View Full Forums : I just don't get it... (warning: controversial subject)


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Panamah
02-17-2004, 09:47 PM
Ok, was listening to the CNN last night and there was a guy that was stating that same-sex marriages threaten marriage. And I kept saying to myself, "how"?

How does anyone elses marriage threaten your marriage?

I can believe infidelity, divorce and raising taxes on married people would threaten your marriage, but how so someone elses marital union?

I'm just not understanding the reasoning behind this.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-17-2004, 10:14 PM
Let me come in laterally here.

Suppose you were living with your significant other. You shared the bills. The home you lived in was financially in both your name(on the loan). Your respective paychecks co-mingled into the same account. Both of your names are on the checking account.

You are on his/her life insurance policy, and they are on yours. You had 2 kids from a previous relationship, and they had 2 kids from a previous relationship. You have no intention on having more kids, and do what it takes to make sure that there are no more kids.

You have lived together for over a year, well a length of time let us say. And you plan on staying with one another for the rest of your lives together.

But you were not legally married.

For all intents and purposes this couple, you and your sweetie, are married. No one can tell that you are not.

Why do people who are married get special allowances from the government. People like to throw in benefits here(rightfully so)? But just let us focus on the government, how does the government get around the equal protection clause of the Constitution... "...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Article 14.

If the government charges a non-married person X tax, and a married person Y tax. That is violating that clause, is it not. How can the government treat married people differently than non-married person. And that would apply to any governmental agency or service.

One could argue that marriage is designed to foster the raising of children(and it is), but there are plenty of couples married, who never have children. And plenty of non-married couples with children.

So then the next logical step is either give the non-married people the same government assurances that married people have. Remove the state's double standard of treatment.

One would then say, why get married at all? Which would be a good question, especially if it comes from secular and non religious people.

So in a very tangible way, the discussion of the topic of gay marriage, and the inherent governmentally sanctioned inequities, leads us to a very threatening stance to marriage itself. Without even broaching a single aspect of homosexuality or religion.

Why does the law treat me differently(with all other things being equal) because I have no marriage license with my significant other? There are good legal minds in this forum, and I honestly would like to know some real answer to that question, myself.

jtoast
02-17-2004, 10:25 PM
Here is my take on it.


1) The religious aspect of the situation.

Most people who subscribe to a religion believe that marriage should be considered a religious union and not strictly a legal one. Most religions frown upon homosexuality(can't think of one off the top of my head that doesn't.) Therefore by definition gay marriages are frowned upon.

2) The traditional "family unit" of Mom, Dad and 2.5 kids is dying.

Divorce rates are insane, Juvenile crime is going crazy, and a lot of things that "just weren't done" 50 years ago are now commonplace(i.e. unwed mothers.)

The second group of people who are railing so vehemently against the gay marriage laws are the same ones who feel that a return to "traditional family values" would solve a lot of societies ills.

3) The older the generation, the more conservative the view(usually) and the the United States is getting older(i.e. the baby boomer generation hitting retirement).
Also, the older generation is more likely to write letters to congressman, to actually go out and vote and also to provide financial support to candidates they agree with.

4) There is also the fact that "change" scares most people. They don't like it, don't trust it and, generally, thinks that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. Allowing Gay Marriages is a change.

5) The people who are fighting for gay marriage(at least the ones I have seen and read about) are young, generally under 25.

This combines with number 3 above. This is the age group that gets the absolute least respect in this country. They have an extremely low turnout at the polls, have a reputation for supporting positions based on emotion rather than rational facts and don't contribute very much to political campaigns. In short, theres not a lot for the politicians to lose by ignoring them.

Combine the conservative aging population of the United States with the Christian Coalition, then throw in the fact that lawmakers follow the path of the money and the votes and you have pretty damn slim chance of gay marriages getting nationwide approval.

EDIT:

Rephrased last sentence.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-17-2004, 10:35 PM
"Most people who subscribe to a religion believe that marriage should be considered a religious union and not strictly a legal one."

I would dispute that.

Those religious would still want the legal benefits of marriage.

jtoast
02-17-2004, 10:57 PM
Never said they didn't.


I was merely making the point that to allow gay marriages would remove the current religious aspect of it and turn it into simple legal contract. Religious people(in general) are against that.

Tinsi
02-17-2004, 11:05 PM
I was merely making the point that to allow gay marriages would remove the current religious aspect of it and turn it into simple legal contract. Religious people(in general) are against that.

Hmm, ignorant non-american question:

You don't have non-religious wedding ceremonies in the USA? Like.. judges or diplomatic staff abroad do? If you do, the religious aspect is already washed out of "marriage" and left only in some "ceremonies", so that point is moot.

Panamah
02-17-2004, 11:28 PM
We do have non-religious marriages. Fyyr, I can't think of too many situations where married people have protections or advantages unmarried don't with the government. What am I missing? The only things I can think of are issues of inheritance, power-of-attorney and such things. Still, a few legal documents drawn up between unmarried couples can handle that. With business yes, married couples get all the breaks on family leave, health care and other stuff.

First off, if marriage is a primarily a religious institution with government sanctions, then why don't we allow Mormon guys to have 7 wives? It's cool with their religion.

As far as it being a primarily under 25 issue... tee hee. Plenty of people my age and older sympathize with the gay community on this issue. I think its more of a religious conservatism issue rather than divided on age lines.

I was young in a time when my Dad got into trouble for selling property to black people in white neighborhoods and interracial marriages were extremely frowned upon. I don't remember, but I wouldn't be surprised but what the arguments were the same.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see this get played out. All kinds of things going on here, like do states have to respect each other marriages? What about countries?

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-17-2004, 11:36 PM
"Religious people(in general) are against that."

That was kinda my point. They(anti-gay-marriage religious folks) want it both ways. The problem then becomes not even an Article 14 issue, but a First Amendment issue.

How can the government sanction and foster a religious institution(marriage) with governmental rights and benefits, over those who do not have a religion?

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-17-2004, 11:48 PM
"What am I missing?"

For starters, every thing that every gay non-married couple is asking for by wanting marriage.

Hell, even if I am single, how can the government Constitutionally treat me with, in effect, marital Jim Crow laws. Why do married people get favored treatment with regard to anything?

Or rather, why are single people treated like second class citizens? "Get to da back o' da bus!"

Of course, marriage law is rooted in English Common Law(cmiiw), which predates the Constitution. But so had thousands of laws which have been overturned since.

Rahjeir
02-17-2004, 11:55 PM
/em looks at a dollar bill. It reads, "In God we trust".

Rahjeir
02-17-2004, 11:59 PM
Or rather, why are single people treated like second class citizens? "Get to da back o' da bus!"

HUH? second class citizens? Where the hell did you come up with that? Most married people owe taxs at the end of the year, or just break even. Most single people get money back.

Been single for 27 years of my life. Being not married hasn't hurt my life nor advancement in my life.

Tiane
02-18-2004, 12:01 AM
Praise the almighty dollar!

(does secret Illuminati handshake behind Rahjeir's back)

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-18-2004, 12:02 AM
I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, or God Bless America, or Battle Hymn of the Republic(kinda like that one really).

Those do not affect me in any tangible way. They are just ritual epolets. Fine and dandy, yessiree Bob.

But when it is time to file my taxes(like now), that, that is real and tangible.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-18-2004, 12:08 AM
"Where the hell did you come up with that?"
There is a big difference between withheld taxes and due taxes.
/smile

I can't get table to work right. (http://www.quicken.com/cms/viewers/article/taxes/53572)

Newer stuffs. (http://www.hrblock.com/presscenter/presskit/family/penalty/facts.html)

Looks like they all about equal out now, unless I am missing something.

Scirocco
02-18-2004, 12:23 AM
/em looks at a dollar bill. It reads, "In God we trust".


Technically, that does violate the Bill of Rights. However, it passes constitutional muster under the theory that it really is just a secular ceremonial statement, and meaningless in context. If it were meaningful, then it would be impermissible.

Like the the "under God" reference in the Pledge of Allegiance, the use of this motto on our money is fairly recent. It first showed up on coins in 1908, became the official motto of the US in 1956, and appeared on paper money in 1957. This motto, as well as the "under God" reference in the Pledge of Allegiance, did not show until after the first 100 years of our history, largely due to some religious politicking at opportune times.

Interestingly, several Protestant groups banded together and attempted to have the Preamble of the Constitution read as follows:

We, the people of the United States, humbly acknowledging almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler among nations, his revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government, and in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the inalienable rights and the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to ourselves, our posterity, and all the people, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Those familiar with the Preamble will note that the religious references didn't make it. The United States is not a theocracy, despite the best efforts of several groups...:)

Rahjeir
02-18-2004, 12:29 AM
Um, no there isn't. You might want to look at that again. /smile.

If you want to read into that scale like that, It makes more sence to be single.

Standerd deducts for single people is 4,700 if I recall. $9,500 for married people. The diffence in that scale is 4800 from single to married. 4800 minus 9,500 is 4700.

27.5% if your taxable income is over: $27,050 (Single). $22,600 (Married filing separately) That's a diff of 4450. In your chart right there, single people get 4,450 more in the scale then married people. How are single people being treated as second class? I still don't see it. It pays to be single in all accounts you have shown me in the tax realm.

Your forgetting the marriage tax too. People pay a tax because they are married. I think your forgetting many things. :)

Panamah
02-18-2004, 12:38 AM
Well, I wish this site would sum it up for me but here are some religions that don't seem to mind homosexuality:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_chur3.htm#nativ

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_budd.htm

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_uua.htm

And then of course there were whole entire cultures where homosexuality was very open and even idealized. Like ancient Greece, the progenitor of our modern democracy, and Sparta.

I have no idea what whether the Greek religion frowned on it. I doubt it. There's all kinds of Greek myths where guys lust after each other.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-18-2004, 12:40 AM
Ya, I did look at it again. The taxes look like they have been equalized for 2003.

From the way you worded the statement, it sounded like you were saying "I get a bigger refund than they do". Which to me meant withheld amounts not due amounts. In any regard, it looks like the due amounts should be the same now. You win.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-18-2004, 02:30 AM
Funny thing. (http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,61982,00.html?tw=wn_story_top5)

Rahjeir
02-18-2004, 03:58 AM
We're very concerned that the traditional state of marriage is under threat in our country by homosexual activists," said AFA representative Buddy Smith. "It just so happens that homosexual activist groups around the country got a hold of the poll -- it was forwarded to them -- and they decided to have a little fun, and turn their organizations around the country (onto) the poll to try to cause it to represent something other than what we wanted it to. And so far, they succeeded with that."

Hrm, the poll didn't turn out how you wanted it to. Um, why put up a poll? /boggle.

Tiane
02-18-2004, 05:10 AM
(onto) the poll to try to cause it to represent something other than what we wanted it to

Does anyone else find that sadly amusing? Shouldnt the purpose of a poll be to represent as accurately as possible what the general populace thinks, as opposed to what you think they should think, or what you'd like to pretend that they think?

Add my /boggle !

Aidon
02-18-2004, 06:10 AM
I'm glad Scir said all that so I didn't have to ;)

As for gay marriage. It is unconscienable for Americans to fight against it.

That is what this nation is supposed to stand for. Freedom from oppression, not the reinforcement thereof. We need not make the same mistakes we've made in our past with so many minorities in our midst.


The institution of Marriage has been "under the gun" so to speak for quite some time now. Roughly 50% of all Marriages for the past decade have ended in divorce.

I can't help but imagine that those people who attempt to think up reasons why we need to ban gay marriage are the same sort of people as those who rationalized our Jim Crow laws here and those who rationalized the confiscation of Jewish properties and ghetto-ization of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The only concern I can even dream of with gay marriage is children. I still firmly believe a child needs a mother and a father. And I do also believe that children need to understand that as a species, we need to have male humans breeding with female humans if we want to continue.

For those of a Religious bent...understand history better. There was a two-fold reason why Judaism banned homosexuality (Which is, de facto, is the reason for Christianity and Islam's bans). The primary reason was because of the commandment to Abraham and Israel "Be fruitful and multiply". The secondary reason was simply to maintain a cultural difference between the Jews and the surrounding peoples.

Now, I'm assuming you religious folk no longer believe (as the Torah commands) that we should be stoning to death anyone who sleeps with their own sex...so where's the leap in logic that in this modern age, where the Judeo-Christian/Islamic faiths are the predominant culture in the world, that maybe homosexuality isn't such a sin anymore, so long as we ensure the human race continues to "be fruitful and multiply"?

Heck, most of y'all are already breaking a slew of commandments (namely "I am the Lord your God, etc. You shall have no other God before me" from this Jews standpoint ;)). This one ranks up there with "suffer no soothsayer to live" and incest for archaicness.

Mannwin Woobie
02-18-2004, 06:32 AM
The only things I can think of are issues of inheritance, power-of-attorney and such things. Still, a few legal documents drawn up between unmarried couples can handle that

Those are MAJOR items (and just a few of them) that are very important for EVERY 'couple', not just homosexuals. Without being 'married' you lose a lot of things you didn't even know that piece of paper entitled you ot.

If you significant other gets sick, you have no right to visit the hospital. No say in their treatments. A "Living Will" may help here, but it's not as good as a marriage license.

Also, forget about the taxes. Think about things like Social Security. Your partner has no survivor rights to your benefits if you die. BIG disparity. Why shouldn't my partner of 50 years be entitled to my Social Security benefits?

Those are the things that homosexulas want to change. And in the land of the free, liberty and justice for all, I don't see how it can be any different.

Greggo
02-18-2004, 07:56 AM
I think faith is a great thing for a person to have, as well as a personal moral code. But when 2 or more people get together and agree that THIS is the only true faith and only right moral code you get a religion. I believe organised religions are almost always bad. They are frequently intolerant, materialistic, hungry for power and subject to all the faults of all human institutions.

The bizarre schitzophrenia I find between the constitutionally secular United States and the expressed views of a lot of its people continues, after 2 years here, to astound me.

B_Delacroix
02-18-2004, 08:46 AM
My problem with how its being handled in San Francisco is that there is a way to change the rules if you don't like them. Simply decided to ignore it is not the way.

What if someone decided there are too many rich people? Is it ok then to go rob them to give it away to the poor? Sure its hyperbole, but its not completely out of the realm of possibility once you start down that road.

What the mayor of San Fancisco did would get anyone fired in any other place in the United States, heck even might get them fired anywhere else in California.

Greggo
02-18-2004, 09:12 AM
Well actually, per the NPR news this morning 2 courts rejected injunction requests to STOP San Francisco issuing marriage licences so it is by no means clear to me that the city or the mayor IS acting outside the law.

My (limited) understanding of the current position is that states attempting to discriminate between same-sex and mixed-sex couples may be in breach of either the federal or the state constitutions.

Stormhaven
02-18-2004, 09:55 AM
Honestly, the same-sex couples who are now fighting for the right to be married may end up being married a lot longer than some of those people fighting against their right to do so. Marriage, as it stands currently in the US, is more like "going steady" than what people thought marriage meant two or three generations ago. Marriage is no longer the institution it represented in the 50's, 60's and even 70's, it's now "something to do to show your love." The divorce rate in the US is so high right now because marriage is so easy. The gay/lesbian couples who've had to fight to have their devotion recognized are more likely to stay and work problems out... at least in my eyes. Considering that some of them had been a "couple" for more than 50 years... I will concede that there will probably be several gays that are getting married right now because they can, and I'm sure the newspapers will soon be lit up with stories of the first "gay divorce," but hey... /shrug.

If you want to talk about "damaging the institution of marriage," look more towards the "We're getting these people married!" "Reality TV" shows on TV now. Sorry, but two guys/gals getting married and saying their vows to each other in front of a JOtP seems less degrading to me than ten women/men vying for the hand of a millionaire on TV for ratings.

B_Delacroix
02-18-2004, 10:06 AM
I find TV generally degrading anyway.

Greggo
02-18-2004, 10:13 AM
/agree Stormhaven

Aidon
02-18-2004, 10:53 AM
My problem with how its being handled in San Francisco is that there is a way to change the rules if you don't like them. Simply decided to ignore it is not the way.

What if someone decided there are too many rich people? Is it ok then to go rob them to give it away to the poor? Sure its hyperbole, but its not completely out of the realm of possibility once you start down that road.

What the mayor of San Fancisco did would get anyone fired in any other place in the United States, heck even might get them fired anywhere else in California.


Sometimes you need to work within the rules and the system. Yes. However, when a people are being subjugated and treated as second class citizens, it is time to ignore the rules and change them yourself, as it were.

If tomorrow "the people" decided to make it illegal for Jews to marry. I'd probably break out my rifle. That's why the Constitution gives me the right to own it.

TeriMoon
02-18-2004, 11:32 AM
I think what's happening in San Francisco is great. I have been in the convent in the past. I don't find gay marriage an offense to my religious beliefs at all. I don't find it appropriate to make any judgement about it whatsoever.

My religious/spiritual viewpoint is one of trying to understand.

I think the biggest wrong we do is to try to impose our own beliefs on others. While I realize that society is impacted by changes to the norm, I don't see how gay marriage detracts from anyone's personal meaning or beliefs about their own intimate relationships.

B_Delacroix
02-18-2004, 12:04 PM
If tomorrow "the people" decided to make it illegal for Jews to marry. I'd probably break out my rifle. That's why the Constitution gives me the right to own it.

I wish more people would see the owning arms argument like that.

Panamah
02-18-2004, 12:40 PM
My problem with how its being handled in San Francisco is that there is a way to change the rules if you don't like them. Simply decided to ignore it is not the way.

What if someone decided there are too many rich people? Is it ok then to go rob them to give it away to the poor? Sure its hyperbole, but its not completely out of the realm of possibility once you start down that road.

What the mayor of San Fancisco did would get anyone fired in any other place in the United States, heck even might get them fired anywhere else in California.

I think what they're doing is setting up CA's law about marriage being defined as between a man and a woman to take this up to higher courts. It's a legal testing.

Panamah
02-18-2004, 12:44 PM
Ok, clearly unmarried couples don't have the same legal rights as married ones. Thanks for pointing it out Mannwinn.

So, for homosexuals, I understand why marriage is important so they can have the same legal conviences as other committed couples.

For unmarried hetero couples, why on earth do they feel discriminated against? If they want to have those same legal footing as married couples, why don't they just get married? De-couple the religious aspect of marriage and what you have is a handy legal status wrapped up in a single, easy to execute document. No need to spell it out out with a bunch of legal documents.

palamin
02-18-2004, 03:05 PM
Well, one of the things I hate is discrimination versus minorities. We can look back at history and see the hate and discrimination is very bad. The vast majority of the the USA is white hetero sexual christians. whereas in other cultures hetero sexual white chrisians would be viewed as a minority in itself. I see no possible reason why to define marriage as between a man and woman. Some religeous faiths decree that a life of celibacy can be a marriage with a higher power so to speak. I am ok with that, it is their choice not mine and who am I to forbid what goes on between religeous, your own home, ethnic background, etc, provided it is not detrimental to society. Marriage between a man and man or woman and woman is not the worst thing happening in the USA.

If they pass this law or amendment to the constitution then it is just wrong. It is just pure discrimination versus a minority. The way I view it is no different that discriminating against African Americans, Hispanics, and on and on through every minority group in America. While yes this is holding to the declaration of independence and the constitution in the way of no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without due process, the problem is we are just flat out not looking to the past and our failings of our mothers and fathers that ran the USA before us. We as Americans need to evolve and open our minds allittle. I know change is hard especially when we get older and are pretty set in our ways, the younger generations are more open and willing to change, and while yes more passionate and less wise, we as americans need to emulate openess and willing to change.

Panamah
02-18-2004, 04:13 PM
You guys are singing with the choir! I just was hoping to hear from someone that thought it was threatening marriage.

BTW: Thing that sparked me posting this was I saw a poll up on CNN that said:

What do you feel is more of a threat to marriage?

Same sex marriages?
Divorce?

About 1/3 said same sex marriages.

Tiane
02-18-2004, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Aidon
If tomorrow "the people" decided to make it illegal for Jews to marry. I'd probably break out my rifle. That's why the Constitution gives me the right to own it.


I wish more people would see the owning arms argument like that.

That's just... really scary... the best way of solving a political difference or changing the system is to start killing people? Good god... Count yourself lucky that many other groups (blacks, women, etc) havent felt that way.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled left wing vs. right wing debate.

Aidon
02-18-2004, 06:31 PM
That's just... really scary... the best way of solving a political difference or changing the system is to start killing people? Good god... Count yourself lucky that many other groups (blacks, women, etc) havent felt that way.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled left wing vs. right wing debate.

If more Jews in Nazi Germany had fought against the laws as they were imposed, perhaps we could have avoided what followed.

There is a time to fight against the tyrrany of a Government with violence. Even a democratic Government. I, for one, wouldn't blame any Gay and Lesbian party that decided to respond to a Constitutional Amendment banning their marriage was reason to start fighting members of our Government responsible with lethal means.

TeriMoon
02-18-2004, 07:36 PM
That's pretty extreme. Banning gay marriage seems like something that is none of the government's business, and I disagree with the idea of a constitutional amendment, but I don't think lethal means is a proportionate response.

Aidon
02-18-2004, 08:01 PM
Its best to nip such things in the bud early. From constitutional amendments banning gay marriage..what next? Bans on sodomy, bans on just being gay?

Be ever wary of starting down such slippery slopes, as "The People" in American have shown themselves to be idiots in such regards time and time again and will plow full steam ahead down that slope with no thought to the consequences.

Tiane
02-18-2004, 08:31 PM
Heh, answering a step down a political or civil rights slippery slope with outright murder is ludicrous and hypocritical in the extreme.

TeriMoon
02-18-2004, 08:39 PM
Yes, its better to nip things in the bud. No one ever lives in a eutopia of personal freedom and perfect harmoniousness. Not in any past time nor any time to come I'm sure. Its not human nature. Great wrongs, horrible terrible things are committed against individuals and groups.

One answer is violence. Sometimes it seems as though its necessary.

I think people see violence as a "quick" way to get things resolved, rather than the "slow" way of protest, nonviolence, civil disobedience, etc. I think they both take about the same amount of time to enact changes, but I think a nonviolent approach to nonviolent violations of liberty is more successful at creating an environment of tolerance and willingness to communicate in the long run.

Panamah
02-18-2004, 10:03 PM
Aidon, I would've slain quite a lot of people if I shot everyone I thought was oppressing me. :p

There have been sodomy laws on the books in a lot of states. Wasn't it texas where it got booted out this year when a judge said it was unconstitutional?

Ok, update on the original issue I posted. There was a marriage activist, one of the religious conservative types, on the radio tonight. He was mostly just spouting sound bites and the talk show hosts were trying to pin him down and get an answer from him on just how he thought gay marriage was such a threat to the institution of marriage. He wouldn't answer it. He just said he thought it was a bad example for children.

So apparently loving, committed adults forming pair bonds is a bad example for children. Ok.

Can't you just imagine this 40-50 years ago? It would have been interracial marriages are a bad example for children.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-19-2004, 01:12 AM
Constitutional Amendment=http://s91721709.onlinehome.us/images/snowballschance.jpg



For just about anything, not just that one.

Aidon
02-19-2004, 06:15 AM
Heh, answering a step down a political or civil rights slippery slope with outright murder is ludicrous and hypocritical in the extreme.

Its not murder. Its self defense. The defense of liberty is what formed this nation.

There is no recourse for a constitutional amendment. You cannot appeal it to the Supreme Court. There are two choices: Attempt to repeal the amendment (which is highly unlikely if it was passed in the first place), or fight for the rights taken from you.

That is the reason why the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. Not to hunt. Not to maintain a national guard. Not to protect ourselves in case of invasion (Though all of those reasons are valid in and of themselves and protected all the same), but to defend ourselves from the tyrrany of our own Government.

Tiane
02-19-2004, 06:44 AM
Here I thought it was to defend yourselves from the British.

In any case, to deny someone's basic human right to exist because they may threaten a civil or political right is lunacy. If you disagree with your government that much, does that give you the right to kill your government's representatives? Does that give you the right to drive an airplane into someone's skyscraper? Talk about a slippery slope. They've a word for people like that, who take the law into their own hands and start killing people to force political change.

Not going to discuss it further, it's clear that my beliefs about the sanctity of human life are about as far removed as possible from your own, as to make further talk redundant.

TeriMoon
02-19-2004, 07:13 AM
You can't force enlightenment through use of a gun.

I agree with what you are saying about the right to bear arms. But I think your case for it in this case is incredibly weak. An outcry for a constitutional amendment is hardly reason to take up arms against the government. Its ok in this country for us to have an express differences of opinion. That is also what defense of liberty is about, and also one of the reasons we have the right to bear arms. With that comes responsibility. You don't have the right to go around shooting everyone who wants to organize against a cause you deeply believe in. No more than anyone else has a right to do that to you. When those things happen ( and unfortunately they do ) we call them crimes.

TeriMoon
02-19-2004, 07:41 AM
Be ever wary of starting down such slippery slopes, as "The People" in American have shown themselves to be idiots in such regards time and time again and will plow full steam ahead down that slope with no thought to the consequences.

Really stop for a moment and think about what you are saying here. I mean after you give your reply to me, after you have had the last word and there is no more to be said on this thread.

I, myself, am very passionate about causes I believe in as well. I frequently feel like my opponents are idiots. But you are slamming a whole society, putting them all in one huge lump and saying that they are too stupid to see the truth as you see it. If a person really believes this, of course the leap from that belief to taking up arms and shooting down the idiots is not a huge one. To me, that's no different from the sort of thinking that leads to oppression, and not the sort that leads us out of it.

Its important to have strong beliefs when you are in a struggle for change. Most change processes require flexibility, though. After all, isn't that what you are expecting of people with differing beliefs than yours?

Greggo
02-19-2004, 07:54 AM
I dont think living in a democracy means you can take up arms every time the majority decides something you dont like, even in the United States the "right to bear arms" is not a right to go aorund shooting people because you dont like the local or federal laws.

In fact the second amendment makes it pretty clear that the right to bear arms is for defence against external threats: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. "

Of course I am not an American so discount that as much as you like...

Panamah
02-19-2004, 10:46 AM
Somehow I don't think civil disobedience and gun ownership go together and I don't think that is what the 2nd amendment is about.

As far as a constitutional admendment to prohibit gay marriages. I think it has a 0 percent chance of happening. The last constitutional amendment that passed took almost 200 years to finally get through and now there's a time limit on them.

Aidon
02-19-2004, 02:38 PM
Here I thought it was to defend yourselves from the British.

In any case, to deny someone's basic human right to exist because they may threaten a civil or political right is lunacy. If you disagree with your government that much, does that give you the right to kill your government's representatives? Does that give you the right to drive an airplane into someone's skyscraper? Talk about a slippery slope. They've a word for people like that, who take the law into their own hands and start killing people to force political change.

Not going to discuss it further, it's clear that my beliefs about the sanctity of human life are about as far removed as possible from your own, as to make further talk redundant.

I didn't say become a terrorist. I'll never accept the targetted killing of civilians as a means for political change. But if the Constitution of this nation, itself, makes a citizen a second class citizen. Then its time to fight.

And no. The 2nd Amendment isn't there to protect us from the British, they were already beaten by the time it was written :P


I dont think living in a democracy means you can take up arms every time the majority decides something you dont like, even in the United States the "right to bear arms" is not a right to go aorund shooting people because you dont like the local or federal laws.

I've said, throughout, that I'm talking about if Bush and his cohorts pushed through a Constitutional Amendment on the matter. State and Federal laws have a system in place for recourse that should be used prior to any violence on most matters.

Panamah
02-19-2004, 02:58 PM
In a democracy we have lots of ways of fighting that don't require the use of force. That's kind of the beauty of it.

Paldor
02-19-2004, 03:55 PM
Marriage should not be the business of Government.

The point at which Government no longer makes laws/decisions based on marital status, is the point where I support all forms of marriage.

Panamah
02-19-2004, 05:43 PM
I don't follow you, Paldor. Are you saying marriage should only be a religious institution? Then only religious people can get married? That'd leave out a lot of folks that currently are married but perhaps don't believe or practice religion.

Marriage is actually a very useful legal construct. It implies all kinds of things legal things, like next of kin, power of attorney and so on with one easy to acquire piece of paper. You'd probably have to spend 500.00 getting all that set up without the benefit of marriage (just a guess based on what my parents had to pay to setup similar sorts of legal stuff).

Maybe if the legal ceremony were called something else, like domestic partners, that might satisfy the religious conservatives while giving all couples the same protections under the law. Actually, I wouldn't be against having two separate things. If a religion doesn't want to perform some religious ritual based on their dogma, then I think that's their perogotive. If I didn't like their policies, I'd get me a new religion.. Or start my own!

Currently what are some of the laws regarding marriage? You can't marry a close relative. You can't have more than one spouse. I think that's about it.

Anyway, can you elucidate, Paldor? I didn't understand at all what you meant.

Aidon
02-19-2004, 06:13 PM
We need to get rid of that one spouse law also. If someone is crazy enough to want two wives...let em. He'll regret the decision on his own =P

As for close relatives. As long as they sign a legal document forbidding them from reproducing (with each other), who cares? If you wanna boff yer sister, who am I to tell you no?

I mean, if I were Jenniffer Anniston's brother...I'd surely want to!

Fairweather Pure
02-19-2004, 06:28 PM
------why don't we allow Mormon guys to have 7 wives? It's cool with their religion.


No, it's not. There are no Mormons with multiple wives. It is not taught, nor is it even a part of modern Mormonisim. You would be excommunicated if you practiced this in today's Mormon church. The act of having multiple wives has not been practiced in over 100 years. If you feel like researching further, you'll find some interesting reasons why it was practiced in the first place. Keep in mind there are 2 sides to every story and the Mormon side is easily dismissed when all the information is taken into context.

Sure, there are crack-pots out there that attempt to use the Mormon defense, but they are not acknowledged by the church, and have in fact been kicked out for what they are doing.

I am amazed that people actually believe this old wive's tale.

To open another can of worms, I believe consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want in terms of thier relationship. If a man wanted 5 wives and the women were all cool with it, more power to them. The government should not be able to have control over our personal lives. Yet, somehow people are ok with this.

Aidon
02-19-2004, 06:52 PM
------why don't we allow Mormon guys to have 7 wives? It's cool with their religion.


No, it's not. There are no Mormons with multiple wives. It is not taught, nor is it even a part of modern Mormonisim. You would be excommunicated if you practiced this in today's Mormon church. The act of having multiple wives has not been practiced in over 100 years. If you feel like researching further, you'll find some interesting reasons why it was practiced in the first place. Keep in mind there are 2 sides to every story and the Mormon side is easily dismissed when all the information is taken into context.

Sure, there are crack-pots out there that attempt to use the Mormon defense, but they are not acknowledged by the church, and have in fact been kicked out for what they are doing.

I am amazed that people actually believe this old wive's tale.

To open another can of worms, I believe consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want in terms of thier relationship. If a man wanted 5 wives and the women were all cool with it, more power to them. The government should not be able to have control over our personal lives. Yet, somehow people are ok with this.

Well, considering the main reason why the Mormon church changed its rules was because an army of protestants was marching on Utah...who knows what would be if the intolerance of Christianity hadn't raised its ugly head again. I never mentioned Mormons though.

Technically, in Judaism, you can still have multiple wives if you so desire. Why any man would want more than one Jewish wife is beyond me though...:lol:

Fairweather Pure
02-19-2004, 07:21 PM
The question was raised in the inital post. The main reason why Mormon's disalloed multiple wives is that they were seeking to become a state and the government would not allow it. The Mormon's believe something entirely different because thier prophet told them an alternate reason. Mormons were used to being protested, those had nothing to do with it. In fact, protestors basically forced them to move west to Utah to begin with, but I digress...

Panamah
02-19-2004, 07:37 PM
Well, if the legal stuff for who gets the kids, the house, and stuff when a spouse croaks or splits were all worked out I don't really have a problem with > 2 people in a marriage. But I wasn't going to open any additional topics because it gives the RR more fodder for "slippery slope" of morality arguments.

Now stop this talking about multiple wives and lets ponder the ramifications of multiple husbands.... twice as much monday night football and beer?

Aidon
02-19-2004, 09:21 PM
The question was raised in the inital post. The main reason why Mormon's disalloed multiple wives is that they were seeking to become a state and the government would not allow it. The Mormon's believe something entirely different because thier prophet told them an alternate reason. Mormons were used to being protested, those had nothing to do with it. In fact, protestors basically forced them to move west to Utah to begin with, but I digress...

It was quite a bit more than a protest lol. When I said army, I didn't mean it figuratively.

Oh and I said protestant...not protester =P

Panamah
02-19-2004, 11:00 PM
How can you tell what is real mormon history and what isn't? Doesn't the church buy up old documents that might cast doubt on their tenents and hide them away in vaults?

http://www.legallibraries.com/The_Mormon_Murders_A_True_Story_of_Greed_Forgery_D eceit_and_Death_0451401522.html

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-19-2004, 11:27 PM
Not really what you are asking.

Archimedes Palimpsest (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/archimedes/palimpsest.html)

Could be worse, if you think about it. Imagine if we had Calculus a thousand years sooner. Or how many other discoveries or ideas were lost(still?).

Fairweather Pure
02-20-2004, 12:08 PM
How can you tell what is real mormon history and what isn't? Doesn't the church buy up old documents that might cast doubt on their tenents and hide them away in vaults?

http://www.legallibraries.com/The_Mormon_Murders_A_True_Story_of_Greed_Forgery_D eceit_and_Death_0451401522.html

Of course they do. So do Catholics and many other mainstream religion. It's nothing new and they show no signs of curbing the trend or exposing thier secret stores.

I know you do not mean to single out the Mormons, but they do seem to take a lot of ****. It's odd seeing as that the majority of religions are older and have far bloodier histories and questionable roots.

Aidon
02-20-2004, 04:17 PM
Judaism doesn't =D We dig them up and put them on display instead.

One of those benefits of having no centralized religious "governing body". Three Jews = four opinions and all that.

Fairweather Pure
02-20-2004, 04:49 PM
No, Judaism has other flaws that more than make up for it. There is no perfect religion. That's why it's funny to see religions, or religious people, point out the faults of others.

Mannwin Woobie
02-20-2004, 05:07 PM
As you can see, the topic of Gay Marriage has degenerated into a religious war.

EXACTLY why it is so controversial. BUT it tends to support my original theory that gay marriage is is being opposed on religious grounds, not legal grounds.

Remember, homosexual couples do NOT want this based on religious grounds. They want it based on equal protection. They want all the LEGAL rights and benefits that are granted from marriage - no more, no less. Conservatives look at this as an attack on their religion(s), when it is not that at all.

Aidon
02-20-2004, 06:19 PM
No, Judaism has other flaws that more than make up for it. There is no perfect religion. That's why it's funny to see religions, or religious people, point out the faults of others.


Flaws such as no centralized dogma. No public cries that any who are not Jewish are going to burn in hell forever. Flaws such as a respect for the sharing of knowledge instead of an attempt to subjugate it.

The biggest flaw Judaism has is the tendancy of Jews who are not persecuted to assimilate readily into their surrounding cultures and slowly choke the religion in that area with intermarriage and a loss of identity. We're the most non prolific major religion in the world because we don't actively try to convert, nor force conversion unwillingly, nor attempt to strangle other religions in the one area where we are a majority ;)

Our biggest "flaw" is a live and let live outlook that historically speaking gets us kicked square in the family jewels every 50-100 years. Its a good thing we tend to be very liberal people instead of conservatives =P

Panamah
02-20-2004, 06:25 PM
I was singling out Mormons because I wasn't aware of other religions doing that too. Although, it makes sense. We all know about catholics hiding their little oopsies for so many years, that has been so exposed lately that it almost goes without saying.

It's always twice as much fun when someone or group claiming moral superiority shows themselves to be at least as bad as everyone else, if not worse.

Scirocco
02-20-2004, 06:55 PM
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. "


That actually is aimed more at protecting the free state from internal threats, since it has an army to protect it from external threats. The drafters of the Constitution were well aware of the potential for a government to overstep its bounds. The right to bear arms gives individuals the means to fight against that.

It doesn't mean that you have the right to shoot the tax collector, of course. Or someone you disagree with. It is a drastic response, with drastic consequences, and not to be undertaken lightly. As a practical matter, whether you will be seen as a criminal or a hero depends on how many people fight alongside you and whether you win or not.

Oldoak
02-20-2004, 07:46 PM
Further to Mannwin's comments there are also significant issues related to inheritance and estate issues.

An unmarried couple (well really a gay couple in this case) who lived together for 40 years can find their inheritance plans challenged in court more easily. You have to spell it all out in the will - if someone dies intestate, everything goes to next of kin I believe. And it is never possible to remember every last thing in your will.

Why this matters? Well it is somewhat a generational issue, but older gay couples often sacrificied a very great deal to live their lives as gay people. Some essentially lost all contact with family. I have heard of people who have come home and found all their worldly possesions on the curbside, the locks on their home changed, and themselves dead in their families eyes. It sounds like urban legend, but it is not.

It is very easy to imagine a family like that one trying to seize the estate of their estranged child/sibling/uncle/aunt.

A lawyer may say that a good will would prevent that, but who would want to be facing an ugly legal battle while mourning the loss of a loved one?

This can also happen when someone is alive of course...as Mannwin mentioned without living wills immediate family can trump any decisions for health care the couple might make...like say relocating the sick person thousands of miles away from their loved one, back to wherever "home" was.

Panamah
02-20-2004, 10:16 PM
Good points, Oldoak.

Today on the nasty commute home I listened to another gay-marriage debate on the radio. The talk show hosts said... The bible clearly denounces divorce and says you shouldn't get divorced. Why do religious conservatives pick on gays getting married, when they don't seem to have any problem with divorce being legal? Is it because, even religious people get divorced?

Same thing with fortune tellers. I think it was considered a pretty severe sign to go to a fortune teller, yet I'd be willing to bet that lots of conservative christians call the psychic hotline, get their tarot cards read, horoscopes done or whatever they do.

Funny how they pick and choose which sins are bad and which you can just freely ignore.

Aidon
02-20-2004, 11:10 PM
Heh, according to the Torah...fortune tellers were to be stoned to death. And you could get a divorce (of sorts) but you had to give back the bride gift plus some to compensate the girls father for the fact that her bride gift would have to be significantly larger to marry her off again.

Windworn
02-20-2004, 11:11 PM
I have not heard one good arguement against same sex marriages, not one.

Can someone quote me exactly where it states in the bible what is so blatantly evil about same sex marriages?

While your at it, can you also please post where it says women are lesser then men?

I seem to remember a time when women were not granted the same status as men.. that got reppealed though. At the time, it was the same damn arguement we're hearing today. Its against what the bible teaches us.

Congratulations, they're officially hypocrits. Why allow one issue, and not another? The answer, because their interpretations of how society should be are wrong.

I know what this country was founded on. But the religious arguements are holding us back. Hell not to long ago, a supreme court upheld a decision that banned a judge from having a statue of the ten commandments outside a court house. The reason was that religion should have no bearing over the justice system.

So what else is so damn threatening about same sex marriages? Yeah, so they'll have the same rights as heterosexuals. What makes them so beneath us? What possible argeument can we think of that makes us superior and only allows us the right to marriage?

Wait a second, now they'll be allowed to adopt. God forbid thousands of orphans are given good homes. Not to mention the fact that introducing heterosexual children in homosexual familes might actually teach tolerance and acceptance in future generations.

Today I heard a sound byte on the news from protesters outside a San Fran courthouse. "Jesus is ashamed of you." Thats an actual quote. So this issue is SO important, that Jesus himself came down and informed this woman that he is indeed ashamed. No wait, that didn't actually happen, I'm pretty sure something of that magnitude would have been televised.

So what gives her the right to tell people how Jesus feels?

And this is why I doubt the human race will ever evolve.

Ndainye
02-21-2004, 12:42 AM
Genesis 1:28 - And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

One of the most controversy spreading bible quotes. Based on this quote religions base their stances on homosexuality, on abortion and on birth control.

Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Would have to dig out my bible for the full text of this one to figure out how out of context it may or may not be.

Ndainye
02-21-2004, 12:53 AM
Oh and just because I'm pulling out bible versus does not mean that I agree with the religions that twist them. If there is a God I would seriously doubt that any of his statements have been correctly translated over the past 4 thousand years, to the point that anyone should be able to point to a modern bible and thump it stating "God said so"

Panamah
02-21-2004, 01:10 AM
I realize you don't necessarily believe that, Ndainye. But lets face it, the world is bursting at the seems with the fruit of those who took that "be fruitful and multiply" thing to heart. We don't need to add new people to the world, there's too fricking many as it is. We're going to have oceans that are free from fish by overfishing, and everything turned into farmlands to feed everyone. Not to mention the pollution from all this formerly 3rd world countries modernizing.

And what does that quote have to do with marriage? A lot of people marry, possible breeders, and yet choose not to have children. So does that mean marriage shouldn't be allowed to them?

Anyway, the entire marriage thing, IMHO, really isn't a religious one. Religions can do what they want with performing their ceremonies for whomever they want, but if the government is going to treat marriage differently from cohabitants, then I think it needs to be available to all adult couples.

Immish
02-21-2004, 09:27 AM
As you can see, the topic of Gay Marriage has degenerated into a religious war.

EXACTLY why it is so controversial. BUT it tends to support my original theory that gay marriage is is being opposed on religious grounds, not legal grounds.

Remember, homosexual couples do NOT want this based on religious grounds. They want it based on equal protection. They want all the LEGAL rights and benefits that are granted from marriage - no more, no less. Conservatives look at this as an attack on their religion(s), when it is not that at all.

I myself believe that gay relationships are against the natural order of man and woman together BUT I'm a big enough person to understand that my beliefs should never be forced upon others.

I can certainly appreciate and understand why gay couples want the same rights that married people have. I have no problem giving them those rights BUT as someone that has lived with the same woman for over 11 years I want those rights too.

I'm smart enough to know that I'd have a much better chance if it was legally called a "Civil Union" rather than a marriage. I'm pretty sure gay folks would find a great deal less resistance if they adopted a similar mindset. Sadly that's just not going to happen, it seems that in this day and age the majority has to cave to the minority or it isn't fair.

Aidon
02-21-2004, 10:28 AM
I'm smart enough to know that I'd have a much better chance if it was legally called a "Civil Union" rather than a marriage. I'm pretty sure gay folks would find a great deal less resistance if they adopted a similar mindset. Sadly that's just not going to happen, it seems that in this day and age the majority has to cave to the minority or it isn't fair.

In this instance, yes. The majority has to cave to the minority. Our system is not purely "Majority Rules" it has been and it wasn't intended to be. It was intended for the Majority to rule, as long as they didn't impose and trample upon the rights of the the minority.

Our system is good by the very virtue that we protect the minority from the uneducated, and usually emotionally charged view of the Majority.

What would you say if tomorrow the situation was flip-flopped and you were told you were not permitted, by law, to marry this woman you've lived with for 11 years?

You say you want the fact that you've lived with this woman for 11 years to mean you get the same rights as a marriage if gays get the right to marry...but it isn't the same senario by a long shot. You are permitted to marry her if you so desire. Gays are not permitted to marry their partners if they so desire.

Personally, I don't believe in gay marriage. It goes against my religious beliefs and I have strong doubts as to the normalcy of life for any children in that marriage.

But I fully realize they should have the right to do so, to deny them that right is persecution, unfair and unjust under our Constitution.

Immish
02-21-2004, 10:44 AM
You say you want the fact that you've lived with this woman for 11 years to mean you get the same rights as a marriage if gays get the right to marry...but it isn't the same senario by a long shot. You are permitted to marry her if you so desire. Gays are not permitted to marry their partners if they so desire.

Personally, I don't believe in gay marriage. It goes against my religious beliefs and I have strong doubts as to the normalcy of life for any children in that marriage.

But I fully realize they should have the right to do so, to deny them that right is persecution, unfair and unjust under our Constitution.

The biggest factor keeping me from marrying this woman is my own piss poor choices that left me with a ruined credit rating, the moment we marry hers would suffer as a result. What if one of us dies tomorrow though, what about the property and all the same issues facing a same sex couple? That's where it is similiar but I agree it's not the same because if I wanted to badly enough we could marry.

I'm not so sure I agree with you in that denying same sex partners the right to marry violates our constitution but I do think it is very unfair. If a couple is in a lasting and commited relationship they should have the same rights under the law that any married couple has BUT they should also have to deal with the exact same issues if they divorce or seperate.

Marriage is currently defined as a union between a man and a woman. I say stop trying to change that, find a new term that we can all live with and move foward.

Aidon
02-21-2004, 04:29 PM
Finding a new term smacks of segregationism, and our Courts have long held that seperate but equal...isn't.

Immish
02-21-2004, 04:45 PM
Finding a new term is likely the only compromise those using religion as a reason not to allow same sex marriages will allow.

No, that isn't fair but neither is forcing a married couple to share the title of "marriage", especially when it violates what they believe to be true according to their religion.

I agree it's not fair and it isn't exactly equal either but compromise rarely is.

Mannwin Woobie
02-21-2004, 08:20 PM
forcing a married couple to share the title of "marriage"

Are you kidding me? If your life is so meaningless that you are defined by some 'title', then I think you have a whole lot more to worry about. I am sure there are white racists out there who probably still think the same thing about blacks getting married and ruining their exalted 'title'. bleh

especially when it violates what they believe to be true according to their religion

Again. Mixing religion and law is what got us into trouble to begin with.

Immish
02-21-2004, 10:06 PM
"Are you kidding me? If your life is so meaningless that you are defined by some 'title', then I think you have a whole lot more to worry about. I am sure there are white racists out there who probably still think the same thing about blacks getting married and ruining their exalted 'title'. bleh"

Talk about blind side, sheesh.

Let's get this right skippy, a great many religious people truly believe that a gay couples accepted marriage is a blasphemy. I am not one of those people I merely try to show this discussion from a different view point. Perhaps you should read my last two posts in this thread before you judge how meaningless my life may or may not be in your eyes.

Telling those people that they must share the title "marriage" is just as wrong as telling a gay couple that they can not have the same benefits as a traditional man and wife. There is no solution that will make everyone happy because no matter how you slice and dice it someone's beliefs will get dumped on.

Compromise is the solution, the question now is simply "are we up to snuff"?
Based upon many of the remarks I've seen here and elsewhere I can say with confidence the answer is a resounding no.


"Again. Mixing religion and law is what got us into trouble to begin with."

Hindsight is useful to show how we got to where we are but it certainly won't solve the issue, perhaps you could enlighten us as to how you would personally resolve this and still not belittle or offend any of those involved.

I gave my solution, I've yet to see anything to suggest that it isn't a very fair, reasonable, and adult approach to a very serious issue.

Windworn
02-22-2004, 03:02 AM
Why does religion have to play a part in this? Your forgetting the most important thing about marriage. Its based on love. So what if two people of the same sex want to get married? Their in love. Who are we to deny them that?

What right do the people argueing against this issue have to oppose same sex marriages just because its against their religion? Who granted them the right to impose their beliefs?

What makes homosexuals inferior to the rest of us. Why can't they be afforded the same rights? I'm still waiting for an answer.

Anka
02-22-2004, 07:18 AM
If you are a religious follower, who do you let decide your morality, religion or society?

That is the point at the crux of this debate. Religious beliefs are based on core principles that generally haven't changed for 1000 years. When religions change their morality they lose the faith of their followers. If a church has been telling you something for 20 years and then admits that's wrong, why should you trust everything else they tell you in good faith?

Society needs to change constantly and science will progress no matter what. A society that doesn't change will stagnate or be superseded by a society that has progressed. This means that many old religions by their nature going to be counter to many of the current ideas in a society.

So should members of a religion be relinquishing or changing their faith as society inevitably changes? That's a hard question. If you believe in a religion you presumably accepts it's morality is for the greater good and to abandon it would be foolish. If you resist change (and tell everyone the sun revolves around a flat earth) then that is foolish too.

Think of an aspect of society you don't like today, whether it's excessive capitalism, drug use, sexual tolerance, racism, genetic modification, excess or lack of personal freedom, or anything else. If your country as a whole decided that thing was good and progressed it further and further, would you change your views and accept it just because society thought it was right? This is question facing religious groups over homosexuality.

Immish
02-22-2004, 08:18 AM
I'm not forgetting the most important part of what a marriage is Windworn, love isn't the issue here though. Those using relogion point to the bible as a source that says same sex partnerships are wrong, I personally don't feel that way but I can certainly understand why they feel their beliefs are under attack on this issue.

While you can easily say who gives those people the right to enforce those beliefs I can just as easily come back and tell you what gives the gay community the right to enforce theirs. That's what this sadly comes down to and yet again the only reasonable answer I can come up with is a compromise.

Allow same sex marriages but call them a Civil Union, that deflates the religious arguement and doesn't impose upon their beliefs (at least not as badly as calling it a marriage) at the same time it allows the gay community what it wants, the same rights as a married couple.

Panamah
02-22-2004, 10:51 AM
Anka, I have to disagree with you a bit. I think. I couldn't really tell where you stood on the issue. :) First of all, you're makign the assumption that everyone is the same religion, so whose religious morality should apply to everyone under the same government?

There's a good reason why religions don't like homosexuality. Homosexuals don't begat new members for the religion. ;) I think that whole "be fruitful" thing meant more populate this religion with followers than populate the world.

Some religions have made some major changes. At one times Mormons would not allow blacks to be their ministers (whatever Mormons call them). I don't recall the details around the change now, I just remember my family chuckling over how the Mormon's had a sudden change of heart to something they were adamant about, like would point to their scriptures and say, "nope, can't do it".

Lets see, lots of religions wouldn't (some still don't) allow women to be ordained. But many of them have changed.

Lots don't allow gays to be ordained. But one church recently did ordain one.

Are those issues of morality? Yes, I think in most of those cases the church had an immoral stance and society became more enlightened and pressured the church to change.

Lets look at something else, the use of mind alterating substances. I'm not talking about pot, LSD or heroine... I'm talking about alcohol. Most religions in the US don't proscribe against drinking. Yet probably the most widely abused drug, the one that causes the most death to even non-participants, is alcohol. Yet you'll rarely hear of any religion getting involved in banning its use amongst members.

What about coffee? One religion doesn't let its followers drink my favorite brown bean. Why? Is coffee immoral?

When most of the religious prophets were alive, hundreds or thousands of years ago, they didn't have a lot of the issues to deal with like we do. That is why you can't let religion dictate what is good and what is bad. You have to use common sense. You've got to look at something and ask yourself, "who does this have the potential to hurt?". If something makes you feel squeamish, like homosexuality, you have to ask yourself, "Why do I feel that way?" If you answer, "because it is unnatural", then you owe it to yourself to do a little research. It might well be unnatural to you, but if you look for homosexuality in nature, amongst other critters, you're going to find it is all over the place. If you talk to homosexuals, you'll find that they have felt that way from their earliest days.

You might put two and two together and figure out that no one in their right mind would ever choose to be gay if they could do otherwise. Who wants the rejection of friends and family, the fear of discovery and all the crap they have to put up with? Would you trade exquisite fashion sense for your heterosexuality? :p

If you are a religious follower, who do you let decide your morality, religion or society?

That is the point at the crux of this debate. Religious beliefs are based on core principles that generally haven't changed for 1000 years. When religions change their morality they lose the faith of their followers. If a church has been telling you something for 20 years and then admits that's wrong, why should you trust everything else they tell you in good faith?

Society needs to change constantly and science will progress no matter what. A society that doesn't change will stagnate or be superseded by a society that has progressed. This means that many old religions by their nature going to be counter to many of the current ideas in a society.

So should members of a religion be relinquishing or changing their faith as society inevitably changes? That's a hard question. If you believe in a religion you presumably accepts it's morality is for the greater good and to abandon it would be foolish. If you resist change (and tell everyone the sun revolves around a flat earth) then that is foolish too.

Think of an aspect of society you don't like today, whether it's excessive capitalism, drug use, sexual tolerance, racism, genetic modification, excess or lack of personal freedom, or anything else. If your country as a whole decided that thing was good and progressed it further and further, would you change your views and accept it just because society thought it was right? This is question facing religious groups over homosexuality.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-22-2004, 12:24 PM
"I think that whole "be fruitful" thing meant more populate this religion with followers than populate the world."

You could be right, spreading seeds on unfertile ground may be in the same category, but...

"18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
abomination."

That is first person singlular words from God's mouth. There is no ambiguity there. I don't see ANY interpretation room at all in it(other than non-existence of God).

Panamah
02-22-2004, 01:46 PM
I don't disagree with you, Fyyr. The bible clearly doesn't approve of homosexuality. But I think if you look behind the prohibition you'd find the underlying motive was ignorance and perhaps fear of people who are different. Ignorance if they thought homosexuals had a choice in the matter of who they are attracted to.

And then again, the Bible doesn't approve of a lot of things that modern day Christians seem to have no trouble with and don't consider sinful such as: Astrology, fortune-telling and seances and so on. I'm sure Nancy Regan considered herself a good Christian with upright Christian family values, but the Bible was pretty clear that Astrology was dealing with the devil. So I find it hypocritical how upset Christians, and others, get with one of their tenets being broken but don't really care about others.

Of course, I'd argue with you that the Bible was written by people and assembled by committee and revised probably numerous times rather than dictated by God to a stenographer with a chisel and stone tablet.

Mannwin Woobie
02-22-2004, 02:36 PM
Hindsight is useful to show how we got to where we are but it certainly won't solve the issue, perhaps you could enlighten us as to how you would personally resolve this and still not belittle or offend any of those involved.

I would resolve it by being fair and equal to ALL. We should not be concerned with offending people when it comes to being JUST. You will never please 100% of the people 100% of the time. In all honesty, here is my solution:

The GOVERNMENT should stop calling it 'marriage'. As far as the government and law is concerned, ALL should be 'civil unions'. If you get 'joined' in a church, or some other accepted religious ceremony, and want to call it a 'marriage' IN ADDITION TO the legal 'civil union', then so be it. Personally I don't care what you call it, but the government should treat them all the same, call them all the same thing, and sever its tie to the religious aspect of the union.

On a side note, calling me 'skippy' gives me even less respect for you and your opinions. You expound on how we shouldn't knock other people down yet you try and do it yourself. My comments were not directed at YOU in particular. Too bad you interpreted it that way and felt the need to retailiate.

Scirocco
02-22-2004, 03:28 PM
That is first person singlular words from God's mouth. There is no ambiguity there. I don't see ANY interpretation room at all in it(other than non-existence of God).

Sure there's room. Unless you're a strict constructionist and believe that God the Bible is the exact word of God, as opposed to something written by humans and thus subject to a myriad of inaccuracies, mistranslations, etc. Depending on which particular version you adopt as correct.

You can believe in God without having to believe that every word in the Bible is absolutely accurate or correct or the actual "Word of God." In fact, I find it somewhat ironic that some strict constructionists appear to worship the "Good Book" as an image of God, and thus may fall into idolatry.

Panamah
02-22-2004, 03:57 PM
Actually, I'd bet marriage as a societal convention has been around a lot longer than any particular religion... why should the government have to rename it? Maybe religions should call it something else since they coopted the word to mean something religious.


The GOVERNMENT should stop calling it 'marriage'. As far as the government and law is concerned, ALL should be 'civil unions'.

Mannwin Woobie
02-22-2004, 04:04 PM
Actually, Panamah, I tend to agree with you. My answer stems from my inability to comprehend why getting married in a church and getting married by a JP is the same (as far as government goes). Has always bothered me.

Oh, whoever brought up that 'fruitful and multiply' quote. Remember, 80-year old couples who have no hope of multiplying can still get married. So that's not gonna fly ;)

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-22-2004, 04:24 PM
"Sure there's room. Unless you're a strict constructionist and believe that God the Bible is the exact word of God"

I assume that most Christians believe that it is. If that line is open to interpretation, when it is clearly un-ambiguous, then the entirety becomes open to interpretation(hence my disclaimer).

Ex:
19:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 19:2 Speak unto all the
congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be
holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

If God's words can be interpreted for homosexuality, then it equally becomes interpretive for all His statements of His own existence.

I really don't think that most Jews or Christians think to themselves, "Hey, God really did not say that, a bunch of hairy smell people who lived in the desert three thousand years ago, on bad diet, and drinking fermented camel milk, are the real authors of that quote."

"You can believe in God without having to believe that every word..."
I can't. It is not possible for me. If there is inherent acceptance that the work is not Divine(ie "interpretation"), then it becomes just a collection of interesting stories and myths and rituals. The strict constructionists know that, at least for the thinking individuals.

Scirocco
02-22-2004, 05:10 PM
"You can believe in God without having to believe that every word..."
I can't. It is not possible for me. If there is inherent acceptance that the work is not Divine(ie "interpretation"), then it becomes just a collection of interesting stories and myths and rituals. The strict constructionists know that, at least for the thinking individuals.


Which is why it will be pointless for us to argue about strict constructionism. I can point out all the inconsistencies and contradictions between different versions, internal inconsistencies, and inaccurate translations, but the response I get from strict constructionists is that those don't matter because they are all correct. No point in arguing with someone who is not willing to question their beliefs. To me, what the above proves is if God is personally taking a hand in each and every Bible that exists, then God is a sloppy editor...*shrugs*

Your statement above about myths is very accurate. Perhaps one day later generations will talk about the mythology of the Holy Trinity and Christianity the same way we talk about the Greek or Roman pantheons.

Panamah
02-22-2004, 05:17 PM
If the Bible is supposed to be God's word, he sure contradicted himself a lot. It sure looks like multiple people wrote it:

Several stories are repeated, with different characters or different emphasis (called "doublets"). For instance, there are two creation stories (Gen 1 and Gen 2). There are three stories of a patriarch traveling among pagans and pretending his wife is his sister. There are two stories of Moses striking a rock to produce water. There are two versions of the Ten Commandments (one in Exodus, one that Moses recaps in Deuteronomy) with slightly different wording. There are, in fact, a lot of these doublets.
There are internal inconsistencies. The number of days of the Flood story don't add up right. At one point, Noah takes two of each animal; at another point, he takes two of some, seven of others. Joseph is sold into slavery to Ishmaelites in one verse, to Midianites a few verses later. The Mountain of Revelation is sometimes called Sinai and sometimes Horeb. Moses' father-in-law is sometimes called Yitro and sometimes Ruel, and so on.

Anyway, found a cool site called, "The Straight Dope". http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbible1.html, "fighting ignorance since 1973 (it is taking longer than we thought)". /chuckle

Ndainye
02-22-2004, 07:33 PM
"You can believe in God without having to believe that every word..."
I can't. It is not possible for me. If there is inherent acceptance that the work is not Divine(ie "interpretation"), then it becomes just a collection of interesting stories and myths and rituals. The strict constructionists know that, at least for the thinking individuals"


Then which translation do you believe in? If you believe strictly in the King James version does that mean everyone that uses the New American Standard (or the other 100 translations) believes the wrong thing?

I can believe in the word of God without believing that the Bible is a strict interpretation. The strict interpretation of the Bible can be proven false based carbon dating we can prove that man was not created on the 6th day even though Genesis says we were. We can rationalize that in many ways and still keep our faith. But if we rationalize one section of the bible we must leave leeway for further rationalizations and interpretations.

The word of God has been passed down for thousands of years in many languages by human beings, which as we know are not perfect.

The be fruitful and multiply isn't interpretated to be prohibiting gay marriage it is one of the basis's that religions use to view non child producing sexual contact as sinful.

**edited to fix spacing**

Anka
02-22-2004, 08:20 PM
When constructing my previous post I was trying to think of an example where a society had voluntarily decided to make a moral change from it's native religious beliefs (without taking new religious beliefs) and then had to return to the religious beliefs when the change failed. As a fictitious example, consider a society where divorce was prohited by religion, a change was made to allow divorce, but divorce was then prohibited again years later as the change was found to be detrimental. I found it very hard to think of a factual example, which I found very surprising. King Henry VIII and Lenin may have weakened the power of the christian church, but very few of their social changes were repealed and replaced with the original christian tenets later.

If anyone can understand my complicated sounded reasoning above, can they post and send me an example or use the private messaging. I've a feeling that ancient rome, colonialism, the french revolution, and communism might yield examples but I've failed to put my finger on one yet.

Panamah
02-22-2004, 10:22 PM
Anka, societies go through liberal and conservative phases all the time. In fact, the 1920's in the US was a very liberal period with lots of sexual freedom and experimenting with drugs going on. Then things got very conservative again through the 50's, the 1960's were... well, the 1960's. Then I think in the 1980's things got more conservative again with Regan and his family values programs and he actually had some office of social purity or some such set up, can't remember exactly what it was.

Then look at 3rd world countries usually their morality is determined by which religious faction is in control. I think Indonesia was coming along nicely, people getting freedoms, women in office, then a conservative muslim government took over and it all went downhill. Not sure where things stand today.

We tend to judge everything with what is happening in the US amongst christians, but there's a whole big world out there and not everyone is like us.

And on the subject of sexual morality, I think its safe to say that pretty much everything that would shock and offend conservatives today was practiced as a norm in some society at some point in history. If you ever get the chance, you should see the History Channel's, "The History of Sex".

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-22-2004, 11:29 PM
"Then which translation do you believe in?"
I use the King James version of the Bible for discussions like this one because it is the one most Christians use, or are at least familiar with. The people we are discussing most likely are using this version. And while this is not strictly a Christian discussion, Jews hardly try and force conformity on others(cmiiw).

"But if we rationalize one section of the bible we must leave leeway for further rationalizations and interpretations."
That is exactly why there are Literalists; a thinking person will rationalize right into athiesm, it is not a long trip.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-22-2004, 11:35 PM
"I was trying to think of an example where a society had voluntarily decided to make a moral change.."

"In fact, the 1920's in the US was a very liberal period with lots of sexual freedom and experimenting with drugs going on."

Perspective:
18th AMENDMENT
Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919

21st AMENDMENT
Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Panamah
02-23-2004, 12:02 AM
And you imagine the prohibition stopped anything? Ever hear the term "Speakeasy"? :)

http://www.msu.edu/course/mc/112/1920s/
The decade of the 1920s is often characterized as a period of Americanprosperity and optimism. It was the "Roaring Twenties," the decade of bath tub gin, the model T,the $5 work day, the first transatlantic flight, and the movie. It is often seen as a period of greatadvance as the nation became urban and commercial (Calvin Coolidge declared that America's business was business). The decade is also seen as a period of rising intolerance and isolation: chastened by the first world war, historians often point out that Americans retreated into a provincialism evidenced by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the anti radical hysteria of the Palmer raids, restrictive immigration laws, and prohibition. Overall, the decade is often seen as a period of great contradiction: of rising optimism and deadening cynicism, of increasing and decreasing faith, of great hope and great despair. Put differently, historians usually see the 1920s as a decade of serious cultural conflict.
These presentations explore some of those conflicts.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-23-2004, 12:28 AM
"Ever hear the term "Speakeasy"?"

Of course. That is why I said 'perspective'. I would surmise that the vast majority of Americans of the 20's viewed that so-called liberal behavior the same as most Americans today view the public displays at Gay Pride parades, gay bath house activities, or lesbian strap-on parties.

Only moreso because the Conservatives were able to actually change the Constitution to reflect their morality. That demands a vast amount of public opinion to do.

What you and I would view, with today's eyes, as mere liberal(liberating) behavior would be akin to isolated decadence we have little analogy for. You and I see them as flappers, the people of that time would have seen them as how we see **** stars(worse really). Isolated and notable, hardly the norm. It sounded like you meant that that behavior was normal or very wide spread.

Oldoak
02-23-2004, 12:54 AM
The problem with literalism is that the bible is self contradictory, and represents several thousand years of religious and political thought.

It is one of the greatest complexities of Christianity that you are supposed to both adhere to the old testament, and accept that it is the old testament not the new testament, which was kind of the religious new deal.

New testament is not about the fire and brimstone (generally), the old testament is.

And if you want to trot out some of the old testament laws and apply them, what is the justification of not doing them all? Why do religoius christians not keep kosher? Why do they suffer witches to live? Why do they not marry their brother's widow when he dies? I could go on...

The issue of course is that ultimately, the selective enforcement of one, two, or three passages from the old testament...while hundreds of others are disregarded....suggests that the issue is less about religious conviction than about prejudice. And that the religious conviction is the justification of the sentiment, not the cause.

Here is just one random passage from Leviticus...don't see a lot of this anymore.

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands-
3 " 'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. 4 He is to present the bull at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD . He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before the LORD . 5 Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull's blood and carry it into the Tent of Meeting. 6 He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD , in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. 7 The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the bull's blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 8 He shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering-the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, 9 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys- 10 just as the fat is removed from the ox [1] sacrificed as a fellowship offering. [2] Then the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering. 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the inner parts and offal- 12 that is, all the rest of the bull-he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it in a wood fire on the ash heap.

But ultimately, that is the core of the issue. The seperation of church and state is meant to be one of the unshakable truths of American politics, and on so many issues it has not been.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 02:02 AM
Finding a new term is likely the only compromise those using religion as a reason not to allow same sex marriages will allow.

No, that isn't fair but neither is forcing a married couple to share the title of "marriage", especially when it violates what they believe to be true according to their religion.

I agree it's not fair and it isn't exactly equal either but compromise rarely is.

There is no need or room for compromise. The only morally and legally correct course of action is to permit same-sex marriage. It really is that simple.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 02:09 AM
If you answer, "because it is unnatural", then you owe it to yourself to do a little research. It might well be unnatural to you, but if you look for homosexuality in nature, amongst other critters, you're going to find it is all over the place. If you talk to homosexuals, you'll find that they have felt that way from their earliest days.

Homosexuality, in a Bi-sexual race (in the literal term) is by definition unnatural, since two beings of the same sex cannot procreate and the fundamental instict of any viable species is indeed, to reproduce. ;)

Now...that isn't to say Bi-sexuality (in the vernacular sexual orientation sense) is unnatural. But, complete homosexuality is pretty much by definition, unnatural for humans. If the suggestion that homosexuality is genetic is true (and I by no means believe that to be so), those who want to get rid of homosexuals need only permit them unfettered rights to live with each other and simply disallow them from reproduction. The gene will die out eventually ;)

That being said...bump n grind whom you want, I don't care =P

Aidon
02-23-2004, 02:12 AM
"I think that whole "be fruitful" thing meant more populate this religion with followers than populate the world."

You could be right, spreading seeds on unfertile ground may be in the same category, but...

"18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
abomination."

That is first person singlular words from God's mouth. There is no ambiguity there. I don't see ANY interpretation room at all in it(other than non-existence of God).

Considering those words (even in the original unedited untranslated text) were written by men, unknown, some 2500ish years ago. (Which is some time after the Exodus, and the giving of the Laws to Israel.)

Aidon
02-23-2004, 02:21 AM
"Sure there's room. Unless you're a strict constructionist and believe that God the Bible is the exact word of God"

I assume that most Christians believe that it is. If that line is open to interpretation, when it is clearly un-ambiguous, then the entirety becomes open to interpretation(hence my disclaimer).

Ex:
19:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 19:2 Speak unto all the
congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be
holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

If God's words can be interpreted for homosexuality, then it equally becomes interpretive for all His statements of His own existence.

I really don't think that most Jews or Christians think to themselves, "Hey, God really did not say that, a bunch of hairy smell people who lived in the desert three thousand years ago, on bad diet, and drinking fermented camel milk, are the real authors of that quote."

"You can believe in God without having to believe that every word..."
I can't. It is not possible for me. If there is inherent acceptance that the work is not Divine(ie "interpretation"), then it becomes just a collection of interesting stories and myths and rituals. The strict constructionists know that, at least for the thinking individuals.

There can be no doubt, that the Torah was written by, I believe, four different authors (if I recall correctly). It was also first put into written word some time after the period said quote would have been made (sometime after the Jewish return from their exile in Babylon).

I believe in God. I believe he delivered unto the Hebrews a system of society and law that is the basis for Western Society. I don't believe the various Bibles read today are the literal word of God. They are not. Not one of them. You need look no further than Genisis, where our Creation myth borrows heavily from older Creation mythologies.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 02:25 AM
"Then which translation do you believe in?"
I use the King James version of the Bible for discussions like this one because it is the one most Christians use, or are at least familiar with. The people we are discussing most likely are using this version. And while this is not strictly a Christian discussion, Jews hardly try and force conformity on others(cmiiw).

"But if we rationalize one section of the bible we must leave leeway for further rationalizations and interpretations."
That is exactly why there are Literalists; a thinking person will rationalize right into athiesm, it is not a long trip.

That, my friend, is where the faith part of a Faith comes in. I have faith that there is a God. I have faith that I am of his chosen people. I have faith that essentially he is a God of goodness and mercy. I do not know. I cannot know. I don't require the Torah's literal words to instill that faith in me. It is a guideline written millenia ago.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-23-2004, 03:40 AM
"The gene will die out eventually"

That does make sense, doesn't it? How can homosexuality be genetic, if it can't be passed on to one's children? Seems rather simple and clear.

But I don't think that it is. You are more genetically similar to your siblings, than you are to either of your parents. Even if you do not reproduce directly with your own offspring, protecting your younger/other siblings until they reproduce would continue most of 'your' genetic code through lateral reproduction by way of your neices and nephews.

The connection between varying fetal androgen(hormone) levels, homosexuality, and birth order would suggest that it actually could be a beneficial survival trait. I have not seen any follow up of the Berkeley studies released in 2000, that support that though. But that is the scientific community for ya, they are still trying to figure out if females can ejaculate or not.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 06:20 AM
Ultimately, it becomes a chicken and egg discussion, as does most any discussion regarding what amounts to biological cause/effects of emotions not directly related to fundamental fight/flight instincts. Does this chemical in the body which appears when a person feels like, dislike, love, anger, hate, etc, create those emotions or is it a byproduct of the emotions?

Such questions are such that I'm not sure if we'll ever know (or more importantly should ever know..crosslinking this discussion to the other discussion of do we really want doctors to be able to control emotions with such ease?).

I will still maintain that humans being sexually attracted solely to the same sex is unnatural in a literal sense for it isn't condusive to the procreation of the species.

I also maintain that I'm unnatural for at age 27 I feel no urge whatsoever to reproduce. Though I certainly feel lust for a finely formed woman, so perhaps I've simply overcome my animal instincts to reproduce. An instinct which probably is best not to overcome from a biological standpoint.

Mannwin Woobie
02-23-2004, 07:04 AM
I will still maintain that humans being sexually attracted solely to the same sex is unnatural in a literal sense for it isn't condusive to the procreation of the species.

I also maintain that I'm unnatural for at age 27 I feel no urge whatsoever to reproduce. Though I certainly feel lust for a finely formed woman

Interesting comments. If you feel 'lust' for a woman, it seems you are admitting that is a basic 'instinct' for you. In other words, you did not 'one magical day' DECIDE you were heterosexual and attracted to women. That being the case, why is it so hard for you to believe that homosexuals are equally and as instinctively attracted to members of the same sex? You really can't have it both ways.

Immish
02-23-2004, 07:33 AM
"There is no need or room for compromise. The only morally and legally correct course of action is to permit same-sex marriage. It really is that simple."

I respect your opinion Aidon, but totally and completely disagree with it. Those using religion as a reason to not allow same sex marriages will never accept that it's morally right and legally correct. It's not that simple at all or we'd not be having this discussion.

Mannwin, I owe you an apology. I'm sorry I took your remarks personally, I thought you were in fact attacking me directly. You say you were not, I'll accept that. Sometimes the written word alone really sucks when trying to communicate, especially on issues like these.

Mannwin Woobie
02-23-2004, 10:05 AM
Sometimes the written word alone really sucks when trying to communicate, especially on issues like these.

Definitely agree! ;)

Scirocco
02-23-2004, 10:24 AM
I will still maintain that humans being sexually attracted solely to the same sex is unnatural in a literal sense for it isn't condusive to the procreation of the species.


Sure it's natural. But the key is not the focus on procreation, but the survival of the species. You can procreate all you want, but if you kill off your young, it doesn't do any good. Some species focus on creating thousands of offsprings at once, but that's not the survival strategy developed by humans. We create only a few (usually one) at a time, and invest resources in their survival.

This is why Fyyr's point above is a good one. Homosexual behavior can be conducive to survival of your particular genepool because homosexual family members can contribute to the welfare and survival of the offspring of their siblings (who share the same genes). Instead of dividing resources amongst a large number of offspring, this strategy focues more resources on a smaller number of young, increasing the odds that they will survive. Having a percentage of your breeding population be non-breeders and contribute to the survival of the offspring of the breeders is, thus, perfectly "natural."

It also explains why you see homosexual behavior in other species besides humans. It is adaptive to the survival of the species as a whole.

Stormhaven
02-23-2004, 10:34 AM
The idea that <i>anything</i> is the direct word of "God" is a <b>belief</b>. In order to believe that idea, you have to have <b>faith</b>. However, there is absolutely no concrete evidence that there is a supreme being, much less that he has decided to communicate with the human race. So for all the religious folks who <i>"know for a fact"</i> that the Bible is the word of God, break out your Dictionaries and please read the definition of <i>fact</i> vs. <i>belief</i>.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, and idiotic, and you know it. A thousand years ago everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe, five hundred years ago everybody knew the earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Just imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

- Tommy Lee Jones from "Men in Black."

Scirocco
02-23-2004, 10:41 AM
As an addendum to the above, here's a little excerpt on the theory of Kin Selection (which is what I was describing above) that I just found:


"At first glance, homosexuality, because of the virtual lack of reproductive behavior, would seem to be against any evolutionary/survival advantage. This is true if one thinks of the individual in isolation. In other words, if a man or woman does not reproduce, they are "evolutionary failures". However, in the survival adaptive process of the species, it is our genes or the basic blueprint of ourselves contained within our chromosomes, which need to be passed on. Homosexuality may confer an advantage to survival through a theory called "Kin selection" which attempts to explain why the closer the blood relationship, the stronger the bond between individuals. In other words "blood runs thicker than water." We are more likely to be protective of brothers, sisters and their offspring (nieces, nephews) than we are of the children of distant relatives or people not related to us at all. In a biological sense this is a way of ensuring survival of our own genes. If a homosexual, male or female, has no children, and therefore, no passing on of his or her genes, then the next best thing is to ensure that close relatives such as brothers and sisters or their children survive and reproduce. A homosexual individual shares half of his genetic characteristics with his brothers or sisters, and about a quarter of these with nieces and nephews."

"Kin Selection, (if this theory holds true) would be a very strong biological drive. However, obviously learning and experience, as well as changing societal circumstances could modify it. This explains why individuals can adopt and love non-genetically related children and why, with the extended family being very much constricted, that most homosexuals today probably play a lesser role in raising of the offspring of their siblings."

Immish
02-23-2004, 10:51 AM
The idea that <i>anything</i> is the direct word of "God" is a <b>belief</b>. In order to believe that idea, you have to have <b>faith</b>. However, there is absolutely no concrete evidence that there is a supreme being, much less that he has decided to communicate with the human race. So for all the religious folks who <i>"know for a fact"</i> that the Bible is the word of God, break out your Dictionaries and please read the definition of <i>fact</i> vs. <i>belief</i>.

It does not matter why a person believes as they do, what matters is in this instance is that you have polar opposing beliefs, there is no wrong or right because generally speaking people won't willingly compromise what they believe to be true. The more "facts" you shove at them the angrier they will become not because your facts are wrong but because they violate their personal beliefs.

In a perfect world a peaceful solution would have already been found. Compromise is the answer, the question is simply can we? I stated this once, after more than 2 pages of replies it is abundantly clear that the answer is still no.

On the upside it's nice to see an exchange of ideas rather than a total flamefest on such a delicate topic.

Greggo
02-23-2004, 01:34 PM
Studies have shown a statistically meaningful increase in male homosexuality the more older brothers a man has. It may be unrelated but in many Pacific Island cultures the youngest boy in a family of boys may be raised as a girl (a "mahu" or "fa'faigi"). Sorry to segue a little but I really dont think those who argue that homosexuality is "unnatrural" have a lot to go on, there are plenty of "selfish gene" arguments to show why it's no vital to physically have children yourself (in any event, many homosexuals do have children of their own).

The basic question of whether a couple (of any gender or mix of genders) wishes to subject themselves to and avail themselves of the same civil responsibilities and rights as any other couple should be a no-brainer frankly.

As for the religious arguments - well pick your flavour - with few exceptions (Baha'ii for example), if any one of you is right the rest are all dead wrong.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 01:38 PM
Interesting comments. If you feel 'lust' for a woman, it seems you are admitting that is a basic 'instinct' for you. In other words, you did not 'one magical day' DECIDE you were heterosexual and attracted to women. That being the case, why is it so hard for you to believe that homosexuals are equally and as instinctively attracted to members of the same sex? You really can't have it both ways.

Certainly I can. Males are supposed to feel lust for females, and vice versa. Its how bi-sexual species work. Which isn't to say men can't also feel lust for men, and women also feel lust for women.

But a male who only feels lust for males, and females who only lust for females pretty represent something flawed for any bi-sexual species, as same sex coupling cannot reproduce.

This isn't to say that such instincts cannot be overcome, changed, altered, etc by enviroment.

And, in todays population of six billion people...I suspect we're doing ok as a species. Thus, I honestly and truly don't care who or what a person boffs. Men, women, goats, dogs, silicon toys, siblings, I honestly and truly don't care. Its none of my business. Just don't reproduce if you're siblings, its not fair to the kid.

Scirocco
02-23-2004, 01:39 PM
Some compromises simply are not acceptable. The "separate but equal" treatment of blacks, for example, was such a compromise.

It also depends on what is being compromised. If one side is saying, "Marriage should be defined only in the religious context," then that view already has been exploded, as people get married outside the religious context all the time. The term "marriage," then, is not tied to religious marriages.

If the compromise is a "civil union" for gays equal in all respects to a civil "marriage" for straights, then the only real difference is nomenclature (if the equality is really present, and that's a BIG assumption). And that makes the whole dispute rather silly.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 01:44 PM
"There is no need or room for compromise. The only morally and legally correct course of action is to permit same-sex marriage. It really is that simple."

I respect your opinion Aidon, but totally and completely disagree with it. Those using religion as a reason to not allow same sex marriages will never accept that it's morally right and legally correct. It's not that simple at all or we'd not be having this discussion.
.

Our style of government is about protecting the rights of the few from being trodden upon by the many. That is why there is no room for compromise and only room for complete equality of marriage in name and benefits.

It will be a fearful thing for this Nation if we start amending our Constitution in order to make citizens of our own nation second class citizens.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 01:52 PM
As an addendum to the above, here's a little excerpt on the theory of Kin Selection (which is what I was describing above) that I just found:


"At first glance, homosexuality, because of the virtual lack of reproductive behavior, would seem to be against any evolutionary/survival advantage. This is true if one thinks of the individual in isolation. In other words, if a man or woman does not reproduce, they are "evolutionary failures". However, in the survival adaptive process of the species, it is our genes or the basic blueprint of ourselves contained within our chromosomes, which need to be passed on. Homosexuality may confer an advantage to survival through a theory called "Kin selection" which attempts to explain why the closer the blood relationship, the stronger the bond between individuals. In other words "blood runs thicker than water." We are more likely to be protective of brothers, sisters and their offspring (nieces, nephews) than we are of the children of distant relatives or people not related to us at all. In a biological sense this is a way of ensuring survival of our own genes. If a homosexual, male or female, has no children, and therefore, no passing on of his or her genes, then the next best thing is to ensure that close relatives such as brothers and sisters or their children survive and reproduce. A homosexual individual shares half of his genetic characteristics with his brothers or sisters, and about a quarter of these with nieces and nephews."

"Kin Selection, (if this theory holds true) would be a very strong biological drive. However, obviously learning and experience, as well as changing societal circumstances could modify it. This explains why individuals can adopt and love non-genetically related children and why, with the extended family being very much constricted, that most homosexuals today probably play a lesser role in raising of the offspring of their siblings."

Hmm, Interesting. I may have to do more research on this matter. However, one must wonder where the "instinct" leaves off and where environment picks up.

I certainly feel strongly protective of my siblings and my one nephew, though my nephew is more like a sibling since he spends an inordinate amount of time with my parents and thus I see him with some regularity (that and he's just plain adorable =P)

Aidon
02-23-2004, 01:55 PM
(in any event, many homosexuals do have children of their own).


If they did so the "old fashioned" way, then technically they aren't homosexual, but bi-sexual. Which changes the entire senario.

Mannwin Woobie
02-23-2004, 02:02 PM
If they did so the "old fashioned" way, then technically they aren't homosexual, but bi-sexual.

Maybe the problem here is your definition of hetero/homo/bi. I prescribe to the attraction/desire approach, not the actual physical 'act' of having sex.

Plenty of homesexuals have had hetero-sexual 'acts' that were not pleasurable and may have only been 'forced'. I still think they would tell you they were homosexual (not bi).

Scirocco
02-23-2004, 02:20 PM
True enough. It's not the actual physical sexual act, but whatever gender that attracts you sexually.

Panamah
02-23-2004, 03:41 PM
Homosexuality, in a Bi-sexual race (in the literal term) is by definition unnatural, since two beings of the same sex cannot procreate and the fundamental instict of any viable species is indeed, to reproduce. ;)

Now...that isn't to say Bi-sexuality (in the vernacular sexual orientation sense) is unnatural. But, complete homosexuality is pretty much by definition, unnatural for humans. If the suggestion that homosexuality is genetic is true (and I by no means believe that to be so), those who want to get rid of homosexuals need only permit them unfettered rights to live with each other and simply disallow them from reproduction. The gene will die out eventually ;)

That being said...bump n grind whom you want, I don't care =P

There are a lot of variations on the good old X/Y chromosone that scientists don't even fully understand yet. There are children born with both sets of sexual organs. Doctors used to guess what gender they should be and operate and make them into either a boy or a girl at birth. Lets just say a lot of times they guessed wrong. They couldn't look at their chomosones and make the proper determination either, because often there would be indeterminant information there as well.

There are even repeating X or Y chromosones. There's a huge amount of variety in genetic sexual coding and most of it isn't understood yet.

As far as it being bred out of the race, why are there lots of diseases that kill children before they ever breed. Why do they get passed along? You need to understand how recessive genes are passed on. Which you should if you're of certain Jewish ancestry. I just read an article about (sp?) Tay Sachs diease. Also CF usually kills victims pretty young. Yet those diseases never get bred out.

Then you also need to look at twin studies which I believe prove out that homosexuality has a genetic component.

But you don't even need to go that far. Look at primates, birds, cattle, virtually every animal has instances of homosexuality. Go read up on Bonobo's, Aidon. They're the most interesting primate society, next to humans. :p And they spend a lot of time goofing around sexually and quite often with the same sex.

You're also assuming that sex has only one role and that is for procreation.

I think if you look further into modern day behavioral science you'll find that sex is believed to have complex sociological significance in bonding pairs together together to raise children... and not necessarily your own children. Also, it helps an individual to survive. I don't for a moment believe my existence is only defined by the fruit of my loins. However having a mate around makes it easier to survive.

And if marriage/sex/etc is only for procreating... why do people choose not to procreate and yet get married? And why do elderly people stay together? Obviously there's more to it than sex or procreation.

Stormhaven
02-23-2004, 03:45 PM
Maybe the increase in homosexuality is God's way of saying, "There's too many of you damn people on the planet."

Greggo
02-23-2004, 04:04 PM
I know a reasonably large number of people who got married, had kids, and then, I dont know, found out (I guess) that they were gay.

Also it is relatively easy and quite common for lesbian couples to have kids with or without an active "donor".

TeriMoon
02-23-2004, 05:02 PM
I think my personal life experience have changed me.

I can't see how wanting to live life as a married couple with all the rights, hardships and everything that goes along with it is a bad thing.

A marriage defines a relationship. How specific you want that definition to be depends on your culture, your life experiences, your belief system.

I don't think the government should have a religiously based belief system that influences the laws. Seems to me that this was a founding principle of our country. Its disingenuous to think that civil marriages have that much to do with childrearing. There are no fertility tests required or age limits on civil marriages. They are simply a formal recognition of a relationship between two people which is then accorded privileges and responsibilities under the law. There's no reason to limit this to a man and a woman any more than there is a reason not to marry couples who are not of childbearing age or where one or both are not fertile for whatever reason.

Marriages are about more than children and more than sex, or they would never stay together in the absense of these ingredients.

Aidon
02-23-2004, 06:14 PM
So Panamah...you're suggesting that homosexuality is a disease? I would not suggest hermaphroditism to be normal or beneficial. Nor any of the chromosomal syndromes...

I'll never understand this need to remove volition from homosexuality. It is as if certain people seek an excuse for homosexuality. There need be no genetic excuse. If they prefer the same sex, then they prefer the same sex. It needs no genetic reason. It needs no "higher cause for which they have no control". I view such thinking as similar to the idea that "Blacks just naturally are better athletes".

Its as if people wish to say "It isn't their fault they are homosexual, just let them be". When the proper response should be "Who cares if they are homosexual or not?"

As for homosexuality among other species...is it homosexuality or bi-sexuality? Do some of these monkey only have intercourse with monkeys of the same sex, or do they have intercourse with the same sex as well as with the opposite sex?

And...Judaism is a religion, not a race ;) While the rules of the religion are based on whom your parents are...anyone may convert to Judaism should they wish. It has generally been non-Jews who have insisted on segregation of Judaism into a racial aspect.

Oldoak
02-23-2004, 07:06 PM
Generally I agree with Aidon's statements about the cause and nature of homosexuality. In that, ultimately, it shouldn't be pertinent. And it shouldn't really apply in matters of law in the US what any one group's relgious views on the topic are.

Looking for a medical or genetic base always seemed to me to have the subtext of looking for a cause or prevention. I wonder how many "right to lifer's" would relax their stance if they could abort a fetus that genetically speaking had a 78% predisposition to being gay? Ugly thoughts in that direction all around.

The most pertinent thing I always find about the anti-homosexual passages from ancient documents like the Bible is that in fact homosexuality existed in those ancient times, and in every time since.

Doesn't really matter what anyone thinks about it...or what laws are passed or not. At least in that regard, I would be hard pressed to accept an argument that opines that a behavior is unnatural when it has been documented for thousands of years in basically every culture in the world for our species.

/shrug

Panamah
02-23-2004, 07:42 PM
Aidon... /sigh It's a recessive trait (if it is genetic). It's no more a disease than having red hair. That's another recessive gene. I used Tay Sachs disease (another recessive genetic trait) to explain how your argument that if it were genetic it would be bred out. You don't seem to have a grasp on fundamental genetics so I was using an example I thought you might understand.

And why would you assign volition to homosexuality? According to most I've spoken with, they don't have any choice in the matter. You yourself said you thought it was unnatural. Which is absurd. It occurs, therefore what is unnatural about it?

Does it matter to me? No. Does it matter to others? Yes, it might be key to getting other people to relent on their position that homosexuality is unnatural and therefore treating them as less than human or mentally disordered.

In a perfect world people would understand that it does't matter whether it is by choice or destiny. Either way it doesn't affect them. However it is not a perfect world. Broadening ones understanding of natural science illuminates why people behave the way they do.

I don't think anyone is going to breed it out of humans any more than they might red hair or left-handedness or any other trait.

As for homosexuality among other species...is it homosexuality or bi-sexuality? Do some of these monkey only have intercourse with monkeys of the same sex, or do they have intercourse with the same sex as well as with the opposite sex?


I wouldn't describe it as intercourse, it's more like sexual play. I can't speak for all species, but I think Bonobo's are bi-sexual. I'm not sure if non-dominant male Bonobo's ever get the opportunity to mate with females. But I'd be willing to bet that all females get mated to males, whether they really want to or not, who can say?

The theory I read is that the sexual play soothes tensions between apes, helps them to resolve conflict and build cohesion in their troop.

Perhaps the bonobo's most typical sexual pattern, undocumented in any other primate, is genito-genital rubbing (or GG rubbing) between adult females. One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground. The two females then rub their genital swellings laterally together, emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences. (Laboratory experiments on stump- tailed macaques have demonstrated that women are not the only female primates capable of physiological orgasm.)

Male bonobos, too, may engage in pseudocopulation but generally perform a variation. Standing back to back, one male briefly rubs his scrotum against the buttocks of another. They also practice so-called penis-fencing, in which two males hang face to face from a branch while rubbing their erect penises together.

The diversity of erotic contacts in bonobos includes sporadic oral sex, massage of another individual's genitals and intense tongue-kissing. Lest this leave the impression of a pathologically oversexed species, I must add, based on hundreds of hours of watching bonobos, that their sexual activity is rather casual and relaxed. It appears to be a completely natural part of their group life. Like people, bonobos engage in sex only occasionally, not continuously. Furthermore, with the average copulation lasting 13 seconds, sexual contact in bonobos is rather quick by human standards.




This is an interesting article: http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html

I'll look and see what I can find about strict homosexual behavior in other species.

LOL! I typed "homosexuality in animals" and found this study of gay sheep the elder-Bush administration did: http://blue.butler.edu/~bwoodruf/alliance/misc/homosexanimals.htm

The Agriculture Department had no lofty goal of settling the age-old question of whether homosexuality is born or bred, is natural or nurtured -- even if their work unintentionally takes a stride in that direction.

Quite simply, sheepherders had been complaining that they were losing money buying some $350 to $4000 rams who weren't interested in mating. The point was to find the organic or genetic origin of what they termed for the sheep trade, the "Dud Stud Phenomenon."

Interestingly, in this study the percentage of rams the Agriculture Department researchers determined were gay -- some 8.5 percent -- is close to some estimates in human society.


I can see where gay cattle would be a problem... hmmm. I was look at what it would take to raise Alpaca's, they cost like up to $35,000 each. It'd be a bummer to get a gay one. Of course, there are other means of acheiving your ends... like artificial insemination.

Ok, and if gay sheep and monkies don't make my point, perhaps insects will:

aging female fruit flies become lesbians and behave like amazons; male bed bugs, notorious copulators even as heterosexuals, occasionally are seen sinking their aedeagi into one another; moths of many species, reared in mixed colonies, exhibit rampant homosexuality; various male beetles frequently attempt to mate with each other, especially if rejected by a female, and some, apparently crazed by the presence of female pheromones, will mount their dead brethren, thereby qualifying as necrophiliacs..."

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-24-2004, 12:35 AM
Cool, I did not know the theory had a name. Danke.

"A homosexual individual shares half of his genetic characteristics with his brothers or sisters, and about a quarter of these with nieces and nephews"

Your own biological child has half your genes(for clarification).

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-24-2004, 12:43 AM
"Studies have shown a statistically meaningful increase in male homosexuality the more older brothers a man has."

I am currently unable to find them on the web, but the studies I refered to from 2000 showed the opposite. A notable predominance of first born, amoungst male homosexuals.

If anyone else remembers these studies, or knows where they are published, would appreciate a link.

Aidon
02-24-2004, 06:22 AM
And why would you assign volition to homosexuality? According to most I've spoken with, they don't have any choice in the matter. You yourself said you thought it was unnatural. Which is absurd. It occurs, therefore what is unnatural about it?

Partially Hydroginated veggie oil occurs also...that doesn't make it natural.

Does it matter to me? No. Does it matter to others? Yes, it might be key to getting other people to relent on their position that homosexuality is unnatural and therefore treating them as less than human or mentally disordered.

You put too much faith in humanity if you think that just because they may believe its genetic, they will change their views. Eugenics anyone? Hell, just plain ole alcoholism, which has genetic dispositions, is scorned by humans (perhaps rightfully so, that's not a judgement I'm going to try and make)

In a perfect world people would understand that it does't matter whether it is by choice or destiny. Either way it doesn't affect them. However it is not a perfect world. Broadening ones understanding of natural science illuminates why people behave the way they do.

Even recessive genes can be bred out of a genepool except for rare occasions. Recessive + Recessive = occurance. If that occurance is such that the genes do not reproduce (occurance is innately deadly, occurance is such that the organism is not as viable towards existance as the "norm", occurance prohibits reproduction), then that is one "line" of genes which cease to exist.

I don't think anyone is going to breed it out of humans any more than they might red hair or left-handedness or any other trait.

Perhaps not, but where red hair or left-handedness won't cause you to not reproduce...having no desire to mate will.



The theory I read is that the sexual play soothes tensions between apes, helps them to resolve conflict and build cohesion in their troop.

I don't doubt that bi-sexuality amongst humans could provide similar benefits. But that, I suspect, is more a matter of societal standards and taboos than anything else. Human's have a much greater capacity to forbid ourselves pleasures than most species ;)

If they do ever determine that homosexuality is, indeed, genetic and isolate the gene, fear. For then the great crusade to wipe out homosexuality will probably begin. With something as simple as "two people with these recessive genes are not permitted to mate".

Mannwin Woobie
02-24-2004, 07:07 AM
I'll never understand this need to remove volition from homosexuality. It is as if certain people seek an excuse for homosexuality.

Chicken and the egg. If you start with the premise that homosexuality is a CHOICE, you cannot escape volition and excuses. However, if you start with the premise that is is NOT a choice (but entirely 'natural' for that person), then volition does not exist, there is no need to remove it, and there is no need to 'excuse' it.

Again, I ask you, as a heterosexual, when did you CHOOSE to be so? What day did you wake up and say to yourself, "You know, it's about time I decide which way I'm going to swing in this life. Let's see.....Heads it's the guys, Tails it's the girls"? If my guess is right, and you are like most, you would say something like this never happened. You are naturally attracted to women. Fine. And I believe that. Why do you find it so hard to understand that homosexuals feel the EXACT same attractions and lack of choice in their lives?

Greggo
02-24-2004, 08:19 AM
I am travelling this week so dont have time to give actual citation - I recall reading it in NewScientist last year.

Here is *a* link that appears to be on point http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020528074252.htm

Mannwin Woobie
02-24-2004, 08:53 AM
Thanks Panamah. Following some of the links in there, I found this article :

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031022062408.htm

Of course, I am sure there are many such articles supporting / refuting. However, this quote certainly stands out to me:

“It’s quite possible that sexual identity and physical attraction is ‘hard-wired’ by the brain,” he said. “If we accept this concept, we must dismiss the myth that homosexuality is a ‘choice’ and examine our civil legal system accordingly.”

/agree

Greggo
02-24-2004, 09:17 AM
My wife has always maintained, and I am inclined to agree with her, that sexuality isnt black and white, but rather it exists on a spectrum. Some people are at either end (hetero or homo) and some people are in the middle and which way they swing will often depend on who they meet, environmental factors and so forth, or indeed be bisexual.

I might be inclined to add a x axis to that spectrum for "degree" of sexuality, with some people having low sex drives and living essentially asexual lives (in which case it is kind of irrelevant whether they are homo or hetero) and others tending towards the opposite extreme.

None of this goes to explian WHY of course. If I had to guess I would probably go for a range of genetic and environmental factors.

BTW there is no evolutionary reason why homosexuality could not be genetic, particularly if it is indeed a spectrum and not a simple "on or off" switch. The "disadvantage" caused by (some) gays not breeding might be offset by some form of genetic advantage. For example, sickle cell anemia is a disadvantage, but the reason people get it is because of a related genetic advantage, resistance to malaria.

Panamah
02-24-2004, 04:35 PM
Sexuality is complex. When I was researching the topic for this discussion I ran into a chart that showed the percentage of homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual animals of a given species. It was all over the place. For instance, those Bonobo apes I was talking about are 100% bisexual.

I think the mistake a lot of people make is equating sex to reproduction. I think in primates it is far more complex than that.

Did anyone see the valentine's day special on CNN about monogomy in the animal kingdom? The only creature that these researchers were able to find that was purely monogamous was a flatworm. :p I remember hearing that various creatures mated for life. Buzzzz! They may form pairs, but they don't remain monogamous.

Anyway, the crux of their findings wasn't that humans should use that to justify being polygamists, but that the tendency to have a roaming eye is natural. It was actually kind of an inspiring presentation because they interviewed couples that had dealt with a cheating spouse and some of them actually came away with stronger marriages after having dealt with the issue, and understood their own motivations a little better. But that's another debate for some other time.

Aidon
02-24-2004, 07:57 PM
Chicken and the egg. If you start with the premise that homosexuality is a CHOICE, you cannot escape volition and excuses. However, if you start with the premise that is is NOT a choice (but entirely 'natural' for that person), then volition does not exist, there is no need to remove it, and there is no need to 'excuse' it.

Again, I ask you, as a heterosexual, when did you CHOOSE to be so? What day did you wake up and say to yourself, "You know, it's about time I decide which way I'm going to swing in this life. Let's see.....Heads it's the guys, Tails it's the girls"? If my guess is right, and you are like most, you would say something like this never happened. You are naturally attracted to women. Fine. And I believe that. Why do you find it so hard to understand that homosexuals feel the EXACT same attractions and lack of choice in their lives?

Its not so easy as that heh.

Tell me, when did you wake up one day and decide that you weren't going to eat human flesh? Did you flip a coin someday and decide that you were going to stick with short pig instead of long pig? No. Its something that permeates our society so deeply that most people don't and can't realize that its simply a moral standard they've adopted as they've grown up.

Did your mother ever say to you, "lil Manwin...you know we don't eat people steaks, its bad"? I doubt it ;) I know my mother never felt the need to explain this obvious taboo...

Oldoak
02-24-2004, 08:26 PM
/sigh

Someone needs to develop a Godwin's Law that relates to canibalism.

While I appreciate the point you are trying to make, it really isn't an appropriate comparison.

There are plenty of other taboos you could have chosen that didn't...

...fundamentally put one person's rights and another person's rights at odds (ie, if you are eating someone, someone must be eaten...that isn't really a parallel)
...involve a fundamentally criminal activity in our society...


You could for instance have used the taboo for a jewish person to marry a goy. Against the rules...against the rules many grew up with. But neither criminal, nor representing the loss of someone elses rights (ie a choice if you must think of it in those terms that only affects those directly involved in it).

You could have used a more extreme example of nudism. There you could argue that someone seeing a nudist does infringe on their rights. But at least we are not in the realm of murder and canibalism.

Anka
02-24-2004, 10:56 PM
I have to disagree that homosexual acts have no element of choice and are genetically determined. People of all sexual persuasions have to restrain sexual urges or else they become rapists, sexual abusers, adulterers, or even paedophiles. Most people have generic traits which compel them to perform sexual acts but it's the control of desires that keep our socities together. Whether consenting adults should suppress homosexual desires is a much longer debate, but they can be suppressed and were suppressed through large portions of human history.

I don't see the need for homosexuals to claim they're prisoners of their genetic code in order to claim equality. It's simpler than that. If homosexuals have equal rights to heterosexuals then the civil union 'marraige' contract is the only logical conclusion.

Panamah
02-24-2004, 11:14 PM
Are you equating what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their home to pedophilia? I don't think normal people, and that includes homosexuals, have to restrain the urge to rape or molest children.

You're missing the point, Anka. The question isn't whether or not they're having sex, its a question of who they are attracted to. The question is, is that attraction hard-wired from birth? I think it is for lots of homosexuals. Maybe it isn't a toggle switch either, but a continuum. And that explains people who are attracted to both sexes.

Gee, maybe people should just refrain from having sex unless the it is between a man and a woman and the woman is ovulating. Then we could get back to basics. But no one is going to have sex all that often. Might want to rethink that one.

Mannwin Woobie
02-24-2004, 11:19 PM
Its not so easy as that

It IS as easy as that. Simple question just needs a simple answer....And I will ask for a THIRD time. When did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual?

People of all sexual persuasions have to restrain sexual urges or else they become rapists, sexual abusers, adulterers, or even paedophiles.

Wow. Sorry, but i would never see myself, or most people I know doing any of these things. And I really don't have to work very hard to restrain myself from doing them, either.

Getting back to the gay marriage issue, it seems so simple to me. For the same reasons it is illegal and discriminatory to outlaw inter-racial marriages, it is just as discriminatory to outlaw homosexual ones. You are discriminating, period. You are denying legals rights and privileges to a segment of society without just cause. Whether you are 'offended' by it is irrelevant. Many people 30 years ago (and probably still today) are 'offended' by black/white marriages. But we all know it was the right decision, and the AMERICAN one. 30 years from now I hope we can look back and say the same about this.

Cantatus
02-25-2004, 03:25 AM
Tell me, when did you wake up one day and decide that you weren't going to eat human flesh? Did you flip a coin someday and decide that you were going to stick with short pig instead of long pig? No. Its something that permeates our society so deeply that most people don't and can't realize that its simply a moral standard they've adopted as they've grown up.

Not that I want to turn this into a debate about cannibalism, but I wanted to defend Mannwin's arguement. Many species of animal do not eat animals of the same species despite the fact that they are fully equipped to. Is this a moral standard for them too or is it because it is instictual? As far as I can tell, there is no evidence that humans ever ate each other even in our most primative state.

Sorry, I just don't buy the "homosexuality is a choice" arguement. My brother is homosexual and had quite a difficult time coming to terms with it. Why in the world would he choose to go through something so difficult when he could just say, "Hey, I'll just like girls instead!" My step-cousin killed himself because he couldn't deal with his homosexuality. In fact, there are studies which claim that a large portion of those who commit or attempt suicide do so because of their homosexuality. Why in the world would my cousin or these teens do that if they could just decid to be straight and not have to deal with it?

People of all sexual persuasions have to restrain sexual urges or else they become rapists, sexual abusers, adulterers, or even paedophiles.

You can't really draw a comparison on sexual urges between pedophiles and rapists to homosexuals. In one case you have two consenting adults and the other, a crime which involves someone having sex forced upon them. Also, rape and sexual assault is more often tied to someone wanting to assert power over someone than it is necessarily because of sexual attraction.

Whether consenting adults should suppress homosexual desires is a much longer debate, but they can be suppressed and were suppressed through large portions of human history.

It wasn't necessarily repressed as it was done in privacy and a taboo subject to talk about. For instance, in the 50s-60s there were many homosexual celebrities who hid it (Rock Hudson, Liberace, Peter Allen, Paul Lynde, etc.). In a lot of societies homosexuality was accepted - Rome, Greece, and even England and France until the 13th century to name a few. Most of the time periods when homosexuality was repressed was because it was done so by law. For instance, during the Inquisition, people suspected as being homosexual were put to death. Some countries would castrate homosexuals. Homosexuality was even punishable by death in the 13 Colonies.

Oldoak
02-25-2004, 04:15 AM
Quote:

they can be suppressed and were suppressed through large portions of human history.



There is very little evidence that is the case. I would point out that if a society has laws against homosexuality, it can be inferred that homosexuality is present.

Social history, however, is very poorly documented. But you would be very hard pressed to prove the point you are trying to make there. The laws actually disprove your point on their own, to some degree.

You simply won't know who was doing who back in a barn in Medieval France (though extensive homoerotic poetry collections commissioned by some of the most prominent churchmen of the period are documented).

It is simple and easy and radically inacurrate to look back on the "good old days" and see a simpler, cleaner, more moral time.

Let me draw another example. What do you think of when you think of Victorian England, or of someone having Victorian sensibilities? Do you think of the society that dressed the legs of furniture because they found it too suggestive? (they did) Do you think of an era of lace and propriety, and modernization? Of a very proper Christian world?

Do you happen to think about the fact that the Victorian era was the heyday of prostitution in British history (it was)? Do you happen to think of those proper English gentlemen being plagued by venereal diseases (they were)? A culture with a growing drug problem (opium)?

The thing is...it is easy to look back on a period and see only what they chose to record about themselves, and what you hope and expect to see. The reality is generally as gritty, varied and complex as our culture is today. And all the tapestry of human behaviors, no matter how you view them, tend to continue, regardless of what the moralists of the day expound.

The farther you go back in time the less of the cultural ephemera survives. Only in the last few hundred years do we have the extensive written sources that reveal more of the reality of life...and even then you have to dig some since some realities were not considered proper topics of conversation.

There, now you have me equating homosexuality with licentiousness too...which is way off base. But...point remains.

palamin
02-25-2004, 04:52 AM
I was talking with a guy at work today. Another guy brought up the subject of gay marriage. I said it should not go through because of discrimination issues. The 1st guy disagreed with me as he considers marriage "sacred". I said how so. To sum it up he said in the eyes of the church and God it is an abomination. I mentioned there are other religeons out there that use marriage in their own eyes, he agreed that that was ok not necessarily his religeous preference though. I mentioned I am agnostic but I have the right to be married and do not necessarily hold marriage sacred. He agreed that even though agnostic I still could be married. So I am like Wtf at this point, other religeons ok for marriage, agnostic ok for marriage but homosexuals/ bi are not ok. He never gave me a good reasonable answer.

The guy who brought up the subject said he hopes it does go through and the reason being, so it will piss off the homosexual community enough to vote completly opposite Pres. Bush. Personally they should amend the Constitution of the US, so that every US citizen has equal rights do to ethnic background, religeon, sexual orientation, sex, age and so on. The withholding of rights to minority groups is just wrong. I see no reason to with hold rights to productive members of society. Key word productive members.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 05:09 AM
/sigh

Someone needs to develop a Godwin's Law that relates to canibalism.

While I appreciate the point you are trying to make, it really isn't an appropriate comparison.

There are plenty of other taboos you could have chosen that didn't...

...fundamentally put one person's rights and another person's rights at odds (ie, if you are eating someone, someone must be eaten...that isn't really a parallel)
...involve a fundamentally criminal activity in our society...


You could for instance have used the taboo for a jewish person to marry a goy. Against the rules...against the rules many grew up with. But neither criminal, nor representing the loss of someone elses rights (ie a choice if you must think of it in those terms that only affects those directly involved in it).

You could have used a more extreme example of nudism. There you could argue that someone seeing a nudist does infringe on their rights. But at least we are not in the realm of murder and canibalism.

Who says cannibalism has to do with murdering people? If Mom died of natural causes tomorrow, she wasn't murdered. You still aren't going to eat her...some ancient societies are thought to have done just that.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 05:20 AM
It IS as easy as that. Simple question just needs a simple answer....And I will ask for a THIRD time. When did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual?

I think you missed my point. Just because I didn't conciously choose to be hetero or homosexual, doesn't make it genetic in factor. Just like you probably never conciously chose not to become a cannibal. That was my point.

Not whether the taboo against cannibalism is valid or not, nor whether the taboo against homosexuality is valid or not. The point was simply that a lack of concious choice doesn't mean it is genetic in nature. Our culture is so steeped in certain taboos that we don't even notice when we adopt them personally.



Getting back to the gay marriage issue, it seems so simple to me. For the same reasons it is illegal and discriminatory to outlaw inter-racial marriages, it is just as discriminatory to outlaw homosexual ones. You are discriminating, period. You are denying legals rights and privileges to a segment of society without just cause. Whether you are 'offended' by it is irrelevant. Many people 30 years ago (and probably still today) are 'offended' by black/white marriages. But we all know it was the right decision, and the AMERICAN one. 30 years from now I hope we can look back and say the same about this.

I don't think anyone still arguing in this thread would disagree that gay marriage should be permitted with full equality. I've said any number of times that equality is equality is equality. I've simply disagreed with the notion that gays are poor substand specimens of humanity who can't help but fall to the "evilness" of homosexuality and thus need the protection of us "normal" folks. Nothing good comes of that thought process. Its the same thought process that the Nazi's used..only they didn't believe in protecting "substandard" specimens. They just euthanized them. And if you think humanity has grown beyond such things...you're looking through rose colored classes, unfortunately.

TeriMoon
02-25-2004, 07:20 AM
Aidon,

I dunno why you are being so sensitive on this issue. I'm thinking that the majority of posters here generally agree. Not many populations have all variations of any characteristic spread in perfectly equal proportions. That recognition of reality does not mean all people feel that a "minority" is substandard. Any superficial look at any period in human history tells a person of average intelligence that humankind will go to great lengths to make themselves feel superior, even amongst their own species. Even to the point of sacrificing members of the minority to prove their own superiority.

Is that evil? To me, it is. Recognizing this facet of human behavior doesn't mean all people feel minorities are substandard, just the there is a recognition that its very easy for them to be abused simply because of the fact that they are minorities.

Greggo
02-25-2004, 08:34 AM
Oh my goodness...I stumbled into the hithero unread (by me) middle of this thread. Do the...ummm...christians here really have that much ignorance about the authorship fo the Christian bible? What was left in and (as interesting) what was left out by the editiing team? How it changed?

Oh and to stay with the (current) topic. There is nothing ABSOLUTELY wrong with cannibalism. Eating parts of the human body (particularly the brain) can be unhealthy (kwashikor) but otherwise it's just protein. Those folks up the Andes did what they had to do to stay alive and I dont think too many people blame them. For quite some time it was regarded as OK for shipwrecked sailors to eat their buddies too. In some cultures cannibalism serves/served an important social (rather than nutritional) function.

I mean come on. Many "christians" go through the motions of ritual cannibalism every Sunday.

Stormhaven
02-25-2004, 09:47 AM
Actually, there have been studies that show that cannibalism, when used as a regular source of diet, is bad. "Weird" (that's the word they used) things started to manifest, ranging anywhere from the psychological to physical to viral/genetic side effects - at least for mammals. Monkeys showed sudden and violent fits of rage, depression, and other mood swings. Mad cow is a current side effect we're seeing from feeding cows, cows. Again, this is cannibalism as a true food source, not as a means of ceremony, like the old human sacrifices.

Immish
02-25-2004, 10:16 AM
Getting back to the gay marriage issue, it seems so simple to me. For the same reasons it is illegal and discriminatory to outlaw inter-racial marriages, it is just as discriminatory to outlaw homosexual ones. You are discriminating, period. You are denying legals rights and privileges to a segment of society without just cause. Whether you are 'offended' by it is irrelevant. Many people 30 years ago (and probably still today) are 'offended' by black/white marriages. But we all know it was the right decision, and the AMERICAN one. 30 years from now I hope we can look back and say the same about this.

This comparison doesn't add up, yes while it may indeed be a black and white couple it's still a man and a woman getting married rather than a same sex marriage. It simply is not the same thing at all in either principal or religious belief/conviction.

I have no problem with gay folks having a Civil Union, I have issues with it being called a marriage. I have no problems with gay folks having the exact same rights as a married couple, I think that's more than fair. I think it's total bull**** that a country that touts religious freedom as one of it's founding principals now wants those same religious folks to "bend" their personal beliefs regarding same sex marriage because people are unwilling to compromise.

I'm pretty sure if you polled the gay folks and asked "hey, how 'bout we call it a Civil Union to avoid any hassles with the religious folks and you still get all the same rights as a married couple, is that acceptable?" the overwhelming majority would accept it. I'm pretty sure the religious folks would too.

Common sense solutions with real, lasting benefit should be the order of the day.

Mannwin Woobie
02-25-2004, 10:18 AM
Just because I didn't conciously choose to be hetero or homosexual, doesn't make it genetic in factor.

But THIS IS my point. If you didn't consciously make the choice, then how else did it occur? It certainly seems to me that you are quite willing to say heterosexuality occurs 'naturally' in you (whether that has to do with genes, chemicals, brain-wiring, whatever), but are unwilling to say that homosexuality occurs 'naturally' in others. It's this double standard that I am trying to draw your attention to.

It is quite natural for people to fear what they do not understand. And, frankly, this is how I think most anti-homosexual chatter starts and continues. If people could get past their homophobia, they would be able to see how unfair things really are.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 01:52 PM
Actually, there have been studies that show that cannibalism, when used as a regular source of diet, is bad. "Weird" (that's the word they used) things started to manifest, ranging anywhere from the psychological to physical to viral/genetic side effects - at least for mammals. Monkeys showed sudden and violent fits of rage, depression, and other mood swings. Mad cow is a current side effect we're seeing from feeding cows, cows. Again, this is cannibalism as a true food source, not as a means of ceremony, like the old human sacrifices.

This is true. There were/are anthrophagic tribes in New Guinea...though I believe the practice has all but died out since the 1960's due to a plethora of health issues, most notably a "Mad Cow" like disease which came from the eating of brains.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 01:58 PM
This comparison doesn't add up, yes while it may indeed be a black and white couple it's still a man and a woman getting married rather than a same sex marriage. It simply is not the same thing at all in either principal or religious belief/conviction.

Religious beliefs have no place in the legal system, unless the legal system is an attempt to outlaw certain religious beliefs. Which Gay marriage is not. Its permissive in nature, not prohibitive.

I have no problem with gay folks having a Civil Union, I have issues with it being called a marriage. I have no problems with gay folks having the exact same rights as a married couple, I think that's more than fair. I think it's total bull**** that a country that touts religious freedom as one of it's founding principals now wants those same religious folks to "bend" their personal beliefs regarding same sex marriage because people are unwilling to compromise.

These folks do not have to bend their personal beliefs. If they don't believe in gay marriage, they don't have to marry someone of the same sex. If a church doe not wish to perform gay marriages they cannot be forced to do so. There is no detrimental aspect to this.


Common sense solutions with real, lasting benefit should be the order of the day.

Common sense changes with some frequency. At one time common sense permitted a country club in the town I grew up in to have a sign posted "No Dogs. No Jews. No Niggers".

Immish
02-25-2004, 02:01 PM
If people could get past their homophobia, they would be able to see how unfair things really are.

If people could just get past their lack of understanding how religious folks believe that being gay is a sin and that a same sex marriage is wrong then they would be able to see how unfair it is to force this upon them.

We can go round and round and round as long as you want. In the end it will come down to marriage being an act between a man and a woman while civil unions will be performed for same sex partners.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 02:14 PM
But THIS IS my point. If you didn't consciously make the choice, then how else did it occur? It certainly seems to me that you are quite willing to say heterosexuality occurs 'naturally' in you (whether that has to do with genes, chemicals, brain-wiring, whatever), but are unwilling to say that homosexuality occurs 'naturally' in others. It's this double standard that I am trying to draw your attention to.

It is quite natural for people to fear what they do not understand. And, frankly, this is how I think most anti-homosexual chatter starts and continues. If people could get past their homophobia, they would be able to see how unfair things really are.

Why do I think heterosexuality occurs naturally? Very simple and basic reason. It is how the human species was designed to reproduce. That isn't to say its sole form of recreational sex that is acceptable. But it is the "norm" biologically speaking. Men having intercourse with women. Its why tab A fits so well into slot B, so to speak.

And if you'll read my posts, I have nothing against homosexuality, nor do I consider myself homophobic. I could care less who a person sleeps with if it has no effect on me. I simply think attempting to excuse homosexuality as a genetic condition rather than accepting it as an act of volition does a disservice. Accept them for their choices, and accept that their choice is as valid a choice as yours, not because they are some sort of freaks of nature who deserve our pity.

Arienne
02-25-2004, 02:48 PM
Well honestly now... morality versus legality...

Morality is community based, founded on religious beliefs of exactly "who" should make up a couple.

Legality is government based when it comes to who can share the monetary benefits of being a couple.

The real answer is to seperate the church and state... keep the government from making morality judgements on "couple" makeup by offering benefits and then finding the need to define a "couple". Let marriage be marriage... let perks of long term relationships be just that. The ONLY reason we have such a grey area is because it is one place we have failed to seperate church and state. Isn't it time our legislators read our constitution before trying to legislate everything that is and isn't nailed down?

Panamah
02-25-2004, 03:56 PM
Actually, there have been studies that show that cannibalism, when used as a regular source of diet, is bad. "Weird" (that's the word they used) things started to manifest, ranging anywhere from the psychological to physical to viral/genetic side effects - at least for mammals. Monkeys showed sudden and violent fits of rage, depression, and other mood swings. Mad cow is a current side effect we're seeing from feeding cows, cows. Again, this is cannibalism as a true food source, not as a means of ceremony, like the old human sacrifices.

Not sure why cannabilism is in the discussion but most animals have some sort of prion disease like BSE (mad cow). In humans it is called CJD, or vCJD. And cannibals passed along this disease by eating their deceased. So yes, eating your own kind isn't a good idea.

As far as who owns the word "marriage", this has got to be one of the silliest things anyone has ever argued over that I've experienced in my life time. Certainly the most absurd thing to try to make a constitutional amendment about.

Marriage existed long long before christianity or any other religion. So don't try owning just because it is mentioned in your religious text. It's a social convention. If you want to assign a religious context to it, great, but don't try to assume that you own the definition of what marriage is based upon your religion.

TeriMoon
02-25-2004, 03:57 PM
I agree Arienne.

Under the tenets of my religion, its a sin for people to divorce and remarry without the permission of the church, its a sin for people to act like they are married if it wasn't done in the context of a religious ceremony. The government recognized somewhere along the line that the societal benefits of allowing civil marriage outside a religious context outweigh the moral stance of my religion. I accept that, and I even agree with it.

I consider myself to be a person of faith. I don't agree that all religious people oppose "gay marriage" or feel it demeans traditional definitions of marriage. I don't see how extending rights to two people is something that is being "forced" on anyone. Two adult people of the same sex are just as capable of love, devotion, sharing and respect as two adults of opposite sex. If you believe under you religion that their union is a sin in the eyes of God, then that is your right to believe it. We have sin everywhere. That is a completely different matter than what we are discussing here, at least in my opinion.

Civil marriages are already outsides the bounds of religion. The issue under discussion is not really a religious one. To me the question is if consenting adults in the USA have the right to choose a marriage partner (sexual orientation notwithstanding) and have the protections and responsibilities accorded that status under the law.

Everyone makes many mistakes, sins, is deliberately cruel or more in the course of a lifetime. In the religion of my understanding, the most inspirational examples to me are examples of God's love. Maybe that's because in my life I have needed to have faith that there is indeed love in the world in order to get through what I have survived. I may have a skewed view of things. Honestly, I don't care. I listen to suffering everyday for hours. Its my job. I hear how guilt and shame and persecution has destroyed lives. I live with unpleasant memories of my own daily. I am not really any different from most people. "Sin" is everywhere, no one is immune. I choose to focus instead on the love that is also to be found. Its found everywhere as well, even under the most unlikely circumstances. Hardly anyone gets enough of it. Hardly anyone can be told often enough that they are valued and cared about despite their flaws.

I am not inclined to hold anyone's hand to the fire for the love that they choose to find with another consenting adult. Love never hurt me. As far as I can tell from my reading of the documents of my religion, love never hurt God either. Live and let live. Life is too short to be taking a stand against love in this form when there are true evils that destroy lives out there.

Stormhaven
02-25-2004, 04:51 PM
After reading this thread, I'm reminded of a quote I read somewhere which went something like this - God created marriage. Marriage is a wonderful, almost symbiotic union between two people who know that, in each other, they will never be alone. Man created weddings. Weddings are horrible, monstrous events which go a long way towards breaking up marriages.

Scirocco
02-25-2004, 05:12 PM
If people could just get past their lack of understanding how religious folks believe that being gay is a sin and that a same sex marriage is wrong then they would be able to see how unfair it is to force this upon them.


Excuse me? WHAT is being forced on the religious folks? They aren't being forced to marry a gay person. They aren't being forced to allow gays to marry in their church.

About the only thing they're being forced to do is to get their noses out of other people's business.

Mannwin Woobie
02-25-2004, 05:12 PM
Marriage existed long long before christianity or any other religion. So don't try owning just because it is mentioned in your religious text. It's a social convention. If you want to assign a religious context to it, great, but don't try to assume that you own the definition of what marriage is based upon your religion.

I consider myself to be a person of faith. I don't agree that all religious people oppose "gay marriage" or feel it demeans traditional definitions of marriage. I don't see how extending rights to two people is something that is being "forced" on anyone. Two adult people of the same sex are just as capable of love, devotion, sharing and respect as two adults of opposite sex. If you believe under you religion that their union is a sin in the eyes of God, then that is your right to believe it. We have sin everywhere. That is a completely different matter than what we are discussing here, at least in my opinion.

Civil marriages are already outsides the bounds of religion. The issue under discussion is not really a religious one. To me the question is if consenting adults in the USA have the right to choose a marriage partner (sexual orientation notwithstanding) and have the protections and responsibilities accorded that status under the law.

Sorry to quote so much, but I think this is the real crux of the gay marriage debate. Same-sex couples are NOT seeking religious marriages they are seeking civil ones. You do not see them lined up outside the churches, they are lined up outside the courthouses.

In America it is wrong for people to be granted or denied rights that others have/do not have simply based on their race, gender, beliefs, etc.
All we are talking about is equality. YOU can call them whatever you want (marriage/civil union), the GOVERNMENT should call them all the same thing and treat them all the same way. Saying your "wife" of 2 weeks can collect your Social Security Benefits when you die, but my "partner" of 50 years cannot, is just plain wrong.

TeriMoon
02-25-2004, 05:41 PM
I have really enjoyed this discussion and debate and reading everyone's opinion. I just wanted to say thanks for not letting it descend into an ugly mess. I really mean that.

Anka
02-25-2004, 05:57 PM
Sorry to go backwards in this thread but whenever I post people contradict me and then the topic has moved on before I get a chance to reply.

You're missing the point, Anka. The question isn't whether or not they're having sex, its a question of who they are attracted to.

There is a point here, and I haven't missed it, you have. Some people are attracted to sheep or children but don't just go ahead and amuse themselves sexually because they accept societies taboo on that issue, whether or not both parties consent. A male schoolteacher may have sexual attraction to all the 15 year old schoolgirls tarted up in microskirts, but as long as he don't act on it then there's no harm done. Homosexuality has been under similar taboos from society for long periods of history and if we judge from modern morals that was certainly an injustice.

Sexual attractions can be controlled. The majority of 19th century literature seems to be about the frustrations of denied sexual attraction. Whether scientific research shows that sexuality is influenced by genes or not, sexual behavior can be restrained. I am not saying that people should deny their homosexuality, they should choose freely in modern western society, but it's wrong to say that people have no choice at all.

I'll also restate that homsexuality was indeed suppressed for large portions of history. I'm surprised someone thought to contradicted me on that one. It's likely that was much more homosexuality in history than was admitted by writers from those times, but the mass of stories and documentation of primarily heterosexual societies cannot all be denied. Two men could share a residence in Victorian Britain and there would have been no suggestion of anything sexual. There was never any homosexual undercurrent when Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes were written living together at 221B Baker Street. In the same period an unmarried man and a woman could never ever share accomodation, at all, without sexual connotations.

I'm sure many gay activists would like there to have been many more prominent gay figures recognised in history, but there weren't. That's not a reflection on gay people today, that's a reflection of the societies people lived in through history. When I heard that one feminist author claiming that Cleopatra, the most infamous heterosexual icon of the ancient Rome, was a lesbian because she bathed with handmaidens ... I really had to despair.

Panamah
02-25-2004, 06:58 PM
I have really enjoyed this discussion and debate and reading everyone's opinion. I just wanted to say thanks for not letting it descend into an ugly mess. I really mean that.

Yeah, it has been an enjoyable debate.

It's hard to dig into enough details when you're having a talking debate, so this makes it more fun.

Immish
02-25-2004, 07:52 PM
I have really enjoyed this discussion and debate and reading everyone's opinion. I just wanted to say thanks for not letting it descend into an ugly mess. I really mean that.

I gotta agree, I'm having this same discussion on a few boards and by far this has been the most adult approach I've seen. It's been fun to be a part of.

Panamah
02-25-2004, 09:55 PM
But, I think I'm going to have to bow out of the debate a bit. I can't really answer anything at work and evenings are usually busy with chores. I'll pop in on the weekend and try to catch up.

BTW: any of you folks who are against gay marriage want to answer the initial question?

How does someone elses marriage, gay or straight, religious or civil, affect your marriage? I keep hearing people say its going to harm marriage, but no one seems to answer exactly how that would happen. It sounds like a sound-bite to me of the religious right.

Aidon
02-25-2004, 10:33 PM
After reading this thread, I'm reminded of a quote I read somewhere which went something like this - God created marriage. Marriage is a wonderful, almost symbiotic union between two people who know that, in each other, they will never be alone. Man created weddings. Weddings are horrible, monstrous events which go a long way towards breaking up marriages.

Either way you get In-Laws though =P

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-26-2004, 12:37 AM
"It's hard to dig into enough details when you're having a talking debate, so this makes it more fun."

And sharpens you for that RL talking debates, which seem to abound right now.

Leafblower
02-26-2004, 05:56 PM
In all honesty the only threat gay marriages would have on a hetro marriage is if 1 of the partners is gay. I believe that they should be able to get married so they can pay the marriage penalty tax and only collect half of thier social security when the spouse is already getting thier SS. Homosexuals should be able to make a legal commitment to the partner complete with the benefits and the draw backs. As a country where we can believe in any god we want to deny them that right for religous reasons is hypocritical. If it pothers a person that much then they don't have to goto a gay wedding or support a gay couple wanting to get married but the right to get married should be open to any adult who knows and loves the person they are chaining themselves to. :)

Vowelumos
02-26-2004, 07:15 PM
A couple of points..

I am normally pretty conservative and I find the arguments against same sec marriage to be mind boggling. People say we must protect the instution and that seems to be the only argument. It is a "slippery slope" argument and it is ridiculos.

Rosie Odonell [SIC?] made an interesting comment today. She is not someone I would normally use as a source, but she did make a good point. Spousal privledge is a fairly significant legal privledge and it is definately something that same sex couples are not afforded today.

As for the tax implications, our entire tax code needs to be tossed out. We need a completely fresh start. Marriage tax privledges and penalties are just one aspect of a ridiculous system.

Scirocco
02-26-2004, 07:26 PM
Good point. Spousal privilege is pretty significant in legal matters.

Panamah
02-26-2004, 10:27 PM
The other biggy is social security. If you're an unmarried couple and your mate dies, you don't get the chunk of their SS that you'd ordinarily get if you were married.

Aidon
02-27-2004, 01:14 AM
Good point. Spousal privilege is pretty significant in legal matters.

Even gays deserve compensation for loss of consortium, aye. I never even thought about that.

Let alone power of attorney abilities, and the various other benefits of marriage.

Panamah
02-28-2004, 01:07 AM
Anyone see Date Line tonight? Yeah, I didn't think so, you're all busy playing EQ! I think it was a segment called "Portrait of a Marriage". It was about a couple, man and woman, where the man told his wife that he was the wrong sex. They'd been married 33 years, had 2 grown daughters.

Well, the wife decided to support him in his 'change' and he went through a sex change operation. They're still married. About 10% of the couples where one changes gender stay together. But officially he is a she now. Pole to a hole. ;)

Ironically their marriage is perfectly valid still in all 50 states.

Scirocco
02-28-2004, 10:17 AM
Ironically their marriage is perfectly valid still in all 50 states.


Now that's an interesting hypothetical. Suppose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is passed. A man and woman get married, then one has a sex change operation. Have they now violated the law?

Which underscores how silly it is to have something like this in the federal constitution. We don't talk about individuals violating the Constitution, after all. Marriage, like so many other areas of domestic relationships, should be governed at the state level, if anywhere.

It's funny how many conservatives scream about "states rights" and how the federal government shouldn't interfere with state-level matters UNTIL the states started doing something liberal. Of course, consistency was never the strong point of either political party...:)

Jinjre
02-28-2004, 10:38 AM
/threadjack on

Actually Panamah, I didn't see it because my sister in law was over for dinner and silly table top game playing (Flux and Guillotine were the games last night).

/threadjack off

Did the couple happen to be from Portland Oregon? There was a couple here like that who were profiled a few years ago in the news. I often wonder how things worked out for them.

Aidon
02-28-2004, 12:54 PM
Hehe. Oh how I wish the Libertarian party was more labor oriented, and less rabid proponents of Tort Reform. (I love how Republicans and Libertarians are all for taking responsibility for your mistakes...if you're a potential plaintiff.)

Its a real pity the NRA is turning into a Tort Reform proponent. All because the government decided to try and sue Firearms Manufacturers out of existance.

The constitutional amendment we really need is one forbidding the federal government from suing private industry and individuals in civil court.

Wow, I really got off topic with this one =D

Panamah
02-28-2004, 01:39 PM
/threadjack on

Actually Panamah, I didn't see it because my sister in law was over for dinner and silly table top game playing (Flux and Guillotine were the games last night).

/threadjack off

Did the couple happen to be from Portland Oregon? There was a couple here like that who were profiled a few years ago in the news. I often wonder how things worked out for them.

Hey! I think I played Guillotine! Is that the card game where you score points for cutting off various French people's heads? That game was hilarious.

I'm not sure where they were from, I missed the first bit of it. He was "David" before and "Victoria" after. They really withdrew from everyone including their community because they lived in a very conservative area and didn't think it would go over well.

At the end Victoria wondered if men were looking at her to admire her or whether they were trying to "figure it out". I gotta say, I think it was the later.

It's funny, but Drag Queens look much better as women temporarily a lot of the time than transgenders do.

But back to the marriage issue, what would be the result of one state not recognizing marriages from another state? What would happen if one state refused to recognize gay marriages from CA but would recognize heterosexual ones? Would you then have to remarry in any state you planned to live in? What if you were vacationing in a state that refused to recognize marriages from your state and your spouse was in a bad accident and couldn't communicate?

Fyyr Lu'Storm
02-28-2004, 05:05 PM
"Which underscores how silly it is to have something like this in the federal constitution."

Absolutely!

With certain very few notable exceptions(18th) the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Amendments are clearly enumerate rights afforded to the individual over the government.

I think that getting any amendment passed these days(see ERA) has a snowballs chance in hell. And a Prohibition amendment?, that snowball is in the mouth of a flying pig. You will never get the 2/3rds states to ratify it.

Any politician(Bush) who endorses one now is only doing it for lip-service.

You will have a revolt(just like the one in SF), on a nationwide level if it does pass.

Scirocco
02-28-2004, 06:49 PM
But back to the marriage issue, what would be the result of one state not recognizing marriages from another state? What would happen if one state refused to recognize gay marriages from CA but would recognize heterosexual ones? Would you then have to remarry in any state you planned to live in? What if you were vacationing in a state that refused to recognize marriages from your state and your spouse was in a bad accident and couldn't communicate?


Tricky questions, Panamah. For the vast majority of instances, this should be answered by the "full faith and credit" clause, which essentially means each state will recognize and give "full faith and credit" to the public acts, etc., of another state, even though the first state may not have any such act, etc., itself. This is why I can take a court judgment from one state and seek to apply it (e.g., collect money, etc.) in another state.

Here's a relevant quote from a text:

"The full faith and credit clause is intended to promote national unity, to assure that people (including lawfully married couples) can move throughout the country without being stripped of their legal rights, and to help Americans avoid repeated and burdensome litigation and relitigation of settled issues or established legal status."

The text itself (Article IV, section 1):

"Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state."

There are some very limited exceptions, but I don't think they would apply in this case.

Jinjre
02-28-2004, 06:59 PM
/threadjack back on

Yes, it's the game where you score more depending on the importance of the person who's head you chop off. We had a grand time! Flux is a very bizarre game near as I can tell based on the chaos theory. Each card you play changes the rules or the goal of the game. Winning has very little to do with strategy and very much to do with random chance.

For you Settlers of Catan fans out there, the 2 person game gets mixed reviews from me. I got it for xmas, and it's almost like playing solitaire Catan, and once one person gets a lead of more than 1 point, the other person has little chance of making a comeback. On the other hand, for getting a Settler's fix, if you don't have 3 people, it's still fun and we still play it.

/threadjack off again.

As for the consititutional amendment, my thoughts are as follows:

Whenever a politician has something ugly going on which they can't cover up, they usually switch to a diversionary tactic. The ban on partial birth abortions came up at the same time that more and more service members were dying in Iraq. The number of partial birth abortions performed in the 12 months prior to the ban is less than the number of service people who have died in the last 12 months in Iraq.

Which means, when Bush first brought up an amendment which stands not even a snowball's chance, my first question was "What is he diverting attention from?"

For the record, I'm registered independent, and think that to be a good politician you have to be a good weasel. Thus, I tend to vote for the lesser of two weasels when I vote.

As for the amendment passing? Not gonna happen. Not even all the republicans back this. I don't think it will even get out of congress.

Panamah
02-28-2004, 08:04 PM
Well, I think Bush is totally shooting himself in the foot, which is in his mouth. I doubt there's enough religious right, conservatives in this country to elect him based upon this move. Gay people and gay rights sympathizers come in all political parties. Young people tend to be more sympathetic to the gay rights movement than older ones so if the Republican party lines up behind the president they could end up alienating future voters who think this is discriminatory and hate mongering.

All in all he just seems like a squirrel monkey with a loaded gun. He makes a lot of people nervous.

But it seems like most politicians REALLY hate talking about gay marriage, because they can't say anything without pissing off half their potential voters so they say things like they're idealogically oppossed to same-sex marriages yet they wouldn't support a constitutional amendment against them.

But yes, look how effectively this took the real issues that everyone really think are important like jobs going off-shore, the economy, health care and the war off the the agenda. :p

Panamah
02-28-2004, 10:32 PM
And for more proof that sexual preference is nothing short of mysterious here's this headline from New Scientist:

Gay flies turned on by heat (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992803)


22:00 16 September 02

NewScientist.com news service

A mere change in temperature is all it takes for the males of a new line of genetically engineered flies to switch from being heterosexual to suddenly courting other males.

Arienne
02-29-2004, 02:27 PM
And for more proof that sexual preference is nothing short of mysterious here's this headline from New Scientist:NOW you've done it! No more government subsidies to the poor and elderly for winter heating if they are born from of in vitro fertilization. Wow... THAT's gonna be a can of worms! :/

Cantatus
03-01-2004, 02:29 AM
A mere change in temperature is all it takes for the males of a new line of genetically engineered flies to switch from being heterosexual to suddenly courting other males.

Hmm.. so maybe if Bush did more to curtial global warming, there'd be less homosexuals? *grin*

Natrina
03-01-2004, 08:06 AM
:wiggle: First off, I would like to thank everyone who's participated in this discussion for not "flaming" homosexuals/bisexuals. Every time I see this topic brought up, I see people saying horrible things about the GLBT (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transvestite) community (which in turn makes me feel pissed/deppressed because, well, I'm bi and damned proud of it.).:cheers: And I'm really sorry about how long this is...

Secondly, while reading through the past 13 pages of posts, I came across a few things that, even though supported the right to have a homosexual civil union, bugged the hell out of me.

The one that really stuck out to me was this:

Immish said: I have no problem with gay folks having a Civil Union, I have issues with it being called a marriage. I have no problems with gay folks having the exact same rights as a married couple, I think that's more than fair. I think it's total bull**** that a country that touts religious freedom as one of it's founding principals now wants those same religious folks to "bend" their personal beliefs regarding same sex marriage because people are unwilling to compromise.

What I would like to know is why, even though I'm a devout Christian woman, can I not marry a woman if I am in fact in love with her, want to marry her, and wish to have children with her? (If not by using a donor, then by adoption, 'cause the good Lord knows that there are too many babies without good homes.)

Why should I only be able to have a "Civil-Union"? Why can I not be married?

What does it hurt anyone else for me to marry a woman I love?

Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that many religions frown upon homosexuality. I live in the heart of the Bible belt and when through quite the accident I 'came out' in high school, I got "Dike" written on my locker several times, was told I was going to be murdered, beat up, etc. (And yes, I got threats from the KKK).

Later on, I did a speech on why GLBT's should be treated equally in my Oral Communications class, and got the same result. During my research for the speech, I did a survey and asked why the folks thought homosexuality was wrong, 2/3 of my peers responded "Because the Bible says so". (Yet not one of them could tell me WHERE it says so. My point with that is that most of these kids were blindly stating this because their parents taught them to believe this, society taught them to believe this, and they do not know better.)

But, my big question in all of this is simple: Why should anyone else get to decide who and who I can not marry? What gives anyone but God the right to judge me for what I do? All these religious people say that it's "infringeing upon their beliefs" for me to marry a woman. They threaten me for having a girlfriend. Why? What gives them THAT right? I sure as hell hope it's not the constitution, because if it is, then I'm busting out my gun :twak: , buying more shells than you can imagine, and going to Washington. If we weren't going to be taxxed without representation, then I sure as hell am not about to let a bunch of STRAIGHT people say I can not marry someone I truly love. Quite frankly, that's not being judged by a group of MY peers, and it sure as hell isn't giving me the representation I deserve. :duel2:

Oh, and as for wether or not homosexuality is "natural" or not....I'll interject my two cents into that: I was born bi. Yes, I truly believe that. Why? Because I've liked women for as long as I can remember, usually more then men. Quite frankly, I think that's scared some of my former boyfriends. Especially the one who well, pretty much ruined our relationship by being an intolerant jerk. Which leads back to the same principal of why this debate is one of the biggest in the country: People are afraid of what they do not understand. :banghead_ That is why the knocks on homosexuality are in the Bible to begin with. (And yes, even though I'm a Christian, I think a big chunk of the Bible was not the direct word of God. It was written by men, therefore they would take advantage of that writing and alter it according to their own feelings. Men or the cloth or not, they were still just men, and all men succomb to a power when it is given to them.)

And that's it for my rant. I'll probably have more to say as the conversation continues, but I don't want people getting mad at me for going on too long of a post. :buttrock: (Which being the newbie to the boards that I am, I have a feeling I'm going to get a little griped at.)

weoden
03-01-2004, 09:30 AM
Ha! I would like to make some comments on this.

I have been considering this hot topic as well and trying to determine reasons why gays should not marry in the same sense as hetro couples can. I guess the reasons why may include:

- Marriage is "defined" and those that qualify for that license may apply. Much the way that you need to meet certain criteria to obtain a drivers license. One may not "drive" but one may still get a license.

- Restricting who may provide a safe home for a child. Safe would be interpted as physical, mental and social. What are the impacts on a child to either not know who their father/mother was or to not have a male/female figure in their life.

- Morally. This is a toughy. Marriage was defined as a method to provide support to women and children in the time before social welfare and sufferage. Perhaps the secular laws have progressed beyond the need to provide care to the most "vulnerable" of our society. So that leaves the moral interpertation of "if it does not hurt someone else then why not?" OR the moral interpertation from the Bible and other religious works OR lessons learned from the decadant time of Rome's decline. I guess I would like to quote a scripture:

Corithians 6:9 -> p://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&passage=1+corinthians+6%3A9-10&version=NIV

The Bible enermerates the various responsibilities a man has to his wife. Since the audiance would be men most scripture is to that effect. Various scripture enumerates protections both for the man and wife.

~~~~~~~~~~~
I do not think that an amendment will be passed by congress and I doubt that the Supreme court will overturn this interpertation. why? Because the moral guide post judges seem to have is "do unto others as you would have done to you", NOT what is the function of marriage and it's purpose. If the purpose of marriage was defined with certain rights and restrictions then this license would have criteria for one to enter in to the contract. In essence, society would be saying that a homosexual couple would not provide a proper living environment for a child.

So this brings up the arguement that if a woman was married to a man, divorced and started living with a women and had intimate encounters with a woman, is the child being harmed physically, emotionally or socially? What about if the child does not know of have influence from a male/female parent? Does the opposite sex have a vital role in the development of a child?

There are some other questions that are probably relavent. Why is a person gay? Is it genetic? Is it from some childhood experience or abuse? Is it hormonal? Is there one explaination? Are there any unbiased explainations?

PS I am assuming that heterosexual is "normal" based on notions of survival of the fittest and definitions laid down in the bible.

Stormhaven
03-01-2004, 09:43 AM
Separation between Church and State dictates that morality or ethics really can't enter into the argument. While I'm sure that there's a bunch of religious pundits who can argue why gay marriages are wrong (and just as many who can say why it's not), you can't really use either side in the argument to legalize it. Just because "the Church" says it's wrong doesn't give the government the right to say the same thing.

Oh, and by the way - the Bible was mostly written by eunuchs. Yes, these were men, but they were sexually repressed in one of the most literal ways possible. I have read some theological discussions hypothesizing that the "authors" are responsible for the tone of sexuality in the Bible. Basically, you're having people who have been forbidden from having sex writing the authoritative text on whether and how you have sex is morale. This doesn't mean that they came out and blatantly said, "Sex is wrong!" but rather that the <i>tone</i> was changed from what may have originally been intended.

In other words, history is nothing but interpretation, and the Bible is one of the oldest books around.

Jinjre
03-01-2004, 10:19 AM
And interestingly, the Puritans had laws saying that one of the acceptable grounds for divorce was a lack of sex in the marriage.

If our society really wants to defend the "sanctity" of marriage, I say we wind the clock back 500 years or so and make divorce nigh on impossible, as well as stopping gays from getting married. While we're at it, make women the property of men and go back to the days when a man could legally beat his wife.

Now THAT's compassionate conservatism.

Klath
03-01-2004, 11:00 AM
Anka said:
I'm sure many gay activists would like there to have been many more prominent gay figures recognised in history

There's no shortage. If our culture wasn't so taboo about it you would be aware of them.

Famous Gays and Lesbians in History (http://www.youth.org/loco/PERSONProject/Resources/OrganizingResources/history.html)

Aidon
03-01-2004, 11:18 AM
Separation between Church and State dictates that morality or ethics really can't enter into the argument. While I'm sure that there's a bunch of religious pundits who can argue why gay marriages are wrong (and just as many who can say why it's not), you can't really use either side in the argument to legalize it. Just because "the Church" says it's wrong doesn't give the government the right to say the same thing.

Oh, and by the way - the Bible was mostly written by eunuchs. Yes, these were men, but they were sexually repressed in one of the most literal ways possible. I have read some theological discussions hypothesizing that the "authors" are responsible for the tone of sexuality in the Bible. Basically, you're having people who have been forbidden from having sex writing the authoritative text on whether and how you have sex is morale. This doesn't mean that they came out and blatantly said, "Sex is wrong!" but rather that the <i>tone</i> was changed from what may have originally been intended.

In other words, history is nothing but interpretation, and the Bible is one of the oldest books around.

Where'd you get that idea? About the Eunuchs? Jews, even in ancient days, didn't make a practice of Eunuchism. The heirarchy of the priesthood was broadly based on heredity (Levites were one of the twelve Tribes...the Tribe dictated to be the Priesthood, with the Cohens being those directly descended from Aaron). Though it seems unlikely the Levites wrote the Torah initially (though noone can be certain), those who did almost certainly were not Eunuchs either. It goes against the grain of a religion where "Be fruitful and multiply" was a major tenet.


Even the Greek-Egyptian Rabbis who compiled the Septuagent for the Library at Alexandria, and thus created what is today known as the collective "Old Testament", wouldn't have been Eunuchs, for that very reason.

Certainly the Apostles who, theoretically, wrote the Gospels were not Eunuchs.

While I don't doubt that the New Testament, even the Gospels, changed the view of sexuality (For instance, it seems highly likely that Jesus was married to Mary of Magdelene, since other than his radicals political views he was considered an upright Jew...which meant that he would have been married by the time he died..i.t was expected). I suspect any Eunuchs involved were at a later date.

Aidon
03-01-2004, 11:28 AM
I look at that list...and can only think that some of those names listed are pure revisionist wishful thinking, or stretching of definitions.

I mean, while you are at it, why don't you list every famous ancient greek male. It was acceptable at the time, thus most slept with both sexes.

Most of the people listed on that list, would be pure supposition based on annectodal evidence, at best.

corlathist
03-01-2004, 11:57 AM
At this point, I just want to pipe in agreement with many of the sentiments echoed in this post.

The United States Government should simply put stop giving out Marriage Liscenses totally. If you wish to express your faith through the religious sacrament of marriage, sign up at your local church.

As such, a Civil Document should hold all the same benefits and consequences regardless of who it is between. This includes but is not limited to
1) higher tax rate
2) legal confidentally between partners
3) legal rights concerning your partner's care in hosiptal
4) legal rights concerning children including obligation for financial support
5) legal rights to social security, as well as lower payment for dual collections.
6) legal rights concerning death including propery/children/taxes
7) work related benefits such as the family leave act, shared insurance
8) etc etc

And I do find it difficult to believe that the US could still give "Marriage" and "Civil Unions" both and say they are "seperate but equal". We have already seen that tenet fail miserably in US History. Seperate but equal can never be truly equal.

this is not to condone a change to "marriage" either. Or to force a change on marriage. Thats a religious belief that goes to the heart of "Freedom of Religion". However, the Government of the United States could well get "out of the marriage business." and leave that to churches.

Instead the United States could say "these are the legal structure the government supports for 2 indiviuals who express the desire to live thier life jointly."

Greggo
03-01-2004, 12:22 PM
The bible is not one of the oldest books around by a long margin. It was largely created in its present form around the 4th century AD, although a number of the texts which were chosen for inclusion were older.

But I take as seriously someone saying "God says this is bad" as I would someone saying "Santa thinks this is bad".

Klath
03-01-2004, 12:47 PM
Most of the people listed on that list, would be pure supposition based on annectodal evidence, at best.

You have an odd definition of "most." There may be a few people listed for whom the evidence is (necessarily) anecdotal but, for the majority of them, it is a stone cold fact that they were gay.

Scirocco
03-01-2004, 01:36 PM
I mean, while you are at it, why don't you list every famous ancient greek male. It was acceptable at the time, thus most slept with both sexes.


And that does not make them any less homosexual or bisexual, of course. Or is your point simply that homosexuality was acceptable, even expected, in Ancient Greece?

TurinOfNoldor
03-01-2004, 02:20 PM
America is the melting pot of the world filled with every race and creed. Myself personally am very protective of my religion even though no one creed is perfect I feel the need to defend it even if many people would say I am wrong. Gay marriage is something that everyone has an oppinion about and will probably defend it zealousy even against great numbers of people who say they are wrong.
In all aspects, another persons "PERSONAL" life should have no impact on your personal life. People who wish to BAN gay marriage are simply trying to defend their morals and beliefs. And while everyone wishes for a perfect society to live in and raise their kids in, it is very obvious that MY idea of a perfect world is probably much different than hundreds of thousands of people.
And the truth is, many of the people who are fighting gay unions probably share many of the same ideas and morals of the gay population they are trying to control. This IS a very sensitive subject and the last thing I would want is to offend Anyone! I firmly believe that no matter what your sexual preferences are, everyone deserves to be heard and treated fairly.
If two gay people wish to get married than it is their business! I personally do not approve of homosexuality, but I do believe in equality.
And in closing, I would like to point out the fear many people have of making gay marriage legal. Remember Sodom and Gemora?

Panamah
03-01-2004, 03:42 PM
I would like to point out the fear many people have of making gay marriage legal. Remember Sodom and Gemora?

Yup. And Atlantis and Camelot and lots of other stories from mythology.

TurinOfNoldor
03-01-2004, 03:45 PM
Don't mock me. I guess ignorance is bliss......

Oldoak
03-01-2004, 09:06 PM
The lesson of Sodom and Gemorrah is an uncertain one, even from a religious perspective.

The crime of the cities was first and foremost their godlessness.

When the angels went to Sodom, it was because God promised Abraham that he would spare the cities if he could find 50 worthy people. He only found Lot. Ergo, while there is a direct reference to a crowd of people wanting to "know" the angels, it is not this ocurrence that caused the cities to be destroyed.

Further, it is not entirely clear if the point of this story is that you are meant to be shocked by the reference to homosexual sex (implied), or the fact that the residents of the city were trying to rape angels (ergo the rape is the bigger crime).

Shorthanding Biblical stories tends to oversimplify them. I am not a religious guy, but I do want to point out that the Sodom and Gomorrah story is not really as cut and dried as people always present it to be.

Here is a good quote...

"Saying that the last recorded acts of the Sodomites -- the demands for same-gender sex -- are proof that they were destroyed for homosexuality is like saying that a condemned man cursing his guards on the way to his execution is being executed for cursing the guards. Sodom was judged worthy of destruction before the incident with Lot and the angels." Inge Anderson 1

Aidon
03-01-2004, 10:28 PM
I mean, while you are at it, why don't you list every famous ancient greek male. It was acceptable at the time, thus most slept with both sexes.


And that does not make them any less homosexual or bisexual, of course. Or is your point simply that homosexuality was acceptable, even expected, in Ancient Greece?

My point, being, that bisexuality does not equal homosexuality. And that listing famous folks from Ancient Greece as "Famous Homosexuals in History" would be akin to me listing famous folks from the Old Testament, and Ancient Israel as "Famous Jews in History". It demonstrates little.

Aidon
03-01-2004, 10:40 PM
You have an odd definition of "most." There may be a few people listed for whom the evidence is (necessarily) anecdotal but, for the majority of them, it is a stone cold fact that they were gay.


Well lets see.

The last seven entries, aren't people.

I'd venture to say that the first 20 were bisexual "at best" (Though its entirely likely the whole bunch of them were so).

Then, with the exception of a couple, like Oscar Wilde, you don't really see "definitative" persons until you get to the "post-modern" crowd, like Martina Navratilova.


Stone cold fact you say?

No. Supposition. Anecdotal. And misclassification of bisexuality for homosexuality.

Aidon
03-01-2004, 10:46 PM
Of interesting note regarding Lot being the sole worthy soul, so to speak (and this speaks volumes about the societies as a whole). The man offered up his two daughters for a mob to rape instead of his guests (the angels).

Granted, at the time hospitality towards guests was considered one of the paramount virtues and a man's daughters were naught but addition property. So it could, at the time, be considered virtuous to offer up your daughters (and thus have to pay a greater dowery to marry them off) to protect your guests.

Panamah
03-01-2004, 11:09 PM
The United States Government should simply put stop giving out Marriage Liscenses totally.

I said it before, I'll say it again: Religion doesn't own the definition of marriage. Christianity doesn't own marriage. Judaism doesn't own marriage. Islam doesn't own marriage.

There is no religion on earth that predates marriage. Marriage is a social and legal institution. Always has been, always will be. In the old days, it was sealed with a few cows, pigs, or some chickens, maybe a nice hide from a animal someone killed with a spear. These days, it takes a marriage license... which you get from your municipality not your church.

Weoden, your arguments for restricting marriage, I'm gonna pick 'em apart:

- Restricting who may provide a safe home for a child. Safe would be interpted as physical, mental and social. What are the impacts on a child to either not know who their father/mother was or to not have a male/female figure in their life.

Perhaps you should talk to the 50-60% of children who come from households where the mother and father were divorced. Being the progeny of a male/female relationship doesn't guarantee you anything in that respect.

I've seen interviews of children who grew up with same-sex parents. All the ones I saw were heterosexual kids. They seemed quite happy and well adjusted. But one thing was for sure... it ain't easy having kids if you're a same-sex couple so both parents are super invested in raising whatever kids they manage to have. These aren't accidental oppsies from failed birth control.

Morally. This is a toughy. Marriage was defined as a method to provide support to women and children in the time before social welfare and sufferage.

Marriage has been lots of things during the course of human civiliazation. Its been a way to forge treaties between warring countries, its a way of increasing the gene pool (taking a wife from another tribe), its a way to increase your status. But a lot of these reasons simply don't apply any longer because society changes. So don't try to justify marriage today because of what it was 500, 1000, 2000 or 5000 years ago, because you don't know. It changes from century to century and from culture to culture.

So this brings up the arguement that if a woman was married to a man, divorced and started living with a women and had intimate encounters with a woman, is the child being harmed physically, emotionally or socially? What about if the child does not know of have influence from a male/female parent? Does the opposite sex have a vital role in the development of a child?

What about women who divorce, have their boyfriend move in and then their children are beaten by the boyfriend or their new husbands? Heterosexual relationships have their problems too. Terrible problems sometimes that no child should have to endure. They aren't some kind of gold-standard for raising amazing children, frankly. Otherwise there wouldn't be so damn many screwed up adults.

There are some other questions that are probably relavent. Why is a person gay? Is it genetic? Is it from some childhood experience or abuse? Is it hormonal? Is there one explaination? Are there any unbiased explainations?

Probably some portion of homosexuality is genetic, probably some is choice. But no one knows.

You can find evidence of homosexuality, or bisexuality, throughout history and in other species. It has been hidden and underground for a long time in Western culture because of how homosexuals have been persecuted and only from about the 1970's (I think) on it has become more open as homosexuals have pressed to be recognized as people with rights like everyone else.


PS I am assuming that heterosexual is "normal" based on notions of survival of the fittest and definitions laid down in the bible.

Well, if ranchers have problems with rams that won't mount sheep because they prefer goofing around with other rams, then I'd say that is probably a pretty good indication. Just type "homosexual" and "animals" into your favorite search engine and read up. There's a lot of non-procreative sex happening in the world and it isn't just being done by humans!

Here's an entertaining article: http://www.subversions.com/french/pages/science/animals.html

I won't even mention what I saw in the Walrus exhibit at Sea World one time... Kind of embarassing since I was there with my mom. It sure didn't have anything to do with procreation and good old Wally was a happy boy.

Jinjre
03-02-2004, 12:01 AM
So this brings up the arguement that if a woman was married to a man, divorced and started living with a women and had intimate encounters with a woman, is the child being harmed physically, emotionally or socially?

Based on my husband and sister in law, who both fit your criteria of mother divorcing, meeting another woman and having intimate encounters with the other woman, I can say, from experience, that neither my husband nor my sister in law seem to be in any way affected by this arrangement. My mother in law's partner of 15+ years now is a lovely woman, and I am happy to consider her part of my 'in laws'.

As with any new social situation, there was some awkwardness initially, but that has dissappeared as I got to know each person as just that, people. My husband is a fairly normal computer geek (if there is such a thing), very much heterosexual, and probably more socially evolved than the majority of males I"ve met in my life, which I attribute to being exposed to social relationships outside the 'norm'. He is capable of identifiying and talking about his emotional state, he is capable of understanding another's view, and he is capable of accepting that just because his view is different than theirs, that does not make him neccessarily right or the other person wrong.

I would say that his upbringing, far from causing him harm, actually was quite beneficial to him.

Gunny Burlfoot
03-02-2004, 12:47 AM
I’m jumping into this thread sort of late, digesting all that has been said, many things have already been said, but Panamah, you know how to pick controversial topics.

Though I’ve already started to detect some fibers of hostility already interwoven within this thread, either by gays or lesbians, angry at the way they have been persecuted throughout their lives, and Christians, who feel that if gay marriage was legalized, it would further the moral decay of society as a whole. (Violent crimes have actually dropped http://bjsdata.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/Search/Homicide/State/RunHomTrendsInOneVar.cfm over the course of the last 28 years, but that’s partially due to updated methods of prevention, like metal detectors in elementary schools)

I certainly hope that we can continue discussing this topic without snippish insults being thrown at each other. Proper intellectual discourse tends to flee when on one hand, you have people saying we are on the verge of becoming Sodom and Gomorra, and on the other hand, people snickering up their sleeves about how foolish you are to believe “myths” and “fairy tales”.

Panamah’s original starter question was: “How does gay and lesbian marriage threaten heterosexual marriage? I am just not understanding the reasoning behind this.”

I’ll try to explain it, though many other explanations have already gone before me. I’ll start by saying I am assuming that many of you, like myself, are not married and don’t have small children running about asking questions about things that seem obvious to adults. You know the types of questions I am talking about. “Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why is that man kissing that other man?”

I would go a little ways out on the limb of speculation and say that your perspectives on a great many things change when you are responsible for another life, and therefore once married with children, you might change your views on your own. However, assuming you are also like me, and have given up on the whole dating game, sweet reason might be the only way you will change your views on this topic. People who oppose it probably fear for their children and grandchildren’s world more than how it would affect their own marriage/society/etc. That’s it in a nutshell, since you all are probably busy playing EQ, so I’ll give you the reason up front.

First, what is it gays and lesbians are after in regards to marriage? Equal legal treatment? I believe those states that allow for civil unions do give the legal perks that marriage gives. As to taxes, I am pretty sure the IRS would recognize a civil union for tax purposes, although I am not 100% on that. (I need to research that more)

Trying to type this while reading over the myriad of responses so far. The United States is not a theocracy, I agree, nor should it be one, as theocracies run by fallible humans tend to start condemning all sorts of things, and burning witches, minorities, people that don’t agree with them, etc. However, I have perpetually been shocked at recent revisionistic tendencies towards whitewashing our Founding Fathers as some weird form of robotic computers that came up with the Constitution in a completely religion free, secular commune where they didn’t even know there was a God. Again, the real truth (if you all are at all concerned with it) lies somewhere in the middle. Most of the founding fathers were privately religious, publicly giving the appearance that they were unbiased in their views. If someone disagrees with me, I guess I’ll have to get “all historical on your ass”, to steal from Pulp Fiction. But that’s off topic. What’s on topic is the United States should not be in the marriage business at all. You want a marriage? See a church. Church won’t marry you? Find one that will. There’s plenty to choose from. http://www.rainbowchristians.com/gayandaffirmingchurches1.HTM

That aside, the reality is that the US government has approved marriage since it began, so that in and of itself is a nod to the religious makeup to the majority of its constituents. Giving the same nod in legal rights to gay marriage would mean implicitly approving gay and lesbian lifestyles as equal choices under the law as heterosexual lifestyles. That might be another reason why a lot of people are upset, if they think that the US Government is basically saying “Gay is OK”. (As another aside . . {Edit: that’s how I write, so :p if you don’t like it.}. .why the distinction? When did “gay” become solely male and “lesbian” female? Or is it? I didn’t get the memo!!)

By the way, the people who brought out the fact that it doesn’t pay to be married, taxwise, were spot on, strictly speaking, though the EIC’s might make up that difference if you are married WITH kids.

The whole gun argument that Aidon brought up and has continued on throughout the thread. . . I own 3 guns, and some members of my extended family could open up his own rifle shop, but . . revolution? In this day and age? Puh-leeease! (I hope that’s all just tongue-in-cheek, but in case it’s not. .) I’m not trying to belittle your idea, but I like your posts, if you went to Washington with your trusty firearm, we would not have you around to post anymore! Armed revolt against the US Government won’t work no more! Ask the Branch Davidians if that worked ok for them. And they weren’t even trying to assault Congress; they were simply trying to have their own strange little cult world. Heck, half the US tried that in 1861. Didn’t work then either. Of course, in reality, I’m sure we’d just have another go round the legal carousel of fun, if the amendment happened to pass.

Speaking of that amendment, most of the people in this thread have expressed severe doubt that it would pass Congress, and if it did, it would never pass circulating throughout the 50 States, for 38 states to pass it in a referendum. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but 37 or so states have already passed “No Gay Marriage” laws. So if it gets out of the Congress, I wouldn’t bet MY money it wouldn’t make it at that point. Panamah mentioned something about statistics before hand and the age-related yay vs. nay votes. This polling place has a LOT of polls that have been done, and I'm sorry to say, that Panamah was wrong. More <30 people vote for homosexual marriage than any other age group, and more vote against it than for it. http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm

Then there’s a lot of discussion on the Bible, God, and Everything Religious. I find this interesting:

And if you want to trot out some of the Old Testament laws and apply them, what is the justification of not doing them all? Why do religoius christians not keep kosher? Why do they suffer witches to live? Why do they not marry their brother's widow when he dies? I could go on...


Several other people also expressed concern or doubt that this was only an “Old Testament thing”, and that any modern Christian wouldn’t be thinking that homosexuality was wrong. The wrongness of homosexuality isn’t based solely in the Old Testament. It’s also found in the New Testament. I’ll quote it in context, so you don’t get it quoted OUT of context.

Romans 1:24-32
24 So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. 25 Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. 28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. 32 They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

I’m pretty sure someone already brought out that the Bible speaks out against homosexuality in BOTH testaments, but couldn’t find where someone had quoted it so far.

Moving right along, Aidon and others talk about the “natural” vs. “unnatural” parts of hetero vs. homosexuality. That whole question is academic. No matter whether you desire the same sex or desire the “natural” opposite sex, you can still refrain (via a choice!) from having sex until marriage, with the idea that you may never get married. I have done this myself, and have given up on finding a woman that meets my criteria (she doesn’t exist!), so if I can do it desiring women, then someone who desires men can simply remain celibate as well. But, if a “only homosexual” gene existed, it was not passed on to the next generation. Maybe 1 in 100,000 could claim genetic predisposition, but the rest have only their personal choice as their reason. This whole trend of “it’s genetic, I can’t help myself”, or “all the animals do it, we are just like them!” line of reasoning boggles my mind. Well, we’re not exactly like animals. They don’t debate on message boards whether homosexuality is genetic or not :p

Reading on what Stormhaven wrote, most “facts” are “believed” to be true, as you can’t go back and hand-verify each and every “fact” you are taught in your life. Sort of a human conundrum. We accept all these “facts” on the “belief” that the people finding the “facts” aren’t lying to us :) Sort of like those people who “believe” the Bible isn’t lying to them.

After finishing reading the posts on this thread there’s no way I can encompass all the myriad points of view and side topics you folks have brought up. Storm’s assertation that the Bible was written by eunuchs was a little out there, but other than that. . (It wasn’t! I’m sure Aidon could tell you volumes of history about Jewish culture more than I, but from what I understand, most Pharisees and Sadducees had to be married for membership, sort of like deacons in some churches today)

The Bible seems to have gotten a lot of knocks in this thread for being inaccurate, so I’ll say my piece on it: no translation, we have today is inerrant. None, zero, zip. The original texts in Hebrew and koine Greek were inerrant, but any English translation is just that, a translation. Not that there aren’t many fine translations out there, just not free from error. You want to get the straight dope, learn Greek and Hebrew :)

I’ll close by saying that probably those few parents reading this thread might be a little disappointed if your children all decided to be homosexual and not have children. That’s probably the main reason I see why there would be an outcry against normalizing homosexual marriages. That and the “Big Three” religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are based on the traditional family structures, it’s going to be REAL hard to upset that apple cart. Personally, I don’t have a problem with what homosexuals do behind soundproof, closed doors. If I had to hear it and see it every day, that might be a different matter. The Bible and God call it sin, but we all sin according to the Bible. I’m definitely found in that laundry list I quoted above, which is one of the reasons why I quoted the whole thing. Too many Christians shake verses like the “It’s an abomination!” in the gays and lesbians faces, and fail to pull the plank from their own eyes :rolleyes:

Ndainye
03-02-2004, 01:01 AM
“Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why is that man kissing that other man?”

You have to deal with those questions whether or not gay marriages are legalized. Unless you are looking to outlaw homosexuality completly which in essence is what I assume most that don't wish gay marriages to be legal would like to do.

And yes I skimmed your entire post that was just the statement that grabbed my attention, children question it all and as parents you must be prepared for just about anything

Natrina
03-02-2004, 01:10 AM
(Alright, here I go again with the long posts..)

First off, on the deal with Sodom and Gammorah...
#1 Already set to be destroyed (as was already said) because of their Godlessness.
#2 They were destroyed because they were trying to FORCE THEMSELVES upon others, not because they were having sex with others of the same sex. (I just re-read this in my Bible not 2 weeks ago..)
#3 That has been used countless times to prove that homosexuality is wrong. And quite frankly, it's one of the worst arguments I've ever heard on the subject because the Bible is written in such a manner that most of what it says is one giant grey area that the church uses to manipulate the populus.

Alright, continuing on the path of the Bible Speak.....if you look at the Bible, at one point, it condoned slavery, it condoned beating your wife, it condoned marrying your brothers widow if your brother died (dear God if my uncle married my mother I'd have way more "problems" then liking women and men...though I don't see that as a problem =P). I'm sorry, but the Bible WAS altered, no matter what anyone says, to fit the needs of the persons who were editing/writing it. The church has altered the Bible throughout history to suit it's own means of controling the populus. Yes, I am a Christian, but I'm damned well aware that GOD did NOT write the Bible, therefore, it is NOT perfect. (Sorry but in most versions of the Bible, the same passage that condems homosexuality is the same one that is used to condemn incest. When there is one and only one version of the Bible, maybe then I'll buy into it a little more, but there never will be because the different churches alter it as much as it can to try and get what it wants.)

Now moving on to the subject of child rearing.....I've seen children who have one (or more) homosexual parents, the had the normal problems that most children do through out life, but their parents were extreamly supportive and loving and helped them through it. I've also seen children who had completely heterosexual parents, they were worse off. They had well beyond their share of what are "normal" issues. In most cases, one parent isn't there. The parents are divorced, remarried, are having other children, and aren't very supportive.

In most instances, gay couples have to fight to be able to adopt, pay thousands of dollars for invetro (sp?) fertalization (and a serogate mother in the case of gay male couples), etc. It's been shown time and time again they're more likely to nurture the child's needs and be more supportive because they're more committed to that child.

This is because for the general populus of straight folks, it's real easy to go and get "knocked up". Many aren't that truly committed to bringing a child into this world and seeing to it's needs. (Example: Look at the THOUSANDS of abortions a year, and even more THOUSANDS of children put up for adoption?)

Another thing....everyone keeps trying to find a "reason" for homosexuality. Why, if it is genetic destiny (and I wholeheartedly believe that genetic is one of the biggest factors in sexuality), has it not been bred out of the human race over thousands of years? What makes it a "useful" trait? I can tell you that one without even thinking about it. How many thousands (if not millions, I haven't checked the numbers in awhile) of children are up for adoption or are in foster care because their parents: A) Didn't want that responsibility (again I say it's WAY too easy for straight folks to concieve), or B) Couldn't take care of them? (I've never heard of a homosexual couple having a child if they didn't have the money/time to take care of it).

Homosexuality may not "continue the species" by reproduction...I agree....but it DOES continue the species by nurturing the children who's parents aren't willing to be dedicated to that child, and I'm sorry, but I find that a hell of alot more abmirable than being able to go out and 'be fruitful and multiply'.

And on the final note (for this post), I'm going to ask again: Why does ANYONE get to say who I can and can not marry? I really want an answer. From what I've seen, everyone who's posted in this forum seems to be heterosexual. I'd like to know why it's up to any of you to decide? Why is this debate even going on? I really want to know why you all feel that you have the right to decide that. How does whom I marry effect your life so much that any one of you should be able to decide if I am or am not allowed to marry someone of the same sex? (If someone should decide it, it should be MY peers. And I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, on this issue, the only peers I will agree to deciding this fate are those that are lesbians, gay, or bisexual.)

Note: PLEASE do not be offended by my last question. It is not meant to single any one person out, insult him/her, or any such thing. I just want to know why you all feel (and why the nation feels) it is up to them to decide. (And I think this was the original question that was posted to begin with, and frankly, damnit, I want an answer! LOL! :wiggle: :banghead_ )

Panamah
03-02-2004, 01:16 AM
As a parent you have to explain all kinds of things to your kids. You can be watching the evening news and hear some announcer say that if you experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours you should get some immediate medical treatment.

So what's more difficult, explaining what an erection is to a child or explaining that those two men are in kissing like mom and dad kiss, because they love each other? I think the difficulty is because of your own discomfort with the topic rather than it being a topic your child can't handle.

I can't argue about homosexuality with people that quote the bible to support their argument mainly because I don't believe in the bible. It's like if someone tried to back up an argument quoting Greek mythology to prove that you need to put coins on dead people's eyes, so you can pay the ferryman. I can politely keep quiet, nod my head and walk away or I can point out that I don't believe there's a guy with a ferry that you have to pay to get to the after life so it really isn't necessary to put those coins on some dead guys eyes. Sorry if my disbelief offends, but there you go.

But putting aside all the question of whether homosexuality is right or wrong, people are assuming that their religion owns the institution of marriage, which it doesn't, and then try to use their religious beliefs to dictate who can and can't get married. I have no problems with that inside a chuch, I'll let Christians use the legal and social institution of marriage to mean something religious to them. But then to try to dictate to the government that the Christian meaning of marriage is the only valid one, that's going too far.

Why does ANYONE get to say who I can and can not marry?

Because we arranged your marriage! The shaman's wife died and you have nice broad hips, and he offered us two 10 dose SoW potions for you. No complaints about how old he is! Go forth and be fruitflyful.

Natrina
03-02-2004, 01:46 AM
Panamah’s original starter question was: “How does gay and lesbian marriage threaten heterosexual marriage? I am just not understanding the reasoning behind this.”

I’ll try to explain it, though many other explanations have already gone before me. I’ll start by saying I am assuming that many of you, like myself, are not married and don’t have small children running about asking questions about things that seem obvious to adults. You know the types of questions I am talking about. “Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why is that man kissing that other man?”
You know what I find ironic? When I was a child, my mother answered all my questions on sex/sexuality without hesitation. And I will note, my mother was EXTREAMLY homophobic in these days. Most of my peers parents, on the other hand, waited untill about the age of 13 to give their kids the birds and the bees lecture, and by this time, we already had 3 girls in my grade pregnant. I was the last girl in my grade to lose her virginity. I'm one of the few that DOESN'T smoke, drink, do drugs, go partying, have promiscuous sex, etc.

My mother educated me and I benefitted from that because I could make INFORMED decisions in my life. Don't get me wrong, many children of my age couldn't have handled that knowledge, but I'm sorry, answering your childrens questions and educating them is alot more useful than not.

When I got to be about 13, and had been playing EQ for about a year or so, I ended up meeting people online who were gay, and realizing that my mom's views on sexuality were WRONG. I was finally able to realize that being gay/bi/les is not a bad thing, and was able to acknowledge the fact that I do in fact like men and women (and I'll be rank, I lean towards women), and that there is nothing wrong with that. And I had no reason to be ashamed. When I came out to my mom, she still fought me and said I was going through a phase. Around the same time, she met a couple in EQ,whom she became best friends with, that are in fact VERY gay. It was these two men who my mom went to for 'help' for dealing with me when I told her I was bi. Now my mother is fighting for gay rights in her own ways, and accepts my choice to love whom I choose, regardless of sex.

Amazing how educating a child and letting them make a decision based on their own views/opinions can lead to so much?

Now....do you want to tell me again why it hurts someone elses children/marriage so much for me to marry a woman?


Moving right along, Aidon and others talk about the “natural” vs. “unnatural” parts of hetero vs. homosexuality. That whole question is academic. No matter whether you desire the same sex or desire the “natural” opposite sex, you can still refrain (via a choice!) from having sex until marriage, with the idea that you may never get married. I have done this myself, and have given up on finding a woman that meets my criteria (she doesn’t exist!), so if I can do it desiring women, then someone who desires men can simply remain celibate as well. But, if a “only homosexual” gene existed, it was not passed on to the next generation. Maybe 1 in 100,000 could claim genetic predisposition, but the rest have only their personal choice as their reason. This whole trend of “it’s genetic, I can’t help myself”, or “all the animals do it, we are just like them!” line of reasoning boggles my mind. Well, we’re not exactly like animals. They don’t debate on message boards whether homosexuality is genetic or not :p
Why does it make a damn wether or not it's genetic or if I have a choice or do not? (I don't believe I do). Why should I have to make a choice NOT to love a woman? If I love her, then damnit, I love her. Why do you CARE? It is NOT your place to dictate my actions. Why does anyone debate it? It's NOT your place! You have no right to say whom I can and can not love. That's like saying that Romeo couldn't love Juliet because their houses hated eachother. Saying that a love is wrong just because of the sex of it's 'participants' is totally ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it does NOT hurt you if I love a man or a woman, and if I want to kiss a woman in public, you can not tell me I'm wrong for it. If I can kiss a man, why not a woman? If your children see me, then be an adult and have the guts to EDUCATE your children. Trust me, it won't hurt them. It won't turn them into little lesbianites and 'fags'. Unless that is the way they were BORN or WANT to be. And if it is, then who are you to stop them?

Natrina
03-02-2004, 02:09 AM
Because we arranged your marriage! The shaman's wife died and you have nice broad hips, and he offered us two 10 dose SoW potions for you. No complaints about how old he is! Go forth and be fruitflyful.
Pan, I love you *HUGS* lol That was just...great...

Though really....I can give you better than 10 dose SOW potions if you let me out of it....I'll run around and be your personal SOWer forever...just don't make me marry him >.< He's hairy.

P.S. It's a Vah Shir....right? Please...no Ogre's or Troll's, I beg of you.

Oldoak
03-02-2004, 02:55 AM
Quote:

The Bible seems to have gotten a lot of knocks in this thread for being inaccurate, so I’ll say my piece on it: no translation, we have today is inerrant. None, zero, zip. The original texts in Hebrew and koine Greek were inerrant, but any English translation is just that, a translation. Not that there aren’t many fine translations out there, just not free from error. You want to get the straight dope, learn Greek and Hebrew


Ah...and there we get at one of the very most central issues about literal application of anything written in the Bible, and it has been wrestled with for millenia now.

Is it what it originally said that matters, or how we interpret it today?

That isn't a pat solution. The religious right in the US would say that they are being guided by God to the correct interpretation of what the Bible says. And yet...it is a translation (sometimes that went through many steps) and, indeed, the actual books that made up the Bible were changing over time until one of the Pope's in the middle ages set the official list together and said "there, that is it."

The Apocrypha were books that were originally part of the Bible...but are not any more. Did the word change? Was the Bible wrong before?

Let's leave the old testament aside for a few moments...it was written over the course of thousands of years and represents both the history and religion of a people that went through many changes (the tone of it changes drastically depending on the fortunes of Israel at the time any given writer was working - God punishing us for our sins, God rewarding us for our virtues).

Now then...the new testament. Let's talk about Paul since you want to bring up Romans. He is the writer of huge chunks of the New Testament, and yet he never met Jesus in life. He was miraculously converted on the road to Damascus after the crucifiction.

He is one of the most important formative voices in the early church, and was very effective in bringing it to the Roman world (he was a Roman citizen born in Israel). He named himself an Apostle after his conversion, of course.

How you receive his writings is of course part of your religious truth. And yet, to give it the same weight as one of the four gospels is already an act of faith in your own reading of the Bible...in your belief that your interpretation of the book is divinely guided.

I always find it interesting that people dig out Sodom and Gomorrah as being particularly significant. If you read the Old Testament, dozens - hundreds? - of cities fell to the wrath of god in various forms. And yet these two are always trotted out.

Bible interpretation is always a bit of a shell game...you pull out the sections and stories that support your point of view, claim it is a divinely ordained perspective, and your position is inassailable.

It is of course why religious debate is at the outset a fruitless affair. I respect your right to feel as you do about it...I just don't share it. And ultimately, I don't want your perspective on your religion setting the agenda for the law in the country I live in...on ANY issue.

I am not trying by any means to imply that I refute your right to espouse and support policies that are in line with your religion. But I won't cede you a greater consideration for your position than my own, and I won't accept anything that starts with "because the Bible says..." or "because the Pope says..." or "because the Rabbi says..." or any other such catechism as a valid argument or reason for your views.

ie, if you can't boil something down to a brass tacks, real world - preferably scientifically backed - example, then you haven't really made an argument at all in my view.

That all said, I salute you for your rational presentation of your views, and particularly your last comment.

Quote:

I’m definitely found in that laundry list I quoted above, which is one of the reasons why I quoted the whole thing. Too many Christians shake verses like the “It’s an abomination!” in the gays and lesbians faces, and fail to pull the plank from their own eyes

Aidon
03-02-2004, 10:12 AM
The whole gun argument that Aidon brought up and has continued on throughout the thread. . . I own 3 guns, and some members of my extended family could open up his own rifle shop, but . . revolution? In this day and age? Puh-leeease! (I hope that’s all just tongue-in-cheek, but in case it’s not. .) I’m not trying to belittle your idea, but I like your posts, if you went to Washington with your trusty firearm, we would not have you around to post anymore! Armed revolt against the US Government won’t work no more! Ask the Branch Davidians if that worked ok for them. And they weren’t even trying to assault Congress; they were simply trying to have their own strange little cult world. Heck, half the US tried that in 1861. Didn’t work then either. Of course, in reality, I’m sure we’d just have another go round the legal carousel of fun, if the amendment happened to pass.

Which is why I'm a huge opponent of assault weapons bans...I personally feel the American populous should have legal access to any weapon it can get its hands on (with the exception to WMDs, since other than nukes, they are all illegal by international convention). If you can afford it, you should be able to own it. Else, any revolution in the USA is doomed to failure without the defectation of a hefty chunk of the military. It also means that the populous itself is unable to defend against a military coup.

That being said...sometimes you have to fight the unwinnable fight anyways.

On an aside, there really is no truly original source for the Old Testament. Many people know Hebrew. Many people even know Aramaic (which is most likely what the Torah was initially scribed in), but 2500 years has a way of warping even written texts that aren't preserved.

Galamar
03-02-2004, 10:13 AM
I'm glad people are not getting that upset over this. It's good to see a rational discussion without all the personal attacks.

First, a couple things before I delve into the actual issue:
This polling place has a LOT of polls that have been done, and I'm sorry to say, that Panamah was wrong. More <30 people vote for homosexual marriage than any other age group, and more vote against it than for it. http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm

Without bothering to dwell on how accurate the poll is or if it really represents the majority of American opinion, I would like to call attention to the very first poll entry on the link. Note that over the past six months or so those who favor a law legalizing gay marriage have fallen by ten percent and those that oppose said law has risen by seven percent (30 / 62 respectively). Simply put, the gay community is going about this whole legal marriage thing in completely the wrong way. The gay lifestyle is not considered "normal" behavior and while it may be tolerated it is rarely encouraged. The gay community, however, doesn't care what the public thinks. Instead of following the normal way of changing laws, by getting society to agree with you and having the legislature change the law, they are instead completely ignoring the public and trying to convince a couple men and women in black robes instead. They want the judges to set policy instead of the voice of the people. Instead of working with the public, running ad campaigns, and showing how loving and happy gay couples are they are instead attacking the basic foundations of society by trying to force sweeping social change by influencing just a handful of people on a judicial panel. Basicly the gay community wants us to accept their way of life by force instead of by choice.

So here's a hint.. lay off. Go on a popularity campaign and push for smaller issues like anti-discrimination laws and gay adoption. Keep up the ad campaign and show gay couples in non-legal marriages at churches. Show the American public that even if you can't legally 'marry' you can still love each other and remain couples. Use buzzwords and phrases like, "We may not be legally married, but that doesn't stop us from loving each other."

It's this sort of activity that will make independants agree that gay marriage is just the natural course of things. That it is worth changing the definition of marriage (eventually) in order to include the gay lifestyle. With the independants on board it shouldn't be too hard to get states to change their laws, through the will of the people, to allow gay marriage. At that time both gay and straight people will think they made the right choice.

However, if things keep as they are now and the gay community keeps pushing then eventually the rest of America is going to push back. And I don't think you'll like their response. A gay marriage amendment may be a pipe dream currently, but give it another year of judicial policy making and there may be enough support for such an Amendment. My suggestion is to take the Civil union approach now. That sets the stage by giving equal rights to gays on the "seperate but equal" platform. Wait 10 years until gay civil unions become relatively common and the vast majority of Americans know *someone* that is in a gay union. Then attack the seperate but equal argument on the grounds that it is inherently unfair and most Americans would agree to change the law to marriage.

This of course assumes several things like gay unions are normally stable and happy, and the Democratic base as a whole will also change their minds along with the Independant base.

Aidon
03-02-2004, 10:31 AM
Now....do you want to tell me again why it hurts someone elses children/marriage so much for me to marry a woman?

You'll find most of the people posting in this thread, do not believe such.



Why does it make a damn wether or not it's genetic or if I have a choice or do not? (I don't believe I do). Why should I have to make a choice NOT to love a woman? If I love her, then damnit, I love her. Why do you CARE? It is NOT your place to dictate my actions. Why does anyone debate it? It's NOT your place! You have no right to say whom I can and can not love. That's like saying that Romeo couldn't love Juliet because their houses hated eachother. Saying that a love is wrong just because of the sex of it's 'participants' is totally ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it does NOT hurt you if I love a man or a woman, and if I want to kiss a woman in public, you can not tell me I'm wrong for it. If I can kiss a man, why not a woman? If your children see me, then be an adult and have the guts to EDUCATE your children. Trust me, it won't hurt them. It won't turn them into little lesbianites and 'fags'. Unless that is the way they were BORN or WANT to be. And if it is, then who are you to stop them?

It "makes a damn" in how the world, eventually accepts homosexuality. To strive for "equality" because of "genetic disposition" is not true equality at all, but suffering the grudging acceptance of a population for reasons of "we can't help ourselves". An acceptance which, in due time, will be made irrelevant via a growing ability to tinker with the genetic makeup of humanity.

In short...if you demand equality because of "genetic disposition", that equality will last until such time as people can nip the genetic trait in the bud on conception.

A far greater goal and more useful goal is the acceptance of your choice to be homo or bi-sexual by society as a whole. Many non Judeo-Christian societies have long accepted bi-sexuality and historically speaking it was the norm in many times and places.

When different sexualities are accepted as a personal and private choice, again, then, and only then, will true equality exist. Equality is created by equals. Not by a genetic norm and "genetic unfortunates who cannot help themselves".

That is suffering to exist by the whim and goodwill of others.

Jinjre
03-02-2004, 10:42 AM
While the Bush administration has us posting very long threads about this, I still have to wonder: what is it that we're NOT talking about. What is it that the administration is doing that they wanted to divert our attention from?

Maybe it's going fishing through our medical records like the McCarthyites used to tap phone lines. Maybe it's the economy stupid. Maybe it's that the Iraqi's will not be holding elections in June as originally planned but "maybe in January of 2005". Maybe it's all those children who aren't being left behind.

Aidon
03-02-2004, 10:45 AM
Instead of following the normal way of changing laws, by getting society to agree with you and having the legislature change the law, they are instead completely ignoring the public and trying to convince a couple men and women in black robes instead. They want the judges to set policy instead of the voice of the people.

I hate to break this to you, but that is one of the major reasons why we have a judicial branch. To check and balance the power of the legislative branch, which legislates based on majority opinion. Often without acknowledgement or care for the damages done to the minority.

Instead of working with the public, running ad campaigns, and showing how loving and happy gay couples are they are instead attacking the basic foundations of society by trying to force sweeping social change by influencing just a handful of people on a judicial panel. Basicly the gay community wants us to accept their way of life by force instead of by choice.

When the unwashed and uneducated masses insist that only their way is correct, forcing their beliefs and methodology upon those who differ from them, yet do them no harm, then it is up to the "handful of people on a judicial panel" to correct them.

So here's a hint.. lay off. Go on a popularity campaign and push for smaller issues like anti-discrimination laws and gay adoption. Keep up the ad campaign and show gay couples in non-legal marriages at churches. Show the American public that even if you can't legally 'marry' you can still love each other and remain couples. Use buzzwords and phrases like, "We may not be legally married, but that doesn't stop us from loving each other."

How do you enact an "ad campaign" when most media outlets won't air the ads for fear of offending their viewers? What happens when the FCC determines that ads condoning homosexuality are "obscene"? It will simply go before the Courts, once again. Because that is the recourse, under our system of government, for the minority against the repressive will of the majority.

Aidon
03-02-2004, 10:49 AM
While the Bush administration has us posting very long threads about this, I still have to wonder: what is it that we're NOT talking about. What is it that the administration is doing that they wanted to divert our attention from?

Maybe it's going fishing through our medical records like the McCarthyites used to tap phone lines. Maybe it's the economy stupid. Maybe it's that the Iraqi's will not be holding elections in June as originally planned but "maybe in January of 2005". Maybe it's all those children who aren't being left behind.

Hehe, don't get me started on Mr. Bush.

He's the gravest danger to liberalism (in the traditional sense) in America today.

Actually, if I had my way, every Congressman and Senator who voted for the USA PATRIOT ACT would be publically flogged and run out of office. Even Mr. Kerry.

I have faith, at least, that Mr. Kerry has seen the error of his ways and will strive to rectify it. I hope.

I fear, however, that the damages done by Mr. Bush to our way of life will take decades to undo, as law enforcement agencies always fight tooth and nail to retain their power to terrorize and subjugate their populace.

Galamar
03-02-2004, 11:31 AM
I hate to break this to you, but that is one of the major reasons why we have a judicial branch. To check and balance the power of the legislative branch, which legislates based on majority opinion. Often without acknowledgement or care for the damages done to the minority.
I'm aware of the responsibilities of the judicial branch. It is not their duty to set domestic policy, but to declare the laws and policies of the legislative branch as unconstitutional. It's one thing to strike down a law (like they're supposed to) and send it back to the Legislature to either edit the law or drop it all together. Instead the courts have decided to be creative with their powers and have not only struck down the law, but have also told the Legislature that they HAVE to change the law within a time period and it HAS to say *this.* That's legislating by proxy and a breach of their power and responsibilities.


How do you enact an "ad campaign" when most media outlets won't air the ads for fear of offending their viewers? What happens when the FCC determines that ads condoning homosexuality are "obscene"? It will simply go before the Courts, once again. Because that is the recourse, under our system of government, for the minority against the repressive will of the majority.

Please, homosexuals have entire shows devoted to them and 'the token gay man' is in almost every cultural television show today. The problem is people's fixation on homosexuality. People are hung up on the sex part and the 'wrongness' of gay sex. That's why I mentioned that the popularity campaign needs to be about love. I hate to tell you, but a Court decision will not make people accept the homosexual lifestyle. Currently it is barely tolerated in much of America and if the polls are any indication this fight by the gay community to take this issue to the courts instead of the people will force them to continue to lose support.

Mannwin Woobie
03-02-2004, 11:32 AM
It "makes a damn" in how the world, eventually accepts homosexuality. To strive for "equality" because of "genetic disposition" is not true equality at all, but suffering the grudging acceptance of a population for reasons of "we can't help ourselves". An acceptance which, in due time, will be made irrelevant via a growing ability to tinker with the genetic makeup of humanity.

It all depends again on your original approach/premise. How would the above sound if we were talking about Blacks in their journey for American 'equality' over the years? When you look at homosexuality as a 'disease' that can be weeded out by Genetics, be careful. You never know what else people are trying to weed out....as soon as it is OK to 'fix' homosexuals (if that can even be done) you open the door to all sorts of 'tinkering' to get rid of things that aren't "normal".

I would put forth that the entire Women's Rights movement is an example of people striving for equality because of genetic disposition. Obviously women could not help themselves in "being women". IF homosexuality is genetic, what is wrong with people wanting equality, and demanding they not be discriminated against based on such a gene?

Even if it is NOT genetic, America (at least in it's most basic principles) stands for freedom and equality for all. I am sure we would all agree that one's religious beliefs are a 'choice', and are not genetic. Yet our laws demand that we not discriminate based on such choices.

Klath
03-02-2004, 01:17 PM
Supposition. Anecdotal. And misclassification of bisexuality for homosexuality.

Misclassification of bisexuality for homosexuality?!? Homosexuality is a subset of bisexuality, they are not exclusive.

Mannwin Woobie
03-02-2004, 01:57 PM
Homosexuality is a subset of bisexuality, they are not exclusive.

I disagree. This would only hold SEMI-true if you are looking at the actual physical act of sexual intercourse.

If you look at it from the aspect of desire, attraction, etc., you will find very few homosexuals who would say they are a 'subset' of Bi's. Just as you would find very few heterosexuals who would admit the same thing ;)

Aidon
03-02-2004, 02:06 PM
I'm aware of the responsibilities of the judicial branch. It is not their duty to set domestic policy, but to declare the laws and policies of the legislative branch as unconstitutional. It's one thing to strike down a law (like they're supposed to) and send it back to the Legislature to either edit the law or drop it all together. Instead the courts have decided to be creative with their powers and have not only struck down the law, but have also told the Legislature that they HAVE to change the law within a time period and it HAS to say *this.* That's legislating by proxy and a breach of their power and responsibilities.

It is their responsibility to ensure the laws are constitutional. That is what the Court in Mass. has done. They have the right and the power to tell the legistlature what they told them. Because, in this instance, it would have been inequality by omission.

Aidon
03-02-2004, 02:09 PM
It all depends again on your original approach/premise. How would the above sound if we were talking about Blacks in their journey for American 'equality' over the years? When you look at homosexuality as a 'disease' that can be weeded out by Genetics, be careful. You never know what else people are trying to weed out....as soon as it is OK to 'fix' homosexuals (if that can even be done) you open the door to all sorts of 'tinkering' to get rid of things that aren't "normal".

I would put forth that the entire Women's Rights movement is an example of people striving for equality because of genetic disposition. Obviously women could not help themselves in "being women". IF homosexuality is genetic, what is wrong with people wanting equality, and demanding they not be discriminated against based on such a gene?

Even if it is NOT genetic, America (at least in it's most basic principles) stands for freedom and equality for all. I am sure we would all agree that one's religious beliefs are a 'choice', and are not genetic. Yet our laws demand that we not discriminate based on such choices.

I think you misunderstand my point. My point is, that the equality should be based on acceptance of choice. Not on "genetic disposition", because our society is such that should we get the ability to tinker out behavioral traits via genetics, we will. In the interest of our "puritan safety", we will. I fear that day unless we make huge strides in social acceptance across a broad spectrum of affairs.

Aidon
03-02-2004, 02:15 PM
Misclassification of bisexuality for homosexuality?!? Homosexuality is a subset of bisexuality, they are not exclusive.

Homosexuality is not the same as bisexuality is not the same as heterosexuality.

I will not accept the deliberate degradation of the language and the definitions of the words themselves in an attempt for socio-political gains.

Homosexuality means, you enjoy sex with members of your own sex...exclusively.
Heterosexuality means you enjoy sex with members of the opposite sex...exclusively.
Bisexuality means, you enjoy sex with members of both sexes.

I find it amusing that publically, Gays and Lesbians love to lump bisexuality in with their political causes, yet from what I've seen of friends...within their own "circles" as it were, they have similar distain for bisexuals as heterosexuals have for homosexuals.

The acceptance they so much strive for...is lacking in their own midsts at times.

I had a close friend who was lesbian from high school through most of college...then she dated a guy she discovered she liked. She still liked women...but her cadre of "lesbian friends" suddenly treated her as if she were a traitor.

Oldoak
03-02-2004, 02:32 PM
I just want to say...

One thread...covering religion, politics, AND sex...

Now we just need a few people talking about embarressing relatives and skin conditions to cover the gamut of things you are not supposed to talk about in polite society!

But then, I have never been polite...

On the homosexual/bisexual thing, I would guess that is coming from the Kinsey spectrum thing....

Quote:
Apparently, the 20th Century Kinsey Scale takes into account sexual acts, fantasies, love, experiences, and sexual partners to formally categorize individuals in a spectrum of sexuality.

0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual
1- Predominately heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2- Predominately heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3- Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4- Predominately homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5- Predominately homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6- Exclusively homosexual


It is one view of it - not the only one of course. It should be noted that in many societies the "exclusive" groups were the exceptions (either hetero or homo). Ancient Greece, for instance. A young man goes off to war and many things happened in the field tents. In Roman society it was an age thing - it was ok to play certain sexual roles in same sex ways based on your age, but past a certain age it could be transgressive (depending on specific circumstances I won't get into). And so forth.

Klath
03-02-2004, 02:40 PM
I disagree. This would only hold SEMI-true if you are looking at the actual physical act of sexual intercourse.

If you look at it from the aspect of desire, attraction, etc., you will find very few homosexuals who would say they are a 'subset' of Bi's.

I'm didn't use the term "subset" in regard to people, I used it use it to apply to sexuality. The term homosexual is usually used to indicate "exclusive homosexuality'. Homosexuality, on the other hand, simply means that you are attracted to members of your own sex. This leads to the point that I was attempting to make which is than anyone who is bisexual manifests both homosexuality and heterosexuality.

Gunny Burlfoot
03-02-2004, 02:48 PM
Prolific writers on this thread make it impossible to respond to everyone’s post, point by point, so here goes conglomeration post 2 :p

I can't argue about homosexuality with people that quote the bible to support their argument mainly because I don't believe in the bible. It's like if someone tried to back up an argument quoting Greek mythology to prove that you need to put coins on dead people's eyes, so you can pay the ferryman.

First off, if you don’t want to debate with me because the Bible appears in my posts, that’s up to you I guess. I don’t want this to bog down into a lengthy debate on the textual variations of the Bible, as it wouldn’t be productive, but the only source that I’m aware of that mentions Sodom and Gomorra (or at least the best known) is the Old Testament. So, when discussing those cities, we kinda have to use the only source at hand, no matter what people think of it. If we were debating the textual nature of the epic of Gilgamesh, quotes from it I would think would not be out of line :)

Genesis 19:4-11
4 as they were preparing to retire for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, "Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out so we can have sex with them." 6 Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 "Please, my brothers," he begged, "don't do such a wicked thing. 8 Look – I have two virgin daughters. Do with them as you wish, but leave these men alone, for they are under my protection." 9 "Stand back!" they shouted. "Who do you think you are? We let you settle among us, and now you are trying to tell us what to do! We'll treat you far worse than those other men!" And they lunged at Lot and began breaking down the door. 10 But the two angels reached out and pulled Lot in and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded the men of Sodom so they couldn't find the doorway.

The two things I’d like to note is that 1) I agree with Natrina that Sodom was already slated for a fire and brimstone bath because of its “wickedness”, unspecified, and 2) that these angels were just there to grab Lot and his family and leave.

I am quite aware that quoting the Bible as a source of moral authority to anyone except Bible-believing Christians has about as much impact as a meleeing druid.

Back on the issue of hetero vs gay child rearing, each couple, whether they are hetero or homosexual, has no bearing on whether they do a good job rearing kids. As far as I can tell, being gay or lesbian doesn’t turn change how well (or bad) you’d do as a parent. I’m sure we can bring in example after example of how screwed up “normal” couples’ kids are and how well-adjusted “gay” couples’ kids are. However, I would think the truth lies in the fact that the people raising the kids are still human, not paragons of good or evil, and as fallible humans, can do well, or do poorly, in the task of child rearing.

Now....do you want to tell me again why it hurts someone elses children/marriage so much for me to marry a woman?

I thought my statement was clear in my last post, but I tend to expound a lot, so it might have gotten lost. The issue is not whether two males/females getting married in California could or would somehow magically change the nature of a 15-year hetero marriage in Ohio, because that would be silly. I have neither marriage nor kids, so it doesn’t hurt me directly. What concern a lot of parents are feeling is that somehow their children will grow up and decide they are gay, and that any legitimization of gay and lesbian lifestyle would hasten that process along. Surely, you can see that for the majority of parents out there, that would be one of their fears.

Saying that a love is wrong just because of the sex of it's 'participants' is totally ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it does NOT hurt you if I love a man or a woman, and if I want to kiss a woman in public, you can not tell me I'm wrong for it. If I can kiss a man, why not a woman? If your children see me, then be an adult and have the guts to EDUCATE your children. Trust me, it won't hurt them. It won't turn them into little lesbianites and 'fags'. Unless that is the way they were BORN or WANT to be. And if it is, then who are you to stop them?

I’m not the one saying it is wrong, or it is right. That’s something you have to work out with God, if you believe He exists and has authority over you. I’m sure I don’t have any authority over you, so it’s not my place to judge. According to my beliefs, some of my actions equally offend God, so I’m not going to start decrying other people’s actions, since I’m only responsible for myself.

However, what is done in a public place usually works out to whatever is the least offensive to the majority of the people present. Now, if I had children, everything would then change. I would have authority over them until they were 18, by virtue of the fact I’m responsible for them until that age according to the laws of the US. So up until the age of 18, who am I that I could stop them would be I am their legal guardian.

On that note, I AM a firm believer in the rights of parents to raise their kids however they want. If they want to raise them to believe that space aliens live underneath the ocean in Atlantis, using mind control rays on the rest of the planet, that’s all up to them. Stretching that analogy, if I am wearing a funny space alien hat, and they come up and ask me to remove it, because it is affecting their kids, I probably would. Their kids mean more to them than my desire to wear the space alien hat. I think respect for the parents rights to raise their kids how they wish, if not respect for the way itself, should govern a lot of actions in society.

/thread derailment on

As an aside, let me now address something Oldoak brought up. You mentioned that I give the same weight to Paul’s writings as the Gospels. Yes, I do in fact. But I’m not alone in this, as Peter also did the same thing. At the risk of being accused as a shell game runner . . :)

2nd Peter 3:15 And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved. This is just as our beloved brother Paul wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him, 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture – and the result is disaster for them.

So, two things of note: Peter (who dictated one of the Gospels, by some accounts) allocates all of Paul’s letters as Scripture, and secondly, people then were already hard at work twisting it to mean something that it didn’t, the same as misinformed people today. That is why, btw, I post a lot more Biblical text than most people do, so you can get the quote in the context it was written in. I wish to mislead no one as to what the Bible says or does not say, nor do I wish to indulge in a shell game. But that being said, interpretation of the Bible is as wide and varied as the individuals who interpret it, so you will never get agreement on it completely. My reason for bringing up Romans at all was twofold. One, to dispel the idea that only the “outdated” Old Testament had anything to say about homosexuality, and two, to put myself in the same boat as the homosexuals as a common sinner. No better than, no worse than.

And to Aidon, to my recollection, when the Dead Sea scrolls were dug up and posted, the text was virtually identical to the oldest copies they had at the time, thus re-affirming the veracity of the parts of the Old Testament that the Dead Sea Scrolls contained. I have to give props to the Jews, if for nothing else, than for the fact a lot of them were absolutely committed to the faithful reproduction of the Scriptures. That was a center of their being, in antiquity.

/thread derailment off

The subject of legislative vs. judicial actions is, in most cases, a big political game anyway. The Congress tries to make the Supreme Court miserable, who tries to make life hard on the President, and back and forth it goes. All three branches routinely ignore the limits that were spelled out in the Constitution, and no one cares.

Andrew Jackson comes to mind as the most classic example, as it was he who said (In regards to the order to stop Cherokee removal from their rightfully owned lands)
"John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can."

The current “legislating from the bench” behavior from a lot of judges in regards to gay marriage, the Alabama Ten Commandments issue, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc, etc is just the current phase of the constant wrangling all three branches go through year in and year out. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back towards middle ground, where the judges strike down laws, write dissents and stop trying to write law. That’s supposed to be Congress’s job. In my Constitutional law classes, studying the great decisions of the past was a study in dissents. Now apparently, every judge is writing his or her own opinion, dissent or concur, whereas before it was maybe one or two dissents, the decision, and nothing else.

Also, I agree with Galamar on sweet reason being the course of action, not trying to “push” for things. Slow discourse and many, many hours of discussion are the only ways to change people’s minds in a manner that will stick. Even if the homosexual lobby gets the laws passed, as soon as re-election happens, the resurgence will probably end up striking down any pro-gay law that was “forced”. If the homosexual lobby wants lasting change, they will need to switch strategies and campaign from the grass roots level like all the other “honest” politicians :)

Again, I’d like to say that this is a fine discussion, and I hope that we can continue to keep it on a calm, even keel.

Klath
03-02-2004, 02:49 PM
Homosexuality is not the same as bisexuality is not the same as heterosexuality.

Nobody said it was.


I will not accept the deliberate degradation of the language and the definitions of the words themselves in an attempt for socio-political gains.

Homosexuality means, you enjoy sex with members of your own sex...exclusively.
Heterosexuality means you enjoy sex with members of the opposite sex...exclusively.
Bisexuality means, you enjoy sex with members of both sexes.


Where are you getting "exclusively" from? That's exactly the point I dispute. Where are you getting your definitions from?

I would use the following definitions:

Homosexuality -- sexual attraction to members of your own sex
Heterosexuality -- sexual attraction to members of the opposite sex
Bisexuality -- -- sexual attraction to members of either sex

I find it amusing that publically, Gays and Lesbians love to lump bisexuality in with their political causes

For the record, I'm not gay (Not that there's anything wrong with that!).

Gunny Burlfoot
03-02-2004, 03:04 PM
What's wrong with the dictionary definitions? :)

ho·mo·sex·u·al·i·ty n.

Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
Sexual activity with another of the same sex.

bisex·u·ali·ty n.

1: showing characteristics of both sexes [syn: androgyny, hermaphroditism]
2: sexual activity with both men and women


het·er·o·sex·u·al·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ht-r-sksh-l-t)
n.
Sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex.
Sexual activity with another of the opposite sex.

Exclusivity is automatically implied when you talk about definitions, otherwise any exceptions would already be contained within the descriptors. At least, that's how my scientific classification training went. Your mileage may vary.

Ndainye
03-02-2004, 04:10 PM
thought my statement was clear in my last post, but I tend to expound a lot, so it might have gotten lost. The issue is not whether two males/females getting married in California could or would somehow magically change the nature of a 15-year hetero marriage in Ohio, because that would be silly. I have neither marriage nor kids, so it doesn’t hurt me directly. What concern a lot of parents are feeling is that somehow their children will grow up and decide they are gay, and that any legitimization of gay and lesbian lifestyle would hasten that process along. Surely, you can see that for the majority of parents out there, that would be one of their fears.

Very few people "choose" to be gay, they either are or they aren't. Legitimizing gay marriages won't suddenly turn folks gay, anymore than having a gay neighbor or a gay friend will turn someone gay. It's not a catching disease. Legitimization of gay lifestyles may allow some folks that would be ashamed of who they are be less repressed over their lifestyles to live more openly but that's not the same thing.

As for parents (I'm not one but I had two very good ones) most would want what is best for their children which includes making their lifestyles as acceptable as possible. A parent of a child born with a disability will fight for that child's right to live "normally" the same should hold true for parents who's children are born homosexual.

Jinjre
03-02-2004, 06:54 PM
Now we just need a few people talking about embarressing relatives and skin conditions to cover the gamut of things you are not supposed to talk about in polite society!


I had a weird rash this morning, but I put a little windex on it and it went away. (2cp to the first person who identifies what that's a reference to)

Natrina
03-02-2004, 08:24 PM
Aidon:

"Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt1 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by Natrina


Now....do you want to tell me again why it hurts someone elses children/marriage so much for me to marry a woman?
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

You'll find most of the people posting in this thread, do not believe such."

Hon, I know that most don't believe it's wrong, my point was, that what Gunny said, quite frankly, to me, made absolutely no sense.


And now....back to what Gunny has said in reply to my arguments:

Again, what you're saying makes absolutely no sense. I'm sorry but being around gay people will NOT make someone gay! I knew I liked other girls long before I ever met a gay person. I didn't *accept it* or *embrace it* because A) My mother was homophobic as can be (she used to attack homosexuals at a park near where she lived), and B) I was afraid of what would happen to me because I'd seen things on the news about GLBT's being horribly mistreated.

Yes, it was being around my friends who were gay that allowed me to embrace that part of myself and allow me to be able to walk up to my mother and tell her "Look....there's something you should know..." and, when she fought me on that point and told me I was not Bi, I was going through a phase, they gave me the strength to stand up to her and tell her she was wrong, that this was a part of me, and would have to accept that.

Now, my point with that is this: Being around gays will not make children any more "gay". At worst, it will allow those children to accept their sexuality if they are, in fact gay, lesbian, bi, or transgendered. And I'm sorry, but I don't see this as a bad thing. So many kids have so many problems from not being able to embrace/accept who they are because of the stigmatism that society puts on being homosexual. This is a horrible thing to place upon a child, and if it's a parents perogative to ADD to this, then I'm sorry, they should not be having children. If you can NOT accept and love your children for WHO they are, regaurdless of sexuality, religion, deformity, etc. then you should not be having children. If you can't support your child in all they do, regaurdless of wether you believe it to be right or wrong, then why are you having this child? To raise it to be what YOU want it to be? That is NOT the point in having children. The point in having a child is to bring a life into this world. An individual life that just by being alive can make a difference in lives. An individual that is happy and loved. If they are happy loving another of the same sex, and they are loved back, then what is the problem? Just because you believe it's wrong? It's not your choice, it's their's (if it is in fact a choice). When you bring a child into this world, you have to accept the fact that they will be their own person, and there is a very good chance that they will not be exactly what you want them to be.

I can see your point in saying that this is why you believe people want this ammendment passed. Alot of people probably think in the manor you said, but quite frankly, their thoughts are selfish and way ungrounded.

Panamah
03-02-2004, 10:48 PM
I had a weird rash this morning, but I put a little windex on it and it went away. (2cp to the first person who identifies what that's a reference to)

HAH! My Big Fat Greek Wedding... which wasn't a gay one, btw. :P

Panamah
03-02-2004, 10:54 PM
You know, all this would be much easier if our parents would just get off their duffs and arrange our marriages for us. We could go do our breeding bit and slip out for funsies just like we have for many thousands of years.

Jinjre
03-03-2004, 12:31 AM
ding ding ding! We have a winnah! Panamah, when you reactivate your account, and I ever bother logging in, I'll getcha that 2 cp. Really. Check's in the mail. /nod

Natrina
03-03-2004, 12:34 AM
(^-^) My Big Fat Greek Wedding rocked :) I remembered the joke about windex, couldn't remember where it came from though....I'm going to have to rent that one heheh...

Mannwin Woobie
03-03-2004, 01:50 AM
The current “legislating from the bench” behavior from a lot of judges in regards to gay marriage, the Alabama Ten Commandments issue, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc, etc is just the current phase of the constant wrangling all three branches go through year in and year out. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back towards middle ground, where the judges strike down laws, write dissents and stop trying to write law.

Sounds more like you are "hopeful" they will start seeing things your way. Disagreeing with their decisions doesn't make them wrong.

"legislating from the bench" - This is the current Bush and anti gay marriage sound bite. I don't see how this is true at all. For example, the judges in MA didn't write any laws. They cleared the way for same-sex marriages by ruling government lawyers "failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason" to deny those marriages. The ruling, which cites the Texas case, also says the Massachusetts Constitution "affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals," and "forbids the creation of second-class citizens."

Fyyr Lu'Storm
03-03-2004, 01:52 AM
"...arrange our marriages for us...."

While having a RL discussion about this topic the other day, I had cause to remind one of my opponents that 'romantic love' is only a relatively new idea to us. Say 150 years or so, and those who actually did marry for love were anomalous(or at least fodder for great fiction).

Most marriages prior to that were almost always economic transactions...I trade you this, if you trade me that. Many still are today.

Mannwin Woobie
03-03-2004, 02:09 AM
I think you misunderstand my point. My point is, that the equality should be based on acceptance of choice.

Actually, I do understand your point. I just disagree with your approach in regards to homosexuality. Our laws on equality acccept both genetic (ie, gender, race) and choice (ie, religious beliefs). You start with the premise that homosexuality it is a "choice". I believe it is not a choice, but is inherent in the individual. In the end, everyone should be equal, we just disagree as to the reasonings behind it.

I find it amusing that publically, Gays and Lesbians love to lump bisexuality in with their political causes, yet from what I've seen of friends...within their own "circles" as it were, they have similar distain for bisexuals as heterosexuals have for homosexuals.

Please, let's not start with the sweeping generalizations and characterizations. My experience is totally opposite of yours, and as an openly-gay individual who has travelled in quite a few of those 'circles', I think I can speak with slightly more authority on that issue. Most gays are not out there marching on Washington or lining up outside of San Francisco courthouses. Just because you have run into a few homosexuals who hold some sort of 'disdain' for bisexuals does not mean we all feel that way. Maybe you are just travelling in the 'wrong circles' ;)

Gunny Burlfoot
03-03-2004, 02:23 AM
Natrina, what I have said makes sense. The other threads of thought to which I was also responding, with all the cross quoting, may have diluted my message. Perhaps you don’t agree with it, but that is of course, entirely your prerogative. I will now clarify my position.

Now from what I understand, what you have been saying is that some homosexuals have no choice in the matter as to whether or not they have certain feelings toward the opposite sex, and I haven’t disagreed with that. That would be the genetic part of homosexuality, if it exists, which I am conceding it very well could. I don’t know for sure one way or the other, because there has not been adequate scientific studies done on that subject yet. Let’s say that it is eventually proven that there IS a genetic predisposition that occurs in a percentage of the population that causes them to have unavoidable feelings of attraction to the same sex.

Choosing to act or not to act on those feelings you have due to this genetics is an act of will. It might be nigh impossible to ignore those feelings. A loved one of mine has had clinical depression their entire life, and can’t help but feel depressed. I know that’s not a perfect comparison to homosexuality, but it’s the closest one I’ve got drawing from my own personal experiences in life. The similiarity that I am trying to strive for in this instance is that 1)Both are genetic conditions and 2) They result in a certain type of feeling.
Homosexuality = feelings of attraction to same sex. Depression = feelings of a “black hole of despair”.

However, not ALL the homosexuals in the US are going to have the genetic makeup that drives them to be solely attracted to the same sex, just as not all the people with depression in the US have a genetic code that makes them depressed. Probably there are some homosexuals out there that are homosexual for the same reason that other species are, because it gives them pleasure. At least, we think so, as the other species that are homosexual would have no driving force to do it otherwise. The point I’m trying to make is you cannot claim that all the homosexual and bisexual people in the US have this genetic predisposition to homosexuality. Some may be genetic, and others may choose to be homosexual. Again, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

If it's entirely 100% genetic, I wouldn't think that being around homosexuals could possibly turn someone gay. If it is entirely a genetic condition, there is no way someone with it can avoid becoming homosexual, and without the gene, there’s no way they can become homosexual. However, if there is any willpower involved at all, it falls under the province of the mind and the willpower of that individual mind, and a choice that mind will make regarding this. Peer pressure may aid the person in reaching one of two decisions, if there are decisions to be made.

Also, your position on parents is a little confusing.

You previously stated that:
It is NOT your place to dictate my actions. Why does anyone debate it? It's NOT your place! You have no right to say whom I can and can not love.

And I agreed with you. It’s not my place; I have no authority over you to make any sort of decision like that. I cannot judge you for your actions, because you don’t answer to me for your actions. I agreed wholeheartedly.

However, your next statement, seeing as how you were decrying people who judge you for your actions, confuses me.

This is a horrible thing to place upon a child, and if it's a parents perogative to ADD to this, then I'm sorry, they should not be having children. If you can NOT accept and love your children for WHO they are, regaurdless of sexuality, religion, deformity, etc. then you should not be having children. If you can't support your child in all they do, regaurdless of wether you believe it to be right or wrong, then why are you having this child? To raise it to be what YOU want it to be? That is NOT the point in having children.

To directly paraphrase your previous quote: “It is NOT your place to dictate whether the parents have children or how they raise them. Why do you say this? It’s NOT your place! You have no right to say how the parents decide to raise their children or whether they have them.”

Until the children reach the age of 18, it solely falls on the parents to raise their children in the way that the parents wish. Not the state, not the schools, not the churches, and certainly not you or me. You may disagree with how they raise them, but you cannot seek to interfere with their actions, anymore than you would want someone interfering with yours.

Remember, I’m not a parent, not married, have no children, and am not homosexual, so this doesn’t impact me directly, but even without any of those qualifications, I understand parents have the right to choose how many children to have and how to raise them, just as you have the right to choose who to love.

Fyyr Lu'Storm
03-03-2004, 02:43 AM
"Just because you have run into a few homosexuals who hold some sort of 'disdain'"

I don't know if disdain is the correct term, but when the topic arises, there is a noticable "**** or get off the pot" sensibility expressed by most of the homosexuals I know.

Homosexuals have just as equal a chance to be prejudiced as heterosexuals, you are not immune from the same motivations(of generalizing or classifying) because of your sexual preference.

As an 'out' atheist, I have no problem expressing a similar bias against so-called 'agnostics'. Most of the agnostics I come in contact with are really atheist, but reserve the less offensive label; because of the negative social impact. They fear the consequences of saying what they really are. I am not in any group marching or lining up, either; and there definately are no circles to run in.

One generality I have no problem stating, all of the homosexuals I know have an enourmous vocabulary for classifying and labeling other homosexuals; much of it not flattering.

Natrina
03-03-2004, 03:30 AM
If it's entirely 100% genetic, I wouldn't think that being around homosexuals could possibly turn someone gay. If it is entirely a genetic condition, there is no way someone with it can avoid becoming homosexual, and without the gene, there’s no way they can become homosexual. However, if there is any willpower involved at all, it falls under the province of the mind and the willpower of that individual mind, and a choice that mind will make regarding this. Peer pressure may aid the person in reaching one of two decisions, if there are decisions to be made. If you really think that peer pressure would make a person reach the decision of 'being gay' (if there is in fact decision involved), then there's no point in arguing this topic with you. You obviously haven't heard about the folks who've been beaten, murdered, and mistreated because of their sexuality. I've NEVER heard of someone being abused for being straight, but I can list HUNDREDS of cases of people being abused for being homosexual, I'm one of them. A friend of mine is another, he was put into a coma for being gay. Another friend was attacked by 17 guys for being gay, his boyfriend got similar treatment. I have a lesbian friend who was drug into the boys bathroom by 4 girls, who told her that was where she belonged, then proceeded to beat her face off of a sink.

Now do you want to tell me how peer pressure would urge a person to choose this kind of lifestyle? Sorry, I'm not buying it. Being a homosexual can be one of the loneliest walks there is in this life because it is the last permissible prejudice. No one chooses that to 'be cool' or to 'go with the crowd'.

I noted my mother accepting me being bisexual in an earlier post...did I mention that I had to fight with her tooth and nail for a year and a half to get her to stop telling me it was a phase? Being ostracized by ones family and friends is not something someone chooses willingly. I'm sorry, but peer pressure does not convince a person to 'be gay'.

Now, moving on to my comments about parenting. You're right, it's not my choice to say wether or not they have children. But it is my opinion. And quite frankly, I believe wholeheartedly in what I said. You should not bring a child into this world expecting to control who and what they are. I think that's completely selfish. Yes, parents have control of their children untill that child is 18 years of age, but that does not mean they should try and dictate that child to be what they want them to be. Sorry, that's my opinion. No one has to listen to it. And I'm not "deciding" anyone's parenting fate.

My point with saying it wasn't someone's choice about my sexuality is that I want to know why in the hell some straight person should get to decide who I marry. I can't decide the fate of people being allowed to have children, but a bunch of straight folks are trying to decide my marital fate. I think that's a load of s*it. Whereas their decision affect wether or not I can marry a woman, my feelings on child rearing affect no one's life but my own.

Maybe you didn't understand the point I was trying to make when I asked why anyone should get to decide my marital fate and stating that no one else should get to decide. That was totally different from me stating my opinion on parenting.

And as for there not being enough evidence to prove that being homosexual is influenced by genes, you might want to dig a bit deeper into that subject, because actually, there's A LOT of evidence to support that.

Aidon
03-03-2004, 03:50 AM
If you can NOT accept and love your children for WHO they are, regaurdless of sexuality, religion, deformity, etc.

I have to disagree here. If I ever have kids...they'd best never come back to me and ever say "I've converted to another religion".

I'll beat them. I'll kick them around. And then I'll toss em out on their ass to find some Goy family to take care of them.

Why? Because parents should have the right to dictate morals to their children, whatever morals they may be.

It is not for you to decide what parents should or shouldn't teach their children.

Natrina
03-03-2004, 04:32 AM
I agree, it's not for me to decide. I never said it was. I just said that that is my opinion on the matter.

I'm sorry but that's what I believe. I do not think you should make your children believe what you believe or be who you are. They should have the right to be their own person. If you can not love them regardless of that, then I think that is selfish and wrong. That's my opinion, and I hold true to that.

If you feel otherwise, that's your opinion. And if you want to treat your children that way, then that's your perogative. I don't have to agree with that.