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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » OSC for the criminalization of homosexuality? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: OSC for the criminalization of homosexuality?
Anna2112
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Yay for lesswrong quoting, and trying to explain rational thought!
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Scooter
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

Because my marriage is a personal bond between me and my wife.

If this were the case, you should not have married and asked for the state's approval. You should have just loved each other without government acknowledgment (you are quite the libertarian, indeed). Instead, you chose to join a societal institution, perhaps pretending it was meaningless for society--I don't know.

I realize most of the younger generations these days have no sense of marriage as a social institution, so you are not alone. But, if they would just stop and think about it, they might find that marriage has been invented and reinvented in virtually every society throughout all time (and it has been amazingly consistent in its societal functions regarding fertility--particularly encouraging paternal commitment). It is not just tradition, it is a foundation for a stable society. We have clearly seen the negative repercussions of it breaking down over the last 50 years (and we have seen some good elements evolve as well regarding more partnership in marriage, but that is secondary to the fertility elements of it).

It may not be detrimental for marriage to start calling homosexual unions "marriage" and to treat them as if they are exactly the same thing (which they can't be, unless men and women are actually identical, which is only a fantasy of closed-minded feminists); but it might also change marriage fundamentally as it separates marriage from fertility completely and turn marriage into merely an adult expression of love--sending the message that fathers aren't really important for children, so why bother marrying in the first place, or staying around to raise your child (don't get distracted on the two-father scenario--that still sends the message that fathers are arbitrary since you can have one, two, or none). Some hospitals are already using "parent 1" and "parent 2" on birth certificates, instead of mother and father. What message is that sending about the importance of fathers? Just one simple example of a domino effect and unforeseen implications.

Point is, the burden of proof is on those who think marriage should be changed--divorce and single parenthood has done little to show it is no longer needed as it has pretty much always existed (i.e., its heterosexual nature). Also, to argue these changes make no different to your marriage is very short-sighted--this is about generations of folks affected by a fundamental societal institution changing in unprecedented ways--changing the definition of marriage affects everybody, eventually. Nobody knows for sure how, but I think it is fair to be cautious about it.

I totally get the whole let's be fair to everyone, let's not discriminate, just let Martha and Mildred down the street alone. I just think there is much more to the whole marriage debate than the idea that my life won't be affected, to each his own. It is just not that simple (do some research on how welfare policy has changes over the last century to see how the above attitude has played into a system for helping poor married families who have fallen on hard times to incentivizing single-parenthood in some corners of the country--it was absurd to many to think that some day numerous single mothers would be on welfare--that could never happen by changing a policy that wouldn't affect "my" family).

This is a very valid debate with complicated issues--it is just a shame that if someone is hesitant about making wholesale changes to marriage that you are labeled as a close-minded bigot or mindless religious zealot or a simpleton--when in fact, it takes much less thought and courage to simply accept something because it seems to be the nice and accepting thing to do (not saying everyone who believes this is not putting thought behind it--and the same goes for the other perspective; there are multiple reasons for supporting and opposing, which is actually a point I am trying to make).

I'm too tired to proofread--sorry.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
If this were the case, you should not have married and asked for the state's approval. You should have just loved each other without government acknowledgment (you are quite the libertarian, indeed). Instead, you chose to join a societal institution, perhaps pretending it was meaningless for society--I don't know.
Agreed. Marriage is a societal institution, a contract between two people AND society. As I've argued elsewhere in the past, I consider same-sex marriage as part of the "SOLIDARITY" portion of rights, not the "EQUALITY", or the "LIBERTY" portion of rights.

quote:
It may not be detrimental for marriage to start calling homosexual unions "marriage" and to treat them as if they are exactly the same thing (which they can't be, unless men and women are actually identical, which is only a fantasy of closed-minded feminists); but it might also change marriage fundamentally as it separates marriage from fertility completely and turn marriage into merely an adult expression of love
Equality before the law is about *treating* people like equals, not about pretending two people are identical (which they can't be, even if they are biological twins.)

quote:
but it might also change marriage fundamentally as it separates marriage from fertility completely and turn marriage into merely an adult expression of love
The government already treats non-fertile hetero couples (whether non-fertile by choice, or by necessity) as equal in rights and privileges to fertile couples. The decoupling between marriage and fertility has already occured -- or we wouldn't allow non-fertile couples to marry.

On my part, I would prefer (compared to the current situation) either a complete coupling between fertility and marriage (so that non-fertile couples are no longer allowed to marry) or indeed a complete decoupling of it, so that society does indeed recognize marriage as a societal institution to support pair-bonding instead. Currently marriage IS broken, because it confusedly doesn't know what it's about.

Among the two solutions, I would prefer SSM (ofcourse).

quote:
Point is, the burden of proof is on those who think marriage should be changed
That there is probably the true distinguishing line between conservatives and progressives. And it's not a bad line, it doesn't make monsters of people on either side of it.

In short, I disagree with you: if the burden of proof is always on the people who want change, then how are people going to provide such proof in the first place? No change would ever be allowed, if the burden of proof is always on the supporters of change.

At some point, if we recognize some aspect of our civilization as flawed or bad or hurtful to people, then we must use our reasoning skills to figure out what change must be made. Some of society's current problems:
(a) homosexuals face discrimination, prosecution, the fear of revealing their orientations or their relationships.
(b) homosexual *couples* lack the ability to procure many of the privileges that heterosexual couples can procure for themselves.

Believers in SSM think and reason and argue that by recognizing SSM some of these problems will be lessened.
You argue that *another* problem
(c) Heterosexual couples breaking up, with bad emotional and financial problems for their children
will be worsened.

Problem is *your* argument is really hypothetical and wobbly. I can see quite easily how society endorsing SSM may make homosexuals face less discrimination, experience less fear, have more rights, enjoy life better in a dozen little ways ... those are *concrete* issues. Your argument however about "decoupling fertility from marriage" is really *really* hypothetical and abstract and lacking in substantiation. And even taken (c) by itself (without even considering (a) and (b)) I could counter it with the equally abstract "it will help couple sexual pair-bonding with marriage", and so strengthen the insitution of marriage in another way.

So, in short, your abstract worries are balanced by equally abstract (and no less likely) hopes, and therefore the tie-breakers are the much more concrete and specific problems of (a) and (b), which lead me to support SSM.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Scooter, when I said "my marriage is a personal bond between myself and my wife" it was in direct response to the concept that allowing homosexuals to marry would lessen a preexisting heterosexual marriage.

Which my best friend in the world said, verbatim. I laughed in his face (I should have been more sensitive at the time, although I still find the idea laughable)

Perhaps you could argue that allowing same genders to enter into wedded bliss causes the "social institution" as a whole harm. I would disagree, but when people say it directly harms their marriage, I call the bullcrap card.

Because...marriage is a personal bond between those who are married.

Its like if I bought a limited edition Ford Mustang, sold only in the U.S., and then years after enjoying my perfectly great car, I find out that some of them were sold in Europe. Does this fact change the reality of my car's reliable and enjoyable use over the years?

As to marriage and fertility, I agree (as much as it pains me to admit agreeing with him ever about anything ;P) with Aris. Non-fertile couples marry, and many possibly fertile married couples do not choose to reproduce. Marriage is an institution based on stability, not on the ability to bear offspring.

And just as non-fertile hetero couples may adopt and supply a stable living environment for their wards, so may homosexual couples. Heck, with our genetic manipulation breakthroughs we are not far away (if it is even impossible today) from having same gender partners both contribute genetically into a viable offspring.

quote:
...and turn marriage into merely an adult expression of love--sending the message that fathers aren't really important for children, so why bother marrying in the first place, or staying around to raise your child...
I'm getting sick and tired of people worrying about "what message does it send?" Seriously people, we have free will, we can make our own choices!

The argument that allowing gay marriage would send the wrong message that both gender's are not equally needed to raise children is irrelevant. I'm not worried about my children "getting the wrong idea" about anything, because I am raising them, teaching them my morals and instructing them on how to think for themselves!!! (Of course right now I'm just teaching them that I love them and starting them off with some basic English as they are both infants...but hey, I plan on the rest.)

All of this talk about how this change will hurt us or generations of our children to come bla bla bla is just smoke and mirrors for "I don't like this and don't want anyone to be able to do it".

I know change is hard. I know that different is scary. I know that for most of the people who oppose the ideas that I'm pushing for that no words will ever convince them otherwise.

But I want to say this much. 148 years ago it was legal to own another human being. Ninty-one years ago women didn't have the right to vote. Fifty-seven years ago blacks were segregated by law.

We call our country "the land of the free" and yet we have struggled mightily with allowing all our people those freedoms.

I beg of you, those of you that sit on the fence of this issue, those of you who have compassion in your heart, try and put yourself into into the shoes of those who are told they can not marry the person who they love, the person who makes them feel whole and okay and special, all because they are different. That their love is "bad" for society, and we must protect our children from them.

I love liberty more then I love my opinions. I would rather be free then right any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I totally get the whole let's be fair to everyone, let's not discriminate, just let Martha and Mildred down the street alone.
quote:
I know change is hard. I know that different is scary.
Both of you claim to get and know where the other side is coming from, but neither of you have mentioned how such knowledge has modified your position in regards to the issue at hand.

Scooter, what's your solution for the problem of discrimination which you totally "get"?
StoneWolf, what's your solution for the problem of change being hard and different being scary?

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scholarette
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I can see how it hurts existing traditional marriages. Imagine you believe in gender roles, that those roles are vitally important- mother is nurturer, father is provider. You claim this is best for the children, for society whatever. The strongest place for gender roles comes out in the family. So, now we take 2 men or 2 women and suddenly they are forming a stable unit. One of the men must be doing female stuff and one of the women must be doing male stuff. And it is working! So, now how do I justify the traditional way, esp if one person isn't particularly happy but was willing to do it because it was best? A gay married couple clearly shows that gender roles in today's society do no need to be strictly enforced. It is a massive blow to non-egalitarian relationships.

Which I think is kinda what Scooter is getting at- what place do fathers have now, what place do mothers have. Why would either side stick it out when neither person is "needed"? I think this ignores the fact that lots of marriages have been egalitarian and those marriages tend to be happier. Men and women still want each other, even when we don't need each other. But men might find themselves having to do more laundry under the new rules.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Aris...what I said was...
quote:
Change is difficult, painful, uncomfortable and inevitable.
So, what's my solution? Accept the change, or don't. There is no solution to it. Change is hard and different is scary. What ya gunna do?

I once heard a scientist say that sometimes what it took for the "out-there" theories to become accepted science doctrine was...the old scientists had to die. He wasn't calling for people to murder the "old school", just that when they weren't there anymore, the "new order" would be more open and then progress would be made.

You can not stop change. This topic (as well as the decriminalization of drugs) will become more and more acceptable to the general populace of the U.S. until one day, same gender marriage becomes legal.

How quickly or peaceably this happens is up to us.

Of course that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong. Thank you Dennis Miller.

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Stone_Wolf_
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As to gender roles...currently I am on unemployment. My wife works full time. There just isn't a job market for drafters right now, so I can not find a job that makes it worth it to pay a stranger to watch my children every day.

So, I am Mr. Mom. I cook, I clean, I do the dishes, the laundry, I kiss booboos and change dirty diapers and make beds.

What I make on unemployment helps, but my wife is the major bread winner.

So, we defy standard gender roles. And yet, if there is an unexpected sound downstairs at 3am, it's still me with a flashlight and a .357 in hand. I still kill spiders and my voice is the one of discipline. She is still a kind and loving source of affection to our children.

What we bring to our family does not change who we are.

Do I feel less manly doing the dishes and changing diapers? Hell no I don't! Because real men don't worry about appearances and get what is needed done.

Does my wife feel less womanly working full time? She misses the kids, and gets annoyed having to pump breast milk at work, but who wouldn't? She tells me all the time that I do a great job, and that she's thankful that we can both do what is needed to support our family.

Just because we are not fulfilling "traditional" roles does not mean we are not both equally and completely needed.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
So, what's my solution? Accept the change, or don't. There is no solution to it. Change is hard and different is scary. What ya gunna do?
Your question is rhetorical, but I'm gonna answer it.

Here's atleast one thing I'd do: I'd embed an explicit clause in the same-sex marriage law that'd protect clergy and congregations from any form of prosecution if they didn't want to conduct same-sex marriages.

According to a poll (http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=208) such a reassurance alone helps to serve boost acceptance of same-sex marriage by 13% among protestant clergy. Among the portion of the clergy that's largely undecided on gay-rights issues, support is almost doubled (from 26% to 49%).

If people are scared, perhaps a solution would be to attempt to reassure them.

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Synesthesia
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Kill spiders? [Frown] You really should not, but that's a different subject. Spiders are so cute.

I wouldn't even know the solution. Society has changed. Gender roles have shifted. This is a good thing. Society is evolving and moving forward.
I like this.
I like that people are questioning everything from spanking to homosexuality.
But, there will always be those who will state that if you don't spank children will grow up bad and if you allow gays to marry society will fall apart.
How does one show them that the world can change, has changed and HASN'T fallen apart and won't fall apart?

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scholarette
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Syn,gender roles have not shifted. They are in the process of doing so. You will also find that young people are a lot more in favor of SSM, just as they have more egalitarian marriages. But you still have people like my mother in law who hated rice and yet cooked it five days a week because her husband liked it and thinks I should sleep on the floor in the nursery (if the baby is in my room, when she cries it wakes my husband and he has work in the morning so I am being very selfish by insisting on staying in my bed).

For people who liked that world, they aren't going to want to give it up, just like I don't want to go back to gender roles 50 years ago (somewhat ironic because my husband works, I stay home, love sewing, and yesterday, I even made jam). If you hold to those gender roles as vitally important, then gay marriage does challenge that. And obviously, any individual could still have that relationship, but if everyone buys into it, it is easier to find a mate who also agrees. Like, without societal reinforcement, how many people would choose to make a meal they hate several times a week?

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Synesthesia
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I wouldn't. I hate fried eggs. I won't cook them. I don't want them cooked around me because I hate the smell of fried or scrambled eggs. It mostly seemed like women having to put up with things that they don't like to make the men happy. Which doesn't sound healthy...
I think I believe more in folks in a couple working together and doing what they are best at.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
I'd embed an explicit clause in the same-sex marriage law that'd protect clergy and congregations from any form of prosecution if they didn't want to conduct same-sex marriages.
Good idea! I'm not much for over-legislating, but if people would be reassured by this measure, then great!

Either way, a law or not, no church or clergy should be compelled in anyway to marry anyone they do not want to.

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Rakeesh
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Scooter,

quote:
If this were the case, you should not have married and asked for the state's approval. You should have just loved each other without government acknowledgment (you are quite the libertarian, indeed). Instead, you chose to join a societal institution, perhaps pretending it was meaningless for society--I don't know.
Well you don't quite have to go to the state and get approval - and really this is a misleading word, more on that in a moment - but we as a society have made it a heckuva lot easier, culturally, legally, and financially if you do. Why wouldn't someone go to the state and take advantage of the system they're paying into?

More importantly, why shouldn't homosexuals be permitted that same right, the right to marry, cohabit, and have the state recognize as valid the legally consenting adult of their choice? There are no arguments against this question that I've ever heard that don't amount, ultimately, to either 'tradition' or 'religion' (and there's obviously quite a lot of crossover between the two). I certainly understand why those two things are compelling motive for someone to oppose it, I just don't think it's sufficient. I also don't think the 'burden of proof' is on the ones who want to change it-rather I feel the burden is on the ones who want to deny recognition on the basis of traditional or religious upbringing.

As for 'approval', this is misleading. For heterosexuals, 'approval' basically means show up, pay a fee, and sometimes get tested for something I think. That's about it. Our society would get quite unpleasantly angry very quickly should society decide it had the right to 'approve' any further than that, but for some reason that's acceptable in the case of homosexuals. Why? Because that's the way things are? No. I'm afraid that just doesn't seem like a very rational argument to me, Scooter.

quote:
I realize most of the younger generations these days have no sense of marriage as a social institution, so you are not alone. But, if they would just stop and think about it, they might find that marriage has been invented and reinvented in virtually every society throughout all time (and it has been amazingly consistent in its societal functions regarding fertility--particularly encouraging paternal commitment). It is not just tradition, it is a foundation for a stable society. We have clearly seen the negative repercussions of it breaking down over the last 50 years (and we have seen some good elements evolve as well regarding more partnership in marriage, but that is secondary to the fertility elements of it).
The important parts of this paragraph are the 'invented and re-invented'. That means we can re-invent it at our leisure. Another important part is your recognition of marriage's so-called breakdown over the past 2-3 generations. I don't take that as a given, but you clearly do, so let me pose a question for you: adultery, bastardy, divorce, premarital sex, so on and so forth, aren't met with the same kind of unified political outrage that homosexual marriage is. These things are clearly, in my mind, much greater threats to the 'institution' of marriage than homosexual marriage, but where is the politically unified umbrage when people go and have sex with someone not their spouse? When they have children out of wedlock? When they decide to abandon their spouses for no reason at all-with or without children?

I look at it like this: if marriage is a house, the house is on fire. Like, five-alarm fire. Gay marriage, if it's really a threat at all, is perhaps a little bit of bad wiring on the third floor somewhere that is sparking and posing a threat. The conflagration is already ongoing, though, so frankly I am very skeptical that with all of this burning going on it's the threat to marriage that's really got some people united against it.

quote:
It may not be detrimental for marriage to start calling homosexual unions "marriage" and to treat them as if they are exactly the same thing (which they can't be, unless men and women are actually identical, which is only a fantasy of closed-minded feminists)...
It's interesting that you'd bring this up. I think you'll find that very few people ever say 'men and women are the same' to mean 'exactly identical in all ways'. No, in my experience what they are likely to mean by that remark is 'should be treated the same under the law'. Our Constitution feels the same way. The remark about 'closed-minded feminists'...well, it doesn't sound very good, Scooter. Perhaps if you were a member of a group that was more likely to be underpaid, more likely to be harassed, the victim of a violent crime (every one of those points is a matter of factual record, btw, and actually escalates sharply), and so on and so forth, you might make say that men and women are the same and mean they should be treated equally.

quote:
but it might also change marriage fundamentally as it separates marriage from fertility completely and turn marriage into merely an adult expression of love--sending the message that fathers aren't really important for children, so why bother marrying in the first place, or staying around to raise your child (don't get distracted on the two-father scenario--that still sends the message that fathers are arbitrary since you can have one, two, or none). Some hospitals are already using "parent 1" and "parent 2" on birth certificates, instead of mother and father. What message is that sending about the importance of fathers? Just one simple example of a domino effect and unforeseen implications.
This goes back to what I was saying above. That message has already been sent. Society has received it, as a group anyway, loud and clear. It's in our media, it's in our music, it's in our daily lives. That battle has been lost. The war ain't over, perhaps, but if you are actually interested in countering this message, that fathers aren't necessary, it seems to me that the thing to do would be to actually target that problem. Rather than gay people marrying. Institute stiffer penalties for deadbeat dads, raise awareness of domestic violence, better sexual education, just for a few examples.

It's very difficult for someone who doesn't already think that homosexual marriage is somehow a threat to the family to view 'oppose it as a bulwark to good fatherhood and the institution of marriage' to view such claims with anything but skepticism on these and other grounds.

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stihl1
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I agree with Card.
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Synesthesia
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I don't. What a dumb thing to try to criminalize. I swear if churches spent one fourth the energy on things like domestic violence and such it would totally decrease. It's useless to torment gays when there's real threats to the family not even being talked about by these folks.
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Rakeesh
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Of course they're being talked about, Synesthesia. Are they being talked about in proportion to the danger/threat they present?

Well, no-but that's not some unique failing of churches, you know. That's humanity all over the place. More afraid of flying and terrorism than domestic violence, even though the latter will provably kill many, many, many more than the former two put together. And our funding reflects this.

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Rakeesh
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Card has said a great many things on the subject, stihl. Which do you agree with?
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Synesthesia
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Yeah, more attention SHOULD be given to abuse and such I think because it has to stop.

I really do not agree with a single thing OSC has said on this subject. I agree with him about some other things though.

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Stone_Wolf_
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A quick story of how domestic violence led to homosexuality. (I'll try and make it as quick as I can)

My wife and I had had a fight, I was off taking a walk to let things cool down at the pier (one of the advantages of living at the beach). After gazing off at the endless horizon (nothing puts things into perspective better) I hear a ruckus behind me, and turn to see what's up. There are three young hispanic women and a young hispanic man, arguing, and right in front of my eyes, I see the guy haul off and punch one of the girls in the side of the head! She goes down, and he moves over her about to kick her. I let off my patented, voice of authority "Hey!" and charge in. The guy takes one good look at me and bolts as fast as he can down the pier (I'm 6'2" 275).

The girl gets up, with the help of her friends, and I whip out my cell phone to call the cops. The girls beg me not to, as they have warrants out on them. I am not happy, but I do not call.

It turns out that the girl is 16 years old (as are her two friends) and she is pregnant, and the gentleman who knocked her down with a fist to the skull is the father. He is unhappy with her because she is now in a relationship with a girl, having switched sexualities because she believed "All men hit." Her two friends are together for the same reason.

I tell them it is not true, all men do not hit and that they need to pick better men.

I escort them to the parking lot and guess who is waiting there for us? Little Johny Talks with His Fists (who is 17). He wants a round two with his baby mama, which of course I am having none of. So he he tries to go a round with me instead.

At this point, I have a minor trying to beat me up (not very well, although very enthusiastically) with the only witnesses three girls with warrants who have begged me not to call the cops.

Long story short, while I never allow him to hit me or anyone else, I don't hit him either. The last thing I need is these girls lying to the cops about who started it, with a minor punk kid bleeding on the ground without so much as a mark on me, getting arrested and then having to call up my wife to come get me from jail at 2am right after we were in a big argument.

I let the girls use my cell phone and call a ride, and I stay with them til they leave. The punk stays a good 100 yards off wishing me dead, but so clearly outmatched that he is unwilling to do anything about it. After the girls leave, the cops show, but don't speak to me.

I walk home and kiss my wife's sleeping forehead, and we make up in the morning.

*sigh* These three girls at the age of 16 were so convinced that any man would abuse them that they had given up on the gender all together.

Kinda sad really.

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scholarette
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Syn- what specifically do you want to change regarding abuse? Is there a law you want made or repealed? A difference in enforcement? More shelters, education programs, etc?
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Synesthesia
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16.. Dang.

The reason why I point to the church is they have so much power and influence, but you have some that encourage the sort of attitudes that lead to abuse, like wife only submission.
I think churches should have shelters and such and they should educate men NOT to abuse women and to respect them and outside of the church the attitudes have to change and be challenged in and outside of the church.
You got to admit things have improved from ages ago.
But that story up there illustrates that this sort of thing has to begin at an early age. Large amounts of teenage girls are getting into abusive relationships, and some of the books they read practically encourage this.
It's one of those society wide things that need to shift but I can never figure out how to do it.

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Rawrain
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I don't care and I don't think anyone else should either. What people do together is between them and anyone else involved.
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Fulicasenia
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I don't get why people think we need to criminalize homosexuality. [Confused] If you are in fact a heterosexual, think about this for a minute: how tempted are you, really, to give up having sex with persons of the opposite gender, so that you can marry someone of your own gender and spend the rest of your life having sex with them? If you really are a heterosexual, the answer is of course approximately zero (Yuck!). Since homosexuals are and always have been and always will be a small minority of the total population, we will always have enough heterosexual marriages to keep things going.

If you want to protect heterosexual marriage, maybe you should be fighting hard to criminalize premarital sex and adultery. But the fact is, our christian, western civilization has had its experiment with criminalizing those things, and in the end we decided to not to-- because heterosexuals love doing those things so much! LOL! That's why we'd much rather put a lot of self-righteous indignation into criminalizing something we have absolutely no temptation to do in the first place: it lets us feel so moral and good, without requiring us to actually improve our behaviour at all!

Orson, dude, I have loved your books so much! Please give up the gay-bashing and start working on improving the moral level of heterosexual sexual behavior. I assume you are straight, and I'm telling you, dude, PLEASE check out your own eyeball first, ok? Or, if you're gay, please come out of the closet and give up the self-hatred. THX!

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Scott R
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The fact that there's a beam in my eye does not make the mote in your eye easier to bear.
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ValPal
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I agree with Stone_Wolf_, the issue really is LIBERTY...in this case, the separation of Church and State. If we got the churches out of the marriage business, the entire problem would disappear. Imagine that in order to receive the legal benefits (tax exemptions and the like) now wedded to the state of marriage, you apply for a state license (call it a "Joining License" or something).

Some combination of legal adults can apply (limits would have to be negotiated -- can you hear the insurance companies screaming now?). Think of the headaches this would solve for grandparents raising grandchildren, Charlie Sheen, etc. Your genetic offspring are automatically added at birth, and membership for that "Joining" terminates at legal age and then you get the right to apply for your own license. Some provision would have to be made so that "singles" are not penalized.

You already get a marriage license, so just have the JP offices issue the licenses like the DMV does. Religious blessing would be optional (it is now anyway). However, there is the slight matter of entrenched bureaucracies that might object to a change in the present system.

This is not an original idea, I have read it in various forms in a number of speculative fiction stories and novels that I could not cite anymore. Please disseminate freely, it's an idea whose time has come. It solves a lot of overlapping societal issues that combine to create grave inequalities today.

Personal Note to Mr. Card: I am broken-hearted (but now realize why there are no maiden aunts or flamboyant upstairs neighbors in your fiction -- gay people just don't exist in your universe). I always took you for a progressive with all that hippy peace and love stuff.

Disclosure: I'm a very married, very Catholic, middle-aged, middle-American housewife. Close platonic friendship with one lesbian, who has obviously brainwashed me (dare I LOL?).

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Scott R
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quote:
I am broken-hearted (but now realize why there are no maiden aunts or flamboyant upstairs neighbors in your fiction -- gay people just don't exist in your universe).
Hmm...you've never read Songmaster, or the Homecoming series?

quote:
I always took you for a progressive with all that hippy peace and love stuff.
Hippy peace and love stuff? In his fiction?

Um...how do you feel about Steven King?

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm sorry ValPal, I'm not really understanding your proposed changes, could you please elaborate?
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ValPal
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Scott_R asked about my reading Songmaster or the Homecoming series, and I must admit neither, so I've got obvious makeup work to do. I read a short story called "A Thousand Deaths" by OSC in the late 70s and became an instant fan. I read all his short fiction, and Ender and Alvin Maker when they hit the shelf. For reasons irrelevant, I stopped reading SF for a decade or so...and I was surprised to see how voluminous the "Card"-iverse had become when I checked back in recently.

As for Steven King, I read _The Stand_ and never went back. [I hear my daughter laughing because I don't allow any "horror" i.e. slasher films in the house.] Card – or at least my impression from Ender, Alvin Maker, and a lot of his short stories – in strict terms is usually talking about how people treat each other in reality and that reality is usually pretty horrifying. But I guess I just look at it perversely, and take away the message that we could do a better (peace, love, and all that hippy sh*t).

Oh, Stone_Wolf_, the devil be in the details! I like the top-down approach, and it goes something like this:

1) We must readdress the nature of how we define a “citizen.” For all you Jane fans, this is old hat. In our Brave New World scenario, is a Siamese or conjoined individual with two heads (i.e. two functioning brains) incorporated with a single body one individual or two? I say two. A Citizen is defined as a self-aware single intelligence (when Hive/Formic minds are discovered/met we will be debating all over again). An “intelligence” gets a Citizen number at emergence/detection or when looking to join the Republic in order to receive legal status or whatever benefit (already happening with SSNs for babies). A citizen of legal age (having raised two children, I think 21 is more realistic than 18) becomes something called a “Householder” for legal purposes. Issues: How to rewrite benefits legislation and contracts, so that our conjoined friend is not allowed two heart transplants if the limit is one, etc.

2) We must get the churches/mosques/etc. out of the marriage business. Currently, it’s a two-step process: marriage license, then ceremony. You can’t get married without the license, so why not make that legal moment of the marriage’s institution when the license is ISSUED? Ceremony/reception optional. Think of the modern serially monogamous couple with 5 marriages between them: it practically happens this way already. Issues: Aforementioned self-interested entrenched bureaucracies. Kinda screws with the honeymoon, but if your particular cultural practice demands it you’re going to wait anyway. Like for handguns, maybe there should be a waiting period.

3) Householders can join households, but only one Citizen can be the new Head of Household (just like the current tax code). Any number of Citizens can join. Issues: Allows for endless flexibility (read FREEDOM) in personal choice of living arrangements, sexual proclivities (but I am NOT talking child abuse – Citizens must be of legal age), etc. which of course leads to…a lot of disagreement like we’ve seen here. Think of it: grandparents raising grandbabies, divorced father with 3 of his ex-wife’s kids because she’s in rehab, just like what’s happening now.

4) Contracts would be available in varying lengths, say 1, 5, and 7 years, plus Permanent, only dissolved by the Citizen’s death (if you fall into this category, you know it <smile>)

5) Citizens can be born to any combination of parents but take the Householder’s name.

6) CHANGE THE NAME. You don’t “get married" you "join Households." Why should it matter, except if you wish to enforce your particular beliefs/preferences (no, Aris, I ain’t goin’ there but I did appreciate what you brought to the discussion) on someone else? Or, as my civics teacher used to say, “my fist stops where my neighbor’s nose begins”?

This is America, baby.

Land of the Free and home of the Brave, Amen!

P.S. Thanks if you got this far in the post. Stone_Wolf_, I hope this does not discourage you from asking me to elaborate in the future, I usually try to be more succinct. - vp

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ValPal
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Oops!

quote:
Originally posted by ValPal:

5) Citizens can be born to any combination of parents but take the Householder’s name.


should have read "...take the Head of Householder's name."
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Synesthesia
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Ugh. Songmaster. Horrible what happened to that poor character. If I was a gay male character in an OSC book, I'd jump out of the book and run and fight all efforts to be shoved back into the book.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/LJMarinelli This guy was with NOM and now he agrees with gay marriage. It's not as if churches have to be forced to marry gays, you know. Go him!

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Scott R
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quote:
I am broken-hearted (but now realize why there are no maiden aunts or flamboyant upstairs neighbors in your fiction -- gay people just don't exist in your universe).
It occurs to me you might be speaking not only of his fiction, but his real life.

Other articles I've read from him seem to disprove this idea.

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Stone_Wolf_
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ValPal, if I am understanding correctly, your suggestion sounds a lot like a line marriage from "the Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Friday" and other Hienlien works.

While I agree that no limit should be put on consenting adults, I seriously doubt that our society would ever accept this much change when it comes to our traditions and laws, no matter how good idea it may be. Even changing from one man and one woman to one person and another person (of the same gender) is causing huge controversy.

How do you propose that such a sweeping change could be brought about?

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ValPal
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Forgive me, I’m a polemicist. I just had to throw in that thing about “any number” of consenting adults to see if anyone was paying attention.

Also, thanks for the Heinlein reference, Stone_Wolf_. I was a voracious reader of his fiction in earlier days so have no doubt his works influenced my views.

How could it happen?

Scenario 1: It’s adopted with the limitation of two people by current proponents of SSM, if they have any sense. IMHO, they’re currently fighting a losing battle with a public opinion incubated in bigotry, supported by the entrenched religious bureaucracies.

Scenario 2: Demosthenes and Locke, if you will, for Ender fans. Skillful manipulation of media in favor of the argument at the grass roots, followed by a charismatic figure that exploits the “knowledge” planted by said skillful manipulation.

Obama might have had the potential (think web financing, Facebook, etc.), but lacked the savvy and skills to exploit it. He had one chance – from the interviews I saw along the way, even a lot of the people that didn’t vote for him were willing to give him a shot. But Obama blew the honeymoon. Unfortunately, his change message faded because he was too interested in being the First Black President as Statesman instead of cutting through the bullsh*t and political correctness, delivering the hard message, and doing the right thing for the country. Right now he mostly reminds me of Carter, just hopelessly out of his depth.

There is currently a frightening vacuum of skillful leadership in the American, nay the world, arena. I’m thinking it’s either a Churchill, or another Hitler coming (for all you Book of Revelation fans). Consider Locke/Peter/the Hegemon as a Bill Gates figure – should said charismatic leader coincidently be a bizillionaire…God save the Republic from Donald Trump!

As for the likelihood of common acceptance and institutionalization of SSM, being from the Deep South, I have to digress. One afternoon in 1982, a friend from school drove me home in his brand new car, a totally cherry red Camaro. Bear in mind that I was a petite white girl and my (totally platonic) friend was a black guy built like a linebacker for the Steelers. The next morning at breakfast my father informed me that my granddaddy (yes, we use that word, really) who lived next door had seen us and that he was going for his shotgun when my pal was driving away. He also informed me that I was never to be seen in the company of said friend again (I was teenager, um, how well do you think I listened?). My teenage daughter has many friends of all persuasions and has dated young gentlemen of several cultural/racial backgrounds…while I in my heart might have some trepidation based on how I was raised, I’m also screaming, “You go, girl!”

[Completely side note: Scott R., at some point you said “I kind of doubt that slave owners felt that their actions were ethical based on the fact that their daddy held slaves, too.” Sorry, but they sure did, and I know whereof I speak. I've heard countless comments in that vein.]

quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
While I agree that no limit should be put on consenting adults, I seriously doubt that our society would ever accept this much change when it comes to our traditions and laws, no matter how good idea it may be.

My daughter goes to the same high school I graduated from, where in her circle is an openly gay transvestite young man who wears skirts to school when the dress code specifically requires boys to wear pants or shorts. Keep in mind, at this same school, her current boyfriend was sent home a couple of weeks ago because his hair was touching his collar. Our past determines our future, but only so much.

Stranger things have happened, my friend. May we all live to see the day.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I have a question for those who use the argument that marriage is traditionally between one man and one woman.

How does your augment explain the many references in the bible to polygamy, that is, to men having many wives, as well as polygamy being the stated policy of the Mormon belief for sixty years.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Ugh. Songmaster. Horrible what happened to that poor character. If I was a gay male character in an OSC book, I'd jump out of the book and run and fight all efforts to be shoved back into the book.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/LJMarinelli This guy was with NOM and now he agrees with gay marriage. It's not as if churches have to be forced to marry gays, you know. Go him!

The gay character in Homecoming had it pretty rough, too. At best he was an object lesson.
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Ugh. Songmaster. Horrible what happened to that poor character. If I was a gay male character in an OSC book, I'd jump out of the book and run and fight all efforts to be shoved back into the book.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/LJMarinelli This guy was with NOM and now he agrees with gay marriage. It's not as if churches have to be forced to marry gays, you know. Go him!

The gay character in Homecoming had it pretty rough, too. At best he was an object lesson.
What do you mean, "rough?" IIRC, the people that would have hurt Zdorab are the characters portrayed least sympathetically. IIRC, Zdorab manages to have children, but remains homosexual. IIRC, he also becomes a part of Nafai's community.

quote:
I have a question for those who use the argument that marriage is traditionally between one man and one woman.

How does your augment explain the many references in the bible to polygamy, that is, to men having many wives, as well as polygamy being the stated policy of the Mormon belief for sixty years.

It depends on what you're calling-- and what your audience calls-- "traditional."

Traditional does not mean historic.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Traditional does not mean historic.
Bull pucky! The way this argument was used is that the long standing tradition and history of marriage has been established and the homosexuals are trying to change the definition of the word.

Clearly marriage has more then one definition.

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Swampjedi
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quote:
2) We must get the churches/mosques/etc. out of the marriage business. Currently, it’s a two-step process: marriage license, then ceremony. You can’t get married without the license, so why not make that legal moment of the marriage’s institution when the license is ISSUED? Ceremony/reception optional. Think of the modern serially monogamous couple with 5 marriages between them: it practically happens this way already. Issues: Aforementioned self-interested entrenched bureaucracies. Kinda screws with the honeymoon, but if your particular cultural practice demands it you’re going to wait anyway. Like for handguns, maybe there should be a waiting period.

I come to the same conclusion, from the "opposite" side. I want the government out of the marriage business, and into some sort of "legal household partnership" business. This partnership would be for both hetero- and homosexual couples, with "couple" very loosely defined.
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Scott R
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Well, if you "know" what your opposition is going to answer, why bother asking?

There IS a long standing tradition and history of marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman; it was so strong in the 1800s, that when the Mormons (and others-- for example, the Oneida community in New York) tried expanding the definition, or even doing away with the boundaries, they were persecuted both legally and in the public square.

quote:
Clearly marriage has more then one definition.
Until recently, that did not generally include same-gendered partnerships (and traditionally and historically in America, multiple dual-gendered partnerships were not sanctioned either). Homosexuality in history bears very little resemblance to what is being practiced today in America. Historically, in societies where homosexuals have been able to be married with the culture's blessing, one of the partners has taken on a feminine role (for example, the Pacific NW Indians someone pointed out a while back). I can't think of non-modern civilization where homosexual partners were given rights, or had relationships, equivalent to those of dual-gendered couples.

From that standpoint, yes: marriage between man and a woman is a pretty firm historical reality, and a fairly entrenched tradition. At least in Western civilization. I don't know about Eastern ones.

Frankly, you'd do a lot better arguing from the standpoint that homosexual relationships, as they are conceived of currently, deserve equal rights, tradition/history be darned. After all, we don't wait on history or tradition to make our morality.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Sorry for my strong reaction, having a bad day and took it out on you.

quote:
...we don't wait on history or tradition to make our morality.
Absolutely, I just for one find the argument flawed that "traditionally" there was only one interpretation of the idea of "marriage".

This is not the main reason I think we should allow for same gender marriage.

Freedom is.

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Swampjedi
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Freedom? No. Equality before the law.

To clarify, freedom (to me) implies that the government is keeping you from doing something you'd be able to do otherwise. Legal marriage doesn't exist in the wild, as far as I know.

Not getting the same benefits doesn't mean you aren't free. It means you're not being treated equally.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Until recently, that did not generally include same-gendered partnerships...
This is true, but in my experience when people speak out against equal rights for homosexuals (that is, the right to marry an adult of their choice and have it recognized by the state), one of the most common arguments raised against it is, "Marriage has always been 'one man and one woman'." The argument relies on the supposed immutability of marriage that simply doesn't exist. Opponents don't typically say, "marriage as an exclusive man-woman social contract is pretty firmly entrenched in history," because of course that's a lot less absolute than 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve'.

It should also be noted that the whole Adam and Eve Adam and Steve thing relies on one of the exact same arguments most commonly used by SSM opponents, that marriage has 'always' meant what it means now.

quote:
Frankly, you'd do a lot better arguing from the standpoint that homosexual relationships, as they are conceived of currently, deserve equal rights, tradition/history be darned. After all, we don't wait on history or tradition to make our morality.
Well, no, a very strong argument against the opponents of SSM is that the tradition of marriage throughout history and even recent history has been pretty flexible, and certainly much more flexible than people at any given time thought it would be. One man and one woman throughout the past centuries of American and European history, sure-but that's about it. Sanctity (real sanctity in the eyes of society), immutability, gender roles, legal issues, so on and so forth, all of that has been quite flexible over time.
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Scott R
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quote:
a very strong argument against the opponents of SSM is that the tradition of marriage throughout history and even recent history has been pretty flexible, and certainly much more flexible than people at any given time thought it would be.
While certain things about marriage have changed-- arranged marriages have fallen by the wayside in the US, for example-- the individuals who can participate in it has been fairly static. Even though the ages of celebrants have changed; even though the methods of marriage have changed; even though how they're performed, and how they're finished has changed; even though the rights and roles of participants within the marriage have changed; that particular element (dual-gendered marriage) has not for hundreds of years.
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Rakeesh
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Yup, that's right. And if opponents of SSM more often made that case, they would less often appear at best incorrect and at worst homophobic. That's not often what's done though.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Swampjedi:
Freedom? No. Equality before the law.

To clarify, freedom (to me) implies that the government is keeping you from doing something you'd be able to do otherwise. Legal marriage doesn't exist in the wild, as far as I know.

Not getting the same benefits doesn't mean you aren't free. It means you're not being treated equally.

quote:
Political freedom , or political agency, is a central concept in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important (real or ideal) features of democratic societies.[1] It has been described as a relationship free of oppression[2] or coercion;[3] the absence of disabling conditions for a particular group or individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions;[4] or the absence of economic compulsion.[5] Although political freedom is often interpreted negatively as the freedom from unreasonable external constraints on action,[6] it can also refer to the positive exercise of rights, capacities and possibilities for action, and the exercise of social or group rights.[7]
I would agree that equality is at issue here as well, I would not agree that this is not a matter of freedom.

I'm not sure of the measuring stick of "in the wild", I mean, we aren't beasts here, there is always some form of social contract going on.

ETA...Equality is a more specific way of addressing this particular issue (legality of SSM), but the more general term of "freedom" is still accurate, and refers to more then this one aspect which has been discussed.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Ugh. Songmaster. Horrible what happened to that poor character. If I was a gay male character in an OSC book, I'd jump out of the book and run and fight all efforts to be shoved back into the book.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/LJMarinelli This guy was with NOM and now he agrees with gay marriage. It's not as if churches have to be forced to marry gays, you know. Go him!

The gay character in Homecoming had it pretty rough, too. At best he was an object lesson.
What do you mean, "rough?" IIRC, the people that would have hurt Zdorab are the characters portrayed least sympathetically. IIRC, Zdorab manages to have children, but remains homosexual. IIRC, he also becomes a part of Nafai's community.

It has been a long time but from what I recall. the price of children and being part of the community being a "partnership" devoid of sexual attraction, joyless, uncomfortable coupling, and denial of a true romantic relationship. I mostly recall feeling profoundly sorry for him.

[ April 20, 2011, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Rakeesh
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Yeah, it was basically a case of 'coulda been (a lot) worse' for Zdorab if I remember things accurately. Not exactly a rousing endorsement, but rather a portrayal of a system in which some people are going to have fundamental aspects of their personalities rejected for their entire lifetimes. It's going to be a source of lifelong distress for them, and they're just going to have to live with it-because it could be worse.

Now, if you'd disputed the 'object lesson' portion of boots's post, I might have agreed with you. I don't remember reading that story and thinking he served as an object lesson-he felt very human to me. But it's difficult for me to put my head in a place where his life wasn't rough.

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kmbboots
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For me, the lesson seemed to be "See, you can just suck it up, stifle your nature and have sex with women for the sake of children and 'the greater good' and you should. Here is an example of a homosexual who 'does the right thing'."
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Scott R
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kmboots:

Your interpretation is significantly different from mine; I don't think I took a "lesson" from it. I'll have to read it again.

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