20
Nov
08

3. Should gay marriage be legal?

Prop 8’s not going away as an issue.

California’s highest court says it will hear legal challenges to the recently approved ban on gay marriage.

It’s been a fierce debate on the West Coast, and our North America editor notes that the Mormon Church has got involved.

And of course this has played in Europe as well over the past couple of years. Where do you stand?


169 Responses to “3. Should gay marriage be legal?”


  1. 1 Jennifer
    November 20, 2008 at 04:45

    I don’t believe that gay marriage should be legal. I hope as many people as possible get involved with this issue, including the Mormon church, whatever it takes-to stop any chances there are for the ban to be overturned.

  2. 2 J in Portland
    November 20, 2008 at 06:30

    I think that marriage should have no and I repeat NO bearing on any government issues. Let me explain

    Marriage is a religious, spiritual and personal institution…… I do not believe that the government should have any influence on marriage or allow marriage to have any influence on it, whether it is with a heterosexual or homosexual or bi-sexual couple.

    1. Taxes should be based on income and dependents. Not on marital status.
    2. A person should be allowed to declare who they are responsible for..i.e. dependents. It could be just about anyone including but not limited to spouses, kids, parents, neighbors, friends. If you take responsibility – you take responsibility…doesn’t matter who they are.
    3. A person should be able to allow whomever they want to visit them in medical situations, have power of attorney or whatever. It should have no restrictions…you should be able to say your baker or barber can visit you if that is what you want. Marital status should have no merit.
    4. If you eliminated the ‘married/single’ from the equation you could give people more control over their own environment and life.

    I believe it is odd that the government should take someone’s marital status into consideration when applying taxes, benefits and rights…..you eliminate the governments influence over these things based on marriage and you eliminate the ‘gay marriage’ question and the discrepancies in taxation, problem solved.

    Before I get a lamb-basting….I do believe in marriage as an institution…I would hope to be married some day. I just don’t think it should have any influence or consideration in or by the government.

    Sorry, Ros. Got a little carried away and went a little long.

  3. 3 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 07:04

    This is one of those hot-bed issues that gets all twisted around peoples minds so that they seem to cease all reason.

    As near as I have been able to tell the people that oppose gay marriage (and I know quite a few) seem to be stuck on the religious aspect that god intended marriage to be between a man and a woman….so then you have to ask about the separation of church and state. Legality and religion should be separate.

    On the other hand if marriage is so sanctified then what is with this divorce thing, you know,’till death do us part.

    So what I’m trying to say here is that the marriage issue should be tied to your religion and treated with the same degree of respect as you would your immortal soul while the legal protection of homosexual couples should be left in the courtroom giving legal protections that we should all enjoy.

    • 4 jaime
      August 2, 2009 at 17:14

      It is not just a religious view…I think it is more of a moral issue!

      It does not matter which you cut it, whilst society, accepts homosexuality, many, many, many people do not agree with it…and they do not have too.

  4. 5 rick
    November 20, 2008 at 10:02

    @Jennifer
    Why is it any of your business what other concenting adults choose to do as long as it doesn’t harm you?
    People who love each other want to have the same rights under the law as everybody else. Why is it even an issue in a country that is meant to be secular?

  5. November 20, 2008 at 13:11

    Yes.

    The gay community should have exactly the same rights (and responsibilities) as the straight community. I fail to understand why those opposed think they should even care, much less have a right to dictate what somebody else can and cannot do.

    Ironically, those most strongly opposed to gay marriage are very often the same people who feel strongly about personal freedom.

  6. 7 Ansu Tangar
    November 20, 2008 at 13:13

    Under any account should gay marriage be made legal in the society, this to me, is uncivilised and people who choose this attitud should not be recognised in any socity where we have intelligent people living.
    why should a man decid to be a gay activist when we have aboundant women living on earth? or does God made a mistake by producing women on earth?
    This people who practice such act are pioniaring behaviorist to those who are abusing the right of women in the society, and this if you ask me I can explain better.

  7. November 20, 2008 at 13:48

    I hope that whether it be marriage or a ‘civil union’ or whatever you choose to call it, gays can be together and enjoy the same legal benefits as straights. People need to stop being bigots and interfering with others lives which don’t affect them whatsoever.
    Homosexuality isn’t my cup of tea, but I have plenty of gay friends, and no desire to tell them how they can or can’t justify their relationships in the eyes of the state. They didn’t vote for our [straight people’s] right to marry, why do we feel we have the right to vote on theirs?

    People which support a ban on gay marriage make me sick with their hypocrisy and homophobic ideals.

    Sorry if that was a bit harsh but I’m sick of societies ‘right’ to oppress [yes, because that’s what your doing] gay’s rights.

  8. 9 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 13:52

    For me the question is: should there be such a thing as marriage?

    If marriage is a product of society then couples who decide to live together should have the same right to marriage as any other couple.

    If marriage is a product of religion and particular religions do not support Gay marriage, then that is their right. But if they accept Gays into their church, then Gays should have the same rights as others within the church.

    Churches should have to give up their right to special treatment from the state if they practice discrimination.

    If one thinks clearly about it, it is arrogant to presume that one can dictate to others about how they should live their lives?

    That holier-than-thou attitude is a throwback to a time when the earth was flat. God lived overhead and had his special people working for him down here.

    Haven’t we evolved beyond that belief?

  9. 10 Lei
    November 20, 2008 at 14:03

    In reply to selena: actually, the Bible says the world is round. It’s the humans that failed to appreciate that point.

    I’m a christian who believes that homosexuality is wrong; however, legalism alone never saved anybody. Therefore I do support gay marriage, in that it would make a lot of people happier. However, I wish even more fervently that more people would believe in the Bible, so that gay marriage wouldn’t be necessary.

  10. 11 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 14:15

    @Lei

    Thank you for responding.

    Unfortunately the bible, like all books, is open to interpretation. Therefore, it is ammunition for discrimination against any group of people.

    Believing in the bible will not end hatred, I am afraid.

  11. November 20, 2008 at 14:21

    Slavery and racism have been and are justified through biblical texts… When are people going to wake up and realize that discrimination of gays via biblical justification is just as bad and just as wrong.

    • 13 jaime
      August 2, 2009 at 17:04

      I think that every individual on the face of this earth is entitled to find love, whether you are gay or straight, and you have the right to love whomever you like. but when it comes to marriage this is completely different.

      there has been a great deal of effort made by millions of people to accept homosexuality in society.

      But it can only go so far…

      I think that the gay community should be proud of how far society has come already towards homosexuality. Whilst you may not be legally able to wed, gay relationships are recognised in every other aspect of our legal system, just the same as heterosexuals couples..isnt this enough?

      This is not an equal rights debate, this is a moral debate…an for many people who like me, do not have a problem with gay people, I do not agree with gay marriages.

      I do not believe that gay marriage should be recognised by society or the legal system…

  12. 14 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 14:47

    Has there ever been a society based on homosexuality, successful or otherwise?

  13. 15 Jennifer
    November 20, 2008 at 14:54

    @ Rick

    First, it is not natural. Allowing homosexual marriage validates and promotes it in our society. It is forcing me, as someone who does not support homosexual marriage, to live in a society where it would be considered acceptable. I would go so far to say that is my business what is found acceptable in the society I live in. I do not “hate” gay people. I believe that gay marriage is wrong. There is a big difference.

    What do states consider the purpose for marriage? Isn’t it to create an environment that is conducive for children to live in a stable environment with a mother and father? Homosexual couples can not produce children without intervention. That is a natural roadblock to saying that homosexuality is unacceptable.

    The bottom line is if you choose to live a homosexual lifestyle you give up your right to have a marriage. Have a civil union instead. People already make a mockery of marriage. I can just see the added problems that throwing homosexual marriage into the mix would cause. Homosexual marriage is a moral issue not a civil rights issue. (why does that work for abortion but not for homosexuality?)

  14. November 20, 2008 at 14:57

    @ Nikitas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVUecPhQPqY

    Someone get Olbermann on this show, or at least get the questions he poses in that clip answered by an opposing side.
    Anyone opposing gay marriage, I would love to hear your response to the questions/statements made by Olbermann in that clip.

  15. November 20, 2008 at 15:03

    @ Jennifer:
    I do not “hate” gay people. I believe that gay marriage is wrong. There is a big difference.
    The bottom line is if you choose to live a homosexual lifestyle you give up your right to have a marriage.

    How do you feel that your are justified to make that determination on someone elses life over someone with an opposing opinion? Why do feel you have authority and they do not?
    You are against and afraid of them ‘pushing’ their beliefs on you and ‘gaying up’ the country and institution of marriage, but then why is it ok for you to turn around and push your beliefs on them?

    Who ordained the anti-gay-marriage stance with the moral, ethical, or legal authority to discriminate against others who aren’t exactly the same as them?

  16. 18 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 15:05

    @Nikitas

    Would you consider that the ancient Roman and Greek societies were based on homosexuality?

    Could it have been more a case of acceptance of homosexuality?

  17. 19 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 15:12

    @jennifer-if marriage is a moral issue then why do you need a state sanctioned license to perform the act. And why is divorce settled in the court?

    As long as our courts are involved then we have to accept these rights for all-whether you agree with their lifestyle or not.

    Besides, it seems to me that the states consider a marriage for protection so that a memeber of the marriage will not spend their time maintaining the household and then be deserted by the breadwinner and left with nothing…again, legality not morality.

  18. November 20, 2008 at 15:15

    @ Nikitas:

    I’m well aware of that; Answers or comments would be welcome from the opposing side.
    Though I really would like to hear him in a dialogue with the opposition.

  19. 21 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 15:24

    @Brett

    How do you feel that you are justified to make that determination on someone elses life over someone with an opposing opinion?

    Yes, that is the kind of superiority that blows me away? The arrogance that believes in the absolute rightness of a personal opinion or interpretation, regardless of how much it hurts other humans.

    It is the kind of arrogance that wants to be at the center of attention, that demands its opinion be heard but has total disrespect for the rights of others.

    It is the kind of arrogance that condones any kind of dirty trick to win.

  20. 22 Count Iblis
    November 20, 2008 at 15:28

    You have a choice to be like states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. or to belong to the civilized world. 🙂

  21. 23 Roberto
    November 20, 2008 at 15:31

    RE “” The elite who invented the very idea of democracy engaged in homosexual traditions on a regular basis “”
    ————————————————————————————————–

    ——– Ignoring the question won’t answer the question.

    Homosexual MARRIAGE is a new phenom, a whole new bottle of wax.

    There is very little if any history of homosexual marriage. There is ample history of cross racial, tribal, religious, ethnic, and national marriage by heterosexual couples.

    The so called elite you talk of cannot be shoe-horned into your politics either. That was a diverse group that established early traditions of democracy as they also practiced slavery and elitism. Elitism is still practiced in every culture, but perhaps you want to bring back slavery if we follow your assertions.

    It ain’t gay marriage that bothers me. It’s the rise of another divisive single issue political group to poison the community well with as the world implodes within itself.

  22. 24 John in Salem
    November 20, 2008 at 15:35

    There is NOTHING that the human animal on this lump of rock can do that is unnatural – NOTHING. Some things may be stupid – like building nuclear weapons – but nothing is unnatural.
    I have vivid memories of hearing people say that interracial marriages were unnatural but for the most part we have gotten past that.
    Gay people want to get married because they share the mythology about marriage and spirituality that the majority of other people believe in, and people who say they love gays but don’t want to allow them to marry are simply afraid of something they don’t understand.
    You can’t stop history, folks. It’s gonna happen.
    Get over it.

  23. 25 Count Iblis
    November 20, 2008 at 15:39

    Jennifer:

    It is forcing me, as someone who does not support homosexual marriage, to live in a society where it would be considered acceptable.

    Replace “homosexual marriage” by “equal rights for women” to obtain the reason why conservative people in the Muslim world don’t want to change things there.

  24. 26 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 15:47

    @Roberto

    Here is how I see it:

    Gays want marriage because they want the same rights as heterosexuals. However, rights are tricky to police.

    Marriage arose out of the religious paradigm. The state adopted marriage when religion dictated the rules of society.

    In advanced societies, where there is a separation of Church and State, marriage should not be an issue.

    There should be civil laws covering all unions and marriage should be left to the religious.

    The religious should be prohibited from imposing their idea of truth on non-believers.

    Yet, the trouble with rights is we all believe our opinions and ideas to be superior and we frequently engage in interactions that cause us to condemn others for the very things we are doing.

  25. 27 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 15:49

    Nikitas
    You need to read my earlier comments they are much more important than citing Olberman.

  26. 28 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 15:53

    Can you be more specific about what you find wrong with Olberman, Dan?

  27. 29 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 15:54

    @32 selena in Canada

    The religious should be prohibited from imposing their idea of truth on non-believers.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The legal system of both of our countries is based upon concepts from religion. Does your statement mean that the law does not apply to atheists?
    Maybe we need to rework your statement to say that Religious people should not have freedom to impose their ideas on atheists…..but then are we denying religious people THEIR rights?
    I think you understand my underlying message.

  28. 30 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 15:58

    Selena in Canada
    Olberman is an entertainer. He did a stint as a sports commentator and a whole host of other jobs. His sole goal is ratings.
    Ratings and truth are not compatible and in any event there are much more intelligent people that express themselves better with deeper thought.
    I would think that if you accept Olberman at face value then you must accept O’Reilly at face value as well

  29. 31 Jennifer
    November 20, 2008 at 16:00

    Re: The so called elite you talk of cannot be shoe-horned into your politics either.

    I did not know that having a belief made me better than everyone else. Perhaps some people are intimidated by the fact that people have beliefs and actually stand up for them.

    Now excuse me while I go polish my tiara! 😛

  30. 32 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 16:20

    No.

    Marriage in the West is an institution defined by its practice over countless generations: the union of a man and a woman, usually with the primary purpose of producing children. By definition there simply can’t be such a thing as ‘gay marriage’ any more than there can be a polygamous or polyandrous ‘marriage’. ‘Marriage’ in the West excludes such things as perversions of the institutuion.

    The state only takes an interest in marriage because of its social consequences: children; the inheritance of property; the rights of women who may have sacrificed their careers to raise a family only to find themselves dumped at the end of it (and when they are themselves much less nubile) for a younger model, etc. That’s why the state intervenes to regulate aspects of this fundamental institution by imposing legal obligations on the parties. There is no corresponding interest in the great bulk of gay partnerships, which rarely involve children and almost never involve one party sacrificing his/her career on behalf of the family.

    Civil unions seem to me a pretty good means of recognising committed gay relationships, but not marriage.

    btw it’s a red herring, typical of the emotional and self-righteous tone of many on the left, to suppose that this has anything to do with hating gays or with religious oppression. It’s about defending a fundamental institution of Western society against attack and subversion by endorsing a parody of it.

  31. 33 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 16:27

    @VictorK

    Well Said!!!…and I agree!!!

  32. 34 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 16:29

    @VictorK

    Marriage in the West is an institution defined by its practice over countless generations

    Yes, but so was the divine right of kings, subjugation of women, slavery and other crazy ideas. Our society is evolving to weed out discriminatory practices. At least, I like to think so. 🙂

  33. November 20, 2008 at 16:32

    @ VictorK:
    btw it’s a red herring, typical of the emotional and self-righteous tone of many on the left, to suppose that this has anything to do with hating gays or with religious oppression. It’s about defending a fundamental institution of Western society against attack and subversion by endorsing a parody of it.

    When opposition to gay marriage use any sort of biblical or religious support for their opinion or actions in this matter then it begins to involve religious oppression.
    More often than not in conversations which I have had and overheard, opposition uses religious beliefs as one of the number one reasons why they oppose gay marriage, like it’s ‘their duty’ as a Christian or whatever religion they may be a part of to stand against gay marraige.
    So sorry that the ‘self-righteous’ tone of the left would ever mistake religious reasoning as a driving force for being against gay marriage… especially when the religious crutch is used so often in the debate….

  34. November 20, 2008 at 16:36

    To those who are opposed:

    In this context we are discussing a legal framework, not a moral or religious judgement.

    Whatever your views, you already live in a society where homosexual relationships exist. Allow gay marriages (or “civil unions” if that phrase makes it easier to swallow) or not will not change that fact.

    Given that, why shouldn’t gay men and women be afforded the same LEGAL protections and rights as you have? For example, if you die, your spouse automatically inherits your estate…why should that right be denied to gay people?

    Nobody is demanding your church has to sanction the religious aspects of gay marriage but your religious views should not affect the rights of people who do not share them.

  35. 37 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 16:41

    Selena in Canada-well said!

    History should never be THE reason to do anything. Where is the room for growth if history is the only standard to decide the future.

  36. 38 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 16:43

    VictorK-My sister and her gay partner have adopted a chld (a very happy child) and adoption is a much undervalued part of our society. How can you dismiss the parental benefits of alternate lifestyles?

  37. 39 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 20, 2008 at 17:00

    Josef Fritzl of Amstetten, Austria forcibly held his daughter in the basement for 24 years and fathered 7 children by her. Blatantly immoral & illegal.

    In the future, or at any given point of time, if a daughter above the age of consent; consents to marry her own father (widower or divorced) should society fight for her right to do so? Similarly, if a son above the age of consent wishes to marry his widowed or divorced mother. {From an ‘equality of rights in the eyes of law’ perspective which some here are peddling.}

    If yes, why?
    If no, why?

  38. 40 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 17:01

    @Dan

    It is not a slippery slope it is a bottomless abyss.

    Yes, exactly the same words were said about giving women the vote and divorce.

    Gay marriage is exactly the same as the rights Blacks demanded because it is not about the weighted value of rights. It is about rights period.

    As long as marriage belongs to the state, Gays should have the right to be married.

  39. 41 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 17:03

    @Selena in Canada

    I firmly believe that equating gay marriage to the civil rights struggle diminishes Blacks.
    Please explain though just exactly how is marriage a “right”?

  40. 42 Steve
    November 20, 2008 at 17:06

    @ Selena

    But gays would still be free to marry members of the opposite sex. Blacks were not allowed to marry outside of their race.

    The people of California voted to amend their constitution. I don’t see how a part of the constitution could be viewed as unconstitutional on a state constitution equal protection review, and I doubt anyone would hold that federal equal protection covers same sex marriage. Fact remains, the people spoke, and they don’t want same sex marriage.

  41. 43 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 17:13

    A simple question for consideration.

    How does my legal marriage to my same sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government hurt or infringe upon your legal rights or your legal marriage to your opposite sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government? No one has really answered that question.

    I’m not talking about religion, procreation, or the tangential issues that get brought up and people spiral off into their own hot button of choice, I’m talking about the legal recognition of marriage/union of two individuals in the eyes of the government for taxation, estate planning and other solely legal purposes. How does that hurt the existing opposite sex marriage?

    Can someone explain that to me?

  42. 44 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 17:16

    Marriage as a vow before God is strictly a personal opinion or religious belief. Last time I checked we don’t all subscribe to the same religion and that is a fundamental right. My marriage vows are to my partner not some God I don’t believe in. Everyone deserves that right. As long as we pay fees to the state to get married this is not a moral issue; this is about civil rights.

    I am not the moral police nor do I think it is the right of the people to impose and legislate the morals of everyone else. Unfortunately we live in a society where people believe in their own moral superiority over others. Aint’ it grand?

  43. 45 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 17:18

    @dan-in regards to your response to Selena-You have to accept the ban on inter-racial marriage as an apt comparison to gay marriage not slavery, and inter-racial marriage was a huge issue in its day-to the point of castration and murder.

  44. 46 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 17:19

    “Homosexual marriage is a moral issue not a civil rights issue.”

    Jennifer ~ I think you are confusing things. Why do you think you should have the right to dictate the morals of others? Isn’t the point of civil rights to ensure that everyone has the same freedoms or do you think that civil rights are applicable to certain groups only?

  45. 47 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 17:20

    @Dan

    Marriage is a right because in order for people living together to benefit from state laws, such as tax deductions and survivor rights of pensions and insurance, people have to be legally married. We live under the religious law of marriage.

    Remove marriage from the state equation and put it in the religion column and I will say that marriage is not a right.

    In other words, any two people living together should have the same rights under government law. Gays, or atheists for that matter, do not have the right to be married in a church in a secular society.

    What we really need is a true separation of Church and State.

    Let the churches deal with the members of their churches, not the general society.

  46. 48 Roberto
    November 20, 2008 at 17:25

    RE “” Is that the point you were trying to get across? “”
    —————————————————————————————————–

    ———- No, the issue is too divisive for many to follow my point.

    Pay attention to the thread header: Should gay marriage be legal?

    I pointed out there is no history to speak of involving “gay marriage.” This observation has nothing to do with religion, politics, or specific culture. Marriage preceded religion. There is no history in any culture I can think off involving the ceremony of homosexual partners committing themselves to community celebration pairing off of man and woman, what we call marriage today,. Any history that may exist is a tiny exception until the past decade.

    Anything can be legal. Slavery, freedom, fraud, honesty, war, peace.

    Like I stated, and this should be quite easy to understand. I could care less about gay marriage. I don’t like gay politics any more than I like evangelist politics or rep/dem politics. More divisive politics means more divisive peoples.

    If everyone had the same rights and everyone respected each other’s rights and everyone was treated equitably, the topic would not be needed. Perhaps it’s time to Balkanize the world where folks can divvy up into tribes again to make merry as they please and bombard the rest as they please or are able.

  47. 49 Steve
    November 20, 2008 at 17:33

    @ Selena

    I agree, I don’t even think the state should recognize marriage. There shouldn’t be any benefits from the state for getting married. I think it should be treated as what it is, a religious institution, which the state shouldn’t recognize.

    If marriage were truly a “right” what about all the guys that cannot get a date to save their lives? That’s not really a right if nobody will give you a chance.

  48. 50 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 17:35

    “How does my legal marriage to my same sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government hurt or infringe upon your legal rights or your legal marriage to your opposite sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government? ”

    William in Chicago ~ Good luck getting an answer. I haven’t seen one yet to that question that didn’t have an answer that included religion and morals. Why someone cares about what others do privately that does not affect them in any way is beyond comprehension for me.

  49. 51 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 17:38

    @Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon

    The ban on interracial marriage had to do with civil rights for Blacks and in any event was Hetero Sexual. Gay marriage is not even a close equivalent.

  50. 52 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 17:41

    @selena in Canada November 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Marriage is a right because in order for people living together to benefit from state laws, such as tax deductions and survivor rights of pensions and insurance, people have to be legally married.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This is not exactly true. Those “rights” you present can be gained through a civil union or a simple contract. I must admit that in the area of tax deduction I am uncertain.

  51. 53 Steve
    November 20, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Dan

    If God hates gay marriage, why did he create gay people? For his amusement?

  52. 54 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 20, 2008 at 17:50

    Re: William in Chicago, November 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    “A simple question for consideration.

    How does my legal marriage to my same sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government hurt or infringe upon your legal rights or your legal marriage to your opposite sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government? No one has really answered that question.
    .
    .
    Directly it doesn’t infringe on the rights of non-same-sex couples or singles! Indirectly it does, as it sets up a precedent for others to follow. Which automatically leads to the Q: Are individual rights more important than the collective rights of Society (in this case the propagation of the species)?

    By the same token why is polygamy or polyandry illegal in the West? My answer is the same as above. Could you answer that for me differently?

    The tangential issue of procreation isn’t tangential at all! In fact, it is made mainstream by same-sex couples justifying & demanding the right to adopt children!

  53. 55 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 18:01

    @Steve

    I do not know God’s mind for if I did I would be God.

  54. 56 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 18:05

    I think the onus is on the supporters of gay marriage to (a) demonstrate that the colossal social innovation that they favour is desirable, and (b) to persuade a majority of people to accept it. The defenders of the status quo are entitled to take the view that unnecessary changes should be resisted, an institution that serves its purposes should remain undisturbed, and a radical innovation that lacks popular support should not be implemented.

    Why is gay marriage necessary, except as an exercise in gay equality and self-esteem? What is the benefit to soceity that would justify this profound transformation of an established institution? What is not available to gays through civil unions and contract & inheritance law that they require the radical revision of a fundamental social institution, and that for the benefit of a minority who can’t be relied on to uphold that institution even if it were to be so transformed (and be sure, though some gays may treat a right to marriage reverently, others will rejoice in mocking. trivialising and debasing it – ‘Oh, we met on Friday in a club and next week he gets to be my 21st husband! Aren’t I lucky?’).

    The political agenda at work here is one that seeks, through equality, to compel parity of esteem between ‘gay marriage’ and traditional marriage.

  55. 57 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 18:17

    “By the same token why is polygamy or polyandry illegal in the West? My answer is the same as above. Could you answer that for me differently?”

    Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I ~

    I think they should be legal. Who cares if consenting adults want to be in a polygamist marriage or for that matter if cousins want to marry? Our species at some point had to be propagated….What did Adam and Eve’s children do? I’m sure they had to have sex with siblings or parents to procreate.

    This question goes back to dictating the morals of other people. You don’t have to like or agree with how someone else leads his or her lives. If people want to live in denial that gay people carry on as if they are married that’s fine but it still doesn’t change the fact that they are being discriminated against because their lifestyle doesn’t fit in with your moral compass. No one has the right to dictate his or her morals to someone else.

  56. 58 Jens
    November 20, 2008 at 18:20

    can we take god out of this debate? marriage is a civil contract,

  57. 59 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 18:28

    @ 44 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve said nothing about the benefits of alternative parenting arrangements. I’m sure some same sex couples make very good parents. That might justify having a set of legal obligations that could be annexed to some civil unions, but I still don’t see how it justifies a complete re-definition of the traditional meaning of marriage as a union of the sexes.

    @Brett: yes, some Christians are abusive and hate-filled towards gays on this subject. I deplore that. Most mainstream churches, though, are very sober in their opposition. The Catholic Church is opposed to this innovation, though decently and with moderation. Likewise the bulk of the Anglican Church, and I should think the Presbyterian and Methodist churches are similarly restrained in expressing any opposition. Within the latter 3 churches there is significant current of support for gays and gay rights. It’s not fair to represent all religious opposition as bigoted and intolerant.

    @Selena: all the practices you described as crazy were abandoned voluntarily or as the result of the slow emergence of a changed social conscience about them. Gay marriage is something that its advocates have attempted to impose on unwilling majorities (through activist judges) against the collective conscience. It’s nothing less than an assault on society; and society is entitled to fight back.

  58. 60 Steve
    November 20, 2008 at 18:38

    @ Jens

    If marriage is a “civil” contract, how come you can violate the contract and get financially compensated for it? So a cheater can get paid alimony, get a house, etc.. Some contract!

  59. 61 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 18:39

    “It’s nothing less than an assault on society; and society is entitled to fight back.”

    VictorK ~

    Can you explain to me how it is an assault on society and what you are fighting?

  60. 62 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 18:57

    @ Dictatore:

    Polygamy and polyandry are not on the table here. Again, that is the hot button issue I was discussing earlier that is often used to sidetrack this issue.

    Procreation and “propagation of the species” is tangential in our day and age in that there is no shortage of children in modern society, if anything there is an over abundance of children, so we are not suffering from a lack of propagation or procreation.

    So turning to addressing the collective rights issue that you bring up, let’s rephrase to address that since you raise that as the larger issue.

    How does my legal marriage to my same sex partner as recognized by the state or federal government hurt or infringe upon your legally conveyed right as a member of this society or the legal rights of any group of individuals rights in our society? You raised it, so you tell me because I honestly can’t think of a single reason it infringes upon the rights of individuals or groups in society at large.

  61. 63 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 19:09

    @ Vitcor K:

    You say – “Why is gay marriage necessary, except as an exercise in gay equality and self-esteem?”

    The benefit is that my partner can not be blocked from my deathbed by my family, that my partner and i can file a joint tax return and achieve the benefits of our committed lasting relationship that others can; that my house could transfer to my partner upon my death; that my partner and I can file for joint insurance and the benefits, and the list goes n and on.

    You say – What is the benefit to society that would justify this profound transformation of an established institution?

    The benefit to society would be that society recognize and reaffirms that stable & committed relationships between two individuals are good for society as a whole; they are economically beneficial for the individual and society in that two incomes provide a more stable economy than one subject to dramatic loss and suffering; and that we as a society understand that the burden of individuals weigh less on society when we allow two individuals to share the burden through the legally created structures created to recognize the union of two individuals – IE:job loss by one who is covered by the insurance benefits of another. These are only a few of the benefits.

  62. 64 Scott (M)
    November 20, 2008 at 19:11

    Yes.

    Only bigots say no.

  63. November 20, 2008 at 19:12

    Hi WHYSers!

    What I do not understand with this ‘Prop Eight’ discussion is simply this, if the Church can accept that there are people with sexual urges, needs and desires that fall outside of the ‘normal’ heterosexual union, then, it escapes me altogether why they cannot also see the need (?) for marriage amongst these groups. What is a marriage, after all, beyond the love and trust issues and child raring? There are also questions of security and state recognition/ entitlements. Faith issues aside, all people require these things regardless of who they are, what is the big deal with seeking to deny these basic human rights to others? Are we not at liberty to choose? And, if so, can we not hold different opinions and still coexist? I want to know.

  64. 66 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 19:22

    @Venessa: sure. Any movement to subvert the established institutions and values of of a society constitutes – for me – an assault on that society. ‘Gay marriage’ is such a movement.

    Any attempt to impose a new orthodoxy upon an unwilling majority is, likewise, an assault on society. If an American state were to vote to re-define marriage so that it included same-sex couples, I’d be sorry, but the state in question would have a perfect right to do that. Most states aren’t going to do that, of course. That’s why gay marriage has become a matter of legal challenge: its proponents live in the hope of using the judiciary to subvert the collective wishes of individual states. They may in some instances be successful, but only at the price of liberty and self-government, both of which I hold to be more important than any pretended right to gay marriage.

    If people believed that gays were more oriented to the general good of society than to the narrow interests of their own community, gay marriage might get a more sympathetic hearing. But we’ve heard too much of what gays – or gay activists at any rate – think about Western societies – homophobic, oppressive, unjust, to ever trust the reform of those societies to them and their supporters. A society has interests (in maintaining the values and institutions necessary for social order and continuity) and is entitled to defend them against assailants.

  65. 67 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 19:23

    “Faith issues aside, all people require these things regardless of who they are, what is the big deal with seeking to deny these basic human rights to others? Are we not at liberty to choose? And, if so, can we not hold different opinions and still coexist? I want to know.”

    Bravo!

  66. November 20, 2008 at 19:25

    First, love and the resulting relationships are not and cannot be regulated – to suggest such is sheer folly and only highlights the arrogance and ignorance of small minds and smaller hearts. With the exception of the protection of young children, marriage should not be defined within the bounds of sexual identity or partnership, but as a legal identity of a subset of individuals who join their futures to one another.

    Second, marriage as an institution was only for the legal protection of legacy properties and funds. Religious institutions have no place defining law or legal boundaries where a democratic process has jurisdiction. The sooner the Judeo-Christians understand these boundaries, the better the remainder of the populace will be.

  67. 69 Dan
    November 20, 2008 at 19:25

    @Jens

    Thank you you made my point perfectly. Gays can engage in a civil union.

  68. 70 Lauren
    November 20, 2008 at 19:31

    If someone wants to argue that marriage is (or is based solely on) a religious union then no couple- gay or straight- should have any additional rights under state/federal laws. Why should one persons religious beliefs grant them additional rights?

  69. 71 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 19:34

    Why do lion prides chase away the bachelor males in the pride once they reach adolescence?

    You accept this statement as fact. Why?

  70. 73 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 19:39

    @William in Chicago: you make some good points.

    But can’t most, if not all, of the benefits you identify be accomplished through civil union, and contract and inheritance law? I have no problem with seeing these used in this way. Why, then, go further?

    Stable and committed relationships involving children are good for society as a whole (including children in same sex relationships). Where children are not involved society has much less of an interest, or none at all. Western societies are not noticeably worse off for having unstable and shifting gay relationships (though individual gays may be).

    And while some gays are perfectly capable of living in a committed and stable ‘marriage’ – if the definition were expanded to embrace them – society has a greater interest in whether such a re-definition of marriage would undermine heterosexual unions by bringing the institution of marriage into disrepute (two easily predictable consequences of gay marriage are a fall in civil marriages and a rise in church marriages. And who would put it beyond gay activists not to then demand a right for gays to be married in church?).

    Society defines the rights it grants according to the general social interests that those rights serve. And it should only ever grant rights on a common basis, i.e. to citizens as citizens, not as gays, blacks, Muslims etc.

  71. 74 Baz
    November 20, 2008 at 19:40

    Homo-sexuals (I am old enough for the hi-jacking of ‘Gay’ to be offensive) are permitted to do as they wish, under most societies. That is now well established, but whatever they do they cannot be married, as it is physically impossible for a marriage to be fulfilled. Therefore they may do as they wish, and call it what they wish, but do not try to hi-jack the description and state of marriage.

  72. 75 marie
    November 20, 2008 at 19:42

    in america, white males have the highest socio econmic standing. I find it ironic that a household headed by 2 white males potentially benefits more than a traditional household econmically.
    im still intrigued that gay friendly societies like sparta still never entertained the notion of gay marriage.
    I think the state should allow for civil unions and let marriage be the institution of religions. I also agree, whether civilly united or not, married or not, my taxes should be the same as a single.

  73. 76 Lauren
    November 20, 2008 at 19:55

    People say that they are ok with a civil union for same-sex couples but not a marriage- why? Why is marriage so important to you? Why is the term “marriage” so important? If you were told tomorrow that you could no longer be married in the eyes of the state, but you could have a civil union, would you have a problem with that? If you have any reason other that procreation and tax advantages, what makes you think that a homosexual couple doesn’t feel the same way about the word?

    To say someone can have a civil union but not a marriage implies that things are not equal. The couples involved are not equal and the state of their relationship is not equal. To hold marriage in such a high regard that you determine that certain couples are not worthy of it reflects how you view the individual persons involved. Whether or not you like someone shouldn’t have any bearing on their legal rights.

  74. 77 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 20, 2008 at 19:57

    Re: selena in Canada, November 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    “Why do lion prides chase away the bachelor males in the pride once they reach adolescence?

    You accept this statement as fact. Why?”
    .
    .
    Because it can be observed in a multitude of documentaries on lions! Unless of course the photographers have found a way to make wild lions act!

    Very amazing as my comment (at 7.28pm) you seem to be responding to isn’t published!

  75. 78 archibald in oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 19:59

    Gay marriage is a non-issue, other than to the fearful and ignorant. Legally it is not going to affect the “institution” of marriage. Morally, such opinions against homosexuality and gay marriage are based in prejudice. An educated mind is an open mind, unless you are only reading one book……

  76. 79 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 20, 2008 at 20:03

    To Venessa, William and Selena!

    I am sorry I won’t be able to respond to your Q’s as my time is very important & I can’t waste time writing responses which just disappear probably like a whole lot from others too! Perhaps the blogs are being ‘steered’ too achieve a certain result. And Selena is able to quote from a response even though it isn’t published!

    Futility at its best, IF that is the objective!

    I’m outta here like a bat outta hell!

  77. November 20, 2008 at 20:04

    @ VictorK,

    In response to William in Chicago. I am unable to understand what is the significant difference between protecting the rights of all, as per your explanations above, and granting marriage rights to gay people. If all the rights can be protected within the various forms of law that you mention then it seems only reasonable to me that marriage should also be granted to all people. Creating different classes/ castes of people through the law is just plain wrong! Whether people choose to get married in a church or not, is really not the issue. What is the issue is the significance of marriage in modern societies like the ones we claim we want to live in. If it is good for one group it is good for all groups, as per this issue.

  78. 81 Jens
    November 20, 2008 at 20:04

    steve,

    how many contracts are not worth the paper they are writen on????? you should know better, being a lawyer. 😉

  79. 82 Lee-Anne
    November 20, 2008 at 20:05

    The comments regarding “society” and their putative “established norms” are, in fact, an attack by one group in a pluralistic society upon another, or more properly several others. These right-wing “Christian” groups seek, for the most part, to re-establish a state religion, of which marriage laws are the secular aspect, despite the fact that the US Federal state is forbidden to meddle in religious quarrels.

    There are many religions in the USA which have no problem whatsoever with the marriage of same-sex couples, the right-wing groups don’t want these “liberal” religions to be free to celebrate their own religious ceremonies and have them recognised, as their own are, by the Federal State.

    This is no one’s business except that of the people involved, but the religious right in the USA persists in “spinning” the issue as one of “morality,” when in fact many of the most outspoken advocates of banning same-sex marriages have wacky ideas of their own which they carefully conceal, for the most part.

    The Mormon Church, a major supporter of Prop 8, at one time practised plural marriage, which wasn’t really “plural,” since the phrase refers to one man with many wives only, and the “women” in these polygamous relationships were often quite young, as young as 13 years of age.

    “Oh, that’s all in the past,” they say, but neglect to mention that the men fully expect to marry a mutliplicity of wives in the afterlife, as arrogant, sexist, and non-egalitarian as the 72 virgin women promised to male martyrs in another faith, whereupon they are eligible to “become Gods” and found their own worlds with worshipers and temples of their very own. Horatio Alger never had *that* much ambition.

    Another major defender of “heterosexual morality” is the Roman Catholic Church, another group of patriarchal oddballs, whose ranks appear to attract a great many men with twisted ideas of the proper objects of sexual feelings, and have a long history of child sexual abuse by a number of priests who are, one might think, under obligation to protect their “flock,” by which it appears that some of them thought of them as “sheep” ripe for the shearing or slaughter.

    Cheers

  80. 83 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 20:09

    Well said Archibald!

  81. 84 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 20:16

    @Max

    I don’t understand what you are saying but I am sorry to see you go.

  82. November 20, 2008 at 20:20

    It would not be wrong to say that gays have abnormal brain functional. If the religious law doesn’t allow for that then there is no law for gay legal marriage. Also that case is against the law of nature

  83. 86 archibald in oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 20:21

    @Selena

    I think maxs’ comments were edited or omitted as were some of mine. But it may have been because they were too strong. I accept that it is the right of WHYS to edit anything that they deem counterproductive to the discussion, though this sometimes conflicts with truly spirited expression.

  84. 88 Lee-Anne
    November 20, 2008 at 20:26

    >> There is no history in any culture I can think off involving the ceremony of homosexual partners

    Not true, not even close to being true.

    Many American Indian cultures had no problem with formal marriages between men who desired to take a female role and those who were traditionally masculine. In fact, because they were usually stronger than women, such marriages were seen as highly desirable.

    In Egypt, men could marry men, women could marry women, and there’s a fairly extensive discussion of these marriages in the Talmud, the upshot of which was that the Rabbis declared themselves scandalised and ruled that Jews shouldn’t act according to the ways of Egypt.

    Similar marriages were common in many African, Asian (including both China and Japan), and other countries around the world, so what the writer is really saying is either that he doesn’t know very much about history and cultures much beyond his own backyard, or as so many on the religious right do, is not above prevarication to falsely “prove” a dubious point.

    Cheers…

  85. 89 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 20:53

    @ Viktor K.

    Recognition by the state and or federal government of a relationship and the protection that that legally affords is the crux of this argument

    There is no contract that I am aware of currently that would protect my partner from being thrown out of the hospital as he is not defined as “family” by the hospital. There is no contract that would protect my assets like the marriage contract as defined in civil law.

    Separate is not equal as has been proven time and time again.

    I am unclear how gay marriage as recognized by the federal or state government would undermine heterosexual marriage as recognized by the same governments as you have alluded in your post.

    Correct me if I am wrong but there currently exists both a civil marriage and a religious marriage option for heterosexuals. In a civil marriage, you have a legal ceremony with a court officer and paperwork is signed to legally document the union. In a church marriage (although that limits it to one religion) you have a religious ceremony and you are also required to sign paperwork to formalize the union in the eyes of the law. So how does a gay civil marriage undermine the religious marriage exactly since they both already exist. Why is no one protesting the civil marriage of opposite sex couples as undermining the institution of marriage.

    Once again, no one in this thread (or anywhere else that I am aware of) is asking that churches sanction or perform gay marriage, we are asking only for the legal recognition and protection that are afforded by the recognition of marriage by the federal or state government.

    Finally you say – “Society defines the rights it grants according to the general social interests that those rights serve. And it should only ever grant rights on a common basis, i.e. to citizens as citizens, not as gays, blacks, Muslims etc.”

    That’s all well and good until “society” grants you rights and protections as a heterosexual and not to me as a homosexual. I am a citizen as are you and by your definition we should both have the same rights and protections. Unless your going to deny legal rights based on sexuality as the single exception to that rule.

  86. 90 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 20:53

    Beware liberals claiming that their innovations will not fundamentally affect some established social practice or reality.

    In the 1960s they proposed ‘liberalising’ America’s immigration laws, which had been based for more than a generation on a national quota system that reflected and maintained the traditional (and predominantly European) ethnic makeup of American society. Ted Kennedy was one of the people who made reassuring noises that there would be no radical upheaval in America’s demographic composition as a result of the proposed changes.

    The law was changed. As a result, Americans of European stock will go from being 90% of the population in 1960 to a minority by 2037.

    The claim that gay marriage won’t affect marriage should be treated with extreme scepticism, especially since, if they’re honest – and some have been on this thread – most liberals couldn’t care less about marriage as an institution.

  87. 91 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 20:58

    The law was changed. As a result, Americans of European stock will go from being 90% of the population in 1960 to a minority by 2037.

    Is that a problem? If so, why?

  88. 92 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 21:03

    @Marie: im still intrigued that gay friendly societies like sparta still never entertained the notion of gay marriage.

    My interpretation here solely – I don’t think the society of Sparta in the time referenced was a polarized around religious extremes as the modern day United States seems to be. The concept was accepted and understood, not by all, but by a vast majority.

    In our time and this situation, the crux of the argument against has been religion or religious in nature, and the crux of the argument for has been equal protection legal in nature.

  89. 93 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 21:11

    @Selena: it’s a problem (America’s demographic revolution) because politicians at the time gave explicit guarantees that it wouldn’t happen. And the members of the society that they were supposed to be representing didn’t want to see that kind of transformation.

    Isn’t it a basic point of self-government that a community have an absolute right to accept or reject fundamental changes in their character, culture and way of life? The Demographic transformation of the US couldn’t be more fundamental.

    The people of most Western European countries don’t want to be Islamicised, but they are undergoing exactly the same demographic transformation (though it will take longer, by 2100 or thereabouts – assuming there isn’t civil war or a rebirth of fascism ) under the aegis of a similar liberal establishment.

  90. 94 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 21:21

    @ VictorK

    What will be the effect of gay marriage on the legal definition of marriage in our society in your eyes. You paint a rather doom and gloom picture, but isn’t a rose colored interpretation of the state of marriage today?

    Civil marriage is a contract between two individuals. Not all contracts work out and some end up in court, and divorce. If that happens then it happens, but why should I not have the right to enter into that same contract with my partner and have that contract recognized by the law?

    If the term marriage is the crux of the issue we can call it something else, but you have to be willing to take on that term as well. Would you be willing to give up your civil marriage for a civil union? If you wouldn’t , then why should I?

  91. November 20, 2008 at 21:28

    @ VictorK,

    I noted where you did not answer my first post, however, I persist in positive optimism that this one might get an answer. Please explain to me what you mean by “The claim that gay marriage won’t affect marriage should be treated with extreme scepticism, especially since, if they’re honest – and some have been on this thread – most liberals couldn’t care less about marriage as an institution.”?

    Who are these “liberals” (on the thread)? And, what is the evident marker of their lack of concern about the “institution of marriage”? What does that mean exactly? Why is there always this need to herd us all in these divisive camps in these kinds of conversations?

    The issue is fairly simple and very straightforward – do we believe in equal rights for all? If yes, please explain the premise on which to deny some people legitimately earned rights, as a citizenry, based on issues related to who they are having sex with?

  92. 96 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 21:31

    @ Baz:
    You say – It is physically impossible for a marriage to be fulfilled. Therefore they may do as they wish, and call it what they wish, but do not try to hi-jack the description and state of marriage.

    So under your argument a child is required for a marriage to be fulfilled. (I am making the assumption that fulfilled means that a child is the end product.) I am not aware of the legal requirement for a child to be produced in order for a marriage to be valid legally or religiously.

    Are you therefore against marriages that do not result in children for what ever reason, or only in the instances of same sex couples?

  93. 97 kpellyhezekiah
    November 20, 2008 at 21:37

    Steve, God didn’t create gay people. Men in their lustful passions engage in gay and lesbian practices. This is just like you endorsing murderers. God didn’t create them but men in their evil passion of hate and envy kill their brothers. My candid position is a big NO to gay and/or lesbian marriages.

  94. 98 VictorK
    November 20, 2008 at 21:39

    @William: people are free to make wills that bequeath their assets to whoever they want to.

    If it were acceptable to the people of a state, there’s no reason why civil unions shouldn’t be supported by selective laws that, for instance, gave a partner the right of attendance at a hospital. That would strike most people as perfectly fair and appropriate, I think.

    Isn’t the regulation of marriage solely a state affair, and not one for the federal government?

    Society and the state are interested in church and civil marriages for exactly the same reasons. There is not the same interest in, or compelling need to promote and/or protect, most gay partnerships, and where that interest does occur – the existence of children – it can be given effect through laws regulating civil unions.

    All men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, enjoy the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Society deems that to be in its interest. Anything more- such as gay marriage – is socially redundant (though not to gays themselves).

    Gay marriage is essnetially a plea for equality. The logical progression of that plea is to force churches to marry gays or to forbid church marriages entirely. To surrender on the point of gay civil marriage is to be left with no defence against the plea of complete, state-compelled equality in church marriages too.

    There is a qualitative difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships that justifies treating them unequally.

  95. 99 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 21:42

    @Dan 5:38 pm-I have to disagree with you. The ban on inter-racial marriage was bias, prejudice, and hatred. while the civil rights laws may have been part of the solution the problem was generated by people trying to dictate the rights and actions of others.

  96. 100 Lydia
    November 20, 2008 at 22:00

    Couple of thoughts, maybe I missed them in my scroll through:

    Marriage evolved out of a property consideration, not necessarily a religious objective. Priests officiated because they were among the limited class of the lettered. It became a sacrament to impress upon the unlettered but fully churched the significance of the undertaking. Officiating was designed to make sure some landed gentry who married the daughter of another member of the landed gentry (for some land …) didn’t renege on the deal at some later point.

    Second thought: if you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t practice gay marriage. If you don’t believe in pre-marital sex, then abstain. But don’t deny a right to a group because you find that group offensive to your life-style or beliefs. How easy is that? Nothing that happens in any other marriage has much of an impact on how I conduct my marriage, whether it lasts, whether we treat each other with respect and consideration. Or did I miss something?

    People who are publicly and vociferously opposed to gay marriage might want to wonder what triggers are being flipped that raise their opposition to the level of wanting to prevent people from marrying, when they don’t know these folks, and needn’t ever meet or interact with these folks. What’s that about?

    Just a thought.

  97. 101 John in New York
    November 20, 2008 at 22:07

    If my boss discriminates against me because of my gender, my age, my colour, my religion, it is illegal . We are colourless, ageless, genderless when it comes to the protection of our freedoms. This means that there can not be one law on record for men, and a similar one (maybe slightly less equal) for women.

    The controversy over Proposition8 was flamed by conservative churces. I understand that it may be difficult to seperate religious belief from decisions that we are asked to make at the polls. But our laws pertaining to freedom and equality for all are not the same as our individually held religious viewpoints. In fact, many of the freedoms citizens of the USA take for granted are a direct result of the legal efforts of one minority religious group. They argued that their freedom of speach and freedom to observe their beliefs were being violated and should be protected under the first ammendment of the constitution. The Supreme Court agreed and their decisions went on to help many other civil law cases. Eventhough this religious group dosn’t approve of same sex intimacy, (they had no bearing on proposition8 however, since they are politically neutral) even they could never argue that the intent of the same constitution that afforded them protection isn’t the very same one that holds out the vision of equality to all; even to the same sex couples not wanting to settle for something similar but not quite the same.

  98. 102 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 22:19

    it’s a problem (America’s demographic revolution) because politicians at the time gave explicit guarantees that it wouldn’t happen.

    So, what would you like to see done about it, if anything?

  99. 103 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 22:32

    Again, we keep coming back to this issue that a church is going to be forced to marry gay couples. Who said anything about that? I’m trying to figure out how allowing gay marriage equates to a church being forced to perform a marriage service for gay couples. I’m pretty sure people have the choice over whom will perform the services and those individuals have the choice not to preside. I still cannot see why people don’t understand this as equality. Throw your personal morals out the door on this one. It’s not your place to dictate how someone lives their lives; especially when it has no bearing on yours or has any infringement of personal liberties against you. Not liking or agreeing with something is not a reason to deny someone their right to choose who they may want for a partner and express that commitment through marriage.

    I have to ask, is my marriage invalid because there was no mention of God or prayer? I’m a bit confused.

  100. 104 selena in Canada
    November 20, 2008 at 22:52

    @Archibald

    I accept that it is the right of WHYS to edit anything that they deem counterproductive to the discussion, though this sometimes conflicts with truly spirited expression.

    I think when there are different people moderating, there will always be different opinions about what is deemed unsuitable to publish.

    Personally, there is not much that I wouldn’t publish because I like to know what people are thinking.

    Lengthy posts are challenging too. It is easier to read and approve the shorter posts, I imagine.

    I have noticed that some people seem to get impatient when their posts are not approved immediately.

    Apparently, after working hours moderation is left to the goodness of the hearts of the employees. I am happy that they give up their free time to approve posts.

  101. 105 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 22:55

    @VictorK

    You say – “Society and the state are interested in church and civil marriages for exactly the same reasons…. and where that interest does occur – the existence of children – it can be given effect through laws regulating civil unions. ”

    So marriage is created to promote the existence of children and the prorogation of the species? Then what about heterosexual couples that do not have off spring? Why are they allowed to remain married? If it is to protect the children in the nuclear family, why do we allow and not fight for the abolition of divorce?

    You say “Isn’t the regulation of marriage solely a state affair, and not one for the federal government?”

    While initiated on the state level, marriage afford certain benefits and protections on the federal level as well.

    You say – “All men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, enjoy the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.”

    So you would have no problem with a gay man marrying your daughter for the sole propose of the economic benefits and protections afforded by the legal act of marriage?

    You say – “Gay marriage is essentially a plea for equality. The logical progression of that plea is to force churches to marry gays or to forbid church marriages entirely. To surrender on the point of gay civil marriage is to be left with no defense against the plea of complete, state-compelled equality in church marriages too.”

    As a citizen of the United States I am asking my government – both state and federal to recognize my partnership as they do those of my heterosexual family, family friends and neighbors. I am an American by birth, and I should – under the constitutions of my state and my country – be afforded equal protection and rights under the law of this great country.

    I am not a member of any religious order and as such I am not obligated to follow the teachings of any religious order. Likewise, I do not have any right to make demands of that religion. If I did choose to become a member of a religious order, I would seek out and choose a religious order that affirmed my existence in the eyes of god as opposed to choosing a religion or belief system that would condemn me from the outset.

  102. 107 archibald in oregon
    November 20, 2008 at 23:04

    @Selena

    Here here………..a good reminder for all….

  103. 108 William in Chicago
    November 20, 2008 at 23:18

    @ VictorK

    You say – “Isn’t it a basic point of self-government that a community have an absolute right to accept or reject fundamental changes in their character, culture and way of life?”

    The United States is not self governed, nor are any of the states. We have a system of representational government (thus the House(s) of Representatives) which was devised to represent the interests and voices of all people through reasoned and civil discussion and debate, and to ensure that the rights of (statistical) minorities would be considered and granted equal voice and protections under the law.

    This is the crux of the current legal challenges to Proposition 8. That the reasoned debate by the legislature did not occur on this issue and therefore a right was taken away from a statistical minority without the benefit of the due process for amending the constitution of the state in question.

  104. 109 Roberto
    November 20, 2008 at 23:46

    RE “” what the writer is really saying is either that he doesn’t know very much about history and cultures much beyond his own backyard, or as so many on the religious right do, is not above prevarication to falsely “prove” a dubious point. “”
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    ——- You appear to be the one with the political agenda, not I.

    You completely ignored that I acknowleged the possible existence of a few exceptions to historical man/woman matchmaking ceremonies.

    Exceptions can be found in every facet of life. My statement still stands. There is no historical precedent for gay marriage ceremonies in the vast historical content. Nor is there any precedent for gay sexual activities in the mammal family unless you count the sniffing done by rivals.

    These are the facts of history and you cannot alter it to suit your purpose without telling a lie. I’ve already stated I could care less about gay marriage, but I’m sick of gay politics, rep/dem/evangelists/animal rights/ environmental whacko fundis with single issue agendas.

  105. 110 terry
    November 20, 2008 at 23:50

    there was a vote about this last week right the people have spoken give it a rest

  106. 111 Venessa
    November 20, 2008 at 23:54

    Terry ~

    I think people will give it a rest when they are granted the same rights as everyone else.

  107. November 21, 2008 at 01:04

    I don’t believe gay marriages should be legal. Marriage is a pact between a man and a woman, often made before God and that’s the way I believe it should stay, but if a gay couple choose to commit to each other that should be recognised in law to allow those who desire to make a long term commitment to have legal, financial and property rights.

  108. November 21, 2008 at 04:21

    @ Natalie

    I don’t believe in god; neither does my wife. Our marriage in the UK was before the local Registrar (no equivalent in the US…think Justice of the Peace).

    However, in my mind I am just as “married” and take the vows just as seriously as a religious person who is married in a church, mosque, temple or synagogue. I am married, not in a civil union.

    As this right to a non-religious marriage already exists in law for heterosexual non believers, why should it be denied to homosexuals? For that matter, what right do you and other christians have to dictate rights on this? If we were trying to force churches to allow gays to be married there, then you may have a case; so long as we’re talking a civil ceremony this is a legal/rights issue, not a religious one.

  109. 114 VictorK
    November 21, 2008 at 08:37

    @Selena: re the demographic revolution – I’d like to see it checked and reversed. But that’s another topic.

    @ Lydia November 20, 2008 at 10:00 pm: there are arguments against gay marriage that have nothing to do with religion or a sense of horror about gays (i.e. the kind of positions that the supporters of gay marriage love so much because they can easily be dismissed as irrational and bigoted). One argument is that gay marriage is simply a contradiction in terms, since gender difference is the essence of Western marriage.

    Other arguments against gay marriage are only tangentially related to marriage and gays. These include opposition to ‘equality’ as an engine of never-ending, forced, social change. Opposition to unnecessary change. Opposition to liberalism as a socially destructive force (I don’t blame Muslim countries for exterminating liberalism: no society can survive it). Opposition to social nihilism, the view that there should not be limits to anything. Opposition to the notion that discrimination and exclusion are always wrong. Opposition to the dictatorship of minorities. Support for self-government. Support for any established institution that serves its ends against attempts to subvert it. Support for the view that no society is obliged to reform itself except in ways that are natural and appropriate to it. Support for the view that a society should only tolerate those things that are compatible with its health, well-being and identity.

    So ‘NO’ to gay marriage.

  110. 115 Blessing Mbuh
    November 21, 2008 at 11:46

    I don’t believe it is ethical legalizing gay marriages. God created man and woman and said the two shall become one. Therefore it is very unusual for men of same sex be together and it is called marriage. To me that is no form of marriage.

  111. 116 DENNIS
    November 21, 2008 at 16:54

    Yes….Since they are consenting adults!

  112. 117 LOVEY
    November 22, 2008 at 17:34

    My daughter’s friend who is a eleven year old boy was adopted by a male gay couple and he hates it, he has privately told my daughter how it is disgusting to see his “fathers” lying in bed together or kissing one another. Now that is not fair to him, to be robbed of what he knows to be normal. He also has demonstrated behavioral problems in school. That boy needs some nurturing and that can only come from what women were designed to do. Above all else…BALANCE!!!

  113. 118 selena in Canada
    November 22, 2008 at 18:33

    @Lovey

    How does a eleven year old know anything except what society is telling him?

    If he is friends with your daughter, he is no doubt getting the message that you are giving her. Are you raising your daughter to understand that her friend’s caregivers’ lifestyle is wrong?

    In my view, what is wrong here may be the message that is being conveyed to an eleven year old about people who love him and want to give hm a life outside the social welfare system.

    Define balance! Does balance lie in a child’s being in flux in the social system because we won’t allow good people to adopt?

    There is something clearly wrong here and there is potential for much unhappiness ahead. What is wrong may be telling a child that the people who love him are rejected by society.

  114. 119 Just A Comment
    November 22, 2008 at 18:40

    @Lovey

    Could someone kindly answer the very profound questions raised by ‘Lovey’.

    Questions such as:

    -While some societies may deem it right and confer the right for same-sex couples to be married and to adopt children; what happens to the feelings of and the future psychological make up of the child?

    -What happens to the rights of the child? A chicken and egg situation as a child is supposedly not able to make up his/her mind until he/she has reached the age of consent or adulthood, so how can the child consent to be adopted before that age; and if the adoption is held up until the child is an adult then why does he/she need to be adopted? Which society allows the adoption of adults? Very complicated!

  115. 120 Just A Comment
    November 22, 2008 at 19:47

    @selena in Canada

    “How does a eleven year old know anything except what society is telling him?”

    What???!!!! How do children become music or other prodigies at the age of 9 or earlier? Based on how society told them?!

    There are too many loaded words or value judgements in your response. Please redraft your reaction to ‘Lovey’ for it to be meaningful and for others to accept it or agree with it or agree with parts of it.

  116. 121 selena in Canada
    November 22, 2008 at 20:15

    @Just

    Please redraft your reaction to ‘Lovey’ for it to be meaningful and for others to accept it or agree with it or agree with parts of it.

    Why would I do that? Others can think what they wish or read any meaning they wish into my post.

    Meaning is subjective. Therefore meaningful will be open to interpretation. There is no possible way that my opinions could please everyone.

    Do you know the story of the “the Old Man, the Boy and the Donkey”?

    Thank you 🙂

  117. 122 selena in Canada
    November 22, 2008 at 20:32

    @Just

    Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

  118. 123 Just A Comment
    November 22, 2008 at 22:05

    @selena in Canada

    OK!

    Just answer the very profound questions raised by ‘Lovey’, which I mentioned in my entry at 6:40 pm. Please answer them the way you want to with the words you want to use.

    OK?

  119. 124 selena in Canada
    November 22, 2008 at 22:35

    @Just

    You mentioned loaded words and value judgments. Can you tell me which words are loaded and to which value judgments you refer.

    I hadn’t read your first post but just found it and will try to reply.

    what happens to the feelings of and the future psychological make up of the child?

    Who knows? Some children will make out alright and others will not. That is the same in every family. There are no guarantees. I imagine Lovey’s negativity toward homosexuals won’t help much with respect to the 11 year old. Her child is already sending a message that the boy is in an abnormal situation. But then the same thing happen if one’s parents are alcoholic, poor, mentally ill or outside the “norm” in any way.

    What happens to the rights of the child?

    First and foremost the child has the right to expect food, clothing and shelter, same as any person who didn’t ask to be born. Beyond that we have to look at the rights of all children. Sadly no one has a perfect situation and consent cannot be a part of the equation until the basis needs are met for growth and development.

    The best we can ever hope to do is try to prevent the kind of bullying that takes place when we see others and their lives as abnormal.

  120. 125 Just A Comment
    November 22, 2008 at 23:02

    @ selena in Canada, 10:35 pm

    As the Headmaster/Principal of the only School for Enlightened Human Beings I have to give you at least a passing grade. But the grade could improve with more efforts on your part!
    8)

  121. 126 Lydia
    November 22, 2008 at 23:23

    Kids and the ick factor of parental intimacy might be as much a consideration for that 11 year old as the notion that both parents are men, if not more so. I can clearly remember figuring out that my parents had (yuck!) had sex in order for my mother to be pregnant. I was in 5th grade, sure that whole event was designed to humiliate and embarrass me.

    It’s the nature of the parenting beast. It has less to do with the gender of the parents than it does with the outside the lines character of the parents in question. Single parents embarrass their children in a two-parent world, old parents disgust their children if all the parents around are young and hip. Poor parents embarrass their children in their poverty. You discover yourself, and the first thing you notice is how off kilter your parental units are.

    You get over almost every embarrassing and humiliating thing your parents do when you remember that they love you and don’t live to vex and frustrate you. Even the most model heterosexual parents, unwittingly, do things that make their children cringe and bemoan their fates.

    I had hoped we were way past the ‘damage to the children’ debate about parenting, but I guess I’m wrong.

  122. 127 selena in Canada
    November 23, 2008 at 01:05

    @Just

    Would that I had your insight and wisdom!

    Are you sure yours is the only school? 🙂

  123. 128 Jennifer
    November 23, 2008 at 02:48

    @ Lovey

    You mentioned that this little boy was adopted so there is obviously a history of experiences before he went to live with the couple he now lives with. That could include a single or 2 parent household, abuse, neglect….etc. While it is nice of this couple to provide him with a home it seems to me that it is not in the best interest of the child if it is distressing him for whatever reason.

    It seems to me from my own personal experience that once children are able to talk, they ask questions, questions, questions. Some people underestimate their intelligence and want to say that “society” is forcing a child to be a certain way. Sure, society plays it’s part but children are not brainless.

    This boy is doing nothing wrong in expressing his true feelings about what is not right in HIS eyes. How will it affect him if he continues to live in the household? His apprehension should NOT be ignored so that a homosexual couple can play house.

  124. 129 Just A Comment
    November 23, 2008 at 05:21

    @Lydia at 11:23 pm

    An interesting set of points has been raised by you except for:

    “I had hoped we were way past the ‘damage to the children’ debate about parenting, but I guess I’m wrong.”

    Any tribe, society, nation or agglomeration of humans which thinks that it has gone past the debate about parenting is only laying the seeds of its own destruction.

    The children are the future, always have been and always will be.

    Existentialism and nihilism cannot be the mainstream of society except for a society in suicidal mode.

    The vast majority of children act as our extended conscience by pointing out to us the mistakes we are making.

    At the most mundane level it may be: Hey Mom! Didn’t you tell me to wash my hands before eating? So why did you eat without washing your hands?

    At the most violent it may be: The shootings at Columbine. Were they a reaction to an unnecessary gun culture and a culture in the USA which places immense peer pressure on outward and shallow things such as branded clothes etc.?

    Food for thought! As Steve Jobs said: ‘Stay Hungry! Stay Foolish!’

  125. 130 Ron K
    November 23, 2008 at 07:58

    By orthodox defination, marriage is a legal heterosexual union between a natural man and a woman. Marriage between “gays” is therefore heterodox or counter orthordox to natural order or attraction between truly opposite sex.

    I fully empathise with the “gay” community’s dilemma but do they need legality for their private associations? According legality to them will open up a whole arena of legal accords and previlages now in the province of orthodox and natural marriages. Fully sympathetic too of their pains and sorrows, but mankind as yet do not have any relaible answers as to the why and hows of their sexual condition and orientaion..Until answers and solutions that can be executed without adding to mankinds greater problems, it is thus best for the greater good of society as a whole to remain the status quo.

    The only reason one can think of now is that legally sanctioned “gay” marriages are not going to mulitply the human race. So, like solutions to any other diffult and fundamental human problems, this should unfortunately wait till we have both the knowledge, understanding and abilities to resolve this issue peacefully. Although we understand too how so painful it is to certain “gay”.people.

    Till then, we are sorry for now as only God has the answers to this manind dilemma. May you all find peace and harmony in your private lives as in every other area of human lives which are never without problems and some beyond resolve for one reason or another.

  126. 131 Emile Barre
    November 23, 2008 at 15:18

    The only form of any marriage that should be illegal is the forced variant.

  127. 132 Jennifer
    November 23, 2008 at 16:10

    @ Just a comment

    I am glad that your post got through.

    Thank for you making this statement!

    “The children are the future, always have been and always will be.

    Existentialism and nihilism cannot be the mainstream of society except for a society in suicidal mode.

    The vast majority of children act as our extended conscience by pointing out to us the mistakes we are making.

    At the most mundane level it may be: Hey Mom! Didn’t you tell me to wash my hands before eating? So why did you eat without washing your hands?”

    I guess some people want to force their political beliefs on children now.

  128. 133 selena in Canada
    November 23, 2008 at 19:14

    @Just

    Existentialism and nihilism cannot be the mainstream of society except for a society in suicidal mode.

    My understanding of existentialism is that everything for humans begins with the individual.

    In that sense, we seek freedom for the individual, as in the coveted democratic rights of individuals.

    My understanding of nihilism is that existence has no meaning outside the individual. Whether one believes this or not, the individual is still the center of attention and warrants individual freedoms.

    So, everything has an impact on the individual. The philosophy of the Western world is to spread democratic rights and freedoms across the globe. Are they spreading existentialism and nihilism then?

    Outside this view, there are people who hold a particular, firm, moral philosophy. The only problem, as I see it, is people who hold firmly to a belief outside existentialism and nihilism want to disregard the individual, unless that individual happens to be themselves or members of their group.

    If you believe that morality has to be imposed, whose morality will you choose?

  129. 134 Just A Comment
    November 23, 2008 at 22:09

    @ Jennifer at 4:10 pm and @selena in Canada at 7:14 pm

    Dictionary meanings:
    Nihilism: belief in nothing; denial of all reality, or of all objective truth (philos);

    Existentialism: A term covering related philosophical doctrines denying objective universal values and holding that people, as moral free agents, must create values for themselves through actions and must accept the ultimate responsibility for those actions in the seemingly meaningless universe.

    Jennifer: I have not referred to any political belief being enforced on children. All I am saying is that our actions or lack thereof, affect us and children, and may affect the children of our children too. So we have to take decisions very carefully. Nihilism and Existentialism (read about Bertrand Russell and/in ‘Anarchists’) are fine in philosophy but don’t work in reality. It is the same as are we Theory ‘X’ or Theory ‘Y’ in type? We would prefer to believe that we are Y-type but in reality the majority are X-type.

    Selena: Even if you read just the dictionary meanings you’ll realise there are conflicts in your understanding. If the individual is ‘everything’ and ‘self-governing’ then why do we need governments, or schools, or a countrywide action against pollution etcetera. So why as you say do we need: The philosophy of the Western world is to spread democratic rights and freedoms across the globe.

    Since posts can’t be long, I’ll just ask Q’s: Can the planet Earth exist without the Sun? Can our Solar system exist without the Galaxy it is in?

    Everything is related to everything else and that is the beauty of harmony in the Universe which people like Einstein and some sages/philosophers have ‘seen’. Alas! I haven’t seen but I am trying to ‘see’!

  130. 135 selena in Canada
    November 23, 2008 at 22:31

    @Just

    So why as you say do we need: The philosophy of the Western world is to spread democratic rights and freedoms across the globe.

    That is the stated philosophy of the Western world, the specifically Christian world. Yet, it seems decidedly existentialism in nature. It is quite another question whether we need this philosophy.

    My only observation is that there is a problem with imposing values, even supposedly enlightened ones.

    Can you tell me why we need schools? Convince me.

    There may be harmony in the universe but convince me that the harmony extends to the human life form.

  131. 136 Just A Comment
    November 23, 2008 at 22:58

    @ selena in Canada at 7:14 pm

    If you believe that morality has to be imposed, whose morality will you choose?
    To paraphrase you: If one does not believe in Nihilism and/or Existentialism then one must “hold a particular, firm, moral philosophy.”

    Not at all!

    In the context to legality of gay marriages the rights of the concerned individuals is just ONE of the issues. There are many other issues such as the ramifications of awarding such rights to the concerned individuals on:

    -the rest of single and heterosexual individuals in society.
    -the children adopted by such individuals and children at large in society
    -relations with Nation States such as Moslem or other countries which do not and are unlikely to grant rights to gay individuals just as many ‘Blacks’ opposed them.

    In the case of the latter, is the West going to ram the rights of gay individuals down the throats of other Sovereign Nation States? For a moment, if that was possible and was done then isn’t there a hypocrisy here? In such an event: Why the hue and cry if Prop. 8 is defeated? Or why would/should gays protest if the majority in their own country were to ram whatever anti-gay legislation down the throats of the gays?

    On morality: The only morality (and it is a changeable morality to some extent as it reacts to the Environment, for example) I believe in is the one which will enable the society to exist with as much harmony as possible until such time that our Sun burns out!

  132. 137 selena in Canada
    November 23, 2008 at 23:17

    @Just 🙂

    To paraphrase you: If one does not believe in Nihilism and/or Existentialism then one must “hold a particular, firm, moral philosophy.”

    Paraphrasing is dicey as I am not sure how I gave that impression. My inability to frame a clear response might indicate how you arrived at the firm conclusion that

    Even if you read just the dictionary meanings you’ll realise there are conflicts in your understanding.

    Not wishing to paraphrase but wondering if you believe that giving Gays individual rights equivalent to straights is ramming something down the throats of…. and will upset the balance and harmony?

  133. 138 Just A Comment
    November 23, 2008 at 23:27

    @ selena in Canada at 10:31 pm

    “That is the stated philosophy of the Western world, the specifically Christian world. Yet, it seems decidedly existentialism in nature. It is quite another question whether we need this philosophy.

    I meant need from a different perspective. (These constraints on post length ARE counterproductive!) 8)

    Existentialism is A philosophical ideal (just one of many), A Utopia! It can never exist in reality for the vast majority of humanity. It can BE reality in the mind and Soul and in EVERY action, for a very minuscule proportion of humanity.

    Existentialism means:”…holding that people, as moral free agents, must create values for themselves through actions and must accept the ultimate responsibility for those actions…”

    If ALL humans believed in AND acted as per this philosophy then we would ALL be self-governing, self-controlled, we would not go against-“Thou shall not kill!”, etcetera.

    Tell me: Is THAT possible? Has THAT been possible in the known and recorded history of humanity? What percentage of murderers brings a rope with them and say: hang me as I am responsible for the murders of so-and-so and….?!

    That is what I meant when I said ‘need’. If ALL were truly existentialist AND convergent in the nature of the values that each “moral free agent” created THEN we wouldn’t need government or ANY regulation. We would be on auto-pilot to harmony-individually and collectively.

    Have I explained it or does it sound circular to you?

  134. 139 selena in Canada
    November 23, 2008 at 23:50

    @Just

    Have I explained it or does it sound circular to you?

    Good question. Everything is circular in a world that is not top down is my answer.

    If ALL humans believed in AND acted as per this philosophy then we would ALL be self-governing, self-controlled, we would not go against-”Thou shall not kill!”, etcetera.

    Aren’t you describing the world in which we currently live? Is there, or has there ever been, a place where there is no killing?

    In the known recorded history of humanity, in spite of all professions to the contrary, there is nothing but conflict, competition and killing.

    Or, do you think otherwise?

  135. 140 Just A Comment
    November 24, 2008 at 00:00

    @selena in Canada 11:17 pm

    “Not wishing to paraphrase but wondering if you believe that giving Gays individual rights equivalent to straights is ramming something down the throats of…. and will upset the balance and harmony?”

    Questions are:
    1)What is the process of giving those rights to the Gays?
    2)Who awards those rights and in consultation with whom?
    3)Is it a voting system/referendum (Parliamentary, Senate & Congress, The People…) as was the case for Prop.8?
    4)Have all potential and far reaching ramifications been taken into account?

    Answers are:
    If by one or more combinations of the possibilities above the majority or the rest of society accepts the award of those rights then there is no problem. No ‘upset in the balance and harmony’! It could still come a cropper though (at a later date), if Q4) has not been satisfactorily answered!

    But, if the majority of people reject the award of those rights and the government through a parliamentary type of representative system, say, was to award those rights to the Gays, then of course there would be an ‘upset in the balance and harmony’ as the majority would be displeased!

    Please note, I am NOT arguing this issue from the perspective of: Gays are Evil or to be Gay is Wrong, morally wrong etc. The anchors of my arguments can be seen from my posts.

  136. 141 selena in Canada
    November 24, 2008 at 00:35

    @Just

    If by one or more combinations of the possibilities above the majority or the rest of society accepts the award of those rights then there is no problem.

    If we are going to argue for or against Gay rights, shouldn’t we take a step back and establish why Gays, or any other human (women?), would have to apply for rights that others enjoy?

    You say I am NOT arguing this issue from the perspective of: Gays are Evil or to be Gay is Wrong, morally wrong etc.

    if you don’t see Gays as different, then I don’t understand what it is you are saying. Why should the wider society have a say in Gay rights, if all humans are equal?

  137. 142 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 01:43

    @ Just a comment

    My second post was a followup to an original post that isn’t around. I got lazy and just typed the main point of what I wanted to say which was in reference to:

    “I had hoped we were way past the ‘damage to the children’ debate about parenting, but I guess I’m wrong.”

    &

    “How does a eleven year old know anything except what society is telling him?

    If he is friends with your daughter, he is no doubt getting the message that you are giving her. Are you raising your daughter to understand that her friend’s caregivers’ lifestyle is wrong?”

    Those comments where the ones I felt that were politically motivated. You were correct when you said that children are the future.

    I don’t think parents should be passive and withhold their opinions from their children. It’s a parent’s right to teach their children the things they want them to learn and an obligation to provide direction and guidance.

  138. November 24, 2008 at 08:58

    Shouldn’t be legal,
    it is against the nature and natural process,
    all the religions in cluding islam impose ban such
    social activities custom and law,
    because it is hatefull and dirty.

    Gay marriage is against the fundamental principles
    of the humanbeing creation,
    gay marriage is a great snage ,
    in the way of social development,
    if be allowed,it would be mean the destruction
    of real social syestem,created by God,
    creator of everything on the earth.

  139. 144 Just A Comment
    November 24, 2008 at 11:29

    @ Jennifer at 1:43 am

    My sincere apologies! I sort of misread your comment and at the time at which I was writing it or began writing it I had not seen it; or your comment (of November 23, 2008 at 2:48 am) was not published.

    Having read your response to ‘Lovey’ I re-read your comment of November 23, 2008 at 4:10 pm and realised that you were in fact supporting my viewpoint and that the statement I guess some people want to force their political beliefs on children now. did NOT apply to my comments.

    Best Regards.

  140. 145 Just A Comment
    November 24, 2008 at 12:15

    @ selena in Canada on November 24, 2008 at 12:35 am

    “if you don’t see Gays as different, then I don’t understand what it is you are saying. Why should the wider society have a say in Gay rights, if all humans are equal?”

    I never said that the Gays are the same as heterosexuals. I never said that I ‘don’t see gays as different’. Of course they are different.

    Who told you that all humans are equal? Look around you and tell me in all honesty if that is true in the ABSOLUTE sense. Humans may be equal in the eyes of human laws but that doesn’t make them equal. A society may legislate to give equality of opportunity to all in society and even that doesn’t make all humans equal!

    The gays don’t exist and can’t exist in a vacuum. They are part of the wider society and have to live within that society by the mores, values, morality, rules and regulations laid down by that society! That the gays may not or do not agree with this is a different matter and the reason why Prop. 8 was created in the first place and put to the vote.

    By the same token if I were to decide to become a person who believes in polyandry/polygamy and ‘convince’ the husbands/wives of others, or other single men/women to join me and further I ‘convince’ others believe in the ‘benefits’ of polyandry/polygamy could I/we just do it without regard to the Laws of the country we’re in or the Laws of the society we live in? The answer is NO!

  141. 146 selena in Canada
    November 24, 2008 at 13:48

    @Just

    Thank you for making your position clear.

    You say

    the mores, values, morality, rules and regulations laid down by that society

    But do laws remain the same? It seems that laws change over time, as people evolve.

    Do you think laws should remain the same? If so, by whose authority?

  142. 147 Just A Comment
    November 24, 2008 at 17:32

    @selena in Canada on November 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Certain basic Laws HAVE to remain the same but with ‘exceptions’. For example, will any society grant people the right to murder? In all probability: No. But some societies treat a ‘murder of passion’ a bit more lightly as compared to first degree murder. That is an example of ‘exceptions’. In other words, the right to murder cannot be granted and cannot be demanded.

    Of course, Laws change. Laws must change. But the contentious part is whether Laws should ALWAYS change to suit whatever minority, in exactly the way the minority wants them to change? Gays are not the only minority. An ethnic group may also be a minority. Just as a religious group. Or a cult.

    I will always support Laws which deny the right of oppression by the majority of the minority BUT I may not support Laws which arise as a result of the minority demanding that everyone else must see society through their lens and in exactly the way the minority sees it. Why? Because that just replaces one type of oppression with another; in this case the oppression of the majority by the minority.

    Whose authority?:
    Listen to the recent memorial lecture on ‘Alistair Cooke’ (the very intelligent & insightful man who used to write ‘Letter from America’) by David Mamet. Transfer the points made by David Mamet about language & culture to this issue. You will get PART of the answer.

    Apart from that it is the ‘authority’ of the members of the society in question and how they wish to set up the decision making structures within their society.

  143. 148 vicky
    November 24, 2008 at 18:43

    I don’t care whether you look at it from a Biblical standpoint or an evolutionary standpoint, the homosexual lifestyle is a dead end. Marriage since time immemorial was used to propagate children and continue the species. It makes sense from a religious standpoint and if one is honest, it also makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Homosexuals do nothing to stabilize society or perpetuate the species; everything they do undermines it.

    The idea of two gay people getting married is utterly ridiculous. It cannot be called a marriage because they, A) cannot reproduce children, B) there is no true historical precedent in any culture or society for it anywhere and C) because many gays, especially gay men, cannot form stable, long-lasting relationships anyway. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve had quite a few gay male friends and I’ve seen the lifestyle up close. The relationships many of them maintain are extremely unhealthy for children to be introduced into.

  144. 149 selena in Canada
    November 24, 2008 at 21:26

    @Just

    Of course, Laws change. Laws must change. But the contentious part is whether Laws should ALWAYS change to suit whatever minority, in exactly the way the minority wants them to change?

    Your words are puzzling. Can you name any fundamental changes which have come about without the direct intervention and sacrifice of a minority?

    Even the touted Christian religion would not exist today were it not for the sacrifice of the minority.

  145. 150 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 21:47

    @ Just a Comment

    It’s ok. My post seemed to show up later. Sorry I confused you! 😀

  146. 151 Jens
    November 24, 2008 at 22:06

    jennifer,

    has it ever crossed your mind that you are extremly narrow minded and in fact have very little to contribute to this debate, except your radical and fundamentalist view of religion?

    view points like yours are scary, since they are aimed at marginilizing people for their believes, sexual orientation, politics etc.

  147. 152 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 22:47

    @ Jens

    It’s nice to know how I appear to you. Obviously, you don’t know me so I won’t hold your insults against you. I understand that people feel threatened by people who have beliefs and actually stand up for them. I find people who have a problem with standing up for any set of beliefs to be the reason we have so many social problems today. Spineless.

    Has it ever crossed your mind that you seem rather afraid of anyone who does not believe as you do? Or maybe that should be, people who have any set of beliefs that they are willing to stand up for that doesn’t coincide with your beliefs?

    I find your viewpoints and those who think like you really lame. They stand for NOTHING and do not make ANYTHING better for anyone in society. I feel like your contributions in general contribute nothing but “religion hate” and “conservative hate” which is the reason people can never get together and come up with solutions to any problems.

  148. 153 Just A Comment
    November 24, 2008 at 23:39

    @ Jens

    I find nothing narrow minded in Jennifer’s posts. In fact, they are analytical and just present A perspective. She did NOT present the absolute truth and neither did she claim to.

    Rather than just attach a label or labels to her why don’t you quote the parts of her statements which you feel are narrow minded or whatever; shows the flaws in an analytical way and then the discussion could be more objective and less emotional.

    By the way, she is as entitled to her beliefs as anyone else and has the right to express her beliefs in a civilised way! That is what she seems to have done or HAS done!?

  149. 154 selena in Canada
    November 24, 2008 at 23:45

    @Just

    Has it ever crossed your mind that you seem rather afraid of anyone who does not believe as you do?

    Is this an analytical statement? Or is it judgmental?

  150. 155 Just A Comment
    November 25, 2008 at 00:02

    @ selena in Canada on November 24, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    It is NEITHER!

    It is a reaction to the insult or perceived insult hurled in Jennifer’s direction! 8)

    Very Truly Yours,

    Headmaster/Headmistress/Principal/Dean of the Only School for Enlightened Human beings

  151. 156 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 00:24

    @ Just a comment

    Sadly, anyone who does not have the same cookie cutter beliefs is a narrow minded judgmental person in the eyes of many who post here. 😉 With regards to Jens’ statements- I expect stuff like that. He can label away!

  152. 157 selena in Canada
    November 25, 2008 at 00:47

    @Just

    It is a reaction to the insult or perceived insult

    Why do you think people have such reactions?

    The only issue at stake here is the issue of whether anyone has the right to tell someone else how to live their lives. In essence that is what the abortion and homosexual debates are all about. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a very simple idea often framed in a complicated philosophy.

    No one is telling Sarah Palin that she can’t have a child with disabilities. But Sarah Palin is telling others that they can’t choose not to have such a child. (Not that this is pertinent to the issue but, in reality, choosing to have a child with disabilities very often means that, no matter how willing a caregiver you may be, after you are gone someone else has to assume your role.)

    Somehow, if you are a person who believes you have the god-given right to dictate to others, very often you become perturbed when others challenge your right.

    And what is strange to me is the person who objects to being cast in a mold desperately wishes to cast others in their mold.

    Don’t you think that is strange?

  153. 158 Just A Comment
    November 25, 2008 at 10:35

    @ 155 selena in Canada on November 25, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Jennifer made the following posts:
    +On Nov 20 at 4:45 am (THE 1st post)
    It expresses her views. I don’t see any value judgements there.
    +On Nov 20 at 2:54 pm (A reply) and on Nov 20 at 4:00 pm (A reply)
    +Nov 23 at 2:48 am (A response to the comment by ‘Lovey’)
    +Nov 23 at 4:10 pm, Nov 24 at 1:43 am, Nov 24 at 9:47 pm and Nov 25 at 12:24 am (All are replies to my comments)
    +Nov 24 at 10:47 pm (A response to ‘Jens’)

    In her ‘primary’ comment (THE 1st on this page) there are no value judgements. Just a stated position. In all her replies she is reacting to the issue raised by the other person. In her responses she has made some analysis and justified her position while criticising the position of the other person.

    The most important issue here is that she IS a part of her society. There are others like her too. They have every right to hold their beliefs, no matter how irrational or cuckoo they appear to others. By attacking them we reduce the chances of ever influencing them!

    I don’t agree with many things that the so called religious right in America propagate but I agree with many things that they do propagate!

    I don’t agree that ANY religion gives its people the God given right to be right!

    In my case I analyse their beliefs, and ask myself the Q:
    Are these beliefs for the betterment of the larger part of society? Do they contribute towards long-term stability and survival of the society? If the answer to both is, Yes; then I edit out the ‘God’ part and ‘accept’ those beliefs!

  154. 159 Just A Comment
    November 25, 2008 at 10:52

    @ selena in Canada on November 25, 2008 at 12:47 am

    “The only issue at stake here is the issue of whether anyone has the right to tell someone else how to live their lives.”

    I am NOT going to answer anything regarding abortion as that is a very big topic on its own and will take us off-topic here.

    YES! While ‘anyone’ may not have the right to tell someone else how to live their lives; the rest of society DOES have the right to tell someone or ‘manyones’ how to live their lives. I thought that was understood already!??? At the cost of being repetitive should a small village (for example) just keep quiet while a ‘someone’ in their midst declares that from now on he is going to murder a person every week and that is the way of life he has chosen?

    Now extend that scenario to cannibalism, rape, incest and whatever you can imagine. The answer will still be the same, viz.; the rest of society cannot keep quiet.

    While reviewing the posts of Jennifer, I noted that no one has answered the questions raised by – Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I in his post on
    Nov 20 at 5:00 pm- on the issue of Josef Fritzl of Austria!! I wonder why?

  155. 160 selena in Canada
    November 25, 2008 at 14:38

    @Just

    They have every right to hold their beliefs, no matter how irrational or cuckoo they appear to others. By attacking them we reduce the chances of ever influencing them!

    I wonder why you are bringing other names into the conversation. 🙂 And this is a conversation so I am not in the habit of going back over posts. People say things, the conversation evolves (one hopes) and rehashing old content just keeps everyone struck on “proving” the rightness of their beliefs. If I have attacked anyone, it is not my intent (but perhaps a log in my eye) and I apologize.

    How is it you don’t see that my position is just that: people have a right to hold their beliefs? But homosexual is not a belief. It is a fact. Trying to deny it seems akin to keeping one’s head buried in the sand, denying a facet of human life as it were.

    No one has a right to harm another living breathing person. Isn’t that a given? Well, it should be a given but governments do that every day in the interest of what they call national security.

    Doesn’t cannibalism, rape, incest and whatever you can imagine fall under “no harm”? And what does no harm have to do with the fact that homosexuality exists?

    Not sure what the questions were about Josef Fritzl. But Fritzl is a sick man who has heaped untold misery on his family. He should be understood as a sick man and every effort should be made to understand him. The reason being there are many other sick men out there like Joseph Fritzl (craving power over others) who are never exposed. Perhaps by understanding him there would be benefits to be gained for society.

  156. 161 Jens
    November 25, 2008 at 20:52

    @ jennifer,

    unlike you i have a liberal and open mind and do not preach hate. the fact that you ascribe the social ills to the liberals shows that you have only a very limited understand of what is really going on on this planet. as far as i am aware it was the liberal movment that lead to social justice and it is the conservatives who have basically ruined this country with usless wars and the destruction of the labour force due to deregulation and supporting copmpanies to move their jobs off-shore.

    so my point of views are lame…..i have stood up and fought for my points of view for decades. in case you think it is easy to be an atheist in jesusland think again. it is the cookie cutter religiouse nutjobs that make live for everybody miserable, since the likes of you want to imposee their narrow minded thinking up the rest of the world. plus explain to me what is lame about the idea to fight for social justice unlike letting big corperation dicate your life. i guess you are just too comfortabel for your own good. Open your mind and have look around you, this means that you will have to extend your view past the rim of your own little plate you appear to live on.

  157. 162 Just A Comment
    November 25, 2008 at 21:23

    @ Jens on November 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    “as far as i am aware it was the liberal movment that lead to social justice and it is the conservatives who have basically ruined this country with usless wars and the destruction of the labour force due to deregulation and supporting copmpanies to move their jobs off-shore.”

    While I don’t like the word ‘liberal’ (as it is almost an expletive in the view of some) I agree with what you say! Yes! It was the so-called liberals who fought for social justice. NO question about that!

    The only difference of opinion I have is:
    It isn’t the Conservatives or Republicans alone who are responsible for the destruction of the labour force. There are many smooth tongued and so-called ‘liberals’ who are responsible too. Being Browned off might give you a clue or to B (a) liar is another clue!

    Hey! The topic was: ‘Should gay marriage be legal?’

    Well! Why not! Marriage is a time to be happy and gay! Isn’t it? 8)

  158. 163 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Jens

    I am going to make this short and sweet, alright?

    We disagree on many issues. There is very little chance that you will change my point of view. You will definately not change it by being rude to me. Please have your own opinions! I don’t want to change your opinions.

    The majority of my statements are very general and in response to the topics being discussed. They are MY opinions. They are in no way trying to change anyone else’s opinions. If you don’t like my opinions please don’t read them.

    From her own little plate,
    Jennifer

  159. 164 Jens
    November 25, 2008 at 21:43

    Just,

    Well maggie did even a better job in destroying british labour and manufacturing. heck she even managed to ruin the country while pumping oil….trust me i lived in england under her rule, it was a bitter place.

  160. 165 Just A Comment
    November 25, 2008 at 23:32

    @ Jens on November 25, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Yeah! Maggie!

    They say she dragged Britain by the collar from whatever century to the 20th century! Yeah! That’s what THEY say! But I don’t see any benefits for the ordinary working man! And the ordinary working man: he’s working ain’t he! For what? Or willing to work! For what? He ain’t the kind of guy that wants benefits! But WHO respects him!

    It was Arthur Scargill who did! Mebbe he went a bit overboard but the root of his thinking cannot be denied. Such is life!

    Let’s have a merry day/night as we’ve gotta earn our bread tomorrow! Let’s be happy!!!!! Let’s be gay!!!!!

  161. 166 jens
    November 26, 2008 at 17:24

    Jennifer,

    my point is not that we disagree, which is fine, because the world would be a bitter place if all had the same opinion. My point is that you often communicate your opinion in way that incites hatred and anger.

    as i said i have no issues with you having your opinion, but don’t force it upon others unless you are prepared to have the opposite view forced upon you…..

  162. December 11, 2008 at 13:57

    actually I disagree but we’re never know that every men had their differences stories. we can’t blame every man who did it. because it’s really complicated.

  163. January 6, 2009 at 23:04

    I think you can no more help who you fall in love with and with so many unhappy miserable people in the world, why would you fault anyone a chance at happiness? For those of you who are being just plain stubborn and non-understanding, Shame on you! This is not just a legal binding but a love binding also and why would you fault two people in love? Does it somehow hurt your beliefs? If so, then maybe you should re-examine your beliefs and not those of someone who knows what they want.

  164. 169 Matthew
    March 19, 2009 at 22:31

    My brother is gay. He is such a caring, gentle, and honest man. If marriage is for procreation, let’s outlaw marriage between couples that have no interest in children or infertile couples. If marriage is for the religious only, let’s outlaw marriage between atheists. When there’s heterosexual divorce and shows such as “Marry a Millionaire”, the claim that you’re defending marriage becomes quite laughable.

    Let them marry.


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