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i now pronounce you arrogant

I've been called a far-right conservative by people who don't take the time to look before they label. Then when I refute that label, I get all kinds of grief from people who are far-right conservatives, wondering why I go to such lengths to distance myself from them. Here's why. The author of that weblog, Adam Yoshida, is just another in a long line of people who want the whole world to fit their version of morality and have a refusal to try to understand people who don't fit into that mold. I don't know what makes Adam stand out from all the others; perhaps because I was directed to his posts on gay marriage at a time when the whole gay marriage issue is making me grind my teeth in frustration. He makes a lot of assertions about gay people and issues on his blog. He is obviously against gay marriage and against people being gay at all; it's an affront to his moral sensibilities. Which is all well and good - different strokes for different folks. But it's not his long, statistics-filled posts that irk me so. It's the short ones like this: A Thought What would people say if an Earthquake devastated San Francisco tomorrow? I wonder and some of his statements in his own comments that make my stomach turn. He - and some of his readers - slip into that zone where oppontents of gay marriage huddle and make up horror stories about people marrying their dogs and having 50 wives. Which leads me to pose a question or two to those who oppose gay marriage and are having heart failure over the San Francisco marriages: Did the sun rise in the east this morning? Is spring still going to follow winter? Laws of gravity still intact? Red still means stop and green means go? Is time still going forwards? The rivers still running? The mountains still standing? If you answered yes to all of those questions then your world is still the same. The fact that two lesbians from California got married yesterday had no effect on your life whatsover. In fact, if it wasn't reported in the papers, you wouldn't have even known about it. How does the fact that Jim is getting married to Joe today effect you? Will it destroy your own family life? If so, then you have problems that gay people have nothing to do with. Are you going to lose your job over it? Is your church going to fold up its tent and give in to Satan? Is the planet going to implode? Hardly. Your day to day life will still be the same. While Mary and Melissa happily snuggle on the couch watching a movie and enjoying married life, you will still be watering your lawn and fixing dinner and kissing your kids goodnight. So what business is it of yours what Mary and Melissa are doing? What right do you have to interfere in their love life, to tell them who they can and can't marry? Why do you feel your government can tell them they have no right to live together as one, with all the benefits befitting a married couple? I don't want to start an argument on the slippery slope that gay marriages will take us down, i.e., marrying your dog or you He-Man figure or your ten sisters. Those arguments have been taken apart already by people far better than I at explaining why they are so much bullshit. The only thing I want to know is, how the hell does Jim and Joe's marriage effect you and why is it your business? And why do people like Adam Yoshida think that their religion-tainted view of gay people being the root of all evil should be the view of everyone. Do unto others, right? Would you want others to wish death on you because they don't like your view of morality? So frustrating.

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» The San Francisco tweet from dustbury.com
I'm not inclined to get worked up over the current flap over gay marriage in San Francisco; I mean, isn't there always a current flap in San Francisco? So if... [Read More]

» Let someone else do it from d-42.com: the electronic home of Josh Cohen
Rather than spending the next thirty minutes discussing my opinion on gay marriage, let me point you to Michele's opinion, which really does bring it into perspective for those of you who actually think gay marriage is more important an... [Read More]

» Gay Marriage from Trying To Focus: Diario
This blogger does well in addressing teh subject. Right on, I say. Most (if not all) of those opposed to "gay marriage" do so on either religious or moral grounds. They fear that the "sanctity of marriage" will be destroyed... [Read More]

» I'll Take Gay Marriage for $600, Alex from Snooze Button Dreams
(Guest-posted by the girl who drank too much coffee today.) I don't like Bill Maher, frankly; I didn't like him very much before September 11 and I liked him less afterwards, and the final straw was when he was quite rude to an interviewer from my favo... [Read More]

» All the news that's fit, we discard... from Who Tends the Fires
Michele over at A Small Victory has a pretty excellent summation of her views on the ongoing gay mariage controversy and her exasperation with some of the posters on it. She sums up my views pretty nicely. [Too bad that... [Read More]

» The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Transsexual Lobby from Uppity-Negro.com: A Hedwig and the Angry Inch Fansite
Curiousity got the better of me. I had a look at what the bigots had to say. U.S. Newswire -... [Read More]

» The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Transsexual Lobby from Uppity-Negro.com: A Hedwig and the Angry Inch Fansite
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Comments

Brava, Michele! Well spoke! You wonder why some of these people don't direct their attention to their own lives where it belongs, instead of worrying about other peoples'lives. Funnier still is that the right-wing, 'get government out of peoples' lives' are begging the government to legislate personal choices. Laissez-faire, my foot!

W

Others DO wish death on me because they don't like my morality. We call them the Taliban.

Well said, you fascist!! (just kidding, I swear!)

Great, you force me to go look at that filth and now I have to take another shower. I'm just sad I gave him the traffic.

I figure: we heterosexuals have screwed marriage up enough (look at the divorce rates, look at all the unhappy marriages), maybe we should give homosexuals a chance at it

because maybe, just like people who finally get the vote, they will treasure and respect it.

for a while at least.

I'm sure there are divorce attorneys out there licking their chops, saying "bring on gay marriage" because they know that in 50 years, it will be just like hetero marriage - half of them will end in divorce, and many with pretty ugly wrangling over money.

As someone who leans left, I often disagree with you but you are dead on with this. There are so many more important things we should be worried about.

Dennis Miller had a comment in an interview on this. He said something to the effect that he isn't bothered if two gay folks want to marry, but if someone wants to blow up their wedding (referring to Al-Qaeda terrorism, I believe) THAT bothers him. He's right (and you're right too!) We have bigger fish to fry.

"A Thought
What would people say if an Earthquake devastated San Francisco tomorrow? I wonder"

Well, living only 50 miles from that particular armpit, I recall similar comments during past natural disasters, two in particular:

During the major floods of 1982 (several dozen people killed), even though Frisco* itself suffered no damage
After the Loma Prieta quake, in which Frisco had some damage in the Marina district with no deaths IIRC, but several other areas suffered extensive damage and dozens of deaths
Both of these tend to suggest that if God was trying to punish Frisco his aim is exceptionally poor.

One might also point out that if AIDS is God's punishment for gay men, he must really love lesbians.

*People who live in Frisco really hate to hear it called that. Heh.

what Lisa said.

"It(Life) IS (or should be) about the : "Golden Rule". People these days on both sides of the isle have forgotten; "Do unto other's as you would have done to you". If folks would really remember that and keep their own noses clean, me-thinks the world would be a better place. Unless Joe or Mary destroys or treads on/in my space; I really don't give a damn!

Good Post. I am new fan. Thank-you for your interesting "point of view". Today it reflects my own.

A Thought
What would people say if an Earthquake devastated San Francisco tomorrow? I wonder

If it has to happen, please make it tomorrow. I'm flying back from S.F. to N.Y. today.

I thought Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Reynolds had the best responses to what's going on in San Francisco: it's not only the same sort of flagrant violation of the law by public servants as Roy Moore's antics in Alabama (and unlike Moore, Newsom is violating a democratically-adopted referendum, rather than purely judge-made law), but by handing out marriage licenses to people from other states, San Francisco is invading the ability of other states to make their own choices. Combine that with the undemocratic judicial imperialism of the Mass. SJC, and what you have is a systematic effort to undermine and evade democratic self-governance and the rule of law. Which is a whole heck of a lot scarier than the idea of gay marriage in and of itself.

Crank, I'm not really condoning what's going on in SF, but I am condoning gay marriage.

Congratulations, Michele, thatís the strongest argument for moral apathy I've ready yet. You are right, the sun rises and sets no matter what happens in San Francisco, but it also does the same when a child dies from starvation, a peasant is murdered by a soldier, and so on, but these things should bother me. I'm a Christian, and as a Christian, the salvation of others is first and foremost a concern of mine, and I donít care who you are or what youíve done. This is why I am bothered by what is happening in San Francisco, not because I disagree with their lifestyle choice, but because they are actively participating in a sin. My feelings of sadness for them are no different than a person engaging in an adulterous affair, murdering someone or being oppressed by someone. I live too much in my own comfy life with all my amenities, but in truth, these things should bother me more. They should not bother me so that I wish trouble or pain upon these people, but to be stirred with compassion and care for them.

Please don't misunderstand my comments to be condescending. I continually need the same compassion and care and grace of which I speak.

Bad laws need to be broken. I fully condone this lawlessness!

I came down on the side of a civil union solution when I first looked at this issue 10 years ago, and I haven't changed my mind . . . in a free society, freedom of conscience requires that people be free to commit sin. I have no problem with the law letting gay couples take on the contractual incidents of marriage - inheritance rights, joint property ownership, hospital visitation, stuff like that. But the law also gives a lot of special privileges to married couples in the tax code, government benefits, etc., and these privileges have been granted for the express purpose of fostering a relationship that thousands of years of human existence have shown to be essential to social stability and the bearing and rearing of the next generation. And there's no reason why we should be told by the courts that we are compelled to extend precisely the same legal privileges to a relationship that has no such history and, by its very nature, has no inherent relation to the bearing and rearing of children. (The WSJ's Political Diary also noted reasons yesterday why recognizing same-sex relationships could make it much more difficult to ferret out fraudulent 'marriages' that cost the federal treasury a lot of money).

Live like you want to live; that's between consenting adults and their God. But when the government gets involved in handing out privileges, it is my business.

a relationship that has no such history and, by its very nature, has no inherent relation to the bearing and rearing of children

And what of those people who have no interest in having children or those who can't conceive? Are their marriages any less important than the marriages of those who do have children? Should we stop them from being married also?

why do people say gays shouldn't be allowed to marry because it's a 'sin?' 'sinning' is a religious concept... we're talking governmental issues here. the sin-argument is irrelevent if we follow the 'separation of church and state' that is supposed to be true in this nation.

Somebody help me out here since I am a little confused.
First what special privileges am I receiving because I'm a married heterosexual living in a monogamous relationship?
Or is this all just about the word "marriage?"

EXACTLY, Michele. Exactly!!!

One comment for Aravis - I respect your personal opinion to follow your religious conscience. Problem is, this is a governmental issue and matters of religion have no place in any government in this country, be it local, state, or federal. You want to feel sorry for them for being sinners, be my guest, but nobody has the right to infringe on their rights to the same legal protections, benefits, whatever you want to call them, in the name of their religion.

Also, Michele, thanks for ending the "but they can't procreate" argument. That's apparently irrelevent when it comes to the thousands of hetero marriages that will never involve procreation, OR the simple fact that half of those marriages will fail miserably, no thanks to the alleged benefits from the government intended to foster good marriages. Give me a break. I suppose that's where the Income Tax Marriage Penalty came from?!?!?

If a state passes a law that old people have to get a vision check before getting a license, and a local DMV office decides that is unfair to old people and issues licenses to them all and thier friends from out of state as well, how is that different that what is going on in SF?

Those marriage licenses aren't worth the paper they are printed on because they aren't issued according to the standards on which they are supposed to be issued. I belive those standards to be in violation of a gay persons civil rights, but the way to challenge that is not by issueing licenses anyway.

I would suggest the idea of several thousand gay couple that really want to get married (not anyone just doing this to get on the bandwagon) all go down to the Clerks office and apply for a marriage license. When they get denied, join the class action civil lawsuit against the State of California (every state should have one of these) for violating their civil right to marry the person of their chosing.

If this civil disobedience in SF goes unpunished, I want to put a Starbucks in next door to my house. Surely I can find a government drone that believes the zoning laws are unjust.

"Bad laws need to be broken. I fully condone this lawlessness!"

you're an idiot, sorry to be so blunt but it's true. If you think a law is unjust the proper (read:legal) way of combating it is with appeals through the judicial system, not flagrant disregard of the law. thats called anarchy and is just as dangerous as an Al-queda threat.

"you're an idiot, sorry to be so blunt but it's true. If you think a law is unjust the proper (read:legal) way of combating it is with appeals through the judicial system, not flagrant disregard of the law. thats called anarchy and is just as dangerous as an Al-queda threat."

Breaking an unjust law by letting Tom and Jerry get married vs. Al Qaeda?

Hmmm.

No, you're the bigger idiot.

Incidentally, here in Toronto, we have gay marriage. As I look out my window, society isn't crumbling just yet, and I've seen only 1 man walking hand in hand down the aisle with his dog.

Except it was hand in leash, and the aisle was actually a sidewalk.

Make your marriage-leash connection, somehow.

Vince:
there are a lot of "unjust" laws (seat belt laws for one) but you don't change them by breaking them, you change them by combating them in a court of law and showing why they're unjust. you don't just throw them out the window because you don't like them. i'm sure if gay marriage was legal and some mayor out of the blue decided to disregard that law and NOT issue marriage licenses to gays then they'd all be in an uproar. your personal feelings aren't just cause to break the law.

Andrew Sullivan has mentioned how gay marriage will not look exactly like hetero marriage because it will need to take into account "the complicated lives of gay men." Which must mean that adultery is built in. It is not going to be a breaking--however common--of vows not to. It will be expected.
That being the case, what is the effect on hetero marriage? Can gays get divorced due to infidelity when one or the other has been unfaithful with the permission of the other? What if a hetero couple divorces on grounds of infidelity and alimony or child custody comes up. Is adultery a valid concern in decisions to be made? If so, can not the guilty party complain of discrimination? This is only one example of the spillover that is possible. To insist that no spillover is possible is absurd. One may suggest that spillover will be modest, but not that none will occur.
Most of what gays claim to want from marriage, such as issues of wills and seeing one's lover in the hospital, can be taken care of by checking out Wills and Personal Representatives for Dummies from the library and paying the local fee when filing the result. Domestic partner regulations can get one's partner, opposite or not, into employer-provided health insurance. Other supposed rights not now available are actually either available now or can be with legislation not connected with marriage.
When the claimed reasons seem to be, on inspection, invalid, one thinks other reasons may be in play, but not manifest. And why would they not be manifest? Because the proponents (of any idea) don't want others to know what's really going on.
What's left?
Hard to say, since by definition it isn't manifest. We have to speculate.
I would suggest the following.
Since we know gay marriage is not going to involve even a pretense of fidelity, we can pretty much suppose it will not look like the long, happy marriages we have seen among our parents, if we're lucky, or others we know and love.
Those marriages are to be desired, and many people desire them, even as they are incapable of realizing them.
What do you do when there is something you want, and know you can't have?
Ruin it for those who do, is one option.
I do not want to hear about the gay couple with a long-term monagamous relationship. They are no doubt exhausted from showing up at all the rallies as exhibit number one and I suggest they get a day off.
Their existence merits a "so-what?" When we know gay marriages will not be designed to look like that, the happy couple is irrelevant. On the other hand, since they have managed to pull off this stunt (and we are invited to mislead ourselves into thinking this is the gay ideal and will be the majority experience) without being legally married, what is the urgency about being legally married?
As a general rule, it is not wise to take advocacy groups at their word, and I see no reason to make an exception with regard to gay marriage.

I get rather tired of the “if you don’t like the law – vote them out!” fallacy. The tyranny of the majority is no reason for an immoral law. Look at slavery, for one.

Also, time and time again the people speak and the government doesn’t listen. Look at the medical marijuana laws being democratically decided upon, only to have a higher government authority deny it.

"How does the fact that Jim is getting married to Joe today effect you?"

The Bible says homosexuality is sexual immorality. It also says that Christians are not to approve of something that we know to be immoral.

So to answer your question, Jim and Joe getting married effects me in that it is a call to action (or duty, even) to protest.

I can protest in love and with compassion (but steadfastness).

Unfortunately, you found and chose to publicize someone who is being ugly, and that is sad.

Will my protest make a difference? Will it change Jim and Joe's mind? Will anyone who isn't a believer ever understand and respect my right to do so? Not likely, no, and probably not. It's a good thing I'm not looking for man's approval.

Richard - That was the most presumptious piece of garbage ever written here.

Laurie - That's really nice of you feel you are called to action, but if Jim and Joe aren't Christian, the point is really moot because your religious laws do not apply to them.

Unfortunately, you found and chose to publicize someone who is being ugly, and that is sad.

Care to clarify that?

Vince: "tyranny of the majority"

nice use of scare words to attempt to further your line of thinking. the law banning gay marriage in Cali was democratically decided upon by the people of Cali, that's called democracy, not tyranny.

"the law banning gay marriage in Cali was democratically decided upon by the people of Cali, that's called democracy, not tyranny."

Tyranny can be decided upon democratically. Look at Hitler. :)

I'll come right out and state that I'm for allowing gay marriage. But step back and look at some of the logical arguments against this. Suppose, that two normally straight, single guys, do the math and decide that it is economically preferable to be "married" Let's say that Bill is a well-to-do widower, with substantial assets and excellent insurance coverage. His good friend and widower, Frank, is downright poor and has no medical insurance, and the cost is exhorbitant. Frank and Bill, noting that it is legal in SF to be married, fill out the paperwork, stand in line and get married. Bill adds Frank to his insurance as his "spouse" and all is Frank kicks in the small cost difference. They aren't "sleeping togehter" and may even maintain their separate residences. Is this legal? Is it right? It's the same argument put forth by gay couples, just with a slightly different bent...

This is where I get an uneasy feeling in my gut about "gay marriage". In theory it's a-ok, but as we live in a society with rampant scam artists and lawyers (often wearing the same suit) how long will it be until we see all manner of silliness develop.

As Michelle comments, it's not about your dog, sister or blow-up doll. But there are some real-world, difficult situations that will develop because of this. We should be prepared...

hahaha now you're equating a law banning gay marriage with atrocities committed by Hitler.

nice scare mongering, i sure theres 6 million jewish ghosts that disagree with you though.

Regarding domestic partnership and medical benefits: While I can register my partner inot my (better) medical plan, I have chosen not to. Why? Because as an officially unmarried couple, I am required to pay tax on imputed income that the cost of the added benefits add up to. With the actual costs that my employer pays, adding this to my regular income and paying federak tax on it does not pay off in the long run. This is one reason why domestic pertner benefits are vastly different than married couple's benefits.

Nice try tom.

You mentioned the difference between tyranny and democracy.

You were wrong, as I pointed ut tyranny and democracy are mutually exclusive. And I provided an albeit extreme example.

You still get a star for that attempt.

I can't rememember who said it, but I do not feel sorry for the gay couples getting married. I said I am sad for them, but I do not feel sorry for them.

As for Michele's argument: And what of those people who have no interest in having children or those who can't conceive? Are their marriages any less important than the marriages of those who do have children? Should we stop them from being married also?

No, think their marriages are just as important. We no longer live in a society where existence is not predicated upon the ability to carry on a new generation. I see a huge difference between homosexual unions and hetero unions in that homosexuals do not have the capability nor ever had the capability to procreate or give birth by just being together. A third party would have to be involved via adoption or some other means. This is an argument for design. Okay, so they have parts of their hypothalamus may be enlarged which leads to strong homosexual desires, but to what end? All physical parts of the body have a purpose and sometimes they are also for pleasure, but they also serve a vital purpose to our existence.

As for those who think I am taking a position on something that is solely a legal issue, when these legal issues conflict with my moral beliefs, I really have no choice. I strongly disagree with Roe v Wade, and yet even though it's a gov't issue it's also a moral issue.

I cannot simply say to each his/her own. I find the lack of action the worst action ever.

Greg, sham marriages are a problem all around, not just with gay people. It can't be used as an argument against gay marriage because, in order to be fair about it, you'd have to weed out every single sham marriage in America and tell them they can't be married.

I see a huge difference between homosexual unions and hetero unions in that homosexuals do not have the capability nor ever had the capability to procreate or give birth by just being together.

So, just because they have the capability to make babies, couples who choose to remain childless have viable marraiges, according to you. Even though they are not procreating. And what of couples who cannot procreate but want to? Are their marriages less important than those who want to but won't? I fail to see where your argument makes sense.

I'd rather marry my dog after listening to the ignorance here today. At least he's not judgmental.

Vince -

Have to quibble with the Hitler example--yes, he was elected and then became a tyrant. He was not a democratically elected tyrant. Once he became a tyrant those who elected him no longer had the ability to stop him, so Hilter's tyranny was not in fact decided upon democratically. This is a fine but important distinction to make.

Are you saying that the law put into place concerning gay marriage in California is similar to Hitler? 'Cause if so, the thread is officially over due to Godwin's Law.

I apologize, I am not meaning to make an argument for the validaity of marriage for people who can't procreate. It's more of an argument for design that shows, in effect, that men and women were created to copulate because each part of their anatomy and physical make-up leads to that end and to carry on the species. This is/was and always will be the case in or out of the context of marriage, unless something happened such as environmental/disease, etc has prevented it. I see this as evidence for how God intended it to be, and since I belive marriage is something sanctioned by God, no matter who you are, and since I believe God created us, then I don't see how marriage can be anything but between a man and a woman. What they do after their marriage, having children or not, does not matter.

You can argue that current social conventions and technologies allow barren women to have children and therefore permitting gays to do the same, but for the women who can't have children/or men who can't generate seed or whatever (sorry, I don't my terminology as well) we can say it's because something is wrong/damaged, at least according to the medical experts, etc.

What shall we say for homosexuals then? Why cannot they procreate on their own?

Tracey, read my response to tom's post.

I have to ask: Do any of the anti-gay marriage mob know any gay people? I mean 'really know', not merely an acquaintance. 'Go out for beers with' kind of relationship? Not a "I work with one" kind of thing?

Two of my good friends are gay.

The best solution is - Governments should get right out of marriage entirely. Since many people - including the President - refer to marriage as a "sacrament" - it is a religious thing. Let each religion define marriage as best suits them. For example, the Catholic church and the more conservative Jewish branches don't recognise civil divorce. Fine.

Sacraments, sin, moral right and wrong are properly the functions of religion. Not government.

Now, if as part of our country's (state's / county's / city's ) legal system, there are to be certain legal rights and obligations granted and expected of a "couple", define a civil union. Other countries have successfully done similar things. Where I was originally from, Australia, in just about every case, a couple living together (de facto relationships) have exactly the same rights as a traditionally married couple. And these same rights are being given to "gay" couples.

Simple, isn't it. Remove "marriage" as a legal, government situation. Leave it to the God-botherers to fuss about.

Best lines to come out of this whole deal over gay marriage:

1) During a debate on TV, the pro-gay marriage debater asks his opponent, "So, you believe homosexuals are sinful, and that they should be punished?" The opponent agrees, and the pro-gay marriage debater replies, "What better way to punish them than to let them get married?"

2) A buddy of mine in San Francisco, while checking out the line in front of city hall, was asked by a man-on-the-street reporter about his opinion of gay marriage. He replied, "I have nothing against gay marriage. I think they should all be allowed to get married - oh, except for those two women about 10 people from the end of the line. I know them, and they shouldn't be allowed to get married. As for everyone else in line? No problem."

Aravis - you still did not address the issue of those who prefer to remain childless. How would your god see them if they had the means to procreate bud didn't? In his eyes - and according to your words - wouldn't that be as much of a "sin" as homosexuals getting married?

and since I belive marriage is something sanctioned by God, no matter who you are, and since I believe God created us, then I don't see how marriage can be anything but between a man and a woman

The problem here is not everyone believes in your god, or god at all. So are you saying those people need to prescribe to your</b? religion's view on marriage even though they don't practice that religion?

Ken - If marriage becomes strictly religious with no government interference, then where does that leave atheists and agnostics?

Vince: "I have to ask: Do any of the anti-gay marriage mob know any gay people? I mean 'really know', not merely an acquaintance. 'Go out for beers with' kind of relationship? Not a "I work with one" kind of thing?"

my step dad is gay, after my parents divorced my mom married a gay friend so he could stay in the country.

Michele,

This comment was meant to address your query:

What they do after their marriage, having children or not, does not matter.

It's not the same as homosexuals getting married because even if the gays decide to have children, they still cannot have children on their own. They simply weren't made to. Married couples who choose not to have children are still made to have children, even if they decide not to.

Michele, the ugly person I was referring to is the one you were disagreeing with in your post. (As a native San Franciscan, I take particular offense to his earthquake comment.)

For the record, I concur with Laurie's comments. I think what the person said about the earthquake is equally deplorable.

Aravis, let me get this straight.

Gays can't marry because they can't make kids. People who can't conceive or don't want to can get married, because one has a penis and one has a vagina. So, it's the equipment that matters and not the end result of that equipment?

Michele,

Thanks for the serious questions.

I think this may come down to us agreeing to disagree. I believe that God created us all in His image and that because of that men and women were created to glorify Him. Part of this is the marriage covenant, which is meant to be between a man and a woman. The marriage metaphors are throughout scripture as well, as God's relationship to us. As I said, if there was anything to suggest a man could naturally carry a baby or a woman could naturally fertilize the egg, we could revisit this discussion, but I see this inability as evidence of a design.

Sooo... because Christianity's god says it's bad, it has to be stopped. By order of the government if necessary. Got it.

So all you people practicing other religions out there? We're gonna make a law banning that next, so you might want to hurry up with the converting and so forth.

MR. TATSIKIO,

If you follow the thread up to the top, I hope you will see that my original point was to not argue over the legality over any issue. I was merely saying I am troubled by the events. As for the Christianity comment, it's not just Christianity that opposes the marriage of same-sex couples, most others do actually.

no, gay marriage doesn't affect me.. unless you count the hordes or useless illegals that will now enter into "gay marriages" and further embed their useless, parisitic personages on to the backs of me and every other working American citizen. Beware the unitended consequenses of stupid legislative and bureaucratic initiatives!

Michele, you asked me about where would athiests / agnostics be if "marriage" became purely a religious ceremony. Well, I assume a non-religious couple would register under some for of "civil union" legal process, so they get all the rights that currently married people have. And, like many people I know have done, they have some form of non-religious ceremony, with family and friends, to celebrate their committment to each other.

Maybe I am playing semantics here. But since the religious types want to claim the word "marriage" as their own, and to join in their game, you must play by their rules, so be it. But since my wife and I weren't married in a church, and declared ourselves "before God and this congregation", many religious people don't consider us "properly married". Fine. I am more than happy to share my life with my partner.

"Marriage" needs to be separated from "government benefits to people who fark each other". The former is a religious institution, the latter is not (unless you have TotalFark). Gays, lesbians, atheists, and Larry King can have the latter and enjoy their tax breaks. Christians/Jews/Hindus/Muslims/Buddhists/Gaiaists and whatever other groups attach religious significance can have it do so, completely separate from any legal implications and without bothering anyone who doesn't.

It's just good federalism. The government, and especially the federal government, should never have been in the "marriage" business in the first place, because it leads to these kinds of ridiculous intractable arguments (I'll guarantee nobody who went into this thread has changed their opinion one bit - it's just generated a lot of ill will for no practical purpose).

Actually it was just a general statement to say that just because person A's religion doesn't approve of something it doesn't automatically mean it should be wrong for person B.

I find the whole argument rather mystifying. For all the furor it causes, there have been other countries granting gay marriage for a few years now and last I checked they hadn't de-evolved as a society.

It's a reasonable question to ask whether there is a social benefit to gay marriage, but we live in a secular society and religious objections simply do not cut the mustard. It seems to me that gay marriage offers most of the same benefits - such as increased social cohesion and cooperative child-rearing - that can be attributed to heterosexual marriage.

The one major difference, of course, is the lack of a distinct role model for each gender between the two parents. That is a significant issue, but I don't see it as being sufficient to invalidate the idea of gay marriage. We currently do not prohibit gay or straight singles or couples from having children. Only the most rabidly anti-gay among us believe that people will actually choose to "become" gay because the government condones gay marriage.

It seems rational to me that we should accept the individual and societal benefits to be found in allowing the extension of the social ties of marriage to gays. As a practical political matter, some sort of enhanced civil union arrangement is a likely near-term compromise. While the general public still opposes gay marriage, I believe the intensity of opposition (hardcore religious folks notwithstanding) is much lower now than in previous decades.

I say let homosexuals legally marry, so long as no clergy--Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other that belives that homosexuality is a sin--will be sued for refusing to join two men or two women in holy matrimony.

or jailed

Juliette,

And it concerns me that this is next on the list.

Various ramblings directed to no one individual in particular.

I have to say I fall into the civil union category. I confess I get a chuckle every time I read these comments that my religious beliefs regarding marriage should not be forced on others, when marriage IS a religious convention. Why does the word matter? Well, to the religious "tyrannists" it does matter. If we must respect the beliefs of the gay community should we not equally respect the beliefs of the religious community? The government should be allowed to validate civil unions and let the church handle marriage.

What gives the majority the right to force their beliefs on others? This argument is frequently presented for nearly every difference of opinion, followed quickly with "people should be able to do whatever they want". But we are not an anarchy, we are a society. For the uninformed, please go look up the word society. A society is defined by a common set of beliefs and principles. Note that I said common, not absolute. Thus, if the majority of a society is against gay marriage (which has yet to be determined) then it is not tyranny it is a statement of that societies' beliefs. Express your beliefs freely and if the majority agree then you don't really have a problem do you?

Additionally, at this moment in time the U.S. is a democracy. If you don't feel the majority should have the right to enforce their beliefs on you, then you should form a movement to have the US converted to some other form of government more in line with your beliefs.

Of course, by current social conventions, all of my beliefs are inherently wrong since I am a Christian, white, heterosexual male. Four strikes. :-)

Adam's got it all backwards, I think. Here, for example:

After all, as is increasingly clear, Andrew Sullivan and his ilk place their right to buggery before the security of the American Republic and the safety of the American people.

Whereas I see it as Bush risking his ability to defeat some clown who has NOT demonstrated to me his willingness to procure "the security of the American Republic and the safety of the American people" over the DENIAL of an inherent right.

What? There's no right to buggery in the Constitution? Why, yes, that's right.

But if you come to me trying to claim that the only rights we have are explicitly ennumerated within the Bill of Rights, or in the other amendments, I'm going to turn your ass right around so you're heading in the direction of your local library, and remind you that the point of the damn document in the first place was to restrict the ability of government to infringe on "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects," among other things.

I don't give a good goddamn what anyone's morality is about it, because to me the highest moral value with regards to government is to Leave. The People. The Fuck. Alone. Go on ahead and pray for an end to homosexuality if that's your thing, but leave the government out of it.

Sorry long comment, Michele. It's a great post and if my lousy blog weren't down I'd probably have yet more to say on it, but that's life, I guess.

Question -

There seems to be a great deal of sentiment that gay marriage is self-evidently right and proper - that the proposition is scarcely worthy of debate, its rightness being so obvious.

If this is so, why has this issue only seriously arisen within the last few years of human history? Why have we become so enlightened on this point, when, it appears to me, human beings have not become particularly more wise or moral in other respects?

In brief, why only now? Why was this apparently missed in the preceding thousands of years of human history?

Not trying to grind any special axe - I'm honestly curious about the timing - is there something about the current era that makes this inevitably right?

Or are there historical examples of this?

Jeremy S,

Wish I could have said it that well myself.

Additionally, at this moment in time the U.S. is a democracy. If you don't feel the majority should have the right to enforce their beliefs on you, then you should form a movement to have the US converted to some other form of government more in line with your beliefs.

It's not a democracy, it's a representative republic; yes, there's a difference; our nation's always depended on nondemocratic institutions (like, oh, I don't know, the courts and the military?) to secure our rights; and would someone please get me some Vicodin because I feel one hell of a migraine coming on, thank you, good night, wake me when the world starts to seem less stupid.

Weren't exactly in favor of the majority forcing its beliefs on ya during the 2000 election, I'm willing to bet, or you'd have been calling for the end of the electoral college.

Before I make my substantive point, I'd like to make it clear that I don't have any objections to gay marriage. I don't even object that much to it being foisted on the country by the Massachusetts SJC: Speaker Finneran and Senate President Travaglini were practically asking for that when they adjourned the constitutional convention in 2002.

What I do object to is Gavin Newsom's self-righteous, holier-than-thou display of utter contempt for the rule of law, which, as others have pointed out, is really quite similar to Roy Moore's behavior in Alabama. It's not even civil disobedience, which is expected to carry consequences: not "I believe the law is wrong, so I will violate it and be punished," but "I believe my principles are sufficiently pure that I am above the law, so fuck the law, it doesn't apply to me." That way lies anarchy, pure and simple.

... are there historical examples of this?

Slavery. Widely practiced for thousands of years; it wasn't until the early 19th century that abolitionism gained any public support anywhere.

Veering off-topic for a bit ....

I've been called a far-right conservative by people who don't take the time to look before they label.

Wondering if that was aimed at me. FTR, I have never called you "far-right", I've called you a "Bush cheerleader".

I will say it takes a rather large amount of chutzpah to write this post, in which John Kerry and Howard Dean are called "the new breed of terrorists", and then turn around and complain that people are calling you "far-right".

Leave it Thlayli to derail the topic at hand. Once again Th., you failed to look at the context in which I said those words. I was merely throwing Al Gore's words back at him. He was the one who implied that the Bush administration are terrorists - in fact, he said they are more dangerous than terrorists. But that's ok, I guess. Because he was Bush bashing he gets a pass from you.

And no, that sentence was not directed at you.l

Richard Aubrey

Of course there are already heterosexual people who's marriage were started with an "adultery isn't betrayal" clause because they wanted it that way. I know a few.

When did that become any of your God damn business?

Richard Aubrey

Also, to state the obvious, some gay marriages will assume fedelity.. People are not stereotypes.

Still, why would it be your business?

Parker

The "people were historically correct and so you must be wrong if you disagree with your ancestors" arguement is so damn laughable. Society was inherently better in the past???

I could mention slavery or a thousand other mistakes of our ancestors... If you love the 7th century go live in Saudi Arabia.

Through the highs and lows of this discussion, I have to admit that I find the Christian concern over my or anybody else's "salvation" to be the most disquieting issue. For some of us, is that really the crux of the debate over whether or not gays in this country should be allowed to marry?

I'm neither gay nor anti-Christian, but for Christ's sake, my salvation isn't anyone's business but me and my God's. I'd venture to say that the vast majority of gays who would like to marry their partners would share a similar demand for spiritual privacy.

Dave
I think Dennis Miller (and others - I read an article in Tikkun that took this point of view)
In the story where Abraham agreed to sacrifice Isaac, by agreeing to the sacrifice, Abraham failed... One reading of that story is that God can test you by telling you to do things that are completely immoral, and doing the wrong thing for God makes you a failure.

So if the bible says, discriminate against gays and you do it, then you've shown your lack of strength. It's one sort of stength to obey a directive to make innocent people your enemy - that's the sort of strength that Jihadis have.

It's a superior sort of strength to use your own judgement and to refuse to be moved from what's right even under threat from God.

Nice post, Michele. You are invited to My Big Fat Gay Wedding, if -- and when -- it happens. And you don't even have to bring a gift.

Oops I edited out half a sentence by mistake.

I meant to say that both Dennis Miller and Tikkun have made this arguement. Dennis actually mentioned discrimination against gays as an example of how to prove to God that you're a sycophantic creep.

What's humorous, is how both parties are fighting a losing proposition. They're both fighting for the wrong thing. Homosexuals are just condemning themselves, even if they win the fight, to having their marriages regulated by the government (which means they can be revoked at some point in the future under the right political conditions).

The government shouldn't have any involvement in a marriage or union in the first place. There's absolutely zero reason why it should. It's a contract between two people. Whether you view it in religious or non-religious terms, the government has no rational role.

The government's only place is (as with all contracts), if there is a dispute (a divorce), and settling whatever the contract stipulates via the judicial system.

Retard monkeys on both sides of the fight aren't bothering to stop and take a look at the important picture.

Jonathan
"Retarded monkeys" would like rights that government recongnized marriages bring:
rights to share insurance
rights to visit loved ones in the hospital or even prison
rights to raise chidren, or visiting rights after divorce...

important stuff...

Joshua Scholar -

Umm... did you read my post? I'm asking a question, not trying to slip in a judgement.

And who were you quoting? The voice in your head that infers (incorrectly) what I'm thinking?

What I'm asking about is whether there are any historical examples of societies with gay marriage. Implicit in the question is the thought that if there are, we might be able to learn something from these examples. I am seeking to be informed.

Thlayli (and Joshua) -

Where the slavery stuff is coming from, I don't know - sadly, we have both historical and current day examples of that...but slavery is not an historical example of gay marriage, so your point in this regard escapes me.

Interesting that you both impute value judgements to me that I did not make - even in this one, the only value judgements you can correctly take away are that 1) I am against slavery and 2) I do not feel that either of you are very careful readers...

Parker, you apparently think everyone is too stupid to recognize the difference between a rhetorical question and an actual question.

Note, insulting the intelligence of your audience is not an effective technique.

Josh wrote:

"rights to share insurance
rights to visit loved ones in the hospital or even prison
rights to raise chidren, or visiting rights after divorce..."

Uhm, you realize contracts can more than cover those issues, right? That standard contracts would be developed over time that were commonly popular, as with almost every type of contract commonly used in the US today whether it be regarding business or personal life. It's called standardization. Court examples would build case history pertaining to various types of legal arrangements between two individuals; as they do with any other type of legal situation over time. Such would expedite issues of visitation rights, et al. Any issues that were not common with marriage could be specifically added to a standardized marriage contract, depending on the couple's choosing.

There's no legitimate argument for government involvement in marriage. Your examples were weak at best, you'll have to do a lot better than that.

Jonathan:

Huh? No contract between two people can force your employer, the government or the hospital to recognise the rights that married couples all enjoy. You'd need all of those groups to agree to a contract with you, and without mariage they won't.

Joshua -

Not everyone - apparently it is just you.

My question was not rhetorical.

YOU imply that people not recognizing the difference between a rhetorical question and an actual question makes them stupid.

You failed to recognize such a difference.

Quod erat demonstrandum...

Is your church going to fold up its tent and give in to Satan?

<snort!>

Actually, quite a few churches, such as the one in Denver mentioned here, have sold out to The Horned One. Perhaps you were subconsciously thinking that the people with their knickers in a twist over gay nuptials are agonizing over the prospect of some sort of formal handing-over ceremony to make it official. Y'know, like with China and Hong Kong.