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Old 04-26-2008, 09:08 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, 09:27 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, 09:57 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...

Quote:
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, 10:47 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, 11:22 AM   #385
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Quote:
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, 05:57 PM   #386
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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, 07:56 PM   #387
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Quote:
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, 09:33 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, 10:18 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, 10:38 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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Old 04-26-2008, 11:32 PM   #391
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Originally posted by financeguy


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.
There is that consistent undercurrent of antisexualism, bad attitudes that spawn child rapists.

But they keep going back to their original playbook and have the gays be the scapegoat.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:20 AM   #392
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Originally posted by diamond

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

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Old 04-27-2008, 12:30 AM   #393
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977

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.



were you unsatisfied with the consistent, coherent rebuttals of the argument?

an argument can be made for polyamorous relationships, but these are quite distinct arguments from marriage equality.


Quote:
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.
that's an interesting thought, but as an english major, i'd have to argue that much of this love poetry has more to do with Romeo and Juliette-style infatuation than with long, lasting, solidified love that develops between two people who generally view each other as equals and are committed to a harmonious union.

what i am skeptical of is how man/woman is more the "core" of marriage than white/white or jew/jew, or montague/montague in the scheme of things. you might argue that the "traditional" definition of marriage was about creating a safety net for children born of heterosexual unions and a means of taking care of the surfeit of unwanted offspring due to heterosexual sex. that i can understand. but, today, with birth control and any number of other family planning, i fail to see any sort of difference between two voluntarily childless straight people and two gay people, nor do i see any difference between two gay people who want to adopt and two straight people who want to adopt.

you see, technology -- for lack of a better word -- has made pregnancy a nearly totally voluntary condition. people have children out of choice (usually), and often *choose* to do so within the institution of marriage. and many people *choose* never to have children, or they choose to remarry after having children and divorcing.

please tell me, nathan, why a gender difference in marriage matters if a couple chooses never to procreate? or why it matters at all in a modern context?
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:13 AM   #394
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Re: love as a basis for marriage--it's true that it's impossible to pinpoint any one century as 'the' time when that became a universal standard in our culture. Historians generally rely heavily on sources like spousal litigation records from ecclesiastical courts for information about non-elite marriage in the pre-modern period, and what those sources seem to indicate is a gradual progression from consent (mostly to arranged marriages) as the basis for marriage in the High Middle Ages (11th-13th cen.), to love as the basis for marriage by around the 17th century (except among the wealthy and powerful, who often continued to practice arranged marriage). If you have access to an academic database, it's not difficult to quickly locate a generous handful of scholarly articles on this topic. Love poetry is highly unreliable as historical source material, since it's not intended to accurately portray the practical application of social customs; I'd point to India as a particularly clear-cut example of that--arranged marriage unambiguously was and is the norm there, yet love poetry has just as long a pedigree in their major literary languages as it does in ours, and romantic love, while in practice traditionally seen as self-indulgent-bordering-on-sleazy, is in literature (and for that matter, Bollywood) constantly idealized, as exhilarating emotional states often are in art and literature the world over.

Also, Re: polygamy in Roman-era Judaism and early Christianity--while polygamy wasn't actually banned in Roman law until 212 AD, yes, it definitely wasn't a Greco-Roman custom (though concubinage certainly was); and, yes, this undoubtedly had a strong influence on both Jewish and Christian views of polygamy, both at the time and in subsequent Christian history. The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus noted the practice of polygamy among the Herodian kings and the very wealthy, but seems to treat it almost as a curiosity, despite his awareness of its long history among the Jews; and the Mishnah and the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that both the Hillelite Pharisees and the Essenes opposed polygamy, quite possibly largely due to contemporary Roman influence.



I am still really having trouble understanding how the shifts to romantic love as the basis for freely choosing one's spouse, and to equal rights for women, DON'T constitute 'core' redefinitions of marriage. As Irvine just touched on, the 'penis + vagina definition' obviously refers to marriage in its aspect as a means of formally continuing kinship outside bloodlines--but mutual personal fulfillment is just as obviously central to our present definition...as our expectations of choice in spouse, right of the woman to work outside the home, and right to decide whether and when to have children together all clearly show. Unless one's intent is to restrict marriage solely to couples who are A) physically capable of conceiving a child together and B) willing to take some sort of oath of intent to do so, then it really makes no sense to insist on 'penis + vagina' as 'core' to the definition. Granted, if our social reference point were Israel 3000 years ago, then a case could be made that there's no double standard--but only because adult life for almost everyone then meant: you marry the (wo)man your parents choose, conceive and raise numerous children together, and if you don't much like your spouse or your 'job', well, too bad for you; suck it up, you're hardly the only one unhappy. Marriage (and parenting) will never be nonstop bliss, human relationships seldom are; but fortunately for us we live in a time and place where those duties can be freely chosen and shared, and grounded in joy and gratitude for having found each other.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:44 AM   #395
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I can have so much fun in this thread, but I realize the volaitilty of the subject so I won't.


I will post a few items for clarifacations sake.

The reason for the post of the horse movie was to make a point that their are actually some people who called for the death of the horse involved in the deaths of the 3 zoo-men who died of perforated colons.

I thought that would be wrong, the horse wasn't at fault for the men who engaged the horse in these actions and for the knee jerkers in this thread to extrapolate that I was implying that gay sex and beastialty were equivilent; well you've been had again and you're wrong once again.

The men are dead which is sad, and I'm sure the horse has moved on with his life.

Two consenting adults engaging in sexual activities falls within their civil rights, however it still can't be called marriage even if they're in a LTR, because marriage by it's definition involves people of opposite genders, period. Accept that truth and the gay community can move forward more quickly reaping the benefits of the hetrosexual community.

If you dont:

You'll have a better chance of convincing me a zebra is a horse, a condo is a house, or a Vespa a motorcycle. You can argue all day long about how they each are the same, but they're different, and some have better benefits than one another, but none of the 3 examples are exactly equivilent to eachother.

Feel free to wake me up when either of the above examples become truth.

Oh an as an aside the scripture is silent if Jesus was married or not. It's interesting that Mary M was the first one to witness his ressurecton, and Jesus had many women who loved him. Most Jewish men in the 1st century were married, and many practiced polygamy.

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Old 04-27-2008, 04:18 AM   #396
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Justifying marriage as an exclusively heterosexual concept isn't an answer, it is a hollow appeal to tradition. Just because marriage has been exclusively heterosexual does not mean it shouldn't be a homosexual institution too.

Marriage is a contract that guarantees recognition of a relationship under the law and is a commitment between partners. It is not inexorably bound to procreation (and even if that were the case that argument is hollow in the face of lesbian mothers, children from previous marriages and gay adoption). All the arguments against seem rooted in bigotry; and it is systematic, when the argument that its unnatural fails it turns to homosexuality being harmful which turns to homosexual relationships not being a good environment for children which turns to children being at risk of being bullied for having same-sex parents. The consistent backpeddling from justifying sodomy laws supporting state discrimination by the anti-gay element contrasts to the more consistent principles of equality by supporters of gay rights.

The state has no role moralising over peoples consensual partners; it is illegal for the government to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation and that principle does extend to marriage. Just because it offends your concept of what marriage means is not a reason to keep it illegal, equal treatment under the law demands it.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:58 AM   #397
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Justifying marriage as an exclusively heterosexual concept isn't an answer, it is a hollow appeal to tradition. Just because marriage has been exclusively heterosexual does not mean it shouldn't be a homosexual institution too.

Marriage is a contract that guarantees recognition of a relationship under the law and is a commitment between partners.
Male and femal partners, oh selective one.

Im not oppose to homosexual unionizing and I've made that patently clear thru out the discussion.

And for you, my progressive minded athetist I promise never to infer or argue that a cromagmon man is equivilent to or greater than a neandrathal-no matter how similar their traits and habits.

Now am I a caveman basher/hater?

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Old 04-27-2008, 08:18 AM   #398
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Neanderthals had bigger brains; the justification still isn't there, the burden of proof is on those opposed to gay marriage, and it doesn't matter if you support their right to have sex or civil unions because it is still unequal to the rights afforded to heterosexuals.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:02 AM   #399
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
because it is still unequal to the rights afforded to heterosexuals.
how so?

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Old 04-27-2008, 09:07 AM   #400
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Because partners in a civil union are not married, it is a separate but equal solution that exists to protect some peoples religiously based concept of marriage; but in the laws of a secular state that religious concept isn't enforced upon everybody.
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