The Disappointment of Gay Marriage

Same sex marriage sure was a big issue a couple years ago. Now I read that only 87 gay couples married in Massachusetts in the first four months of 2007. What is the story? Are gay numbers so small that pent up demand has been used up? Are they not interested in marriage? Maybe the issue is not important. Opponents need not ban it and proponents need not demand it, since hardly anybody will do it anyway.

I find this incredible. If anybody has better numbers please let me know. As it is, if trends continue, only 261 couples will marry this year.* For comparison sake, we can expect 363 people to be hit by lightening this year and around 330 will drown in their bathtubs. It looks like gay marriages may be significantly more common on various television shows than in the real world. Are we dealing with a tempest in a teapot, a really long run for a disappointingly short slide? Does this issue even matter or did both sides just use it to enflame their bases? Would gays in the military produce an intense period of commotion followed by a similar level of apathy? Give me what I want and I will go away.

The news media is a spotlight. It shines its intense light on some issue and then moves away leaving it again in darkness. Rarely does the light return to assess the prosaic results of the epic battles briefly so illuminated. With the luxury of time and distance, we see that a lot of things we fight so ferociously about really do not matter. Ragnarok comes and the next day nobody cares or even notices. Some of these things are artificial creations from the start. The Libby case and the Federal attorney fiasco are like that. Others like the Paris Hilton jail time engage the prurient imagination but are similarly meaningless. I thought gay marriage would be a bigger deal. I thought it might change society. I hoped for the better, since marriage tends to moderate some of the more destructive lifestyles. I was wrong. Eighty-seven monogamous couple will not mitigate the AIDS threat. Eighty-seven responsible couples will not affect self destructive lifestyles. I was scammed, just like millions of Americans who took positions in this tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

*The trend is apparent. There were 6121 marriages in 2004 (not even for a full year), 2060 in 2005, 1427 in 2006, and probably dropping to a few hundred this year.

Posted by Jack at July 9, 2007 8:02 PM
Comments
Comment #225504

Good post Jack,

My biggest questions are:

Should I have the right as a parent to teach my children that homosexuality is wrong according to my moral standards?

Should our public school system have the right to teach my child that I am wrong and that they must accept it as ok morally.

And don’t go there. I am not talking aout teaching my children to hate or abuse in any way anyone in our society. Including the next time a Democrat that I don’t like gets elected president.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 8:19 PM
Comment #225508

My own opinion is that public schools should take no postition on this.

Re gay - I do not think it is immoral (my opinion). I would not want my kids to be gay, but that is my lifestyle choice. If they were gay, I would prefer they live a stable marriage based lifestyle and not the crazy destructive clubbing scene that I dislike for both straight and gay.

Re gay friends etc, I have some. I do not ask about and they don’t tell details. I just do not care. It is none of my business. I think the whole gay marriage thing is going in that directions. There just is not a groundswell of gays wanting to get married.

Posted by: Jack at July 9, 2007 8:29 PM
Comment #225509

Thats my opinion too jack. But the far left wants to define morality for us in our schools.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #225512

Jack
Yeah.pretty much a tempest in a teapot. Equal rights are important in principle of course. A Black person should be able to eat at any resturant without discrimination even if the food is not too good.Those folks that are just in terror that gay marriage might somehow undermine the institution are just silly. They seem to be looking for some reason,any reason, to pick on gays, to consider them less than human.
I liked Michael Kinsly’s solution. Civil marriage is a civil union. It is a binding civil contract issued by the state. It is not the states business to “sanctify” any thing. That is the task of religion. So lets just start calling marriages civil union and churches can feel free to sanctify whatever they choose.

scottie1321

You have that right. You also have the right to teach your kids that Black,or Jews or whoever are sub-human. It would hurt your children but you have the right. The schools on the other hand have a responsibility to teach the truth and they also have some charge of your childs welfare.

Posted by: BillS at July 9, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #225513

BillS
I said:
And don’t go there. I am not talking aout teaching my children to hate or abuse in any way anyone in our society. Including the next time a Democrat that I don’t like gets elected president.

I knew you guys would!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 8:47 PM
Comment #225515

Ill make it clearer for you bills.

Do I have the right to teach my children that it is not ok to participate in that activity.

Do the schools have the right to tell my children that I am wrong?

Now you can leave all the “hate ” crap out of it!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #225519

So, this is much ado about nothing? That is where Middle America has been from the beginning. None of our business what living and contractual relationships other couples devise for themselves, provided those relationships don’t affect ours.

In the end, commons sense shall be arrived at and prevail, like racial civil rights. Our country is far better off with racial civil rights protected, and our children are getting along so much better inter-racially than previous generations, in general.

Rather amazing isn’t it, that so many Americans generation after generation, fight so hard against the precepts and ideals laid down in our Declaration of Independence. Not even our founding fathers could find it in their hearts and minds to incorporate those precepts and ideals in our Constitution of their time.

But, throughout American history, there is one constant theme. The longer America remains intact, the closer to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, we grow. Very scary trend for many: that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness among other unalienable rights, should be equally protected and defended for all Americans regardless of other differences. Very scary indeed!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 9, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #225520

BillS

I do not think the topic of gayness needs to come up in school. We really do not have very good science on it and not much agreement.

If gayness is inborn and heritable, I do wonder how that trait survived so long in an environment of natural selection since it is generally lethal to producing offspring. If it is socially based, it could be encouraged or discouraged by behaviors and a lifestyle choice. That might be an interesting discussion, but I do not think that is what they are discussing in schools.

Posted by: Jack at July 9, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #225523

Interesting post. I guess I view this from a different angle. To me it is a basic human rights issue. If two people of the same gender want to get married, why should I care?

Homophobia is an interesting phenomenon. It’s hard for me to understand it, so I end up theorizing. I understand the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality, yet people rarely attack money-lenders with the same venom.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 9, 2007 9:15 PM
Comment #225537

Gerrold

I think that homosexuality is a kind luxury. If you are near the existential limit, a society cannot afford homosexuality. Too many homosexuals will result in a group’s elimination. For much of our history, we humans hardly produced enough living children to keep the species going. So maybe hostility to homosexuality has some evolutionary benefit. From the evolutionary point of view, homosexuality is lethal. But I am just playing with these ideas here.

Posted by: Jack at July 9, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #225541

Jack-
First, it’s probably not like there’s a gay gene which renders somebody completely gay. The genetics might be multi-factorial, meaning that it would take certain combinations of different genetic factors to bring about sexuality. If that is the case, then natural selection would not necessarily remove homosexuality from the species, since only those who would be unlucky enough to have all the genes together would end up that way.

Evidence indicates that sexuality also isn’t necessarily black and white. People can be somewhat heterosexual in their behavior. Additionally, cultural demands can lead homosexuals of both genders to do what’s necessary to have children, even if they aren’t doing backflips about it.

Another factor may be that while there maybe inborn tendencies, there are also cultural and learned behaviors related to it. The requirement to raise a family might be one. But there might also be, as in greece or other countries permissive or tolerant cultures, as well as some strict cultures where folks look the other way on indulgences as long as they are discreet.

In dealing with complex human behaviors, Jack, it’s important to keep some things in mind: First, many aspects of personality and disposition are not strictly genetic, and those that are can have multiple genes at work, interacting emergently. Second, human mental and social environments often develop quite a bit faster than the genetics can keep up with. Genetic drift in response to natural selection takes time and continued pressure. Third, environment and development in the womb change how genes express themselves. Even identical twins have different fingerprints.

So be skeptical whenever you hear about evolutionary pressures on this time scale, at least for us. The changes that occur in human society are typically mucht too fast for evolution to keep up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2007 10:51 PM
Comment #225542

David Remer already nailed this!

There never was any need for a constitutional amendment, and there is no need for ridiculous laws to govern who can and can’t marry.

It’s all just a great distraction and something that the Taliban-gical’s can grab onto to prove that we’re headed towards Sodom and Gomorrah.

Quite simply, if it doesn’t fit into what you’ve been taught then you MUST either reject it or kill it. At the very least you must isolate it and let everyone else know it’s evil.

And………….it makes me sick that we’re still treating homosexuals this way in the USA!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 9, 2007 10:52 PM
Comment #225543

Jack,

There has been research on this. It does seem common sense to consider homosexuality as counter to human survival. I suppose it may also be a release valve when populations are stable enough. However, when we are talking about survival of the species, we are not just talking about reproduction. In some cultures homosexuality contributed to societal bonds; there is the old tradition that the Spartans encouraged it because a man did not want to be shamed in battle before his lover. There is also the tradition native Americans being much more tolerant toward homosexuality.

At any rate, humans have not been an endangered species for many thousands of years. And the factors that seem to have contributed to our dominance on the planet appear to be far more cultural/intellectual than reproductive. From one point of view, the species produces a certain number of homosexuals (even though these individuals may be less likely to reproduce) because of certain advantages.

At any rate, I find such speculation interesting, but to me, irrelevant when it comes to political questions. Homosexuals are people and should not be condemned for engaging in consensual sex. I do not buy the argument that homosexuals threaten society or the institution of marriage. As long as there is love in the world, people will engage in the self sacrifice that marriage involves. Forms of marriage may change, and our ideas of acceptable durations may change, but that, imo, will be due far more to economic factors than to sexual ones.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 9, 2007 10:52 PM
Comment #225544

Yes, Stephen makes an important point. We tend to think of sexuality in terms of binaries: straight or not straight. But it may be more accurate to think of it in terms of a spectrum.

Certainly the ancient world did not use the straight/gay binary. It used an equally pernicious binary: power and the absence of power. It didn’t matter so much what gender one penetrated as long as one was the penetrator, so to speak. The Greeks, of course, modified that somewhat in that a young boy could honorably submit to a mentor who was responsible for paving his way into the world.

Our society has come a long way, though residual homophobia still exists.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 9, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #225548

And………..just why shouldn’t our current knowledge about sexuality be taught in school?

Holy moly……………. maybe someone that’s battling with homosexual yearnings might decide that they’re NORMAL!

Every gay or lesbian individual I’ve known has told me that the “yearnings” came on the same time I was feeling that way towards the opposite sex! There’s no damn choice involved. It’s not a matter of “orientation”!

There’s no damn learning involved and orientation involves learning. The only learning is just like the learning we hetero’s experience as we learn to deal with our lust. What we should examine is the human need to hate and single out some specific group of people!

Right now most Americans are fixated on either Hispanics or gays. Twenty years from now it’ll be some other group or groups of people. Discrimination will always exist, only the target will change.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 9, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #225549

Stephen

It seems that even a slight tendency over time would be eliminated from the gene pool. From the evolutionary point of view, nothing is much worse. You may be right re the social pressure, but if we have a very tolerant culture, it would eliminate the gene with every passing generation.

I have been reading about evolution from the genome point of view. Evolution happens much faster than we thought. It did not stop 10,000 years ago. For example, the lactose tolerance gene developed and spread within the last couple thousand years. The same is probably true of cycle cell anemia. Evolution is responding to our social arrangements.

Kansas

I support gay marriage, but I do not think it was so simple. Marriage was set up as an intuition to raise children and pass on wealth. It was an economic relationship. It is only recently that it became primary a contract between two people for love reasons. There would be little purpose in it if marriage had maintained the family aspect. In fact, most of them still do not. It never seriously occurred to most people that same sex people would want to get married.

Gerrold

I agree with you re people being free to do what they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with others. I was just trying to answer your speculation as to why.

Of course the gay marriage debate does beg the question re polygamy. That also is nobody’s business and seems to be a fairly efficient way to run a household. Especially since gay men seem to outnumber gay women and women outnumber men in general. Polygamy would address the imbalance. Of course in places like China, where they abort girl babies, we might have to go the other way.

Posted by: Jack at July 9, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #225551

Scottie

I did not mention hate. Not all that many years ago what I did mention was not at all unusual by parents.Children figure out the hate aspect all by themselves.

Jack
Schools do have an obligation to teach tolerance of others as part of developement of good citizens.

Posted by: BillS at July 9, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #225553

Minor point IMO
I get confused when the topic of gay marriage comes up. Marriage is a religious construct right? So isn’t the issue of gay marriage to be taken up with the relative religion of the gay couple? Now if a couple wants a civil union to ensure that they have the same legal rights, then that is a matter of law and the legislature?
So if a gay couple would like to be married “Under God” they need to lobby the Catholic church and its history, not the US Government and ours. There is no reason, no reason why two consenting adults that love each can’t have the same legal rights. I support t that. However, anecdotally it would seem gays have a healthy majority that do not support religion because religion will not recognize their relationship, their love. So it seems hypocritical to want to be called married. Why are they working so hard to have a marriage? A civil union accomplishes what they promote in our secular society.
Marriage = talk to your local Pope
Civil Union = talk to your local state or federal representative

Posted by: Honest at July 9, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #225556

Polygamy! Eep. Mark Twain had a funny bit on polygamy in Roughing It. You couldn’t show the slightest favortism to one wife without incurring the wrath of the others. If you bought one wife a bracelet, you had to buy the exact same bracelet for your other wives.

Cultures that permitted polygamy tended to be very hierarchial. Wives were ranked. The very notion seems alien to our egalitarian views. That said, I assume it is possible to have satisfying polygamous marriages. You run across that idea in science fiction ;)

Posted by: Gerrold at July 9, 2007 11:34 PM
Comment #225558

Honest:

It is because the government issues the marriage license. They don’t call it a civil union license. They should have left that with the church but it’s been this way for a very long time.

Jack:

So the numbers disappoint you? Is there an acceptable number? There could be a million reasons gays don’t trust the current legal situation. I know I don’t. Just one fact is that their “marriage” is not recognized any where else. I might take a wait and see attitude too.

I’m not sure I want to become one of the statistics that you and others seem to be so worried about while it’s under the microscope.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 9, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #225560

Jack,

I’m glad to hear that you support gay marriage. I’ve been married to three women and each time it was a legal and social contract. The legal end of the contract provides certain safeguards that are present in no other legally binding contract without specific changes each time assets or liabilities change drastically.

There is one huge provision of marriage that is neglected in any other legal contract and that regards “parenting privileges”. Without absolutely identical rights concerning adoption, custody, visitation,etc. there is clearly a level of discrimination.

As a young nation our absolute best has shown thru when we prove to be the very first to be the very best when it comes to accepting EVERYONE as our equal. That ideal has not always come easily, but our best really does always shine thru.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 9, 2007 11:42 PM
Comment #225568

Woman Marine
Yes the term marriage is used by government, but that was not my intended point. To try and clarify, why would a portion of the United States that wants Civil Unions use the term marriage when the majority of that group has disdain and dislike for religion. Religion has typically viewed a family/marriage as involving a woman/man. So why call something like a civil union a marriage … which is a religious construct?
If they want a Marriage, petition the Pope
If they want the legal rights to their partner’s assets, then petition Civil Union
Why try to mix and match … unless you are trying to drive religious change through government?

Posted by: Honest at July 10, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #225573

Honest:

In the eyes of the government it’s marriage. You can blame the government for appropriating what is a religious term, but please don’t try to claim that anyone who is for “whatever you want to call it” anti-religious. And there are religions who support gays and gay marriage. You lump too many people together, all over semantics.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 10, 2007 12:21 AM
Comment #225578

David, Kansas Dem, womanmarine, bravo! Great posts.

I generally dislike reading articles and threads on the causes and meaning of gayness, and the lives of gay people, written by a bunch of straight folks.
This country is based on ideals: All Men Are Created Equal, and, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. You either believe in those ideas, or you don’t. Which will it be, Americans? Will we choose to truly live up to those words written so long ago? Or do we scrap the founding ideals we’ve kept up until now and start writing new ideals we stand for and believe in every decade or so, to allow for whatever hatreds or prejudices come along?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 10, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #225581

On the issue of what schools should teach, I think the issue of whether or not homosexuality is moral or immoral should be left out of schools. However, I think schools should address the issue of tolerating people with different moral values. Its a thin line, but important.

Posted by: david s at July 10, 2007 1:16 AM
Comment #225592

Honest, extremely poignant comment. Well said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 2:22 AM
Comment #225599
I liked Michael Kinsly’s solution. Civil marriage is a civil union. It is a binding civil contract issued by the state. It is not the states business to “sanctify” any thing. That is the task of religion. So lets just start calling marriages civil union and churches can feel free to sanctify whatever they choose.

How about my view on the matter?

Are you saying you agree with something I wrote, BillS? I am shocked!

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 3:09 AM
Comment #225600

Jack,

It is most likely that there are a few hundred in Mass that want to get married each year, the initial onslaught was because there were so many denied this ability to secure legal rights for their partners because of fear and predjudice of the ‘majority’ instead of those in the majority ensuring that everyone is entitled to have that legal protection for those they love.

But, that’s just my view on the matter, for what it’s worth.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 3:11 AM
Comment #225604

In my most humble opinion, gay folks should have every right to be as foolish as the rest of us.

We should stop worrying about the cause, the cure, the impact… know that the path to a peaceful future lies in tolerance and patience.

Posted by: wtc7 at July 10, 2007 4:23 AM
Comment #225606

“Right now most Mass Media Outlets are fixated on either Hispanics or gays. Twenty years from now it’ll be some other group or groups of people. Discrimination will always exist, only the target will change.” — KansasDem

Fixed the beginning of the quote, agree with the rest.

Posted by: wtc7 at July 10, 2007 4:39 AM
Comment #225610

Womanmarine

The number just brings up some interesting points. I alluded to two of them. There is significant uncertainly re how many gay couples there are. We know that the figure of 10% is way to high and the newer number of around 2% is too low, but the number of potential gay couples is just unknown. There obviously are not very many, if only 87 have come forward. Or perhaps most gay people do not want to get married.

During the debate, we had the underlying assumption that there were lots of gay couples who wanted to get married. This assumption was incorrect. I suspect the debate would have followed different lines with we had known about the small number. Perhaps we would not have had the debate at all. It really is a tempest in a teapot.

Adrienne

People have the right to talk about the institutions that affect them. Gay marriage could affect the nature of straight marriage, so both sides had an interest. As I mentioned above, it now looks like the numbers of gay marriages will be small and will not cause much change. But when the debate was hot both sides thought it would be a much bigger thing. They presumably would have been less passionate about the issue if they had known that a person stands a better chance of being hit by lightening. It really is a very small number.

I think that in a few years the issue will just have gone away. The number of gay marriages will remain small and nobody will really care. That was another point of my post. Some of the issue we fight with such passionate intensity are meaningless a short time later.

Gerrold

I am only half serious re polygamy, but I am half serious. Polygamy falls into a similar category as gay marriage. Society has excluded it because it has not been in the definition of marriage. Some people would do it if it were allowed. There are situations where it would work, or at least work as well as gay or straight marriage in general. I do not think there is much of a moral argument against it. Like gay marriage, it is a definitional problem.

Posted by: Jack at July 10, 2007 7:42 AM
Comment #225618

If you want to get down to genetic brass tacks, both homosexuality and polygamy are things humans are predisposed to. Biologically speaking, other animals with similar reproductive cycles and male/female size differences tend to be low-level polygamists. Biologically speaking, animals with similar reproductive cycles, such as the bonobo tend to have a similar or even higher rate of homosexuality. You can talk about morality all you want, but this is how God made us, and if He or She had wanted us to not do these things, why would we be predisposed to them? I have no desire (pun intended) or predisposition to bugger another guy, nor do I think I have the fortitude to deal with more than one wife. Thus I myself am straight and monogamous. Whatever anyone else is predisposed to is their business, not mine.

And to all those who believe that this viewpoint does not belong in schools, I say this. Schools exist to teach children facts and critical thinking. You may teach your children whatever you want, whether that is that homosexuality is sinful, or that the world is only 6000 years old and there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, or that the world is flat and carried on the back of a giant turtle, or that the world was created by the FSM and his noodly appendages for all I care. Just don’t expect our schools to follow in your footsteps.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 10, 2007 8:42 AM
Comment #225632

Jack:
“People have the right to talk about the institutions that affect them.”

No, you weren’t just talking about gay marriage, you went off on the topic of possible causes of homosexuality in general — as though it hasn’t always existed, and won’t always exist, no matter how people try to drive it back into the closet. I personally find that repugnant.

“Gay marriage could affect the nature of straight marriage, so both sides had an interest.”

How the hell does gayness or gay marriage stand to affect the nature of straightness or straight marriage? Being straight and married myself, I must say that nothing about the fact that some gay people who are in love got hitched in Massachusetts has had an impact on our love for each other, or on our marriage.

David, I don’t see anything poignant about Honest wanting to split hairs over the word marriage. What he seems to be suggesting is that anyone who isn’t married in a place of worship shouldn’t have what is known as a marriage, but should be forced to call it a civil union. Sounds a lot like separate but equal to me.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 10, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #225633

Getting back to the initial question Jack raised, I’m not surprised that the rate of gay marriage has slowed. There was a lot of pent-up demand, and now that demand has been met. Now we’re finally reaching the steady state.

Since the law is written such that only Massachusetts residents can get married there (not exactly what the law says, but that’s the effect), there’s really not a big pool of people who could be exercising their rights. It also means that Jack’s comparison to the number of victims of lightning strikes and bathtubs is meaningless since those are national numbers, not state numbers like we have here.

Really, taken completely out of context, do we know what 87 marriages means? What’s the number of straight marriages in Massachusetts in the same period?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 10, 2007 11:45 AM
Comment #225648

Adrienne,

Why should the topic of causes of homosexuality be out of bounds? For my part, I don’t have any hidden agenda to marginalize homosexuals. As the cliche goes, some of my best friends don’t fit squarely on either side of the straight/gay binary. (I’m not a woman either; does that mean I can’t discuss how two X chromozones get together?) Why is the topic repugnant? There’s nothing wrong with idle curiosity.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 10, 2007 1:09 PM
Comment #225650

Jack, in your article, you ask if the brouhaha over gays in the military would just fade away if gays were allowed to openly serve. I think the answer is “yes.” The vast majority of NATA members allow open gays to serve; I don’t recall reading about much trouble. It’s true that Americans are more puritan than citizens of most European countries, but I’d wager after a relatively short time the issue wouldn’t receive much public attention.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 10, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #225654

Scottie,

Teaching that homosexuality is morally correct in schools is a red-herring. Schools don’t teach morality, and shouldn’t. If this is your reason for being against gay marriage, it’s not logical.

Jack,

This issue has been blown up out of all proportion. It was used as a scare tactic by Republicans. Anyway, it’s too early to say, but I would guess that gays don’t feel the need culturally to marry, and the benefits are not great enough to overcome this non-need. It’s a different culture, and one that probably won’t change until it is wholly embraced the nation at large and becomes mainstream. In other words, when being gay is completely a non-issue in American culture, and gays are treated as no big deal, they’ll probably start acting straight.

Really talking outside of what I know here. I’m not gay, though I have some friends that are.

Posted by: Max at July 10, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #225667

I don’t think that gays seek the sanctity of marriage for reasons different than any of the rest of us. We all have the need to feel secure in a relationship regarding legal issues, i.e. property titles, insurance, all fiduciary matters. Of course beyond that, we want to show the rest of the world that we’ve found someone who makes us happy and we share a love with. Not all marriages are for the purpose of procreation, either.
I also will accept that there is more than likely a small percentage of those seeking marriage, who are doing it for the pure shock factor. Once that factor is minimalized, the reaction and attention is gone, so seeking it is no longer productive.
Good post Rhinehold, and all responders…nice to see tolerance and patience as a theme.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 10, 2007 2:48 PM
Comment #225669

Good grief !!!!! Guess that shows how strange it is to agree with Jack…sorry! Good post Jack !!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 10, 2007 2:51 PM
Comment #225674

Jack-
Multifactorial disorders can be caused by genes that by themselves don’t cause problems, that could even be necessary and helpful by themselves, or in configuration with other genes. You got to figure that

1) Genes act together;
2) They do so emergently, that is in a way that isn’t apparent from the genes by themselves
3) They dictate development, which itself has emergent properties,
4) Properties that can be affected by changes in the mothers body chemistry, and by pollutants that she comes into contact with;
5) Nature also leaves a great deal of behavior in humans open to our peculiar form of mental adaptation- not that humans can learn homosexuality as an innate desire, but what they learn can affect whether they marry and have children, whether they decide to do that on their own as a sort of deliberate decision.

Ultimately, development, especially sexual development is very complex and leaves things open to a lot of possibilities. There are reasons why all sorts of genetic disorders persiste, despite their impairment of survival or reproductive success.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #225676

Homosexuality has been documented in every civilization since the dawn of history where historical record is found, to include within societies in which the death penalty was exacted on the participants of the behavior. That has all the earmarks of what social scientists regard as a genetic predisposition that arises in a percentage of the human population regardless of social, political, or economic context.

It is an important tidbit of information. Nazi Germany exterminated homosexuals, yet, Germany was never able to eradicate homosexual disposition, even amidst its own ranks. Is it proof? No. Is it powerful and convincing evidence of a genetic predisposition? Absolutely.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 3:19 PM
Comment #225684

It is because the government issues the marriage license. They don’t call it a civil union license. They should have left that with the church but it’s been this way for a very long time.

Then why don’t we get rid of the issue altogether by eliminating marriage licenses and just let people marry whomever the hell they want whenever they want?

Oh Yeah… Money. People spend so much on weddings; it would be a shame if the government didn’t wet their beak.
And guess what? They get some control over people’s relationships in the process!

If we outlaw marriage licenses (after all, free countries don’t have such things) the gay marriage “issue” will fall by the wayside.

If we can accomplish something like this, maybe we can outlaw something even more evil, like speeding tickets. But then the cops would be out looking for criminals instead of making money for the states. Who would want that?

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #225692

Stephen -
“Multifactorial disorders can be caused by genes that by themselves don’t cause problems, that could even be necessary and helpful by themselves, or in configuration with other genes. You got to figure that
1) Genes act together;…”

I agree with you once again…
What isn’t told about homosexuality is that it presents itself in greater percentages among those with impared mental conditions than among the general population. (That is not a condemnation of homosexuality, merely a fact.)

Posted by: Don at July 10, 2007 5:11 PM
Comment #225695

Don,
What isn’t told about homosexuality is that it presents itself in greater percentages among those with impared mental conditions than among the general population.

Do you have a link or two to back that up? Just so we know it’s not a condemnation of homosexuality?
Not saying you’re wrong, but I’ve never heard that before…

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #225700

“I think schools should address the issue of tolerating people with different moral values”

Schools should teach moral values now eh?
A very very large percentage of ALL Americans hold the moral value that homosexuality is wrong, either because they view it as being “gross” or as a “sin.”
These are different “moral values,” you sure you want govt teaching your kids about these values? Or are you saying schools should only teach “moral values” accepted by certain people?

Govt run “schools” have no business teaching “morals,” “diversity,” “compassion” or any other type of “values.”

Posted by: kctim at July 10, 2007 6:03 PM
Comment #225701

I agree with kctim. It is NOT the schools responsibility to teach our kids morals, diversity or the like it is up to the childs parents to do that. If we let the schools teach these things God knows what kind of things they will teach.

Posted by: KAP at July 10, 2007 6:13 PM
Comment #225706

Yeah, we wouldn’t want the kiddies to think there is anything wrong with persecuting their classmates.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 10, 2007 7:01 PM
Comment #225711

Morality has nothing to do with sex in the first place.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 10, 2007 7:40 PM
Comment #225712

Thanks Gerrold

Rhinehold
Do not be to shocked. Common sense is common sense.


Margeret Mead had some interesting takes on marriage and family from an anthropological viewpoin. As the central human organizing system the nuclear family appears during war times as the smallest portable system that can reproduce. For most of our history the tribe,or clan, was the fundemental sytem. She notes that modern society is the equivalent of a war time state and has been for so long that we do not know how to behave tribaly,especially in the west.

The whole topic of equal rights for gays including marriage,came about when SCOTUS finally ruled that homosexual behavior was legal,striking down sodomy laws etc. The “conservatives” desented. Another reason why conservative retoric is so confusing. If they really believe in limiting government intrusion in peoples lives then how can they justify government policing of the bedroom?

Posted by: BillS at July 10, 2007 7:53 PM
Comment #225721

kctim, schools have always taught moral values. Ever heard of the Pledge of Allegiance, how about cheating on tests is wrong (not very entrepreneurial), or bullying other students permissable in our schools? How about respect for authority, that of the teacher or principal? Is it right to steal other kids school supplies or lunch money? Where do our schools stand on these issues?

Our schools have always been in the morality and ethics teaching business. They just don’t have the potential power over as many students to enforce the teachings as parents do. But, they teach them nonetheless. Some schools teach sex education. Others do not. Morality and ethics involved? You bet. How about history? Are there no morality and ethics lessons embedded throughout our 3-12 grade history books? George Washington could not tell a lie. That was a popular one. He admitted to cutting down the Cherry tree.

Man, when your comments leave the park, they really leave the park way behind.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 9:17 PM
Comment #225722

Adrienne

I was having fun with speculation re the origins of homosexuality. It is not a policy discussion. It is just interesting how something like that could survive natural selection IF it is heritable. If it is not heritable, it is interesting what sorts of social systems would make it happen. As far as I know, science is very unclear on both these points OR even IF it is heritable or not. I can talk about these things. I do not need permission from gay people (where would you go to get that permission in any case?)

Re affecting straight marriage, it can make a difference if rates of adultery etc are significantly different. Consider how polygamy might affect your marriage, even if you did not take part. Any big change in the definition of the institution is bound to affect it.

Lawnboy

The interesting thing about the 87 figure is that it indicates how few gay couples there really are and/or how few really want to get married.

The marriage rate in general is around 7.5% per thousand. That would put the gay population of Mass at only around 34,000 out of the population of 6.4 million if they married at anything like the same rates.

This is what I think is interesting. Either the gay population is very much smaller than often estimated or they just do not want to get married. Either way, gay marriage is almost a non-issue.

Posted by: Jack at July 10, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #225727

Gerrold:

“Adrienne,

Why should the topic of causes of homosexuality be out of bounds? For my part, I don’t have any hidden agenda to marginalize homosexuals.”

“Why is the topic repugnant? There’s nothing wrong with idle curiosity.”

It is repugnant to me that anytime this topic is brought up, Jack and other conservatives launch into talking about homosexuality like it is a strange defect, or terribly anomalous evolutionary trait. History has shown that there have always been homosexuals so why must these discussions always include comments like this one that Jack wrote?:

“I do wonder how that trait survived so long in an environment of natural selection since it is generally lethal to producing offspring. If it is socially based, it could be encouraged or discouraged by behaviors and a lifestyle choice.”

Since the topic is gay marriage, why should the discussion be steered toward why there are such things as gay people, or why nature hasn’t found a way to extinguish them?
It also seems that every time this subject comes up, it is floated that marriage is only about having children, but that isn’t true.

After all,
Does the law prohibit marriage between sterile heterosexual couples? No.
Is it against the law for a man to marry a woman past menopause? No.
So why produce the argument about the institution of marriage being about families and children?

Besides,
Can gay people have children? Yes, and many do.
Can gay people adopt and raise children? Yes, and many do.
Have there been technological advances that allow gay couples to have their own related biological children? Yes there have.
So why talk as though they can’t, or don’t already have children, and inject this argument into discussions about gay marriage?

Finally, and as I commented to Jack in my earlier reply to him, I honestly fail to see how gay marriage could ever affect straight marriages in any way, shape, or form, but this too is always brought up as though it’s a valid argument, when clearly it isn’t.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 10, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #225733

Adrienne,

Yes, you’d think the existence of homosexuality throughout human history and in many animals would put to rest the notion homosexuality is abnormal or counter survival. One of my old standby sites discusses such of the evolution/homosexual issues.

I find interesting the notion that the various genes that may cause/contribute to homosexuality may individually be beneficial to our species. Thus, homosexuality can never be bred out because it is comprised of genetic traits that are reinforced throughout our species. That goes along with the spectrum view of sexuality instead of the binary view. I also find it interesting that men who are the most homophobic exhibit the strongest arousal to homoerotic materials.

At any rate, the “different” always seems to cause fear. Perhaps that itself has an evolutionary basis — trust your neighbor but not a stranger ;)

Posted by: Gerrold at July 10, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #225792

David
Parents instill those values into their children, not schools. When parents do not, you get the type of attitudes and schools that we have today.

Historical values are also different. They teach about something, not force acceptance of something.

My comments are pretty far out there, equality and freedom are pretty rare beliefs today. But, they don’t leave the park, it just looks like they do from that “govt is the answer to all” dugout you are buried in.

Adrienne
You make a good point. Why does any post about gay marriage always end up being about how or why a person is gay?
Jacks post is about how the extremes of BOTH sides played the voters. Learn from that and don’t let it happen again people.

Posted by: kctim at July 11, 2007 9:31 AM
Comment #225813

kctim,

We want the schools to instill civic virtues. These include respect for the Constitution, respect for the laws, civil debate, toleration of difference, a love for learning, and critical thinking.

Insofar as some of these virtues correspond with religious teaching, all the better.

We don’t want schools to condone negative values, such as intoleration, persecution, hatred of difference, and closemindedness.

Insofar as some of these negative virtues correspond with religious teaching, all the worse.

As a parent, you have the right to inclucate whatever values in your children that you wish. But our educational system must teach civic virtues as a means of peaceably living with those who disagree. I wish schools would go further and focus on a rhetorical education, which is all about framing arguments, researching evidence, understanding audiences, and finding points of consensus with the specific goal of actively and ethically contributing to our national debates. In other words, rather than merely preparing students to fit into the machine, schools should prepare students for tweaking, repairing, or even replacing the machine.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 11, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #225827

Toleration of difference, Gerrold?
Isn’t the belief that homosexuality is wrong, a “difference?” Why do schools only push the homosexuality is right belief?

Schools should ensure a gay student can get the same education, in a non-hostile environment, as any other student, but schools should not dictate personal beliefs on any issue.

“We don’t want schools to condone negative values,”

And yet, we allow them to do that everyday. When a school “condones” values that are against our own personal beliefs, they are condoning negative values.

“such as intoleration, persecution, hatred of difference, and closemindedness”

Schools condone this everyday too.
Students are taught to be intolerant of those who hold personal beliefs that are against homosexuality. These students are refered to as being “homophobic” and “crazy religious nuts.”
They are told that those who do not believe homosexuality is A-OK, are closedminded and do not respect anothers right to be who they want to be, by the same closedminded people who refuse to respect their right to believe as they wish and be who they want to be.

Posted by: kctim at July 11, 2007 1:08 PM
Comment #225828

adrienne


“Sounds a lot like separate but equal to me. “

if you preserve the term marriage to mean the union of a man and a woman, i believe you’de eliminate a lot of the resistence to same sex partnerships. while those who are completely against it for religious reasons aren’t going to budge, i think you would find more support for civil unions. personally i’de like to see the term marriage protected, but have no problem with same sex couples enjoying the legal benefits of married couples.


“Can gay people have children? Yes, and many do”

technicaly, no they can’t, not without going outside thier partnership, because without doing that, it’s biologicaly imposible. you need a male and a female to produce a child, and i’m sure your aware of that so don’t rip my head off, i’m only trying to make a point.


sandra


“I don’t think that gays seek the sanctity of marriage for reasons different than any of the rest of us. We all have the need to feel secure in a relationship regarding legal issues, i.e. property titles, insurance, all fiduciary matters.”


exellent point, and it makes me wonder if this is the main reason the gov’t in many cases seems to be opposed, after all imagine all the lost tax revenue through estate, and many other benefits that come with marriage. two poeple who are not gay or lesbian, could set up a civil union to avoid certain tax situations. personally anything that lets people keep more of thier personal property, and income out of the gov’ts hands i’m all for.


kctim, kap

i have to agree that school should stick to teaching the 3 Rs. the teaching of moral values lies with the parents, and belopngs at home. moral values vary greatly, and whats acceptable to one person another might find totaly offensive. the calif. legislature tried to force the public school system to teach a class that highlited the contributions of gays and lesbians in this countrys’ history. first off, how do explain to a small child what thses terms mean, without interferring with the moral upbringing that the parents choose for thier child ? second, if someone contributes to this country, ie. invents something, or what have you, what does thier sexual orientation have to do with it ?

Posted by: dbs at July 11, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #225830

kctim,

No, schools shouldn’t teach that homosexuality is ok, but they shouldn’t in turn teach that it is abnormal because it’s not. It exists throughout the animal kingdom and throughout human history. If a school really wants to go indepth, they it should teach what science says about homosexuality — i.e., that it exists throughout the animal world, that we only have a partial understanding of the nature/nurture influences, etc. That’s suitable for a science class, but in general schools should teach that you don’t persecute those who think differently.

Whether homosexuality is right or wrong has no place in the discussion. However, I do think schools should warn about the dangers of promiscuity both on a physical and psychological level.

IF you want to claim that not tolerating intolerance is a form of intolerance, fine. We should be intolerant of persecution, and schools should teach that.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 11, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #225831

dbs,

Gays have contributed enormously to human culture. Now, I think such a lesson for very young people is probably out of place, but for high school students, what’s the problem? It’s just a simple, uncontroversial fact. I wouldn’t spend much time on it, but as part of, say, a civics course, so what?

Posted by: Gerrold at July 11, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #225841

Gerrold
“No, schools shouldn’t teach that homosexuality is ok,”

But they do.

“but they shouldn’t in turn teach that it is abnormal”

And they don’t.

“Gays have contributed enormously to human culture. Now, I think such a lesson for very young people is probably out of place, but for high school students, what’s the problem?”

If sexual orientation is a personal choice and is no ones business, why bring it up at all?
Why say these “gays have contributed to human culture,” when you could say these “fellow men/women have contributed to human culture?”

If everybody is equal, why treat them different?

Posted by: kctim at July 11, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #225842

kctim,

Perhaps we should get into specifics. We might end on agreeing in particular cases. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some schools go too far, but I’ll need to be persuaded that all or most do.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 11, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #225854

Gerrold

“Gays have contributed enormously to human culture. Now, I think such a lesson for very young people is probably out of place, but for high school students, what’s the problem? It’s just a simple, uncontroversial fact. I wouldn’t spend much time on it, but as part of, say, a civics course, so what?”


i’m sure they have, in fact there are probably many people who we’ve studied that might have been, but as kctim points out, the contribution is what stands out. the fact that he or she may have lived an alternative lifestyle is irrelevant, and has no bearing on the weight of the contribution made.

as far as the teaching of this type of class. i don’t believe it should be taught in a public school, because you’re dealing with a captive audience, and regaurdless of grade level it should be the parents that should decide whether there kids are subjected to this type of material. i have no problem with it being taught at the college level, because you are dealing with adults who are making thier own decisions, but would add it should be elective and not part of a requirement for graduation.

Posted by: dbs at July 11, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #225859

dbs,

One thing that we haven’t considered is context. What if you lived in a community in which there had been recent attacks on gays? Should the schools try to address that issue? Most of us support in general keeping educational decisions at the level of the community.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 11, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #225901

Gerrold
Now your talking legal matters. If a child asks why the person was attacked or why a group was attacked, that still should be up to the parents to explain to the child why and teach the child that those actions are wrong. Attacking anyone because of race, religion or sexual preferences is wrong and should be tought by the parents.

Posted by: KAP at July 11, 2007 4:53 PM
Comment #225914

kctim, how typical to deny the reality to save the face of one’s erroneous argument. To deny that schools teach team work, honesty (tests), and fair play, and respect for others to try to salvage your misstated proposition, is very much akin to Republicans insisting more Americans die in Iraq to defend their support for the war in the first place.

So, typical. No wonder our country has not improved under Republican rule and they were ejected from majority status last November. If America is smart, it will insure that it is decades before giving Republicans the opportunity to rule again to see if they have embraced reality yet, and are willing to take responsibility for it, instead of altering their perception of it.

The Democratic Party is corrupt, and wrong on a host of issues, as the immigration bill proved. But, if it is a choice between ONLY Republicans and Democrats, the Democratic rule is the lesser of the evils, as they accept the reality that we are all interdependent upon each other and touch each other’s lives in myriad ways without ever coming face to face, and that reality demands responsibility by all for ourselves and each other. Far cry from the Republican illusion that we are all independent islands responsible only for ourselves and unto ourselves.

Kudlow a staunch conservative on MSNBC just a few minutes ago uttered these words, ‘Worship Profits’, they make America great. I thought he was inordinately honest in reflecting the conservative view on governance.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #225915

David
Deny the reality? Would that be the reality that it is the parents job to instill “values” into their children or the reality that if parents leave it up to the schools, their children end up being just another uncontrollable little bastard in a crappy govt school system?

I am not trying to salvage anything and I have stuck to what I said:
It is NOT the job or responsibility of govt run “public” schools to teach our children morals.

YOU may prefer they do so that you don’t have too, but I prefer to teach my children myself. I know that goes against your govt takes care of everybody utopia, but many of us still believe in responsibility of ones own.

Oh, and I don’t know who you are trying to get at with the Republican crap, but it doesn’t bother me any.

Posted by: kctim at July 11, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #225917

David
I whole heartedly agree with kctim. I would prefer to teach my kids morals and values rather than the public school system. Like I said previously, God only knows what values or morals the public school systems will teach.

Posted by: KAP at July 11, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #225921

Gerrold


“One thing that we haven’t considered is context. What if you lived in a community in which there had been recent attacks on gays? Should the schools try to address that issue? Most of us support in general keeping educational decisions at the level of the community.”


maybe to the extent that if a child asks about the incident in class it would be appropriate to say it’s wrong to victimize someone because they’re different, but not to the extent of explaining what that difference is when it involves sexual preference. that should be explained by the parent if they feel it is appropriate for thier child. the school should not make that decision.

i agree that local control of schools on certain levels is important, but in this case i believe it should be left to the parent. schools should not be in the morality business. especially when those values can vary greatly from family to family.

Posted by: dbs at July 11, 2007 6:43 PM
Comment #225922

david

“To deny that schools teach team work, honesty (tests), and fair play, and respect for others to try to salvage your misstated proposition,”

i didn’t get that impression from kctims post, and i think that characterization is a bit unfair. while we all can agree on certain moral teachings ie. not to cheat, steal, lie, etc. i think you can see where i’m going here. when your dealing with somthing such as sexual preference we don’t all agree on the time, place, or situation it should be discussed in, and a lot of people don’t believe the school system is the place to teach this. maybe the term morality is a bit to broad, and needs to be broken down into sub categories. just a thought.

Posted by: dbs at July 11, 2007 6:57 PM
Comment #225936

TheTraveler -
“Do you have a link or two to back that up?… I’ve never heard that before…”

Sorry. I don’t now, but I did. I studied this topic (briefly) two or three years ago and found plenty of studies that give support to my statement. However, it has been quite a while and I don’t remember the names of the studies.

I can tell you that the studies were legitimate, scientific, and published. They were all available on-line. Most studies agree that gays make up between 1.5 and 3.0 % of the adult population in the United States. The studies of mentally handicapped (aged 18 and up) showed a range of between 5.0 and 18.0 % for homosexuality.

Posted by: Don at July 11, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #225938

dbs, so basically you’re good with the concept of “separate but equal”, and I think it’s BS.
Much like that concept was recognized as BS during the Black Civil Rights movement.
You want to know exactly why it’s complete BS to insist upon separate terms to be used for some people, but not for all? Because everybody who gets married goes to someone licensed by their state to legally sign their marriage certificate after the ceremony. It doesn’t matter one iota whether this person is a religious person or not — they all have to apply for the same license in order for the marriage to be legal. Basically, the religious observance part of marriages is beside the point. It’s a feature that can take place within the ceremony, or not. But it isn’t a requirement, even when it does mean something emotionally and spiritually for those involved.
So like I said, calling it by different terms is nothing but hair-splitting — and this is being done merely over a personal prejudice.

I wrote:
“Can gay people have children? Yes, and many do”

“technicaly, no they can’t,”

Technically, as long as they’re fertile, yes they can, and many do.

“not without going outside thier partnership,”

Well, usually the partners discuss their desire to have children, and then they find the way to make it happen for them. For gay women, that can entail at-home insemination using sperm provided by a friend/donor, or artificial insemination through a sperm bank. For gay men, this can entail asking a friend or other person to bear a child for them using the sperm of one member of the couple, or they can adopt a child.
I know one gay couple who are raising a little girl of a friend of theirs who died. She gave them custody of her daughter before she passed away from cancer. They were the two people she thought would provide the most stable and secure home for her daughter. I didn’t know her, but I do know she made a very wise choice to ensure her daughter’s happiness and future.

But of course, artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, adoption, or being given custody of a child aren’t the only way that gay people end up raising children. A lot of times the children that gay parents have are from before they came out of the closet and fell in love with their partners.
I know quite a few gay people who tried being straight, got married, had kids, but ultimately realized they couldn’t live their lives lying to themselves and their families (because it isn’t fair to any one of them), and then finally came out of the closet.
The mother of a close friend of mine had both my friend and her brother in her early twenties, then, after her divorce from their father, she came out of the closet and met the partner she’s been with for over thirty years. These two ladies raised my friend and her brother, though each summer they went to live with their Dad in another state.

“because without doing that, it’s biologicaly imposible.”

Where there is a will, there is a way.

“you need a male and a female to produce a child, and i’m sure your aware of that”

Indeed, but as I’m sure you’re aware, there is more than one way to skin a cat, or end up being a parent.

“i’m only trying to make a point.”

Likewise. In fact, I’m making several.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 11, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #226035

adrienne

i don’t care how the union is carried out ie. church, county court, or so on. i just believe the term marriage should mean one man one woman, and a union of two of the same sex should be referred to as something else, even though they would have the same benefits. i don’t really see it as a seperate but equal situation, such as not allowing blacks to go to a white school, but thats just my opinion. if they’re allowed all the same perks, and rights, i don’t see a problem with trying to keep the peace so as to remove the objections of those who otherwise would be supportive.


“Technically, as long as they’re fertile, yes they can, and many do.”

AH HA ! you’ve conveniently removed this [“technicaly, no they can’t,”] from this[“you need a male and a female to produce a child, and i’m sure your aware of that” ] so no they can’t. assuming the man and woman are healthy together they can produce a child. the same sex couple cannot do this without outside help.

“Indeed, but as I’m sure you’re aware, there is more than one way to skin a cat”

do you prefer starting at the head or the tail ?

well i’m going to duck now, so as not have my hair parted by your next shot.

Posted by: dbs at July 12, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #226085

dbs, “separate but equal” was formerly viewed as “trying to keep the peace so as to remove the objections of those who otherwise would be supportive” and this was based upon discrimination. There is no difference here.

As for the rest of your post, I have nothing to add to my previous comments but this: The institution of marriage is not about producing children. If it was, people who are sterile, or those past the age of fertility would be legally barred from getting married. But they aren’t. So, clearly marriage is about people making a lifelong commitment to each other, and having their state legally recognize that commitment. I see no reason for the state to feel they have the right to discriminate based upon the sexes of the people involved in making such a commitment.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 12, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #226351

“This is what I think is interesting. Either the gay population is very much smaller than often estimated or they just do not want to get married. Either way, gay marriage is almost a non-issue.”
Posted by: Jack at July 10, 2007 10:01 PM

Jack,

So, what was the purpose of “someone” out there making such a fuss over gay marriage, and bringing it to the forefront of political attention? Who was the originator of the issue? And who spurred the issue on claiming so many people’s rights are being violated?

My guess is that liberals wanted an issue that would inflame the Church, particularly the more “biblically conscious” Christian right. An issue that liberals could use to demonize those who are truly religious followers of the teachings of the Bible, that, by the way, forbids homosexuality as sin. Liberals wanted another non-issue to try to characterize religious people as bigots, homophobes, and haters. This is a typical strategy of the left. It was used in the 90’s with the Black Church burnings. Though it was proven that Black Church burnings had scarcely increased during the 90’s, (Clinton even lied about the Black Church burnings of Arkansas in his boyhood), the issue sure did wonders for the Black vote, didn’t it?
This typical liberal anti-Church, anti-Christian right strategy is designed to shore up the gay vote, just like the Black Church burnings were typical liberal anti-Southern white strategy which killed Southern Democrats politically, but shored up about 95% of the Black vote in the major cities and urban areas that Democrats must control to keep power. Everyone knows the Democrats do not have fundamentalist Christians supporting them, just like most Southern whites are not going to support the Democrats because of the Dems anti-conservativism. That is why they can demonize these group without much concern. It makes a lot of sense that the majority of the homosexuals also live in the major urban areas, since much of the rural areas are more religious, and family-values oriented. It is simply political strategy.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 14, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #226461

JD,

If gay marriage is a non-issue, why is there so much opposition? To some, gay marriage would unravel the very fabric of our civilization.

At any rate, I believe you are incorrect. As I remember it, many liberals who may in general support the right of gays to marry also wish it hadn’t been made such a political issue during the last presidential election. This single issue alone may have swung the election to Bush. Perhaps you should be grateful.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 15, 2007 5:28 PM
Comment #226476

Gerrold,

It is perhaps possible that this gay marriage thing pushed by the far-left in the Democratic Party may have come back to bite them in the butt, but the far-left is more concerned with the danger of Christian conservatives uniting with moderate Christians as happened in the eighties. This is why they think that playing this issue as bigots on the Christian right vs. moderate (open-minded) Christians on the left is going to keep Church politics split, therefore, preventing what we saw in the eighties. (Yes, the church has political policies based upon scripture within their organizations.)
That is why, to many Christians on the right, gay marriage is a big issue, as they do not want government to condone and license sin. Moderate Christians, for the most part seem as though they couldn’t care less. Also, Cristians on the right do not want the definition of marriage and the sanctity of marriage as recognized by the Church, (the Church meaning the Christian Church in this instance), but also nearly every religion, to be perverted by promoting gay marriage or even gay sex, which is forbidden by scripture.
Based upon Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scripture, no Church organization, or government which condones and promotes homosexuality, let alone licenses it is practicing sound doctrinal judgement. That is simply the truth of scripture in all three of these common religions within America.
This is the problem most Christians have with the left in general. They take non-issues like the display of the ten commandments in the court house, which very few actually oppose, school prayer time, which very few actually oppose, and gay marriage which very few actually support, (except in extremely liberal states for political purposes), and then they try to ram these things through the courts where only a very few have a say over what everyone else has to believe and to which they must adhere. It’s the typical liberal mode of operation. In the meantime, those who oppose the liberal left-wing agenda are attacked as bigots, racists, fanatics, etc., when their veiws are entirely mainstream.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 15, 2007 8:01 PM
Comment #226504

JD,
You don’t get it at all. Liberals are progressive, and for us this isn’t some political strategy or conspiracy against your religion or spirituality.
Not at all.
It’s purely and simply about freedom and civil rights. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
So cut the crap.
We know your Christian dogma often pits you against those ideals, but we don’t have any intention of taking your freedom to live as you (or your church) see fit away from you. That’s because we firmly believe in the founding ideals of this country.
The trouble is, your dogma doesn’t want to make allowances for some of our citizens to live their lives as they see fit. And that’s where liberals and progressives have to draw the line. Because your dogma doesn’t run this country, no matter how much you delude yourselves that it already does, or that it should.
Gay people deserve their freedom and their right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, just like you all do. And since they pay taxes, just like you do, they should have the right to be viewed with complete equanimity under the eyes of the states, and of our federal government.
Whether it’s three or three million gay people who want to get married, it doesn’t matter to us. We don’t care about the number. What we know is that they should have the right to get married if they want to — because ALL of us should share the SAME RIGHTS as every other American.
No ifs, ands, or buts.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 16, 2007 12:46 AM
Comment #226625

Yes, Adrienne,

Once again, I recognize your “open-minded” progressiveness for what it is.

Up until the 1960’s sexual revolution, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. It was not until the liberalism of the sexual revolution, for which we are still paying a huge price, that liberals began touting homosexuality as normal, encouraging it, and promoting it especially among the Hollywood crowd that was also into the drug culture of that era. As liberal Democrats became more and more embedded in the entertainment-centered Hollywood society, they embraced homosexuality. There is, after all, a lot of money tied to this relatively small group.
It is not about freedom. The homosexual activists within the Democratic Party, and especially within the Hollywood elite are extremely anti-Christian. All one needs to do is watch how Christians, and for that matter any religious characters are portrayed in Movies, TV, plays, etc.! This demonization of Christians and religious tradition in general has been a political strategy of the left for decades. It is nothing new.
To sum it up, you base your belief that homosexuals should be allowed to marry on liberal philosophies that emerged in the drug-induced orgies of the 1960’s. I guess that is the definition of your term progressive.
I base my beliefs that homosexuals should not marry based upon the teachings of accepted religions around the world, and the accepted traditional laws and definition of marriage practiced over thousands of years.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 16, 2007 11:02 PM
Comment #226647

“Yes, Adrienne,

Once again, I recognize your “open-minded” progressiveness for what it is.

Up until the 1960’s sexual revolution, homosexuality was considered a mental illness.”

Yes JD,
And once again I recognize your comments for what they are: Small-minded Hatred, Homophobia, and the overwhelming desire for Christians to somehow paint themselves as victims because people who don’t think exactly like they do have the gall to want the same rights and liberties that they enjoy.
It’s abhorrent bullshit prejudice no matter how often you people try to hang the Cross on it.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 17, 2007 3:32 AM
Comment #226796

* By nearly two-to-one, more Americans oppose (59%) than favor (32%) legalizing gay marriage.

Adrienne, you should be careful calling nearly 60% of Americans hate-mongeres, homophobes, and the like!

* Among those who favor gay marriage, fewer than three-in-ten say they strongly support the proposal (9% of the total.)

Adrienne, only 9% of all Americans strongly support gay marriage. I hate to say, “See, I told you so!”, but I did say my views were much more mainstream than yours!

* A closer look at the opinions of various demographic groups on this issue shows that young people, especially those in their late teens and twenties, are more supportive of gay marriage than are older Americans. People in their early thirties today have a relatively favorable view of gay marriage and their views are similar to those of younger generations.

Maybe because, like I said, they have been targeted the hardest by the pro-homosexual crowd. If homosexuals can sell their sinful wares to our young people, they can change the world’s view in only a generation. Sorry, Adrienne, I’m going to do my part to see that this does not happen.

* Among those in their sixties and seventies, opposition outnumbers support by as much as four-to-one.

See what I said earlier about the homosexual agenda coming out of the drug-induced orgies of the 60’s sexual revolution. Most older folks can not even name a friend who is gay. There is a reason for this. It is called the religious and moral integrity which guided the lives and beliefs of the older generation.

* The most religious Americans are the least likely to favor gay marriage. Nearly half of Americans with relatively low religious commitment approve of allowing homosexual couples the right to marry, compared with just 17% of those who are more religious. This gap along religious lines exists across all age groups.

Thus, the hatred for conservative Christians displayed by the left, especially within the gay community.

* Both Democrats and independents (39% each) are twice as likely as Republicans (18%) to approve of gay marriage. This political gap between Democrats and Republicans exists across all age levels.

As I have said on many occassions, there is a much greater magnetism for morally conscious, and religious individuals to the Republican Party, because religious and moral views are not tolerated in the Democratic Party, and are seldom discussed among Independents.

* Attitudes about gay marriage are closely linked to where a person lives ­ with opposition significantly higher in the South, and in rural areas of the country. But there is little racial divide over gay marriage. Both whites and blacks oppose gay marriage by roughly two-to-one ­ most Hispanics also oppose the idea, but by a smaller margin (51% to 36%).

The polls suggest exactly as I said. Homosexual marriage is a geographic issue, with Democratic strategy intent upon holding the Urban groups that they need for a majority.

* Fully 76% of those who oppose gay marriage believe it would undermine the traditional American family, and 61% feel strongly about it.

61% of those who oppose gay marriage feel strongly about it. 9% of those who favor gay marriage feel strongly about it. I wonder why? Are they all hate-mongers and homophobes, Adrienne? Whose views are more mainstream?

* Since 1973, the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, has been tracking whether Americans believe sexual relations between adults of the same sex are always wrong, almost always wrong, sometimes wrong, or not wrong at all. The most recent wave of the GSS in 2002 found a slight majority (53%) saying that homosexual relations are always wrong, down from 74% as recently as 1987. The proportion saying homosexual relations are not wrong at all has nearly tripled, from 12% to 32%, over the same time span.

Again, this is due to the incessant barrage of homosexuality targeted toward our children and in the general public discourse in movies, TV, etc., especially in the last several decades. This has been a radical agenda of the far left for years, disguising itself at first as comedy in its early years. In fact, comedy and music are the primary tools used by the left to promote their agendas. Vulgarity was never an issue, especially on TV up until comedians began using it in the late 60’s and early 70’s as their right to free speech. It moved quickly into movies, TV, and music. Mainstream vulgarity was borne out of that same revolutionary generation that adopted homosexuality, spreading its message first through comedy to test the waters. Then, gradually playing a more predominant role in movies, and TV, hoping to promote more acceptance among the masses. This is not something that just happens. This has been an agenda carried out by a very powerful few.
It is only through a moral and religious re-awakening in America that its people will be able to recognize and stop these attacks upon the traditional moral and religious foundations which have contributed to America’s greatness. You may call your views progressive Adrienne, but I believe most Americans have been just as disgusted by this generation’s moral decline, as have I!

(GAY MARRIAGE; All facts used are from The Pew Forum, a Project of the Pew Research Center)

Posted by: JD at July 18, 2007 9:25 PM
Comment #226971

Gay marriage is a distractioin issue and a manipulated issue.

It became an issue in ‘04 when Karl Rove, shortly after he burried his Gay step-dad, the man from whom he recieved the name ‘Rove,’ Karl then launched the anit-gay-marriage effort to embolden and further activate and energize the evangelical-right.

Karl Rove himself, is agnostic or perhaps even atheist. But, he knows how to manipulate voters and democracy.

Gay marriage might have come in without issue since it is not a religious issue at all. We’re only talking about what the GOVERNMENT recognizes, not anybody’s church!

But, Soul-less Karl saw an opportunity and took it.
Now, thousands of gay couples are paying the price of being in the wrong time in history to be treated equally under our government.

Posted by: RGF at July 20, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #226985

RGF,

I just gave numerous facts researched by the Pew Research Center regarding the percentages of people who are against Homosexual Mariage and you blame Karl Rove?
Maybe you can explain:
How did Karl Rove, with the so-called negative numbers, (something like a 24% approval rating for the Bush Administration), convince 60% of Americans to oppose Homosexual Marriage while only 9% strongly support the idea? Why is it that every time an overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with the radical legislative agenda of the far-left Democrats, it is some kind of George Bush/Dick Cheney/Karl Rove conservative conspiracy out there? When will your side ever admit they may be out of touch with main stream America?

JD

Posted by: JD at July 20, 2007 9:31 PM
Comment #226986

JD,

You cannot vote away rights.

I don’t give a flying flip what a majority of Americans think about Gay marriage. That is irrelevant nonesense.

What would you say to a majority of Americans voting to treat African Americans like property?
-It’s the same kind of thinking here. The majority CANNOT vote away rights. Neither is it relevant what a Majority of mis-guided people think.

The same silly trick is being tried with respect to prayer in public schools.

Some on the right seem to think that if a majority of students in a school vote to allow prayer in school that it should somehow happen!
….Nevermind the rights of the minority! Nevermind the establishment clause!

You cannot simply *vote* to treat others like second class citizens!

Posted by: RGF at July 20, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #227003

RGF,

Maybe you can explain how someone saying a prayer in school is somehow the equivalent of treating you like a second class citizen, hmmm?
Seems to me it is the vehement hatred for Christians displayed by the left that is requiring Christians to shut up just to make the left feel better. Sounds like censorship to me. No minority is guaranteed the right to never hear a public prayer. That’s ludicrous!

I know you don’t give a flying flip about what the majority thinks. That has always been the trouble with Democrats. They take some kook fringe belief like nobody should pray in front of someone else so that we insure that others not be offended, or we have to allow homosexuals to marry, when the majority find these views ridiculously far-left and out of the mainstream. Over 70% believe as the Pew Research shows that homosexual marriage would undermine the traditional values and concepts of marriage. The entire concept and purpose of marriage was never intended for homosexual relationships. That is what the people believe, though I know, in your opinion, everyone has to be forced by the government to believe like you do, because somewhere left-wing Democrats got the idea that disagreeing with them was totally unacceptable, and would not be tolerated.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 21, 2007 12:55 AM
Comment #227026

JD,

I’ll give you a fantastic example. Keep in mind that public schools are for all of us. They are run by our government for our kids and ALL our kids.

I know this be hard for you, but TRY to imagine yourself a Jewsih kid, or a muslim, or Atheist or Hindu, or whatever.

Now, you arrive in a new school in a new town and during your home room class, the Christians exclude you based on belief! THAT is hatred. That is also a violation of the establishment clause.
I am drawing this from an acctual occurance, by the way!

A few short years ago in the Santa Fe, TX school district just Soutwest of Houston, several efforts were employed to try to get prayer in school programs going. They even tried to VOTE out the rights of others in the usual misguided way. Constitutional challenges were brought by Jewish, Mormon and even Catholic kids’ families. These kids were excluded from the prayer, which took place during their homerooms, by being asked to stand outside in the hall. They were told they could not participate because they had different beliefs!

They won their case, thank God!

Even if they had not been so inhumanly treated by the *christians*, it would still have been a constituional violation!

A similar thing happened when the Oklahoma town of Edmond first decided to incorporate as its own city. They put together a new emblem to be the Edmond city seal. The emblem would appear in the City hall and be used on official documents. The emblem was devided into quadrants. One quadrant was to contain a Christian cross.

Now, imagine yoursef, if you can, as a Jewish or Muslim or Budhist or Hindu American who just got transferred to the growing town of Edmond by your company. You must get a new Driver’s license, buy or rent a home for your family, talk to real estate agents/brokers…
And the welcome you get is the official recognition that Edmond is a place for Christians, right down to the city council!!!!

Edmond lost that case, thank God!

Now, I am a christian. Born and raised.
But my own value as a person, and as a Christian, does not depend on my ability to ram Christianity down anybody else’s throat! Jesus never intended that Christianity should be a tool for sinful pride.

I find a COMPLETE disconnect between modern evangelical christianity and that which Jesus taught.

In this modern evangelical protestant stuff, all I see is sinful pride, hatred or intolerance of difference and a near total lack of empathy.

Fallwell (may God have mercy on him) et al and the rest of the evangelical right seem more concerned with judging others than allowing themselves to feel the log in their own eyes!
There is no spiritual introspection at all - which I believe is the primary value, leading to Christian EMPATHY, which Jesus taught the world.

The American evangelical protestants have simply lost the lesson!

Posted by: RGF at July 21, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #227027

JD,

Nobody said anything about forced agreement with anybody for any reason.

The issue is that liberals tend to be better educated. That applies to law, as well.

I offered you constituional law and you still mis-understand and offer me back meaningless statistics that even if true don’t change the Consitutional legal issues one iota!

If you wish to live in some kind of church-run religious state -
Perhaps, something like Iran or some other such middle eastern country would be more to your liking?

Oh - you want a Christian kind of religious regime …
Well Christianity gave that up as a morally acceptable goal back in the age of faith. You’ll have to time travel.

Posted by: RGF at July 21, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #227086

“Now, you arrive in a new school in a new town and during your home room class, the Christians exclude you based on belief! THAT is hatred. That is also a violation of the establishment clause.
I am drawing this from an acctual occurance, by the way!
Now, imagine yoursef, if you can, as a Jewish or Muslim or Budhist or Hindu American who just got transferred to the growing town of Edmond by your company. You must get a new Driver’s license, buy or rent a home for your family, talk to real estate agents/brokers…
And the welcome you get is the official recognition that Edmond is a place for Christians, right down to the city council!!!!”
Posted by: RGF at July 21, 2007 01:23 PM


Now imagine yourself being a Christian arriving at a new public school or transferring to a new position in another intolerant town, and being told that you can not pray in class or on lunch break, you can not read the Bible, or even perhaps hang a picture of the most influential person in your life inside your locker. It sounds like we agree RGF on the issue of school prayer and First Amendment Rights! This is intolerance, and all should have the right to worship, any way that they want, anywhere that they want as guaranteed by the United States Constitution’s First Amendment. You’re right, such action is hatred and bigotry against those person’s desiring to practice some form of religion protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. Constitutional protections of the practice of religion include all religions, not just Christianity. Thanks for the examples you use, proving my point!


JD

Posted by: JD at July 22, 2007 11:49 AM
Comment #227093

JD,

You are fabicating cases that have not come up.
There has been no case regarding any student’s right to take bible to school or hang a picture in his/her locker. In fact, if such case had ever come up, they would be ruled in favor of the student hanging the picture or carrying his/her own bible around since such things do NOT constitute state action. In fact, the student with the picture would win outright because no Federal court would hear the Constitutional issues involved! NO STATE ACTION!

The intolerance and lack of understanding is on the side of those who fail to realize we are NOT a Christian nation. We never were. Nor were we intended to be. Heck, JD, even Ben Franklin called himself a DEIST; which means he believed in God, but denied the divinity of Christ! The intolerance comes from the mis-understanding, or perhaps the willful ignorance, of the Constitution and its protections for ALL of US! …no exceptions.

Why is it that Liberals are always so much better educated and better at critical thought than conservatives?

Posted by: RGF at July 22, 2007 2:00 PM
Comment #227138

Homosexuality and the Censorship of Traditional Christian views:

During a district-wide spirit week, each day has a theme, and students are encouraged to dress accordingly. One day’s theme was Opposite Sex Day during which students were encouraged, but not required, to dress in the apparel of the opposite gender. Ms. Stanley held her children out of school on the ground that the Bible prohibits the wearing of the opposite sex’s clothing. After she spoke with the news media about her objections, Ms. Stanley alleged, one of her children was denied the special education services he was due under his individualized education program, and CMSSD Superintendent Richard Morgan contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family services (IDCFS) to report her as an “unfit” parent. She also claimed the superintendent’s mother, who is a substitute teacher, subjected another of her children to excessive detentions and intrusive questions about the child’s home environment. Ms. Stanley eventually relocated so the children could attend school in another district. She then sued CMSSD, alleging several state and federal claims. The federal claims included violation of her due process right to raise and educate her children in accordance with her religious beliefs, infringement of her First Amendment right to free exercise of religion, retaliation for exercising her First Amendment right to free speech, and sexual harassment under Title IX.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has ruled that high school officials’ refusal to allow a student to present her religious view opposing homosexuality as a valid lifestyle as part of a panel discussion on religion and homosexuality or in a speech during diversity week at the school violated the student’s free speech and equal protection rights, and the establishment clause mandate of separation of church and state. The controversy began after the Gay/Straight Alliance student club (GSA) at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan made plans to present a panel discussion on the subject of homosexuality and religion as part of the school’s annual diversity week program. The panel chosen by GSA and approved by school officials consisted of six pro-homosexual adult clergy. The thrust of the discussion was to promote the view that religion and homosexuality are compatible. Betsy Hansen, a student at Pioneer and a member of the Pioneers in Christ student religion club, attempted to either be allowed to participate in the panel herself or name a clergyman sharing her view that homosexuality is not a valid lifestyle to the panel. Although her request to have her viewpoint represented on the panel was rejected, school officials offered Hansen and two other students an opportunity to speak at the school’s general assembly during diversity week on the subject of “what diversity means to me.” All the students’ speeches were subject to review by the school’s administration. After reviewing her speech, school officials found some of the content objectionable “because it targeted an individual and groups, specifically homosexuals” and suggested she change that part of the speech. Hansen reluctantly revised it in the belief that failure to do so would be in violation of the school’s “inappropriate behavior” policy. Hansen subsequently filed suit in federal court against the school district and various school officials. She claimed: (1) violation of her First Amendment free speech and free exercise of religion rights; (2) violation of her Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection rights; and (3) violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The court concluded that school officials’ own testimony had conceded that the sole reason for denying Hansen representation on the panel and censoring her speech was because of her viewpoint that homosexuality is immoral and sinful. Turning to the establishment clause claim, the court concluded that school officials’ actions in denying Hansen panel representation and censoring her speech failed the three-prong test enunciated in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).

Three members of the Downingtown East High School Prayer Club have filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania federal district court against Downingtown Area School District (DASD) alleging that school district policies that prevent them from displaying the words Christian and Bible and expressing their religious view that homosexuality is immoral violate their free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The students are being represented by Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which accuses DASD of implementing “Orwellian speech code(s).” The suit alleges the school district forced the student group to drop explicitly Christian or scriptural references from its literature, and to meet as the “Prayer Club” instead of the preferred “Bible Club.” The students also want the right to air anti-gay and other viewpoints and to be free from punishment outlined in the school’s speech code. “What the school seems to be doing here is saying one side of an important cultural debate is welcome here and the other side is not.”

Boyd County Board of Education (KY) is facing another lawsuit over how it deals with controversies over issues of homosexuality. This time, those suing are a group of parents and students who object to the mandatory diversity training implemented as part of a settlement of the earlier lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of students seeking to form a now-defunct Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at the high school. The district eventually settled that suit, agreeing to allow the club and to adopt a policy requiring all middle and high school students to attend diversity training. The latest plaintiffs, represented by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), claim that students are being forced to participate in training that offends their religious beliefs. Specifically, they say that they are told in the video training that homosexuality is not a matter of choice and that they are prohibited from telling gays that those who engage in destructive lifestyles like homosexuality are wrong. ADF attorney Kevin Theriot contends, “There is a specific attempt by the school to change the belief system of these students, who believe that the Bible teaches… that homosexuality can be changed.” Mr. Theriot believes that organizations like the ACLU are targeting small towns in order to spread their agenda.

On February 17, 2005, a hearing was held before the Honorable Pamela Dembe of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas concerning a Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of the adult Defendants who have come to be known as the Philly 5. These defendants had been charged with crimes ranging from ethnic intimidation (a hate crime) to disorderly conduct arising from their preaching from the Bible at a gay and lesbian event known as OutFest. After viewing a tape of the event and listening to argument by Defendants’ counsel, C. Scott Shields, Judge Dembe granted the Motion and dismissed all charges. Judge Dembe noted that the First Amendment protects the right of free speech for everyone and found that there was no evidence to support any of the charges.
The charges against a seventeen year old juvenile, the member of the “Philly 5” have been voluntarily dismissed by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Eleven members of Repent America, led by Michael Marcavage, attended the event for the purpose of evangelizing. However, they were met immediately by a group called the “Pink Angels” who not only surrounded the Repent America group so they could not move and held up pink Styrofoam boards to block the group; they also blew whistles so that the group could not be heard. An independent film group was present at the event and filmed the entire incident. A copy of the tape of the event can be viewed on Repent America’s website.
This case not only involves an effort to suppress the Christian viewpoint and keep that viewpoint from being expressed in the public square, it demonstrates a complete lack of regard by the City of Philadelphia for the basic right to free speech. At the preliminary hearing, Chief Inspector James Tiano, from the City of Philadelphia Police Department, testified that members of the police department met with the OutFest Organizers 3 or 4 times before the event and discussed, among other things, tactics to prevent protestors from having access to the Event. It appears, therefore, that the City conspired with OutFest to ensure that Repent America would not have access to the event to exercise their right to free speech. The “Pink Angels” as they were called, not only surrounded the Repent America group so they could not move and held up the pink Styrofoam boards, they also blew whistles so that the group could not be heard. If you review the tape of the event, you will note that the loudest sound that you can hear is the whistles. You can hardly make out the Repent America group because of the noise that the Pink Angels were making. Yet, incredibly, it was our clients who were arrested riot, recklessly endangering another person, possessing and instrument of crime, obstructing the highway, failing to disperse, and for “disturbing the peace”, in addition to the hate crime of ethnic intimidation.
After the Preliminary hearing in this matter in which four of the Repent America members were held over for trial, bail was granted. However, the bail Order included a provision prohibiting the members from exercising their First Amendment Rights and evangelizing within 100 feet of any homosexual event.

Banning of the Bible, Christian Posters, Symbols, and Prayer while Accommodating other Religions:

A New York federal district court has ruled that a school district’s decision to remove bricks containing religious messages from a walkway on school property that was part of a school fundraising project violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. The class of 1999 of Mexico Academy (N.Y.), with the approval of the superintendent and school board, sold bricks to members of the Mexico Academy community in order to finance a senior class trip. The bricks could be inscribed with a message. The only restriction placed on the content of the inscriptions was that they could not be vulgar or obscene or contain “love interest” messages. After the bricks were placed, some members of the community complained that the messages contained “specific references to a Christian God.” The school board initially attempted to quell the complaints by placing a disclaimer in the walkway, which disavowed any endorsement of the messages by the school. When the disclaimer failed to quiet the controversy, the board voted to remove all bricks with messages that referred to a “Christian God.” After reviewing the facts, the district court concluded that the walkway constituted a limited public forum because school officials had opened a portion of the campus to public expression with only the limited restrictions.

Marcus Borden has been head varsity football coach at East Brunswick High School (EBHS) for over 23 years. The team had a tradition of the coach participating in a team prayer before the pre-game meal and again before the team took the field. When some parents of EBHS students complained about the prayers and threatened litigation, East Brunswick School District (EBSD) restated its school prayer policy. EBSD officials issued several directives warning Mr. Borden that his participation in student-initiated and led prayer, including standing and bowing his head during the pre-game meal prayer and kneeling during the prayer before the game, would be considered insubordination and could lead to his discharge. Mr. Borden initially resigned as coach, but returned and agreed to abide by the policy while he brought a lawsuit. His suit alleged that his First and Fourteenth Amendment free speech, free association, and academic freedom were being violated.
After hearing evidence and argument, the court considered each party’s respective motion for summary judgment. Mr. Borden argued that merely bowing one’s head and kneeling while the team prays does not amount to participation and, thus, does not violate the Establishment Clause. After reviewing the three Establishment Clause tests, i.e., the Lemon test, the endorsement test, and the coercion test, employed for determining if a governmental action violates the Establishment Clause, the court agreed with Mr.
Borden …

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) holiday display policy, which allows the display of the menorah to symbolize Chanukah and the star and crescent to symbolize Ramadan but does not allow display of a crèche, or nativity scene, to symbolize Christmas. The court ruled that the policy does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, or parents’ constitutional right to control the religious upbringing and education of their children. However, the court emphasized that it was not ruling on the question of whether a public school ever could include a crèche in a display. The DOE policy, adopted in an attempt to avoid unconstitutionally appearing to endorse religion, restricts holiday displays to “secular” symbols, including Christmas trees, menorahs, and the star and crescent. The Catholic League protested the policy, arguing that religious symbols like a crèche may be displayed on public property without offending the Establishment Clause, provided they are displayed with secular symbols and disputing DOE’s classification of the menorah and star and crescent as secular symbols. DOE responded that the U.S. Supreme Court precedents cited by the League are not applicable to a public school setting and that the Court has found that a menorah has “both religious and secular dimensions,” while a crèche “is solely a religious symbol.”

In an unpublished opinion, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a California school district’s use of role-playing in a world history class to teach middle school students about Islam does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The suit was brought by two sets of parents whose children attend the Excelsior School against Byron Unified School District (BUSD). The suit claimed that 125 middle school students were asked to select a Muslim name, learn Islamic prayers, stage make-believe pilgrimages to Mecca, fast during lunch to simulate the fasting done during the holy month of Ramadan, dress in Muslim robes, and use Arabic phrases meaning “God is great.” The plaintiffs contended that the classes on Islam were not just teaching students about religion, but rather how to practice a religion, which violates the Establishment Clause. The district court dismissed the case, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed. In a brief memorandum opinion, the appeals court concluded that the activities did not constitute “overt religious activities that raise Establishment Clause concerns.”

I just wonder how the courts would rule if schools had students carry wooden crosses through the halls, end the procession at the school playground, and then carry out a mock crucifixon to teach history students about the treatment of early Christians?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Ten Commandments display on the grounds of the Texas state capitol does not violate the Establishment Clause. Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered a plurality opinion, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas. Justice Breyer filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment but disagreeing with the plurality’s reasoning. Justice Stevens filed a dissenting opinion in which he was joined by Justice Ginsburg. Justice O’Connor also filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Souter filed a dissent in which Justices Stevens and Ginsburg joined. The plurality opinion, while conceding that Ten Commandments convey a religious message, argued that the context in which the Ten Commandments are used demonstrates that the display also conveys a secular moral message about proper standards of social conduct and a message about the historical significance those standards and the law.

McLean Bible Church, a Tysons Corner megachurch, has sued Fairfax County so it can continue to offer religion classes that officials say violate zoning rules.
In a 14-page suit filed July 3 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the 10,000-member church says the classes are a regular part of church life, which is protected under the freedom of religion.
Fairfax officials say the church can’t host the classes — which can help students get a master’s degree in theology or divinity at Lanham-based Capital Bible Seminary — without county permission to operate as a college.

(It seems some counties are now trying to tell churches what they can and can’t teach in their own churches!)

A federal district court in Georgia has ruled that a school district’s application of stickers to science textbooks cautioning about the scientific validity of the theory of evolution violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court also ruled that the stickers violate the Georgia constitution. For years, Cobb County School District maintained a policy that the origins of life only be taught in elective courses and never as part of the required science curriculum. Although this policy did not expressly refer to evolution, it was implemented for the purpose of avoiding conflict with a large segment of the school district’s residents whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the theory of evolution. However, in 2001 the school board decided to strengthen evolution instruction and bring the district into compliance with statewide curriculum requirements. Part of this process involved adopting new science textbooks. When members of the community, identified as creationists, submitted a petition objecting to evolution being taught “as fact rather than theory,” the idea of affixing stickers to the textbooks was born. School district legal counsel drafted this language for the sticker: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

A Mobile, Alabama elementary school student’s parents have filed suit in federal district court after their son was prevented from passing out gifts containing religious messages during a class Christmas party. Robert Dowd, a fifth grader at Robert E. Lee Elementary School, with assistance from his mother, made “joy jars”-decorated salt and pepper shakers and baby food jars with slips containing religious messages-to pass out to classmates at the party. Robert’s teacher, Myra Lucas, kept the jars on a table separate from the other gifts and, during recess, removed the religious messages. However, Robert’s younger sister succeeded in passing out her joy jars to her third grade classmates. School district policy prohibits the distribution of religious materials, citing the First Amendment protections that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Dowds allege that the district’s policy violates Robert’s free exercise rights because the distribution occurred outside instructional time and, therefore, was not disruptive of the learning process. George Arnold, the Dowd’s attorney, said, “I think you really have to stretch your imagination to say that a child handing out gifts at a Christmas party is government endorsement of religion.” Derek Atchison, a lawyer for the school district, said, “We disagree with the version of the facts as presented by Mr. Arnold. We feel like the school system’s complied with federal law regarding this matter.”

Zachary Community School District (La.) has repealed its policy of prohibiting students from bringing Bibles to school to read during the daily “quiet reading time” period. When Harrison Kravat, a second grader, had his Bible confiscated by a teacher during “quiet reading time,” his parents contacted Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a group that advocates on behalf of “religious freedom.” After the principal and Harrison’s teacher failed to act on the grievances filed by the parents, ADF sent a letter to the school district’s superintendent threatening a lawsuit unless the district dropped the Bible ban. Michael Johnson, an ADF attorney, claims the policy was rescinded within a day. He also stated that the policy was the result of district officials’ mistaken belief that allowing individual students to read the Bible in school violated the Establishment Clause. Mr. Johnson blames the ACLU for the policy. He said, “For about 30 years, they’ve been using fear and intimidation and disinformation as their strategy, and they run all around the country and tell school officials and public officials that religious sentiments have to be removed from the public square.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a high school’s refusal to allow a student Bible club to meet in school during the morning activity period violated both the Equal Access Act (EAA) and the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Melissa Donovan, a senior at Punxsutawney Area High School (PA), founded a Bible club and began meeting during the activity period prior to the first classroom period. The club never sought permission to meet, and school officials stipulated that they would not have granted permission to a religious club.

On May 3, 2005, the Shields & Hoppe, LLP filed a law suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against, the Marple Newtown School District. The suit seeks to defend the First Amendment rights of a mother who was prevented from reading a Bible passage out loud as part of a “Me Week” kindergarten classroom program intended to feature her son and showcase his favorite book. The Complaint alleges that by singling out and forbidding Donna Busch from reading a Bible passage chosen by her son Wesley, because of the reading’s religious content, school officials violated her First Amendment Right to Free Speech, The case began in October, 2004, when Mrs. Busch accepted an invitation to visit her son’s kindergarten class at Culbertson Elementary School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania and read an excerpt from his favorite book to his classmates. When Mrs. Busch came to the classroom and advised the teacher that Wesley had chosen a story from the Bible for her to read, Mrs. Busch was prevented from reading the story.
The school’s principal informed Mrs. Busch that she could not read from the Bible in the classroom because it was against the law and that the reading would violate the “separation of church and state”. Mrs. Busch was then offered the opportunity to read from a book about witches, witchcraft and Halloween which she declined to do.


Why is it that Liberals are always so much better educated and better at critical thought than conservatives?
Posted by: RGF at July 22, 2007 02:00 PM

Gee, I don’t know, RGF, why don’t you tell us?

JD



Posted by: JD at July 22, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #227184

JD,

You are describing hate crimes and actions which come pretty darn close to hate crimes.

The mis-guided protestants in this country once espoused postions against “misegony” and black education and voting as being part of their religious beliefs. That doesn’t make those things Constitutionally, or even morally, acceptable, now does it?

…perhaps it’s because American protestantism is itself so anti-education. Perhaps it’s because starchy religious beliefs are inherently rigid and non-introspective (read: no mental, spirtual or moral analysis of self at all).

More likely, those who attain a wider, deeper and more complete view…TEND TO BE LIBERAL as a result!

Posted by: RGF at July 23, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #227208

“You are describing hate crimes and actions which come pretty darn close to hate crimes.”
Posted by: RGF at July 23, 2007 03:38 PM


What hate crimes am I describing? Are you saying that the school systems, the Philadelpha Police, and others practiced hate crimes against the Christians who then sued them and in many cases won?

I hope you were not referring to the Christians as the ones participating in hate crimes. I’m not sure what you mean by your statement.
But, these were real cases involving real school administrators and Christian students and parents, between the Philadelphia Police force and the Philly 5, between County governments and churches, etc.! Most of these cases can be found on the National School Board Association’s Website under their law issues section. The purpose was to point out the way Christians are being treated for simply airing their views. They are trying to be silenced in all manner of public places. Perhaps you can explain the motive of Fairfax County telling a church that it can not teach Bible classes of all things in its own church? Talk about separation of church and state. I guess it only goes one way, right? It seems the State wishes to tell churches and religious individuals what they can and can’t say more and more these days. This is just a part of the agenda of the radical left that I have been pointing out.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 23, 2007 7:38 PM
Comment #227423

“…perhaps it’s because American protestantism is itself so anti-education. Perhaps it’s because starchy religious beliefs are inherently rigid and non-introspective (read: no mental, spirtual or moral analysis of self at all).
More likely, those who attain a wider, deeper and more complete view…TEND TO BE LIBERAL as a result!”
Posted by: RGF at July 23, 2007 03:38 PM

Wrong once again, RGF.
The entire life of the Protestant is based solely on introspection; obtaining a wider, and deeper understanding; looking within oneself, and cleansing oneself of those things which do not meet the expectations of Christ, or things which are not in line with His teaching. This is extremely difficult, in fact, impossible for man to do of himself. Christianity can be best defined as completely honest self-analysis and self-evaluation. For until man examines himself, he can not become a Christian.

It is the liberals that look at others, lusting, coveting, and at times, perverting those things that others have achieved responsibly.
They promote powerfully wealthy people that will seize the riches of others to give to those who have not earned it, simply to buy their support and votes.
They practice and encourage rebellion, at times for no other reason than rebellion’s sake, while dividing groups based on the color of one’s skin rather than uniting them on the content of their character. In fact, mention the content of one’s character, and suffer condemnation as a radical fundamentalist neocon. Even when those of color speak of the need to recognize the content of one’s character, they too, are labeled as “Uncle Toms” by today’s liberals.
Liberals view man as the ruling authority in all things, therefore truth, wisdom, and responsibility are but only fleeting fragrances blown about by the winds of situation.
And they often view their children only in terms of convenience and inconvenience.

Where is the introspection of the liberal? I certainly do not see it today. It is my opinion that most of the liberals in Congress can scarcely look at themselves in the mirror each morning for their antics being displayed in Washington, let alone actually looking deep within.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 26, 2007 1:36 AM
Comment #227733

JD,

You cannot simply declare me to be wrong…
It’s not true.

The effective life of evangelical protestants is about pounding square pegs into round holes.

Not only is that folly, but it is UN-christian.

Imagine for a minute, what you are illuminating in your above post!

You argue that it was intolerance to NOT allow a ‘christian’ to atend and declare her ‘beliefs’ at a meeting that was intended for the purpose of diffusing a bad situation with respect to tolerance in the schools. This person wanted to show up at this meeting, for this purpose, and loudly DECLARE her beliefs regarding homosexuality!

That is hate crime, JD. …or very close to it!
What purpose could that possibly serve?

Take it a step further -
The oft’ discussed story of the Good Samaritan:
Protestants tend to miss sopem of real value of thsi story because they labor under the false assumption that the Bible must be read literally. Such a reading only shallows out that which might otherwise be taught by it.

You see, the samaritans were a sect of Judaism that believed that God could be worshiped from one’s home and within one’s family without any ties to the Saducees and Pharisees surounding the Temple in Jerusalem. There had been conflict between them and the mainstream Jews of the period when Jesus told the story. Therefore, Jesus was clearly communicating a messege of love of neighbor, love of enemy …and RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE.

This notion is lost on the shallow thinking protestants who believe they actually giving something up by reading the bible literally, rather than missing the boat alltogether in the first place by so doing!

There is NO CONCEPT of spritual introspection among the evangelical protestants!
Never was, and likely never will be as long as there is the stubborn and shallow adherence to hate and ignorance among them.

Posted by: RGF at July 29, 2007 1:27 PM
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