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Old 04-24-2008, 09:11 AM   #361
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Originally posted by maycocksean
However, it's important to remember that the end of the day the outcome of these issues won't effect our lives one way or the other.
Which is why I can't understand why straight people are so dead set against this.

It will have no other effect on us but to extend the happiness that marriage can bring.

So why the hate?
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #362
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Which is why I can't understand why straight people are so dead set against this.

It will have no other effect on us but to extend the happiness that marriage can bring.

So why the hate?
Because people are taught to respond this way to this issue. As we have seen over the years, there is nothing reasonably rational to homophobia. It is almost always based on fear and stereotypes--not all that different from the "reasoning" behind anti-Semitic laws that Europe had for nearly 2,000 years, laws "justifying" segregation and anti-interracial marriage.

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Writing in a now-infamous 1893 "open letter" published in the Virginia Medical Monthly, Hunter Holmes McGuire, a Richmond physician and president of the American Medical Association, asked for "some scientific explanation of the sexual perversion in the Negro of the present day." McGuire's correspondent, Chicago physician G. Frank Lydston, replied that African-American men raped white women because of "[h]ereditary influences descending from the uncivilized ancestors of our Negroes." Lydston's solution to this problem was not lynching, but surgical castration which "prevents the criminal from perpetuating his kind."
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On 6 January 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia. The trial judge in the case, Leon Bazile, echoing Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's 18th-century interpretation of race, proclaimed that...

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
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Slavery is against nature, because it treats human beings like subhuman chattel. Sodomy is against nature, since it treats men as if they were women.

...

Some homosexuals, especially women, maintain "exclusive" relationships. These may reduce somewhat the incidence of venereal disease. If they are sufficiently discreet — that is to say, if they remain in the closet" — they may avoid the evil of scandal. "Marriages" between homosexuals would not solve any problems, however. It was not the lack of marriage certificates that produced the bathhouse culture, but rather the uncontrolled indulgence of sexual perversion. Legalizing sexual perversion could only make matters worse. - Harry V. Jaffa, neoconservative at The Claremont Institute, 1992
I mean, who can argue with logic like that?

As always, we let fear win, and we just spend all of our time trying to rationalize these irrational, baseless fears of "the Other." But let there be no mistake about it; no amount of rationalization can cover up the fact that it is still nothing, but irrational.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:02 AM   #363
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:54 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Because people are taught to respond this way to this issue.





I mean, who can argue with logic like that?

.
Perhaps this man, if he were still alive today:



Quote:
Because people are taught to respond this way to this issue.
The sword cuts both ways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Like_Me

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Old 04-24-2008, 09:04 PM   #365
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The reason Melon, is because we are a nation built on the Puritanical belief that our ancestors engaged in a new covenant with God. He provided us with this country to create a Christian country to be his tool to spread his word throughout civilization. If we allow homosexuals to marry, we would be condoning immoral behavior. If we allow immoral behavior to be condoned in our laws, then, the mighty God will smite us down and Al Qaeda will win the war on terror, and Islam will be triumphant.

Get it?

If it were not for this topic and abortion, we would be a completely perfect and moral society.

That is as long as we do not look in the mirror too often.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:49 AM   #366
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Originally posted by maycocksean

And Nathan, I'd like to commend you on your respectful even-handed tone. However, it's important to remember that the end of the day the outcome of these issues won't effect our lives one way or the other. On the other hand, Melon has to live with the consequences of these issues everyday, so I think he's entitled to get a little hot under the collar.
Firstly -- good Lord, I step out for 24 hours and Diamond shows up. Maybe I should quit while I'm behind.

Second -- I said earlier that I understand that there is deep-seated passion behind the issue, on both sides. At the same time, it's not necessary to call someone willfully ignorant when they're trying to engage and discuss the issue. (Melon apologized, which I accept.)

Third -- to address the question of whether the subject of gay marriage does/does not affect anyone else. As the fascinating back and forth in this thread earlier illustrated, those who are outside the boundary definitions of marriage, even at its most elastic -- one partner/one partner, regardless of gender or gender identification -- are going to seek to redefine marriage to accomodate them. So redefining marriage certainly affects those who will still be left outside its bounds. And if we can agree with most sociologists that marriage and family are traditionally considered to be at the center of society, then any redefinition thereof will have some kind of ripple effect. We can argue whether that effect will be positive or negative, but regardless, an effect will be had. One could argue that the rise of no-fault divorces in the 70s had an impact on the children and families affected by divorce, and certainly affected perspectives on marriage (how many of us know friends who don't want to get married because they're afraid of getting divorced...or who think that themselves?).

So we can discuss the pros and cons of marriage redefinition however we want, but I think it's a bit of a fallacy to say that it doesn't affect anyone else.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:11 AM   #367
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Originally posted by nathan1977


Firstly -- good Lord, I step out for 24 hours and Diamond shows up. Maybe I should quit while I'm behind.

Second -- I said earlier that I understand that there is deep-seated passion behind the issue, on both sides. At the same time, it's not necessary to call someone willfully ignorant when they're trying to engage and discuss the issue. (Melon apologized, which I accept.)

Third -- to address the question of whether the subject of gay marriage does/does not affect anyone else. As the fascinating back and forth in this thread earlier illustrated, those who are outside the boundary definitions of marriage, even at its most elastic -- one partner/one partner, regardless of gender or gender identification -- are going to seek to redefine marriage to accomodate them. So redefining marriage certainly affects those who will still be left outside its bounds. And if we can agree with most sociologists that marriage and family are traditionally considered to be at the center of society, then any redefinition thereof will have some kind of ripple effect. We can argue whether that effect will be positive or negative, but regardless, an effect will be had. One could argue that the rise of no-fault divorces in the 70s had an impact on the children and families affected by divorce, and certainly affected perspectives on marriage (how many of us know friends who don't want to get married because they're afraid of getting divorced...or who think that themselves?).

So we can discuss the pros and cons of marriage redefinition however we want, but I think it's a bit of a fallacy to say that it doesn't affect anyone else.
I'd be interested in you unpacking exactly what you expect the ripple effects might be of such a redefinition of marriage. What are some of the consequences you anticipate if we broaden the definition of marriage.

And does a redefinition always indicate negative results? The defintion of marriage has narrowed in Western society over the past several hundred years to be strictly one man and one woman. Is it that narrowing the defintion of marriage will always be positive but the broadening will always be negative?
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:06 AM   #368
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


And if we can agree with most sociologists that marriage and family are traditionally considered to be at the center of society, then any redefinition thereof will have some kind of ripple effect.
More couples commited to love. That has to be a bad thing, right?


This just sounds like fear.


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Old 04-25-2008, 09:17 AM   #369
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
More couples commited to love. That has to be a bad thing, right?


This just sounds like fear.


And it is just that...fear.

Gay marriage has not changed Massachusetts, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, or South Africa. And, in fact, if we gauge a state based on its divorce stats, then we can say that Massachusetts is the state that "values" marriage the highest!

One can argue that Massachusetts is that way because it is predominantly Catholic, which frowns on divorce. Either way, all an argument like that proves is that gay marriage has nothing to do with any of this! It has everything to do with--surprise, surprise!--how heterosexuals themselves and their own beliefs impact how they value their marriages.

Blaming homosexuals for why heterosexuals have fucked up their marriages is like medieval Europe blaming Jews or "witches" for why their crops aren't growing. It's downright preposterous. It's time for the heterosexual world to stop scapegoating and blaming everyone else for all of their problems in life, and to take a nice good look in the mirror. The GOP is supposed to be the "party of personal responsibility," right?
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:27 AM   #370
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Originally posted by nathan1977
And if we can agree with most sociologists that marriage and family are traditionally considered to be at the center of society, then any redefinition thereof will have some kind of ripple effect.
Increasing the numbers of loving, committed families can only have a positive effect.

I still can't understand the stubborn resistance that some straights have to extending such a positive and beneficial thing to two already committed adults. Why is it so scary? It's just love and commitment. I thought that was a good thing.

And no, I don't see how a loving, committed marriage between to men or two women can have anything but a positive effect on me and my country.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #371
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Originally posted by martha

I still can't understand the stubborn resistance that some straights have to extending such a positive and beneficial thing to two already committed adults. Why is it so scary? It's just love and commitment. I thought that was a good thing.
I realize that I'm pissing in the wind here, but for the sake of discussing this at a high level, we're talking about a number of factors here.

1. Redefining marriage at its fundamental level as one man/one woman opens the doors to legitimizing other forms of alternative family groupings and giving them marriage as well. Despite the firestorm of posting that went back and forth on polygamy/bigamy earlier in this thread, it's naive to think that we don't open the doors to such discussions, and those who insist we don't strike me as those in the 70s who said that legalizing abortion would not lead to euthanasia. Yet here we are.

2. Removing the notion of BOTH male and female as essential for family structures is a fundamental rethink of the value we place on gender both in families and by extension in society.

To address Melon's points:

Quote:
One can argue that Massachusetts is that way because it is predominantly Catholic, which frowns on divorce.
This is not an insignificant point to gloss over.

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how heterosexuals themselves and their own beliefs impact how they value their marriages.
I don't disagree. At the same time, I think that perhaps after 30 years of watching the steady erosion of marriages, the rise of divorce, the effects on the next generation of kids, its effect on families and on society, I wonder if perhaps we ought to spend some time re-emphasizing the core of what marriage is and has been, rather than saying that fundamental redefinitions don't matter.

It is naive for anyone to scapegoat anyone else for the breakdown of marriage. I don't think I've ever scapegoated the gay community for the breakdown of marriage. I certainly don't think that, though I understand it's an easy charge for the intellectually lazy to make. I personally think that the rise of no-fault divorce in the 70s had much more of an impact on marriage than the push for gay marriage. At the same time, we would be naive to believe that blowing cultural winds do not have an affect. The rise of cohabitation in the 90s -- which I would argue emerged from the divorces of the 70s (again, how many people want to live together first to see if it works out before embarking on marriage?) -- created the space where we are now and the conversation we are having. However, while one could have argued in the 70s that divorce was a private matter and it wouldn't affect those in marriage, here we are, with the country at sky-high divorce rates. Everything has an effect, and I would argue that this subject has a real significance at the core definition level.

But I realize that people are going to disagree, and I don't pretend to think that I'm going to convince anyone on this board of any of these things. This is a passionate issue, but it is passionate on both sides, because it will have an effect...as activists on both sides will attest.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #372
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Originally posted by nathan1977

At the same time, I think that perhaps after 30 years of watching the steady erosion of marriages, the rise of divorce, the effects on the next generation of kids, its effect on families and on society, I wonder if perhaps we ought to spend some time re-emphasizing the core of what marriage is and has been, rather than saying that fundamental redefinitions don't matter.
I think any reasonable discussion of the changes made to divorce laws from the late 60s onwards in the West is incomplete without recognizing that it also played a crucial role in the empowerment and liberalization (some would even say emancipation) of women.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:35 PM   #373
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I think any reasonable discussion of the changes made to divorce laws from the late 60s onwards in the West is incomplete without recognizing that it also played a crucial role in the empowerment and liberalization (some would even say emancipation) of women.
Naturally.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #374
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


Firstly -- good Lord, I step out for 24 hours and Diamond shows up. Maybe I should quit while I'm behind.
i think you're doing yourself in all by yourself.



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Old 04-25-2008, 06:09 PM   #375
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Originally posted by nathan1977


1. Redefining marriage at its fundamental level as one man/one woman opens the doors to legitimizing other forms of alternative family groupings and giving them marriage as well. Despite the firestorm of posting that went back and forth on polygamy/bigamy earlier in this thread, it's naive to think that we don't open the doors to such discussions [...]
Perhaps I've been left out of the national discussion loop, but I don't see discussions of "legitimizing other forms of alternative family groupings and giving them marriage as well" occurring here in Canada.

Citizens from other nations that have allowed gay marriage and have since upped the ante by discussing the legalization of polygamy, inter-species marriage, etc, please chime in. Let us know how the discussions are progressing!
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