Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ammendments

Yesterday there were eight states with proposals to amend their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. Only one state, Arizona, defeated the legislation.

James Huger, who runs the delightful JHuger.com, has this to say on the issue of same-sex marriage:

In the late 1700s some people wanted democratic rule. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that the king ruled by God's will.

In the mid 1800s some people wanted to end slavery. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God approved of slavery.

In the early 1900s some people wanted to give women the vote. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God made women inferior to men.

In the mid 1900s some people wanted to end segregation. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved God wanted to keep the races separate.

When you look back at how your parents and grandparents dealt with these things, are you ashamed or proud?

Now some people want to allow gay marriage. Conservative elements of the church are pointing to the Bible and saying it proves God hates homosexuality.

When your children and grandchildren look back at how you deal with this, will they be ashamed or proud?


What it comes down to is that our country is systematically denying a large minority of its rights. Marriage isn’t just a ceremony and a commitment, it means being protected from dozens of different hardships, from adopting children to visiting a dying loved one to expenses. A gay woman might have to fight to keep her child, just because the child was adopted in her dying lover’s name. Yes, that has happened, and it will happen again. Can you imagine losing your lover and then having to fight to stop the state from taking your child for no reason at all?

That’s just one incident. There are many, many more. If you don’t believe me, just read Ed Brayton’s fantastic blog, Dispatches From the Culture Wars. It seems like he reports a story of anti-gay violence or hatred every day.

And if you think that gay people deserve it, that they’re not really people, then you sicken me. We’re all people, no matter what sex you’re attracted to. The only people who truly deserve to be treated as though they’re not human are the ones who would treat others that way. Because when you really think about, one of the worst evils you can do is to deny someone their humanity, and that’s what the anti-homosexual bigots do.

I hope that we’ll move past this, and that we’ll continue to move away from the bigotry that has plagued humanity for so long. I believe that, as Richard Dawkins puts it, the moral Zeitgeist will continue to shift. If it doesn’t, well, then we’re all screwed.

Labels: , , , ,

10 Comments:

  • Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:09 AM, November 08, 2006  

  • This argument is so off base. Do you have studies or numbers to back up your assertions? If you have them then you should have used them because otherwise this is baseless. What proof do you have that everyone is using the Bible as the only argument against gay marriage. There are plenty of other arguments, but why the Bible? America is no longer a Christian nation, evangelical Christians are becoming a minority. The gay marriage amendments I've seen go through had a SIZABLE margin of victory. Also, where are you numbers to prove that homosexuals represent a sizable minority? They seem that way because they're always on TV crying about hate and persecution, that's why it seems like they're a huge minority. I don't have number, but I can bet they're not that big since these amendments pass easily. Besides, they're are other arguments against gay marriage that doesn't fall down partisan lines. Marriage is a bond between a man and a women and is the only way children should be raised. This isn't about making being gay a crime. It's about a one man and one women family unit, something the real MAJORITY of Americans believe in. Claim it's religion all you want, but some times you have to stop using emotional arguments and red herrings to hide the fact that real people who can think don't agree with you and don't vote they way you like. They're not mindless zombies, they just don't agree with YOU.

    By Blogger Sandman, at 11:23 AM, November 08, 2006  

  • Sandman, "11.7% of women and 8.1% of men have felt a sexual attraction towards the same sex at least once in their lives" (from here.)

    Those numbers seem reasonable, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it was higher, given the whole "in the closet" thing. If those numbers are correct, than homosexuals are about as large of a minority as blacks. Quite sizable indeed.

    You also have to remember where these amendments pass. It's not in the Northeast or the West, they're all in the "Red" states, where evangelical christians are a very large group.

    Even if a majority of Americans believe in a "one man and one woman family unit", why does it have to be that way? And what gives you the right to decide what family unit is the best? How does two gay people getting married (or at least getting the rights of a married couple, I don't particularly care about the name applied to it) affect you?

    The fact is that it doesn't. Until there is a good answer to the above question (and I have never heard one), the only reason to stop gay people from getting married is prejudice.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 11:41 AM, November 08, 2006  

  • The only thing to stop gay marriage is the fact that they are both of the same sex. Its not the governments fault its the couples fault one of them needs to get a sex change.

    Also "..felt a sexual attraction toward the same sex at least once..."
    Does not in any way suggest that person is gay.

    So take your 0.9% and cry somewhere else and don't get tear stains on your pretty pastel blouse

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 PM, November 08, 2006  

  • To quote Sandman: "Marriage is a bond between a man and a women and is the only way children should be raised."
    All my experience has suggested that single parents can raise kids as well as any traditional couple. You do not need a married couple to raise children well.
    In the case of one child I know, she would be better off raised by some of the gay men I've met just to get her away from the destructive infulence of her mother.
    Also marriage as a bond between a man and a woman is just a definiation, it can be changed.

    I am also unsure about Stupac2's numbers, I've seen numbers as low as 3% (sorry I can't find a free full text link online, the paper is Etiology of male Sexual Orientation in an Australian Twin Sample, Psychology, Evolution and Gender, december 2000). Even using the low numbers there are still ~400,000 gay men in Australia, and a similar number of women. So it is a sizeable minority.

    This paper seems to be a good overview of the scientific research :http://www.freedomtomarry.org/images/pdfs/Herek_2006_AmPsychologist.pdf
    The basic summary is that it doesn't make much of a difference if your raised by a hetro or homosexual couple.

    By Blogger Alex, at 5:32 PM, November 08, 2006  

  • Sandman:

    1) Who cares about the absolute numbers? Suppose gays represent just one percent of the population. That adds up to three million Americans, which is a lot of people.

    2) Your argument, "Marriage is a bond between a man and a women and is the only way children should be raised" might be true as an ideal, but again, so what? There are hundreds of thousands of children now living in housholds where that ideal is not the case, millions if you include children in straight households following divorce. Presumably, the best interests of these children is also important. Even if gay marriage is not ideal, it might still be vastly better for these children than the current arrangement.

    So even taking your arguments in their best light, they are not terribly persuasive when dealing with the reality-based community. Peace.

    By Anonymous kehrsam, at 6:44 PM, November 08, 2006  

  • "And if you think that gay people deserve it, that they’re not really people, then you sicken me. We’re all people, no matter what sex you’re attracted to. The only people who truly deserve to be treated as though they’re not human are the ones who would treat others that way. Because when you really think about, one of the worst evils you can do is to deny someone their humanity, and that’s what the anti-homosexual bigots do.

    I hope that we’ll move past this, and that we’ll continue to move away from the bigotry that has plagued humanity for so long. I believe that, as Richard Dawkins puts it, the moral Zeitgeist will continue to shift. If it doesn’t, well, then we’re all screwed. "

    The argument for defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman for the purpose of biologically bearing children has never been about "denying someone their humanity." This argument has always been about preserving a place in American society for a union capable of procreating biologically, something that (as of yet) gay couples aren't able to do.

    The left wants to redefine things all the time, leaving institutions like marriage with no meaning at all. Birth rates in the west (generally, although American exceptionalism plays its role here) are declining, and I think it is a very rational idea to provide a protected and supported status to those relationships that best provide for the creation and nurture of children. If anything does what I just described, it is the traditional family.

    I didn't grow up with a traditional family, mine was splintered by divorce almost by the time I was born, and I grew up wishing I had a father in my house, but I didn't. This has largely informed my worldview and has led me to believe that the historical way is the best way we know, and is the way we should preserve and promote.

    I know a lot of gay people that agree with me and don't feel that they are being "denied their humanity."

    Let's be reasonable about this. We're talking about the preservation of our society when we talk about this stuff.

    By Blogger Mr. Fantastic!, at 6:51 PM, November 10, 2006  

  • That is, quite possibly, the most asinine argument ever.

    First, expanding our population is NOT a good thing. There are something like 6.3 billion people on this planet. As nations industrialize they'll experience huge population booms, just like India and China. The Earth has a finite carrying capacity, and we're almost certainly close to it. There is absolutely no good reason for expanding our population.

    Second, even if there were a good reason to expand our population, denying gay people the rights of marriage isn't going to help it. They won't procreate if they're not married, and they won't procreate if they are married. It makes no difference.

    Your argument has flaws bigger than the San Andreas.

    My parents divorced too, and it caused problems for my family. My fourteen-year-old brother is living two-thousand miles away from his father. Would the situation be better if my parents had stayed in their marriage? I doubt it.

    Besides, the nuclear family isn't really the best option. We're increasingly finding that without the "traditional" support structure from the community, modern life is more difficult and stressful (which puts more stress on married couples, which helps fuel the astronomical divorce rate). There was just an article about this somewhere, but I think it was in an actual newspaper, so I probably won't be able to find it.

    Denying gay people the rights of marriage in no way preserves society.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 7:06 PM, November 10, 2006  

  • Just so you know, James's last name is Huber, not Huger. It's a common mistake.

    Signed,

    James's partner

    By Blogger serene, at 10:50 PM, November 13, 2006  

  • serene, thanks for telling me. If I may ask, why is it JHuger.com if his name is Huber? Also, could you tell him that his posts are dearly missed?

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 11:02 PM, November 13, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home