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Old 10-06-2005, 09:46 AM   #76
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem

This constant painting yourselves to be different really isn't helpful. It voids also, your right to criticise your opposition for making sweeping generalisations whn you guys pull them out fo your arses, too.

I'm adamantly for gay marriage, as a right. Full stop. period. But comments like this put you in the same place as those you are angrily fighting. Give it a rest, guys. Let the bigots wallow in their hatred and lack of understanding. Dont join them...Unless you particularly want to
Angela, it scares me how often you say exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:54 AM   #77
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Are not some, if not all, stereotypes rooted in some fact?

As I read Angela Harlem's post, it was not the stereotype that bothered her, but the value judgment of one group being better than another based on that stereotype.


what was the value judgement?

is it a judgement to say that, in general, women tend to be "better" at monogamy?
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:01 AM   #78
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If you do not agree that the "equality" that minorities have in this country is still not universally accepted, quite possibly because of the manner in which it was pushed on the country fine. My fear, as someone who loves his gay relatives tremendously, is that if it is forced BY THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH or the COURT you are getting a legal piece of paper, and not the will of the people. WHen that happens, the will of the people will take YEARS longer to change.


for the sake of argument, hasn't the opposite of this been demonstrated in Massachusetts? that once the piece of paper existed, and marriage equality became reality, and we all saw that Boston Harbor didn't boil, Cape Cod didn't fall into the sea, and the Berkshires didn't errupt (sounds like a Michael Bay movie ), that the will of the people is now on the side of that piece of paper?

from what i understand, and perhaps your experience as a resident of Mass. is different, it seems like when things like marriage equality (or women's suffrage, or whatever social issue you want to come up with) remain abstractions and battles of "hearts and minds" it's easier for people to retreat into their comfort zones -- not that they want to hate, but that they simply want to be comfortable with the way that things always were -- as opposed to when we do have a legislated change in the law, there's some initial resistance, and then it becomes normalized and everyone wonders what the big deal was.

them's just my observations.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:18 AM   #79
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Originally posted by Irvine511

it's all going to look so silly in 5-10 years when rights will vary, state by state, but in a majority of states at the very least civil unions will be offered, in the more progressive and educated states (New England, New York, some Lake States, the West Coast), and, once again, the Red States will be looked upon as ignorant and backwards and the bastion of bigots, just as they were during the civil rights era.
I think that this is where gay rights is making a big mistake. This idea that gay rights are being extended in the "progressive and educated states" is not going to change the opinion of the majority and is unproductive and ultimately ineffective. You just can't say, "The smart people realize homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else, shouldn't you?" and expect to change minds. Frankly, it smacks of the Jr. High argument of "C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it."

I don't in any stretch of the imagination claim to be an expert on the subject, but I do have somewhat of a unique perspective. And to introduce what I believe is the best method for gay rights to move forward, I'll share two stories.

#1: In my job, I work mostly with students ages 12-18. My job is very relation, thus I am able to build strong relationships with students and see more of their "true side" than most adults. When I run into a situation where a student says something discriminatory or biased against the gay community, my protocol is to correct them, teach a little about discrimination, and then ask them the simple question, "how much time have actually spent with a gay person?" And you know what I've learned? There's a direct correlation with their views on homosexuality and how much time they've spent with gay people. Not exactly groundbreaking research, but an important point.

#2. My mother is strongly against homosexual marriage. She's an educated woman, valedictorian of her class, with an advanced degree in the medical field. Her reasons for being against homosexual marriage are not intellectual ones, and therefore she won't be swayed by an intellectual argument. Even more, if you were to tell her that her biases were "unintelligent," you would not only insult her but likely lose her indefinitely. But you know what WOULD change your mind? A relationship with a homosexual person. If she were able to spend some time with someone who is gay, to empathize with them and share just an ounce of the pain they've felt as an ostracized people group, I'd be willing to bet she'd change.

My point is, I think the best way for the gay community to change the opinion of the majority is simply to become more a part of the majority. Help them to deal with the fact that their pre-conceived notions of a gay person does not equal their experience with a gay person.

Obviously, this means breaking apart from areas that have become "safe havens" and moving into places that are potentially antagonistic. I know that's a lot to ask and admit that I have no concept of how difficult that might be. But I really believe that they key to changing people's minds is not with intellectual snobbery, but with being a bigger part of their lives. I really think that they best method to changing minds is to help them "normalize" the homosexual. And this will only come with experience.

Entertainment has made some steps in this area, but I think that there is more that can be done. I think this is why “love your enemies” is such a wise plan of action. The more they get to know you, the less reason they’ll have to be your enemy.

Just my two cents. But then again, I am a white protestant male, so I might be way off.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:33 AM   #80
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Originally posted by stammer476

My point is, I think the best way for the gay community to change the opinion of the majority is simply to become more a part of the majority. Help them to deal with the fact that their pre-conceived notions of a gay person does not equal their experience with a gay person.

Pretty simplistic. In an ideal world this would be great, but then again in an ideal world, this would never be an issue.

Your suggestion is like telling black people to move to the deep south and end racism by showing them what you're really like.

The burden does not need to be placed on the minority, it needs to be a give and take. But to place it on the minority is a ridiculous suggestion.

Some of the most intelligent people can still be ignorant.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:34 AM   #81
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Stammer: very interesting post.

i both agree and disagree.

i think you are right that saying, "you're stupid if you hate gay people or oppose gay marriage," isn't a terribly good political tactic. and, as tactics go, it should be a multipronged attack, and the first two you mention:

1. being "out" and visible and proud -- this is actually harder than you might think, as you tend to put yourself in the position of always having to be a representative and having to educate, but it is important work

2. as you mentioned, and it is true -- living in areas once hostile or at least skeptical towards gay couples; the gay ghettos of WeHo, Chelsea, Dupont, Hillcrest, the Castro, the Marais, SoHo, etc., are in decline, as many straight people have deemed them nice places to live, and as many gay people now have legally protected relationships and children and want to live in Scarsdale, Mill Valley, McLean, Newton, etc. this is good for both groups, and i see intergration only increasing.

3. working through the judiciary, or the legislature, as we see in Massachusetts, to repeal discriminatory laws, *especially* in states that forbid gay adoption and where it is still legal to fire someone on the basis of sexual orientation.

so i think we do agree. the whole "you're an idiot" approach i wasn't advocating as a political tactic, but i still think it's true: there's no intellectual argument to be made against marriage equality and the full social acceptance of gays into the fabric of social, cultural, and political life. gosh, i even heard Tucker Carlson say that! when it comes to what i simply think about the whole situation, i don't care if i come off as a snob. would i tell your mother to her face that she was being irrational and emotional?

probably not, because my momma raised me right.

but i'd probably think it. and then i'd probably go about changing her mind in precisely the method you recommend.

and while there are always exceptions, i do think it's true that, in general, the more educated someone is the more likely they are to be comfortable with difference and diversity in their lives and to find intellectual arguments -- whether it is for marriage equality or legalization of marijuana or any other issue -- more compelling than emotionalist arguments.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:37 AM   #82
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Point taken.

I wasn't trying to fix the problem in one shot or put the burden on anyone, just putting an idea out there. It may be idealistic, but I do believe that a major root of prejudice is inexperience.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:55 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




for the sake of argument, hasn't the opposite of this been demonstrated in Massachusetts? that once the piece of paper existed, and marriage equality became reality, and we all saw that Boston Harbor didn't boil, Cape Cod didn't fall into the sea, and the Berkshires didn't errupt (sounds like a Michael Bay movie ), that the will of the people is now on the side of that piece of paper?

from what i understand, and perhaps your experience as a resident of Mass. is different, it seems like when things like marriage equality (or women's suffrage, or whatever social issue you want to come up with) remain abstractions and battles of "hearts and minds" it's easier for people to retreat into their comfort zones -- not that they want to hate, but that they simply want to be comfortable with the way that things always were -- as opposed to when we do have a legislated change in the law, there's some initial resistance, and then it becomes normalized and everyone wonders what the big deal was.

them's just my observations.
My current frame of mind is this....

You are correct, the world did not end. There have been marriages here in the town I live in, and the world is going on....

HOWEVER, it has increased or hardened the hearts of people that I would consider to be middle of the road. It feels dictated to them, and has in my opinion, pushed them away from believing in it.

If there had been a vote, I would bet, that it would have passed, and people would have moved on. What those middle of the road people, leaning to the right of the middle, but not conservative people, is left a bad taste in their mouths.

The more conservative churches, and African American Evangelical churches are now very united against it (Sorry Melon, they are not all white males) and it is more politicized because of the manner in which the change is occuring. I think the battle for hearts and minds will be harder now.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:16 PM   #84
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Originally posted by stammer476



#1: In my job, I work mostly with students ages 12-18. My job is very relation, thus I am able to build strong relationships with students and see more of their "true side" than most adults. When I run into a situation where a student says something discriminatory or biased against the gay community, my protocol is to correct them, teach a little about discrimination, and then ask them the simple question, "how much time have actually spent with a gay person?" And you know what I've learned? There's a direct correlation with their views on homosexuality and how much time they've spent with gay people. Not exactly groundbreaking research, but an important point.

#2. My mother is strongly against homosexual marriage. She's an educated woman, valedictorian of her class, with an advanced degree in the medical field. Her reasons for being against homosexual marriage are not intellectual ones, and therefore she won't be swayed by an intellectual argument. Even more, if you were to tell her that her biases were "unintelligent," you would not only insult her but likely lose her indefinitely. But you know what WOULD change your mind? A relationship with a homosexual person. If she were able to spend some time with someone who is gay, to empathize with them and share just an ounce of the pain they've felt as an ostracized people group, I'd be willing to bet she'd change.

My point is, I think the best way for the gay community to change the opinion of the majority is simply to become more a part of the majority. Help them to deal with the fact that their pre-conceived notions of a gay person does not equal their experience with a gay person.
While this point might be simplistic, it is very interesting and has rela merit. Sometimes, simplistic makes the most sense. To me, the single largest reason for homophobia is ignorance. Period. Yeah, I know some people will say its their religious beliefs, blah, blah, blah. But I've found that even religious people who meet gay people and get to really know them tend to soften their opinions of them. Attitudes and perceptions change.

When I first came out to my mother, she was upset at first, but has grown to love me and welcomes my partner and I at her home. Same with my stepdad, who used to be very homophobic but, through me, has modified his views on the topic. On top of that, my mom, like myself, is a Christian, and could easliy use that to tell me I'm wrong. But she knows me, and sees me for who I am. And instead of eeing something weird, she and my other Christian friends, see it for what it really is. It's who I am.

People fear what they don't understand. This seems to be at the heart of the gay marriage arguement for most people. Times are changing.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:26 PM   #85
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While this point might be simplistic, it is very interesting and has rela merit. Sometimes, simplistic makes the most sense. To me, the single largest reason for homophobia is ignorance. Period. Yeah, I know some people will say its their religious beliefs, blah, blah, blah. But I've found that even religious people who meet gay people and get to really know them tend to soften their opinions of them. Attitudes and perceptions change.

When I first came out to my mother, she was upset at first, but has grown to love me and welcomes my partner and I at her home. Same with my stepdad, who used to be very homophobic but, through me, has modified his views on the topic. On top of that, my mom, like myself, is a Christian, and could easliy use that to tell me I'm wrong. But she knows me, and sees me for who I am. And instead of eeing something weird, she and my other Christian friends, see it for what it really is. It's who I am.

People fear what they don't understand. This seems to be at the heart of the gay marriage arguement for most people. Times are changing.
And that's the point I was trying to make. As much as I understand the need for large homosexual communities in urban areas for support, understanding, etc, there's just a part of me that wonders if it's hurting "the cause" in the long run.
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Old 10-06-2005, 01:26 PM   #86
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And that's the point I was trying to make. As much as I understand the need for large homosexual communities in urban areas for support, understanding, etc, there's just a part of me that wonders if it's hurting "the cause" in the long run.


actually, if you look at the "traditionally" gay areas -- West Hollywood, Dupont Circle, the West Village, the Castro, the Marais, SoHo -- these are all now some of the most desireable places to live in their respective cities -- LA, DC, NYC, SanFran Paris, London -- because gay people have traditionally been terrific urban citizens who have disposable income and frequent book stores, record stores, cafes, restaurants, theater, nightlife, and public parks. as cities have rejuvenated over the past 10 years, much of this has to do with straight people overcoming fear of the gay ghettos and moving into places where once only gays dared to tread. thus, as these neighborhoods become more mixed (i'd go so far as to call Dupont very nearly straight), the gay ghetto moves further into the inner city, so now we've seen the gay gentrification (and i'm not trying to say that gentrification is a good thing, necessarily, that's a whole other topic for another thread) move into neighborhoods like Chelsea in NYC, Logan Circle in DC, South Boston in Boston, etc., and many cities desperate for gentificiation -- i.e., Detroit, Baltimore -- advertise in gay publications with promises of affordable lofts and good restaurants. heck, South Beach is now a national treasure of newly restored art deco largely thanks to gay gentrification.

the filp side, of course, is that now that gay people are being treated like everyone else, there's less of a need for a gayborhood, and some cities (like, say, Hartford, CT) that might try to create a gayborhood aren't able to do so.

a bit of a tangent .... but i suppose the point i'm making is that gay people are moving out as straight people are moving in, gay people are moving further in and redecorating and eventually the straight people will follow, and it's all good for all people, just like mixed income housing -- perhaps the policy should be "do ask do tell"?
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:56 PM   #87
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:44 AM   #88
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if this changes things, anyone planning to come to MA to get married please invite me to your wedding I think your hard fought battle is the only romance I still believe in..

Mass. high court mulls nonresident nuptials

Ann Rostow, PlanetOut NetworkThu Oct 6,

SUMMARY: In a case of national significance, Massachusetts' high court is examining an obscure law that bars out-of-state gay couples from marrying.

In a case with dramatic repercussions for the national gay community, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments Thursday on a little-used law that blocks nonresident same-sex couples from marrying in the Bay State.

Passed in 1913 in order to discourage interracial marriages in Massachusetts, the "Reverse Evasion Statute" declares that a marriage that would be illegal in the couple's home state is void from the start. The law was not enforced until May of last year, when state authorities pulled it out of obscurity to apply it against visiting same-sex couples.

The sudden revival of the Reverse Evasion Statute at the expense of gay men and lesbians triggered two related lawsuits. The New England-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) sued on behalf of several same-sex couples from other jurisdictions seeking to marry in Massachusetts. The American Civil Liberties Union, in turn, represented a baker's dozen town clerks, who are arguably being asked to violate the Constitution in rejecting qualified marriage applicants.

Gay advocates in both suits charge that the targeted use of the law flies in the face of the state high court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The November 2003 decision in Goodrich v. Department of Public Health held that the state "failed to identify any relevant characteristic that would justify shutting the door to civil marriage to a person who wishes to marry someone of the same sex."

Since Goodrich found no rational basis for the state bar on gay marriage, writes GLAD in court papers: "It is just as irrational for the Commonwealth to apply its own law, which incorporates the anti-gay marriage licensing statutes of the sister states ... to once again deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking to marry in Massachusetts."

GLAD says the use of the law to single out same-sex couples also defies federal guarantees of equal treatment under the Privileges and Immunities Clause, and tramples on the fundamental right to marry.

The Supreme Judicial Court took direct review of the cases after a lower court judge ruled that the state had a rational interest in ensuring that the marriages it sanctions are recognized throughout the country. The high court normally rules within three months, raising the possibility that the law could be struck by mid-January.

"Removing this illegitimate barrier," said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom To Marry, "will mean more committed same-sex couples and their kids will have a measure of protection for their families. More non-gay Americans around the country will see what the people of Massachusetts have seen: what real-life married gay couples look like and how ending discrimination harms no one."

As more couples travel to the state to tie the knot, Wolfson says, "Massachusetts will not run out of marriage licenses; there will still be plenty of marriage left for everyone."

There is also a chance that the Washington Supreme Court will open the door to marriage for gay couples throughout the United States before the Massachusetts justices have a chance to rule. The Washington high court is expected to hand down its decision in a marriage equality case at any time.
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:23 AM   #89
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I don't believe in marriage. Period. Too many unions end in divorce and too many families and children get hurt in the crossfire. Doesn't matter what sex marries what sex to me. It's sad.
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Old 10-08-2005, 09:03 AM   #90
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if this changes things, anyone planning to come to MA to get married please invite me to your wedding I think your hard fought battle is the only romance I still believe in..
I volunteer my services as a minister in the Universal Church of Life to marry people from this forum.
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