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Old 07-17-2008, 04:31 PM   #271
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I've also heard the argument that souls in heaven have no gender, so why be preoccupied with that here on earth? If love is transcendent, and people can love each other for their humanity which is nonessential to all their physical/accidental elements, then there shouldn't be any reason to limit who can love whom based on those same accidental elements: race, physical ability, nationality, religion, personal interests, sexuality, etc.

I'd also note that there's no slippery slope between homosexual union and polygamist unions. Both old Hebrew and Islamic cultures, part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, have religious laws supporting polygamy. I doubt that they're disallowed from the positivist secular society because of a secular stance on love as much as the potential for misuse and harm among a private social dynamic exceeding two individuals. If you apply misuse and harm to the unions of a couple (male male, male female, female female) I think you'd have an exceedingly hard time justifying that two of those three pairs would be more harmful to the constituent individuals than the final male-female pair.

Further, if we just appeal to theological/traditional elements as an aside from our positivist/secular elements, it should be noted that adultery applies only to the acts of a married woman. Our culture obviously does not support the notion that only the woman has responsibility re: marital infidelity, as extramarital relations tend have much greater ramifications than on just the three individuals most directly involved. If we can change our definitions on some of the boundaries of marriage based on changing views of love/harm/humanity, why is it that we can't accept that two people of the same sex are just as capable of loving each other as two people of the opposite sex?
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #272
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You might have to settle for the relationship she had with that first guy she married.


but even that relationship was better.

because penises went into vaginas. no babies (thankfully) but it's still better. by design.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #273
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I can find firearms in the constitution. It is silent on the definition of Marriage. THAT MEANS it is up to the people and their elected representatives to define what is, and is not, marriage.
It's simple. If you want same-sex marriage to be legal... change the laws. We can do that. If you wish it to be a right, amend the constitution. We can do that as well.
But don't depend on a handful of MIB to "discover" a new right. That ends debate, but not the acrimony, and it is not how laws are made in this country.


i can also find "liberty" and "the pursuit of happiness" in the Constitution.

as well as some nonsense about equal protection under the law.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #274
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2010 census won't count gay marriages
Agency barred from recognizing same-sex union despite two-state approval
The Associated Press
updated 3:36 p.m. ET, Thurs., July. 17, 2008

WASHINGTON - Same-sex marriage is legal in two states, but not a single one will show up in the 2010 census.

The Census Bureau says the federal Defense of Marriage Act bars the agency from recognizing gay marriages in the nation's 10-year count, even though the marriages are legal in Massachusetts and California.

The agency's director, Steven Murdock, said in an interview Thursday that the 1996 federal law "has that effect, in terms of being a federal agency. We are restricted by it."

The Census Bureau does not ask people about their sexual orientation, but it does ask about their relationships to the head of the household. Many gay couples are listed in census figures as unmarried, same-sex partners, though it is an imperfect tally of all gay couples.

Murdock said the bureau will strive to count same-sex couples in the 2010 census, just as it has in the past. But those people who say they are married will be reclassified as unmarried, same-sex partners.

Same-sex couples with no children will not be classified as families, according the bureau's policy. Those with children who are related to the head of the household will be classified as families.

'Discriminatory and shameful'

Gay rights advocates complained that the Census Bureau is depriving them of a hard-fought legal recognition.

"To completely whitewash us out of existence is hurtful, discriminatory and shameful," said Molly McKay of Marriage Equality USA, a California-based group that advocates for same-sex marriage. "It's like the federal government is trying to say that we don't exist."

McKay said an accurate count of same-sex married couples would help policymakers determine the costs of providing benefits.

McKay, 38, said she plans to marry her partner of 12 years on Sept. 1, now that they are legally able to marry in California. She said they consider themselves "an old married couple," even if the government doesn't.

"This is a very sweet moment in our life. It really is an absolutely joyous time," McKay said. "The notion that the federal government is going to come in and erase our existence is un-American."

The Census Bureau is required by the Constitution to conduct a comprehensive count of the nation's residents every 10 years. Every question is either mandated by federal law or used to administer a federal program, Murdock said.

Same-sex marriage was not an issue in the 2000 census because it wasn't legal in any state. The Census Bureau's policy on same-sex marriages was first reported in the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News.

The bureau relies almost entirely on people's responses to classify them by race, ethnicity, age and income. But not marital status — at least not in 2010.

"It really should be what you say you are, not what I perceive you to be," Murdock said. But, the agency director added, "We have some limitations. This particular act limits us in regards to this issue.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:53 PM   #275
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i can also find "liberty" and "the pursuit of happiness" in the Constitution.

as well as some nonsense about equal protection under the law.
And in 1890 the Supreme Court found that the U.S. Congress was within it's rights to criminalize polygamy and dissolve polygamous families. In other words, they found there is no right in the Constitution allowing individuals to define marriage to fit their living arrangements.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:55 PM   #276
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Why does it bother you so much that two lesbians could say that they are "married"? How does it affect you in any way whatsoever? Is this a battle of semantics? I'm honestly totally confused now.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:17 PM   #277
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It is Irving in one respect only.
Two men or two women can never have the relationship that one man and one women can have. Gender roles have blurred quite a bit in the last 40 years; with women entering the workforce, artificial insemination, the role of the fathers, etc. Much of this positive or inevitable but yet the fact remains that women and men are not interchangeable.
Bride & Groom
Husband & Wife
Father & Mother, even
King & Queen

A man and a women, it is that distinctive relationship that defines what is marriage. Supported by our terminology, religions, folk tales and laws. Has marriage changed in the past? Sure, and marriage is changing now as Yolland points out. So is society.
So now we're just back to arguing status quo?
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:28 PM   #278
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penises went into vaginas.
Are these really the differences I'm speaking about?

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by design.
Yes actually

Irvine, I listed the areas where you and I could agree but you don't seem interested in either acknowledging or pursuing them.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:42 PM   #279
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And in 1890 the Supreme Court found that the U.S. Congress was within it's rights to criminalize polygamy and dissolve polygamous families. In other words, they found there is no right in the Constitution allowing individuals to define marriage to fit their living arrangements.
Yet the Supreme Court made a marriage ruling in the Loving case, so clearly, historically the courts have felt the Constitution does cover marriage in terms of what it allows as well as to what it disallows.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:47 PM   #280
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Are these really the differences I'm speaking about?

yes. what else is there? in a world where pregnancy is (usually) a choice, where married people have children when and if they choose, in a world where marriage is about love and fulfillment ... what difference is there between a gay couple and a straight couple other than opposing genitalia?



Quote:
Irvine, I listed the areas where you and I could agree but you don't seem interested in either acknowledging or pursuing them.

no, i'm not. i'm interested in trying to help you. because you're making this offensive comparison:

Quote:
In other words, they found there is no right in the Constitution allowing individuals to define marriage to fit their living arrangements
.


i don't think you're quite aware of the assumptions you're making here. is a gay relationship simply a "living arrangement"? can you really compare the polygamous relationships of the 19th century to a contemporary understanding of a consensual same-sex relationship? do you not see that such a comparison is offensive at it's core?

you've yet to prove to me that there's some quantifiable magic that exists only between opposite-sexed couples that requires such relationships to hold a privileged status. you could argue that it's for the protection of the children that may or may not arise from this union, but we have so many exceptions to this -- voluntarily childless or involuntarily childless, second marriages between much older couples -- that it defies any sort of logic and falls into what can only be called irrational prejudice.

unless you are prepared to argue that only couples who can and will procreate should be married, there is no rational basis to privilege a heterosexual relationship over a homosexual relationship.

you can argue that the differences between a man and a woman are so special, so magical, so whatever, but it holds no more weight than if i were to say that my inter-faith marriage, or my interracial marriage, or my same-sex marriage might have it's own magic and it's own specialness.

in fact, i could argue that there's an equality in my relationship -- even a purely physical equality, even an equality in sexual intercourse -- that should be privileged and held up as a model for straights to emulate.

but i won't.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:09 PM   #281
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I can find firearms in the constitution. It is silent on the definition of Marriage.

Can you find equal protection in the Constitution?
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:11 PM   #282
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Assuming you're saying this used to be your view (or perhaps at least that you're very familiar with it), what exactly is someone who says this picturing when they speak of "the collapse of the family," and how do they see gay marriage unleashing that scenario? Straight couples would then be more likely to get divorced (why?), more straight women would then have children outside of marriage (why?), more straight couples would elect not to have children at all (why?), or what?
That's hard to say. I think sometimes the imagined collapse is kind of vague--it's just gonna be "bad."

But if we were to dig a little bit, I think probably the concerns--as they do with those who oppose interracial marriage--probably end up focusing on the children. I think Indy may have hinted at that in one of his posts when he talked about the fundamental differences between men and women. I think gay marriage opponents fear that children raised in same-sex households will end up confused and lacking because they are missing one of those role models. Again the a parallel argument is used with interracial marriage. The argument of that pastor I mentioned isn't as "horrid" as he comes across. He genuinely believed that if our children will be "confused" about who they are and would suffer all kinds of emotional and psychic hardship and probably turn into disturbed, angry socipathic inividuals because they could never figure out where they "belonged" in the racial sense. I think those who oppose gay marriage have a similar view about the fate of the children of such unions. If gay marriage opponents believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice then they may also fear that gay parents will raise more gay children.

Obviously this kind of thinking is rooted in the idea that people belong to fairly rigid categories. You're either black or you're white. If you don't know which to choose, you'll be a mess. Likewise, you either follow the pattern of mom or dad. If you're a boy and have no dad to follow, just two moms you'll be a mess. If you're a girl and you have no mom to follow, just two dads, you'll be a mess. (And boys/girls need the opposite gender too goes the idea. . .two of the same just won't cut it).

There are also even less generous reasons for the fear of the breakdown of the family. There are those that assume that homosexuals are all licentious people obsessed with perverted sex and they will "bring down" the quality and seriousness of marriage. They may assume that homosexuals already living a life of perversion won't actually stay married very often.

There is also the fear that there will be unforeseen consequences--because there always are--that will come with a nation giving it's blessing to something God has declared an abomination. There are those-especially those committed to the idea of a "Christian nation" who may believe that God will not bless a nation that legalizes sin and that a lot of seemingly unrelated consequences will stem from that. I don't know if most people take it as far as "Well you saw what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah" but it's something like that.

I don't know that I ever held any of these views myself. I think my views on homosexuality and gay marriage weren't particularly well thought out--perhaps on purpose (I remember telling my wife about a gay friend of ours, and this was before I changed my views, "I hope he never asks me what I think about gay marriage." I didn't want to tell him). When I finally did think through them I came down to the views I currently hold. I also think a lot of people are like that too. They oppose gay marriage but really haven't thought about it much other than, "well, it's bad" and "doesn't the Bible speak against it." I suspect a lot of people are like I was and hadn't put a whole lot of intellectual effort into thinking about it because it makes them uncomfortable.

I also think--and I think this is more subconscious--that many people oppose gay marriage and the increasing acceptance of homosexuality simply because it's happening so fast and the sudden, sweeping changes our society is going through are disorienting to them. People just want things to be "normal", you know.

Indy, I'd be interested in your take on my thoughts, since you are an opponent of gay marriage. Have I correctly identified some of the concerns or am I off base?
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #283
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Re: maycocksean

The short version is that I agree with you.


The long version:
I think it's only fair to point out that our gender roles are purely social constructions, and that with enough thought most people should be confused by why certain differences between boys and girls exist the way they do. The short version is that science and experience both dictate that people do not fall into two camps, but into a spectrum of possibility, and rather than ostracizing people who don't fit into one strict archetype (those who aren't a man's man or a woman's woman) we'd be better off to admit that traditional values are wrong in this case and we need to be more progressive in our thought. People should strive to be good humans before they strive to be a good "man" or a good "woman" of a certain generation's value set.

If what I say about people not fitting strictly into two camps is true, and I don't really know how someone could argue that it isn't, then the pastor would have to surmise that there were more sociopathic individuals than is ideal because some people are being excluded from social normalcy by being yolked with identities that aren't compliant with their biology and personality. I'm not sure that's something to fight for, by the suggesting that love and marriage are only fit to work in a manner that's exclusive and divisive for people that don't fit into those categories. It seems like something of a contradiction.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:51 AM   #284
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I think it's only fair to point out that our gender roles are purely social constructions. . . People should strive to be good humans before they strive to be a good "man" or a good "woman" of a certain generation's value set.

I find I'm coming to the same conclusion. A friend of mine is really big into the business of "what it means to be a man" and while I don't mean to diminsh the very real needs that many boys do have to know how to behave in our society as men (which is REALLY about how to behave as human beings), I've come to think that the emphasis on what it means to be a man has more to do with roles--especially traditional ones--than it does on the actual nature of "maleness."

It's not to say there aren't actual differences between men and women. There certainly are, but I think a lot of what we traditionally view as "innate" differences are actually socialized.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:54 AM   #285
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That's appalling. Souls in Heaven have no pigmentation so why would he be preoccupied with it here on earth?
I honestly think he was trying to be helpful (see my post in response to Yolland's questions). He was not a hateful man. Misguided, perhaps and carrying a lot of racist assumptions but certainly not hateful. I don't think it even occured to him how hurtful his comments were to my wife and me.
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