aw, jeez….not this shit again.

In a spectacular display of Not Getting It, some of the Republicans in the Live Free Or Die State are getting cocky about having a supermajority in the NH House and Senate again…and they’re trying to use it to roll back the gay marriage law.  Of all the issues on the table, they make gay cooties a priority once again.

In past elections, I’ve voted for a few Republicans for local office–whenever there wasn’t a Libertarian running, or whenever the Democrat on the ballot was more of a douche than the Republican.  Should the NH Republicans be successful in getting our gay marriage law repealed, I will never again vote for another Republican in this state.  I’m sick and tired of the debate.  We shouldn’t have it in a state that has LIVE FREE OR DIE as its motto.  We shouldn’t have it because the straight majority shouldn’t be able to vote itself special rights they can deny to gays, or blacks, or Jews, or Christians, or left-handed people.  We shouldn’t have that debate anymore for much the same reason why we shouldn’t have a debate about reintroducing miscegenation laws. This particular culture war is pretty much over.  There are just too many people nowadays, both liberal and conservative, who recognize that the state should have precisely fuck-all to do with licensing, condoning, or promoting marriage between two consenting adults.

Now, I realize that I’m once again poking the hornet’s nest with a stick by talking about homosexuality, and inviting certain commenters to leave their feces-obsessed ramblings all over this here Interblog.  I do, however, want to put a theory out there:

Most opposition to, disgust with, and fear of homosexuality in this country is simply male discomfort at the thought of male homosexuality. The arguments against homosexuality and gay marriage come wrapped in convenient religious or pseudo-biological arguments, but to me, it looks like it’s simply a moral cloak wrapped around the fact that a lot of straight American males are grossed out at the idea of two men having sex.  (Note the relative popularity of lesbian vs. gay porn among straight males—ask a college frat brother what he thinks of two hot chicks getting it on, and he’s much more likely to give that a thumbs-up than the idea of two hot guys getting it on.)

On a side note—I throw up a little in my mouth whenever I hear someone referring to the Defense of Marriage act.  Talk about a positively Newspeak name for a piece of legislature.  How do you defend something by making sure there’s less of it?  How does it “defend” my marriage when my home state doesn’t let a gay couple get the same legal benefits my wife and I enjoy?  And do come back to me when the straight marriages in this country don’t have a 50% divorce rate.  If social conservatives wanted to defend the institution of marriage, they should start with the straight folks first.  But I’m utterly convinced that most of the anti-gay marriage hullabaloo is just personal disgust and discomfort packaged in convenient selective bits of Scripture.

(And lest anyone accuse me of “being hostile toward religion” again…I have an awful lot of friends who are a.) Christian, b.) good people, and c.) in favor of equal marriage rights.  Keeping marriage and government apart isn’t exactly a new-fangled radical idea.  Render unto Caesar, and all that.)

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65 thoughts on “aw, jeez….not this shit again.

  1. One of my favorite shirts from T-Shirt Hell — “I’m for gay marriage, as long as both chicks are hot!” (now out-of-production)

    And it is interesting that the key author of the DOMA, Bob Barr, now supports repeal of his own act: http://www.bobbarr.org/default.asp?pt=newsdescr&RI=1134

  2. In favor of gay marriage as long as both chicks are hot, and all that.

    When my partners and I got married last year*, the reception was at the same venue as a meeting of New Jersey’s Defenders of the Family.

    Riiight… Defending the family by working to criminalize all but one kind of family.

    [* – Yeah, yeah, polyamorists really are waiting in the wings to take up the fight once the gay marriage thing is squared away. Deal, “social conservatives”. Abraham had Sarah and Hagar. Jacob had Rachel and Leah and Bilhah and Zilpah. Esau had five wives. David had at least eight. Gideon had so many wives, they bore him 70 sons. Solomon “had seven hundred wives of noble birth and three hundred concubines”. It’s not my fault if all you godless liberals have forsaken the Biblical family model and redefined marriage to justify your deviant one-spouse relationships.]

  3. Kristopher says:

    Long time establishment republicans all over the US are hauling out gay cooties fear to try to get the religious folks to save them from the evil Tea Partiers and their fiscal conservatism.

  4. Tam says:

    This deck chair would look so much better over there…

  5. Someone please point out a professional politician, (meaning, who can or has been elected), who thinks that the state should at most be just a registrar of those that wish to to marry, rather than the issuer of “permits”.

    Without an official state church, the issuing of permits for the right to marry is a power the states has unjustly given itself.

  6. John says:

    Yeah, we gotta stop gay marriage and save the dignity of the institution of marriage for straight couples.

    Maybe Larry King, Elizabeth Taylor, Za Za Gabor, Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears can do a series of PSAs about how marriage is a lifetime commitment to one partner.

  7. I find the rash of Republican reactiones across the nation highly disturbing. I can only hope what Chris Rock says about the rise of the tea party come true:
    “When I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last — this is the act up before the sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them — and the next thing you know, they’re f—— knocked out,” Rock said.”

    Because I know until then, they are going to fuck shit up as best they can. The GOP and Tea Party are both pretty clearly trying to undo the last 40 years of American history and trying to get us back to an America that never existed but for in the fever dreams of the worst John Birchers. Be it water, gay rights, womens rights they are clearly eager to tear things apart.

    God help us all.

    • Tam says:

      So the Tea Party’s about institutionalizing racism?

      Way to believe what you’re spoon-fed on the idiot box.

      Be it water, gay rights, womens rights they are clearly eager to tear things apart.

      Fuck you. Sideways.

      • Hey, look! Someone took the bait!

        Not sure where you got the institutionalizing racism part from, but… Okay, I’m going to say that for the most part, the tea party has shown itself to be as racist as it is monochromatic.

        Sorry that my comment upset you so much. Hope you will recover soon and bear no long term effects from my words.

        • Tam says:

          Hey, look! Someone took the bait!

          I TROLL YOU! LOLOLOLOL!

          :rolleyes:

        • Ian Argent says:

          Well, the MSM has certainly tried to portray the Tea Party as monochromatic – somehow managing to miss the melanin of the gent that twisted their panties by bearing an AR-15 to a political rally in AZ in the run-up to the 2010 elections, among others folks that don’t fit the narrative

          Saying the Tea Parties are as racist as they are monochromatic looks a lot better in that light…

    • Tam says:

      (Oh, and the plural possessive of “woman” is “women’s”…)

    • Howdy. I know you’ve already skedaddled, but in case you’re still reading, there’s something I’d like you to know.

      I’m a long-haired, polyamorous, kinky atheist from New Jersey. I work in the publishing industry, and run the stagehands’ crew on a burlesque troupe in my free time. I spent the last weekend clearing dainties from a stage at a convention catering to divers and sundry subcultures while my wives shook their wabbly bits at freaks of every possible color, creed, and sexual preference.

      In short, I ain’t no cousin-humpin’ redneck.

      And when you sit there regurgitating the same “they’re mostly white so they must be racist” garbage I’ve been hearing from obnoxious Democrats since the Tea Parties started? All you’re doing is reinforcing my impression that “racist” now means nothing more than “disagrees with me”. It took a century of ink, sweat, and blood for our culture to turn racism into a serious cultural taboo, and you guys have turned it into an utterly meaningless political slur practically overnight. Thanks a hell of a lot.

    • You do know that those guys with the 0bama/Hitler posters at the TEA party rallies are Democrats for Lyndon LaRouche,, right?

      If you can’t see through that false flag op, there’s little hope for you.

  8. Reactiones.

    Nice espelling, senor. Now people will think I’m an illegal immigrant lover.

    • Roberta X says:

      Just as long as you marries ‘em first. Might have to move to Mass. or Vermont (etc.) in some cases.

      –But what’s this the Tea Party thing? Been a whole lot of gatherings, big and small, from a whole bunch pr organizations and individuals, and they’re all racist? Not a single African-American in their midst carryin’ a sign about taxes or too much government? Every single one pale and hating of ‘em out to whup the darkies and the nellies and the water (what?) back onto the plantation where they belongs? O rilly?

      But all those union protesters in statehouses all across the country, with their mass-produced signs, you’d maybe tell me that’s gen-u-ine grassroots. And never any of us mind how mostly round-eyed and fair that lot is.

      Yepper.

      (And by the way, potable water is what we call a commodity. Yes, that’s a very big word, isn’t it. That means it costs to produce the stuff and deliver it in ready-to-use form. You want free water? Set out a bucket when it rains or dig yourself a well).

      • Roberta,

        You make a couple of interesting points.

        The tea party is the modern day know nothing party in that when asked about it, anyone who seems to espouse their beliefs suddenly seems to know nothing about it. In these times when anyone points to the obviously lop-sided racial makeup of this tea party no one claims to know anything about, people suddenly get forgetful. Or vicious. Or both. But if only 6% of this mysterious group are black I suspect it’s not because they’re not feeling terribly welcome. One wonders why.

        Re: the union protesters. Sure, they’re organized. Grass-roots? Who the hell knows? About as much as the people in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco and elsewhere that want the same kind of Democracy we have had for the last two hundred plus years are. The tea party has the Koch brothers. I have no idea who the Democrats have but I’m sure there’s money behind them just like there is any political group. When the opposition does it, we call it a conspiracy. When our team does it we call it revolution. “Whatevs” as the kids say.

        Commodity is not really that big a word, actually. Not where I live. But that site does look very liberal, though, with all that purple.

        And I don’t remember saying anything about free water, though. Probably because I already pay for it. The issue is clean water , which one would think in the 21st century would be a no-brainer or that hard to provide. But clearly some people don’t think so.

        Also, in regards to what I find fascinating is that smack dab in the middle of those opposed to environmental regulations are folks who are guns owners (someday I hope to have Marko take me shooting and also purchase a firearm from the shop next to my – shhh! – yoga studio). Now, follow my logic (because I know you can), but many gun owners are hunters, especially in my beloved home state of Maine. So when we cut down regulations that will protect the places folks love to hunt and fish in (can we make the fish pay for water somehow? I mean, they shit and piss in it for god’s sake! Make them share the burden of the cleanup! Or better yet sell them water filters after companies get to pollute the hell out of rivers! Yes!). That I really don’t get.

        Finally, all this commenting here on Marko’s blog reminds me how much I dislike arguing on the internet. Oh, I loved it back in ’93, but then I… got a life. Please excuse me while I go live it.

        • Retardo says:

          Don’t you think it’s kind of stupid to tell US we’re racists? Don’t you think we, of all people, might know it’s bullshit?

          You’ll get a lot more mileage for your effort telling that one to somebody who might fall for it.

          Also, the “know nothing” bit was unintelligible. Are you claiming that the people who wave Tea Party signs in public are pretending not to be associated with it? Or what? Please be more clear. The shapes you’re screaming at are in your own head, not mine. It would help if you could describe them in better detail.

  9. Roberta X says:

    (pr = “of” in Bad Typing, my native longo)

    BTW, on that “50% divorce rate? It isn’t. At any given point in time, most married people stay married.

    It makes a kind of metamathematical sense that if, in any year, there are about half as many marriages as their are divorces, then the “divorce rate” must be 50% but that omits all the people who were already married when the year started and stayed that way. Don’t they count?

  10. perlhaqr says:

    Good god! Just fuck off, you stupid cunts! We hire you to balance the budget and rein in the spending of the Demonrats, not try to save us from teh Gheyz.

    We can fire you fuckers just as easily as we fired the last batch.

  11. Al Terego says:

    “…the state should have precisely fuck-all to do with licensing, condoning, or promoting marriage between two consenting adults.”

    Fixed it. Everything else just makes *you* another *them*.

    AT

  12. og says:

    ” But I’m utterly convinced that most of the anti-gay marriage hullabaloo is just personal disgust and discomfort packaged in convenient selective bits of Scripture.”

    I’m sure there are a few idiots out there who feel this way, buit not most. Here’s the bottomline:

    1: Any two people who feel strongly about one another fully understand that it is the committment they make to one another and not the ceremony that matters.

    2: The Government should be in the business of legal civil unions and nothing else. Marriage should remain the exclusive right of religious institutions. By the way, there are religious institutions that allow gay marriage already.

    3: The vocal “Gay marriage” proponents have one aim, and that is the destruction of religious institutions. yeah, yeah, I’m TOTALLY NUTS.

    Wait and see. Google around a bit, too. Wherever Gay Marriage is legalized, the locals immediately begin proceedings against churches trying to force them to accept their lifestyle.

    No, I don’t care what anyone does with their dick, or where they put it, as long as the person, animal, bottle of grease, or knothole into which they put it is consenting. The idea that I would be somehow disgusted by the mechanics of gay sex when I’ve seen industrial accidents up close and personal amuses me. \

    For that matter, I’ve done things with MY dick that…

    …nevermind, you just don’t want to know.

    I don’t want the government THINKING about marriage. Any marriage. And if you’re in a relationship with someone and you think the validity of your relationship is dependant on a ceremony or a piece of paper? Your relationship blows chunks, and you should probably get a divorce or get the hell away.

    • perlhaqr says:

      ” But I’m utterly convinced that most of the anti-gay marriage hullabaloo is just personal disgust and discomfort packaged in convenient selective bits of Scripture.”

      I’m sure there are a few idiots out there who feel this way, buit not most.

      Wait and see. Google around a bit, too. Wherever Gay Marriage is legalized, the locals immediately begin proceedings against churches trying to force them to accept their lifestyle.

      Why claim sanctuary for the first view, but claim the second one couldn’t possibly be “a few idiots who feel this way”? Niven’s Law, man: “No cause is so noble it won’t attract assholes.”

      It’s like the fuckwit upthread who is convinced that the Tea Party is all racists and queer-bashers. Maybe you’re just seeing the most visible of the assclowns associated with the movement?

      (For the record, I’m a Discordian minister who would strongly prefer that they keep their nose out of my bloody religious sacraments, and is firmly of the opinion that the government needs to grant all citizens equal privileges if it’s going to get involved. Which means that if they’re going to call their state sanctioning of civil unions “marriage” and tie a whole passel of other parallel legal crap to it, they have to be blind to the people applying for the license, as long as it’s consenting adults entitled to engage in any other contract behaviour. I also think that people have an absolute right to freedom of association, or not. I’m willing to perform gay marriages. [Or poly marriages, or whatever.] Westboro Bastard Baptist has the right to tell you to fuck off.)

      • og says:

        I’m not claiming sanctuary for anything. Marko makes the argument that most anti-gay marriage people are upset by the mechanics. That has not been my experience. IN fact, I never met anyone not a little otherwise disturbed who as much as gave a shit.

        I don’t want anyone in your sacraments, either, unless your sacraments involve sacrificing humans. Up to that point, marry a beercan to a tuna, for all I care.

        • LabRat says:

          The point buried in the wall above your head:

          You took offense to Marko’s portrayal of the bulk of the opposition to gay marriage as motivated by disgust at the idea of male-male sex and then proceeded to blithely characterize the bulk of the gay-rights movement as motivated by the desire to destroy religion.

          If you don’t want to be taken for your side’s childish nutters, mayhap you oughtn’t assume theirs are representative either.

        • og says:

          Labrat: The point buried in a barn, miles away from where you are standing (and I’ll use small words so you’re sure to understand) is that Marko made a generalization that is provably untrue, and i made a statement (that, you claim, brands me as a “nutter”) which is demonstrably happening. Keep believing there is no way any of what i posit could ever be true. Certainly there’s no gays out there saying “‘Burn their fucking churches, then tax charred timbers’

        • perlhaqr says:

          The point buried in a barn, miles away from where you are standing (and I’ll use small words so you’re sure to understand) is that Marko made a generalization that is provably untrue, and i made a statement (that, you claim, brands me as a “nutter”) which is demonstrably happening.

          Is your point in a barn because it’s horseshit?

          There are some gays who are overtly hostile to religious institutions. And frankly, given that it’s often religious sentiment behind laws officially oppressing queers, and less official sanctions against them in alleys, they’ve got a pretty good justification for feeling that way. Unlike, say, Westboro Bastard, who I recognize is a nutter faction of ‘your team’, who presumably wasn’t founded because Fred Phelps got his ass kicked by fags every day after school.

          But fine. You want to insist Bash This! (whose first action listed on that page was to counter a bunch of actual, bona fide neo-Nazis, how terrible!) is representative of all the people out there who support gay marriage, then I’m going to insist that Westboro Baptist speaks for all of you Christian types.

        • LabRat says:

          “You’re biased toward Christians, stop picking on Christians. Also (nonChristian “other” group) is demonstrably crazy and horrible to the last man, because I said so and this is demonstrable fact.”

          You need a form letter at this point.

      • Kaerius says:

        I’m a pope of discordianism, and now, so is everyone else here. :p

  13. Montie says:

    Chang,

    Yo homes, how did we get from misguided New Hampshire Republican efforts to roll back gay marriage to that mental construct of the lunatic left: supposed universal tea party racism?

    You have managed to get Bobbie and Tam teamed up on you, an untenable situation at best, which would almost engender sympathy if you didn’t come across as such a vacuous troll. I would suggest a quiet exit from your comment fail.

  14. skeptic says:

    This is an issue where I have a hard time understanding why many people whose viewpoint I can normally understand don’t seem to “get” what I do.

    But I find it hard to try to engage in discussion here — seeing stuff like “gay cooties”, “feces obsessed ramblings” and such makes me think not only that you have already made up your mind that anyone who has an opinion contrary to yours on this issue is not worth taking seriously, but that disagreement with your theory that opposition to gay-marriage is “simply a moral cloak wrapped around the fact that a lot of straight American males are grossed out at the idea of two men having sex.” is really unwelcome, in spite of the explicit invitation to consider the theory.

    At one level, I think you are right. I think there are a whole bunch of bigoted anti-gay people in the US. The disgust can be toward what they don’t understand, or toward what they understand well and are fighting against in their own desires. Some will gravitate towards organizations that already have an institutional prohibition against gay sex.

    But institutions object to gay marriage, and they have different reasons. I really doubt one can read Wojtyla’s “Love and Responsibility” and still come away thinking that official Catholic prohibition on any sexual intercourse outside of heterosexual marriage is based upon disgust. They use the word “disordered” to describe many sex activities, by which they mean pretty much that these activities are bad karma. They would not only like to encourage activities that they consider to have good karma, but they are really keen that they have the freedom as an institution both to do good karma things and not to be forced to do bad karma things. I suppose these arguments are “convenient”, if something can be “convenient” but also official position since the time of Paul-of-Tarsus. And frankly, concerns about the impact anti-discrimination law on religious freedom ceased to be theoretical a long time ago. Doesn’t “live free or die” have some relation to freedom of religion and freedom of association?

    There is a very clear public purpose to marriage. It’s civil purpose is to promote secure attachment between children and their biological mothers and fathers. Perhaps 30 years ago a thinking person could get away with suggesting that any sort of family structure was as good as any other for the healthy development of children, but that position is surely untenable now. To acknowledge that (generally) children develop best with their own mother and father is not a sign of antagonism towards single mothers, blended families, adoption, surrogacy, care for orphans, or whatever. These are all good things, and although second best in the general sense might be absolutely the best for some individuals and certainly best available option in many circumstances. We’ve suffered as a culture from a generation where presence of a live-in father was positively discriminated against in our state and national social services (that were designed to “help” children), and we’ve also had the “marriage tax” penalty, so while there are civil perks to marriage there have also been civil disincentives against it.

    To complain that marriage is already debased by the high divorce rate and therefore no-one should object to further changes to marriage law is throwing the baby out with the bath-water. We thought that streamlining divorce would be a social benefit. Perhaps it has been, (certainly a boon for individual autonomy) but the brunt of the negative effects of the change have been born by the wholly innocent parties, the children of the marriages involved. Children living in family units with both parents are less likely to suffer from poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health problems, they do better in school, they don’t get arrested as much, blahblahblah. There is a social purpose in the civil support of heterosexual marriage.

    Gay couples have suffered vast discrimination. On too many occasions I’ve been really steamed to discover that the partners of friends were not allowed to visit them at hospital bedside, on the instruction of estranged family members. “Family” (the estranged jerks) were allowed to visit and give instruction on care for the “indisposed”, while the very person who cared the most and knew the most about the wishes of the patient was excluded. That is just wrong. Some of these situations ended up having estate and tax issues that in spite of advanced planning resulted in the loss of the surviving partner’s home. That is also way wrong. So I am strongly of the opinion that a legal partnership that establishes legal kinship and legal partner succession in civil matters should exist in law and be just as strong as civil marriage.

    But to call LG partnership “marriage”? Doesn’t this approach Alice-in-Wonderland territory? It’s a Wizard of Oz diploma. Marriage has existed in all cultures since pre-history, and although there have been differences over time and between cultures — who chooses the partner and why, mono vs poly — a marriage has in all cultures until now been between a man and a woman. To say “this relationship is marriage, this other relationship is not” is descriptive sociology, not bias. “defense of marriage” is not “newspeak”, the act of that name enshrines the “oldspeak” meaning into federal law — for the moment.
    I can’t speak to the current hullabaloo amongst NH Repubs. I see no mention of it on their website or in press reports, nor a linkie above.

    But I fully agree with your sentiment in the post title. Now matter how contentious the issue, once a decision has been made that establishes the outcome that I desire, everyone on the other side should just shut up and accept it for ever.

    • Ian Argent says:

      The horse of “marriage” vs “civil union” once you could stand in front of an agent of government with 2 witnesses and claim the title of “married” without an agent of your god or gods handy to bless the sanctity.

      If you want to reclaim marriage from the heathens, start there…

  15. Marko Kloos says:

    Folks,

    Chang’s a friend of mine, and a good guy. Disagree with his politics and his arguments if you want, but lay off the personal attacks, please.

    • Tam says:

      I’d like to stay and argue civilly with him, Marko, but I got a negro to lynch and some gay women to oppress, right after I decode my marching orders from the Koch Brothers at Tea Party Central Headquarters telling me which river I need to go pee in.

      Besides, I got tired of arguing on the internet in 1992! So there!

      • Marko Kloos says:

        I remember 1992. Do you even know how *hard* it is to have an argument at 9600 baud?

        Maybe we should yank out all the cable and FiOS trunks, and let everyone dial into AOHell with 14.4k modems again. Once you’re finally dialed in after the ninth attempt, and you have to pay per hour, who wants to waste their precious online time arguing with strangers?

    • Montie says:

      Marko,

      If so taken, please accept that I had no intent to make personal offence, I was merely pointing out that not only do I disagree with the veracity if his statements, but that astoundingly, he managed to draw the ire of two females that I would be very uncomfortable on the wrong side of, mainly because they are usually right about the things they comment on (not because I always agree with each of them, but because they are usually careful enough when commenting to be backed up by something I like to refer to as facts).

      Besides that, I have seen that Tam can weild the snark like Miyamoto Musashi could weild a blade, not something I’d want to be on the wrong end of ;-)

  16. Roberta X says:

    This isn’t personal, Marko; and you know I am not Republican or “conservative,” I’m a horrid nasty an-cap anarchist. I enjoy the Tea Partiers ‘cos they speak up and are poking the GOP with a sharp stick. Your friend is welcome to his opinions.

    …But at least one of them is mistaken. Quoting from the linked article he points to as provng how demographically lopsided the Tea Partiers are (which is not the same thing as “racism, ” unless the DAR and the League of Women Voters are racist, too): “In several other respects, however — their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”

    In fact, their racial makeup is within a reasonable margin of the error of that as the country as a whole. It’s also what I would expect of a movement with a very large number of members from small towns and rural areas; those of us who live in big cities do not have a clear grasp of actual U.S. demographics, as large urban centers have disproportionally high non-white populations for historical reasons that date back centuries. (There was an interactive demographic map in the New York Times online awhile back, drawing on census data, really amazing).

    Believe what you want; look up the facts, too.

  17. Al Terego says:

    The beauty of the “Tea Party” is this…there ain’t one.

    What there is, (and here’s hoping we can make it to ’12 without this singular beauty being co-opted), is a loosely organized group with no real central connection to any one philosophy, or goal, or set of hired flunkies (politicians), save this :

    They’re sick and tired, and mad as hell, and they’re not gonna take it anymore.

    That is very likely to result in momentous change in the next few years, no matter what side of any issue you’re on, and none of us are very likely to be totally happy when all is said and done. And that’s as it should be.

    As for your rather one-sided caution for civil discourse, Marko, well it’s your blog and your friend, but his side of the discussion had little to do with politics and everything to do with hate…ironically what he is purportedly on about. He may want to check out the new Clinton/Bush center for civility. I’m sure he’ll find lots of like-minded hypocrites there.

    AT

  18. AJD says:

    Let the assorted churches do what ever they want with “Marriage” since it is a religious ceremony, but a religious ceremony, by itself, should not confer specific legal rights on those who have participated, without granting those same rights to anyone else that desires them.
    The legal (and financial, etc.) aspects that go along with getting married should be separated out into a civil union, which is appropriate for local government representatives to record into their records as binding between two consenting adults.

    A marriage can be defined anyway that a particular church wants to define it in their personal Deity User Manual.

    A civil union, like all legal constructs, comes with certain benefits, and certain costs, but the government is forbidden by the constitution from granting those rights to some adults, while denying them to others.

    • perlhaqr says:

      The problem with this (as I understand it, I am not a lawyer) is that the existing body of law, and hundreds of millions of contracts, and so on, all refer to “marriage” and “married couples” and other such variations of that phrase. Which makes waving the magic wand of government and saying “all existing marriages are now ‘civil unions’, and we’re granting them to any consenting adult couple” (small steps, Elmo, small steps) a bit problematic in that now lots of things are suddenly outside of the scope of the law and other negotiated contracts.

      Which is why, as much as it sucks to overload the word “marriage” to have essentially two meanings, it is a requirement for true equality before the law that homosexual unions be referred to as “marriage”, legally.

      • For what it’s worth, I don’t see poly marriage as nearly so straightforward a matter as gay marriage, and getting equal rights for us would require a hell of a lot of changes to a hell of a lot of institutions public and private.

        As just one example, medical insurance that covers subscribers’ spouses would have to change radically or become a thing of the past. When a hundred leftists who don’t think they should have to pay for medicine in the first place can all go out and marriage licenses to share one policy…

        I have no problem butting out of the gay marriage issue and letting it settle its own score before getting deviants like me involved. I just wish the movement would stop shooting itself in the foot, is all.

        • perlhaqr says:

          I think most insurance policies already require additional subscriber fees for spouses. I know that through my wife’s insurance, adding me to the coverage is pretty stupidly expensive.

        • Ian Argent says:

          Adding a person to an existing plan is usually cheaper than starting a new one. In my particular case, it’s been much cheaper to add my wife to my plan than to start one of her own the times it’s come up.

          Amusing anecdote – the Boston Globe, who had provided benefits to “partners”, revoked them and told their gay employees to get married to keep them when the MA gay marriage act happened.

        • Same deal here. Adding the-partner-to-whom-I’m-legally-married was much cheaper than her getting her own policy. Adding the-partner-the-law-doesn’t-recognize would be a huge boon to our family, frankly, but I get how that probably wouldn’t be a sustainable business model for an insurance company in the medical industry we’re stuck with. And we’re a pretty simple poly family–essentially a mainstream relationship with three instead of two. Once you start factoring in the positively Heinleinian relationships out there… Yeah. We’ll let the gay folks sort out their own fight before we start complicating things.

  19. Rick O' Shea says:

    AJD pretty much nailed what I wanted to say on the issue – the legal aspect of getting hitched; the whole “county courthouse” route, should be gender agnostic.
    If you equate “marriage” with “Holy Matrimony”, then you’re getting into church-defined unions, and that can be as traditional or as Heinleinesque as your particular church wants to make it.

    As to skeptic’s comments regarding creating a stable home environment for children:
    “Children living in family units with both parents are less likely to suffer from poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health problems, they do better in school, they don’t get arrested as much…”

    I agree. But the conclusion derived from this is:
    “There is a social purpose in the civil support of heterosexual marriage. ”

    I would posit that children growing up in a home with people who love each other would acquire all of the psychological and social stabilities mentioned whether the parents were of mixed or same sex.

    When homosexuality was an absolutely not-to-be-spoken-of thing, many gays entered into “camoflage” marriages, which sometimes produced offspring. How would you like to be a child growing up under some of those roofs?

    No offense: your post is a reasonable and well thought out statement of your point of view. I just don’t think we can deny the reality of human sexual biology “for the children”.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Yes, because my cheating, hard-drinking, abusive father who ditched the family when I was eleven was such a biological bonus to my development. I’m sure growing up with two moms or two *loving* fathers instead would have *really* fucked up my childhood.

      • perlhaqr says:

        I’m sure growing up with two moms or two *loving* fathers instead would have *really* fucked up my childhood.

        Well, it might have. Given how outre homosexuality was in our (and even more so, your) youth, growing up as the kid of an openly homosexual couple… Well, a lot of people seem to respond to that sort of cultural stress by turning into leftists. *shudder*

        Of course, that’s more an argument for normalising homosexuality, than banning unions thereof, but hey. :D

      • og says:

        Hey, I have friends who- for all practical purposes- were raised by wolves. They turned out OK. Neither is it a condemnation of the marriage bond in general when one marriage turns out bad, nor is it an appropbation of the validity of non traditional unions when they work out well. Oddly enough, each case is different.

        There are three gay couples in my extended family; one a step-uncle, two cousins. Two are pretty normal, one is batshit crazy. Seems about the same percentage as the rest of my family. Bootomline? I don’t give a rats ass. Do what makes you happy. Don’t use it as a weapon to try to destroy MY church because you don’t like not being accepted by the Catholics/Presbyterians/Baptists etc.

        • Ian Argent says:

          My problem with opposing gay marriage on the basis that some gays are aggressively atheist is that being gay is neither necessary nor sufficient to want to tear down the church. Straight folks crap all over the sanctity of marriage every day, and plenty of straights want to bounce the rubble of every church out there, and we let them marry

  20. Tennessee Budd says:

    Bobbi: I thought we were an anarcho-syndicalist commune!

  21. Montie says:

    I can’t imagine that ending well for YOUR repressor!

  22. Roberta X says:

    It depends. I’m a tyrant about Where Things Are Put Away in the Kitchen, in part because of the slapdash way I cook — but Tam usually runs and unloads the dishwasher. The repression and throttling of free expression that ensues… Well, it’s brutal. That’s all I’m sayin’.

    Indiana’s legislature has some damfoolery about bannin’ gay marriage underway, too, even though it’s already illegal. They want to make it illegaler. I don’t know if Tam and I will have to submit evidence of heterosexuality in order to continue to be allowed to share a roof or what.
    OTOH, we already have a contractual relationship: we’re doomed! Dooooomed!
    “Do you, Tamara, take this woman to be your lawfully contracted landlady, so long as you shall be able to pay the rent…?”
    “I do.”
    “And do, you, Roberta, take this woman as your lodger?”
    “Only if she promises to put the steamer with the pots and pans where it BELONGS!”
    “Does not!”
    “Does too!”

  23. GayCynic says:

    I arrive late, darn it.

    However, I’ll chime in. After all, if I can just *find* a partner worth a damn, I have a dog in this fight.

    How’s that “separate but equal” thing worked out for us in the past?

    On the legal/practical front “marriage” is defined, at state/national/international levels in terms of rights, obligations, and consequences.

    There’s even a well-defined “way out” (aka divorce) that doesn’t change at random whenever you cross a state line.

    To Og’s final issue (3) about LGBT folks being a tad peevish with various faith tradition…at one level, WHY THE HELL WOULDN’T WE BE? AND WHY WOULDN’T WE INSIST THE PIPER BE PAID?

    After all, until quite recently an awful lot of the “Faggots & Dykes are just EVIL and should be ” has been preached with greater and lesser degrees of obviousness from the pulpits (or substitutes therefore), and carried out by the faithful or those who thought they were acting on God’s behalf.

    It’s not a surprise when the response, once the boot is lifted for a bit, for some folks summarizes as “payback is a bitch” or “never again”.

    And it hasn’t been that long. An awful lot of the old warhorses of the LGBT political community came to maturity during the Stonewall era, with worldviews framed by the era of their origin – when the views of the Bastard of Westboro were a whole bunch more acceptable, and often accompanied with substantially more ugly actions.

    Most of us (why yes I am gay), though (particularly the under-45 crowd) really don’t *care* about the churches one way or another, beyond the more wonkish among us questioning whether tax exemptions amount to the establishment of religion counter to the terms of the Constitution.

    To the extent that’s not true…it takes time for a community to drift out of a bunker mentality. Especially one which, amongst the ugliness, had/has some rather nice aspects that some of us miss.

    We’re a bunch more focused on equality before the law. And not doing decades of second class “civil unions” because we are somehow not good enough for “marriage”. We want to be able to get married in Massachusetts…and, if we want, move to Texas without being told later that since Texas doesn’t recognize gay marriage…a judge will not be permitted to adjudicate our divorces. Or to Florida, and have the adoption of our children suddenly questioned…though we are the only parents they have ever known.

    And yes, the word does matter – when you’re facing a recalcitrant hospital administrator or bailing a partner out of a small town jail, dealing with the aftermath of your partners death, or dealing with immigration and other legal issues.

    There will, for decades, be a percentage for whom the memory and the pain is too fresh to play nicely with others. But each year mellows the survivors, and entropy mellows them far more thoroughly in the fullness of time.

    If you’re under 60, unless you are a student of obscure and fairly ugly history, it’s difficult to appreciate *how much better things are*. But for those who lived it, a lot of those memories are still fresh…and I honestly can’t begrudge, even as I may disagree with, their rage.

    But for me? And most of my friends? Give us equality before the law, refrain from poking at us with sharp sticks, and we’re probably too busy to notice you – let alone try and mess with your church.

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