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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban (Page 6)

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Author Topic: Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban
Rakeesh
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quote:
The role of the government isn't to solve social contention when it comes to the realm of ideas...
The trouble is that very few things at all truly exist only in the realm of ideas. Marriage is not one of those few things. In fact, as ideas go, it's one of the most tangible we've got, isn't it? I mean that in the sense that it's an idea that's got a major, constant, subtle, and overpowering impact on human affairs.

quote:

I also feel it's important for the state to simultaneously recognize that the civil contract, whatever it is called, no longer has sexual connotations.

That would make for some messy situations involving children and divorce-spurred-by-infidelity, just to name two problems.

-------

quote:
Jenna, I don't think you get it. Your definition of marriage is not the definition of marriage. You have neither history nor logic defending your definition -- and you certainly don't have Constitutional protection defending your definition.
That tone's sure to win her over. Really instills confidence you're interested in a dialogue on the issue, it does.

Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

But in almost all times and places a heterosexual framework was a part of it. Even if the marriage was never even consummated, or only consummated once just for form's sake. Do you dispute that, Eddie? Does anyone?

Now, I'm not saying that just because heterosexuality has been implicit in the overwhelming majority of marriages throughout all histories and cultures, that that's a reason why we shouldn't allow homosexual marriages to be accepted by the government on equal grounds with heterosexual marriages. I'm not. We as a species used to do a lot of stupid s@#t, after all. And we still do.

But if only for the sake of my poor little eyeballs rolling enough to see my own brain, can we dispense with the notion that we shouldn't say marriage is historically a heterosexual concept, because after all there have been exceptions?

Of course there have been exceptions. It's an issue dealing with human beings. There are always exceptions when you start dealing with human beings. There are no absolutes. But I think you'd find, if you dug a little deeper than preachy self-righteousness, that JennaDean at least probably does not mean that marriage has been between one man and one woman in all times and in all places and among all people when she says, "Marriage is a heterosexual thing."

quote:
Jeff... read your quote again. Out loud. Then read up on Loving v. Virginia.
You claimed that 'miscegenation' was forbidden by God. Your source for that claim was an (in)famous quotation from a crusty old white racist jurist from Virginia half a century ago.

So...no, your claim that after all we allow biracial marriages and that's forbidden by God, so why not homosexual marriages too is pretty absurd.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
1) Equal protection IS a right, amigo. The "social construct of marriage" is defined by whatever society you happen to belong to -- for most of us, that's a society where homosexuals are our friends and equals.
Where are you living, Eddie? Odds are that, unfortunately, homosexuals aren't equals in the eyes of society where you're living.

Iowa and Vermont come close to being able to say that so far, but the final test will come when we see whether or not the matter comes up on their respective ballots or they arrange constitutional conventions.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

quote:
You claimed that 'miscegenation' was forbidden by God. Your source for that claim was an (in)famous quotation from a crusty old white racist jurist from Virginia half a century ago.

So...no, your claim that after all we allow biracial marriages and that's forbidden by God, so why not homosexual marriages too is pretty absurd.

That crusty old racist was actually quoting a crusty older racist, lending his religious interpretation of marriage the legitimacy of historical tradition. What exactly does Jenna's religious interpretation have? Or are you prepared to admit that maybe we shouldn't legislate religious interpretations of marriage?

If you're going to replace marriage because otherwise homos will get to marry, older generations had every right to remove marriage from those immoral interracial couples who fought to redefine marriage.

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Rakeesh
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Lalo,

quote:
...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

Yes, I'm kidding you. I would have to be kidding you to have said that marriage hasn't evolved over the course of human history. I would have to have been equally whimsical to have suggested that JennaDean's definition of marriage was the definition throughout the course of history.

...you know, I wish I had said that, because it really would have been funny. Unfortunately I'm not that funny. I only said that 'heterosexual' has been the overwhelmingly common factor in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places. That's not funny at all, unfortunately. That's just a plain cut and dried fact.

quote:
That crusty old racist was actually quoting a crusty older racist, lending his religious interpretation of marriage the legitimacy of historical tradition. What exactly does Jenna's religious interpretation have? Or are you prepared to admit that maybe we shouldn't legislate religious interpretations of marriage?
If you'd been listening for more than a spot to put in about how enlightened and tolerant you are, you might have heard that I have been admitting, from the very start, that we shouldn't be legislating religious interpretations of marriage at all. Religion being another though much less common factor throughout human marriages throughout history in addition to heterosexuality, no, as a matter of fact I don't think our government ought to be in the business of legislating it.

Which is one reason I support the government creating an institution by which any two people of legal age, male or female or hermaphrodite, can arrange to have the list of legal and financial rights and responsibilities currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples who get married in this country.

quote:
If you're going to replace marriage because otherwise homos will get to marry, older generations had every right to remove marriage from those immoral interracial couples who fought to redefine marriage.
This in no way follows from anything I've said, Eddie.
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JennaDean
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

[Dont Know]

I'm just about speechless. When did I ever say marriage was "a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love"? How young do you think I am?

Sorry, I suppose I should let the straw man answer for himself.

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Lalo
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Er. If you DON'T define marriage that way, how DO you define it?

Are women still property?

Are interracial couples still prohibited?

Are marriages still political family arrangements?

Etcetera. Assuming you're like most modern American couples, you're likely married under a very young interpretation of the contract of marriage.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I only said that 'heterosexual' has been the overwhelmingly common factor in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places. That's not funny at all, unfortunately. That's just a plain cut and dried fact.

Egads. No, heterosexuality has not been the exclusive norm "in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places." Greece, India, and China beg to differ. And the current institution of marriage is INCREDIBLY young, going back maybe sixty years. But this is also an overwhelmingly stupid argument, since slavery and rape and genocide have also been extremely common "throughout human history, in almost all places." If opponents of equal rights really need to fall back on the same arguments used in the modern Middle East, they've already lost.

The historical argument is a red herring, and has almost no relevance to the question of whether homosexuals deserve equal rights today. I'm tired of hearing about "tradition" when it's a) inaccurate and b) irrelevant.

quote:
Which is one reason I support the government creating an institution by which any two people of legal age, male or female or hermaphrodite, can arrange to have the list of legal and financial rights and responsibilities currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples who get married in this country.
A.K.A. marriage. If interracial couples can have it, homosexual couples can have it.
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Rakeesh
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Lalo,

quote:

Egads. No, heterosexuality has not been the exclusive norm "in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places." Greece, India, and China beg to differ.

That's a substantial claim you're making there (in addition to responding to some things I didn't actually say). Can you provide some documentation for how homosexual marriage was common in Greece, India, and China at any point in human history? Heck, I'll even take something pointing to it being more than a rarity in any of those cultures.

quote:
And the current institution of marriage is INCREDIBLY young, going back maybe sixty years.
Can you point to a place where I've said or even suggested otherwise, please?

quote:
But this is also an overwhelmingly stupid argument, since slavery and rape and genocide have also been extremely common "throughout human history, in almost all places." If opponents of equal rights really need to fall back on the same arguments used in the modern Middle East, they've already lost.

Well, you may recall I said something pretty similar to the first part. Or if your dialogue on this thread is any indicator, you probably won't recall it, actually. Anyway, I wasn't suggesting the 'this is how it's been' argument is a persuasive reason to oppose SSM. I was simply calling into question your repeated claims that that's not how it's been.

Oh, and just for a clear list in one place of the things I didn't say: I didn't say heterosexual has been the exclusive norm, I didn't say the modern notion of marriage was old, and I especially didn't say that because this is how marriage has always been it should continue to be this way. That would be especially difficult for me to have said, because I didn't say the first part that the statement hinges on.

quote:
A.K.A. marriage. If interracial couples can have it, homosexual couples can have it.
I think a man and his pet cactus should be able to have it if he can find or create a church for it, or if he just wants to call it that himself. Government needs to be in some form of civil union business. I fail to see why it needs to be in the marriage business.

Do you have some reason why it should, that is actually in response to something I actually said?

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I think a man and his pet cactus should be able to have it if he can find or create a church for it, or if he just wants to call it that himself. Government needs to be in some form of civil union business. I fail to see why it needs to be in the marriage business.

Because civil marriage is a secular contract between two people. Renaming it to protect marriage from gays is just embarrassing.

There's no substantial reason to rename it a "civil union," except to provide relief to bigots. It's a marriage. Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Because civil marriage is a secular contract between two people. Renaming it to protect marriage from gays is just embarrassing.

There's no substantial reason to rename it a "civil union," except to provide relief to bigots. It's a marriage. Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.

I don't grant the second premise, and your first reason is, "It's embarrassing." Hardly a persuasive argument for a course of legal action.

And then there's the question of who exactly it embarrasses. You? I'd say that's not very compelling either, except that if your approach to this discussion is any indicator you don't embarrass easily.

Also note your answer was basically, "Because it is the way it is." Well, that settles things!

quote:
Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.
Well if we're not going to do that, can we (and by 'we' I mean 'you') also talk more like people interested in learning what other people think, and less like people thumping their chest and crowing about how smart and tolerant they are and how stupid and hateful those who disagree with them are?

That's a serious question. Please lemme know if you're gonna continue in this fashion.

ETA: Oh, and as for no 'substantial reason', here's one: throughout most of history, and for most people, 'marriage' while not only a civil institution is also one with heavy religious overtones. Why not take government out of that business, and let people call or not call their cohabitation arrangements marriages if they want to-privately?

'Because it's embarrassing' is a crap answer.

(Oh, and do you have anything about China, India, or Greece for me? You don't even need a citation. Just tell me where to look.)

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Lalo
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Jeff, I can't state it more simply. When interracial couples "changed" the definition of marriage to include them, it would have been a travesty to retain the term only for single-race couples and grant interracial couples "civil unions." The same applies for homosexual couples.

This isn't merely a question of embarrassment, it's a question of legality. If we retain "citizenship" for white people and give black people "civil participation," it's criminal. If upon the advent of civil rights we retracted citizenship from the government and applied "civil participation" to everyone, it might have been legal, but it would have been a black mark on our history.

Quite frankly, people like Jenna need to grow up. Homosexuals have suffered long enough for their stupidity.

I've already pointed out that the historical tradition argument is inaccurate and irrelevant, but if you demand links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Hinduism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece

I was right about this argument eight years ago, and I'm right now. You've said it yourself, and you're nitpicking now because you can't stand conceding. But homosexuals will have full equality very soon, and the world will be better for it. If we have to do the grating half-steps of civil unions, hopefully that at least winds up in further alienating young people from the awesome stupidity of organized religions.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... Oh, and as for no 'substantial reason', here's one: throughout most of history, and for most people, 'marriage' while not only a civil institution is also one with heavy religious overtones.
...
(Oh, and do you have anything about China, India, or Greece for me? You don't even need a citation. Just tell me where to look.)

The Chinese experience doesn't really aid either side of the overall debate all that much since it clashes with both assertions.

On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.

So religion, no.

On the other hand, marriages in China were generally arranged by the parents to ensure offspring, male to continue the family line, and female to take care of the parents. A same-sex marriage is right out, not for any religious reason, but simply because it basically means no children.

So same-sex marriage, no.
(Here's a long review of a very long and in-depth look at the subject http://www.yawningbread.org/guest_1997/guw-017.htm )

I'll add this fun tidbit:
quote:
Li Yinghe, an academic at the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has repeatedly proposed legalising gay marriage, but thinks the Chinese political system must develop first.

"When there are ways to deliver these demands, this issue can be put on the agenda. Maybe it will take 10 years - maybe it needs decades," she said.

Yet the underlying ground may be fertile. Gay men and lesbians say there is less overt hostility than in the west and certainly less physical harassment. Li's research in cities suggests about 91% of people are happy to work with gay colleagues - a higher rate than in US surveys - and that 30% back gay marriage.

She argues that Chinese culture has historically been more tolerant than others: "We don't have religions which are absolutely against homosexuality, for example. But the pressure to marry is huge - far greater than in the west."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/25/gay-rights-china-beijing
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.

So religion, no.

As I understand it, Confucianism IS a quasi-religion framed as a social order. Grace radiates outward in concentric circles from the emperor, prioritizing leaders over followers, husbands over wives, parents over children. The emperor himself was linked to some form of divinity.

Excellent post.

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Mucus
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Oh, also.

Polygamy has been pretty much been the accepted state of things (for the upper class) in Chinese marriage for most of Chinese history only starting to openly die off after the Communists crushed it.

So, two people marriage, not so much either.

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BlackBlade
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Mucus: I think you are downplaying (not necessarily intentionally) the Taoist and Buddhist influences in Chinese culture.

I think you are right in that religion plays less of a role in Mainland China as far as marriage is concerned. In the past however, there were alot of traditions associated with ancestor worship as well as Taoist reverence. These traditions often varied even from village to village but they all had them to some extent. Some women could not remarry if their husbands died as it was held by many that her two husbands would fight over her soul in the afterlife.

In Taiwan it seems like the religious component of society is significantly deeper than Mainland China. There's more special feast days, religious processions, miao attendance, etc.

I think I agree that as far as homosexuality is concerned the desire to have children specifically sons probably plays the biggest role in deterring it. I doubt culturally it's that big of a deal.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
As I understand it, Confucianism IS a quasi-religion framed as a social order.

AFAIK, Confucius is just treated as some guy* which had some pretty good ideas. But there are no deities, no afterlife, and no creator so it basically makes no sense as a religion from Western eyes. From Chinese eyes, many of the basic principles are still basically in effect totally divorced from any sign of religion, either inside or outside China. Thats why the CCP has no real problems promoting it these days.

* Incidentally, he'll be played in an upcoming film by Chow Yun-Fat

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Rakeesh
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Lalo,

quote:
Jeff, I can't state it more simply. When interracial couples "changed" the definition of marriage to include them, it would have been a travesty to retain the term only for single-race couples and grant interracial couples "civil unions." The same applies for homosexual couples.
And once again you're not listening. I'm not talking about heterosexuals retaining the term marriage. I'm talking about everyone, homo and heterosexual alike, to arrange cohabitation under the law in the same system.

It would be wrong, I believe, to have one legally recognized marriage and call it marriage for heterosexuals, and another for homosexuals called 'civil union', even if the legal rights and responsibilities were exactly identical. But that's not what I'm talking about.

Listen!

quote:

This isn't merely a question of embarrassment, it's a question of legality. If we retain "citizenship" for white people and give black people "civil participation," it's criminal. If upon the advent of civil rights we retracted citizenship from the government and applied "civil participation" to everyone, it might have been legal, but it would have been a black mark on our history.

Except it's not the same thing, however much you want the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement to apply in all ways and in all cases even down to word definitions to SSM. Our Constitution doesn't say, "We the White Male Landowning Christian People," it says, "We the People." The words the Founding Fathers wrote make no distinction. Those came later.

Marriage's history in humanity, however, is different. Overwhelmingly heterosexual, and in most times and places with serious religious implications. That's just a fact. It's not a reason homosexuals shouldn't have the same legal rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals do, but it is our history as human beings.

quote:
I've already pointed out that the historical tradition argument is inaccurate and irrelevant, but if you demand links:
No, you didn't actually point it out. And as for your links, clearly you haven't read them. Nowhere do they say homosexual marriages were routinely practiced or approved of by any of those cultures.

Once again you're arguing against a point I'm not making. You're arguing as if I've said homosexual behavior has been universally condemned throughout all of human history in all cultures. I'm not saying that. I haven't said that. I challenge you to quote me where I said that.

LISTEN

quote:
...hopefully that at least winds up in further alienating young people from the awesome stupidity of organized religions.
Clearly, then, you are the Pope.

-------

Mucus,

quote:
On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.
I'm far from an expert on Confucianism, or even a very well-informed layman for that matter, so bear with me: isn't Confucianism as practiced in China bear some similarities to religion? And doesn't Chinese cultural reverence for ancestors play a role as well?
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Rakeesh
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Mucus,

quote:

Polygamy has been pretty much been the accepted state of things (for the upper class) in Chinese marriage for most of Chinese history only starting to openly die off after the Communists crushed it.

So, two people marriage, not so much either.

You'll note I made a very careful exception for that:)
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Mucus: I think you are downplaying (not necessarily intentionally) the Taoist and Buddhist influences in Chinese culture.

Eh, I just don't think they're all that relevant here on marriage.

quote:
In the past however, there were alot of traditions associated with ancestor worship as well as Taoist reverence.
I don't really treat ancestor worship as religion though. Among my friends and family, its just a really strong tradition and you'll find that even though statistically religious identification in Hong Kong (and associated overseas communities) is very weak, ancestor worship is still very common (maybe even moreso than on the mainland).

It also doesn't get displaced like other religious rituals do (i.e. I'd bet that most Chinese people who converted to a religion would still practice it unless it is explicitly barred by the new religion).

Its possible that it may have been more linked with religion in the past, I'm certainly not an expert in this area. But it doesn't really seem that way to me.

Its like feng shui, superstitions about the number 4 and 8, or the Chinese zodiac. Little bits of Chinese culture that are popular, but aren't treated as religious, and that can be plugged in and out independently.

Rakeesh: Oh, I was speaking more generally on that last point which is part of why I separated it into a different post. IIRC, there were people earlier like JennaDean that were more tied to that one.

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Earendil18
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Hehe, another 25 plusser! See you all in June!
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Mucus
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Here's a different perspective on what I'm saying, but from Wikipedia and from Taoism:
quote:
Taoism does not fall strictly under an umbrella or a definition of an organized religion like the Abrahamic traditions, nor can it purely be studied as the originator or a variant of Chinese folk religion, as much of the traditional religion is outside of the tenets and core teachings of Taoism. Robinet asserts that Taoism is better understood as a way of life than as a religion, and that its adherents do not approach or view Taoism the way non-Taoist historians have done.
I think thats generally true in spirit. Westerners are a lot more likely to see religion where Chinese people looking at the same thing probably wouldn't.
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JennaDean
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quote:
Quite frankly, people like Jenna need to grow up. Homosexuals have suffered long enough for their stupidity.
Ah, I see now. Thank you for showing me the light. You're helping so much.
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Chris Bridges
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My favorite passage so far, from The Anonymous Liberal:
quote:
I also love the casual assertion that "marriage is by nature the union of a man and woman," as if marriage is some sort of naturally occurring phenomenon like evaporation or mitosis. Marriage is a social construct. It's whatever we say it is. And it has meant many different things over the course of human history. For instance, polygamous marriage was once very common (still is in some parts of the world). And for many centuries, marriage was primarily a financial arrangement and a way of ensuring inheritance rights. Women were essentially bought and sold. The modern concept of love as a basis for marriage is of relatively recent vintage. And civil marriage is a very different thing than religious marriage (which itself differs from religion to religion and culture to culture). The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish. Marriage was created by human beings and human beings can choose how they want to define it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish.
While I accept this as truth, the fact is that this is not a persuasive argument to, say, a Mormon, whose church includes as one of its central tenets the concept that there is a sort of platonic essence to marriage.
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Hobbes
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I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.

Hobbes [Smile]

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish.
While I accept this as truth, the fact is that this is not a persuasive argument to, say, a Mormon, whose church includes as one of its central tenets the concept that there is a sort of platonic essence to marriage.
Yeah, if you think marriage is ordained by God - an essential mechanism of exaltation - then "created by human beings" can be a sticking point for some people.

But it doesn't completely undermine the argument. Even Mormons ought to recognize that it's people who are burdened with writing and voting in constitutions and laws, and that if people decide to define marriage - the legal/civil kind - to include same sex unions, they can.

I think the fact that civil marriage generally isn't wholly congruent with whatever eternal marriage principles exist is hard to deny, and that lack of congruence is because humans have been defining civil marriage.

I think one can believe in the platonic essence and yet be open to the idea that civil marriage just isn't the same thing.

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Chris Bridges
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Fair enough. Then it's just a matter of time.

And Tom, I don't expect Mormons, or any other people with strong beliefs on heterosexual marriage, to agree with me, nor do I plan to try convincing them. I do expect the legislature to enact secular laws, though.

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fugu13
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Hobbes: only if you think things should be defined as the majority sees them, instead of in a way that balances the needs of minorities and the wishes of the majority. You may be familiar with the latter as an important basis of our system of government.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.

Hobbes [Smile]

This would be true if the US were a country that wasn't formed with certain ideals of equality under the law.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.
Heh.

Or we could just pretend we live in Eddie's land, where no one under thirty looks down on homosexuals.

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kmbboots
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I have every hope that, someday, we will.
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Teshi
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There are certain places in the world in which Lalo is right about the majority's attitude to homosexuality. To come out of one of those places (often, say, a city) and experience the prejudice and "weirdness" of homosexuality as viewed elsewhere... I can understand his incredulity.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
There are certain places in the world in which Lalo is right about the majority's attitude to homosexuality. To come out of one of those places (often, say, a city) and experience the prejudice and "weirdness" of homosexuality as viewed elsewhere... I can understand his incredulity.

I've lived in California, Ohio, New York, England, Italy, India, Mexico, and Costa Rica -- not counting all the places I've visited for shorter periods of times. Of all those places, the only area where I found even a trace of homophobia was a worry about lesbians molesting the smaller girls at a Calcuttan orphanage.

Everywhere else, nobody cares. I've dated fundamentalist Christians, faithful Muslims, and Italian Catholics -- and nobody cares. Nobody wants to deny them equal rights. Whatever it is that older generations fear about homosexuality, we don't. I'm sure there are still colleges like BYU or Bob Jones that viciously oppose homosexual equality, but they're few and far between -- and increasingly irrelevant to the real world.

We don't care. Homosexuals are our friends and equals. People who keep pretending otherwise are going to be reviled by their children and scorned by history.

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MattP
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quote:
I'm sure there are still colleges like BYU or Bob Jones that viciously oppose homosexual equality, but they're few and far between -- and increasingly irrelevant to the real world.
Even at my daughter's high school, which is literally across the street from BYU, attitudes are substantially more liberal on this matter than in the adult population around here.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Everywhere else, nobody cares.

I'm not unsympathetic, but you may be overstating your case. Consider:
quote:
As gays and lesbians seek rights and acceptance around the world, Gallup surveys conducted in 113 countries find most people unlikely to say the city or area in which they live is a good place for gays and lesbians to live. Across the globe, a median of 24% say the area in which they live is a good place for homosexuals, while a median of 50% feel it is not a good place. The results vary widely by region, with acceptance most likely in the Americas and least likely in Africa.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/102478/Perceived-Acceptance-Homosexuals-Differs-Around-Globe.aspx

In particular, the UK is within shooting distance of the US. Italy, Mexico, and Costa Rica are significantly lower than in the US in terms of acceptance (perceived anyways, its possible the real acceptance is higher, but I can't explain that).

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Xaposert
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American Teenagers Split on Gay Marriage

quote:
A recent Gallup Youth survey of 546 teenagers, ages 13-17, conducted Dec. 5, 2005-Jan. 16, 2006, shows that about half approve of gay marriage, while half disapprove.

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Lalo
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Sorry, I should've clarified: nobody in my age group cares. There's a huge generational shift occurring -- my little Mexican cousins in Texas are fine with homosexuals, even if their mother is still alarmed at the prospect.

The first person my devout immigrant Muslim girlfriend introduced me to was her gay best friend, so he could appraise her atheist boyfriend. I think that speaks volumes.

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Xaposert
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Another Gallup Poll

Assuming Lalo's age group is 18-39 year olds, this poll says that 43% of 18-39 year olds consider homosexual relations to be morally wrong, which is much more than "nobody". 51% of 18-39 year olds say gay marriage should be legal, and 62% say homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

It appears from the polls that a generational shift is occurring - but to say that it has already completely occurred, or that we know for sure it will keep occuring, or that gays are now accepted completely by all young adults is not true.

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TomDavidson
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I've seen stats cut a little more finely than that, Tres, and one thing that's interesting is that the smaller you cut it, the more obvious the shift. People under 20 are less likely to see anything wrong with homosexuality than people under 24, who in turn are less likely to dislike homosexuality than people under 28, etc. I'd be curious how many of those who disapprove of homosexuality under the age of 39 are over the age of 30.
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Lalo
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Tom beat me to it. My age group is not 18-39. I'd be very interested in a survey of the average high school today to see how many still see homosexuality as a negative or subversive trait.

Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

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The Rabbit
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Lalo, I think the truth is not that "nobody in your age group cares" its "nobody in your social group cares". You are presuming that your social group is representative of society as a whole. Polls like the on Xap cites above indicate that it is not. Elections like the prop 8 election in California, indicate that your experience is not representative.

It is true that a growing number of people from all cultures don't care whether or not someone is homosexual or heterosexual. But there are still vast segments of the population, in every age group, that care a great deal.

I should add that although I am a radical leftist, I'm also a Mormon and a University professor who has lived in several different countries and is currently living in the Caribbean. I have have friends on all sides of the political spectrum and neighbors from every continent (except Antarctica). That experience informs me of two key things.

1. Almost everyone underestimates the diversity of opinions out there. Because most people gravitate toward people who share their views, they tend to presume that the majority of the world agrees with them. This fallacy is common on all sides whether they are conservatives claiming "The Moral Majority" or progressives talking of "Common Dreams". It is, however, a fallacy. No matter what your opinion is, you are very likely a minority.

2. Both sides of the political spectrum are prone to see only a gross characakture of the oppositions arguments. Few people understand or even want to understand the nuanced positions of those who disagree with them. Its much easier to demonize those who disagree with you, labeling them "homophobes" or "moral degenerates" than it is to actually take the time to understand where they are coming from. This is particularly true when people are emotionally invested in an issue.

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Xaposert
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The poll of teenagers (posted above, at 12:09 pm) showed teens were split evenly, on gay marriage at least. That was from 2006, but I doubt it has changed significantly in three years.
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kmbboots
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Sigh. Are they unaware that "rainbow coalition" is already being used? And their banners could get a little confusing.

And how many time must that New Jersey thing be debunked?

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scifibum
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The Rabbit, you do realize that you're including some pretty broad generalizations in your warning against broad generalizations, right? [Razz]

(Not that it invalidates your point.)

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
The Rabbit, you do realize that you're including some pretty broad generalizations in your warning against broad generalizations, right? [Razz]

(Not that it invalidates your point.)

Yup, My generalizations are the exception that proves the rule. [Taunt]
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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Tom beat me to it. My age group is not 18-39. I'd be very interested in a survey of the average high school today to see how many still see homosexuality as a negative or subversive trait.

Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

I prefer this video by the Courage Campaign than that sad laugh they emailed me about the other night.

... Actually, the contrast makes them work well as a pair.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

'rainbow coalition'

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Teshi
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quote:
I prefer this video by the Courage Campaign than that sad laugh they emailed me about the other night.
That's adorable.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

'rainbow coalition'

Their "rainbow coalition" commercial is missing any Asians. For the first time in a long while, I'm seeing the silver lining in chronic non-representation [Wink]
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Without some form of federal intervention, this thing could drag on for many years. It is also worth noting that if Obama doesn't address the issue that could easily mean 8 years without a final word (and if he's succeeded by a Bush III, perhaps 16 years).

Huh. Looks like someone ran the math and it turns out my educated guess is only one year off.

quote:
Polling guru Nate Silver has built a regression model, based on demographic and political trends, to forecast when a majority of the voting public in each of the 50 states might vote against a gay-marriage ban, or vote to repeal an existing one. His findings: by 2016, most states will have legalized gay marriage, with Mississippi alone holding on until 2024. His analysis is loaded with caveats but, in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s gay-marriage ban, raises an interesting question: is legal same-sex marriage inevitable?
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/is-legal-same-sex-marriage-inevitable/

2009+16 years gives 2025 which means I'm "off" by a year [Wink]

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