Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Gay Rights Mess

   
Author Topic: Gay Rights Mess
ZachC
Member
Member # 12709

 - posted      Profile for ZachC   Email ZachC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First of all, let me say, I am completely for gay rights, whether it be marriage, hospital visits, anti-bullying laws, whatever. I believe that everyone should have certain unalienable rights under the Constitution to be treated fairly. Even if someone's personal beliefs doesn't coincide with allowing certain people to marry, logical thinking has to make up the difference caused by ignorance, right?

But this is what makes me angry, one of the simplest issues to resolve, that of gay marriage, is one of the most hotly contested in all of politics!

On one side, yes, you have the gays, and their families themselves, but you also have the rational people. The rational people are the ones, while they cannot empathize with gays because of their sexual orientation, actually use their BRAINS to see what is right for the country and its people.

But on the other side, is radical, ignorant, religious extremists, whose main argument, as far as I can understand it, contradicts itself!

For example: What many Christians claim is that all of the information needed to function as a human being is contained in the Bible. In the Bible, it says that God created all humans. Since it has basically been proven that homosexuality is NOT a choice, then their argument of the Bible banning homosexuality is a moot point. Why would God create people just to condemn them to Hell automatically?


Every time I watch the news, I always see stories about Amendment this, and Law that. And in every new segment, they always play a video of an old, aging man ranting on the evils of allowing to people that love each other to marry!. Even if that old man does not realize the inherent evil and destruction his actions have, he must realize that this is a battle he cannot win. Society is changing, and whether we like it or not, the laws must too.

Posts: 82 | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Anthonie
Member
Member # 884

 - posted      Profile for Anthonie   Email Anthonie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ZachC:
Why would God create people just to condemn them to Hell automatically?

That is the core belief of Christianity: "You are automatically condemned to hell unless you [fill in the blank here with different religious beliefs on how to come to Jesus]."
Posts: 293 | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't go so far as to say that-there are numerous interceding steps, such as one's obligation to the Creator a given group believes in, and that sin is unavoidable not because of God but because of humanity itself, back to Eden...but ultimately that's what it amounts to: created sick and commanded on pain of hellfire (in most Christian beliefs) to be well, as the late Hitchens was fond of saying.

It seems a very good reason, if one decided to believe in a deity, to be sure that it certainly didn't have our best interest at heart or love us in any way we would recognize as such. The good news, the gospel if you will, is that proponents of banning SSM constitute a shrinking market so to speak, and every time it comes to the plate they must grab increasing shares of that shrinking market to keep the laws as they like.

Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ZachC:
... But this is what makes me angry, one of the simplest issues to resolve, that of gay marriage, is one of the most hotly contested in all of politics!

Actually, I find it interesting because it really isn't hotly contested everywhere.

Debates like the appropriate level of taxes, income inequality, and the like are not settled in many places. Different societies may be fighting at different points, but the debates could rage on indefinitely.

Gay marriage is basically a dead issue in places like Canada. Once it's settled, it stays dead and even a six year period of Conservative governments hasn't brought it back to life.

The US is of course different in this regard, you have your wedge issues like same-sex marriage and abortion that spark a ferocity of debate that is pretty unparalleled in the developed world.

Posts: 7328 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Emreecheek
Member
Member # 12082

 - posted      Profile for Emreecheek           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the marriage equality debate is our modern-day Republican Party's version of the prohibition debate.

Only, you know, it results in more suicide.

[ October 19, 2012, 05:08 AM: Message edited by: Emreecheek ]

Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a belief that a human should be allowed to do almost everything, as long as they don't hurt anyone else. So, I never opposed gay marriages (this is not a Holy Matrimony, though), but wasn't sure about adoptions. I talked to two orphans and they claimed they would be glad to have had any family, gay or not. Taking this into consideration and some studies that show it's not harmful in any way, and common sense- that a couple who adopts is probably reaaaaly willing to have children (no accidental insemination here, I guess), I think it's ok.

I really hope they get all the rights they want soon, because I actually find it a little embarrasing to see people speaking publicly about whom they like to have sex with. Saying "I'm gay" is like saying "I prefer penises to vaginas" (or the other way around). It's just not something that should be debated. I don't want to hear about other people's sexuality.

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Emreecheek
Member
Member # 12082

 - posted      Profile for Emreecheek           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. That was dumb.
Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why?!

Mommy and Daddy taught me there are things you don't talk about publicly. Intimate.

[ October 19, 2012, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: Szymon ]

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
On one side, yes, you have the gays, and their families themselves, but you also have the rational people. The rational people are the ones, while they cannot empathize with gays because of their sexual orientation, actually use their BRAINS to see what is right for the country and its people.

But on the other side, is radical, ignorant, religious extremists, whose main argument, as far as I can understand it, contradicts itself!

Just to be clear: you're not looking for a discussion right? You just wanted some place to complain?

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10574 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Misha McBride
Member
Member # 6578

 - posted      Profile for Misha McBride           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
I really hope they get all the rights they want soon, because I actually find it a little embarrasing to see people speaking publicly about whom they like to have sex with. Saying "I'm gay" is like saying "I prefer penises to vaginas" (or the other way around). It's just not something that should be debated. I don't want to hear about other people's sexuality.

Why has it got to be about penises and vaginas? Why does it have to be about sex? Why can't it be "the gender I fall in love with and want to marry"? Isn't that what marriage is all about, love? Sex is a byproduct of marriage, not the main thing. When someone tells me they're going to get married I don't instantly start thinking about all the sex they'll be having, I think about their life together and partnership. Why should thinking about gay marriage be any different?
Posts: 262 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hobbes, I had the same reaction.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AchillesHeel
Member
Member # 11736

 - posted      Profile for AchillesHeel   Email AchillesHeel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Misha McBride:
quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
I really hope they get all the rights they want soon, because I actually find it a little embarrasing to see people speaking publicly about whom they like to have sex with. Saying "I'm gay" is like saying "I prefer penises to vaginas" (or the other way around). It's just not something that should be debated. I don't want to hear about other people's sexuality.

Why has it got to be about penises and vaginas? Why does it have to be about sex? Why can't it be "the gender I fall in love with and want to marry"? Isn't that what marriage is all about, love? Sex is a byproduct of marriage, not the main thing. When someone tells me they're going to get married I don't instantly start thinking about all the sex they'll be having, I think about their life together and partnership. Why should thinking about gay marriage be any different?
+1

I would consider though, that while many people think like you and I religion has marriage and sex tied up in a knot of beautiful disgust. I have an old friend who is very devoted to his particular branch of christianity, I would say which but it is simply something we don't talk about and I don't know. We prefer to keep our friendship to humor and as we've gotten older light politics. He is in his mid-twenties and a virgin, saving himself for marriage of course. He scared away his most serious relationship with a marriage proposal that she recognized was far too early in both of their lives. The only other long-term relationship he ended with a lovely and intelligent woman we went to school with who had two children by the time they got together, she was so 'progressive' by his standards that he couldn't accept her predilections. Though he had no problem dating a divorced woman with two children. For my friend sex and marriage are inseparable, he can't get over it until he finally has both and can see what they are in the first place.

Religious obsession with sex and marriage can repulse a theist from marrying a sexual person but still invigorate them to marry so they can have sex. Hardly the strangest thing to come from the magic books, but still annoying.

Posts: 2273 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I talked with a person who believed that homosexuality was a great sin. They proudly announced that they hated the sin, but loved the sinner. I asked them if two Christian men fell in love, but due to their faith, did not consummate those feelings, would that be fine.

They said probably.

I asked if they spent time together, held hands, whispered sweet words into each others ears in church, as married couples and young couples in love do, would that be fine.

They said No. That such behavior gave the appearance of sin, and encouraged others to sin even if they didn't.

So the answer was not only love the sinner but hate the sin, and hate the very appearance of possibly sinning.

They suggested that such love can not exist without the sex, that the only thing that binds two gay people together is the sex. I know people who prove that theory wrong.

Lies are also sins. But they suggested the person should find a woman to marry and have children with. Living that lie, which appeared sinless but was a sin, was better, they said, than living the truth, refraining from sin, but appearing to sin.

Posts: 1808 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*shrug* It's clear that the OP was certainly much more in the vein of (self-righteous) venting than any sort of *actual* questioning. One of the things I (try) to keep in mind on this topic is that while I'm convinced my take on it is correct, I didn't arrive at it by any special or rigorous analysis or self-examination. I was simply raised in such a way that in broad strokes, homosexuality was a personal matter like other sorts of questions of consenting adult sexuality, and therefore none of either my or anyone else's business. About as strong as any disapproval of homosexuality got in my childhood that I remember was a pinch-mouthed disapproval of 'flamboyantly' gay people-particularly effeminate men and 'butch' women.

Ironically my father, from whom I learned much of my early politics, thinks a bit differently on the matter, feeling that permitting tax-equal gay marriage would somehow diminish support for making life easier on young couples starting a family, and nothing I could say would get him to acknowledge that he hadn't actually demonstrated that that was so, but only professed that it was.

Anyway, so long and short of it, though I try and avoid self-righteousness on the topic for that reason-because my belief isn't something I feel I ought to be proud of, since it was easy for me to come by-I know I fail sometimes, and more often allow my frustration and anger to show forth and give the appearance of self-righteousness.

All of that said was to say this: if you wanted to reply or advance a thought, Hobbes, I'm happy to listen, though I would certainly understand if you didn't, this being a fraught topic with a high likelihood of not much meaningful discussion coming from it. That said, I'll say this and invite response and not feel critical if you don't: it's been years now, and I have never heard a line of reasoning for continuing to exclude homosexual consenting adult couples from marriage that didn't devolve *very* quickly to 'God says so' (that is, religious reasons), or a haze of sincerely believed but either simply wrong or unprovable assertions (marriage has always been this way, children suffer from having homosexual parents, gay marriage would disincentivize straight marriage, so on and so forth).

The former I'm afraid there is nothing for me but to say as decisively and politely as I can: that's irrelevant, and please leave me out of your religion. That's not addressed to you personally, Hobbes, but rather to the broader religious exceptions to SSM. The fact of the matter is that simply because that side of things has tradition on its side, what is actually happening is that a religious position is asserting itself to people who don't believe in it-even straight nonbelievers like myself-and insisting that we practice this belief. It is telling me and everyone else that it doesn't matter whether we belong to your given sect, we will adhere to its principles. I can't reject that demand in strong enough terms, nor will I refrain from pointing out that whatever the motivation, that is what is actually happening: a given group of sects is telling the world that whether it believes in their religion or not, it will still mandate obedience for as long as it can.

As for the second set of objections, the sociological and anthropological and so on, this is where men like Card and my father would try and persuade people who aren't swayed by appeals to faith or a default disapproval of homosexuality, and I've never heard any of these objections that were very impressive at all. The closest any have come to being persuasive, that I've heard, involve pointing out that greater cultural acceptance of homosexuality will cause problems...because of the way people view homosexuality.

While I cannot be swayed on this subject by any appeal to faith, by anything which references a religious figure, book, or tradition past or present, the second set of objections *might* contain one or more which could. I doubt it, but I try to keep in mind that I shouldn't be so sure when the road to my current belief on this subject began in an incidental way. If you have any such objections that you think are compelling, I'd be happy to hear them.

Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rakeesh, I haven’t actually explicitly stated my opinion on same-sex marriage on this board, not for many years at least. A large part of that is because the tone I see taken by posters here on this topic is such that I can’t imagine a change in anyone’s mind (including my own) nor even an enjoyable discussion. That said, I don’t really have the time and energy to sustain the level of discussion something like this takes and that’s a pretty lame way to begin a conversation (“I’m going to say something and then never respond to your points, or only cherry-pick every once in a while because I’ve got other things to do”). However, I will say I tend to come off more right-leaning on this board than I actually am (and the reverse is true on other forums which tend to lean more to the right themselves). Not to say I’m a liberal, but I’m sure that my sporadic posts and reticence to discuss many topics has given me an image that’s not entirely accurate. Of course I doubt many people here care enough to form a long-term opinion on what I do or don’t believe, but I figured I’d throw that out there.

In basic terms the debate seems to me to be about two related, but non-identical issues. The first is rights enjoyed by married, hetero couples being extended to homosexual couples. The second is more a question of language: does the government call two men or two women in a committed relationship “married”? It’s basically, a semantics argument, but one with a lot of emotional push behind it from both sides. I’m don’t know that anyone else sees it that way, but I do.

I’m not sure I entirely buy the idea that marriage is a right to be enjoyed by every citizen and not allowing two men or two women to enjoy it together (or three+ people if you really wanted to go down that path) is restricting their civil rights. On the other hand, I don’t entirely buy out of it either. Really, I’m agnostic on the issue and don’t care much one way or the other. There’s some things I feel strongly should be given to any couple of any pairing that want it (like hospital rights) and other things that I don’t feel strongly about in either direction.

If I had carte blanche on that issue I’d say as much as possible: get government out of marriage entirely. Allow for special benefits for committed couples (of any stripe) where you need to have some legal precedent like defaults for wills and the ability to file taxes jointly, but in general why should the government be involved? I’d have no problem doing something like making everything a “civil union” or something of that nature and then allowing anyone that wanted to, sign up as a pair.

Of course I don’t have carte blanche, and while I’m not the first person to think getting Uncle Sam out of the marriage business, I don’t see that as being a very likely solution. Life is about compromise I suppose; so the action side of that belief is that in general, I support moves to increase legal recognition of homosexual couples.

The second issue is different. To me, that is my government on my behalf (among others) declaring what marriage is and isn’t. Not a rights issue, a semantics issue. Would people be happy if homosexual couples were afforded identical rights to heterosexual couples in every respect except that their pairings were called “civil unions” and heterosexual pairings were called “marriage”? My understanding is that for most, the answer is no.

Why is the government walking around declaring what is and isn’t a marriage? I have no idea, and as I said, I’d rather it didn’t. But it does and it’s doing so as my representative so I’m going to say that in my opinion, a homosexual relationship is not a marriage. And if it asks (i.e. via voting) I’m going to respond with the truth. What if that then conflicts with my opinion on case ‘1’? Well it depends: and I’m not saying I’d vote either way if the law were on the ballot in Wisconsin this November, I’m just saying that this issue taken by itself that’s my opinion. And I fail to see why it matters what informed my opinion since basically we’re voting on a definition (in this purely hypothetical case where it doesn’t impact legal rights at all).

Now I did say this second issue often seems to be a highly charged, emotional issue, even when disconnected from the “rights debate” as it were. But not everyone cares a great deal, and I fall into that category. If you asked me: “Hobbes, do you think Homosexual marriage is marriage?” I would inform you that I didn’t. If you asked me: “Then what do you intend to do about it?” I’d respond with: “Not a whole lot. Maybe post a meandering thought on Hatrack at some point.”

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10574 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why is the government walking around declaring what is and isn’t a marriage?
Because for legal purposes we have to define terms. Look at even your local city code and you'll see that it starts with a list of terms and definitions. It doesn't mean that the city code is the authority on the definition of those terms or that the definitions used are the only valid definitions or even that these definitions don't conflict with other definitions.

All if means is that, for the purpose of establishing and enforcing law, those words mean certain things. They aren't philosophical positions which you agree with or disagree with - they only apply in the context of the law itself. So if the ballot asks if the definition of marriage should legally change to include same-sex couples the question isn't "What does marriage mean?" or "Do you agree with this definition." so much as "Should the class of laws that apply to marriage as currently defined in the law now be applied to couples of the same gender as well?"

ETA: Even outside the law, the battle for the definition has long been lost. If two men walked up to you and said "We were married to each other in California before Prop 8." you wouldn't just gape in confusion as you tried to figure out what on earth they could possibly mean. You would understand them perfectly. Virtually every dictionary now includes SSM in their definition of marriage. The word can no longer be assumed to be strictly gendered except in religious contexts and, ironically enough, in strictly legal contexts. It's as nonsensical to say "they aren't *really* married" as it is for a Mormon to say "that envelope isn't *really* sealed."

[ October 19, 2012, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

Posts: 3196 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hobbes,

quote:
In basic terms the debate seems to me to be about two related, but non-identical issues. The first is rights enjoyed by married, hetero couples being extended to homosexual couples. The second is more a question of language: does the government call two men or two women in a committed relationship “married”? It’s basically, a semantics argument, but one with a lot of emotional push behind it from both sides. I’m don’t know that anyone else sees it that way, but I do.
I suppose this is true, but couldn't just about any question of law or civil rights be likewise boiled down to semantics? Couldn't any recognition by the state of a given person's worthiness or lack thereof be considered semantic? I'm not sure how this is particularly meaningful to the question at hand.

quote:
I’m not sure I entirely buy the idea that marriage is a right to be enjoyed by every citizen and not allowing two men or two women to enjoy it together (or three+ people if you really wanted to go down that path) is restricting their civil rights. On the other hand, I don’t entirely buy out of it either. Really, I’m agnostic on the issue and don’t care much one way or the other. There’s some things I feel strongly should be given to any couple of any pairing that want it (like hospital rights) and other things that I don’t feel strongly about in either direction.
The key question here, for me, would be this: what is the reason you believe that a given couple should be restricted from doing something, or in your case perhaps should be restricted from doing something?

quote:
If I had carte blanche on that issue I’d say as much as possible: get government out of marriage entirely. Allow for special benefits for committed couples (of any stripe) where you need to have some legal precedent like defaults for wills and the ability to file taxes jointly, but in general why should the government be involved? I’d have no problem doing something like making everything a “civil union” or something of that nature and then allowing anyone that wanted to, sign up as a pair.
Seems quite reasonable to me (of course), and further that government recognition of marriage and involvement is largely due to cultural inertia, at least so far as it does or has done things like recognize a church marriage and that sort or thing. Both religion and marriage are quite a lot older than a secular government, after all.

quote:
The second issue is different. To me, that is my government on my behalf (among others) declaring what marriage is and isn’t. Not a rights issue, a semantics issue. Would people be happy if homosexual couples were afforded identical rights to heterosexual couples in every respect except that their pairings were called “civil unions” and heterosexual pairings were called “marriage”? My understanding is that for most, the answer is no.
I'm not sure how this makes sense. It's a semantic question in the sense that there is a decision being made about the meanings of words, yes-but tied directly to those meanings are, well, rights and responsibilities. It would seem clear that it's a question of semantics *and* rights.

quote:
Why is the government walking around declaring what is and isn’t a marriage? I have no idea, and as I said, I’d rather it didn’t. But it does and it’s doing so as my representative so I’m going to say that in my opinion, a homosexual relationship is not a marriage. And if it asks (i.e. via voting) I’m going to respond with the truth. What if that then conflicts with my opinion on case ‘1’? Well it depends: and I’m not saying I’d vote either way if the law were on the ballot in Wisconsin this November, I’m just saying that this issue taken by itself that’s my opinion. And I fail to see why it matters what informed my opinion since basically we’re voting on a definition (in this purely hypothetical case where it doesn’t impact legal rights at all).
So...you don't think government should be in the business of getting involved in this question of semantics, and you don't think government ought to restrict the rights attached to those semantics to heterosexual couples only, but when they ask you a question (by voting), you will affirm their involvement in semantics and support the restriction of rights attached to those semantics to straight couples only? That is a boiling down, but it does seem pretty fair and legitimate to me-please correct me where I misplaced something. Can you see how I would view that, then, and see an enormous inconsistency? It's sort of like a peculiar cousin to 'if you're not with us, you're against us'. In this case you're not openly allied with the 'us' in question, but they nevertheless may rely on your support until such time as they ask the highly unlikely question 'why are we deciding at all?'.

As for why it should matter what means you used to arrive at your thoughts on marriage, well, that depends. How fatalistic would you be if someone from a different sect came into your life and told you, through legislation, some ways on how you would live because their belief demanded it? In my experience people care a hell of a lot about such motivations when they intrude on their own lives, but otherwise consider them private or irrelevant when they don't-and see no contradiction.

quote:
Now I did say this second issue often seems to be a highly charged, emotional issue, even when disconnected from the “rights debate” as it were. But not everyone cares a great deal, and I fall into that category. If you asked me: “Hobbes, do you think Homosexual marriage is marriage?” I would inform you that I didn’t. If you asked me: “Then what do you intend to do about it?” I’d respond with: “Not a whole lot. Maybe post a meandering thought on Hatrack at some point.”
Except, well, you do intend to do more than just think aloud about it: you've said that unless the highly unlikely question is asked, your vote will reflect an overt alliance to the status quo. That doesn't sound like actual apathy to me, it sounds like a clear however reluctant and unenthusiastic an expression of support.
Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Except, well, you do intend to do more than just think aloud about it: you've said that unless the highly unlikely question is asked, your vote will reflect an overt alliance to the status quo. That doesn't sound like actual apathy to me, it sounds like a clear however reluctant and unenthusiastic an expression of support.
First off, Rakeesh, I very explicitly didn't say how I'd vote. Unless the question was: rights and no definitions or definitions and no rights involved. Which I would agree is not incredibly realistic so functionally I didn't say how I'd vote. Not to be narcissistic but here's a quote of me:

quote:
[...] I’m going to respond with the truth. What if that then conflicts with my opinion on case ‘1’? Well it depends: and I’m not saying I’d vote either way if the law were on the ballot in Wisconsin this November, I’m just saying that this issue taken by itself that’s my opinion.
And moving on to you...
quote:
I'm not sure how this makes sense. It's a semantic question in the sense that there is a decision being made about the meanings of words, yes-but tied directly to those meanings are, well, rights and responsibilities. It would seem clear that it's a question of semantics *and* rights.
I understand that Rakeesh, and I tried to be clear about that. And that's what I said in my opening: it's two questions, semantics and rights. I come down on different sides depending on which one you're talking about. I think the point you're making is that the two are tied together and I don't disagree. However, the two are tied together by happenstance, not necessity. I don't have to have a combined opinion on it just because that's the political reality right now. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any relevant measures on my ballot this November I have to decide on. It's true that various candidates can have an impact on this issue, but when picking a candidate I have to conflate a lot more than two ideas anyway (environment, science spending, economic practice, foreign policy) so I don't see why it's important to combine these two aspects before I then go and combine them with the 10s of other things I'll consider when I pick who I'm going to vote for.


quote:
As for why it should matter what means you used to arrive at your thoughts on marriage, well, that depends. How fatalistic would you be if someone from a different sect came into your life and told you, through legislation, some ways on how you would live because their belief demanded it? In my experience people care a hell of a lot about such motivations when they intrude on their own lives, but otherwise consider them private or irrelevant when they don't-and see no contradiction.
Honestly, I don't know how much I'd care why they did it. Maybe a lot, maybe not at all, I like to think the latter but I don't know that it's actually true. I don't see how the question is relevant though. I was very clear on what element I was referring to when I said "I don't see why it matters" and even added the word "hypothetical" to recognize that such a vote, purely on definition, is not even vaguely likely.

quote:
I suppose this is true, but couldn't just about any question of law or civil rights be likewise boiled down to semantics? Couldn't any recognition by the state of a given person's worthiness or lack thereof be considered semantic? I'm not sure how this is particularly meaningful to the question at hand.
Sorry to basically be working backwards on your post. But I have this last because it seems like you simply rejected my division. Which is fine, I doubt most people see the issue this way and it's certainly not on you to see it the same way. However, it's the way I see it so if you reject it outright I'm not sure where this discussion can go.

It seems your argument is that it isn't a practical way to look at the question. Which is true if you're only concerned about voting, but quite frankly: I don't vote that much. Once a year tops. The rest of the year I don't try that hard to make the way I think about things conform with how I have to analyze the world to cast a vote.

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10574 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ZachC
Member
Member # 12709

 - posted      Profile for ZachC   Email ZachC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To Hobbes and rivka,

I apologize if I somehow did not live up to your lofty standards considering a forum topic.

This is only about the second time I have created one and I'm still consider myself a novice here on Hatrack.

I do admit the fact that I neglected to include a question or discussion starter in my original post. For that, again, I am sorry.

My original intention for the post was to inform other on my viewpoint on the issue of gay marriage and provoke a discussion on the matter. However, it seems to me, despite my forgetfulness, the thread of conversation seems to have shifted in that direction on its own.

So your personal opinions and judgements aside, I consider my topic a reasonable success.

Yours truly,
ZachC

Posts: 82 | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hobbes,

quote:
First off, Rakeesh, I very explicitly didn't say how I'd vote. Unless the question was: rights and no definitions or definitions and no rights involved. Which I would agree is not incredibly realistic so functionally I didn't say how I'd vote. Not to be narcissistic but here's a quote of me:
Well, alright, but in my defense you do appear to be speaking a bit at cross-purposes. If asked on a ballot you will tell the truth according to your beliefs, which is that marriage is between a man and a woman, but not if that amendment or what have you discusses specific legal rights...it's all a bit murky to me. I read 'I'll tell the truth' and thought I took your meaning, but now I'm not really sure what your meaning is.

quote:
However, the two are tied together by happenstance, not necessity. I don't have to have a combined opinion on it just because that's the political reality right now.
But...under what circumstances would they *not* be tied together? If we took every current right and responsibility offered or required by a marriage and called that practice instead 'civil union', it would still be a question of semantics just which people could partake of that practice, wouldn't it? It'd happenstance that the rights and responsibilities are tied to this particular word, sure-but by necessity the semantics and the rights are intertwined when it comes to the practice itself-or am I mistaken somewhere?

quote:
Honestly, I don't know how much I'd care why they did it. Maybe a lot, maybe not at all, I like to think the latter but I don't know that it's actually true. I don't see how the question is relevant though. I was very clear on what element I was referring to when I said "I don't see why it matters" and even added the word "hypothetical" to recognize that such a vote, purely on definition, is not even vaguely likely.
Alright, fair enough. Let me ask a slightly different question: how do you think you would feel if some group, for their own religious reasons, didn't just attempt but actually succeeded in, say, legislating that since in their belief your church is actually only a cult, it is no longer tax exempt and many of its practices can be regulated by the government because, as a cult, it's dangerous. That is only unlikely by the way because of cultural inertia-we have arbitrarily decided that it is unwise to legislate what is a religion and what isn't. It's not a necessity, so to speak.

quote:
Sorry to basically be working backwards on your post. But I have this last because it seems like you simply rejected my division. Which is fine, I doubt most people see the issue this way and it's certainly not on you to see it the same way. However, it's the way I see it so if you reject it outright I'm not sure where this discussion can go.
I'm not rejecting it so much as asking 'what's the difference?'. It appears to me that you're saying-and this is only to describe my perception, not intended as an argument-that to you, it's not a question of rights (a) but semantics (b), and thus what appears to be a contradiction isn't because they're two different things. Exceof that a=2/1 and b=4/2, if that makes sense.
Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Zach,

I suspect-and they can correct me I I'm wrong-that the OP wasn't so much an attempt at a discussion prompt, but rather a venting of sincerely held frustration...with a heavy scent of smug disdain for the moral inferiority of the opposition.

Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ZachC
Member
Member # 12709

 - posted      Profile for ZachC   Email ZachC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rakeesh,

I assure you that I meant to provoke a real discussion with the post. If it came across as a rant, I again, apologize because it was not my intention. If I somehow offended with my "heavy scent of smug disdain", then I am truly sorry.

Yours Truly,
ZachC

Posts: 82 | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sphinx
Member
Member # 10219

 - posted      Profile for Sphinx   Email Sphinx         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know if this news had any role in sparking this thread, but the 2nd Circuit ruled DOMA unconstitutional this week. The opinion is available here (PDF).

Brief summary: The case was about the right of the surviving spouse of a married lesbian couple to use the spousal deduction when calculating the tax on her spouse's estate. Because DOMA would not allow her to claim the deduction, she was going to be charged approximately $360,000 above what the surviving spouse of a heterosexual couple would have paid.

The court, after dealing with some procedural issues and precedents, proceeded to classify homosexuals as a 'quasi-suspect' class and reviewed the case under 'intermediate scrutiny.' The judicial test for intermediate scrutiny requires the discriminatory law to be 'substantially related to an important government interest.' The court reviewed the government interests that DOMA was purported to further--maintaining a uniform definition of marriage; protecting the federal fisc; preserving a traditional understanding of marriage; and encouraging responsible procreation--and decided that none of them passed intermediate scrutiny.

The case is interesting for a number of reasons. It's only the second circuit court opinion on the issue, and the first opinion, for a variety of reasons, was unlikely to be taken by the Supreme Court. The use of intermediate scrutiny on the issue is unusual--most courts, including the district court who heard this case, have used the 'rational basis' test, which is a much more permissive test. Finally, the case included a fairly thorough dismantling of the interests DOMA arguably serves. I would be very surprised to hear that the Supreme Court refused to hear this case and finally decide the constitutionality of DOMA.

Posts: 40 | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stone_Wolf_
Member
Member # 8299

 - posted      Profile for Stone_Wolf_   Email Stone_Wolf_         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you truly his Zach? Truly?
Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dearest Zach,

It's kind of weird to write your posts in the format of personal letters. Also, it's generally better form to engage in discussion rather than merely provoke it.

Love always,
Matt

P.S. Give the kids my love.

Posts: 3196 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
but rather a venting of sincerely held frustration...with a heavy scent of smug disdain for the moral inferiority of the opposition.

You rang?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/seeing-a-homosexual-agenda-christian-group-protests-an-anti-bullying-program.html

quote:
On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to.

The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.

But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 30, the day most of the schools plan to participate this year.

The charges, raised in an e-mail to supporters earlier this month, have caused a handful of schools to cancel this year’s event and has caught organizers off guard.

“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” said Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. “It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”

The swirl around Mix It Up at Lunch Day reflects a deeper battle between the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights group founded 41 years ago in Montgomery, Ala., and the American Family Association, a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization in Tupelo, Miss. The association says its mission is to fight what it calls the “increasing ungodliness” in America.

The law center recently added the group to its national list of active hate groups, which also includes neo-Nazis, black separatists and Holocaust deniers.

Association leaders, in return, have gone on the offensive, calling the law center a hate group for oppressing Christian students and claiming its aim is to shut down groups that oppose homosexuality.

“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. “We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”

Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay and lesbian students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays and lesbians and that philosophy then informs the school program, he said.

“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Mr. Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

I am smugly disdainful of the moral inferiority of my opponents, because they are morally inferior
Posts: 13335 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My question for you, Samprimary, would be to inquire just how you came by your right-thinking state of mind. Were you brought up to believe homosexuality was an abomination, and its practitioners wicked, inferior people? I wasn't.

But in any event, my point was more to be to say that Zach should simply cop to it rather than claiming it was only a discussion-starter.

Posts: 16179 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
umberhulk
Member
Member # 11788

 - posted      Profile for umberhulk   Email umberhulk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Emreecheek:
Wow. That was dumb.

Gotta agree with Emreecheek.

Yes, most people talk about specific acts of sexuality only/primarily in private life, or atleast in a relatively exclusive circle of people. And it's reasonable to want them to keep it that way. But begrudging the mere statement of one's orientation ("Kristen Bell is hot!) is just stupid. On the political level, people do it to give the argument a face and a name. Show how many live it effect. Etc.

On a social level, it's a statement who they could be available to. They're entitled to do that. Or for whatever reason they want to say it.

Posts: 1290 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Emreecheek
Member
Member # 12082

 - posted      Profile for Emreecheek           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Coming out and being gay is, for me, a small act of political activism. It isn't as valuable as it used to be, but, I definitely want people to re-evaluate any bigoted views they have of gay people, and I think that's more likely the more gay people that they know (Or, as the case may be, the more gay people they *know* they know.)
Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Well, alright, but in my defense you do appear to be speaking a bit at cross-purposes. If asked on a ballot you will tell the truth according to your beliefs, which is that marriage is between a man and a woman, but not if that amendment or what have you discusses specific legal rights...it's all a bit murky to me. I read 'I'll tell the truth' and thought I took your meaning, but now I'm not really sure what your meaning is.
I think the issue of communication, Rakeesh, is that you (and almost everyone else) seems to be approaching this as a ballot-box issue. Determine what someone will vote and then work backwards from that vote to how they think or why they have certain opinions. I reject that notion for myself if only because that is not how I come to decisions. Not to mention, that just about every ballot proposition has at least some difference from every other one, and trying to list what I would vote on each one would just be a waste of time.

Basically, it is a bit murky because the question of how I would vote is not a terribly interesting one. I have two things I’d like to see happen, an initiative is proposed which accomplishes one while harming the other, and I have to decide ‘yea’ or ‘nay’. Then the question is: how much do I care about both things in comparison and how much damage would the initiative do the first in order to help the second? They’re questions of scale and the specifics just strike me as really unimportant for a discussion like this. Are you just concerned I’d vote on the opposite side of you and want resolve that issue? Take comfort in the fact that since I became eligible to vote I’ve never had a ballot that included anything about marriage: homosexual or otherwise.

quote:
Alright, fair enough. Let me ask a slightly different question: how do you think you would feel if some group, for their own religious reasons, didn't just attempt but actually succeeded in, say, legislating that since in their belief your church is actually only a cult, it is no longer tax exempt and many of its practices can be regulated by the government because, as a cult, it's dangerous. That is only unlikely by the way because of cultural inertia-we have arbitrarily decided that it is unwise to legislate what is a religion and what isn't. It's not a necessity, so to speak.
So, if I’m reading this correctly, we’re living in a nation similar to ours but without constitutional rights regarding the freedom of religion (or significantly less so)? I would vote against such a measure and try to convince people that the charges brought against us were not true. I would care why these people did it (which I believe was the original question here) but only to the extent that I could use that information to either change their mind or change other’s minds. This is a bit paradoxical because I believe you asked the original question in reference to people having their vote informed by their religion in a constitutional setting that unties politics and religion; but in this hypothetical you’ve weakened or destroyed the latter so I’m not sure what my answer means in that context.

I should note that these types of things have happened to my Church in other countries and while the Church tried to gain some autonomy back, they abided by the law, and I don’t believe they ever suggested that others shouldn’t vote their conscious no matter what influenced them. I’m not an expert in LDS Church history so I hesitate to go too far down this route but there it is.

quote:
I'm not rejecting it so much as asking 'what's the difference?'. It appears to me that you're saying-and this is only to describe my perception, not intended as an argument-that to you, it's not a question of rights (a) but semantics (b), and thus what appears to be a contradiction isn't because they're two different things. Exceof that a=2/1 and b=4/2, if that makes sense.
It’s not that it’s a question of semantics rather than rights; it’s that I see it as a question of rights and semantics. And I don’t appear to fall on the same side for both questions.

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10574 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Samp, let me get this straight, about the "Mix it Up at Lunch Day".

An Evangelical Christian group wants to shut down an event that is supposed to break up cliques. Their reasoning is that if their children get to know gay kids, they will be more willing to accept them as normal.

Um, but wouldn't the same "Mix It Up At Lunch Day" be the perfect opportunity for those same Evangelical children to talk about their faith, to witness, and to--whats the word I'm looking for--oh yes--Evangelize?

If they don't have enough faith in their faith and their point of view to risk members talking to others--they do become a cult.

Posts: 1808 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2