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May 21 2010

Buffy writers re-unite for NOH8. Can you name them all?

I can't name them all (only 3) but that's awesome. I love that picture. Is there an individual Joss NOH8 photo by any chance?
The old ME crew!! Nostalgia for the good old days hitting pretty hard right now.

From left to right, clockwise:

Goddard, Fury, Petrie, Espenson, DeKnight, Kirshner, Whedon, Greenberg.

Did I win?
Top row: Drew Goddard (?), David Fury, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, Steven S. Deknight, Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Bottom: Drew Z. Greenberg (?), Joss Whedon

That's what my insane amount of special feature rewatching and googlefu came up with.

ETA: Damn, ninja'd by Kaan

[ edited by nonbeliever93 on 2010-05-21 08:29 ]
From left to right, I can name a few:

Drew Goddard (still hot), David Fury, I wanna say Drew Z. Greenberg (crouching), but I could be wrong. Tall guy hugging Jane Espenson, hmm, not sure. Joss (crouching). Steven S. Deknight with the tribal-looking arm tattoos (cheating because I've read Spartacus interviews with him that I think showed his picture recently, plus saw him in a Smallville featurette on the Season 5 DVDs--yes, I'm gettin' back around to that series, I need a guilty pleasure. Very glad it's ending next season, friends tell me it's already overstayed its welcome). Is the blonde woman Marti Noxon ? I know what she looks like from "Once More, With Feeling" and the newscaster role with Fury from Dr. Horrible (it's hard to not know what David Fury looks like, he's been in so much--he even appeared in Season 7 of 24). I almost wanna say it's Rebecca Rand Kirshner, 'cause the face reminds me more of how I remembered her, than it does of Marti.

Edited to add: Ah, it's Greenberg's posting, so that gives him away.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-21 08:30 ]
Drew Goddard, David Fury, Drew Z Greenberg, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, Joss Whedon, Steven DeKnight and (I think) Rebecca Rand Kirshner... Am I right?

Love the one of Drew and Jane aswell!

nonbeliever93 - I think it's safe to say we all watch too many (awesome) special features.

[ edited by
property of Mr Gordo on 2010-05-21 08:41 ]
I love this so much.
Jane's solo shot is ace too http://twitpic.com/1plqsd.
I'm assuming all of the related pics will be available to buy on the NOH8 site as some stage?
Wow - it's great to see the old gang back together for such a good cause. I think Buffy is one of the few TV fandoms where most fans develop an interest in the creative force behind the show as well as the show itself; I like that they've all stayed pretty well in touch.

PS. Never realized how hot Drew Goddard was. And the shaved head is suiting Joss really well isn't it?

[ edited by MattManic7325 on 2010-05-21 09:29 ]
Wonder whether it is real ducktape, if so it would be rather painful to remove from the mouth.
Amazing pic. Now, I'm missing Marti Noxon.

Let's see how the guys on the picture are doing.
Drew Goddard - Cabin in the Woods is being 3D-fied and delayed for next year release. Wonder if he's doing something in between.
David Fury - With 24 dead, he's in the staff of Spielberg produced Terra Nova, announced at Fox upfronts earlier this week.
Doug Petrie - Last time I saw his name on screen was in Pushing Daisies. Wonder if he's started to work on something else.
Jane Espenson - Reduced her workload on Caprica, but still working there as writer.
Stephen DeKnight - Showrunner of the Starz Spartacus series.
Rebecca (then Rand Kishner) Sinclair - Showrunner for CW's 90210, changing it's tone to be less dependent on original series, and made it actually stand on its own.
Drew Z. Greenberg - Mostly on Warehouse 13, but also worked on Caprica.
Joss Whedon - well there's Cabin in the woods coming out next year, Buffy Season 8 concluding late this year, the possibility of Dr. Horrible sequel, directed an episode of Glee that was aired 4 days ago, the almost confirmed thing of him directing The Avengers, and there's this other Comic-Con documentary project that started to be buzzed about again.

Did I miss something?

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2010-05-21 13:03 ]
I wonder if they talked about anything during the shoot.
Heh ;). What they last saw at the pictures maybe ? There's a website in that, you could call it ducktapereviews.com (here's one for 'Clash of the Titans' "Mmmm m mmmm mm mmcking rubbish !" - oops, the tape came off at the end).

Good to see the old ME peeps together and supporting a good cause.

Drew Z. Greenberg - Mostly on Warehouse 13, but also worked on Caprica.

He's been doing some script supervising on the 'Clone Wars' animated series too, not sure how involved he was though.

[ edited by Saje on 2010-05-21 10:54 ]
All I can think of is what removing duct tape from a beard must feel like, so props to Drew and Joss for that. Unless of course they chickened out of removing the tape and are in fact still wearing it....
These pics make me SO proud! :) I could name all but DeKnight without problem. Although, I must admit my second thought was -- why isn't Marti on here?
It seems to me that 8 WRITERS -- not stars per se, but behind-the-scenes writers -- doing a shoot like this like -- almost a decade after the show in question ended, speaks volumes about them AND us.
Happy Friday to all!
What a great thing to wake up to. That is SOOOOOOOOOO awesome. Good on you, ME folks!!!!!!
Such a lovely sight. I'm slightly weirded out yet proud to be able to name all of the ME writers.
Wow, this picture makes me so happy; THESE are really our BDHs!
Wow, great shot for a great cause. And good to know that all the ME alumni are still working on different projects.
Clearly, the only logical explanation for Marti's absence is that she is a fan of h8.
Excuse me?
[ETA]Ah, I assumed that was a joke (hence played along) is there any reason to assume otherwise ?[/ETA]

Yep, she clearly loves H8, no H8 hata is Ms Noxon, it really is the only logical explanation. And so does everyone else not in the photo which means i'd say these guys have a bit of an uphill struggle on their hands, numerically speaking.

[ edited by Saje on 2010-05-21 14:40 ]
"Clearly, the only logical explanation for Marti's absence is that she is a fan of h8."

Well I found it funny.
Yep, s'ironical innit.

(i'd probably just have smiley-ed in response but I wanted to say "H8 hata" at least once in my life. It's the little things, y'know ?)
[ETA]Ah, I assumed that was a joke (hence played along) is there any reason to assume otherwise ?[/ETA]


I'd rather avoid stuff that could be (mis)interpreted as Marti bashing. Speaking from very bitter experience, it tends not to end well.
That's the tightrope you've to walk I guess. Feel free to edit my post Simon, I think i've got "H8 hata" out of my system (yet another ambition ticked off the list ...).
To anyone asking about absent writers, whether asking innocently or making jokes/comments, let's just use logic. this picture was taken at one particular moment. For the absence of paritcular person, there can be a very long list of reasons.

I've seen Tweets from both Clare and I think Eliza saying they've also done shoots for this. It's obvious from the name what this is basically about, but I don't know any of the details.
Can't say I'm a fan of the cause per se, but it's nice to see evidence like this that true longterm friendships can exist even in an industry as divisive as tv production (and, for what it's worth, that looks more like a variety of silver reflector tape or even strips of aluminum foil than duct tape - for those do-it-yourself-ers out there.)
This photo stinks.

Stinks like awesome.
Fantastic. Great cause, great people.
Great people for a great cause! Love it.

I think an outtake from Eliza's shoot was posted here before, but here's the official one if anyone wants to see it:

http://twitpic.com/1jq2e8
Yes, Eliza Dushku did a shoot for this. I think she had it up as her twitter avatar.


PS. Never realized how hot Drew Goddard was.


Really? Living under a rock were we? ;) I've always found Goddard super hot. He's one of my big Whedonverse crushes of all time.
Wow, I am so proud of these guys, standing up and allowing their voices to be heard for such a great cause. I couldn't be prouder to be a Buffy/Whedon fan! Awesome photos guys! :D
Pretty worrying that I could identify all of these without help, though it took a bit of time to identify Goddard. Yikes?

Anyway yes, I am also against H8!
That's awesome of them! It's sad though that this is even necessary in this country.
Love the picture, love how close these guys are. And re Goddard and pretty: there's a reason entire "Ultimate Drew" cults, um, fan groups, have risen in his name. :-).

As for Marti, it's probably not too much of a stretch to guess that she'd be right there with the other writers, given that she's spoken many times in positive terms of her own mother's gayness. (Though I did take MattManic's comment as a joke. :-)
Yeah, what I said was just meant to be a joke. I understand some of the criticism against her (although I'm not always inclined to agree), but I think it's a pretty big stretch to go from "Marti wrote a bad Buffy episode" to "Marti boycotts equality events, enjoys homophobia, and eats your soul." ;)
Simon: Jane's solo shot is ace too http://twitpic.com/1plqsd.
I'm assuming all of the related pics will be available to buy on the NOH8 site as some stage?


Yeah, it's odd - I guess NOH8 must be going for some kindof anti-celebrity thing, 'cause none of the many photos appear to be labelled. I don't see a search function, anyway. It does end up feeling a little bit oddly exclusive to me - though I don't imagine intentionally - like you just have to be in the know to find the folks you're looking for.

As far as I can tell, looking in the section that seems the most likely - the last "Creative & Group Photos" gallery, they don't seem to be posted yet. But obviously - unless I'm just missing the secret key to finding a particular person or group - I can't say for sure.

Don't think anyone's posted it yet, so here's Drew Z. Greenburg's solo photo.

Yay for Our Team of Duct-Taped Writers. That stuff can do anything.

(And yeah, I do like Joss' new close-cropped do. It suits him.)
"Marti wrote a bad Buffy episode"? Now you've crossed the line, sir.

Kidding aside, she wrote several of my most favorites ("I Only Have Eyes For You," "The Wish," "The Prom," "New Moon Rising," "Into the Woods"). Her particular brand of drama just works for me, I guess.
These folks really are an ace bunch. Even tho I usually disagree with them politically (I don't on this particular issue)I enjoy being their fan.

Since we've admitted that there is some joking going on in this thread . . . Wasn't Marti serving 5-to-life for killing a metaphor? Maybe this picture was taken before she was released.
Holy shit, electricspacegirl, apparently we have another thing in common. I've crushed on Drew Goddard since the S7 DVDs. ;)

Oh, and I got them all right. Was iffy on Rebecca Rand Kirshner, but apparently I was right about her too. ;)

[ edited by josswhedonaddict on 2010-05-21 20:32 ]
I had to guess on a couple (mainly Greenberg) but Kirshner was the only one I completely blanked on. I couldn't even think of a third female Buffy writer after Jane and Marti. Thanks, brain.
I wonder if they all piled in the station wagon and went to Denny's for pancakes after the shoot.

Or better yet, what are the odds that they locked themselves in a room and busted out an entire season of tv scripts for a Clem spin-off?
Marti's a hell of a writer--"I Only Have Eyes For You" is one of my personal top ten, and I think, a criminally overlooked Buffy classic. I disagree vehemently with the directions in which she guided the show as a showrunner but I can't take away her writing props.
This is awesome! For the life of me I couldn't figure out that was Jane Espenson though.
I don't recognize Jane without the glasses. And I didn't know how much she looks like Tina Fey.
Tina Fey can play Jane in the story about her life....
I have to respectfully disagree with it myself, as a supporter of the legislation. (and that's as a non-Californian.) I personally think that people often get confused...not everyone who supports things like Prop 8 is a hater and people need to realize that. It gets annoying to be continually accused of hate when that is not our belief or intent at all. It is possible to disagree with the lifestyle and believe in one man, one woman marriage without having any hate, plain and simple. I don't hate any of them. It's also amazing how people can want to talk about tolerance but can't be willing to extend that same tolerance. The gay protesters need to look in the mirror at how hateful they get when interacting with those who disagree with them. They should NOT talk about us until they're willing to give us the same respect they keep asking for!

[ edited by Watcher's Pet on 2010-05-22 16:02 ]
That was a great picture! I'm glad you guys helped me figure out who everyone was, or it would've kept bugging me - quite possibly - forever ;). Also, is it just me, or does Joss look like an action hero in that picture? Has he been working out? :). Also, like electricspacegirl, I nearly didn't recognize Jane. She does look an awful lot like Tina Fey in that picture :).

And Watcher's Pet, with all due respect, as this can be quite a 'let's not touch this with a ten foot pole'-type of issue (especially on a public forum such as this one, which is not focused on discussions of this type), I have to disagree with some of what you are saying.

I agree that it might not be literal hate driving supporters of this legislation, but I think it is - in all cases - a form of intolerance; whether it is actively or passively so. For the life of me I do not understand how something that has no relevance whatsoever to what one, as an individual, is doing can possibly be seen as a justification to limit the freedom of someone else; especially on such a major part of the life of those people involved.

I do agree that intolerance should not beget intolerance. The fact that someone holds a position that one considers intolerant (like I do the viewpoint that gay marriage is something that should be forbidden by law), does not translate to it being okay to be intolerant of that opinion oneself. Two wrongs do not make a right, and all that.

Finally, I have to take offense with the term 'lifestyle', when referring to gay people. I realize that this is a word that gets brandied about in American (political) discourse, thereby heavily implying that 'being gay' is something someone can either chose to be or not to be, and I would just like to point out that that language is very (at the very least) subjective. I would even suggest that that word is 'part of the problem', but that's a whole different discussion altogether.

The right way to go about this - if you truly believe that anything other than 'one man, one woman' is morally reprehensible - is live your life according to what you consider morally just. And let everyone else live their lives to what they would consider morally just. This issue is clearly not intuitively clear from a moral standpoint (if it were, we would be agreeing - like with 'murder' or 'rape' being morally wrong), and forcing your personal morals upon others, is not okay as far as I'm concerned. That is why I would call that position intolerant.
One is not obligated to tolerate intolerance, particularly when you work to deprive other citizens of equal rights and social treatment (including pursuit of happiness) based upon your own "feelings" or "beliefs" on the matter. Allowing gay people to marry does not deprive you of any rights or harm you in any fashion (or anyone else for that matter), and its craven of you to demand "respect" from those who's rights you would seek to deny. With all due respect. (mods feel free to delete this post if its breaking forum rules).

[ edited by F_TB on 2010-05-22 18:31 ]
...if you truly believe that anything other than 'one man, one woman' is morally reprehensible...

Just an observation, but I don't recall Watcher's Pet ever making that statement.
This is a topic that is difficult to discuss without it becoming emotional and personal. My cousin, and her partner have three small children, but because marriage is impossible where they live they have done all they could to provide some legal protection to insure their joint parental rights. Their family deserves the rights and protections that marriage would provide. To say that they are intolerant because people who are not in any way hurt or inconvenienced by them deny them that security seems ridiculous to me. Those who are discriminated against by society have to speak out against the discrimination, they should not be forced to 'tolerate' those who want to tell them how to live, what rights they can enjoy.

People who want to deny others a happy secure life are haters, whether they admit it or not. Just my personal opinion of course.

And of course I love and honor our Mutual Enemy writers for coming out and making their position public.
Yeah, i'm kinda with you on that F_TB (*waits for sky to crack after disagreeing with GVH* ;). Tolerate people having the opinion, sure, they're entitled to have it and to express it, freedom isn't just about folk thinking and saying what you want to hear. However, they're not (IMO) entitled to legislate inequality, that's not something we should tolerate. Tolerance is maybe our most valuable quality BUT if you're going to take a moral stand at all then you're effectively saying "Some things I won't tolerate", might as well just get it out there and be open about it.

Personally i'd imagine it'd be pretty difficult to respect people who're actively against you having the same rights and legal protections they do (note that i'm a straight white male and therefore, luckily for me, i've never been on the wrong end of institutionalised prejudice but putting myself in the place of someone who has, i'd find it hard). Imagine, for instance, saying "I don't hate black people, it's just that I don't think they should have the same legal protections as white people". Something tells me that wouldn't earn you a whole lot of respect among black people.
Actually, while I agree with your general point F_TB, one is "obligated to tolerate intolerance". At least, if one believes in freedom of speech and opinion and an open democracy. This is hardest to do in the face of opinions one vehemently disagrees with, but it is required to make the system work.

You're 'allowed' to (heavily) disagree with those opinions and 'fight' them (through words and arguments, rallies and through something like NOH8), but one can't stamp them out or be intolerant of those opinions, in the sense that people are no longer allowed to have them.

But I assume we're actually agreeing here (as is embers) and we're just using a different definition of 'tolerate'. If one assumes 'tolerate' to mean 'sit idly by and ignore your own opinion in favor of someone else's', then no we shouldn't tolerate these opinions :).

ETA: Saje, quit posting at the same time as me ;). But, fear not, the sky has not cracked. I think we're dealing with a question of definition here (yet again :)). ETFA: because this: "Tolerate people having the opinion, sure, they're entitled to have it and to express it, freedom isn't just about folk thinking and saying what you want to hear.", was basically what I was saying as well (and I also agree that we should not 'tolerate' in the sense of 'sit idly by and condone' people legislating any of these opinions).

[ edited by GVH on 2010-05-22 18:51 ]
GVH - you hit the nail on the head, when I say "tolerate" I don't mean people who express intolerant opinions should be deprived of housing, jobs, or physically attacked (as gay people are)or even censored, but I am saying if you open your mouth and express a ridiculous opinion, you should expect to be ridiculed. Freedom of speech means the rest of us are free to respond likewise.
...if you open your mouth and express a ridiculous opinion, you should expect to be ridiculed.

Rather than resorting to such a lightweight method as ridicule, wouldn't it be much better to explain one's reasoning for why a statement should be deemed ridiculous?

ETA:

People who want to deny others a happy secure life are haters, whether they admit it or not.

I'm curious who these "people" are exactly...

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-22 19:02 ]
Rather than resorting to such a lightweight method as ridicule, wouldn't it be much better to explain one's reasoning for why a statement should be deemed ridiculous?

Ridicule can consist of explaining why an opinion is ridiculous (it's not just saying "Ridiculous !" with a funny nose on), mockery and truth aren't mutually exclusive.

Freedom of speech means the rest of us are free to respond likewise.

Exactly. We're all entitled to an opinion but our opinions aren't sacrosanct (nor are all opinions equally valid).

"Tolerate people having the opinion, sure, they're entitled to have it and to express it, freedom isn't just about folk thinking and saying what you want to hear.", was basically what I was saying as well...

Aha, that explains why we're still here (was wondering if it was just taking time to propagate - what is the speed of apocalypse anyway ? ;).
@brinderwalt - I think I did that in my first reply, however if you have further questions I'm happy to answer them.
Watcher's Pet said:
"I personally think that people often get confused...not everyone who supports things like Prop 8 is a hater and people need to realize that."

If not haters, then so far I've found folks who oppose Prop 8 either get all indignant at the prospect of changing the status quo (why? This won't negatively effect you in any way. Being afraid of change in this case is nonsensical, I fail to see a downside to same sex couples getting married) or come at it from more of the "ick/yuck!" factor perspective. Again, the latter doesn't make sense (I mean you're perfectly entitled to find the idea of gay sex in your head offputting, we certainly don't have all the same tastes when it comes to sexuality and visual appeal). If homosexuals are already free, the same as straight folks, to get together and do what they do behind close doors (and already the idea of them doing this is grossing you out), then how does it hurt you or make your life (or the lives of your loved ones) any less enjoyable by allowing them the equal, legal right to be married, that you're allowed to enjoy (because it doesn't increase the ick/yuck factor any further for you, as far as I can tell).

It doesn't. If we follow this debate to it's logical conclusion, it always ends the same way. The pro-Prop8 people find themselves without a leg to stand on.

How about we're not being intolerant of the people who disagree with us in this case, we're against a lack of plain logic and would enjoy the chance to either change your mind/engage in debate with you (and when folks get all angry and proProp8supporter-hating, can you at least understand that it's maybe because they feel like they're arguing with a brick wall ? The majority of folks arguing against same sex marriage present themselves to be deeply lacking in intellectual fortitude, in the media), or at least convince you that you don't have the right to impose this particular kind of restriction on other folks? Maybe that sounds hypocritical to you, like when gay and gay-supportive folks rail against you for saying that you don't have a problem with the homosexuals themselves, just their "lifestyle" (and yeah, that word really needs to go--not all gay/bi folks live the same way, do the same things in bed, or whatever "lifestyle" is supposed to imply--and speaking of being confused, do you know what you mean when you throw around the word "lifestyle" ?), but it's not equivalent.

Has legalized same-sex marriage impacted your life negatively? Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2003 and in Connecticut since November 2008. It's also legal nationwide in five countries, including Canada. So has it changed your life? Has it changed your religious beliefs or impacted your relationships? Has it made you think less of marriage in general? (and if so, why? These drive-by posts without further follow-up by some of you are getting annoying. You're by no means obligated to come back and explain yourselves after your initial, opinion-without-back-up posts, but it makes for better discussion and a more enjoyable Whedonesque community atmosphere, IMO, if we can hear from both sides of the debate, balance it out a little more--even if, yes, on this site, most folks are gonna be arguing against Prop8).

What non-Biblical reason is there to deny legal status to couples who want to be financially and legally responsible to one another for the rest of their lives? (not assuming your stand against same-sex marriage/support of Prop8 is based on religious reasons, just throwing this in here because there's a very good chance that it is). If you can't think of a non-Biblical reason, are you comfortable allowing the Bible to be the basis of a legal right (or lack thereof)? Who determines how the Bible is interpreted? At least a dozen Jewish movements and mainstream Christian denominations already allow clergy to perform marriage or union ceremonies for same-sex couples. Why should the views of these denominations be any less valid. If same-sex marriage should be denied because the Bible says it is a sin, what about other relationship sins? What about adultery? What about divorce? What about people who live together "in sin" before getting married? Should everyone who's committed adultery, been divorced, or lived with their partner and had sex before marriage, be denied legal marriage rights? And why is it ok to ignore some outdated ideas in the Bible--for instance, people who work on the Sabbath should be put to death and slavery is ok and beating your children is encouraged--but not others?

How does denying financial and legal rights and responsibilities to a same-sex couple advance the "sanctity of marriage"? How are financial and legal responsibilities related to religious beliefs?

How important is a word? Should gay couples have the same legal rights under a different name, such as civil union or domestic partnership? Or should the word "marriage" continue to be the legal term and "holy matrimony" be the religious term?

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-22 20:17 ]
@Kris - "How important is a word? Should gay couples have the same legal rights under a different name, such as civil union or domestic partnership? Or should the word "marriage" continue to be the legal term and "holy matrimony" be the religious term?"

In terms of legalese, its simpler and more practical on a federal level to simply include gay partnerships to the existing structure. On a social/cultural level, the word is very important, for those seeking not only legal equality, but also (and just as importantly) social/cultural equality. But there are many who believe that homosexuals are "disordered", intrinsically, and therefore so are their relationships, and so are their families, which are not "real" families to them, and therefore they do not deserve the same social/cultural respect or legitimacy as heterosexuality and relationships. So there's your "wall".
People who want to deny others a happy secure life are haters, whether they admit it or not.

I'm curious who these "people" are exactly...
brinderwalt | May 22, 18:58 CET

I thought my sentence (short declarative, with small words) was clear. Are you assuming I meant 'Christians'? You would be wrong, the Christians with whom I am acquainted are kind loving people who would want all children raised in a secure safe home where their parents enjoy the legal and financial benefits of all other citizens.
There's a feeling that's almost impossible to describe that roils up in my stomach when I read about support for Prop 8.

I'm not sure if it's because the teeny gay part of me takes it as a personal attack or what, but I've gotta say it made me absolutely proud to see my fellow Whedonesquers (that can't be the right way to say that, Whedonites? <-- potential cultishness there) already saying all of the words that were forming in my brain. I love this fandom :D
”Family” is for some an inalienable guiding principle to a successful society. They are of course not wrong, so it’s easy to see, and respect even, why they’d be willing to fight for the purity of that principle. If they’re not willing to compromise on that purity in the name of human decency, then yeah, it’s a little bit hateful.
I live by the philosophy that as long as you don't harm others, you can pretty much do as you please. I shy away from no topic and love a good debate about most things.

As one of many non-Americans here, I haven't paid too close attention to what Prop 8 entails, but from my outsider's perspective, it reminds me a lot of Brown vs. Board of Education somehow, you know, separate but equal and all that?
In my country (incidentally, a country in which church and state are not (yet) separate), women may marry women and men may marry men. (I have seen some adorable wedding announcements in the papers with two blushing grooms in top hats, but that's beside the point.)

I guess what I struggle to grasp is:
Who you choose to marry is of no relevance to me. Why does my choice of partner matter to you?
Why should not all capable adults have the same rights?
If your objections are of a religious nature, could one simply choose to turn the other cheek (ie live and let live) and rest assured that your deity will handle the situation in due time?

Also -- If you count the fact that Joss wanted to create an icon, a girl who was NOT the victim, but the hero saving the day as an agenda, then he most certainly had one. I personally think that Go Fish and Willow crashing the car with Dawn were a tad too after-school-special, but every 144 episodes can't be perfect, I suppose. Family is one of my very favorite episodes, and I think it works on many levels, but since Joss has on many an occasion stated that Tara and Willow spellwork was a metaphore for them being together, it's -- imo -- next to impossibly to discredit the "gay theme" of this episode.

I personally enjoyed the portrayal of Willow and Tara's relationship *tear for Tara*, as well as the handling of relationships in general in Caprica -- Go, Jane, Go!

(By the way -- the only reason I said I missed Marti was because I consider her to be one of the core writers, and I thought she had earned her spot in the group, not because I intended to slight her or insinuate anything in any way. It seems unlikely to me that her opinions differ much from Joss' in this respect, but I could, of course, be entirely wrong. Also -- I thoroughly enjoyed her seasons on Buffy! Much of those seasons may be somewhat dark and disturbing, but life can be, too.)
If not haters, then so far I've found folks who oppose Prop 8 either get all indignant at the prospect of changing the status quo (why? This won't negatively effect you in any way. Being afraid of change in this case is nonsensical, I fail to see a downside to same sex couples getting married) or come at it from more of the "ick/yuck!" factor perspective. Again, the latter doesn't make sense (I mean you're perfectly entitled to find the idea of gay sex in your head offputting, we certainly don't have all the same tastes when it comes to sexuality and visual appeal). If homosexuals are already free, the same as straight folks, to get together and do what they do behind close doors (and already the idea of them doing this is grossing you out), then how does it hurt you or make your life (or the lives of your loved ones) any less enjoyable by allowing them the equal, legal right to be married, that you're allowed to enjoy (because it doesn't increase the ick/yuck factor any further for you, as far as I can tell).


What many people object to is the historically unprecedented effort to take something as fundamental to human nature and society as a specific, unique form of inter-human relationship (in this case that of a romantic, formal bond between two human males or two human females) and redefining it - specifically in the eyes of the law - as being the exact equivalent of another similar but equally specific, unique form of inter-human relationship (that of a romantic, formal, pro-creation - and, therefore, civilization starting capable - bond between a human male and a human female.) The reason for the objection is simple: The only logical way to successfully unify these forms of human relationships in a legal sense is to take a most common denominator style approach and fudge or, even, outright ignore the unique aspects of both - the result of which would be a legal system of protections less suited to the individual interests of members of any of the forms of human relationships in question.

Contemporary times have been host to a disheartening amount of stigma and persecution directed towards members of the rarer forms of human relationships. I can understand the motivation behind those who think that - by changing the legal definition of a specific form of relationship so as to include others - they can somehow adopt the legitimacy already associated with that form of relationship. It would seem, however, to be a very short-sighted and ham-handed approach to remedying the underlying issue - the lack of recognition of what makes each form of human relationship unique, beautiful, and capable of contributing to the overall betterment of society. In a society like that of the ancient Greeks many forms of contemporaneously rare inter-personal relationships (including ones I certainly hope no one in this day and age has an interest in reviving!) were seen as both legitimate and useful to society at large, but - at the same time - each was seen in a unique light.

If obsessive legislation is your hobby, then there should be legal recognition for all forms of relationships - but each should be treated for what it is: unique. None of this simplistic "one descriptive term fits all" silliness.


imo. :)


ETA: And, to bring things somewhat closer to being back on topic, I'll re-iterate what I said at first:
Can't say I'm a fan of the cause per se, but it's nice to see evidence like this that true longterm friendships can exist even in an industry as divisive as tv production (and, for what it's worth, that looks more like a variety of silver reflector tape or even strips of aluminum foil than duct tape - for those do-it-yourself-ers out there.)


[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-22 22:21 ]
Watcher's Pet: I personally think that people often get confused...not everyone who supports things like Prop 8 is a hater and people need to realize that. It gets annoying to be continually accused of hate when that is not our belief or intent at all.

I'm pretty sure it's not "confusion" - more like "a fundamental disagreement" about what constitutes "hate".

The conscious beliefs or intentions of Prop 8 supporters are not the only relevant factors involved when it comes to assessing the "hate" behind this anti-gay initiative. Most hate-and-fear based evil is not achieved by folks wearing Snidely Whiplash mustaches and growling, "I hate you, I hate you."

In fact, that's one of the problems in dealing with hate - its lack of convenient black-and-whiteness. (The complexity and banality/ordinariness of evil - and its unconscious roots - is a problem well-known to Joss and his writers, and most recently explored in Dollhouse.) Would that the Black Hats wore black hats and vice versa - it would make life so much easier.

I'm sure the conscious beliefs and intentions of Prop 8 supporters are numerous and varied - including:

"The traditional understanding and definition of marriage is in need of defense and support."

"I believe that homosexuality is pathology, so I must in good conscience fight against legitimizing it. They must seek treatment."

"God tells me gayness is evil. We must stamp it out however we can."

"Family as I define it is being destroyed by gay marriage."

"I must protect America against the inroads of liberals and progressives, who are destroying the very fabric of America with their gay agendas."


Add to these whatever motives anyone here has for opposing gay marriage and supporting Proposition 8.

But hate is what I - and many others, as evidenced by this campaign - see at the root of the anti-gay prejudice which drives any legislation that seeks to limit or revoke the rights of gays to live an open and equal civil and social life.

Hate makes "others" of folks that are different from them, and of whom they are afraid. Hate makes others into "shadow" beings or groups on whom they project anything they don't wish to or can't examine in themelves. Hate keeps us narrow and from progressing to a wider and more inclusive understanding that human nature and behavior varies more than we thought earlier in history, but that we are still much more similar than different from each other. Finally, that hate prevents us from seeing we should work for more freedom for more people, and not less. (And I am defining "freedom" as the classic "right to swing your fist in the air, as long as you stop just before it hits the nose of another", i.e., the freedom to be who you are, untrammeled and equal to others, as long as you don't hurt others with it.

Hate isn't just declaring loudly you hate someone, or feeling hate when you look at them, or shooting them, or giving them a beating. Hate lies also in an unwillingness to accept someone as being as deserving of the rights that you enjoy, without any humanitarian basis. (A biblical basis - especially Old Testament-based ones that are listed along with the prohibition of shellfish and the keeping of slaves - are right out as a reasonable rationale, especially in a country that has separation of church and state as its underpinnings.)

What I cannot allow, and do neither respect or tolerate, is the belief that gays having the same rights as straights hurts anyone. It has not been shown that it does in any way that I can allow as having any merit or fairness - while it can certainly be shown that gays suffer egregiously from such inequality.

That's the hate I see at the root of anti-gay prejudice - the desire to keep for themselves and away from gay folks the rights and freedoms straight people enjoy as a matter of course, and due mainly to the inability to step away from hatred and fear of "The Other" that an unexamined unconscious produces.

So of course hate is not usually in the conscious minds of the anti-gay (many of whom don't even think that by opposing gay marriage they are being anti-gay). It lies deeper in both the individual, and society at large - who we'll let into the pool of those we accept as "fully us/human" (and therefore entitled to the rights and privileges that we are) and who we keep outside as inferior and "other".

I accept that many Prop 8 supporters hold the opinions they do - I "tolerate" it because I must - i.e., I can't make them change, nor do I view the world in such a way. I believe they are entitled to express their opinions: here at whedonesque, at the world at large, and in the voting both - no matter what damage I personally think they do.

But I don't respect their position, which I do view as undeveloped, retrogressive and psychologically-unexamined - sorry. And I do think it stems from fear-and-ignorance-based hate, however unfelt and masked it is.

Hate is the perfect word for what I see as the inability and unwillingness to accept and protect the full human rights of your fellow human beings.
But I don't respect their position, which I do view as undeveloped, retrogressive and psychologically-unexamined - sorry. And I do think it stems from fear-and-ignorance-based hate, however unfelt and masked it is.

Say - QuoterGal:
Not to be a pain or anything but, with the above quote from you in mind, I'm curious as to your opinion on my preceding post.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-22 22:46 ]
I'm trying to remember when a minority had to sit on their hands and say nothing and just wait for the majority to make them equal in the eyes of the law. Drawing a blank on that one.

As for the NOH8 debate, I view the argument that people of the same sex shouldn't marry in the same historical vein as "people of different colour shouldn't marry" or "people of different religion shouldn't marry". Same old tired arguments: it'll destroy society, it isn't right, it's against the natural order of things. Pfffft. We move on and shake our heads that such ideas were once widely accepted. Single sex relationships will be accepted and in 100 years time, people will wonder what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately the road to get there will not be easy.
@brinderwalt - I'm wondering if you are aware that the institution of marriage, in its current form, is already "historically unprecedented"? Women are no longer property, subject to male headship, and even the expectation of monogamy in and of itself (for men, anyway) is a relatively new development in the whole of human cultural history. That right there makes the current institution of marriage a far different animal than its preceeding forms.
You also threw "pro-creation" in there, I assume you mean to say marriage is for the creation and rearing of children. But even now, married heterosexual couples are under no obligation to follow that aspect of the "tradition", and many choose not to - but their marriages are still seen as legitimate. Coincidentally, many gay couples DO raise children with their partners - some though adoption, and some through finding their own methods of "pro-creation". So when it comes right down to it, the only real distinction between gay and hetero relationships is the genders involved, and frankly if that's all you've got to go on to try and uphold this "separate but equal" thing you've got going on, you're going to have to come up with a better argument than your concern that it redefines traditional and fundamental human institutions. Honey, they've already BEEN redefined - for the better.

Also as per your second paragraph, I reiterate, gay partnerships are not so distinct from straight ones that they require separate-but-equal laws or titles to preserve their "uniqueness".
So when it comes right down to it, the only real distinction between gay and hetero relationships is the genders involved, and frankly if that's all you've got to go on to try and uphold this "separate but equal" thing you've got going on, you're going to have to come up with a better argument than your concern that it redefines traditional and fundamental human institutions.


This.

Well said, F_TB :).

Because when we get right down to it - like F_TB says, 'marriage' has been redefined before. The step to allowing people of different race to marry is the best example I can think of, as everyone has already pointed out.

I'm sure there were people arguing that - clearly - there was a difference between two white people or two black people marrying and having a mixed marriage back then as well, brinderwalt. And even if there weren't, they could have argued the exact same case you're making now. The only things that would change are the exact details of the difference.

Also, I'd agree with F_TB that marriage can hardly be defined as "a romantic, formal, pro-creation - and, therefore, civilization starting capable - bond between a human male and a human female." Because if that were true: are infertile people then not allowed to marry? I don't think so. So again: the only thing that's left is the gender and when getting right down to it, there's no real, logical, cerebral reason to make a distinction there.

So the question becomes: why shouldn't we call everything 'marriage'? 'Marriage' is accepted, culturally and legally, and there's nothing whatsoever wrong with defining it as the legal bond between two people. In fact, I feel it's a much more intuitive and elegant definition than having the extra condition of those two people being of different sex, no matter how things have been defined in the past (as those definitions have clearly been changed before and are hardly writ in stone; change is not bad. Without change, we'd be living in a radically different world).
@brinderwalt - I'm wondering if you are aware that the institution of marriage, in its current form, is already "historically unprecedented"? Women are no longer property, subject to male headship, and even the expectation of monogamy in and of itself (for men, anyway) is a relatively new development in the whole of human cultural history. That right there makes the current institution of marriage a far different animal than its preceeding forms.

Its trappings have changed - as social stability has increased, average life expectancies have risen, and infant mortality rates have gone down, there has been a blessed pullback from those practices (such as polygamy/the baser treatment of women) that found their origin in the barbaric survival tactics of ages past - but the least common denominator of at least one male/at least one female has always been the same.
You also threw "pro-creation" in there, I assume you mean to say marriage is for the creation and rearing of children. But even now, married heterosexual couples are under no obligation to follow that aspect of the "tradition", and many choose not to - but their marriages are still seen as legitimate. Coincidentally, many gay couples DO raise children with their partners - some though adoption, and some through finding their own methods of "pro-creation".

It's a question of the rule versus the exception - as a rule male/female couples can procreate from scratch. Same sex couples can't. There may be exceptions in both cases but they are exceptions.

Also as per your second paragraph, I reiterate, gay partnerships are not so distinct from straight ones that they require separate-but-equal laws or titles to preserve their "uniqueness".

FYI I was referring to the full gamut of personal relationships - male/male/, male/female/, female/female, sexual, non-sexual, etc. - not just "gay" ones. There are plenty of other types of relationships (such as close male/male non-homosexual friendship) which our society has a lot of trouble comprehending.
Its trappings have changed - as social stability has increased, average life expectancies have risen, and infant mortality rates have gone down, there has been a blessed pullback from those practices (such as polygamy/the baser treatment of women) that found their origin in the barbaric survival tactics of ages past - but the least common denominator of at least one male/at least one female has always been the same.

Redefining a marriage as for two equals, freely entered into by both parties, with no procreative requirement, rather than an arrangement in which one person has possession of a "lesser" person for the purpose of propagating the line, is not a mere change in "trappings". It is a fundamental reconstruction.

from scratch.

HOW children enter the relationship (and in terms of the current requirements of civil marriage, IF children enter the relationship)is irrelevant.

FYI I was referring to the full gamut of personal relationships - male/male/, male/female/, female/female, sexual, non-sexual, etc. - not just "gay" ones. There are plenty of other types of relationships (such as close male/male non-homosexual friendship) which our society has a lot of trouble comprehending.

That's wonderful. What does that have to do with allowing gays to get married?
Even without marriage, society/humanity would go on existing (we, along with every other creature on this planet, managed to make it to a certain point without it). The majority of folks would still go on having heterosexual sex and, hopefully when ready for it, many (most?) would still choose to bear children. There's argument to be made that marriage is essential for contributing to the stability of society, but that's not a tangent we need to go off on at the moment. My point, adding to what others have said about procreation being attatched to marriage, is just that we shouldn't work under the assumption that marriage causes procreation or is necessary for it (maybe encourages it? I dunno, it's hard to be certain when times are changing, more folks are opting to just live together--while still raising children). Therefore, as far as I can see, it's irrelevant to argue against same sex marriage on the basis that the maintaining of marriage as a strictly heterosexual privelege (right?) is the only thing that will ensure our the continuity of our species, or encourage its growth (although um, we need to maintain, not increase, our population, far as I can see. I won't take the misanthropic view that we need to severely reduce the population).

brinderwalt said:
"The reason for the objection is simple: The only logical way to successfully unify these forms of human relationships in a legal sense is to take a most common denominator style approach and fudge or, even, outright ignore the unique aspects of both - the result of which would be a legal system of protections less suited to the individual interests of members of any of the forms of human relationships in question."

How do you figure ? What are the individual interests of members of same-sex unions that differ from members of opposite-sex unions ? Aside from the conception of children (if any), I don't see any. And you can still call it marriage for everyone and have addendums within the marriage laws for both same-sex and opposite-sex situations if children are brought into the picture.

"Contemporary times have been host to a disheartening amount of stigma and persecution directed towards members of the rarer forms of human relationships. I can understand the motivation behind those who think that - by changing the legal definition of a specific form of relationship so as to include others - they can somehow adopt the legitimacy already associated with that form of relationship."

Yeah, while there're undoubtedly some in favor of same-sex marriage that wanna force this through in the hopes of gaining more acceptance in the eyes of more of the population (a sort of "we win this, you have to accept us" mindset), I think a greater number of people are looking at this from a perspective of ensuring fair treatment. You're right, same-sex marriage won't equal sudden, widespread acceptance of homosexuality, but sitting on their hands won't accomplish anything either (to be fair, it doesn't seem like you're in favor of doing nothing, just that you think gays who want their unions to be legally recognized should be aiming for something other than marriage ?).

"It would seem, however, to be a very short-sighted and ham-handed approach to remedying the underlying issue - the lack of recognition of what makes each form of human relationship unique, beautiful, and capable of contributing to the overall betterment of society. In a society like that of the ancient Greeks many forms of contemporaneously rare inter-personal relationships (including ones I certainly hope no one in this day and age has an interest in reviving!) were seen as both legitimate and useful to society at large, but - at the same time - each was seen in a unique light."

Not sure most women would wanna go back to being seen as filtered through a lens of Ancient Greece. Yeah, men could freely have flings and relationships with men, but women were considered beneath men, so...while the union between a man and wife may've been seen in a unique light and valued for the child-rearing and stable home aspects, the women didn't exactly have it great back then in terms of rights and decision-making allowances.

And yay, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring up pederasty/pedophilia (to be fair, you seem to have brought it up merely as a point of interest, an addition to your mention of Greek mores, not to raise hell). Yes, some of the man-on-man lovin' in Greek society involved man-on-boy-lovin'. I'm not nearly as well-read as I should be on that, so I'm not sure what age groups were generally involved, but I do remember reading an argument between a few folks years ago where some failed to grasp that back then, a 13-year-old was considered an adult (didn't live as long back then, so they would have had to consider people "ready" a lot sooner and the concept of a teenager didn't exist at the time, you were a man at like 12 in some societies back in the day, no?). But there was apparently abuse of much younger people as well, so...I dunno where I was going with this. I guess just that yeah, we can look to ancient societies and maybe value that they had a lot less hang-ups about sexuality and were a lot more "anything-goes" about a lot of things back then, but they also had their fair share of flaws and unique-to-their-times challenges (maybe not viewed as flaws by them, back then, but they are seen that way by us, since we're aware of and care about the harm caused by sex that's forced on individuals) and probably shouldn't be used as models to revert back to today.

"If obsessive legislation is your hobby, then there should be legal recognition for all forms of relationships - but each should be treated for what it is: unique. None of this simplistic "one descriptive term fits all" silliness."

Why not ? Two women who're married might live together, share finances and household responsibilities, rear children, and go on vacations much the same as a man and his wife might, so why distinguish between the two solely based on gender ?

Saje: Jinx!

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-23 01:30 ]
Marriage isn't "for" procreation (which is a word BTW, not a hyphenate), it's a commitment between consenting adults. The idea of procreation just muddies the waters since allowing gay marriage has absolutely nothing to do with procreation (it's not as if humans will die out because we have too many non-procreating gay couples, like if we allow it the gay couples will start to edge out the heterosexual couples - that's a slippery slope fallacy of hilarious proportions).

The point is one of equality under the law and i've yet to see a compelling argument against that, it's the default position in America as I understand it.

[ETA]Much of which Kris mentions above. Which means I can go to bed ;)[/ETA]

[ edited by Saje on 2010-05-23 01:30 ]
Redefining a marriage as for two equals, freely entered into by both parties, with no procreative requirement, rather than an arrangement in which one person has possession of a "lesser" person for the purpose of propagating the line, is not a mere change in "trappings". It is a fundamental reconstruction.

From scratch.

So? That doesn't change the fact that they're still the same
basic components in play (at least one man, one woman, and the potential for indepenent pro-creation.)

HOW children enter the relationship (and in terms of the current requirements of civil marriage, IF children enter the relationship)is irrelevant.

I'm curious - why would you think such a thing irrelevant?

That's wonderful. What does that have to do with allowing gays to get married?

Tolerance breeds tolerance. Also - thinking about issues to the exclusion of related matters is always a mistake. It causes you to lose perspective on the big picture.
So? That doesn't change the fact that they're still the same basic components in play (at least one man, one woman, and the potential for indepenent pro-creation.)


So? You're arguing a strange point here, brinderwalt. The fact that up till now there were some 'basic components' in play, is - quite frankly - irrelevant. Back before we had mixed race marriage, one could argue that all the changed definitions of marriage at the very least had in common that they were between people of the same race. Until, y'know, they no longer did.

That didn't mean that 'same race' was some fundamental, underlying thing tied into the very definition of marriage (which, for the record, isn't some constant of nature that's predefined by something out of our reach, it's defined just how we choose to define it); just like 'mixed gender' or 'potential for independent procreation' isn't now. In fact: that last one isn't even an issue at all, as you - and probably everyone else - wouldn't even think about making a law which would forbid infertile mixed gender couples to marry.

I'm curious - why would you think such a thing irrelevant?


I'd argue it isn't irrelevant to the people and their personal situation, but it's completely irrelevant to whether or not those people get to marry. Are adoptive parents somehow 'less married' than those that put kids on this world in the traditional way? Are they 'cheating' marriage in some way? Or are those who put children into this world through IVF disrespecting the real purpose of marriage? And if not, then why would that be any different for same sex couples? The conclusion is that the only distinction one could possibly make is that one couple is 'same sex' and the other is 'mixed sex', and that distinction is just as irrelevant to the institute of marriage as that between 'same race' or 'mixed race' couples.
So? That doesn't change the fact that they're still the same basic components in play (at least one man, one woman, and the potential for indepenent pro-creation.)
And even if gays are included in marriage, those by and large still will be. But it sounds to me that you are trying to justify your position by cherry picking certain aspects and basically saying "well that's the way its always been". Appeal to tradition, in other words, a logical fallacy.

I'm curious - why would you think such a thing irrelevant?
This has already been explained to you numerous times in this thread, by myself and others. Although now I'm curious on your views on adoption...

Tolerance breeds tolerance. Also - thinking about issues to the exclusion of related matters is always a mistake. It causes you to lose perspective on the big picture.
This is sounding more and more like a clumsy attempt at a slippery slope argument (also a logical fallacy). If its not, please state whatever it is you are trying to say more clearly.

ha! simulpost with GVH :)

[ edited by F_TB on 2010-05-23 02:56 ]
In a day and age where gender can be routinely changed by surgery, why make that a basis on choosing which people can get married? What about people who were born a hermaphrodite, or who are genetically one gender but developed as the other? (It happens.) Who can they marry?
Marriage isn't "for" procreation (which is a word BTW, not a hyphenate), it's a commitment between consenting adults. The idea of procreation just muddies the waters since allowing gay marriage has absolutely nothing to do with procreation

And therein lies the crux of the issue - the real source of controversy on this matter is the fact that there are two distinct definitions of marriage floating around:

1. That the defining properties of the marriage bond include an emotional bond between two parties.

2. That the defining properties of the marriage bond include an emotional bond between two parties and their possession - as a rule - of the requisite physical properties required for natural procreation (thereby implying a member of each gender.)


Surely you can see that there is a fundamental difference between the two and that, regardless of which definition you may favor, calling what are clearly two fundamentally different relationship models by the same name is just a recipe for unnecessary confusion.


ETA: Sorry about the errant hyphenation - I have a habit of treating English words as if I were parsing Latin/Greek root words and prefixes. :)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-23 04:43 ]
2. That the defining properties of the marriage bond include an emotional bond between two parties and their possession - as a rule - of the requisite physical properties required for natural procreation (thereby implying a member of each gender.)


Once again, and for the last time, as "natural" procreation (or procreative ability) is not a perquisite or legitimizing factor in current heterosexual marriages, it does not constitute the working definition, or intrinsic or necessary factor, of the contemporary institution of marriage. ARGUMENT(and logic)FAIL.
You seem to be ignoring the "as a rule" part of that definition - it's in there for a reason.
@brinderwalt - It doesn't matter, because you are still falling back on the appeal to tradition fallacy AND conveniently ignoring that procreative ability not a legal requirement in the first place. Two fails.
But "natural" procreation (or procreative ability) - as a rule - is by definition a prerequisite of all heterosexual "marriages" past or present.
As a rule, rules don't exist in and of themselves, but only insofar as we agree they are useful rules to have. As a rule, nonsensical rules are free to be abandoned. ;)
@brinderwalt - Already addressed this, and I'm tired of repeating myself. In addition to your numerous and repeated logical fallacies, you've also failed to present any kind of compelling argument as to what harm is being done or rights being infringed upon by allowing gay marriage, so I can only conclude that you are trolling. Good night.
@brinderwalt - Already addressed this, and I'm tired of repeating myself. In addition to your numerous and repeated logical fallacies, you've also failed to present any kind of compelling argument as to what harm is being done or rights being infringed upon by allowing gay marriage...

I don't recall ever saying that I thought there was true harm being done or rights being infringed in the act of doing such a thing - only that legally classifying multiple forms of inter-personal relationships as being exactly the same when they obviously aren't is bound to spread confusion among all involved.

[...]so I can only conclude that you are trolling. Good night.

With all due respect, I believe that if you're going comment on a topic (in this case I'm referring to myself) you should be ready and willing to back up your points to the best of your ability in an as honest and non-combative way as possible. We may not be in total agreement on the issue at hand (although I'm willing to bet we're closer than you might realize) but I believe this kind of discourse to be very important in that it helps promote the free exchange of thoughts and ideas - which I believe can only be a good thing.
Good night to you as well.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-23 05:38 ]
All talk of logical fallacies aside - and I do appreciate the discussion from that frame of reference, don't get me wrong - but on a personal level, brinderwalt, I am driven to wonder:

What's it to you personally whether gays are allowed by law to marry?

I mean, I know why I care about this issue - my personal psychology from my upbringing is such that questions of fairness and justice are of utmost importance to me - almost to a pathological degree. I get that about myself, and I do see how that contributes to my involvement with this issue - though, not, I believe, in a way that changes the nature of the very real issues of social & civil justice that are raised by the lack of gay marriage rights.

I also have a large number of gay friends - friends that are married, friends that are not (an interesting combination in this state, where some gay couples are second class couples under the law, and some are not). Some of them have children; some do not.

I also worked at a non-profit for many years where the bulk of the clients we served were gay - so I learned first-hand and in many ways how the lives of gay folks are affected by the legal inability to marry, among the other injustices that they experience.

As a women, I also personally identify with legal and social disenfranchisement - having experienced both over the course of my 55 years.

So - what's your deal? How does this issue affect you - in a very real personal sense, not as an intellectual exercise? Do you base your objections on personal religious beliefs? Is there some other moral compass you're using? Do you think that gay marriage will affect your marriage - assuming you are straight and either planning to be or already married?

Because for most people against Prop 8 and their ilk - especially gays - this isn't theoretical - it's very personal and urgent.

What's your stake in this? How do you think you will be affected if gays win their legal marriage rights? How is it personal and urgent for you?


ETA: Just read brinderwalt's post just previous, and apparently he's saying that he doesn't think there's anything wrong with same-sex marriage, other than he believes it will spread confusion.

??

Now I really am kerflummoxed. I do imagine, though, if the marriage rights of gays were established legally, we as a nation could muddle through rather quickly any "confusion" that might arise from it, and have the additional greater good of legally legitimizing current and future same-sex marriages - which you are saying would cause no other "true" harm or infringement of rights?

I don't think there would be confusion for "all involved" - certainly not for the gay couples who are very clear on what they want in this respect.

Or - am I missing something in your position?
I just find the whole concept of attempting to legally define various different forms of intimate human relationships as being identical (when they obviously aren't identical in a practical sense) as bizarre and kind of a misnomer for all involved. I also have a personal gripe against the trend of over simplification of concepts and issues - especially regarding politics - that tends to pervade so much of modern society. Imo there is far too much surface thinking going on about issues such as this, and anything I can do in order to get people to think more deeply about the issues surrounding them is worth it in my book.
I just find the whole concept of attempting to legally define various different forms of intimate human relationships as being identical (when they obviously aren't identical in a practical sense) as bizarre and kind of a misnomer for all involved.

Ah OK, so going by that (and your response about procreation above), is it just the word itself you take issue with brinderwalt ? If we call it a "civil union" can I assume your problems with it disappear ? I'm trying to determine if you actually have some issue with legally recognised same-sex partnerships full stop (as far as I can tell you've never said you do and I agree with your implied point that you shouldn't need to say you don't) or if it's, for instance, the idea of overbearing legislation that's your biggest issue, of changing the widely accepted meaning of words just by passing a law. If so I kind of see where you're coming from, it's got an Orwellian edge to it in some respects.

Must admit, it doesn't matter to me (certainly to begin with) whether it's called the same thing or not, what matters is that gay couples have the same legal protections as heterosexual couples (so we avoid crazy situations like partners of 20 years having no rights to a share of a dead loved one's estate). I can totally understand gay folk refusing to accept another term on principle (it's very easy for me to say "I don't care what it's called") but my take is more pragmatic - rights first, principle of the thing later.


ETA: a 'can'

[ edited by Saje on 2010-05-23 11:22 ]
I just find the whole concept of attempting to legally define various different forms of intimate human relationships as being identical (when they obviously aren't identical in a practical sense) as bizarre and kind of a misnomer for all involved.


brinderwalt, you've stated and restated this point, but you haven't explained why you believe this would be a misnomer, apart from restating your opinion of what the current definition is. I've tried a few times upthread, using the same argument, to convince you of why this change isn't as big a deal or as confusing as you assume it is, but so far you haven't replied to any of those points. Your case - like F_TB mentioned - is an appeal to tradition, which is, in fact, a logical fallacy.

I'll just copy/paste the point(s) I made above:

"The fact that up till now there were some 'basic components' in play, is - quite frankly - irrelevant. Back before we had mixed race marriage, one could argue that all the changed definitions of marriage at the very least had in common that they were between people of the same race. Until, y'know, they no longer did.

That didn't mean that 'same race' was some fundamental, underlying thing tied into the very definition of marriage (which, for the record, isn't some constant of nature that's predefined by something out of our reach, it's defined just how we choose to define it); just like 'mixed gender' or 'potential for independent procreation' isn't now. In fact: that last one isn't even an issue at all, as you - and probably everyone else - wouldn't even think about making a law which would forbid infertile mixed gender couples to marry."

To make it even more simple, there's a couple of closely related (but separate) central arguments in there:

1) The definition of marriage has changed over the years; there's no reason why it shouldn't change any further.

2) Any set of attributes shared by current marriages you can point at, is not the same as a definition for the concept of marriage, as we could go back a step in the changes of definition (to before different faiths or different races could marry, for instance) and find a shared set of attributes for them which no longer define the current state. Therefor the fact that you are able to find a set of shared attributes by itself is no 'proof' of anything.

3) The fact that we could find a shared set of attributes for earlier definitions and went on and changed the definition, didn't lead to any confusion with the current 'definition' of marriage either; which means that the confusion you think this will create cannot be proven by the act of a widening of the definition of marriage itself, as we have done so numerous times before.

In fact, with points 2 & 3, I'm pretty sure if you read back your posts you'll find that you can substitute your arguments against calling gay marriage 'marriage' for not calling a mixed race marriage 'marriage' without much trouble (apart from some details in the 'differences' between the current and new type of marriage) - and yet we do so today.

4) 'Marriage' is not some predefined constant of nature. It is whatever we choose it to be. We can choose to define it - in a legal sense - any way we please. Which means that - yes - we can choose to define it to be a bond between a man and a women, but, more importantly, there's no legal or logical reason why we couldn't define it as a bond between two persons, regardless of gender.

5) 'The ability to procreate' isn't incorporated into the (current, fleeting and not in any way written in stone) cultural 'concept' or 'definition' of marriage. There certainly is a case to be made that marriage is currently culturally defined as a union between a man and a woman, but procreation really doesn't come into the equation. You (and possibly others) might want it to, or feel it would be logical to incorporate it into a current, shared, cultural definition (just like others feel it would make sense to drop the explicit mention of gender), but that's a different argument. One of the clearest examples of this fact is that there's nobody, anywhere, stopping infertile people from getting married.

Now for the record: it's fine if you disagree with these statements, but I have not seen any real case for why they are wrong or not applicable, while they - as far as I can see - do disprove your central hypothesis. If you want to claim a gripe against "the trend of oversimplification of concepts and issues" and want to "get people to think more deeply about the issues surrounding them", then that goes for you and your arguments as well. At this point, without further arguments, I only see a hypothesis which is logically unsound; not some grander, more nuanced theory which proves the other arguments here to be oversimplified.

ETR typos

[ edited by GVH on 2010-05-23 12:17 ]
There are already children being raised in homes with Gay head of household, these are no hypothetical families brought up for the sake of argument; what kind of confusion would be created by allowing their parents the full rights that legal marriage brings? I mean specifically what confusion that doesn't already exist? To say that they don't count because they are not the 'norm' or not 'the rule' (or whatever it is that you mean brinderwalt) doesn't seem to me to be a sufficient excuse to leave these families without the legal and financial benefits that other families enjoy.

Isn't it all about protecting 'the family'? Why don't these families count?
That the defining properties of the marriage bond include an emotional bond between two parties and their possession - as a rule - of the requisite physical properties required for natural procreation (thereby implying a member of each gender.)


So, let's call Gay marriages by the same name as unions between two seniors past the age where procreation is possible, or other unions where one or both partners are permanently infertile, such as the result of a hysterectomy. And what do we call those unions? Oh yes, "Marriage."

Plus, calling them both by the same name gives additional legal protection. One of the things Arizona politicians did this month, that got buried with the other news, is that they eliminated state domestic partner benefits a year after they were implemented. If unions are called by different names, it's much, much easier to give them unequal rights, and we're definitely seeing that happen nationwide, where even rights already granted to the minority class can be taken away or ignored without affecting the majority class.
"The fact that up till now there were some 'basic components' in play, is - quite frankly - irrelevant. Back before we had mixed race marriage, one could argue that all the changed definitions of marriage at the very least had in common that they were between people of the same race. Until, y'know, they no longer did.

No, actually, you couldn't argue such a thing since there has never been a time when mixed race marriages didn't exist (attempts at racist laws and regulations aside.)

That didn't mean that 'same race' was some fundamental, underlying thing tied into the very definition of marriage (which, for the record, isn't some constant of nature that's predefined by something out of our reach, it's defined just how we choose to define it);

Race is a purely superficial distinction. Gender is - quite literally - a constant of nature that's predefined by something out of our reach. They are not comparable quantities. You need to find something else to make your point.

There are already children being raised in homes with Gay head of household, these are no hypothetical families brought up for the sake of argument; what kind of confusion would be created by allowing their parents the full rights that legal marriage brings?

No confusion. It's the use of the term "marriage" for several distinct forms of human inter-personal relationships that's confusing.

So, let's call Gay marriages by the same name as unions between two seniors past the age where procreation is possible, or other unions where one or both partners are permanently infertile, such as the result of a hysterectomy."

These are exceptions to the rule - not a valid basis for making generalizations.

Plus, calling them both by the same name gives additional legal protection.

Permit me to quote myself from above:
Contemporary times have been host to a disheartening amount of stigma and persecution directed towards members of the rarer forms of human relationships. I can understand the motivation behind those who think that - by changing the legal definition of a specific form of relationship so as to include others - they can somehow adopt the legitimacy already associated with that form of relationship. It would seem, however, to be a very short-sighted and ham-handed approach to remedying the underlying issue - the lack of recognition of what makes each form of human relationship unique, beautiful, and capable of contributing to the overall betterment of society.


If unions are called by different names, it's much, much easier to give them unequal rights...

Different forms of relationships need different elements of support in order to thrive. What makes you think that isn't true in a legal sense as well? I'm sure there are subtleties to same sex relationships that marriage laws are entirely unsuited to seeing to. That's why I think it makes much more sense to legally treat these different forms of relationships as what they are: unique.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-23 15:59 ]
Marriage is not foremost a mechanism for keeping track of labels. It’s a social contract that protects the concept of family. If you’re not willing to extend marriage to cover gays, then you must believe that they are incapable of or, for some specific reason, disallowed from forming proper, stable families. Why exactly are gays not allowed to have families? They have proved, in the face of unfounded, but understandable, doubt, that they can handle that sufficiently on par with heterosexuals. And you needn’t worry that being inclusive in this instance will erode the family further. It’s not a slippery slope from letting gays marry to having lawful polygamy, paedophile “families” or whatnot. It’s simply a realization that if you’re capable and willing of forming a sound family in society, then society should afford you the right to the protection and status it does to everyone else performing/enjoying that role.
Marriage is not foremost a mechanism for keeping track of labels. It’s a social contract that protects the concept of family. If you’re not willing to extend marriage to cover gays, then you must believe that they are incapable of or, for some specific reason, disallowed from forming proper, stable families.

Marriage is not a pre-requisite of family life. There are plenty of stable, successful families out there where marriage is, never has been, and never will be part of the equation. Surely I would think that in the context of a Joss Whedon-centric place of discourse, the validity of such concepts as the "found family" would be a given.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-05-23 16:13 ]
Marriage is not a pre-requisite of family life.

Right. It is, like I said, a protection of family. If you deny some families that protection you should offer an explanation of why they are not proper families.
I don't recall ever saying that I thought there was true harm being done or rights being infringed in the act of doing such a thing - only that legally classifying multiple forms of inter-personal relationships as being exactly the same when they obviously aren't is bound to spread confusion among all involved.


You just flat-out contradicted yourself there, unless you are implying that the "confusion" that might result from recognizing gay marriage is a positive effect.

[ edited by F_TB on 2010-05-23 19:21 ]
This is where I remind everyone to discuss each other's points and not make personal attacks. Everyone has been doing a really good job of keeping a contentious topic civil up until recently and I expect to see that continue.
I hate to break it to anyone, but we already have both straight and gay unions being called "marriage" -- even if you discount state-sanctioned unions, since some religious denominations have been merrily going along performing gay marriage ceremonies for some time now. It doesn't appear to be confusing anyone.

The only reason for it becoming confusing on a larger, state-sanctioned level would be if we decide we have to abide by the lowest common denominator of public comprehension, which is a pretty stupid way to run a society.
Ah, no worries Sunfire - no judgment on brinderwalt as a person, just his debate techniques..
What is confusing (or threatening) about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia di Rossi's legal marriage? Pretty sure the world didn't end. Marriage for everyone or the government should get out of the marriage business altogether. The only confusing part of this is people who try to make it more complicated than it is in order to fool people who maybe don't possess the best critical thinking skills. The issue is not complicated at all. The issue is painfully simple and is a matter of fairness, justice, and equality.
F_TB the last part of your previous comment was personal and out of line. I was doing you the courtesy of not calling you out specifically since I understand that emotions run high around this issue. But since maybe that wasn't explicit enough: no more of that here.
My apologies Sunfire, I was running with a Billy Madison quote there, and (erroneously) assumed people would be familiar with the joke. I'll go and delete!
I'm familiar with the quote. It's hilarious in the context of the movie. Here it just comes across as mean-spirited.

And now back to the discussion.

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