simple, trite, not cute, not accurate, and lacking in any argument whatsoever – in other words, arguing with you is a waste of time.


  140. Jaybird says:

    If Unitarians have a first Amendment right to hold marriage ceremonies for gay couples, and gay couples have a first Amendment right to call themselves married, the gay marriage “debate” is solely about such things as taxes and property rights and whatnot.

    Eventually, “the right” will find holding for the parents of the deceased (rather than the partner) depressing rather than an obvious outgrowth of making sure that God’s plan is followed.Report

  141. Ed says:

    Dave…oh wait, nothing to say to you since you have nothing to say. Troll.Report

  142. Bob says:

    Ed, when you say, “You might want to change your fight to sodomy laws to be accurate in your arguments,” you are being inaccurate. The Supreme Court struck down all sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas, 2003.Report

  143. Ed says:

    Bob, you missed the boat entirely. Cascadian was saying the government should stay out of the bedroom, thus, focusing on sodomy and sexual interaction, not focusing on marriage. That was why I alluded to sodomy laws regardless of their current status. I know the Lawrence case – I went to law school. You missed the point, Bob. I think that marriage is more than what happens in the bedroom, maybe, huh? See my point. Cascadian thinks government staying out of the bedroom is the equivalent of saying okay to gay marriage. Do you see the lack of thought in that argument and my response to it? I hope so.

    Back to Dave, this is too easy. Actually, its not, when I am arguing with lightweights. I have to dumb it down to make my points and that takes effort. C’mon, please rise to my level.Report

  144. Bob says:

    Yeah Ed, I “missed the boat” I “missed the point.” But when you bring up nonexistent “sodomy laws” you are arguing in bad faith.Report

  145. Cascadian says:

    A legend in your own mind.

    Of course marriage is about more than sex. It’s really not about sex at all. It’s about procreation and raising children which has nothing to do with bedrooms. Right?

    You think that having government defining the content of my relationship is less intrusive than how I consummate it?Report

  146. Ed says:

    Bob, you’re too serious. I am pointing out the fallacy of his argument through sarcasm. Its not bad faith and it wasn’t intended as such. It was a poor argument on his part and I pointed out his misstatement.

    Cascadian, you limited your argument to the bedroom, not me. Don’t try to turn it around on me. Make a better argument next time and you won’t have to scramble to cover your ass. I pointed out your misstatement; accept that you argued poorly and move on.Report

  147. Jaybird says:

    Perhaps I should come out and ask:

    Ed: *DO* Unitarians have the First Amendment right to hold a gay marriage ceremony?

    *DO* homosexuals have the First Amendment right to say “we’re married”?Report

  148. Dave says:

    I have to dumb it down to make my points and that takes effort. C’mon, please rise to my level.

    Ed, if you refer to the Iowa Supreme Court’s opinion on Page 50, it proceeds to go through, point by point, why every single one of Adam Kolasinski’s arguments are specious. Please allow me to rise to your level:

    First of all, the Court, rightly, noticed that when laws are directly targeted at discrete and insular minorities, heightened scrutiny is triggered and that it is the STATE that has to justify the statute, not vice versa. The Court rightly determined that gays as a class of individuals were subject to this as there is a fairly substantial history of laws targeted directly towards them. As such, it is superficial at best and absurd at worst to simply limit homosexuality to conduct or choice. It does not fly.

    So, now we’re at immediate scrutiny, which means the state has to demonstrate that a statute bears a substantial relation to a legitimate state interest, something you ought to remember from law school.

    Limiting marriage on the basis of tradition? Nope. It’s a circular argument. The purpose of the statute (to maintain traditional marriage by law) can not be the same as the justification (to maintain traditional marriage). FAIL.

    Protecting children? Well, if the purpose is to prevent children from being raised within households with “less than optimal” parents, then the statute has to be inclusive towards all types of “less than optimal” parents, including those of the opposite-sex (and unmarried) variety. Otherwise, it’s unconstitutionally underinclusive. Furthermore, the statute can not apply to those couples who do not have children nor have any intention of having children. Otherwise, it’s unconstitutionally overinclusive. While protecting children is a legitimate state interest, the statute bears no substantial relation to it. FAIL

    Procreation? Well, given that 40% of births are out-of-wedlock, I don’t see how that argument can be made with a straight face. Furthermore, you run into the same problems with the same kind of unconstitutional underinclusiveness and overinclusiveness that I’m sure was covered in your ConLaw class.

    Promoting stability of opposite sex couples? Evidence=None. FAIL

    Conserving state resources? Arbitrary. FAIL

    You obviously do not understand the full ramifications of cases like Loving v Virginia, Zablocki v Redhail, Lawrence v Texas and Romer v Evans but there’s a hell of a lot of case law, including recent same sex marriage cases at the state level, that can beat your arguments to a bloody pulp. Adam Kolasinski wouldn’t last two minutes in a debate against me.

    (Not that I should feed the troll, but at least I got the opportunity to articulate my thoughts)Report

  149. Ed says:


    It took you how many days to articulate your thoughts? I understand the ramifications. Do I agree with activist judges misapplying jurisprudence? No. Do I find their reasoning a leap? Yes. You did not refute my arguments by citing one court’s decision. You merely stated the court’s opinion. Homosexuals are not a protected class according to the Supreme Court. Iowa means nothing to me. I live in NY. So what if a few justices make ridiculous leaps. How does the rest of the state feel? Are we going to now apply this reasoning to sterile brothers and sisters? Polygamists? Where does it end and why does it end there? Can you tell me that one, smart guy? Or do you need a few days to find someone else’s opinion that you can reprint?Report

  150. Cascadian says:

    Ed, you’re just not convincing. Your arguments aren’t pulling any weight. Perhaps, you need to find an enlightened place that can find logic in your arguments.

    I think Dave is spot on with his troll assessment.Report

  151. Ed says:

    This gay marriage debate has become the tyranny of the minority. If you disagree, you are a bigot. Gays claim that they are intractably gay and demand understanding, basically claiming the right to self-determination. Gays also claim sexuality is a continuum. Yet if someone who formerly identified himself or herself as gay no longer claims gay feelings, gay groups are all over them, saying no way, once gay, always gay. Which is it? Is sexuality on a continuum, is it self-determined or are gays the authority on all sexual issues? Seems to me that gays are terrorizing anyone who disagrees with name calling, flippancy, marginalizing, you pick the strategy. Gays say accept me for who I am but gays refuse to accept anyone who claims he or she doesn’t practice homosexuality as a lifestyle even if they once had practiced it. The hypocrisy is astounding but I bet, I bet, no on here sees the hypocrisy.

    The religious right is a minority yet it held the Republicans sway for many years. Now gays are doing the same to the left. The tyranny of the minority. And you have guys have bought into it hook, line and sinker.

    Gays as a class are in constant flux. Anyone who is a member of a race is always a member. Gays as a class is erroneous and should never be treated with anything more than rational basis review. It is not a protected class like women, ie., once a woman, always a woman, once black, always black, etc. Gays can come and go. Again, refer back to the APA and their recent statement that they have found psychological well-being with former gays and lesbians.

    The tyranny of the minority, politically correct gone awry.Report

  152. Jaybird says:

    Ed, you may have missed a couple of my questions. That’s okay, this is a heated debate. Could you scroll up a bit and read them and answer them for me? Thanks.Report

  153. Dave says:

    Why is this tyranny of the minority meme ringing a bell? Did I blog about this recently? Hmmm…Report

  154. ChrisWWW says:

    It is not a protected class like women, ie., once a woman, always a woman, once black, always black, etc.
    What happens after a surgical sex change? What about surgery to change your skin color?

    Besides, the point of equal rights is not to identify and segment people into various protected classes. The idea is to treat people equally regardless.Report

  155. Bob says:

    Ed, I have re-read all your comments after your comment at #125. You are really an angry insecure man.Report

  156. Ed says:


    You know nothing about me besides writings on this blog in particular. Nothing else. But good try on the psychological assessment. Like I said, name-calling and attempted marginalization are your ammunition. Nice way to play right into hands. Good job. Do you really think that your opinion about me means anything to me? It tells me more about you than about me. The fact that you went back and read everything to make a diagnosis – I think that you had drawn a conclusion and then went back to read in order to support your already drawn conclusion.

    How do you know I am a man? that I am not a surgically altered woman? or simply a woman? or gay? or that I was gay and am not anymore? You know nothing about me except my opinion in one area. Just like gays who call people who disagree with gay marriage bigots, you are exactly the same, afraid of people with different opinions and you must demonize them to feel superior. That’s what I read from you. Smugly superior.Report

  157. Bob says:

    Good-by, Ed.Report

  158. Ed says:

    Oh, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob. Oh, Bob.Report

  159. Dave says:

    I’m not demonizing you Ed. I’m simply saying that you can’t hold your own in a debate and do a commendable job of evasion.

    Well done.

    Are we finished here?Report

  160. The Bad Yogi says:

    For me, this is the classic Ed statement:
    “You know nothing about me besides writings on this blog in particular. Nothing else. But good try on the psychological assessment. ”

    This is AFTER her called me angry, full of hate etc, knowing nothing about me but what he reads here. This is the classic troll argument.

    I agree we’re done.Report

  161. Dan says:

    People, please stop egging Ed on here. Remember, all he wants is full civil rights for the LGBT community, denying us only the unimportant word “marriage.” He’s fighting for us, but are we satisfied with that? No, we have to go and vilify our friend Ed, because we like to fight. We’re stupid, vitriolic, and screechy. We project. We’re name callers who can hardly get the names out with so much bile rising in our throats. We have nothing to say. We are privates in the front ranks, not generals like him. And we are really, really lousy debaters. We should all just go back to our miserable lives on the underbelly of Craigslist. If we don’t try to fool ourselves into thinking we’re as good as Ed is we’ll be happier, to the extent that happiness is possible for the likes of us — i.e., people with that lifestyle, and their supporters.

    Okay, enough joking. Ed, you insulted me when I used the word “disingenuous” in my first post here. You have since made it very obvious to anyone following this thread that I couldn’t have used it more appropriately. You wrap your bigotry in a thin veil of supposed open-mindedness and proceed to viciously insult anyone who argues against you. Ed, you may see yourself as a master debater with idiots for opponents, but this is life, not high school debate club. Open your mind and stop clinging to meaningless, pathetic excuses for the perpetuation of injustice. Live a happy life with your loved ones. Focus your energies positively. Don’t work to prevent marriages that don’t concern you, to withhold a right that without even being exercised could promote stability in our society. Don’t try to deny people full equality, a right that will make life happier for large numbers of people and harm no one. Your prediction of eternal misery for LGBT people is wrong, but why not make it more wrong?

    Incidentally, you are right about on thing, Ed, a single homosexual experience does not necessarily make a person homosexual. Moreover, it is possible for a person to identify as homosexual and still fall in love with a person of the opposite sex. Most intelligent homosexual people don’t deny these things, as you inexplicably argue. It is also possible for a heterosexual person to fall in love with a person of the same sex. But so what? These identity issues have nothing to do with marriage equality.Report

  162. Bob says:

    Yesterday, 4/29, at John Derbyshire posted “A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage?”

    Ed (and all interested in this topic) if you’re still reading this blog I recommend the post as well as the comments.Report

  163. Ed says:

    I read and I read and I read these posts today. I was accused of changing arguments. However, I see so many statements that I made that were never met by anyone on here. I saw many knee-jerk reactions to what I wrote that elicited emotional arguments but not based in fact.

    For instance, I wrote: “It is erroneous to read the 1st Amendment as disallowing any religious interjection into any government issue. One religion can’t be favored over any other thereby leading to an official state religion or the appearance of one. Thus, marriage laws as they are written are not unconstitutional and not problematic.”

    But this was never addressed. One person tried to argue against it but he was 100% wrong. My statement was based on the Founding Father’s reasons for writing the 1st Amendment which is fact and not even an argument. All I got was an emotional attempt at an argument. And that is mostly what I see here – emotional reactions lacking in factual history. And that is the gay marriage fight in a nutshell. It is ALL emotional.

    I will repost my argument that it is not about equality but about something more.

    “I will say this again loud and clear. If it is about equal rights, which everyone says it is, then civil unions with every single damn right of marriage is in fact equal rights.

    Okay? Does that make sense?

    Next, if you ask for gay marriage, then there is something intangible that you are seeking, not just equal rights. If it is just rights, who the hell cares if it is civil union or marriage. You’ve got the rights. Keep moving. But to want marriage is to want equal recognition of gay relationships in relation to marriage. What is that? What “right” is that? Where in the constitution is that “right” listed? It isn’t about inheritance, it isn’t about visitation or tax issues, it is not about a right, but a need to be acknowledged. Society chooses which behavior, and it is behavior, to acknowledge. ”

    This is a legal issue and we have a Constitution under which we decide our laws. We don’t argue based on pure emotion. But that is what gay marriage supporters are urging. It is wrong and it is offensive to our history not because people are gay but because they are demanding something outside of a process that this country has used up to this point. It screams of special rights, just to me, not to anyone else, I speak for no one else and I am not part of any conspiracy, church, GOP, etc. It is my opinion and it is informed by history as well as personal experience which I will relate later.Report

  164. Ed says:

    I now have a concrete example of absolute bashing tone of the gay marriage argument by its supporters. Ms. California vs. Perez Hilton. She stated that each state has its laws and allows for different people to marry and that was not an issue for her but she PERSONALLY stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Perez Hilton then went on to absolutely curse her out with names and obscenities on his website and call her dumb, bigoted, etc. The reaction was so out of proportion to the event.

    The reason I bring this up is it was discussed on Larry King Live tonight about whether the semi-nude photo blow up of Ms. Cal is retaliation. Perez denied it is retaliation. However, he belied his answer when Larry asked him if she had supported gay marriage what the outcome would have been. Perez said she probably wouldn’t have won and no one would be talking about her. His logic says since she is against gay marriage, her semi-nude photos are an issue. Its crazy and hypocritical. Gay men and women want liberal laws but want to impose conservative contract interpretation on Ms. Cal for her photos.

    The pro-gay marriage movement as I have said is ALL EMOTION and way out of proportion to reality. The honest comparisons to slavery say it all – way out of proportion to reality. Gay marriage supporters have become the tyrants. I could name a few on here that fall into that category especially those who said that I didn’t argue my points well. Closeminded, self-righteous superior folk as bad and as evil as the Christian Right.Report

  165. Ed says:

    New Hampshire and California in the last two weeks? Yeah, its a landslide alright but not towards gay marriage. By the way, 29 states have had a public referendum on gay marriage and guess what? 29 states have disallowed gay marriage. You can write all you want in support but 3 to 4% of the population shouldn’t get special rights unless we allow all small percentage groups whatever rights they want based on the fact that they exist. If polygamists are 0.5%, they should get to marry otherwise it is tyranny of the majority. Or if brothers and sisters who want to marry are 0.05%, they should get to marry or it is tyranny of the majority.

    Good luck with the special rights campaign.Report