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Old 08-20-2012, 08:51 AM   #341
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I know Bomac has said he'd be more inclined to vote conservative if they left social issues such as gay marriage/women's health alone.
I have, and honestly it's quite frustrating sometimes. I know there are conservative or centre-right politicians that have great ideas on certain things, but I could never bring myself to vote for them because of their stance on social issues.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #342
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When my grandmother was dying, I asked her how she was feeling about it all, was she scared, that sort of thing. Because I'm petrified of death. And she turned and said to me, "no, because I get to be with Pa again" (in heaven). And it made me cry, I was so touched. It was amazing. I was so comforted that she was happy.

I'll never forget it... it was one of the best things I've ever heard and I would never, ever try to stamp that out or whatever.
That's so sweet. You're a good guy
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #343
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What Do Homophobic Bigots Really Think?
How to debunk the most revolting arguments.

There were thousands of comments in response to my last piece at Slate, in which I lashed out against Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s policy of funding anti-gay causes. I tried to dip in and out of the comment thread as often as I could while they were piling up, scanning them for interesting points (of which there were many). But I quickly lost track and had to get back to work on other projects.

Then a reader sent me a link to a discussion of my article at the popular conservative website Free Republic. It’s pure masochism for someone like me to wander such halls; I don’t need to read their posts to know just what ultraconservatives think of my “homosexualism” and me. But curiosity got the better of me. And my, my, my, they really do hate us queers over there. It’s not just Free Republic, of course. Similar anti-gay sentiments are a staple of many gathering places online, not to mention those in the real world.

People are free in this country to say what they will, nasty though it is, about gays and lesbians. What to do about it, then? I believe that treating bigots as scientific specimens is the best way to disarm their hate. I can’t tackle all such propaganda in a single article (I won’t be able to cover the all-gay-men-are-pedophiles argument, the-all-lesbians-just-hate-men argument, or the next-thing-you-know-we’ll-all-be-marrying dogs-and-horses argument), but for now I’ll dissect some of the other common rhetorical devices deployed by those with an anti-gay mindset.

So without further ado, let’s put these mean bastards under the psychological knife.

The homosexuality-as-choice argument: Those who repeatedly make this claim are actually revealing something about their own sexuality: they are bisexual. Since human beings use a form of mental analogy whenever trying to understand another person’s behavior, the “choice” argument reflects the reasoning process of an individual who has experienced notable arousal to the same sex in addition to the opposite sex, but has chosen to act only on that inspired by the latter. A true heterosexual, by contrast, has never experienced meaningful same-sex desires and understands that one cannot choose to act on what is simply not there.

The secret bisexuality of those who just cannot seem to grasp that being gay is not, in fact, a choice also helps us to understand the intense hostility that some males feel for openly gay men. Research has shown a positive correlation between a man’s loathing of gay men and his own repressed same-sex desires. “Since homosexual behavior violates both their moral code and their sense of identity,” explained the psychologists Donald Mosher and Kevin O’Grady long ago, “homosexual threat is experienced as men become aware at some level of their … arousal to homosexual stimuli. This awareness can be avoided by anger, disgust, and contempt directed against homosexuals, as a means of bolstering hypersexual identity.” The psychologist Henry Adams has used a device called a plethysmograph that measures penile arousal to show that the more aversion a man says he feels toward gay men—and even more disturbingly, the more willing he is to inflict pain upon them—the more intense is his erection to gay porn.

The homosexuality-is-disgusting argument: One of the most potent propaganda devices is the age-old ploy of dehumanizing the oppressed party by stirring up feelings of disgust for them. The Nazi author of an animated children’s book from 1938 Germany, for example, wrote this for his young readers: “Just look at these guys! The louse-infested beards! The filthy, protruding ears, those stained, fatty clothes … Jews oftentimes have an unpleasant sweetish odor. If you have a good nose, you can smell the Jews.” (The author was later executed as a war criminal.)

In our own country’s lamentable past, disgust rhetoric slowed down the hard-won civil rights achievements of women and blacks. In the present case, scatological language litters antigay conversations, along with the portrayal of gay men as being unique carriers of “horrific diseases” such as AIDS. Over at Free Republic, for example, you’ll read comment after comment such as these:

* If your personal identity revolves around your lust for other men’s stinking anuses, a particularly disgusting form of depravity that spreads horrific diseases, the chest swells with self-satisfaction. What a sick world we live in.

* homosexuals should never have got their special rights like civil unions let alone marriage or don’t ask in the first place. The ignorant and stupid on our side wanted to appease them because as they usually say “I know a couple and they are nice” friggin idiots, so when did we base special rights based on fecal diseased sex in the constitution?

This blatant tactic of painting all “faggots” as depraved, concupiscent creatures rife with infectious disease, and who enjoy wallowing in each other’s feces and smelly assholes, is alarmingly effective at keeping anti-gay bigots from seeing gay men as fellow human beings. It also shields them from the realization that they are, in fact, bigots, and not heroes who alone have the courage to protect a snoozing, media-duped society from an infiltration of moral degenerates.

We needn’t dwell on the obvious: that anal sex is not limited to gay men, that not all gay men have anal sex, that straight people can acquire HIV through intravaginal sex, that condoms exist, that vaginas don’t always smell of roses either, and that gay men are no less repulsed by feces than are any other human beings. In fact, the only documented cases that I could locate in the scientific literature of coprophilia—a rare paraphilia involving an erotic attraction to feces—were of heterosexual males.

Given the anti-gay bigots’ preoccupation with gay men’s anuses, the claim that homosexuals can’t keep their sex lives to themselves (on hearing stories such as Anderson Cooper coming out of the closet, or a lesbian couple kissing in a park) is patently absurd. But because of disgust rhetoric, they have sexualized gays and lesbians to such a degree that all they can see in them is contaminated bodily excretions. Lofty emotions such as love and romance are for actual straight human beings like them, not for filthy animals fornicating and spreading disease.

The homosexuality-is-a-mental-illness argument: According to every major accredited psychiatric organization in the Western world, homosexuality is not, in point of fact, a mental illness. But this wasn’t always the case. From the late 19th century, when the construct of sexual orientation was first distinguished from sexual behavior, gays and lesbians have endured a soul-crushing range of treatments to “cure” their homosexuality. There are far too many to list here, but among such manipulations, our forerunners were poisoned with emetics, pumped with hormones, electro-shocked to the point of burns, deprived of liquids until they could show measurable arousal to the opposite sex, chastised by therapists, chemically neutered, surgically altered, conditioned with repulsive imagery to accompany their fantasies, hypnotized, and coerced into having straight sex. Nothing worked.

The American Psychiatric Association officially removed homosexuality from its diagnostic manual in 1973. The consensus—which has been reiterated many times since—was that in spite of the toxic social conditions in which they so often find themselves, the majority of gays and lesbians are well-adjusted, high-functioning, and contributing members of society. Emotional health issues such as depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts found at higher than average rates among gays and lesbians are the consequences of their living in an intolerant world.

Nevertheless, the disease model of homosexuality continues to be embraced and proselytized within many circles. Gays and lesbians are likened to alcoholics or drug addicts who should be supported in their abstinence, and tolerating their homosexuality is seen as akin to enabling an addict. “Just because it feels good,” gays and lesbians are told as though they are meth heads, “doesn’t mean you should do it.” The APA’s removal of homosexuality is brushed off as political, the result of leftist psychiatrists caving under pressure from gay activists. This claim has been scrutinized and ultimately discarded by scholars. Although (justifiable) pressure from gay rights advocates did play a role in the committee’s decision-making, it was only one of many such factors behind their reasoning. What weighed more heavily were scientific data that simply did not support the continued classification of homosexuality as a disorder. [Read the original position statement of the American Psychiatric Association on homosexuality and civil rights, reaffirmed July, 2011.]

The homosexuality-is-unnatural-and/or-against-God’s-design argument: Claims of the “unnaturalness” of homosexuality permeate antigay bigots’ dialogue. Consider just a few comments plucked from an especially vituperative Free Republic thread concerning a recent New York Times piece. The article was about how some young gay male couples are beginning to feel societal pressure to have children.

*The libtards keep saying 2 faggots are “normal”. If they’re normal, how come they can’t have kids?

*I am still looking through my high school biology text to see if “fertilized excrement” can render life. Nope, it requires a female ovum. Oh well, back to the reality of the natural order.


This last comment is tactless. But it isn’t wrong, of course. It’s just irrelevant. Nature is two things and two things only: mechanistic and amoral. Intravaginal heterosexual sex can produce offspring. Homosexual intercourse cannot produce offspring. To extrapolate from these mechanistic facts of procreation some moral directive about what we should and should not do with our genitalia is to assume an intelligent creator that designed our reproductive anatomies. And that old philosophical error—that an intelligent mind is needed to account for our bodies, and that this preconceived design should in turn dictate our social behaviors—lies at the flawed heart of the “unnaturalness” argument against homosexuality.

It’s also where the scariest part of the story—religious zealotry—comes into focus:

* how EVIL —to destroy the chance for a child to be raised by his mother....With biology you get a connection to the past and future-—when I married and had children. It is the Law of Nature-and makes life meaningful-as God Designed.

* Homos & lesbians are the lowest form of degeneracy as pointed out in Romans 1:18-32, when God gives them over to their own reprobate desires, to enter into unnatural affections, men with men and women with women, doing those things which are an abomination & reprehensible. They will be judged and destroyed as a result of their sexual perversions.

I suffer absolutely no illusions, none whatsoever, about making even the slightest of dents in the scripture-fortified cerebral cortices of religious fundamentalists. A childhood inoculation against any form of scientific reason about topics such as evolution and homosexuality has made so many of their brains impenetrable to logic and appeals for careful, dispassionate introspection. (It’s important to point out, however, that being raised religious, even deeply so, is not an inevitable life sentence in the demon-haunted world. The lucky ones manage to scale the biblical wall and escape onto the side of reason and science; in fact, several former evangelicals have even turned into eloquent atheists with unique insight into their former communities.) To those on the religious far right, reason and humanism are just seductive tools of that ever-crafty Satan. In their eyes, I may as well be sitting here cloven-hoofed and horned, nudging them along with a pitchfork borrowed from my devious boss.

Yet even if we stay in keeping with their terrifying supernatural worldview, religious fundamentalists may want to rethink their commitment to the “unnaturalness” argument against homosexuality. If God really were the creative architect behind our reproductive anatomies, gays and lesbians aren’t the only ones doing it wrong—those in the supposedly moral majority are also, it turns out, living in open defiance of his plan. And they must either change their ways to accommodate this new revelation or they, too, will be shaking their fists at him.

Here’s why. We now know that the human penis possesses its unique shape because the coronal ridge (that umbrella-like lip beneath the glans) is designed to remove from the vaginal canal the sperm cells of other males who had sex with that same woman within the past 48 hours, the shelf life of spermatozoa. Any person who would therefore tout the virtues of heterosexual monogamy as the created natural order is only slapping God in the face. Given this anatomical feature, what all men really should be doing is putting their penises to the promiscuous use for which they were intentionally designed. And about every other day, women should fill their vaginal canals with the seminal fluid of a different man. If that makes you uncomfortable, take it up with the Creator—that is, if you’re so brazen and arrogant as to question how he engineered our bodies to work. You couldn’t possibly be so bold as to think that God would give what is arguably man’s most critical body part its distinctive ridgeline as a mere frivolous flourish, or even by mistake?

Those who live in the natural world rather than the supernatural aren’t burdened by any such ridiculous anatomically-based moral quandaries. There is no need to decipher deep ethical principles from biological adaptations, because there are no divine messages to be found in the natural selection of traits created by random genetic mutations. The concept of evil does not exist for those of us in the natural world, but cruelty, ignorance, and fear of the unknown are plentiful; and they are more destructive than any evil imaginable. We shudder not at the thought of a wrathful God who smites Sodomites, but at the very real wrath of people who actually believe that they are the warrior allies of this imaginary beast. Yes, a beast. Any god that would have in his hell of a heaven not Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Willa Cather, Michel Foucault, Walt Whitman, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marcel Proust, Jean Genet, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Arthur Rimbaud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alan Turing, Virginia Woolf, and the many other gay, lesbian, and bisexual immortals that have graced this ephemeral earth, but would flank himself instead with Chick-fil-A enthusiasts, can be no more than that.

In the United States today, gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities remain at substantial risk of both physical and psychological harm, mainly because of those who live in a supernatural world where treating them as fellow human beings, much less as equals, is literally to do the devil’s own labor. There are so many people in this country who are miserable, afraid and dying as the direct result of the religious freedom that we afford to those who simply interpret this as the freedom to demonize anyone not like them. Is it any wonder that gays and lesbians still face such an uphill battle in obtaining their equal rights in the very society that grants others the right to regard them as evil? I’d much prefer ours to be a nation of rational citizens choosing to live in a natural world and who face our human fears together. But if you prefer a supernatural America and want to maintain its dubious reputation as a “Christian” nation, then at least clean up your goddamned act.

Anti-gay bigotry online: Analyzing homophobic comments can disarm the hate. - Slate Magazine
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:03 PM   #344
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Excellent article.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #345
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That was a great read, Irvine. I do hope some people actually read this and change their mind, start to realise how many people they hurt with their bigotry.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #346
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The homosexuality-as-choice argument: Those who repeatedly make this claim are actually revealing something about their own sexuality: they are bisexual. Since human beings use a form of mental analogy whenever trying to understand another person’s behavior, the “choice” argument reflects the reasoning process of an individual who has experienced notable arousal to the same sex in addition to the opposite sex, but has chosen to act only on that inspired by the latter. A true heterosexual, by contrast, has never experienced meaningful same-sex desires and understands that one cannot choose to act on what is simply not there.
It's just a change in one little word, but I wonder if this particular debunk might be more widely accepted--and even made more accurate, for that matter--if people proposing it routinely used "bisexual," as Bering does here, rather than "closeted gay," which implies that It's-a-choicers' opposite-sex attractions must be wholly illusory. No doubt some prominent proponents of "It's a choice!" really are closeted gay men--see the examples from Exodus International and FRC I cited upthread--but to me it also seems possible that the incidence of male bisexuality is higher than most statistics suggest, and that one reason for that is men's relatively greater fear (compared to women's) of acknowledging having experienced attractions to the same sex. (Of course, there are some women who say "It's a choice!" too, and Bering's point would also apply to them.) Even so, I still think there are probably many honest-to-goodness heterosexual proponents of "It's a choice!" who just enjoy thinking that their lifelong lack of interest in the same sex simply reflects what admirable, temptation-proof moral constitutions they have.

The fourth debunk seems weaker to me than the other three, somewhat convoluted and at risk of losing its own plot.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #347
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The fourth debunk seems weaker to me than the other three, somewhat convoluted and at risk of losing its own plot.
I felt the same.

Particularly because my own views about homosexuality changed without me having to become an atheist.

I really do believe there are lot of good people out there who would change their minds if presented with evidence that doesn't demand they toss out the Bible.

(Of course I'm sure none of them were posting in the discussion forums the author referenced)
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #348
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Reading a book about J Edgar Hoover, it occurs to me, and not for the first time, that America has always been quite a tolerant place for homosexuals. Consider that one of America's highest public servants, who served under eight presidents, shared his life, his home, and almost certainly some form of personal relationship with his same sex work colleague for many years.

It's true that in the past there was a certain level of hypocrisy in that such a relationship was generally not openly alluded to in public, but anyone with half a brain cell knew what was really going on - and is hypocrisy, after all, the worst of sins?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:27 PM   #349
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From an outsider's point of view - and please correct me if I'm wrong - it seems that the more extreme right, even if it is a minority, has a large, attention-grabbing, far-reaching collective voice. Perhaps if you polled the entire country it would come out that it is largely very tolerant but it seems to me that not many are speaking for a hell of a lot.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #350
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I'm definitely inclined to believe that. After all, support for gay marriage is definitely growing here in the States-I think last I heard it's at least over 50% or something.

The anti-gay marriage side is losing the fight and they know it. So they're making even more noise than usual because they're desperate to try and keep people believing their ideas.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #351
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I'm definitely inclined to believe that. After all, support for gay marriage is definitely growing here in the States-I think last I heard it's at least over 50% or something.
Depends on the poll and who is being asked. Obviously, people under the age of 35 are more likely to support SSM than a senior citizen. Polls I've seen show about 50 - 55% support, though I would imagine a FOX News poll wouldn't reflect that.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #352
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Reading a book about J Edgar Hoover, it occurs to me, and not for the first time, that America has always been quite a tolerant place for homosexuals. Consider that one of America's highest public servants, who served under eight presidents, shared his life, his home, and almost certainly some form of personal relationship with his same sex work colleague for many years.

It's true that in the past there was a certain level of hypocrisy in that such a relationship was generally not openly alluded to in public, but anyone with half a brain cell knew what was really going on - and is hypocrisy, after all, the worst of sins?
How do you gather from one book about one individual about a piece of history that is debated, denied, or swept under the rug, that America has always been tolerant?

Sorry but I find your revelation quite baffling.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:07 AM   #353
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Good news with a bit of shit news.

California bans 'gay cure' therapy as lawmakers say they want to protect 'sissy boys' | Mail Online

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Republican opponents of the measure said regulation of the therapy was a matter for medical boards - not politicians - to decide. They said the bill encroaches on the rights of parents to make choices for their children.

Republican Assembly member Shannon Grove said on Tuesday: 'That's why parents have children - to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised.'
Anyone who opposes that law can go fuck themselves. There is absolutely no point in trying to pussyfoot around the fact that 22 people voted against it. Anyone who votes against that does not have children or families' best interests at heart. They're just a fucking asshole. Unbelievable.

But I digress. Great move, obviously.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:49 AM   #354
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So, wait a minute, let me make sure I've got this right: Republicans see nothing wrong with instances where politicians can step in to actually flat out ban gay marriage and the like, but they oppose this measure because they think politicians banning this "therapy" is going too far and getting involved in something "personal"?

Ahhhh, I do so love the convoluted logic of the GOP.

And please, this has nothing whatsoever to do with overriding parents' decisions for their children. cobl is right-if you are a parent and you support putting your kid through that crap, you have gone horribly wrong somewhere in your child-raising skills.

Good move on California's part. There's no need for that sorry BS to exist.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:44 AM   #355
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:02 AM   #356
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Doesn't really belong in here, we don't want to confuse the people that equate two women marrying with one man marrying his goat or one man marrying fourteen women.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:57 AM   #357
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agreed. all these polygamous marriages involve penises going into vaginas, which as the opposition has argued, is the sole, true, real, only, eternal, endless, and forever purpose of marriage.

it's up to straight people to argue why their 2-person marriages are better than 3-or-more marriages, not gay people. gay people just want to marry someone.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:04 AM   #358
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http://www.advocate.com/politics/mar...riage-equality
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:51 PM   #359
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With changing beliefs about marriage and sexuality, this was bound to happen. Sure, marriage can be defined as a union between people who love each other, but what if 10 people love each other? CNN is reporting that the lawyer who presided over this civil union has a quintet trying to get married.

I do think there should be a line drawn at one point or else all these group marriages make marriage one huge joke. It also does not help that some people are on their third or fourth divorce, which furthers the joke of marriage.

Should society really determine what is a true marriage? What love is? What a committed relationship is? Or live and let live?
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:54 PM   #360
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Legally, marriage is about the sharing of assets, so, yes, governments should define what a legal marriage is, and they should define it is two consenting adults. Polygamy is completely impractical from a legal point of view.
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