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Rick Santorum and the Anti-Anti-Gay Attitudes of Most Americans

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:47 pm - November 14, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

When I read two years ago that outgoing Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had compared homosexuality to bestiality, I knew that he would not win reelection. It’s not that I thought the people of Pennsylvania were particularly pro-gay, but figured than they, like most Americans, are anti-anti-gay.

Most Americans would rather that their politicians didn’t talk too much about gay issues, well, that it, outside certain urban areas where citizens want their elected officials to promote pro-gay policies and outside certain rural areas, where they want them to stand up against gays. But, by and large, I don’t think a politician’s stand on gay issues influenced many voters in the general election. To be sure, the pro-gay stands of some Republicans may have helped sway a few urban voters otherwise not inclined to vote for the GOP but, on the whole, people were concerned with other issues.

That said, when a politician makes statements as extreme as Santorum’s, people began to wonder about his quality of character, why he would so seek to demonize a large number of his fellow citizens.

Many on the left assume that when a politician supports defining marriage as it has long been defined, he is taking an anti-gay stand. To be sure, some who support such stands are anti-gay, but most, some of whom favor civil unions for same-sex couple, believe that marriage is an institution which brings together two individuals of different genders.

Outside the radical fringes of the gay movement, most Americans recognize that opposition to gay marriage does not necessarily mean animus against gays. But, statements like Santorum’s do rub them the wrong way.

The lesson for Republicans in Santorum’s defeat is that expression of anti-gay sentiments will not help advance a candidate’s cause. Most Americans, while opposing gay marriage, don’t harbor much, if any, animosity against gay people. But, on the whole, they do seem to seem to have an antipathy to politicians who readily express anti-gay bias.

No wonder Rick Santorum never polled higher than the low 40s. And secured a far smaller percentage of the vote last week than he had in his two previous statewide elections, elections held before he had compared homosexuality to bestiality.

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36 Comments

  1. I wonder if you fell into the media and gay groups spin on Santorum – here is a quote from Santorumblog:

    “I’ll explain it yet again for anyone who doesn’t know this yet. Here’s what Santorum said:

    “Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.”

    Santorum’s statement has two parts to it. The first part is the statement of facts – he is listing things which are contrary to the traditional family, and yes, that includes homosexuality, polygamy, adultery, pedophilia, and bestiality. That’s not controversial; that’s merely factual. It’s like saying that stealing a pack of gum and stealing a car are both acts of theft. It doesn’t suggest that they’re somehow on the same level.

    The second part of his statement is what the dishonest liberals keep lying about. In it, he makes clear that while homosexuality, pedophilia, and bestiality are all contrary to the traditional family, homosexuality is not as bad as “man on child” or “man on dog”. He was, in essense, defending homosexuality by contrasting it with far more disordered acts. Read what he said – “It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.”

    The response of Savage are others on the far-left to these remarks is based on the opposite of what Santorum actually said. Yes, Santorum opposes gay marriage, but he does not hate gays, nor does he think that homosexuals are somehow on the same level with child molesters and people who want to marry their pets. ”

    Not to support Santorum, but the spin was rather wild on this one.
    DKK

    Comment by LifeTrek — November 14, 2006 @ 8:02 pm - November 14, 2006

  2. I’ll have to review the quote you provide, LifeTrek. It seems Santorum could have done a better job of clarifying what he had said when he was savaged in the media.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — November 14, 2006 @ 8:16 pm - November 14, 2006

  3. The lesson for Republicans in Santorum’s defeat is that expression of anti-gay sentiments will not help advance a candidate’s cause.
    Haven’t read Free Republic lately, have you?
    Just kidding. Good post, if a bit non-enthused.

    Comment by torrentprime — November 14, 2006 @ 8:45 pm - November 14, 2006

  4. LifeTrek:
    “homosexuality, polygamy, adultery, pedophilia, and bestiality.”
    Let’s look at this and once again realize that homosexuality has no place in this list. Polygamy is irrespective of orientation; it simply means more than one spouse. Adultery requires an ordained family unit, a recognized spouse for one to be unfaithful to; pedophilia is forcing sex on a child who cannot legally or morally consent, and bestiality is between a human and non-. NONE of these things has anything to do with orientation! All of them can be committed by a hetero or a homo, and most of them involve either consent crimes or breaking of promises. So explain again why homosexuality is on this list? Oh that’s right: it’s not “traditional.”
    Well, for many millennia it wasn’t “traditional” for a women to work outside the home or deny her husband sex, so why aren’t those things on that list? Cause they don’t work up the same fear, impart the same emotional edge as pedophilia, bestiality, etc.. Homosexuality has no place on that list, and to include it thus, to even list them together as some sort of “on the same page” reveals bias and animus against gays, whether unconscious or not.
    You don’t get to walk away from it with a “degree of difference” defense.
    Just my $.02.
    (PS: I’m not attacking you per se, just the logic from Santorumblog.

    Comment by torrentprime — November 14, 2006 @ 8:54 pm - November 14, 2006

  5. Interesting way to put it, but I think you have it right. Americans have become for the most part anti anti-gay. Whether that hurt the Santorum campaign is speculation.

    Comment by Rick — November 14, 2006 @ 9:10 pm - November 14, 2006

  6. While Santorum didn’t specifically put homosexuality on the same plane as bestiality and pedophilia, he… well, he pretty much did. The interview was all about moral equivalency of sexual relationships in light of Lawrence, and Santorum went out of his way to wrap them in the same thought, even if he managed to toss in the equivalent of one of those one of those ‘some of my best press secretaries friends are gay’ lines.

    From the same Santorum interview:

    “I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.”

    Don’t worry, GPW. You weren’t wrong. LifeTrek is drowning in disingenuousness. Any gay person who wasn’t getting paid by Santorum and yet voted for him has issues.

    Comment by Famous Author Rob Byrnes — November 14, 2006 @ 9:41 pm - November 14, 2006

  7. One thing that truly bothered people in PA: Santorum doesn’t live in PA. On top of that (dog), he was using school funding from PA to home school his kids in VA.

    Beyond the anti-gay thinking and utterances, his book didn’t go over too well in the Philly and Pittsburgh suburbs.

    Finally, the trip to Schiavo’s bed was in very bad taste.

    On the larger issue: If you want to make excuses for people’s anti-gay stances, go right ahead. I’m not buying them. They are sort of like: hey, I like black people and I don’t think people should say “nigger” or discriminate against them, but I certainly don’t want them living next door to me or dating my daughter…but I’m not prejudiced. If being against anti-gay in the abstract, but continuing to be anti-gay in practice (and in the consequences of those practices), is okay with you, fantastic. But, being a US citizen, I demand more. And I won’t let people hide behind talk of “activist judges” or “two genders”. Among many other things, it is a civil contract and, as a civil contract, should be open to all citizens of the US. Just as when I read about employers that say, “I don’t discriminate against non-white people, I just prefer white people,” I will not accept, “I don’t have anything against gay people, I just don’t want them enjoying the smae rights, responsibilities, securities, supports, and happiness that I am legally able to enjoy.”

    Comment by sean — November 14, 2006 @ 10:29 pm - November 14, 2006

  8. I’ve written a very mature write up on Santorum

    Comment by tom — November 14, 2006 @ 11:02 pm - November 14, 2006

  9. It seems Santorum could have done a better job of clarifying what he had said when he was savaged in the media.

    It’s kind of hard to clarify statements that have been taken ridiculously out of context.

    NONE of these things has anything to do with orientation!

    Actually, they do, if one defines “orientation” as “that to which one is attracted”.

    Adultery, incest, bestiality and pedophilia are merely the choices resulting from attraction to someone to whom you aren’t married, attraction to someone to whom you’re related, animals, and underage children as sex partners, respectively. Society could just as easily justify its acceptance of any of those as it could homosexuality.

    What would have immediately defused Santorum’s argument is if gays had come out strongly against all of those, even to the point of offering a constitutional amendment specifically banning those actions. But instead, the whole process devolved into “he said, they said”, and things came out rather petty.

    Any gay person who wasn’t getting paid by Santorum and yet voted for him has issues.

    Sort of like the gays who gave John Kerry tens of millions of dollars to support his bans on gay marriage and his insistence that doing so was “doing what’s right”.

    How about, Rob, learning to accept the perspectives of others, rather than making excuses for hysterical misreadings and overreactions?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 14, 2006 @ 11:45 pm - November 14, 2006

  10. It seems Santorum could have done a better job of clarifying what he had said when he was savaged in the media.

    It’s rather difficult to clarify a statement when it’s so widely misquoted and misinterpreted.

    NONE of these things has anything to do with orientation!

    But they all have something to do with to whom you’re attracted.

    Santorum’s point was absolutely true; if you argue that gay sex should be OK because the government gives you the right to sex with whomever you want, then by definition, you have the inalienable right to have sex with people other than your spouse, your relatives, children, animals, and whatever else.

    The easy and simple way for the gay community to defuse this would have been to immediately press for laws and/or amendments that would make it clear that extending the definition of allowable sex to include two consenting, unmarried (or married) adults of either gender did not require the legalization of any of the others.

    But, when given the choice between a smart tactical move and hiking up the rhetoric….well, we know which one is invariably chosen.

    Among many other things, it is a civil contract and, as a civil contract, should be open to all citizens of the US.

    Including the polygamists, the pedophiles, and others?

    What you don’t realize, sean, is that that’s why the “equal protection” argument is so shortsighted — because those people are citizens as well. Convincing the voters to extend said benefits is much better than trying to eviscerate the state’s ability to control and regulate them because you can’t do the former.

    Any gay person who wasn’t getting paid by Santorum and yet voted for him has issues.

    Sort of like the gay persons who coughed up millions of dollars and cries of “pro-gay” and “gay-supportive” for this.

    Or you could simply say that other people are entitled to their own perspective when choosing how to cast their votes and leave it at that.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 15, 2006 @ 12:27 am - November 15, 2006

  11. Apologies for the double post; Haloscan seems to be hiccupping.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 15, 2006 @ 2:04 am - November 15, 2006

  12. #10. Polygamy and pedophilia are criminal. Why are you putting gay people in with those folks? What nonsense!

    Comment by sean — November 15, 2006 @ 3:23 am - November 15, 2006

  13. Wow, in two posts I seriously question my decision to consider posting or reading the comments here, nice job comment Nazi’s.

    Both of my comments manage to be attacked by those who are clearly superior to the rest of us. One is even famous (as he so modestly points out to us) – the other is clearly a constitutional expert of such note that she will be named the one and only Supreme Court Justice as there is no need for the other 8 after she is there.

    Now, I don’t know how I, a gay conservative managed to bring such great people down to the level of school yard name calling – but it sure happened fast and wow do I feel powerful all of a sudden.

    Or perhaps it is just SOP, I will check some of the other threads comments so see.

    Not at all what I expected from a site that has such well reasoned and thought out posters as GP and GPW.
    DKK

    Comment by LifeTrek — November 15, 2006 @ 4:19 am - November 15, 2006

  14. #10. Polygamy and pedophilia are criminal. Why are you putting gay people in with those folks? What nonsense!

    I would point out that this is a poor argument, because what is criminal is simply defined so by the legislature. At one time homosexuality was “criminal” and in some countries of th world it still is and the penalty isn’t a few days in jail.

    So while I think you can make the case on the basis of harm (which is where I really think the homosexuality comparison doesn’t fit-all those other things with maybe the exception of polygamy usually involved a lack of consent or the causing of harm to other parties), I wouldn’t jump on the “those other things are crimes” argument.

    A crime is only a crime, because a legislature made it such.

    Comment by just me — November 15, 2006 @ 6:57 am - November 15, 2006

  15. Santorum apparently was trying to say that the Supreme Court’s decision was an example of legislating from the bench. And apparently others had felt that way. But in this specific issue, almost everyone basically thought that it was 2003, and not 1303, and was just as well glad to see that the sodomy laws were mercifully put to rest. Santorum, who was still stuck in a time warp, decided to compare homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. As GPW suggested, despite the media overhype, Santorum could have clarified his position. He could have stated that he would have preferred that sodomy laws should be overturned by the legislature, and that he would do what he can to do just that. But as far as I know, he didn’t. Good riddance to Santorum. Others who I wish were also gone…Trent Lott and Robert Byrd. Getting rid of those two would help clean up the Senate big time.

    Comment by Pat — November 15, 2006 @ 7:36 am - November 15, 2006

  16. “Not at all what I expected from a site that has such well reasoned and thought out posters as GP and GPW.”

    You must be new here….(And don’t worry, if you stick around long enough you will see lots of banality from the hosts as well)

    Comment by keogh — November 15, 2006 @ 9:15 am - November 15, 2006

  17. I’m having problems with Haloscan this morning as well. I have a feeling that another copy of my post above is going to appear again as well.

    Comment by Pat — November 15, 2006 @ 10:26 am - November 15, 2006

  18. #14. What is your point? On what basis are you grouping homosexuality and bestiality and pedophilia and polygamy together? And are not these other things criminal because, among other things, they are harmful?

    On a larger issue, the post says, “Most Americans, while opposing gay marriage, don’t harbor much, if any, animosity against gay people.” I’d like to know on what basis these people do oppose gay marriage if it isn’t animosity towards gay people. Why, in these people’s minds, should gay people be excluded from civil marriage? What are the pro-gay reasons?

    Comment by sean — November 15, 2006 @ 10:55 am - November 15, 2006

  19. “On a larger issue, the post says, “Most Americans, while opposing gay marriage, don’t harbor much, if any, animosity against gay people.” I’d like to know on what basis these people do oppose gay marriage if it isn’t animosity towards gay people. Why, in these people’s minds, should gay people be excluded from civil marriage?”

    I’d suggest you do your homework, since this had been addressed hundreds of times on hundreds of conservative sites.

    Comment by rightwingprof — November 15, 2006 @ 12:12 pm - November 15, 2006

  20. RWP, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Sean isn’t going to do the research… come on, get real.

    The animosity is there in screamin’ technicolor and you’re right to point out the gay marriage issue as proof of it. Hoping it isn’t and looking for it “not not” being there isn’t reality –sorry Dan.

    Frankly, I think Dan is wrong.

    Dan, my experience is that most Americans do NOT support gay rights as defined by the radical Left –and we have election after election to prove that point solidly. My experience is that most Americans do NOT want their kids anywhere around openly gay men in an unsupervised manner. Hell, most str8 guys wouldn’t share a shower or locker room or sauna with openly conventional gay men –to think otherwise is pure, flat out fantasy. It’s why gay athletes aren’t out.

    My experience is that most Americans do NOT want gays in their neighborhood, to see them in the grocery stores shopping together, or deal with PrideParades once a year. They may not show their intolerance in a strong fashion, but try holding hands with your partner in mid-town America and tune in to the commentary. It’s why we seek protection in enclaves and work to dominate the political subculture of a few pro-gay communities/areas in America. We need that sense of community and push out those who don’t conform to our perspectives… it’s why the GayLeftBorg is so very intolerant of gay conservatives.

    My experience is that most Americans don’t like us and maybe that shouldn’t matter UNTIL we start asking for their support in the ballot box or seeking their support in tolerance campaigns. And this isn’t a liberal vs. conservative polar aspect… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Oh… but you aren’t like regular gays” from very well meaning, liberal friends. When I argue it shouldn’t matter, the discussion turns cold fast.

    We might like to think that most Americans aren’t anti-gay but that hardly translates into pro-gay or even willing to abide with tolerance toward gays and include us in their daily lives. I think most Americans will tell pollsters some version that gays are “ok but not in my neighborhood” –and we have the years of dramatic license from our gayLeft friends pushing their alternate lifestyles on the American consciousness to thank for that. It’s why PrideParades have been so corrosive to the long term PR interests of progress.

    Nope Santorum lost for a lot of reasons other than a majority of PA voters didn’t like his anti-gay attitude. He lost because he didn’t do what was necessary over 5+ years to build an effective political organization that would return to him office. Same is true with Allen and others.

    While it can be argued that Santorum might have been practicing litmus test purity… that wasn’t the test group that showed up on election day.

    And most Americans don’t like gays of the median persuasion… but will tolerate them if removed from daily intercourse. That’s much closer to reality. I can think of hundreds of little demonstration projects if anyone here thinks it’s a warm, embracing world out there.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — November 15, 2006 @ 12:58 pm - November 15, 2006

  21. The gay marriage issue has been expectedly propped up by the left in a manner that makes opposition to it appear intolerant. Americans, as a rule zare not intolerant. In fact, countless gays marry in private ceremonies without disruption by anti-gays. The unspoken truth is that the gay marriage issue is about taking unearned benefits from the backs of hard working Americans. Social security benefits transfer to surviving spouses who haven’t worked because it is assumed that they sacrificed their careers to raise children. The laws are, of course, old and anachronistic- but, retirees benefits do come directly from the children that they raised as productive citizens and not any imaginary trust fund. The same argument applies to health care. I hope conservatives can agree that we are never so wealthy as to extend such entitlements to able bodied people who should be perfectly capable of providing for themselves. Lastly, a gay couple that adopts certainly should receive said benefits.

    Comment by jrcnsgy — November 15, 2006 @ 1:21 pm - November 15, 2006

  22. GPW, interesting way to phrase it, as “anti anti-gay”. I agree with the phrasing and the gist of the post.

    Clearly, his remarks were taken out of context, as media outlets of both persuasions are so adept at doing. But I’d suggest that even not taken out of context, these remarks in particular didn’t hurt Santorum so much as the fact that his “values” (and I put that in quotes because I think it’s a loaded word, not to reflect my opinion of him) are / were simply out of the mainstream of most PA voters. Santorum subscribes to a very traditional (I guess you could even say orthodox or obedient) set of Catholic teachings, and while that’s certainly his right, I think most Pennsylvanians found it to be out of touch with their own positions.

    I’m no fan of Santorum, but I have to give him credit for the very classy concession speech.

    Comment by Mike — November 15, 2006 @ 2:33 pm - November 15, 2006

  23. #14. What is your point? On what basis are you grouping homosexuality and bestiality and pedophilia and polygamy together? And are not these other things criminal because, among other things, they are harmful?

    I didn’t realize I was unclear.

    My point is that you can’t argue that the difference between homosexuality and the other behaviors is that homosexuality isn’t criminal and the others are, because what is a crime in society is defined by the legislature of that society. Pedophilia is a crime, only because the legislature has made it such, if the legislature decided tomorrow that it is okay to have sex with young children and abolished laws against pedophilia, I would hope you wouln’t then argue the comparison to homosexuality is valid, since pedophilia isn’t a crime.

    Your point shouldn’t be that they shouldn’t be compared because some are crimes and others aren’t, if you lived in Iran, could you make that argument? (shoot I would be willing to bet in Iran a homosexual would be more likely to get hanged than a man who had sex with a 12 year old, even though we can both agree that sex with the 12 year old is wrong).

    Basically the real argument to make is that those other actions don’t involve consenting partners and they involve harm.

    But crime is nothing more than a legal construct of individual societies, so it makes a poor gauge or right and wrong-just make the argument based on morality and harm.

    Comment by just me — November 15, 2006 @ 5:49 pm - November 15, 2006

  24. Very similar quotes appear in anti-gay rights literature from Christian Right groups like Family Research Institute. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick to link an issue, say, gay marriage, to other extreme-sounding unpopular positions. It’s not “absolutely true

    Santorum’s point was absolutely true; if you argue that gay sex should be OK because the government gives you the right to sex with whomever you want, then by definition, you have the inalienable right to have sex with people other than your spouse, your relatives, children, animals, and whatever else.

    A child or an animal cannot have consensual sex, by definiton, period. Polygamy, I believe, is illegal…etcWe don’t need “permission” to have sex with someone other than our spouse.

    The easy and simple way for the gay community to defuse this would have been to immediately press for laws and/or amendments that would make it clear that extending the definition of allowable sex to include two consenting, unmarried (or married) adults of either gender did not require the legalization of any of the others.

    I must have missed Civics class that day. Can you tell me “the definition of allowable sex.”

    Comment by Jed Weber — November 15, 2006 @ 5:55 pm - November 15, 2006

  25. Animosity takes effort.

    I also think that people tend to figure that what other people do is their own buisness, even if/when they disapprove. So most people won’t make an effort unless they feel that they are being personally impacted. When it comes to education, for example, parents don’t want their children taught that it’s okay to be mean to some people, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to them to teach their children that sexual morality doesn’t matter. Most people don’t care about what domestic arrangements are made by gay people, but the break down of marriage directly impacts them and (wrong or not) changing the definition of marriage seems a step in the wrong direction.

    Anti-anti-gay seems a good way to express the attitudes of people. They aren’t pro-gay by any means but they don’t hate gay people or want bad things to happen to them.

    Comment by Synova — November 15, 2006 @ 6:17 pm - November 15, 2006

  26. A child or an animal cannot have consensual sex, by definiton, period. Polygamy, I believe, is illegal…etcWe don’t need “permission” to have sex with someone other than our spouse.

    First, you’ll notice what I specifically said (emphasis mine).

    Santorum’s point was absolutely true; if you argue that gay sex should be OK because the government gives you the right to sex with whomever you want, then by definition, you have the inalienable right to have sex with people other than your spouse, your relatives, children, animals, and whatever else.

    In short, under this argument, the government cannot in any way abridge your right to sex.

    Furthermore, since the the recipient of “equal protection” in the Fourteenth Amendment, where most gays seem to claim the right of unlimited sex is found, happens to be only “person”; it does NOT say anything about “consensual”, “adult”, “not blood relation”, or “two”, and depending on how one wishes to define “person”, could be extended to animals as well.

    The key in handling these sort of arguments is to get past the superficial “outrage” and dig deeper into what was actually said and the reality of the statement. Right now, whether we like it or not, the arguments of our activists that sex is some kind of inalienable right that the government should not be allowed to regulate opens the doors for all of these abuses.

    And the definition of “allowable sex” is basically, “whatever the electorate wants to allow”. Pedophilia is not Constitutionally forbidden; if a jurisdiction wants to lower the age of consent to 6, it theoretically can do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 16, 2006 @ 12:29 am - November 16, 2006

  27. #20 – Hey Michigan Matt: your comments were disconcerting to me. I liked the tone of GPW post (I believe them to be true; most Americans ARE anti anti-gay). He appears to have his head together & it had a positive upbeat tone. You on the other hand seem to be – how shall I term this – a tad self-loathing. Not only do you think that most Americans harbor animosity towards gay men, but you insinuate that it’s GOOD that people think this way. WTF?! Good riddance to Rick Santorum. Conservatism was ill-served by him.

    Comment by Jimbo — November 16, 2006 @ 10:47 am - November 16, 2006

  28. A child or an animal cannot have consensual sex, by definiton, period. Polygamy, I believe, is illegal…etcWe don’t need “permission” to have sex with someone other than our spouse.

    Please note what I said, Jed (emphasis added):

    Santorum’s point was absolutely true; if you argue that gay sex should be OK because the government gives you the right to sex with whomever you want, then by definition, you have the inalienable right to have sex with people other than your spouse, your relatives, children, animals, and whatever else.

    Indeed, those who cite “equal protection” as grounds for the right to sex forget that the standard in the Fourteenth Amendment is “persons residing” in a state’s jurisdiction. It says nothing about “two”, “adults”, “not already married”, “consensual” or “of the same species”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 16, 2006 @ 12:38 pm - November 16, 2006

  29. #24 A great many people are polygamous… probably many more than are monogamous. There is no law against having more than one sexual partner, even at the same time (or if there is, it’s a very old law and not enforced.)

    Polygamy is “illegal” only in that we allow marriage between one man and one woman* so if someone lies and commits fraud to marry an additional person (without getting divorced from the first one) then it’s illegal. People can set up their households any way they please without coming afoul of the law. There isn’t anything illegal about setting up a household of three or more.

    Rape is *illegal*… sex with underaged persons or any other non-consensual sex. It’s always illegal and doesn’t depend on making a false contract (such as a bigamous marriage would be.)

    (* Or in Mass, one man or woman and one man or woman.)

    Just nit picking. I really don’t “get” the argument that polygamy is so outrageously impossible, anyhow. Even more so than gay marriage, much more so, it’s got extensive historical precident.

    Comment by Synova — November 16, 2006 @ 2:05 pm - November 16, 2006

  30. I think the Rick’s of the world and the whole GOP should take a stance on “socially acceptable behavior” and push their far right party to suggest/pass legislation on it – define it – decide it – make the law on it.

    Then, since homosexuality is so abhorent to them, push the gays either back into the closet, or better yet, out of the country – “you’re not welcome here, your behavior is socially unacceptable, does not promote families, and is disgusting”.

    We go back into the closet, but why, let’s just leave the country.

    Gone are our tax dollars. Gone is the highest revenue source outside of this country – entertainment(there aren’t enough straights to keep it going or at least do damage to it). Gone are the votes we give. Gone are the charity contributions we make. Gone are the historical contributions we’ll make. Gone are the brothers, sisters, of families we’ll never see. Gone are the capitalistic dollars we give to the thousands of businesses in this country.

    I say we do it. Encourage it. Lead them to it. Let them reveal themselves as either disdainful of our “behavior” since they think this is a “choice”, or they shut up about it once and for all and give all gays their civil rights once and for all.

    Comment by Scooter — November 16, 2006 @ 6:37 pm - November 16, 2006

  31. North Dallas Thirty: I have a right to have sex with my boyfriend. If the majority wanted to pass a law forbidding me to do so, the law would have no etihical legitimacy at all; it would just be moral thuggery.

    Rights exist separate from the state, which can either recognize rights or violate them, but cannot define them. This is made clear in the Declaration of Independence, for instance.

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 17, 2006 @ 9:47 am - November 17, 2006

  32. North Dallas Thirty: I have a right to have sex with my boyfriend. If the majority wanted to pass a law forbidding me to do so, the law would have no etihical legitimacy at all; it would just be moral thuggery.

    The problem, kdogg, is one of definition.

    The Declaration of Independence says the following:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    So, technically, you’re right; “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is broad enough to encompass having sex with your boyfriend.

    However, what if you’re using this definition of “boyfriend”?

    Based on your argument, any law that was passed to deal with that would “have no ethical legitimacy at all” and would be “moral thuggery”, inasmuch as it would abridge your right to your preferred “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

    The Declaration deals with this in its next two sentences (emphasis mine):

    That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    That “to them” is the crucial part — and the singular invention of the Founders that makes our system so wonderfully powerful, flexible, and adaptable. Instead of requiring allegiance to a fixed, immutable code, i.e. the “divine right” of monarchies, as the basis for government, the Declaration sets the right of definition and promulgation squarely in the hands of the governed. No longer is the government answerable only to God; now it is answerable to those who it governs.

    The ethical code outlined in the Declaration of Independence and later in the Constitution is simple: whatever the people think is ethical, is, and what isn’t, isn’t. They may to varying degrees codify parameters, but everything is subject to vote and change. The rules have moved from being a static set that never changes to a dynamic set that alters and is reshaped with and by the times in which it operates.

    To your initial statement, I would say, no, you do not; you currently have a judicial decision that interprets the Constitution to limit the power of the state to regulate your private sexual conduct with your unrelated, adult, unpaid, consenting boyfriend. That is the operating definition of granting you “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and it will remain so until the electorate decides to reverse said decision or go off in another direction entirely.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 17, 2006 @ 4:16 pm - November 17, 2006

  33. #32: The ethical code outlined in the Declaration of Independence and later in the Constitution is simple: whatever the people think is ethical, is, and what isn’t, isn’t.

    Since we were talking about rights, how they come about, and the relationship between government and rights, I can only conclude, with some horror, that you beieve rights are defined by (using your phrasing) the people. They don’t exist if the people don’t think they exist.

    This is an extremely dangerous form of moral relativism that, quite frankly, I find shocking. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that the Framers believed, correctly, that rights exist prior to and apart from government, and that government exists only to protect these rights. In fact, government exists even to protect these rights from a political majority that chooses not to recognize them — that’s a main purpose of limited government, as described in the Declaration and realized in the Constitution.

    I claim that I have a right to conduct a relationship with my boyfriend (who is 25, just slightly younger than I am — just to dispense with that straw man). An intimate, sexual relationship, as long as we both want it. We do no harm to anyone else in the world by conducting this relationship, and it enriches our lives immensely. If someone tried to stop us — no matter what process was used and no matter what majority supported it — they’d be violating our rights. Are you really such a relativist that you think that it could possibly be ethical to use force to stop us from conducting our relationship?

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 18, 2006 @ 9:02 pm - November 18, 2006

  34. Are you really such a relativist that you think that it could possibly be ethical to use force to stop us from conducting our relationship?

    I do believe that the right of the voters to shape their legal system, as the Declaration puts it, “as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”, trumps your right to your interpretation of sex.

    What you refuse to realize, kdogg, is that there is nothing in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence that guarantees your right to sex. That is an interpretation that you have laid on it which may, with perfect right, be used by pedophiles or others in exactly the same fashion.

    The simple fact of the matter is that, if you wish your sexual liaisons to be free, voters must be convinced that they should be as well. However, you seem insistent on writing into the Constitution and the Declaration a right to sex that a) doesn’t exist and b) runs contrary to the CLEARLY-stated words in both that the people have the right to determine their own laws.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 20, 2006 @ 1:19 pm - November 20, 2006

  35. The simple fact of the matter is that, if you wish your sexual liaisons to be free, voters must be convinced that they should be as well. However, you seem insistent on writing into the Constitution and the Declaration a right to sex that a) doesn’t exist and b) runs contrary to the CLEARLY-stated words in both that the people have the right to determine their own laws.

    It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, nor the Declaration, nor Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, or “the people,” for that matter. Rights do not derive from any of these sources — they can only be recognized or violated by any political body, not created or destroyed.

    I don’t recongize that anything trumps a human being’s right to live his life as he sees fit, so long as he doesn’t prevent others from doing the same. We have a fundamental disagreement about the nature of human rights and self-determination, and I suppose we’ll just have to leave it at that.

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 20, 2006 @ 2:31 pm - November 20, 2006

  36. […] That last issue should appeal to social conservatives without upsetting independent voters. As I’ve said before, I think most Americans are neither pro-gay, nor anti-gay, but are “anti-anti-gay [and] would rather that . . . politicians didn’t talk too much about gay issues.” […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Fred Barnes’ Bad Advice to John McCain — July 10, 2008 @ 4:46 pm - July 10, 2008

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