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Toward a Social Conservative Argument for Gay Marriage

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:33 pm - July 16, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Perhaps had one of our perennial critics not be in such a rush to slander conservatives and had he paid more attention to the ideas I express in my posts, he might have realized how one of his points on gay marriage quite closely resembled my own.  While suggesting that those he deems “the guardians of the hallowed institution of marriage” were not sincere in their support of monogamy, darkly hinting of their hypocrisy, this critic contended they “could learn a few things from their married gay counterparts.”

Now, one reason I have long encouraged gay marriage advocates to make the case for including same-sex unions in the protections the various states (and the federal government) grant to different-sex couples who elect traditional marriage is that I believe that very advocacy will remind straight people what marriage is all about.  Indeed, Jonathan Rauch said as much in 2004 when he promoted his then-just released book, Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America (a study I have long recommended, in large part due to the chapter on What Marriage is For) at a Los Angeles bookstore.  That gay marriage advocate told his audience how when he was talking about his book in another city, a straight person thanked him for reminding him what the institution was all about.

In promoting gay marriage, if sincere in its promotion, advocates make the case not just for state recognition of same-sex marriage, but also for strengthening “traditional marriages.”

Now, while my critic has somehow gained the notion that I wish to curry favor with social conservatives, I wonder how many of them would accept my contention that a sincere argument for state recognition of same-sex marriage would be a social conservative one.  Indeed, when Andrew Sullivan was making a sensible case for gay marriage (as opposed to the silly and selfish one he is making today), he all but admitted as much.

Simply put, marriage as an institution, as it has long been defined, promotes social stability and discourages promiscuity.  It forces us to consider the welfare of others, making us look outward and helps us become less selfish.  At the same time, it has profoundly selfish aspects, if we could but see mutual selfishness as a good thing.

And it helps integrate the new partner into his (or her) spouse’s family.  Recently, I learned how a left-of-center lesbian blogress found greater welcome in her wife’s socially conservative family when she looked out for her when her beloved was ill.  Another friend of mine helped his beloved’s blue-blooded family see the depth of his love and the genuineness of his concern for his schweetie when he cared for that fine young man when he was hospitalized.

Now, I don’t know how Pam Spaulding would react when I told her that her example helps make the social conservative case for gay marriage, so I’ll send her the link and see how she replies.  (When we met, I did ask for (and receive) permission to relate the anecdote above.)

In some sense, my college classmate Philip Holmes made the social conservative case for gay marriage better with five words, “my 15 years of monogamy“, than I could with a well-crafted argument.  (Well, perhaps a few (but not many) more than five words as he had to explain what it took to be faithful.)  Those who make the case for gay marriage should integrate the experiences of the three couples (and others like them) into their arguments.

Now, I know I’ve been misunderstood on this before (and will, should I have a moment, find those comments which reveal such misunderstandings), but do believe that many gay couples, by the very example of their relationships, make a better case for gay marriage than do the professional advocates (i.e., those who are paid to promote the cause).  Indeed, it was seeing just such a couple that convinced me to vote against Proposition 8–even though I had been wavering given the hatred expressed in the campaign appeals of many of the proposition’s opponents.

This is not exactly the post on marriage I had intended to write nor perhaps expressed as was the essay that came to me on the elliptical trainer, but it is at least a start.

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60 Comments

  1. Not quite sure what you’re trying to say here, but it reminds me of what the Left is truly good at: infiltrating and subverting.

    The social Left is the movement most determined in America to bring every segment of society under its thrall. Namely, it wants to impose a new, anti-traditional orthodoxy on society. To that end it must have every segment in the country crowing its message, even if it’s in a bit of a disguise. The idea that there is a socially conservative case for gay marriage is, imho, such a disguise. Subvert what social conservatism has always meant and claim that undermining traditional values by supporting gay marriage has been part and parcel of social conservatism all along. And the sad part is that there are enough uninformed people–or people intimidated by gay activists–to buy this deception. Sigh.

    And B. Daniel, your implication that social conservatives would jump on the gay marriage bandwagon if only they could see more loving gay couples is weak. Would you offer that argument with regards to, say, polygamy? If only social conservatives–and gays who sanctimoniously demand that marriage be redefined for them but no one else–could see more loving polygamist marriages then they’d become zealous defenders of plural marriage. Of course you wouldn’t offer such an argument because that wouldn’t fit the agenda of normalizing YOUR sex group. And let’s please be honest here. That’s what the demand for legal gay marriage is really about, forcing the normalization of homosexuality on all of society, NOT strengthening traditional marriage or celebrating love.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 16, 2010 @ 10:39 pm - July 16, 2010

  2. Dan, good post!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 16, 2010 @ 10:40 pm - July 16, 2010

  3. Hi Dan, in response to your piece, I think you can say that social conservatives may or may not find room in their hearts to understand the commitment of same-sex couples. In my case, I believe that Kate’s parents did learn an important lesson — that they had the impression that their daughter’s partner would not have the capacity or bond to stay with her during an extended medical crisis.

    They had to learn over time that our relationships can be as meaningful as their own, but I think that her parents had the capacity to stretch — I think many social conservatives, particularly those heavily into straight-laced religious beliefs, can’t make that stretch, because they are so fully convinced that homosexuality is evil.

    Her parents don’t believe that; once their daughter came out, they realized they could not demonize their own child. Some parents can and do kick their gay child out, or try to put them in an ex-gay program, etc., so I’m not sure we can say this particular thesis can widely apply, since family dynamics and culture are so variable.

    Comment by Pam Spaulding — July 16, 2010 @ 10:49 pm - July 16, 2010

  4. Frankly I don’t know how you can compete with brilliance like “my parents are still married, therefore, I know everything about marriage”. The ASSertion that Conservative couples have a worse “success rate” should have ended any debate. He has spoken and it is so, just like his beloved Community Agitator in Chief.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 17, 2010 @ 1:53 am - July 17, 2010

  5. The other day Argentina´s National Assembly voted to permit same sex marriages. Spain legalized same sex marriage about two years ago. Both countries are officially Roman Catholic,albeit their respective governments are from the left. There might be a lesson for us if we can find out how the gay communities in those countries were able to rally support both public and political.

    Comment by Roberto — July 17, 2010 @ 9:25 am - July 17, 2010

  6. So, it’s OK for Montana to outlaw sodomy if it makes society stronger.

    It’s OK for the South to have slavery because it creates social cohesion.

    It’s OK for Arizona to check people’s papers because it keeps society strong.

    Gay marriage is only good if it’s good for society.

    Is that right? That seems to be the gist of your argument.

    I think gay covenants are good because God creates and blesses them, whether or not they provide any value to society. I don’t care whether what Jason Statham and I have makes the world a better place or not, as long as God gives us His blessing and my church community keeps us accountable.

    Many judges want to put up the 10 Commandments in their courtroom. While I’d only put up Jesus’ 2 commandments, I understand their conservative impulse–law only matters when it is founded on God’s absolutes. You are trying to prove that gay marriage is good because it will enhance marriage as a human institution; I am trying to prove that God wants gays to get married.

    (I would use the word covenant instead of marriage.)

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 17, 2010 @ 11:58 am - July 17, 2010

  7. While I get the emotional grounds for wanting to recognize loving and stable unions between same-sex partners, Dan, I have this nagging sense that there would be unintended outcomes none of us would be happy with, except Mormons, Muslims and marginal hipsters. Simply put: if you make the gender of marriage partners irrelevant , on what grounds do you defend limiting the number of partners to two? Same-sex marriage is an almost total historical novelty, but plural marriage has a long lineage, even in the Bible. IMHO, allowing plural marriage means the end of Western marriage and one more nail in our cultural coffin. (I have objections to gay marriage on archetypal grounds, but that’s too Jungianly sectarian to be useful in a public debate.) So, while I sympathize, I don’t agree.

    Comment by EssEm — July 17, 2010 @ 1:54 pm - July 17, 2010

  8. I think many social conservatives, particularly those heavily into straight-laced religious beliefs, can’t make that stretch, because they are so fully convinced that homosexuality is evil.

    Pam and Dan, I think anyone can make that stretch. And if they can’t, I don’t blame the religion, especially in a country like ours, we’re no one is forced to follow any immoral or unjust tenets. Or at the very least, not force their own religious beliefs on others. Many people have seen the light.

    –and gays who sanctimoniously demand that marriage be redefined for them but no one else–

    Seane-Anna, we can look at this another way – and straights who sanctimouniously demand that marriage be redefined for them, but no one else. – People could see more marriages of opposite sex couples that are not arranged, or interracial couples, or marriages in which the woman is not treated as a piece of property.

    Dan and others are advocating for same sex marriage, just like you have, I assume, been an advocate for opposite sex marriage. I don’t see how we are being any more selfish than you are. As for polygamy, let those persons make the case for it. And if you want to, go for it.

    ILC, couldn’t resist. 😉

    Comment by Pat — July 17, 2010 @ 2:05 pm - July 17, 2010

  9. Good post Dan. It’s my understanding that gay leaders originally used the conservative argument, which I happen to believe is valid. However, perhaps because they became discouraged, they abandoned the gay marriage quest, and instead advocated a “different norm” for us.
    But I continue to believe there’s hope. It will happen.
    As for the religious right, my own experience shows that when they see a loving and committed couple living a boringly (?) normal life, they find it’s not such a big deal and despite some of their religious leaders come to accept us. Mainline Protestants such as my Presbyterian Church, the Episcopalians, and Lutherans are painfully debating ordination of practicing committed homosexuals. The pain is a necessary element because good people on all sides of the issue are being forced to reach into their inner beings to examine themselves and their commitment to scripture and tradition.
    Likewise, as polls indicate, a majority of conservatives now becoming more accepting of us.

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 2:50 pm - July 17, 2010

  10. Pat, your lack of honesty is almost funny. Straight people are NOT demanding the redefinition of marriage. Gays are! Marriage has always been a fundamentally heterosexual arrangement. Yes, cultures have differed on such things as the age men and women could marry or the number of people of the opposite sex that one man or woman could be married to, but the fundamental, heterosexual nature of marriage was unchanged. So no, straights aren’t trying to change the nature of marriage. Be honest about it!

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 2:59 pm - July 17, 2010

  11. Your post is addressed to social conservatives. A large portion of social conservatives are Christians. Therefore, your attempt to show that gay marriage would benefit society is answering a question Christian social conservatives (such as myself) aren’t asking. Our question is, and I really want you to read this over and over to fully understand it, is this: Does God bless gay relationships?

    This is what Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Jonah Goldberg, Ann Coulter, Doug Giles, Mark Driscoll, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, et. al. want to know. They don’t care what society thinks about gay marriage–they will only support gay marriage if they are convinced that God blesses gay covenants.

    Christian social conservatives believe Scripture over evolution. They believe that the Constitution was written by Christians (have you seen Glenn Beck’s History Fridays?). Their response to gay marriage is always, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” and that’s where their argument ends.

    So, here’s what you have to show instead of the social utility of gay marriage–you have to prove to Christian social conservatives that God made Adam and Steve. How will you do that?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 17, 2010 @ 3:08 pm - July 17, 2010

  12. And Ashpenaz, I’ve seen you claim repeatedly that God blesses same sex marriages–or covenants, as you call them–but you never back that assertion up from Scripture. How can God bless something that He unambiguously calls sin? How can God bless same sex marriage when marriage throughout Scripture is ALWAYS heterosexual, beginning with the declaration in Genesis where God says for the cause of making mankind MALE and FEMALE, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Do you get that, Ash? ALL the words in the Genesis declaration portaining to marriage and family are gender different: MALE and FEMALE, MAN and WIFE, FATHER and MOTHER. Sorry, but there’s no homosexuality there. And also too bad for you, the Genesis declaration was quoted by Jesus in the New Testament, showing that Jesus considered it authoritative. So Jesus defined marriage by quoting God’s definition of it. Of course, I’m sure that will mean nothing to you, Ashpenaz, because your true God is your sexuality. That’s your idol. Admit it.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 3:10 pm - July 17, 2010

  13. “…you have to prove to Christian social conservatives that God made Adam and Steve. How will you do that?” You CAN’T, Ashpenaz, because God DIDN’T make Adam and Steve! When are you going to get that through your head?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 3:14 pm - July 17, 2010

  14. Sean-Anna, your point seems to hinge upon how marriage is “defined”. You don’t seem to have a problem with the age or the number of persons in a marriage relationship, so long as at least one man and one woman are involved.
    As far as it goes, I believe your argument has merit.
    However, your argument overlooks just whom is allowed into the relationship. And it overlooks serious issues.
    For instance, at one point in our history, slaves were often not permitted to marry.
    Then interracial couples were prohibited.
    Often persons of differing faiths were denied the possiblilty to marry. Likewise of different economic or social status.
    So Sean-Anna, can’t you see that society has often been challenged to “redefine” marriage? Changes in society hardly ever are easy, and are often painful. But would you deny the changes I’ve mentioned were good? Perhaps if you were involved in the arguments mentioned above, do you honestly believe you would have been in favor?

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 3:17 pm - July 17, 2010

  15. Man, you totally miss my point, as do most supporters of SSM. Let me see if I can make it simple enough for you. Gays are demanding that marriage be redefined from a heterosexual institution to one where the gender of the people involved is irrelevant. That IS redefinition of marriage. Legalizing, say, interracial marriage is NOT a redefinition of marriage. Why not? Because in the case of interracial marriage, no one was questioning the definition of marriage; everyone understood it to mean one man with one woman. The ONLY issue in interracial marriage was WHICH man could marry WHICH woman. The issue was NEVER whether or not marriage was a gender-opposite arrangement. That was taken for granted. So, the legalization of interracial marriage was NOT a redefinition of the institution, no matter how badly supporters of SSM want it to be. And the same is true about the other examples you raised, Man. They all were about WHICH man could marry WHICH woman, and they never questioned the heterosexual nature of marriage. So again, no redefinition. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 4:22 pm - July 17, 2010

  16. Seane-Anna,

    I’d like to pose a question for you (and enjoy 10 rounds of you and Ash going head to head, but that’s beside the point). Would you be opposed to a state sanctioned partnership of a same sex couple that wasn’t called marriage?

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 17, 2010 @ 5:02 pm - July 17, 2010

  17. SA, no need to apologise for bursting my bubble. You haven’t.
    You continue to restrict any possible definition to the only one acceptable to you, and to reject out of hand any other possibility. Just as did the opponents of marriage between slaves, interracial, etc, etc.
    Many used the Bible in their arguments. Many argued it was “unnatural” for a black man to marry a white woman. Many argued that slavery was biblical. In the past child brides of 6 years were married. Men took several wives; and sometimes women took several husbands. Marriages were performed for political reasons. Often marriages were not consumated. Gays were expected to marry opposite sex partners. Marriage liasons such as that of the Clintons are normal.
    At the end of the day, you pick and choose which criterion is acceptable to you, and deny others’ criteria which may disagree with yours.
    Just as historically many have done before you. It’s probably a natural impulse to automatically default to the status quo, even when it’s wrong and dishonest. And then to try to find reasons for the default position one has taken. Intellectually and morally dishonest, but easy.
    I invite you to honestly put yourself in the time before interracial marriages were permitted, and to examine how you might have come down on that issue.
    I believe I know.

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 5:13 pm - July 17, 2010

  18. “Seane-Anna,

    I’d like to pose a question for you (and enjoy 10 rounds of you and Ash going head to head, but that’s beside the point). Would you be opposed to a state sanctioned partnership of a same sex couple that wasn’t called marriage?”

    Yes, because I try not to dabble in Orwellian word games. If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
    If a “state sanctioned partnership” of same sex couple has all the benefits of marriage in the eyes of the law then it IS a marriage, no matter what deceptive language is used to try obscure that fact. Newspeak NOT spoken here!

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 5:42 pm - July 17, 2010

  19. Man, I’m beginning to suspect you’re one of those people who purposely chooses to misunderstand something because you don’t have a logical rebuttal to it. So I’ll try one more time with you and then I’m done.

    Supporters of SSM often claim that marriage has been redefined in the past in order to justify their demand that it be redefined now. One of the “proofs” for that assertion that is always trotted out is the legalization of interracial marriage. I pointed out that legalizing interracial marriage did NOT redefine marriage because it was taken for granted that marriage was a heterosexual institution. That was NEVER in question. The only question was, I repeat, WHICH man could marry WHICH woman. Sure, some people argued that marrying outside of one’s race was unnatural but they still understood marriage as a gender-opposite arrangement, as did the supporters of interracial marriage. So I repeat, in the case of interracial marriage NO ONE WAS QUESTIONING THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE, only WHICH men and women could participate in it.

    And we still impose restrictions on marriage.

    We have laws against adults marrying children, close relatives marrying, or one man or woman marrying multiple people simultaneously. None of those restrictions negates the understanding of marriage as a heterosexual institution. Rather, they simply regulate said heterosexual institution. That’s my point Man, if you can’t understand it that’s your problem.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 5:58 pm - July 17, 2010

  20. SA your suspicions are unnecessary and wrong. And unnecessary to restate your position based upon your singular criterion of requiring a male/female marriage. Regardless of age, number of participants, etc., etc. It’s obvious we disagree.

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 6:36 pm - July 17, 2010

  21. You shouldn’t confuse disagreement with lack of understanding.

    Allthough heterosexual marriage as you define it does indeed exist, so does homosexual marriage. Sorry, SA, but marriage does not in fact belong only to you. Twelve countries and five states have legalized same sex marriage.

    Further, as you say in your reply to Livewire, ” if it walks like a duck . . . ” then by your own definition several other countries and states can be counted as recognizing legal SS marriage.

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 6:55 pm - July 17, 2010

  22. Man, in my comments to you I was not referring to my personal understanding of marriage but how SOCIETY understood it. That was the point. Gays keep saying that society should redefine marriage for them because it has redefine marriage in the past, and then they trot out the interracial issue as “proof”. My point was that in that issue SOCIETY was NOT redefining the nature of marriage. Supporters and opponents of interracial marriage BOTH understood marriage as a one man/one woman arrangement. They were on the same page when it came to that. They differed only on, I repeat yet again, WHICH man could marry WHICH woman. So, Man, I was refuting the gay claim that marriage has been redefined by society in the past when it really hasn’t. Like I’ve said, marriage has virtually always been regarded as a gender-opposite arrangement. Cultures have differed on things like the ages when men and women could marry or how many people of the opposite sex a person could be married to simultaneously, but the understanding of marriage as heterosexual institution remained constant. That was the point. Get it now?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 7:07 pm - July 17, 2010

  23. Oh, and Man. If marriage doesn’t belong to me then it doesn’t belong to you, either. Which means you can’t object to the legalization of every other non-traditional domestic arrangement that’s exist. How can you tell a gay man who’s in love with his brother that he can’t marry him?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 7:50 pm - July 17, 2010

  24. SA your #23 makes has more logic than your previous point; however, as Pat said earlier in this post, I’ll let those who want that arrangement fight the battle. I couldn’t support it. My conviction is that which I’ve already made, as well as the constitutional issue of Amendments 10 & 14. I believe we understand each other and can agree to disagree. Have a good evening.

    Comment by Man — July 17, 2010 @ 8:06 pm - July 17, 2010

  25. “Have a good evening.” You, too, Man.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 8:48 pm - July 17, 2010

  26. Dan, your attempt to sway us that “social conservatives” would be open to gay marriage is quite laughable, I mean take a look at Seane-Anna’s comments, a prefect expample of why I think you are wasting your time.

    You once again fail to ACCEPT the obvious fact that most “social conservatives” DO NOT accept homosexuality out right, and regarded as a perversion. So how in the hell will they be able to accept ANY argument?

    This post is quite disappointing, since I am beginning to suspect your true motivations: acceptance from your fellow “conservatives.” And in your warped delusional mind you have put together an argument that is long winded, over stretched, and something more deemed for science fiction than reality.

    If you are saying that marriage is a conservative institution (as in monogamous) you might have some more credence in that area, but the rest of this “post” is worthy to be discarded into the trash.

    I do not seek acceptance from people lilke Seane, maybe you do but I don’t. I don’t care whether the mother-ship will “recognize” or “sanction” my marriage. The real argument is that why should we let the state say whose marriage is real and which one is not. And just because the state gives heterosexuals marriage licenses doesn’t mean that their relationships are more valuable or real than mine. If that is the relationship that heteros want to have with City Hall, then fine. Whatever special treatments or licenses they need in order to insert their penises in their partner’s vagina is their business. If a husband wants to pay half of his money to his cheating wife and be kicked out of his own home, oh well.

    To me it all lies with property rights. In my property I had a wedding, and I married a man (in my own backyard.), I will share my property with my spouse the way I chose and fits my lifestyle. If I were to pass away and still be married to him he should have all of my property without question or interruption from government, obscure family members, or any other person. But it seems to me that “social conservatives” want to undermine that unalienable right because it “bothers” them that two men are living together like a married couple, so they use the “marriage status” to insure that gay couples and their property are treated unfairly. They do not want to recognize our marriage because they know that they can use marriage laws for their advantage while putting relationships like mine in disadvantage, and I hope that people like Seane would be more honest about their true motivation on why they wish to “ban” same-sex marriage.

    That is why I find your petty and consistent clamoring for acceptance from these individuals to be quite disturbing.

    Comment by JS — July 17, 2010 @ 10:35 pm - July 17, 2010

  27. God created Adam and Eve, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Noami, Ashpenaz and Daniel, the Centurion and his slave, et. al. Try looking at this link:

    http://www.gaychristian101.com/

    Christian social conservative are only going to accept gay marriage if they see it as part of God’s plan. I believe that Scripture says that gay covenants are indeed God’s plans for gays, as this website and many other Christian resources suggest. My favorite book on the subject is The Children Are Free:

    http://www.amazon.com/Children-Are-Free-Reexamining-Relationships/dp/0971929602/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1279427616&sr=1-1

    I’m not suggesting anyone buy it, but I thought I’d point it out. Also, look at the reviews for some interesting opinions.

    I think these Biblical arguments can be presented in a way which Christian social conservatives can accept, but no one has really tried. I’m glad the tide is beginning to turn with the UCC, the Episcopal, the Lutheran ELCA and the latest vote from the Presbyterians. Gay acceptance is becoming standard mainline church doctrine. And that means a lot to many conservatives.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 18, 2010 @ 12:36 am - July 18, 2010

  28. Christian social conservative are only going to accept gay marriage if they see it as part of God’s plan

    That might be true from a faith based, or biblical point of view, not necessarily a political one, where social conservatives mostly operate in.

    God created Adam and Eve, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Noami, Ashpenaz and Daniel, the Centurion and his slave, et. al.

    Since the Bible can have several contradictions with many condemnations of fornication (yet of the heterosexual variety) and have passages like the one found in 2 Samuel 1:26 which states: “I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan, very pleasant you were to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love from women,” I can defenitly say that each person should be able to draw his/her conclusion and leave it at that. But many social conservatives do not leave it at that, they cross the line many times and abuse the churches even calling for the murder of gays and lesbians.

    I think Ash’s take on this issue is insightful and yes they are many churches that have accepted gay people because they have not embraced extreme biased prejudices. I don’t think that churches are the problem as liberal hacks believe but rather the “social conservative movement” or the “values voters” movement that poses a big threat to liberty. And the churches have taken the Bible to speak in a certain way favorable to gays, which is totally fine by me, while others have not, fine too.

    But people like Seane do not know what it means to have religious freedom. It’s a double edge sword. People will believe differently and can back it back with biblical references, which is why they are more active and aggressive in the political sphere than in the churches while trying to undermine unalienable liberties that are found in gay relationships under the assumption of “protecting” traditional marriage.

    Comment by JS — July 18, 2010 @ 2:14 am - July 18, 2010

  29. JS, you talk about “unalienable liberties…found in gay relationships”. And those would be…? And if your idea is that liberty requires the social and civil acceptance of every citizen’s sexual desire then I’m sure you’re a devoted supporter of pedophile rights, incest rights, group marriage, etc. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 2:56 am - July 18, 2010

  30. And Ashpenaz, thanks for the link but I’ve heard much of the “gay Christian” arguments before and don’t find them convincing in light of Scripture. The plan fact is that God does condemn “lying with a man as with a woman” as an abomination. It’s pretty hard to get around that while remaining intellectually honest. Plus, there’s the Genesis declaration I’ve mentioned before which is totally heterosexual in its description of God’s definition of marriage and the family. And as for some supposedly gay relationships in the Bible, they’re quite refutable.

    I think the example of Ruth and Naomi is the weakest for “gay Christians”. The only thing that would lead any honest reader to conclude that Ruth and Naomi were lesbians would be the stupid idea that two people of the same sex, who aren’t blood relatives, can’t possibly love each other in a non-erotic way. Well, they can, especially if they’re family, which Ruth and Naomi were, though not blood relations.

    Ruth and Naomi were daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. Yes, they loved each other; Ruth refused to leave her aging mother-in-law’s side, but that makes them gay? Let’s not forget that Naomi also had another daughter-in-law (sorry, her name escapes me) who also loved and refused to leave her, but Naomi eventually convinced her to return to her own people. So, what are we to make of this other woman? Are we to conclude that Ruth, Naomi, and the third woman had a nice little lesbian menage-a-trois going, until Naomi finally decided that three was crowd? I mean, why not, if we’re going to take liberties with Scripture?

    And even IF you could read homoerotic attachment between Ruth and Naomi and David and Jonathan, we should still remember that all these people are never described as making anything but gender-opposite marriages. Ruth and Naomi were married to MEN; David and Jonathan were married to WOMEN. According to Scripture, the only people these four had sexual relations with were people of the opposite sex. And that makes perfect since in light of the Genesis declaration, which Jesus repeated in the New Testament, and the commandments of God’s Law.

    Ashpenaz, I don’t doubt your sincerity and I wish you well, but I think you are terribly deceived by a terribly deceived church which has twisted Scripture so as to justify obeying men rather than God. If I’m wrong I believe God will show me they way, but I don’t think I’m wrong. God bless you, though.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 3:30 am - July 18, 2010

  31. 10.Pat, your lack of honesty is almost funny. Straight people are NOT demanding the redefinition of marriage.

    Of course not, Seane-Anna, because you are standing on the shoulders of giants that did the work for you. But over time, marriage has changed. Unless you have submitted yourself as property of your husband and are in a marriage arranged by someone else, than you have taking advantage of these changes. If it makes you feel better by lying to yourself that this is not a redefinition of marriage, good for you.

    How can you tell a gay man who’s in love with his brother that he can’t marry him?

    The same way you tell a straight man he can’t marry his sister.

    but I think you are terribly deceived by a terribly deceived church which has twisted Scripture so as to justify obeying men rather than God.

    Ashpenaz, that’s why we can’t rely on one person’s interpretation of what the Bible says to decide who can be married. I just don’t think that engaging in mental gymnastics of trying to figure out what some mortal men wrote 2500 years ago and 1900 years ago should have anything to do with our laws today.

    Their response to gay marriage is always, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” and that’s where their argument ends.

    The fact that there are simpletons who make this argument, and can be smug about it is amazing. I don’t think that even Seane-Anna falls in that camp.

    26.Dan, your attempt to sway us that “social conservatives” would be open to gay marriage is quite laughable, I mean take a look at Seane-Anna’s comments, a prefect expample of why I think you are wasting your time.

    JS, not all social conservatives are going to have the same way of thinking (or non-thinking) of Seane-Anna.

    Comment by Pat — July 18, 2010 @ 7:48 am - July 18, 2010

  32. Was the church twisting Scripture when it approved of slavery?

    Was the church twisting Scripture when it moved from pacifism to just war theory?

    Was the church twisting Scripture when it decided to start making loans at interest? (Usury is just as much an abomination as you say homosexuality is–do you have a credit card?)

    Was the church twisting Scripture when it decided women could be pastors?

    etc., etc.

    Jesus said that He had much to tell us, and that the Spirit would guide us into all truth. I think that the Holy Spirit is speaking to the Church on the issue of gay relationships, and we are beginning to find what God was always trying to say about the goodness of inborn homosexuality and lifelong, sexually exclusive relationships. So, unless you are willing to tear up your credit card, stop eating shrimp, take off your mixed-thread shirt, and keep quiet in church and ask your husband at home to teach you, then I’m not going to listen to you on twisting Scripture.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 18, 2010 @ 11:05 am - July 18, 2010

  33. P.S. David married for political reasons, but his only love was Jonathan. David never says he loves any other person except Jonathan.

    Ruth and Naomi “claved unto” each other, using the exact same Hebrew word as the one used when Adam “claved unto” Eve. Why does “claved” mean sex in one case and not the other? When Ruth had a child, the community said that Naomi had a son, not Boaz. As far as the community was concerned, Obed had two mommies. Look it up.

    Daniel and Ashpenaz and the Centurion and his beloved pais were not married to anyone else–their love was solely for someone of the same sex.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 18, 2010 @ 11:12 am - July 18, 2010

  34. I enjoy reading most of the comments on this subject.

    Most of my heterosexual friends who are in loving and satisfying marriages couldn’t care less about SS marriage. They know the joys of marriage, and presumably want others to enjoy marriage as much as they do. They know SS marriage doesn’t negatively impact their marriages one bit.

    I suspect the ones whose marriages are less secure are the ones who are the loudest in their condemnation of SS marriage.

    Seane-Anna, are you listening?

    Comment by Man — July 18, 2010 @ 1:06 pm - July 18, 2010

  35. And this is where I split from my fellow ‘So-Cons’ of SA’s ilk.

    No-one should be forced to provide labour in what they don’t believe in (that AZ case comes to mind), but at the same time, the Government is not automatically a religious institution (though denying the influence of western religion in our history and government is as futile as arguing that brain volume relates to intelligence) As I’ve argued before, the states should be allowed to determine what partnerships they recognize, subject to the constitution of course, and people have to accept that some of those states will come up with solutions that they disagree with.

    So, to me, Ohio’s constitutional ammendment and Vermont’s legislative creation are the same, from a federalist perspective.

    Like Seena-anna, I get offended when Ash starts reaching and declaring that any same sex friendship, from David and Jonothan to Sam and Frodo, are ‘more than friends’. I’m a big boy, Ash has a right to spout off whatever nonsense makes him happy at night. And I have a right to call him a sad old man when any friendship is more than ‘friends’. Unlike SA though, I don’t see any problem with a legislatively created recognition of SS partnerships. The Government doesn’t have to follow anyone’s interpretation of the Bible or the Torah, or works of fiction like the Koran and Star Trek either.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 18, 2010 @ 1:21 pm - July 18, 2010

  36. My arguments, poor as they may be, address the main issue Christian social conservatives are concerned about–Does God bless gay relationships? It doesn’t matter if society approves of gay relationships–Christian social conservatives want to know where to find it in the Bible. I am trying to show them where to find it in the Bible. Thanks for undermining my (and many theologians’) attempt.

    Do you want to continue to fail to get Christian social conservatives support by answering the wrong question or by giving them information they don’t care about? Or are you willing to read Scripture with them to find common ground?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 18, 2010 @ 1:29 pm - July 18, 2010

  37. Simply put: if you make the gender of marriage partners irrelevant , on what grounds do you defend limiting the number of partners to two?

    EssEm, on what grounds do you *already* defend limiting the number of partners to two? I’ll bet that if you have a reason which is logically sound (and I know a couple good ones – I’m just asking you the question), then it would still apply after gay marriage.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 18, 2010 @ 1:42 pm - July 18, 2010

  38. To keep it short for a change, one of the things that’s really hilarious in this whole SSM debate is all those gays who dare to stand in judgment of anyone else’s non-traditional domestic arrangement while insisting that such judgment, when applied to them, is diabolical bigotry. I get a real hoot out of those “my homosexuality is normal but your polygamy is nasty!” gays. Don’t such gays realize that they have NO credibility objecting to ANY other sexual lifestyle?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 3:53 pm - July 18, 2010

  39. JS, you talk about “unalienable liberties…found in gay relationships”. And those would be…?

    So are you saying that gay couples do not have the liberty of being together and sharing their lives and property together as they see fit? If not then what are you willing to do about it? Invade our homes and arrest us like criminals? Either there is liberty for all or there isn’t any. I chose liberty.

    And if your idea is that liberty requires the social and civil acceptance of every citizen’s sexual desire

    No, but try to say that when you go into a license bureau and see how all of those straight couples who want acceptance of their sexual desires for each other and see how they will react (especially the brides).

    You miss the point I’m making, which is liberty of association of same sex couples (or mix sex couples) does exist whether government is involved or not. But people like you want to use government and the law to place same sex couples in a disadvantage.

    I’m sure you’re a devoted supporter of pedophile rights, incest rights, group marriage, etc. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Again you are missing my point, this is about liberty and property. What rights do you think a pedophile is seeking? The right to rape a child right? Quite frankly they do not seek such right but rather keep such activity discreet in order to get away with child rape, just like what the Catholic Church is doing. Do you see catholic priests marching down the street demanding the right to rape a child? No. The way child rapists operate is very different from what you artificially perceive. Also rape, if you do not know, is an aggressive and invasive act of taking away another person’s liberty and property. You know that right? As far as incest and plural marriage seems to me that social conservatives are the ones who are making the incestuous and polygamist’s argument and in some sick way even come to their defense. I do not disapprove nor approve of that behavior because I am more concerned about my own life. If you want to stay up all night thinking about it that is your business. I know for certain that incest and polygamy is not for me. And I can only speak on my own behalf because I can only control my own behavior not of others. Society has pretty much frowned on these behaviors whether homosexual or heterosexual in nature and can do so without the need of government to vindicate such disapproval.

    Comment by JS — July 18, 2010 @ 4:05 pm - July 18, 2010

  40. And Obed had two mommies? Ash, you’re really stretching it, dude! The community celebrated Naomi “having” a son because Obed represented a continuation of her family’s line. Remember, both of Naomi’s sons died without children, which cut off the family lineage. In the Mosaic Law, if a man died without children one of his male relatives had to marry the widow to have children in the name of the dead man. That’s what Ruth’s marriage to Boaz was about. Boaz was a relative of Ruth’s deceased husband (Naomi’s son) so, when he and Ruth had Obed he was a continuation of Ruth’s husband’s and, therefore Naomi’s, family line. That’s why the community said that Naomi had a son. They were not celebrating Obed having two mommies.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 4:05 pm - July 18, 2010

  41. Like Seena-anna, I get offended when Ash starts reaching and declaring that any same sex friendship, from David and Jonothan to Sam and Frodo, are ‘more than friends’.

    Well, be ready to be offended some more. It is clear that Ash has every right to his belief of what God is and what the Bible says in this country. I thought that a person showing some form of religious faith was “patriotic” for some of you (hence gay “patriot”). But I think people who are looking to be offended will not be greatly disappointed in this day in age. I don’t agree with all of Ash’s reasoning but by all means I am not offended. Even Seane’s warped views are (as ill conceived as they are) I do not find any personal offence to them.

    Comment by JS — July 18, 2010 @ 4:17 pm - July 18, 2010

  42. I get a real hoot out of those “my homosexuality is normal but your polygamy is nasty!” gays. Don’t such gays realize that they have NO credibility objecting to ANY other sexual lifestyle?

    Seane-Anna, it’s like this. From what I can tell, your sexual lifestyle is abnormal. So, it’s a hoot when you obsess about homosexuality.

    Comment by Pat — July 18, 2010 @ 4:19 pm - July 18, 2010

  43. JS, here’s the problem with your position. MOST people agree that pedophilia is rape, but SOME people don’t. So, what’s society’s response going to be to those people who don’t see pedophilia as rape and start agitating for its normalization the way gays agitated for the normalization of homosexuality? Remember, the instantaneous abhorrence of pedophilia that most people feel today was also the way most people felt about homosexuality just a few decades ago. Now that’s been turned on its head. Today, you’re a Nazi if you don’t sing the praises of sodomy. So, if gays can change society, why not the pedophiles? And, in truth, it’s already started. We have schools giving condoms to 10-year-olds without their parents knowledge or consent. Why would any school do that unless the adults on the school board believed that kids that young can consent to sex? So you see, JS, the erosion of morality brought on by the acceptance of homosexuality is already leading places I don’t want my country to go. But with certain people running around insisting that unrestrained sexuality is the essence of liberty, I don’t see much chance of stopping it. Sigh.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 4:21 pm - July 18, 2010

  44. “Seane-Anna, it’s like this. From what I can tell, your sexual lifestyle is abnormal. So, it’s a hoot when you obsess about homosexuality.”

    Nice try at avoiding the issue, Pat, but it didn’t work. No matter how much you mock me you still can avoid the fact that if gays insist that any objection–moral, religious, legal–to their sexuality is bigotry, then they can’t object, on ANY grounds, to any other aberrant sexual lifestyles WITHOUT BECOMING BIGOTS THEMSELVES. Got it?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 18, 2010 @ 4:27 pm - July 18, 2010

  45. It is clear that Ash has every right to his belief of what God is and what the Bible says in this country.

    JS, agreed. I just don’t want our laws to be governed by either Ashpenaz’s or Seane-Anna’s interpretation of the Bible, or anyone else’s interpretation, for that matter. As this thread clearly shows, Biblical interpretations can be completely contradictory.

    I am not offended by either, even Seane-Anna, because she is relying on scripture, instead of thinking for herself. But the problem that I see for both, is their selective interpretations.

    Livewire, I get your point about trying to make more out of friendships. One of these days, I’ll read the Bible from end to end, and see what the deal is with Naomi and Ruth, and Jonathan and David. But I don’t have a problem with someone interpreting a relationship, any more than any other (mis)interpretations.

    My guess is that since the authors of the Bible weren’t into homosexuality, they probably didn’t mean for any same sex pairs to be anything more than friends.

    Comment by Pat — July 18, 2010 @ 4:33 pm - July 18, 2010

  46. Nice try at avoiding the issue, Pat, but it didn’t work. No matter how much you mock me you still can avoid the fact that if gays insist that any objection–moral, religious, legal–to their sexuality is bigotry, then they can’t object, on ANY grounds, to any other aberrant sexual lifestyles WITHOUT BECOMING BIGOTS THEMSELVES. Got it?

    Nice try, Seane-Anna, since your lifestyle is deviant, I don’t see how you can object to any other lifestyle. Anyway, I’m not avoided any issue here. The problem is, your premise is that somehow you are normal, so you can get on your high and mighty horse, and declare that anything that differs from your own deviant lifestyle is automatically immoral.

    As for mocking you, am I? You come on this blog saying how homosexuality is all wrong. Or are you admitting that you are mocking all of us? But that your mocking is somehow okay?

    Comment by Pat — July 18, 2010 @ 4:38 pm - July 18, 2010

  47. MOST people agree that pedophilia is rape, but SOME people don’t. So, what’s society’s response going to be to those people who don’t see pedophilia as rape and start agitating for its normalization the way gays agitated for the normalization of homosexuality?

    Again, rape is about taking away the liberty of another person, that is why we have laws that protect both children and adults from that crime. Your equating the “normalization” of homosexuality to child rape is really silly to the point that you’re ironically defending the right of an adult to rape a child which is contrary to the spirit of unalienable liberty. Please understand that an adult raping a child is completely and utterly different from that of two consenting adults engaging in sexual intercourse on their own property which they paid for with their own money.

    Remember, the instantaneous abhorrence of pedophilia that most people feel today was also the way most people felt about homosexuality just a few decades ago.

    Yes, that was because some individuals back then (and still today) treated gay ADULTS like children. They were arresting ADULTS on their OWN property such as homes, apartments, and clubs and pubs. Because back then there was a lack of understanding that if a gay ADULT’S property rights are being infringed so can any other adult, including YOU.

    So, if gays can change society, why not the pedophiles?

    Again, if you do not want child rapists to gain an upper hand stop trying to argue for them.

    We have schools giving condoms to 10-year-olds without their parents knowledge or consent.

    That is because they treat parents like the children they are in charge of educating. Much how you and other social conservatives treat gay adults as children as well, with the pretense that you “know what is best for me.”

    the erosion of morality brought on by the acceptance of homosexuality is already leading places I don’t want my country to go.

    That is a conclusion or a nightmare that you yourself chose to dwell in. The reality is that our society is becoming more tolerant of gay people. However I do believe that you and I can co-exist as we are if we were to respect each other’s liberty and property. But I am not faithful that you will reach the same conlcusion since you belive that:

    you’re a Nazi if you don’t sing the praises of sodomy.

    which says to me that you are in favor of sodomy laws. Laws that do not respect my life, liberty or property as an ADULT. And if you seek to stop the deterioration of society accepting the “normalization” of sodomy than you have a lot of work ahead of you. You might as well start by trying to undermine this very blog which its owners seek to (in some weird ways) use it as tool advocate for acceptance of such “vice” that you disapprove of. I’m not sure under what authority you have to do something like that, unless of course you consider yourself a dictator (and you don’t have to be a Nazi to be one).

    Comment by JS — July 18, 2010 @ 5:53 pm - July 18, 2010

  48. And Seane you are contradicting yourself, just like other so-cons who say that gay relationships have no value and that the gay population is insignificant (hence why even protect their property rights?) yet it is significant enough to say that this valueless and powerless population has the “power” to undermine society?

    Which way is it? Are we important, yes or no? Are we significant, yes or no?

    Also you say:

    Remember, the instantaneous abhorrence of pedophilia that most people feel today was also the way most people felt about homosexuality just a few decades ago.

    But yet you also say:

    MOST people agree that pedophilia is rape, but SOME people don’t. So, what’s society’s response going to be to those people who don’t see pedophilia as rape and start agitating for its normalization

    So I am a bit confused as to whether society does or does not find child rape to be abhorrent in your arguments. If society does find it to be abhorrent, (as I know it does) then there should be no doubt that society will deal with these issues as best as possible and to the interest of the victims.

    I still don’t understand why you find it just to invade my property because you disapprove of my sexuality for the sake of protecting children from rape. The child rapist does not seek to come out of the closet, they lurk in the shadows and enjoy the amnesty that you give them as you go after law biding gay adults and their property instead of them.

    Comment by JS — July 18, 2010 @ 6:14 pm - July 18, 2010

  49. How can God bless something that He unambiguously calls sin?

    Unfortunately, it’s been made ambiguous by those who oft repeat it. Besides, you’d think it was one of the 10 Commandments, but it isn’t. Neither was it important enough for Jesus to mention.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 18, 2010 @ 7:32 pm - July 18, 2010

  50. “In the Mosaic Law, if a man died without children one of his male relatives had to marry the widow to have children in the name of the dead man. That’s what Ruth’s marriage to Boaz was about.”

    Is that just like marriage today? Or has our understanding of marriage changed? Could our understanding of marriage continue to change, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

    Is it possible that Ruth married Boaz in order to continue the family line but she “claved” to Naomi out of love? You are saying that the two people who loved each other in this story are both women, and that marriage served a different purpose in this society. That sounds like you’re a gay theologian or something.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 18, 2010 @ 7:56 pm - July 18, 2010

  51. JS,

    See the thing is, I don’t want to live in a world where I’m *not* offended. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I think that’s the difference between Seena Anna and myself. I accept that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but believe that the country can’t function as a theocracy. (the states, as I’ve said elsewhere, are fair game).
    Now that doesn’t mean I don’t want an ethical country based on my ethics, and it doesn’t mean that I won’t lobby and vote based on my beliefs. It means I accept it’s not a country of one, and that I won’t win every argument.

    So by all means, keep disagreeing.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 18, 2010 @ 8:42 pm - July 18, 2010

  52. Laws that do not respect my life, liberty or property as an ADULT.

    Laws against bigamy do not respect the life, liberty, or property of ADULTS who want to engage in it.

    Laws against incest do not respect the life, liberty, or property of ADULTS who want to engage in it.

    If you are a supporter of “liberty” as you claim to be, JS, you should be immediately agitating for the abolishment of those laws — because, as you ironically stated, “if a gay ADULT’S property rights are being infringed so can any other adult, including YOU”.

    Meanwhile, the only thing that makes having sex with children illegal is the law, which violates “equal protection” by preventing children from consenting to sex.

    And, since it seems so important to hand out condoms to ten-year-olds, society is stating that they can consent to sex — and if they can consent to sex, why are they unable to marry?

    To me it all lies with property rights. In my property I had a wedding, and I married a man (in my own backyard.), I will share my property with my spouse the way I chose and fits my lifestyle. If I were to pass away and still be married to him he should have all of my property without question or interruption from government, obscure family members, or any other person.

    Oh please. Not even married opposite-sex couples can do that. Do you have any idea how often and regularly property distribution is questioned, even for married couples? Look at Anna-Nicole Smith, for heaven’s sake.

    If you want to make property transfer easier, change those laws. If you want to make wills or powers of attorney more ironclad, change those laws. That would have much more success and benefit far more people.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 19, 2010 @ 12:34 am - July 19, 2010

  53. Laws against bigamy do not respect the life, liberty, or property of ADULTS who want to engage in it.

    Laws against incest do not respect the life, liberty, or property of ADULTS who want to engage in it.

    And as ADULTS they are responsible for their own actions. Yet why do so-cons continue to make a case for bigamy and incest exclusively is beyond me.

    If you are a supporter of “liberty” as you claim to be, JS, you should be immediately agitating for the abolishment of those laws — because, as you ironically stated, “if a gay ADULT’S property rights are being infringed so can any other adult, including YOU”.

    Why do I ONLY have to be advocating for those specific abolishments? Just because you chose them for me? Incest and bigamy is a reality yes, but I cannot control the actions of others, nor am I specifically advocating for incest or bigamy. I don’t care much for it, nor if others engage in such behavior, that is their business. But it seems you are doing a better job of defending them than I am since it is so-cons that are automatically bringing incest and pedophilia into the conversation out of all other possible circumstances. Which brings forth many uncomfortable questions about the mentality of many so-cons and their exclusive fascination with pedophilia and incest. It seems to intrigue me. As a person that is NOT fixated on these travesties I always wonder why Seane and NDT seem to be so fixated on them.

    Meanwhile, the only thing that makes having sex with children illegal is the law, which violates “equal protection” by preventing children from consenting to sex.

    And, since it seems so important to hand out condoms to ten-year-olds, society is stating that they can consent to sex — and if they can consent to sex, why are they unable to marry?

    Sigh. I wonder if you are arguing for traditional marriage or for the right of adults to have sex with children.

    Oh please. Not even married opposite-sex couples can do that. Do you have any idea how often and regularly property distribution is questioned, even for married couples? Look at Anna-Nicole Smith, for heaven’s sake.

    If you want to make property transfer easier, change those laws. If you want to make wills or powers of attorney more ironclad, change those laws. That would have much more success and benefit far more people.

    Sure, I bet every couple’s situation is just like Anna-Nicole’s… is that all you got NDT? Stop trying to kid yourself and others on this board. Yes, I would love to change the law and have government out of our personal affairs, but then I have to face people like you who are automatically fixated on incest and other irrelevancies. Bottom line: these people want to undermine gay relationships any way they can even by using marriage laws to place us in a disadvantage at the cost of liberty and property rights for other couples as well. Shameful isn’t it NDT?

    Comment by JS — July 19, 2010 @ 2:21 am - July 19, 2010

  54. And as ADULTS they are responsible for their own actions.

    As are gay and lesbian people; by dint of their choice to want a relationship with someone of the same sex, they should take the responsibility of their actions, which means no government sanction.

    Which brings forth many uncomfortable questions about the mentality of many so-cons and their exclusive fascination with pedophilia and incest. It seems to intrigue me. As a person that is NOT fixated on these travesties I always wonder why Seane and NDT seem to be so fixated on them.

    Probably because there is ample evidence that gay-sex marriage supporters are demanding the equal status to marriage and legalization of both.

    So I simply believe on getting all cards out on the table. Why do you want to legalize plural and incestuous marriage in the name of “liberty”, JS?

    Sigh. I wonder if you are arguing for traditional marriage or for the right of adults to have sex with children.

    You do realize, of course, that the idea underpinning the ban on child marriage is that children cannot consent to sex.

    Therefore, since you insist on weakening that ban in the name of “liberty”, you also have weakened the argument that children cannot consent to marriage, since doing so deprives them of their “liberty”.

    Sure, I bet every couple’s situation is just like Anna-Nicole’s… is that all you got NDT?

    If marriage were the ironclad guarantee of property inheritance you state, Anna-Nicole’s situation would never have come up, now would it?

    Your problem is that you have created a fiction in your mind and don’t want to deal with the facts. I can demonstrate quite nicely with numerous examples that marriage is no guarantee of property dispensation and that, in fact, wills and durable powers of attorney hold up much better in court.

    But you don’t want to deal with that, because that would seriously undermine your case for marriage — and that is because you truly don’t care about your dispensation of property or whatnot, you only want to use that as an excuse for redefining marriage.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 19, 2010 @ 11:56 am - July 19, 2010

  55. As are gay and lesbian people; by dint of their choice to want a relationship with someone of the same sex, they should take the responsibility of their actions, which means no government sanction.

    Please take a look at my comments again and point exactly where I mentioned that gay couples need their relationship sanctioned. For decades it has been straight couples that have had that special right.

    Probably because there is ample evidence that gay-sex marriage supporters are demanding the equal status to marriage and legalization of both.

    So I simply believe on getting all cards out on the table. Why do you want to legalize plural and incestuous marriage in the name of “liberty”, JS?

    You did not get all cards. What about smokers? Should the ban on smoking in restaurants be lifted? Yes, because it us up to owner of the restaurant to set his/her own rules. What about salt eaters? Should any potential ban on salt be lifted? Yes, because people should ingest whatever they want, including trans-fat or other things. You see NDT the way I view bigamy, and incest is the same way I view say marijuana, and legalization of drugs. I don’t advocate for their use, but banning them does not make those problems go away. You and others think that by banning these vices that somehow they will go away. And by banning these vices (as wrong as any person would rightly think these are) what would stop the government from banning other things that you might like just because it “bothers” other people. What would stop the government from banning people eating trans fat? Obviously nothing, as some jurisdictions already have. Once you get government banning certain things it becomes a domino effect. In a free society you will have people doing things you will not agree with, and when you, NDT, start advocating for:

    If you want to make property transfer easier, change those laws. If you want to make wills or powers of attorney more ironclad, change those laws. That would have much more success and benefit far more people.

    You know for a fact that bigamists, polygamists, and those in incestuous relationships would also reek the benefits of the changing of the laws that you advocate, just a reality of the facts, and yes so would other types of people/relationships, even those that are not sexual in nature.

    You do realize, of course, that the idea underpinning the ban on child marriage is that children cannot consent to sex.

    NDT, I’m not sure where you get the idea that I believe that “child marriage” should be legal. Because I have stated before as I do now, that child rape is in contradiction to the spirit of liberty. Again this fixation on child rape is quite disturbing and brings into question the motives of many social conservatives. Whenever law biding gays want lax on the laws (with regards to estate, property transfers etc) so-cons automatically bring in child rape, as though they are both the same exact thing, I think this is not helpful at all, because child rapists know that so-cons will go after law biding citizens (like gays) instead of them.

    I can demonstrate quite nicely with numerous examples that marriage is no guarantee of property dispensation and that, in fact, wills and durable powers of attorney hold up much better in court.

    That is not what I am arguing. Even if one were to have power of attorney and wills etc, there is no guarantee as well because anybody can contest such instruments and make the life of the surviving partner miserable and have to spend money on court fees and lawyers, just as you rightly claim that is no guarantees to those who are “legally” married to a spouse. Because as you mention:

    If you want to make property transfer easier, change those laws. If you want to make wills or powers of attorney more ironclad, change those laws.

    Clearly you are acknowledging that POA and wills are not as ironclad as they SHOULD be, which calls into question your claim that you can”demonstrate quite nicely with numerous examples that […] wills and durable powers of attorney hold up much better in court.”

    and that is because you truly don’t care about your dispensation of property or whatnot, you only want to use that as an excuse for redefining marriage.

    Now you are just being silly. I have stated several times that the way forward on this is to respect people’s property, whether you approve of their adult behavior or not. Marriage is defined by those who enter into such covenants, and I chose to say that I am married. I defined it for myself, not for everybody else. And yes there those who do want to “redefine” it in law for everybody else, but I personally do not profit from this endeavor as I do not need nor warrant your approval as I do not care how others view my covenant I made with my partner, all I need is that my property be respected that is all. So if you are going to accuse of me of trying to redefine marriage for others in law and of advocating for the issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples please show me where I have made such claims.

    Comment by JS — July 19, 2010 @ 6:01 pm - July 19, 2010

  56. JS,

    I wanted to address this comment as it stuck out to me.

    Now you are just being silly. I have stated several times that the way forward on this is to respect people’s property, whether you approve of their adult behavior or not. Marriage is defined by those who enter into such covenants, and I chose to say that I am married. I defined it for myself, not for everybody else.

    One of the most basic statements of life is ‘words have a power all their own.’ Now maybe it’s my own Social Conservative hackles being raised, but ‘marriage’ means one thing in Western Society, the joining of a man and a woman. In that sense by calling yourself married makes it no more true then Steve Martin saying he was born a poor black child.

    Even my mom and her partner, I call what they have a ‘committed relationship’ (I’d call it fred, but she thinks I’m strange enough) They called their joining a wedding, but I called it a commitment ceremony (that their vows didn’t mention the Divine, and sounded like they were written by a pair of social workers, is a different rant).

    In using the term ‘married’ you are redefining it for everyone you describe it to. Now you have every right to call yourself married, just as I’ve every right to call my self a widower. It doesn’t make either true, in the traditional sense.

    To try to put it in a less inflamatory way, if your ‘marriage’ is important and cherished to you, would you be offended if a man said he and his horse were married?

    And please, I’m not insulting your relationship. I’ve two ex-wives and an envious of those who can make a relationship work for the long term.

    “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 20, 2010 @ 12:41 pm - July 20, 2010

  57. Livewire, I’m going to jump in with my 2 cents. I agree with you about the power of words. However, meanings of words have changed throughout time, especially in the English language. As for marriage, I am not an expert in the history and meaning of it, but, even before same sex marriage was a twinkle in anyone’s eye, marriage meant something different than it does today. Yes, it has always meant one man and one woman (or one man and one or more women). And even with polygamy, it was always the man, if already married to other women, when getting married again, it was just he and the new wife.

    But marriage was treated differently in the past. It probably started, at least partly because, for stability with children. But even besides that, marriages have been traditionally arranged (and still so in some cultures), rarely, if ever, transcended socioeconomic classes. Women were treated as property. Marriage today is a lot different than it was many years ago. And, as you have noted, it has always been between a man and a woman. In fact, I remember distinctly having a conversation with a great aunt, who I happened to run into walking in a park over ten years ago, and was catching up on family. I remember talking about how my two brothers were married, my sister not yet (but has since married). I said to her, “and, of course, I’m not getting married.” So talk about the power of words, as it never occurred to me then, I could marry someone of the same sex.

    But the main reason that people accept for marriage is love. Even when I go to a church wedding, that seems to be the chief reason for the marriage given by the celebrant. Sometimes, children aren’t even mentioned, and certainly not when it is apparent when the two getting married are not going to have children. Granted, we know that sometimes people marry for reasons other than love, such as money, or simply just for the sake of getting married, but love seems to be what people think of when two people get married. Now we are looking to change the definition of marriage by removing the words “of the opposite sex.” In fact, this change has already occurred in several countries and some states. And the question is, should it always have excluded two persons of the same sex. Well, most people frowned on homosexuality in the past, so it seems plausible that society would not accept same sex marriage, in the same way that we frown on “committed” couples having sex with multiple partners, we are not accepted of polygamy. But today, more and more people are accepting of homosexuality. And more and more parents want the same for their homosexual children that they want for their heterosexual children, among them, to marry that special someone.

    So, it seems to me that JS says that he and his partner are married, he may be redefining what marriage is, but not in a way that is so different that marriage has come to mean today. And since we are in some kind of transition in the definition, there will be people who will accept the change of the definition, and others who won’t. Perhaps he sees what he and his partner have is very similar, in all the important ways, to what an opposite sex married couple have.

    As to your question about being offended if a man says that he and his horse are “married.” I don’t think I would be offended, (although I’m not sure what the right word would be how I’d feel), but I would have to wonder what this hypothetical man would mean by marriage here. It obviously does not include the possibility of two consenting adults loving each other. And I would also be concerned that this man is committing an illegal act if he acts on what people’s expectations are in marriage.

    And I think that’s what the key is. We are pretty much at the point we’re homosexuality is accepted, pedophilia*, bestiality, incest, polyamory aren’t. It now makes sense that we want to encourage homosexuals, like heterosexuals, to settle down, and get married. It doesn’t make sense to have marriage for persons to engage in pedophilia, bestiality, incest, and polyamory**. I think Antonin Scalia was onto something in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas, that marriage was next (whether by courts, or Congress, we shall see, but that is still some time away).

    *This is a strange one, because, even in this day, many states still allow children as young as 14 (or even 13?) to marry. Yes, in these states, they need permission from their parents, but my opinion is that any parent who would permit their 14 year old child to marry is a good candidate for a visit from Child Protective
    Services.

    **Polygamy was accepted in the past, but no longer, for, among other reasons, men seem to wield all the power here, and heck, a wife did not have the choice to seek another spouse. Since we see marriage of a joining of equals, polygamy takes on a new meaning today. I don’t have a crystal ball here, but it’s going to be a bigger jump to go from 2 only, to 2 or more, (than the jump for opposite sex to whatever sex) if marriage is to be redefined once again.

    “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx.

    My father, who is a big time conservative, and has been married 49 years to my mother, said about marriage, that same sex couples should have the same opportunity to be miserable as straight people. I’m pretty sure my mother feels the same way.

    Comment by Pat — July 21, 2010 @ 7:01 am - July 21, 2010

  58. Oh, I understand that definitions change over time. Amusingly I was looking for a doll pattern called a ‘bamf’, a plush version of Kurt Wagner I was surprised to find it has a more, um, modern, meaning.

    It doesn’t mean I can’t stand athward language, “yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” Does it? 😉

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 21, 2010 @ 7:17 am - July 21, 2010

  59. You contemplated voting for Prop 8? I’m honestly shocked.

    Comment by Chris — July 22, 2010 @ 3:06 pm - July 22, 2010

  60. Chris, if your comment is addressed to me, no, I did not. I had contemplated not voting on that particular proposition.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — July 22, 2010 @ 3:51 pm - July 22, 2010

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