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How Did “Equality” Become Watchword of Gay Movement?

In his comment to my post speculating why Andrew Sullivan made a hard left turn, Chuck in Del asks:

I would just like to know where does one go in conservative circles to get support for gay equality? Is it progressives and liberals ammending state consitutions against gay marriage? I am sorry but how long does a gay conservative have to sit in the back of the bus to get even workplace equality? Or are we supposed to swallow the argument that equality is code speak for special rights?

My response is simple, you don’t go to conservatives begging for equality, not for gays, not for anyone.  When conservatives are true to their principles, we speak out for freedom.  Indeed, freedom, until all too recently, has been the watchword of the American political tradition.

Thomas Jefferson did indeed write in the Declaration of Independence that we are “created equal,” but the rights with which we are “endowed” included “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Equality didn’t make the list.

And yet when we survey the gay political landscape, we see the notion of “equality” replacing the idea of freedom, with many state gay political groups defining themselves by a word with socialist implications.  Here in the Golden State, it’s “Equality California.”  Similarly in the Old Dominion, the Tarheel State, the Sunshine State, the Buckeye State and the Keystone State, to name put a few.

The equal sign serves as the logo for HRC which bills itself as “America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.”  (Emphasis added.)  Neither the word “freedom” nor “liberty” appears once in the group’s mission statement.

So, I’m curious how did this come to pass?  Who decided that equality should be the goal of the gay political movement? And why did they choose this idea over freedom, with freedom being the defining idea of our nation, the cause to which soldiers rallied in the Revolution and Civil Wars and which defined the political philosophy of our greatest leaders from Jefferson to Lincoln to Reagan.

In his celebrated, “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the clearest articulations of the American creed in the past century, Dr. King used the word “equality” only once, but used “freedom” twenty-one times, mostly notably in the powerful repetition of the places where he wanted to hear freedom ringing.

And yet, during the debate over the popular initiative which would appear as Proposition 8 on Golden State ballots last fall, some wanted to replace Dr. King’s, “Let Freedom Ring,” with the expression, “Let Equality Ring.”

Who decided to make equality their mantra, the mantra supposedly of the gay poltical movement?]  And why this word, why not the idea which motivated our founders and our fighters?

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101 Comments

  1. you see, we have this thing called the government. by “equality” we mean we want the government to treat us all equally.

    tough stuff, i know.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 6:49 pm - March 25, 2009

  2. and freedom from what, exactly? freedom from the government? if you want no government, then maybe you should move to somalia. if you want to live in a socially conservative (to the extreme) country, move to saudia arabia or iran. the rest of us choose to work within the construct of the laws and rights established in our society. marriage equality isn’t about “freedom”. gay people are free to have monogamous relationships. what we don’t have is the same marriage rights as heterosexuals. therefore, at least in my view, “equality” is a more appropriate word in this struggle than “freedom”.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 6:53 pm - March 25, 2009

  3. and by “marriage rights” i mean the civil rights bestowed upon married couples by the government.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 6:54 pm - March 25, 2009

  4. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!!! So goes the slogan of the French Revolution. Liberty/Freedom is most often associated with the yoke of government control. Equality is an abstract construction. In reality, it relies on the yoke of government control. Fraternity is a really touchy-feely concept which usually ends up with people calling each other comrade.

    It would be interesting to see how the gays who call for equality define the concept and how they will measure gains in achieving equality and when everyone will know when they have arrived at equality.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 25, 2009 @ 6:57 pm - March 25, 2009

  5. What did I just say? bob clearly says the government “gives” equality. How very, very democratic of bob. All for the state and the state for all!

    Comment by heliotrope — March 25, 2009 @ 6:58 pm - March 25, 2009

  6. Not freedom from government, freedom from tyranny.

    I don’t want to have the government force me to be equal to everyone else. I want government to back off and give me the freedom to become whoever or whatever I choose to become.

    Comment by V the K — March 25, 2009 @ 7:03 pm - March 25, 2009

  7. tell me, heliotrope, if not the government, then who or what entity would give you the 1000 or so benefits of marriage? if your answer is that you don’t want those rights/benefits because you want to be “free” then fine, that’s your view. but then you are opposed to marriage in general.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 7:05 pm - March 25, 2009

  8. Equality is not sameness. Homosexuals and heterosexuals are different. Gays want marriage because they want to undermine a tradition which was designed for heterosexuals and force that tradition to tolerate open relationships, serial monogamy, and multiple partners. Gays want to mimic something they feel they have been denied.

    Real homosexuals realize that their relationships don’t have the same dynamics as heterosexuals. Same-sex unions are freely chosen and are fiercely loyal and devoted. We invented monogamy. When heterosexuals were using marriage as a business proposition between families where at least the husband could have other lovers, homosexuals like Achilles and Patroclus, Sergius and Bacchus, et. al. were forming lifelong bonds based purely on their love for each other. We don’t need marriage. We’re not equal. We’re better.

    We can establish legal equality with civil unions and go on to form same-sex covenants which are the envy of straights and penguins. We are separate but better.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — March 25, 2009 @ 7:09 pm - March 25, 2009

  9. v the k: how does the federal government giving gay marriages the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages affect your ability to be “free” or to be whomever or whatever you choose to become?

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 7:10 pm - March 25, 2009

  10. ashpenaz: we’re not “better” than anyone. “we” is a hugely diverse group of people, and there is no way you can credibly say we are “better” or “worse” than straights.

    but more to the point, you admitted to me on a previous thread that you wanted gay marriages to have exactly the same rights but to be called something different. so your whole argument is bogus.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 7:13 pm - March 25, 2009

  11. homosexuals like Achilles and Patroclus,

    Hey! They were just roommates. Who enjoyed leather. And shopping.

    Comment by V the K — March 25, 2009 @ 7:53 pm - March 25, 2009

  12. The reason liberals like boob are obsessed with “equality” is roughly the same reason as a midget demanding that basketball hoops all be lowered to give him an “equal” chance to dunk.

    It’s not about what’s good for society. It’s about what’s good for gay leftists, and the rest of society can just go to hell as far as they’re concerned.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 25, 2009 @ 8:27 pm - March 25, 2009

  13. v the k: how does the federal government giving gay marriages the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages affect your ability to be “free” or to be whomever or whatever you choose to become?

    Boob, how does the federal government giving child, bestial, plural, or incestuous marriages the same rights and benefits as other marriages affect your ability to be “free” or to be whomever or whatever you choose to become?

    These sort of statements exemplify the narcissism of the gay community. They honestly don’t think about the good of society or what is best for the community; the only way they can consider impact is in terms of the individual. Self-gratification is their mantra.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 25, 2009 @ 8:33 pm - March 25, 2009

  14. NDT, i was responding to a specific assertion by v the k about freedom. if you read my question in that context, you would understand why your comments are inappropriate.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 8:42 pm - March 25, 2009

  15. i swear to god, trying to reason with my neighbor’s german shephard is more worthwhile than trying to reason with NDT.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 8:45 pm - March 25, 2009

  16. I agree with this, ok fine, I LOVE this part :

    My response is simple, you don’t go to conservatives begging for equality, not for gays, not for anyone. When conservatives are true to their principles, we speak out for freedom. Indeed, freedom, until all too recently, has been the watchword of the American political tradition.

    Thomas Jefferson did indeed write in the Declaration of Independence that we are “created equal,” but the rights with which we are “endowed” included “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Equality didn’t make the list.

    Sometimes simple is best… I think the “gay movement” has convinced itself and the community at large that somehow it is not equal–instead of figuring out how best to get legal recognition of our relationships, we like to be dramatic about it.

    I think the penchant for the stereotype of drama queens fits this nicely (and unfortunately), since many in the movement liken their lives (consciously or unconsciously) to feel like a reality television show. All of a sudden a made up victimization of not being equal emerges… and everyone goes with it. In the mean time they alienate those “moderate” conservatives and others that may have helped achieve the goal.

    Comment by Colocelt — March 25, 2009 @ 9:27 pm - March 25, 2009

  17. Equality? When did that become the watchword of the gay movement?

    Dan, did you actually ask that????

    Guys, equality is a core value –no, the first of the core values the Framers were concerned about– to wit, in that hallowed document that Bruce of GP recently referenced: “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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    To secure THESE rights, governments ARE instituted among Men, my gay social conservative brethern. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal… and that means it’s not a right? It’s self-evident. It doesn’t need to be listed as a right. It’s the frickin’ core value, Dan! It’s the natural condition of man. Equality.

    Please read the DofI again and you might just get a glimmer of where progressive gays get the sense that our govt is supposed to be about equality and the exercise of our rights and govt is SPECIFICALLY instituted to see those rights and core values put into effect.

    My God, has anyone here ever read Elliot Richardson’s book on the Creative Balance? If you haven’t, put down AynRanders and get some education-ifying. Have you not been paying attention in grade school? This is a fundamental lesson you should have been taught on your parent’s lap.

    Surely, Shirleys, you’ve read the DofI at least once –especially given that you’ve been complaining with the regularity of a Grandfather clock that Congress didn’t read the Stimulus bill –as if that was even the standard for the last 40 yrs.

    I can’t believe people would still ask “where does equality come into it all” and “why should govt be responsible for effecting it among our people”.

    Boggles the mind.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 25, 2009 @ 9:32 pm - March 25, 2009

  18. whoa…this is odd. i agree with MM.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 9:35 pm - March 25, 2009

  19. Ok here goes bob’s rants again.

    “We want the government to treat us equally.”
    Good to know bob is against the bailouts, the bills of attainder vs. the AIG execs, welfare, unemployment (after all, they unfairly take from one set of citizens and give to another) and understands that he has the same access to marriage that everyone else does.

    After all, there’s nothing to prevent him from taking advantage of the institution, to allow him to marry someone of the same sex would be treating him differently from me. And in bob’s America we can’t have that.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 25, 2009 @ 9:39 pm - March 25, 2009

  20. All men are created equal.

    Created equal, yes. Equal oportunity, not equal outcome. My job is all about evaluating how people do their job. They all have the same training, access to the same resources, and access to the same queues for calls. They all have equal opportunity to do good, or bad.

    The ones who excel, are the ones who take that and run with it. A deaf person can’t do the job, he lacks the needed equipment (hearing). Fortunately in this country, he has other options to make the best of himself. The left’s definition of equality would have deaf people answering phones, under the arc of ‘fairness’.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 25, 2009 @ 9:47 pm - March 25, 2009

  21. Livewire offers “Equal oportunity, not equal outcome.”

    Yes, that is the GOP take on it and the one most notably championed by Jack Kemp.

    Equality is the self-evident. It is the first of the core values.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 25, 2009 @ 9:57 pm - March 25, 2009

  22. Marriage is not a sign of equality. Homosexuals don’t need it and never have. While we have the right to the same legal protection, we don’t need to co-opt a tradition that was not designed for us. We need to build our same-sex relationships on our history as people who have always found ways to complement but not mimic heterosexual relationships. We can use this historical moment to establish a legally recognized same-sex union that belongs to us and is not a watered-down form of a heterosexual tradition.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — March 25, 2009 @ 10:21 pm - March 25, 2009

  23. “While we have the right to the same legal protection, ”

    come again?

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 10:27 pm - March 25, 2009

  24. oh you’re saying we have the “right” to the rights, but you’re not saying we currently have the rights.

    nevermind

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 10:28 pm - March 25, 2009

  25. and no, livewire, us liberals understand as well as you do that people have different abilities and different motivations and ambitions, and thus we should not all have the same “outcomes”.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 25, 2009 @ 10:32 pm - March 25, 2009

  26. Well since it is my original quote that started this thread about equality. Let me ask this:

    Where do I go in the conservative movement to gather support for the FREEDOM to enter into a civil union? I would suggest that it does not exist. Which was the point of my previous posting.

    As for this: “The left’s definition of equality would have deaf people answering phones, under the arc of ‘fairness’” Um, no. The lefts definition would allow for a deaf person to be educated and have a job and contribute to society. This was not always the case.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 1:06 am - March 26, 2009

  27. The funny part is, heliotrope, that gays already have “equality” in terms of employment law, just as an example; they have the same protection from being fired on the basis of their sexual orientation as do heterosexuals, which is none. In the eyes of the law, both situations are absolutely equal. Same with marriage; they have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as everyone else does.

    But since those do not pander to boob and instead treat him the same as everyone else, he screams that they aren’t “equal”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 26, 2009 @ 1:27 am - March 26, 2009

  28. MM–I’ve read the Declaration more times than I can count. And equality has never been the goal of a major political movement in the United States until the Socialist movements of the early twentieth century. The word, “equal,” appears precisely twice in the Declaration.

    Nowhere in the Declaration nor in any other founding document is equality made the goal. Elliot Richardson? You have got to be kidding me! Who takes him seriously as a political theorist in America? Himself and a few of his college chums.

    Please re-read the Declaration. Equal creation is self-evident, not equality of outcome. And Mr. Jefferson never wanted the government to enforce equality as do the gay groups mentioned above.

    And Chuck, you have the freedom to form a civil union. Please tell me where laws block you from doing so.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 26, 2009 @ 1:56 am - March 26, 2009

  29. And away we go:

    by “equality” we mean we want the government to treat us all equally.

    tough stuff, i know.

    And it’s a damn shame gays don’t treat other gays equally, ain’t it? Tough stuff, I know.

    then who or what entity would give you the 1000 or so benefits of marriage?

    Can you name ’em? I’ve yet to find anybody who can.

    My God, has anyone here ever read Elliot Richardson’s book on the Creative Balance?

    Let me guess, you’ve had cocktails with him at some RNC convention after-party, right? Or maybe a summer in the Hamptons?

    us liberals understand as well as you do that people have different abilities and different motivations and ambitions, and thus we should not all have the same “outcomes”.

    And they do their level damn best to stifle the ambition lest folks wander off the plantation.

    Where do I go in the conservative movement to gather support for the FREEDOM to enter into a civil union? I would suggest that it does not exist.

    Did you bother trying or did you just ASSume that they’re all racist, sexist, bigot homophobes like you’ve been told to believe?

    Ooops! Can’t do that. If you got off your arse, you might find out you’re wrong.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 26, 2009 @ 5:00 am - March 26, 2009

  30. Put simply, boob, I find more equality amongst fellow conservatives than I ever have around fellow gays.

    How do you reckon that?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 26, 2009 @ 5:13 am - March 26, 2009

  31. Chuck,

    “Where do I go in the conservative movement to gather support for the FREEDOM to enter into a civil union? I would suggest that it does not exist. Which was the point of my previous posting. ”

    I would respectfully point out, that this site, and the posters therin, are prove that your suggestion is flawed. There is a movement, to use the processes enshrined in represenative government, to establish civil unions. It is possible to figth with every breath of my being, the means (via judicial ursurping of the legislative process) but support the ends (civil unions, or as I call ’em ‘Fred’).

    Comment by The Livewire — March 26, 2009 @ 6:45 am - March 26, 2009

  32. GPW: we’re talking about being treated equally; that does not mean that everyone’s outcomes will be equal. you still haven’t really answered my questions from #1 and #2.

    #30: what the hell are you talking about, and even if you were making sense, how do you suppose your little anecdote is anything more than just that?

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — March 26, 2009 @ 6:48 am - March 26, 2009

  33. Apparently, if you’re a person of faith, you do not have the equal right to contribute to political causes if it runs afoul of the gay mafia. In which case, the people who supposedly want everyone to be treated equally and protected from harassment will then publish your personal information and encourage your employer to fire you.

    I really don’t think the gay left believes in equality or freedom as much as they claim to.

    Comment by V the K — March 26, 2009 @ 7:13 am - March 26, 2009

  34. So in this thread, gays have been compared to midgets and the mafia.

    Gays are superior to heterosexuals and that the law should reflect that fact, but legal equality would be an acceptable compromise.

    Comment by Attmay — March 26, 2009 @ 8:54 am - March 26, 2009

  35. Dan, I’m glad you’ve actually read the DofI “more times than you can count” but here’s the rub of it all… you’re reading it with a jaundiced eye predisposed to transfer your contemporary values onto the intent of the Framers. Don’t we supposedly hold high value in the Framer’s intent when we ask federal and state judges to follow the language and intent of the Framers, not what we THINK or WANT the language to tranlsate into for today’s convenience?

    The Framers said, not me, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. Not equal just in your eyes; not equal just in the political equations of the gayLeft either. Equal. It’s a self-evident truth –truth, far beyond a right. It needs no further explanation by the Framers because it is so bloody apparent.

    Govt is instituted among men to insure that those values, those truths, those rights are made real, made whole, brought into a proper “natural law” condition of equality.

    And there are rights –which can NOT be reduced or recused from the importance of men being treated as equal. Equality is the first, the foremost core value of our Founding Fathers, the Framers of both the DofI and the Articles and the Constitution.

    And here’s the real important factor that many soc-cons run over in a flash –God gave us that entitlement to equality, to the rights, to the fundamental role of govt to secure those rights for all.

    Dick Cheney had it right when he said this country is founded on the notion that freedom means freedom for all –and that includes gays, blacks, Native Americans, Muslims and Mormons, angry white men and hockey moms with cell phones. That’s where the new GOP position ought to begin because we aren’t going to win elections if we keep standing firm against core American values like equality and freedom.

    Although Cheney was responding to a question about his daughter’s rights, the gay movement is far, far more than just “gay marriage” or marriage equality. It’s about adoption rights, survivorship rights, medical decisions, service to country, personal choice, workplace rules, etc.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, marriage equality interests me as a GOPer intent on the restoration of our political power because, like Jack Kemp makes clear, it all ought to be the equality of opportunities, not the equality of outcomes.

    But for gay conservatives to find fault with gay peers and try to use the DofI as a predicate to support their position, is to turn your back on the Framer’s intent and language –something we’re supposed to hold hear for judicial constructionists and it is to turn your back on personal freedom which Cheney rightly says “freedom means freedom for all”.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 9:08 am - March 26, 2009

  36. “All men are created equal” is the starting point. Michigan-Matt further points out that:

    “To secure THESE rights, governments ARE instituted among Men, my gay social conservative brethern.”

    From here the sophomores in the room take over.

    Gays are superior to heterosexuals and that the law should reflect that fact, but legal equality would be an acceptable compromise.

    Whether tongue in cheek or severely overwhelmed with petulant victimization syndrome, the point is the same.

    You were created equal and set loose to make of yourself what you may. Sarah Palin’s little Trig included.

    There are human anomalies. Two men using their reproductive equipment on each other is one example. A man using his reproductive equipment on his neighbor’s German Shepherd would be another.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    Your government through its elected representatives has given you 100% of the 14th Amendment due process rights that it has assured every other citizen.

    Gay marriage is exactly the same as polygamy or man plus beast. It is not an issue of equality. It is an issue of societal acceptance. How does this sound?

    All men are created equal and their creator wants them to be happy and be allowed to do what they want to do and be be respected for doing it by everyone else”

    You may now bash me for being so cruel.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 9:30 am - March 26, 2009

  37. #31 Livewire, I appreciate finding this site and enjoy reading the views stated here. But I would point out that the people here represent a TINY fraction of the conservative movement. Was there a openly gay speaker that CPAC that I am not aware of? Just because a site exists, doesn’t mean there is a movement out there. Perhaps there is a big secret behind the scenes gay conservative movement to actually accomplish civil unions but I doubt it. When push came to shove, Dick Cheney, father to a lesbian daughter, pushed her freedom, equality, whatever you wish to call it, overboard for the sake of a wedge issue. This was done for the “greater good” of the party.

    And if the site does indeed represent a movement, what is everyone doing here to progress the cause of civil unions outside this site? Petitioning both your state and DC congressional delegations? Suggesting freedom and equality at your local Republican meetings when someone speaks out in favor of DOMA? When is the big gay tea party for gay conservatives?

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 10:09 am - March 26, 2009

  38. Without digging out the whole list, here are 4 rights gays don’t have that married couples do have:

    Medical decisions: Gay people are not able to make serious medical decisions for their partner in an emergency. Instead, hospitals are often forced by state laws to consult the families despite that they may be estranged or hostile to the individual.

    Death wishes: Partners have virtually no right to impact how death wishes are carried out which means they can even be over turned by the family despite a clear will. These can include custody decisions, funeral arrangements and real estate ownership decisions.

    Legal testimony: This is two-fold. One is protection from having to testify against your partner if he or she is on trial, which legally married couples are not forced to do. The other is validity of defense testimony. Often a non-legal spouse’s testimony carries no more weight that a stranger.

    Visitation rights: If a partner is imprisoned, visitation rights can be denied on a whim. Families can even deny individuals the right to visit a partner’s hospital bed

    Inheritence is another one.

    Granted some of these can be worked out by filling out the proper form at the hospitol. But if your partner goes to the hospitol at 2:30 in the morning with a heart attack, saying “I am her wife” gets you in the emergency room. “I am his partner does not”. I speak of personal experience here. I had to wait til 8 am when the patient advocate at the hosp. came in to rectify the situation. A situation that would not have happened if there were civil unions/marriage.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 10:18 am - March 26, 2009

  39. Hey helio, thanks for giving credit where credit is due on your first two points… but the 2nd bold quote pullout, that you preface with the uncivil “From here the sophomores in the room take over”, isn’t mine and I wouldn’t have written it. You imply that with the M-Matt said which preceeded the points.

    Maybe you think it’s ok to mislead other commenters. I don’t.

    I won’t bash you because you think yourself to be cruel (?) and I’m not exactly sure why you’d raise the Palin infant in a thread about the gay movement’s embrace of equality as a watchword. Cruel? Or just strange?

    I think a bit more honesty on your part would help further sincere, civil debate here. I didn’t make the 2nd quote you note in the bold-quote pullouts –maybe it was a mistake on YOUR part?

    But, hey, I’m glad at least you’re willing to admit that all men are created equal and govt is instituted among men to secure those rights. I do know soc-con gays who can’t even take that tiny, little step in honoring the Founders or the Framers.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 10:37 am - March 26, 2009

  40. I love posts like this because they really get me thinking about the connotation of political language. But everytime I write a comment I keep disagreeing with myself and erasing it. Great post!

    Comment by Kuhnsy — March 26, 2009 @ 10:41 am - March 26, 2009

  41. Chuck, of course you’re right. There’s a lot more beyond the excellent and REAL examples you note.

    MM-partner and I have had to spend a ton of bucks in legal fees to accomplish some of what ALL married couples take as a granted or expected right. And we’ve had to do it to protect our family, our kids, their rights.

    Freedom means freedom for all –all men are created equal means all men. Freedom of opportunity does NOT mean an equality of outcomes or subservience to the vicitimization industry.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 10:42 am - March 26, 2009

  42. #29 Hi ThatGayConservative,

    “Did you bother trying or did you just ASSume that they’re all racist, sexist, bigot homophobes like you’ve been told to believe?”

    Um, yeah, I did try, am trying and continue to try. Nowhere in my post did I assume anything that you ASSume I did. Where outside the blogisphere does one go to join a movement to make change on the issue of civil unions? It would seem logical to me that in order to make civil unions, you need to work with the people who oppose it and try and change their minds. At this time, it is conservatives who oppose anything that even looks like marriage, including civil unions. And when I say conservatives, I mean those “out there”, not in here on this blog.

    You must ASSume I am some lefty liberal progressive and not a former registered Republican and Log Cabin Republican member who volunteered for Bush #1’s election and re-election and Bush #2’s first election campaign. Not to mention working in several local/state elections to elect republicans. Oh, and I am a gun owner, veteran and I go to church.

    And no, “they” are not all racist, sexist, homophobes, but I have met quite a few. In both parties.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 10:42 am - March 26, 2009

  43. “you see, we have this thing called the government. by “equality” we mean we want the government to treat us all equally. ”

    Really? Certainly this isn’t what most public liberals or others who emphasize equality want. They want the government to treat people differently to ensure that people end up with what liberals think they deserve.

    Comment by MJ — March 26, 2009 @ 11:01 am - March 26, 2009

  44. GAO letter to Henry Hyde marriage rights.

    http://www.gao.gov/archive/1997/og97016.pdf

    joint parenting;
    joint adoption;
    joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
    status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
    joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
    dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
    immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
    inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
    joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
    inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
    benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
    spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
    veterans’ discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;
    joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
    wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
    bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
    decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
    crime victims’ recovery benefits;
    loss of consortium tort benefits;
    domestic violence protection orders;
    judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
    and more….

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 11:02 am - March 26, 2009

  45. MM in #35, give me a break. Jaundiced eyes? I read the Declaration before I read conservative political philosophy, indeed warmed to conservative & libertarian ideas because they so well accorded with the ideals of the Declaration.

    I believe actually it is you who are transferring your contemporary values onto the intent of the Framers. Go back and read their stuff. You’ll see how much the focused on freedom. Adams, though not a signer of the Declaration, was quite suspicious of the idea of equality. (Check out Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams if you don’t believe me–just read it myself.)

    It’s you who are playing word games. So, if you believe equality was the first foremost core value of the Founding Fathers, Constitution, etc., please provide me some examples from their writings to prove your point.

    Do we have a Statue of Equality? Did Lincoln say our nation was “conceived in equality”? Did Civil War soldiers sing a “Battle Cry of Equality”?

    Yes, Lincoln did say we were created equal, as did so many others, but the idea he constantly referenced was liberty.

    It is not to turn my back on freedom to say that the Framers’ intent to dismiss the notion of equality as an ideal, but to affirm that ideal. You’re conflating words and missing the tension that the framers themselves saw between equality and freedom.

    So, please go back and read these documents, go back and do, as I have done, and read the words of the Framers, study their biographies. And don’t lecture me on something with which you’re not familiar. It is not I, but you, who are imposing his views on the founders.

    The core American values are not equality and freedom, but liberty and equality of opportunity, a huge distinction. You yourself get at your own buying into contemporary lingo when you say that “God gave us that entitlement to equality.” No, He didn’t. We’re not entitled to equality.

    And it’s quite clear from the very language of the Declaration that the rights which governments are instituted to “secure” are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Here’s the text:

    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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    Note how clear Mr. Jefferson is in listing Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as rights, then goes on to say, “to secure these rights.” As per the post above, equality didn’t make that list. So, please don’t go on about my jaundiced eye or transferring my contemporary values onto the Declaration.

    My contemporary values are derived from the Declaration.

    And the plain language of the text makes clear that Thomas Jefferson and the Members of the Continental Congress who approved these documents did not include equality in their list of rights.

    So, please if you’re going to argue with me on the intent of the founders, provide some evidence to make your case.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 26, 2009 @ 11:08 am - March 26, 2009

  46. “but then you are opposed to marriage in general.

    Comment by bob (aka boob)”

    Another error. This means he’s against benefits and burdens being allocated by marriage. His opinion of marriage in independent.

    Comment by MJ — March 26, 2009 @ 11:08 am - March 26, 2009

  47. Oops! I did not intend Attmay’s statement in #34 to be considered part of what Mighigan-Matt said in #7. My apologies to Mighigan-Matt for my carelessness.

    Mighigan-Matt in #7 is acting the sophomore with his tired argument that the Declaration of Independence somehow implies equality of result. Attmay in #34 is acting the sophomore for either making an idiotic exaggeration that does not advance the argument or Attmay believes what he wrote is therefore suspect of suffering some sort of derangement.

    The “civil discourse” business has taken on childish dimensions.

    Michigan-Matt in #7 raises the issue that the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal…” In my response (#36) I wrote:

    You were created equal and set loose to make of yourself what you may. Sarah Palin’s little Trig included.

    As you doubtlessly know, Trig Palin is handicapped from participating in the general world. Yet, he was created equal. He will not have the equal outcome of his siblings, because his brain power won’t get him that far. But Michigan-Matt makes much of the “created equal” clause, so I thought it reasonable to put it in perspective.

    Michigan-Matt was born with a drive or chose to adopt a preference to use his sexual reproductive powers on other men. The equipment may preform but the biology won’t work.

    Now Michigan-Matt implies that if he is not allowed by the citizens and their government to sanction him and his partner or partners in marriage, that he is not being treated equally. Somehow, Michigan-Matt finds some triumphant meaning for his point in the “created equal” clause of the Declaration of Independence.

    His is a circular argument at its most basic.

    Obviously, being gay is an anomaly. The percentage of gay people in the general population is under 5%. If you take the experimenters and switch hitters out of it, the per cent is even lower.

    Those low numbers bring up such concepts as aberrant behavior/abnormal behavior. A gay might reject that as bigotry, but the other 95% of the general population view it as a quandary.

    I have often asked what benefit would come to the general population if gays were permitted to marry. It always seems to boil down to making gays happy.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 11:23 am - March 26, 2009

  48. Quite the paradox of Jefferson to write :

    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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    While he owned slaves. I am reminded of the movie “Dazed and Confused” (I am paraphrasing)

    “Ok, class, this summer as you celebrate July 4th, just remember, the nation was founded by rich aristocratic white male slave holders who didnt want to pay their taxes”

    Please don’t flame me for this posting. It might just be my jaundiced eye of history.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 11:26 am - March 26, 2009

  49. Chuck in Del: I will not “flame” you.

    You can take the man out his times, but you can not take the times out of the man. The irony in 2009 of Jefferson owning slaves and his “all men are created equal” phrase of 1776 does not make him a hypocrite. Slavery and indentured servitude and debtor’s prison were all a part of Jefferson’s day. Jefferson’s view of equality did not extend to women.

    “All men are created equal” is a rhetorical proposition. You will notice that it did not make its way into the Constitution. The Constitution is a legal document and does not contain much in the way of rhetorical language. Even so, “faithfully execute,” “full faith and credit,” due process,” “general welfare,” “commerce,” “probable cause,” “good behavior,” etc. have created a sufficient amount of mischief.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 11:44 am - March 26, 2009

  50. […] Posted by Reid on March 26, 2009 As usual a great post at Gay Patriot (I admit I am a total groupie)  I agree with this, ok fine, I LOVE this part: My response is simple, you don’t go to conservatives begging for equality, not for gays, not for anyone. When conservatives are true to their principles, we speak out for freedom. Indeed, freedom, until all too recently, has been the watchword of the American political tradition. Thomas Jefferson did indeed write in the Declaration of Independence that we are “created equal,” but the rights with which we are “endowed” included “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Equality didn’t make the list. As with anything read the whole thing […]

    Pingback by Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness « American Highlander — March 26, 2009 @ 11:46 am - March 26, 2009

  51. #22 …

    Marriage is not a sign of equality

    So true…Ashpenaz I cannot agree more and love the rest of your statement.

    Comment by Colocelt — March 26, 2009 @ 11:55 am - March 26, 2009

  52. Dan, thank you for your civil reply. Some see it as flaming; I see it as spirited.

    Here’s the mistake you make. I have read the Framers and Founders biographies from almost every legit historiographic perspective, I have studied the documents for more years than you’ve been on this Earth. I have an intimate, fully nuanced, deeply respectful appreciation for both and the same.

    I don’t transfer my contemporary values onto the documents. I am not playing word games as you decry. Conservatives are indeed fond of trumpeting the notion that we must all pay attention to the language of the Framers & the Founders, not what WE WANT THEM TO SAY.

    The words are exactly what they say. Equality. Self-evident. It comes from God. Govt is instituted to secure those rights.

    It isn’t a bit of informed intelligence to say what Lincoln wrote or what soldiers sang in the Union Army during the War of Northern Aggression and it doesn’t apply except to take your contemporary values you think in evidence in those two items and try to project them as the Founders’ beliefs or the Framer’s intent -which was 90 yrs earlier.

    You write: “Adams, though not a signer of the Declaration, was quite suspicious of the idea of equality. ”

    You should know -as I do– that Adams did indeed sign the DofI. I’m not sure what to make of your attestation that he did NOT.

    He was, later in life, very suspect of equality but in the context of the untoward effects of the French revolution. It is a well respected observation of Adams that can be found in David McCullough’s book and a well respected explanation of same.

    What you don’t note is that it is sometimes instructive to look beyond the Founder’s words to their earlier words and the work of the Continental Congress convened that 76 summer amidst all the black flies and fevers.

    Jefferson first wrote “That all men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights, of which they cannot by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among them are the enjoyment of life and iberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

    A truth is higher than a right, Dan. A truth is inviolately the foundation of the rights of man, given by God and the govt’s role is to secure them.

    For you to take exception to the gay movement’s embrace of equality as somehow disconnected from what the Framers, the Founders and our Country’s First Families intended and fought for is to harness your contemporary values to a horse that can’t tow the load.

    Am I wrong? Freedom means freedom for all –that should be the GOPs attiitude toward marriage equality. Equality of opportunity means one has the opportunity to have the same natural law rights and truth that the Framers, Founders and FirstFamilies intended.

    They said it. I didn’t interpert it. I’m being a good conservative for the moment by adhering to the principle of strict construction of the Framer’s language.

    And then, there’s that pesky thing about what the authors of the DofI first proposed as a point of reference to enlighten this debate.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 12:07 pm - March 26, 2009

  53. But as I noted earlier and Chuck has given excellent, pointed, real-life examples to inform all, this isn’t a debate about gay marriage.

    It’s about the gay movement’s embrace of equality as a watchword.

    Does it mean that we should support a perversion of equality to something like “equal outcomes”? Heck no.

    But Dick Cheney had it right and the GOP and Bush 43 were wrong to carry the water pail of the farRight and soc-cons when we became the shill for anti-gay marriage advocates. Should judges legislate from the bench the litany of benefits others now hold by being married? No. For public concensus and lasting effect, it should come from the electorate.

    But the Framers were right. They said it. Govt is instituted among men to secure certain inalienable rights.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 12:17 pm - March 26, 2009

  54. Thanks for not flaming me Heliotrope.

    If memory serves me correct, there was a debate during the constitutional conventions regarding the slave issue. There were concessions made during these debates to get the more Torry/agricultural states to sign on if the issue of slavery was tabled. One might suspect that the reason for equality being out of the Constitution was because of the slave issue. I would have to research this. Any history buffs want to chime in on this?

    But in a way, you are making my point. Times change, the document does not. The DofI and Constitution have been used since their inception to argue for freedom. Just as we are doing here. And now we allow African Americans to marry (they weren’t allowed to do so in some states pre-civil war) and interracial marrige, which some state did not allow prior to 1967 (?). And now that time has changed for civil unions or marriage or whatever you wish to call it.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 12:21 pm - March 26, 2009

  55. Oh, sorry about a mistake in my comments at 50… I edited them once too often and wasn’t careful enough. I meant to attribute the “informing language” to Mason and the VA DofR but I edited the lead in and two paragraphs. Jefferson had Mason’s language and took it almost verbatim and included it in the first draft of the DofI with two tweaks.

    My mistake.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 12:38 pm - March 26, 2009

  56. Chuck writes: “If memory serves me correct, there was a debate during the constitutional conventions regarding the slave issue.”

    More to the point here, Chuck, Thos Jefferson (yep, rightly attributed this time, sigh) had over 200+ words devoted to a stinging indictment of the slave trade in the orginal draft the Committee submitted to the Congress. There was debate at the DofI Congress… skip later Congresses on the Articles or the US Constitution.

    After some lengthy debate, Southerners with the private support of influential Northerners in the DofI Congress had the whole segment on slavery removed. You should read it –it’s far more flaming than the best handed out in DC these days.

    By the way, John Adams was so supportive of the DofI as submitted by the Committee of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman & Livingston–with the equality provision included– he urged the Congress to adopt it immediately –without even a full reading or debate. Adams got shot down, naturally.

    Adams knew that someday his very conservative brethern would find fault with his successors in Congress for not having read a Stimulus bill 4 centuries removed. Nawh, I know, but it’s fun to imagine.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 12:50 pm - March 26, 2009

  57. here are 4 rights gays don’t have that married couples do have

    Unmarried straight people don’t have those “rights” either; without filling out assorted legal forms designating who they want to do those things, they fall to the legal next of kin–parent, child, sibling.

    Even if there was federally-mandated “gay marriage”, unpartnered gay people still won’t have those “rights.”

    It’s not about equality, it’s about gays with partners wanting to join a privileged class.

    Comment by HeatherRadish — March 26, 2009 @ 2:00 pm - March 26, 2009

  58. Heather,

    Wow, the places my beliefs take me…

    Yes, unmarried couples/groups/herds have the same obsticals. my roomate and I have taken steps to ensure we have protections.

    People advocating Civil Unions/Fred are trying to streamline that process for their pairings. As long as they do it through the methods provided by the Founders (legislative/not judicial fiat) more power to ’em.

    Comment by The Livewire — March 26, 2009 @ 2:18 pm - March 26, 2009

  59. HeatherRadish, please read post #44. Not all of those listed can be handled with the “right forms filled out.” Some of them yes, but when I went to the hospitol to visit my husband, I was not allowed to see him, even though I HAD filled out the proper form to be his medical decider.

    So how does one rectify that situation without being recognized as part of a “privileged class” by commiting to my partner for 21 yrs? He died and I do not get the priviliegded class federal death benefit or social security. This isn’t about joining a country club. There is an injustice going on in this country.

    Show me the forms to fill out and you can keep your marriage.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 2:28 pm - March 26, 2009

  60. It even gets far, far worse Chuck when it’s a legal issue involving building a family in a state that doesn’t allow gay adoptions.

    Your example is a tough, ought to be heart-rending one tht evokes compassion by all.

    But just imagine trying to tell a school secretary, principal or school administrator that you son has two male parents who have equal control. I’m sorry for us as a society whenever I hear of the injustice guys like you suffered because of an ill-compassioned institution.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 26, 2009 @ 2:34 pm - March 26, 2009

  61. Yes, MM, I do see the gay movement’s embracing of equality as at odds with the Framers. They want to use the state to enforce their notion of equality. Mr. Jefferson was suspicious of giving additional power to the federal government.

    Indeed, whenever Jefferson use any form of the word “equal,” he used it as an adjective or adverb to modify.

    I just don’t see the link between “marriage equality” (whatever that is) and freedom.

    Conservatives don’t occupy themselves do much with promoting equality because they know that freedom better promotes equality of opportunity than does any state-sanctioned system designed to promote equality.

    Recalling that the Framers designed our system of government to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” I searched the constitution for the word “equality” but could not find it. The word, “liberty” occurs three times in that document, “freedom” once, “equality” not at all. “Equal” appears only as an adjective or adverb, modifying concepts.

    It is clear that the concept of liberty was near and dear to the hearts of the framers, equal, in all but one occasion, used to describe voting and the election of legislators.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 26, 2009 @ 2:52 pm - March 26, 2009

  62. Thanks M-M,

    I have friends who adopted a child and while locally, it is not an issue with the schools here, travelling can be quite a challenge. They always travel with paperwork to prove they are the parents. And they worry about if they move to another state all the paperwork in the world would not help. So much for the full faith clause. I don’t know that many straight couples, as a matter of habit always travel with their childs birth certificate and other legal documents for fear of harassment by “The Man”

    Its rather easy to engage in an academic arguement about the DofI and Const. But when you witness first hand or close friends having real problems with the way things are now, its outrageous that these injustices continue.

    I have a friend who was raped by a Marine in Virginia. The police informed him not to press charges as sodomy was illegal and since my friend was gay, he would be charged with sodomy. All this after my friend lost everything when his husband of 14 years died suddenly and the family claimed the house, cars, business and money. No, he didnt fill out the correct forms, but if he were married, forms would not have been necessary.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 2:54 pm - March 26, 2009

  63. Does it mean that we should support a perversion of equality to something like “equal outcomes”? Heck no.

    The reason heterosexual marriage is treated the way that it is is because heterosexual couples a) represent the vast and overwhelming majority of society, b) are the root of society’s basic ability to perpetuate itself, c) almost inevitably in the process of acting like a couple manage to reproduce themselves, and d) represent what is the most stable and preferred environment for childrearing. All of what is part of marriage is there because it supports and facilitates a – d.

    Furthermore, marriage is not even considered a complete and total “right” of heterosexuals. The government routinely prevents heterosexual couplings from marrying due to the status of one or both of the people involved, even though this would be a flagrant denial of the ideal of “equality”.

    For whatever reason, biological or otherwise, you don’t want to participate in an opposite-sex coupling. That’s fine; that’s your right. However, your choice or inclination in that direction does not mean that the recognition that an opposite-sex coupling can receive from the government should be expanded to whatever your preferred relationship is, especially since the government doesn’t even recognize all potential opposite-sex relationships.

    Government does not exist to guarantee you freedom from inconvenience. The fact that you are inconvenienced does not mean you are treated unjustly or unfairly.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 26, 2009 @ 3:51 pm - March 26, 2009

  64. Mark Levin writes in his brand new book: Liberty and Tyranny—

    …The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word —equality.

    Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law. Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect. Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in all his human characteristics. Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

    The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes. He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man’s natural state and man’s perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia. The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal and which is imperfect perfect. This is the hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state. Only then can the impossible be possible.

    (……..)

    The late Eric Hoffer, the blue-collar philosopher, provides a compelling answer: “Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, is is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of many which make up a tunic; one thread not indistinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.”

    Equality is not easily summed up on a bumper sticker or stuffed into a fortune cookie.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 3:56 pm - March 26, 2009

  65. Well, I have an idea. Most gays are not conservatives. Therefore, most gays don’t use conservative terminology.

    That was easy.

    Comment by Levi — March 26, 2009 @ 4:17 pm - March 26, 2009

  66. Livewire,

    The more you insult me and refer to sex between two men as an “anomaly”, the more you confirm that I was right in regards to the superiority of gays to heterosexuals.

    Comment by Attmay — March 26, 2009 @ 4:30 pm - March 26, 2009

  67. Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom.

    That dovetails very nicely with one observation that I have made of the gay community; despite it being more than obvious, the vast majority of gays are utterly and completely incapable of stating that heterosexual relationships are more beneficial to society and its long-term goals than are homosexual ones.

    I mean, what’s so hard about saying that? To me, it’s like saying that Brian Urlach is a better linebacker than I am (or was). That doesn’t make me a bad person, nor does it mean that there are other things that I can’t do or contribute; it simply means, in regard to this particular thing, that someone else is better than I am. That’s why I have no trouble with him being paid millions of dollars for what he does, nor am I upset and insistent that the NFL is “discriminatory” and “unjust” because I wasn’t drafted.

    I wonder if this is the natural outgrowth of a society that was raised on narcissism and self-esteem as opposed to right and wrong. After all, when the message you are told by parents and schools from day one is that, if something bad happens to you, it’s someone else’s fault and that, if you don’t succeed (or if someone else succeeds and you don’t), it’s because society is prejudiced against you has to have some effect.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 26, 2009 @ 4:31 pm - March 26, 2009

  68. What? Did Attmay say something? I couldn’t hear his name calling over all the banning.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 26, 2009 @ 5:41 pm - March 26, 2009

  69. wow, what did I write that trapped it in the filter?

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 26, 2009 @ 5:42 pm - March 26, 2009

  70. A very thought provoking quote Heliotrope. But my desire for marriage equality is not to take anything away from hetero marriage. It is an expansion of freedom for me. Where does marrige equality ” violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty?”

    I would submit that the government is violating my property rights by not allowing me the liberty to enter into my own marriage contract.

    #63 The family is not just for childrearing. Families are a cornerstone of society long after the childrearing years have passed. Married couples don’t get married, have kids, raise them, then say “our work here is done, procreation mission accomplished, now we can break up and go about our business.” Married couples stay together long after that. It is a deep spiritual bond that goes well above and beyond society, government and the constitution. They even stay together when they don’t have kids, or the kids move away and break off contact with said parents. We treat barren couples and couples with children equally.

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 26, 2009 @ 5:44 pm - March 26, 2009

  71. The most useful political philosopher I have read in the last several years is John Kekes. He’s unusual, an atheist conservative. And he is an enemy of ideology, ie the fetishization of a single value that predetermines political thought and action. For contemporary liberals, egalitarian justice dominates all; for libertarians, individual freedom. Great for slogans. Not so great for the complexity of human societies.

    His latest book, The Art of Politics, outlines a substantial set of political goods that create the American framework.

    These are:
    Reason as prudence
    Plurality of goods
    Necessary limits
    Limited liberty
    Toleration within reason
    Justice as having what one deserves
    Right to private property
    Equality as exclusion of arbitrariness
    Political democracy
    Legitimate authority
    Civility as a social condition

    Kekes’ point is that in each situation, a variety of values compete for a hearing and for enactment and what is best is usually that which preserves and strengthens the holos, the systemic framework of goods. Equality or freedom are always only one of a larger set; making either of them the answer to every problem threatens the organic whole.

    Kekes’ viewpoint is not good for slogans, but I think it’s good for the country. I recommend him.

    Comment by EssEm — March 26, 2009 @ 5:47 pm - March 26, 2009

  72. #66 Attmay, I checked over Livewire’s comments and do not find him discussing sex between two men as an anomaly. But I did. It is openly stated in my comments at #47. Perhaps you would like to redirect your scorn in my direction and let Livewire earn his own reason for your scorn.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 6:27 pm - March 26, 2009

  73. Perhaps you would like to redirect your scorn in my direction and let Livewire earn his own reason for your scorn.

    Actually, I was going to address that too, heliotrope, but I’ll try not to be scornful. I don’t object so much to the term “anomaly” so much, except that you specifically chose to use that term for those who use their “equipment” in a way that “may preform but the biology won’t work.” Maybe you use the term anomaly for anyone who has a characteristic of which applies, to say less than 10 or so percent of the population. So perhaps you use the term for left-handed persons, those of Armenian descent, Mormons, or mathematicians.

    Humans are an “anomaly” in relation to most of the rest of the animal kingdom in that reproduction is not the primary reason that humans have sex. Even married couples, while still fertile and planning to have children may many times have sex, but not for the reason of having children those times. There are married infertile couples, including couples in which the woman is past her childbearing years, that have sex even though their equipment may perform but the biology doesn’t work.

    the vast majority of gays are utterly and completely incapable of stating that heterosexual relationships are more beneficial to society and its long-term goals than are homosexual ones.

    Maybe so, but I’ll be honest with you, NDT, I’m not sure what you mean here. If you are saying that perhaps a majority or a significant minority of heterosexual relationships are capable and willing of procreating, and thus continue to propagate the species, while no homosexual relationships are capable of procreating, I’m in full agreement.

    I mean, what’s so hard about saying that? To me, it’s like saying that Brian Urlach is a better linebacker than I am (or was). That doesn’t make me a bad person, nor does it mean that there are other things that I can’t do or contribute; it simply means, in regard to this particular thing, that someone else is better than I am. That’s why I have no trouble with him being paid millions of dollars for what he does, nor am I upset and insistent that the NFL is “discriminatory” and “unjust” because I wasn’t drafted.

    I’m not as good a linebacker as Brian Urlacher (or as hot either). But there’s a big difference here. The NFL is limited to about the most talented 1500 football players at any one time. We don’t do that with marriage, and I don’t think anyone has ever suggested we should. However, I will agree with you that if marriage should be limited to the top 1500 couples in terms of perpetuating the human species, that marriage should be limited to opposite sex couples. But then again, I would also limit it to couples that are clearly fertile, and young couples. Oh, and as soon as the youngest child flies the coop, the couple should terminate the marriage, so a new fertile couple can marry. Heck, Brian Urlacher will retire someday, and will be replaced by a more talented linebacker.

    Comment by Pat — March 26, 2009 @ 8:37 pm - March 26, 2009

  74. Actually, I was going to address that to, heliotrope, but I’ll try not to be scornful. I don’t object so much to the term “anomaly” so much, except that you specifically chose to use that term for those who use their “equipment” in a way that “may preform but the biology won’t work.” Maybe you use the term anomaly for anyone who has a characteristic of which applies, to say less than 10 or so percent of the population. So perhaps you use the term for left-handed persons, those of Armenian descent, Mormons, or mathematicians.

    Humans are an “anomaly” in relation to most of the rest of the animal kingdom in that reproduction is not the primary reason that humans have sex. Even married couples, while still fertile and planning to have children may many times have sex, but not for the reason of having children those times. There are married infertile couples, including couples in which the woman is past her childbearing years, that have sex even though their equipment may perform but the biology doesn’t work.

    Comment by Pat — March 26, 2009 @ 8:39 pm - March 26, 2009

  75. the vast majority of gays are utterly and completely incapable of stating that heterosexual relationships are more beneficial to society and its long-term goals than are homosexual ones.

    Maybe so, but I’ll be honest with you, NDT, I’m not sure what you mean here. If you are saying that perhaps a majority or a significant minority of heterosexual relationships are capable and willing of procreating, and thus continue to propagate the species, while no homosexual relationships are capable of procreating, I’m in full agreement.

    I mean, what’s so hard about saying that? To me, it’s like saying that Brian Urlach is a better linebacker than I am (or was). That doesn’t make me a bad person, nor does it mean that there are other things that I can’t do or contribute; it simply means, in regard to this particular thing, that someone else is better than I am. That’s why I have no trouble with him being paid millions of dollars for what he does, nor am I upset and insistent that the NFL is “discriminatory” and “unjust” because I wasn’t drafted.

    I’m not as good a linebacker as Brian Urlacher (or as hot either). But there’s a big difference here. The NFL is limited to about the most talented 1500 football players at any one time. We don’t do that with marriage, and I don’t think anyone has ever suggested we should. However, I will agree with you that if marriage should be limited to the top 1500 couples in terms of perpetuating the human species, that marriage should be limited to opposite sex couples. But then again, I would also limit it to couples that are clearly fertile, and young couples. Oh, and as soon as the youngest child flies the coop, the couple should terminate the marriage, so a new fertile couple can marry. Heck, Brian Urlacher will retire someday, and will be replaced by a more talented linebacker.

    Comment by Pat — March 26, 2009 @ 8:40 pm - March 26, 2009

  76. Chuck,

    I’d say that you can still enter a contract between yourself and a partner. It’s the government that doesn’t recognize it as marriage (or Fred for that matter)

    Am I an old fashioned stick-in-the-mud, arguing for Fred rather than Marriage? Maybe I am. Personally, I think I’m pretty accomidating 🙂

    Heliotrope, thank you for the defense.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 26, 2009 @ 9:04 pm - March 26, 2009

  77. Apologies for the redundant posts above.

    Comment by Pat — March 26, 2009 @ 9:08 pm - March 26, 2009

  78. Pat,

    I am perfectly willing for civil unions to clear up the loose ends for inheritance and next of kin rights, visitation rights, etc.

    As part of the 96% who are not gay, I see nothing beneficial for society by recasting marriage to include two men or two women.

    Since we are a country that loves to abort for the slightest of reasons, would you think it unusual if a mother to be killed a fetus because it was gay? (I know we haven’t identified the gay gene, but the Brave New World knocks down barriers every day.) In fact, what if a pregnant mother was told that there was a 70% chance the child would be gay. Would the sex of the gay fetus make a difference?

    I am not the author of the “anomaly” concept. Society has continually “come to terms” with homosexuals.

    Having worked a lifetime with college students, I know first hand the problems some kids have with having been adopted. Some kids have great problems with their sexual identity. We are beginning to see adopted heterosexual kids raised by gay parents who have a mix of identity concerns.

    I don’t have answers, but I sure as heck am not going to stand by and not ask the questions.

    When I said the biology doesn’t work, I was being too cute. Gays can not reproduce. That is a fact of nature. If heterosexuals can not or will not reproduce, that is an accident of nature. That is a huge difference.

    From an evolutionary, Darwinistic point of view, gays are a dead end. That anomaly does not put them in the company of mathematicians, the left-handed, Armenians or Mormons.

    This drive by some gays to be just like the rest of society must be extraordinarily frustrating. In fact, it is the source of a lot of maladjustment among some gays. In my experience, the many well adjusted gays I know are comfortable with who they are and the society they live in.

    I am not campaigning for a homophobe merit badge. I am just speaking frankly.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 26, 2009 @ 10:53 pm - March 26, 2009

  79. Dan writes: “Yes, MM, I do see the gay movement’s embracing of equality as at odds with the Framers. They want to use the state to enforce their notion of equality. Mr. Jefferson was suspicious of giving additional power to the federal government.”

    They want to use the state to enforce their notion of equality? I guess they get that from the language in the DofI –a document of the Founders, the Framers and the First Families– which clearly states that govts are instituted among men to secure these rights… and, Dan, for having studied constitutional law, I am surprised that you fail to grasp the enumerated rights mentioned in the DofI are a short list of Jefferson’s… and by default, the DofI Congress.

    Jefferson says “… among these (rights) are…” AMONG, Dan; there’s more. It was a short list of rights and the larger, firstly stated truth of natural law was that all men are created equal. A truth is far greater in moral persuasion than a govt- or God-granted right. It is, well, a truth inviolate and supra to rights in the Natural Order that most of the Founders knew and agreed with.

    I’ve noted here and elsewhere that equality doesn’t mean equal outcomes (as maybe the gay movement wants it to) but it does mean equal opportunities and that’s where marriage equality comes into play… and why, when Dick Cheney says “Freedom means freedom for all” he means giving gays the equal opportunity to marry or have civil unions or partake in that special condition known as wedded bliss.

    I am surprised the phrase “marriage equality” is an unknown to you.

    I’m being a good conservative. I’m being a strict constructionist and only referencing the Framer’s language and intent.

    But to see that language as restricting the right of gays to EXPECT their govt of men to be responsible and diligent in securing those rights for all… well, is to superimpose contemporary political thought onto what the Framer’s intended, bending it at the spine.

    As for my point that these are God given rights, that govt exists in the Natural Law and Order provided to man by God, you need to re-read the preamble. In it, Jefferson wrote that men, in breaking away from those ancient bonds with another people, are allowed to do so, are allowed to set up govts on their own by God because “…Nature’s God entitle(s) them.”

    Now, you may not appreciate that fact given what you’ve alleged about Jefferson’s intentions or Adams’ views, but the correct standing is to know that our Founding Fathers and FirstFamilies and Framers –of either the DofI, the VA DofR, the Articles or the Constitution– placed the right to govern coming from men acting with God’s good license. Govt must have the consent of the governed -meaning, the people must consent to the imposition of govt over men.

    We have a strong pinning of Judeo-Christian tenets in all four documents because men then knew what many men now have forgotten.

    I’m sorry you find comfort in thinking that equality as a watchword for the gay movement is somehow wrong-headed. Frankly, I think it’s terrific! It allows gay conservatives and moderates to now argue that equality unites us! Equality of opportunities. Just like Dick Cheney observed in his famous quote in support for our position.

    Finally, if I may, you mentioned that Jefferson was “… suspicious of giving additional power to the federal government.” While that is true as he approached the debate about the US Constitution, it wasn’t true when he wrote the line that all men are created equal in the DofI. Jefferson grew suspicious of a strong central govt when his peers sought to toss off the Articles of Confederation and seek a stronger, more centralized federal govt. As you know, his best example of those concerns was in the talk about chartering a natl bank… which he fought long and hard and then quickly dispatched in order to have the federal govt situated in Virginia. So much for his deep suspicion of a strong fed govt… he traded the bank’s charter for getting the seat of govt closer to his home. Talk about prostituting principle for parochial interests!

    I’ve listened for a long time to extremely engaged and informed proponents argue these very matters –exactly as you and I have done here– at Federalist Society meetings, at colloquims and at the best think tanks. I’m sorry you dismiss someone of Elliot Richardson’s stature and learning on what our society OUGHT to be about and why the Founders wanted it a certain way. Or maybe it was because you aren’t familiar with his book, The Creative Balance. Maybe you shoudl put down the AynRanders and pick up Russell Kirk’s “Roots of the American Order”? But it’s clear to me there’s still some room for some learning about this period of our Country’s birth and what it means for our world, today.

    BTW, I’m still a bit curious, Dan. Why do you think John Adams didn’t sign the DofI? Very puzzling, that. Very.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 12:23 am - March 27, 2009

  80. SpamFilterLand is in the attack mode.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 1:43 am - March 27, 2009

  81. MM, since 11:08 blog time is 8:08 my time, I was writing the comment where I had oddly written that Adams had not signed the Declaration before completing my full dose of coffee. I don’t know how I could have said such a thing, given how familiar I am with that great man’s biography. But, I did say it. And given when I woke this morning, it is entirely likely that I had not yet begun to drink my coffee when I pixeled that word.

    Maybe I meant that he hadn’t written the Declaration and disagreed with Mr. Jefferson on various aspects of political theory.

    I’ve read enough of Mr. Jefferson’s writing to know that he meant just what he said, that the rights with which we are endowed did not include equality. If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    I am well aware of the term “marriage equality” and have long objected to its use, even blogging last year Why (the term) “Marriage Equality” Troubles Me.

    If you want to show me that the founders ranked equality with liberty, please do so with actual reference to their writings. And in his famous quote, Cheney used the term, “freedom,” not equality.

    You’ve mentioned a lot of political theory in your post, but provided little reference to the words of the Founders. If you studied them more, I’m certain you’d side with me on this one.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 27, 2009 @ 2:13 am - March 27, 2009

  82. I’ve noted here and elsewhere that equality doesn’t mean equal outcomes (as maybe the gay movement wants it to) but it does mean equal opportunities and that’s where marriage equality comes into play

    Then, Michigan-Matt, please explain why you support denying people the equal opportunity to marry based on the fact that they love or want to have sex with their siblings, their parents, children, animals, or more than one person.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 27, 2009 @ 2:54 am - March 27, 2009

  83. Dan, fair enough. Thanks for the honest answers. I’ll get back to you with the Founders comments –and I’ll try to stay within the confines of the DofI Congress since I have a 1st edition copy of the original proceedings printed in 1800 by Folwell.

    And I’m betting that Kirk has already been over this ground, this argument more than once.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 2:57 am - March 27, 2009

  84. NDXXX asks “Then, Michigan-Matt, please explain why you support denying people the equal opportunity to marry based on the fact that they love or want to have sex with their siblings, their parents, children, animals, or more than one person”

    Please see here, NDXXX.

    http://www.gaypatriot.net/?comments_popup=9894#comment-395832

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 2:59 am - March 27, 2009

  85. Where does marrige equality ” violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty?”

    Then, by that logic, bans on plural, incestuous, child, and bestial marriage are wrong, because they violate the individual liberty of the people who wish to partake in them and deprive those people of the societal support that supposedly all relationships deserve.

    The family is not just for childrearing. Families are a cornerstone of society long after the childrearing years have passed.

    No one is stopping you from staying with your sexual partners for as long as you want, Chuck. The government is simply choosing not to reward your particular choice of sexual partners and prefers to reward those whose couplings have far better odds of contributing to society’s long-term goals of procreation and perpetuation.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 27, 2009 @ 3:04 am - March 27, 2009

  86. Please see here, NDXXX.

    That doesn’t answer the question. I asked you to explain why you support denying people the equal opportunity to marry based on the fact that they love or want to have sex with their siblings, their parents, children, animals, or more than one person.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 27, 2009 @ 3:07 am - March 27, 2009

  87. #30: what the hell are you talking about, and even if you were making sense, how do you suppose your little anecdote is anything more than just that?

    Gay liberals are intolerant bigots who wouldn’t extend the same “rights” to anybody else, unless they thought they could get a midnight rodeo out of the deal. Is that clear enough, dumbass?

    You must ASSume I am some lefty liberal progressive and not a former registered Republican and Log Cabin Republican member who volunteered for Bush #1’s election and re-election and Bush #2’s first election campaign. Not to mention working in several local/state elections to elect republicans. Oh, and I am a gun owner, veteran and I go to church.

    Damn! I tell you what. I wish I could get some money everytime I’ve seen/heard that statement (or any variation thereof). I wouldn’t have to work again another day in my life.

    Next I suppose you’re gonna follow MM and drop some names of people you’ve shared cocktails with? Why didn’t you include lunches with Krauthammer or weekends with the Buckleys?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 27, 2009 @ 5:00 am - March 27, 2009

  88. Dan, I took to heart your task about finding actual words of the Founding Fathers that spoke to the inherently important value of equality to them. Some of the notable ones follow… but first, a reminder from one of the conservative movement’s “Founding Father” on equality.

    Barry Goldwater, 1964 RNC nomination acceptance speech, no less. “Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”

    Sam Adams in 1794 : “In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator.”

    Thos Jefferson in 1801, reflecting back on the DofI Congress, “We mean by it (his famous phrase) equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political.”

    James Madison in 1820 as the Last Old Man of the Revolution, “Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect.” Later that same year, in a different letter, “Equal laws protecting equal rights — (are) the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”

    Noah Webster, July 4th 1802, “The eminent characters who have conducted the revolutions in England and America, have laid it down as a fundamental principle in government, that by nature all men are free, independent, and equal,’ and this principle, without definition or limitation, forms a main pillar of our constitutions.”

    Noah Webster said a lot about equality and our natl heritage. He rightly claimed “No doctrine has been less understood or more abused, than that of political equality. It is admitted that all men have an equal right to the enjoyment of their life, property and personal security; and it is the duty as it is the object, of government to protect every man in this enjoyment. The man who owns a single horse or cow, has as strong a claim to have that property protected, as the man who owns a ship or a thousand acres of land. So far the doctrine of equal rights is vindicable.”

    James Wilson, 1781, probably the brightest informed mind at the DofI Congress and one of the few Founders who signed both the DofI and the Constitution.

    “In civil society, previously to the institution of civil government, all men are equal. Of one blood all nations are made; from one source the whole human race has sprung. When we say, that all men are equal; we mean not to apply this equality to their virtues, their talents, their dispositions, or their acquirements. In all these respects, there is, and it is fit for the great purposes of society that there should be, great inequality among men. But however great the variety and inequality of men may be with regard to virtue, talents, taste, and acquirements; there is still one aspect, in which all men in society, previous to civil government, are equal. With regard to all, there is an equality in rights and in obligations. The natural rights and duties of man belong equally to all. Each forms a part of that great system, whose greatest interest and happiness are intended by all the laws of God and nature. These laws prohibit the wisest and the most powerful from inflicting misery on the meanest and most ignorant; and from depriving them of their rights or just acquisitions. By these laws, rights, natural or acquired, are confirmed, in the same manner, to all; to the weak and artless, their small acquisitions, as well as to the strong and artful, their large ones. If much labour employed entitles the active to great possessions, the indolent have a right, equally sacred, to the little possessions, which they occupy and improve. As in civil society, previous to civil government, all men are equal; so, in the same state, all men are free. In such a state, no one can claim, in preference to another, superiour right: in the same state, no one can claim over another superiour authority.”

    Wilson returns us, Dan, to the point I made earlier. We should embrace the gayLeft’s adoption of equality as a watchword. We should do, as Wilson did with supreme confidence, defend the Founders’ firm understanding that true equality among men is rooted in the equality of opportunity, not in lowering of all to some common denominator to achieve an equality of outcomes.

    Their words, Dan. Not mine. Their values Dan. Not mine overlaid from this more comfortable 21st C seat.

    Cheney is right, in order to have true equality in America as the Founders intended, freedom MUST mean freedom for all. That’s the context of his brilliant point. We can’t get to freedom unless we have equality.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 11:21 am - March 27, 2009

  89. Dan, there’s a reply that you asked for last night awaiting in the SpamFilter.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 11:22 am - March 27, 2009

  90. NDXXX complains “That doesn’t answer the question.”

    Sure it does, NDXXX. You just don’t like the preface of being cut-off from asking yet one more time of one more commenter the same exactly irrelevant question you’ve posed here repeatedly.

    First, I don’t buy into your supposition that I’m somehow defending gay marriage. Second, I don’t accept the nonsense that gay marriage will lead to hogs, pigs, cousins, multiple cousins, pool boys marrying their bosses and underage twinks marrying NAMBLA supporters.

    It isn’t a reasonable premise. It isn’t based on reality. It’s a fraudulent device you always, predictably use to shut down debate… kind like Barney Frank yelling homophobe, no?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 11:28 am - March 27, 2009

  91. #85 That gay conservative:

    Damn! I tell you what. I wish I could get some money everytime I’ve seen/heard that statement (or any variation thereof). I wouldn’t have to work again another day in my life.

    “Next I suppose you’re gonna follow MM and drop some names of people you’ve shared cocktails with? Why didn’t you include lunches with Krauthammer or weekends with the Buckleys?”

    Me-ow. Saucer of milk, table for one.

    Uhm, no need to get your panties in a knot there. I was just responding to your accusation. And if there actually are lots of people like myself who left the party,I wonder why that is?

    Perhaps its because the party of ideas has become the party of snarky cocktail party quips? Just sayin.

    Krauthammer? Buckley? Sorry, don’t know em. But I did meet a Kraut in a bar that liked to be called “The Hammer”. He was all in leather with a big bushy moustache. Buttless chaps, big cigar. Very 70’s. Sorry, is that too much name dropping?

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 27, 2009 @ 12:45 pm - March 27, 2009

  92. MM in #86, while I appreciate your taking the time to dig up all these quotations, you still don’t show that equality was the driving idea of the founders. And please note, as per my comment #61 above, most of them use an adjective or adverb form of the word, “equal” to modify.

    First, note how Goldwater used the term.

    Sam Adams was describing the state of nature, not civil society.

    Jefferson was using the word to modify justice, not as an abstract concept.

    Madison was describing “rights.”

    Again, Webster using it as an adjective. In the longer passage you quote, he’s referring to equal protection, not equality in the abstract.

    Wilson may well have been the brightest mind at the Continental Congress (what is the DofI Congress?), but was one of the least influential. Though I grant this passage comes closest to making your point.

    And no, we should not accept the gay left’s adoption of equality as a watchword until they make clear they understand Goldwater distinction you adopted above. Because they are, as you describe, left, their notion of “equality” suggests government interference to promote that end, something anathema to true conservatives.

    To be sure you do get to what the Founders did think about equality, that it was “rooted in the [idea of] equality of opportunity.” I share that notion. And I, with the founders, believe that the best way to secure that equality is to promote freedom, with the latter notion, freedom being the higher goal.

    Your quotes confirm their concern with “equal rights” and “equal protection under the law” by which they wanted to abolish class distinctions that the King (and Parliament) had used against them. Now, in the name of “equality,” gay groups seek to create such distinctions.

    And please, please quit twisitng/reinterpreting Cheney’s words. The former Vice President did not use the term “equality” in his celebrated quotation which you herald. ((I just tracked down the debate transcript and reread the celebrate passage, searching for the term “equal;” it’s not there.) He used the word freedom and the two are not the same thing.

    In my conclusion, I’ll remind you to return to the Goldwater quotation.

    Then, go review my point about the adverbial and adjectival forms of “equal.”

    Then, consider my point (which you have yet to do) about the frequency of the idea of “liberty” and “freedom” in American political documents and hymns and the paucity of references to “equality.”

    Yes, equal rights are part of our national ideal, but freedom is the guiding, the defining idea.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 27, 2009 @ 12:53 pm - March 27, 2009

  93. Michigan Man ealier posted that equality language was stricken from the consititution during the conventions due to slave issue.

    Do I have that correct MM?

    Comment by Chuck In Del — March 27, 2009 @ 1:05 pm - March 27, 2009

  94. You just don’t like the preface of being cut-off from asking yet one more time of one more commenter the same exactly irrelevant question you’ve posed here repeatedly.

    Unfortunately, Matt, your argument here is that the government MUST allow gay marriage because to do otherwise violates “equality”.

    I am, once again, asking you why, if bans on marriage violate a guarantee of “equality”, you support bans on plural, incestuous, child, bestial, and other forms of marriage outside the two-unrelated-persons-of-age-and-opposite-genders model.

    The reason you’re not answering is because you realize that your “logic” thus is self-contradictory. And that’s why this is a problem; you are siding with the emotionalists who want to ram through legal changes whose consequences you have not thought out.

    The core value of conservativism is the idea that ideas, people, and institutions can have value regardless of age or degree of establishment. Liberal dogma, as we see with Obama and McCain, is that “change” is always right and a good thing and that anyone who would dare oppose it is wrong, -ic, and a troglodyte.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 27, 2009 @ 1:13 pm - March 27, 2009

  95. Dan, your distinction of “And please note, as per my comment #61 above, most of them use an adjective or adverb form of the word, “equal” to modify” is meaningless.

    Flat out meaningless. Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Webster, Wilson, Mason and still you can’t get past your hang up. I did as you asked; I can’t “get the horse to drink”. That’s ok.

    You note “Then, consider my point (which you have yet to do) about the frequency of the idea of “liberty” and “freedom” in American political documents and hymns and the paucity of references to “equality.””

    Well I did, Dan -you just don’t care to listen. I said that “It isn’t a bit of informed intelligence to say what Lincoln wrote or what soldiers sang in the Union Army during the War of Northern Aggression and it doesn’t apply except to take your contemporary values you think in evidence in those two items and try to project them as the Founders’ beliefs or the Framer’s intent -which was 90 yrs earlier.”

    Actually, what I wanted to call to your attention about your earlier instruction was that Lincoln didn’t just mention equality at Gettysburg, he said “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”.

    Dedicated. Dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. So dedicated that the Emancipation Proclamation issued forth from Lincoln’s hand because we were so dedicated as a Nation. Our forefathers knew it.

    As for misconstruing or twisting Cheney’s words, I didn’t misconstrue or twist them… you argued that I said he used “equality”; I did nothing of the kind. Just like thinking John Adams didn’t sign the DofI and you contend to have studied the document? The Founder’s biographies? I didn’t say Cheney said “equality” -that’s purely your fiction.

    I can only say that when he said Freedom means freedom for all he was talking about equality of opportunity, Dan. It’s in his intent. It is a fair reduction of his language. They are his words, not mine. Freedom for all –like equal opportunity. Freedom means freedom for all. If my son can marry, so too should my daughter be able even if it’s to another woman.

    Last night, MM partner asked what I was doing re: research. I told him. He went back and read your statements here and the original post on watchwords. He read a few other of your posts and some of the comments.

    He observed that no matter what I find, no matter how compelling, “your Dan isn’t going to budge from his public position –because, it’s public… these guys never do”.

    I thought then that it was a mischaracterization. I was wrong.

    I thank you for your reflections but we part company on the whether or not it’s good news that the gayLeft is adopting equality as a watchword. As I said, I welcome it if true. It moves the debate over gay rights to a place where, as a GOPer, I can argue that it’s about equality of opportunities instead of a continued fight to find division where one doesn’t need exist.

    You contend “Yes, equal rights are part of our national ideal, but freedom is the guiding, the defining idea”; I disagree in part –men being created equal is the first truth stated by Jefferson and I see the second truth as being that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… among these. There are others.

    I’m comfortable in my understanding of the Founders, the Framers and the FirstFamilies –and the philosophers who informed their studies and inform our own DofI, Articles, Constitution and –yep, even up to the Gettysburg Addess or Goldwater’s advice to young conservatives still finding their way in the world.

    “Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.” Equality LEADS TO LIBERTY… liberty doesn’t preceed it… liberty doesn’t inform it… liberty and freedom flow from truly believing that all men are created equal.

    We part company on whether that and the words of the Founders are compelling to you, Dan. I use their words as a good, strict constructionist-loving student of history and governance.

    And I do thank you for your reflections.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 3:23 pm - March 27, 2009

  96. Chuck asks: “Michigan Man ealier posted that equality language was stricken from the consititution during the conventions due to slave issue. Do I have that correct MM?”

    Nope.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 3:28 pm - March 27, 2009

  97. NDXXX contends: “Unfortunately, Matt, your argument here is that the government MUST allow gay marriage because to do otherwise violates “equality”.

    OK, one more time for you NDXXX. I am not arguing that govt MUST allow gay marriage because to do otherwise violates equality.

    That’s your usual part & parcel spin and it’s not a fair reduction.

    Thank you, at least here, for not linking me to men who want to marry hogs, cousins who want to marry multiple cousins or NAMBLA folks who want to marry the 11 yr old houseboy.

    There’s a little progress in that, I’m told.

    I’m not avoiding your question –here or in the other multiples of threads where you’ve been posting it in one form or the other and demanding attention. Like I said elsewhere, I don’t buy your premise. It’s not that I fear your illogic and unrealistic extensions of gay marriage –I don’t buy your premise.

    You have used this very argument to try to shut down debate on so many occasions here with so many commenters it should be funny. it isn’t.

    Just so you aren’t laboring under the false notion you taken to bed, I believe that the equality of opportunity argument by GOPers ought to be adopted for the Party’s benefit and positioning in future elections. No, we aren’t going to get the “gay vote”, if that’s even possible. It’s tht we’re not going to keep letting soc-con litmus tests on divisive culture war issues thwart electoral victory with young people, soccer moms, independents and others who don’t buy into your premise either, NDXXX.

    For me that means extending marriage benefits to gay couples. Not gay marriage; civil unions with all the rights and responsibilities that married couples now enjoy. States have to figure out their own take on the issue, state by state; on a federal level it should be done.

    How’s that?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 27, 2009 @ 3:39 pm - March 27, 2009

  98. It’s tht we’re not going to keep letting soc-con litmus tests on divisive culture war issues thwart electoral victory with young people, soccer moms, independents and others who don’t buy into your premise either, NDXXX.

    LOL….and the road that leads down, M-M, is, “Well, young people want to provide us guaranteed jobs and free healthcare, and we’ve got to do that, or the Obama Party will claim that we hate young people and then they won’t vote for us.”

    And before you know it, opposition to free healthcare and guaranteed jobs is branded “divisive”, and anyone who insists that people take a stand on it is accused of applying a “litmus test” and told that they’re “thwarting electoral victory” by insisting on this.

    Which was basically what Steve Smith and the McCain campaign did. Kind of hard to believe that they’re going to stand up for your principles when they already ditched several of them in order to appeal to a different demographic. What should make you believe that another demographic won’t come along and give them an excuse to ditch the remainder?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 27, 2009 @ 3:52 pm - March 27, 2009

  99. MM, I’ve been avoiding most of the flamefests but I do have to point out that your reading of Lincoln is flawed on one level.
    “Dedicated. Dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. So dedicated that the Emancipation Proclamation issued forth from Lincoln’s hand because we were so dedicated as a Nation. Our forefathers knew it.”

    So dedicated that the EP only freed slaves in rebelling states. Doesn’t help that arguement.

    I now return you to you regularly scheduled so-con bashing.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 27, 2009 @ 5:38 pm - March 27, 2009

  100. […] perspective, and I combine this perspective with the GP Post  and my subsequent reaction on “Equality”… this leads me to wonder why so […]

    Pingback by MUST READ: Townhall: Ken Blackwell … false conservative division « American Highlander — March 28, 2009 @ 2:06 pm - March 28, 2009

  101. […] book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, arrived just in time.  Last week, I wondered how “equality” had become the watchword for the gay movement and engaged in a spirited discussion in the comments section on the values on the founders’ […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Confronting the Leftist Idea of “Equality” — March 31, 2009 @ 3:03 pm - March 31, 2009

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