Third Party & Independents Archives

Gay Marriage, An Answer

There are a very few issues which the two dominant parties in the United States use to show their ‘differences’. In actuality the two major parties have more in common than they do in opposition. Gay marriage is an issue which the two major parties use to help seperate themselves, with Republicans being against gay marriage and Democrats supposedly for it.

Before showing my answer to the gay marriage debate I feel I should explain the supposedly comment involving Democrats. This can best be explained by stating that in 2004 in Montana one hundred percent of Democrats running for statewide office endorsed the state's proposed ban on gay marriage (1).

Now on to the discussion. Republicans want to be seen as protecting religion and Democrats want to be seen as protecting civil liberties. Note the wording of want to, as both positions are used more to get votes than to actually exhibit the values of either party. Both sides can have their way, but they don't want to because this is an issue which seperates the two near identical major parties. They would rather seperate themselves for votes than actually solve the debate.

What I am proposing is rather simple, but to my knowledge has not been proposed because it would break apart the status quo of the supposed difference of the two major parties.

Republicans seem to be saying they want to protect religion and the law of God, while gays are asking for equal rights. They both can get what they want, if they come to a simple common sense compromise. Simply put:

1. Gays are allowed full equal access to marriage and civil unions, under the law, thus giving them full access to the benefits of being married.
2. However, because we have seperation of church and state, churches (or any place of worship) have full autonomy to choose to conduct gay marriages or not. Thus it is up to the heads of each church or place of worship to choose to conduct these ceremonies or not.
3. If a gay couple cannot find a place of worship in their state or area of living which will marry them, than they have full rights to access to a non-religious affiliated marriage which will still be equal in the eyes of the law.
4. Churches have the right to not recognize the gay marriages conducted by other churches, or places of worship. However all such ceremonies, whether religious in nature or not will be recognized by government.

Why this is the right answer, what each side gets:
The religous right gets:
1. A guarantee that government will not force their place of worship to marry gay couples.
2. A guarantee that each place of worship can make up its own mind on gay marriage, thus if a person at church A is against gay marriage and their church decides to conduct these ceremonies they can go to church B which chooses not to.
3. A guarantee that government will not intrude on the rights of a place of worship to make their own rules involving their own religion, as each religion (or more specifically each place of worship) should be able to state their ideas without government involvement.

The gay community gets:
1. Marriages which are fully recognized by government.
2. All the rights accorded to married couples.
3. A chance at a religous ceremony, as each place of worship will be able to make up their own mind on whether to conduct these ceremonies and it is likely at least some percentage will choose to.

If this policy is adopted the religous right will still be able to 'win' because they can say that gay marriage is not recognized in the eyes of God. However the gay community will also 'win' because they can say that their marriage is recognized in the eyes of the government.

Works Cited:
1. Thomas Harrison, “The 2004 Elections and the Collapse of the Left,” New Politics 10 (2) (38) (Winter, 2005).

Posted by Richard Rhodes at July 5, 2006 3:46 AM
Comments
Comment #164882

A wonderful sentiment Richard. Now we just have to figure out how to prevent these gay marriages from destroying every hetero marriage in the country, thereby ending civilization as we know it in a giant ball of hellfire and damnation.

Unfortunately, these imaginary threats are quite difficult to defeat, as one can never be sure when they are truly and completely vanquished.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at July 5, 2006 6:56 AM
Comment #164884

That isn’t compromise, it’s capitulation.

Posted by: traveller at July 5, 2006 7:01 AM
Comment #164887

Sounds like an AWESOME compromise to me. And as far as “destroying every hetero marriage in the country, thereby ending civilization as we know it in a giant ball of hellfire and damnation”, I beleive the allowance of No Fault divorce set marriages up for failure long before Gays asked for equal rights.

If the religious rights were asking for true Christian values to be upheld, divorce laws would have to be repealed. Imagine for a moment if you had to ask you religious leader for a divorce as well as his blessing on a marriage.

Posted by: Len at July 5, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #164902

Richard,

There is really no difference here between what you are suggesting and the Democratic viewpoint. No one is suggesting that individual churches be forced to recognise gay marriages or marry gay people, only that gays be given equal rights. The religious right will never accept your idea because, in their eyes gay marriage is about Sodom and Gomorrah - the breakdown of the moral fabric of society. Their agenda is to marginalize gays. Everything else is just rhetoric to that end.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #164914


Richard: You should post this on the red side so you can reap the wrath that you don’t deserve. As stated by Traveller, “This isn’t compromise, it’s capitulation.” The Christian right is not the least bit interested in compromise. They are determined to force their narrow minded nonchristian views on everyone.

Posted by: jlw at July 5, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #164923

Richard-

Are you suggesting that the Federal Government repeal its own law, the Defense of Marriage Act, and legislate your proposal upon the States? By the design of our government there are significant barriers to practical solutions. That’s proven to be a good thing over the years despite the obvious inefficiencies.

How about just repeal DOMA and have the Federal Government once again recognize any marriage license that a State issues? The various States can work the reciprocity issues just as they do with other licenses, and where there is political will for gay marriages there will be gay marriages.

jlw-

Don’t Christians have the right to be involved in the political process as much as anyone else?

Posted by: George in SC at July 5, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #164926

A well reasoned post. I think it would work and support it.

As to Traveller’s opinion that it is capitulation: What are you surrendering? Get over yourself and this arcane notion that if two gays get married it will somehow damage marriage as an institution. This is the same type of thinking that spawned the laws against interracial marriage in the early 1900’s.


As if a ~50% divorce rate hasn’t already damaged marriage. You want to save the sanctity of marriage? Stop all the divorces.

Posted by: Dennis at July 5, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #164928

Richard,

This is what the Gay and Lesbian community wants, unfortunately the religious right would N E V E R make such a compromise. They don’t even want to protect Gays and Lesbians from being fired from their job for no other reason than they are gay.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees that “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” It further requires that “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

The DOMA is unconstitutional. The Congress tried to work around this provision by making the effect of Gay marriage licenses null on other states. In doing so, they turned the second part of this constitutional provision against the first. I believe it is further unconstitutional because the DOMA does not require equal treatment of heterosexual marriage licenses.

The religious right very well knows that what they are doing is wrong and unconstitutional. When a case reaches the SCOTUS, marriage equality will become the law of the land. Why else would they be seeking a Constitutional amendment?

I think the only solution, that would give equality to all citizens and protect religious sensibilities is for the government to only recognize Civil Unions as the only legal union of two people. Marriage should be a religious institution that is recognized by the Church. The government would recognize the contract of Civil Union and the Churches would recognize marriage as a religious institution. This would ensure true separation of Church and State.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 5, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #164934
Don’t Christians have the right to be involved in the political process as much as anyone else?

George in SC,

Yes they do, as long as they don’t suppress equal rights and/or constitutional guarantees. Thomas Jefferson, as usual, says it best:

  • “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” ~Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801 [em mine]
  • “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Francis Gilmer, 1816
  • “No one has a right to obstruct another exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816
Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 5, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #164942

George in SC..

“Don’t Christians have the right to be involved in the political process as much as anyone else? “

The answer is YES.

Now the other question. Do Christians HAVE THE RIGHT to LEGISLATE and IMPOSE their CHOSEN religious beliefs upon others? I believe the answer to that is NO.

Posted by: bububr at July 5, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #164948

JayJay-

I believe your full faith and credit argument has been pretty well hashed out by the courts; States have been able to refuse marriages from other States in the past if it offends their own public policy.

As to my question that you and bububr addressed, I’m glad to see you agree that they (Christians) can be involved in the process. After all, they make up about 70% of the population. As to the protection of minority rights, I think we all agree that there are checks and balances in place to protect those.

Posted by: George in SC at July 5, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #164952

Richard
What would keep homosexuals from suing churches to force them to preform marriages for them? And given the liberalism of today’s courts they’d most likely win.

Len
No fault divorce is one of the most destructive force against marriage. But there are a lot of other’s that are just as destructive. The permissiveness of today’s society is just as destructive if not more so than no fault divorce. No fault is just a product of this permissiveness. So is homosexual marriage, shacking up, sex outside of marriage, and single motherhood.

Don’t Christians have the right to be involved in the political process as much as anyone else?

Posted by: George in SC at July 5, 2006 11:43 AM

YES! But the liberals want to deny them the right because they don’t agree with them.
They ain’t interested in coming to a consensus on this any more than the ‘christian right’ is.


I’m personally against homosexual marriage for moral as well as religious reasons. I believe that homosexuality is both immoral and sin. As such I don’t condone it. But I can’t change the way folks think and act. Only God can do that. And I’ll leave that up to him. I also can’t force my beliefs on other folks. And won’t even try.
If homosexual marriage became legal in every state of the union it would still be wrong. But like abortion it’ll be something I’d have to live with.
But I can sure voice my objections to it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 5, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #164953

JayJay
Marriage should be a religious institution that is recognized by the Church. The government would recognize the contract of Civil Union and the Churches would recognize marriage as a religious institution. This would ensure true separation of Church and State.

So you’d be in favor of the states stopping taxing marriage by requiring a marriage license?

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 5, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #164956

Ron Brown,

Well, it would still be taxed as a Civil Union License, if you wanted your union recognized under the law. Those wishing to marry in the Church would only be bound by church laws and obligations, but would recieve no recongnision under the law unless they also entered into a Civil Union. The act of taking out the “marriage” license or contract should be seen as the civil union for the sake of the law. The actual marriage ceramony would be under the jurisdiction of the Church with no bearing on the secular law.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 5, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #164957

Civil Unions do not equal marriage. We already learned the lesson of seperate is inherently not equal. While some would be ok with that compromise, it does not meet the high standards that the consitution demands.

The only legal solution to this problem is for the US Goverment and State Goverments to follow the constitution and seperate church and state - meaning get the government out of the marriage business and leave that term (that social conservatives are so impassioned by) to the chruches.

The government should limit itself to defining partnerships with rights regarding children and estates. A heterosexual marriage would obviously be one form of partnership, so would a homosexual union. With equal protection under the law we can all live together in harmony. Using the government to deny another person’s happiness is not what the constitution is about.

Posted by: redlenses at July 5, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #164966

Ray Guest stated: “There is really no difference here between what you are suggesting and the Democratic viewpoint.”

Yes actually there is, because Democrats have no unified viewpoint. As stated above EVERY SINGLE Democrat in Montana running for statewide office endorsed the ban on gay marriage. Also in 2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate never took a side for or against the gay marriage bans in the states. Granted some Democrats share this viewpoint but also many do not, the Democrats have no unified viewpoint on this issue.

JayJaySnow stated: “This is what the Gay and Lesbian community wants, unfortunately the religious right would N E V E R make such a compromise.” JayJay it may be similar to what the gay and lesbian community want, however the things given to the religious community are there to help them control religion which is what they want. The point of this compromise is that if the religious right could not accept such a compromise, as you suggest (and I agree that they wouldn’t accept it), than their argument of trying to protect their churches would fall apart, because this has provisions in it to help them protect their churches. Thus the result would be they would be seen as only being against such a compromise because they want to discriminate and not because of any type of religous values or attempts to protect the church.

Ron Brown stated: “What would keep homosexuals from suing churches to force them to preform marriages for them?”
The guarantees given to church, places of worship in the post, would be written into the legislation. Furthermore there would be a definition, similar to what JayJaySnow argues, that would define governmental marriages as different than religious marriages, although both would have equal access to the rights accorded to marriage couples.

In general: The religous right’s main scare tactic is that government would force churches to conduct gay marriage. This is one of the compromises that the religous right would get, they wold get a guarantee that each church will have full autonomy and not be forced to conduct gay marriage services. Thus they would no longer be able to play this scare card.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 5, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #164976

Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting for the religious wrong to compromise. Like lemmings to a cliff’s edge, the religious sheeple have already been drawn to the flame of homosexuality. It’s the source of all the world’s problems, and fags will only get to play house over their dead bodies.

In the meantime, Rush Limbaugh will still be their hero spouting off about family values on the radio, in between his trips to the Dominican Republic(with a suitcase full of viagra) where sex with hookers is cheaper. And Catholic priests who finger children will now be relocated more quickly to another diocese, while the pope issues decrees about homos to keep the moths in the pews fluttering in the drection of the brighter light.

Removed from the sesspool of hypocricy and bigotry backed up in the drain of Christian America, your proposal is a fine plan.

Posted by: Taylor at July 5, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #164999

“If the religious rights were asking for true Christian values to be upheld”

“The Christian right is not the least bit interested in compromise. They are determined to force their narrow minded nonchristian views on everyone”

“This is what the Gay and Lesbian community wants, unfortunately the religious right would N E V E R make such a compromise”

“Removed from the sesspool of hypocricy and bigotry backed up in the drain of Christian America, your proposal is a fine plan”

Yes, damn those evil, white, RIGHT WING Christian Republicans for being against gay-marriage.

http://www.lgbtcenters.org/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=256

—-A poll released last month by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that African Americans oppose gay marriage by a 2 to 1 ratio.—-

—-A separate study released in 2000 by the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported that one-fifth of respondents to its Black Pride Survey had negative experiences in the black community, and nearly half — 43 percent — had a negative experience with a black church.—-

I’m curious though: Does the left ignore black Americans because they have that voting “block” all locked up?
Or does the left ignore black Americans because they believe “those people” will come around and start thinking like them sooner or later?

Posted by: kctim at July 5, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #165013

2 to 1? I’d have expected higher considering that Blacks, who are overwhelmingly Christian, are also more likely than whites to have any religion: Just 3 percent of blacks say they have no religion, compared to 13 percent of whites .

But who said white anyhow? I fail to see how this is a race issue.

Posted by: Taylor at July 5, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #165015

“2 to 1? I’d have expected higher”

I agree Taylor. During the voting, local news reported that 70-80 percent of black Americans were against gay marriage, in exit polls.

Nobody mentioned white, yet.
Part of the propaganda is that all Republicans are rich white Christian males.
To acknowledge that this issue has more to do with religious views coming from BOTH sides of the isle, would give the left less fire power when it comes to getting votes.

One of the largest Democrat voting blocks is anti gay marriage but yet all we hear about is the “religious right.”
Why is that?

Posted by: kctim at July 5, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #165018


The small rural community where I live celebrated the birth of our nation this week. the people here are mostly poor and low income workers who for the most part are Christians. The main conversation wasn’t about gay marriage, it wasn’t brought up in any of the conversations that I was a part of. Instead, they were all talking about how the Congress was going to raise the minimum raise. When they heard the news that the republicans refused to even allow a vote on the minimum wage raise, they were deeply dissapointed, upset and angry. If the republicans expect to keep these people in the fold, they had better talk nonstop about gay marriage and how it is going to destroy America, from now until the election. I don’t think it will do them much good though. The people are struggling financially and they know who is at fault.

Posted by: jlw at July 5, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #165019

Yup our goverment used to regulate marriage to deny interacial marriage (another reason goverment shouldn’t be involved in regulating marriage).

We’ve come a long way now that they oppressed are the oppressors :)

Right and Wrong in regards to freedom has very little to do with polls.

Posted by: redlenses at July 5, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #165020

Richard,

“Ray Guest stated: There is really no difference here between what you are suggesting and the Democratic viewpoint”

I was conflating liberal and Democrat, (Democrats played politics - they had to), so you are correct, but there no essential difference between your “compromise” and the liberal viewpoint and people on the Christian would never accept your idea, because as I stated above: “No one is suggesting that individual churches be forced to recognise gay marriages or marry gay people, only that gays be given equal rights. The religious right will never accept your idea because, in their eyes gay marriage is about Sodom and Gomorrah - the breakdown of the moral fabric of society. Their agenda is to marginalize gays. Everything else is just rhetoric to that end.”
Conservative Christians see themselves fighting for the moral fiber of America. They are incorrect on this one. Gay marriage is not a part of the breakdown of our moral fiber - gangster rap is. Liberals also see ourselves as fighting for the moral fiber of America, and we are correct on this one. Ron Brown asks whether Christians have a right to participate in our democracy - certainly - but that does equate to the right to impose their religious views. The Constitution and democratic mechanisms are supposed to protect us from the “tyranny of the many over the few” - but they are not working in this case - not yet anyway. This is a red herring issue anyway - it is cynically used by cynical Republican leaders, (evil genius Rove), to manipulate the American people and distract from the real issues of gravity that we face.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #165023

Again with the “religious right” and “conservative Christians.”

“Conservative Christians see themselves fighting for the moral fiber of America”

So what are “liberal” Christians, such as, oh, lets say black Americans, see themselves fighting for Ray?
Talk about ignoring, manipulating and distracting.
Sheesh!

Posted by: kctim at July 5, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #165027

Dennis,

“1. Gays are allowed full equal access to marriage and civil unions, under the law, thus giving them full access to the benefits of being married.”

“As to Traveller’s opinion that it is capitulation: What are you surrendering?”

Everything! The whole issue. Richard’s first point is to suggest complete surrender.

Posted by: traveller at July 5, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #165031

Dennis,

“1. Gays are allowed full equal access to marriage and civil unions, under the law, thus giving them full access to the benefits of being married.”

“As to Traveller’s opinion that it is capitulation: What are you surrendering?”

Everything! The whole issue! Richard’s first suggestion is complete surrender.

Posted by: traveller at July 5, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #165033

Sorry about the double post. The browser’s acting weird tonight.

Posted by: traveller at July 5, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #165034

But the only capacity in which this is a racial issue is that the African American religious community is buying into the idea of using the bible against another minority to deny them equal rights in the same way the bible was used against African Americans to support slavery. Because a larger percent identify as christian, stats can make them appear ‘more against’.

But this still doesn’t give creedance to the idea that this is a racially slanted issue. The idea and popularity of pandering homosexual rights as a distraction to more important issues is a patentedly repugnantcan thought, and not something you can pin on the blacks, despite feeble attempts to steer the topic that direction.

The dems by no means have even close to exclusive support from the black community, specifically because the repugs have so effectively distracted the public with socially conservative issues for more than a generation now. They’ve made millions vote directly against the best interests of their ability to provide for their families all because of dead fetuses and homos….. it’s masterful ….. and evil. But perhaps Ken Lay’s death is an indication that Satan is recalling staff to the home office?

Posted by: Taylor at July 5, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #165036

Richard:

It’s unfair to say that the only thing dividing Republicans from Democrats is gay marriage. This is definitely not so. It’s not even a bone of contention.

The Republican Party is the party of Big Business. Since their constituency is not so great, they took on some of the issues of the religious right. You notice, however, most Republican legislation THAT PASSES is for the benefit of Big Business.

The Democratic Party is the party of the little guy. I know, I know, it does not always appear this way. But, fundamentally, this is where Democrats stand.

To Democrats gay marriage is a question of civil rights. I think if you ask a real Republican businessman, he will agree. Most of these guys go along with the religious right to stay in power.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 5, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #165050

Paul-
I didn’t say that gay marriage is the only thing dividing Republicans and Democrats, I said it was one of a few things that seperates them.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 5, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #165052

It’s amazingly hypocritical that conservatives, who claim to want less government oversight, now want the government in their bedrooms choosing their marital partners. This IS a religious issue pure and simple and in this country government and religion are seperate and we have the right to the pursuit of happiness and to believe whatever we want. Conservatives that don’t want to let gays marry are like Muslims that don’t want to let women work.

Posted by: Max at July 5, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #165073

kctm,

Sheesh! When exactly in my writing did I say that the “liberal” Christians did not also see themselves as fighting for the moral fiber? Sheesh! I was not writing an exhaustive definative treatise - just a comment about the central core group that pushes this issue. Sheesh! What is your point? At least write about what I wrote - not some tangent that I was not even addressing. There are many people pushing this issue in different directions for many different reasons. Sheesh! It is a political winner for the Repubs and some of their leaders are using it for manipulative political reasons. Sheesh! For the time being, it is a political loser for us liberals - but some of us are standing on principal anyhow. Sheesh! What is your point? Sheesh!

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #165077

kctim,

You wrote:

I’m curious though: Does the left ignore black Americans because they have that voting “block”” all locked up?
Or does the left ignore black Americans because they believe “those people” will come around and start thinking like them sooner or later?

I do hope that black people will eventually recognise this bigotry and stand with us against it - but you have to understand as I mentioned above, that you are dealing with issues of faith here, and those are a bit more deeply entrenched than political affiliation. Rove is a genius to use this as a wedge issue - evil - but genius.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #165090
“As to TravellerⳠopinion that it is capitulation: What are you surrendering?”

Everything! The whole issue! Richard’s first suggestion is complete surrender.

AMEN! Afterall, why love thy neighbor when you can be BETTER than thy neighbor?

It’s a shame that the teachings of jesus have been in a rapidly increasing state of moral decay from the moment of his death.

Posted by: Taylor at July 5, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #165099

I see my last post came up as posted by Guest as opposed to Ray Guest, so for accuracy, that was me.

There are clear anti-homosexuality references in the Bible, yet Jesus loved and forgave the very people who nailed him to a cross. But many Christians apparently believe, that same God will rain hell fire and brimstone down on any nation that grants equal human rights to gays. I find that to be incredulous - but - I am not a Christian - so what do I know? Maybe Jesus had a hangup about fags. Maybe… ?… “you can nail me to a cross and I will love you and forgive you, but if you are a fag, I will rain hell fire and brimstone down on you and any nation that accepts you as an equal human being?” Is that the message that Jesus was sending? Maybe Christians are over emphasizing the wrong part of the Bible - but - “Father forgive them. They know not what they do.” They are good people. They are just a little confused.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #165126

JayJay
The law already looks at marriage as a civil union. You have to get a license to get married. And you have to go to court to get divorced.
There are folks that don’t get hitched in a church. They go to a JP or a judge. And most churches, except for the catholic church, recognizes these marriages.


Richard
The guarantees given to church, places of worship in the post, would be written into the legislation.

Reckon I’m just cynical but I’ve been around for awhile and know how folks will agree to anything to get their way then turn around and try to get it changed to the way they really wanted it.
What’s to keep the ACLU from suing claiming that that the legislation is unconstitutional because homosexuals can’t get married in any church they want too. And believe me they will. And our liberal courts are just likely to go along with them.
Do we go for a constitutional amendment on this? Or are the churches just supposed to take their chances that the courts won’t force them to marry homosexuals?
I don’t see any guarantees on this without a constitutional amendment. Even then some court is likely to say the amendment is unconstitutional.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 6, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #165132

The Christians from whom I’ve learned the most, would never be immediately reconizible as Christians in the shared normality of daily life. None have stood on street corners with signs or knocked on my door with good news, appeared on television or authored books. My personal doubt set aside, I have no choice but to beleive that the majority of true Christians are benevolent, and it is their vocal minority that attracts the most criticism.

The Gays from whom I’ve learned the most, would never be immediately reconizible as Gays in the shared normality of daily life. None have stood on street corners with signs or knocked on my door with good news, appeared on television or authored books. My personal doubt set aside, I have no choice but to beleive that the majority of true Gays are benevolent, and it is their vocal minority that attracts the most criticism.

All we want to do is provide for and protect our families, and I find that the Christian majority has little issue with this. The true issue is the Christian vocal minority who have consistently assumed to define the composition of our families.

Posted by: DOC at July 6, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #165169

Taylor
“The idea and popularity of pandering homosexual rights as a distraction to more important issues is a patentedly repugnantcan thought, and not something you can pin on the blacks, despite feeble attempts to steer the topic that direction”

Its not about pinning it on black Americans. This is a religious issue that crosses party lines.
By blaming the “religious right” and ignoring their own voters, the left shows that votes, not issue, is more important.


Ray G.
“Sheesh! What is your point? Sheesh!”

Well, it was to try and finally get an honest answer as to why the left would rather ignore problems within their own party instead of working to fix them in a fair manner.

Oh. You could also just go back and read what I wrote, again. It was on point with the party line prop that you push.

This is an issue that is mainly affected by religous beliefs. To try and put it all on the shoulders of the right, is nothing but partisan BS. You speak out against this religous right, but you are silent about black Americans who share the religous rights views.

Whats my point?
Quit playing politics with this issue.
Quit blaming others when your party is just as guilty.
Work with ALL who hold oppossing views.

Posted by: kctim at July 6, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #165254

Hi Richard,

3. A guarantee that government will not intrude on the rights of a place of worship to make their own rules involving their own religion, as each religion (or more specifically each place of worship) should be able to state their ideas without government involvement.

The problem with this assertion is that it already has intruded. A Catholic charity in Boston that acted as an adoption agency, and recieved 100% of it’s funding from private donations, was sued for not granting adoptions to gay couples. To do so would violate their religious beliefs. By court order they were told they had to grant adoptions to gay couples, in direct violation of their first amendment rights to practice their religion as they chose. Because they couldn’t follow the court order without violating their religious beliefs, they closed their doors. A valuable service that helped place unwanted children into homes with loving parents was lost becuase the courts felt that in this case the Massechusetts’ gay marriage laws trumped the Constitution.

Posted by: John at July 6, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #165261


In order to better conform our nation to Gods law, we need several amendments to the constitution.
1) An amendment banning gay marriage.

2) An amendment denying a woman the right to control of her own body.

3) An amendment to reinstate slavery of the black peoples.

4) An amendment to deny an individual the right to lay up treasures for themselves.

5) An amendment allowing the death by stoning of any young girl who dosen’t pass a virginity test on her wedding night.

I am sure there are other amendments that are necessary to stop the moral erosion of our society and the trampling of Christian rights. Feel free to add amendments that you deem necessary to this list.

Posted by: jlw at July 6, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #165274

Ray Guest:

But many Christians apparently believe, that same God will rain hell fire and brimstone down on any nation that grants equal human rights to gays. I find that to be incredulous - but - I am not a Christian - so what do I know?

Based on what you wrote, the answer to your question is “not a whole lot”.

Many Christians believe that God does not like sin. Many Christians believe homosexuality is a sexual sin. Many Christians believe that promiscuity, prostitution and adultery are also sexual sins. Many Christians believe that God does not quibble with the magnitude of sin; therefore all sin is sin and any sin is equal to any other sin.

Jesus was capable of forgiving even those who crucified him. But he did not say that their actions were acceptable….only that he forgave them. Recall the woman (reputed to be a prostitute) who was going to be stoned by a crowd. They asked Jesus what to do, and his soft answer of “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” stopped them.

But remember this as well. After the crowd dispersed, he said to the woman, “Neither will I condemn you. Go forth and sin no more.”

Notice that Christ doesn’t condemn her, nor does he excuse her actions or condone their continuance. Rather, he forgives her, but very clearly tells her that her sinful actions must stop. This is a great example of how he loved the sinner but hated the sin.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 6, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #165310

joebagodonuts,

Good one. I knew that was coming when I wrote that. As much fun as I poke at you guys, I got to give you a free shot once in a while.

Yes, I was poking a stick in the cage of Christians. I love to persecute Christians. They often take it with grace and that is what has made Christianity a great religion. Yet, for all of the talk of loving the sinner but hating the sin, many of us see Christians loving to sin, but hating the sinner and bigotry against gays takes that form. And YES kctim, black liberal Christians who participate in that are participating in bigotry. But this is a red herring, cynical, political ploy by Rove to divide and conquer and distract from real issues of substance. Our black liberal Christian friends are falling victim to Rove’s cynical manipulation of their faith based beliefs. Why would I help Rove drive his low life scum bag cynical wedge in? If you read my earliest posts, (before I started pointing out some of the contradictions and paradoxes of Christian faith), you will see clearly that I have compassion even for the Christian right. Should I not have equal and greater compassion for the Christian left who are just a little confused on just this one issue? Sheesh! Further more, they are not driving this bus - actually they are riding on the back of this bus - this bus is being driven by Rove and the Christian right - although at least they are not being forced to the back - quite the contrary - Rove and the Christian right would love to see them in the front of the bus - actually Rove wants them in front of the bus, so that he can run them over - that is his real plan. The people on the Christian right have sincere faith based beliefs. The people on the Christian left have sincere faith based beliefs. Rove is manipulating them all and wants to run the Christian left over. Then of course there plenty of people without religious so the issue is complicated. But bigotry is bigotry and this is bigotry - period. Sheesh!

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 6, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #165314
Its not about pinning it on black Americans. This is a religious issue that crosses party lines. By blaming the “religious right” and ignoring their own voters, the left shows that votes, not issue, is more important.

I agree that it is a religious issue that has crossed party lines, however, acknowledgement of the idea that democrats as well as repugs are willing to unconstitutional acts to satify their desire to have a minority to pick on and establish their own superiority over, is of little consequence to me. This concept of political opposition to fellow, tax-paying Americans based on an inherant, genetic condition they cannot change, was conceived within the religious right, nurtured by the repugs and continues to receive life support by both.

It’s high time that organized religion be actively resisted. Humanity is far too mature to legislate from mythology and historically unproven fables. Full grown adults do not need imaginary friends to guide their moral judgement.

Posted by: Taylor at July 6, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #165315
are willing to unconstitutional acts to satify their desire to have a minority to pick on and establish their own superiority over

….should read….

are willing to commit unconstitutional acts to satify their desire to have a minority to pick on and establish their own superiority over

Posted by: Taylor at July 6, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #165316

Actually, Rove already has the Christian right voting against their own secular interest - he is already running them over with the bus. Now if he can just do the same with the Christian left… He might succeed. But bigotry will still be bigotry and this will still be bigotry. Political success does not change the truth - it just allows you to distort history and put lipstick on the pig - but the pig will still be a pig.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 6, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #165334

Interesting reading. Sheds some light on the inner gearworkings of Team Red. See more at: http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm


“Why Does Conservative Politics Find Gay Marriage So Deeply Threatening?
As George Lakoff, in his excellent book, “Moral Politics” points out, conservatism is based on a “strict father” metaphor of morality, in which a wise father (church or political leader) sets the rules, and the children (the people) are disciplined to comply, thereby gaining self discipline, and with it, autonomy and self-sufficiency. For a complete understanding of this metaphor, which is beyond the scope of this essay, I would refer readers to Lakoff’s book, but inclusive in that metaphor is a set of moral boundaries established by the “strict father,” who is, in this case, the moral authorities of the church and the political system working in concert. These moral boundaries exist in society, in the conservative’s view, not just to keep people on the straight and narrow path to autonomy and self sufficiency, but primarily to maintain social order and discipline, and that is their primary purpose. Compliance to the established moral boundaries implies acceptance of the legitimacy of the moral authority figures who established them, and it is this acceptance of the legitimacy of this moral authority that is viewed as the very basis of social order. Hence there is a deep investment in the legitimacy of the moral authority, often presumed to be none other than God himself.
Therefore, someone who moves off the sanctioned paths is doing something much more than just acting immorally; he is rejecting the goals of the society in which he lives; he is calling into question the purposes that govern most peoples’ lives, but he is also doing something even much more threatening: By deviating from the standard, ordained “path,” he is showing people that other paths are possible, and that those other paths may not neccessarily be unsafe to tread upon, nor is society harmed by his actions.

By so doing, he calls into question the legitimacy of the moral boundaries he has violated, and hence, the competence and legitimacy of the moral authorities who established them. Since moral boundaries are the very essence of conservative politics, the very basis of conservatism itself is brought under implied threat.

As serious as that is, the threat goes beyond even that: When the “deviant” treads his forbidden path, and not only gets away with it, but ends up living a happy, fulfilled and contented life with no harm done to himself or society, the conservative himself feels cheated, in having observed a set of boundaries which have proven to be unneccessary and arbitrary. And in doing so, he feels cheated of his own freedom of action, even if he had not himself bumped up against those particular boundaries. The conservative thereby feels he is being implicitly invited to abandon those moral boundaries and join the “deviant” in accepting increased freedom by rejecting moral authority. Fear that others may reject these apparently arbitrary moral boundaries, and hence question those who decreed them, and cause society to fall apart, is the reason for the conservatives’ deep paranoia about the mythical “gay recruiting” and the equally mythical “gay agenda.” Hence, conservatives have a deep emotional investment in keeping gays repressed through the maintenance of this particular set of moral boundaries, just as they did in maintaining their moral boundaries underlying racial segregation in the Deep South a generation ago and slavery a century before that.

How then should conservatism, as a political movement and a way of life, come to grips with the reality of gay marriage? In precisely the same way that it has come to grips with its errors with regards to racial segregation: own up to its mistake, and simply expand its moral boundaries to include gays and gay marriage. Just as most older conservatives now acknowledge that they once erred in “keeping blacks in their place,” they should make the same acknowledgement for gays and their right to marry, and live happy, open and contented lives in each other’s arms, without fear or discrimination - that gays are just as entitled to the equal protection of the law as anyone else, and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. constitution means what it says and applies to gays as well. No “slippery slopes,” no “slouching towards Gomorrah”, no “end of civilization as we know it”; just freedom, liberty and justice for all.”

Posted by: Taylor at July 6, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #165585

That isn’t really a compromise; that is exactly what we in the gay community have been asking for all along!! It is an entirely reasonable request and a very simple solution. What is lacking is an understanding on the part of many people that marriage is always conducted in a religious ceremony. That is not the case; one can be married by a judge or even in the city hall itself. There is no requirement whatsoever that a religious ceremony be performed. That is something that is up to each individual couple, but there is indeed nothing about a church wedding that makes that marriage any more “special” in the eyes of the law.

I think that you miss the point of the social and religious conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage. It isn’t about “protecting” marriage or even their church’s right to not perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Their point is to assert and establish the morals of their own religion as secular law. There is nothing to be gained by banning same-sex marriage save the self-satisfaction of those who have a visceral and unreasonable hatred of homosexuals. If the movement were really and truly about “protecting” marriage they would be spending much more time, money and effort on opposing divorce. There is far much more damage done to the “sanctity” of marriage by those who carelessly marry and divorce at will. Over 50% of heterosexual marriages fail within five years of the wedding. I doubt that there is any more than 0.000001% of those marriages each year that is “damaged” by homosexuality or same-sex relationships.

Another goal of the anti-gay groups is to perpetuate the stigma related to homosexuality. They are fearful that if gays and lesbians are accepted as regular, normal people just like everyone else then something awful would happen. I am not sure exactly what that would be, but it scares the hell out of them.

There is no reasonable argument against same-sex marriage. The only arguments that have been presented are based in religous fundamentalist beliefs or cultural biases. There can only be a positive effect on society when each of us are allowed to live as we are and to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. A tradition of heterosexual privilige in marriage does not negate the fact that we gays and lesbians exist and that we too have families that we love and wish to protect. We want to be able to care for one another throughout our lives and protect what we build together. We deserve the same protections for our lives and our families that heterosexuals do.

There is no doubt in my mind that one day this fight will be over and those who have opposed same-sex marriage will be looked at in much the same way that the segregationists and racists of the old South (and much of the old North too) are today. I can only hope that the end comes within my lifetime, for at that point I will know what it means to be truly free.

Posted by: Jonathon at July 7, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #165639

Thanks Taylor and Johnathon for your articulate comments on this subject. I was feeling a little out numbered and set upon until you came along. We will probably lose to the “tyranny of the many over the few” in the short run, but justice has a way of prevailing in America in the long run.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 7, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #165662

Well, I’ll give credit to Scott Bistrup, who does a much better job of articulating what I feel and know to be true.

Pushing all rhetoric and the legal/legislative battle aside, the bottom line is this:

1. Gays are NOT going away, and will forever be a part of our society.

2. Homosexuality will be proven beyond any doubt to be an inherant genetic condition, not a choice or perversion.

3. Gays will continue to partner with one another, and like heteros, they will mature, find life partners, buy houses, raise families, etc.

4. People who are trying to protect their families, their spouses and children, will never stop going to court for appeal after appeal after appeal. They will fight until the cows come home.

And NOTHING the religious right tries or wishes will stop any four of these.

Our nation will eventually realize that excuses based on religion or based on personal discomfort are completely inadequete to justify the legal separation of a group of tax paying American citizens into a lesser than equal class. We will be left with no choice but to expand our concepts of what a family is, and extend the same freedoms to all Americans.

The question that remains: How long will it take America to grow up?

Posted by: Taylor at July 7, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #166050

There has always been a racist undercurrent in government marriage licensing. Throughout the overwhelming majority of history, marriage was largely a sectarian practice, recognized by the government only insofar as it affected the rights of inheritance. But the government started issuing marriage licenses before women had sufferage and before the introduction of the welfare state. And so why did government do it?

This country saw a substantial increase in immigration after the Civil War, as well as a significant level of intermarriage with Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians during the westward expansion of the 1870s and 1880s. Simply put, there was no public health, safety or general welfare reason for the government to regulate marriage—except one, to perpetrate a racist policy against the common law practices of marriage and inheritance.

Now, the very concept of marriage has lost it’s sectarian foundation, because the bigger issue is not what God thinks about the relationship, but whether a LGBT partner can get insurance coverage or inherit.

If the religious right really wanted to solve the problem it would abolish government involvement in marriage altogether, return the ritual of marriage to its sectarian roots and recognize civil unions for what they are. The DOMA is the new racism. Pure and simple.

Posted by: Richard Shepard at July 9, 2006 3:23 AM
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