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Why Conservatives Respect Jonathan Rauch’s Arguments
for State Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:00 am - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Those who read my posts on gay marriage can expect me to repeat what has become a constant refrain, that all too many advocates of gay marriage would rather trash opponents of state-recognition of same-sex unions than defend the social change they promote.

Whenever I discover a solid argument in favor of gay marriage, I do try to highlight it.  More often than not it is Jonathan Rauch who has made that argument.  Seemingly alone among gay marriage advocates, he has made the social case for gay marriage, primarily in the chapter, “What is Marriage For” in his book Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.

In introducing and recommending Jonathan’s latest essay on gay marriage, Commentary‘s Pete Wehner shares my sentiments about the quality of his arguments:

Unlike other advocates of same-sex marriage, who routinely brand those with whom they disagree as bigots and worse, Rauch presents his arguments in a careful, measured, and analytically rigorous way.

Indeed, what is most impressive to me is that Rauch presents something close to a model of what public discourse should be. For example, according to Rauch, “for Burkean conservatives same-sex marriage is a particular conundrum because it presents so many competing narratives and so many uncertainties. Rauch then lays out two competing narratives — what he calls the ‘Jonathan Rauch narrative’ and the ‘Maggie Gallagher narrative.’ He does a splendid job of encapsulating both views in a single paragraph each; and having done so, he asks, ‘Confronted with these two starkly opposed narratives, what’s a Burkean to do?” He proceeds to offer his views in the remainder of the essay.

Wehner gets at one thing which distinguishes Jonathan from all too many advocates of gay marriage; he takes the time to understand the arguments he intends to refute.  He doesn’t reject them out of hand or insult those who advance them.

I’m delighted to find yet another conservative blogger/pundit show respect for Jonathan’s ideas on gay marriage and his manner of expressing them.  This indicates that smart conservatives take gay marriage more seriously when its advocates make a rational case for their cause.

As you ponder the quality of Jonathan’s arguments and the respect he has gained for the way he makes them, wonder with me why other advocates of the social change Jonathan seeks remain unwilling to recognize how significant a change it is.  Consider how they could better serve that cause by making more rational arguments.

Among gay marriage advocates, Jonathan stands out because he carefully makes the case why state recognition of same-sex marriage is a good thing.  If others follow suit, they may find the same respect that he enjoys not just in conservative intellectual circles, but also among conservative voters.

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45 Comments

  1. Yes, but–for Rauch’s arguments to work, you have to gays who really, really want lifelong, sexually exclusive relationships. Not on this planet. Rauch is arguing on behalf of a community that doesn’t exist. He’s arguing on behalf of the myth that all gays are secretly living in the suburbs in monogamous relationships just waiting and hoping that one day their lifelong relationships will be made legal. The reality is that the gay community wants to undermine traditional marriage, using it to play “Gotcha!” games with the straight community, trying to convince the world that straights are all hypocritical adulterers, and then remake marriage into their own vision of multiple partners, open relationships, and serial monogamy.

    Rauch’s arguments would be wonderful if they referred to any community of gays that actually existed somewhere.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 22, 2009 @ 9:43 am - April 22, 2009

  2. Rauch posits
    ‘And that is the question society faces: in the present situation, what do we do about same-sex couples and their kids?

    One answer might be: nothing—just ignore them, pretend they don’t exist. This remains a fairly popular answer on the American right, but it is not a practical or humane one. Gay couples are forcing the issue, for one thing, by appealing for help and demanding what they regard as equality. For another, society has a strong interest in reaching a stable and stabilizing entente with homosexuality, and closing its eyes is not one. For those reasons and others, standing still is not an option. So my final initial stipulation is that change defines the context of today’s discussion, and the problem for policy—and the problem for conservatism—is managing change.’

    Is it that ‘change’ needs to be managed? but first can Conservatives handle or the simple step . . . to accept ‘change’.

    Comment by rusty — April 22, 2009 @ 9:55 am - April 22, 2009

  3. Wehner gets at one thing which distinguishes Jonathan from all too many advocates of gay marriage; he takes the time to understand the arguments he intends to refute. He doesn’t reject them out of hand or insult those who advance them.

    I’m not sure you even know who it is you’re railing against here. Most if not all gay marriage supporters understand the arguments against gay marriage, as much as any self-contradictory, nonsensical argument could be understood, anyway. You can pretend all you like, but most gay marriage opposition stems from irrational fear and bigotry and not the states rights stuff, which is equally ridiculous anyway. Just look at the comment above mine, which seems to be declaring that gays as a group are undomesticated beasts incapable of following social norms. I see 99 of those for every one of you that insists the only proper way to change the laws is through legislatures or popular votes – which frankly, seems to have as its main goal the creation of an alternative justification for the bigots, which just so happen to be in your party, to use in polite company.

    Comment by Levi — April 22, 2009 @ 9:58 am - April 22, 2009

  4. Rauch’s article is well worth reading – agreed.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 10:17 am - April 22, 2009

  5. Levi: Please acquaint yourself with solipsism. You are the poster child.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 22, 2009 @ 10:22 am - April 22, 2009

  6. Wehner rightly points out that Rauch takes the time to understand the arguments he intend to refute.

    As if to underscore the point, Levi blatantly, egregiously, does not take the time to understand the arguments he intends to refute.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 10:24 am - April 22, 2009

  7. ILC,

    You mean ‘intends to ignore’, not refute right? Levi’s prone to ignore anything that doesn’t feed his conspiracy theories.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 22, 2009 @ 10:28 am - April 22, 2009

  8. I think lots of prejudice has to do with genetic programming (I’m kinda a nature before nurture believer for most things). Ok I am straight just so you know where this is coming from, in case you care:

    Marriage USED to be about procreation, protection and consolidation of resources, from back when survival and replication took up most of our time, and kin selection was a big factor in contracts and who you could trust (like it still is in poor countries with weak governments that can’t enforce contract law).

    I recently read about a survey of what men and women look for in the opposite sex, the same survey has been done every 10 years. It basically asks them to prioritize a list of traits that they look for. The results are startling, recent surveys put “love” much higher, priority number 3 for women, whereas in the 30s love was down at number NINE. In the 30s it was all about the man being mentally strong, aggresive, a good earner, good father, good morals, and nice was number 4, without love they wanted a tough guy to provide and protect and at least be nice to them. Men in the 30s similarly had priorities like would make a good mother, have strong character, etc. Recently attractiveness and personality have become more important to men.

    Anyway what that tells me is as recently as the 30s straight people’s choices were much more informed by evolution: it was more about protection and conservation and procreation. Sure people wanted to be happy too, but they were more practical about it, (well assuming the goals are procreation and protecting yourself and your assets into your old age). If you look back at the law even, in most cultures or religions that did not allow divorce, you still could get an annulment if the woman was barren.

    But now , maybe because no fault divorce has changed everything, marriage is not only about practicatily but much more about love and happiness. The issues many people think of as “moral” and “religious” are really about practicality and evolutionarily stable systems.

    I keep bringng up evolution because if you study animal behavior, of the monogamous animals (or serially monogamous) it is the same thing as humans in the 30s: they are focused primarily on procreation and having the best father and mother, and the strongest who can provide for them. It’s all purely practical. It’s just like the “old” morality.

    I think no fault divorce has already changed marriage irrevocably. Sure we have a huge divorce rate and children in broken home, and much research has shown that those kids can have more problems. But no research can show that if those parents stayed together would the children still have the same problems, because we can’t force unhappy people to stay together for the sake of scientific research. We just don’t know if those kids would have been better off. Saying that kids of parents who stay together are better off isn’t the same thing, because it’s different parents, not the ones who are unhappy with each other.

    But we also are not trapped in loveless marriages, you don’t hear so much about people thinking it’s ok to “let themselves go” because the other person is now trapped and theirs for life. People are forced to put more effort into their relationships because the other person can leave if they don’t. And certainly people should put that effort all along throughout history, but did they? No they didn’t. Only now that there is the danger of the other person leaving.

    So certainly no fault divorce has caused many problems, but it’s also freed us from being trapped in loveless marriages and forced us to take our partners more seriously.

    Once more straight people start understanding how marriage is completely different, how it doesn’t have to be about protection and procration in a scary world, but can be about love and happiness and committment, once we have a new understanding of hetero marriage, accepting gay marriage is a simple step. But it’s that first step that is the big one.

    Comment by plutosdad — April 22, 2009 @ 10:44 am - April 22, 2009

  9. What is the point of having good arguments for gay marriage when most gays don’t want marriage? It’s like arguing for tax relief for unicorns.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 22, 2009 @ 10:46 am - April 22, 2009

  10. I agree that the voice of reason is present throughout what Rauch writes and it is a pleasure to understand his points of view. While I do not reach the same “no-brainer” answers he finds, I am sure he and I could have a wonderful interchange of reasoned and enlightening debate. That is the point.

    Instead of taking the Rauch approach, the gay marriage theme usually ends up with something like Levi’s declaration in #3:

    You can pretend all you like, but most gay marriage opposition stems from irrational fear and bigotry and not the states rights stuff, which is equally ridiculous anyway.

    As a long time teacher, I have developed a habit of trying to calm down those who come forth like a fire hose and try to help them express their reasoning rather than their frustration. It takes time and patience and is sometimes ended with insult, invective, a stomping of feet or glowering silence. Such is life. But the Rauch approach is classic sugar over vinegar and always more productive in the end.

    The FOX homepage had a video clip of a gay marriage advocate standing on a street corner while tearing pages from the Bible and throwing them to the wind as he cursed religion. This is not the only face of gay marriage advocacy, but it is an accurate face of the way many gays argue the case. Levi sincerely believes he is above the intellectual fray when he declares the issue to be based on bigotry and irrational fear. Perez Hilton is a wonderful example of a dip-stick gone hysterical.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 22, 2009 @ 10:46 am - April 22, 2009

  11. As a long time teacher, I have developed a habit of trying to calm down those who come forth like a fire hose and try to help them express their reasoning rather than their frustration. It takes time and patience and is sometimes ended with insult, invective, a stomping of feet or glowering silence. Such is life. But the Rauch approach is classic sugar over vinegar and always more productive in the end.

    Well? Let’s see it buddy. Teach me if you think you’ve got something to teach. I’ll be blown away if you break the mold even slightly from what I’m accustomed to hearing from gay marriage opponents.

    Comment by Levi — April 22, 2009 @ 11:19 am - April 22, 2009

  12. A federalist approach between Rauch’s and Gallagher’s positions has appeal. And, yes, a conservative appeal.

    But, once the family (the original “little platoon”) is redefined, we can’t unring the bell. This has to be thought out carefully and – I’d hope we’d all agree – that’s the opposite of judicial fiat.

    To Levi’s original post: He makes an important point, while unwittingly bolstering Ashpenaz. (#1) He gives the game away with this line:

    “[Legislative efforts] seems to have as its main goal the creation of an alternative justification for the bigots”

    Look, I’m old enough to remember when Andrew Sullivan, who proposed ‘Gay Marriage’ was spat on and assaulted – BY LESBIAN AND GAY GROUPS! Rauch alludes to this in his article. They claimed that the whole thing was an attempt to “normalize” gay relationships. “Coerced monogamy” was one phrase that stuck with me.

    Since then, the gay political class has changed its tune. They realized that SSM would NOT actually mean societal pressure to fewer partners (one partner?), but it would mean a new legal stick to whack churches, Boy Scout troops, dating services and anyone else that reminds them they are not heterosexual.

    We’re weighing 5,000 years of international tradition vs. a small group looking to set up a legal framework more liberal than France’s, more radical than Denmark’s, and beyond conception in Scandinavia.

    Is this an unfair characterization of what’s happening?

    Anyone asking if this wise is dismissed as “self-contradictory nonsense.” This is appalling no matter how you slice it.

    Best wishes,
    -MFS

    Comment by MFS — April 22, 2009 @ 11:44 am - April 22, 2009

  13. Heliotrope can lead a Levi to facts, but he can’t make him think.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 22, 2009 @ 11:44 am - April 22, 2009

  14. Gay couples are forcing the issue, for one thing, by appealing for help and demanding what they regard as equality.

    Given that no gay couple has ever accidentally produced children, this is a specious argument.

    What is happening is that gay-sex liberals are choosing to get children, then using them as hostages and pawns. Gay-sex liberals who whine about how their children are being harmed because they can’t get married should be publicly shamed for child endangerment, given that gay-sex liberals deliberately chose to put these children into situations that they claim are harmful.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 11:51 am - April 22, 2009

  15. I always enjoy a good article by Jonathan. I really like his approach. Much healthier than Perez Hilton that’s for sure. If Miss CA was against gay marriage before – the despicable treatment she just received will only solidify her views.
    If only there were more Jonathan’s out there! His reasoned approach, his looking for ‘teachable’ people and then coming up with a message that actually reach them – how refreshing.

    Ashpenaz, I”m sorry your life experiences have made you so bitter. My impressions is that most of the gay people who have gotten married ‘get it’. They were in monogamous relationships before and having simply added the marriage certificate. Like all marriages, not all live up to it. But I am not willing to condemn those many honorable couples because of the many obnoxious loudmouths. Of course most of the married couples aren’t out on the ramparts, they are living honorable quiet lives, influencing their neighbors and coworkers much more than the loud mouths ever will.

    Comment by Leah — April 22, 2009 @ 12:04 pm - April 22, 2009

  16. Yes NDT you are so ON. . .Please excuse Mary Cheney from the Republican Party. And also bang your drum and remove the photo of that Bastard Child Pawn with his Grandparents Dick and Lynne from public viewing.

    Comment by rusty — April 22, 2009 @ 12:05 pm - April 22, 2009

  17. The gay community, if is serious, is going about this in the totally wrong way.
    If they woul ask for civil unions there woul be almost no resistance.
    Themain reason for the fight on marriage is the religous aspect. There is NO REASON that a church that oes not believe in gay marriage should be require to either preform or sanction it within their congregation.
    I am from a rural area and most of these people are open to civil unions, just keep the religous aspect out.

    Comment by Steven H — April 22, 2009 @ 12:07 pm - April 22, 2009

  18. I don’t recall Mary Cheney ever whining that she should be given marriage because she and her partner chose to have a child. That’s the key difference.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 12:30 pm - April 22, 2009

  19. Mary Cheney — Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life
    Mary states ‘I am in favor of legalized same sex marriage. I make it clear in the book I passionately disagree with President Bush on the issue of the Federal Marriage Amendment. ‘

    I guess that this statement is also something you can discard and then return to banging your drum in the corner.

    Comment by rusty — April 22, 2009 @ 12:38 pm - April 22, 2009

  20. And where, exactly, does that quote say, “I and my partner should be given marriage because we chose to have a child”?

    I’m not surprised that you try to co-opt Mary Cheney, rusty, because she’s everything gay-sex liberals like yourself are not — responsible, smart, and sensible. But given the death that you and your fellow gay-sex liberals wish on her and her child, no one’s fooled that you care about her in any way, shape, or form other than as a propaganda piece.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 12:45 pm - April 22, 2009

  21. Ah NDT, you are just about a fun as Alan Keyes:
    In September 2004, Illinois Senate candidate Alan Keyes was criticized for contending that Mary Cheney was “a selfish hedonist.” When he made this statement about homosexuals in general and was asked if this made Cheney one, Keyes replied “Of course she is. That goes by definition.” Keyes later clarified his statement by noting that if his own daughter were engaged in such a lifestyle, he would still love her, but would tell her that she was in sin. (Keyes’s daughter, Maya Keyes, came out as a lesbian in 2005.) wiki

    but NDT doth protests too much, methinks.

    When one smugly declares that “the lady doth protest too much,” one almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility.

    Comment by rusty — April 22, 2009 @ 1:01 pm - April 22, 2009

  22. My impressions of the gay community are due to one of the following:

    1. I am a bitter, lonely, self-loathing closet case

    or

    2. The gay community is largely into multiple partners, drugs, exploiting youth, spreading disease, etc., except for a small percentage who get to make the commercials.

    Hmmm. You choose.

    In any case, there is no point making arguments for marriage when there isn’t a corresponding group who actually wants it. Gays want to bash straights and get approval for multiple partners. That’s what this marriage issue is about.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 22, 2009 @ 1:02 pm - April 22, 2009

  23. Given that no gay couple has ever accidentally produced children, this is a specious argument.

    What is happening is that gay-sex liberals are choosing to get children, then using them as hostages and pawns.

    NDT, with respect, that’s laying it on a little thick. Some gay couples ‘inherit’ kids (so to speak) from previous heterosexual relationships. Also, with regard to those who use assisted reproduction, reproduction is a basic human desire and America accepts assisted reproduction. It’s laying it on too thick, to call it hostage-taking.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 1:37 pm - April 22, 2009

  24. Gay-sex liberals who whine about how their children are being harmed because they can’t get married should be publicly shamed for child endangerment, given that gay-sex liberals deliberately chose to put these children into situations that they claim are harmful.

    And yet the kids are there. And the kid’s situation with unmarried parents, though less than ideal, is still better than many alternatives.

    Look, we can rank the situations for kids on a continuum:
    1) Two married, good parents.
    2) Two unmarried, good parents.
    3) One good parent.
    4) Good orphanage.
    5) Two married, abusive parents.
    6) Two unmarried, abusive parents.
    7) One abusive parent.
    8) Abusive orphanage.
    9) Death or dismemberment.
    10) Never having existed.

    Just because a kid’s situation is fairly good in some respects, doesn’t mean it can’t be made better. When a gay couple chooses to bring a kid into the world, and assuming they have the same capacity and willingness to be good parents as most other people, the kid ends up in situation (2), which is pretty good. But of course it could be made still better. No hypocrisy in acknowledging that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 1:52 pm - April 22, 2009

  25. (What appears as a smiley was supposed to be the number eight.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 1:53 pm - April 22, 2009

  26. Again, and I realize no one is responding to this, I don’t see there is a significant population that wants gay marriage. Let’s say gays make up 5% of the population. What percentage of that group sees lifelong, sexual exclusivity as the ideal? 1%? 2%? So, what is 1% of 5%? Something .005%? Which amounts to roughly the audience for reruns of The New Adventures of Old Christine. I just don’t see Rauch’s arguments as referring to any actually existing group of people.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 22, 2009 @ 4:20 pm - April 22, 2009

  27. Hmmm. You choose.

    I choose 3) Neither of the above.

    Actually, I’m going to try to choose 8) and see if I get the sunglasses smiley guy like ILC did. 🙂

    Comment by Pat — April 22, 2009 @ 4:25 pm - April 22, 2009

  28. What percentage of that group sees lifelong, sexual exclusivity as the ideal? 1%? 2%?

    Neither of us knows any exact numbers, Ash, so I’ll give my subjective opinion that it has to be a lot higher than that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 4:30 pm - April 22, 2009

  29. Again, and I realize no one is responding to this, I don’t see there is a significant population that wants gay marriage.

    Okay, I’ll respond, Ashpenaz. If it happens to be 0.005%, fine by me. Heck, even if all these married couples end up being open relationships, etc., it will be pretty tough to undermine marriage, right?

    Actually, the thing is that most of us grew up thinking that marriage was not a possibility. In fact, I remember running into a great aunt, who I hadn’t seen in a while, at some park and we started talking about who in my immediate family was married and having children, etc. I remember responding then, “And, of course, I’m not getting married.”

    When I was a child, it was just assumed that I would get married to a woman. By the time I was 18, I realized that wasn’t happening. But in a generation from now, (hopefully) marriage, or at least civil unions, will be an option for any gay person, and that gay children while growing up will see that marriage, like their straight siblings, is an option.

    Does that mean the same proportion of gay persons will be married if we peek 100 years into the future? I doubt it. But I think it will be more than 0.005%. The point is, we should at least encourage our children, gay and straight, to form monogamous relationships with appropriate partners.

    Comment by Pat — April 22, 2009 @ 4:38 pm - April 22, 2009

  30. Oops. Forgot to mention that my aunt story was from about 10 years ago. Next time I see her, I won’t be able to say I’m married, but at least in a civil union.

    Comment by Pat — April 22, 2009 @ 4:40 pm - April 22, 2009

  31. OK, believe it or not, I’ll buy that. We are creating this option for future generations which might actually want to use it. But let’s not tarnish this process by working alongside that group of gays who really, really do want to undermine the tradition and bash straights.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 22, 2009 @ 5:22 pm - April 22, 2009

  32. Same-sex marriage has nothing to do with love. It has everything to do with perception. Making the argument that homosexuals don’t really want it is understandable if you accept the premise that there is no difference between marriage and the ability to marry. As long as there are those convinced they are denied a perceived right, there will be activists pushing to make exercising the ‘right’ legal despite whether anyone takes advantage of it. Homosexuals actually marrying is beside the point — this is about the social status of homosexuals and homosexuality, nothing more. If offered the prospect of a civil union with the exact same set of benefits afforded heterosexual married couples, the homosexual marriage activist will turn it down every time because the argument is not about love or benefits or commitment or ceremony or God or their relationship (if they happen to be in one — most of the gay same-sex marriage advocates I know aren’t even in a relationship) — it’s about equality and nothing less than marriage will do.

    Comment by Ignatius — April 22, 2009 @ 6:22 pm - April 22, 2009

  33. ashpenaz, what evidence do you have to support your assertion that gay marriage advocates want to undermine the tradition of marriage and bash straights? i’d love to know.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — April 22, 2009 @ 6:28 pm - April 22, 2009

  34. ashpenaz, what evidence do you have to support your assertion that gay marriage advocates want to undermine the tradition of marriage and bash straights?

    Undermining the tradition of marriage and bashing straights.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 6:47 pm - April 22, 2009

  35. And next, let’s show how the heads of the No on 8 campaign in California openly mock marriage and try to ignore its moral and symbolic importance.

    But emphasizing the moral or symbolic importance of the m-word could alienate some religious and unmarried families, both of which make up a large segment of potential voters. Discussing the latter group, Jean offered her own version of a response to the princess ad, to much laughter and applause:

    “Here’s the message I wanted to see. … ‘You’re right honey, you can marry a princess, and isn’t that wonderful? You can also marry someone of [a different] race. And you know what, you don’t have to get married; in fact I think you should consider whether you want to participate in that patriarchal institution.'”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 6:50 pm - April 22, 2009

  36. Some gay couples ‘inherit’ kids (so to speak) from previous heterosexual relationships.

    (shrug) It was their choice to put gay sex ahead of the welfare of their children and their previous commitments. Jim McGreevey is a prime example of why this argument doesn’t work.

    Also, with regard to those who use assisted reproduction, reproduction is a basic human desire and America accepts assisted reproduction.

    Then Octo-Mom should be demanding and receiving full marriage benefits for her choice to have eight babies without a husband.

    Furthermore, ILC, there is a rather stark contradiction between the argument that procreation and childraising are not relevant to marriage and the argument that the children that gay couples get are being harmed by the lack of marriage.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 22, 2009 @ 7:00 pm - April 22, 2009

  37. (shrug) It was their choice to put gay sex ahead of the welfare of their children and their previous commitments.

    (shrug) Take a lesbian who married a man when she didn’t know any better (not out to herself), then became a widow, or got dumped by her husband who was an S.O.B., etc. There are any number of honorable reasons why a marriage might break up, then the more intact or capable of the two parents ended up with the kids, and then (in due course) found a same-sex partner.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 22, 2009 @ 7:32 pm - April 22, 2009

  38. But let’s not tarnish this process by working alongside that group of gays who really, really do want to undermine the tradition and bash straights.

    Ashpenaz, I’m sure one can link examples of such bad things, and generalize it to the whole gay community. The thing is, for any cause, you’re going to have your share of idiotic nuts. We’ve seen this with those who protested the Iraqi War, and we’ve even seen this the Tea Party protests. So it’s no surprise that same sex marriage supporters has its own fringe supporters. And like the nuts from the other protests I’ve mentioned, they have their own agenda, which has little or nothing to do with same sex marriage.

    Comment by Pat — April 22, 2009 @ 8:22 pm - April 22, 2009

  39. We actually kind of agree. We disagree on the size of the different groups. I think the multiple partner/amoral gay group is much, much bigger than the lifelong relationship gay group (which I prefer to call “homosexual”). However, I think that gay marriage as an investment in the future makes a lot of sense, regardless of the present intentions of both groups.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 23, 2009 @ 9:33 am - April 23, 2009

  40. #11 Levi challenges:

    Well? Let’s see it buddy. Teach me if you think you’ve got something to teach.

    Teaching is only half the equation. A willing learner is the other half. You sir, have no interest in learning much of anything. In that respect, my “teaching” is superfluous. I merely said that I am used to treating made up minds that spew venom in a calm, deliberate manner. To pat my own back, someone needs to set a level of decorum. When you stomp into the conversation you are like a poodle humping someone’s leg. Some choose to put a sheet over you and watch you shadow hump. Other’s try to kick you off the leg. Everyone has his own approach. Your approach, however, never varies. A consistent leg humper is like watching Pee Wee Herman: you know the act before it even begins.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 23, 2009 @ 11:47 am - April 23, 2009

  41. heliotrope, you crack me up. In a good way, I mean: I am afraid your comments are often all too true.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 23, 2009 @ 12:19 pm - April 23, 2009

  42. I think the multiple partner/amoral gay group is much, much bigger than the lifelong relationship gay group (which I prefer to call “homosexual”).

    Ashpenaz, that may be. But most of the gay people who can’t do the one partner thing will simply not get married. Fine by me. Heck, I know some straight people that won’t get married for the same reason. Marriage is not for those people.

    Yes, there will be some people who will get a civil union or married, but have an open relationship. I don’t think that’s a good idea, but is that something that should be legislated?

    However, I think that gay marriage as an investment in the future makes a lot of sense, regardless of the present intentions of both groups.

    Definitely in agreement here.

    Comment by Pat — April 23, 2009 @ 4:41 pm - April 23, 2009

  43. ILC, I meant no disrespect toward poodles. Do you think I should apologize?

    Comment by heliotrope — April 23, 2009 @ 7:22 pm - April 23, 2009

  44. […] that very belief that kept me late one night earlier this week so I could blog on Pete Wehner’s praise for Jonthan Rauch’s essay on marriage.   The words of that […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Once again, the needed conversation on gay marriage — April 25, 2009 @ 3:47 pm - April 25, 2009

  45. […] that very belief that kept me late one night earlier this week so I could blog on Pete Wehner’s praise for Jonthan Rauch’s essay on marriage. The words of that […]

    Pingback by When Falls the Coliseum » On the necessary conversation on gay marriage — April 26, 2009 @ 8:07 pm - April 26, 2009

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