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The Gay Leadership’s Worst Hour

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:20 pm - June 10, 2006.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics,General

Although some gay organizations spent the second part of the week congratulating themselves on the defeat of the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) in the Senate, this week represents perhaps one of the worst weeks for the national gay leadership since gay issues entered the national conversation.

As I’ve said before, as the national conversation for a few days at least, turned to the most important social issue for our community — how the state should treat same-sex unions — gay leaders basically just chimed in to say that the president and the Senate GOP leadership were a bunch of meanies, pandering to their right-wing base by considering a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Even though the President and the Senate Majority Leader likely recognized that neither house of Congress could muster the two-thirds majority necessary to send the proposed amendment to the states, they hoped consideration of this amendment would placate those social conservatives who have fauled the GOP for not taking up their issues. Even as the GOP leadership threw a bone to the far right, they made it easier for the media to report on gay marriage.

In response, gay leaders acted like spoiled children, refusing to contribute to the debate because they hadn’t set the terms. Angrily sulking, instead of eagerly advocating, they accused those pushing the amendment of being “divisive.” Funny that they would accuse those (who believe they are) defending the status quo of being divisive when they (the accusers) are the ones promoting social change.

Even when the social change proposed is a positive one, the action of proposing it is necessarily divisive. As Charles Krauthammer put it in his column yesterday:

As for dividing Americans, who came up with the idea of radically altering the most ancient of all social institutions in the first place? Until the past few years, every civilization known to man has defined marriage as between people of opposite sex. To charge with “divisiveness” those who would do nothing more than resist a radical overturning of that norm is a sign of either gross partisanship or serious dimwittedness.

It would seem that the burden is on those who would overturn or alter such a cultural norm. And yet many gay activists bristle at having to undertake this burden. Rather than by building promoting social change through experience and advocacy, they would effect it through judicial fiat.

If we want to create a new social consensus, we need to talk about marriage the same way straight people talk about marriage. This is something I have been saying almost since I started blogging. Just nine days after my first post, I wrote:

We need to make clear that just as we seek the same privileges that the government grants straight people, we accept the same responsibilities expected of them.

Soon thereafter, I said we needed to talk about gay marriage not in the language of rights, but in terms of “values and mutual responsibility.”

Now it seems that some on the left agree with me. In Thursday’s New York Daily News, “progressive” Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote that it was a “mistake” for gay and lesbian groups “making the case for gay marriage” to rely “on the language of equal rights.

While I disagree with Lerner’s suggestions on how to change the terms of the debate, we both agree that we need to turn the debate away from rights. The Senate consideration of this unnecessary amendment gave gay leaders an opportunity to do so. But, rather than engage the American people, they acted as if they were incapable of discourse, suggesting, in the words of the Independent Gay Forum‘s Stephen Miller, that the “topic itself is unworthy of debate.

By so suggesting, they failed to seize the opportunity afforded by consideration of this unfortunate amendment — and so made this week the gay leadership’s worst hour. It showed them as angry partisans disdainful of the GOP rather than as eager advocates of gay rights.

They have another chance as the House is likely to take this issue up next month. When that debate begins, instead of focusing on the motives of those proposing the amendment, the gay leadership needs to articulate, as did that conservative columnist (Charles Krauthammer), on why the amendment is both “superfluous” and at odds with the character of the constitution.

And to make a case for extending the benefits and protections afforded by this ancient institution, for millenia between individuals of the opposite sex, to include couples of the same-sex.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: While not as harsh on the gay leadership as I have been, in a post I discovered after posting this piece, Chris Crain makes the same point I’ve been making: Let’s have a real gay marriage debate. Let’s.

While I don’t agree with everything in Chris’s post, I believe it’s well worth your time so encourage you to read the whole thing. I also want to draw two of his points to your attention. Like me, he finds that “it’s so rare that the advocates on either side ever get down to talking about marriage itself.” And unlike the gay leadership, he actually dares take issue with the case that the president (and other conservatives) has made that the proposed amendment only serves to promote judicial restraint:

If those advocating “judicial restraint” only wanted to ensure that “activist judges” did not force states to marry gay couples, then they would have drafted a very different amendment; one that resembles the second sentence of the one proposed.

It would say something like: “Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status be conferred upon any relationship other than the union of a man and a woman.” Period.

Yup.

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50 Comments

  1. I agree whole heartedly with this. I would encourage Gay Patriot readers to write HRC urging them to use the opportunity to debate the issue, when it’s heard in the house.

    I also would like to give credit to the few Senators who actually debated the issue rather than claiming the issue is a distraction. One of those is Mark Dayton, who is retiring. He is from Minnesota. He gave a very good direct speech opposing this amendment.

    Comment by Eva Young — June 10, 2006 @ 9:13 pm - June 10, 2006

  2. You can send comments to HRC using the address: field@hrc.org.

    Comment by Eva Young — June 10, 2006 @ 9:14 pm - June 10, 2006

  3. Right on, Eva. Rather than just bitching about this stuff, the so-called “gay leadership” in this country (sort of like the “black leadership” perhaps?) should work with their elected officials, instead of against them.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 10, 2006 @ 9:28 pm - June 10, 2006

  4. -As for dividing Americans, who came up with the idea of radically altering the most ancient of all social institutions in the first place?-

    Marriage is not the most ancient of all social institutions, is it?

    The people who make this into a campaign issue (incidentally, the party Krauthhammer often supports) are those who seem most focused on dividing Americans. But the burden is put on gays, even though the answers we give are never satisfactory, because those who argue against us on this issue just rely on “you can change”, or “you’re going to destroy America”, or, “you want to destroy churches.” They don’t want to hear what we have to say.

    -It showed them as angry partisans disdainful of the GOP rather than as eager advocates of gay rights.-

    To you, perhaps. To most people, this was not a major issue. Their opinions on gay rights are not going to change because of a rehash of a debate that many people are sick of. Being nice and sweet to the GOP wasn’t going to change minds on this issue. And those against this amendment actually gained 2 votes they didn’t have the last time (Specter and Gregg), so they must have done something right.

    I think that calling this the gay leadership’s worst hour is just hyperbole and takes away from your point. I find it hard to believe this is worse than how some gay organizations acted in the early 80’s when they hesitated to shut down bathhouses during the first stages of the AIDS crisis. Or the gay organizations doing such a terrible job during the gays in the military debate. Or the gay organizations ineptness during the 2000 elections. I could think of a few others as well.

    Comment by Carl — June 10, 2006 @ 9:51 pm - June 10, 2006

  5. As I’ve posted in the past, I think the LGBT community erred greatly by not first seeking civil unions so I don’t entirely disagree with you, Dan. Unfortunately, however, same-sex marriage has become the game on the field.

    I don’t advocate confrontation but I’d love for someone to name just one member of the House GOP leadership who would pay any attention to the reasoned, low-key debate you suggest. I say that only to point out how futile the debate is.

    And I don’t have a problem with the “equal rights” argument. As long as the 14th Amendment is part of the Constitution that is a legitimate argument.

    While it doesn’t bother me like it does you and most of those who read this blog, it’s likely only the courts will force the states to comply with the Constitution.

    Comment by Trace Phelps — June 10, 2006 @ 10:16 pm - June 10, 2006

  6. I’m sorry, but gays did not agitate to change the most ancient of institutions. The institution itself is relatively modern and was only meaningful for property owners until very recently. Restrictions on the basis of religion, social class and race were “traditional” for centuries. Gays are simply “agitating” for the end of a similarly bigoted restriction. In its current form, marriage is very young indeed, and the restriction on the basis of sex is simply irrational, unless you want to revive all of the restrictions advocated by, say, those who believe it should only exist for procreation.

    Comment by Alec — June 10, 2006 @ 10:52 pm - June 10, 2006

  7. #5 Trace:

    I think the LGBT community erred greatly by not first seeking civil unions

    Actually, the “gay leadership” has been behind on this issue almost from the start: it was individual couples who spearheaded the push for SSM. While I might have supported civil unions ten years ago, I do not today. The train has left the station – many other countries provide gay people with full marriage rights not some watered-down civil union right to visit a partner in the hospital. Civil unions are merely the ability to sit in the middle of the bus: I want to sit in the front. And yes, I’m willing to take the chance that something like the MPA will be passed. The opposition does not want civil unions – they want us back in the closet undergoing “reparative therapy.”

    Comment by Ian S — June 11, 2006 @ 12:15 am - June 11, 2006

  8. Ian S., apparently I didn’t make my point very clear. We would have been better off had the push been for civil unions; if obtained, once the public saw they weren’t a threat, they might have led ultimately to acceptance of marriage.

    Same-sex marriage, not civil unions, is the team we have on the field and that’s who we play the game with until we win.

    Comment by Trace Phelps — June 11, 2006 @ 2:10 am - June 11, 2006

  9. Trace, in 2000, there was a huge backlash against those in Vermont who pushed for civil unions. In 2003, I remember reading that the guy who was RNC chairman at the time said they would run against civil unions if Mass. didn’t legalize gay marriage, because he felt civil unions were similiar to marriage.

    Those who have so much clout and power based on anti-gay hostility will work against us no matter what we do. We can’t base our strategies on what they want.

    Comment by Carl — June 11, 2006 @ 9:44 am - June 11, 2006

  10. As the former political guy at LCR national I think we made a mistake (myself included) in not emphasizing the words “civil marriage” everytime we spoke on this issue. We allowed the extreme right to muddy the waters on civil v. religious marriage. A lot of fair minded persons thought that was too extreme. I agree with Trace that if we had gone for civil unions first we might have been able to move on to marriage later. But Ian has a valid point on the train leaving the station – we probably can’t go back civil unions. Mary Cheney in her book reminds us of the inevitablity of this most basic right. There is point now in pointing fingers (maybe at me!)at what we should have done over the past few years. We need to regroup and carefully plot our next moves, especially with 2008 right around the corner. You can pretty much be certain that the President is not going to say anymore about this subject!

    Comment by Mark Mead — June 11, 2006 @ 10:57 am - June 11, 2006

  11. A lot of people are thinking in very black and white terms; us vs. them. But that leaves out an important group: the middle. They are an important part in this debate, and avoiding the term “marriage” for a while really makes a difference. Many polls have shown it. So I think it’s naive to say that “they” are going to do what they’re going to do whether we pursue marriage or civil unions. Even if that’s so, we take away a lot of their ammunition against the middle just by avoiding the word “marriage” for a while until people get used to it.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — June 11, 2006 @ 12:24 pm - June 11, 2006

  12. #10 “I think we made a mistake (myself included) in not emphasizing the words “civil marriage” everytime we spoke on this issue.”

    A good point. I guess we just assumed it referred to civil marriage. I know of no one who believes in forcing any church to perform same sex marriages and I think that’s been made pretty clear all along. But you’re right, we gave the anti-gay forces an opening we could have prevented.

    #11: I think the risk you run in settling for civil unions as a stopgap measure is that if the public acquiesces and goes along with civil unions, many are apt to be a bit ticked off when you continue to agitate for full marriage. Civil unions might have been the way to go in 1996 but not today. Not after other countries have implemeted gay civil marriage. Not after Massachusetts has it. People are already getting used to the idea of SSM. I really believe the older anti-gay generation simply has to die off. Let’s hope that they pass before an MPA does.

    Comment by Ian S — June 11, 2006 @ 1:20 pm - June 11, 2006

  13. First of all, as good as this discussion has been, most of you miss my main point — that, in the past week, all the leading national gay groups including Log Cabin were unwilling to promote the idea of gay marriage. The train may have left the station, but the gay leadership seems to be hoping it reaches its destination without giving it any fuel. (At the same time, it’s shouting at those who are putting up barriers to its passage while doing little to take them down.)

    I agree we should have gone for civil unions first, especially given the success of the Connecticut endeavor. Yes, there was some protest about it when the Nutmetg State’s legislature debated the proposal, but there’s no chance the people would vote the new law down through a referendum — as they would likely have voted down a law mandating gay marriage.

    I’m pretty much with Bruce Bawer, believing that if we start with civil unions, we may end with marriage:

    For me, there’s a useful lesson in this: insist on calling the thing by its name and they’ll fight you over it; settle for the thing itself and soon they’ll be calling it by its name, simply because, hey, that’s what it is.

    Right now, the public is against gay marriage, but is warming to the idea of civil unions.

    It’s just too bad our gay leaders have been able to recognize that fact — and so failed to frame their arguments accordingly.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — June 11, 2006 @ 1:36 pm - June 11, 2006

  14. “I’m sorry, but gays did not agitate to change the most ancient of institutions. The institution itself is relatively modern and was only meaningful for property owners until very recently.”

    I suppose if you consider the Mesopotamian or Egyptian civilizations to represent the dawn of the modern age, you would be right.

    Comment by Patrick Rothwell — June 11, 2006 @ 1:52 pm - June 11, 2006

  15. I won’t compare the struggle of gay civil rights with that of black civil right – it brings out the boos and the hisses. Instead, may I take a look at strategy and tactics? I am sure blacks would have welcomed a friendly judiciary, but they didn’t have it. And it would have been fiercely opposed by people across the entire country. Instead, blacks worked for DECADES to create a friendly climate on the ground, to the point where 75% of the states were with them on most of their ideas. At that point it became possible to impose judicial will upon the Deep South. Instead, we have, on the issue of gay marriage, no majority of the people in any state with us. That’s a
    BIG FAT ZERO, my friends. Any attempt to impose judicial will across all 50 states, against the opposition of the people, is guaranteed to fail – and fail dramatically. The use of the courts, to hide a lazy and greedy gay political leadership – has been a disaster. And our leadership should PAY for this. We must convince the people first, across most of the United States. Our failure to do so, followed up by the attempt to use the courts in a tyrannical coup d’etat against the people of EVERY STATE, is an insult. I hope for gay marriage, I really do, but if ever it were to happen, it is decades away, due to the unAmerican approach of those involved in this monstrous gay-tyrannical-courts-driven agenda. Those of you supporting this judicial tyranny, without addressing the need to build a majority first, have done so much harm. And you blithely have no idea of the harm you have caused, and continue to cause.

    Comment by Michael Devereaux — June 11, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - June 11, 2006

  16. As the former political guy at LCR national I think we made a mistake (myself included) in not emphasizing the words “civil marriage” everytime we spoke on this issue.

    That would have been yet another disingenuous disctinction. We have seen that the left intends to force its agenda on churches with the Massachussetts adoption fiasco.

    The liberals, fortunately, will never figure out that lying through their teeth won’t get them anywhere.

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 11, 2006 @ 3:09 pm - June 11, 2006

  17. #15: “We must convince the people first, across most of the United States.”

    Well, we are doing that aren’t we? The polls on SSM are gradually moving our way. The beach head in Massachusetts is proving the sky isn’t falling. Young people are FAR more accepting of the idea of SSM and the anti-SSM geezers are dying off. Couple that with the increasing recognition of SSM in other western countries and it’s pretty clear to me that we won’t have to wait decades like you claim.

    Comment by ian S — June 11, 2006 @ 3:21 pm - June 11, 2006

  18. Those of you supporting this judicial tyranny, without addressing the need to build a majority first, have done so much harm. And you blithely have no idea of the harm you have caused, and continue to cause.

    What the proponents of judicial legislation conveniently forget is that the SCOTUS was definitely on the wrong side throughout the vast majority of our history. Need I mention Dred Scott?

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 11, 2006 @ 4:42 pm - June 11, 2006

  19. I think it’s pretty telling that on the day before the senate debate began an interesting event happened: The “popular youth culture” of our nation voted best performance in a film to a guy playing a gay, wannabe cowboy as well as “best kiss” to the same actor and his male co-star in the same film.

    And stop all this nonsense about courts “legislating”. It’s pure and simple….by not granting marriage rights to same sex couples, states and the federal government are simply denying equal protection under the law to citizens. pure and simple. I wonder how you guys would have reacted to Brown V. The Board of Education….

    Comment by Kevin — June 11, 2006 @ 10:43 pm - June 11, 2006

  20. I think rightwingprof’s comment in number 16 distorts what actually happened in Massachussetts. The left (which is what he seems to call anyone advocating gay rights) did not impose any agenda on churches. As I recall, the “Massachussetts adoption fiasco” he refers to did not involve a church per se. A Catholic organization doing adoptions fell under the state’s laws because it was in part funded by public monies.

    If rightwingprof and other Catholics want Catholic social agencies free of government regulation and interference they need to make sure those agencies are funded exclusively by the church.

    Comment by Trace Phelps — June 11, 2006 @ 11:50 pm - June 11, 2006

  21. #15 – working decades cost lives; quite frankly, in this day and age, I am not sure that people should pay with their lives for equality

    Comment by ralph — June 12, 2006 @ 1:28 am - June 12, 2006

  22. That would have been yet another disingenuous disctinction. We have seen that the left intends to force its agenda on churches with the Massachussetts adoption fiasco.

    The liberals, fortunately, will never figure out that lying through their teeth won’t get them anywhere.

    Don’t be stupid, “churches” were not forced to do a damn thing in that case. Nor did a single adoption not take place because of it. Sorry, but I’m tired of giving bigotry and prejudice a “pass” just because its based on someone’s religion. Fred Phelps believes he has the corner on traditional values too. So do the Ayatollahs of Iran for that matter. Bah.

    As for lying through your teeth, well, it certainly has worked for the GOP. Look at statements about “Judicial Activism”, “Activists Judges”, etc., when what they were really talking about was outlawing gay marriage, abortion, and sodomy. They say one thing, but mean the other.

    And Bush can’t even say the word “gay” when trying to outlaw our marriages. When the legislation he wants to pass is specifically aimed directly at gays and lesbians. What a fucking coward he truly is. At least Fred Phelps is honest about his hatred. Bush can’t even match that pitiful example.

    Lying through the teeth continues to serve the GOP well.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — June 12, 2006 @ 3:42 am - June 12, 2006

  23. I find use of the phrase “our community” to be patently offensive, not to mention divisive. I thought the idea was to for so-called “straight” society to stop thinking in terms of Us vs. Them? Boxing ourselves into a “community” based on who we sleep with doesn’t appear helpful to that end. Just like any other allegedly downtrodden minority group you care to name in America, I know that gays aren’t above alternately playing the Unity and Separatist cards depending on what our wants/needs require at the moment. But I was pretty surprised to see that tactic employed here. Sadly, it seems that Andrew Sullivan’s fall from credibility and relevance left a void too great to ignore.

    Comment by glisteny — June 12, 2006 @ 7:46 am - June 12, 2006

  24. The Government should be out of “marriages” totally. Civil Unions for all the population. If a couple wants a “marriage”, go to a church and have a religious wedding. The government has plenty of other things to concern it’s self with than marriages. This is just another way to get more taxes. If they want to stop that “slippery slope” make civil unions between only two humans of legal age.

    Comment by HDBiker — June 12, 2006 @ 7:51 am - June 12, 2006

  25. We must convince the people first, across most of the United States.

    That’s a tough one, Mr. Devereaux! I think one of the major problems the community has in trying to convince the people first has to do with whether or not a person is out.

    We have gay men who married out of fear or because they wanted children, who cruise the internet looking for other men. We have gays and lesbians who weren’t out when they began their careers who have attained a degree of professional success that makes them fearful of being out at work because it might put their jobs in jeopardy. We have gays and lesbians in rural or “conservative” areas who are justifiably fearful of coming out because they may be subjected to vandalism and violence.

    All Americans need to know that gays and lesbians aren’t just some group of people attracted to metropolitan areas; we’re your doctors, lawyers, police officers, and neighbors.

    Most of us blacks had no choice but to be visible and to show America who we were. Unfortunately, gays and lesbians do have a choice, and sometimes choose something contrary to their own dignity and the dignity of the community.

    Comment by James — June 12, 2006 @ 9:04 am - June 12, 2006

  26. Great post James

    Comment by HDBiker — June 12, 2006 @ 9:07 am - June 12, 2006

  27. Dan, I agree that we need more debate. My question is how do we shift the focus from equality to “values and mutual responsibility?”

    My observation is that, in order not to fully alientate conservative-friendly LGBT voters, many proponents of the amendment are careful to place the focus on the judiciary. However, one can’t ignore that arguments for the amendment have very moral or religious overtones.
    I mean, if they really wanted to give us some crumbs, wouldn’t they also submit legislation to offer civil unions?

    With proponents of the amendment, I’ve been able to have open, calm dialogue (surprising for a liberal, I know…lol). Do you suggest that one should say, “I merely want the law to grant my partner and me the same protections, and to also clearly define what responsibilities we have to one another” ?

    Comment by James — June 12, 2006 @ 9:12 am - June 12, 2006

  28. GPW made a good but relatively minor point the first time he posted this rant. But posting the same thing again and again and again and again doesn’t make the point any stronger and doesn’t make it any more important. In fact, it starts to look like a weird obsession with attacking the so-called gay leadership.

    If GPW wants to reframe the debate, he should do that. That means his posts be titled something about same-sex marriage, whatever argument it is that he thinks we should be making. Instead of proactively trying to start the debate, however, GPW just spends all his time blaring obnoxiously about HRC and others. Fine, GPW. Point made. Now, move on and do something positive.

    Comment by Steve — June 12, 2006 @ 9:46 am - June 12, 2006

  29. Steve writes: “In fact, it starts to look like a weird obsession with attacking the so-called gay leadership… GPW just spends all his time blaring obnoxiously about HRC and others.”

    Ah, I love the intolerance of the GayLeft in yet another demostration of how silencing the critics is better than accomplishing something. The whole point, Steve, is that the gay leadership has failed out community over and over –they’ve put our agenda in bed with Victims Central at the DNC and hazarded any substantative progress by shilling for the Democrats rather than our common interests.

    By all means Steve, show your intolerance for appropriate criticism of “gay leaders” by trying to silence the critics. It worked for Stalin.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 12, 2006 @ 10:48 am - June 12, 2006

  30. My biggest beef with the whole civil unions vs. sam-sex marriage debate is how come civil unions were just fine & dandy 6 years ago; but now they’re no good & we should gun for SSM now. What changed in the ensuing 6 years? Let’s promote civil unions now & eventually (not decades as some claim- 10 years tops) people will warm to SSM. The reason President Bush didn’t utter the word “gay” at all is that he recognizes that blatant anti-gay bigotry doesn’t work anymore. Notice how the FMA proponents went to great pains to not appear anti-gay. all their ire was focused on “activist” judges.

    Comment by jimbo — June 12, 2006 @ 11:28 am - June 12, 2006

  31. Matt in #29, thanks for coming to my defense. 🙂

    Well said, Jimbo in #30.

    James in #27, good comment, good questions. I think we need a two-part strategy in dealing with the issue. In the piece, I linked above, Charles Krauthammer (a conservative) effectively demolishes the argument that this is needed to prevent judicial tyranny. And Chris Crain offers (the quote I presented in the update) an excellent alternative amendment.

    As to the marriage issue, I think you pretty much nailed it. Every time we ask for the same protections, we need make clear we’re prepared to assume the same responsibilities. Yep — and talk about those responsibilities, including monogamy.

    Too often social conservatives see as self-indulgent hedonists. We need do what we can to challenge this assumption. The marriage debate, if we dared enter the arena, could allow us to do this.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — June 12, 2006 @ 11:42 am - June 12, 2006

  32. Don’t be stupid, “churches” were not forced to do a damn thing in that case.

    Churches were forced to allow gay couple to adopt. Why is it you leftists believe you can get away with lying, when any idiot can prove that you’re lying?

    Then we have the “rainbow sash” crew. I can’t figure them at all. How is it that Catholics are under the impression that the Church is a democracy, or that their spoiled brat “demonstrations” will accomplish anything?

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 12, 2006 @ 11:51 am - June 12, 2006

  33. rwp, as someone who has watched those rainbow sash idiots move up the aisle toward communion and make their protest visible, I can tell you that no one in our Church recognized them… they were from out of town 9probably not practicing Catholics) and, likely, there to embarass and discredit the Catholic Church and that ties in neatly to the GayLeft’s religious bigotry.

    The protests are meant to feed red meat to the radical GayLeft base… keep ’em happy, hungry and horny.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 12, 2006 @ 12:08 pm - June 12, 2006

  34. “Churches were forced to allow gay couple to adopt. Why is it you leftists believe you can get away with lying, when any idiot can prove that you’re lying?”

    Rightwingprof, that is just wrong, wrong, wrong. The church was told if they were to accept public tax money they had to abide by the anti-discrimination laws of Massachusetts–passed by the elected representatives of the people. Similarly an organization can’t take state money and refuse to adopt to people on the basis of race. This is not a difficult concept–why do you insist on misstating it.

    Are you gay by the way? I will accept if you don’t want to answer that question, but your numerous posting almost always hostile to gays suggest you may not be.

    Comment by Brendan Flynn — June 12, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - June 12, 2006

  35. Rightwingprof, that is just wrong, wrong, wrong. The church was told if they were to accept public tax money they had to abide by the anti-discrimination laws

    That’s exactly what I said. The liberal agenda was forced on them. And that, of course, is the ultimate goal, because liberals would never be satisfied with just forcing their agenda through secular agencies.

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 12, 2006 @ 2:31 pm - June 12, 2006

  36. Then we have the “rainbow sash” crew. I can’t figure them at all. How is it that Catholics are under the impression that the Church is a democracy, or that their spoiled brat “demonstrations” will accomplish anything?

    Most Catholics realize the Church is not a democracy. That does not excuse the Church from the requirement that it acknowledge reality: There are gay and lesbian Catholics, their orientation is part of the core identity with which God endowed them, and if they are in a state of grace, they are every much a part of Christ’s body as heterosexual Catholics.

    The liberal agenda was forced on them. And that, of course, is the ultimate goal, because liberals would never be satisfied with just forcing their agenda through secular agencies.

    Liberal agenda? One might say the GOP’s support of abolition was quite liberal!

    I’ll just say that when one considers the amount of money the [Arch]diocese in Boston spent to defend itself in the face of sexual abuse claims, the Church has no right to comment on what is in children’s best interests.

    Comment by James — June 12, 2006 @ 3:34 pm - June 12, 2006

  37. At what point iwill it be Statesmanship for a G/L organization leader to say, “Ok, they’re not ready for SSM…let’s go for comprehensive Civil Unions and out-flank ’em”? To recognise that the very word “marriage” strikes an unconsious, eviseral nerve to many otherwise compassionate Americans who conflate the civil and contractual aspects of marriage, and the emotional and religious secremental aspects of “religious” marriage. If you had asked me ten years ago about SSM, I would have said that you would be lucky to get American society to accept civil unions in fifty years.

    I just don’t see SSM as a individual-endowed Right, it’s a social construct based on long legal and social traditions…and much more amorphous than the current narrow Judeo-Christian” definition. Different cultures and traditions have celebrated polyandry, polygamy, clan-marriages, and concubinage as the norm…not just bi-gender monogamy. And most were a contractual, legal, transactions recognised and protected by the community…not necessarily religious expressions sanctified by clergy or shaman.

    Leave “marriage” to the churches, and use fainess and equiminity to push for Civil Unions. Only the true-haters would begrudge the G/L community the basic protections that comprehensive civil unions would provide. When faced with a charging Bull, you don’t kill the bull with a frontal-attack on it’s terms. You distract it, parry-and-dodge to the side, and thrust the sword deep as it thunders-past.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — June 12, 2006 @ 3:41 pm - June 12, 2006

  38. -Churches were forced to allow gay couple to adopt.-

    They could have stopped taking money from the state. They weren’t forced to do anything. This is the same thing as when people say the Boy Scouts are forced to work with gays. If they are a private organization, then they don’t have to do any of this. They can refuse to take any money from the state.

    -My biggest beef with the whole civil unions vs. sam-sex marriage debate is how come civil unions were just fine & dandy 6 years ago;-

    The Vermont debate started with gay marriage, as did the court battles in Hawaii and Alaska. THe only reason civil unions have become more acceptable to the public is because of gay marriage.

    Comment by Carl — June 12, 2006 @ 6:15 pm - June 12, 2006

  39. “That’s exactly what I said. The liberal agenda was forced on them. And that, of course, is the ultimate goal, because liberals would never be satisfied with just forcing their agenda through secular agencies. ”

    Rightwingprof: are you saying that religous organizations should not be subject to a state’s democratically enacted law? If the Catholic church does not want to follow the state’s law it is free to use its own money for adoption and it can choose who is allowed to adopt. It just can’t do this using state money. Nothing is being forced on anyone.

    Comment by Brendan Flynn — June 12, 2006 @ 6:43 pm - June 12, 2006

  40. #32 rightwingprof — June 12, 2006 @ 11:51 am – June 12, 2006

    Churches were forced to allow gay couple to adopt. Why is it you leftists believe you can get away with lying, when any idiot can prove that you’re lying?

    Oh, and just when and where were churches “forced” to “allow” gay people to adopt?

    I’ll hold in abeyance the assertion that it is you who is lying until you post your response.

    Comment by raj — June 12, 2006 @ 9:29 pm - June 12, 2006

  41. James at #35 writes: “There are gay and lesbian Catholics, their orientation is part of the core identity with which God endowed them, and if they are in a state of grace, they are every (sic) much a part of Christ’s body as heterosexual Catholics. ”

    The operative part is “in a state of grace”… the Church teaches that being a practicing gay and Catholic cannot exist. It’s one or the other –the two are mutually exclusive to the Church. That’s why the priest scandal in 2000 was so disturbing, unsettling, and violative.

    And your notion of “being part of Christ’s body” is foreign to this 35+ yr Catholic –Catholics hold that Christ’s body becomes real in the Eucharist but we don’t become part of His body per se… unless that’s a metaphor for the universal Church, writ large.

    And that whole “…doesn’t excuse the Church from the requirement that it acknowledge reality: gay Catholics exist”. Wow. That’s exactly why the Church is NOT a democracy as RWP rightly pointed out. To say that practicing homosexuals are in a state of grace defies what the Church teaches. Having sinners in its midst doesn’t mean the Church has to condone the act of sinning –standing against all sin is what the Church does best but least often.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 13, 2006 @ 11:18 am - June 13, 2006

  42. And your notion of “being part of Christ’s body” is foreign to this 35+ yr Catholic –Catholics hold that Christ’s body becomes real in the Eucharist but we don’t become part of His body per se… unless that’s a metaphor for the universal Church, writ large.

    Yes, it’s a metaphor for the universal Church. You speak of Catholics’ belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Is it not a part of Catholic belief that when we participate in the Eucharist that we become one with Christ? The whole doctrine governing [mortal]sin is that one engages in behavior that removes one from communion with the Church. The Reconciliation is meant to join again in communion with the Church by allowing one to be properly disposed to receive Holy Communion (thus being part of Christ’s body, aka the Church). Somewhat paraphrased, but is based on what I’ve read of the CCC and learned from priests and nuns.

    The operative part is “in a state of grace”… the Church teaches that being a practicing gay and Catholic cannot exist. It’s one or the other –the two are mutually exclusive to the Church. That’s why the priest scandal in 2000 was so disturbing, unsettling, and violative.

    The Church is wrong when it comes to gays and lesbians. One cannot “practice” homosexuality. It is not a religion or profession. It is who one is. Nobody can change his or her sexual orientation. You’re either honest with yourself, or you lie to everyone like former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevy did when he married and perpetuated the idea that he was straight. If it is who one is, it cannot be a sin. Church Law as we know it today didn’t even consider it so until the time of St. Augustine. The Church hierarchy simply refuse to listen to us at present.

    And let’s call it what it is…It’s not merely a priest scandal; the Church’s antiquated teachings on sexuality caused thousands, if not millions, of children irreparable harm by receiving complaints from parishoners, then relocating accused priests so that they could abuse children all over again. The sickening thing is that the Church hierarcy would lump pedophiles and gays together when parishoners are seldom so stupid as to do the same.

    Comment by James — June 13, 2006 @ 2:15 pm - June 13, 2006

  43. LOL….I love this discussion.

    Notice how the leftists who bleated that it was wrong to withhold state and Federal funding from colleges who discriminated against the military, because it was forcing governments’ view on them and impinging on their “free speech” are suddenly claiming that withholding money does nothing of the sort.

    Also notice how the leftists who insist that they shouldn’t have to follow democratically-enacted laws that dictate what one can and cannot do to receive legal recognition and dollars from the state now are demanding that they be enforced on others.

    Typical.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 13, 2006 @ 2:21 pm - June 13, 2006

  44. NDT, it was morally reprehensible to withhold funding based on law schools’ effort to protect LGBT students under their non-discrimination policies–but it was admittedly legal per the Solomon Amendment, and the SC ruled so.

    In Mass., when faced with the choice of providing adoption services according to state law or Church law, the Catholic group chose to close up shop.

    Different methods could have been employed, but one has to praise the people who looked out for the dignity of LGBT persons.

    Comment by James — June 13, 2006 @ 3:18 pm - June 13, 2006

  45. NDT, it was morally reprehensible to withhold funding based on law schools’ effort to protect LGBT students under their non-discrimination policies–but it was admittedly legal per the Solomon Amendment, and the SC ruled so.

    “Protect them”, from what?

    Were students compelled to see, speak to, visit with, or sign up with said recruiters?

    This is a typical leftist view that they should be able to ban whoever they choose for whatever facetious reason they like — and the government should pay them to do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 13, 2006 @ 3:33 pm - June 13, 2006

  46. With all do respect, NDT, I am not under the impression that I or anyone else should ban whomever for no good reason…

    It is my understanding that the intended purpose of non-discrimination policies is very similar to polices set forth regarding harassment: To ensure a comfortable environment for all people.

    Do you remember what it was like when you first realized you were gay? Were you comfortable with your sexuality from the beginning, or did you, like me, walk around in constant fear that someone would “find out” (this was compounded for me as I grew up on a military intallation during the intense debate leading to DADT after Clinton’s election; service members were busted with regard to that policy, and my high school principal forbade the school paper to write anything about gays in the military).

    Now, imagine being gay, a second year law student, and what it is like to be approached by a recruiter, yet afraid to say why you wouldn’t be interested. Imagine the fear of a classmate’s reaction if that classmate, having known you as heterosexual for many years, suddenly discovered you’d been hiding your true self. Imagine the fear that a professor you admire might not write that letter of recommendation because thingly veiled comments revealed he might not be accepting of your sexuality.

    That’s a sample of what such non-discrimination policies seek to protect students from, I believe.

    Comment by James — June 13, 2006 @ 4:25 pm - June 13, 2006

  47. Now, imagine being gay, a second year law student, and what it is like to be approached by a recruiter, yet afraid to say why you wouldn’t be interested.

    What exactly do you think these recruiters do, stalk the campus looking for people?

    Moreover, even if you did end up in that situation, you need only tell the recruiter that you’re not interested. You are under exactly zero obligation to tell him or her why you aren’t.

    I fully understand why people aren’t sharing their sexuality. But no one’s exactly looking to drag it out of them, either — except for gay leftists and Democrats who go around outing people as a form of social control.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 13, 2006 @ 5:21 pm - June 13, 2006

  48. What exactly do you think these recruiters do, stalk the campus looking for people?

    NDT, may not stalk the campus looking for people, but they certainly don’t sit at their assigned table either. I spent between the ages of 0 and 18 living in the Military Community (MILCOM). I’ve seen recruiters quit the first time they heard “I’m not interested” and I’ve had them call my house repeatedly to get me to enlist. I was approached by recruiters in college, and everytime I went home to visit my parents (Kadena AB on Okinawa, Japan).

    From personal experience, the vast majority of people cannot tell I am gay until I inform them (I often reveal this when people ask if I’m married). Before coming out, the sight of a recruiter terrified me. They offered a great opportunity, I knew, but the thought of enlisting only to be subjected to the possibility of questioning had my stomach in knots. Someone can be questioned for as little as having an online ad, with or without naked pics on it.

    Similarly, I know of men who serve in the closet, who love the Armed Forces, but who are scared of being found out. I must imagine that a person just learning to deal with his or her sexuality may feel terrible discomfort if approached by a recruiter, especially if that person has knowledge of the extent to which DADT can be enforced.

    And for the record, I’m a gay leftist who in no way condones outing.

    Comment by James — June 14, 2006 @ 9:46 am - June 14, 2006

  49. James, I believe in outing. If a person is going to be in the public spotlight and try to sway public opinion and laws, the people have a right to know who is talking. If these repugs had someone talking for them who was pretending to be someone they aren’t they would be out for blood.

    Comment by HDBiker — June 14, 2006 @ 12:56 pm - June 14, 2006

  50. HDBiker, I’ll admit that people who work for anti-gay employers who are gay themselves, and make the decision to remain closeted do puzzle me. Then again, it’s their decision to do so. My own decision is to work only for employers that are gay friendly so that I can talk about my partner the same way heterosexual co-workers speak of their significant others.

    If we’re going to win the fight for equality, I want us to do it honorably. I find outing to be anything but honorable.

    Comment by James — June 14, 2006 @ 1:54 pm - June 14, 2006

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