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Protecting and Defending Marriage in the 21st Century

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Some gay and lesbian people seem to feel that their somewhat ambiguous social and cultural status requires them to tread lightly, unpresumptuously defending the validity of their families and values while humbly requesting the recognition of their basic human and civil rights. And this attitude is quite understandable in members of an oppressed minority that has been legally marginalized, demonized by political propaganda and religious dogma and victimized by hateful people who think that their anti-homosexual prejudices are justified by religious and cultural traditions. However, the people who should be on the defensive are those who support DOMAs and other oppressive policies like the Federal Marriage Amendment, for the tenability of their collective positions rests solely upon the vast majority’s uneasiness with regard to homosexuality — either as it pertains to others or to its own tendencies and temptations.

Advocates of gay rights who are also members of the recognized majority of heterosexuals feel no such obligation to exercise political humility, which leaves us free to go on the offensive and demand that same-sex marriage be recognized as a civil and human right. And the case in favor of those demands is an excellent one filled with pragmatic arguments that are guaranteed to leave the bigoted and homophobic self-described “protectors” and “defenders” of marriage positively speechless — or at least flailing about, muttering passages from The Book of Leviticus as they desperately rummage through their well-worn talking points playbook of red herrings, straw men and slippery slopes in vain attempts to re-gain the upper hand they never really had, save for the vast majority’s discomfort with regard to the natural variations of human sexuality.

However, going on the offensive and making demands for human and civil rights that should already be recognized in a free and secular society does not address how the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is imperative to defending its meaningfulness as a social institution and how the redefinition of marriage is essential to protecting it from the unavoidable implications of changing cultural mores with regard to the significance of gender in contemporary marriage and society.

Family Values

To treat marriage as if it is nothing more than a license for two people to have sex and reproduce (as if one is required in the first place) diminishes the idea that loving commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation are the basic moral values that are essential to maintaining successful marriages and building strong families. If we keep prioritizing the basic biological function of procreation as a value in marriage, we will eventually lose sight of how the moral values commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation help married couples and their children to better deal with the challenges of family life in the modern world.

Defining families according to a conventional model of demographic composition is especially cynical in these days when families are perceived by so many as being in a state of decay. The suggestion that the foundations of successful marriages and strong families are biological connections and specific configurations of people demeans the true purpose of families and diminishes the value of the bonds of love, commitment, trust and loyalty that are the most significant factors needed to keep families stable and healthy. The recognition of a diversity of family configurations will strengthen these worthwhile family values because moral emphasis of marriage will shift from a clinical demographic prescription to a model in which people make serious commitments to work toward meaningful and purposeful relationships.

The notion that children are better off being raised in a home with a mother and a father (or the equivalent) distracts us from the fact that biology and demographics have never been guaranteed to provide a good and loving home for children. Effective childrearing requires a moral character that is not relevant to genetics or statistical designs. Children learn about how a good marriage works by seeing two loving people treating one another with consideration and respect and doing their level best to communicate and cooperate with one another (especially as this pertains to productive conflict resolution), not by merely observing an example of traditional gender identification within a specific demography.

When family composition and gender roles are seen as a priority over the coping skills that are conducive to productive human interactions and relationships there is a danger that children will get the mistaken impression that the foundations of successful marriages and strong families are simple and automatic as long as the demographic and biological requirements are in place, which devalues the importance of the moral character they must develop in order to someday have successful marriages and strong families of their own.

The “Culture War” is a Bad Influence upon our Children

We should all be worried about how the children will be affected by the adults battling with one another over sexual and gender issues rather than getting together on the practical issues in order to help make a better world for children and families.

The combative climate of a “culture war” over the recognition of same-sex marriage is not only politically divisive but also diverts attention away from the practical problems and goals of families in today’s society. The controversies surrounding family demographics, gender roles and sexual orientation keep traditional and non-traditional families from the realizing that they have more commonalities than differences when it comes to the challenges and objectives of people who hope to have successful marriages and strong families in these uncertain times.

Issues such as family finances, insurance, taxes and parents’ work schedules affect all families, despite their individual configurations. And all good parents, notwithstanding their marital status or other personal circumstances, are concerned about their children’s safety and health care and how extra-curricular activities, youth sports and the entertainment industry might negatively or positively affect their children. There are over 1000 federal and state laws regarding the protections, benefits, responsibilities and obligations of marriage and all manner of families should be working together to ensure that our state and federal marriage legislation protects the basic, pragmatic interests of families and children.

Averting the Grave Threats to Marriage in 21st Century Society

In these tumultuous days of casual sexual relationships, no-fault and “quickie” divorces and cavalier attitudes toward marital fidelity, the institution of marriage is under siege from the continuing shifts in social and cultural mores of the last half-century. As a result, these changes in our modern society could cause marriage to become obsolete, which is a grave threat to the basic foundations of society and civilization itself.

Since there has never been a practical way to turn back the tide of social change, we must now reinvent marriage to preserve its viability as an institution that brings people together in love, commitment, loyalty, trust, mutual respect and cooperation to form the essential building blocks of civilized society known as families. In order to strengthen the social institutions of marriage and family, we must expand their definitions to include more people so that we can prevent the moral values that make successful marriages and strong families from being lost and forgotten in the midst of the pointless battles of a senseless culture war over the relatively trivial issues of sexual orientation and gender identification.

The gender roles and sexual preferences of loving people who possess the moral values and courage to actually want to make a real commitment in these confusing days of moral turbulence should be the least of our worries. In fact, such people — be they gay or straight — should be applauded for their fortitude and encouraged in their committed and loving relationships no matter the conventionality of the demographic configuration they believe will be most conducive to the success of their marriages and the strength of their families.

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About Margaret Romao Toigo

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Zzz…

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Beautifully written Margaret. I agree with this very much.

    Advocates of gay rights who are also members of the recognized majority of heterosexuals feel no such obligation to exercise political humility, which leaves us free to go on the offensive and demand that same-sex marriage be recognized as a civil and human right.

    If only there were more of you. More supporters willing to speak up.

    The notion that children are better off being raised in a home with a mother and a father (or the equivalent) distracts us from the fact that biology and demographics have never been guaranteed to provide a good and loving home for children.

    True, all of this is true. What I never understood is that people say they are against marriage because a child needs a mother and a father, then they let us adopt.

    When family composition and gender roles are seen as a priority over the coping skills that are conducive to productive human interactions and relationships there is a danger that children will get the mistaken impression that the foundations of successful marriages and strong families are simple and automatic as long as the demographic and biological requirements are in place, which devalues the importance of the moral character they must develop in order to someday have successful marriages and strong families of their own.

    I can see that! Whenever someone like Dobson rants on about how important it is that a marriage have a man and a woman, and a child sees that, the child can place gender and it’s biological definitions as being more important than trust and integrity. Society through soaps or prime time dramas, movies, etc. shows plenty of relationships where trust and integrity aren’t important. A young child sees that, then sees Dobson carrying on, the child could come to believe the gender role defines the relationship. That’s a good point.

    Very beautiful praise of all families. I loved it.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “What I never understood is that people say they are against marriage because a child needs a mother and a father, then they let us adopt.”

    Maybe they shouldn’t?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    under what grounds?

  • http://ari.typepad.com Steve Rhodes

    The only grounds is bigotry and lack of concern for children.

    Many children need to be adopted and could have great parents if it weren’t prevented in some states.

    The gay or lesbian parents I know are better than many parents in “traditional” families.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Thank you, Steve S, — though I did sort of come in here looking for a fight.

    However, Blogcritics is probably not the place to find one on this issue as there are too many intellectually honest, open-minded people — not that I am complaining about that.

    I haven’t been able to find any serious takers on this topic elsewhere, either.
    Just the usual homophobic flamers who would rather post their lurid descriptions of sex acts they imagine gay men consenting to do with one another in private (I always have to wonder if such people are disgusted or jealous).

    Apparently, very few people want to engage in a real honest debate on this issue. I suspect that this is because are no solid arguments available on the position against the recognition of same-sex marriage. There are numerous logical fallacies and all sorts of propaganda and other intellectually dishonest rhetoric, but not even one pragmatic argument.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I always have to wonder if such people are disgusted or jealous

    Probably some are disgusted but most every intolerant person I’ve met face to face, that was intolerant enough to be homophobic, was closeted. A person with disgust has no interest in going on with the conversation beyond expressing the fact that he/she’s disgusted.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    “Blogcritics is probably not the place to find one on this issue as there are too many intellectually honest, open-minded people …”

    Just wait, Ms. Tolgo. You likely will be disabused of that notion sooner rather than later. Yes, there are some intelligent, honest, open-minded people here from a variety of points of view. But there are a boatload of anti-GLBT bigots too, and they are not nice people.

    While I don’t believe in patting hets on the back for standing up for justice — something I believe any decent person should do — I must say that this posting touched my heart in a way few things have in a long time. With people like you in the world, perhaps there is hope in this hateful, godforsaken time. I can not say enough to express my thanks.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    The point about straight folks having an obligation to be outspoken on this issue was intelligently and movingly put. It seems the real division in the “culture wars” is not gay vs. straight or believers vs. nonbelievers, but rather people who believe in extending equal rights to everybody vs. those who don’t.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Congrats to all of us here in California on today’s court ruling!

  • Tom French

    Wow, really well written, Ms Toigo. I liked the paragraph in which you state that children will be worse off listening to their parents disparage gays and gay marriage, than if they were raised in a gay family
    There are people who want to hate people outloud everywhere, always. That won’t go away, and this is the outloud hate of our generation.

  • http://www.pmmediareview.com Mark Runyon

    Extremely well said. That was a very concise way of wrapping up a complex issue, laying everything out on the table to be considered. With that said, where are the conservative readers? With a hot bed issue like this that has prompting numerous states to vote overwhelmingly to add language to their constitution explicitly blocking gay marriage (my state included), there should be some lively discourse going on here.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>But there are a boatload of anti-GLBT bigots too, and they are not nice people.< < Or peole Natalies thinks are bigots because they aren't in lockstep with every issue on the GLBT agenda. Most of the real bigots I see on here seem to come in from search engines and post a few times and then disappear. >>With that said, where are the conservative readers? With a hot bed issue like this that has prompting numerous states to vote overwhelmingly to add language to their constitution explicitly blocking gay marriage (my state included), there should be some lively discourse going on here.<< Except that actual conservatives don’t generally oppose gay marriage, just the religious right – and we don’t seem to have any of those extremists on BC. Traditional conservatives and libertarian conservatives have at least a moderate position on gay marriage and certainly not 100% opposition. Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    So nobody who voted for an amendment posts here?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Steve S wrote: “Probably some are disgusted but most every intolerant person I’ve met face to face, that was intolerant enough to be homophobic, was closeted.”

    While I was debating this issue with someone who was insisting that homosexuality is a choice (I really hate that sort of fallacious assertion), I asked him about circumstances under which he chose to be heterosexual because I was personally never given a choice. I have always been heterosexual and have never felt any desire to be anything else, even when the opportunity presented itself.

    The answer I received was suprising. He said that I was either “abnormal” or “in denial” because everyone has “those kind” of longings and that if they have a certain stength of character, they can control them and live a “normal” life.

    I have read that sexual orientation is not really a black-and-white matter of either/or, but one of degrees along a spectrum and that most people fall into the “predominantly opposite sex attractions with occasional erotic fantasies about members of their own sex” part of the spectrum.

    And it occurs to me that these people are probably scared and confused about their occasional feelings of attraction to their own sex (even though they are usually attracted to the opposite sex) but are too embarassed to explore their own sexuality because of our society’s Puritanical attitudes toward human sexuality in general. So, there is probably a lot of projection due to self-disgust going on in these cases.

    Or that could all be intellectual hogwash and the people who express their anti-gay sentiments by describing the sex acts they imagine gay men consenting to enjoy in private are doing so because it is titilating — whatever it is, the intention certainly cannot be to make a logical point.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Natalie Davis wrote: “…there are some intelligent, honest, open-minded people here from a variety of points of view. But there are a boatload of anti-GLBT bigots too…”

    Where are they? I’m all fired up for a good honest fight — if one can be had on this logically lopsided issue.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>So nobody who voted for an amendment posts here?<< Well, I’ll have the opportunity to vote against one soon, apparently. They’re cobbling one together for Texas, but I suspect it will fail. As for those who voted for the amendments elsewhere, I’d bet that if you could find them and poll them you’d discover that they aren’t all Republicans – maybe not much more than split 50-50 between the parties with a lot of them being non-aligned. I would also suspect that a lot of them are people who came out to vote for that specific purpose and don’t normally vote at all. Also, overwhelmingly elderly would be a good guess. Most of them I’m guessing are not regular blog readers or even computer users. Dave

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Mr. Nalle, it is egregiously presumptuous of you to state how another human defines the word “bigot,” especially when apparently done for the sole purpose of insulting someone. Not unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless.

    Ms. Toigo, the overly familiar Mr. Nalle is probably right that many bigots enter topics here via search engines, but some are regulars. If you do a Blogcritics search on the phrases “gay marriage” or “same sex marriage,” you’ll see who they are and that they exist. Why you would see a point in fighting with these people escapes me, though.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Mr. Nalle, it is egregiously presumptuous of you to state how another human defines the word “bigot,” especially when apparently done for the sole purpose of insulting someone. Not unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless.<< Ms. Davis, it is egregiously presumptuous of you to lecture me on how to address people in an online forum, and to characterize my comment as an insult when it is merely a straightforward summary of the attitude you have shown in numerous previous postings. Your view of these issues is entirely black and white, and you regularly make it clear that those who are not 100% with you are essentially part of the enemy. It’s not an insult to describe your opinions accurately – the insult is the opinions themselves. Oh, and do call me Dave – everyone does, even my students when I was teaching. Excessive formality is a crutch for those who feel insecure and powerless. Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Out of curiosity I stopped by Natalie’s blog. My mind has been opened once more. I’m no longer just for Gay Marriage. I’m for Gay Marriage for everyone but Natalie.

    Dave

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    No, Mr. Nalle, your assessment of my beliefs is your opinion. You are entitled to it, of course, but in all honesty, it is nothing more than that. And, by the way, if that is your opinion, you miss the point entirely. Ah well, nothing to be done there, interest is gone and time is up.

    As far as excessive formality being a crutch of the insecure and powerless, that too is your opinion. It is my considered opinion that too many Americans — and their crass culture — are overly familiar. Their relationships are like air — everybody’s a first-name-basis friend or buddy or pal. My relationship hierarchy does not work that way. I want to keep my relationships honest and clear and my boundaries strict and intact. Frankly, I am sick of the overly familiar nature this society shoves down our throats. My goal is to be happy and comfortable as much as possible, so I choose not to play along. If the mainstream disapproves, well, what’s new?

    Now, you will call me what you will, of course, no matter how I feel about it, but I have the right to say I don’t like it. And point in fact, that is all I did — there was no lecture.

    Last thing: Dave, she wrote, taking his wish into consideration, thank you for proving my point about your willful intention to insult.

    All done. I opt to no longer deal with you.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>All done. I opt to no longer deal with you.<< Works for me. I long ago concluded that your mind is as closed as a steel trap. Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Natalie Davis wrote: “If you do a Blogcritics search on the phrases “gay marriage” or “same sex marriage,” you’ll see who they are and that they exist. Why you would see a point in fighting with these people escapes me, though.”

    Those are trolls looking for their primary sustenance: attention. If you see a comment that reads like it was authored by a troll, click on the “Experimental: IP” link at the bottom of the comment. There is one troll here at Blogcritics who goes by many different names and who has actually admitted to flamebaiting, posting comments with the intention of getting a rise out of people.

    I do not wish to engage in any sort of debate with trolls and/or bigots, but I do want to understand why so many people are so upset at the prospect of the secular, legal recognition of same-sex marriage as there appears to be absolutely no pragmatic rationale for them to be upset at all.

    Now, I do understand that a lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex marrage because they are uneasy about homosexuality. But some of these people are not simply apprehensive, they are homophobic. They seem to believe that they will be directly and irrevocably harmed by the recognition of same-sex marriage. And to the point where they are willing to subvert both our Constitution and our government’s system of checks and balances that was designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority (I wish that the expression “activist judges” could be erased from the national vocabulary as the suggestion behind it is very dangerous).

    As you already know, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled, on March 14, that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. And the official court ruling is extremely solid, I cannot imagine how it could be legally or logically reversed on appeal.

    Of course, Robert Knight, the director of CWFA’s Culture & Family Institute, is — as expected — livid, “Yet another irrational judge, like his counterparts in Massachusetts, can’t find a rational reason for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” he said in a March 14 CWA press release.

    Apparently, Judge Kramer and Mr. Knight have something in common because Mr. Knight cannot seem to find a rational reason for “defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” either — though he and the folks at CWFA have come up with several rather irrational rationalizations of anti-homosexual prejudice.

    Puritanism has got to be one of the most depraved forms of sexual perversion.

    These so-called “social conservatives” have got it all wrong and their continued pursuit of such oppressive legislation that has no rational basis whatsoever is what is going to cheapen and eventually destroy the institution of marriage.

    These people need to be stopped, not just for the sake of the gay and lesbian people whose civil and human rights must be recognized, but for all of us who value marriage, family and liberty as essential building blocks of civilization.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Margaret I think if I were to ever hear you speak anywhere, I’d be giving you a standing ovation.

    These so-called “social conservatives” have got it all wrong and their continued pursuit

    I don’t know how it is that a voter can come to believe that if a gay couple gets married, it will lead to the end of the institution and ultimately civilization itself, but I have heard people say that here.

    As for the type of logic that would come up with that idea in the first place, my theory, which tends to get dismissed as a conspiracist (?) theory is that gay people, our liberties and the very institution of marriage itself are basically collateral damage in an attempt to control (influence) a larger group of people.

    Fear has always been present in the machinations of this country. Whether it was the nuclear scare of the 50’s, the fears of the cold war, the fears of blood mixing during the time of segregation, etc. there are always fears that are played upon for political gain. 9/11 is in that mix too.

    When I see those who are most opposed to my community get married, I see their rationale is always one of defense. They keep their entire base in fear that they are always under attack. If you can’t pray in a school auditorium on the school microphone, then your belief is under attack. If you can’t put the 10 commandments on a government building, your religion is under attack. Marriage is under attack, etc.

    I think it’s about religious leaders wanting to maintain power over their constituents in a society that is becoming less and less in line with their religious beliefs. And they maintain this power by fear, by getting their believers to rally around them under the guise that they are under attack.

    If you look at it that way, then the whole thing isn’t really about marriage at all.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “They’re cobbling one together for Texas, but I suspect it will fail.”

    In TEXAS? No way, dude…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>”They’re cobbling one together for Texas, but I suspect it will fail.”

    In TEXAS? No way, dude…
    << In Texas it all depends on what type of election you put it on. If it’s a low turnout election it will die a horrible death. If it’s a high turnout election then it might have a chance. Texas has slightly more conservatives than liberals, but there are also a lot of independent voters and a strong libertarian contingent. Liberals, plus a small majority of the independents plus the libertarians would give such a bill a sound defeat, but that’s most likely to happen if it gets voted on during a minor election where only the motivated voters turn out. Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Steve S wrote: “I don’t know how it is that a voter can come to believe that if a gay couple gets married, it will lead to the end of the institution and ultimately civilization itself, but I have heard people say that here.”

    Beyond the notion that that a vast majority of the American people are, to some degree, uncomfortable with the fact that some people are homosexual, nor do I, really. But I can speculate.

    It may be a matter of general uneasiness about human sexuality and specific religious and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality combined with the lack of rational arguments against same-sex marriage that makes so many people open to accepting the idea that marriage is “under seige.” In psychology, this is called projection and any good propagandist knows how to manipulate this natural human tendency by creating a scapegoat (in this case gays and lesbians) and then making people afraid of it. In this case it was probably pretty easy since so many Americans already suffer from the rather depraved form of sexual perversion known as Puritanism.

    This methodology has also been used by gay rights advocates — though it is not nearly as melodramatically implemented. The scapegoat is the “Religious Right” (may God have mercy upon their poor lost and tormented souls) and the thing to fear — which is actually quite valid in this case (unlike the former) — is oppression. And it has been rather effective in getting people to act in support of gay rights.

    The concept of the “culture of fear” is not a conspriacy theory, it is an observable condition. Fear is the propagandist’s best friend because it is a powerful emotion that is very easy to manipulate and exploit. Fear not only keeps people locked into an “under seige” mentality, it also keeps them from abandoning the easy target of a scapegoat to reflect upon the deeper and more complicated causes of difficult social problems — because they might discover that they share some of the blame.

    Such is the case with marriage, whose real problems in today’s society is the lack of moral character and values that make successful marriages and strong families. Blaming this moral decline on easy targets like “Hollywood,” homosexuals, abortion on demand, the lack of prayer in schools or whatever keeps people locked into a state of comfortable denial in which their only responsibility is to fight against the scapegoats, thereby relieving them of any obligation to reflect upon their own values. Ironically, this is often done in the name of Christ who said, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5).

    “I see their rationale is always one of defense. …If you can’t pray in a school auditorium on the school microphone, then your belief is under attack…”

    That is why I am attempting to make the case that the institution of marriage is in danger from those people who would reduce its value to nothing more than a license to procreate, which is how marriage must be perceived for the purpose of rationalizing the exclusion of same-sex couples from it.

    Now, I can speak in defense of gay and lesbian civil and human rights as well as the next advocate/activist, but that defensive posture is not strong enough to combat the forces of fear and loathing that are driving the movement to preemtively ban the legal recognition of same-sex marriage via Constitutional edict.

    “I think it’s about religious leaders wanting to maintain power over their constituents in a society that is becoming less and less in line with their religious beliefs.”

    Over the lives of their constituents — and their own temptations, which is the actual basis of their fear of freedom. America is called “the land of the free and the home of the brave” because living in freedom requires a lot of courage (as well as discipline and responsibility) and many mere mortal humans are simply not up to it. Thus the basis for the widespread belief that it is within the government’s perview to judge and punish sin (which should not be confused with crime as all crimes are sins but not all sins are crimes because crimes have victims whose suffering is demonstrable) via the legislation of subjective morality.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    No question the culture of fear is alive and well. That and the cult of personality are the main tools democrats and their surrogates use to bind people to them against their best interests. If they can puff up the boogeymen of ‘religious right’ and ‘warmongers’ and ‘big business’ far enough out of proportion they can keep the minds of their supporters enslaved.

    As for gay marriage destroying American culture I’m sure it’s just as likely to do so as rock and roll, television and immigration – all of which were accused of posing this threat and none of which destroyed the nation or the culture.

    Dave

  • Richard Porter

    Margaret

    Please do not post anymore regarding this issue (I beg you).

    To begin, I am 100% supportive of gays and lesbians joined by a legal union which enables them to take advantage of health insurance, life insurance and any other benefits given to all heterosexual couples. But that is where it ends.

    As I support legal unions for the reasons listed above (BENEFITS), it also appears that really the only reason I have heard (on the news in interviews) why homosexual couples wish to marry is for the BENEFITS, or in other words they are doing it for purely material reasons. So I say give them equal rights for benefits as everyone else. They like everyone else deserve it.

    However, let me make this perfectly clear. I am not a “holy roller” by any means, but for me personally (and many many others), marriage is a holy sacrament which joins a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman. How can you possibly think that it would be okay to have a homosexual couple take part in this holy sacrament? What is next, bigamy okayed through church? Stop it now, please.

    So I say give everyone equal rights regarding benefits, but please do not try to taint a holy sacrament and then rub our collective noses in it.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Please do not post anymore regarding this issue (I beg you).

    Richard, who are you to ask someone not to post about a topic?

    How can you possibly think that it would be okay to have a homosexual couple take part in this holy sacrament? What is next, bigamy okayed through church? Stop it now, please.

    Oh, grow up. This isn’t about your religious sacrament. It’s about civil laws that should apply to gays and straights equally.

    So I say give everyone equal rights regarding benefits, but please do not try to taint a holy sacrament and then rub our collective noses in it.

    Please take your holy sacrament to your place of worship and keep it there. The rest of us are discussing civil marriage laws, of which your religious definition of marriage plays no part.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    It’s ludicrous when people bring up bigamy and polygamy as the “terrible consequences” of allowing same sex couples to get married.

    Anyone with any sense of history knows that bigamy and polygamy have been practiced many times in many places, without destroying the sacred institution of marriage.

    If that institution can survive King Solomon’s 300 wives and 700 concubines, or however many it was he had, surely it can not only survive, but prosper and thrive after its modern encounter with gays and lesbians.

    The real threats to marriage today are largely economic forces, not gay marriage. If you really want to save marriage from its most terrible dangers, find ways to encourage employers to pay a living wage to the workers who allow their profit margins to exist at all.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Dave Nalle wrote: the boogeymen of ‘religious right’ and ‘warmongers’ and ‘big business’ far enough out of proportion they can keep the minds of their supporters enslaved.

    Indeed, those are but a few of the Democrats’ boogeymen. But let’s be fair and balanced here and acknowledge that the Republicans have their very own set in the form of terrorists, socialism and atheism, just to name a few.

    Making people afraid of something and then presenting a certain party’s candidates as the only qualified protectors and defenders of those frightend folks is standard operating procedure for any political party — whether it is liberal, conservative, libertarian or authoritarian — because it is effective.

    I do believe that we are in nearly complete agreement on same-sex marriage’s so-called “threat” to American culture (as well as the hazards posed by such boogeymen as rock and roll, television and immigration).

    However, what I am trying to convey here is how not recognizing same-sex marriage could eventually lead to its obsolescence due to the diminishment of the actual moral values — commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation — that make it worthwhile.

    The people who argue in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage often do so by suggesting that the primary value of marriage is procreation, which is to the detriment of the entire institution of marriage.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Richard Porter wrote:“Please do not post anymore regarding this issue (I beg you).”

    I am on a mission to protect and defend the institution of marriage. Therefore, I am unable to grant your request.

    Richard Porter wrote: “To begin, I am 100% supportive of gays and lesbians joined by a legal union . . . and any other benefits given to all heterosexual couples.”

    Separate but equal, huh? There is no such thing.

    Richard Porter wrote: “…appears that really the only reason I have heard (on the news in interviews) why homosexual couples wish to marry is for the BENEFITS”

    Are you married, Mr. Porter? If so, did you and Mrs. Porter get married just to take advantage of the benefits?

    And whether you are married or single and thinking about maybe getting married someday, I do hope you realize that there are obligations and responsibilities that go along with the protections and benefits of marriage.

    Richard Porter wrote: “…marriage is a holy sacrament which joins a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman.”

    Since when can the state make anything holy? Your status as not being a “Holy Roller” can hardly be called into question as anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Scriptures knows that mere temporal institutions, such as our secular government, are not really qualified to sanctify anything, they can only guarantee and recognize civil and human rights.

    On the other hand, the clergy of several open-minded and tolerant churches have been sanctifying same-sex marriages for decades, even if those marriages are not yet recognized by the state.

    Richard Porter wrote: “How can you possibly think that it would be okay to have a homosexual couple take part in this holy sacrament?”

    I was referring to the secular recognition of a civil and human right. The First Amendment already recognizes the right of churches to decide whom they will or will not join in holy matrimony.

    Richard Porter wrote: “What is next, bigamy okayed through church? Stop it now, please.”

    I cannot and will not stop no matter how many times you and others try to slide Mr. Strawman down the slippery slope into a vat of red herring.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Victor Plenty wrote: “…but prosper and thrive after its modern encounter with gays and lesbians.”

    That’s exactly the point I am trying to make here!

    When we recognize same-sex marriage, the institution of marriage will prosper because marriage will become something more meaningful than a license to procreate.

    We must stop defining marriage and family by their traditionally prescribed demographic compositions because those anachonisms will eventually devalue marriage in a contemporary society in which women and children are no longer mere chattle.

    Marriage is about making and keeping a commitment to another person, not procreation, which is merely incidental — and often happens outside of marriage.

    The values of the people who have successful marriages and strong families are commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation, which require a certain moral character that is not relevant to sexual orientation and prescribed gender roles.

    Victor Plenty wrote: “The real threats to marriage today are largely economic forces, not gay marriage.”

    And they affect all marriages and families — which is why this so-called “culture war” is counterproductive as well as pointless. This divisive war over sexual orientation and gender identification serves only as a distraction from the pragmatic issues of marriage and family in today’s world.

    I’d be willing to bet that if you got a group of gays and lesbians together with a group of social conservatives (without revealing who’s who to any of the participants) to discuss econmic issues like wages, work hours and overtime, health care and insurance that everyone would find plenty of common ground.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    The law, as it currently stands, allows only one man and one woman to marry.

    The gay agenda seeks to alter this, despite the opposition of the vast majority of the voters, in order to re-define marriage as a relationship between two people, regardless of gender.

    But what about a brother and sister, or a brother and brother, or a sister and sister, who are in love and want to marry? Why not allow this as well, since marriage is apparently infinitely malleable? It’s still between two people, right?

    And what about a man and a woman and a woman? Or a man and a man and a woman? Or a woman and a woman and a woman? Or a man and a man and a man? If these peopel love each other and are willing to share amongst each other, why should they be forbidden to join in a secular partnership?

    And what about 17 guys and 3 women? Or 23 women and 8 men? Or one dude and a REALLY smart chimp?

    Since we’re apparently in the business of re-defining marriage against the will of the majority of the people, why not allow these “special” relationships to be given gov’t sanction as well?

    See, once you alter something that has been pretty damn solid for centuries, you open a Pandora’s box of possibilities.

    How about you just take your civil unions and go away?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Fascinating ideas, RJ. I’m tempted to offer myself as an experimental subject for the marriage involving 23 women. Something tells me such a household would end up on a rock-solid fiscal foundation, as well as being an incredibly clean place to live.

    You can have the one with the chimp.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Richard says:
    it also appears that really the only reason I have heard (on the news in interviews) why homosexual couples wish to marry is for the BENEFITS, or in other words they are doing it for purely material reasons.

    I think a great many people misunderstand when we say we are in it for the benefits. Yes, there are over 1,000 federal benefits, rights and privileges and 700 state benefits, rights and privileges (varies by state) and most married couples never use a fraction of those, but they are there if needed. It’s not just those benefits we are talking about, it is the benefits that society puts upon marriage as well. That does NOT mean the benefits the church puts on marriage, there is still a distinction, the church and it’s bigotry are safe.

    The Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws are unconstitutional. This made us noncriminals. Before that, those sodomy laws were used to take our jobs, our children away. Now we are law abiding citizens. We are entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits of any other citizen. A church might have a right to discriminate, but a town, a city, a state, an American community does not. Society puts benefits on marriage, via insurance companies, mortgage companies, the health care industry, the list is endless. It is our right to get equal treatment for our families from society, not just the government. We’re talking about that too when we say our families are entitled to the same stable foundations, the same benefits as you.

    Richard says:
    marriage is a holy sacrament which joins a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman. How can you possibly think that it would be okay to have a homosexual couple take part in this holy sacrament?

    The holy sacrament that your church puts upon your marriage remains unaffected. The value that you and your church members place upon marriage has not changed. The faith and love between you and your spouse given before the altar of God, and before those of your faith has the exact same value in the eyes of God and those around you as before. Nothing has changed.

    Margaret says:
    I’d be willing to bet that if you got a group of gays and lesbians together with a group of social conservatives…everyone would find plenty of common ground.

    So many gay people voted against Al Gore it’s been speculated that it was the gay community that was one of the instrumental pieces in Bush winning his first presidency. Gay people are as diverse as anybody else and there are many many conservative gay people. Many libertarians especially. Most gay people don’t have kids and have the opportunity to focus more on their career, thus making us statistically higher wage earners than our heterosexual counterparts. This puts many in line with the conservative or libertarian economic platform. Yeah, I imagine that if the Republican party quit trying to harm our community, then a pretty significant number of gay people would go ‘back’ to the conservative side. There’s also a lot of Andrew Sullivan’s out there.

    RJ says:
    The law, as it currently stands, allows only one man and one woman to marry. The gay agenda seeks to alter this

    Since the law is constantly being found unconstitutional, and should we point out that this recent ruling in California was by a conservative Republican judge who was nominated by the last conservative Governor, one would easily conclude that just because it’s a law doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong to begin with. There are plenty of laws you yourself find wrong I’m sure, perhaps laws on the war on drugs or the like. Well, Lady Liberty is constantly finding some laws wrong too.

    what about a brother and sister, or a brother and brother, or a sister and sister, who are in love and want to marry? Why not allow this as well, since marriage is apparently infinitely malleable? If these peopel love each other and are willing to share amongst each other, why should they be forbidden to join in a secular partnership?

    My thought on that is that society and the government already bestow rights, privileges and benefits upon siblings, upon all immediate family members that’s pretty close to the recognition of spouse isn’t it? I mean society already recognizes the blood connection, so society already treats them as a family.

    Or one dude and a REALLY smart chimp?

    We have gone over with you ad nauseum that an animal falls outside of the realm of consenting adult, so that is not analogous. Because you insist on bringing beastiality into the conversation regardless, it’s clear that your intent is nothing more than flamebaiting and trolling.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Indeed, those are but a few of the Democrats’ boogeymen. But let’s be fair and balanced here and acknowledge that the Republicans have their very own set in the form of terrorists, socialism and atheism, just to name a few. << Except that Socialism and Terrorism are actual, real threats to America – unlike the straw men and manufactured threats the Democrats rely on. As for atheism, I’ve nver heard of a Republican targeting it as a threat infront of a mainstream audience. As to same sex marriage, your arguments reinforce my belief that the government should just cease to recognize marrage alltogether and leave it in the hands of the churches. Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Margaret, I don’t want to dispute anything you say, for obvious reasons of course, our community has been saying this stuff for years but it gets dismissed because of the source. Perhaps our allies in the hetero community can have better success.

    sin (which should not be confused with crime as all crimes are sins but not all sins are crimes because crimes have victims whose suffering is demonstrable

    This did catch my eye though. Are all crimes sins?

    What about smoking a joint? Jaywalking or removing the tag on a mattress?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    RJ worte: “The gay agenda seeks to alter this, despite the opposition of the vast majority of the voters, in order to re-define marriage as a relationship between two people, regardless of gender.”

    Can we please stop calling it the “gay agenda?” The insitution of marriage is under seige in modern society because all of this silly talk about marriage being mainly about procreation is contributing to a decline in the moral values that people need to have successful marriages and strong families, not because gay and lesbian couples seek the recognition of their basic civil and human rights to equality under the law.

    And could we please stop wasting our time and energy trying to oppress our fellow Americans and start lobbying for better education so that more of the American people can gain some knowledge about how our three branch system of government works to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority?

    Basically, the Congress represents the majority and legislates at its behest. If the constitionality of a law is called into question, a case is brought before the judiciary — who represent the principles laid out by our founders in our Constitution, not the will of angry mobs of bigots, Puritans, homophobes and other nutjobs — and they decide if the legislation is constitutional or not. If the judiciary finds that a law is unconstitutional, then it is struck down because America is not a democracy, it is a constitutional representative republic.

    It really is a brilliant system of checks and balances. Back in the 1950s and 60s when vast majorities in the Southern states wanted to keep their traditional system of segregation, the judiciary upheld the Constitution and stuck down those oppressive laws. If it weren’t for our system of checks and balances, we’d still have such vile things as “whites only” restrooms down south.

    I gave this example not to make comparisons between the historic struggle for racial equality and today’s fight for gay rights (even though there are similarities), but to demonstrate how our system of government works to protect all of our rights from majorities who would arbitrarily oppress us.

    Regarding your concerns about slippery slopes, please read San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer’s ruling. If you don’t want to read all 27 pages, the issue of incestuous and other forms of marriage are addressed on pages 20-21.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    Steve S wrote: “This did catch my eye though. Are all crimes sins?”

    Let me clarify my earlier remarks as I did not elaborate on the difference between the legal definition of a crime versus the moral definition.

    In the strict legal sense breaking the law is a crime. But in the moral sense a crime is defined by having a demonstrable victim. Sin is defined as missing the mark, which all of us — as mere mortal humans — do.

    Attemtpting to live a sin-free life is a maifestation of perfectionism, which is a mental illness. Avoiding causing harm or hazard to others (the only truly objective moral value), however, is a moral imperative that most people live up to as a matter of conscience.

    Marijuana is illegal, but people toking joints in a private homes do not victimize anyone by doing so. Therefore, smoking pot is not really a crime in the moral sense, even if it is a sin in the sense that smoking is unhealthy for the body and that the potential for immoderation exists.

    Jaywalking, on the other hand, poses a safety hazard to others because crossing the street at a point where motorists do not usually expect to see pedestrians can lead to traffic accidents.

    It is perfectly legal for a consumer to tear the tag off of a mattress after purchasing it. However, if the seller of the mattress removes the tag then consumers are deprived of vital information about the content of the mattress. I am not certain of the laws as they pertain to mattresses that are sold second-hand after the tags have been removed by the original owners.

    So, all crimes are sins because they have victims, but sins are not crimes if they do not have victims.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer’s ruling. If you don’t want to read all 27 pages, the issue of incestuous and other forms of marriage are addressed on pages 20-21.”

    He doesn’t really explain why the now-malleable marriage law should not also allow incestuous marriages, or polygamy, or beastiality.

    He DOES mention the potential genetic defects of the offspring of incest. But, it is not illegal to get married to someone outside the family who shares the same recessive genes. Nor is it illegal to have procreative sex with someone who has a 25% chance of producing offspring having hideous (and possibly fatal) deformations.

    So, he doesn’t exactly shoot down the notion that incest between two consenting adults should ALSO become legal, if we begin arbitrarily altering our marriage laws, in an undemocratic fashion…

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org Margaret Romao Toigo

    So what about the slippery slope? It is nothing but an irrelevant fallacy, a distraction from the fact that there is no legitimate state interest in denying homosexuals the right to marriage.

    There are no pragmatic arguments against the secular, legal recognition of same-sex marriage, not a single one! The opponents of that recognition have nothing but slippery slopes, strawmen and other assorted red herrings, which means that their objection to the recognition of same-sex marriage is based upon prejudice rather than pragmatism.

    Intentionally forgetting that America is not a democracy in which the mob rules doesn’t wash, either.

    But just in case some of the people tuning in here missed their high school Civics classes, here’s the basic idea: the Congress represents the majority and makes laws at its behest. The judiciary represents the Constitution and can strike down laws that it finds to be unconstitutional, regardless of the will of the majority (who are also beholden to the Constitution whether they like it or not).

    Now, the people sitting on the sidelines, merely expressing their opinions, can feign ignorance about how our system of government works to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the mob (the majority), but the people who are actively involved in the fight against the recognition of same-sex marriage cannot afford to indulge in such luxuries (outside of their PR and propaganda efforts), which is why they are pushing for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.

    You see, those people already know that the DOMAs and the other laws against same-sex marriage are unconsitutional because their best and brightest lawyers have already told them the unavoidable and undeniable legal and constitutional truth: that the DOMAs and other laws will eventually be struck down as unconstitutional — unless the Federal marriage Amendment is ratified, therefore making the currently unconstitutional laws against same-sex marriage constitutional (and enshrining oppression into a document that was intended to secure and guarantee all of our civil and human rights).

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    So, incest should also be a “right”?

    And polygamy too?

    How about a guy named Chester who REALLY likes his pet dog?

    I mean, if we are in the business of going against the will of the vast majority of the people in order to allow a small section of the public to gain a new and special right, what about those folks who wanna marry two women, or their sister, or a really cute cat?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “If the constitionality of a law is called into question, a case is brought before the judiciary — who represent the principles laid out by our founders in our Constitution, not the will of angry mobs of bigots, Puritans, homophobes and other nutjobs”

    Sooo…

    In your opinion, something like two-thirds of the American population is comprised of “bigots, Puritans, homophobes and other nutjobs”?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    RJ lumps incest, beastiality and polygamy with gay marriage.

    People explain the difference.

    RJ lumps incest, beastiality and polygamy with gay marriage.

    People explain the difference.

    RJ lumps incest, beastiality and polygamy with gay marriage.

    People explain the difference.

    The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round! The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Again with the irrelevant and fallacious slippery slope references to incest, polygamy and bestiality!

    What’s that matter, RJ, don’t you have any logical arguments? Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying the right to marriage to same-sex couples? If you cannot answer that question clearly, without the use of logical fallacies, then your position is untenable (as it always has been).

    All you’ve got is a vast majority that is still uncomfortable with the fact that some people are homosexual and American history has already taught us that we cannot oppress a group of people simply because they make the majority uncomfortable. (remember all of the conniptions over desegregation in the South?).

    Besides, all of that discomfort is just plain silly. Homosexuality is a natural variation of the human condition and homosexuals are an essential part of human ecology.

    We are a highly evolved species — whether that is by accident or by design — with the sentience to recognize the difference between producing offspring and caring for them.

    Regardless of your beliefs with regard to the origins of humanity, the fact remains that not all of the people who can reproduce are able to care for offspring and not all people who can care for offspring can reproduce. There is a reason why gay people have been allowed to adopt children in many localities and the instincts that caused that to come about had very little to do with politics and a lot to do with pragmatism.

    The US Constitution overrides the will of the majority — regardless of its idealogical composition — when the majority’s will is unconsitutional. That is how our system of government works to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. If America was a true democracy, we’d still have such things as “whites only” restrooms and drinking fountains down here in the South.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    you can’t seriously lump bestiality into the same category as homosexuality.
    As far as i know, humans cannot successfully mate with animals of other species, and bestiality does not occur in nature. Aside from that, it’s also rather difficult to find out whether an animal is actually consenting, or is just being subdued by its owner.
    Whereas, with homosexual relationships, it’s alot easier to determine that both parties are consenting. There’s also that thing, I saw on a terrestrial TV docu about a year ago, where they were basically saying that whilst some homophobes would have you believe homosexuality is unnatural and almost unique to humans, there is evidence to suggest its occurrence in other species is somewhere approaching 50%. The docu showed some footage as evidence, but more importantly, they said when they took out some ads in newspapers and so on for footage illustrating gay behaviour in animals, they had a huge response from amateur filmers. As well as finding that made-for-TV nature docus usually cut all such film before airing, which is why you never saw David Attenborough getting embarrassed over hardcore male elephant-on-male elephant action

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    jadester wrote: “you can’t seriously lump bestiality into the same category as homosexuality.

    Of course you can’t! It’s ridiculous.

    The incest, bestiality, polygamy, etc issues are pseudo-arguments that are being used as a subsitute for pragmatic arguments that do not exist. Specifically, this is a logical fallacy known as the a slippery slope. But it is really nothing but a distraction, subtrefuge that is intended to provoke you into a defensive position against a hypothetical.

    And it works! In response to RJ’s fallacious assertions, jadester responded with defensive arguments about the occurrance of homosexuality in other species besides humans.

    While jadester’s arguments were indeed scientifically accurate, they were still nonetheless defensive, which almost always places a debater in weakened position.

    Now, I do not point this out to criticize jadester’s debating skills, but rather as a warning to any and all who wish to avoid pitfalls, landmines and other traps as they attempt to engage in productive discourse in this atmosphere of hyperbole, propaganda and all manner of intellectual dishonesty and ambiguity in which all are trying to stay on the offensive.

    So quickly and succinctly expose the slippery slopes, strawmen, assorted red herrings, etc for what they are then get back on message and stay on the offensive.

  • gonzo marx

    Margaret…you have stated it brilliantly

    thank you…

    /golfclap

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Margaret, you said something before about the dangers of using the term ‘activist judges’.

    Here’s a good article of how it’s going to extremes:

    A new conservative mantra, “A judge should be impeached for not letting us kill juveniles”.

    source

  • Eric Olsen

    quite brilliant in thought and articulation Margaret!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    So now judges who hand down decisions that certain people do not like are tyrants, not just mere activists?

    May God have mercy upon the poor lost and tormented souls of the Religious Right. I feel nothing but pity for such people and reserve my contempt for the politicians who should know better but pander to them anyway (some of them — including the President — got a pretty good bitchslapping in the polls over their overreaching and unconstitutional involvement in the Terri Schiavo case, which was good news that restored some of my faith in my fellow Americans).

    Here’s a little experiment: try your best — I know it is hard because of how hateful they can be toward the GLBT community and their families — to scare up some sympathy for these people who are primarily motivated by their fear of and confusion about the temptations of the modern world and then re-read some of their quoted statements in that article you posted.

    They’re pathetic! Ridiculous, even. And they are breaking the first two of the Ten Holy Commandments — pray for them for they are in such prideful agony that they have actually begun to believe their own wrath to be virtuous — by lobbying the US goverment (a graven image if there ever was one) for grace and deliverance when they should be praying to God for it.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    just thought I’d add, if it were a case of saying “gay couples MUST be allowed to get married in ANY church, regardless of the faith the church belongs to” I’d probably say no, I disagree.
    Just like I don’t expect, if I ever get married, to be automatically allowed to do so in a mosque, or synagogue, or – hah – even a catholic church. Or baptist church, or methodist church, and so on. Unless any of those faiths specifically allow people to get married in their churches regardless. That’s not saying they wouldn’t let me, but it’s a decision I do not feel should be made in law.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    The First Amendment already recognizes and guarantees that churches will always have the right to decide whom they will or will not marry.

    The ironic thing about concerns over churches being forced into recognizing same-sex marriages is that there are several churches that have been performing same-sex marriage ceremonies for decades in spite of those marriage not being legally recognized by the secular state.

    The people and groups who support the Federal Marriage Amendment have attempted to confuse the issue by frightening people with the spectre of “gay couples MUST be allowed to get married in ANY church, regardless of the faith the church belongs to,” hoping that people will fail to notice that our First Amendment applies whether same-sex marriages are recognized by the state or not.

    Such fearmongering is intended to invoke an irrational hysteria that distracts from rational thought. The supporters of the FMA need all of the subtrefuge they can get because they haven’t got even one pragmatic reason with which to justify their prejudice and no Constitutional leg to stand on.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying the right to marriage to same-sex couples?”

    Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying incestuous marriages?

    Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying polygamous marriages?

    Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying your mom from marrying a parrot?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Homosexuality is a natural variation of the human condition and homosexuals are an essential part of human ecology.”

    Natural? Sure.

    ESSENTIAL? How?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “As far as i know, humans cannot successfully mate with animals of other species”

    Right. And two guys cannot “successfully mate.” Neither can two women.

    “and bestiality does not occur in nature.”

    So, you’ve never seen a dog hump someone’s leg?

  • gonzo marx

    RJ sez..
    *Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying the right to marriage to same-sex couples?*

    answer… no reason to deny it…”pursuit of Happiness” from the Declaration actually enforces allowing it..a sizeable minority wants it..since approximately 10%(plus or minus 2 percentage points) of the population fall into this category

    RJ sez…
    *Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying incestuous marriages?*

    answer… no interest..bad genetics…high percentage of birth defects would be injurious to the health care system..and so the practice should be discouraged based upon scientific facts…but i fail to see the relevance to the Discussion put forward in the Article and know fo no faction pushing for it..

    RJ sez..
    *Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying polygamous marriages?*

    answer…no reason to deny…same as my first commentary..

    RJ sez..
    *Where’s the legitimate state interest in denying your mom from marrying a parrot?*

    answer… since a parrot cannot enter into a contractual arraingement..and since marriage, as viewed by the state..IS a civil contract, witnessed and licensed by the State…this is a non-sequitor…not legally viable for the reasons stated..

    that help ya RJ?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Sooo…

    A minority only gets its way through endless agitiation?

    So, gays bitch about the fact they can’t marry, and some judges shed some tears for them, and UNILATERALLY change the law?

    But no one is sticking up for those polygamous folk! Or those incestuous folk!

    It’s discrimination, I tell ya!

  • gonzo marx

    RJ sez..
    *A minority only gets its way through endless agitiation?*

    seems to have worked for Newt and the GOP in ’92

    or weren’t you born yet?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “bad genetics…high percentage of birth defects would be injurious to the health care system..and so the practice should be discouraged based upon scientific facts…”

    But there is currently no legal restriction against those couples who share unfortunate recessive genes who attempt ot have a child.

    And there is also the possibility that those incestuous relationships will decide to simply adopt.

    So why can’t they marry? You got something against people in West Virginia or Arkansas?

    BIGOT! :)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “seems to have worked for Newt and the GOP in ’92

    “or weren’t you born yet?”

    It was actually 1994, but then again, I didn;t expect you to actually know what the fuck you’re talking about…

  • gonzo marx

    they wopn the Election in 94..the plan and agitation began in 92,right after the election…ya could watch it all on CSPAN then…then came the “Contract for America”..it was in every TV guide..i still have mine…when Newt became speaker after the mid-terms he started checking shit off, even tho the bills had nothing to do with the points in the contract..

    i also have “the Republican Revolution” by Newt Gingrich..written BEFORE the mid term election back then

    but i don’t know what i’m talking about…do i?

    try again, kid

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “A minority only gets its way through endless agitiation?*”

    “seems to have worked for Newt and the GOP in ’92”

    Nope. It “worked” in 1994. Try again, old man…

  • gonzo marx

    /sigh

    simple english

    the
    RESULTS
    occured in 94

    the
    AGITATION began earlier..i cite ’92 as a good starting point

    that clear enough for ya kid?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    The thing about couple who share recessive genes, is that this occurs very rarely. As opposed to incestuous relationships, where the risk of genetic defects resulting in offspring is consistently very high, in every case.
    Also, with homosexual relationships, whilst they cannot successfully mate, they can at least adopt. A human-animal relationship is not going to be capable of raising a child. And whilst a human-human relationship (whether homo or hetero sexual) might not always be suitable, there is a system in place to vet the parents that wwant to adopt, and if that has failures, that’s a whole separate issue.
    Now, from what you’re saying, you give the impression of having an “all or nothing” kinda stance on marriage. Am i right in thinking you either want there to be no marriage at all, or no restrictions on marriage whatsoever?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    C’mon, RJ, answer the question: What is the legitimate state interest in denying the right to marriage to same-sex couples?

    It’s a simple question that you ought to be able to answer specifically and succinctly without resorting to the use of irrelevant slippery slopes. The relevant issue at hand is same sex marriage, not the separate issues of incest, polygamy or bestiality.

    You cannot use logical fallacies to rationalize the oppression of a whole group of your fellow Americans.

    You’re backed into an idealogical corner here and sutrefuge won’t get you out of it. You must now choose whether you will defecate or vacate the commode. Either answer the question honestly or concede that your objection to the recognition of same-sex marriage is based upon personal prejudice rather than pragmatism.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    I like that…defecate or vacate the commode…I really do prefer the original version though!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    If you beg to differ with the assertion that homosexuality is a natural variation of the human condition and homosexuals are an essential part of human ecology, then the burden of proof is on you and you are now obliged to find — if you can — and cite facts that disprove that assertion.

  • Dan

    Here is the Constitutional leg:

    Homosexuals are currently permitted to marry, just not to same sex people. Hetero’s might find it advantages to marry someone of the same sex also, but are currently not permitted to. So everyone is being treated the same. Since it is not clearly defined in the Constitution what defines a marriage, it is up to society to determine what a marriage is. Very simple.

  • Eric Olsen

    sure, but when access to the “advantages” are arbitrarily blocked, that is at odds with the Constitution

  • Dan

    What I was saying is that everyone currently DOES enjoy the same exact accessability to State sanctioned marriage. I don’t claim to be “arbitrarily” blocked from the advantages of being on the WNBA because I don’t fit societies definition of a woman.

  • Eric Olsen

    you don’t have any “right” to play in the WNBA – you do have a right to equal protection under the law

  • Dan

    I don’t have a “right” to play in the NBA either, but I have the “right” to try out. As I said before, homo-sexuals do have a right to marry within societies definition of marriage.

  • gonzo marx

    as for the “Constiotutional leg”

    can you please show me where in the Constitution it says “marriage”..or ant same sex couple cannot marry?

    i do think this whole issue falls into the Equal Protection bit

    Excelsior!

  • Eric Olsen

    which is like saying fish have the right to breathe air

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Dan wrote: “Since it is not clearly defined in the Constitution what defines a marriage, it is up to society to determine what a marriage is. Very simple.”

    Well, what is a marriage then? You’re a member of society, so define and determine away.

    My definition of what determines marriage is in my article above, is it the same as yours?

    While you’re at it, could you also please define what the Constitution recognizes and guarantees all of us with regard to our right to equal protection under the law? And could you also determine why the question of recognizing and guaranteeing the right to equal protection under the law should be left to the will of the mob?

  • Dan

    from comment #48:

    ” bestiality does not occur in nature.”

    Tell that to my neighbors disgusting Pekinese dog, if you can momentarily distract him from his furious activity with your leg.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Dan is saying that I, as a gay man, currently am able to marry a woman, so my right to marriage is not currently being denied.

    The issue here Dan, is that marriage has a societal function (church/community) as well as a government (legal) one. You are focusing only on the legal aspect.

    I can marry a woman perhaps, but the societal part promotes that marriage is about monogamy and love. Such a marriage wouldn’t be based on love, commitment or desire, and talk about a drastic change in how society perceives marriage, many of them would become open relationships, and/or loveless marriages. Your way would change what the ages old definition of marriage is, far more than my side gets accused of.

    The primary issue is defining what relationships society will recognize. We can condemn adult/minor relationships, because they don’t involve consenting adults, etc. Some relationships we can, as a society, attempt to deter.

    In terms of gay relationships, the problem your side is having, is that they can come up with no reason to deter same sex relationships with any other foundation beyond prejudice, biblical mores and discrimination.

    In terms of other relationships, different criteria (interbreeding, minors, etc.) apply. You all are still trying to put gay relationships in that category, but are finding out that legally, your Fortress of Marriage Protection is built on quicksand.

    And of course the end result of this is the most massive assault on our judicial system in America’s history. Getting rid of the people who tell you there’s quicksand won’t get rid of the quicksand.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    and besides, that way would make it such that marriage for you is about love and marriage for me is about financial benefit alone. It still defines my relationship on an inferior level to yours.

    That is still discriminatory and oppressive to put upon me.

  • Dan

    “can you please show me where in the Constitution it says “marriage”..or ant same sex couple cannot marry?”

    It Doesn’t say one way or the other. The definition of marriage isn’t a Constitutional matter.

    “which is like saying fish have the right to breathe air”

    Some would argue that that is like what you are saying. Not me though :)

    “Well, what is a marriage then? You’re a member of society, so define and determine away.”

    Doesn’t matter what I think, but if the tables were turned and society determined that only Homosexual marriages be recognized, I would continue to live as I do with the realization that I have the same opportunity to enter into a same-sex marriage as everyone else. I wouldn’t feel that my rights were being violated.

    “My definition of what determines marriage is in my article above, is it the same as yours? ”

    You make an emotionally compelling argument that has the power to change societies attitude, but the equal protection angle is weak, in my opinion :)

  • Dan

    Steve, I’m not on a “side”. Also I’m fine with societal evolution. I sincerely only bring up arguments that aren’t being articulated to further understanding. You talk about monogomy and love–good concepts but not a basis for changing law. Equal protection would be, but I’m not convinced that that is applicable.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    The definition of marriage isn’t a Constitutional matter.

    The benefits, rights and privileges that a marriage affords, is a Constitutional matter.

    When civil unions or a separate but equal type of arrangement is set up to address that aspect, then we come across societal stigmatization and ostracization that conflicts with one’s right to equality and the Pursuit of Happiness. History has borne this out time and time again, so there’s plenty of reference material to refer to, on separate but equal issues and how anti-American they are.

    So at the end of the day, it all is a Constitutional matter. If it wasn’t, then ‘that side’ wouldn’t need to change the Constitution.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    “Tell that to my neighbors disgusting Pekinese dog, if you can momentarily distract him from his furious activity with your leg.”
    well, some of you seem obsessed over the definition of bestiality. Sicne we’re on the subject…
    You ever done the “one-handed waltz”? you think you should be allowed by law to marry your hand? no?
    I’d be willing to bet big money that dog knows it’s not actually got any chance of conceiving when it shags someone’s leg. It’s just a way for it to “let off steam”
    Even if not, it’s not, strictly speaking, bestaility, because no actual mating goes on (whether there’s a chance of conception or not). Unless you have some wholly strange defect in your leg i’ve never heard of up until now…

  • Dan

    “The benefits, rights and privileges that a marriage affords, is a Constitutional matter.”

    … and they are currently available to all.

    “So at the end of the day, it all is a Constitutional matter. If it wasn’t, then ‘that side’ wouldn’t need to change the Constitution.”

    ‘that side’ percieves ‘your side’ as using activist judges to broaden the concept of individual rights to include rights of select couplings to over-ride the will of society. As fightening as it is to some, changing the Constitution is Constitutional.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    If the equal protection angle was not much of an issue, there would be no need for the FMA.

    If the equal protection angle was weak then no one would be worried about DOMAs surviving the test of constitutional scrutiny.

    But that is simply not the case because it is already widely known that DOMAs cannot pass constitutional muster, and that they will eventually be struck down regardless of whether the judges are liberal or conservative.

    This is essentially the reason why some people and groups are pushing for nothing less than a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as being exclusively heterosexual.

    That is the legal/constitutional aspect of this issue, but protecting and defending the institution of marriage in contemporary American society is ultimately about defining the values and morals that make for successful marriages and strong families, which really have nothing to do with gender or sexual orientation.

    We need to start focusing on values like commitment, trust, loyalty, mutual respect and cooperation before the institution of marriage becomes an anachonism based upon gender identity and the mechanics of procreation.

    Marriage and family are about so much more than sex and demographic composition. That’s the real message I have tried to convey here. And the so-called “culture war” is nothing but a distraction from that.

  • gonzo marx

    ok..

    so according to your Reasoning as i understand it, Dan…you Agree that it IS Constitutional for same sex couples to marry, thus the need for an Amendment to the Constitution to stop such practices

    and so we should leave it to the political process to attempt said Amendment, then allow the Supreme Court to rule on the Constitutionality of such a Law…remembering that the “Jim Crow” laws were struck down under the Equal Protection provisions…

    i can go with that….at least under such Reasoning you agree that it is a violation of the Constitution to deny these folks the Right to marry as has been adjudicated recently in the NYC court decision that is now in the appellate process of Review…

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    ‘that side’ percieves ‘your side’ as using activist judges to broaden the concept of individual rights

    if ‘that side’ (the side you are not on, but who’s talking points you keep promoting) looked at history, ‘that side’ would see that these ‘activist judges’ are for the most part conservative, elected and put in place during conservative Presidencys and are far from ‘activist’.

    Looking at a bigger picture is clearly something ‘that side’ is not capable of doing.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “A human-animal relationship is not going to be capable of raising a child.”

    Why not? Single mothers can?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “and so we should leave it to the political process to attempt said Amendment, then allow the Supreme Court to rule on the Constitutionality of such a Law”

    Uh, the USSC cannot declare a portion of the US Constitution “unconstitutional”…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Gay marriage advocates want to redefine marriage.

    In other words, a small minority wants the definition of marriage broaded JUST ENOUGH to allow THEM to marry, against the will of most Americans.

    HOWEVER, the question is, if we are to go about redefining marriage after all these centuries, why not broaden it a bit more, and include polygamy? Polygamous are ALSO a small minority who want to have the right to marry in their own way, against the will of the majority of the American people.

    Same with incestuous couples.

    So, right now, marriage laws state that two people, of the opposite sex, who are not directly blood-related, can marry. Gay-rights activists want to expand that definition JUST A LITTLE BIT to this point:

    “two people, who are not directly blood-related, can marry.”

    But why not expand it just a LITTLE BIT MORE to say:

    “people, who are not directly blood-related, can marry.”

    Or even a little bit more to say:

    “people can marry.”

    ???

    I’ll leave beast-marriage out of this comment, because at that point, marriage would have been watered down to the point where it just says:

    “marry.”

    :)

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    HOWEVER, the question is, if we are to go about redefining marriage after all these centuries, why not broaden it a bit more, and include polygamy? Polygamous are ALSO a small minority who want to have the right to marry in their own way

    HOWEVER, the answer, that we have told you over and over again, is that gay marriage advocates are fighting for the right for two consenting same-sex adults to marry. If multiple people want to marry, that is a separate issue involving more than two. So that needs to be brought up before the courts separately. So this clearly illustrates a distinct difference between the two, that we point out to you over and over again.

    I mentioned several comments back, that you bring up beastiality, incest and/or child molestation and polygamy every time you talk about gay marriage. Since then most all of your comments have included…..beastiality, incest and polygamy.

    The driver on the bus says move on back, move on back, move on back, the driver on the bus says move on back, all through the town.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “HOWEVER, the answer, that we have told you over and over again, is that gay marriage advocates are fighting for the right for two consenting same-sex adults to marry.”

    Exactly.

    And why aren’t these selfish bastards also open to the idea of allowing THREE consenting adults to marry?

    Closed-minded bigots, all the them!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I’m sure you would be happy with isolating this particular “cause” from everything else. But you can’t!

    Once you begin to redefine marriage, it becomes infinitely malleable.

    And then certain questions arise.

    Like, why not hard-core Mormons in Utah who want two or three wives?

    And why not Billy Bob and his sister Betty Lynn in Arkansas?

    Or, stretching it a bit, why not Chuck and his “very special” bull?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    RJ cannot come up with a legitimate state interest for banning same-sex marriage (because there isn’t one, not because RJ isn’t smart enough to think of one), so instead of focusing on the direct ramifications of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, RJ has implemented a slippery slope argument in order to attempt to shift the focus of the discussion from the actual issue at hand to the arbitrary ramifications of possible unacceptable extensions into the separate issues of polygamy, incest and bestiality.

    The goal here is quite simple and obvious. RJ wants to convince people to oppose the recognition of same-sex marriage because people probably don’t want to see legalized polygamy, incest and bestiality, not to make us realize how terrible it would be if same-sex marriage were recognized.

    RJ is attempting to avert our attention from what is really at issue and make us look elsewhere, forcing those of us who advocate the recognition of same-sex mariage into a defensive posture, likely hoping that we get so distracted defending against the slippery slope that we do not to notice that RJ has failed to address the issue directly.

    But it won’t work on me because not only have I studied the mechanics and sematics of logic and debate, I am also rather thoroughly convinced that we should not just recognize homosexuals’ secular right to marriage, but that we should embrace the idea because it will help us to realize that there is far more to marriage and family than sex, reproduction and anachonistic conformance with traditional gender identities.

    I have gone beyond arguing for the recognition of same-sex marriage because Americans, of all people, should already know that it is immoral to arbitrarily oppress any minority group — and because we are an essentially good and justice-minded people, we will eventually make this right, just as we did in the past, after we realized injustices had been allowed.

    And now I am a protector and defender of marriage who hopes to save that institution from obsolecence by modernizing and expanding its definition beyond the archaic notion that marriage is nothing more than a license to set up housekeeping and procreate.

    That old definition was all well and fine in the bygone era in which women and children were considered chattle. However, in the 21st century, in which men and women are (for the most part) legal and political equals, that old-fashioned idea has gone way past mere quaintness to become a threat to marriage and family in contemporary society.

    Now, in order to save family values and the institution of marriage from modernity, they need some updating so that we can shift our focus to the morals and character required for the success of marriages and the strength of families.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    And why aren’t these selfish bastards also open to the idea of allowing THREE consenting adults to marry? Closed-minded bigots, all the them!

    Nonsense. Nobody is close minded to three consenting adults, it’s just A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT battle, RJ. Gay people are fighting for gay people’s rights. We don’t need to fight for the rights of polygamists, professions, religious beliefs, etc. It doesn’t mean we are against other groups having rights, it means they need to fight their own UNRELATED battles though.

    And then of course the subsequent comment contains references to polygamy, incest and beastiality.

    Once you begin to redefine marriage, it becomes infinitely malleable.

    No, RJ, everybody can grasp this concept except an ever shrinking group of neo-cons. Why you insist on standing on the deck of a sinking ideology, I don’t know.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    In 100% agreement with you Margaret!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Americans, of all people, should already know that it is immoral to arbitrarily oppress any minority group”

    So…I guess we should support the minority that wants polygamous marriage too? :)

    Look, you refuse to answer this CRUCIAL question because your answer, either way, would hurt your cause.

    If you do indeed support polygamous marriages, then you have made my point that by legalizing gay marriage, we will have uprooted marriage from its tradional foundation, and it could be further eroded by other small minorities who want recognition of the suddenly-malleable definition of what constitutes a legal marriage in the US.

    And if you do NOT support polygamy, then you are supportive of new marriage rights for ONE politically-powerful minority, while happy to deny those same rights to another minority that is not as politically-powerful.

    Either way, your side comes across as looking bad. Therefore, you refuse to answer.

  • gonzo marx

    i’m reminded of an Anthrax lyric..

    “which one of these words,
    don’t you understand..
    all…caught in the mosh:
    talking to you
    is like clapping with one hand.
    what is he?
    caught..in..the…mosh”

    Excelsior!

  • Dan

    from comment 85:

    “I’d be willing to bet big money that dog knows it’s not actually got any chance of conceiving when it shags someone’s leg.”

    If the dog does actually possess knowledge of reproductive mechanics, how’s he going to tell us?

    Technically speaking, any sexual attraction is, as Margaret says, a natural variation. If it occurs in nature, human or otherwise, it’s natural. Pedophilia occurs naturally. Few would argue that society should accept it. Yet I suspect that the reason for the low cure rate of pedophiles is because they can be made to stop the activity, but they can’t switch off what they are naturally sexually attracted to.

    In the future this society may elevate homosexuality from “perversion” to “natural variation”. Many have already done so. It doesn’t matter to me. The Constitutional/equal protection angle is weak. It’s not like Jim Crow. Just because you don’t like what’s on the menu, doesn’t mean it’s not being offered to you. I’m not saying it can’t happen that way, just that it shouldn’t… in my opinion.

    Whether it comes down to a majority of societal opinion, or a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, it’s still “mob rule”.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    RJ wrote: “So…I guess we should support the minority that wants polygamous marriage too? :)”

    I do because that is a matter of religious freedom. However, marriage as a secular legal contract the state recognizes with numerous associated tax, property and divorce laws was designed to recognize marriages between only two people.

    If the state recognized that the right to marriage applied to groups of three or more, then those groups of people would have to have a different contract and a separate set of tax, property and divorce laws.

    This means that there is a legitimate state interest in denying the right to secular marriage to groups of three or more people. But the state cannot tell people how to live or what religious beliefs they should have, so churches are free to perform these marriages, even if they would not be legally binding.

    RJ wrote: “Look, you refuse to answer this CRUCIAL question because your answer, either way, would hurt your cause.

    No, it wouldn’t because my stance with regard to polygamy, incest and bestiality are not relevant. The slippery slope is a logical fallacy because it employs the use of hypothetical ramifications that may or may not be related to the central issue at hand. I believe that I have already explained this numerous times here.

    RJ wrote: “If you do indeed support polygamous marriages, then you have made my point that by legalizing gay marriage, we will have uprooted marriage from its tradional foundation, and it could be further eroded…”

    The key phrase there is “could be,” which is a hypothetical. Therefore, the basis for your slippery slope assertion is arbitrary, not pragmatic.

    The legal precedent that has already been set is that marriage is a right, not a priviliege. This was the basis for the striking down of the last of the anti-miscegnation laws back in the late 1960s.

    Marriage has no traditional foundation from which it can be uprooted because the tax, property and divorce laws pertaining to marriage have been and still are in a constant state of flux, so there is hardly a bedrock of tradition there. For example, the concept of a “no-fault” divorce is only a few decades old.

    In keeping with laws against gender discrmination, many of the laws pertaining to marriage have been changed to make them gender equtiable. And because gender is no longer relevant to the marriage and divorce laws, it is even easier to recognize marriages between two people, rather than just between a man and a woman.

    I must wonder if the people who were opposed to those changes in marriage and divorce laws used the slippery slope fallacy and argued that if gender became irrelevant to marriage that same-sex marriages could one day be recognized.

    Whether such a debate ever actually occurred or not I do not know, but can you use the slippery slope fallacy to demonstrate a direct causal relationship between leveling the marriage and divorce law playing fields and society currently heading toward the recognition of same-sex marriage?

    Nothing can hurt my noble cause of protecting and defending marriage in the 21st century because it is not just about homosexuals’ right to marriage as it has already been established that marriage is a right and rights cannot be arbitrarily denied. You cannot oppress people unless there is a pragmatic reason to do so and in the case of gay and lesbian people, there isn’t one (your polygamy-incest-bestiality slippery slope is an arbitrary rationalization, not a pragmatic justification, are you getting that yet?).

    So, the rights argument is a no-brainer, but protecting and defending marriage in contemporary society is a cause that is much larger than gay rights — even if gay rights is part of it — because marriage is under seige from the ramifications of the sexual revolution and the great strides toward womens’ legal and political empowerment.

    The marriage and divorce laws have kept up with womens’ legal and political progress every step of the way, but society is still having a hard time keeping pace with that (only the extremists suggest turning back the clock on that progress). This is but one of the contributing factors to the threat of marriage becoming obsolete — most of the laws are fair, but many people are not fair-minded — because there is too much focus on gender identity and the mechanics of procreation and not enough concentration upon the morals and values that are required for marriages (gay or straight) to work in these tumultuous times.

    So, I am way beyond arguing for homosexuals’ right to marriage and have moved into the realm of postulating that the recognition of same-sex marriage is essential to preserving the viability of that institution. Can you refute that?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    To tell the truth, Dan, I would prefer that same-sex marriage be recognized by legislation rather than by a judicial edict (I am sure that most of the GLBT community would, too), but that is probably how it is going to happen.

    Just about every legal expert on both sides of this issue has already acknowledged that this is an equal protection issue and that the DOMAs are unconstitutional. Why else do you think the opponents of same-sex marriage are pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage, rather than just lobbying for legislation against same-sex marriage?

  • MCH

    I agree totally with Margaret and Boom here, but good luck reasoning with R.J. (Bobby) Elliott.

    Don’t forget, RJ is the same bozo who last fall (BC, July 31) wrote “Kerry voters are fucking communists.”

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    It is indeed difficult to reason with people who repeatedly employ logical fallacies in attempts to divert attention away from the fact that their positions are untenable, but it is nonetheless an interesting challenge, a test of applied semantics, pragmatism and self-discipline.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Margaret, can I just say that I love reading your posts and your comments. You rock!

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    sorry i missed a load, anyways…
    “Why not? Single mothers can?”
    it’s debatable how good a job a single mother can do. Once again, though, this a whole separate issue (that no doubt BC could have a big discussion on).
    You also seem to be confusing some kind of religious defnition of marriage with the legal definition. Sure, at one point, maybe as recently as just a century or two ago, the law and religion would be difficult to separate even in the supposedly more “civilized” countries. As i understand it, that’s not so much the case these days. I may be wrong there about the US, by all means correct me if this is the case and I’ll leave the rest of you to it. But I was under the impression, even though your current presdient is apparently pretty religious, that the US constitution had something in it about ensuring the separation of church and state? or am I just getting confused with something else there?
    The strict Christian definition of marriage – or whatever branch of Christianity is the main one in the US – might consider marriage as being a union between man and woman. I think it does, but my knowledge of Christianity is kinda rusty at best.
    Now, when it comes to the law, you do have a point about “if same-sex is allowed, then why not polygamy?” but there are a few extra problems with polygamy that you don’t get with same-sex monogamous marriages.
    Firstly, I’m pretty sure the legal details that would be needed to fairly cover a polygamous marriage would be…tortuous at best. I doubt it’s simply a case of scaling up those for monogamous marriages by however many people are involved, I bet there’s all sorts of extra complications and stuff. OK maybe not really an argument against it, I guess it depends who you ask
    Secondly, whereas monogamous same-sex marriages aren’t actually harming anyone – the issue of adoption/etc. is a separate one – whether they’re correct or not, I suspect numerous womens’ rights groups would argue that it’s alot harder for a polygamous marriage to be fair on the women. Of course, they’d be assuming there that you wouldn’t have any of the opposite situation, of several men marrying the same woman.
    Anyway, I can’t really explain that point because I’m not in a position to, and I could be wrong, but I suspect those are two big factors that would be used to argue against it. Also, I think you’ll find most if not all of the activists fighting for the right to same-sex marriages are not also fighting for the right to polygamy, bestiality and incest because they don’t support those things.
    By all means, if you want to be able to marry a goat, start your own campaign…I wish you luck, but am unable to say I support that in any way.
    As Peter Griffin says on an episode of Family Guy “Well, sir, while I may not agree with what you say, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”

  • Dan

    “Just about every legal expert on both sides of this issue has already acknowledged that this is an equal protection issue and that the DOMAs are unconstitutional. Why else do you think the opponents of same-sex marriage are pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage, rather than just lobbying for legislation against same-sex marriage?”

    It is, to be sure, an equal protection issue, but being a mere issue doesn’t speak to the Constitutional viability of DOMA’s. Proponents of the FMA feel that judges have overstepped the limits of their office by improperly invoking equal protection, to overturn legislative laws, and that the FMA is necessary for that reason. Additionally, proponents are concerned about abuse of the Full Faith and Credit clause to force a law from one state onto another state, effectively circumventing lawmakers and voters in other states and diminishing a state’s power to create law.

    Margaret, I too enjoy reading your posts and comments, and while I’m not on-board with the equal protection angle, I think you make a lot of other persuasive arguments.

  • JOjo

    Hmmmmm, sleeping with Animals is not relevant, yet sleeping with someone of the same gender is?
    Nothing comes from either form, wait yes there is something that comes from both forms, more rampant diseases.

    Hey, if gays and lesbians want a civil union or something of a union that does not entrench on the traditional meaning of Marriage, then more power to them. But, if you want to associate a union which has been established as having religious signifigance with a group of sexually oriented people who have no basis to their relationships other than sex, that is just wrong, Wrong, WRONG. Why dont they go try and make up their own union and stop infringing on other peoples rights and beliefs. Like the Heterosexual has the right of Marriage, then homosexuals should go and try and establish something like Queeriage.

  • Luke

    Homosexuals shouldn’t have families, I sure as hell wouldn’t want two dads, I’m just saying, most of these gay folks at least had a mother and father, marry all you like, but don’t have kids, I kinda think that’s fucked up, because society shouldn’t get involved in your business, so if your business is to be gay and marry eachother then fine, do it, but why then must society interfere with things in order for gay folks to have children, let that happen the old fashioned way, and don’t give me any bullshit, if straight people can experiment with homosexuallity then gay people can experiment with hetrosexuallity, and then somewhere along the line a baby pops out of someone and the gay folks have to figure out who’s going to take care of it, the only thing I don’t like the idea of, is society handing a baby over to gay folks, don’t make no fuckin sense, to try and force a kid to have two of something instead of one of each thing, we shouldn’t be ashamed to encourage normal families.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    People like Luke are the reason why I have been taking a break from the whole blogging thing.

    Sure, we all like to rant and rave on and on about “the issues,” venting our collective spleens toward any and all who will pay attention. And all of us are, of course, entitled to do so, but I have grown rather weary of vile nastiness born of fear-monger-induced ignorance.

    During my two month break, I actually began to re-gain a little faith in my fellow man’s collective ability to reason, once again confident in the belief that — in spite of the contrived rationalizations of the partisan silliness that has infected this land that I love — America is, indeed, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    But some people are too cowardly to actually live in/with freedom. Such people seem to have a pressing need to establish an authoritarian socialist dictatorship under which the government acts as the arbiter of conscience so the American people — who are, apparently, considered too stupid and/or irresponsible to be trusted with their own God-given free will — can be spared the burden of running their own lives.

    Luke, you should be ashamed of having suggested what sort of family demographics should be encouraged/discouraged. You should also be ashamed for even thinking that your fellow Americans require any sort of incentives/disincentives to live a certain “normal” way.

    Those people who have ideas — large or small — about manipulating conscience via legislation (not to be confused with the type of legislation that is designed to protect and defend our civil and human rights) had better think long and hard about how such social engineering might affect them as they worry about what “the other guy” is doing.

    Tyranny imposed upon us “for our own good” is the most pernicious manifestation of all.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com alienboy

    Don’t despair too much Margaret; Luke serves your cause by being so stupid and revealing the very qualities you oppose. He’s doing your work!

  • gonzo marx

    Margarat sez…
    *Tyranny imposed upon us “for our own good” is the most pernicious manifestation of all.*

    read and heed, kiddies…

    that little bit of absolute Truth has been a constant in all of human history

    view it as such…then compare it to Now

    then ya might cop a Taste of the Wisdom this Lady is laying on ya…

    nuff said?

    (*waves to Margarat* ya been missed!)

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Indeed, alienboy, there is truth in the notion that some people serve that which they oppose by protesting too loudly and obnoxiously, but they’re still rather annoying for the simple fact that such people are so poisonous to the sensibilities of those of us who want so very much to keep our faith in our fellow man.

    Thanks for the encouragement, gonzo. It is not only contained within your kind words, but also in your willingness to use your natural ability to reason.

  • RedTard

    RJ’s comparison of polygamy to gay marriage is a great analogy. I have yet to see any of the redefined marriage supporters refute it. They want gay marriage and anyone that opposes it is a bigot, but they throw polygamists under the bus. They must be bigots themselves by their own definition.

    There is no marriage “right” for gays and lesbians. Marriage is a priviledge, not a right. My definition of a right is if it would apply to a 3 year old or a mentally handicapped person. Since a 3 year old can’t marry then marriage must not be a right, it is a priviledge that we give certain groups.

    The central problem is that marriage is a religious institution that has been usurped by the state. Our constitution calls for seperation of church and state and we should honor that. Get marriage out of the government, replace them with civil unions for ANY group of people, and let the individual churches decide who they will marry.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    RedTard, anyone who arbitrarily opposes the recognition of the rights of a group is, by definition, a bigot.

    Now, you might just have something there in your suggestion that marriage is a religious institution that has been usurped by the state and that the state should only recognize the rights and responsibilities of the secular marriage contract by calling it a “civil union” and making it gender neutral.

    Sure, it sounds fair and everyone gets to enjoy the practical benefits, but just try selling that idea to people who take semantics seriously.