Hawaii Governor Vetoes Civil Unions

Lately, in large part due to this post, I’ve heard from a couple different Christians who insist that while they may believe that homosexuality is a sin, they do love gay people and they think gay people deserve to be treated equally — the includes the right to marry even if their own church wouldn’t marry them.

While it’s not perfect, I don’t mind it. If you’re for equal rights for all people, I don’t really care what you personally believe about homosexuality. It’s a secondary issue, anyway.

But here’s a clear case of bigotry.

In Hawaii, the state legislature had approved same-sex civil unions back in April. Not marriage. Just equal rights. Yesterday, Republican Governor Linda Lingle vetoed that bill.

She explains how she came to her decision in the video below.

There was one part in there that disgusted me the most:

After listening to those both for and against House Bill 444, I have gained a new appreciation for just how deeply people of all ages and backgrounds feel on this matter and how significantly they believe the issues will affect their lives.

Few could be unmoved by the poignant story told to me in my office by a young big island man who recounted the journey he had taken to bring himself to tell his very traditional parents that he was gay. I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a same-gender marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage.

So this man’s coming out to his parents — and perhaps ultimately wanting to be in a legal marriage with someone he loves — carried the same weight as some mother who couldn’t handle her daughter knowing that straight people and gay people can all get married.

Oh, cry me a river.

Lingle is saying she doesn’t want to give gay people equal rights because some irrational mother is too afraid to teach her child to love and respect other people? Ugh…

She goes on to explain why she vetoed this particular bill when it wasn’t even about gay marriage (which she had openly opposed):

“It is essentially marriage by another name… because it has the same rights, benefits, responsibilities and protections.”

Which of those four things is she against gay people having…?

All this from a woman who loves marriage so much, she got married (and divorced) twice.

The alternative newspaper, Maui Time, had two covers prepared to run based on what Lingle decided:

Take a wild guess which one they’re going with now.

Joe. My. God. has a lot more information about all this, including the fact that the ACLU and Lambda Legal are planning to sue.

I want to see any Christian who finds this despicable to say so. Blog about it. Tell your Facebook friends. Tell your church members. Call out anyone who disagrees.

If you don’t, you’re part of the problem.

Don’t tell me you love gay people and think this was the wrong decision… and then sit back and say/do nothing in response. I don’t care for your apologies if you’re not backing it up with action.

  • Andrew

    Why does anyone in government care about gay people being married or civil unions or whatever you want to call them? If the church you belong to doesn’t let gay people get married why worry about it? This is insane. If you don’t want them married in your church that’s one thing. But they should be able to legally marry.

  • Hitch

    Just elect another governor. Now people know what issues the governor will deem so critical as to override democratic and deliberate bodies.

  • Aegis

    Churchgoers vote. And by definition, they’re generally impressionable people.

    Pandering to them makes you a more popular politician. Hence the legal blocks.

  • http://findingmyfeminism.blogspot.com/ Not Guilty

    Tyranny of the majority at work once again. Didn’t the majority at one point also support slavery and segregation? This is the EXACT time that the government needs to get involved and tell the majority that granting rights to the minority doesn’t take away the majority’s rights. That is why, in Canada, the Supreme Court makes these decisions, rather than the public via the elected politicians!

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    I read this in this morning’s SL Tribune and was sad that their legislators passed this and the governor vetoed it.

    Shame on her for using her personal beliefs as a legal position.

  • Caroline

    Oh no! I can’t bear the thought of my child learning that some people live their lives differently from me and that they deserve the same rights and respect as everyone else.
    I really can’t believe that anyone could possibly consider this a legitimate argument.

  • VXbinaca

    Even though I don’t like/accept their lifestyle, I could tolerate it and accommodate for it legally. They need to have the same rights and privileges as the rest of us.

  • Ruru

    I can accept the “Gay people don’t deserve to get married because the tax break is made for people with children to support” thing. If that’s a valid excuse to you, I cant change your mind. And in fact, a tax solution would probably quiet a lot of hub bub surrounding gay marriage, but wouldn’t help on the equality front. But because you don’t approve of what they do in the sack? Seriously? There’s plenty of congressman who like getting their balls stepped on, but people are upset about men kissing? No one gets mad at the catholic church for that.
    Why does anyone need an explanation of what love is? If everyone just went about their business and left everyone else well enough alone, no one would have to “accept” gay “lifestyles”. No one insults straight lifestyles. We need to drop the terminology, all act like regular, apathetic human beings like we always do, get rid of our sexual hangups and call it a day with this gay thing.
    Love is love, no matter if it can make a baby or not.

  • JA

    If you want to get down into it marriage was a contract between two people and God. These were never supposed to be recognized by a government. During Puritanical times, at least in the US, is when the push came for it to be recognized by the government. Insert the Founding Fathers and the documents they wrote, and rights are guaranteed to everyone. Clear cut. We are getting a dose of our own medicine. And a dose we so sorely need.

  • Siamang

    I can accept the “Gay people don’t deserve to get married because the tax break is made for people with children to support” thing.

    I know gay couples raising children.

    I know straight married couples who plan to never have children.

  • VXbinaca

    @Ruru

    Some people don’t like gay men because they see gay relationships as betrayal. All my friendships are to men and men having sex in my mind is betrayal. Lesbians are looked on sometimes as man haters. Especially the ones like Hillary Clinton or Elena Kagan, who has chopped hair and pants suits.

    Although, my prejudices towards gays are no reason to deny someone equal rights. I’m pretty disgusted at the veto.

    I’m an atheist and I don’t like crazy Christians but I wouldn’t veto their ability to get married. Or do anything else that didn’t effect other peoples rights.

    Thats what this Governor misses. She needs to butt out of other peoples business.

  • Silent Service

    They don’t want to teach their kids about ichy butt sex. They can’t get their mind past that part. Everything they do is to spare the children any pain and confusion. It all really just makes me what to scream.

  • http://writtenmagic.ca Paige

    @VXbinaca

    Some people don’t like gay men because they see gay relationships as betrayal. All my friendships are to men and men having sex in my mind is betrayal.

    I’m really curious – why is a betrayal? Do they owe you something? I’m not trying to be insulting, (I apologize if that’s how it sounds) although I do disagree with you. I’m just really, genuinely curious as to what makes you feel this way.

    I’ve always believed in a “Live and Let Live” kind of philosophy – even to the point of “Live and let others *bleep* up their own lives”. Everyone should have the right to make their own choices, whether right or wrong, and government interference is a scary and disgusting path to take.

  • Jagyr

    With any luck, this will turn out like it did here in Vermont with gay marriage:
    The voting public and the legislature approved the bill, the idiotic governor vetoed it, and then the public and the legislature OVERRULED the veto.

    Sometimes, the whole checks and balances thing actually works :)

    @ VXbinaca:
    Thanks for supporting equal rights and all, but your view of homosexuality is seriously warped. I was surprised when you said you were an atheist, because usually one needs religious influence to have their perception twisted that much.

  • VXbinaca

    @Paige

    Because I wouldn’t do that to my friends and they’re almost exclusively male. Sex is to be saved for women. Some of the things they do are a little too much for my tastes but I don’t let that get in the way of treating people with respect and generally trying to make sure everyones equal under the law.

    It’s nice not to be accused of being religious for once.

    Oh, how do you get an avatar?

  • VXbinaca

    I guess I spoke too soon on being accused of being religious.

    If they continue to do this it will be fodder for the courts. You can’t have a second caste of citizens in terms of rights. Just like those gun bans in DC and Chicago (and soon again in Chicago, and New York) fell due to legal challenges, this will too will pass.

    Although unlike Creationism in schools I’m just not as optimistic (sadly) about gay marriage. It’s going to be need to be done in the voting booth I feel, not the court room. But it’s worth a shot. Society accepts evolution more than homosexuality.

    The state senate can over-ride that veto is HI works like most states. It’s happened here in my state on issues before.

    I was discussing this at another place with guns. You need to win the cultural battle before you can overcome a long, long time of inequality. To undo the damage of past generations in terms of firearms rights, the older generations had to die off.

    Now is the time where you reach out to others who may not agree with you or are fence sitters, and explain to them how you live. I think now is the time where you take it door-to-door so to speak. It’s a battle of ideas. THEN you can easily pass the civil union and marriage laws.

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    My favorite argument is the “What am I going to tell my kid?” argument. The comedian Louis C.K. has the best take on it:

    It comes at 1:01 of this clip (probably NSFW).

  • Moxiequz

    @VXbinaca

    Because I wouldn’t do that to my friends and they’re almost exclusively male. Sex is to be saved for women.

    This makes absolutely no sense. Because you’re not gay other people are not allowed to be? If a friend of yours suddenly discovered that he was gay how does that detrimentally affect you at all?

    You didn’t answer Paige’s original questions: why this a betrayal? Do they owe you something?

    And sex is supposed to be “saved” for women? Again, what does this even mean?

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    @VXbinaca
    That’s an awfully weird hangup to have. It sounds like you said your problem with gay sex is that it means less sex for women and more for men. Uh, no one owes sex to anyone, and no group owes sex to any other group.

    To get an avatar, go to Gravatar.

  • fritzy

    Because I wouldn’t do that to my friends and they’re almost exclusively male. Sex is to be saved for women. Some of the things they do are a little too much for my tastes but I don’t let that get in the way of treating people with respect and generally trying to make sure everyones equal under the law.

    Your attitude is curious but tollerable to me because, in the end, you believe it is more important to live and let live. I admire your ability to transcend your personal revulsions.

    That said, of course you wouldn’t do that to your male friends–you’re not gay. And most gay people are not going to do that with their friends, unless they get the impression said friends are gay. I’ve been approached by a few gay men–sure it was uncomfortable, but no more so than a female in whom I had no sexual attraction. How is anyone “betrayed” in such a circumstance? Most gay friends that you know (trust me, you know someone who is) probably have no serious interest in you.

    As far as “sex being saved for women”–well, yes, if you are a straight man or a gay woman. A good half of the population, some of them male, is having sex with men and getting by just fine.

    No one’s trying to convince you gay sex is anything but icky–I find it quite unappealing. There are plenty of sexual acts that straight people engage in that I find personally revolting (I will never get the whole diaper thing) But this isn’t really about you or me–it’s about denying rights to those who do things I find personally unappealing. There is no good, rational reason for that (apparently you and I can agree on that :) )

  • Sellers_as_Quilty

    It’s remarkable how discussions of non-hetero relationships always center upon the physical act of sex. The many other aspects of what makes a relationship get brushed aside because people can’t seem to get past the fact that men are having sexgasp!—with other men, and women with women! This (rather juvenile) fixation is what’s at the root of so much of contemporary homophobia. And it’s just plain silly.

    “Homosexuality is not a form of sex; it is a form of love.”

    —Christopher Hitchens

  • fritzy

    The real problem here is that most of the commentors here are rational. Those who oppose gay marriage literally believe that their merciful, loving invisible sky monster will destroy this nation if they personally do not oppose gays in every way they can legally manage.

    The only answer really is for people such as ourselves to remind our representatives that this is not an absolute democracy–it is a constitutional democracy–and constitutions are meant to increase people’s rights, not take them away. Mob rule was never meant to be the method of governance in this country. Most of our representatives realize this but are willing to overlook this fact to serve their own personal beliefs or political aspirations. The reason we are bringing this to their attention is to remind them we also advocate and we vote.

    Get active!

  • Sesoron

    VXbinaca, you seemed to imply that being gay implies some kind of intent to rape men. A gay guy is seriously no more likely to try to rape a straight male friend than a straight guy is to try to rape a female friend who doesn’t find him attractive. I can see being slightly creeped out to discover that a long time male friend is secretly attracted to me, but never betrayed. Hell, I’ve been secretly attracted to a bunch of female friends who never reciprocated. Once you confirm that the object of your affection indeed doesn’t like you, it’s a simple matter to let the attraction just boil away into space. I can’t imagine it would be much different at all for a gay man.

  • Spurs Fan

    Lesbians are looked on sometimes as man haters. Especially the ones like Hillary Clinton or Elena Kagan, who has chopped hair and pants suits.

    Wait, Hillary Clinton is gay? Kagan too? Links of proof (or is short hair and pant suits enough evidence?)?

  • Sellers_as_Quilty

    @Spurs Fan
    You’re right. She never did. Nor has Elena Kagan commented on whether or not she’s gay or straight.

  • fritzy

    I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a same-gender marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage.

    Since when has “being touched” by the discomfort of a upper-middle class twit been grounds for public policy? Tell this mother not to worry–she is perfectly within her rights to teach her precious that teh gay is evil. But her personal anxiety is not grounds for legally sanctioned discrimination.

    Incidentally, the Governor’s claims of being “touched” by her gay constituent’s plea ring particularly hollow–it stinks of polical posturing–a vain (and failed) attempt to take the middle road and appear compassionate and concessionary.

    The whole thing would be laughable if it wasn’t dispicably evil.

  • VXbinaca

    @fritzy

    and constitutions are meant to increase people’s rights, not take them away.

    You’re only half right. Constitutions secure rights, not expand on them. You use the courts for legal wrangling over the meaning of rights. Solid, sane, well documented and researched arguments need to be made. It’s how my side kicked the shit out of Chicago in McDonald v. Chicago.

    If you want to expand what it covers, add an amendment. Good luck getting gay marriage protected by a cons. am. you’d have an easier time fighting it in the courts and – most importantly – culturally getting it accepted like the Fabians in England selling socialism to the rich.

    @

    If a friend of yours suddenly discovered that he was gay how does that detrimentally affect you at all?

    It doesn’t and I never said it did. I don’t like electro-play in S&M culture (disclaimer: I am not apart of that culture), or cuckolds. I just don’t do it and if I don’t like something, where possible I move away from it when it’s feasible.

    @miller

    That’s an awfully weird hangup to have. It sounds like you said your problem with gay sex is that it means less sex for women and more for men. Uh, no one owes sex to anyone, and no group owes sex to any other group.

    I never said anyone owed sex to anyone, just that I feel it’s for certain groups of people. I wouldn’t impose it on others. I’m quite meek in real life.

    @Sesoron

    VXbinaca, you seemed to imply that being gay implies some kind of intent to rape men.

    You’re reading things into what I’m saying. You’re also not doing a good job at convincing the other side here by putting words into people mouths. That really makes me want to take off my listening cap or just not learn about them any further.

    Good rock, can I type this reply without having to reply to another reply and make this reply even longer?

  • Nicole

    VXbinaca, I’m just looking in from the outside, but it appears to me that your detractors are merely trying to wrangle meaning out of your statement that being gay is a betrayal–which, I confess, I still don’t understand either. Claiming something is a betrayal rather implies that that betrayal is detrimental to you, hence, I believe, the assumptions people are making.

    Not that I should speak for others :P

  • Sesoron

    VXbinaca, I’m just trying to puzzle out what you mean in saying you’d feel betrayed if two men you knew were to be gay and act on it. “Betrayal” implies that the betrayed person is somehow wronged by the act, and therefore cannot trust the betrayer at least for a time and to a degree. So I just can’t figure out in what sense you’d feel betrayed if not a worry that they’d try to do something personally to you.

  • VXbinaca

    @spurs fan:

    It’s plain as day, you just need to open your eyes to see it. They don’t sleep together, aren’t seen in public together outside of photo-op’s that advance their divergent careers, we’ve known they’ve had a sham of a marriage since the early 90′s. Contrast this with, Michelle and Barack who have a stable, sincere and loving relationship.

    Oh yeah, Hillary Clinton plays for the other team. I can assure you of this, she sets off my les-dar like you wouldn’t believe.

    @Sellers_as_Quilty

    Sex isn’t really the issue. it’s gender roles.

    Look: This isn’t a debate or something to reason with. I don’t like mustard, and don’t feel I need to explain why I can’t stand it’s disgusting taste. Yet I don’t want it banned or it’s partial use vetoed by some old woman on an island with a bad haircut and a desperate need for dye.

    I’m on your side on the gay marriage issue, guys and gals. I show tolerance, calmness and restraint and the thanks I get is essentially ‘think like the rest of us’ or ‘you’re being illogical’ or other common stereotypes about those not completely comfortable around gays. It’s funny the homophobe here has displayed most of the tolerance here. People like me are the ones you need to convince to get this to be accepted culturally. Wake up, take your head out of your ass and stop pushing out allies.

    And now I just do not care anymore about this.

  • Steve

    @JA
    “If you want to get down into it marriage was a contract between two people and God”

    BS! The church didn’t get involved in marriage until something like the 11th or 12th century. That’s pretty late.

    Before that, marriage was strictly a property contract. One part between families. One family basically sold their daughter to another family. For one have someone to care for the daughter and also to advance their social status.
    But some governments were also involved in those contracts. Early English common law for example had some pretty extensive rules about marriage.

    And of course those rules changed over time. “Biblical marriage” really means a man married to as women as he can afford and with as many concubines on the side as he wants. That’s your “sacred marriage”.

    As for the case at hand. People need to get into their heads that the civil rights of minorities are not up for public vote. If that were the case, women couldn’t vote and African Americans would have no rights either. If the majority can decide over minority rights, the minority always loses.

    Lastly, the whole thing is especially hypocritical, because a lot of xtian politicians says “have all the rights you want, just don’t call it marriage”. So which one is it? You can’t have it both ways.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    Being uncomfortable with the “gay lifestyle” but not wanting to deny their rights is admirable and acceptable, but there’s a bit of suspicion with the various discussions with others here. Testing the waters? Curious to see other’s reactions? Religious right wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    Sorry VXbinaca, but your personal opinions share too many similarities with those that oppose same-sex marriage.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    VXbinaca:

    It’s funny the homophobe here has displayed most of the tolerance here. People like me are the ones you need to convince to get this to be accepted culturally. Wake up, take your head out of your ass and stop pushing out allies.

    An admitted homophobe and you are breaking your own arm to pat yourself on the back? And then slam us for not praising you? As my previous comment said, I think you are testing the waters here and just seeing what our reactions our to your self-appointed opinions and positions.

  • Steve

    It’s a bit sad that homosexuality is often reduced to sex in the public eye. Especially male homosexuality. It’s about love and relationships. The whole thing. Not just sex.

    It’s also a strange fact that straight men are far more obsessed about gay sex than gays themselves are. It’s true. This clip is spot on:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-55wC5dEnc

    If you don’t like the thought of gay sex, that’s perfectly fine. But the solution is simple: don’t have gay sex. And if don’t like same-sex marriage, don’t get married to someone of the same sex.

  • VXbinaca

    That was in responce to others out-of-context replies. Not testing waters. They asked why I think they way I do and I (foolishly) replied. I’m not patting myself on the back, at least not before 3 others did. And testing the waters? No.

    Lesson learned: just have an opinion and don’t give a damn what anyone else says, even those you here agree with on the Hawaii thing.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    Lesson learned: just have an opinion and don’t give a damn what anyone else says, even those you here agree with on the Hawaii thing.

    Nothing wrong with having an opinion. All opinions are respected. And no one is telling anyone that can’t have an opinion. It’s just that you rarely run into someone that has issues with gay sex while supporting same-sex marriage. Let alone comparing mustard to human activities.

  • Christine

    I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a mixed race marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage.

    If you couldn’t say that with a straight face, you also shouldn’t be able to spew what the HI governor just did. And happily, it seems in a few decades, such statements will generally be seen as equally insane and hateful.

    No extra, new rights are needed to protect gay marriage. It’s covered under Equal Protection, and I’ve never seen a coherent argument against that stance.

    Personally, I think a lot of people are hung up on the word “marriage” as something sacred and the state should get out of the “marriage” business entirely and just do civil unions for everyone.

  • Greg

    I haven’t commented on this post before, not being a US resident, but I guess I can comment on the comments! ;)

    VXbinaca – I think you have to be careful not to confuse people trying to understand your position with people not being tolerant of you.

    As someone not in this discussion (ergo, hopefully, objective), the people you have been replying to have come across to me as trying to understand what you mean by some of your comments. Because they are struggling to do so, they may have come across to you as challenging you, but I don’t think even that’s the case. They certainly (with perhaps one exception) don’t strike me as being intolerant of you.

    To put on a nosy, busybody hat for a moment, it seems to me that the point of contention is that you believe that there is some inherent, objectively true fact that men have a certain predefined purpose, and women also have a predefined purpose both sexually, and otherwise. Is that correct?

    If so, I imagine that that is where the disconnect is between you and the people you’re talking to – but again, there is no lack of tolerance I can see.

  • Skunque

    I would guess more people have positions similar to VXbinaca than we’d initially guess.

    Being a pragmatist, I value his commitment to legal equality more than I take issue with his hangups pertaining to gender/orientation/heteronormative behavior. Not to say I’d pat him on the back for his position, but as long as he’s not personally advocating for something that imposes on others, it’s an irrational mental construct he’s not propagating. I.e., it impacts him and whatever gay friends he has (and they can choose to write him off if they wish), but otherwise he’s a neutral to neutral-positive agent.

    Unless there’s an implication to all this that I hadn’t thought of. I confess it’s not really a viewpoint I’ve come across very much.

  • Robert

    Steve,

    Did you read the Bible before you posted that? If not I would suggest you read Ephesians 5:25-33.

  • AxeGrrl

    VXbinaca, why are you getting prickly because people merely want you to clarify a comment you made?

    You said something that left quite a few people scratching their heads and they asked if you could explain further. I’m not quite sure what your ‘issue’ is with that…..

  • Karen

    So frustrating to read or hear that Christians think that being gay is a sin. Did Jesus say that? No. Jesus said to love your god with all your heart soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. The new covenant of Christ created a new way to god. The old testament is, more or less, null and void. And let me just say that Crazy Paul’s b.s about homosexuality was probably a result of his own sexual repression. If there were a god, he wouldn’t care where you put your genitalia, he would care about where your heart is.

    Any kind of language that includes the words “allowing” equal rights for certain people ought to be challenged each and every time someone hears or even says it. Free is free, right?

  • http://wildmonky.wordpress.com wildmonky

    I was talking with my mother yesterday about how not allowing gay marriage is forcing her (in that context I actually used the general “your”) morals on others when she says she supports gay people but not gay marriage because “the bible says it’s wrong.”

    It totally pissed her off ’cause she knew I was right.

  • Steve

    Robert:
    The bible has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage as a legal institution. No matter if we are talking about secular or ecclesiastical law.

    Since when have people ever followed what’s actually in the bible? We are talking about different societies with different customs in different times here. Ephesians is NT. Marriage is way older than that and things like bride price, dowries and polygamy existed for centuries after it. The first two far longer than the latter. And all still exist in many non-western countries.

    The exact details of course vary between different cultures, but very generally, at first marriage was a private matter between the involved parties and their families. Then the church (or other religious institutions got involved) – not just for the ceremony, but also the administrative and legal side. That part was later taken over by the state, leaving the church for the ceremonies.

    At the core it still remains a property contract to this day. The church wraps it in ceremony (which is no longer even a legal requirement) and the state guarantees various rights to both parties (traditionally less to the women, who were initially property themselves).

    But if you look at the rights marriage entails, so many of them are about legal security in case something goes wrong, or monetary benefits such as taxes. And that’s a big part of what gay people seek. Security. The social recognition of the institution is another. It’s simply far easier to say “We’re married” than explaining what civil unions or domestic partnerships are.

  • Robert

    Karen,

    “If there were a god, he wouldn’t care where you put your genitalia, he would care about where your heart is.”

    Although God does care where your heart is, to say that God doesn’t care how or where you engage in sex is a terribly unfortunate misstatement of the Bible and its teachings.

    The bible teaches against all sorts of sexual immorality in all forms.

  • Moxiequz

    @Nicole:

    VXbinaca, I’m just looking in from the outside, but it appears to me that your detractors are merely trying to wrangle meaning out of your statement that being gay is a betrayal

    Here is the statement VXbinaca made in the 12:38pm comment, quoted verbatim:

    All my friendships are to men and men having sex in my mind is betrayal.

    My emphasis. I don’t think any of us needed to do any “wrangling”.

  • Robert

    Steve, your comment about a biblical marriage was not directed to the legal institution. It was a dig on the scared place that the Bible holds the marriage relationship between a man and a women. Ephesians talks directly to that point on how a man must love his wife as much as Jesus loved the Church. The bible holds that marriage relationship that sacred.

    And you are simply wrong that God and the church was not involved in marriage until the 11th century. Marriage was a large part of the Jewish faith in the earliest days of the Bible and continued to be so during the early days of Christianity.

    The Christian church correctly views marriage far more then a property contract wrapped in ceremony. It may have been devalued in our society to not much more then that, but that is not Biblical in any sense.

  • Nicole

    @Moxie:

    I phrased myself poorly. I was attempting to indicate that what s/he construed as intolerance and resistance was (mostly, and admittedly only to me that I can speak for) more curiosity about what that particular statement *meant* since on its own (and even with his/her initial attempt at explanation) it doesn’t make any sort of inherent sense. S/He has failed to indicate why exactly s/he construes gay men as betraying him/her/nature–whoa, nature. I think I just figured out what s/he was getting at. I thought s/he meant they were betraying him/her personally but possibly this was the intended meaning?

    In which case, we will have to agree to fundamentally disagree, but at least I can make sense of and understand his/her viewpoint now :)

  • Richard P.

    This blows me away.
    On July 20, 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act.

    Other than those whining about it, and those whining about those whining about it, you wouldn’t even know it happened. Their has been no break down of our society, No mass decrease in child bearing. Even different sex partners still get married and have the same 50% divorce rate they had before. Homosexuality has not become rampant. In fact as a country were fairly happy all around.

    Why isn’t this ever mentioned? Why are these facts not thrown into the face of every bigot out there?
    Never mind what one groups believes or another. The simple facts of the matter is this. It makes no fucking difference at all, and I mean that literally.

  • AxeGrrl

    Richard P. wrote:

    On July 20, 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act.

    Other than those whining about it, and those whining about those whining about it, you wouldn’t even know it happened. Their has been no break down of our society, No mass decrease in child bearing. Even different sex partners still get married and have the same 50% divorce rate they had before. Homosexuality has not become rampant. In fact as a country were fairly happy all around.

    Why isn’t this ever mentioned? Why are these facts not thrown into the face of every bigot out there?
    Never mind what one groups believes or another. The simple facts of the matter is this. It makes no fucking difference at all, and I mean that literally

    Great point. The other day, someone asked me if anything ‘had changed’ since same-sex marriage became legal here……I said it was amazing how quickly it ceased to be an ‘issue’; which was almost immediately after it became legal. Truly, it came and went with barely a ripple.

  • Claudia

    I said it was amazing how quickly it ceased to be an ‘issue’; which was almost immediately after it became legal. Truly, it came and went with barely a ripple.

    Same thing happened back when Spain legalized gay marriage. At the time the Catholic Church organized massive protests but the legalization already had majority support. Since then I’ve heard literally nothing about it in Spanish press. Even the conservative party, which initially pledged to repeal the law, now has its mouth shut, probably detecting that many young people (myself included) will refuse to vote for them if we think they’d repeal.

    A gay Spanish soldier can marry another gay Spanish soldier and they can adopt kids and no one cares.

    Someday, people like Lingle will be like all those who have to uncomfortably explain and profusely apologize for their previous support of segregation. The next generations will be aghast at the unfeeling cruelty of the thing.

    VXbinaca, I’ll admit that I’ve read several of your comments and I still have no earthly clue what you actually have against gay relationships. You’re my first atheist homophobe. You call men having gay relationships a betrayal, but I simply don’t understand what that means. Betrayal requires the breaking of an agreement. Its no more betrayal if a gay male friend of mine sleeps with another gay male frient than if a straight female friend sleeps with a straight male friend. Being gay, like being straight, is a biological orientation. I assume you understand that. So gay men are not in the same pool as straight men from the getgo. Likewise lesbian women.

    Mind you, I think its great that you support full marriage equality. To me its what counts, but I’m totally mystified with your position. I would understand it better if you simply stated that the idea of gay sex was “icky” to you. That’s fine, I don’t much relish the idea of lesbians having sex and I don’t really suppose they have a hankering for gay male sex either. You can have a visceral reaction of that kind, as long as you recognize it as irrational and not seek to justify it by other means.

  • joesomebody

    I totally agree with Lingle … it’s already bad enough that public school tells my kids that they are not a superior race.

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    While I don’t appreciate her tendency to disparage atheists who dare to criticize religious dogma, Martha Nussbaum has written a whole book about how just about all opposition to gay rights stems from the “ick” factor. She analyzes how feelings of revulsion and disgust actually form the basis for a good deal of public policy. She posits (I’m paraphrasing liberally here) that the feeling of disgust and revulsion many people have at the idea of gay sex is actually an expression of fear—fear of contamination, and fear that the acts of others might somehow “infect” one’s own identity. It’s a smart book, one that weaves together the philosophical case and the constitutional case for same-sex marriage. I found her analysis of homophobia fascinating.

  • Samiimas

    A few days ago some idiotic gay christian was actually trying to tell me Atheists hate gays just as much, or even more so, than Christians. He even had made up statistics to prove it. I got him to run away from the thread by posting a gallup poll demonstrating that atheists support gay marriage about 20% less than gay people do.

    Next time I think I’ll just link him to a thread like this on any atheist website ever were if anyone claiming to be an atheist says something ludicrous and offensive about gay people they’re immediately jumped on by every single other commenter next to a link to a religious site where bigotry is defended by everyone, including the ‘supportive’ ones who still call gay people ‘sinners’ *AKA: wicked, bad, evil people* and compare them to alcoholics.

  • http://postittheology.wordpress.com Tamara

    Maybe I’m jumping into a firing line here, but I’ll do it anyway.
    She’s claiming that her personal beliefs don’t inform her decision to veto the policy – and that’s a lie. Even though some try, politicians can’t separate their personal agenda from their political one. The recently disposed PM of Australia was against homosexual marriage because he is an evangelical Christian, and it’s that simple.
    Here’s where I’m probably going to get myself in trouble – I don’t think gay couples should be afforded the same rights as straight ones. Not because of their ability to have children, but because the intent behind marriage is to unite a man and a woman. It’s fairly black and white in my mind.
    But here’s a little rant for you – because that’s what I do sometimes. A Christian reaction to homosexuality seems to be to condem people and call them sinners, which does nothing but alienate them. You will probably agree with me, if you’ve looked at Jesus’ life, that Jesus’ reaction was the antithesis of the common one today. He spent time with people, he lived life with them and loved them. So the Christian agenda shouldn’t be to immediately condemn those who are in same sex relationships, but to show them the same love Jesus did and… well, I wont jump into the nature vs. nurture argument, but I will say that there is a need to change the way someone is living… God’s intent wasn’t for man and man or woman and woman, but man and woman…

    Sorry about the scattered thoughts – this morning’s coffee hasn’t set in yet.

  • Citizen Z

    Not because of their ability to have children, but because the intent behind marriage is to unite a man and a woman. It’s fairly black and white in my mind.

    The intent of the Founding Fathers was that only land-owning males would be able to participate in American democracy. Intent can be important to look at, but it shouldn’t be a set of shackles on our own sense of decency.

  • http://postittheology.wordpress.com Tamara

    The intent of the Founding Fathers was that only land-owning males would be able to participate in American democracy. Intent can be important to look at, but it shouldn’t be a set of shackles on our own sense of decency.

    Founding Fathers are different to God. And they don’t really effect me – being Australian, and all. I get what you’re saying and understand that intent isn’t shackles. But purpose of creation is.

    For the record, the bluntness isn’t me being rude – it’s me being a little bit lazy and not adding bits that make me seem nicer…

  • AxeGrrl

    Tamara wrote:

    Founding Fathers are different to God.

    But what does ‘God’ have to do with civil law/rights/contracts?

  • http://postittheology.wordpress.com Tamara

    God’s got something to do with everything, whether he is acknowledged in it or not. Church and state are pretty separate, and I think I’m grateful for that (because politics make the church a mess when it’s church politics, you add state politics and whoa… problems everywhere!). But if I say God is everywhere, which I do say, I have to say that his will is for man and woman to be united.

    I just lost my train of thought.

    Okay. It’s back. God is involved in everything. Simple. How can any theist say that God is separate from something if they believe that he is soveriegn?

  • JustSayin’

    God’s got something to do with everything, whether he is acknowledged in it or not.

    Only for you, hon. But you might’ve noticed that you’re posting on an atheist website? The rest of us aren’t bound by your religious convictions, so your conceptualization of a deity should have zilch to do with my rights.

  • http://postittheology.wordpress.com Tamara

    Except there has to be some form of truth. So, there is something that we’re all bound by…

  • J Myers

    But purpose of creation is.

    Great. That is? And you know that how?

    For the record, the bluntness isn’t me being rude – it’s me being a little bit lazy and not adding bits that make me seem nicer…

    So you can bother to type an explanation as to why you think you might not come off as “nice” when you really are, but you can’t bother to add those “bits” that would, y’know, actually demonstrate it? M’kay…

    God’s got something to do with everything, whether he is acknowledged in it or not.

    I think you’re a little confused here. Let me help: no gods seem to be involved in anything, even if they exist.

    politics make the church a mess

    Like it needs any help.

    his will is for man and woman to be united

    And you know this how? And isn’t the god you believe in supposedly omnipotent? Or really powerful? Or can’t he at least bench a lot? Because if this is his will, he’s rather ineffectual when it comes to actualizing it, what with all the divorce and legalization of SSM and all–in fact, considering the latter, he seems to be losing ground to the subset of mere mortals that aren’t repressive bigots.

    Huh.

    How can any theist say that God is separate from something if they believe that he is soveriegn?

    Let’s say I grant that your god exists and you’ve read him correctly… well, so what? Why should we care that such inequality is something he desires? Why does the mere fact that it’s his intent excuse the incontrovertible assholish-ness such an intent entails?

  • muggle

    In that case, Tamara, homosexuality couldn’t exist without his allowing it too so stop trying to interfere with his will. Yes, I’m being a smart ass. I just can’t see where you think your blanket assertion should mean anything, especially with it’s hinged on bigotry.

    Interesting what those of you are saying about legalizing gay marriage where you live normalizing it. Just in case anyone was still wondering why gays want to marry… (which is kind of dumb in and of itself; of course they want to marry)

  • muggle

    In that case, Tamara, homosexuality couldn’t exist without his allowing it too so stop trying to interfere with his will. Yes, I’m being a smart ass. I just can’t see where you think your blanket assertion should mean anything, especially with it’s hinged on bigotry.

    Interesting what those of you are saying about legalizing gay marriage where you live normalizing it. Just in case anyone was still wondering why gays want to marry… (which is kind of dumb in and of itself; of course they want to marry)

  • muggle

    Don’t know why that posted twice and I’m afraid to delete the only one giving the edit options so apologies.

  • JustSayin’

    Except there has to be some form of truth. So, there is something that we’re all bound by…

    Let me reiterate: I am not bound by your god or what you refer to as his “truth.”

    And your assertion is exactly what I would’ve addressed had I replied to Hemant’s question yesterday (“If Christians would listen, what would you say to them?”): that smug tone of god-and-I-know-what’s-best-for-you-even-if-you-don’t-acknowledge-it superiority that’s so very, very off-putting and downright noxious to myself and so many other atheists.

  • Alex

    Anyone think Tamara’s just trolling?

  • Steve

    People generally claim to know a god’s will when that coincides with their own ideas and plans. If it doesn’t, the differences are somehow glossed over.

    Aside from that, if you want to live in a country where your god’s will has any influence on the law, move to a theocracy. Like Iran. But that kind of thinking has no place in a democratic republic or any kind of liberal society for that matter.

    Live your own life according to what you think is your god’s will. Atheists have no problem with that whatsoever. But you can’t legislate your beliefs into laws that apply for everyone.

  • ash

    Some advice for those of you who think gay sex is ‘icky’.

    Don’t have anal sex. Don’t use your mouth or your fingers. Don’t use sex toys. Do not touch another persons genitals, in fact, at all. Do not, whatever you do, have feelings of sexual attraction/love/lust for anyone, no matter how straight you are. Only ever have sex with the express purpose of procreation, and never, ever, enjoy the activity. If you are unable/unwilling to procreate, never have sex.

    After all, wouldn’t want you acting like those dirty filthy gays at all, would we?

    /exacerbated snark

  • VXbinaca

    Anyone think Tamara’s just trolling?

    I think so, Alex. Why try to reason with the religious?

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    I actually enjoy trolls when they come with fresh arguments I haven’t heard before, non-circular arguments that aren’t easily refuted, arguments that make me actually question my own beliefs.

    When that happens, let me know.

  • Dan W

    This sort of shit really irritates me. Too many Christians think they have the right to deprive others of the equal rights they deserve, simply because of beliefs they interpret from a few passages in a book. It’s ridiculous. I think “fail” is an adequate description of Governor Lingle’s decision.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty

    So… what’s the big deal about giving LGBTI folks EQUAL RIGHTS?

    Seriously, WHAT is the big farking deal?

    Marriage is an established CIVIL RIGHT, thus it makes NO SENSE to say “no, you can’t haz marriage” based on the gender(s) of the participants.

  • Ed

    I want to see any Christian anyone who finds this despicable to say so. Blog about it. Tell your Facebook friends. Tell your church members. Call out anyone who disagrees.

    If you don’t, you’re part of the problem.

    Don’t tell me you love gay people and think this was the wrong decision… and then sit back and say/do nothing in response.

    http://hawaii.gov/gov/contact

  • BLynam

    who owns marriage, does anybody?

    is someone responsible for inventing/creating the institution? should we defer to them for an interpretation of what marriage is and is not?

    is the government a reliable entity for defining such closely guarded concepts?

    and rights? where do those come from?

    i realize there is a “BILL OF RIGHTS” which endeavors to document them. it seems the government attempts to protect and/or guarantee them. but, honestly, where did those come from? was it socrates, aristotle, locke, kant…?

    i didn’t invent marriage…can i own it? edison invented the light bulb, but he doesn’t own all of them. conversely, i own several lightbulbs, yet my ownership doesn’t give me the authority to change its definition. can i, then, take marriage and define it however i choose to, even if i could own it?

    what if i think marriage should be lawful between a man and his daughter, or how about his pet turtle?

    is that marriage because he says so and he loves his pet turtle, and how can anyone question that?

    can something as old as humanity itself be expanded to meet a new contemporary definition? like the pyramids at Giza, marvelous structures, to be sure. we still don’t know what their precise purpose was and so, we haven’t officially defined their existence beyond that. their orignal purpose (if we knew that) would probably serve the same purpose today, even if we had advanced further technologically. still, our new technology wouldn’t change anything about how the pyramids worked to serve the original purpose.

    homosexuality was practiced in ancient greece, even at the times of great philosophers like aristotle. the same guys who thought up many of the conventions which we see prevailing in modern government. i often wonder why homosexuals didn’t get married then, or did they? our federal government often creates is laws based upon precedent. is there a precedent for homosexual marriage? should we be looking for one?

    i realize that i am one small human in the midst of a gigantic and seemingly infinite universe that does not care whether i live or breather another day. i can control very little in my life (epictetus, “the art of living”). if that’s true then what do i really own?

    maybe, if i can’t own marriage i can’t really define it however i like.

    consider that definitions exist for the purpose of defining. definitions would lose their credibility if we changed them whenever we felt like it. heck, i don’t really care for how they define computers because to me they are the lifeline of our society. let’s change that in webster’s as a matter of fact. would that make sense?

    or did the inventor of marriage get it wrong and we’ve been fooled for thousands of years? i suppose if we could track him or her down we could petition for a change (ref. earlier question).

    atheists think atheistically because they ask questions, brilliant, deep questions that do not have easy answers. stick to that and ask about the origins of marriage and human rights.

    seek the Truth, friends, and you WILL find IT.

  • PhysicsPhaery

    Sorry guys, I think I voted for her. My bad. We’ll do better next time.

  • ThatOtherGuy

    Wow, thanks a lot BLynam, I think I just got a bit dumber from reading your post. I can’t even put together a thought right now, it’s too late at night, but DAMN is that ever one of the stupidest things I’ve seen recently.

  • Guy G

    Some advice for those of you who think gay sex is ‘icky’.

    Don’t have anal sex. Don’t use your mouth or your fingers. Don’t use sex toys. Do not touch another persons genitals, in fact, at all. Do not, whatever you do, have feelings of sexual attraction/love/lust for anyone, no matter how straight you are. Only ever have sex with the express purpose of procreation, and never, ever, enjoy the activity. If you are unable/unwilling to procreate, never have sex.

    After all, wouldn’t want you acting like those dirty filthy gays at all, would we?

    What the hell are you on about? This post makes absolutely no sense at all.

    It’s like saying “How dare you have a visceral reaction to something? Change your reaction! You’re not allowed to have that personal feeling, regardless of how you act on it. No sex for you!”

    You do know that someone’s personal reaction to gay sex is not something they choose and is neither here nor there – it’s what they actually feel about rights & equality that matters?

    I think that better advice for people who think that gay sex is ‘icky’ would be:
    “Don’t have gay sex. Don’t watch gay porn. Don’t watch gay people having sex.”

  • Kvtxzsvzxhktz

    Living in Hawaii, I’ve had a chance to watch this whole thing unravel over the last two years. While it’s good that the legislature finally (barely) had the courage to support equal rights, legislators generally won’t do anything that would risk them not getting re-elected. And that’s what it all boils down to for the most part. Politicians are motivated by whatever will get them elected or re-elected.

    In Lingle’s case, it’s not about her personal beliefs – Linda Lingle is not a devout Christian – she’s Jewish. And she’s termed out of office this year, so it’s a little upsetting that she would use her lame duck period just to cowtow to the religious right, who of course turned out in massive numbers earlier this year to try to prevent a segment of the population from having equal rights. But she’s probably planning on having some political future, and she can probably now count on having all of those people’s votes for whatever it is she does next.

  • Claudia

    Some advice for those of you who think gay sex is ‘icky’.

    I think we need to differentiate the “ick” factor actual bigotry. You can have a visceral reaction to gay (or straight, or kinky, or whatever) sex without having the slightest ill will or wish to limit the rights of the participants. I’m uncomfortable with images of female gay sex (I’m fine with male gay sex) but I would NEVER seek to limit the rights of lesbians, I wholeheartedly believe their love is equal to mine and just as natural. If I saw a lesbian couple in heavy makeout mode in a park (and I have) I would simply not look, its my problem that I don’t like it, not theirs.

    If you read Dan Savage you know that he does not like vaginas, which he describes as looking like a canned ham dropped from a great height. This does not mean he dislikes women or would ever argue against their rights, its just that female genitalia makes him squeemish, as it does many gay men. This is not a problem. The problem only arises when you take that squeemishness and seek to justify it as being the other persons problem and worse that the other person gets less rights than you because you can’t handle it.

  • Demonhype

    They are losing ground every day. Every time gay marriage goes down, it loses by an ever-decreasing margin, and every time it wins it wins by an ever-increasing margin. It really is just a matter of waiting for the oldest generations to die out and take their bigotry with them–which sounds mean, but that really is how it works in the long run.

    @ThatOtherGuy:

    Seconded. You beat me to it. Just…yikes.

    @VXbinaca:

    I was glad to hear that you supported gay rights–including gay marriage–despite your personal feelings. That is definitely commendable and few people are able to differentiate between what they personally like/hate and what is actually harmful/beneficial. It’s hard for many people to understand that their personal distaste or hatred for any given thing is not necessarily universal and that they are not the sole decider of what is or is not acceptable in society.

    That said, I have to admit I was a bit confused about the use of the word “betrayal”. This might just be a communication thing. When someone says they find homosexuality odd or icky or generally distastful, that’s pretty easy to understand. But the term “betrayal” is an extremely strange one to use and kind of comes with many more connotations than straight-up distaste. I was also confused with your clarifictions, which seemed equally odd, and the way you worded part of your explanation also sounded (to me) briefly like you thought gay men might rape straight men. I didn’t believe that was what you were saying, because otherwise you sounded pretty rational, so I chalked it up to a problem with communication, but I can see how someone might come away with that impression.

    Of course, perhaps your feelings about homosexuality are odd themselves–not just a straightforward ick factor, perhaps a little more complex–and I can understand having feelings that are difficult to put into words very clearly.

    That also said, you wouldn’t believe how many people think I’m a lesbian. I wear guy clothes, have choppy hair, play video games, listen to metal, am a horror-film afficianado, I can be fairly aggressive, and I study animation (which is still a predominantly masculine pursuit). Yet I’m completely heterosexual–seriously, even I wondered at some point, but try as I might, I couldn’t get interested in women. Too bad it’s not a choice, because guys tend to be scared of me. Thanks to the gender role stereotypes insisting that I’m not heterosexual if I dont’ wear frilly girly things, spend all my time and money on hair, makeup and beauty regimens, be as passive as possible and avoid typically “male” interests, I’d probably have a more successful love life as a lesbian. Unfortunately, I don’t consider having a love life as being a priority over being honestly myself, and I have no interest in having a love life that is based on my living a lie. If guys are afraid of me, so be it.

    In the meantime, there are lots of lesbians I’ve met who are way more feminine than I am, but of course no one thinks they are lesbians because they fit so nicely into the neat little gender roles society has predetermined for us all.

    As such, I take it with a VERY LARGE grain of salt anytime someone says their “gaydar” or “lesdar” is going off every time they encounter anyone who doesn’t bundle neatly into a strict gender role.

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    well nice to see some people realise steryotypes rarly actualy apply :P i admit i probably fit quite well as a very girly girl in my outward attitude and apperiance but that doesnt mean a whole lot, im rather childlike (which im sure most people notice after about 5 mins ^_^) although im also quite intelligent which people only notice if they start debating somthing with me :D truth be told few people unless i told them or read between the lines when i speak about my homelife realise im a lesbian, the idea of gender roles has always confused me as througout history they have been rather fluid but thats completly off point i think to answer an earlier question why same sex couples want to marry, i like it when it was put this way ‘we just want to be as misribal as everyone else’ :P hehe

    now without going into too much detail (as i can go on for quite a while about this) i belive the focus on the sex side of things comes from somthing quite odd, the fact that many people either conciously or not dont belive there can be geniune romantic feelings between 2 people of the same gender and therfor focus entirely on the sex aspect of it as that would be the only part left of it where that stems from though if difficult to say but my personal belief is from several sources, the idea of said gender roles being 1 but a more important 1 which applies mainly to lesbians rather than gay men but hear me out none the less would be pornography, that in itself may sound odd but thinking about it more it seems less so after all most ‘contact’ with lesbians via the general public seems to be that which is of course a sexual thing, somthing to think about buut ill stop there before i give the full version hehe

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    o forgot to add 1 thing actualy, the whole fear thing that gay people are all of a sudden going to be attracted to everyone in an almost uncontrolable way i would say again quite possibly comes from being seen soley as a sex thing (socioligists explain that much better than me though ^^) basicly though just as selective in preference hehe shallow, deep or somwhere inbetween

  • Steven

    Several comments have noted that the opposition to same-sex marriage seems largely preoccupied with gay sex. It seems to me that if that is the case then there should be tremendous support for same-sex marriage instead. Since a gay marriage is no different from a straight one, over time there will be much less sex, gay or otherwise. Adoption should also be strongly supported as the addition of children to the marriage will cut down on intimate relations even further. In no time at all there will be much less gay sex, thus victory for the close-minded and intolerant. Of course, there may still be some folks who are hot and heavy after many years of marriage but you guys are just weird.

  • ash

    Guy G.

    The point is that gay sex is for the most part exactly the same act as performed by straight people; and for exactly the same motivations.

    It’s like saying…[redacted for hopeless inaccuracy]

    Is there a difference between gay and straight sex? Well, duh, but only because of the people involved. Same as the difference between me + my partner vs. you + yours. It’s not a huge deal, and if I said I wanted to get married, I doubt that random strangers would say ok, but, ICK, you might have sex. If you’re up for equality, why point out that you also have bigoted feelings on the matter?

    You do know that someone’s personal reaction to gay sex is not something they choose and is neither here nor there – it’s what they actually feel about rights & equality that matters?

    You are aware that personal reactions can be modified, aren’t you? I used to think most Americans were dumb – I never felt the need to mention that to anyone before, but I went out, talked to a whole bunch of them and realised I was wrong. I do hope you’re not trying to argue that it was perfectly ok for me to have that opinion and leave it unexamined + unchallenged.

    It is also very relevant to this discussion – the ‘ick’ factor is all too often the basis for someone deciding to support anti-gay legislation. Talk to a lot of people about this subject, and even many theists will eventually admit that their religious bias is just a handy explanatory layer to their general ‘ick’ feelings. It’s also a fair bet that the ‘ick’ people might support rights privately in the voting booth, but will allow most anti-gay rhetoric a free pass in public, thereby adding to the problem of a majority that thinks gay behaviour should be hidden and reviled and definitely not acceptable by law.

    For those of you who have the ‘ick’ factor, but still support equality, kudos. I just have no idea why you also need to mention you think it’s anymore icky than your parents or neighbours or strangers you’re unattracted to getting it on.

  • Claudia

    For those of you who have the ‘ick’ factor, but still support equality, kudos. I just have no idea why you also need to mention you think it’s anymore icky than your parents or neighbours or strangers you’re unattracted to getting it on.

    That’s actually a very good comparison. I don’t like watching lesbian porn (or rather, the ridiculous version of “lesbian” sex portrayed exclusively for the enjoyment of straight men) but its just one of a long list of sexual activities that I don’t like visualizing but have absolutely no problem with ideologically. Once you get past the hurdle of consenting adults, the idea of “disagreeing” with this or that sexual activity seems positively weird to me. It would be like jumping from not liking meatloaf to “disagreeing” with meatloaf. The only reason the “ick” factor of gay sex is ever mentioned and the “ick” factor of, say, waterports is never mentioned is that no one is currently trying to justify denying rights to folks who like that kind of sex based on others distaste of it.
    What I’m getting at is that though some of the “ick” factor is certainly based in homophobia and religious dogma, not all of it is. I think that more important than telling folks that they’re bad people for having an ick factor is to make absolutely clear that “ick” is not an argument for anything, and if you don’t like it, don’t do it, don’t download it and let others who have a taste for it live their lives as they see fit.

  • AxeGrrl

    ash wrote:

    For those of you who have the ‘ick’ factor, but still support equality, kudos. I just have no idea why you also need to mention you think it’s anymore icky than your parents or neighbours or strangers you’re unattracted to getting it on.

    Nail. Head.

    When people start going on about the ‘ick’ factor with gay sex, I always think “why are you singling out gay sex? You DO realize that half the things your hetero friends do would be just as icky to you, yes?”

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kevin, Critically Skeptic

    Did anyone notice this portion of Tamara’s statement (even if she was a troll – this part shows off her bigotry:)

    well, I wont jump into the nature vs. nurture argument, but I will say that there is a need to change the way someone is living…

    “I love gay people, but they need to stop being gay.”

    Also, @Claudia:

    If I saw a lesbian couple in heavy makeout mode in a park (and I have) I would simply not look, its my problem that I don’t like it, not theirs.

    I don’t watch when any couple is in heavy make-out mode.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a same-gender marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage.

    Why?

    What if that same mother were gay and wanted the teachers to say that her marriage was equivalent to those of straight couples? Don’t teachers have a responsibility to avoid unfair judgments on the lives of their pupils or to put a child in a position where they feel socially excluded. I complained to my eldest daughter’s school when a temporary teacher said that my daughter was technically a bastard because her mother and I weren’t married. It made her feel small and it singled her out for ridicule from her peers. How much worse would a child of a gay couple feel if they had the stigma of being told that their parent’s marriage didn’t count or even that it wasn’t the same as the child of a straight couple?

    Honestly being a parent or just being a decent person is about what you do and not about what labels people give you. If a couple tell me that they are together then I treat them like that whether or not they are legally married, divorced, straight, gay, bi, black, brown, white, green, mixed race, 20 years separated or wearing nothing but matching banana hammocks.

    It seems that people are obsessed about how someone not even involved in their relationship might feel about them. Well fuck ‘em. Its none of their business. If we treat people with the respect that they deserve, according to decent, reasonable own rules of conduct then it doesn’t matter what the law says. It’ll catch up eventually and the bigots and vote seeking morons will go the way of the dinosaurs.

    I thought that the law was a code for setting a minimum level of conduct within a society and protecting citizens from exploitation and harm. I didn’t think it was a stick to bash others with or something to be used by the angry mob to keep their precious prejudices in place.

  • Anna

    I can accept the “Gay people don’t deserve to get married because the tax break is made for people with children to support” thing. If that’s a valid excuse to you, I cant change your mind.

    This one drives me crazy because it falsely links marriage and procreation. People making this argument should be called out on the fact that it’s not valid at all. Large numbers of same-sex couples do have children and large numbers of straight married couples do not.

    It’s so clear that the real intent of these laws is to punish same-sex couples for “choosing” to create “inferior” families. My parents are lesbians, and the people who are against them having equal marriage rights have deemed their partnership and our family inferior. And because they’ve deemed it inferior, they think they should be able to punish my parents (and my brother and me) by denying us the same legitimacy as other families. There’s no rational reason for them to treat us this way. It’s all about their sense of smug superiority. They have proclaimed this mythical ideal, decided that we’re not part of it, and taken it upon themselves to enforce their unfounded prejudices through the law.

  • Claudia

    It’s so clear that the real intent of these laws is to punish same-sex couples for “choosing” to create “inferior” families.

    Its partly that, but I also think in many folks its a twisted form of wishful thinking. They don’t want families like yours to exist so they promote laws in such a way that families like yours are not included. You’ll hear the anti-marriage people say that gays shouldn’t get married because “children should have a mother and a father” pretending that the only way families with gay parents can form is if marriage is legal. This is of course patently false; all that’s achieved by prohibitting gay couples from marrying is denying them rights and putting their children at a disadvantage, sometimes a dangerous one, as can happen if a biological parent dies and the blood relatives of the children take them away since the other partner has no legal standing.

    In part this is why I find it frustrating when the more fearful gay rights associations, like the HRC, seek to hide the children of gay couples from sight, as if they were some dirty secret. You may want to minimize the stupid fears about “protecting the children” by pretending that no, all gays want is to marry, not raise kids, in the hopes the bigots will throw you a crumb. However I think that it would be a lot more effective to do like Equality Maine did, show happy, well adjusted kids that just want to have the same rights as all the other kids have.

  • Citizen Z

    You’ll hear the anti-marriage people say that gays shouldn’t get married because “children should have a mother and a father” pretending that the only way families with gay parents can form is if marriage is legal.

    The obvious retort to “children should have a mother and a father” is that there is no law against single parenthood. If “children should have a mother and a father” is so important, why aren’t children of single parent put in foster care with a foster mother and a foster father? It defies logic. Certainly if one parent is sufficient to raise a decent child, you’d think two would also be sufficient.

  • http://www.hillsideslide.blogspot.com Tina

    my friends and I are Christian and i’d like to say we’re taking Hemant up on his challenge, but we already do post about gay rights all. the. time.

    it’s an excellent way to start conversations and move the process forward.

    I’ve had 2 postitive comments today regarding my post on gay marriage, and GLBT rights in general. From Christians.

    Although they receive WAY less coverage than the anti-gay Xians, there are many many Xians who are open to discussion; or, are closeted supporters.

    Is it perfect? NO.

    Do I want them to be vocal? YES

    I’ve found that being friendly (not unlike the theme of this blog) gets me, the rest of my GLBT community, and the conversation a lot further along.

    Meanwhile, I’m grateful for Hemant’s and your passionate support & challenge to my fellow Xians to recognize the full humanity, dignity and rights of GLBTs.

  • Anna

    Its partly that, but I also think in many folks its a twisted form of wishful thinking. They don’t want families like yours to exist so they promote laws in such a way that families like yours are not included.

    Oh, yes, that’s exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. And while I do think that average people are honestly susceptible to that kind of rhetoric, the professional anti-gay activists know perfectly well what they’re doing.

    It’s really far more sinister because they understand all too well that preventing my parents from having equal rights doesn’t stop families like mine from existing. For those people, I absolutely believe it’s about “punishing sinners” and making the lives of same-sex families as difficult as possible. Since they can’t actually stop gay and lesbian people from having children (and if they could, I believe they would), they try to do the next best thing. They attempt to stigmatize and delegitimize our families in an effort to discourage them from forming in the first place.

    Of course, this doesn’t work. The gayby boom has been going strong for more than a generation now, and it shows no signs of slowing down. I honestly find the maliciousness of these people (Dobson, Robertson, Falwell, Huckabee, etc.) quite sickening. They prey on the fears of average, good-hearted Christians and spread lies and misinformation about gay and lesbian people and families. They’ve appointed themselves arbiters of morality and made unfounded assertions that their definitions of marriage and family are superior, and that anything else is inferior.

    Personally, as a grown daugher of lesbian moms, what I find most infuriating is that they either speak about people like me hypothetically (as if we don’t already exist) or completely discount our personal experiences, not to mention the fact that they ignore all the research that has been done on children of lesbian and gay parents. The results aren’t helpful to their agenda, so they claim the studies are all invalid. Ugh, I just find the deception and lies and fear-mongering abominable.

    In part this is why I find it frustrating when the more fearful gay rights associations, like the HRC, seek to hide the children of gay couples from sight, as if they were some dirty secret.

    That was one of the problems with Prop 8 in California. Actual images of gay and lesbian people and their families were almost entirely absent from the campaign. And, oh joy, I happen to live in California, so you can imagine how thrilling it was to go through the whole thing twice (we had a similar proposition in 2000). Seeing those blue and yellow “Yes on 8″ signs every day felt like a slap in the face. A big sign that says: “Your family is inferior and you shouldn’t have been born.”

  • http://www.hillsideslide.blogspot.com Tina

    Anna,

    Love your comments! It’s rare that we hear from the children of gay parents.

    If you’d be interested, I’d love to interview you for my blog, or just get some quotes from you for my facebook page.

    We need to hear more from your side of the story. I think we’d open up a few more minds/hearts.

    Leave a comment on my blog if you’re intersted. Hope to hear from you~ Tina

  • AxeGrrl

    Anna, thank you so much for your posts……

    but aren’t you supposed to be ‘damaged’ in some way from being raised by a same-sex couple?

    You seem awfully intelligent, articulate and compassionate for someone from an ‘abomination’ household *rolling eyes*

    But seriously…..your eloquence and thoughtfulness is the best antidote to the ignorance of the religious right. Keeping speaking out and proving ‘them’ wrong :)

  • Claudia

    @Anna, please do the interview! I think the view from the sons and daughters of gay couples is totally underrepresented in the conversation about these issues. Simply by standing up and showing yourself to be a well adjusted, well raised obviously healthy adult you instantly refute the lie that this is being done to “protect the children”. Voices such as yours are very much needed.

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    In all seriousness, thanks to Hemant for the challenge. I’ve taken up the challenge over at my blog today.

    I personally hope to see change in the Christian church with regard to the morality of LGBT couples/families and I believe this will come to pass (as we’re seeing with various denominations becoming more accepting), but like Hemant, I at the very least hope to see the Christian community stop actively working against the LGBT community.

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  • Anna

    *Blush* Thanks for the compliments! No one’s ever asked me for an interview before, but I’ll definitely think about it.

    It’s rare that we hear from the children of gay parents.

    The mainstream media is actually getting a lot better about this; however, it’s still quite common for them to publish articles about LGBT families without ever contacting or interviewing people who actually grew up in them.

    But that is changing. ABC and CNN had excellent articles last year about grown-up “gayby boomers.” We’re still a pretty small minority, and those of us who are in our 20s and 30s are outnumbered by those who are much younger. The visibility is definitely heightened, though. When I first started talking about these issues online (early 90s) there was pretty much dead silence. Now it’s not uncommon to have other people with LGBT parents occasionally join the discussion.

    The main lack of visibility that I see is in political discussions. Whether it’s same-sex marriage or proposed bans on same-sex adoption, certain members of the religious right pop up everywhere, spewing their misinformation and hatred. It’s like in an attempt to be fair and balanced, news organizations feel compelled to invite the most extreme organizations they can find. The Family Research Council (there’s a misnomer) seems pretty much ubiquitous, while less influential organizations are ignored. There are actually two national organizations dedicated to people with LGBT parents (COLAGE) and LGBT parents themselves (Family Equality Council), but you’d never know it by watching the news.


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