Republicans move quickly to protect us from those horrible gays.

First the President calls for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and now here in Michigan some Oakland County Republicans want one for the State Constitution as well. This is one of those issues that I have a hard time seeing as anything other than a perfect example of Church being intertwined with State. Can anyone give me any rational explanation that doesn’t involve religion in any way as to why two people of the same sex who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together shouldn’t be allowed to marry? Just one good reason that isn’t grounded in religion?

Because once you move past the issue of marriage as a religious exercise it becomes a matter of legal rights granted by the State. As an atheist I didn’t get married because it was the right thing to do in the eyes of God, but because of the legal rights it grants to my wife and I. Things such as the ability to have her covered under my employer’s medical plan, the right to make determinations about my health care if I should become disabled, the rights to my property should I be killed and so on. As icing on the cake it served as a symbol of the commitment I have for her. Religion had nothing to do with it. Most of the gay men and women that I know and have spoken with on this topic are pretty much of the same frame of mind. It’s the legal status and rights marriage endows that they want to be able to share with their partners, most don’t care if the church approves of it. Churches shouldn’t have to perform gay marriages if they don’t want to. I didn’t get married in a church for obvious reasons.

The simple fact is that a marriage is an act between two people who feel enough love for each other that they are willing to commit to a legally binding contract that brings with it many responsibilities as well as benefits. Whether or not those two people are of the same sex or not shouldn’t be an issue as long a they are serious about the responsibilities they are committing to. Marriage as a “sacred institution” is a pretty piss-poor argument in the face of a 58% divorce rate among heterosexuals. Can’t be that sacred if people give up on it that readily. There’s a part of me that wonders if all this homophobic fear shown by so many straight people over gays getting married is a reflection of their deep-seated fear that the gays might be better at marriage than they are. Wouldn’t surprise me.

Update: Dave over at ***Dave Does the Blog has a good take on this issue as well. Go read it.

40 thoughts on “Republicans move quickly to protect us from those horrible gays.

  1. *claps* Kudos to you Les! I spent most of yesterday pissed off about this issue. The most insane thing I heard in the conversation was that government rewards the marriage of only man/woman couple because they are able to reproduce and add children to the society thereby insuring the continuation of society. I just have a difficult time with government being involved in marriage at all. I am in a committed long term relationship and we have every intention of being together until death do us part. We just simply chose not to jump for that legal document. Yes the insurance bit would be nice, especially since I am considered uninsurable due to pre-existing health conditions. But the rest can and will be dealt with with other legal documents, a will and a living will. I don’t care if I have any tax break or not.

  2. I am curious to see if anyone really CAN justify this nonsense without dragging religion into it. I am outraged at the Vatican (not surprised, just outraged) with their latest “we’re right, everyone else is wrong, so everyone needs to be like us” document. It not only opposes marriage between same-sex couples, it opposes adoption of children into such a union. Because oh yes, it’s so much better to let kids get lost in foster care and our horrible system than to place them into a home where they will be loved and cared for. ARGH!

  3. It just amazes me how weak and pathetic their arguement against gay marriages are.
    Sounds like some states will allow it soon
    like New Jersey, then let the fireworks fly.

  4. Without playing the religion/morality card, the ban can’t be justified.
    When my now ex-wife and I got married we had a civil ceremony performed by a judge.
    The judge gave us copies of ceremonies he performed and allowed us to “cut and paste”.
    We had zero references to god or religion.
    Unlike some ceremonies I’ve heard about that wanted it the same way, our judge was cool and “stuck to the script”.
    I know several gay couples that have been together longer than most of my straight friends.

  5. President Bush, in a recent question and answer session at the Allentown, Pa. Yankee Doodle Day Care Center fielded questions from way in the future voters. The subject most, not surprisingly, had on their minds was gay marriage.

    One purple-headed youth wondered why gays would want to marry anyway, adding that

  6. Brock,

    Is that for real, or did you write it yourself as a feasibility exercise?  If real, I’ve gotta get it! Is it on a web-site?

    After Bush’s “I am mindful that we are all sinners” intro the gay marriage topic at his (cough)press conference I expected intense media outrage (I never learn, do I?). Sinners? Is this a viable concept for governance in the 21st century?!?  What’s next..Scapulamancy?  (Oh yeah, Poindexter’s “Terrorism Futures Market” was a close form of divination – relying on the Omnipotent Market instead of animistic spirits).

    I’ve known a number of homosexual couples who have been together for 20 -30 years, who are dignified model citizens, and who conscientiously involve themselves in the community.  But our leaders call them sinners who don’t deserve the rights accorded to any Las Vegas one-night stand.

    My wife, an ICU RN, has frequently dealt with situations in which one member of a gay or lesbian couple is dying, but the couple has never gotten around to legally establishing power of attorney.  Generally, there is some antagonistic member of the dying partner’s family whose zealous objections to the lifestyle override everyone else’s grief, and the bereaved partner is cut out of any contact or decision-making.

    So much for family values.

  7. One more thing…

    I keep hearing opponents of gay marriage stating emphatically that it was God’s intent that marriage was to reflect procreation between men and women.  Does this mean that people who can be demonstrated to be sterile should not be allowed to marry?

  8. And if it is simply a matter of procreation who needs marriage at all? Just about any girl of 13 can manage that astoundingly common ‘miraculous’ feat and a lot of them do. It is just one more form of control, a carrot/stick scenario punishing the outsiders and rewarding the good little followers of convention. Yay government….our eternal parental control.

  9. Ken, I wrote it, wanting to poke fun at Bush’s desperate attempt to get the greater GOP behind him on a single issue. I thought of having even one-year-olds ask relevant questions but realized even Bush wouldn’t bother to indoctrinate someone that young. Is it on a web-site? Yeah, this one. Heh heh.

    My first thought when I heard him say “I am mindful that we are all sinners” was that he’s right about himself at least. It angered me and I expected the remark to turn around and bite him on the evening news. What was I thinking? The optimist in me expects that it yet will, eventually. After all, christians love to call out others’ sins but hate to be accused of sinning themselves. 

  10. Goodness Brock, you scared the hell out of me!  I thought Bush really said that crap!  I was just hooking the hose to my car’s exhust pipe when I decided to come back in and read one more post.  I could not bear to live with the thought of such a moron with his finger on the “new-cew-ler” button smile

  11. the only legit reason to keep gays from marrying is Tab A fits in Slot B (or theoretically could).

    Penis fits in Vagina.  That’s it.  That’s the only viable reason to deny gay folks marriage.  That’s the grand special sanctity of it all.  And to be fair to those who have been injured or born differently, “theoretically penis fits vagina”.
    If under normal circumstances the couple would have a working penis and vagina, then they’re cool.

    It’s not about procreation, We let sterile couples get and stay married all the time.

    It’s not about raising kids, we let couples get away with never having kids and never adopting.

    It’s not about love.  We let Britney get married and nobody stopped that.  People have marriages of convenience, and while we may not like it——we can’t do dick about it.

    So if love,  raising kids, race, class, libido, and fertility don’t matter

  12. Gays should not be allowed to have kids or get married becuase, they are not good parents or moral examples for the youth of america. The amercian public has already gone to hell, why destroy the little integrity that we have left, by allowing these creatures to dominate our views. It is wrong. Plain and simple. How does a two year old explaint that she has two fathers? She cant.

  13. Snotty Rich Kid, you asked,

    How does a two year old explaint that she has two fathers?

      She shouldn’t have to.  That question is a varient of the previous “How does a two year old explain that one of her parents is black and the other is white?”  Will you now say that interracial marriages should not be allowed?  The only reason the two year old would have a problem is when other two-year olds are raised to be bigots.  Besides I think having to deal with tauntings of one’s parental lifestyle infinitly more preferable to not having any parents and being raised by the state.

  14. I keep hearing the marriage thing tossed about. I was surprised it got any traction. But just like most things it is made messier then it is.

    ‘Marriage’ is a joining of two complentery contrasting things for the purpose of creating a result that has value beyond the sum of the two parts. Not just sticking two things next to eachother.

    A good analogy is concrete and steel. EACH has widely recognized excellent properties in a huge variety of applications. Both are often used individually. Mostly in structural applications. But when married together they each strengthen the weak properties of the other and are FAR stronger then each could ever acommplish indivdually. This is unversily accepted as how to make a foundation. The least noticed, yet most vital part of any sound structure.

    Human marriage is a complimentary contrast of genders. Each becomes more by the joining with the other. This base provides a child a sense of security in the world untill they can become self sufficient. This is how children learn about men and about women. This is HOW they BECOME self sufficient. To call anything OTHER then a joining of a man and a woman with PERMENANT intentions and the anticipation of bearing children is not a marriage it is something else. Relationships have a huge variety of forms, from friend, mentor, partmer, trusted acuaintence, profesional, etc. But if you throw a football at a batter you are NOT playing baseball. No matter how much you cry that it ‘SHOULD BE’ or that you have the ‘RIGHT’ to baseball like the other players.

  15. snotty rich kid, a 4 year old shouldn’t have to explain it, but it is taboo and “disgusting” to so many people that it’s painful for the children of homosexual couples. if people wouldn’t think of it as so bad, that 4-year old would be a lot better off.

    maybe a bit of open-mindedness is in store? i know it’s scary for someone like you, but can make the world a much better place.

  16. Well, your’1 good reason…..’, we’ve had the argument from physiology (slot V, tab P), the argument from genetics (homosexuality is not reproductively fit), the argument from the Bible (homosexuality is evil), and now we have the building contractor’s argument (heteros are like concrete and steel).  At least this is a new twist.  Not really an argument, however.  Analogies can be dandy to try to make something clear, but they don’t prove anything.
    You say:

    To call anything OTHER then a joining of a man and a woman with PERMENANT intentions and the anticipation of bearing children is not a marriage it is something else.

    Wow, this is restrictive as it gets.  So men and women who are too old, genetically incapable, or simply not interested in having children should not be allowed to marry?  Or if they are married, these marriages should be annulled?  Even the fundies don’t go that far.

    But if you throw a football at a batter you are NOT playing baseball. No matter how much you cry that it ‘SHOULD BE’ or that you have the ‘RIGHT’ to baseball like the other players.

    This is the same kind of argument, as in not an argument.  You might as well say:

    But if you give a ballot to a woman you are NOT engaging in politics. No matter how much you cry that it ‘SHOULD BE’ or that they have the ‘RIGHT’ to vote like the men.

  17. Following the argument from Bob the Builder, there will be a feature presentation of the argument from Dora the Explorer. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode of the argument Barney’s Clues Blues.

  18. zilch, elwed, you guys maketh me to laugh much.

    On a completely separate topic, but one that I just have to share, the wife and I just got a little dalmation/labrador mix puppy.  He’s so damn cute.  He looks like a dalmation with a black saddle on his back, and a long black glove on his front left paw.

    I’ve never had a puppy before!  They’re cute!

    cheese

  19. Some optimism in an otherwise nasty debate.  The story of Michael Hendricks and Rene LeBoeuf. The two men that lead the fight for equal rights for gays in Canada
    Story here

    …. Both men became AIDS activists, fighting for rights, medical treatment and understanding for their dying friends. The experience inspired the fight for marriage, they say.

    As partners fell ill, survivors had no rights and were often left with no say in medical treatment.

    “Doctors would seek the opinion of some old aunt rather than asking the lover,” says Hendricks, who still works with sufferers of HIV and AIDS.

    “When you’re in a hospital, the most powerful words in the world are ‘I am the husband’ or ‘I am the wife.’ When those words come out, everything else stops.”

    When a partner would die, the survivor often had no rights for benefits or property. Vindictive families who did not approve of homosexuality would sometimes clear out homes, leaving the survivor with nothing.

    “In the AIDS world, we would see people who would go home to an empty apartment,” Hendricks recalls. “It just added to the horror.

    “It was a nightmare. The family could take anything because there was no clarity.”

    Anecdotal support of exactly what you were talking about Les.  They seem to be a whole lot like everyone else.  What in the world could be so threatening about this?

    Yesterday I watched an interview with one of our Provincial Premiers.  He is from Alberta and a staunch rightwing anti gay marriage advocate.  He was being questioned by a reporter and she finally asked the question I’d been asking all along.  She asked him what did he find so objectionable about Gay marriage.  He said “I find nothing objectionable about it.  It’s just wrong” then went on to talk about the sanctity of the institution and what not. The comment which leads me to believe that in Canada at least, some poiticians will give it lip service if it suits their constiutency.  Knowing full well that it will be made law next year and there is little, if anything they can do to stop it.  And they have excepted the fact that they are now in the minority.

  20. Thanks, Scorn.  This is indeed something to be optimistic about.

    What in the world could be so threatening about this?

    a)it’s ungodly, because it’s forbidden in the Bible
    b)it’s weird, because it’s something most of us don’t do, and we don’t want to think about it, because maybe we’re weird too…

  21. Well I was wrong – I am posting again.

    I’m not sure if someone’s already said this, but maybe a good reason to not have homosexual marriages is because any kids that they adopt (or concieve with female couples) are perhaps more likely to become homosexual. This looks bad evolutionary, as a race of pure homosexuals will most likely die out.

    However it also struck me that maybe this is exactly what evolution intends – maybe humans have dominated long enough and something has decided that it is time for us to end. Maybe a similar idea as with the dinosaurs? Or maybe a lesser form, just trying to control the human population before the world is eaten up.

    But how could this be? Even some people who have no idea that there are greater than 6 billion humans on earth and have no contact with any outsiders are gay.

    Some mysteries only time will tell. The others are there for discussion.

  22. maybe a good reason to not have homosexual marriages is because any kids that they adopt (or concieve with female couples) are perhaps more likely to become homosexual.

    No, their kids will be more likely to be ACCEPTING of homosexuals, not to “become” homosexuals. I think more acceptance is a great thing. And I think you’re right about the world needing some kind of population control, so maybe accepting the life choices of some people whereby they are gay and do not have children, or maybe are straight and do not have children will help control the world’s population. Also, by gay people adopting children, those children can be raised in loving homes rather than foster homes and whatnot.

  23. Err, sorry, not to say foster homes aren’t loving, but being fully adopted makes for a much more stable life than being bounced from foster home to foster home.

  24. Anonymous spoke through the cowl of his Bat-mask:

    Well I was wrong – I am posting again.

    *GASP!*  Who didn’t see *that* coming?!

    Anonymous: I’m not sure if someone’s already said this, but maybe a good reason to not have homosexual marriages is because any kids that they adopt (or concieve with female couples) are perhaps more likely to become homosexual.

    The main reason no one has said this already is because it’s idiotic.

    That is, unless you have some statistical evidence to present which shows that children who live (or are brought up by) homosexuals are more likely to become homosexual. 

    Anonymous: This looks bad evolutionary, as a race of pure homosexuals will most likely die out.

    That’s only if there’s a “homosexual gene” that ONLY homosexuals could “pass on” . . . right?  Cuz REAL heterosexuals don’t “pass on” homosexuality – right? 

    I’m sure your high-profile alter-ego has all this documentation at his fingertips . . . 

    Anonymous: However it also struck me that maybe this is exactly what evolution intends – maybe humans have dominated long enough and something has decided that it is time for us to end. Maybe a similar idea as with the dinosaurs? Or maybe a lesser form, just trying to control the human population before the world is eaten up.

    What the fuck are you babbling about?  Are you saying that humans are gonna go extinct because of homosexuals?  What about all of those hetersexuals fuckin’ away out there? 

    Anonymous: But how could this be? Even some people who have no idea that there are greater than 6 billion humans on earth and have no contact with any outsiders are gay.

    I’ve tried, but I simply cannot parse this statement.  Mind if I run it through your Bat-Computer?

    Anonymous: Some mysteries only time will tell. The others are there for discussion.

    In order for there to be “discussion”, there has to be some logical premise submitted for consideration.  I’m still waiting for one from you . . .

  25. any kids that they adopt (or concieve with female couples) are perhaps more likely to become homosexual.

    Emphasis added. Do I hear you say that homosexuals procreate, thus rendering your own hypothesis moot?

    However it also struck me that maybe this is exactly what evolution intends

    Evolution does not intend anything.

  26. Anonymous – However it also struck me that maybe this is exactly what evolution intends

    Elwed – Evolution does not intend anything.

    Gee, Elwed, ya beat me to it.  But this illustrates a common, basic mistake; to anthropomorphicize the universe.  Emergent processes just are.  Yet I hear people all the time speak as if evolution were working toward some goal (which is usually humanity). 

    The basic mistake is contained in the question; “If man evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” It assumes evolution is a directed process, and ignores divergence leading to diversity.

    I think our species pretty much has that whole, “Be fruitful and multiply” thing down.  A few non-reproductive behavioral variations will certainly not hurt.

  27. This looks bad evolutionary, as a race of pure homosexuals will most likely die out.

    However it also struck me that maybe this is exactly what evolution intends – maybe humans have dominated long enough and something has decided that it is time for us to end. Maybe a similar idea as with the dinosaurs?

    This certainly does a number on my worldview, Anonymous.  So it wasn’t an asteroid, or volcanoes, or hay fever that killed off the dinosaurs:  they just all up and turned queer.  One would have thought, however, that we would have found some fossil record at the K/T boundary of the humongous gay dino bars…

  28. One would have thought, however, that we would have found some fossil record at the K/T boundary of the humongous gay dino bars…

    No no no – intelligent design leaves no traces.

  29. In the last post I used some poor choices of words. I am sorry if I gave the impression that I am homophobic.

    Beau Tochs – That is, unless you have some statistical evidence to present which shows that children who live (or are brought up by) homosexuals are more likely to become homosexual.

    This is a good point. I don’t have any evidence that what I said is true, but this is the way that some people think. It could be right, could be wrong. I don’t necessarily believe it either. The whole issue is very political.

    elwedriddsche – Do I hear you say that homosexuals procreate, thus rendering your own hypothesis moot?

    Assuming that the previous idea about homosexuals being more likely to bring up homosexual children is correct (just bear with it for a minute) then perhaps the vast majority of the human race would be gay in the future (continuing the trend from the last 50 years or so of the increase of homosexuality).

    At this point, my chain of thought was that a race of homosexuals will probably have less than 2 children per couple, reducing the population over time. This thinking is probably flawed because I was imagining a race of more primitive beings with a smaller population than humans.

    Even if the human race were 100% homosexual, I expect that they would come to some solution like you pointed out. I was just thinking that a process originally driven by biological urges would not happen without them.

    The amount of homosexuals in the world today gives a fair indication that homosexuality is not an evolutionary dead end.

    elwedriddsche – Evolution does not intend anything.

    I should have said the future, and I could have used a better word than intend, but you get the general idea.

    decrepitoldfool – Yet I hear people all the time speak as if evolution were working toward some goal (which is usually humanity)

    Right. There is nothing to tell us that evolution is moving towards anything – people like to believe it though. I guess this is similar to believing in God. It is probably just a person’s own way of dealing with the hoplessness of the situation.

    zilch – This certainly does a number on my worldview, Anonymous.  So it wasn’t an asteroid, or volcanoes, or hay fever that killed off the dinosaurs:  they just all up and turned queer.

    I just meant that once upon a time, the largest, most dominant animals on the planet were wiped out very quickly. Maybe it will happen again?

    Anyway it was just a thought.

    Intelligence breeds unhappiness

    Anonymous

  30. I’m a bit behind in responding to this thread, but bear with me…

    Beau Tochs – That is, unless you have some statistical evidence to present which shows that children who live (or are brought up by) homosexuals are more likely to become homosexual.

    This is a good point. I don’t have any evidence that what I said is true, but this is the way that some people think. It could be right, could be wrong. I don’t necessarily believe it either. The whole issue is very political.

    Yes, some people do think what you said is true. According to a number of studies that have been done those people are incorrect:

      “Children raised in homosexual households will become gay.”

      The bulk of evidence to date indicates that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are no more likely to become homosexual than children raised by heterosexuals. As one researcher put it, “If heterosexual parenting is insufficient to ensure that children will also be heterosexual, then there is no reason to conclude that children of homosexuals also will be gay”.

      Studies asking the children of gay fathers to express their sexual orientation showed the majority of children to be heterosexual, with the proportion of gay offspring similar to that of a random sample of the population. An assessment of more than 300 children born to gay or lesbian parents in 12 different samples shows no evidence of “significant disturbances of any kind in the development of sexual identity among these individuals”. – Source: Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents: Resources for Professionals and Parents by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    It doesn’t take much searching to look this data up on your own.

    Assuming that the previous idea about homosexuals being more likely to bring up homosexual children is correct (just bear with it for a minute) then perhaps the vast majority of the human race would be gay in the future (continuing the trend from the last 50 years or so of the increase of homosexuality).

    At this point, my chain of thought was that a race of homosexuals will probably have less than 2 children per couple, reducing the population over time. This thinking is probably flawed because I was imagining a race of more primitive beings with a smaller population than humans.

    It’s a moot point, but you’ve got some faulty assumptions working in the above argument. Namely that homosexual parents will always end up raising homosexual kids. Even if the assumption that homosexuality is a choice and not an issue of genetics turned out to be true there’s nothing that says all children of homosexuals would choose to emulate their parents in adopting that lifestyle.

    Even if the human race were 100% homosexual, I expect that they would come to some solution like you pointed out. I was just thinking that a process originally driven by biological urges would not happen without them.

    The amount of homosexuals in the world today gives a fair indication that homosexuality is not an evolutionary dead end.

    The fact that there are a number of animal species in the world in which homosexuality is common yet the species continues to thrive proves right there that homosexuality isn’t the threat to continued existence some folks like to think it is.

    Right. There is nothing to tell us that evolution is moving towards anything – people like to believe it though. I guess this is similar to believing in God. It is probably just a person’s own way of dealing with the hoplessness of the situation.

    Hope is largely a matter of attitude and perspective. I don’t see anything hopeless about a Godless universe or means in which Evolution takes place. Indeed, the fact that constant change is the norm is what gives me hope for the future.

    I just meant that once upon a time, the largest, most dominant animals on the planet were wiped out very quickly. Maybe it will happen again?

    Maybe? I’d argue probably. The difference being that we may have the foresight and ingenuity to avoid that fate should the day arrive again. Of course, we also have the means of doing ourselves in long before some natural event such as a killer asteroid has a chance to do it for us.

  31. The fact that there are a number of animal species in the world in which homosexuality is common yet the species continues to thrive proves right there that homosexuality isn’t the threat to continued existence some folks like to think it is.

    Well, that depends on how you define “homosexuality”.  True, male-male and female-female sexual behavior has been observed in numerous animals, but males who exhibit exclusively gay sexual preference are only know from two species: humans and sheep.  What this means, if anything, is unclear.

    In any case, two things do seem clear.  One, the human race is in no imminent danger of dying out because of homosexuality.  Two, no matter what the cause of homosexuality is, it is not a sin or a crime.

  32. Don’t ask me for the source- I read that too long ago- but scientists estimate that gays make approx 5% of the population, whatever the climate towards them. Obviously it is hard to tell in repressive cultures, as people will stay in the closet, but the evidence seems to show its fairly steady.  Also there appears to be correlation between number elder brothers of men and the number of gays.  (ie a higher proportion of 5th sons are gay than 1st sons).

    Richard Dawkins argues against the ‘blame the gene’- he gives the analogy of a blanket stretched by tangled ropes- any adjustment of one will pull others so changing the shape of the blanket in unpredictable ways.  To blame the shape of the blanket on one rope is therefore irresponsible.

    Question for procreasionalist marriage supporters- I have 2 kids and a vasectomy- can I still get married next year?

  33. ———————————————>

    Not a man (trust me on this…)

    Because it was a civil ceremony done at County Hall you are not allowed to have ANY religeous references. The right wing press got very upset when Robbie Willams song Angels was banned from one office.

    We now have civil partnerships in Britain. Not marriage, but every one treats them the same- they are called Gay Marriages. As far as I know it confers the same rights.

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