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May 27 2009

Eliza marches in Prop 8 NO H8 rally. She joined others such as Perez Hilton, Drew Barrymore et al., to protest the California Supreme Court's upholding of the law.

More pics can be found via her Twitter page.

"Don't dilly-dally~ RALLY RALLY RALLY"

I love that! I wonder if she would accept a part-time job writing headlines at Whedonesque.
Good for her!
I really respect Eliza's commitment to making a difference: she just got back from Uganda (where she saw a lot of really sad sights, along with beautiful ones) and she immediately gets out there to join the crowds protesting inequality in California (I'm not happy w/the decision on so many levels, it seems to allow the majority to withhold rights to the minority, any minority, with a narrow popular vote). But my point is: Eliza really puts herself out there!

[ edited by embers on 2009-05-27 14:57 ]
Is this going to be a thread to express opinions on Proposition 8? Then I'll register my strong disagreement. Not with Eliza's (nor anyone's) right to express her opinion, but with her opinion.

Also, I do think it's not for the greater public good that people's opinions are elevated because they make a living doing a good job of being pretty/handsome, and saying words other people think up. America has become a culture that worships image and fame, rather than character or accomplishment.

This contrarian opinion was brought to you by the letter "C."
The bigger question, I'd say would be: hetrosexuals can get married, gays can't, how is that in anyway fair or equal? Anyway glad we have gay marriage here and don't have this crazy disscusion about it. Good for Eliza.
@filops

I'd say let's not. It's a sensitive, emotional topic, and this isn't a political forum. Frankly, I think ugliness would be inevitable. As much as I'm just itching to start arguing with you.
Is this going to be a thread to express opinions on Proposition 8?


Political threads tend to be a bit contentious, but we've managed in the past to discuss these things without being insulting to one another. I don't think one's celebrity status makes their opinion any more valid, nor do I think that it makes it any less valid. I think that people see in her willingness to stand up for issues that don't directly affect her daily life as a testament to her character and being pretty isn't enough in acting. She wouldn't be working if that's all she brought to the table. I'm sure you didn't mean Eliza, however :).

As much as one might disagree with Prop 8 (or not), according to the laws on the books in California and legal precedent in the state, it does look like (having read the first quarter of the decision so far) they made the legally correct decision in viewing it as an amendment rather than a revision. It is not the place of the judiciary to legislate, it's really up to California voters to put forth an initiative to remove it if it's not something they want in their constitution. Other states have articles specifically preventing something like Prop 8 from occurring (the limiting of rights to minority groups by a transient majority, as the decision mentions), but California does not.

Californians, please consider this for your next amendment.
zeitgeist, maybe in the World Without Shrimp, gay marriage is legal everywhere, and one must fight for the right to eat shrimp.
Eliza rocks in so many ways!
The Land of the Free?

Maybe someday. One day America will live up to it's rhetoric. But not today.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2009-05-27 15:19 ]
Filops. I would have marched too if I were there. Not my fault no one takes my picture when I do. And most people at demonstrations are chanting words other people think up. It's to supply one message in unity. A device to succinctly communicate a message. Do you have a problem with non-famous people using these slogans? I hope so, because otherwise, you are treating famous people's actions differently too. Which would be the very thing you are speaking out against.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2009-05-27 15:09 ]
Constitutionality is what should have been decided here, not equality. But I really do not think that the decision determined that it was either constitutional or not. They allowed those married to stay married but will not allow future marriages. What kind of a decision is that?

I am glad Eliza is protesting this decision though. I really think this is a case of discrimination of a minority.
Go Eliza, I would have marched too had I been there.
A state court has no power to rule that the text of that state's own constitution is "unconstitutional". It was actually pretty dubious that the CA Supreme Court indulged a "amendment vs. revision" argument. I can't imagine protesting a legal institution's choice not to blatantly ignore the limits of its own power.

The only mechanisms of redress here for Californians would be to amend it right back out of their constitution, or to go for broke and begin the process of suing California on the theory that its constitution (Prop 8 is actually amendment what, now?) is in violation of the 14th Amendment, and try to convince the federal judiciary that the homosexual marriage is a "fundamental right" as used in protecting "substantive due process" in the 14th Amendment.

Realistically, nobody's tried to do that yet, on either side, because nobody can predict what the Supreme Court would do, and they don't want the Supreme Court to speak in the wrong direction.
Jayne's Hat:
I really think this is a case of discrimination of a minority.
Exactly so. I wonder what the court's decision would have been if Prop. 8 had denied marriage between ethnic groups? Or religions? Personally, I don't see any appreciable difference (and that's speaking as a heterosexual male who hails from an area where it's commonly accepted that homosexuality is "a 'bomination afore God" (sic).)

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2009-05-27 15:26 ]
Fair enough, Winther; then doesn't it go both ways? Expression of support for Eliza's opinion, and mockery or contempt for those who differ, should be as off-the-table as support of or opposition to Prop 8?

And Andy — say, when did you get out of Shawshank? — you misunderstand me. I don't object per se to people saying words written by others. I object to an unearned status being accorded to them on that basis.

It'd be like the previous generation making Ingrid Bergman an authority on RCC Canon Law because she played a nun; or asking Seth Green to testify to Congress about controlling the wolf population in Alaska because he played a werewolf in Buffy.

(Actually, we've gone so far down the wrong road that actors get to be spokespeople on ethical/political issues about which they're clueless, even without having played deep thinkers!)

Clearer?

[ edited by filops on 2009-05-27 15:33 ]
I wonder what the court's decision would have been if Prop. 8 had denied marriage between ethnic groups? Or religions?


They would have, or a federal court would have instead, struck it down as a violation of the 14th Amendment. Loving v. Virginia, 388 US 1 (1967). Marriage between man and woman was recognized as a fundamental right of substantive due process regardless of race.

Since no federal court has found that that 14th Amendment protection has been revised to include union between people of the same sex, the CA Supreme Court would, again, be powerless to do anything other than enforce its own constitution, of which Prop 8 is a part.
(8) props to Ms. Dushku.

And it throws me that a fan of Whedon's work has an anti-gay stance (which an anti-gay marriage stance is).

Gritting teeth and clenching fingers to not type more.
I like knowing the goings on of Whedon alum, regardless of whether I agree with their political leanings or not. Since watching Buffy I've learned that several of the show's cast members have political viewpoints that are not very similar to mine as all. An example would be Emma Caulfield. Her hardcore support for Ron Paul surprised me but I saw nothing wrong with the way she used her celebrity status to promote her candidate of choice.

But while I'm not trying to stick my nose in any sort of political debate, I want to point out one thing regarding the comparison to Ingrid Bergman and Seth Green. Eliza didn't portray a lesbian on Buffy, and she has yet to portray one on Dollhouse.
filops:

Yes clearer, thank you. Although, when these guys live their lives getting photographed picking up their kids, or enjoying a meal with their partners, it's hard to begrudge them using that attention to throw light on an issue they believe in. Are the media too obsessed with celebrity? Sure. But most stars like Eliza (I omit people like the Beckhams and Paris Hilton) don't court that themselves.
Come on, didn't anyone else see "Soul Survivors"?
*Holds... Back... Rage...*

Proposition 8 destroyed families. I know it destroyed mine. I'm never talking to my father or stepmother again, but I guess it's all for the best that their opinion is out there. Sort of an unforseen consequence, yeah? "Here's your chance to vote and let your children know what you think of them and their lifestyle... Oh wait, wait! Didn't realize you hated them!"

Also, no they didn't just vote Yes on 8 and now I'm never talking to them again, there were many things that went on for a long time. I just think the majority having the ability to vote for the rights of the minority is cruelty and inequality at it's finest.
Rowan, I'm not sure I follow you (since so many are debating the merits or demerits of Prop 8). There are all sorts of legal limitations on marriage. Incest, polygamy, bestiality... do you think that any combination of anything should be granted the legal definition of marriage? If so, why even require a combinatio? Why not just say that everyone is married?

Brett, which "fan of Whedon's work" has expressed "an anti-gay stance"? I must have missed that comment. If one opposes legally labeling incest "marriage," is one anti-brother-and-sister?

Do you assume that any "fan of Whedon's work" agrees with his worldview and beliefs on everything? If so, wouldn't that make it all the more important for those who don't agree to say so occasionally, politely? Lest it be assumed that they're rubber-stamps for everything, and not simply discerning appreciators of his creativity?

[ edited by filops on 2009-05-27 15:45 ]
KoC, state courts can, and do, hear arguments that state laws (though not their constitutions) are "unconstitutional" under both the state's own constitution and the federal constitution.

So, it makes sense for the CA court to hear the question of whether a particular proposition was actually correctly passed under the CA constitution. Doesn't it? It can't really be the case that just because it passed and is now part of the CA cosntitution that it is beyond review by the CA court. If its passage contradicted part of the constitution (and it is not, itself, designed to address that contradiction as in, say, a revision to change the revision/amendment distinction), then the CA court should be able to review it.

You're correct, of course, about the unlikelihood of success of a federal constitutional challenge to Prop 8.
Brett, which "fan of Whedon's work" has expressed "an anti-gay stance"? I must have missed that comment. If one opposes legally labeling incest "marriage," is one anti-brother-and-sister?

No. One is anti-brother-and-sister-having-sex (or, anti-brother-and-sister-having-a-legally-recognized-relationship-equal-to-that-available-other-people).
Septimus, Prop 8 isn't a state statute to be tested for constitutionality under their constitution, it *is* the constitution. A CA court could no more find that unconstitutional than an Article III court could find the "no religious tests" clause unconstitutional.

For comparison, it wasn't the Colorado courts that decided Romer v. Evans, it was the federal judiciary that ruled on whether the amendment to their constitution violated the US constitution. I do think inclusion in a state (or federal) constitution should put the law beyond the reach of the judiciary that constitution governs.
The Land of the Free?

Maybe someday. One day America will live up to it's rhetoric. But not today.


I'd say this decision proves that America is "The Land of the Free". The people of California democratically amended their state constitution and for the court to overrule that is what would really stop America from being "The Land of the Free".
And it throws me that a fan of Whedon's work has an anti-gay stance


Exactly. This is also the reason we are discussing it on this site. Joss has always tried to show equality of minority groups. So it is very relevant if you look past the fiction of his writing and into the philosophies of his stories.

Despite whether it is legal or not, this is still discrimination. In fact, many of our laws are based upon religious morals and should probably be gotten rid of for discrimination as well.

I watch Joss Whedon's shows for more than his wit and his characters. I watch it because he shares a common philosophy to me and his stories reflect that.
I would ask you what effect does two gay men or women getting married have on 52% of California residents? It seems like the most common arguments lead to either personnel feelings about homosexuality that shouldn't be relevant, slippery slope arguments that were denounced back when it was an issue of black and white people getting marrried, and religious views that should have absolutely no bearing on matters of the state.

Tyranny of the majority for a reason. Whether it was done through a democratic process or not.

Oh and the question isn't incest and bestiality. Bringing that up just heaps a load of disrespect on the people who are currently arguing for their civil rights.

[ edited by rabid on 2009-05-27 15:59 ]
Americans are backward.
I do think inclusion in a state (or federal) constitution should put the law beyond the reach of the judiciary that constitution governs.


I agree except where it violates or invalidates another part of the existing constitution.
Interesting that one would view gay marriage in a manner similar to incest as opposed to one akin to heterosexual marriage. The anti-gay stance is built in right there, before we even address the issue of the appropriateness of supporting or opposing the validity of any of those said marriages.

But I'd like to not have the discussion if it violates board policy.

As for disagreeing with Joss's world view, I guess for me, his world view is what's so powerful. I think his thoughtful presentation of good battling evil is, I believe, part of the reason why Buffy... has thus far proved more popular than Dollhouse.

And I question whether there is a polite way of telling someone you feel he or she doesn't deserve the same rights as others. Though the attempt at noncombative language is commendable, and I'm not trying to backhandedly demonize you here, it puts me in mind of Reptile Boy's worst offending frat guy who was "nicer than the others."
Americans are backward.


Yeah, that's exactly the kind of comment that, aside from its logical merits, does not promote discussion in any way. Participate with a reasoned opinion, or not at all. Thanks.
KoC, really? Isn't there, at least, some grounds for hearing a procedural challenge to the amendment? If it was improperly passed then it is *not* the constitution. I'd be surprised if the CA court were willing to give up that power. (This is, of course, a different question from whether it *was* improperly passed; I don't know enough about CA constitutional law to opine ont hat.)
Well, at least this picture explains the picture Eliza posted on twitter with the cute (I assume) gay guy holding a washcloth to her breast.

@filops

You have a right to your own opinion, just as Eliza has the right to use her beauty/talent/fame/image any way she chooses.

[ edited by vr5cran on 2009-05-27 16:04 ]
Jayne's Hat, then how could a constitution ever actually be *altered* substantively by the people? I find it puzzling to think we've gotten so upside down that the Constitution is a "living document" when a judge wants to just decide it means something new, but is frozen in its purposes in the face of change through the actual amendment process.

Septimus, the (here, pretextual, IMO) procedural argument against the amendment is something that could be litigated, but, assuming it is lawfully passed, a state court should be estopped from ruling substantively on its own constitution.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 16:02 ]
Well....didn't the majority of people from California already vote against gay marriage? Over here gay marriage wasn't such a big issue, I don't even remember when it became legal and there was no movement to stop it (that i'm aware). Why does gay marriage make Americans do the crazy?
But the question in this case was the specific procedure of amendment, KoC. If there was some proposed 28th Amendment to the US Constitution and there was a dispute about whether it was actually ratified correctly, would the US Supreme Court not be able to adjudicate?
Firstly, cheers for Eliza--an awesome thing to do and I am glad for what sounds like encouragement for others to do so as well. That's being brave and taking a risk and doing something she didn't have to do, which is certainly a good reminder for me.

I too, am gritting my teeth about some of this conversation. It has been hard to see what Prop 8 has brought out about people everywhere--the best and the worst--but it is painful to see that queer characters are apparently okay when they are there to entertain you, but living queer people can be discriminated against without a second thought. It's a sad thing to see.

(and if this isn't okay for the conversation, let me know and I will adjust it...but I am sad.)
Procedural challenge, yes. But, again, I have always found that the procedural challenge here was entirely pretextual as a way of getting Prop 8 in front of a court in the hopes that they would substantively invalidate the amendment.

Prop 8 can only ever be attacked directly by a new amendment or a federal constitutional challenge.
Exactly, KernelM. But, KoC said that s/he thinks the procedural argument was pretextual. I'm not sure why, as opposed to just being incorrect or invalid, which is what the court found.

so, in the end, we agree that a procedural case can be made, but once it's in the Constitution (which limits the role of the court) the court can't invalidate it. That makes perfect sense.

(Incidentally, I wonder what would happen if someone floated a clearly unconstitutional (under the federal constitution) proposition in California and it passed. Could someone challenge not just the amendment but the provision of the CA constitution that allows for such voter propositions in federal court?)
Just when I thought I couldn't love Eliza more. And lo and behold, I do now. A great woman and a great soul.

On the political/ethical side of things, I think a day when two adult people are discriminated by the community for loving each other and prevented from making it official and on-the-record is a very sad, dark, ignorant day.
Given the long and tortuous road this whole thing has gone down I fully and whole-heartedly support the fight against proposition 8, but I wish it had never gone down that road in the first place. I always though there was meant to be some kind of in principle separation of church and state in America. The utopian solution would have been to abandon the notion of marriage to the churches, and left it entirely up to them which couples or any other mish mash they chose to bless. The country could have then taken the notion of civil partnership, strengthened it to have all the same rights and privileges that marriage enjoys and made it a right extendible to any two adults regardless of gender, and civil partnership could have then taken on the legal role that marriage currently enjoys. Frankly I couldn't care less what any church thinks. If one church says no to blessing gay couples then let them; there are other churches gay people can go to if they so wish. But the legally important notion of two people in a union should be a right for everyone. It does seem to me that doing something like that would have actually kept everyone happy, wouldn't it? filops would you still object to something like that? Would supporters of gay marriage feel it sold them short somehow? I'm sure that there were practical or legal reasons that meant this wasn't really an option for some reason, but if it had been would it have been the perfect solution or am I missing something about what the supporters and detractors of gay marriage want?
My feeling is this, homosexuals are not a "protected" minority group as recognized by the court under the 14th amendment. Until such time as the court addresses that issue, the majority will continue to legally be able to limit the rights of the unrecognized minority....which I personally think is a horrific injustice. The issue for me is not "marriage" per se...it is rights. There is no reason that homosexual couples should not be able to enter into the same legally binding rights to elevate their status to one union, as heterosexual couples. "Marriage" for me is a religious institution and I believe that each individual religious entity should be entitled to define "marriage" and sanction unions in a way that they see fit. However, religious institutions should have no say over whether a couple is legally recognized as one union.
Even if this decision was the only one the court could make in the circumstances, the protests are still very important for those of us who feel that Prop 8 is immoral and unjust. We will continue to speak out against it. And if Eliza's going to help, she gets nothin' but love from me for it.

The good news is that demographics are on our side. Prop 8 will not last.
Prisonia, the land of the free, where 51% of the people have democratically decided to imprison the other half!

Just when I thought I couldn't love Eliza more. And lo and behold, I do now. A great woman and a great soul. Hear, hear!

I really think this is a case of discrimination of a minority.
Really? Of course it is!

Brett, which "fan of Whedon's work" has expressed "an anti-gay stance"? I must have missed that comment. If one opposes legally labeling incest "marriage," is one anti-brother-and-sister?
Yeah. Really can't imagine how one posibly could interprete an comparison with incest as anti-gay.

Interesting that one would view gay marriage in a manner similar to incest as opposed to one akin to heterosexual marriage. The anti-gay stance is built in right there, before we even address the issue of the appropriateness of supporting or opposing the validity of any of those said marriages.

Couldn't agree more, Brett!
Well....didn't the majority of people from California already vote against gay marriage?


Yes, this is why majority rule is not always the best way to decide something. The same thing happened in Afghanistan when we gave them the freedom of majority rule. They took away the rights of the same minority we were trying to help.

In this sort of circumstance a check and balance system is needed. Therefor KoC, the court should be able to argument whether it is constitutional or not or else the majority will always win. They are there to keep the majority rule in check.

If our country always just went with majority rule black people and women would still be unable to vote.
Haven't read the thread yet but I strongly disagree with Eliza. I do believe that gay marriage should be allowed and if I ever voted on the issue that's the way my vote would go. But I don't believe in using the courts to bring about major changes. The US is a democracy which means that the voters should be able to decide these questions. Otherwise, the courts aren't deciding legal questions like they're supposed to. They're deciding moral / political questions and a judge has no greater claim to moral wisdom than anyone else. One of (arguably few) good things about the US political system is its federalist nature. It allows laws in different parts of the country to be wildly different. If you just leave questions like gay marriage up to voters you'll mostly likely have it legal in eg Washington DC but illegal in eg the deep south. And almost everyone will be happier for it
Let Down -- "Everyone" will be happier for it except for those minorities in the Deep South whose rights are being trampled.
Judges imposing this might not be ideal, but in this cases the end easily justifies the means. IMO something like this just as totally wrong as keeping slavery legit in a couple of states. Unacceptable, even if it's only a small group that won't be happier for it (and really, why should people be happier when other people can't get married).
Jayne, the judiciary is not a "check" on anything and everything. It is not a solution to "wrong-minded" rule of the majority, it just replaces it with rule of the minority.

Septimus, the federal courts would definitely protect the right of the people to amend their state constitutions. There are 1st, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendment considerations there.

Groosalugg, the judiciary had *no* role in ending slavery. It had *no* role in giving women the power to vote. Those were both products of the amendment process. If homosexual marriage is ever an idea whose time has come in numbers enough to be protected by state constitutions or the federal constitution, it, too, would be a product of the amendment process. State legislatures have already enacted it in some states.
They allowed those married to stay married but will not allow future marriages. What kind of a decision is that?

One that is morally repugnant in effect, but one that nonetheless unfortunately appears to be legally correct based upon the nature of the challenge.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-27 16:48 ]
You're probably right about not invalidating the CA proposition process. It's just interesting to me given its huge potential for abuse. I suppose the check of invalidating specific amendments that violated the U.S. Constitution is the only one that exists, though.
Like I wrote above, I know nothing about US judiciary. Anyway I did not mean to imply judiciary abolished slavery, just that while a judge having the power to impose his views on a country isn't something I'd generally be for, this is an issue where the result would be much more important than the questionalbe means, like it would be when a judge wanted to abolish slavery.
What I don't get is, what's the fundamental difference between one of-age citizen and another of-age citizen? Why are people making a distinction? Why can't two consenting adults do what another two consenting adults do? (And didn't we do this before with interracial marriage? Gay must be the new black.)

I'm happy Eliza's marching around. If I were in Cali that's pretty much exactly what I'd be doing. (I wouldn't be as pretty and I'd probably be frowning a lot, but, well.)
They allowed those married to stay married but will not allow future marriages. What kind of a decision is that?
Well it might not be pretty, but it's better than one that cancels the previous marriages, right?
It's legally correct on any basis -- remember, gay marriage has the same legal status as a jaywalking law. It's legal today, illegal tomorrow. Licenses issued at the time it was legal are valid. Other than for DOMA, they would be binding in all 50 states, as well.

Septimus, a proposed state amendment can violate the US constitution, but it can't, by definition, "violate" the document that it means to amend. It preempts it. That's what the amendment process is for, to make it possible to change the substantive law of a constitution. A proposed amendment to the federal constitution as well; the oft-discussed pro-life or marriage or flag-burning amendments would be subject to procedural review during the process, but no federal court could find the subject matter unconstitutional preemptively.
I'm guessing that those who were already married were permitted to remain so as the thought would be that the backlash and thus the opposition next time around would be all the stronger had existing unions (some with children involved) been dissolved.

[ edited by Brett on 2009-05-27 16:57 ]
Fair enough, Winther; then doesn't it go both ways? Expression of support for Eliza's opinion, and mockery or contempt for those who differ, should be as off-the-table as support of or opposition to Prop 8?


Did my post contain either? Beyond doubting whether this discussion was a good idea in this sort of forum (until now, it's been very civil, so I'll very happily admit to being wrong on that point), I simply stated that I disagreed with you.

That said, I probably won't be discussing this further. Arguing this subject tends to make me all ranty and angry and using-very-hurtful-phrases (so I guess that whole worrying about flamewars might actually have been me projecting), so I try to abstain. Especially since it's fairly peaceful here still.

There are many subjects reasonable people can agree to disagree on, with arguments for and against both. I don't believe this is one of them.
Just gotta chime in w/ support for ED. I work in downtown San Francisco, so yesterday, I got to see all kinds of cool people -- different kinds and stripes -- supporting the rights to gay marriage, and it was of the coolest.
IMO, there are no subjects that reasonable, rational people can't debate without descending into insults and nonsense. Of course, it is hard to detach one's emotions from such things, which is really where the trouble comes in :).
Lili - the reason interracial marriage laws were abolished is that under the 14th Amendment the Supreme Court classified "race" as a "protected class" or a protected minority. Essentially, this ruling made it such that the majority could not enact laws that had no value other than to discriminate against the minority...i.e. interracial marriage laws. The problem here is the Supreme Court has not yet recognized homosexuality as a "protected class"...essentially this all goes back to the "is it a choice?" question. Protected classes like race and gender are not lifestyle choices you are born a specific race and gender. If the Court believes homosexuality is a choice then the minority will not be a "protected class", however if the Court believes that homosexuality is a genetic trait or other biological trait then more than likely the class would be "protected." Until the Supreme Court rules on this issue, then States will allow the majority to determine the rights of this minority.

KOC, the Court, has always been an adjudicator of justice, even when it was unpopular with the majority...i.e. Brown v. Board of Education. This is no different..it frankly needs to come from the Supreme Court in order to work.

Personally, I think a challenge regarding the 14th amendment needs to come from another direction, i.e. employment discrimination. I think the HRC and other groups need to have the Supreme Court rule on whether someone can be fired based purely on sexual orientation and have them extend the protections of the 14th Amendment via that way. Once protection is given then it would be unconstitutional for a state to keep an anti-gay marriage law on the books. The truth is, however, that the reason that challenge hasn't been made yet, is the gay rights groups are scared of what this Supreme Court would rule with its current make-up leaning heavily conservative.
KoC said: Jayne, the judiciary is not a "check" on anything and everything. It is not a solution to "wrong-minded" rule of the majority, it just replaces it with rule of the minority.


I would hope that any judiciary, state or federal, would watch out for the rights of the minority because nobody else is going to.
Septimus, a proposed state amendment can violate the US constitution, but it can't, by definition, "violate" the document that it means to amend. It preempts it.

I think we agree on this. (It's basically a fundamental constitutional proposition.) I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. All I was saying was that procedural arguments could be brought and/or federal constitutional arguments. the CA court jsut ruled on the former, and the latter has no chance of success.
there are no subjects that reasonable, rational people can't debate without descending into insults and nonsense.


Spike or Angel?
Spike or Angel?

As long as they don't try to get married in California, what do I care?
@zeitgeist

Actually, what I meant by that last statement wasn't so much that it's impossible to debate without nastiness; it's that I don't believe that there are any reasoned arguments to be made for the opposing side.

I disagree with fiscal conservatives, for instance. But I recognize there are valid arguments, based in reason, to be made for their case.

In the case of gay marriage, in contrast, every argument against, such as "The definition of Marriage will be destroyed - They'll be marrying goats next!" ultimately boils down to the same thing: God [or deity of your choice] sez it's wrong!

Well, or Gay Marriage will Hurt Small Businesses. Gotta give points for creativity.

[ edited by Winther on 2009-05-27 17:17 ]
You change the hearts and minds of the people to get freedom. Having the judiciary legislate from the bench is the way to push people further away from your point of view because it takes their perceived choice away. We've had years and years of hellish debate on abortion because hearts and minds weren't even remotely changed first.

And I really doubt 52% of Californians are really against gay marriage. Some incorrectly voted yes to gay marriage by voting for prop 8 but many more were talked into a fear that churches would be forced to wed gays even over the fact that homosexuality is against their religion. Many felt it a step in losing the freedom of religion.

Those wanting marriage for gays or freedom for bigamist to marry more then once or even those who want to marry a brother or sister need to get their point of views to the masses. If it's about love then I think everybody understands love (as long as it's a result of consenting adults) and hearts can be moved with emotion. The heart can be captured and then minds will change.
The heart can be captured and then minds will change.

Personally, I think this gives people too much credit. Honestly, I think people hear "gay marriage" and they think "gay sex", and they don't like thinking "gay sex" because most people still feel an ick factor from that, and it just makes them shut down.
If the majority hears about gay sex and feels an ick then their hearts haven't been changed. There has to be something that will refute that. I mean straight guys dream of sexy girl on girl action. It's not completely ick to them. I guess that's the way to go for guys and the way to women is talk of real love, commitment and friendship of a couple. There is a way to do it-I mean we've come a long way already. Getting rights and freedoms is a lot of hard work. We just have to put the work in. I'm all for rallies and well done campaigns. I'm just against the government having all say and the people having none.
Gay must be the new black.

Sadly, I think you're right, LiLi, and I'm terrified that this fight will get just as ugly before it is "won" (discrimination against black Americans certainly still exists). I've already lost people to this sort of hatred and really don't want to lose any more.

As a Californian who voted against Prop 8, I am very proud to see Eliza out there fighting for human rights. It was a long shot and, yes, a touch shady, to ask the court to overturn the vote but A. every avenue has to be tried, and B. the pro 8 people would have done the same had it not passed. This sort of...um...wriggling is an American institution, unfortunately. Look at what's happening in Minnesota.

Another American institution is, of course, a refusal to relinquish old ideas.
I seem to recall a proposition many years ago where the vote was a landslide. Now it's within a couple percent. Times are changing and I don't think it will be too much longer. I know that's little consolation now, but I believe it'll happen.
It's that I don't believe that there are any reasoned arguments to be made for the opposing side.

Yeah, got that and couldn't agree more (actually I find it pretty hard not to be offended by the idea that another view could be valid) though I guess this:

Having the judiciary legislate from the bench is the way to push people further away from your point of view because it takes their perceived choice away.

Might be the only possibly valid argument against a higher hand imposed legalisation of gay-marriage. (Though I don't believe it myself, legalisation is an instrument in normalization, opponents don't really seem to need any remotely reasonable reason to be against gays, etc.)

Many felt it a step in losing the freedom of religion.
I think churches should be forced to marry anyone too, freedom of religion isn't nearly important enough a counter argument, IMO.
Winther - I see what you were saying. In any case, at least I set Simon up for a joke :). RE: that joke, though, I don't think a rational person (and by that I mean me ;) - yes that's a joke) sees an either or there, they both had their time at a specific point in Buffy's life and they are both past. She will end up with Riley (now I'm pandering to Simon). I kid, I actually suspect and rather hope she won't end up with either in the long run, but rather someone new. Haha! Now Spike and Angel fans can both accuse me of hating, when in fact, I love them both.

In any case, enough tangent from me - well done all on talking without getting shrill with one another.
It's an old logical fallacy that there are two equally valid sides to every argument. That just isn't true.

ETA @Zeitgeist

And for that reason alone, it was worth it. Also, cavemen or astronauts?

[ edited by Winther on 2009-05-27 17:46 ]
Haha! Now Spike and Angel fans can both accuse me of hating, when in fact, I love them both.

Just don't love them in California.
I think astronauts should be allowed to marry whoever they want, cavemen aren't sufficiently advanced to understand the abstract of a system of jurisprudence or social contracts. Oh, SNAP! I guess I told you cavemen! Not that you'll ever know 'cause you can't read this - DOUBLE SNAP!

- eekm Whedonesque mod slash?! In any case I don't know that I am legally allowed to love them both at the same time in the U.S. - or is that just if I were to marry one of them in Iowa?

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-05-27 17:50 ]
Groosalugg - Churches would not be forced to marry anyone if gay marriage is legalized, that is just a bunch of rhetoric that the anti-gay groups drummed up to scare the general public into action. Legalized gay marriage doesn't mean that churches have to sanction the union. Churches would still retain the right to sanction spiritually whatever unions they see fit to.
There is no likelihood that a Church would be forced to perform a ceremony that falls outside of their beliefs. The state issues the legally binding document, the church holds a ceremony that is binding to them (unless you're Henry VIII).
Perhaps when the allowed-to-remain 18,000 same-sex marriages don't destroy the civilization of California, the mushy middle who lets the Right dupe them with bogus arguments will vote the other way next time.
Rowan, I'm not sure I follow you (since so many are debating the merits or demerits of Prop 8). There are all sorts of legal limitations on marriage. Incest, polygamy, bestiality... do you think that any combination of anything should be granted the legal definition of marriage? If so, why even require a combinatio? Why not just say that everyone is married?

Brett, which "fan of Whedon's work" has expressed "an anti-gay stance"? I must have missed that comment. If one opposes legally labeling incest "marriage," is one anti-brother-and-sister?

Do you assume that any "fan of Whedon's work" agrees with his worldview and beliefs on everything? If so, wouldn't that make it all the more important for those who don't agree to say so occasionally, politely? Lest it be assumed that they're rubber-stamps for everything, and not simply discerning appreciators of his creativity?


Filops...

If you want to talk about bestiality when talking about gay marriage, one would have to assume you seem to think that the world is a vegetarian world. Gay people are attracted to the same sex...human. And speaking of bestiality, in the state of Washington it IS legal to have sex with animals, but it is not okay to marry the same sex HUMAN.

When you talk of incest as part of the slippery slope, what you are truly referring to is your views that gay people are pedophiles. Which, even according to the FBI, 95% of all pedophiles are in fact HETEROSEXUALS.

Polygamy is only brought up as another diversion to the issue at hand, and is actually quite entertaining as it's mostly seen in the old-fashioned Mormon lifestyle, which fought to destroy the gay marriage vote (along with the Knights of Columbus, which my own father is part of and just one of the reasons why I no longer talk to him. In fact, your way of thinking is the very reason I do not to my mother either).

What everything boils down to, is that three letter word: god.

And when it comes to the bible, it speaks heavily on Jesus' anti-divorce feelings moreso than anything else being discussed when it comes to marriage.

Fact remains however, that yes, the bible is an unreliable source for any of these topics. Why? Because the book has been translated into languages that did not even have a word for what was being discussed. Homosexuality by name was never even mentioned in the original text. In fact, sodomites had nothing to do with homosexuality at all. That whole passage was actually referring to the raping of angels, if you look at it within historical context.

Of course, that's not even pointing out that no two people seem to interrupt the bible the same way. Which is quite dangerous cherry-picking.

Having been personally gay bashed twice just last month, this topic is EXTREMELY sensitive to me. It's ended all communication with my family. It's caused serious emotional distress in my life. I have friends who were legally married prior to Prop 8. I have friends who are no longer able to get married, who had planned on it, but weren't able to get their marriage license in time. I have friends who didn't want to rush into a marriage, and now are not able to.

Should they move? Should I move?

No.

No one should move. They should try and make a difference where they live.

ANYONE who voted Yes on 8 has no idea what harm they are truly causing.

And what's really upsetting is if the Supreme Court found gay marriage unconstitutional to begin with, I really can't understand how they could uphold a majorities vote on a minority population.

It truly makes me sad.

Here are some videos to watch. I have more to say, but just can't even focus today. I'm burnt out.


(edit:) Also let's all be honest here. The REAL problem people have with gay marriage is two MEN getting married. And if they think of two women getting married they think of two ugly dykes getting married. Seems people only think of men as homosexuals. And lesbians are only cool if they are lipstick lesbians who will go and sleep with meaning after - or better yet, during sex with another woman. Which is not what a lesbian would do.



(edited once more for spelling, sorry)
[ edited by didifallasleep on 2009-05-27 18:04 ]

[ edited by didifallasleep on 2009-05-27 18:17 ]
I'm still angry that the rights of gay people were ever put to the vote in the first place!

And as to the "God says it's wrong" squad well God says lots of things are wrong. Women being teachers, Women uncovering their heads, eating shrimp or shellfish, wearing mixed fibre clothing, paying or levying interest on money.

I really don't see that the churches and faith groups should get to pick and choose.

Prop 8 is a far worse abomination than broiling a kid in it's mothers milk.

But most fundementally( heh)

I thought you guys in the US had separation of church and state!

If the law can't overturn this then the law is an ass and nees changing.

And if the consitution says the law can't be changed then the consititution needs ammending

And yay for Eliza and all of those who marched with her

[ edited by debw on 2009-05-27 21:47 ]
Unfortunatelly, here gay marriage is illegal. What is not a surprise, since, even with the Constituition saying that this is a "laic" country, we have a Catholic catedral in front of the Ministeries. Hoewever, you could have some benefits, as health care, or immigrants could live here with a same sex partner. And stabble long term relations are often accepted in the same scale of marriage.
In Argentina it's all right. One more reason to we hate those bast... How can they accept it before us!?!
Groosalugg - Churches would not be forced to marry anyone if gay marriage is legalized, that is just a bunch of rhetoric that the anti-gay groups drummed up to scare the general public into action.

Yeah, I got that, but I personally actually just don't think the fact that two people happen to be of the same sex can ever be an acceptable argument for anyone anywhere not to perform a marriage.

Though of course it would be more open for debate then gays being allowed to marry by the state in the first place.

I'm actually kind of curious: what is the legislation towards churches for example not performing marriages crossing "racial" boundries?

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-27 18:05 ]
Can I ask a serious question of someone who is anti gay marriage for religious reasons? As someone who was raised Catholic and attends Episcopal services sometimes (and thus familiar with the Bible and no stranger to disagreement on particular passages), why hold to Mosaic proscriptions like the ones in Leviticus (which do also prohibit shellfish and mixed fiber clothing and the cutting of beards) like this when clearly the New Covenant and the New Testament are replacements for the Old Testament/Torah? And why only certain ones? The epistles of Paul (and other bits) make it very clear that Mosaic law found its fulfillment in Christ and that having been freed from the Old Law, that voluntarily going back to it is, in essence, a "fall from grace".

I appreciate a response and I guarantee that no one will pick on you for it (for I wield orangey-ness!). If you'd rather email me, that's cool, too :).

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-05-27 18:08 ]
@beckyboo

Why should I have to wait around for other people who have nothing to do with my love or relationship, to approve a right that (imo) should already be afforded to me as a tax paying American citizen?

It's not my job to change other people's hearts and minds, nor should it be. I actually believe they have a right to their opinions, but I don't believe their opinions should impede my right to receive equal protection under the law.
The churches wouldn't be forced to marry same sex couples but that is what many were led to believe. This was a freedom of religious issues for a lot of the pro prop 8 vote. I'm a fiscal conservative so I'm around a lot of the religious right (though the religious left also voted yes on prop 8) and it's mostly fear that wants no gay marriage. They think the government and liberal groups wants freedom of religion to be freedom from religion and then government mandated loss of any and all religion. These are the people who's minds can be changed now and I'm certain will flip the the percentage to yes for gay marriage. The anti gay people will take time or just have to naturally die out.


(Someone must have left a bold bracket open.)
They did?
I wonder what people in 100 years time will think of all this.
"Didn't they know the murderous A.I. warlords wouldn't care either way?"

... Wrong Friday night show.
Simon, a more interesting question to me, though an impossible one to answer, is that of what contemporaries who oppose gay marriage would have felt about earlier human rights issues had they lived during the times in question.

I'm sure most would claim they'd have been wise enough to see the needs for advancements (abolishion of slavery, suffrage, the civil rights movement...) as clearly as those who support gay marriage see this issue now.

And I believe them. And (with much thanks to Cordelia) I make sarcastic finger quotes...
I wonder what people in 100 years time will think of all this.

You mean after we're all forced to get gay married?
vr5cran because marriage isn't a law afforded everybody just because they are American citizens. I personally believe that the benefits of marriage should be afforded to any legal adult romantic relationship if that's what they want. I actually believe that the government should call all marriage a civil union. Keep it in legalese so people understand the purpose of why the government is even involved in this issue.
I actually believe that the government should call all marriage a civil union. Keep it in legalese so people understand the purpose of why the government is even involved in this issue.

That is half the problem. If the civil/secular institution didn't carry the religiously-charged name "marriage", the debate would be dramatically different.
Simon:
I wonder what people in 100 years time will think of all this.

Um - "Goddammit, didn't those frackin' people have bigger issues for the entire country to be divided over??"
I'm sorry, but it really bothers me when people dive into the type of political rhetoric that seems to preclude the possibility that someone else might have a more informed or differing opinion on the matter at hand. I think it shows a lack of maturity and respect for the opinions of others to speak in such a dismissive manner, and in turn takes away from the respect I have for those who do it, especially when said person or people's professional goal in life is to entertain others.

Please don't miss-understand. I believe there is nothing wrong with having outspoken opinions on things (I have many - including on this very issue - which I am carefully refraining from expressing since it bears no relevance to my point), but to express them in a manner or a format (such as the bully-pulpit inherent of celebrity status) that precludes fair discussion and honest dissension just comes across to me as vaguely insulting.

* Please note: This comment is not meant to be interpreted as a criticism of my fellow posters whose opinions I would not aim to critize without first giving them due consideration (as well as employing proper citations where appropriate). Rather, it was directed towards the recent spate of politically charged rhetoric expressed by certain individuals who I'm sure all of us on whedonesque hold dear.

Ahh... I feel (slightly) better now. :)
I wonder what people in 100 years time will think of all this.


Much the same way we view the people who didn't want those activist judges letting Negroes drink from their water fountains, go to their schools, and sit at the front of their buses, I'd imagine.
Personally, I think a challenge regarding the 14th amendment needs to come from another direction, i.e. employment discrimination. I think the HRC and other groups need to have the Supreme Court rule on whether someone can be fired based purely on sexual orientation and have them extend the protections of the 14th Amendment via that way. Once protection is given then it would be unconstitutional for a state to keep an anti-gay marriage law on the books.


It seems like this is already in the works, and the army's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is the perfect vehicle. Except I'm not sure whether they have a different complaint structure because they're the army. America's weird that way.
I don't think Eliza tweeting about this is a bully pulpit that precludes argument or discussion. Intersting point of etymological fact, lots of folks consider the term to be negative or pejorative, but it wasn't intended to be when Roosevelt coined it. In any case, she's not saying don't discuss, she's saying I believe the law was wrong, and she's not anywhere you don't have to seek her out to find out this information about her, so I don't think it applies.
JesterInACast -- all examples of things accomplished by legislation, with the exception of desegregation. In the entire history of the US, desegregation was the only bona fide national recognition of a civil right implied within the federal constitution that originated in the judiciary. Everything else was achieved by amendment or legislation. That's not an accident.

Personally, I think the 14th Amendment has already been stretched beyond the credible intention of its language -- it's used now most to federalize constitutional rights and restrictions in areas that are obviously intended to be covered by the 10th Amendment (i.e. reserved to the states). As it is, states are going their own direction on who can marry, and frankly, they should be allowed to. The union was not designed to be a politically homogeneous single entity.
I was very down in the dumps about the Prop H8 ruling yesterday (although I expected it), and Eliza happened to be the first person on my Twitter list to voice her disappointment. It really helped me deal with the day. I agree with the the poster above who said he felt that there's no reason celebrities shouldn't use their fame to shed light on causes they believe in.
KOC, I object to your use of the word "homogeneous..."
For what it's worth, I'd highly recommend that folks read the text of the ruling, which is here.

Within the confines of the law, there was little to no chance of the CA Supreme Court tossing out Prop 8. They weren't ruling on whether Prop 8 was fair or even ethical; they were ruling on whether the citizens of California have the ability to amend the state Constitution through the initiative process. We do. On this, the Court's hands were tied.

What they could do - and what they did - was yank the teeth out of the amendment. Prop 8 said, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," but, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, that simply isn't true. The Court ruled that the 18,000 same sex marriages that were performed in 2008 must remain recognized and valid. The Court also made the point of affirming that same sex couples must be granted the same rights and protections as opposite sex couples. Essentially, the Court ruled to uphold the Prop 8 amendment, but in the narrowest way possible. One of my favorite authors has a blog entry on this here.

The Court made the decision it had to, and in my opinion, it made it well. The Court supported our right to amend the Constitution via initiative, and that's what organizations like the Courage Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign are going to do in the next election cycle, while also making it clear that the Court does not favor discrimination against same sex couples.

Personally, I'd like to see the word "marriage" taken out of the language of the state. And I think that the Supreme Court decision is laying the groundwork for such an amendment in the future. It wouldn't fly right now, of course, but a few more battles like this one and I think even the religious right would agree to let "marriage" be an institution of the churches and "civil unions" be the institution of the secular government. That's my utopian pipe dream of the day.
I'd love to see that as well, Ihbach, but it opens up issues of international recognition. And I don't see the religious right ever giving in on this, only its numbers and influence dwindling.
Rowan, I'm not sure I follow you (since so many are debating the merits or demerits of Prop 8). There are all sorts of legal limitations on marriage. Incest, polygamy, bestiality... do you think that any combination of anything should be granted the legal definition of marriage? If so, why even require a combinatio? Why not just say that everyone is married?


Well, now. This is a straw man if ever there was one. No one has said that "any combination of anything" should be granted, only that two adult consenting human enjoy the same rights as everyone else. And the fact is, marriage between a man and woman is something that was decided by the legal process here, as a state decision; the religious issue is not in play at all, and no one has said that any church, mosque or synagogue or any specific faith would have to marry same sex couples. But if the state can define marriage as between a man and a woman, it can define it some other way as well. As we did here in Iowa. It is only the idiocy of the system in CA that allowed this to happen, and I do believe that that system will change; it is also the reason, for example, that CA faces a horrid budget mess, because voters refused to vote the necessary changes. But while I am strongly in favor of gay marriage, I am not sure fighting Prop 8 is the best way to go; I think that this needs to go back to the voters, who need to be better informed that there are forces coming into the state to meddle with it (such as the CoLDS), and who need ot have better context to hold a meaningful vote. I also feel that you cannot allow a system that by voter effort can remove rights from any minority, as it appears that CA allows. Today it might be gays, but tomorrow it could be some other group. Simply being a democracy does not make a vote constitutional.

And I will be civil here, but let it be noted for the record, I feel really very strongly about this and am biting my tongue for all it is worth. No smiley face follows.
Instead of "marriage" let's just coin an all-inclusive term for "legal" union. (Pairrage?)
This is my favourite outspoken opinion by an entertainer. I think it's one of the best, most passionate things they'd ever done.
I don't think Eliza tweeting about this is a bully pulpit that precludes argument or discussion. Intersting point of etymological fact, lots of folks consider the term to be negative or pejorative, but it wasn't intended to be when Roosevelt coined it. In any case, she's not saying don't discuss, she's saying I believe the law was wrong, and she's not anywhere you don't have to seek her out to find out this information about her, so I don't think it applies.


If she had used a phrase such as "In my opinion..." anywhere I would have no gripe. She hasn't.
And as for seeking her comments out... I didn't. It appeared here on whedonesque. It's one of the inherent dangers of being a celebrity: Anything you say in a public forum (such as a public twitter account) gets to be fair game to all the nit-pickers out there - like me!
1. Slavery is wrong.

2. In my opinion, slavery is wrong.

Both statements are true. The truth of the first is far more important.
Homophobia's got to GO, IMO?
Or what tweet are you talking about specifically? Some stuff (f.e. Homophobia's = bad) just isn't up for debate IMO.

I'd love to see that as well, Ihbach, but it opens up issues of international recognition.
Yeah exactly, don't let religion lay a claim on a word and tradition that is routed so deeply in the whole of society.
If she had used a phrase such as "In my opinion..." anywhere I would have no gripe. She hasn't.

If people can't distinguish opinions without an "IMHO" flag, we're in worse shape than I thought.
She is not a corporation, anything she says when not on a press tour is assumed to be her opinion. You sought her opinion by clicking on a thread clearly marked as Eliza protesting Prop 8. No one made you click on the thread or come to the site, these are choices (which isn't anyone telling you to go away, we like spirited debate here!). I notice that none of your posts start with "In my opinion..." either :).
zeitgeist, many use the letters of Paul to back up their anti-homosexual rhetoric. Paul makes pretty clear anti-gay statements in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy; there are a handful of other passages in the New Testament that are sometimes used in support, like Matthew 19:4-5, but it's often argued that those are taken out of context in order to support an anti-gay agenda.

If I remember correctly, Paul is the only writer in the New Testament who made any direct condemnations of homosexuality. Saint Paul also wrote several passages that promote subservient roles for women, such as this one from 1 Timothy: "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent." So, y'know. Not exactly a progressive guy there.

I'm not anti-gay; I'm not even very religious. I just had 9 years of Catholic school education, and I'll read damn near anything put in front of me. A few years ago, I read Misquoting Jesus, which was totally fascinating and briefly touched on how some prevailing prejudices inserted themselves into scripture.
KingofCretins, for what it's worth, I agree that moving public opinion and codifying rights into law via the legislative process is more productive and a better long-term strategy. The question, though, was how people a century from now will view those who oppose granting equal rights to homosexuals. I maintain that they won't be viewed any more favorably than the conservatives who opposed desegregation, women's suffrage, or abolition.

I think it's a mistake to say that the judiciary shouldn't weigh in on these kinds of issues. Their job is to interpret the law, and if a law is unconstitutional, then it's their job to strike it down. It's unlikely that public opinion would have moved as soon as it did without Brown; it still took decades in most of the South to achieve full integration of schools. I believe it's quite likely you'd still have segregated schools in some Deep South states without the courts. I agree with you that where you can move with the electoral blessing of the majority, it's better to do that, though.

On the subject of celebrities expressing their opinions, it's interesting to me that it only seems to offend people who disagree with them. The people who get annoyed with Eliza Dushku tweets about gay rights never seem to be the same people upset when Adam Baldwin posted something complimentary about the Bush Administration. Actors are people just like us, they have opinions just like us, and now they have Twitter accounts just like us. If you read something on their feed (or even on the front page here at Whedonesque) just ignore it. Move on to the next item.

"Goddammit, didn't those frackin' people have bigger issues for the entire country to be divided over??"


Yeah, like the Kazui Buffy movie! If that gets made, future generations will never forgive us for bickering over this.
I get why people jump on polygamy as a strawman, but it does make me wonder -- is there anyone who would like to make an entirely secular, non-religious, non-moralistic argument in favor of marital monogamy? What is the argument for drawing the line there specifically -- civil union between two partners for all purposes currently reserved to a man and a woman -- but not elsewhere? What is the public policy argument that necessarily extends beyond "one man, one woman" to "two of any" but not beyond "two of any"?

I'm just curious about it. Most slippery slope arguments can be combatted by saying "no, it doesn't go down the slope, because X is the rational limitation of the policy and no further expansion is needed."
Three people can't love each other?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-27 19:47 ]
lhbach - I've heard Paul's Corinthians used as anti-gay, but linguistically it doesn't work out and if it did he is still writing to the church at Corinth about being free from Mosaic law, etc. The word arsenokoitai, used by Paul has not been found to be used prior to his use of it and is believe to actually mean male concubine (irrespective of orientation) or lewd person or something else entirely and not homosexual, for which there were at least three other words in general use at the time. The interpretation of it as homosexual comes from it containing the words for male and bed (others insist it is in fact marriage & bed). This interpretation isn't linguistically sound in many languages - see also lady-killer, butterfly, or (forgive me) manhole :).

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-05-27 19:56 ]
I was afraid of that response, not because I don't have my opinion, but because that discussion can unravel the one we're having and I don't want to do that.

But I think I believe mutual in love-ness (not just love) is between two people.
Butterly? Acted like or as if butter?
Plus all that Jester wrote.
Well, KoC, I can think of a number of potential reasons for drawing a limit before polygamy.

One is that the change from "two people, one of each gender" to "two people, of either gender" is a qualitiative change, abolishing a distinction based on sex, which is to say a suspect distinction in our country (we examine such distinction with heightened scrutiny). Whereas the change from "two people" to "two or more people" is a quantitative change (how many people are allowed into a particular form of contract), and not subject to that sort of heightened scrutiny.

Another is that polygamy raises administrative difficulties, since having more than one spouse causes all kinds of new questions about property rights and who has a say in decisions, questiosn that have already been addressed and answered for two-person married couples.

Third, polygamy has a history of being abusive, coercive, and sexist. That, in and of itself, is not a reason to outlaw it, but it is reasonable for the nation to consider that history in deciding what relations it wants to sanction. (Note that this is not the same as the argument that marriage has historically or traditionally been heterosexually organized, since that is simply begging the question ("it has always beent his way, so it should be this way") whereas this is looking at the history of how it has been to see what it would be like if allowed.)

ETA: Plus what Jester wrote.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-05-27 19:58 ]
Hee, typo corrected :).
But I think I believe mutual in love-ness (not just love) is between two people.


Doesn't that basically just mean that your metaphysics are right and the polygamists' are wrong, and the state should recognize the difference? That doesn't (yet) state a substantial distinction for why the same argument doesn't prevail for marriage between one man and one woman over two of any.

Nor, incidentally, does the age of consent argument, because it applies equally to polygamists and monogamists, gay or straight.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 19:59 ]

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-05-27 20:00 ]
It is interesting, because yeah, I know several all-male triad relationships who deserve to be married, but I totally understand the complexity of that separate issue, for various non-religious reasons.

Oh and actually, JesterInACast, according to the bible god was actually okay with polygamy. It's modern society that has the problem with it.

Just like how modern society doesn't view marrying women for slavery the norm and is generally acceptable of divorces....

;)
Yeah, that's a good point, didifallasleep. No one arguing that legalizing gay marriage would "change the definition of marriage" seems to be worried about the fact that we've changed its definition many times over the course of history. Depending on where and when you've lived, it's meant everything from "a union between a man and a woman" to "a union between a man and a woman of the same race" to "a union between a man and as many women as he can afford."
Yes, but I was going for an idealized answer, and my ideals are mine. Jester and Septimus spelled out the pragmatic defenses, as I knew someone would. But, to counter your counter, a government can sanction or not sanction anything, so this discussion is really never-ending. And buying into it, for some, and I know I'm not telling you something you don't know, is a defense of their opposition to the original claim by Ms. Dushku. So I'd rather those opposed to gay marriage know I am in it for love than as part of a scheme to legitimize more and more that they find frightening, abhorrent, etc.
And what I've always found interesting is the debate over the term "marriage" when gays already have a different term: gay marriage. See no one's stealing anything.

It's been lost in the thread but check out my videos if you have a minute. Prop 8 and Buffy in the same YouTube channel....
Yeah, the debate gets a little awkward for me when people bring in, "Well, why not allow polygamy then?? Or incest?? etc." Since I'm more or less of the mind that if two (or more) people can consent legally... well. Doesn't make me sound like the most sane guy in the room, most of the time. So I try to avoid bringing that part up.

ETAvoid contradictions.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-27 20:08 ]
Jester, the distinction that leaps right to mind is that where it has changed, at least in the free world, it has not changed by fiat, or against the weight of the majority view of the society in question.
(Interestingly, George W. Bush's Solicitor General Ted Olson and David Boies, who faced off against each other before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, have filed a suit in federal court together arguing that Prop 8 does indeed violate the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. It's quite possible this is the challenge that will make it to SCOTUS.)
True, KoC, absolutely. But nonetheless, it has been redefined many times. And we're watching the majority view here in the US shifting very quickly. I suspect in twenty years, gay marriage will be about as controversial as interracial marriage.
Just f-y'alls-i, we've been through this one already to hell and back and six ways from Sunday.

(Do check out some very fine remarks from Saje, zeitgeist and others. And check out the buffet on your way out the door. Don't forget to turn the lights out.)

Without input from constitutional lawyers, we're gonna have very little to add to the legal aspects of this discussion, despite our lay (or even legal) opinions.

On the how-it-feels to me side (i.e., empathy): regardless of the process that got us here - the flawed law, the strategic steps or missteps, the various campaigns and contributors to them - if you can look me in the (figurative) eye and tell me that you don't think that gay people should have the same rights to live and thrive - that you think folks born gay are less-than-worthy of the exact same rights (not "separate-but-equal") as people born straight - than I'm sorry, I pity you, I truly think you are - for whatever reason - lacking in something humane and important.

I think a lot of people - not all, but many - are hiding their intolerance and fear behind the legal issues involved in same-sex marriage access in California and other states.

The process issues will get sorted, no matter how we thrash around about them in here, and eventually gays' right to marriage will be the law of the land. What concerns me more is the evolution of human understanding, tolerance and perception. This thrashing around in the muck (about this issue, not on this thread) is not encouraging, but I'm trying to keep faith in people. *sigh* I'm trying.

Hurrah for Eliza, stepping out and making her voice heard with many others. I myself was so depressed yesterday we headed home, and I only popped out later to see the protests going in my my WeHo neighborhood after being encouraged by a twitter/WHEDONesque friend.

For those interested, here's a link to quick-and-dirty interesting legal take on the decision and here's a link for those interested in helping out in the fight for marriage equality.

A story - I don't know what it illustrates, exactly, but it illustrates something heartening, and so I'm going to tell it.

I live in a ten-unit apt. building, and our landlady is an old-fashioned kindof bigot, despite the fact that she "manages" (incompetently) a building tenanted by gays, straights, whites and blacks. She's not overt, but to us "okay people" - straight, white - she lets her feelings be known.

At election time last year, she had an absentee ballot, but she is old, and her eyesight is appalling and failing, and she asked the guy in the aprtment next to hers if he would help her fill it out. He agreed, and went into her apartment, where she handed him the ballot and asked him to read it to her.

Now, he is gay and liberal, and her presidential pick was McCain, which made him sigh a little, but he filled it in. He went through the whole ballot with her, marking in what she told him, making his way through the whole long list of California's propositions. He got to Proposition 8, read her the summary, and she said, "Oh, yes, that one. Yes, mark it in that I'm for that." He sighed, looked at her - she was oblivious - and filled it in as she wanted.

That gave me hope for humanity. Maybe someday folks like her will understand what they are failing to see about their fellow human beings who are simply gay.
Where it would basically come down to whether or not Anthony Kennedy's clerk had a good bagel or not.

My con law professor talked a lot about "level of generality" deciding where the court will fall when making the history and tradition test of determining whether something is a fundamental right. As in, would the Court test the history and tradition of "two people being allowed to marry", or would it test the history and tradition of "two people of the same sex being allowed to marry"? If they apply the former, they'll be more likely to find that gay marriage is part of a "fundamental right" within the meaning of substantive due process, if they apply the latter, they won't.

Jester, I disagree that there's any major sea change in public opinion on this -- if anything, I'd have thought the Prop 8 vote would have deflated that idea. President Obama passed Prop 8 with his turnout, is the conventional wisdom. Prop 8 was carried on the votes of people who usually don't come out to vote coming out, seeing it, and voting for it, including 70% of the African American vote in CA.
Dana5140:
it is also the reason, for example, that CA faces a horrid budget mess, because voters refused to vote the necessary changes.


Um...I'm a California voter, and while you're right that only the spiteful measure added to distract voters from the real issue passed, IMO (!) there was only one measure that should have passed. The voters can't vote in the right things if they aren't put before them, and the Governator has a long history of special elections full of very, very bad ideas. This time, he wanted to cut money from children and mental health and create some sort of special "emergency" fund that he could then spend as he pleased. Given his other ideas, such as cutting our firefighters right before fire season (and last year it was impossible to breath, even if you were lucky enough not to have a fire near you) I can't trust that man to make the right choices about how to spend. We got a ton of stimulus money, and it was supposed to go to some very specific places, but...well, it looked like he wanted to cut everything Obama supports. I voted to protect education funding, but you're right, that didn't pass.

Anyway, back to gay rights. Cavemen win.
California voters are my heroes for telling their state government to put a sock in their runaway spending, even though it means that I, as a non-California voter, will have to pick up some of the tab when the CA and federal government ignore that clear message and just use my tax dollars to pay for it.
KoC, there's a good roundup of polling numbers on gay marriage here. We're seeing pretty substantial gains, particularly outside the South, over the past decade, and especially over the past couple of years. People's minds are changing, and more and more new voters (who are overwhelmingly pro-gay rights) turn 18 every day. The tide's turning.
I am so often struck by idiosyncracy. I went to look at Simon's link to Joss' Dua Khalil post. There were 457 responses to that post, which is darned impressive. There are nearly 570 responses to the post about a new Buffy movie, and there are now well over 100 posts for this thread. At a time when we are assiduously debating gay marriage, Aung Sun Suu Kyi is standing trial once again in Myanmar; North Korea has launched several missile tests; and other crises occur. And yet this one issue is what raises ire? Can we get real? There is no danger in allowing two gays to marry; there is no threat; there is no issue! This has simply gotten conflated into a larger cultural war that the right, more than the left, has been using to mobilize its base as its power fades and it needs new bogeymen to bring people out. But it has no effect on anyone here. ZG asked for a good religious response to not allowing this. I ask a simpler question: How could this possible affect you in any way (unless, of course, you are gay)? How would two people you do not know, and will never know, and who are of the same sex, getting married, affect you? Why do you care?
I would think it would be hard to stay confident about that when two of the most populous (and, currently, blue) states passed constitutional amendments against it. Plus, I know first hand on other issues that popular opinion doesn't always yield a change in the law.

Dana, I can't find the front page post for discussion of North Korea's wanton aggression -- maybe we can go back to talk about the Slayers' Korean submarine from 8.22?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 20:29 ]
I can see how the moderators think this has been a polite and reasonable discussion. There's been a basically unanimous position, and then there's been me. (c:

It's been suggested (politely!) that my own decent manners (thanks, Mom!) puts one commenter in mind of "Reptile Boy's worst offending frat guy who was 'nicer than the others.'" Well, that's special. It makes others really ranty and mad. Paradoxically, it's been argued that minority (homosexual) rights should prevail... because the (Christian?; you guys brought up religion) opposition is in the minority anyway. (Huh?)

Still others have said that there is no other rational, respectable viewpoint. There is only one side to this issue. More, it is inconceivable that anyone could enjoy Whedon, but not walk in lockstep with all his specific notions and ideas.

Well, I clearly don't agree. But perhaps you who think this wayshould post a sign? Let dissenters know that contrary worldviews are unwelcome? List the views that are permitted? Tell contrarians that they're not allowed to be Whedon fans without -- what, a loyalty oath?

Frankly, though, I'm perfectly cheery about it. Having read and enjoyed these pages faithfully for years, I expected it, and I'm a big boy. It doesn't infuriate me to have people disagree with me, or move me to want to silence them.

My real problem here is there are just too many uninformed and, I think, ill-thought-out specifics for one man to deal with, without earning the accusation that he's hijacked the thread.

So I'll just say what I've just said; and then focus on the largest sustained salvo: the 560+ word response from didifallasleep.

And to it, I only have two replies:

1. You did not actually engage me and what I have expressly said, much; you used a few of my words to springboard to some caricatures you may be more comfortable dismissing. So I'll let that be. Perhaps someone will engage what I actually said.

2. You're incorrect about the Bible. I have studied it in the original Hebrew and Greek for over 35 years. It's unambiguous and univocal about homosexuality.

It is remarkable to me that people who do not believe the Bible in the first place work so hard to misrepresent what it says.

I'm okay with that being all.
To this --

It is remarkable to me that people who do not believe the Bible in the first place work so hard to misrepresent what it says.


I must say aye. I have always, as a Catholic, found it puzzling that people who admit to putting no stock at all in the content of the Bible, let alone assigning any spiritual power and authority to it, will still work double time to try to counter the beliefs of those who do from within the text. Completely incomprehensible to me, much like lentils.
I have no doubt that the tide is changing and I am in the reddest of red states....Texas. The other day my friend Nicole who is very, very Conservative and her Ex-Husband who is very, very Homophobic were telling me the story of how their two sons (7 and 12) lectured them on homophobia. Ending the lecture with its just wrong. Nicole said it made her proud, and has since reevaluated her stance on gay marriage.

The tide is turning...one person at a time. The more people come out and the more people realize they are friends with gay people who are just like them, the less of an issue this will become.

However, I for one, think that homosexuality is not a choice...and that as such, The Supreme Court should rule them as a protected class. Another Brown v. The Board of Education watershed case needs to take place here...because this is about basic civil rights.
QuoterGal here here! Thank you for your thoughts and for the story. It was most enlightening.
Well, presumably part of not putting any stock in the Bible comes from disagreements with what the book itself says. So it's not so crazy to me to argue from that perspective. You're saying, "This is why your book doesn't work for me. How do you justify that?"

EDIT: This was a reply to KoC.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-27 20:38 ]
thoguths:

1- It *is* correct to ask a state supreme Court to rule on procedural and definitional questiosn conencted with an amendment.

2- I don't think most people regard celebs as exeprts just because of their cleebrity. Altho the type of doofs who do probably outnumber the doofs who disqualify actors from havign opinions entirely.

3-nothing inconsistent about upholdign teh existing marriages. they were legal at the time done and the mendment didn't address annulign them.

4- Whedon fans come in all types. Outside of my support of marriage equality (altho I'm not true-blue on that since I feel it has to be doen by legislation, not by judges waving magic wands) I'm a hard-right Reagan Republican. "Mom, I'm not a group. I'm me, I'm Willow-group."

5- Choosing to be sexually active is a choice. No, I'm not expecting anyone to abstain, just clarifying terms.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-05-27 20:49 ]
"How could this possible affect you in any way (unless, of course, you are gay)?"

You can care for your friends/family rights, right? :) (in the positive wanting them to be able to get married way)

"What is the public policy argument that necessarily extends beyond "one man, one woman" to "two of any" but not beyond "two of any"?"

While I don't necessarily think anything outside "two of any" is wrong, those mostly are complicated questions of power relations and therefore, welll... just complicated. While on the other hand it is crystal clear to me "two of any" is just as good as a man and a woman. I would like to write this down better, but sadly I don't have the time. :( (right now)

Well... I will just make time for this:

"I have no doubt that the tide is changing and I am in the reddest of red states....Texas. The other day my friend Nicole who is very, very Conservative and her Ex-Husband who is very, very Homophobic were telling me the story of how their two sons (7 and 12) lectured them on homophobia. Ending the lecture with its just wrong. Nicole said it made her proud, and has since reevaluated her stance on gay marriage."

Very nice, hopegiving last thing to read :).

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-27 20:46 ]
Dana5140, that's the argument I keep using to my acquaintances. I've been married 33 years come next month, to the same woman. What possible difference could it make to our marriage if two guys or two women down the street had the legal right to do the same as we did? I've even applied it this way: Look, I'm not jealous of either of the two guys, 'cause I'm not gay. I'm not jealous of either of the two women, 'cause I'm already in my own relationship. And even if I was jealous of one of those two women and determined to prevent them from marrying out of sheer spite, it still wouldn't help me any, 'cause she's, y'know, still gonna be gay. So what logical excuse is there for me to object? Still, I might as well be talking to a rock for all the good it does.

As far as what any particular religion's doctrines may or may not say about any subject whatsoever, that's fine for those who are part of that religion/denomination/whatever. The rest of the world isn't obligated to follow those rules.
I ask a simpler question: How could this possible affect you in any way (unless, of course, you are gay)? How would two people you do not know, and will never know, and who are of the same sex, getting married, affect you? Why do you care?


I agree, a hundred thousand percent. I was very interested, before we voted on it, in hearing why each person in my life supported gay marriage. We all did, but we all had different reasons. Your question reminds me of my father's:

What about the children? If you have some sort of slip-shod halfway marriage, or not even that, and you break up...what happens to the children? California divorce law is very simple on this point: You can't have a divorce until you have worked out and agreed to EXACTLY what is going to happen to the children. I know it doesn't answer your question, but those children are the only (potentially) straight people I could see being affected by gay marriage in any way. And hey, they need it!
I've been, one will notice, pretty non-declarative about anything on this thread, but I will say this -- I hate that word. "Homophobia". It's such Orwellian demagoguery. Nobody, anywhere, even feigns to argue that there is an actual clinical *fear* involved in condemnation of or opposition to homosexuality, homosexual marriage, etc. The word is specifically chosen as a way to make sure that one side of the entire argument is not merely always wrong, but mentally disordered. And I would absolutely feel this way regardless of my upbringing or opinion. It's a question of intellectual honesty and the integrity of language.

That's my rant on that subject. I will resume confining my discussion to critical thinking questions and discussion of the legal issues.
filops - Sorry, I missed the Reptile Boy thing, I was on a conference call at the time; it honestly is our goal to make all feel welcome to discuss whatever they wish here with the response being respectful even in spirited debate. I have come here nearly every day for years and disagreed with people :) I don't agree with everything Joss or Tim say (and they say VERY different things, if you've never noticed :)). I haven't noticed a lot of direct insults, but if you perceive any, do point them out either on the board or by email to a mod and we will be happy to assist you.

As far as your study of the Bible, I assume that since you studied it in Hebrew and Greek that you have a response to my wondering aloud above about specific words of Paul's and have some thoughts about why folks hew to Mosaic Law in the face of the New Testament and the coming of Christ.

2. You're incorrect about the Bible. I have studied it in the original Hebrew and Greek for over 35 years. It's unambiguous and univocal about homosexuality.


I completely disagree, not only linguistically, but also from a position of Christ's message in general. The changing of certain word's meanings to fit currently cultural mores has a long tradition in interpretation of religious text and the word homosexual did not appear in the Bible until someone decided in the 20th century (round about 1946) that that was what was meant by male concubine or child prostitute.

It is remarkable to me that people who do not believe the Bible in the first place work so hard to misrepresent what it says


It is remarkable to me that people who have read it so closely so often misrepresent what it says. Actually, it's pretty much what I expect - people interpret as needed to support their position on both sides.

I must say aye. I have always, as a Catholic, found it puzzling that people who admit to putting no stock at all in the content of the Bible, let alone assigning any spiritual power and authority to it, will still work double time to try to counter the beliefs of those who do from within the text. Completely incomprehensible to me, much like lentils.


KoC - why wouldn't you offer a differing interpretation of the text they base their position on if you think that they are misinterpreting the text? We do it here all of the time with Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse. Also, no more hate speech about lentils!

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-05-27 20:49 ]
To go slightly OT (off topic) or, actually, to get slightly back OT (on topic), when QG above just noted her feeling depressed in the same line as mentioning Eliza, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend on Saturday in which I lamented the lack of top tier actors (And by "actors" I mean actors, actresses, and act-transgendered people (Jack, "Will and Grace")) coming out and taking a stand (Two separate things, I know.) at this vital time.

I won't make this any more of an indictment of closeted mega-rich mega-stars any more than it needs to be, but there is something extremely wrong--IMO--about people who have so much more than most wanting so much more than they already have that they choose to hide rather than affect positive change.

And for this reason, even though Ms. Dushku doesn't entertain the same risks as someone actually coming out, it does speak to the extraordinariness of her conviction. She is making the choice to get involved when so many who are directly affected (and who wield considerably more influence than her by no more means than having far greater fame) are choosing to hide rather than be champions of this, their own cause.

Angel. Spike. Buffy. Xander. No wonder we all love Joss's world. In this simple fight where a mere truth about oneself can be a very powerful weapon, where are the real champions?
Filops, I grew up Catholic and have studied the bible as well. And forgive me for not having lived as long as you to have studied it for as long as you.

I'm not surprised that I didn't say a single engaging thing for you.

I do find it funny you took the time to count my words though. No wonder you didn't find my response engaging.
I am so often struck by idiosyncracy. I went to look at Simon's link to Joss' Dua Khalil post. There were 457 responses to that post, which is darned impressive. There are nearly 570 responses to the post about a new Buffy movie, and there are now well over 100 posts for this thread.


But it is Whedonesque's most widely read entry by far (trust me on that one). So make of that what you will.
"2. You're incorrect about the Bible. I have studied it in the original Hebrew and Greek for over 35 years. It's unambiguous and univocal about homosexuality."

It's unambiguous and univocal about lots of other things as well .


It's also only one sacred text of many and America is a multi faith multicultural society.

Furthermore America, in theory has separation of church and state.
Within your faith you can follow your conscience It's perfectly fine for your church to refuse to perform same sex marriages or even to say that gay people are either not welcome in your congregation or only welcome if they practice abstinence.

What's not OK is for your beliefs to compromise the rights of others who do not share your faith.

It's not OK for church groups to spend millions campaigning against the rights of others.

Final question. If God disapproves of homosexuality why did he create it in the first place? And in answering this please take into account that gay relationships are not exclusive to homo sapiens.If you doubt that I have a very active field of bullocks and a very happy male/male pairing of ducks outside right now proving you wrong.

[ edited by debw on 2009-05-27 20:59 ]
KOC- there is indeed a true homophobia, in which people are so fearful of gays that they may even attack them. That is what is believed to have happened with Matthew Shepherd, right? I know you are arguing a linguistic point, but let's be clear about what we are saying.

I have not seen anyone answer how two gays getting married affects them personally, if they do not know the people involved and are not looking at custody issues if two married gays divorce (which hardly seems unique, since that same issue exists for two heterosexual people who divorce).

filops- I am typically out alone on many issues here, but this group of people have always been respectful of my thoughts, even when I am still looking for Tara to return. You may be feeling a bit isolated, but I have not seen any untoward comments made. I do not agree with you, in fact quite strongly, but I am happy to debate this with you, as I see most people here are. And certainly, few here walk in lockstep with Joss, save perhaps on Buffy-related issues. This is not a monolith.
KingofCretins: I couldn't agree more, "homophobia" is one of the most useless terms out there. Who's good with ancient Greek? (Not me.) But misogyny is hatred of women, misandry is hatred of men, misanthropy is hatred of people in general, so what would hatred of homosexuals be?
We all miss, Tara- well, most of us (I think that's a safe statement)= and I promise not to tease you about it today ;).
Derf,

So if Lincoln had just hel a referendum on slavery, and the white people voted to keep it, would that have meant America was the land of the free too? The power of democracy celebrated as black people pick the cotton?
I don't know, Dana. I still can't forgive you your Dollhophobia!
Oh, Septimus has a point! I kid - I don't care if you (Dana) and find Dollhouse unrelatable and gossi thinks it's abuse porn ;). Not everything is everyone's cup of tea.
It's not OK for church groups to spend millions campaigning against the rights of others.


Didn't this use to be a country that embraced the Enlightenment? Whatever happened to Voltaire? For that matter, what happened to free exercise, speech, and assembly? Not only is it "ok" for them to do this, it's the most "ok" thing our country recognizes.

Dana, what happened to Matthew Shepard most likely -- at least according to the then-police chief of Laramie -- started as a robbery, not a case of people looking for someone to beat up for being gay. That's not to say that his orientation wasn't ultimately turned against him as the attack escalated, but there is a bit of myth built up around how that started.

Would missapphy be hatred of lesbians? I'm not sure I'd feel better, linguistically, with using a word that meant "hate" over one that meant "fear", but it's probably closer to the mark.

Andy Dufresne, I hope you realize that the Emancipation Proclamation had no meaningful force of law, and that the 13th Amendment did *all* the work in making slavery illegal.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 21:17 ]
When I was much younger and less secure (with my sexuality, not in general) I used to agree with you, KOC, re: the word homophobia. Now I do realize that it's not like misogyny, etc., as there is no perceived threat there--just disdain.

But there is fear here--fear of whatever bit of sexual ambiguity is in the beholder (as I believe there is no heterosexuality and no homosexuality per se, but rather a continuum on which everyone falls), fear of the sort of visceral contact one might imagine and by which one would be understandably disgusted, and societal fear of the threat gays as a group supposedly pose, as in the discussion of gay marriage and its imagined implications.
Dana, I was wondering when Tara would come up!
Hugs to you for the loss of Tara...
KoC, I have no problem with churches saying what they want, I mainly object to churches getting tax breaks and then funneling that money into political campaigns that push for government policies that conflict with my personal religious beliefs.

And does it really matter where in the attack Matthew Shepard's orientation became an issue? It doesn't seem like it should to me.

[ edited by kishi on 2009-05-27 21:23 ]
I wrote two things only to find out the thread was closed when I went to post them. One was to filops, since I was the one that referenced Reptile Boy, and I'll paste that here since I ultimately e-mailed it to him. The other I deleted and can't recall, but it was brilliant...

Hey.

Wanted to post this publicly but mods closed the thread.

My apologies for not being more clear with the Reptile Boy reference. Could write a lot, but mostly just want to say that I respect your position (even though I, of course, strongly disagree with it), and the civil manner in which you present it. Was merely trying to make the point that some opinions are going to come off as offensive to some (in this case your opinion on this, and to me (And I'm sure you can think of examples that work this way for you.)) regardless of how politely they are expressed. I had no intention to silence your argument or demonize you for making it.

I know it must have felt like I wasn't giving you any room to voice yourself, but that wasn't my goal, and I should have clarified my intent to identify the dynamic (including my role) and not merely indict the author (you) further.

Brett

Also I have to leave soon and I'd appreciate it if no one typed anything until I get back...
Disdain does not a phobia make. Hell, that would make me reality TV-phobic.

Kishi, if the religious institutions aren't directly financing a campaign (and I have seen no evidence they did), they're in the clear. They are allowed to advocate for private action consistent with their religious doctrines.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 21:25 ]
anything :)

Sorry, couldn't resist
KoC, I submit the religious right, the moral majority, and the word discrimination, which actually means taste and reserve (as in a positive trait). Also, my Dad is pro gay rights, his favorite movie is about a gay couple, and he says ew every time he sees two men kiss. I keep confronting him about it, but he swears it's visceral and instinctual and he can't stop it. I think that's crap, but if it's true then it's the exact same sort of *phobia* I have about spiders.
Bible is irrelevant. I say that as someone who was raised Catholic with parents who the Church would not marry because my father had been divorced. If two atheists can go get married by a Justice of the Peace, clearly marriage is not simply a religious thing in this country. There is no secular justification for barring same-sex couples from doing just that.

Matthew Shepard was the victim of a hate crime. That is the testimony at the trial by witnesses. That is the confession by the killer. He wanted to rob someone who was gay. I do not understand why anyone would take the revised story after they'd been in jail for 6 years over the original story.

I don't say homophobia anymore. I just say the more accurate term "homohate". But what we really need is a term for hetero-supremacy...the idea that heterosexuals are special and their relationships deserve special rights reserved only for them. Usually we call that heteronormative...but I've found it to be too big a word for heteronormative folks to understand.

The most illogical argument I've ever seen is telling someone you believe who they are is a sin and expecting them not to take it personal. Could anything be more personal? Nope.

See ya in another 8 months or whatever...
KOC. Reread my post. I said exactly that. Well no I did not but I said that the phobia in homophobia was in fact fear, whereas the gyny's mentioned involved only disdain.
Poor Tara, I hardly knew her!

There are a lot of myths about what happened to Matthew Shepherd, and we saw a few of them exhibited just a couple of weeks ago by some right-wing congresswoman who truly spoke without knowledge, repeating canards that had long been shown untrue. On this, enough said. But you take my point, I hope.

I have no Dollhophobia. I just did not engage. My wife really liked it, so I continued to watch and felt it got better as time went on- but I still lack a person to invest in (ie, there is no Tara there).

Back to our regularly scheduled discussion.
Grrrl, I cited the police chief, not any of the parties. In criminal law, what comes out at trial is very strategic -- the defense argued an affirmative defense of gay panic, and they presented facts to support that. But the crime charged -- felony murder -- presupposes the robbery.

I think if there's an accurate term to describe what the commonly-accused "homophobe" feels, it would probably be homo-exasperation, or homo-fatigue. Heteronormative is probably about the most linguistically authentic way to describe it. Although I doubt anyone would concede that there is such a thing as "homonormative".

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 21:32 ]
KoC, the Mormon Church has, as of February, said they spent about $200k supporting Proposition 8, after months of denying any support for it. Last I heard, they were being investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, but I haven't heard anything on that front.
Usually we call that heteronormative...but I've found it to be too big a word for heteronormative folks to understand.

The most illogical argument I've ever seen is telling someone you believe who they are is a sin and expecting them not to take it personal. Could anything be more personal? Nope.


I would point out that that's a direct insult to heteronormative folks, but I strongly suspect that you were aware of that and that it was, in fact, the point. Also, it's damned good to see a post from you and you make an excellent second point. Where've you been hiding?
Thank you so much for caring Eliza! You're the best!
The truth is linguistically homophobia as a word may not be correct, but there are people out there who a bashed and killed for no other reason other than being gay. In high school, 6 of my classmates drove down to Montrose (the gay friendly area of Houston, TX) waited until 2 men came out of a club holding hands, surrounded them and beat and stabbed one of them to death. This was in 1991-92. I remember it was just before my senior year. They will tell you themselves, they went looking specifically to beat up a gay man...they didn't mean to kill him, that was an unfortunate by product. This was motivated by their intense fear and hate of gays. Sadly, only 2 of them served any real time because most of them were under age 16-17 at the time and were given juvenile passes. That isn't disdain...that's hate. Real hate and fear exist whatever you want to call it...it is there.
I wasn't going to bother disputing Grrrl's second point and the two major conceptual errors therein, but I am always wary of starting a fight. I'll try to do it, though --

1. Anyone who would speak so, having any conception of what sin actually *is*, would understand that it applies to them as well as to the object of their words. "Who" all of us "are" is a sin, by nature.

2. "Who they are" is not what the speaker thinks they are addressing, rather "what they do".

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 21:39 ]
KoC - that's how it works in theory. In practice there isn't enough "hate the sin, but love the sinner". People skip directly to the hating and forget about the loving and the not judging in their hurry to be all righteous and stuff.
Here is the link to the story about what I wrote about.

Tragic all the way around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Broussard
What a terrible story jabby. It's incredibly important to call things by their proper names. Some people may have negative attitudes towards homosexuality that have no basis in fear (some people are just haters, I wouldn't be surprised if that was true of jabby's classmates); and some people may be properly described as homophobic without having negative attitudes towards homosexuals, i.e. they may feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or even repulsed by two people of the same sex kissing without in any way feeling that they were doing anything wrong, or should be stopped, or that they didn't deserve the same rights and respect as everyone else. By calling people who do have negative attitudes towards homosexuals "homophobic" you are giving them an excuse to dismiss you by turning to each other and laughing at the thought that they might fear "fags" or whatever term they choose to dismiss gay people with. The term "homophobic" carries with it a whole theory about where negative attitudes to homosexuality derive from, a theory which is likely only true a small portion of the time. I think we should call a spade a spade.
Whether or not all cases of intolerance of or hatred toward gays involve fear, homophobia, as defined as fear of homosexuals, does exist.

I'd argue that few non-physical things scare a male as a supposed threat to his supposed masculinity, which is why such terms as the one just mentioned are so powerful.

[ edited by Brett on 2009-05-27 21:53 ]
I think homophobia is a *strong* word and best reserved for extreme events, like hard-core violence. For "ordinary" prejudice I prefer Roger Clorese's term "sexualism" but that battle's pretty much been lost.

As to Matthew Shepard it does seem to me the first motive was robbery. But I don't want to parse soemone's death too closely, I'll leave that to talk-show hosts and columnists.
Here's a video of the protest, Eliza speaks towards the end:

http://preview3.accesshollywood.com/stars-show-support-at-anti-prop-8-rally-in-west-hollywood-may-26-2009_video_1112604
King of Cretins:

I was responding to the notion that because gay marriage was voted against, it illustrates the land of the free. I do not believe this to be remotely the case.
I think homophobia is a *strong* word and best reserved for extreme events, like hard-core violence.

I find this reasoning about as persuasive as the argument that "date rape" should be called something else, or that "racist" should only be applied to the KKK and its ilk; ie, not persuasive at all.

Context has changed, times have changed. Everybody understands what "homophobia" (and these other terms) mean, regardless of the Latin roots or historical usage.

[ edited by nasarius on 2009-05-27 22:35 ]
Damn I shouldn't have come back here, ended on such an high note with jabby's first story and now I'm all depressed by jabby's latest story.

I think homophobia is a very generous and weak term, taking away blame (you're not really evil, just afraid), mainly applicable in the way dzr described ("they may feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or even repulsed by two people of the same sex kissing without in any way feeling that they were doing anything wrong") and while maybe the root for some hatred and intolerance, definitely not condemning enough and too apologetic for the worst of it (though personally I'm glad about the (Orwellian/newspeak-like, if you will) way calling so-called 'homophopes' that way always diminishes them a bit by pointing out their weakness and irrationality)

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-27 23:45 ]
nesarius, I was not saying what DaddyCatALSO was saying, and I agree with the pertinence of your comparisons with "date-rape" and "racist" to what he said. But I think the problem is precisely that everyone understands what "homophobia" means quite literally, Latin or Ancient Greek scholar or not, because everyone knows what "phobia" means, and I think by lumping all anti-homosexual sentiment into something based in fear we're treading on dangerous ground. We allow ourselves to slip into lazy patterns of thought, and thereby fail to grasp where our opponents might really be coming from, thereby giving them the opportunity to take us by surprise and make us look foolish in debate; and we fail to engage people who might be open to dialogue by caricaturing what their real concerns might be. Of course homophobia in the most literal sense of the term exists, and of course, just like Brett said, it does lie behind many young men's hostility towards gay men, so I'm not saying we should stop using the term altogether. I just think that it is a clumsy term, that makes us sound unthoughtful and prone to unreflective generalisation, and that in a political debate like this where stuff is on the line we should all tighten up our vocabularies and choose to speak a little more carefully. As I said before, I think it is important to call things by their proper names.

[Plus, what the Groosalugg said, seen while previewing.]
President Obama opposes gay marriage.

I'm just sayin'.
It's almost next to impossible these days to even get an atheist president let alone one who would endorse gay marriage.

Just because a president wouldn't back something so controversial, doesn't mean it should be ignored.
But not civil unions, just saying.
Although I'm not sure how relevant think that is, tinktanker - I'm rather used to disagreeing with positions taken by my President, as well as other significant figures - it's also true that Barack Obama voted against a Federal Marriage Amendment and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

I don't find his position to be exactly what I would want on a number of issues - but it doesn't change anything for me in terms of my own, or even in terms of what will eventually happen. And, bonus: he's a lot closer to being open & affirming than the "W" was.
didifallasleep, despite what Time and other magazines would promote, the reason it would be "next to impossible" to get a publicly atheist or agnostic President (I think it's important to start qualifying that) is that there's still something like 70-85% of the general public in the US that self-identifies as (nominally) Christian, and probably another 10-15% depending on where you started that identify with other religions. Theism is a crushing, prohibitive majority in American culture. Thus, in American politics.

Obama does support a "civil union" option, though.
KingofCretins that doesn't really explain why a predominately Christian country wouldn't elect someone with different religious beliefs to theirs. Especially in a country where church and state are supposed to be separate. It is depressing to think that if the best candidate for handling the economy, directing the country's foreign policy, finding a creative solution to the conundrums of health and education, and leading the people for four to eight years was an atheist he wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting elected. I live in France which is privately still quite Catholic (I see a lot more people going to church on a Sunday then I ever did in Britain), but there is such a rigourous distinction between church and state here that it would be a public scandal if a politician tried to run on the basis of his private religious beliefs. Why is it the case that it is so important to Americans? (I'm not suggesting that you should know the answer, but surely you must see that your earlier statement is no answer at all.)
KingofCretins, the publicly atheist or agnostic thing was what I was getting at, but I liked your whole statement.

Unfortunately civil unions are not enough, obviously.

:)

Man, this has been a hell of a conversation today...
I don't find it all that peculiar -- religious belief shapes moral values, moral values inform the quality of leadership. And while it's very possible, even likely, that even the most devout (heh) atheist has perfectly agreeable moral principles, they are not publicly discernible or accountable to the layperson if they can't be identified with something publicly recognizable.

That's a double-edged sword, of course, because mere religious identity can just as easily be a pretense; there are many nominal Catholics in American politics who couldn't be less observant of anything the Church actually teaches or requires of them, but they can still benefit from being seen going to Mass.

If a so-named "civil union" conferred every legal benefit currently enjoyed by wedded husband and wife, why would it not be "enough"? I'm always wary of that idea, because making it about the word suggests that the legal benefits, the equal protection argument, are not the real objective.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 23:46 ]

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-27 23:47 ]
That's an "if", KoC- civil unions and marriages aren't equal. Civil unions aren't necessarily recognized by other states, among other problems.

That's the solution I've long been in favor of- take government out of the marriage business entirely, and give everyone a civil union. And if that were the case, or marriages and civil unions were synonymous, I suspect many people wanting gay marriage would be fine with that- but they are different, so the problem continues.
Civil unions would be covered by Full Faith and Credit, unless they were specifically covered by DOMA, which I don't know.
I guess a better question would be why SHOULD they have different names when they would be, according to you, the same?
Well, the most obvious pragmatic reason would be that it would make it more likely to happen. And if the only concern was the legal benefits, that would be enough.
KoC, I won't even try and debate you on a judicial level, or a linguistic one (although I'm a writer :) ), but many of us feel that creating a separate term for legally bound gay couples unearths the abhorrent "separate but equal" argument.
Unfortunately civil unions are not enough, obviously.


As a temporary measure to appease both sides, cause I doubt this issue will get sorted out this decade let alone the next, what about renewable civil marriage licenses? A five year license with the option to renew at the end.
"Civil unions" is a farcical idea. Offering a compromise to people who have no interest in compromising. Screw that. It's about not allowing others to define your family for you and any other debate is a distraction. There's my strongly worded statement in a Joss Whedon fansite for this lifetime.
(This was meant to be in reply to KoC, but then all of a sudden everyone replied between his and this comment.)

Yes, but ideally it would just be recognised that two men or two women should for all intents and purposes be treated the same way as an heterosexual couple and should not be seen as something problematic, abnormal or barely tolerable. Or, as I wrote a few hundered comments upwards, it could/should also serve as a tool for normalization and acceptence. Or in other words: yes it's all an evil complot to get gay's accepted :).

Also: the word marriage is deeply rooted in everything and has of course a lot of meaning outside of religion IMO religion is by no means an reason to deny gays their right to it. Anyway, I'm see didifallasleep already covered this bit in a way far more civilised and inoffensive then I imagine I would have, so lets leave it at that.

Anyway, I agree the pragmatic reason is good enough to aim for that first.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-28 00:06 ]
didifallasleep perhaps because marriage would be a civil union blessed in a church of some sort? So civil unions get to be what marriages are now minus all the religious stuff. Religious people get to hold on to the idea that the state can't tell them what their church has to recognise as marriage, or some such, but under the law everyone is equal. It seems like it would work to me, and I asked this very thing about 100 posts ago but no one answered. Why wouldn't this have been the solution that would have made everyone happy?

KingofCretins I see, so it is all about perceived shared values. That makes sense. I guess in France, and I think most of Europe, religious values are taken to be private and nothing to do with anyone else, and public values are seen to inhere more in political, social and cultural things -- "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité", cheese, being snotty to Americans, etc. (I kid!)
Thanks for the link, kishi. I have a feeling I'm going to need this tomorrow for a person who thinks a name-change is still equal.
violetr, there's a crucial difference from "separate but equal". Under the old doctrine, the people were literally separate. On a train, in a classroom. Here, the entirety of the "separation" would be at the top of the license.
KoC re:homophobia, I guess you're right; homophobic is the wrong word for those who defend or advocate discrimination against (/unequal treatment of) gay people, but I don't think 'homo-ist' or 'gay-ist' will become a widely used description like racist or sexist.

[ edited by Tristan on 2009-05-28 00:38 ]
didifallasleep perhaps because marriage would be a civil union blessed in a church of some sort? So civil unions get to be what marriages are now minus all the religious stuff. Religious people get to hold on to the idea that the state can't tell them what their church has to recognise as marriage, or some such, but under the law everyone is equal. It seems like it would work to me, and I asked this very thing about 100 posts ago but no one answered. Why wouldn't this have been the solution that would have made everyone happy?


Well, dzr, so any atheist that gets married is really only having a civil union, because they are not married in a church? (typically, although I have many friends that are atheist that have gotten married in churches....)

See, now THERE'S a slippery slope, fer ya.

;)
In addition to wondering, as so many people have here, why anyone should think they have the right to determine who someone else may marry in a civil ceremony and contract(and why should they care, how intrusive and bossy!), there is another point which seems important to me.

In a time of common divorce, when uncommitted school age children are having more and more babies, who they are unable to support financially or emotionally, you would think civic minded and caring people would embrace and encourage all adults taking this serious step, involving accepting responsibility for another person, and for their mutual dependents. It is a boon to us all, and as "family friendly" as it gets..

The desire to enforce a religious worldview on others who do not share it, by people who are entirely uninvolved with those others is anathema in a system which is supposed to be based on religious freedom and equal protection. It's not about a difference of opinion, it's about majority bullying a minority, to no rational purpose. Which is why it is really not possible to talk about these issues in the same respectful tones as a question of , say, the government takeover of banks.

A difference of opinion occurs when you do not agree with an idea. Forcing your opinion on others, and limiting their access to societal benefits when they have committed no crime is a different, and ugly story. Like it was when people thought it was okay to say people of color should be patient, and wait for their civil rights until all the white people felt comfortable about it. It is a question of basic human rights.
I think the "separate but equal" argument against civil unions IS valid. The issue in Brown v. Board, for instance was not really the physical separation or any real difference in the quality of the schools (there WAS a huge difference in the quality, but that was not the issue). The issue was the stigma and psychological damage of being classified separately, which was understood to be inferior by the very nature of being separate. Similarly, not granting the same name to gay unions as to straight ones would, to my mind, confer a stigma.

ETA: this is one of the reasons that I think the state should get out of the marriage business entirely and should ONLY grant civil unions. Leave it to religions or other institutions to perform marriages or not if they want.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-05-28 00:31 ]
My parents are atheists but they're married and have a marriage certificate.
Glad to help, korkster. I have taken a solemn oath to use my Google Fu for the powers of Knowledge, Justice, and My Own Amusement When I'm Bored. =)
Re: Full Faith and Credit. Full faith and credit doesn't cover civil unions. But a few states that passed their marriage amendments even included language that bars the recognition of unions that confer "marriage-like" rights to same-sex couples, like civil unions, just to make sure.
Full Faith and Credit does cover marriage other than where stated in DOMA, so I just assumed (without researching) that the "substantial equivalent"* would be covered as well. A state statute can't actually override the Full Faith and Credit clause, I don't think.

*This is the phrase that appeared in Florida's Amendment 2.
Yay, toast!

The lawyers here can correct me if I am wrong, but marriage is a civil union right now, correct? In the eyes of the State, you are married; for example, my son was married by a judge who made no reference to any deity. I was married by a humanistic rabbi who does not believe God exists. Marriage as religious ceremony is radically different. (Enter: Mel Gibson, that oh-so holier-than-thou religious critter, who is a hard core evangelical but soon to be divorced and perhaps remarried... but I digress). Ergo, no need to be married in the eyes of a church, but only in the eyes of the State. The State has no compelling reason to deny marriage to anyone, outside of a given religious perspective- which is what this is really about anyway. Separate but equal is a very good argument. And still no one has answered my question about why they oppose gay marriage for people they will never meet.
Septimus, I agree with you on the applicability of the 'separate but equal' (as in really 'separate because not really equal') argument.
I don't think it is realistic to think that the state will stop using the term marriage (nor do I think that would be desirable, but that is beside the point) any time soon. I do think that pragmatically civil unions for gay couples can be an important first step. Once people realize that their lives were not negatively impacted by this and that the scaremongering from the religious right is just that: only scaremongering, fully equal marriage rights for gay people may soon follow, that has happened in several places already.

(ETA: and also what Dana just said :-) )

[ edited by Tristan on 2009-05-28 01:02 ]
And still no one has answered my question about why they oppose gay marriage for people they will never meet.

Because something is written somewhere, I'd guess. A razor sharp argument really. ETA: Oh, and because it's morally wrong to be different of course.

I think you're totally right about marriage as a civil union having nothing to do with religion and the state having no compelling reason to deny marriage to anyone. Using a different name for gay marriages or letting the word marriage get claimed by religion is totally wrong in my book.

ETA: And also what Tristan just said :-)

ETA: And what Rowan Hawthorn will say just below here :-) Really sums it up very nicely I'd say.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-28 00:54 ]

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-28 00:57 ]

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-28 00:59 ]
Just to throw another kink in things, lots of people have been married by Justices of the Peace and whatever other person(s) may be authorized to perform marriages in their state (in Alaska, that even includes officers of the Salvation Army...) And these are recognized as marriages, even though not officiated by clergy - except, of course, for some religious denominations, who refuse to recognize this as marriage. Which is exclusively their problem, because they're legal marriages, no different in the eyes of the state(s) as any other. But, with no church involved, what's the difference between that and a civil union, other than the legal rights afforded? And why come up with an entirely new requirement with exactly the same legal rights, but just a different name? Any church that doesn't want to marry a same-sex couple or recognize them as married, well, that's up to them, but I fail to see where that should have any bearing on anyone else.
Dana, marriage is a term of art for a specific type of public union, basically, and it's a unique one because it carries a *ton* of other legal privileges with it, such as in property (tenancy by the entirety), in evidence (the spousal privilege), in contract (special rules about contracts in consideration of marriage).
And still no one has answered my question about why they oppose gay marriage for people they will never meet.

Dana5140: I don't think there is anyone who is still posting who does oppose it. ;-)

So no wonder you haven't heard anything. Or do you expect us to come up with an answer, in which case why don't you just answer it yourself?!
toast, respect3!!!
KoC: No, the Full Faith and Credit clause can't be overridden by a state statute (though the marriage definitions were state constitutional amendments, but you know they don't trump it either), but if I remember correctly, DOMA opened the door for states to use the public policy exception for same-sex civil unions. I can't tell you if that has been challenged though (the research in my brain is years old at this point).
And still no one has answered my question about why they oppose gay marriage for people they will never meet.

Perhaps because they figure they're bound to run into one of these married gay couples sooner or later and that will be like soooo disturbing and scary?

(ETA: 'Homophobic' does seem like the perfect description for this way of thinking.)

[ edited by Tristan on 2009-05-28 01:18 ]
Imagine being 15 years old and just coming to grips with your sexuality and realizing that, even though you are the same old you, you can never be married, can never enjoy the same rights as the people you grew up with, can never be the same as them in the eyes of your church or your state. What reason could the State give you to deny you the privileges they offer people who are just like you except for whom they love?

But as I earlier said, the real issue is not Biblical interpretation, not defining marriage, but rather it is all about power. This entire issue hangs on the need of the right wing to use some kind of lever to return to power, to grab the reins of government, to oust those with whom they disagree, to force their view on the entire country. It is about marketing.
More "thoguths"

1-Rowan Hawthorn; Slavation Army officers are clergy. It's an organized denomination.

2- dzr- The stress on personal religiosity by politicians hereabouts is part of our culture, just like the French approach is part of theirs. There are any number of reasons for it, my personal favorite being that the suprahuman assumptions behind many American secualr values make us tend to favor that sort of attitude.

3-debw - Lots of things that come naturally to people are seen as sinful. The in-house term is we're fallen. (I know *I* for one certainly couldn't walk up to any heaven worthy of the name and claim I've earned a right to be let in.)

4- heinouslizard toast; That's one reason why I see my support for marriage equality as part of my conservatism rather than an exception to it. I figure marriage isa good isntitution and it could use the energy boost. (sorry Septimus, your idea of gettign the state out of the business is something I want to avoid, which is another reason I support right to marry.)

5- nasarius dzr Tristan; Point taken, but what I really meant was, if you use the same word for killings and beatings and also for everybody who sneers or tells an insensitive joke, it reduces the "linguistic seriousness" what the really dangerous guys do. Analogy? Well, slavery is an institution based on violence and disregard of the will of the enslaved, simple fact. But to go on from there and call every act of black-white sex durign the era of slavery a rape is to trivialize important things.
And still no one has answered my question about why they oppose gay marriage for people they will never meet.


The only arguments I've heard to oppose gay mariage for people they will never meet are of two kinds: religious (i.e.: they believe they're saving these people from evil, sinfull lives, which as motives go is probably quite strong, if one were to transcribe to that way of thinking) or, a little more pragmatic, to protect the potential children in these marriages.

There are people who feel that a gay couple cannot raise a child effectively (which could probably be disproven by some simple research - maybe even has been disproven already?) and I've heard them cite a few psychological theories in support, which I'm ashamed to admit I don't remember in any detail whatsoever.

The thing I've heard more often - even from people who are for any person's right to marry the person they love, is that having gay parents - in an unaccepting society which is still open to a lot of discrimination - is probably troublesome for the child. More than for any other minority, because they themselves do not belong to the same minority (which would have given them a large circle of other children who they can relate to), but their parents do. Now I'd argue that a child of loving gay parents has a much better childhood than that of uncaring, maybe even abusive parents. And we know there's nobody denying these people the right to marry or have children, so no one should be doing that for gay people either, even if the argument of their children having a harder time, proves true.

In either case, I don't believe there's any pragmatic reason why one would not want gay people to marry, which would still hold sway after being opened up to close scrutiny.

As for the religious reasons: those are much harder to argue with. Because in the end, people will believe what they want to believe. As an atheďst, it's hard enough for me to truly understand why someone believes in God to begin with; it's pretty much impossible for me to understand - in more than just merely knowing the argument and the underlying reasoning and interpretations - why people would feel that way.

This is also why I find it intriguing and tend to read about this controversy in US politics. But in the end, I'm very glad that this is not a political issue where I live (the Netherlands), leaving more time for issues which should matter a whole lot more (not saying that this issue doesn't matter when it is an issue at all, by the way, because in that case it does. Just saying it shouldn't be an issue to begin with. Gay people should have the right to marry and make their love official, be recognised as partners by law, etcetera, period).
DaddyCatALSO:
1-Rowan Hawthorn; Slavation Army officers are clergy. It's an organized denomination.

Yeah, I know, but in the case of Alaska, it was specifically mentioned in addition to minister, priest, rabbi, etc.
I suspect that no one has answered my question because on this board, at this time, there are few present who would take that on in defense. To me, that holds out hope for the future. I understand the religious argument, but the child argument is nonsensical. After all, my sister adopted her daughter as a single mom, so I fail to see what sexual orientation has to do with being a loving parent.

I completely agree with GVH as to this being an issue that is taking away from more important issues. Especially since the tide of history is on its side and it will sooner or later be law. Which scarce matters, since it is a marketing tool anyway.
I'd like to comment on something up above. Not sure if someone responded to it already, as I have limited time to read the entire thread. It's in regards to the puzzlement and alleged paradox of pro-gay rights activists (re)interpreting the Bible without giving it much stock or spiritual/moral authority.

As an agnostic who holds to the Christopher Hitchens-philosophy on religion, my work with scripture revolves around decentralizing it as a text which is interpreted by conservative Christians to propagate "heteronormativity," the "normalizing" of heterosexual relationships and superimposing them over "queer" ones, those outside the male/female binary.

What that means in non-pretentious academic speech is quite simple, really. We know you love the Bible, and we know you find it to contain spiritual/moral authority. That's great (but it's not, as the morality preached in the Bible is rather problematic for a secular humanist). We're interested in revealing how the Bible is misinterpreted to condemn homosexuality and queerness in general, because if the foundational text for the ideology of 85% of people in America is re-interpreted to actually *affirm,* not condemn, queer relationships, then we got ourselves a brand new bunch of Bible-thumpers.

It's an interesting exercise, and it's one that I'm not dependent on for change (largely because keeping the Bible as a hegemonic authority on all things sexual is repugnant to me), but I hope this explains to the posters who questioned the legitimacy of queer Scripture readers, why we do what we do.

For more on-topic-ness, go Eliza, and [caps]leave celebrities alone[/caps]!
Yay Eliza!

This is one of my favourite (and incredibly logical) videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0dKMhYSX20

Gay Marriage = Religious Freedom
The Bible (all parts of it) were passed down orally and eventually recorded in writing during times when there were people in the world who thought Zeus tossed lightening bolts from Mount Olympus. The Greek pantheon of gods constituted a relgion. Now it's Greek Mythology, we have sound scientific theories on the actual cause of lightening, and no sane person believes in the Greek gods as for-real existing beings, as far as I know. How do all the religious folks here reconcile that with the fact that they believe in faiths/myths that are thousands of years old, that existed at the same time as Greek-mythology-as-relgion ? If past patterns hold up (and there's no reason to believe they won't--see the dying out of Egyptian, Norse, and other mythologies that were once religions to people of the past), your Christianity, your Buddhism, your Muslim faith, will all be going the way of the dodo sooner or later.

So what is it, I mean really ? A feeling of superiority, that your religion is the "right" one that will last and endure, based on...what exactly ? Also, given that there is still no consensus in the world, in your views (and I know they will vary from person to person), are the other remaining religions wrong in their assessments of what happened in the past (regarding religious figureheads/events) and in their advice about how we should live our lives ? If you believe so, on what grounds are you so presumptuous ? Blind faith isn't a reason, I've been Catholic, that doesn't wash.

Ah, I can see some of you formulating the responses in your heads--"Kris, if your gods are science and philosophy, how do you find solace in the fact that the many incorrect theories and trendy ways of thinking from the past have also died out or made way or evolved, same as many religions have ?" Because I accept the fact that human beliefs evolve and respect the ones that changed as a result of hypotheses, testing, observation, and eventually cold hard fact we could see, smell, hear, taste, and touch (to believe in your Bible you must also apparently gleefully respect the fact that it's been altered throughout history to suit the needs of people of power or who were after power, and that comes from a non-cheesy, non-Davinci-Code-liking, scholars'-consensus perspective--oh and don't gimme the bullshit about the divine hand of god guiding the scribes' pens so that nothing inaccurate was ever recorded, that's some very convenient fan-wanking to cover up plot holes, and it's seriously weak).

Look, I'm picking on religion (and mostly Christianity 'cause it's the most influential and prevalent in the States) because it is unavoidably a huge and arguably the main influence on the roadblock to equal rights (yeah, I think it's moreso the cause than even some people's discomfort regarding two dudes fucking, although that is likely intrinsically tied up in religion and the fact that the more puritanical side of most religions has made sex icky for so long). There's no way around it.

There isn't clear separation of church and state in the U.S.A. regardless of what the books say.

We could just wait for the dinosaurs and their dogma to die out, but I think the general feeling is that we'd rather see significant change in this life and sooner is better than later so that people can start benefitting now.

It's no use to simply hope for the religious folks to become more tolerant (even though I know there are many of you here and who have spoken up in favor of gay marriage since this thread started and who I'm throwing under the bus en masse to shout from my soapbox--sorry, but it's how I feel, you may refute and I bet many will do so and leave me struggling for a response). It might not happen fast enough. And it won't solve all our societal problems, because they are more widespread than gay marriage and many of them go beyond our religion crutch. But it's a start. It's a huge step. We're so on the verge of getting over this hump, of getting to the next level of progressive thinking and positive growth on a massive scale, rather than just an angry, vocal minority (it would really be nice to not be angry anymore, at least about this issue--'cause there'll always be stuff to rail/rant about, heh, let's face it).

And KoC, while your debating and informing of legal matters is incredibly interesting and has been valuable in more threads than I can remember, if you're comfortable with the prospect, I don't think I'm the only one here who would be curious to see you really let loose about your feelings on this subject. I know that kinda seems out of line with the rest of my sentiment in this post (you're providing the kind of straight-laced, rational-thinking I'm asking for in a big way, but now I'm asking you for the kind of thought that some might say comes from the imaginitive place in the brain that enables us to believe in fantasy figures if we choose, I'm asking for feelings---hey, I'm anti-religion, not anti-feelings), but IMO it could potentially complete an understanding of where you're coming from on this matter. Everyone else has emoted all over the page, so, if you're willing, your turn ?

[ edited by Kris on 2009-05-28 09:51 ]
Nice for Eliza and her buds to be marching. Even more important for Ted Olson and David Boies to be teaming up (yes, the two guys who duked it out on the Gore-Bush election at the Supreme court) to fight Prop 8 in the court. That takes some REAL balls.
I'd say this decision proves that America is "The Land of the Free". The people of California democratically amended their state constitution and for the court to overrule that is what would really stop America from being "The Land of the Free".
Derf | May 27, 15:51 CET


"The people of California" amended their state constitution after a barrage of multi-million dollar media disinformation and scare tactics paid for by the Mormon Church. Most of the money to pay for this "swiftboating" style campaign came from the Mormon Church outside of the state of California, mainly from Utah.(I haven't read beyond the above comment, this may have already been mentioned).

Make of this fact what you will, but one thing it illustrates is that an amendment to a state constitution is not the final word on issues where legality and legislating "morality" collide. People are easily brainwashed with scare tactics. To the credit of the residents of California, since the amendment passed and organizations supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians have had a chance to launch their own campaign, refuting the above mentioned scare tactics and disinformation, more current polls consistently support equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation.

The more I learn about Eliza as an individual, the more I respect her.
Heteronormative doesn't mean heterosexual. I guess I should've made that point. Heteronormativity is the view that the heterosexual lifestyle is superior. I say lifestyle because some heterosexuals, like single mothers, wouldn't be considered heteronormative. It's a very narrow view of how men and women ought to be, that there are gender roles that they ought to stick to.

As to why I don't come around anymore, my energies are spent elsewhere. I just celebrated my 12 year anniversary with my girlfriend. I have to defend and protect it in a context greater than a fandom.

Marriage is the currency of relationships (in the sense of how my girlfriend is legally related to me). To have gays have Civil Unions means having to use a different currency. And that means same-sex spouses could be denied services by any business or company that decides to only provide services to married couples, but not civilly unioned couples. And THAT is what segregation is all about.
If our country always just went with majority rule black people and women would still be unable to vote.
Jayne's Hat | May 27, 16:25 CET


As always, I'm late, but I just wanted to point out that women are the majority. I think someone else already noted that the majority of elected representatives did vote to allow people to vote regardless of their race or sex.

(I support gay rights, but I haven't yet plowed through the rest of this thread.)

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