Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Apr/09

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SR Case Against Gay Marriage (cont.)

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The comment thread here has me wondering how many conservatives we actually have reading Secular Right.

•  The 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868. The idea of gay marriage emerged from the lunatic fringe around 10 years ago, I think. So for 130 years it occurred to practically nobody that the 14th implied gay marriage — surely not, I’ll wager, to anyone whose opinion carried jurisprudential weight. Now suddenly it’s clear as daylight to all but a minority of mentally-diseased reactionaries.

That’s a point of view, but I’ll be damned if it’s a conservative point of view.

•  I can’t see the parallel with inter-racial marriage, which has been proscribed by law only spottily through history. (It obviously didn’t seem outrageous to Shakespeare and his audience.) Same-sex marriage has never, so far as I know, been proscribed by law anywhere, because it never occurred to lawmakers that it was a thing anyone would want to do! The human prejudice against same-sex marriage is far, far deeper-rooted than that against inter-racial marriage, a picayune thing by comparison, as witness the fact that legislatures had to draw up statutes about it. There are no laws against eating rocks.

(And I must say, I don’t actually see why communities shouldn’t prohibit inter-racial marriage if they want to. I’d prefer not to live in such a community — given my domestic circumstances, in fact, I wouldn’t be able to! — but this doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable or immoral restriction for a state or country to impose on its citizens. But perhaps that’s just me. I simply don’t “get” the hysterical race panic that’s consumed so much rational thought in the modern West.)

•  Hospital visiting. Still not getting it. If your hospital’s rules won’t allow gay lovers to visit, agitate to get the rules changed. What does this have to do with gay marriage? Sledgehammer, nut.

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174 comments

  • Danilo · May 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

    The idea behind hate crimes legislation is not and should not be to criminalize thoughts. Rather it treats crimes like assault, murder and property destruction differently when they are committed just because the victim is the member of a religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, national, gender group, etc. If someone burns some trash in the yard of a black family then it is a property crime. But if they burn a cross it is a different kind of crime. It’s not aimed just at that family, the idea is to send a threat to all black people in that neighborhood that they need to leave or they will face violence. Another word for hate crimes is “ethnic intimidation”.

    If a straight person is stabbed in the street by thugs, I don’t think other straight people will be terrorized and view that street as a “no-go” area for straights. But if a Jew stabbed is stabbed in a Muslim suburb of Paris, maybe all Jews will be afraid to go to that suburb.

    Psychological effects of hate crimes (from Wikipedia):
    * effects on people – psychological and affective disturbances; repercussion on the victim’s identity and self-esteem; both reinforced by the degree of violence of a hate crime, usually stronger than that of a common one.

    * effect on the targeted group – generalized terror in the group from which the victim belongs, inspiring feelings of vulnerability over the other members, who could be the next victims.

    * effect on other vulnerable groups – ominous effects over minoritarian groups or over groups that identify themselves with the targeted one, especially when the referred hate is based on an ideology or doctrine that preaches simultaneously against several groups.

    The last point is interesting. If the hate crime is motivated by an ideology such as extreme nationalism, ALL groups hated by nationalists may feel threatened when one group is attacked. After a Kurdish journalist was killed in Turkey by nationalists, the gay magazine from Turkey put his picture on the cover of their magazine. Their reason was “the people who hate the Kurdish don’t like us, either”

    The people killed on Sept 11 were killed because they were Americans, not because those 3,000 people were hated by Al-Qaeda. It made us all think: who is next? That is why hate crimes are a sort of terrorist act.

    I’m against the hate crime logic being applied to interpersonal crimes that are not public: i.e. a heterosexual man stabbing a transexual woman he wanted to sleep with at her home upon realizing she was biologically male

  • RK Wright · May 3, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Danilo – I’m against the hate crime logic being applied to interpersonal crimes that are not public: i.e. a heterosexual man stabbing a transexual woman he wanted to sleep with at her home upon realizing she was biologically male

    Why should the crime be treated any different because of where it is committed? And one could assume that your quote is in regards to the recent Hate Crime Conviction in the murder of Angie Zapata a transwoman born male murdered in her home…Why would it be different it is a crime that was intended to send a signal to a certain segment of the population (the murder even commented in jail that “Gay things must die”), so why should that not be treated the same as any other hate crime? The intent behind the crime is the same regardless of where the actual assault took place. Your logic on this sounds as if you would also agree that you shouldn’t prosecute assault charges if they take place in a non public setting. I guess we’d have many more criminals on the street if that were the case.

  • Danilo · May 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Because my definition of a hate crime is “small-scale terrorism”. To be considered a hate crime IMO it has to be a threatening message to more members of the targeted group than just the victim. Now I’m not familiar with all the details of the Zapata case so I can’t comment. But you can have a biased motive without committing a hate crime. If a man beats up his wife when she talks back to him, he is partially motivated by his degrading view of women. But is it meant to terrorize women as a group? Will other women in the neighborhood ‘get the message’ that they are in danger? There is a psychological mechanism called “attributional ambiguity” where a member of a dominant group who normally represses his feelings of prejudice feels authorized to express them when a member of the group he dislikes does something objectively wrong, provoking a disproportionate reaction. For example an Arab immigrant may be riding the bus without a ticket. The bus driver might discover the violation and then yell something like “you goddamn f**king bedouin” (This is another example I’ve witnessed in Italy – I don’t mean to ruin your image of the country). The “gay panic” defense is another example. A heterosexual man who would not normally go out and stab an innocent gay walking out of a gay bar might physically attack a gay man with extreme cruelty because “the gay guy came onto me”. The same man would never have stabbed, say, a drunk old woman who came onto him. The disproportionate reaction is due to the latent homophobia.

    Is attributional ambiguity also a hate crime? I would say it is a separate concept. The scope of these crimes is limited to the one victim, like any classic violent crime. Criminalizing attributional ambiguity is closer to criminalizing private feelings IMO. I would venture that they could be treated like any other assault / murder.

  • James · May 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    @Jon Rowe,

    Again, I think you are missing the point. I’m not talking about institutional racism, although I suppose that plays a part. More, I’m talking about our inherent cultural biases.

    My request that people think about what their life might be like if they weren’t straight and white was not directed at you specifically. It was just meant to be a way for people to step outside themselves for a moment. I’m not suggesting that straight, white males act with deference to all those who are not (it seems to me that this sort of patronizing attitude tends to be insulting), but it surely doesn’t hurt to try to understand what people who are different from you have to go through.
    Also, my point about straight, white males should be taken with the understanding that this is about how you are perceived by the people around you, not how you perceive the world.

    I’m also not sure how our electing a black man in the 232nd year of our country disproves institutional racism. Have we made significant progress? Yes. But the fact that you see it as completely normal that we only had straight, white males as President until now proves my point about “special considerations.”

    I am unsure as to your point about Thomas Sowell et. al. Please elaborate. I’ll be honest, I’m not familiar enough with the work of these men to feel comfortable commenting about it. I trust, however, that you are not saying that because there are successful black men, racism does not exist.

    Lastly, I am not an expert in this field. These are my opinions based on casual study and observation and deliberation, as well as at least a little bit of gut instinct. But when I see politicians talk about the “real America”, they always seem to be pointing to some monochromatic small-town in the Midwest (a place much like where I grew up), and all the implications therein seem clear to me.

    @Danilo

    Thank you for clearing up some points about hate crimes. I was trying to get to that idea about the effect that hate crimes have on vulnerable groups, but basically stumbled my way through. You were much more eloquent and thorough.

  • Ivan Karamazov · May 3, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    RK Wright :

    RK Wright

    Oh, and to Ivan. For goodness sake, get a dictionary and look up the word virgin. Better yet, here’s the number one definition”
    vir⋅gin
       /ˈvɜrdʒɪn/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [vur-jin] –noun
    1. a person who has never had sexual intercourse.
    Please note, one is either a virgin or one is not a virgin, it does not matter what your sexual orientation is. Gay or straight, if you haven’t had sexual intercourse then you are a virgin. That would include heterosexual or homosexual sexual intercourse. And I guess that would also mean that there are MILLIONS of sexualy active people who are still considered to be “Virgins” because they have not had actual intercourse of either kind. Ask any of those abstinence only folks, they think anal sex is not sex and that they are still virgins after having anal sex with their heterosexual partners. That or Oral sex.
    For someone who comments so frequently, you seem to not have a very good grasp of basic language skills. You use words incorrectly then get mad because people point it out to you. Your idea of what a word means (IE: fetish) does not negate the actual true meaning of that word.

    Thanks for making my point about ‘virgin’, though you made it accidentially since you obviously didn’t get it.

    According to you, since there are only virgins, generic, and not gay virgins, then, following your logic, one only becomes officially gay when one does the deed. That is what I wanted to establish. The nebulousness ( look it up ) of the concept “gay”. Not at all grounded, like Race or Gender.

    So, of course I knew the meaning of the word ‘virgin’, and I was also correct in my use of the word ‘fetish’, one definiton of which ( and the one I meant ), is “excessive or irrational devotion to some activity”.

    Gays are certainly THAT, no. Excessive. Fabulous. See any San Fran Gay Parade. It’s not just who you have sex with, it’s a whole rich lifestyle. Excessive . . . devotion to some activity. Fetish.

    So, you are wrong and I am right.

  • Carlo · May 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    @Ivan Karamazov: “According to you, since there are only virgins, generic, and not gay virgins, then, following your logic, one only becomes officially gay when one does the deed.”

    Huh??? I don’t follow this reasoning even the slightest bit. I had known I was gay, and identified myself as such unambiguously, long before I ever had sex. What RK Wright argued is that sexual orientation is irrelevant to whether or not one is a virgin. This has nothing to do how ambiguous the concept of homosexuality is.

    I also take incredible offense at your blanket assumption that all gays are excessively devoted to sex. Many, including myself, do not just sleep with anyone at any opportunity. And many straight men go to incredible lengths to have sex as frequently (and as creatively, ahem) as they can. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that.

    If your opinions of LGBT folk are based only on what you see in SF gay pride parades, then obviously you don’t have a clear or accurate idea of what we, in all our diversity, are really like.

  • Danilo · May 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Yes, Ivan, I watch TV too. I learned that all gays walk around with a pink boa during gay pride, all Arabs are terrorists, all blacks live in the ghetto, all Mexicans walk around with sombreros and a chihuahua.

    That’s why the world we live in is so simple.

  • Ivan Karamazov · May 3, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Carlo :

    Carlo

    I also take incredible offense at your blanket assumption that all gays are excessively devoted to sex.

    Well then, I guess I should take incredible offense at your misrepresenting my statement.

    I didn’t say “excessively devoted to sex”. I specifically said “a whole rich lifestyle.” Surely you don’t deny that there is a whole gay lifestyle? Gay fashion, gay manner of speech, excessive interest in certain Hollywood stars ( e.g. Garland ), etc.

    I am pointing out that being gay is not just like being heterosexual, just with the one difference of a gender change for sex partner. It is a WHOLE big other thing, no? Not for every one, of course, but surely for many of those who are pushing for gay marriage.

  • Jon Rowe · May 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Ivan K,

    I think you are confusing subculture with lifestyle. Yes, there is a gay subculture in which homosexuals have various degrees of involement. Some of them, like for instance, the late Allan Bloom, was not involved in the subculture at all and had a strong distaste for it.

    We all agree that race is unchosen and immutable; likewise there is a distinctly black subculture as well.

  • Jon Rowe · May 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Bruce Bawer has an interesting article on gay cultural contributions. It may well be that there is something far more profound in the gay psyche than Judy Garland camp and being fashion queens.

    http://www.indegayforum.com/news/show/26610.html

    It’s also confining, for there’s no part of the cultural landscape without a gay element. Even if gays constitute as much as fifteen percent of the population, the gay contribution to Western art, architecture, music, and literature far exceeds what it should be statistically. If you accept the right-wing claim that only one in a hundred people is gay, then the gay contribution is truly extraordinary. Think about it: A group comprising one percent of the population producing Erasmus, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Marlowe, Bacon, Hölderlin, Hans Christian Andersen, Tchaikovsky, Proust … the list goes on and on to include three of the four major nineteenth-century American novelists, one (perhaps both) of the two great nineteenth-century American poets, and two of the three most noted mid-twentieth-century American dramatists.

  • Jon Rowe · May 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Even if Bawer overstates his case, anyone familar with high culture can’t deny in a “I can see it with my own two eyes” sense the disproportionate homosexual contribution. Make a list of the say, 50 most notable classical music composer-conductors of the past 100 years and check off who we know is homosexual if you want some statistical verification for the hypo.

  • Jon Rowe · May 3, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    James,

    The point that Sowell et al. make is not that racism doesn’t exist, but since Jim Crow was crushed it really doesn’t have as much institutional teeth as you might think. And that’s because market oriented economies are pretty good at offering solutions to those who might be aggrieved victims of racism. For instance, if a black guy is more qualified and gets turned down for a job a competitor across the street, by hiring him, makes his business more efficient. There was a time when Jews were turned away from law firms. Not a smart move for the anti-Semites. So they started their own Jewish firms which today are some of the most prestigious law firms in the nation.

    I don’t know enough about the issue to make a judgment call; but the Sowell hypo is the real problems blacks and other minority groups continue to face is less a function of white privilege and institutional racism and rather of more complex issues like fatherlessness that leads to poverty, lack of adequate educational opportunities and other things.

  • RK Wright · May 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Ivan-

    You are intentionally being obtuse, and everyone can see it. Carlos surely understood my point, as did everyone else as well, I am sure. My point was and is that you do not have to do anything of a sexual nature to “BE” gay. Sexual orientation and identity do NOT depend on having sexual intercourse.

    Following YOUR logic would mean that every person has no sexual orientation until and unless they participate in sexual intercourse with another human being. To follow your logic another step, one would only be able to claim their sexuality based on the last individual they had sex with, meaning there would be no bi-sexual individuals.

    Sorry you have such difficulty with logic.

  • Jamie · May 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    @Snippet

    That implies a “social engineering” mentality towards extending legal rights, which, as I argued in an earlier post, is NOT a conservative position. Conservatism is skeptical of the government’s ability to engineer behavior, which I why I believe a principled conservatism has an important place in any reasonable conversation about public policy.

    Whatever merit the idea of limiting marriage to child-raising couples has (none, I think), it is not a conservative idea. Or if it is, it is a culturally conservative religious idea. This blog is supposedly supposed to venue for more skeptical, non-religious conservationism, which I interpret to be libertarianism or Burkean conservatism. Your idea makes no sense in those contexts.

    I would fall into the category of people who would lose some of their legal rights if you “musing” were made into law. Do you think it would be fair for me to lose the legal protections and social recognition of marriage or not?

    Yes or no? Well, what is it? When you put the question in such stark terms, it is revealed for the absurd idea that it is.

    And besides, do we need to offer people special privileges for breeding? That’s one thing we do without much encouragement. Hell, we think about it all the time even when we don’t do it. ;)

    Marriage means something other than what you are saying it means. It is a structure for raising kinds, but it’s not JUST a structure for raising kids. Should marriages end when the kids finish college?

    And that’s an important link in the argument against banning gay people from marrying. Biology isn’t the issue. If gay people can’t marry because they are not biologically able to reproduce, neither should infertile couples or couples who just don’t like kids. (To your credit, you said you’d give the same privileges to gay couples adopted.)

    Biological potential or social results have NOTHING to do with whether the law should apply evenly to different categories of people. That is a conservative principle that I have a lot of sympathy for.

    Some of the arguments being made here have are “out of bounds” within conservativism.

    While I’m checking in here, I want to say that I have tremendous sympathy with Danilo’s attitude toward Hate crimes legislation. Terroristic actions taken out against specific groups of people are a different kind of crime and should be treated differently. Crimes that are partially motivated by prejudice should not. If someone assaults a gay person that came onto him that’s assault. It should be taken seriously, but it shouldn’t be legally different from beating up a guy who slept with your wife (to throw out a stereotypical reason for attacking a straight guy!). If a group of guys makes it a habit to search out gay people of the streets and attack them so those “fags” will know their place. . . well that’s a different category of crime. It deserves something more than the penalty you’d get for other kinds of violence.

    I don’t know how those laws work in practice. It seems like the burden of proof there should be pretty high. By standards, the kids who killed Mathew Sheppard probably did not commit a hate crime. But since they committed several very serious felonies including kidnapping and first degree murder, it doesn’t matter that much. That’s plenty to get you life in prison. From what I know of the way hate crimes laws sometimes work, I’m a bit wary of them.

    The hate crimes thing is a pretty good demonstration of the kinds of standards I think are appropriate to this debate. Should the law apply equally or not? That’s the only issue here. All the gibberish here about traditional this and that or biological this and that have very little to do with the law.

    Is homosexuality a biological category? Sometimes. I’m not sure that’s good grounds for making a political judgment though. Is it a social reality? Yes. Is it fair to acknowledge this reality with legal recognition. Yep. In my book it is.

    Ivan, some of your comments here are bordering on being straightforward message board “flaming.” Most of the folks here arguing the opposite side of this issue from me appear to be doing so in good faith. You appear to be arguing on the grounds of absurd semantic nonsense. You have made arguments based on an obsolete definition of the word “fetish,” on the bad behavior you say some gay dudes exhibit on T.V., and on whether one’s gender exists before one gets laid. I will swear on a stack of my Dad’s Playboy’s that I was straight long before I was gettin’ any.

  • Carlo · May 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    @Ivan Karamazov:

    All right, perhaps I did misunderstand you. But if so you’re entirely to blame. Your original use of the word fetish was preceded by the word sexual, and you later defined it as “anything that is different from the biological procreation sex act, which is male/female and with the proper orifices.” So you’ll pardon me if I made the mistake of thinking that you were referring to sex.

    In any case, the point still stands. You’re making sweeping, blanket assertions about what is actually a very diverse group of people. I’d be interested to hear a clear description from you as to what this gay lifestyle really is. Does it encompass a fondness for musicals? Fine food? Fashion? An attraction to certain cultural icons? Which ones: Judy Garland? David Beckham? Jake Gyllenhaal? Hillary Clinton? Superman? Or do you refer to sexual subcultures, and if so which ones? Leather? Bears? S&M? Twinks? (And we haven’t even touched on what lesbians supposedly like).

    Granted, there are such things as stereotypes of gays, and admittedly they often have a strong basis in reality. But it’s ridiculous to paint so broad a brush that you would assume there were a single “gay lifestyle” to which the LGBT community broadly subscribes. And it’s equally ridiculous to assume that ALL of us (or indeed, even a majority of us) participate in any or all of these lifestyles. A lot of us actually prefer to live rather un-flamboyant (and even boring) lives as bankers, plumbers, scientists, etc, instead of as fashion designers and interior decorators; and would rather watch Star Wars than Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. And finally, you seem to be forgetting that a great many straight people thoroughly enjoy many of the same things that we gay folk do: go to any fashion show or Celine Dion concert (or indeed, any gay bar) and there will often be straight folks there too.

    And besides, by your standards one could just as easily describe a “straight lifestyle”, at least by American standards. There are many cultural signifiers that supposedly (and just as unfairly) signal masculine heterosexuality: beer, football, Hummers, power tools, poor fashion sense, and an unwillingness to articulate ones feelings, among others. Hell, you could even think of the Superbowl as an annual nationwide celebration of heterosexuality. To many of us gay folk, all of that straight culture IS “a WHOLE big other thing.” But we wouldn’t consider it to be a “fetish.”

  • James · May 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    @Jon Rowe,

    Thank you for taking the time to explain that to me. I think it is definitely a valid point. It makes no sense for companies to turn away qualified applicants. I would tend to agree that institutional racism is becoming a thing of the past. (Of course, that’s just the opinion of a straight, white guy :).) I don’t think it’s completely gone yet, and may never be, but we have come a long way in 50 years.

    My original point was not to say that straight, white males have it much easier or that institutional racism/sexism/homophobia is the sole thing keeping those groups down and definitely not that straight, white males are the sole cause of these issues. I was initially responding to Ivan’s idea that because it is so hard to “prove” one is gay, it would be impossible to extend “gay rights” to anyone (I hope I’m getting his point across clearly. If you’ve read his posts, I think you’ll know what I’m getting at). He seems to be very concerned that gay people might end up with more rights/protections/special considerations than him, and I was trying to point out that he has plenty of special considerations already (and that “gay rights” does not mean setting up special rights just for gay people). For example, he’s never had to “prove” he was straight in order to marry the person he loves. I certainly wasn’t intending to stray so far off-topic, but I appreciate the discussion nonetheless.

    Back to the topic at hand-I’ll say it again, there is no legal argument against same-sex marriage. There are moral arguments against it. I utterly disagree with those arguments, and think there are just as many moral argument FOR same-sex marriage. And obviously, there are religious arguments, but we’re here because we’ve set that aside. But where is the legal argument?

  • meanmathteacher · May 4, 2009 at 5:32 am

    A pragmatic and secular conservative argument against support of gay marriage is that it will adversely impact support of unrelated secular and libertarian policies. Does anyone here have any idea what would happen to, say GOP membership, if the GOP were to expressly support or at least not expressly reject gay marriage? Currently a very large portion of any vote that supports smaller government comes from a coalition of libertarian conservatives and religious/social conservatives. It seems to me that many of the participants in this discussion want to exclude the religious and social conservatives. Do you, who feel this way, believe there are an adequate number of libertarians and secular conservatives to influence policy without the numbers provided by social and religious conservatives? If not do you believe that by rejecting religious and social conservatives we will be able to recruit members from other sources how will that happen, and how many do you believe can be recruited.

  • RK Wright · May 4, 2009 at 6:10 am

    meanmathteacher, I think the republican party could indeed find new recruits out there if they gave up the social issues, and I think they could find a majority. There are many people who, if not for the social issues that affect them directly (or their loved ones) who would be republicans. I am one of those people. I am fiscally conservative, wish for less government intrusion, and am for more personal responsibility. I would have been a republican if not for the social issues views, and many of the independents I know would have been so as well.

    That’s the rub. You either have to abandon, or at least marginalize to a great extent, the current base, and lay the foundation for a different type of republican party. The current Party is far from the greatness it once held as the Party Of Lincoln.

  • JohnC · May 4, 2009 at 7:58 am

    @meanmathteacher
    There is a growing recognition that the current coalition, historically built from southern Dixie-crats from the 1960s and the religious right from the 80s, is no longer politically or demographically viable for the Republican Party going forward. It is becoming clearer to many people that broadening the GOP base will require a substantial renegotiation of its stance on social issues, at the very least.

    This will likely be a painful and messy process, not least because the religious right has such a substantial grip within the party. But it will happen, and opposition to SSM, which is clearly a losing proposition among younger voters, is likely to become increasingly muted over the next few years.

  • Danilo · May 4, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I am doubtful as to whether the Republican party can be separated from social issues and religion at this point. I see them on a suicidal trajectory toward ideological purity. Religion has become the foundation of the party. Republican intellectuals are being purged and their influence is declining. It is becoming increasingly a party of rural, religious populism (Sarah Palin, Piyush Jindal, who performed an exorcism). The businessmen are not coming back soon. The Democrats on the other hand have drifted to the center and are now favored by many of the traditional constituencies of the old Republican party. One could imagine splitting the Democratic party into two parties: a centre-right fiscal conservative party called the “Democratic Party” with a platform like the Tories (UK, Canada) and a center-left Progressive Party. The Republicans would remain as a minor theocratic party focused on social issues.

    Just imagining…

  • RK Wright · May 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Danilo-

    Maybe a third party, via the Independents, will actually emerge, thus burying the republican party. The latest polls show that more people identify as independents than either of the two major parties. This could be good for all concerned as both parties are sucky in their own way.

    just hoping…

  • Mike in Texas · May 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

    The first and second points use the idea that historically it has never been acceptable or even concieved, so why should it now. Homosexuals have existed throughout history and are greatly over-represented in almost every monastic lifestyle/profession in history: clergy, military, sailors, etc. This gave them the ability to live in a male dominated sphere that freed them from expectations of marriage, and is a major reason why this issue was avoided over time.

    Interracial relations is approached differently in history because it leads to children. Gay marriage was not necessary, because historically marriage was for the purpose of having children, and marriage did not convey substantial civil rights and privilages as it does now. The fact that there is no historical precedent because “nobody wanted to” (which i find doubtful) does not negate the relevence of it today.

    Hospital visitations are commonly ok, but sometimes not. Medical decisions are more of an issue (pulling the plug for example). Also, theres immigration of partners, tax benefits, divorce rights and procedure, inheritance, partner benefits, and more. Hospital visitation is not even in the top 5.

  • Open Letter to the Republican Party « Buttle’s World · May 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    [...] think, parenthetically, that the case can be made that same-sex marriage is not a “sex” issue. But her larger point is very well taken. [...]

  • nobody · May 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I fail to see how the slippery slope can be avoided. If “one man and one woman” is arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory, then “two and only two” cannot fail to be the same. The fact that Canada is not viewing Mormon polygamy at this time with favor is irrelevant, as bigotry and animus against Mormons is acceptable within the elites of that country. True, at this time, the liberal elites do not have any particular desire to promote polymarriage, but if Moslems are adopted as their next special case, then watch the barrier to polygamy fall in short order. An even easier route will be the formation of homosexual triad marriages, which while rarer do exist, and surely all the same protestations in favor of homosexual two-person marriage apply to more than two. Surely anyone who won’t let three lesbians marry can only be motivated by bigotry and hatred, after all.

    In the previous thread someone posted that the slippery slope argument is bigotry, and two sentences later stated that there was nothing wrong with incest so long as both are consenting adults. This kind of ironic self-contradiction often can be seen in this debate, because one decides that marriage is whatever some judges, or a legislature say it is, then there is no logical or legal reason to deny it to any pressure group at all. The next group to be heard from may well be the pedophiles who will insist that the 10-12 year old person really is capable of giving informed consent…

    So what we are heading for is an ever-increasing number of forms of marriage, with the ever increasing set of rules, regulations and law to go with them. This means an every expanding government to administer all these issues. I recall during the 1970’s there were liberals who insisted that making unilateral, no-reason divorce legal was find with them because “it won’t affect my marriage”. This has proven to be wrong, if for no other reason than the creation of the institution of “Family Court”, which operates under rules more like the Star Chamber than any regular court of law. Every woman and every man has had their marriage weakened since the 1970’s, because they cannot assume it will continue; since at any time she can take the children and obtain a protective order, or he can do the same, even the most trusting of husbands and wives likely experiences twinge from time to time. Anyone who has watched a friend or acquaintance go through the meat grinder of divorce court knows what I am saying is true.

    Homosexual marriage will expand further the power of the state, of necessity. It will demand total societal acceptance of homosexuality as a norm, and that must lead in time to affirmative action in order to ensure that homosexuals are not discriminated against. This will lead to the situation Ivan may have been describing: once affirmative action must be taken to ensure proper participation of homosexuals in all areas of society, how does one prove status?

    Furthermore, any criticism of homosexuality must be stamped out as well as heteronormativity, because that’s discriminatory as well. When the same process is used to force acceptance of polymarriage, criticism of that will have to go as well. Ditto for incestual marriage and pedo-marriage. The thuggish behavior of the California anti-amendment-8 forces in posting every name and address of every donor to Yes on 8 shows us the future; conform to whatever the elites have chosen for society, or risk physical attack upon your person and danger to your family. So wave bye-bye to what’s left of freedom of speech, in time.

    In 20 years or so, we shall have a society in which all manner of sexual and nonsexual arrangements will be government sanctioned as “marriage”, along with a plethora of enforcement tools to prevent anyone from taking exception to the new status quo, and of course an ever-expanding body of law to deal with the ever-expanding body of rights. In time, the only liberties left will be sexual in nature.

    This hardly seems a conservative result.

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