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Old 11-16-2008, 11:59 PM   #421
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I think it hints that most religions are doctrines of men mingled with scripture.

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Old 11-17-2008, 12:02 AM   #422
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I think it hints that most religions are doctrines of men mingled with scripture.

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I would say all religions.

This is actually pretty big of you...
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:03 AM   #423
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rather bleak outlook my friend.

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The facts aren't conditional on peoples feelings, so that is irrelevant.

It is also wrong, human happiness depends on social interaction and engagement more than a belief in God, the evidence that the religious are statistically more happy than atheists in America (but not in Godless Scandinavia) has more to do with their exclusion from theistic peers than anything innate about their world view.

A world without God is the same as the world we all live in today, with the same intricacies of nature and same capacity of human experience. Just because you don't like it doesn't alter it.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:04 AM   #424
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I think it hints that most religions are doctrines of men mingled with scripture.

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All religions are scripture written by human beings, how do childish notions of God inspiring human texts get any respect in this day and age?
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:14 AM   #425
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Analogy Lesson: Racism is the wrong frame for understanding the passage of California's same-sex marriage ban.

By Richard Thompson Ford
Slate.com, Nov. 14, 2008



Like Democrats running for Congress, same-sex marriage supporters hoped to ride the wave of Obama-mania all the way to victory in last week's election. Instead, of course, three states, including liberal and overwhelmingly pro-Obama California, voted to ban same-sex marriage. "People don't seem to realize it's all the same thing. An African-American being elected is all part of equal rights that also apply to the gay community," said a disappointed same-sex marriage proponent in Chicago a few days after the election.

Although some political analysts speculated that the Obama-driven high turnout among black voters would also bolster initiatives to ban same-sex marriage, many believed that Obama voters of all races would see same-sex marriage as a continuation of the civil rights struggle and reject the California ban. This view went along with the belief that opponents of same-sex marriage could only be motivated by anti-gay bias: For instance, one advocate insisted that any argument against same-sex marriage "is simply code for prejudice and bigotry."

The analogy between the racism that voters overcame to elect Obama and the anti-gay sentiment that undermined support for same-sex marriage is tempting. But it has led gay marriage proponents to neglect the obvious: Same-sex marriage directly involves sex, and so popular attitudes about sex and gender—not race—are the ones that are most relevant to whether same-sex marriage bans rise or fall. Perhaps the gay rights advocates who assumed that an Obama T-shirt reflected a vote for same-sex marriage should have worried that a wisecrack about Hillary Clinton's pantsuits signaled a vote against it.

After all, traditional marriage isn't just analogous to sex discrimination—it is sex discrimination: Only men may marry women, and only women may marry men. Same-sex marriage would transform an institution that currently defines two distinctive sex roles—husband and wife—by replacing those different halves with one sex-neutral role—spouse. Sure, we could call two married men "husbands" and two married women "wives," but the specific role for each sex that now defines marriage would be lost. Widespread opposition to same-sex marriage might reflect a desire to hang on to these distinctive sex roles rather than vicious anti-gay bigotry.

By wistfully invoking the analogy to racism, same-sex marriage proponents risk misreading a large (and potentially movable) group of voters who care about sex difference more than about sexual orientation. After all, many opponents of same-sex marriage don't oppose gay rights across the board. In California, same-sex couples enjoy significant civil rights protections and legal status as domestic partners, and voters have shown no interest in changing that. National polls show that overwhelming majorities support employment-based gay rights, including equal access to careers in the military, and same-sex civil unions. It's only when it comes to marriage—the word, with its religious as well as civic connotations—that pro-gay sentiment dwindles: Recent polls show that only 30% to 36% of Americans support same-sex marriage. It's this finding, of course, that the results of last week's elections echo.

The sharp differences in the polling numbers, depending on whether the question is marriage as opposed to almost any other gay rights issue, suggest that opposition to same-sex marriage isn't simply the 21st century's form of racism. After all, whites who opposed racial miscegenation in the Jim Crow South didn't support other civil rights for blacks or civil unions for mixed-race couples. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws worked hand-in-glove with laws prohibiting sex outside of marriage and intimate cohabitation of unmarried adults to effectively outlaw interracial intimacy altogether. When Mildred Loving, who was black, and Richard Loving, who was white, successfully challenged Virginia's law barring interracial marriage, they were not just fighting for social acceptance and hospital visitation rights. They were fighting a jail sentence, suspended on the condition that they leave the Virginia and never return together: effective banishment from the state. Anti-miscegenation laws were designed to prevent intimate racial mixing of any kind; by contrast, many of the people who voted to ban same-sex marriage are apparently supportive of same-sex intimacy—provided you don't call it marriage.

If we avoid the tempting but misleading analogy to race and look at what's directly at stake, the combination of widespread opposition to same-sex marriage and equally widespread support for other gay rights is easier to understand. Gay rights in employment and civil unions don't require the elimination of longstanding and culturally potent sex roles. Same-sex marriage does. And while a lot of people reject the narrow and repressive sex roles of the past, many others long for the kind of meaningful gender identities that traditional marriage seems to offer.

You might say that this shouldn't matter to anyone who's secure in his masculinity (or in her femininity). Fair enough, but what if you aren't secure? The sex roles of the moment are contested and in flux. And amid the uncertainty and anxiety, most people still think they matter. Even the feminist movement hasn't really tried to eliminate distinctive sex roles—instead, it has struggled with how to make them more egalitarian and less constricting.

Civil rights law reflects this ambivalence about sex difference. While constitutional law applies "strict scrutiny" to racial distinctions and federal employment law condemns race discrimination in almost all its forms, there's no such comprehensiveness with respect to sex. Sex discrimination is not subject to the same exacting scrutiny as race discrimination under constitutional law, and federal employment law allows many types of it. For instance, courts have routinely upheld workplace rules that enforce sex-specific dress and grooming norms against legal challenge. Employers lawfully can require women to wear makeup and feminine attire and prohibit men from wearing jewelry and long hair. By contrast, they can't have one set of grooming rules for white employees and another one for black employees. Civil rights laws explicitly allow employers to defend a claim of sex discrimination by arguing that male or female sex is itself a job requirement—say, for prison guards who do strip searches or for restroom attendants. By contrast, as a matter of federal law, no job can be the exclusive province of white people, or black people, or Asians or Latinos.

None of this justifies the opposition to same-sex marriage. But it does help to explain it. I wish voters had overcome their identity crises and supported gay marriage. But many same-sex marriage advocates have been talking past the people they need to convince: the large, moderate opposition that voted for sex difference, not homophobia. Dropping the oversimplified analogy between racism and homophobia would help same-sex marriage supporters make their case more effectively.

And it would help us to see that despite last week's set backs, there's reason for optimism: Anti-gay bias is probably less severe and widespread than the results of last week's elections seem to suggest. But the complexities of modern sexual politics may make the struggle for same-sex marriage harder than Barack Obama's struggle against racial prejudice. Maybe the nation will be ready for same-sex marriage when it's comfortable enough with evolving sex roles to elect its first female president. Michelle Obama in 2016?


Richard Thompson Ford is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and author of The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Although it's making more of a legal argument, whereas the article makes more of a psychological argument, I also thought this reader comment had a good point:
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If people's objection to same-sex marriage is that it abandons the gender roles inherent in marriage, then they're closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. Our country now has (finally, and almost without exception) egalitarian marriage laws. The law does not require that either gender in a marriage take on a particular role withing the marriage.
Outlawing same-sex marriage does nothing to "fix" this. If their desire is for the continuation of certain gender roles in marriage, then they should change the laws to insist on those gender roles for heterosexuals - not pick on homosexuals.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:38 AM   #426
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But if a voter indicated human beings created marriage, Script B would roll instead, emphasizing that Proposition 8 was about marriage, not about attacking gay people, and about restoring into law an earlier ban struck down by the State Supreme Court in May.

“It is not our goal in this campaign to attack the homosexual lifestyle or to convince gays and lesbians that their behavior is wrong — the less we refer to homosexuality, the better,” one of the ward training documents said. “We are pro-marriage, not anti-gay.”
Wait a minnit. Haven't I read this somewhere before in this thread?
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:25 AM   #427
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5 years later, views shift subtly on gay marriage

By David Filipov, Globe Staff | November 17, 2008

When the Supreme Judicial Court handed down its landmark decision five years ago tomorrow allowing same-sex couples to wed in Massachusetts, opponents warned that traditional marriage would be endangered, while supporters envisioned an equality movement that would spread across the nation.

Over 11,000 same-sex marriages later, neither has happened.

Massachusetts has yet to become, as former governor Mitt Romney predicted, the "Las Vegas of same-sex marriage." Gay marriage rates leveled off at about 1,500 a year - about 4 percent of all state marriages - in 2006 and 2007. The divorce rate in Massachusetts has remained the same - and the lowest in the country.

And only one other state now allows same-sex marriage; 30 states have a ban against it.

What's really changed is more subtle than cosmic, more about the everyday lives of gay couples in Massachusetts than about a national transformation. Gay and lesbian couples here said they are attracting fewer startled looks when they rent cars, less consternation when they hold hands, fewer awkward questions when they visit spouses in hospital rooms.

"When we're out together as a couple, it really doesn't come up; we're never challenged anymore," said David Wilson, one of the plaintiffs in the 2003 SJC case and the current chairman of MassEquality, a gay-rights advocacy group. "It's now considered normal."

Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade, who were among the first gay and lesbian couples to wed here, have noticed the decrease in embarrassed double takes when they introduce themselves as wife and wife.

"The sky didn't fall," Brodoff said Wednesday, as she and Wade sat with their English setters Diana and Joey in the living room of their tidy Colonial in Newton Centre. "The newness of it has eased. It's just another marriage."

Brodoff and Wade, also plaintiffs in the 2003 case, have lived together since 1980 and have a 19-year-old daughter, Kate, a sophomore at Bates College. Since they were wed on May 17, 2004 - the first day same-sex couples could marry - the fanfare and euphoria have given way to the routine familiar to most American families.

Their rights, however, remain limited to Massachusetts: The federal government doesn't recognize their marriage, and therefore does not extend to them the rights it accords heterosexual families for taxes, inheritance, and survivor benefits, among other things.

"We are, sadly, a long way from nationwide same-sex marriage rights," said Wade.

The comfort levels of same-sex couples in Massachusetts have hardly been contagious. Outside the Northeast, opponents of gay marriage have been on something of a winning streak, including this Election Day, when they won popular votes to ban gay marriage in Arizona and Florida, as well as California, which had seen more than 18,000 same-sex marriages after a May 15 court ruling allowed them.

"We're very pleased, of course," said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a nonprofit public policy group that has pushed for an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. "Most people believe that marriage is about the creation and nurturing of children. Two fathers, two mothers, don't make up for a mother and a father."

Groups that oppose gay marriage say the state is trying to force people to accept behavior they believe is unnatural and unacceptable. But there are signs that the number of people opposed to same-sex marriage is waning in Massachusetts. In February 2004, a survey of 400 voters found that 42 percent were in favor of same-sex marriage and 44 percent opposed it. In a similar survey completed this August, approval sprang to 59 percent and opposition sank to 37 percent, said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which conducted the polls.

State Representative Brian P. Wallace, a Democrat from South Boston, has felt that mood in his district. Wallace, who in January 2007 voted in favor of a ban on same-sex marriage, was one of several lawmakers who changed their minds in June 2007, when the Legislature defeated a measure to put the question of marriage on the ballot.

"My constituency is changing," he explained. Although "there's still people who haven't spoken to me after the vote," most of his constituents, he said, no longer worry about same-sex marriage.

"Nobody is hurt by it," Wallace said. "There are other issues."

Representative Paul J. Kujawski, a Democrat who represents a district in southern Worcester County, also changed his vote. "I looked at it from a standpoint of my personal life and my family and it didn't affect me at all," he said. "It really became an issue where we would be taking happiness away from people's lives."

Gay marriage opponents had vowed to elect a Legislature that supported their agenda. On Election Day, the opposite took place. Out of its 200 members, the Legislature now has 158 lawmakers who Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality, believes support his cause, an increase of three legislators.

The attitudes of people interviewed Saturday in Boston suggested that same-sex marriage is not the main issue for voters. Bob Barnes of Boston reflected a common view: For him, marriage meant a wife, but he doesn't think he or anyone else has the right to tell other people how to live.

"Let people do what they please," Barnes said, adding: "They don't bother me."

"I wasn't raised that way," said Edward Pina of Boston, as he watched demonstrators head to City Hall Plaza for a rally in favor of gay marriage. "I'm not going to support it, but I'm not uncomfortable with it."

The Legislature's July 31 decision to repeal a 1913 law banning out-of-state couples from tying the knot here appears to have resulted in an increase of weddings among couples from Rhode Island and New York, which recognize same-sex marriages officiated in other states. Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, said that in Provincetown, the number of marriage licenses for same-sex couples increased from an average of 30 per month in May through July to an average of 100 per month in August through October; Barnstable County has seen a 12.7 increase in hotel revenue between August 2007 and August 2008.

Despite the wave of defeats nationally, gay-rights advocates here hailed the beginning of same-sex marriages in Connecticut last week, and said they would try to advance the idea that the rest of the country has nothing to fear from same-sex marriage.

Ten states, plus the District of Columbia, offer "significant legal protection for same-sex couples," according to Mary Bonauto, a lawyer at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. She was the lead counsel in the 2003 Massachusetts SJC case.

"Everyone knows, no matter which side of the issue they're on, that marriage is inevitable for same-sex couples," she said. "I'm not saying it's going to be a short road in some of the states."

Even in Massachusetts, gays and lesbians have yet to achieve complete equality. On a sports radio talk show on WEEI-AM (850) last Wednesday, callers reacted to the news that Boston had been named a finalist to host the 2014 Gay Games with a stream of homophobic jokes and slights, as the show's hosts cackled with glee and added their own antigay wisecracks.

"People can still get away with homophobic slurs in a way that you couldn't, talking about Jews or Italians," Solomon said.

Brian Camenker of the group MassResistance, which opposes gay marriage, said he believes that most people cannot accept the idea of gays and lesbians as a group whose rights need special protection.

"The concept is so ridiculous and absurd," he said.

Camenker contends that gay marriage will never take root in the United States, where, he said, "in most people's minds, the concept of gay marriage doesn't exist and never will exist."

Same-sex marriage is opposed by many religious denominations, including Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and Orthodox Judaism. Some liberal denominations have accepted gay marriage; others are struggling with the issue. In the Episcopal Church, for example, clergy in Massachusetts are barred from officiating at same-sex marriage ceremonies but permitted to bless same-sex couples.

Lori Herman of Needham, who married her longtime partner, Sara Orozco, in May 2004, has experienced both kinds of attitudes toward gay marriage in Massachusetts. People who see her all the time accept her. People who don't know her well are occasionally "taken aback" when they learn she married a woman.

Herman and Orozco divorced a couple of years ago. They now share the upbringing of their 9-year-old twins.

"Some marriages work out and some don't. It's nothing to do with gay or straight," she said. "It shows you we're exactly like you."
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:35 AM   #428
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"Nobody is hurt by it," Wallace said. "There are other issues."
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"Let people do what they please," Barnes said, adding: "They don't bother me."
Exactly. Now, why can't the anti-gay marriage folks see this? I still want someone who's against it to answer how allowing same-sex couples to marry will directly change their lives. Why does this matter so much to you?

Quote:
Brian Camenker of the group MassResistance, which opposes gay marriage, said he believes that most people cannot accept the idea of gays and lesbians as a group whose rights need special protection.

"The concept is so ridiculous and absurd," he said.
What sorts of special protection are being asked for? As far as I know, there's nobody asking for special treatment, only equal protection under the law.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:57 AM   #429
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i think you're mistaken on both counts.

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you wouldn't *believe* what the evangelicals say about you behind your back.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:22 AM   #430
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"We're very pleased, of course," said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a nonprofit public policy group that has pushed for an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. "Most people believe that marriage is about the creation and nurturing of children. Two fathers, two mothers, don't make up for a mother and a father."
What about straight couples who choose not to have children or are unable to conceive? This statement doesn't really make sense to me. I believe that marriage is about the love between two people. Period.

Maybe someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but when people talk about that 'traditional' definition of marriage, isn't that a misnomer of sorts? Isn't romantic love a relatively new concept? Didn't marriage evolve from a financial contract to its present-day incarnation? So why can't it be allowed to evolve further?
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:11 PM   #431
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wink

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What about straight couples who choose not to have children or are unable to conceive? This statement doesn't really make sense to me. I believe that marriage is about the love between two people. Period.

Maybe someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but when people talk about that 'traditional' definition of marriage, isn't that a misnomer of sorts? Isn't romantic love a relatively new concept? Didn't marriage evolve from a financial contract to its present-day incarnation? So why can't it be allowed to evolve further?


you see, this is all they have. this is their only argument. "marriage is about two people giving birth to their own biological children."

but lots and lots and lots of marriages have nothing to do with the above. i think we can say that, yes, a marriage might be the best place to raise a child, but i don't think we say, then, that 1) a marriage is the *only* place to raise a child, and 2) it isn't a marriage unless it involve a child.

there is no argument against gay marriage. none. unless you are willing to say that all straight relationships are better than all gay relationships.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #432
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unless you are willing to say that all straight relationships are better than all gay relationships.
Which is what has been hinted at time and time again.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:45 PM   #433
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Which is what has been hinted at time and time again.


i wish someone would just come out and say it. it would make things a whole lot easier.

and the subtext of the whole thing is so offensive. i.e., "if gays can get married then they'll ruin the whole thing."

it's absolutely no different than having a "Whites Only" sign outside of a golf course.

what is it that's so bad about us? the fact that people still don't want us to get married even after we point out that some people never have children, some people can't have children, and some people have already had children in a previous marriage but are totally done with that. and then we go so far as to point out that some gay people adopt children, some conceive through surrogates or IVF, and some have children from previous relationships.

i really am flummoxed. i've been trying to understand this for the past 12 days or so.
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #434
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Gay rights in Nepal have just surpassed gay rights in America.

GayPolitics.com LGBT Nepalis rejoice at Supreme Court decision granting equal protections
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #435
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i really am flummoxed. i've been trying to understand this for the past 12 days or so.
What did you think of the Richard Thompson Ford article I posted? Granted, it's not really raising anything that hasn't been touched on in here before (I was reminded of your familiar comment that "homophobia is basically sexism in drag" as I read parts of it), but my sense is that at least when it comes to grassroots campaigning, he may be right that starting from a recognition of the gender-role anxiety many people who have traditionalist leanings, but aren't necessarily ideological homophobes (nor ideological sexists), feel towards the idea of gay marriage might be the best way to identify a target audience--people whose minds can actually be changed--and a strategy that might work with them.
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