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Old 08-17-2012, 05:44 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
could you name for me 10 qualities a father has that no mother will ever have, and 10 qualities a mother will have that no father will ever have.
1) He's not your mother.
..................?

1) She's not your father.
.................?

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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
It's simple. Do you believe that a mother has something unique to give to a child that no father can give, and vice versa, that a father brings unique contributions that no mother can?
It's simple because you've avoided naming specifics, so whatever appeal the answer has rests on a tautology.

I'd expect that in the aggregate there might be some trends distinguishing adult children of (intact) opposite-sex families from adult children of (intact) same-sex families in terms of, for example, certain social and cultural sensibilities, just as I'd expect to see in, for example, similar comparisons across ethnic and religious lines. In a thread several years back we discussed the specific scenario of same-sex parents raising a child of the opposite sex, and someone, I think Sean, drew an analogy to the scenario of two white parents raising a black child--that in both cases there'd probably be occasions where it'd be very helpful to have established extrafamilial adult mentor figures the child could call on (actually, this is frankly a good idea for any child), but that that's hardly a concern which rises to the level of rendering them unfit parents. I agree with that. But "men are men and women are women" doesn't cut it for me as a meaningful argument against same-sex parenting, especially when no attempt is being made to unpack it.
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Again, you can agree with that premise but judge equality and fairness a greater consideration and thus support same-sex marriage.
I've never encountered a supporter of same-sex marriage who considered it an inferior family environment for children. It's true the legal arguments do emphasize equality and fairness, because after all we don't require straight couples to intend parenthood in order to marry, and not denying access to a public good on the basis of an arbitrary characteristic (sex, when procreation isn't required) happens to be a strong legal case. But your wording makes it sound as if SSM supporters just shrug off children's welfare once equality and fairness have been invoked, which simply isn't true. I've never encountered an SSM supporter who didn't also support same-sex adoption, either.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:32 AM   #242
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1) I was trying to see if we could agree on the premise that limitations on marriage have always existed and arose for reasons other than "hate" or some phobia.
Reasons such as ignorance? Hanging on to antiquated notions of women being chattels, for example?

Can a similar argument be made that you may not be homophobic but you may be ignorant of what life is like for a committed gay couple or their children and you hang on to that ignorance and use it as your basis for reasoning?

I had an interesting conversation with a gay friend of mine who actually lived in the southern US for many years (Texas, to be specific). Otherwise he spent the rest of his life in Canada or Europe. And he said to me that what he found to be extremely surprising, though maybe it shouldn't have been, that in Texas he was very often the first and only (openly) gay man that his co-workers, neighbours, etc came across. That they weren't necessarily avoiding the gay community but they simply lived in places where most people, for good reason, would not come out and would probably flee in early adulthood to avoid dealing with the judgment, the stigma and so on. While some of them were openly nasty to him, many others actually warmed up to him enough to consider him a friend over the years, once they realized and accepted that he's essentially like them - a hard-working guy who pays his bills, doesn't wear assless leather pants to work and so on. So his theory is that most of them are not actually homophobic but are very ignorant, mostly as a result of their circumstances, because they don't have life-long friendships with gays and lesbians, they don't know any gay people who are productive, high-earning members of society and living in committed relationships, they don't invite gays or lesbians to their homes nor do they go to theirs for summer barbecues and so on. They simply have no understanding of how deep and how hurtful their ignorance is because they are not faced in day-to-day life with their fellow gay citizens and to them this argument about marriage and female and male bits is an easy and theoretical one.

Makes me wonder to what extent INDY falls into that category.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #243
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^ INDY's from a college town, one where total lack of social exposure would be highly unlikely. Granted, knowing some gay people is different from having had several close gay friends and I have no idea whether that pertains or not, but I'd be very surprised if total social isolation was an issue.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #244
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Reasons such as ignorance? ... Makes me wonder to what extent INDY falls into that category.
See, once we get into this kind of name-calling rhetoric we've lost the ability for meaningful discussion. Say what you like about INDY's posts, but ignorant isn't a label you can hang him with, as yolland pointed out. (Other posters, perhaps.) His posts tend to be generally well-reasoned, even if he's coming from a completely different worldview than the majority of the posters here in FYM.

Worldview is an important issue to consider. There are a host of differences between men and women -- biological, sociological, chemical, physical, etc -- that have manifested themselves in different ways over the years when it comes to parenting styles. Those who believe in gender essentialism when it comes to parenting stand by these factors. These factors are generally, however, disregarded by those who believe that they are not in and of themselves essential for marriage and/or parenting, and certainly not for maintaining a cultural standard that accepts one over the other and applies it as a rule for all.

Thus, the arguments to support or oppose same-sex marriage based on gender differences wind up being circular. ("Differences matter!" "They're not real!" "Yes they are!" "No they're not! And even if they are, they don't matter!" "Yes they do!") The gender argument is a circular, closed argument on both sides, without much room for real debate or discussion between. I find the argument about "equal representation under the law" to be far more compelling and relevant.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #245
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Worldview is an important issue to consider. There are a host of differences between men and women -- biological, sociological, chemical, physical, etc -- that have manifested themselves in different ways over the years when it comes to parenting styles. Those who believe in gender essentialism when it comes to parenting stand by these factors.

what are they? i'm genuinely curious.



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These factors are generally, however, disregarded by those who believe that they are not in and of themselves essential for marriage and/or parenting, and certainly not for maintaining a cultural standard that accepts one over the other and applies it as a rule for all.

this is very coherently stated. well phrased. i'd only switch "privileges" over "accepts."
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #246
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this is very coherently stated. well phrased. i'd only switch "privileges" over "accepts."
Don't disagree. I'm trying to be even-handed.

Laying out the history of gender expression in marriage is a slippery slope on this board; you wind up falling into the "it's not the 1950s" arguments that I find unhelpful. Suffice it to say, there's a reason why moms have been traditionally perceived as more nurturing and caring, while dads have been traditionally perceived as less engaged at an emotional level. The reasons why many (most?) mothers are more tied to their children (often as a result of what happens throughout pregnancy, biologically, chemically, physically, emotionally, spiritually) are well-documented, as well as the struggle that many fathers have to connect emotionally with their children due to a lack of that same "bonding experience." It's one example, but it points out the emotional/chemical/biological/physical differences that exist between mothers and fathers, and how it can play out in terms of raising children. Certainly there are some men who are more empathetic than some women, and some women who are more emotionally detached than some men, and usually there are biological/chemical reasons for that. (More testosterone than estrogen, etc.) But there is a bio/chem/etc standard that those exceptions are usually measured against, and those standards stem from somewhere. I'm not convinced ignorance is the factor. (Though it undoubtedly is for some opponents, as yolland and anitram's posts illustrated.)

However, again, I'm not sure that arguing for or against same sex marriage (at least in the US) based on gender differences is a particularly helpful hat-stand on which to hang the argument. It hamstrings same-sex marriage activists because I think it forces them to have to over-reach (evident gender differences don't matter), which only gives opponents ammunition for the "see? they're trying to redefine everything" rabble rousing. For supporters, again, I find the equal representation argument a far more compelling and convincing one.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:54 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by nathan1977

See, once we get into this kind of name-calling rhetoric we've lost the ability for meaningful discussion. Say what you like about INDY's posts, but ignorant isn't a label you can hang him with. (Other posters, perhaps.) His posts tend to be generally well-reasoned, even if he's coming from a completely different worldview than the majority of the posters here in FYM.

And worldview is an important issue to consider. There are a host of differences between men and women -- biological, sociological, chemical, physical, etc -- that have manifested themselves in different ways over the years when it comes to parenting styles. Those who believe in gender essentialism when it comes to parenting stand by these factors. These factors are generally, however, disregarded by those who believe that they are not in and of themselves essential for marriage and/or parenting, and certainly not for maintaining a cultural standard that accepts one over the other and applies it as a rule for all.

Thus, the reasons to support or oppose same-sex marriage wind up being the reasons to support or oppose same-sex marriage. ("Differences matter!" "They're not real!" "Yes they are!" "No they're not! And even if they are, they don't matter!" "Yes they do!") It's a circular, closed argument on both sides, without much room for real debate or discussion between.
I disagree on almost all accounts. INDY has often resorted to name calling, especially on this subject, and I fail to find any real reasoning in his posts. In fact he often bails when asked to reason his claims. He's claimed it infringes on freedom of religion; no one has ever asked churches to perform ceremonies they don't believe in. He argues parenting but you and I know that is not reasoning for marriage. He argues repercussions but then never defines them. And then he just falls back on 'status quo'.
This is not adult logical reasoning, you and I both know it takes more than this.

To say there is no real room for discussion is a cop out. I think if you did some real soul searching you would admit this.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:57 PM   #248
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See, once we get into this kind of name-calling rhetoric we've lost the ability for meaningful discussion. Say what you like about INDY's posts, but ignorant isn't a label you can hang him with. (Other posters, perhaps.) His posts tend to be generally well-reasoned, even if he's coming from a completely different worldview than the majority of the posters here in FYM.
That's because you are using a different definition of ignorance than I am.

I am not saying ignorant = stupid at all. INDY is very articulate. I am saying ignorant in the sense that he may be living a completely different lifestyle than those of us who live in what he would consider is a version of San Francisco.

I'll give you a good example - I was born in eastern Europe before the fall of the wall. For the first 6 years of my life I had never seen a non-white person, except in American movies. When I came across the first one, he was an African boy and the first thing I asked him was whether I could touch his hair - to me it was super exciting and fun and I'd never seen anything like it. Only later, when I moved to North America and actually had black friends did I realize that it's a really offensive thing and that many of them would not have taken kindly to such a request. I didn't ask it because I meant offense or because I was an idiot, I was simply ignorant of cultural norms outside of my own experience.

And that's what I was trying to get across with my post.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #249
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i think INDY is trying to make debate, because there's markedly less debate on this topic than there was even back in 2005. and, heck, if you dig through the archives, stuff posted in here about gay people back in 2001, even, would never be tolerated. i know Melon was around back then and was kind of a lone gay soldier in that battle. but much like in the world around us, the tide has turned, dramatically.

i also think that a part of resistance has to do with the appeal of authority and tradition and the notion of the sacred that we know has an appeal for conservatives. things are they way they are, and people are who we are, and there's an order we must keep and a standard we must live up to.

i wish, however, INDY might understand the issue of SSM as not one of fairness or equality, but one of freedom.

my freedom *is* limited.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:10 PM   #250
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I'll give you a good example - I was born in eastern Europe before the fall of the wall. For the first 6 years of my life I had never seen a non-white person, except in American movies. When I came across the first one, he was an African boy and the first thing I asked him was whether I could touch his hair - to me it was super exciting and fun and I'd never seen anything like it. Only later, when I moved to North America and actually had black friends did I realize that it's a really offensive thing and that many of them would not have taken kindly to such a request. I didn't ask it because I meant offense or because I was an idiot, I was simply ignorant of cultural norms outside of my own experience.

And that's what I was trying to get across with my post.
Thanks for clarifying. I do think there's a difference between INDY's posts (which are, as you point out, articulate) and your average "God made 'em Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" soundbite.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #251
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I do not like the attempt to frame this as freedom versus equality, for several reasons.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:14 PM   #252
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Thanks for clarifying. I do think there's a difference between INDY's posts (which are, as you point out, articulate) and your average "God made 'em Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve" soundbite.
He is. But that's kind of why I wish you hadn't snipped my post to make it seem like I was implying something I wasn't. There was in fact a pretty long paragraph in between where I went into great detail of how a dear friend of mine who is gay actually came to understand people who might hold views like INDY whom he would have branded a homophobe before once he realized that their worldview and their lifestyle and their community limited their experience with gays and lesbians.

I can for sure tell you that my own parents, who are pretty devoutly Catholic, have vastly different views on gay marriage today than they did 20 years ago. Why? Because their kids brought their gay friends and coworkers over and suddenly two people who are from a different generation had a much more personal understanding of the situation.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #253
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INDY has often resorted to name calling, especially on this subject, and I fail to find any real reasoning in his posts.
I haven't been privy to the name-calling (if so, that's disappointing, but not entirely unheard-of here in FYM, on both sides). As far as your inability to find any real reasoning in his posts, I wonder if, again, this is because of a basic difference in worldview. "I think what you say makes no sense, so anything you use to support what you say also makes no sense." I'm certainly guilty of that; I'm guessing most of us are.

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To say there is no real room for discussion is a cop out. I think if you did some real soul searching you would admit this.
I think there is only real room for discussion if both people are willing to engage in the other's worldview with a reasonable amount of goodwill. If not, then we're at something of an impasse.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:16 PM   #254
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He is. But that's kind of why I wish you hadn't snipped my post to make it seem like I was implying something I wasn't.
I apologize for that. I do think there's a difference between willful and/or malicious ignorance, and innocent ignorance (which you were describing). I've watched you and INDY go back and forth enough times to assume that you meant the former, not the latter. My apologies.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #255
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I do not like the attempt to frame this as freedom versus equality, for several reasons.


how about, equality is freedom?
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