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Old 04-25-2008, 08:13 PM   #376
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I would be ok with callng a post op tranvestite coupled with a person of the opposite gender of them as-married.

Polygamous marriages altho outlawed, technically follow under the term of "marriage" because it involves persons of the opposite sex.

Gay multiple couplehood partnerships as straight multiple couplehoodships should not be considered legal marriage either, but outlawed just the same.

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Old 04-26-2008, 02:22 AM   #377
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Originally posted by nathan1977

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.


i'm too busy to take a bathroom break right now, let alone post in FYM in any meaningful sense, but why do we stick to the word "redefinition"? isn't "expansion" a far more accurate word? we're simply allowing gay people to enter into the institution. why "redefinition"? hasn't marriage already been "redefined" insofar as many adults marry with no intention of having children? hasn't this already happened? haven't straight people made marriage far more elastic than the centuries old women-as-property-and-breeding-material definition? aren't we actually incredibly lucky to be living in a world where marriage is now as idealistic as it's ever been? that it is about love? and joyful commitment?

and i'd argue that most couples who cohabitate and, more importantly, marry later in life stay together longer than those who don't. the reason why Massachusetts has such a low divorce rate compared to, say, Tennessee, i think, has less to do with Catholicism vs. Baptist and much more to do with the vastly higher rates of education in the northeast versus the south, and the age at which people get married and then have children.

and none of this has anything to do with gay people.

i also hear in your post, nathan, a yearning for some other time, some other place and age when things were better, when men and women looked each other in the eye and meant it to be for life, and that was that, and the sun set and it was all perfect. and that's nonsense. anyone who was actually alive 50, 60, 70 years ago knows that the "success" of marriages often relied upon strict adherence to traditional gender roles, wherein women had no other economic alternatives than marriage. so what if he hits you, so what if he rapes your daughter, so what if he would rather wipe his feet on your face than say good morning to you. you, the woman, have no other option. so grin and bear it, and make it better, because it's probably your fault anyway.

despite our "sky high" divorce rates, marriage today is a healthier institution than it has ever been, and the deep dark secret behind many divorces is that many involved, kids included, do understand that it's often for the best. better to live with one happy parent than two miserable, bickering people.
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:27 AM   #378
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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.


this strikes me as a breathtaking assumption.

how can you make this argument? what does one have to do with the other? we all know the #1 rule taught in freshman Psych 101 is that correlation does not prove causation -- what kind of thought process is this?
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:35 AM   #379
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Originally posted by nathan1977
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
But bigamy cases have been around for a long time, and aren't likely to go away anytime soon--Reynolds v. United States was in 1878, and there have been numerous others at the state court level. I can't think of how a legal case for gay marriage would "open the door" to new forms of legal argument for polygamy; the legal issues raised by increasing the number of parties to a marriage contract, particularly when only one party is actually married to all the others, are entirely different from a civil-rights-based argument, where qualities inhering in the two spouses as individuals (their race, religion, sexual orientation etc.) are argued to be unconstitutional grounds for denying them access to said contract.

Using polygynists as an example, since that's overwhelmingly the quarter where interest in legalizing polygamy comes from: How much say would a polygynous man's existing wife/wives have on whether he takes another? What if one of them develops irreconcilable differences not with him, but with another wife? What if one wife wants a divorce but the others don't--how is dividing up the property going to work? How about custody arrangements (perhaps one of the wives has done more caretaking for everyone's kids than the others)? What if the husband, or one of the wives, dies--how will inheritance distribution work? These are all issues that would have to be grappled with before polygamy could be legalized, but gay marriage doesn't raise those issues at all. (Of course, I realize these issues DO come up in traditionally polygynous cultures all the time...but personally I'm not aware of any such culture in which women have equal legal footing to men in family and marriage law to begin with--as would be constitutionally required here.)

I really think this 'It opens up Pandora's box...' line of argument is a red herring, and not anchored in the reality of how legal arguments actually work.
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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.
I know you don't mean to scapegoat, but when you bring up our divorce rate (which has dropped steadily since peaking around 1980, and is now very close to the 1970 level) in the context of arguing against gay marriage, it's difficult not to get the impression that you're implying legalizing gay marriage would somehow worsen it--even though the international data doesn't support that concern. I can understand wishing that more people were enthusiastic about getting (and staying) married and having children, but how exactly is denying gay people the right to marry going to help with that? And if it won't help, then how is it relevant to the issue? Gay marriage wasn't even on our collective radar screen when divorce rates shot up in the mid-70s. "Rethinks" of which avenues to economic and social stability women deserved access to certainly were though--and yes, that much WAS a radical redefinition of how men and women stand relative to each other in society, including in the family.
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:35 AM   #380
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Originally posted by Irvine511




this strikes me as a breathtaking assumption.

how can you make this argument? what does one have to do with the other? we all know the #1 rule taught in freshman Psych 101 is that correlation does not prove causation -- what kind of thought process is this?
Apart from that, I don't care what those people "agreed on" thirty years ago.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:08 AM   #381
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I guess if people are calling 911 about gay men or women being affectionate in public, well they're still not quite ready for gay marriage.


Is Main Street USA Ready for Gay PDA?
An ABC News Social Experiments Gauges Bystander Reactions to Two Affectionate Gay Couples
By ELIZABETH S. JOSEPH

April 25, 2008—

Two years ago, ABC News hired two actors, a man and a woman, to publicly display their affection for each other by kissing in public at a restaurant. Reactions from other restaurant-goers varied; some onlookers enjoyed the sight of young love, while others lost their appetite.

This year, we once again decided to explore how the public responds to public displays of affection -- but this time, our couples were gay.

ABC News asked two couples, Kaolin and James, and Ashby and Leslie, to sit on park benches in Verona, N.J., and then in Birmingham, Ala., to see if there were any differences in reaction among passersby in the two regions of the country. Although all four individuals were actors, showing their love and affection for each other was far from acting. Kaolin and James have been in a committed relationship for two years, while Ashby and Leslie are a married couple who have been together for eight years.

New Jersey Resident: 'I Don't Really Find It Inappropriate'

"When I see a gay couple, if they want to kiss or whatever, I really don't mind as long as they're happy," Chris, a Verona resident, told ABC News. Interestingly, feelings about PDA (public displays of affection) varied if individuals observed the female couple kissing as opposed to the male couple.

Naomi Goldman from New Jersey noticed Ashby and Leslie kissing while seated on the park bench and told ABC News, "I'm in support of displaying public affection. I think [it's] great. Spread more love in the world." When asked if she would maintain the same opinion if she saw our male couple being affectionate, she sang a slightly different tune.

"I think if I saw two males doing the same thing, I might have a slightly different reaction. I might not think it was as cute or charming." It seems that people who were strolling through Verona Park during the filming of the social experiment were either indifferent to, in support of, or slightly bothered by the PDA they witnessed. There were no extreme reactions. A topic that did come up repeatedly was children. "I don't really find it inappropriate, especially during the day when schoolchildren aren't running around. They might get confused and want an answer for what's going on," bystander Mary-Kate told us. The majority of the people who spoke about children seemed to echo Mary-Kate's feelings. They are indifferent to gay PDA but did not want to, or know how to, address homosexuality with children.

And then there was Kristin Kenneavy, who said, "I would actually want our kids to grow up in a place where they would see various types of people engaging in behaviors that [are] loving. As I walk by, I'm thinking 'Oh, that's sweet,' you know, that people are in love. I would have absolutely not a problem with our children seeing something like that."

Birmingham Officer: 'Just Don't Do That in Public'

There weren't many children who saw the couples showing affection in Birmingham, but there were plenty of adults who did.

Instead of a public park, ABC News brought the couples to a bench in the popular Five-Points section of Birmingham. During the two days of filming, hundreds of people walked by and noticed the couples. A police officer even arrived at the scene after a woman called 911 because she saw Kaolin and James kissing each other in public.

ABC News obtained a copy of her call:

Operator: "Birmingham Police operator 9283"

Caller: "We have a couple of men sitting out on the bench that have been kissing and drooling all over each other for the past hour or so. It's not against the law, right?"

Operator: "Not to the best of my knowledge it's not."

Caller: "So there's no complaint I could make or have?"

Operator: "I imagine you could complain if you like ma'am. We can always send an officer down there."

And they did. One of Birmingham's finest came to Five-Points and spoke with Kaolin and James. Though city officials and the police department signed off on ABC's social experiment, this officer was somehow not in the loop. The officer told our couple that the police dispatch received a call because the two of them were making out.

"Just don't do that in public," he told them before leaving the scene.

It wasn't long before a local Fox news station was reporting that "a national television show was spying on Birmingham."

As in New Jersey, ABC News received various opinions about gay PDA, and PDA in general, from the residents of Birmingham. It quickly became clear that there is no set regional opinion. The feelings and opinions of people are as varied as the individuals who express them.

Delores Spraggins of Birmingham and her daughter June seemed to speak for the majority in both the red and the blue state. "There is a lot of hatred in the world. Love is good wherever you can find it," Spraggins said.

Leslie, one half of the lesbian couple, explained to ABC News that she was glad to participate in the social experiment because of the greater good.

"We are very proud of our relationship. We don't hide our love. We hope we can inspire people to just love each other and accept loving each other."

When we asked her wife, Ashby, how she felt about the police being called to the scene after a woman reported Kaolin and James for PDA, she responded with a big smile on her face.

"If 911 calls are because two guys are kissing and holding hands on a bench, that's great news! I mean, there's not much real crime happening if 911 calls are placed because two guys are kissing every once in a while. And that is awesome!"
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:27 AM   #382
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Fuck them, the government is not there to legislate morality.

There is an appeal to some that by keeping gay marriage off the table it demonstrates how harmful the gay lifestyle is, how gays must be promiscuous for life (after all they don't settle down like normal people) and can make it all easier to perpetuate an agenda that is straight to a fault.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:57 AM   #383
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I don't need to talk about the "slippery slope" fallacy for now; plenty of you have rebuked it already. Of course, I guess I could revisit it later, but moving on...

Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
This is not an insignificant point to gloss over.
No, it isn't. But I'm thinking that we're not thinking its insignificant for the same reason.

Does this, perhaps, not expose a rather significant dysfunctionality of American Protestant Christianity? Divorces do happen amongst Catholics, granted, whether that be an official annulment or an unsanctioned legal divorce, but is this perhaps evidence that American Catholics have the right balance when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce? A Catholic-sanctioned marriage requires a lot of preparation and education within the church, and a Catholic-sanctioned annulment most certainly requires some level of consulting.

So, on that note...

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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.
...let's tie in my comments on Catholicism with the modern state of marriage. Catholicism basically has an institutional structure to counsel on what they believe to be proper marriages and divorces, without the need for state involvement. In other words, their "value" in marriage is an ingrained part of their culture and theology.

On the other hand, I've been to a small handful of Protestant marriage ceremonies, and one, in particular, stood out in that the minister had a peculiar mention of the "possibility of divorce" during a ceremony. Certainly, his intentions were likely harmless, but is the expendability of a marriage just flat-out ingrained in American Protestant Christianity?

Perhaps this is one of the reasons I get angry at the myriad of "excuses" as to why gay people need to, metaphorically, "sit in the back of the bus" while straight people figure out what the hell they're doing in life.

Contrary to Henry V. Jaffa's horrendously homophobic stereotypes, as he wrote in 1992, it is noted that the younger gay generation is, essentially, quite conservative in its family outlook. It is noted that, in overwhelming numbers, that both gays and lesbians are interested in monogamous relationships and raising families, just as one would expect from heterosexuals. As gays become more accepted societally, they're becoming increasingly boring like the rest of us; so all this talk about polygamy and animals and whatever fearmongering nonsense there may be out there, it's just that--nonsense.

The sky didn't fall when marriages started to be out of choice and for love in the 19th century, rather than the forced arranged marriages that were practiced prior to then. It didn't fall when interracial marriage became legalized in the 20th century. It hasn't fallen, since gay marriage was legalized in the 21st century. With all of this in mind, it is still amazing to me how people still allow themselves to be seized with fear of progress.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #384
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As Nathan sinks into a downward spiral and the proponents of word metamorphosis of the word "marriage" continue to ignore the simple logic I've proffered, I see this thread going no where here, which is sad.

Therefore you guys have subjugated yourselves as unwitting spawns of this famous historical philosopher below:

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~vsdb/confucius.jpg

I'm now going to the gym, good day.

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Old 04-26-2008, 12:22 PM   #385
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Originally posted by diamond
As Nathan sinks into a downward spiral and the proponents of word metamorphosis of the word "marriage" continue to ignore the simple logic I've proffered, I see this thread going no where here, which is sad.
On the contrary. I know I'm on the right track, when the best you can post is a non sequitor like this.

It's the best I can hope for, since you are far too proud to ever admit that your beliefs on this issue are, at least, irrational, and, at best, flat-out wrong.
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:57 PM   #386
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Originally posted by melon
Divorces do happen amongst Catholics, granted, whether that be an official annulment or an unsanctioned legal divorce, but is this perhaps evidence that American Catholics have the right balance when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce? A Catholic-sanctioned marriage requires a lot of preparation and education within the church, and a Catholic-sanctioned annulment most certainly requires some level of consulting.
I don't disagree with you on these points at all. In other threads I've suggested that we would do well to make it harder to get married, with more preparation and education, etc.

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all this talk about polygamy and animals and whatever fearmongering nonsense there may be out there, it's just that--nonsense.


Unlike Diamond, who posted pictures of horses in this thread, I think the bestiality line of thinking is stupid and a way of avoiding addressing the issue. The earlier posts in this thread by an (apparent?) polygamist beg the question, and are perhaps a harbinger of things to come. We would be foolish not to think ahead about the ramifications of fundamental core re-definitions.

Quote:
The sky didn't fall when marriages started to be out of choice and for love in the 19th century, rather than the forced arranged marriages that were practiced prior to then. It didn't fall when interracial marriage became legalized in the 20th century.


I'm skeptical of this notion that romantic love was not a defining factor for marriage until the 19th century (there's several thousand years of love poetry working against this notion -- though I'd agree that this may have been true for royalty and the social elite, who clearly used marriage as a tool for procuring and consolidating power), but neither a shift from arranged marriage nor interracial marriage didn't redefine marriage at the core -- one man/one woman -- level.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:56 PM   #387
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Originally posted by nathan1977
We would be foolish not to think ahead about the ramifications of fundamental core re-definitions.
You mean, when they fundamentally redefined marriage from one man, multiple women to one man, one woman? I mean, it's pretty clearly written in Genesis, where polygamy was sanctioned by God.

Considering that both Judaism and Islam have a common culturally Semitic origin (you can try and obscure your origins all you want, but linguistics is one thing that nobody can hide; Hebrew and Arabic are related), have you ever wondered why Judaism suddenly changed from polygamy to monogamy, while polygamy continued in both pre-Islamic Arab culture and present-day Islam? Such a switch isn't even recorded in the Bible; but chances are, Israel's more powerful "pagan" conquerors disliked the practice and terminated it there. "Fortunately" for pre-Islamic Arab culture, their peninsula was just too harsh and impenetrable to conquer.

So is this ultimately it? We're putting "the gays" in their place, because nobody wants to address why Judeo-Christianity went from supporting polygamy to not supporting it?

Of course, I don't buy that for one minute. It's just an excuse to tell gay people, once again, to go fuck themselves. Arguments against polygamy have been secular, not religious, from the start, and the FLDS has only furthered the secular arguments against it; that is, the practice is clearly used for abusive purposes. Because if we were to use religious arguments, then we'd have to ask why we deny Muslims in America their "religious freedom" to have up to three wives.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:33 PM   #388
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


Unlike Diamond, who posted pictures of horses in this thread, I think the bestiality line of thinking is stupid and a way of avoiding addressing the issue. The earlier posts in this thread by an (apparent?) polygamist beg the question, and are perhaps a harbinger of things to come. We would be foolish not to think ahead about the ramifications of fundamental core re-definitions.
But polygamy WAS at one time part of the definition of marriage. Did it "open the door" for gay marriage? Not hardly. So how would gay marriage "open the door" for a return to polygamy.

Not trying to petulant, but I raised this question already and I don't think you've addressed it.

By the way, I do agree with your earlier point children should have both male and female influences in their upbringing, but I think as long as a gay couple makes sure that their kids have both genders of adults involved in their lives, I don't see a problem.

It's kind of like when you adopt a kid of a different race from your own. I think it's important for the kids to exposed to their ethnic heritage.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:18 PM   #389
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I don't need to talk about the "slippery slope" fallacy for now; plenty of you have rebuked it already. Of course, I guess I could revisit it later, but moving on...



No, it isn't. But I'm thinking that we're not thinking its insignificant for the same reason.

Does this, perhaps, not expose a rather significant dysfunctionality of American Protestant Christianity? Divorces do happen amongst Catholics, granted, whether that be an official annulment or an unsanctioned legal divorce, but is this perhaps evidence that American Catholics have the right balance when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce? A Catholic-sanctioned marriage requires a lot of preparation and education within the church, and a Catholic-sanctioned annulment most certainly requires some level of consulting.

So, on that note...



...let's tie in my comments on Catholicism with the modern state of marriage. Catholicism basically has an institutional structure to counsel on what they believe to be proper marriages and divorces, without the need for state involvement. In other words, their "value" in marriage is an ingrained part of their culture and theology.

On the other hand, I've been to a small handful of Protestant marriage ceremonies, and one, in particular, stood out in that the minister had a peculiar mention of the "possibility of divorce" during a ceremony. Certainly, his intentions were likely harmless, but is the expendability of a marriage just flat-out ingrained in American Protestant Christianity?
Whoah. For a Christian (or any other) denomination to recognise that divorce does, on occasion happen, strikes me as very good and realistic idea, frankly. It is certainly more cognisant of reality than the Roman Catholic church's unrealistic and dogmatic position on the issue - and, for that matter on several other issues of sexuality and social policy. For example, I have no doubt that the Roman Catholic church's absurd ban on married priests is partially linked to that church's despicable and disgusting record of sheltering child abusers.

Anyway - as we seem to be in the business of making value judgements on various sects within Christianity - in my opinion, speaking as a committed non-believer, the 'best' (as in, least harmful) form of religion is liberal mainstream Protestantism. The rightwing variants of Protestantism, and the Roman Catholic Church, to me, are equally as harmful as each other, in their different ways.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:38 PM   #390
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I'm going to burn in hell because I wasn't married in the church and I got a divorce.
On gay marriage, there are lots of gay couples that live in my neighborhood and I don't think anything of it. They aren't any different then other couples. They just don't have the same legal rights are married people do. New Mexico has always attracted gays, hippies, scientists, etc... We are very open minded here compared to our neighbors like Texas, Arizona and Colorado. Maybe if a law is passed so that gay couples can get married they will be able to get married in outer space on a Virgin spaceship.
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