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Old 02-09-2005, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Your thoughts wanted here.

Alright, I wrote the following as a post on my xanga as a way to express my frustrations and I want some comments on it. I realize its probably not grammatically sound or anything but I think the content is good. I would like some opinion, especially if you don't agree. If you do agree feel free to respond, its just that I am really interested in hearing the other side. Here it is:


Alright... I am very disapointed with the united states, but more specifically the state of kansas at the moment. It baffles me that as much as we pride ourselves on being a free country we are trying to take away peoples rights. If you haven't guessed by now, I am talking about gay marriage. On April 5th there will be a vote on whether kansas should add an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a women. Now, given the polictical makeup of the state, it will pass. Sad Sad Sad.

Someone once told me, i think it might have been mr. zuck, my 11th grade english teacher, that "if you can't understand why someone could hold an opinion on something, then you don't really understand their opinion." So i guess i don't understand their opinion. I know a lot of it has to do with religion, (imaging religion causing problems in the world, who would have thought religion could do that, again). But i can understand why most religious people don't approve of gay marriage, it does go against most religious teachings so that makes sense. I'm all for churches not doing gay marriages. They can do whatever the hell they want.

But i don't understand how the government thinks it has the power to decide what a marriage should be. The government has no right to take away anyones right to be married. I don't understand how the government trying to do that is anything but discrimination. We have come so far in this country towards treating everyone as equals, although we are nowhere close to being perfect, that it is sickening to think about what a huge step back this is.

Here is what i think should happen: I think that the government ought to completely drop the term marriage, and replace it with civil union, or something along those lines. This way marriage remains a "sacred" ritual that the different religions can set there own standards for. The civil union would then become basically what non religious people do when they want to get "married". It would basically be signing a contract which entitles them to certain benefits. There would be no difference in the legal status of the "married" and the "civil union(ed)" and therefore the government would not be discriminating.

As i said earlier i don't understand the other side of this debate, so if you are on the other side please explain it to me.

I mean no offense by this post, just putting my opinion out there for you all to hear.
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No arguments here, and I suspect considering the sexually liberal nature of most people on TFP that you will not find too many people to argue against your premise around here.

As I said after the election, I think somewhere on TFP, Americans think they've done so well because they no longer call black people nigger, when in fact they have simply transferred their oppression to a different group. It's no longer socially acceptable to pick on someone because of their skin color, but you can still get away with picking on someone because of their sexual orientation. It's really disgusting.
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed. It sounds like a very good thought. I particularly liked:
Quote:
Someone once told me, i think it might have been mr. zuck, my 11th grade english teacher, that "if you can't understand why someone could hold an opinion on something, then you don't really understand their opinion."
I like Mr. Zuck. Empathy and understanding are key in the peace process. They are key in everything that has to do with other people. If you can understand what another person is thinking and feeling about something, you'll be able to work with them on their level. If you can work with someone on their level, it's easier to welcome change from one side or the other.

I suggest that you stipulate that this isn't a gay vs. anti-gay marriage thread. There already is one and it's kinda hit a wall. Maybe this can just be a thread for random thoughts about politics. I dunno. Your call.
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just one thing to point out, at least how I see it.

In this case, and in most similar cases on the state level, the government isn't deciding this: the people are through referendum. Based on your description, I would assume that's how Kansas is doing it.

I do agree that marriage should be dropped from the government to be replaced by something else that can be inclusive to all. Simply make it a contract two people can enter into that gives them the same rights that are given to "married" couples, just without the name and, therefore, the connotation.

Good post though. Your grammer needs a little work , but very well put.
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you asked for feedback... here it is.

the most feeble part of your argument is that most of your premises are based upon the false idea that something is being taken away from people when in fact what you desire has never been granted to begin with.

the reason the government has a say in deciding the definition of marriage is that it is a legal contract between two (at least it's two right now, we'll see about next month) people. tax codes, property rights, estates and wills are all based on the family unit and its composition. even if you argue that the government has no place in legislating ANY amount of moral conduct there are immense legal and economic repercussions that are indisputably the domain of the state.

also, i would argue against your agreement with mr. zuck. sometimes people's opinions are based on nothing but ignorance and/or expediency. just because someone says that they hold a particular opinion doesn't mean they've spent a split second of genuine thought in forming that opinion. now perhaps mr. zuck was including the understanding of another person's ignorance as a part of understanding why they hold it... but hearing similar things come from my personal acquaintances makes that seem unlikely.
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
you asked for feedback... here it is.

the most feeble part of your argument is that most of your premises are based upon the false idea that something is being taken away from people when in fact what you desire has never been granted to begin with.

the reason the government has a say in deciding the definition of marriage is that it is a legal contract between two (at least it's two right now, we'll see about next month) people. tax codes, property rights, estates and wills are all based on the family unit and its composition. even if you argue that the government has no place in legislating ANY amount of moral conduct there are immense legal and economic repercussions that are indisputably the domain of the state.
One could argue that in the beginning there were no laws preventing or promoting gay marriage. While it may not have been taken away, it was never offered on the table like it is today. We are talking about potentially changing the law to fit in a group who is in the infancy of social acceptance. Rules have to be rewriten every once in a while to accomidate evolution (if you want to call it that) of the social circumstance. This is an opportunity for one such rewrite. If society is ready (i.e. enough voting people accept homosexuality), it'll pass. If not, then the supporters suck it up, ragather our efforts and try again tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
also, i would argue against your agreement with mr. zuck. sometimes people's opinions are based on nothing but ignorance and/or expediency. just because someone says that they hold a particular opinion doesn't mean they've spent a split second of genuine thought in forming that opinion. now perhaps mr. zuck was including the understanding of another person's ignorance as a part of understanding why they hold it... but hearing similar things come from my personal acquaintances makes that seem unlikely.
I understand what you are trying to say, but a lot of the time people who are percieved as ignorant or expendant because they are not properly understood. If the though process was better understood, then you could adapt your explaination to better fit what thery might udnerstand. Obviously there are a lot of stupid people out there, but if most people mean well I don't see how we have to ignore peoples opinions. Even stupid people can have good ideas.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
One could argue that in the beginning there were no laws preventing or promoting gay marriage. While it may not have been taken away, it was never offered on the table like it is today. We are talking about potentially changing the law to fit in a group who is in the infancy of social acceptance. Rules have to be rewriten every once in a while to accomidate evolution (if you want to call it that) of the social circumstance. This is an opportunity for one such rewrite. If society is ready (i.e. enough voting people accept homosexuality), it'll pass. If not, then the supporters suck it up, ragather our efforts and try again tomorrow.



I understand what you are trying to say, but a lot of the time people who are percieved as ignorant or expendant because they are not properly understood. If the though process was better understood, then you could adapt your explaination to better fit what thery might udnerstand. Obviously there are a lot of stupid people out there, but if most people mean well I don't see how we have to ignore peoples opinions. Even stupid people can have good ideas.
There is more to it than who has the most votes, will,,,,,,,,,,,
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<a href="http://www.webpan.com/dsinclair/judicial_activism.html">http://www.webpan.com/dsinclair/judicial_activism.html</a>
I submit that it is the Family Research Council which has forgotten some essential principles upon which the United States was founded. The principle of democratic self-rule is not absolute. It is limited by the constitution. If, on the other hand, the Family Research Council holds the principle of democratic self-government to be paramount, would they be willing to accept the results of a hypothetical state referendum that bans Christians from exercising their religion? I do not believe so. I believe that they would ask the Supreme Court to overturn the referendum, and hope for the "judicial activists" on the court to commit the high crime and misdemeanor of overthrowing the will of the people. And the Supreme Court would be performing its proper constitutional duty in doing so, <b>just like the Supreme Court was performing its proper constitutional duty when it overturned Colorado's notorious amendment 2, which made gays and lesbians second-class citizens under the law. In the amendment 2 case, not the court assumed powers that it did not have under the constitution, but 53% of the voters in Colorado did.</b>
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
I submit that it is the Family Research Council which has forgotten some essential principles upon which the United States was founded. The principle of democratic self-rule is not absolute. It is limited by the constitution. If, on the other hand, the Family Research Council holds the principle of democratic self-government to be paramount, would they be willing to accept the results of a hypothetical state referendum that bans Christians from exercising their religion? I do not believe so. I believe that they would ask the Supreme Court to overturn the referendum, and hope for the "judicial activists" on the court to commit the high crime and misdemeanor of overthrowing the will of the people. And the Supreme Court would be performing its proper constitutional duty in doing so, just like the Supreme Court was performing its proper constitutional duty when it overturned Colorado's notorious amendment 2, which made gays and lesbians second-class citizens under the law. In the amendment 2 case, not the court assumed powers that it did not have under the constitution, but 53% of the voters in Colorado did.
That Supreme Court decision was really important, and a lot of people forgot about it. It is very much relevant to the effort to ban gay marriage. The problem is that the homosexual community does not by any means have the power of the christian community. The hypothetical christian ban could result in mass exodus or civil war because of the sheeer numbers in the christian community. It's a shame that people don't understand what they are doing.

Note: I hope that it is known that not all christians embrace the bigotry towards homosexuals. I, for one, embrace the understanding that Jesus taught us to have towards all people. "Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me." Somehow it seems like an affectation for some christians to quote that passage.
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Most of us here, as pointed out, are sexually liberal and support the idea of gay unions.

I, however, dont want to do away with the term marriage under law. A simple option is to give gay couples civil unions. Under law they keep all the same benefits of marriage, yet it doesnt carry the religious connotations. If they want a true religious marriage they can find a minister (I'm sure there's many) to do it for them.
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for responding. And also thanks for keeping it civil, I know a lot of threads about issues such as this get immature real quick.

I realize that the final decision, in this case, will be up to the voters of kansas and it is not neccesarily the government, but the government approved the referendum, and I think it is sad that it has came this far.

I think that what mr. zuck said did imply that their views were justified, or at least in their minds. If they can't justify their own position it makes the whole thing worthless. But it has made me more conscience of just bashing people that I don't agree with.

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Old 02-10-2005, 05:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtestudo
Good post though. Your grammer needs a little work , but very well put.
This is my favorite spelling mistake, as it got me ejected from my fourth grade spelling bee in the first round.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Host - your point is one that I have returned to many times in my own thoughts. Unless my understanding of the Constitution is incorrect, our laws are not made and validated by simple "majority rules". In fact, simple majority referendum is actually an unsophisticated and weak argument in favor of a law. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the minority from the majority - which would mean that (barring an amendment to the Constitution itself) any law passed, even by majority vote is quite appropriately subject to judicial review. This was the whole point of an independent judiciary, right? An amendment to the Constitution would of course change the ground for judicial review, but would also represent a change in the basic ground our country stands upon - and this change would sadden me immensely.

One other question - and please do inform me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the term "judicial activism" is nothing more than a pejorative way of stating something obvious. A court that rules on cases is simply doing its job, which is to interpret laws, and their legality, correct? I've never quite understood how a court that can't solicit cases and passes judgment can be said to be "activist".
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Let's start with the common definition of the term, per Merriam-Webster: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. The term has recently been bastardized by references to "same sex" marriage, an oxymoron. I personally think that two consenting persons, either opposite or same sex, should be able to enter into any cnsensual relationship they wish. Whether it is legally recognized, in the sense of spousal benefits, however, is another issue and a potentially expensive one for all of us taxpayers. Beyond that, there is the point already made, which is that same sex couples are asking for something they've never had...throughout history, the above defintion has remained unchanged. They represent a small but vocal minority, and by one psychological definition, homosexuality is a behavioral abnormality.
It's swimming upstream, under those circumstances, to expect anything more than civil unions and limited legal rights for gays. Finally, if you make marriage something else, the door is open to make it ANYTHING...my personal favorite would be a man and two or more women. And as for equality, the government has a compelling interest in defining areas where social health and welfare are concerned...otherwise satanists practising sacrificial killings of others, for example, would have to be allowed to practise murder in the interests of maintaining the kind of equality you speak of. Just my thoughts.
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Mule- Thanks for your response. I found it interesting that the dictionary actually defined it as between opposite sexes. It had never occured to me to look it up until now. Its also interesting that they have added a 2nd definition: the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.

Since the gay community is a "small but vocal minority" would the tax break that they would get be really expensive for the taxpayers. If that is really an issue, wouldn't doing away with tax breaks all together for marriage be in the taxpayers best interest. Or, how about this. It will completely cover the "gay marriage tax burden", we tax the shit out of divorces. Hell, that might balance the damn budget at the rate this country gets divorced.

Thanks for not giving the standard, "if gays can marry, then people are going to marry their pets too" arguement. As for marrying more then one person, the defintions mentioned both say A person, but while I would never do it, I think that if all parties involved are ok with it, then why not. It is their personal choice.

Your next arguement, I really just don't understand. Its agreed that sacrificial killings of others should be controlled by the government because in that case the actions will affect the safety and livelyhood of others. In this case, I don't understand where the threat to social health and wefare comes from. I don't think anyone gets hurt from marriage.

I hope this doesn't come off as an attack on you, just a response with my thoughts.
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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tmyers, I'm not offended by your response...this is a forum for the exchange of ideas, and I don't consider it an attack when someone disagrees with me. I have opinions, not answers, and very seldom is there ever a "right" answer. This is pointedly so with the isssue you raise. On one hand, I see where you are coming from and take little issue with it. On the other hand, the reality of the situation is that in a representative government, as here, large majorities drive both the rule of law and morality. To put it in perspective, Brown v. Board of Education, wherein the U.S. struck down the "separate but equal" treatment of blacks in favor of integration, isn't even 50 years old yet, and racial prejudice still is alive and well, when we're only talking about differences in skin color. IMO, sexual orientation is an issue which engenders a much stronger negative response on the part of the vast majority of our citizens, due to religious beliefs and the "yuck" factor that many people can't get past (I personally believe that all sex is dirty, if it's done right, whether hetero or not). Bottom line is that the majority get to make the rules and they'll find what admittedly are often nothing more than lame excuses (eg, cost and confusion in spousal benefits, inheritance; putting children in danger by "confusing" them with "unnatural" gender orientation) to keep gays from being recognized as a legally protected class, much less permitting them to enter into a marriage which the government would hold to be legal. Since most people believe that marriage is limited in meaning to a legal union between a man and a woman, that's what it will be. Keep fighting the good fight, convince enough people otherwise, and maybe it won't always be that way.
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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First off, this is an amazing and hilarious statement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganmule
I personally believe that all sex is dirty, if it's done right
But back to the issue, I agree that marriage generally carries religious connotations, as it has been, for the longest time, an act given sanctity. Only recently has it been veered away from that, and only slightly. This being the case, I do not think that gays should be disallowed from being married, but I also do not believe that a religious establishment should be forced to consecrate it. In this situation, neither group would be oppressed.

Oh, and civil unions are fine by me. Heck, being nonreligious, I'd be toally happy having a (heterosexual, thanks) civil union in the future. Fits my needs just fine.
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shakran
No arguments here, and I suspect considering the sexually liberal nature of most people on TFP that you will not find too many people to argue against your premise around here.
That's more a function of censorship (both official and self-censorship) than anything else. My experience has been that if you post something saying that gay marriage is a bad idea for any reason (even if it's a "the time is not yet ripe for this issue" thing), you WILL be labelled a bigot and most likely be threatened with banning. Given that, why bother? People can push for whatever they want, and can deal with the backlash themselves. It'll be sad for those who didn't push for it and suffer, but that suffering is on the hands of the immoderates, not the moderates who said "wait, think about the likely results of what you're going to do for a second" and were shouted down.


C'est la vie.
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Am I missing something?? When did gays lose the right to get married?
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Old 02-15-2005, 09:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Am I missing something?? When did gays lose the right to get married?
It happened at some point in the middle ages, after which the Catholic church stopped blessing gay marriages.
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Old 02-15-2005, 09:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Locobot
It happened at some point in the middle ages, after which the Catholic church stopped blessing gay marriages.

That's not true at all. Gays are still allowed to marry in this country. They are getting married perhaps everyday.
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NCB
That's not true at all. Gays are still allowed to marry in this country. They are getting married perhaps everyday.
It's just that their marriages are not honored by any government office outside of Vermont(is that still the case, or have they stopped like Hawaii?), so I guess that's "allowed."
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kadath
It's just that their marriages are not honored by any government office outside of Vermont(is that still the case, or have they stopped like Hawaii?), so I guess that's "allowed."
Oh, you're talking about same sex people getting "married". That's a different story then. Perhaps then this debate should really focus on changing the definition of marriage, because as it stands now (and has stood for thousands of years), the thought of two men or two women getting "married" is completely illogical and doesn't make sense.

That said, let's shift the focus on the merits of changing the definition of marriage. And why should we stop at only two homosexuals getting hitched? Why not a threesome or moresome? Why only change the definition to include only two people. Also, should we allow close relatives to get hitched as well? It's not really fair for them not to. After all, if it's between "consenting adults", why should the govt stop them?
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:54 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Hooray, the same tired old arguments against homosexual marriage are trotted out again! Let's make it possible for people to marry children, or animals, or piles of Lego blocks! Haha! That showed those people who think homosexuals should be allowed to marry! What a brilliant debating technique that has never been used before.

I refer you to, oh, I don't know, every other gay marriage thread on this board for reasons your arguments are, frankly, idiotic and bigoted.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:19 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Oh, you're talking about same sex people getting "married". That's a different story then. Perhaps then this debate should really focus on changing the definition of marriage, because as it stands now (and has stood for thousands of years), the thought of two men or two women getting "married" is completely illogical and doesn't make sense.

That said, let's shift the focus on the merits of changing the definition of marriage. And why should we stop at only two homosexuals getting hitched? Why not a threesome or moresome? Why only change the definition to include only two people. Also, should we allow close relatives to get hitched as well? It's not really fair for them not to. After all, if it's between "consenting adults", why should the govt stop them?
You cannot seem to comprehend that there are people who experience an
attraction to others not unlike the way that you have, the difference being
one that you have no empathy for; they find themselves attracted to
people of their own gender.

Through a combination of environment and of upbringing, you have been
encouraged to openly display display your contempt for people who feel
and express love for each other, but who do so in a way that you find
threatening to your own belief system. People who are oriented to a
same gender sexual attraction, have no more choice in finding themselves so oriented, than you did back in grade school. Your lack of empathy helps
you to avoid accepting that.

I have a friend who has lived in a loving monogamous relationship with a
member of his own gender for 25 years. If not for the lack of empathy in
his own community, a civil union between this couple would long ago have
been a certainty.

You wear your dysfunctional, intolerant view on your sleeve, apparently with the encouragement of your own equally, in their way of thinking about this issue anyway, own dysfunctional community.

You exhibit a need for the love my friend has shared for 25 years with his partner to be somehow different, and importantly, alien to the love that you and your community share with your own partners. Your dysfunction is exhibited not only in your need for this love to be different and alien, but
also in your need to make their love separate and negative somehow, since
it frightens the part of you that can recognize that their love for each other is so similar to your own expression. Your comfort in openly displaying and acting politically on your dysfunctional and intolerant thinking aggravates existing division and intolerance in society, and makes your personal dysfunction, society's problem. My friend's 25 year partner is a psychiatrist, who would probably agree that you should seek help in dealing with your issues, for the improvement of your mental health.
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:13 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
Hooray, the same tired old arguments against homosexual marriage are trotted out again! Let's make it possible for people to marry children, or animals, or piles of Lego blocks! Haha! That showed those people who think homosexuals should be allowed to marry! What a brilliant debating technique that has never been used before.

I refer you to, oh, I don't know, every other gay marriage thread on this board for reasons your arguments are, frankly, idiotic and bigoted.

Are you capable of developing a defense for argument or are you resorting to personal attacks because you can't?
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:20 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
You cannot seem to comprehend that there are people who experience an
attraction to others not unlike the way that you have, the difference being
one that you have no empathy for; they find themselves attracted to
people of their own gender.

Through a combination of environment and of upbringing, you have been
encouraged to openly display display your contempt for people who feel
and express love for each other, but who do so in a way that you find
threatening to your own belief system. People who are oriented to a
same gender sexual attraction, have no more choice in finding themselves so oriented, than you did back in grade school. Your lack of empathy helps
you to avoid accepting that.

I have a friend who has lived in a loving monogamous relationship with a
member of his own gender for 25 years. If not for the lack of empathy in
his own community, a civil union between this couple would long ago have
been a certainty.

You wear your dysfunctional, intolerant view on your sleeve, apparently with the encouragement of your own equally, in their way of thinking about this issue anyway, own dysfunctional community.

You exhibit a need for the love my friend has shared for 25 years with his partner to be somehow different, and importantly, alien to the love that you and your community share with your own partners. Your dysfunction is exhibited not only in your need for this love to be different and alien, but
also in your need to make their love separate and negative somehow, since
it frightens the part of you that can recognize that their love for each other is so similar to your own expression. Your comfort in openly displaying and acting politically on your dysfunctional and intolerant thinking aggravates existing division and intolerance in society, and makes your personal dysfunction, society's problem. My friend's 25 year partner is a psychiatrist, who would probably agree that you should seek help in dealing with your issues, for the improvement of your mental health.

Intresting.

You talk about upbringing and lack of tolerance, and other liberal ploys to avoid the argument. What's ironic is that you can substitute the story of your friend with a story of devout Born Again Christians, for because of upbringing and lack of tolerance, are pissed on just as much as homosexuals.

BTW, when you mentioned that your friend and his boyfriend are not accepted in their own community, do you mean his community as a whole or the homosexual community? As I'm sure you're aware, the homosexual community is not exactly united in this whole "marriage" thing.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:35 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Intresting.

You talk about upbringing and lack of tolerance, and other liberal ploys to avoid the argument. What's ironic is that you can substitute the story of your friend with a story of devout Born Again Christians, for because of upbringing and lack of tolerance, are pissed on just as much as homosexuals.

BTW, when you mentioned that your friend and his boyfriend are not accepted in their own community, do you mean his community as a whole or the homosexual community? As I'm sure you're aware, the homosexual community is not exactly united in this whole "marriage" thing.
I meant that my friend and his partner happen to live in a "red" state that
recently wasted it's legislative time and expense in order to pass a soon to be declared unconstitutional amendement to "ban" same sex unions.

I debated whether to just take the easy way out and counter your comparison of discrimination experienced by dBA Christians versus discrimination experienced by homosexuals. i.e. "they do not......do too !!"

I have personal experience with your point of view because I hear it repeated often by fellow members of the Southern Baptist congregation that my most recent wife has persuaded me to join and participate in, in exchange for the
pleasure of her company on sunday mornings, and at other times of prayer, bible study, and fellowship. I believe in Christ as my saviour, and in my personal experience, most Southern Baptists consider themselves to be "saved" or dBA Christians. I differ with "saved" Christians who I know in that
I believe that the bible is not to be interpreted literally, and I believe that
people who have not been given an opportunity to accept Jesus as their
saviour cannot simply be excluded from the possibility of eternal salvation.

If you are interested, on the "Religious Right's Beliefs.........." thread, I posted
an alternative interpretation of the Book of Revelation project undertaken
on the <a href="http://www.knoxseminary.org/Prospective/Faculty/FacultyForum/JohnRevelationProject/">Knox Theological Seminary website.</a>

My point of view is that of a New Englander. I have lived in the Bible Belt only
a short time. I have observed an arrogance influenced by a mindset of "salvational exclusivity", coupled with a pervasive persecution complex among
the southern Christian communtiy, which you allude to in your post.

Please tell me how you can compare the sometimes violent and too often, blatantly intimidating and at least taunting, comtemptuous, and degrading discrimination that openly gay people are subjected to in America, (your "boyfriend" reference, after I described a participant in a "25 year" relationship, exhibited this, I think), with the status quo and the politcal power of the dBA Christians in America ?

I want to be a Baptist along the lines of seminary graduate Bill Moyers, a
man who can look objectively on the state of the country and that of
the Christian community. It is comical to read your "discrimination against
the dBA" comments, knowing that recently, the six top leaders in the federal
government were all of either Southern Baptist or of the Baptist faith. If three
of them were Jews, would you ignore the signifiance of that, as you seem to
downplay the fact that having six baptists as national government leaders
tends to make your discrimination talk seem absurd. Bill Moyers is a lot more
reliable in his observations, and much more tolerant than Robertson, Falwell, or LaHaye, Dobson, etc. Contemplate enlarging your own sphere of influential Christian leaders and spokespersons.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.narsil.org/politics/moyers/Jan_4_2002.html">http://www.narsil.org/politics/moyers/Jan_4_2002.html</a>

Bill Moyers

Harry Middleton Lecture

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, Texas

January 4, 2002

....................We have work to do.

You know that I come out of that big tent of tradition called Baptists. At last count, there were more than two dozen varieties of us in America. Bill Clinton is a Baptist; so is Pat Robertson. Jesse Jackson is a Baptist; so is Jesse Helms. Trent Lott is a Baptist; so is Al Gore. Newt Gingrich and Richard Gephardt. No wonder Baptists have been compared to jalapeno peppers – one or two make for a tasty dish but a whole bunch of them together in one place brings tears to your eyes.

Twenty years ago I covered the first convention of the Moral Majority, held right here in Texas, in Dallas. With a major presidential candidate sitting on the dais, our cameras captured the president of the Southern Baptist convention as he declared that God does not hear the prayers of a Jew. Since then his crowd has taken control of the Southern Baptist Convention – the country’s largest Protestant denomination – and turned their pews into precincts of right-wing politics. Recently they published a prayer guide calling on Christians to pray for the nine hundred million Hindus who ‘worship gods which are not God.’ Now it’s natural for religions to want others to see the truth as it does, but when a Hindu engineer asked me if Southern Baptists speak for all Baptists, I told him they don’t even speak for all Southern Baptists. We Baptists differ profoundly in how we read the Bible, how we read history, and – surprise, surprise – how we read election results. My father was a Baptist deacon who thought for himself. He was certain that Cain and Abel were the first Baptists, since they had introduced fratricide into the Bible. But think about it. The first murder rose out of a religious act. Adam and Eve have two sons – the first parents to cope with what it means to raise Cain. Both brothers are rivals for God’s favor, so both bring God an offering. Cain is a farmer and offers the first fruits of the soil. Abel is a shepherd and offers the first lamb from the flock. Two generous gifts.
I see Bill Moyers holding up a mirror for interested Christians to look at themselves in. I see the "Christian Right" using a magic mirror like the one
in the Cinderella fairy tale, where they know that they will always see the
"fairest on of all", when they gaze into it.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:32 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Are you capable of developing a defense for argument or are you resorting to personal attacks because you can't?

You know, while I could have found a nicer way to make my point, you're still just repeating the same tired strawmen. Why do you hate the idea of homosexual marriage so much?
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:27 PM   #29 (permalink)
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what is the purpose of marriage..Doesn't it promote the stability of society...those families sticking together to raise their kids and all. It's not about the kids is it....Is it about the money maybe...visiting in the hospital...The taxes? Marrieds pay higher taxes....Can't all of the problems Gay "Marriage" be overcome in other contractual ways.... What is the true essence of the debate? What do we gain with this change?

I don't care who you love....thats between you and them

What do gays want here? What are they lacking?
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:23 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofnway
what is the purpose of marriage..Doesn't it promote the stability of society...those families sticking together to raise their kids and all. It's not about the kids is it....Is it about the money maybe...visiting in the hospital...The taxes? Marrieds pay higher taxes....Can't all of the problems Gay "Marriage" be overcome in other contractual ways.... What is the true essence of the debate? What do we gain with this change?

I don't care who you love....thats between you and them

What do gays want here? What are they lacking?
They want what you have already been given. Simple. I believe it is a cop out when people ask for "civil unions" for gay couples. It's a second rate marriage certificate that screams not equal!
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:19 PM   #31 (permalink)
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sort of OT: My condolences, tmyers. I had assumed that you, as I am, were just another middle of the road guy stuck in slightly too red state. It seems, however, that Kansas has set out to be the benchmark by which the term "red" is defined:

Kansas Christians Mobilizing on Moral Issues
Sun Mar 6, 2005 8:07 AM ET

By Carey Gillam

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (Reuters) - Seen from afar, the unadorned cross atop the First Family Church of Overland Park seems to stretch almost into the heavens.

But it is the thousands of Christians congregating at First Family and other churches throughout Kansas who are flexing their political muscle by pushing a conservative Christian political agenda that is rapidly gaining momentum.

"There is an evangelical resurgence in this country and what is happening here in Kansas is symbolic of much of the nation," said First Family senior Pastor Jerry Johnston.

Indeed, a host of conservative Christian causes are moving forward: on April 5, Kansas voters will take up one of the strictest anti-gay marriage amendments in the nation; the state school board is embroiled in arguments between evolution and Biblical beliefs about creation; and fresh battles have begun over book banning and abortion rights.

The farming state in the middle of the American Heartland has long leaned Republican, and routinely backed conservatives on both social and fiscal matters.

But the last year has seen an unprecedented conservative Christian fervor sweep the state, sparked primarily by out-of-state court rulings favoring same-sex marriages. Hundreds of church leaders have been meeting, holding rallies and pounding pulpits to spur followers to political action.

They say their movement was bolstered by the re-election of President Bush, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian.

"There are pastors and other Christian leaders in every state who are beginning to understand they can't sit back any more," said Pastor Jim Conard of First Baptist Church in Shawnee, Kansas. "Any clear-cut moral issue that God has spoken on is worth defending."

Not all Kansans are embracing the evangelical agenda. Both Democrats and many life-long Republicans say the efforts to curtail abortion and homosexual rights are regressive, divisive and discriminatory.

"We're trying to become the laughingstock of the world," said Bill Franklin, a former mayor of Prairie Village, Kansas, who describes himself as a moderate Republican.

GOP STRONGHOLD

Observers say religious ideology has helped keep Kansas a Republican stronghold, despite the fact that much of the state is rural and populated by working- and middle-class families, the exact demographic Democrats say are hurt the most by Republican fiscal policies.

A key concern for the Christian groups is next month's vote on a constitutional amendment that would not only ban same-sex marriages -- already prohibited by Kansas law -- but also prohibit any relationship other than a married man and woman from receiving benefits associated with marriage, such as shared health insurance.

Conservatives are also making inroads on abortion issues. State Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican, has demanded the private medical records of dozens of Kansas women who have had late-term abortions, which are restricted but legal.

Abortion rights groups called it a witch-hunt designed to intimidate women and doctors but Kline, who leads the national Republican attorneys general association, says he is seeking evidence of possible crimes.

Kansas conservatives are also busy lobbying for changes in science instruction about evolution, which Christian groups say runs counter to Biblical teachings about the origin of life.

Kline has weighed in there too, telling Kansas Board of Education members they can place stickers on textbooks that read: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact."

And there are efforts in one of the state's highest-achieving school districts to ban books from the high school reading curriculum because of value concerns.

The moves are the first of many to restore morality to Kansas and the nation, church leaders say.

"You're going to see more and more of this," said Johnston, who is preparing for an April 3 rally in the Kansas City area expected to draw 10,000 people. "The church is alive and well. It has woken up, and it has become politically savvy."

here's the link:

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsAr...-KANSAS-DC.XML
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:04 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofnway
what is the purpose of marriage..Doesn't it promote the stability of society...those families sticking together to raise their kids and all.
It's not about the kids is it....

Is it about the money maybe...visiting in the hospital...The taxes? Marrieds pay higher taxes....Can't all of the problems Gay "Marriage" be overcome in other contractual ways.... What is the true essence of the debate? What do we gain with this change?

I don't care who you love....thats between you and them

What do gays want here? What are they lacking?
I can only speak for myself, but I think what I want is quite similar to what many other gays and lesbians want. I want the same things a hetero couple want from their marriage. I want to be able to join with my SO spiritually and legally, and have that union officially recognized by the law. I want to be able to take her name as my own as a matter of course. I want to be her legal next of kin, able to make medical and legal decisions on her behalf if she becomes unable to do so. I want our children, whether concieved and carried by one of us or adopted, to be our children, belonging to both of us, with all of the legal protections a parent and child have in that relationship. I want to be able to list her as my spouse on loan applications, property titles, rental agreements, etc., and be her presumed heir and she mine.

And I want to be able to say I am married to her. I understand that this is not true of all people, and I will not demean people who are happy in their relationships without the legal or religious sanction of marriage, but for me, being married says something about our relationship that being in a monogamous long term relationship does not. "Married" says something to me that "in a civil union" does not. This isn't to say that I'm not going to object to putting into effect "civil unions" that are the seme in all but name as a marriage; but if you're going to do that, why give it a different name? I'd be happy as a clam with that, being able to enter into a civil union with my lifemate. I'd still refer to our relationship in common usage as being married, though, regardless of the legal term for it.

In short, I want to be treated equally. I want my children to grow up in a family with two married parents
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