The Cowardly Defense Of Marriage

It is OK folks, we are all grown-ups here. If you have fought the battle to stave off the the silly concepts of  “gay marriage”, “civil union”, or “equal protection under the law”, we understand. Just do the world a favor, and be honest about your reasons. At the risk of stereotyping, you folks fighting against the rights of LGBT persons are generally the same people who dislike political correctness, so what is your obstacle? Tell the truth! You don’t think gay marriage is a good idea, because you don’t like homosexuals. Oh I know, it isn’t that you don’t like them; hate the sin, love the sinner, right?

Get real. The fight against marriage equality is about the fear and loathing of homosexuality, pure and simple. Yet those doing the fighting have, with cold calculation and shameless cowardice, labeled their crusade, The Defense of Marriage. The notion is sickening really, and many Americans have bought into the idea. I suppose I understand the buyers; for most straight people, the idea of homosexual sex is less than appetizing. You might compare the visual to that of two ugly people having sex…or two fat people having sex. You might make the comparison, except that ugly and fat people are still allowed to get married, so long as they are ugly, fat, and straight. Apparently, the threat to marriage posed by the physically unattractive isn’t on the radar yet, and that, at least, is something.


So the buyers I can cut some slack; the sellers of the Defense of Marriage get no such dispensation. Homosexuals are people, people whose sexual identities are different from the norm. Homosexuality is almost certainly something LGBT persons are born with; you can’t catch “The Gay”. Despite this, despite all of the evidence, we are still confronted with the idea that marriage is an institution that can be attacked…by homosexuals. Lewis Black wondered about the existence of Gay Banditos roaming the countryside in search of young American families to destroy; it is a good question, and one that isn’t asked enough. What threat does marriage equality pose? How is your marriage threatened, minimized, or marginalized by the legality of homosexual marriage?

In case you aren’t sure, that was a rhetorical question. Your marriage, like my marriage, is defined by the two people who enter into the commitment. Money problems, societal ills, bad economies, war, famine, and your kid’s tattoos; none of those things define a marriage; affect the marriage, yes; define it, no. This concept is evident to most Americans, a majority of whom now support the idea of gay marriage. What is more, there is a broad coalition from both general sides of the political divide who support marriage equality. Liberal Democrats certainly do, but the Libertarians who now form the only consistent intellectual force on the right have no more interest in the government mandating marriage than they do for any other subject.

“Defending” marriage from LGBT persons is branding; it is how you make something most folks are OK with seem unpalatable. It is how you win political battles in today’s Charlie Sheen-esque environment of “winners!” Find an enemy, make regular folks afraid of it, then relentlessly reinforce the fearful message; “The Gays are coming for your children, and now they want to get married!” Billions of dollars have been spent by various Christian denominations over the last quarter century fighting marriage equality. Billions of dollars that fed no one, cleaned up no one’s water source, provided no one with medical care, comforted no one in a time of need, and saved not a single soul. Billions of dollars “defending” ignorance that could have been spent spreading the word. And the Catholic Church…my own dear, long-forgotten and still important, Catholic Church…oh my.

New York state’s Catholic bishops said in a statement provided to NBC News that passage of the bill left the “deeply disappointed and troubled.”

The bill will “alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage,” they said.

“We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves,” they added.(MSNBC)

Can we, once and for all, set aside any clinging notions that the Catholic Church, as an institution, has any moral credibility left to offer the world? They have made it a mission to be on the wrong side of real values, instead choosing to focus on their own sanctimonious rantings. The four Gospels that, theoretically, serve as the bulwark of the Universal Church make no mention of homosexuality (a curious thing, Jesus not mentioning the terrible sin, given his residence in post-Hellenic Galilee…he would have seen it). Given the Church’s lack of admonition towards government officials who sanction war and torture, and policies that glorify wealth while treading on the backs of the poor, it isn’t immediately obvious that U.S. Catholic bishops should do more than shut their mouths and pray for a decline in sex abuse cases.

In case the celibate priests have forgotten, evolutionary drives will ensure that “history’s understanding” of marriage will not be altered. At least it won’t be altered any more…the Catholic Church, and most other religious groups, long participated in the arranging of marriages for political power, wealth, and reasons of class and ethnic bigotry. Good honest simple folks like us were always around to make sure that the artificially powerful didn’t screw up the notion too badly…in other words, marriage was saved from the plutocrats by regular people marrying for love.

You would be tempted to think that an organization supposedly founded and sustained by love, would be principally interested in enshrining that value at its core. You would, of course, be wrong; many Americans (faithful and atheist alike), understand that organizations like the Catholic Church (and the other big ones) are substantially founded and sustained by greed and power. And that is OK, because marriage equality doesn’t involve churches. Churches have always, and will retain, the right to marry who they choose in their facilities. So long as we embrace the fullness of religious freedom, that right continues. So take heart marriage defenders, you can keep the queers out of your houses of worship in perpetuity!

Meanwhile, back with the reasonable people of the democracy, New York became the most recent (and largest) state to ratify the civil rights of the LGBT community. The signing of that law by Governor Andrew Cuomo (after its passage by a Republican state senate), does alter something radically, and forever change a perception. For those who think that America isn’t really the land of the free, our democracy pushed a little bit closer to comprehensive civil liberties. Strangely, my marriage doesn’t seem at all threatened.

The Rational Middle is listening…

 

 

23 thoughts on “The Cowardly Defense Of Marriage

  1. A very interesting yelling match as one could expect for a topic such as this. I do see alot of bias and emotion in this comments and a certain amount of not wanting to race reality. Michael you mentioned that you can not legislate morality, yet our society does it all the time. After all what is morality? Some would claim that it is a set of standards that society has elected to live by and which society uses to establish norms and mores. Are these standards absolute? That is the real question. Does morality change? And if it does who in society has the power and/or authority to moderate that change? Of course if morality is absolute and unchanging this whole discussion is mute. If it is able to change or adapt to a changing society how do we set the norms and mores we need to function as a community?
    As for the constitutionality of potential laws which could impose restrictions on churches, how can any of us say it can not happen. Plessy vs. Ferguson said separate but equal was constitutional, Brown vs. Topeka Kansas Board of Education said it was not. Both cases decided by the Supreme Court and the decisions clearly contradict each other. We all can be certain that the Proposition 8 case will someday end up at the US Supreme Court. How conservative or liberal will the court be by the time the case gets there? I think our friend nNomad has made a clear case that he feels and maybe is demanding, that religions cease to teach what they teach in connection with this issue. So he can say and believe what he wants but those who disagree are to set aside their rights to think and speak. There have been a number of church properties damaged by anti-proposition 8 rallies. Some good people have been forced from their employment because of their views. Vote our way or I will get your butt fired. Interesting philosophy. It appears to me that there is an element in the pro-gay rights movement who have decided to adopt the practice of frightening people into seeing things their way. So I would expect that there are some people who are very scared right now of the idea of gay rights. The pro-Prop 8 people are not much better. Far too many of them stand on their hill of righteousness and condemn anyone who sees things different from them to hell. Fortunately there are reasonable people on both sides who I hope can gather at the rational middle and discuss this matter and come to a solution. It is clear that the masses are far too polarized to accomplish anything but build additional animosity and hatred. And we as a country are far too divided as it is.

  2. I’m still trying to figure out why it’s okay to put people in jail because they disagree with the state. Michael, I don’t think you understand what I am saying, so I will leave it alone. As for anyone else who has read what I said and decided I am a bigot or hateful, well I have heard it before. Yet, if you truly knew me you would know I am a very compassionate person who believes in peoples rights. I am a moderate on the liberal side believe it or not. You say there is no reason for concern and yet people have been thrown in jail for disagreeing. This is not fear, this is reality. I guess you are all okay with that so I will leave it alone. There are passages in the Bible that I have read that talk about homosexuality that I will not cite here because every religion has their own take on almost every scripture in the bible and those who have quoted their own interpretations will interpret it to mean something else. I am grateful for my beliefs that have taught me to love. You can judge harshly and that will be between you and your maker in the last day since he knows our thoughts and our hearts. If anyone disagrees, they are hateful, bigoted etc. That seems to be the attitude du jour. I wish you all the best!

  3. @Scott: This is a place where I attempt to encourage a free, open, and reasonably safe environment for dialogue. It is certainly true that the conversation has in the past, and will continue in the future, to fall short of that ambition. This has been a difficult subject for all of us; emotionally charged and fraught with positions unlikely to move. I believe, despite that, that the comments have been remarkably sound (given any comparison to what goes on at Digg, Twitter, or Facebook on these topics).

    I disagree intensely with some who have commented, and will not alter my position on most of the above points; I expect that many feel the same way. And that is just fine with me; I don’t spend the time and effort this takes, with almost no compensation, to administer another liberal echo chamber. But I also have no intention of giving ground on certain topics just for the sake of being neighborly. I hope you will continue to comment, I hope you will continue to engage in these debates. But if this conversation falls below your hopes, then I suspect you will continue to be disappointed.

  4. Wow, talk about close minded: “If you don’t agree, too bad”; “I’m not going to dignify them with a response”. It’s too bad there isn’t a place where we could meet in the middle for a rational and honest discussion.

  5. Almost every church I have ever seen, heard or been aware of has “preached” love, but the duplicity of their words versus their behavior condemns each and every one.

    Those churches who use Leviticus as “God’s law”, not theirs – never seem willing to stone to death women who do not sacrifice doves during each menstrual period, nor are they willing to stone their children to death when they are disobedient, but they have no problem condemning homosexuals who are willing to lie men with men (note that women lying with women is not prohibited).

    Until the church quits claiming that homosexuality is a sin, their congregations who have only “love” for their fellow man will continue condemning homosexuals, claiming it is not they but God who condemns this sexual preference. As a Christian and a seeker of truth, I have found it necessary to separate myself from the organized church. Catholic and Jew, Baptist and most other religious communities in America continue to condemn on the one hand and claim to love on the other the homosexual and stil, men whose partners are men are refused to spend time with their dying partners in hospitals, continue to be denied insurance and other spousal benefits, continue to be treated as 2nd class citizens because of Christians who were taught “love” in the churches.

    Why do I defend the least among us when I am among the more fortunate? I ask you to consider the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came%E2%80%A6

    I do not condemn churches – I condemn churches who preach hypocrisy. No, actually those churches condemn themselves. And their members are willing coconspirators. In fact, they are among those whom Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” I believe that there is a true church within that body of “churches” that we think of when we “honor the Sabbath” each Sunday (instead of Saturday). However, I think we are better Christians when we learn to distinguish the difference between the teachings of man the the teachings of Jesus. My money is on Jesus. As for the rest of the “churches”, well Matthew 24:15-15 pretty well describes them.

  6. Until “Christian” hypocrits stop fostering hatred of homosexuality, America will continue to attempt to impose bigoted laws like the DOMA on others.

    Oddly enough, the word sodomy derives from the name of the ancient Biblical City Sodom. The bizarre aspect of the evolution of the word sodomy is that, according to Biblical “history”, the people of Sodom were turned into pillars of salt for having sex with angels – that is, if you believe that the Old Testament is referring to sex when it says the people demanded to “know” them. There was no reference in this account to homosexuality. Two angels had visited Lot and all the people of the city surrounded Lot’s house and demanded that Lot turn the angels over to the people of the village that they might “know” them.

    Incidentally, Sodom means “burnt” in Hebrew and Gomorrah means “ruined heap” so it is reasonable to assume that these were not the original names of these cities before the incident that was recorded 500 years later by Moses.

    The point here is that those Christians who today live and die with the belief that homosexuality is a sin have little idea why they believe that. It is good to know that there are Christians who do not hold these prejudices. Having been a Sunday School teacher, a Gideon and a member of several “Christian” denominations, I can assure you, sadly, that ingrained hatred for homosexuality is far more common than tolerance within the “church”

  7. Cherie, this is the point of the article. You aren’t defending your religious rights…period. What right that you have is under threat from the State of California issuing marriage certificates to gay couples? From your comment; “You cannot legislate morality and I am not trying to. I am trying to defend religious rights, however.”

    That is precisely what you are doing…legislate your morality. “What gays will do next” isn’t a valid argument; alcohol and caffeinated beverages are legal in Utah, but the state has never forced members of the Latter Day Saints to indulge in either. A law forcing a church to marry those not in good standing, or in contravention to its beliefs, is clearly unconstitutional. But your argument is that gays can’t marry because next the government will force my church to marry them?

    The freedom of religion is not the freedom to impress your beliefs on others through the government; such actions limit the true religious freedoms of everyone. You have, as all Americans have, and absolute right to openly practice and preach your beliefs, and you have the right to be free from laws that limit the practice of your beliefs. Gay marriage does not limit the practice of your beliefs.

  8. If you are against gay marriage then blame straight people. After all, they are the ones that keep having gay babies.

  9. Well said, Michael, I cound’t agree more. Once these churches are able to dictate who can be married based on their religious dogma I seriously doubt they will leave it at that. If they are allowed to define the legal status of people’s personal relationships then why not say that two atheists can’t be married, or that a Jew can’t marry a Christian or however way they want to partition the institution to serve their own prejudices?

    There is *no defense* for Defense of Marriage, plain and simple. None. I am not homosexual and my spouse is of the opposite sex, but I’m not at all concerned about gay marriage threatening my marriage.

  10. Michael, good article and I agree with your position. You said you wanted to provoke more honest discussion of the REAL issues, and that you have done. I think the responses prove your original point, fear seems to drive much of the bigotry.

    In regards to Hank’s comment, “I’m not saying it is any less. I am not saying it is any more. I’m just saying, that by definition, it is simply not the same.” To call same sex marriage something other than marriage does necessarily suggest it is something less than marriage. It’s a matter of granting public recognition that these relationships are as legitimate as any other relationship. To label these long term, committed relationships as something other than marriage is to mark them as the “other” and therefore perpetuate bigotry. If the definition of marriage is the hangup, then we need to modify the definition of marriage.

    As for the other responses, I’m not going to dignify them with a point by point response. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal evidence. It’s not generalizable or particularly valid as evidence and illustrates why our schools need to do a better job of teaching critical thinking – but that’s a conversation for another day.

  11. Michael, Again, I don’t go around calling people sinners. But, God has still given us commandments. You cannot legislate morality and I am not trying to. I am trying to defend religious rights, however. Just an example, in SLC there are gays who are trying to force the Mormon Church to marry them in the temple. If gay marriage were legal in Utah or the country in general, some gays would push to do just that. Since I don’t trust legislators anymore, I don’t know what would happen. The government will eventually try to trample religious rights if enough pressure and special interest groups try to force their hand. There was already a father put in jail in Mass. (a state gay marriage is legal in) because he demanded to know when his child was going to be taught about homosexuality. I know what Jason is talking about. He has been bullied by militant gays. Fortunately, not all gays are militant. I know you haven’t experienced the bullying we have so it isn’t something that concerns you, but it is there. I hope we can all get along, but I have legitimate concerns.

  12. This is a view from a resident of your neighbour to the North.

    It’s about time. For those of you who have posted that this isn’t a good thing or it conflicts with your religious views, or your desire to keep tradition, let me say this… Too Bad!
    The definition of a word is something that changes over time, just like everything else. If you don’t believe that the meaning of words change, kindly open up a dictionary and tell me why there are multiple definitions for large numbers of words. If traditions aren’t changed the world doesn’t progress. After all, if we’re going to hold on to the traditional definition of marriage, why don’t we hold on to the penalty of killing adulterers (if you’re making a religious argument, please note that to divorce and remarry is also considered adultery)? Or stoning to death women who have pre-marital sex? Are these extreme cases? By today’s standards, yes.

    From my understanding, and view of things, gay marriage is about equal rights. If you found yourself standing face to face with an exact duplicate of yourself in every way, but now make your copy attracted to the same-sex as you, should that person not be allowed the same rights as you? Someone said that it’s not the same as black people because they can’t pretend not to be black. But that’s part of it, black people shouldn’t have to pretend they’re white any more than a gay person should Have to pretend they’re straight. They just want to be allowed to be themselves, just like everyone else. Imagine for a minute that you had to pretend to love a man (if you’re male) for many years upon end. Could you do it? Probably. But is it right that you should have to just so people don’t threaten your life/well-being or discriminate against you?

    For the biologically impossible to reproduce argument, are you saying that infertile couples should not be allowed to marry either? I’m guessing the answer there is “No” but why? Why would it be alright for an infertile couple to get married but not two who are physically incapable (for a few more years until science changes that)? The biological capacity to reproduce isn’t there, so their love for one another should not be allowed to be bound, right? What if two people who were physically capable of having children got married and then just decided not to reproduce? Should we now force them to get a divorce? As you can see the ability or inability of a couple to reproduce should have no baring over whether or not they should be legally allowed to marry, or not.

    Jason, you mention the poor treatment that you and the young boy received on account of gay people, and that is unfortunate for you and him (and others). I can’t excuse the actions that gay people have done, as the ones who performed those actions are as bad, in those cases, as those who spew hate and violence towards them. That said, you only experienced it that one time, that one day. Please imagine if that were a daily occurrence towards you over the past 10-11 years of your life. Every day you were harassed and threatened because of who you are. If you truly take how you feel and stretch that out for 10 years, then you might know what it is that some gay people face and have faced. I’m not excusing poor actions, just trying to make you get into a mindset of some gay people. The biggest difference in this case between you and gay people is that it was your choice to be in Boy Scouts and to remain in a wilfully discriminatory organization, whereas gay people are biologically tuned to find people that are the same sex as them attractive. Not really the same, is it? One is a choice, one is a physiological response.

    You want to know what has changed since gay marriage was legalized up here in Canada? More wedding photographers have gotten paying work. More florists have gotten orders for flowers, and bouquets, and centre pieces. More wedding officiants have received requests for their services. More bridal stores have sold more dresses, and tux/formal wear stores have rented or sold more tuxes. More halls and restaurants have been rented. More people have been able to witness the love between two loving adults as they join each other in marriage before their friends and families. It may end up being that more divorce lawyers are necessary in the future, as a result, but that is part of having equal rights too.

    The other thing that has changed up here is that gay people are able to be themselves more and so more people see gay couples together, the less shocking or disgusting it is for them (or at least their children, who are by far more tolerant) and the more accepting and tolerant they become and more tolerant we become as a society as a whole, which is always a good thing. There has been no known increases in bestiality, or pedophilia, unlike some of the talking heads down there would lead people to believe would happen should gay marriage be legalized.

    So you can continue to stand beside your (religious) values, that is your right. But in this case your values are causing you to be viewed as hateful, because you are unwilling to give (or willingly withholding) a small section of society the same rights that you yourself enjoy. If more people get equal rights, who does it harm?

    So, I say, congratulations to the state of New York for stepping up and saying that equality for everyone is important to them. That’s the America that the rest of the world can look up to.

  13. Hi Michael,

    I think you’re absolutely wrong on the first point. I’ve personally experienced this. Before we were married, we had to present a legal document stating the other persons rights. After we were married, we had to present a legal document (marriage certificate). It *IS* exactly the same. I did not get married because my interests were not being addressed or represented in an emergency or critical situation. Given your description, rights are being denied to children, parents, brothers, sisters, etc since none of them can produce a marriage certificate either.

  14. A couple of points directed to cherished readers:

    1) No, without a state-recognized marriage certificate, everything is not already legally available Scott. The most basic, and heartbreaking, example is medical notification/presence in the room in critical situations.

    2) Marriage hasn’t been taken away from churches, and LDS is a perfect example. A couple might have the certificate from the Justice of the Peace, but it is meaningless in that faith without the earned privilege of being sealed in the Temple. Similarly for the faith of my youth, a state-issued marriage certificate does not come with the same status as the Sacrament of Marriage.

    3) Relating to the above…nobody is trying to take churches out of marriage, they are trying to achieve the same legal status for their unions as everyone has. Your church, whoever they are, has no right dictating beliefs into statutory law. Religious freedom means the ability to practice any faith, or none, without persecution. Mormons, of all people, ought to (and do, in my experience) have a deeper understanding of the ramifications of “religious freedom for the suitably religious only” than anyone else.

    4) Nobody has the right to codify what they believe is a sin outside of demonstrably harmful effects to society. Nobody. You can preach it; you can demand its practice inside your homes and churches. You cannot dictate it into law. That simple premise ensures religious freedom. I pity those who are LDS and forget that simple consequence…this nation is filled with evangelical Christians who believe fervently that your religion is a cult of the Devil. Shall they dictate what is or isn’t a sin, and then be permitted to inscribe it into the law of the land? They already did…and used the technique to push faithful Mormons quite literally across the United States.

    5) As to bullies…it is my personal code, and the code of this site, to avoid such tawdry and inflammatory tactics. But notions that homosexuals are “just like the KKK” are just sad Jason. You made it habit in your comments to generalize “blacks” and “gays”…how often have you been on the receiving end of the same? You and your beloved have a set of simple privilege, because of your state-issued marriage certificate, that same-sex couples don’t. Granting that right to those couples won’t get them into heaven, and it won’t change your relationship, or that of any of your loved ones.

    This is a difficult and emotionally charged issue…but it needs to be discussed. All are welcome to come in and do so. Thank you.

  15. just to be clear, I’ve been married 7 years and have yet to run into something that is easier or better as far as official government recognition by being married. I think at the first, there was even a “marriage penalty” we got hit with, but maybe that had just ended with the Bush tax cuts. I know we looked at it and we got a better deal on our taxes being single. I’ve mentioned a few posts ago about how for low-income families, it actually makes more sense for there to be a single-mom “head of household” rather than a family unit.

    So, in the gay marriage area, I usually hear about hospital visitation or inheritance rights or something along those lines. In my experience all of that is accomplished just fine by existing legal framework. Before we were married, my then girlfriend had rights to determine my medical treatment if I was incapacitated for example. My sister and her boyfriend purchased a house together before they were eventually married.

    My grandmother has given my uncle the rights to manage all of her money and essentially do all of things legally that my grandfather used to do for them as a married couple (she has no interest in learning it now). My wife recently did a 401(K) to Rollover IRA transfer and wanted me to discuss it with vendors. We had to jump through all kinds of hoops so that I was authorized even though I’m her husband, it was her employee account and she was the sole owner.

    So, I just don’t see what the gay community says they cannot accomplish with existing structures. Permissions and authority to act on someone else’s behalf appears the same to me whether your a gay couple, unmarried straight couple, married straight couple, parent/child, etc and so on. If they’re looking for just tolerance and acceptance, I don’t see how that requires new laws as those do not seem to be things that are legislated.

    Personally, I think it’s a lot harder for me to explain why we did go ahead and get married. We did fine before we got married and I really don’t think I’ve seen any barriers fall for us now that we are married. I guess since we both wanted to have kids, we did not want a ‘bastard’ child, so that was a large driver. In the age of baby-daddies I guess it’s just old-fashioned to expect to have a mother and father. Since it’s biologically impossible for a male-male or female-female couple to produce off-spring, I lean toward marriage only for straight couples. Our wedding was not religious and I do not consider myself religious, simply moral and old-fashioned even if I do not buy into the old explanations.

    I simply have yet to hear what a same-sex couple needs from the government that is not already available to them. If they want my personal respect and approval of their relationship, they’ll have to demonstrate they’re a good couple just like any straight couple does. Civil unions and gay marriage seem to be a legal solution in search of a problem, and I really don’t get it.

  16. I agree with my son as I have seen what he has gone through as a result of attacks on BSA and our church regarding the gay issues. I also know what I have gone through. I helped on Prop 22 and Prop 8 and was called and shouted every name in the book when taking fliers around and making telephone calls. Am I a gay hater? Absolutely not. We lived in Hollywood and some of our nicest neighbors were gay. They would ask me for quarters (my husband was a banker) or sugar, my boys would trick or trick at their apartments. I treated them with respect and they treated me with respect. Did I ever tell them how to live their lives? No! I believe that God has given us commandments and one of them is marriage between a man and a woman is the only acceptable practice to God. So, that means that living together without being married is also a sin. Do I tell people I know who do that they are wrong? No! But, I want to please God and follow what He has told me to do. I want all gays to have all rights under the law. The best way I know to do this is give the churches the right back to marry. Many churches will marry gays now. There are also churches for atheists, so nobody is left out anymore. Then, the state can give all rights to the gays. I am tired of being called a homophobe and gay hater just because I try to follow God’s commandments. If gay marriage is passed in all the states without changing the right to marry back to the churches, I predict there will be a war on religion and all church officials will be forced to marry gays if they want to or not. We saw it happen in Canada when a preacher was thrown in jail for preaching against practicing homosexuality, it will come here next. That is not just intolerance of religion, it is war on religion. I love gays, but I wish they would try to get the state to stop taking charge of marriage and give it back to the churches. That is the only amenable solution I see.

  17. No, this really is about sin and defending against that. I think the thing that is the most jarring to me is how through the years, after showing gays kindness or humanity, to then have them turn around and start calling me names becuase I disagree with them. Basically, in America, to disagree with a gay now means you have to be labeled a “gay brasher” or something like that. The thing that really ticks me off is how “un-tolerant” this group really is, the group whose whole motto is “tolerance.”

    Back in 2000, after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Boy Scouts of America, there was a Boy Scout HOLDING THE AMERICAN FLAG at the Democratic National Convention that was booed and had paper thrown at him. The oh so adult Liberal/ Gay Rights side decided that it was mature and adult to take out political differences on a young boy who had nothing to do with it caring the symbol of our country on national tv no less. But you know what? THAT was ok.

    It gets better. I personally had attacks. Living in Santa Monica, CA at the time, literally the day after the ruling, dressed in my Boy Scout uniform walking off to my meetings (keep in mind I was like 16ish), I had Gay Rights and Gay Rights Supporters calling me names and throwing rocks, trash and even a glass bottle at my direction as the cars drove by. But I forget, these people are fighting for their rights and are oh so adult. That was totally ok in the name of justice. I mean two wrong make a right, right?

    Then there was the teacher who gave out the assignment in the class I was in to write a report on a news story that we felt close to. Being that I’m very LDS and Prop 22 at the time was a big issue that my mom and others in my ward were campaigning for, I decided to write about that. Turns out however that my teacher was a lesbian, and gave me at least a full letter grade lower on my report simple becuase of what I was writing on and that she disagreed. How do I know this? Because she told me so. Am I really suppose to say and accept that was mature of her to do?

    I won’t disagree that in the past and even now, some, especially some in the name of religion have done less then religious things to homosexuals. These individuals, no matter if they are Catholic, LDS, Muslim, Born Again, Jewish or whatever set a bad example for religion and demonstrate by such actions that they don’t really understand their faith. But I take great distaste in the notion that anyone whole sees homosexuality as a sin is some kind of gay hatting thug who needs to be carried out into the streets and shot. Mark my words, religious persecution is heading to the United States. It’s already happening.

    Back in 2008, after Prop 8, LDS building were vandalized and our members attacked for standing by our faith? A good friend of mine who used to run the LA Film Festive was run out of his job over standing up for his religious convictions and donating money to the Prop 8 campaign. Nicest guy, he would treat everyone, even gays, with respect. Sadly, he wasn’t given the same respect when the gay community demanded his resignation. You see, in the gay dogma, tolerance is a one way street. Then there was the board member on the Long Beach City Council who met the same fate. But I forget, this isn’t about religious intolerance. Americans can worship and act on their faith freely all they want in the United States, just as long as it doesn’t conflict with the gay agenda.

    I and many others don’t see this as a civil rights issue, it a religious one. But, even if I was to see it that way, I’d have to say this gay version seems to have more in common with the teaching of Malcolm X then Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking of African-Americans, most don’t see this a civil rights issue either. Let us not forget in California it was the black vote that carried Prop 8 to victory. Blacks in California don’t normally vote, but they came out in ’08 to vote Obama, and then they voted for Prop 8. Because they, like myself, realize this is a religious issue. I remember well the words of one black newspaper columnist who wisely pointed out that a gay man can easily get by by pretending not to be gay, but there has never been a black man who can pretend not to be black.

    In truth, most truly religious have love and respect even for gays. They should have basic human rights like fair housing, fair medical care and the ability to have a good, steady job and not worry that they could loose it over their sexual orientation. But, you can not redefine the laws of God. Not now, not ever. Gays will have to come to terms with this if they want to avoid a war. As an American, I have the right to my religion. Many, even other religious people don’t agree with my personal religious choice, but it is still my right and supposedly, I can live my life free from persecution of that choice. To put it very bluntly, that may be the best defining right America has to offer. But, when a group, threatening said right becuase it conflicts with their way of thinking, well, we’ve seen this play before in human history and it never ends well.

    You want to call things what they are, fine. But lets start with the first truth, the gay movement, in their quest to be seen as “normal,” are nothing short of bullies. No different then the Tea Party, KKK or any other group who wishes to re-make America in their image alone and will use childish means to force others to there way of thinking. The truth is, this so called “Gay Rights” campaign is really about religious rights, and the fight to keep those rights in America. If we continue on the path the Gay Agenda has set for us, the way they have set it for us, America can not survive. THAT is worth fighting for for, Amen.

  18. Hi Michael, it seems you’ve got another well put together except the basis that no one has ever been able to explain to me. What is the point exactly? Why do we need to recognize gay marriages or civil unions? You bemoan the amount of money spent fighting against it that could have been spent for more useful things, but I see as much waste on the pro side. I saw a recent poll saying most Americans think the number of gays is around 1/3rd of the population when it’s really 3.5%. How much time, effort, money, etc is spent to create something for such a small minority which can already accomplish everything I’ve heard they’re missing through other means? It just makes no sense to me. All of the laws and legal permissions you need are already out there if you make the effort to use them. It reminds me of the people who complain about the gun show loophole and the need for more laws related to guns when so many laws are already not complied with. It seems to me that people should get their own house in order before the run around telling the other 96.5% of us we need to change to accommodate them.

  19. Well…allow me to dispense with the easy stuff first. I vouch for no one other than myself. With the caveat that I am personally acquainted with and familiar with many people that feel precisely as I do. But even with that said, I cannot vouch for what is inside them. In that aspect, I vouch only for myself.

    I’m not certain I understand (no big surprise there I’m sure) how you feel I danced around the point. I think you stated the point quite well and I thought, at least, that I was pretty much agreeing with you.

    Again, you state that, “Your marriage, like my marriage, is defined by the two people who enter into the commitment.” And I agree with that statement.

    Maybe I should have had a pause, or colon or another paragraph to move on to articulating my thought. But however one cares to characterize it, “marriage” has, for as long as I can determine records have been kept, been defined as a union between a male and a female. Granted, many times it was for nothing more than consolidating forces, consolidating wealth, promoting alliances….and had nothing to do with love, romance or any of the other popular notions. Granted also throughout history there have been recorded instances of same sex “marriages”. Although they do seem to be rare and generally frowned upon. Even in Nero’s case! :-)

    And in my way of understanding your words, you appear at least to agree with the traditional aspect of that definition with your statement, “Who defined it, and why? For thousands of years, marriage was (quite literally), a cash transaction that rid agricultural families of their daughters…” Although I think that MAY be somewhat over simplification of the “benefits” of these types of “arranged” marriages. But still, they were for the most part between a man and a woman.

    So, I guess what I am saying, and truly with malice to no one, is that I am for sticking with the “traditional” definition of marriage. And while I am not opposed to legitimate same sex unions, I simply suggest it be called something else other than a “marriage”.

    As always, good piece. I really do appreciate the way you present your thoughts and opinions…..even if you ARE wrong!! :-)

  20. Hank, you dance ever so artfully around the point.

    Quoting from your comment: ““Your marriage, like my marriage, is defined by the two people who enter into the commitment.” Okay. That’s fair enough and I agree with you. For thousands of years, “Marriage”has been defined as a union of a man and a women. For many reasons of course, this has become the accepted “definition” if you will, of marriage.””

    You see Hank, I wrote “defined by two people who enter into a commitment”, and you responded with “I agree…(it is) defined as a union of a man and a women.” Who defined it, and why? For thousands of years, marriage was (quite literally), a cash transaction that rid agricultural families of their daughters (who were not nearly as valuable as sons). Are we to maintain that “definition” out of a respect for tradition?

    If you say you aren’t a homophobe Hank, that is good enough for me; will you vouch for even a majority of the rest of the movement to “define” marriage? And why the overly complicated subterfuge…why “define” homosexual marriage as something else legally than straight marriage? Do you imagine that people will be confused without Big Brother explaining the difference?

  21. Ohhhh I know!! Here come all the homophobic accusations. Whatever……..

    Michael, I couldn’t disagree with you more and I think you have pretty much summed up my “argument”, as it were, for me.

    First, I’ll say all those things that apparently positively identify me as a raging “Homophobe”. I have Gay friends. I have Gay relatives. I have no problem with any two (or more) consenting adults engaging in any type of sexual activity they want to. I have no problem with two consenting adults entering into any type of union they wish and I feel there should be a legal and binding recognition of that union.

    There now. I guess I’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that, Yes! I AM a raging homophobe!! Now, I’ll get on with how I feel you have framed my argument for me.

    “Your marriage, like my marriage, is defined by the two people who enter into the commitment.”

    Okay. That’s fair enough and I agree with you. For thousands of years, “Marriage”has been defined as a union of a man and a women. For many reasons of course, this has become the accepted “definition” if you will, of marriage.

    Okay. That works for me. The “definition” of Marriage should, in my opinion, apply to the legitimate “joining” of a man and woman in a committed and legally recognized union.

    The Union of two individuals of the same sex should simply be “defined” by recognizing the two people who enter into that commitment. And a “same sex” union, by definition and for whatever else you may or may not say about it, is not the same as a “union” between a man and a woman.

    I’m not saying it is any less. I am not saying it is any more. I’m just saying, that by definition, it is simply not the same.

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