If You Oppose Marriage Equality, What Else Am I Supposed to Call You?

My friend (and I sincerely mean that even though we only know each other through the Interwebs) Rachel Held Evans is an LGBT-friendly, evolution-accepting Christian. So she’s in an obviously rough spot when it comes to maintaining ties with the Christian world — which, for reasons I can’t quite grasp, she still loves — while trying to pull them in the right direction on social issues.

When it came to the Chick-fil-A controversy, she tried to offer advice to both sides.

She told the anti-gay Christians that they should be aware of how much it hurts us when they flaunt the food they bought at Chick-fil-A in the wake of the controversy or cry “persecution” when no one’s actually persecuting them. This is a civil rights issue for us liberals, after all, and we all know people (or are people) who have been unable to experience the joy of marriage or adoption or being near a loved one in their dying moments because of the Christian desire to limit certain rights to straight people only.

Then, she had a message for the social progressives (emphasis hers):

I get it. I really do.

But I beg you to please remember that not all Christians who speak out against gay marriage are bigots or homophobes, and calling them those names is as unjust as it is unkind. Many of the people I love most in my life fall into this “camp,” and most of them mean it when they say that they sincerely love their friends and relatives in the LGBT community and wish they knew of some way to hold to their convictions without hurting or insulting their neighbors.

This is where Rachel and I part ways. Maybe I agreed with her a long time ago, but I can’t anymore.

There is no way to oppose equal rights for gay people without being a bigot/homophobe/asshole/pick-your-word.

You can’t say I love my black friends, but I don’t think they should be allowed to marry white people… without simultaneously being a racist.

It doesn’t matter how big of a smile you put on your face, or how many gay friends you (think you) have, or how often you’ve gone to a gay pride parade.

If you’re voting against marriage equality, you’re a bigot. If you’re denying somebody a right that you possess — for no rational basis whatsoever — I don’t know what else to call you. There’s not a single, credible, non-religious reason to deny equal rights to gay people.

Jen McCreight explains it this way:

I call you a bigot because you support those terrible things I listed above: legally denying GLBT individuals equal rights, slandering them publicly, damaging them through terrible psychological programs, and even killing them. You can call me a bigot if I start campaigning that Chick-Fil-A-Holes should not be able to marry, adopt, or serve in the military. You can call me a bigot if I ship my friends off for traumatic psychological boot camps because they dared to eat a chicken sandwich. You can call me a bigot if I compare being Republican to pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia.

If my worst offense is disagreeing with you, trying to convince you that you’re wrong, or calling you a name? That’s not bigotry, despite how much your martyr complex wishes it were so.

Is bigot too strong of a word? It doesn’t matter. The hurt feeling you have when you get called a mean name pales in comparison to the hurt the LGBT community feels when you strip their rights away.

(Plus, you know, I said the word “bigot” with a smile.)

No one should be tolerant of intolerance — and that’s a game Christians love to play (“Well, you’re just intolerant of our religious beliefs!”)… but no one’s taking away their rights. No one’s forcing gay marriage in their church. No one’s asking them to attend a gay wedding against their will. (Let’s face it; they weren’t invited in the first place.)

This isn’t one of those issues where people can “agree to disagree.” The people who say that are always the people losing the argument. In this case, one side is right and the other side is full of Christians.

Fred Clark put it well (emphasis his):

It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a nice person. And it doesn’t matter if your tone, attitude, sentiments and facial expressions are all very sweet, kindly and sympathetic-seeming. If you’re opposing legal equality, then you don’t get to be nice. Opposing legal equality is not nice and it cannot be done nicely.

This is also why I have a hard time supporting Christian groups that try to “bridge the gap” between the LGBT community and the Christian church. It’s a worthy endeavor, but what good are you for LGBT people if you can’t even publicly voice your support for same-sex marriage?

Is it true that the word “bigot” or “homophobe” shuts down conversation? Maybe. But I’m not sure what else to call people who use the Bible and their own prejudice to prevent same-sex marriage from becoming a reality.

Eventually, I’m sure we’ll get to a point where even the vast majority of Christians support gay-marriage. All the trends point in that direction. But the way to push Christians there is to call them out on their bullshit when it happens, not defend them because they mean well.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • baronvoncarson

    Very good article. I agree with you on so many levels.

    Denying equal rights for anyone is bigotry. Plain and simple. Just wish I could make some of my friends aware of this, rather they thing some forms of discrimination are good, even comparing the fact males and females have different public rest rooms to that of marriage equality! Egads, makes my head spin.

  • newavocation

    You are no longer special if everyone has the same rights you have. If you start ripping all the bigoted, hateful, and magic pages out of the bible about all you will have left is some weird stories and humanist ramblings. Then your jewelry will be the only thing that identifies you as an Xian. 

  • I_Claudia

    I think the issue is that many people think that a bigot is by definition motivated by hate, and that if you’re not motivated by hate, you can’t be a bigot. Many people who oppose marriage equality are truly and honestly not motivated by hate and truly and honestly have nothing against their LGBT neighbors and friends.

    That doesn’t make their position anything other than bigotry.

    I’m certain that decades ago, well meaning, kind white people held stances against integration and inter-racial marriage. They may have had nothing but goodwill towards black people, and even truly loved a few that they knew, but still thought  it was best” for the races to remain separate. Their position was a racist one, a bigoted one, and the fact they meant no harm did not mean that no harm was being done.

    I think it’s swell that many people don’t hate GLBT people. I think it’s great that they abhor anti-gay bullying and the demonization of gay people, even though I wish they’d actually speak out against such things when they happened. However their stance is a bigoted stance, and they don’t get a free pass just because they’re motivations are not rooted in hate. You may not be defined principally as a bigot, but you hold a bigoted stance.

    My guess is that once you realize your stance is bigoted, it’s because that’s no longer your opinion. I’d actually be interested in hearing from people who have made the transition from being anti-equality to pro-equality without having held hatred in their hearts before the change. Do you consider that your previous stance was a bigoted one?

  • Chris Moran

    *I* wasn’t always tolerant. I recall having a nearly heated discussion with someone with me on the anti-gay couple-adoption topic. I wasn’t a homophobe, by that time I had evolved beyond that, but I still had something in my mind that the traditional family was the preferable one. I was 19, already an (cognizant) atheist for 8 years, and lived in a conservative community.
    I don’t know if I use the term bigot to describe myself back then.. but I *DO* use the term “ignorant”. I was. I am ashamed of it.
    Unfortunately, “ignorance” is a badge for many of these people… so calling them ignorant isn’t going to be an impetus to change. Calling them bigot or homophobe s more powerful and likely close enough and for some, might instil enough shame that they look at it differently.

  • Wtf

    You fools wouldn’t agree with chick-fil-a no matter what their stance was. Rot in hell.

  • TheAmazingAgnostic

    I am going to say something that I know I will take a lot of criticism for, but I am willing to defend the position.

    I do not see the use of organizing mass boycotts of Chick-Fil-A.

    Almost every company has some sort of political agenda that they are selling you with their product. Serious ethical issues are involved with purchasing almost anything from multinational corporations; the very shirt on your back was probably made by sweatshop workers who are paid far less than what we might call “minimum wage.”

    Honestly enough, it has been a long time since I have gone to a Chick-Fil-A. I stopped going shortly after I learned last year that they donated money (and free chicken) to Exodus International. (For those of you who don’t know what Exodus is, it’s one of the larger pray-away-the-gay centers here in the US.) I was surprised that most of the public were *just* figuring out that the company supported anti-gay causes.

    So, many of you may be asking: ” If you say that you do not go to Chick-Fil-A because of their anti-gay donations and viewpoints, what is wrong with others organizing boycotts?” In my view, it isn’t a savvy political move for supporters of LGBT rights to take for many reasons. Lambasting his company will not cause Mr. Cathy to change his beliefs or his donations. Also, social conservatives strongly believe that Western culture is “persecuting” them for their beliefs; in their eyes, the outcry and anger over Chick-Fil-A is simply the attempt of liberals and progressives to take down a “Christian” business. Finally, while the boycotts may be working in other areas of the country, they are not working here in the South. My local Chick-Fil-A was packed at lunchtime yesterday; plenty of people showed up for the Appreciation Day that was organized on Facebook.

    In conclusion, I would like to address some of the points you made against Evan’s argument. The definition of the word “homophobe” is “someone who has an irrational fear and prejudice against homosexuals.” Everybody who is against homosexuality is not a homophobe; bigot would be a more appropriate term for the majority of anti-gay activists. True homophobes have very distinct ways of talking and thinking: they generally dislike monotony, they possess repressed homosexual tendencies, and they are somewhat obsessive. I agree that homophobes are awful people; I know from personal experience. 

  • Gunstargreen

    Thank you for the daily dose of Christian love.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    I’d also add that people are multi-faceted and though they may be complete bigots in one area, they can be very nice in others.

    I think this may be the problem that “bridge the gap” people like Rachael Held Evens try to point out. Oftentimes, when someone is called a bigot, they think it applies to their whole self – as if everything they do is bigoted. It may be better to make it clear that it is the  actions they take against the LGBT community that are bigoted.

    “Your stance on this matter is very bigoted,” is still very direct and to the point. “You are a bigot” is too often interpreted as “Everything about you is rotten.” This is often not the case.

  • Eric D Red

    That’s a good point that I wasn’t really conscious of before, although it makes a lot of sense.  Bigotry doesn’t just stem from hate, and when we portray it that way we’re not getting through to those that aren’t driven by hate.  We lose the ability to get through to them when we accuse them of hate they don’t actually feel they have.  Bigotry can come from wanting to hold on to special priviledge, or simply because that’s what you’ve learned.  By pointing out the effects and hypocrisy, we may get through to a few more.

  • The_lipster2000

    The whole idea of barring any two consenting adults from marriage just seems unfathomable to me.  The whole subject of marriage equality is a prime example of why there is a need for separation of church and state, and what happens when a social institution slips between the cracks.  No government document should have the term married on it.  Marriage, for millennia, has been a religious institution, and whereas most religions do not recognize same sex marriages, just as a few religions do not recognize inter-racial marriage, our government has taken the stance of supporting those religious views of bigotry and ignoring the religious views of acceptance. 
    Now I’m not saying to take away the institution of marriage.  If a priest, pastor, shaman, imam, etc., wishes to marry two people within the proceedings of their institution, they have every right to.  And here, the term marriage, would begin and end with a religious promise that stays withing the confines of the church, temple, what have you. I unfortunately know a few people who believe that unless someone was married in the “right” church, they aren’t really married.  However, those marriages should have no legal standing.  A different legal contract should be available to form a partnership between two consenting adults that  grants the privileges of our current legal concept of marriage.  I know that this has been attempted with a “separate but equal” civil union.  It would take education, and more so, a complete rewording of all legal documents to eliminate the term marriage legally, and incorporate a substitute term across the board.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    Somehow I don’t think telling us all to rot in hell is very Christ-like. WWJD, bud, WWJD?

  • Jackie

     See you there…

  • Kate

    “I’d actually be interested in hearing from people who have made the transition from being anti-equality to pro-equality without having held hatred in their hearts before the change.”

    That would be me, and I definitely would say I was a bigot before my position on this changed. I “knew” the biblical stance on this and that was the only thing I leveraged in my argument, though I avoided arguing over this because I sincerely wanted to love gay people and not let it be an issue. I finally discovered that doesn’t work since it simply can’t.

  • LesterBallard

    It’s exactly Christ like. This is the Christ whose garment hem will be soaked in blood.

  • Guest

    Welcome to the world of leftist intolerance and radical zealotry.  There was a time when all of this behavior we are seeing aimed at CFA was condemned by ‘liberals’ as a sign of fascist thought control.  Now it’s embraced by those who call themselves heirs to the liberalism that gave us gay rights, abortion rights, and radical individualism.  The hypocrisy is almost suffocating.  Seeing how people who laughingly consider themselves tolerant and open minded can be more intolerant than a medieval inquisitor just goes to show how so many of the terrors of history unfold.  Absolutely stone blind to their own hypocricy because they are awash in the current of their self righteousness and arrogance.

  • LesterBallard

    They love the sinner. They hate the sin.

    Fuck ‘em.

  • Jgaryp

    Way back when I was a christian, I didn’t hold hatred in my heart for “the gays”, it was more like pity. I felt sorry for them that they were afflicted with this horrible curse and alienated from god’s love because of it. I prayed that they would be healed and saved and join the family. The idea of gay marriage wasn’t even in my thinking then, but I’m sure if it had been, I would have thought the same way Dan Cathy did, or close to it.
    Now, thanks to all the wonderful (sarcasm font on that) loving christians all over the world, I’m no longer a christian. I have seen the light of truth and science (Praise Dawkins!). It pains me to think about the thought I thought back then. Most painful of all, though, is the realization that I was NEVER in a teachable way as a christian. I was right and the rest of the world was wrong. There was no way anyone could have reached me while I was a christian. I say that so nobody expects to reach any christians and/or change their minds. Their minds are full of the lie that is the bible and there’s no room for truth therein.
    plink, there’s my two cents.

  • Kate

    I agree with your last paragraph here.

    I, too, was surprised that people didn’t already know about the donations to companies like Exodus because I learned about that years ago. I think the overarching good for equality coming from this is that we are forcing people to realize their ideas and position about this matter, which means they need to stop ignoring this issue and figure out what they actually believe. For a while, I passively believed it was a sin just because that’s what I was taught. Then I went to college and had a lot of gay friends and realized I had to better understand my arguments, only to finally discover I didn’t have any valid arguments. Putting this protest so harshly in the public sphere is, hopefully, having a similar effect on some people. Yes, it polarizes the issue a bit more, but it also stops the general passivity that is only perpetuating this problem. I’m glad people are being forced to talk and think about it.

  • Kate

    I’m pretty sure if Chick-fil-a was pro-equality, we’d probably agree with that stance. Pretty sure.

  • kaboobie

    I too have known about the donations for years (and don’t have any local franchises to boycott in any case), but I think Chick-Fil-A executives had denied it until Dan Cathy spoke up and said, “Guilty as charged”. That’s why a lot more people are sitting up and taking notice.

  • fuchsialucia

    Most Christians I know (which even in Massachusetts is most people I know) support same-sex marriage.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Too many women want to get married for that to work.

  • ungullible

    Hemant – I agree 100%, but with a slight twist that maybe softens the blow of using such strong words and maybe keeps the communication slightly open….  Just as there have been some famously smart people who have also believed some stupid things, I say that it is possible for otherwise loving, caring people to mistakenly hold hurtful, bigoted,  hateful positions.  So I don’t back down from calling them bigoted, but I do stop short of calling them bigots.  It is a subtle differentiation.

    When debating my Christian friends on this, I also ask them if I had both black and white friends whom I loved individually, but because of my religious beliefs I vote to prevent interracial marriage – does that mean I just have an honest difference of opinion they should respect, or is my position hateful?  They usually dance around the point and try to deny the analogy (on grounds that race isn’t a choice, but gayness is).  It doesn’t change their mind, but I feel like it at least helps them understand why I won’t back down from calling their position hateful.

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    Partnerships should work like births and deaths do – you don’t go through the process in a ceremonial fashion, it just happens, then you tell the state afterwards to register the fact.

  • The Other Weirdo

     The medieval inquisitor used to stick red-hot pokers up people’s butts to prove his love for God and goodwill towards Mankind. I’m sure that in some Bizarro reality that is equivalent to saying, “Hey, don’t be a dick!” In this reality, however, not so much.

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    There’s no intolerance here. If CFA customers want to not have gay sex, not have gay marriages, not even go to gay weddings, then they are, and should and will remain, entirely free to (not) do those things. That’s their freedom to practice their beliefs.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Christ’s whole message could be boiled down to “I am the only way to God, and if you don’t do as I saw, you will roast in hell forever.” He was intolerant to his own disciples, he exhorted people to leave their friends and families to follow him, hell, he was even disrespectful to his own mother. And he was a bad teacher, to boot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gwydionfrost Daniel Parker

    Actually, I proposed a solution to this problem (gay marriage issue) well over two decades ago. Strangely, it met with opposition. See, my solution…? Utilize the laws we already have in place– only with one change: Replace all references to “marriage” with the words “civil union” or “domestic partnership”. Combine “Married” rules in taxes with “Head of Household” rules… allowing ANY group of people who co-habitate to combine their assets and write-offs for tax purposes, or to be considered legal representatives on behalf of each other.Problem solved. See, my reasoning is that “marriage” is considered a religious ceremony, and for government purposes, is NOT what is an issue. The issue is of rights and benefits afforded to “married” couples. Change that to reflect the reality of the society.

  • vexorian

    Hey! They are not bigots, they just think you deserve to have less rights than them. It is a completely different thing!

  • Guest

    Then why are politicians stepping in to say they should be punished for their beliefs?   And why are so many tolerant “liberals” cheering that decision?

  • Tainda

    Hahaha!!!

    “Radical individualism”

    Oh my, hahaha  Seriously, can’t stop laughing.  Thank you!  You just made my Thursday morning!

  • ReadsInTrees

    I think the line  “Marriage, for millennia, has been a religious institution…” could be easily debated.

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    Radical zealotry? Grow a sense of perspective, seriously.

  • Guest

    Nobody uses red hot pokers nowadays.   Instead we use other forms.  Of course now, with elected officials jumping in, we’re getting to good old fashion censorship – something I notice many on the so called ‘liberal Left’ are cheering about.

  • LesterBallard

    Yes, the poor persecuted United States Christians. 

  • Stev84

    Er, read the Bible. There are passages with Jesus preaching about hell and damnation.

  • Stev84

    They aren’t being punished for their beliefs, but their actions. That’s the crucial difference here that all Christians are getting wrong, but many on the pro-gay side miss too.

    Freedom of religion only means freedom of belief and not freedom of action in all cases, no matter how much the Christian right tries to pervert it.

  • Tainda

    And how are they punished for their beliefs?  You have a right to your beliefs and I have a right to mine.  When your beliefs hurt someone else, that’s where I draw the line.  I’m not talking about hurting someone’s feelings either.

    We have a right to not go to the nasty restaurant the same as you have a right to oppose same sex marriage.  I really don’t give a flying rat’s what you think but don’t say you’re getting punished for believing something.

  • Tainda

    I’m a woman and the thought of marriage makes me ill.

    If it were up to me, the whole archaic “institution” would be gone!

  • Eileencano

    I have to say this.  As an atheist, I was more than a little surprised when my really REALLY Catholic mother came out in support of gay marriage.  I agree, that it would be very difficult for her to talk about it in the area where she lives, or in her church, but I just can’t tell you how happy I was to hear what she did.  She voted for Gay marraige.  In the reddest part of North Carolina, she was a lone vote for gay marriage.  I think there is a way that some christians can be for gay marriage, but I also think my mother is a bit of a rarity, and has compartmentalized her dogma and her feelings about equity. 

    I just wanted to brag.  I wish every christian could feel like my mom, at least on this issue.

  • Roger

    If someone is screaming in your ear, it’s not intolerance if you tell them to stop.

    If someone is punching you in the arm, it’s not intolerance if you tell them to stop.

    If someone is actively preventing you from achieving equality, it’s not intolerance if you tell them to stop.

  • Bmvazquez

    Excellent article, Hemant

  • Pherd

    Two thoughts:

    1) I’ve always believed that hate comes from fear. Even the 2 (two) people that I say I truly hate, are people that … I feared others would see their words and behaviors as acceptable, when they were selfish and self-aggrandizing. I truly hated those two people, and thought the world would be better off without them. (BTW, neither were close to me at all, one was employed by my employer, and the other was in a vocational class I was taking, years apart).

    2) I don’t believe this is happening in most of the situations that are arising, but to use a story from the days of the ERA battle. Many hardcore (male) supporters of equal rights refused to vote for the amendment at the time, because they didn’t feel it was written with enough actual protections. Their equivalent to the “my {black/gays} friends” was that they wanted to see a *good* law passed, not the junky bad one that was up for the vote. But I have run into these edge cases where someone is against a positive move because it wasn’t positive enough for them. These folks won’t often be called bigots, but their privilege is definitely showing.

  • Guest

    Not yet, but getting there, at least if the wishes of some of the more fanatic secular zealots and leftist thugs get their way.  But then, I’m reminded that people who persecute always insist the ones they are persecuting are just fine, or still a threat.  So you are just about right on time with the latest ‘how to justify censorship’ playbook.  

  • Guest

    Roger, what a wonderful way to validate censorship.  I love the Left – it’s not bad, we’re just 100% sure we’re 100% right, so anything we do for that absolute truth (of which we are the incarnation), is obviously quite justified.  Yeah, nobody who did anything bad in history ever justified it the way you just did.

  • Guest

    Look in the mirror.

  • Guest

    Truth makes you laugh?  How interesting. I guess if I was on the side of censorship and thought control, I would have to laugh at that as well. What a lame response, and about what I’ve come to expect from the post-modern left. An intellectual vacuum if ever there was one.  

  • Guest

    Told to get out of town because of them by elected government officials.  Haven’t you been following the news?

  • http://anummabrooke.myopenid.com/ Brooke

    “Censorship”: you seem to think that ridicule and opposition are “censorship.”

    Unless you can show me who in the “Liberal Left” are calling for the government to imprison anti-marriage-equality spokespersons or to otherwise prevent them from voicing their opinions?

    Names and links, please: show me this “censorship.” 

  • Guest

    Sorry, this is all about the head of a company voicing his beliefs (the same beliefs our President held up to a few weeks ago in the election cycle).  He didn’t *do* anything.  He simply said.  And with that, elected officials of our government stepped in and tried to run him out of town, just like the old pictures we used to see of puritans running religious dissidents out of town (when we had lessons on how evil intolerance was).  And many on the left cheered their actions.  If CFA bans gays from eating there, then that’s something.  But the Left’s vain and empty attempt to equate not conforming to liberal same-think with *doing something wrong* is one of the most laughably transparent attempts to justify censorship since McCarthy.

  • Rwlawoffice

    The definition of bigot is stubbornly holding onto an opinion and acting with hate and intolerance of those who disagree. (Merriams dictionary). So by definition it is not someone who simply disagrees with your position. But by this definition, Hemant and most others who post here are bigots.

    I can also tell you that those of us in the Christian community who hear you calling us a bigot, it really has little effect. Speaking for myself, I understand your prejudices against people of faith and I also understand where those of us who are working to preserve religious liberty and traditional marriage definition base those opinions. The tatics used and the hatred spewed at us from those that would call us bigots just strengthens our resolve. Look at what happened yesterday at chick-fil a. Compare that to what will be the protest on Friday.

    As for your comment that churches will not be asked to perform these marriages or that we will not be forced to go to the weddings, that is blatently false and you know it. Tell that to a wedding photographer in new Mexico who was fined for not agreeing to go or a baker that was given death threats in Colorado for not making a wedding cake for a gay couple(even though they served the by community with other types of cakes all the time). Or to the pastor in Sweden who was jailed for preaching from Romans 1. The move to get rid of the ministerial exception and apply secular law to churches despite the constitutional right to religious freedom will inevitably next ,over to requiring churches to perform weddings for same sex couples. It has already happened in new jersey where a church was forced to open its facilities for a same sex wedding.

    So here is what we know- our objections to same sex marriage are not based upon hate and prejudice yet we are called bigots and it is being forced upon us through tatics that demean and threaten our religious liberties and show nothing but hatred and intolerance. We also know that despite the assurances that you are not doing this, we know it’s a lie. So keep MIT up, your true colors are showing and we realize who the true bigots are in this argument. Yesterday is an example of what happens when you push too hard.

  • The Captain

    This is what makes you a bigot, you are more concerned with the rights of a few people to sell chicken, rights that in reality no one really thinks can be taken away, than you are with the rights of a large segment of the population to get married!

  • Guest

    No, I and many others (including liberals up until a few days ago) typically see a good example of censorship as elected government officials stepping in and attempting to ban something because of a person’s beliefs.  That’s usually what people see censorship as.  If so many on the left/liberals/gay rights activists hadn’t cheered those mayors, it wouldn’t have been so bad – just a couple McCarthy wannabes.  It was the support they got that exposed the yearning of the Left for some good, down home Orwell.

  • Guest

    Sorry, this is all about the head of a company voicing his
    beliefs (the same beliefs our President held up to a few weeks ago in the
    election cycle). He didn’t *do* anything. He simply said. And with that,
    elected officials of our government stepped in and tried to run him out of
    town, just like the old pictures we used to see of puritans running religious
    dissidents out of town (when we had lessons on how evil intolerance was). If
    CFA bans gays from eating there, then that’s something. But the Left’s vain and
    empty attempt to equate not conforming to liberal same-think with *doing
    something wrong* is one of the most laughably transparent attempts to justify
    censorship since McCarthy.

  • Anon

    You don’t want gay marriage.

    That’s okay.

    Don’t have one then.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    These people meet the definition of “bigot” whether they like the term or not. It’s true that we often associate the term with beliefs stemming from hate, but that need not be the case. Certainly, not all opposed to same-sex marriage or other gay rights are homophobes, but I think there’s good reason to suspect that many are. It is natural to dislike things we don’t understand or that we fear, and I think that’s the primary factor driving anti-gay beliefs.

    Above all, what I consider these people to be is intellectually and morally weak. Humans are naturally xenophobic. We all have a natural distrust of those outside our group. We all have a degree of racism and sexism (you’re lying to yourself if you disagree with this assessment), and in the same way are likely to feel slightly uncomfortable around people of different sexual orientation. But we also have the ability to use our intellect to override these more instinctual reactions. And when we do that, we train our brains to eliminate specific reactions against the “different”. In effect, we expand our group identity.

    I know there are many humanists reading this who remember a time when they were at least mildly racist, or mildly anti-homosexual. I’m sure a lot depends on age. I’m not old enough to really remember the racial civil rights movement… the big battles had already been won by the time I was old enough to really appreciate it. So my degree of racism has always been low (but not zero). On the other hand, when I was in school, it was fair game to call somebody queer for any number of reasons (many of which made no sense). Few questioned that such people (living shadowy lives) were unnatural. That was already changing then, especially regionally. I wasn’t long out of school before I met openly gay people, and started being more reflective in my thinking, and easily gave up any negativity towards homosexuals. Others here must also remember a similar process. And that’s the key: humanists (and I don’t just mean secular humanists) are intellectually honest enough to recognize a prejudice for what it is. It may persist at some level, but we are able to replace it with a reasoned response. And of course, with time that will probably completely eliminate the original prejudice.

    Self-reflection is the key. Thinking about your beliefs, thinking about where they come from, thinking about whether they really make sense. I think that most of the “bigots” and “homophobes” don’t do this. And their religion is one of the big roadblocks, since religion seldom encourages (and often actively discourages) self-analysis, preferring instead to impose ideas externally.

  • LesterBallard

    Who is justifying censorship, you fucking shit stain? That asshole Dan Cathy can say whatever he wants, he can give his money to whoever he wants. And fat ass Christians can eat there every day and get fatter and fatter until their diabetes and heart disease kills them and they can go meet Jesus.

  • The Captain

    Spot on Hemant. I’ve run into this problem before and frankly I no longer care about those peoples feelings. And thats what this come down to, you have a bunch of people who act bigoted, take bigoted positions, and support bigoted laws but want to be thought of as “nice” people. Sorry but if the label hurts perhaps you should evaluate why, and what it is your doing to cause people to call you that.

    If people dance around calling a bigot a bigot, then those that are ashamed of the label will never have cause to examine their won beliefs.

  • Guest

    No, I’m concerned with the rights of any American to voice his opinion without government leaders stepping in to punish him.  In other words, unlike the Left, I support all people’s rights to voice their opinions.  I support the LGBT boycott (it’s a bit old time fundamentalist, but it’s their right).  I don’t, and will never, support government leaders stepping in to punish anyone – gay rights activists or religious fundamentalist.  I’ve been crushed by the joy and happiness that the so called liberal left has shown over this flagrant, heavy handed example of McCarthy like tactics by a few of their own.  Not all – and that must be stressed.  More than one gay rights activists or LGBT rights supporter has come out against them, and good for them.  But all my posts are aimed at those who are basically saying ‘yeah, get them!  I’m tired of these religious freaks thinking they have the right to voice their beliefs in our country!’  Sorry Capt., no excuse for that.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

    <blockquote"I'd actually be interested in
    hearing from people who have made the transition from being
    anti-equality to pro-equality without having held hatred in their hearts
    before the change. Do you consider that your previous stance was a
    bigoted one?"
    Yes, absolutely. I also had several gay friends and work associates at that time. At the age of 40 (years before I became a full-fledged atheist), I did a complete turn-around and understood that my beliefs were indeed bigoted, no matter how kind, friendly or well-meaning I thought I was.

  • John Hawkins

    I’m very unpopular on a lot of message boards right now because I take this idea one step farther, I don’t see how you can claim not to be a bigot when you consider LBGT people to be immoral sinners, regardless of whether or not you vote based on that belief. They’ll claim they’re not doing any harm, but I find that impossible to believe after sitting through about a dozen transgender support groups and meeting people who’d wasted years of their lives living in denial because they wanted to be accepted by their family and their church.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

     oops…don’t know what happened to my other reply…disregard the attempted block quote in the beginning and read on to my response…

  • Tainda

    I do believe I’ve figured out that “Guest” is railing against the Chicago Alderman who said he would block the building of a CFA in his district.

    You know, the one most of us on this site said was wrong and illegal?

  • The Captain

    I’ve been advocating (yelling on the internet) pretty much this too but fro a different angle. I’ve alway thought the laws against gay marriage (and where they just are not permitted) should be challenged on a first amendment grounds. If “marriage” is a religious institution then the government has no business defining it. And if it’s not, then a secular argument has to be made (in court) as to why homosexuals  should not marry (and none of those work).

    And on a side note, every time someones cry’s “religious persecution” at the thought of gay marrying, it should be loudly yelled back (in the media) that the two gay people have a religion too (many times they do) that is being persecuted first!

  • CelticWhisper

     I’ll pass.  Wouldn’t want to steal your place, after all.

  • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

    “…elected government officials stepping in and attempting to ban something because of a person’s beliefs.”
    Hmm, so the government “representatives” trying to ban gay marriage because of their own religious beliefs don’t count, huh?  Or the ones trying to ban contraceptives, or abortion rights, or the building of mosques on private property that just happens to be in NYC, or atheist clubs in public schools?

    Yes, it’s wrong.  I do think that the religious side has quite a bit more on its plate, however.  Doesn’t it say in the Bible something about “remone the plank in thine own eye before the speck in thy brother’s”?  (Matthew 7:3)

    *shrugs*  Just thought I’d use a reference you might just recognize.

  • Guest

    Uh, my eloquent and well spoken friend, that would be those who cheered elected government officials who stepped in and attempted to ban his company from their respective districts because he spoke his beliefs.  Non-government officials calling for bans?  Eh.  If you want a society where everyone thinks like you, but it’s your right.  But when an actual government official calls for the punishment of someone because of their beliefs, that’s censorship 101.  And all who cheered them on were taking part.  Watch the news some time, you’ll see it right there.

  • Guest

    No, I was talking about the Mayors of Boston and Chicago, who some on the Left condemned, but others didn’t. But the Alderman story works, too, since it’s received the same mixture of praise/condemnation.   And by the way, some on this site have condemned these actions – and bravo to them.  But if I was them, I would now turn my attention to my ideological brethren and shame them for even coming close to endorsing such obvious, heavy handed tactics, rather than focus on someone who they must obviously agree with.

  • The Captain

    First off had you been here a few days ago, and not just a drive by troll you would see 95% of the people here where against the government doing just that. Seriously, go back a few days and read the post! Or you can continue to spout your straw man argument against “liberals”. I’m waiting… go read the comments and see how wrong you are. Here’s the link.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/25/chicago-alderman-says-chick-fil-a-is-not-welcome-in-his-ward/#disqus_thread

    I’d say the percentage of people who wanted the government to do what toy say, is slightly less than the percentage of right wingers that think the government can stop a mosque from being built. So unless you’ve been ” been crushed by the joy and happiness that the so called right left has shown over this flagrant, heavy handed example of McCarthy like tactics by a few of their own” when it comes to building the NY mosque then you are also a hypocritical drama queen.

    But you still show your bigotry even here where you complain once again about the right of people to not have the government ban their speech, but show not one car for the government banning some people from being married! 

    Your such a joke. You claim to be for the same rights for all, while ignoring the fact that you are against homosexuals having the same rights as you.

  • CelticWhisper

     Ah, but he did *do*.  By financially supporting anti-LGBT “charities,” he took his exercise of religion beyond simple belief, congregation, and worship, and into the realm of application of financial resources that can have a real effect on the lives of others who are in no way affiliated with him.

    The beautiful thing about the USA is that he is free to do that.  Another beautiful thing about the USA is that we’re free to impose financial consequences upon him for it.

    As for politicians stepping in, I actually side with CFA on that one.  I agree that the government should not be trying to deny them the right to do business based on what Cathy’s contributions are.

    I also think, though, that the government should simply do an end-run around those contributions, aggressively enshrining absolute LGBT equality into law and criminalizing “conversion therapy”/”pray the gay away” treatments in the interest of protecting innocent LGBT people from religious persecution.  Don’t deny CFA the right to do business based on contributing to anti-gay “therapy” centers.  Deny the “therapy” centers the right to do business based on their business being institutionalized abuse and human-rights violations.

    Personally I think Dan Cathy is an evil person for donating to Exodus Int’l.  However, I think that Exodus Int’l is more evil for doing what they do.  Kill Exodus and jerk the proverbial rug out from under Cathy, then laugh as he scrambles to find a new prejudice to rally behind.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

     I like how your first examples of “the church being forced to perform gay marriages” are about a photographer and a baker, not a church. Also, the New Jersey case, the facility in question was open to the public and thus, has to follow anti-discrimination laws. The church has every right to make it private property and then they can choose who can or cannot be married there.

  • The Captain

    Straw man argument here go read it!
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/f

    The vast, vast majority of “lefties” here are against the government doing what you describe!

  • CelticWhisper

     No, YOU make us laugh with your idea of what constitutes “truth.”

    And by the by, not everyone here is a “radical leftist liberal.”  I, for example, do not affiliate with a political ideology and think less of those who embrace the false left/right dichotomy we have in this nation.

    (Hint: that means you.)

  • Robert Coolman

    Reminded me of an article:  “Several of us plan to bring a token of Christian love (like a small bag of cookies or other treats) to share with homosexual activists who we’ll be encountering Monday,” the group wrote in a newsletter to supporters. “It’s time we dispel lies about Christians, by tangibly showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.”
    http://atheism.about.com/b/2011/02/08/iowa-christian-love-ill-trade-you-cookies-for-your-rights.htm “Oh. The right to marry the person you love and want to live your life with? No, we can’t give that to you, sorry. But we’re nice people and love you; have a cookie. ” If this is as deep as Christian love gets then we’re more doomed than we thought.

  • CelticWhisper

    I agree.  Love the sinner, love the sin, hate the asshole who tries to take away individual liberty.

    And yeah, that includes the freedom to be an intolerant, prejudiced Christard, but it also includes the freedom to mock and ridicule intolerant, prejudiced Christard beliefs.

    Cruelly and humourlessly.

    While naming names.

    And street addresses.

    On global TV.

    (I think I need more happy pills.)

  • LesterBallard

    First, I’m not your fucking friend. “Elected government officials”? “Those who cheer them”? You mean like the ones who deny others the same rights they give themselves?

  • The Captain

    Wow, this is so full of fail I don’t even have time to go trough it all. But here are some gems.

    “As for your comment that churches will not be asked to perform these marriages or that we will not be forced to go to the weddings, that is blatently false and you know it. Tell that to a wedding photographer in new Mexico who was fined for not agreeing to go or a baker that was given death threats in Colorado for not making a wedding cake for a gay couple”

    A wedding photographer and a baker are not CHURCHES. Your second sentence in no way back up the first. So just like  a jewish synagog doe not have to perform a catholic wedding, a jewish baker can not discriminate against a catholic couple who comes in to buy a cake. Get it!?

    “The move to get rid of the ministerial exception and apply secular law to churches despite the constitutional right to religious freedom will inevitably next” but are you not doing that now by telling churches who believe that gays can mary in fact can not do that? What about tier religious freedom? It’s only religious freedom for you though isn’t it?

    “So here is what we know- our objections to same sex marriage are not based upon hate and prejudice” until you believe that churches that think gays can get married have the same freedoms that you do then yes… That IS prejudice!

  • Kevin S.

    Reminds me of when the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on same-sex relationships. It was a 4-3 ruling saying NJ either had to provide SSM or something that gave all the rights of marriage to same-sex couples. The three dissenters voted against it because they supported full marriage equality.

  • Erp

     Wedding photographers and bakeries are businesses catering to the general public and those are not allowed to discriminate against customers on religious grounds.  Note the bakery would be in just as much trouble if it refused to bake a cake for a Jewish wedding or a birthday party for a gay man  or a Catholic funeral because the customers were Jewish or gay or Catholic.

    Note in New Jersey the facility was explicitly not a church though it was owned by a religious corporation (one btw that owns the entire community of Ocean Grove) but received a tax benefit because it was available to the general public.   By denying it to a couple (who btw were resident in Ocean Grove) they violated the terms of the tax benefit.    

    No religion in the US is forced by the state to marry anyone.  The Roman Catholic church does not marry divorced people (unless they’ve gone through a church recognized annulment) or two non-Catholics or even Catholics that the church feels aren’t eligible to marry.  No religious institution will be forced to marry a same sex couple.  State employees as state employees may be required to civilly marry people if that is part of their job but that is true now (a Catholic state employee can’t refuse to issue a marriage license for a divorced person assuming the person is eligible). 

    Religions in other countries may face different pressures especially if they are established (if you are run by the state, the state gets to set the rules).    As for Ake Green, the Swedish minister, his conviction was overturned by the higher courts on freedom of expression grounds.  

  • Stev84

    Not only was it open to the public, but they operated it under a program that explicitly obligated them to make it available to everyone in return for tax reductions. So we have the usual case of Christians wanting tax-payer money while discriminating.

  • John Hawkins

    You’re a bigot and  liar. Let’s go through every example you posted and show why it’s a load of crap:

    “A baker and a photographer weren’t allowed to deny service to a gay couple!” – They can’t deny service to a black couple or a jewish couple either. If you want to operate a business you have to follow anti-discrimination laws.

    “A church in new jersey had to open it’s facilities for a gay wedding!” – Here’s a typical bigot lie. You say ‘facilities’ to make it sound like they forced them to do a wedding in the church, the actual situation was that the church owned a pavilion that they’d gotten exempt from state property taxes on the specific requirement that it be oen to the public. The ‘public’ includes lesbians and the church was legally required to allow them to use their slab of cocrete which was nowhere near the actual ministry. Later they registered the property without the exemption and no longer have to worry about ‘persecution’.

    “They arrested a pastor in sweden for reading Romans 1″ – The only swedish pastor I could find on google was one arrested for preaching that us LBGT people are a ‘cancer’ and that we rape children and animals, so no suprise you support him. Once again you choose to ommit that he was set free as soon as his case reached an appeals court. Therefore legal precedent in Sweden is that it’s not illegal to preach what he preached.

    Churches will be forced to marry gay people on the same day the Roman Catholic Church is forced to make women priests, so never. You know it will never happen, you know the examples of ‘persecution’ you throw out our half-truths, you just want some rationalization for the fact thaqt your a bigot who considers LBGT people like me to be inferior and undesrving of rights. You support politicians who oppose our right to marry, our right to have families, even our rights to simply hold a job.

    You’re a bigot and society is leaving you behind. We’re not hiding in the closet anymore and when people actually learn about what we’ve had to put up with they stop believing your crocodile tears about being persecuted by those big mean gays.

  • AxeGrrl

    Oftentimes, when someone is called a bigot, they think it applies to their whole self – as if everything they do is bigoted. It may be better to make it clear that it is the actions they take against the LGBT community that are bigoted.

    “Your stance on this matter is very bigoted,” is still very direct and to the point. “You are a bigot” is too often interpreted as “Everything about you is rotten.”

    I think is a brilliant point.  

  • Stev84

    And of course saying that people “struggle with homosexuality” is anything but loving. It’s just dressing up their animosity and ignorance in nicer words. The only reason some people struggle with it is because of society’s prejudices

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MAPMGMFGQA5JDIYQHOH6VCXEDU WilliamM

    If you really want to forgo oppression, give up the chicken altogether.  Just because they are another species, just because their DNA is a little different than ours, does not give us the right to deny everything natural to them, keep them confined in cages so small they cannot spread one wing, cram them into trucks and drive them across the country in all weather extremes to a slaughterhouse and put them on a “dis-assembly line” without properly stunning them.  It’s easy to look at how others our oppressing us but harder to look at how we’re oppressing others.

  • Heidi

    So gay bars are always welcomed with open arms in heavily Christian areas, then? Or are they told that they’re not wanted, and asked to reconsider locating there? Because that is EXACTLY what was in Mayor Menino’s letter to CFA. Their values are not compatible with our values in Massachusetts.

  • Thomas Farrell

     And has been. The MA Supreme Judicial Court addressed that very issue at length in their ruling on the matter.

  • Sarah

    bigot 1590s, from Fr. bigot (12c.), in O.Fr. “sanctimonious;” supposedly a derogatory name for Normans, one theory being that it springs from their frequent use of the Old English oath “bi God”. 
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper 
    Seems fitting… 

  • http://twitter.com/TortugaSkeptic A secret red slider

    I recently banished a friend, from childhood, from my online spaces because of bigotry. He was ranting about how unfair it was to call him a bigot then started saying hateful things about the LGBT community and their desire to have their marriages recognized by the state.  My response to this behavior is simple, hate is the one thing I won’t tolerate.

  • Paul Crider

    I agree with this. In the same way that the charge of “Racist!” can cause people to move into a close-minded defensive crouch, “Bigot!” can do much the same. A more strategic path is to say something like “That thing you just said was bigoted, because yada yada yada.”

  • Rwlawoffice

     This is in response to all who posted in response to my post.  Reading comprehension would really help these discussions.  The examples I gave were given to show that same sex marriage takes away religious freedoms. The businesses I mentioned did not want to provide services for a same sex ceremony based upon their religious beliefs.  They were fined and threatened for failing to do so. I  gave these examples of people being forced to attend or participate in same sex weddings against their religious beliefs. The fact that you try to justify doesn’t change the point I made- people who oppose same sex marriages will be forced to participate in them despite their religious beliefs something that Hemant said would not happen. Not only will it happen, it already is and you are trying to justify it.

    As for the churches having to perform same sex marriages, I specifically said that would be the next step and mentioned the New Jersey case as an example of where this will come from.  Your points prove it. Yes this park was owned by the church and yes they opened it to the public and yes they received a tax exemption on it because it was a religious facility. They were then forced to allow a same sex wedding to take place on the premises.  Churches are also open to the public and  they receive tax exemptions. It is a small step to say that their facilities will one day be asked to allow a same sex marriage to take place in their buildings and when they say no it will be called discrimination.  It is already happening in Europe. 

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/denmark-forces-churches-to-perform-same-sex-marriages/

    The threats and lawsuits are already happening in Canada.

    http://faithinourfamilies.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/hundreds-of-christians-prosecuted-over-same-sex-marriage-law/

    As for the Swedish pastor being jailed,  do you really think it is not a problem since he was released by the court of appeals?  The fact is he was arrested for preaching in his pulpit because the government did not like what he was saying about homosexuality among other sins in Romans 1. My point is made.

    The truth is we know you are lying and we know that your goal does not stop with simply legalizing same sex marriages. The goal is to take away our religious liberties and the proof is already out there where same sex marriage is legal. 

  • Rwlawoffice

     That is not the law.  It is an atheist fantasy.  Look at the Supreme Court case of  Tabor v. the EEOC among many others.

  • Rwlawoffice

     So those that have same sex attraction and don’t want them who are voluntarily counseled by Exodus or other type counselors  should not be given any treatment?

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    HTML tags usually enclose its contents with an opening tag before (like ) and a closing tag afterward (like ). It looks like you put your text inside the tag itself. :)

  • snoozn

    I agree with you that those who are against full rights for gay people are bigots. What annoys me is the assumption I see from some that all Christians are bigots in this area. Most of my family members are Christian and most (maybe all — haven’t discussed with everyone!) support marriage equality. Some have come to this position recently, but at least they made it! My father-in-law is a Presbyterian minister who was very active in civil rights for black people in the 1960′s (he was high profile enough to receive death threats) and he is now an activist for gay rights. He was even ahead of his grandchildren (my brother-in-law’s kids) who would use the word “fag” as a general insult until Granddad explained this was insulting to a whole class of people.

    I live in a pretty liberal area and a number of churches here (including Lutheran and UCC congregations and probably others) are “open and affirming.” This means they are fully inclusive of LGBTQ people and don’t see them as “damaged” or in need of “fixing.”

    Yes, much evil is done in the name of religion and plenty of Christians in this country have all kinds of backwards ideas about people, but being a Christian does not automatically mean a person is anti-gay or a bigot of any kind. I am proud of my father-in-law and I don’t care about his religion because he doesn’t use it as an excuse for mistreating anyone.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    “showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.”

    This shows that they’re still misguided and wrong. They persist in their assumption that homosexuality is some kind of disease or personal demon that gay people need to deal with, and they’re just trying a new approach to get through to them. They can give out all the cookies they want, they have the wrong idea about sexual orientation.

  • Flo

    Thank you for expressing this in exactly this way.  Just because you don’t WANT to be a bigot, doesn’t mean you aren’t one.

  • snoozn

    This is a good point. Language does matter. I think it’s more important to try to change peoples’ minds than to be 100% accurate in your language. I have had a number of family members who “evolved” (heh!) on this issue and I would never have said “You bigot!” Instead I would tell them about gay couples I know whose children suffer due to current marriage laws. 

    Doesn’t mean you should never call someone a bigot — there are degrees of how bigoted people are and the really bad ones are probably not going to change anyway.

  • Jade

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was just making this argument last night, after a friend-of-a-friend posted an article with some of the same sentiments, although the author was very anti-gay marriage. I completely agree. And again I must applaud you for discussing LGBT rights so fervently in your posts. It always puts a smile on my face to know we have such a passionate and intelligent supporter!

  • Guest

    I mean like, you know, mayors of major US cities.  I mean, like, those who support such actions.  And yes, friend was a bit of a stretch.  I don’t consider my friend those who spew hatred in order to support rank censorship.

  • snoozn

    I’ve never heard the public restroom analogy. My kids go to a pretty hippy-dippy liberal school. They’ve had a number of transgender students (and one transgender teacher) and now have a “genderless” bathroom along with the more traditional boys’ and girls’ rooms. If this becomes the norm it may destroy your friends’ arguments!

  • Guest

    I don’t know, are they? But last I heard, if a politician was to stand up and say ‘no gay establishments in my city’, the LGBT and liberal communities usually don’t say ‘shucks, he’s just speaking his mind, nothing wrong with that.’  Remember, traditionally, those who were conservative had no problem saying there were values that our government could oppose.  It was the left, the liberal, that fought this saying tolerance meant tolerance for all.  So now, it’s a trick how the left, liberals, the LGBT community – all founded on this diversity and tolerance for all ethic – can now stand by and say ‘tolerance for everyone…except you.’  Hypocrisy at the least.  It goes down from there.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    You would think that a person with the screen name “Rwlawoffice” would know a little bit about anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • http://twitter.com/_mikeweber Mike Weber

    This is fantastic. One of the best posts I’ve seen in a while and it really gets to the point. Thanks Hemant.

  • Guest

    According to liberals, no it doesn’t, which is why liberals and those on the left say nobody has that right.  That’s the snag, isn’t it.  Conservatives have long said governments have a right to uphold some beliefs and not others.  That’s what the whole liberal revolution was about: tolerance for all, diversity everywhere, no more allowing your own beliefs to step on other’s beliefs and lifestyles.  That’s the rub, isn’t it.  Was all that liberal grandstanding just a farce, a lie, a joke?  Or are they now standing as a classic case of hypocrisy and double standard 101?  It has to be one or the other.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    I just can’t understand why we should let religion “own” the word “marriage” like it was ever theirs to begin with. Governments have been overseeing civil marriages for centuries. How hard is it to just give gay couples the same rights that straight couples already enjoy?

    This is the equivalent of saying, “Well, black people want to sit at the front of the bus. How about we just get rid of buses altogether, and replace them with something else? Problem solved!” No. How about we give this disenfranchised group the same rights that the rest of us privileged members of society have without taking something away?

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    Yeah, but as a fellow Bay Stater, I can tell you that this state is much more liberal than most of the rest of the country. We’re lucky to not see the same levels of bigotry and denial of equal rights that much of the rest of the nation has.

  • Guest

    What truth, that censorship is bad?  That’s a joke?  Oh, and yes you do affiliate with a political ideology.  Saying such a lame thing itself is a joke.  It just may not be a popular one (tell me you didn’t actually say that).

  • JasonTorpy

    Hate is an emotion, and that’s fine. But hate takes its more nefarious form as an action. Actions speak louder than words and they hurt more than someone else’s internal feelings. Just as marriage cannot last without commitment, comfort, attention, sacrifice, and all those actions that sustain the relationship, no amount of feelings of love or stated commitment can overcome the damaging and hateful practice of denying a person’s very being or putting a barrier between that person and the one they love. That is hate. Whatever you call it, this treatment literally makes people kill themselves, so opposing gay rights is an indefensible position.

  • Stev84

    A quote from the Supreme Court case Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett which is often quoted in gay rights cases is appropriate here:

    “Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection
    or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.”

    Not all Christians are motivated by animus. Many of them have simply been raised in ignorance their whole lives. But those usually manifest their prejudices in more subtle ways during every day interactions or simply by voting. They aren’t the foaming-at-the-mouth idiots who take out their anger in public.

  • CelticWhisper

     Secular therapists, or anyone else without a hidden agenda to aggrandize Stupid Jesus Shit (TM), are more than capable of handling those matters.

    Bear in mind that christian bigotry is largely responsible for these people not wanting those feelings.  If they didn’t feel like fucking pariahs for having them, I think far fewer LGBT people would feel so ashamed for being who they are.

  • Guest

    I’m glad they were.  Yet I also notice that a great many people have fought me on saying that it’s wrong, and that those on the Left who have supported it have seriously jumped the liberal shark.  

    There seems to be a bit of a double standard if you ask me.  Sort of a poll that asks ‘are you for this obvious case of censorship?’ – no.  But then when someone points out the rousing cheers this has gotten in many parts (and yes, on this blog, too), all hell breaks loose.  As soon as you say, “but you this or that regarding gays being stripped of their rights because the paltry few who will bother ever being married can’t”, you’re basically saying that all this posturing about being against this was just blowing smoke. 

    What else could you say after all?  That you’re for censorship?  No, if it was that clear that so many opposed it, then there would be little argument with me here.  Note the argument.  Like so much of the postmodern left, it’s nothing but lies and half truths based around saying whatever helps you win the argument du jour.  It’s not hard advancing values when your values change like that.  But then as a Leftist, I’m sure most on this site are well aware of that.

  • Guest

    Ah, they old ‘he supports things I don’t, so he should be censored’ leftist argument.  How nice. Liberalism – if it weren’t so dangerous, it would be funny.

  • Stev84

    It’s easily debunked when you see for how little of history churches actually had a monopoly on performing marriages. They got involved quite late and then gave over the legal registration of marriages to the government after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

  • Guest

    Then why are so many arguing with me about it?

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    Welp, ya got us…the truth is we all just really, really hate chicken sandwiches.

  • Octoberfurst

    JGaryP, I was exactly the same way you were back when I was a Christian. I didn’t hate gays. I truly thought they were lost souls who “chose” to be gay and that all they needed was to be “saved” and everything would be alright. They could be “normal” again.  Gay marriage wasn’t an issue back then but I know I would have been against it.  I WAS against gay clergy, gays in the military, etc. But I would have been offended if you called me a bigot—even though I was one. I just looked upon myself as a “Bible believing Christian.” I look back on my former attitude with shame. Just as I now feel shame when I see all the big crowds going into Chick-Fil-A to “take a stand for traditional marriage.”

  • Stev84

    No. Medical professionals have an ethical obligation to not subject their patients to harmful treatments. If a patient wants to be “cured”, the therapist  needs to tell them that it’s impossible and find a way to for them to reconcile being gay with their life that doesn’t inevitably lead to mental damage down the road.

  • Rwlawoffice

     I do.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 dealings with hiring and employment. It currently does not list sexual orientation as a protected class.  Some states do, but not the federal law.

  • snoozn

    Religious freedom, huh? There are several churches in my area that perform same-sex commitment ceremonies. These churches would prefer to offer gay people marriage ceremonies as they are able to offer straight people. But my state does not allow same-sex marriage. Your examples of religious freedom under fire have already been refuted. Why aren’t you concerned about the religious freedom of churches that want to perform same-sex marriages but are denied this freedom by the government?

  • smg77

    What does any of this have to do with bigots who are against marriage quality?

  • Glasofruix

    You aware that church marriage is not a legal requirement for, uh, a marriage? So if churches perform gay marriages or not bears zero importance.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Thousands of people have turned from their same sex attractions and live wonderful lives as hetero- sexuals. So it appears that it can be done, but do deny these folks treatment and to outlaw it is unethical and draconian.

  • CelticWhisper

    Not sure why I’m wasting my time on a fucking idiot like you when in any sane world you’d have been left by the roadside as an infant to die an undignified death, but whatever, here we are.

    NO FUCKING SHIT CENSORSHIP IS BAD.  Nobody here is arguing in favour of censorship you unbelievable moron.

    You can think what you want about my politics and you’ll just be wrong.  Wrong in the way that sees people pointing and laughing at you.  Wrong in the way that gets you taken seriously by all of maybe 3 people.  But frankly I don’t give a fuck about you or your opinions or your feelings.

    Actually, that’s not quite right.  I care about your feelings – I care in that I hope I hurt them as much as your kind has hurt the LGBT community with your invalid, meaningless, dishonorable and contemptible traditions.  You’re a christian and I’m done sympathizing with your ilk.  This site may be called “Friendly Atheist” but I have no interest in being friendly with you.

    But while we’re on the topic of my politics, what would you call someone who simultaneously supports full late-term abortion rights and full gun-ownership rights?  Who calls for marriage equality (and for gay marriage to be called MARRIAGE, with a capital M, just to rub christians’ faces in their failure to protect their bullshit traditions) and fiscal responsibility at the same time?  Hardcore left- and right-leaners both have told me I can’t “truly” belong to their camps.  Way I see it, the so-called left and right just have different sets of citizens’ freedoms they want to take away and can’t agree over which way of fucking over the people is more important.  Excuse me for supporting individual rights for their own sake.

    In summation, your sorry rhetoric isn’t winning over a single mind on this site, so go choke on a communion wafer, you walking argument for voluntary human extinction.

    Do you hear what I am saying to you?  KILL YOURSELF and spare us the misery of sharing a species with you.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    “These people meet the definition of “bigot” whether they like the term or not. It’s true that we often associate the term with beliefs stemming from hate, but that need not be the case.”
    I think bigotry stems from fear, not hate, which is the case with Christian bigotry here. Otherwise, well said as always, C Peterson.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    Boy I screwed up. That comment was supposed to be a response to C Peterson’s excellent comment.

  • Bill

    You are absolutely right, when you strip away religion, there is no logical, social, biological or political reason to deny same sex marriages.  None, nada, rien! The ONLY reason there is a debate at all is because of religion.
    The core issue here is not marriage equality, but religious bullshit. The same religious bull crap that has striped away a women’s right to control her own body in so many states.  The same crap that forces a ludicrous creationist education on hapless children and has sentenced generations of innocent Irish children to civil war.
    We need to stop making the debates about the topic at hand and start making every debate about how childish, idiotic, and untrue their religion is.
    If their opening volley in the debate is we disagree on religious grounds, we need to say, sorry religious grounds are not a valid starting point. Until you can prove the validity and truth of your religion, your position is not accepted. Tell us some non-religious reasons why you are against whatever it is we’re debating and then we can debate.

    In the meantime, calling a spade a spade or a bigot a bigot is totally justified.

  • Matt in Memphis

    Okay, take a deep breath, wipe the spittle off your mouth and focus for just a second. What exactly do you think you are ranting against here? Almost everyone commenting here, including Hemant just the other day ( and ed brayton at FTB, etc..), has explicitly said that Chik fil A should not be banned for their views and actions and that the government officials in Boston and Chicago are absolutely wrong to do so. That would in fact be a form of censorship. Also, stop acting like this is just about the opinions of Mr. Cathy. This is about the fact that he directs the money we spend at his restaurant to organizations that influence the government to oppose equal rights and advocate for horrifyingly immoral zealotry like “pray away the gay” programs.
    There is no censorship here. We are saying that we don’t want our money going to these causes and therefore will not spend our money at Chik Fil -A. We are also voicing our opinions that their views are bigoted. Where exactly do you get off claiming that criticizing someone is the same as censoring them?  This is just countering free speech with free speech in the marketplace of ideas. And for the “leftist” accusation, the boycott actually seems to be the very embodiment of the free market and capitalism in action. Consumers can choose where to spend their money, just as companies can choose to spend their money and support their own causes.  Get back to us when you see a concerted effort from our community to censor anybody.  If you want to argue with us, fine, but at least have the decency argue against things we are actually saying.

  • snoozn

    No I don’t think Christians need to worry too much about persecution yet either. But “Guest” does make a valid point. S/he’s talking about the idiot mayors who are saying they’re going to ban Chick-Fil-A based on political disagreements. Boycotts or shows of support are great and democratic, but government officials making threats against those they disagree with are not on the right path. Unlike “Guest,” I don’t think this is a huge problem or the way liberalism in general is going. Just a few idiots.

     Good blog about it here: 
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Its-not-true-liberals-threatening-to-ban-Chick-Fil-Aits-idiots.html

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    Again, the mistake is equating bigotry with hate when it really stems from fear. These people may not hate LGBT people but they very much fear the way gay marriage and the LGBT movement are changing society. Thea fact that this change will not and cannot harm them doesn’t change their fear.

  • CelticWhisper

    Wow, seriously?  I never thought I’d see the day we had that.

    Maybe erasing gender and embracing the individual isn’t an unattainable goal after all.

  • John Hawkins

    Notice how the act was passed in the 60s and yet the mormons banned blacks from the preisthood until the 70s? And how women are still banned fromn many preisthoods?

    That’s because no church has ever been forced to follow that law. You’re lying about how it would affect gay people because yout’re a pathetic bigot looking for a rationalization.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Please indicate where I said that the Civil Rights Act would be the law used force churches to perform same sex marriages? I didn’t.  However,  the EEOC tried to get rid of the ministerial exception to this act in Tabor v. the EEOC which is they had won would have applied this law to churches.

  • John Hawkins

    I had a long post going through every single claim on your links and explaining why they’re BS *for example one claims a bishop was charged with a human rights violation for writing a letter opposing gay marriage, in reality he wrote a letter supporting recriminalizing homosexuality, two people complained an then the complaints were dropped without any punishment for him*, but then my browser froze up and I lost it.

    So I’ll give a short “You’re full of crap” instead.

    Hell you’re repeating a lie we already disproved:

    “Yes this park was owned by the church and yes they opened it to the public and yes they received a tax exemption on it because it was a religious facility.”

    BEING A RELIGIOUS FACILITY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!. You know this and yet you keep repeating the lie. They made an agreement to get out of taxes as longas they rented to the public, then tried to refuse a member of the public.

    ” Churches are also open to the public and they receive tax exemptions.”

    No, they aren’t. No church has ever or will ever be sued because they wouldn’t let someone hold a Bar Mitzvah there.

    “It is a small step to say that their facilities will one day be asked to allow a same sex marriage to take place in their buildings and when they say no it will be called discrimination.”

    No it’s quite a large step. You bigots refuse to acknowledge this point, but the fact is that discriminating based on gender has been illegal for decades, yet the Catholc Church still proudly denies women any high office.  The one example you posted of a church that was forced to do gay marriages was the taxayer-funded state religion of Denmark.

  • S Fpok

    Marriage is defined “between one man and one woman”  It has nothing to do with being a bigot.  I don’t care who is with who.  Simply find a “word or words” to define a same sex couple union.  So many haters out there and this is making it worse.  Chick Fil A gave his opinion, he has every right to do that, he still does have that right, freedom of speech?!  If you don’t like his opinion, do not go to his place of business, instead of trying to block others from being built.  Chicago has moral standards?  Please, give me a break.  How many murders this year?  And your talking about this?

  • 74minhappy

    my 16 year old sister just married a 58 year old man (we are not Mormon).  I sat at a table of people who felt happy for the couple.  Need I say more? 
     “Soon we may live in a world where the only people opposed to gay marriage will be gay people who are married.” –Craig Ferguson

  • unclemike

    It’s not often I agree 100% with something on the internet. This is one of those times. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.

    Thanks for the clear-headed post, Hemant. 

  • John Hawkins

    The case was 9-0 against the EEOC. One government department overstepped it’s boiunds and the supreme court smacked them down, checks and balances at work.

    The point is no church is in any danger of ever having to hire a gay person for a job actually related to their religion and you have no basis to whine about having your freedom infringed. Those of us who have to live every day with the real fear we could lose our jobs because of bigots like you find your whining about the poor persecuted Chrtistians to be stupid and insulting. 

  • The Captain

    I’m going to make this real simple for you o.k. ” The examples I gave were given to show that same sex marriage takes away religious freedoms.” WHAT ABOUT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF CHURCHES WHO THINK SAME SEX MARIGE IS FINE? You seem to have no problem taking away their religious freedom, you bigoted hypocrite.

    As for the rest, well apparently you think a business owner who says his religion says black and whites should not mix has the right to refuse service to black people. Good to know when it comes down to it people like you support legal discrimination!

  • Stev84

    Marriage is defined “between one man and one woman

    Not everywhere. And according to Biblical standards, marriage is one man and however many wives, concubines and slaves he can afford.

    And for the three millionth time:
    It isn’t about him having an “opinion”. It’s about him donating millions of dollars to hate groups with the explicit intent to hurt gay people. It’s also about Cathy doing that in the name of the company. If he donated his private money under his own name the backlash wouldn’t be this severe by a long shot.

  • http://twitter.com/ReasJack Jack Jesberger

    I would add to Fred Clark, that it is in fact WORSE to wrap such cruelty in the trappings of niceness.   Trying to make poison smell like honey is a nasty business altogether.

  • John Hawkins

    So where are the people like you whining about government censorship when Southern politicians brag about keeping out abortion clinics?

    Hypocrties.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mind.blight Arion Sprague

    “In this case, one side is right and the other side is full of Christians.” I started laughing – loudly – in middle of my office at that line.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    I’m glad that you recognize that marriage is nothing more than a definition. It is a man-made institution, and its definition has changed many times over history and across cultures. It is currently changing in ours. If you have a problem with that, I would ask you to think a little about the fact that not long ago, marriage in the U.S. was defined as “between one man and one woman of the same race”. Do you think that was a good definition? Would you have fought against changing it? Perhaps you did fight against it.

    In the end, I don’t think that people see you as a bigot so much because you choose to adopt that particular definition of marriage, but because you seek to impose that definition on others, and in so doing deny others some freedom, even though that freedom would come at no cost to you whatsoever. Most people recognize that as being unfair and irrational- key elements of bigotry.

  • Stev84

    Exactly. Civil governments have overseen the licensing or registration of marriages and other family statuses since the 16th and 17th centuries (and before churches got involved a couple of centuries before that, common law marriage was the norm). Ironically it was the Protestant churches of that time that voluntarily agreed to that arrangement. Europe has had purely civil marriages since the late 18th and 19th centuries – as in churches can’t even legally notarize a marriage there. So why are they trying to rewrite history now?

  • John Hawkins

    Oh hey another lie from the pathetic bigot!

  • Ibis3

    From Slacktivist  (via Libby Anne):

    This misunderstands, and fundamentally misrepresents, the complaint of those who are upset with Chik-fil-A. Unlike Young and the Christianity Today crowd, these folks don’t primarily view the world through  the lens of “stances.” They’re not upset with Cathy’s “stance,” but with his actions.

    Because those actions matter. Dan Cathy and Chik-fil-A are exerting power against other people. They are using their financial power to leverage political power in order to deny others their rights.

    Chik-fil-A’s critics aren’t concerned about Cathy’s opinions, but about his actions — his actions against them.

    Against them and their fellow human beings.

  • John Hawkins

    Then why are so many arguing with me about it? ”

    BECAUSE YOU’VE ACTED LIKE A COMPLETE DOUCHEBAG IN EVERY SINGLE POST.

    Seriously, from your very first message you’ve just been talking down to us about how we’re all stupid brainwashed hypocrites.

  • Pustulio

     You clearly haven’t been following the news either as EVERYONE,  including the authors of the letters themselves, have acknowledged that there is no legal justification for blocking CFA from opening new stores.

    But hey, why start being honest now?

  • The Captain

    So I point you to a thread on this blog where the vast (as in around 90%) of the people on the “left” denounce government censorship, and after you read it you continue to act like everyone here supports said censorship? You sat “But then when someone points out the rousing cheers this has gotten in many parts (and yes, on this blog, too)” Yet back to the post I linked too, only a tiny minority of people expressed that opinion, and once again most condemned it! How do you remain so ignorant of the facts even when they are shown to you?

    The best part in all this, is you complete avoidance of the same behavior from the right when it comes to things like the NY mosque. Where the applauding of theses mayors who want to stop a Chick-fil-a comes from a small fringe of the left, the preventing of muslims from their free speech enjoys widespread support from the right. How many rallied to support a mayor from preventing a muslim from their free speech? Who many networks devoted hours and hours to the danger of muslims excessing their first amendment? (hint..2) Yet you act as if it’s the left that is advancing these ideas, sorry the majority of right wingers already did that.

    Also this, “What else could you say after all?  That you’re for censorship?” for the third time you should read that thread, in it you would see my opinion of government censorship in regards to Chick-fil-a. I’ve told you twice already to do it, at this point you ignorance is your own fault. Or you can continue to make shit up about me if it supports what you want to believe.

    You sir are an example of what it’s like to be so partisan that reality is apparently no longer any use to you. Your hypocrisy is mind numbing. Good luck with that.

  • The Captain

    Exactly but then this is why people like”guest” are so stupid. As you say we have “a few idiots” on the left that support it, yet a large percentage of the right, and right wing politicians support the government from banning a Mosque. The hypocrisy of his characterizations hurts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

    Lucky you.  My mom is really REALLY Catholic as well and takes the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach, even asking me, “Why do they even WANT to get married?”  I answered, “The same reasons you and Dad wanted to get married, Mom.”  It made her pause… but it didn’t change her mind.

  • Anon

    Does that mean that if I don’t struggle with my homosexuality (or bisexuality) I don’t get cookies?

    Because, seriously, I don’t struggle with my bisexuality. I think it’s awesome. My bisexuality and I aren’t fighting, we’re all snuggled up together on a fluffy rug in front of a fire with kittens and puppies marshmallows and chocolate.

  • kagekiri

    Yeah, I didn’t hate gay people at all, but I bought into the “hate the sin, love the sinner” and “homosexuality is just another sin, not any worse than others Christians commit everyday” crud. 
    So I voted for things like Prop 8 in CA “on principle”. I’m ashamed of it now as a humanist and atheist; hell, I was ashamed of it then as a fundie Christian, because I knew that my voting “for the Bible” was simultaneously voting against some of my friends who I considered dang good people. 

    My previous stance was definitely bigoted, even without any hate. 

    Thankfully, that dissonance between the Bible’s hate-mongering and reality of normal gay people was one of the things the pushed heavily towards my deconversion, and I’m now firmly on the pro-LGBTQ side of the fence. 

    It’s probably one of the best consequences of my deconversion that I no longer have to vote for dogma nor against people’s happiness. Though I guess I’m making Christian unhappy, but they like feeling “persecuted” in the long run, so it’s all win-win.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Do you really think that because the EEOC lost at the Supreme Court level that there was no threat to religious liberty? The fact that the government even tried in the first place was the threat and but for a successful defense would have worked. 

    As for Christians not being fired for expressing their faith, tell that to the guy in new jersey who just filed a lawsuit for that very reason- fired for wearing a lanard that had a christian message on it.

  • kagekiri

    Yeah, unfortunately, hating intrinsically human attributes is part and parcel of Christian belief, even for heterosexual thoughts or basic emotions. I don’t think liberal Christianity washes it out entirely, but it’s definitely reflected in crazy evangelical teachings like my old church’s.

    “You find that girl attractive? You’re not married? You’re committing adultery!” (this one’s from Jesus’ own bigoted crazy-pants mouth)

    “You’re masturbating while thinking of anyone, even your wife? Spiritual adultery! You’re having sex with yourself and committing adultery with anyone you’re thinking of!”

    “You’re having dreams that you can’t control with sexual content? Adultery! You have dreams where you kill people? Murder! You’re not praying for your dreams to be protected by the Holy Spirit! Confess your sins to each other!”

    “You’re angry/proud/happy/sad? God’s anger is the only just anger, God’s pride is the only justified pride because all our gifts are from God, God’s will should make you joyful no matter how happy or sad you are!”

    “You don’t understand God? It’s because you’re sinful and letting your self get in the way; a more broken vessel will let God shine through more.”

    So much self-blame, so much barely disguised anti-humanism, so much crap.

  • Miss_Beara

    So we are bigots for being against people who are actively fighting against civil rights for a group of people? We are bigots to your bigotry?

    Makes perfect sense.

  • amycas

     I had a similar position to this. Of course, I also was taught that it was all a “choice,” and being bisexual (and not understanding it) led me to believe that it really was a choice (as in, everybody must also feel attraction to both sexes). In other words I was against it because of my religion and because I did not have an accurate understanding of how sexual attraction works, but it was still bigotry. I didn’t hate. In fact, I avoided the topic with my gay friends because I didn’t want to hate them. But, I can’t deny now that it was bigotry (with a dash of homophobia) through and through. All I can do now is try to undo any damage I may have caused before by fighting for lgbt rights and asking for the forgiveness of those I hurt with my bigotry.

  • Shouldbeworkin’

    Censorship is the suppression of communication. None of Roger’s examples were about communication…

  • snoozn

    Slow progress is better than no progress. My oldest daughter was doing the college search last year and a number of the small liberal arts colleges she looked at had genderless bathrooms (I’m pretty sure that all the bathrooms at Hampshire College were genderless). Also, a lot of them don’t force kids to have same-gender roommates, but go by the kids’ preferences. And many don’t just assume there are only two genders. 

    Definitely going towards that goal!

  • James McLeod

    I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. So many of my friends on facebook have been sharing this post by Rachel Held Evans and I just can’t hear it anymore. There will be a time when those who are anti-equality will hold the title of bigot as badge of honor but until then it is impossible to conclude that persons who are anti-equality are anything but bigots. Thanks for this post. 

  • amycas

    I <3 Slacktivist

  • rx7ward

    Maybe this sweeping generalization gets made because the only Christians making a bunch of noise are the bigots. It’s very rare to find non-bigot Christians making the same amount of noise. Is this the quiet Christian’s fault? Sometimes it is, many times it’s not. But the impression is that it is more important to “not make waves” with other Christians than it is to stand up for what is right.

    Also, please notice that a lot of this bashing is bashing of religion and the religious generally, rather than of Christians specifically. It’s just that in the USA, the Christians are the most visible of the religious.

  • moot

    I don’t call playing horse playing basketball because they are two different things.  Granted they share some of the same qualities…there is a basketball, a hoop, the goal is to make it in the hoop, but you are not playing basketball you are playing horse. For thousands of years, the term marriage refers to the act of a man and woman committing their lives to each other exclusively and if they so choose they could procreate.  Gay people, by definition, cannot naturally do that.  So, why must we stretch marriage to include something that doesn’t apply?  Call it a civil union, a retention ceremony or whatever.  Just don’t try to change the definition and understanding of something very sacred to an entire community of people.

    No one will care that two loving, gay people got hitched (call it that too if you want) if that’s all that they want to do.  Just don’t try to make Christians accept something that puts them at odds with their faith and a God that doesn’t accept that.

  • Miss_Beara

    There are two I know of that perform same sex ceremonies as well. My state doesn’t have marriage but we do have civil unions. 

    This point has been refuted so much. I don’t think this person cares. 

  • kagekiri

    Yeah, it’s hard to get out of the labyrinth of self-reinforcing crap in the Bible, especially if you were raised on it.

    Questioning God is sinful, testing God is sinful, false teachers are everywhere, logic isn’t reliable, your love will grow cold, people will hate you and try to destroy your faith, doubts are not to be trusted instead of faith…..blah blah blah.

    All to make you ignore any counter-evidence and burrow yourself in Biblical knowledge to protect your ignorance.

  • Stev84

    I’m too tired to point out your historical fallacies for the thousandth time. Everyone with some sense already know why you’re wrong.

    But you’re a liar and you know it. Churches also oppose domestic partnerships and civil unions at every turn. With the exact same arguments they use for “marriage”. Constitutional amendments frequently ban any kind of relationship recognition. They also oppose simple anti-discrimination laws because they don’t want gay people to have any rights.

    And no one is forcing you to get gay married. How about instead you stop forcing your fucking beliefs on everyone? Not all people believe the bullshit you do. Marriage has been a civil legal construct for centuries now and your religion has no claim to it. People aren’t telling you what rituals to conduct in your church. In return you don’t get to enshrine your superstitions into the law.

  • NewAtheist

    You have some pretty valid points. I’m also in the south, and yesterday was a little disheartening, to see so many give their money to organizations like Exodus. With glee. Hoping it would “fix the gay”.

    However, since you argue so persuasively that boycotts aren’t the way to go, what do you suggest? While I have no desire for CFA to use my money for such endeavors, and do so because of their actions rather than Cathy’s beliefs, I wouldn’t mind a decent way in this fracking bible-belt to show them the harm their actions cause fellow Americans.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Sorry John, your lame reassurances are not comforting. The facts and the trends defy your contention that it will never happen. 

    In fact, in the new law in Washington State, there was a provision that in the event a church allows non members to use its facilities for weddings, they must offer those facilities to same sex couples as well or it will be considered discrimination. Here is that section:

    Section 7 :
    Consistent with the law against discrimination [RCW 49.60],
    no religious organization is required to provide accommodations,
    facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the
    solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the
    organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of these accommodations
    or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages,
    privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale.So in the event a church allows couples who are not members of the church to use the building to perform weddings, it would have been illegal for them to not allow a same sex couple from doing so even if the church does not agree within its religion to same sex marriages. Fortunately this was removed in the final version but you can see what the intent was.Keep telling  yourself it isn’t going to happen and we will know it still a lie.

  • Miss_Beara

    “Just don’t try to make Christians accept something that puts them at odds with their faith and a God that doesn’t accept that.”

    What about the christians who accept gays marrying? Their god says it fine. What about the churches who wed or perform commitment ceremonies? 

    Isn’t it convenient that your god dislikes the same things you do. 

  • Rwlawoffice

     If those churches want to perform same sex marriages they can.  That is different from the state sanctioning them.   But if the state does sanction them and a church refuses to perform them based upon religious beliefs, that is when religious liberty is threatened.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Where did I say that if a church wanted to perform a same sex wedding it couldn’t do that?  What you are seeking is state sanction of the union.  When a church performs a same sex wedding it can do so even if the state doesn’t sanction it.  However, when the state does sanction same sex unions and a church refuses, that is when the churches religious liberty is threatened.

    As for the comparison to black people, it is not relevant as much as I know you would want it to be.

  • amycas

    You still have yet to show any  legislation taken against CFA that could be called “censorship” even under your definition.

  • Rwlawoffice

     If you are intolerantly devoted to your opinion and you treat others with hatred or intolerance who disagree with you than yes you are a bigot. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

     I was going to respond to Matt E’s earlier comment that such opinions are rooted in fear by also mentioning ignorance as a factor.  I would guess that either of those conditions are the basis for most bigotry, with true hatred being the case with a relatively small minority. 

  • tanyam

    Nicely put, thank you. – A Christian who is forwarding this to other Christians who just don’t get it.

  • amycas

    Church buildings are private property and not open to the public. 

  • amycas

     If churches open their doors to members of the public (like all other businesses) then they must open them for everybody. If the church only allows members to marry, then it’s a private organization and not open to the public. How are you not getting this distinction? If churches didn’t try to make money (i.e. be a business) by renting out it’s building to the public, then it would be considered a private organization and not held to this law.

  • Robert King

    This is exactly why I object to the label “bigot”: because there are a number of logical, biological, and political reasons to uphold the traditional definition of marriage.

    Biology is most obvious. The sexual organs have reproduction as their primary purpose. This is not their exclusive function, but it is the primary one: producing sexed gametes that unite with the corresponding opposite-sex gamete, developing into an adult human being. Compare it to eating: we eat for pleasure, but no one denies that nutrition is the primary purpose of eating, and trying to eat exclusively for pleasure can have serious health consequences.

    Sex is an inherent part of being human. “Race” based on skin color or ethnicity is a not-terribly-useful way of categorizing large groups of people. It is a natural variant in the biology of human beings. No matter how much sexual desires may vary, the sex organs themselves do not vary based on sexual orientation. The “discrimination” is based, not on a normal variance in the population, but on a constant: not the desire, but the act and its consequences.

    This leads to the political reasons.

    Marriage is a legal union of persons who are united sexually. (I hope we can all agree on this much, at least: a legal union based on a sexual relationship.)

    Now, the only reason the government has for regulating marriage is for the good of the society as a whole. If marriage is entirely a private affair between consenting adults, then the State has no reason to regulate it at all. What happens in my bedroom is not public, is not a matter for legal intrusion – unless it impacts the broader society as a whole.

    The impact that sex has on the broader society as a whole is based on the biology: when the sex organs fulfill their primary purpose, they will frequently result in the birth of a child. This child needs to be raised into a functional adult. If we don’t have children, society ends. If we don’t raise our children, society degrades or ends. So the community has a reason to encourage both the birth of children and their proper raising. This encouragement is called “marriage.”

    We have added all sorts of other cultural and legal trappings, but at its root, this is the reason the government has anything to do with marriage at all. If it were not for children, marriage would be an entirely private and personal event. There could be no objection to same-sex marriage.

    But society as a whole, and therefore the government, has a reason to regulate the procreation and raising of children. If your sex life is not directed toward having children, or is incapable of having children, then the government has no reason to regulate it. That is, no reason for marriage.

    (This is, by the way, the reason the State has anything to do with adoption, as well.)

    So there are good reasons, scientific and political, that opposition to same-sex marriage is not the same thing as prejudice or hate against homosexual people. I don’t deny that there are plenty of bigots out there; and I have heard logical (if not conclusive) arguments that same-sex marriage doesn’t harm traditional marriage, and so should be allowed anyway. But my point is that opposition to same-sex marriage is not inherently bigoted or prejudicial.

    Finally, none of these arguments are based on religion in any way. They are arguments based on experience and science and reason. You may disagree with the argument, or with the conclusions that some draw from them. Fine. But argue with them on the same basis: science, reason, experience.

  • amycas

    You define marriage as a religious institution, with religious reasons for excluding gay people. A gay religious person also defines marriage as a religious institution without an exclusion for gay people. The government excludes gay people from the definition. How does this not violate the religious gay person’s rights? The government is affirming one religious position over another–that is a violation of the first amendment. The government is excluding one segment of the population from due process of law (by not recognizing their union and affording the same legal benefits)–that is a violation of the fourteenth amendment.

  • The Captain

    Your talking nonsense. I mean really nonsense. The State right now sanctions catholic marriages, and jewish ones, are the catholics religious liberty being threatened then because the state recognizes a wedding not in jesus christ’s name? How is this so hard for you to understand?

    No, it is extremely relevant. You can’t just plug your ears and scream “no no no” when someone points out that your arguments mean that allowing one group to claim a religious belief should allow them to discriminate against one group, thus means another person can do it for a different group. So if you think your religion means you can not serve gay people in your business, that means another person can say their religion means they don’t have to serve black people in theirs. YOU are not special!

  • amycas

    The fact that there are very successful attempts to legislate against lgbt rights in many states does not prove to you that the lgbt are not given due process of law under the fourteenth amendment? This doesn’t seem like a threat to their liberty (religious or not)?

    As to the Christian losing their job for expressing their faith: links or stfu

    I recently did a report for a class over religious liberties and expression thereof and it’s actually very difficult for a workplace to fire somebody based on their religion. In almost every case, the religious person who was fired wins. The same cannot be said for lgbt people, whose rights are only recognized in a handful of states (not including the one in which I’m a resident). So until you can actually point to a state in this country that doesn’t list “Christian” or “religion” under it’s anti-discrimination laws, then stfu because whatever individual case you might be able to dig up does not hold a candle to the thousands of lgbt people who are employed without anti-discrimination protection.

  • Lucilius

    Now try looking up the definition of “pig-ignorant troll.”

  • Stev84

     All that crap has already been refuted at length in the courts

  • amycas

    The difference is that when the church performs a heterosexual marriage ceremony, the ordained minister is then able to sign a marriage license and after the signage and the ceremony, the couple is legally married. The church, that is for same-sex marriage, is not legally able to provide that same service to a same-sex couple.

    The Catholic Church will not marry anyone who was previously divorced (except under special circumstances). Using your argument: If churches want to perform marriages for divorced people they can. That is different from the state sanctioning them. But if the state does sanction them and a church refuses to perform them based upon religious beliefs, that is when religious liberty is threatened.

    Why don’t you provide some examples of the Catholic Church being forced to provide a marriage ceremony for divorced people?

  • Robert King

    Citations, please?

    Also, I wasn’t aware that courts could refute biology. If a court decided that evolution wasn’t true, would that suddenly make it not true?

  • amycas

    I’m perfectly fine with being bigoted against anti-gay bigotry.  At least I’ve never advocated for Christians to be tortured, imprisoned, cured by rape (per what happens to many lgbt people upon coming out) or otherwise harmed.

  • kraken17

    Where does this definition come from? I realize that the “one man / one woman” thing is commonly asserted, but no one seems to mention the basis for it. It certainly isn’t biblical. I was raised in an evangelical religion, and I’ve read that thing back to front and crossways too. I’ve yet to come across anything supporting this view.
    Secondly, I don’t believe anyone has tried to take away Chick-fil-a’s right to opinion. Disagreeing with someone is not the same as taking away their free speech, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

  • amycas

    Why can’t marriage be that word? I know some gay couples who are raising a family, own a home together, work through life together, love each other and their families. They fit every part of the definition of the words marriage and family, and yet you say they are not married. You say it doesn’t count. Well, fuck you. They do count.

  • amycas

    I especially hate when they retort back,”but I’m an immoral sinner too, so I’m not being hateful. I’m just telling the truth.” The difference being that their sin (whatever it is) is not being lambasted in the media. Their sin is not being used against them to deny them equal rights and due process under the law. Their sin is most likely not being used as an excuse to torture, murder, imprison or rape them. The whole idea that everybody is a sinner destined for hell is hateful. Just because you hate all of humanity doesn’t negate the fact that you’re hateful. The same reason I don’t like people who make racist/sexist jokes followed by “I’m an equal opportunity offender” and then proceed to call white people crackers.

  • amycas

    I don’t struggle with being bisexual. I struggle with the idiots who hate me because of it.

  • amycas

     damn, you beat me to it :-)

  • The Godless Monster

     This is what happens when typing while holding a 4 month old baby…

  • amycas

    If you’re not the type of Christian who is bigoted against homosexuals, then we’re not talking to you. 

  • Robert King

    Do you have an edit function? I could swear that your second paragraph wasn’t there ten minutes ago. Or did I just completely overlook it?

    If edit, could you let me in on your secret?

  • Robert King

    Marriage has simply never been about procreation.

    If you said, “marriage has never been simply about procreation,” I could agree with you. Marriage has lots of other trappings associated with it, and has for as long as we have historical records.

    I don’t see how that changes the argument.

  • Bob Kundrat

     I’m not specifically replying to you kraken17 but the definition of marriage really is the issue.

    I think Hemant’s rant misses the point because if restricting any group of people from anything implies bigotry, name-calling, etc then Hemant himself is a bigot, hater, etc if he for instance is against me marrying my daughter.  Spare the incest and genetic responses because let’s just say I don’t really care about that.  Or how about me marrying my daughter, mother and uncle Frank.

    I realize you’ll think these silly and so do I but if marriage is not something that is part of any kind of design or natural order as Christians would argue, then why does it have to be between one man and one woman or one woman and one woman or one man and one man.

    Discrimination is everywhere in the sense of society making distinctions.  Hemant mentions we must have “rational reasons” for our distinctions and I agree but what’s the basis for a rational reason when we get to define what we want the way we want it.

    Hemant doesn’t help the discussion by endorsing the name calling.  That’s childish and immature at best and hardly “friendly”.

  • kraken17

    I may be misreading here, but it seems to me that you’re saying marriage is the government’s way of regulating procreation and child rearing, therefore gay people don’t need to get married because they cannot reproduce. If this is not your argument (in part) please correct me.

  • amycas

    I stopped reading at this:  “The sexual organs have reproduction as their primary purpose.”

    No, reproduction is not their primary purpose. You could argue that the uterus’ primary purpose is reproduction (as that’s basically all it does). But sexual organs have many purposes. In fact, most people ignore the fact that the purpose they are used for the most is for removing waste (i.e. pooping and peeing). My sexual organs have many purposes. The primary purpose is decided by me, not other people. If I decide right now that the primary purpose of my sexual organs is for pleasure, than I can masturbate. If I need to pee then the primary purpose is for expelling waste from my body. If, at some point in the future, I decide to get pregnant, then the primary purpose will be for reproduction. Seeing as how the vast majority of humans use their sexual organs most of the time for purposes other than reproduction–reproduction is obviously not their primary purpose.

    Besides all that: we don’t deny infertile couples the right to marry. We don’t deny couple who don’t want kids the right to marry. We don’t deny elderly couples the right to marry. Why is this any different for gay couples? Are we going to start outlawing all marriages and uses of sexual organs that don’t result in reproduction? No? Then your argument is stupid and ignorant.

  • Baby_Raptor

    There’s our dose of Jesus for the day! 

  • Baby_Raptor

    Agreed. Fred is one of the few sane christians I know of. 

  • amycas

    Does he actually need to cite cases where infertility and impotence were not used as grounds for dissolution? you know this is not the case. You know that infertile couples are allowed to marry, and then receive the same benefits that fertile couples receive. We don’t need citations for things that are common knowledge (I personally have a great-aunt and uncle who chose never to have children, their marriage was not dissolved by the government).

    I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about biology. That’s the naturalism fallacy and you post is rife with it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, the one big point to me is that I don’t want my money going to activities that personally harm me. 

    If you also hold that view, a personal boycott makes sense. 

  • LesterBallard

    I don’t support censorship. Let me show you; eat shit and die.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This. My fiance is trying to change my idea on the matter, but…

  • http://twitter.com/drestuart Dan Stuart

    We True Christians aren’t bigoted!  We’re just in favor of denying certain rights to certain groups of people based on characteristics they can’t change!

    …wait.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hyperbole, much? Nobody is physically attacking CFA people. Nobody is burning down their buildings. A bunch of people on the internet are SAYING WORDS. 

    Get a grip. 

  • Stev84

    Yes, it is. It’s what has been used in the Prop8 case and all the DOMA cases, and it has failed spectacularly every time. You can make a drinking game for whenever a BLAG brief mentions “responsible procreation”. By now they should have realized that no one is buying it.

    Even if the encouragement of procreation were a legitimate government interest, denying marriage to gay couples does nothing to protect or encourage straight couples. It ignores however, that many gay couples do have children and they deserve legal protection in the same way that the adopted children of straight parents do. Because family law isn’t about biology or biological families, but de facto families, i.e. they take into account the actual situation and not how any why children were born.

  • Baby_Raptor

    So it’s only okay for people to speak when they agree with your position? 

    Also, you might want to look up the definition of censorship. Nobody is being forcefully shut up or prevented from speaking their views. Nobody is being punished for what they’re saying. People reacting to what you say is not punishment, nor is it any form of censorship. 

    Also, I bet you don’t consider it wrong when the Left says something and people on the Right have this kind of reaction. It’s rather funny how the Right is completely hypocritical in matters such as this; it’s only a “violation” of your rights when people react to a cause you agree with.

  • amycas

     Why can’t the term marriage be used for when gay people commit their lives to each other and raise a family together? You don’t have to “accept” it. We’re not asking for that. We’re asking that the government not discriminate in this case. There’s a difference.
    By the way, I’m a bisexual poly-friendly atheist. When, if, I get married to the man I am currently living with, it will not be a sacred religious ceremony, and the marriage will most likely not be exclusive, and yet my marriage to this man will still be legal. Imagine that. Your religious rules do not bar me from marrying a man, but they can bar me from marrying a woman? Why?

  • Baby_Raptor

    So politicians banning abortion is censorship? Politicians attempting to ban women’s health care is censorship? Politicians trying to obstruct Obamacare because people believe that it’s socialism is censorship?

  • Mary

    I was anti-gay everything because I loved Jesus and was led to believe that he was too. All I can say is that I spent so much time with Jesus-people that I honestly didn’t know how blinded I was. And I was homophobic simply because homosexuals were not welcome to be open in Christian circles, so I didn’t know a single person who was gay – at least not openly so. I was afraid of things I didn’t understand (the same held true for people of different colors, abilities, everything). But I am one of those naturally anxious people, so I’m anxious in any new situation, and it makes sense that I was anxious around people whose cultures and backgrounds I felt I didn’t understand. IN LARGE PART, I was anxious because I was ignorant, and on some level I realized I was. Young Christians are encouraged to be “sheltered” and “innocent,” and if they are serious about that, they don’t ask a lot of tough questions that might lead them down an “evil” path.

    I don’t know what to think of who I was back then and of the Christian culture that created me. Most of the people I was around seemed truly interested in following the path of God, whom they saw as good, no matter where it led them. When we had unpopular opinions, as opposition to homosexuality is becoming now, we thought we were supposed to be strong and stand by the truth no matter how great the opposition. There are a LOT of people out there who honestly think they are standing up for good and don’t realize what they are doing. 

    Yes, I think it does make them weak and ignorant, in that they aren’t really holding their beliefs up to scrutiny and asking the tough questions. They also aren’t really LISTENING to the other side, because they are instead listening to a voice in their head that they see as God – a voice that comes from their religious training.

    I don’t think that name calling is necessary. People who think they are holy and following God’s laws will never accept that they are bigots, because then they are accepting that their God is a bigot. I don’t know what will wake these people up, honestly. 

  • guest

    “But society as a whole, and therefore the government, has a reason to
    regulate the procreation and raising of children. If your sex life is
    not directed toward having children, or is incapable of having children,
    then the government has no reason to regulate it. That is, no reason
    for marriage.”

    So how is the government regulating unwed parents? Your arguments are valid for creating a license for parenting, not marriage.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You’re completely wrong. If you honestly believe that this is just about him voicing his beliefs, then apparently you’re incapable of reading. It’s been made very clear that this is NOT about what he said, it’s about his actions. 

  • kraken17

    They must be struggling, otherwise they wouldn’t need all this “loving” christian attention.

  • Edmond

    Biology and evolution are not constructs of humanity.  We don’t define them.  But marriage WAS created by people, so we ARE in charge of defining THAT.

    All of your arguments appear to support the government protection of rights associated with PARENTING, not with marriage.  There is no requirement to have children in marriage.  There is no requirement on parents to get married.  It’s not as if there isn’t an opportunity for the state to ask if a couple intends to have children.  Many states require a blood test, and most will ask SOME questions of the couple before allowing them to marry.  If it’s discovered that the two are closely related, for example, they’ll be prevented from marrying.  If the state goes that far, then they could certainly take one more moment to ask if any children are planned, or even possible, and make that a contingency of the marriage.  But, they don’t.

    The process of marriage isn’t about any children, it’s about the COUPLE.  It bonds them together for the purpose of sharing their lives.  It allows them to pool their assets and properties, it allows them to stand as one another’s legal representatives.  It prevents any outside parties from interfering in this bond.  These rights are not diminished or removed if no children are produced.

    Not everyone who marries can have children, or even wants them.  But one thing that everyone who marries DOES want, is a partner.  They want to share their life with someone, because that makes life happier and easier.  Of course, that can be done WITHOUT marriage, but that can add a lot of unnecessary stress, cost, and effort.  Especially for people who WANT to marry but are prevented.  Not really conducive for making life happier and easier.

    Having and raising children is certainly an important part of society.  You make many good points for allowing heterosexual couples to marry.  But you make none for simultaneously denying this right to homosexual couples.  Many of us are raising children as well, and marriage goes a long way toward helping those families function more smoothly, and avoid the stigma of being unrecognized and illegitimate.  You aren’t doing these families any favors by hoarding marriage only for the families you approve of.

  • Robert King

    The fact that, in men, the digestive and reproductive systems share part of a channel does not mean that they are the same bodily system.

    The fact that scientists call it the “reproductive” system shows that they generally accept reproduction as its primary purpose.

    As to infertility, unless we take action to make ourselves infertile, it is impossible to predict whether a couple will be infertile or not. Nor do we know what kind of infertility treatments might result from further research. So I would be very reluctant to label a male-female couple “infertile” and deny them the opportunity.

    Moreover, no one is saying that marriage is only about procreation; simply that procreation is essential to marriage. If it were not, why would the government get involved at all?

  • Mary

    I guess I should add that what woke me up had nothing to do with homosexuality but everything to do with suffering and truth. When I started seeing that Biblical arguments I had been taught for years did not add up and found that I no longer believed them, I quickly realized that I had nothing against homosexuals and wanted my mind and heart to be free and open to everyone. All I can say is that it’s wonderful to be free. As a Christian I was extremely hindered, boxed in and “protected” from real life. I am not anymore, and I love it. We need to remember that these people’s bigotry and fear not only hurts homosexuals, but it actually hurts them too. They have no idea what they’re missing, trading in a full life for a spot in the line at Chick-fil-A. I am not arguing for them, but vilifying them isn’t quite fair either. They are people who are making some really stupid mistakes and hurting other people in the process. And YES, they are missing out on a lot of life in the process.

  • Robert King

    Not so much that “gay people don’t need to get married” as that the government has no reason to define or regulate or encourage the sex lives of gay people.

  • ReadsInTrees

    I think the difference is that being in a homosexual relationship is not illegal anywhere in the USA, so why are we treating homosexuals as second class citizens?
    On the other hand, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality ARE illegal, so asking to marry your daughter, a child, or your dog is comparing apples to oranges.

  • Gary

    You seem to feel that being gay is not a natural variant in the biology of humans, like race is.  Many would disagree with you. 

    Marriage is not a legal union based on a sexual relationship, it’s one based on a loving relationship.

    You also believe that the expansion of the definition of marriage will be detrimental to society.  Many would disagree with you here also.   To focus on your children argument, traditional marriages can still exist while new ones (same-sex) that also provide stable and loving support for children are encouraged and treated fairly.  Why wouldn’t anyone, including the government, endorse this?

    I must admit thought that you’ve obviously put a lot of thought and effort into justifying your bigotry.

     

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    Understandable. Although what the Patheos blog software did to your tag is hilarious. :P

  • Robert King

    Do you mean the Appeal to Nature? I don’t regard this as necessarily a fallacy.

    The middle term in the argument is: It is good for a thing to be itself, rather than to try to be something it is not; that is, it is good to fulfill one’s nature.

    You can dispute the appeal, (and many have done so,)but I don’t know what else you could look to as a basis for morality or legality.

    On the other hand, if you “don’t give a flying rat’s ass about biology,” then what do you care about?

    Re: infertility – I’m not talking about dissolving a marriage; I’m talking about entering into one in the first place. So I’m looking for cases where the courts have entirely and explicitly rejected procreation as an essential aspect of marriage.

    I assume there are such cases; I just don’t know what they are. I’m interested in learning about them.

    That said, I don’t allow the courts to dictate right and wrong, truth and falsehood to me. Courts have decided that slavery is A-OK, and that evolution is bunk. I’m not going to take their word for it.

  • ReadsInTrees

    Agreed. Homosexuality has been observed in countless animals, therefore the only conclusion we can reach is that it IS a natural variance in the biology of humans.

    In any case, if anyone ever tries to argue that one-man-one-woman is the “natural” way of things, call BS on that one. Humans are not “naturally” designed to be monogamous, no primates are (just look at the shape of the human penis, a shape clearly evolved to “shovel” competitors’ semen out of your mate’s vagina). It’s only as a society have we decided that monogamy is preferred.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Marriage is not part of any natural order. There is nothing to suggest otherwise. Marriage is a social construct, that’s all. It serves various social purposes, such as maintaining property lines, providing a legal mechanism to ensure child care, providing a connection between families, etc. The relative importance of these purposes has changed over time, and remains quite different across different extant cultures. Not all societies have or have had legal marriage. Where marriage has existed as a legal structure, it has consisted of one man to one woman, one man to many women, one woman to many men, one man to one man, one woman to one woman, children to children, and adults to children. The Catholics recognize marriage between a woman and a mythological character.

    You cannot marry your daughter because there are laws against your having a marital-type relationship with your daughter. If you can make a case for changing those laws, then you should be able to marry her. There are no laws against homosexuals having marital-type relationships, so preventing these people from gaining the benefits of marriage that the state recognizes is irrational, and by the standards of most people, unfair.

    A person who opposes same-sex marriage seeks to limit the freedoms of other people despite the fact that the exercise of those freedoms in no way impacts their own freedom. That is unreasonable. If you ask that a subpopulation be treated differently than others, and can’t justify it by any material standard, that’s discrimination. People who are discriminatory in this way are bigots. That isn’t name calling, it’s just stating a fact.

  • JamesEmery

    S Fpok-

    First point:  Marriage is defined in MULTIPLE ways depending on one’s religion, and in several ways just in the Bible.  This is an idiotic and patently false argument.  Perhaps you should pick up your holy book and, I dunno, actually READ IT.

    Second point:  Why should LGBT people have to choose another word?  If your name is Steve, is no one else allowed to use it?

    Third point:  No one really cares about Dan Cathy’s opinion.  They give a damn that he is funneling cash through his company to anti-gay hate groups.  When you buy there, that’s YOUR money going to those.  He can hold or state his opinion all that he wants.  His company has moved on to active support of oppression.  That’s beyond free speech a bit, and we have every right to make it known and to argue against it.

    Fourth point:   So far as attempting to block Chick-Fil-A from coming into a particular area, would you be complaining if they tried to move a strip club into your area?  How about a store that sells communist paraphernalia?  Blocking businesses that are deemed inappropriate for a particular community is not new, nor rare.

    Fifth point:  We’ll happily talk about the murder rate in Chicago when it comes up.  Hell, I’ve discussed it in a couple gun control arguments just in the past week.

    On that last note, if you were to get a flat tire and, instead of stopping to help, I just went on and on about the genocide in the Congo, how would you feel about that?

    Don’t be a moron.  Learn something.

  • Robert King

    Did you entirely overlook where I said, explictly, that differences in sexual orientation do seem to be a normal variation in the species? That’s not the point.

    Did I ever say that expanding marriage to same-sex couples would be detrimental to society? Some make that argument, and some oppose it. I am not making that argument here.

    All I am saying is that opposition to same-sex marriage is not necessarily or inherently bigoted or prejudicial.

  • Robert King

    That’s a good question, but not the one under discussion here.

    For the record, I’m not sure that governmental or legal regulation is the only or the best way to ensure proper support for children and families. There are large chunks of history in which the government did not regulate marriage at all.

  • Phil Rounds

    I agree. Nothing else i could add to this.

  • Stev84

    Why are Christians always so obsessed with sex? Marriage isn’t about sex. As couples who have been married for a couple of decades…

  • Laurence

    Robert King is committing the naturalistic fallacy.  He is creating an ought (Governments ought to regulate against gay marriage) from an is (the primary purpose of the sex organs are reproduction).  This kind of argument has a hidden premise which we should make moral and political judgements based on the truths about biology.  This argument is as good as the argument that since women are typically physically weaker then men, it means that men should always lift things for women.  This argument seems obviously wrong to me because I haven’t been given any good reason to accept that the typically physical status of women should have any bearing on who should always lift things.

    Furthermore, marriage is a complicated cultural institution that has served different purposes at different times.  Any definition of marriage is going to be pretty arbitrary.  If we are going to have a definition of marriage it seems to me that we should have a definition that discriminates against the fewest number of people while at the same time harming the fewest number of people.

    In conclusion, there is no good reason to not allow gay marriage and these arguments from biology are usually a scientific mask for bigotry similar to the scientific racism that occurred in previous times.

  • Robert King

    The process of marriage isn’t about any children, it’s about the COUPLE. It bonds them together for the purpose of sharing their lives. It allows them to pool their assets and properties, it allows them to stand as one another’s legal representatives. It prevents any outside parties from interfering in this bond. These rights are not diminished or removed if no children are produced.

    I would argue that this is only part of what marriage is for. Pooling of assets and power of attorney – and every other legal benefit – can be achieved through contracts. Tax benefits would require legislation, but could theoretically be made available to civil unions of any number of people, with or without sexual relationships. To some extent, this is what corporations do.

    So why are these benefits packed together in marriage? Because a marriage is (among other things) a sexual relationship which normally results in children.

    I would argue that, without children being a normal result of sex, there is no social reason to have any public regulation or benefit for sexual relationships or commitments.

    I’m open to other reasons, but I have not found any that convince me that government or society should have anything to do with a sexual relationship that is not even potentially procreative.

  • Geocatherder

    OK, Hemant, you’ve won.  Your argument is persuasive.  I will no longer remain totally apolitical on FB, but I will post my feelings in support of LGBT rights.  This may make a few friends unfriend me… but it will allow me to be honest, not silent.

  • Sa Say

    Wellllll…..not completely accurate, JamesEmery. I have looked up the definition of the word “marriage” in every dictionary I own, and every dictionary online. The literal definition of marriage is a legal or holy union between a man and a woman in which they become husband and wife. Those words–”man”, “woman”, “husband”, “wife”–they are in every version I have found. That has nothing to do with politics, religion, or other ideologies–dictionaries aren’t ideologues. That definition just is.

    The real point of this debate is the fact that, based on this established definition of a word in our western culture, we must make a decision to expand that definition to include certain other couples, specifically same-sex couples. Dictionaries follow the cultural norm, as evidenced by the fact that the word “google”–to search the web–is in every major dictionary today.

    I’ll invite you to learn something as well. I don’t happen to like the word “moron” (notably stupid or lacking in good judgment). I don’t think name calling is very productive.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    You haven’t looked very hard. Merriam-Webster includes “the state of being united to a person of the same sex”. The OED includes “a formal union between partners of the same sex”. The Free Dictionary includes “the legal union… between two persons of the same sex”.

    In fact, I couldn’t find a dictionary that doesn’t include same-sex unions within the definition of “marriage”. I’d say the definition has already been expanded, particularly given the number of jurisdictions around the world, and even in the U.S., that recognize marriage between same-sex partners.

  • Sa Say

    The definition comes straight out of every English dictionary. It is, literally, the definition. So like Bob says in his response, the definition of marriage IS really the issue. Definitions are created/constructed by the cultures in which they are used. So creating a broader definition is our imperative. The dictionary isn’t law.

  • Sa Say

    C Peterson…that wasn’t my point! It was that the definition of the word “marriage” is not religious. But you are absolutely right.

  • Robert King

    I’m not proposing an ought. I’m looking for a practical justification.

    If you allow (as you seem to) that the primary purpose of the reproductive system is reproduction, and that children have an impact on society – positive if they are raised well, and negative if not – then it is reasonable for society to think about the best way to regulate and/or encourage the proper raising of children.

    I’m not saying the government ought to regulate it. Through large portions of history, government had little or nothing to do with marriage; it was largely a cultural or religious event. But every society I know of had some kind of public social expectations and customs surrounding sexual relationships based on the probability of children resulting; most of these same societies simply looked the other way or didn’t care what you did if there was no possibility of children.

    So government has reasons to regulate marriage; that doesn’t mean it ought to. Maybe the best thing is for government to just get out of the marriage business altogether. All mutual privileges like power of attorney or visiting rights can be handled by contract; tax privileges (and penalties) for marriage can just be dropped. Then religious people don’t feel attacked and same-sex couples don’t feel deprived.

    Re: racism, this is not at all analogous to racial prejudice. This is an argument based on behaviors and their results, not about persons or desires or distinguishable groups. The fact that heterosexual genital intercourse normally has the possibility of pregnancy, and other forms of intercourse do not, is a real distinguishing factor between the kinds of intercourse; it is not unreasonable or bigoted to treat them differently in law.

  • Robert King

    If it’s not about sex, then why do we limit it to couples in sexual relationships?

    Also, why the jab at Christians? I find more obsession with sex on TV and in romance novels than I ever have in the various religions I’ve studied.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Nevertheless, virtually every dictionary (certainly, all the major ones) list same-sex unions within their definitions of “marriage” (often qualified with “in some jurisdictions”). This suggests that the cultural shift is already well underway, and it’s the law that’s catching up with accepted definitions.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    You rock. Good luck!

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Sorry. But all of this goes to obliterate definition arguments, no matter what they are. As you said above, the dictionary isn’t the law. But it sure helps us see where the law is likely to go.

    What’s most silly, of course, is the suggestion that there’s some sort of biblical definition of marriage that corresponds to “traditional” western marriage. That’s nonsense, and wouldn’t be relevant to the discussion in any case.

  • Sa Say

    Yep…that’s exactly the point I was trying to make. I got caught up in being clever. I think I’m on sensory overload from all this flap.

  • Gary

    Trying to make sense of your argument you’ve made on this site.  It seems you are saying that the government and society can justifiably oppose same-sex marriage because it can’t result in children, and ultimately the purpose of marriage should be to encourage the birth and raising of children and nothing else.  I have many problems with this argument, but the ones most pertinent to your case are that 1) same-sex marriages can contribute greatly to the ‘raising of children’ part of this and 2) that many same-sex couples adopt children, which encourages their birth indirectly when people are more willing to go through with pregnancies.   These are damn good social reasons for public regulation and benefits to be accorded to these relationships the same as they are to others.  I still think all of this, including your arguments here, starts with bigotry and prejudice that then goes looking for the best justification.

  • Guest

    I know this is going to make a lot of people mad but what will people want next? Beastiality. Will you then be a bigot if someone wack job wants to marry your family pet? He says, “I’m in love!” What would you say about that? How about the people who are “in love” with their car? This isn’t a joke, I’m dead serious. God gave man woman for a reason! LIFE! God said, be fruitful and multiply! You can call me a bigot all day long if you want, I stand for what is right. Just because it is widely accepted in today’s society doesn’t make it any more okay. Don’t get me wrong I do not hate anyone, I care very much for everyone. I don’t want to see anyone put eternity in jeapordy. Remember this, every sin is forgivable if you accept Christ as your savior. The only unforgivable sin without Christ is blasphemy. It’s not too late to give up selfish desires, accept Christ and repent and you shall receive the Kindom of Heaven.

  • Guest

    Sorry, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy. With Christ it is forgivable however.

  • Stev84

    *headdesk*

    Does your god say anything about terminal stupidity?

  • The Captain

    You need to look up the word “consent”.

    Also, that argument was made against interracial marriage. So do you think it’s possible for a black guy and a white girl to mary without including the family dog?

  • Edmond

    Maybe you haven’t found any that convince you, because you aren’t gay.  Sometimes it takes living in the shoes of a targeted group, before you understand what they go through.

    If you would argue that the legal benefits are only “part” of what marriage is for, then you are admitting that there are OTHER parts that exceed the narrow definition of parenting.  Even you allowed “among other things”.  You can’t halt this discussion at the single issue of procreation, while there are still “other things” to take into consideration.  If marriage is contingent on multiple factors, then those other factors need to be taken into account when denying the right of marriage.  You can’t deny it based on ONE factor, if it’s granted based on MANY factors.

    Those “other factors” are very important, not just to gay couples but to ALL couples, with or without children.  Sure, we could go from specialty lawyer to specialty lawyer, signing contract after contract to try to match the coverage provided by the government.  But that’s a hell of a lot more expensive than just buying one marriage license.  And those contracts may not be portable from state to state.  And they certainly don’t cover Federal benefits.  And they might be contested by greedy family members after the death of one partner.  People who can marry don’t have to deal with ANY of this.

     You say that if it weren’t for children, there would be no point in the social benefits associated with marriage.  But many gay couples DO raise children.  What does marriage do for heterosexual couples raising children, that it WON’T do for homosexual couples raising children?  In what way are these rights important for straight couples, but unimportant for gay couples?

  • Mexi

    Thank you.

  • ChristopherErwinHogan

    It’s interesting how the fundamentalists keep complaining about being “silenced”.  It seems to me, they never shut up!

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: I know this is going to make a lot of people mad …

    … but you’re going to make them mad, anyway. Got it.

    Re: Will you then be a bigot if someone wack job wants to marry your family pet?

    Nice try … but no. Not gonna work. Marriage is a contract between two people. Pets cannot enter into contracts. Hence, marrying a pet is impossible.

    Re: God said, be fruitful and multiply!

    Which God? Where? I don’t see one. Produce a God and then we can discuss what he did or didn’t say.

    Re: You can call me a bigot all day long if you want, I stand for what is right.

    Calling yourself “right” does not actually make you “right.”

    Re: Don’t get me wrong I do not hate anyone, I care very much for everyone.

    Of course you — and the rest of the militant Christianists — hate gays. How could it be otherwise?

    Re: I don’t want to see anyone put eternity in jeapordy.

    Aha, there it is! The ultimate weapon of Christian psychological terror. He hammer of doom … the threat of eternal damnation if people dare to be so insolent as to refuse to follow your own personal set of metaphysically-generated rules.

    Re: Remember this, every sin is forgivable if you accept Christ as your savior.

    Why would that be the case? How, exactly, does that work? Please explain the mechanism … in detail. Include every step. And then when you’re done, explain precisely what your God gets out of this particular scenario.

    Re: It’s not too late to give up selfish desires, accept Christ and repent and you shall receive the Kindom of Heaven.

    I can’t think of anything that’s more “selfish” than coming in here, ordering people to believe what you believe … merely because you believe it … and back up your demand with threats of eternal perdition.

    As for the kingdom of Heaven, I’m not sure you even understand what it is. That’s OK, nearly all Christians these days have no clue about it, so you’re not alone. Try reading what your own Jesus Christ had to say about it. You can find just some of his comments on it, in Matthew 5-7 & Luke 6:17-49 … among other portions of the gospels. I can tell you this … ordering people what to think is distinctly NOT the sort of humble lifestyle Jesus advocated as the way to being the kingdom of Heaven.

    Before you claim to be a Christian and tell people what Jesus taught, you first must actually behave like a Christian and abide by those same teachings. I suggest you try it sometime. You obviously haven’t done it, yet.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: For thousands of years, the term marriage refers to the act of a man and woman committing their lives to each other exclusively and if they so choose they could procreate.

    Uh, no. In reality, “for thousand of years,” marriage meant any number of different things. It meant one husband and many wives. It meant one husband, a few wives, and some concubines on the side. There have been marriages to unite families, marriages to create political alliances, marriages which followed from military conquests, marriages intended to prevent military conquests. There have been marriages for love, and marriages for convenience. And on and on and on it goes.

    People are quick to claim there is only one “definition of ‘marriage’,” but history demonstrates it’s just not true. Marriages have come in many forms, they’ve served many purposes, and marriage itself has morphed a great deal over the last few thousand years.

  • Mythra

    I couldn’t agree with you more Hemant. Hate is hate. I don’t care how many cherries you throw on top. I’m a latino in the south and growing up in these parts has shown me just how cruel these christians can be. I used to have people tell me that I was alright, or that I was one of the good ones. Jee thanks, I have family you know. These people are sad. And you must distance yourself from those that wish harm, stress, or fewer rights to certain peoples. By showing them ur disgust with their hateful views it’s the only way to send a message to them. No more silence. We must stand strong and assertive when it comes to bigotry. Enough is enough. So throw out those loaded words of conflict when the time is right. If u are against equal rights, you are a Bigot.

  • Guest

    Romans 2: 14-16
    Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

  • Parse

    Two thoughts
     - You’re being honest, forthright, and not being overly antagonistic.  If not friendly, I’d at least call that being passably civil.
     - As to why you’re wasting your time with this, well, there’s two aspects.  One is that ignoring trolls doesn’t work – the best outcome for that is that they get bored and go away on their own, the worst is that they crap over everything, chase away regular commenters, and exhaust the moderators to the point of giving up.   The other is that you’re fighting for the entertainment of yourself and the crowd.  It’s like watching a kitten unwind and shred a roll of toilet paper – highly amusing, though the roll has no chance to survive (make your time).

  • zakkmoneyy

    This was so interesting I nearly read half the comments on the original post. It really reminds me why I dislike organized religion so much. I don’t discount the possibility of a higher power, but I don’t agree with an institution that has been passed down for thousands of years, only to be twisted and filled with prejudice by the cold hearts of those less tolerant.

    S. Truett Cathy is the perfect example. He may not be a Christian leader, but a damn good chicken sandwich can make a lot of people listen, especially if your faith is summed up in to one word, “Christian”, like his. People are flocking into his restaurants because they agree with his views, but he’s using that authority to take their money and give it to special interest groups (that’s right, the company’s money, not his).

    Christians are more or less educated by the church to not ask the tough questions. Questioning “God’s” teachings is considered a sin. However, it’s pretty safe to assume that other shady people like Cathy have had a chance to sway the followers of one of the world’s archaic religions, whether it be to create new beliefs or reinforce old ones. Can you honestly believe that the Gospel has remained untainted by, for lack of a better word, the greasy fingers of wealthy bigots and opinionated religious leaders?

  • Guest

    Where in anything I said did I order anyone to believe in what I believe? I simply stated my beliefs. And you people call Christians bigots!? The definition of a bigot is what? Look it up. It’s okay for a non-believer to be able to express their views and opinions but when a Christian does it we are bigoted because we don’t accept your values. I guess it takes one to know one.

  • Guest

    I see many have responded to my initial post.  Well, I haven’t the time to keep up with the responses.  Let me sum up.  To those who condemned such obvious Orwellian heavy handed examples of censorship and thought crime punishment – well done.  Bravo.  But I’ve noticed that not a few, while saying they opposed such things as a mayor attempting some good old freedom ending puritanical intolerance, there are many who seem to get upset with the idea that the thing they oppose is being called what it is.  Plus, there’s not nearly enough condemnation of those within the left/liberal/gay community who aer jumping up and down and yelling for more thought control.  I notice when Fred Phelps and his ilk come out of whatever floor boards they hide beneath, you would have to get tickets to shout him down from the religious community.  I mean, religious leaders of every stripe – even if they aren’t Christian, but especially if they are – come out and smack him down and any like him by the boat load.  Not ‘buts’, no ‘howevers’, just simple condemnation.  They may have other opinions on issues, but the make sure their condemnation of his deplorable tactics are heard, and undeniable.  That’s what I would like.  Sure, there are differing views on this issue.  And yes, the Left seems ever eager to portray those who don’t conform to liberalism’s dogmas as hate and evil, but still, it wouldn’t hurt this one time to let the focus be where everyone sees it should be: a naked attempt by elected officials to invoke censorship because they seem to think someone in the LGBT community is wanting that very action to take place.  Make it known, make it clear.  Then folks may be a little more inclined to believe you when you say 90% of everyone has condemned this, and without the requisite qualifiers. 

  • Travis

    There is a rational basis for opposing same sex “marriage”. It is found in God’s word in Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and other places. God says that the act of sodomy is an abomination. How can people who fear God and believe the Bible is His word to humankind endorse what He calls sin. It is disingenous to claim that opposition to the homosexual agenda must be motivated primarily by bigotry or fear when it can easily proceed from a clear reading of scripture, which is reverred as divine revelation on rational grounds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    You compare love between consenting adults with bonking the family pet, yet you want to pretend you aren’t a bigot?  Get real. 

    You can’t tell the difference between loving relationships between consenting adults and predation on children, animals or inanimate objects which clearly cannot give consent.   Your morals are clearly twisted and you probably shouldn’t be allowed in the general population.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Nobody is trying to control your thoughts.  Denying LGBT people marriage is not a thought.  The fact that it’s legal in 30 states  to deny gay people employment or fire them just because they’re gay isn’t a thought.   The fact that it’s legal to deny gay people housing in more than half of the nation isn’t a thought.  That’s discrimination.  It’s bigotry.  And you’re not being persecuted because we call you out when you voice support for it. 

  • Piet Puk

    Cherry picking from 
    thousands year old scripture as a guide to morality is not ‘rational’.
    Please don’t expect us rational people to follow your delusion.

  • 3lemenope

    The following sentence is true. The preceding sentence is false. 

    Seriously, when you come out with stinkers like that, it’s no wonder people question the logical integrity of your belief system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Christians do not own marriage.  If you don’t want to give your blessings to our marriages you don’t have to, but you don’t have the right to deny other people rights just because your chosen religious beliefs say something is wrong.  

  • Piet Puk

    Good job on misinterpreting almost every reaction you got. Must be a right wing thing, 
    Bill ‘O Reilly style.
    Nobody here wants cencorship, the LGBT  community wants equal rights. That is all.

  • Stev84

     “rational basis”. It does not mean what you think it means

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    “If your sex life is not directed toward having children, or is incapable
    of having children, then the government has no reason to regulate it.”

    That BS argument failed in court (The Prop8 trial) because, well, it’s BS.  Gay people aren’t sterile nor is having children a requirement of marriage.

  • kraken17

    Ah. I think the problem lies in assuming that sex and marriage are inextricably linked. It would seem to exclude asexual couples, or those who cannot or choose not to have sex for any number of reasons. While lack of sex is certainly used as a reason for ending a marriage, I’ve never heard of anyone checking up on newly weds to make sure they’re getting it on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     He has the right to free speech, as do the people who are speaking back to say “you’re a bigot, Mr. Cathy”.  Why do you think free speech should only go one way?

    BTW, Mr. Cathy is doing far more than stating his opinion.  He gives thousands of dollars to hate groups that work to strip LGBT people of their rights, and even to kill them (I assume you’ve heard of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda and if you haven’t look it up).  He’s not being “persecuted” for his Christian beliefs, he’s receiving rightful blowback for his financial support of discrimination and genocide.

  • Wintermute472002

     It’s funny how this effective treatment you speak of has been decried by basically every major medical professional organization in the world.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

     RW…. here’s a question.

    You (and all other anti-gay bigots) proudly trumpet around these “well, they’ll force churches to marry gay couples” claims. I only have one question to that:

    Why the FUCK would you want to get married in a place where they don’t want you to get married?
    Why the FUCK would you want to spend the most wonderful day of your life at a place where they actively hate you and wish they could invalidate your marriage?

    There are plenty of churches across the entire country who are proud and happy to host same-sex marriages. If I were religious, I would be looking for a place where I could get married and the pastor wouldn’t be spicing the sermon with hateful speech. And come on, unless you’re living in a tiny little community, chances are there are many, many churches around you (I have about six churches within a half of a mile from where I live, of different denominations.)

    This is why this argument makes no sense. Even if a law was passed which forced churches to marry people they didn’t want to marry (which would be HIGHLY unconstitutional, and I would be on the front lines fighting it) then no gay or lesbian couple would want to get married somewhere that would be negative towards their union.

    It’s a stupid hypothetical that people like you come up with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     New Mexico doesn’t have legal same-sex marriage.  They do, however, have anti-discrimination laws.  That photographer would have been sued had she refused to  work for a Jew, a black person, someone with autism, or a Catholic.  You guys like to throw this case out as “evidence” that legal same-sex marriage threatens “religious freedom” but it has nothing to do with either.  It’s about the fact that people can’t run a business and refuse to serve people based on their personal bigotries because anti-discrimination laws exist. 

    No “church” in NJ was forced to open its facilities for a same-sex wedding.  NJ has Civil Unions, not marriage.  Furthermore, it wasn’t a church but a boardwalk pavilion (Ocean Grove Pavilion) that was owned by a church but open to the public in exchange for substantial tax breaks.  Until a lesbian couple asked to rent it for their ceremony the church had no issue renting it out to anybody and everybody who came along.   Then they tried to play the “religious beliefs” card and they were, rightfully, sued.  Again this was an issue of anti-discrimination laws and not same-sex marriage or religious liberty.  The church wanted to take the tax breaks but then also wanted to disobey the law when they chose.  That’s not how it works. 

    No church in the US ever has been or ever will be forced to marry anybody.  Churches refuse all the time to marry couples they don’t want to.  Just recently a church in Mississippi refused to marry a couple because the couple was black.  This BS about churches being “forced” to marry gay couples is just more fearmongering to whip the voters into a frenzy so they deny LGBT people equal rights.

    Sweden isn’t the USA so nothing that happens there applies here.

  • TED

    I agree with the spirit of what you’re saying wholeheartedly, but can we please qualify the term “Christian?” As a socially conscious liberal who also happens to attend a church  within a denomination (the ELCA) which allows gay ministers, it really bothers me when people make sweeping assertions against “Christians”. Please keep in mind that within the vast umbrella term Christianity there are multiple Christianities, which may OR MAY NOT be opposed to gay marriage and the larger quest for social justice. Your friend Rachel is an excellent example of this. So let’s all try to be just a little more careful when try to reduce Christianity to some monolithic entity. Nobody benefits from sweeping generalizations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     It’s nice we live in a constitutional republic and not a theocracy, isn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    Who is being censored, and how? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Were you this concerned when Obama spoke out in favor of marriage equality, and got a shit storm of rage in response from anti-gay bigots (many of whom were government officials/politicians)?

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    The way anti-gay Christians go on about “protecting marriage,” you’d think people were trying to take their marriages away. The organized anti-gay right is all about control and punishment, no surprise there, but even the people on the ground seem obsessed with this idea that their families are somehow being threatened. I guess I just don’t understand what’s so frightening about inclusion. No one’s trying to destroy the “traditional family.” Gay and lesbian families just want to be included within that framework.

  • Anon

    I’m tired of these LGBT people with their “You’re either with us or against,” crap. i honestly dont care what happens with the gay marriage debate. if they can marry,fine. if they can’t, fine with me.

  • AxeGrrl

    I just can’t understand why we should let religion “own” the word “marriage” like it was ever theirs to begin with. Governments have been overseeing civil marriages for centuries

    This X 1000.

    Believers who have the presumptuously arrogant sense of entitlement when it comes to ‘marriage’ REALLY need to be disabused of the notion that they somehow have some special ‘say’ on the matter, or that what they do say has any special weight or importance…..they don’t and it doesn’t.

    And it’s getting reeeeeeally tiresome having to make this same point over and over and over every time this subject comes up. 

    Note to Christians who oppose ssm:  get your arrogant collective nose out of civil marriage, and just concern yourself with what goes on inside your own churches with religious marriage.

  • JustAnotherPedant

    Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. That means they describe how words are used, rather than giving instruction on how to use a word. Definitions and, therefore, dictionaries, change over time. Queer used to be a perfectly cromulent word, appropriately used to mean “strange or weird.” It doesn’t have that definition anymore, in English. It has, over the last 100 years or so, evolved into a slur, and contemporary dictionaries will reflect this change, while a dictionary written around the time of _Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland_ or _The Wizard of Oz_ (two books off the top of my head that I know use the word) will have the older definition.

    Language changes as we change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Well it’s pretty simple.  Either you support equal rights or you don’t. It’s not “crap”, it’s a simple fact. 

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: Where in anything I said did I order anyone to believe in what I believe?

    When you told us what would happen to us if we dared refuse your orders:

    I don’t want to see anyone put eternity in jeapordy. Remember this, every sin is forgivable if you accept Christ as your savior. The only unforgivable sin without Christ is blasphemy. It’s not too late to give up selfish desires, accept Christ and repent and you shall receive the Kindom of Heaven.

    The meaning of this is clear to me. If it’s not clear to you, that’s not my problem … it’s yours. They’re your words, not mine. Take responsibility for them.

    I simply stated my beliefs.

    Uh, no. You didn’t just stop at telling us your beliefs. You told us we’d be tormented for eternity if we defied your beliefs. That is NOT the same thing as merely stating what you believe.

    The definition of a bigot is what? Look it up.

    Look it up for yourself. I don’t have time to educate Bible-thumping, doom-propounding Christianists. There are free dictionaries on the Internet … use one.

    t’s okay for a non-believer to be able to express their views and opinions but when a Christian does it we are bigoted because we don’t accept your values.

    Again, that is NOT what you did. You did much more than that. You instructed us to believe as you do because we’d be tormented eternally if we defied you and your God.

    I guess it takes one to know one.

    I have no idea what that means. Obviously you didn’t actually pay attention to what I said. Is that because I’m an insolent, cynical, skeptical, godless agnostic heathen? You think you don’t have to pay attention to my words? You can just rail back at me with your paranoiac metaphysics, without bothering to digest what I said?

    I know your religionism has infantilized you, but really, I don’t have time for these childish games, your accusations that have no basis in reality, and your bellicose whining that there are people in the world who dare defy you and your God. Some of us can and will do so. Don’t like it? Too bad.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Marriage is a legal union of persons who are united sexually. (I hope we can all agree on this much, at least: a legal union based on a sexual relationship.)

    Er, asexual people can and do get legally married. So, no, having sex is not a requirement for legal marriage. A couple could be together their entire adult lives and never have sex, but they would still be married.

    This child needs to be raised into a functional adult. If we don’t have children, society ends. If we don’t raise our children, society degrades or ends. So the community has a reason to encourage both the birth of children and their proper raising. This encouragement is called “marriage.”

    Great! So what about my parents? They’re lesbians. They’ve been together over 30 years. They quite successfully raised my brother and me to adulthood, but they had to do it without any sort of legal protection for most of our lives. There’s no reason the system should leave children of gay and lesbian parents out in the cold. If the law can be inclusive, why be exclusive? What benefit is there in denying parents and children legal connection? It hurts children. It hurts families. The law should be concerned with making sure that children’s parents are legally bound to them and to each other. This is vital in cases of abandonment or death. There’s no reason for making people’s lives hard when they don’t need to be.

    But of course anti-gay conservatives don’t care about children of gay parents. They think we shouldn’t have been born. They’re bound and determined to punish our parents for their “inferior” choice, not caring who is hurt in the process. You can’t make gay and lesbian families disappear by denying us legal rights. You can stigmatize us and delegitimize us, Robert, but we still exist. And we’re not willing to take second-class treatment anymore.

    If your sex life is not directed toward having children, or is incapable of having children, then the government has no reason to regulate it. That is, no reason for marriage.

    I’ll believe that when I see post-menopausal women and infertile couples denied marriage licenses. Of course it doesn’t happen, because this is a red herring. One doesn’t have to declare an intention to procreate in order to get legally married. There are millions of married heterosexual couples who cannot have children, and millions more who do not wish to have them.

  • Bruce N

    “but no one’s taking away their rights. No one’s forcing gay marriage in their church. No one’s asking them to attend a gay wedding against their will.”

    No, but they are forced to pay for government funded abortions with their tax dollars, which is against their belief system.

    I think no liberal enjoys a conservative calling them a baby killer, or against the rites of babies. They would claim it is not about that with abortion, it is about protecting the rites of the mother. Well if you are going to take that stance, then it is only fair to realize that the conservatives view is not anti-gay, it is about protecting the sanctity of marriage. Something you say their is no rational argument for (what is the rational argument against, “everyone straight has it”? Mabe they shouldn’t. 50% of people get divorced. Just because it is a true statement doesn’t mean it is a rational argument), well most religions, followed by billions of people, for thousands of years have clearly defined marriage between a man and woman. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t just claim it is illegitimate and unreasonable becauseyou disagree and it doesn’t serve your goal.

    I am a republican, and I am for gay marriage. I wouldn’t want to not be able to have the same rites as someone else, just because I have a different sexual preference. This is th same reason I am anti-abortion. While I think forcing a mother into an unwanted pregnancy is a horrible violation of her freedom…it is the lesser of two evils, as depriving a child of a life and giving them no say in the matter is the greatest violation of freedom that could exist.

    The only way we are ever going to be able to come to agreement, is if we can objectively look at the views of others, respect them like we expect our own, and if we actually try to understand them. When you present their pro defined movement of marriage, as “anti-gay”, then you better be presenting your case for abortion not as “pro-life”, but as “anti-baby”. You have to have moral consistency in the way you approach your arguments. Unfortunately many, like this author, choose to depict movements they don’t agree with as hateful, and despite wanting people to be tolerant of views of others, they throw around the word “bigot”, like that is an ok thing to do.

    Your friend sounds like a nice person, who is tolerant of the views of others, but has her own, and asks that you respect them like she does yours, and you call her a bigot and write an article that reeks of moral superiority. There are plenty of bigots in this world (many of them liberals believe it or not. And yes, affirmative action IS racist. Any act that favors one group over another is discrimination. Reverse discrimination doesn’t make it ok, but you want to believe it is, and rationalize it, because…it’s what you believe, so the rules for morality change), your friend is not a bigot. She like the majority of christians, are accepting, and forgiving people, who happen to live their lifes by a culture and codes that they believe to be sacred, and have for thousands of years, and one of those is marriage, which has been defined for them as between a man and a woman. You friend did her best to be respectful, and tolerant of the views of others, and made an impassioned plea to stop having random people accuse her of being a hateful bigot just because she had a different belief system. I wonder if she knew it would actually be a friend of hers that would be calling her a bigot.  

  • Bruce

    One correction (well probably a few spellings), but I meant “pro choice” not “pro life” when discussing something a liberal would defense.

    And I wanted to add, looking over your last article again, and calling out people on their bullshit. Let’s not pretend that bigot is being used here, or anywhere else nationally, in any other way than it actually is. It is not some term that is up  interpretation, and it is not something you are reaching for beause you are having trouble defining the best way to describe someone. It is a hateful,offensive, nasty term. It is used to slander someone, and create the public perception that that person is evil, and wrong, and in such a way that they should lack all credibility in the discussion. You are using it to try and bully people into having the same beliefs as you. It is cruel, and the first resort of a weaker mind that clearly is unable to make an articulate case for their position.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Read and learn.  Marriage hasn’t been “one man/one woman for thousands of years”.
    http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/articles/article25.htm

    And abortion isn’t paid for by your tax dollars, but churches are subsidized by mine so maybe you should stop your whining about being “forced to pay for things you don’t believe in”.   We all pay for stuff we don’t approve of.  It’s called being a grownup in a civilized society.  Give it a try sometime.

  • LesterBallard

    Hey. I don’t mean that literally. I don’t want you to eat shit.

  • Anthony Camilo

    We must modify our language when it comes to civil rights. Qualifying those whose rights are being denied as gay people, immigrants, black people or whatever, diminishes what they are: people. That is the bottom line, they are PEOPLE. Adding the qualifier opens the the door to “why”, “excuses”, and (I use the world reluctantly) “reasons”. Allowing the qualifier almost validates the argument of those who choose to deny the rights they posses for no other advantage than being alive, by acknowledging their prejudices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     “people who struggle with homosexuality”

    People don’t struggle with homosexuality.  They struggle with bigots and institutionalized bigotry. 

  • Megd0178

    Please don’t lump all Christians together. We don’t all oppose gay rights. The united church of Christ has supported marriage equality for years. There are a lot like us out there, but our voices aren’t as loud

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     That is unmitigated BS.  What is unethical and draconian is so-called “reparative therapy”, which has been denounced as ineffective and harmful by every legitimate professional group around.

  • Stev84

    It’s as if they truly think that everyone will suddenly turn gay and stop having children. Otherwise that “argument” makes no sense whatsoever.

    If they think being gay is so tempting that everyone will go for it, that says a lot more about themselves

  • Stev84

    The most important point is that same-sex marriage has no effect whatsoever on straight people and their children. They’ll continue to be supported in the same way they already are. Yet, Christians are conjuring up these absurd fantasies about straights not having children anymore, causing the end of society

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     There’s a perfectly legitimate reason to boycott CFA and other businesses that choose to donate to anti-gay causes.  By doing so we help avoid funding our own oppression.  Why should we give money to corporations that are merely going to use it to harm us?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Feel that Christian Love.  

  • Purplewldflower

    I am so sorry that is the kind of Christianity you have been exposed to.

  • ThatIsToSay,What?

    If it’s not about sex, then why do we limit it to couples in sexual relationships?

    We don’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     “I specifically said that would be the next step and mentioned the New
    Jersey case as an example of where this will come from.  Your points
    prove it. Yes this park was owned by the church and yes they opened it
    to the public and yes they received a tax exemption on it because it was
    a religious facility”

    No, they didn’t receive a tax break because it was a religious facility.  They received a tax break in exchange for opening the pavilion up to the public.  In doing so they made themselves subject to state anti-discrimination laws.  If they didn’t want to obey the laws they could have kept the pavilion private, though naturally they wouldn’t have received the tax break.

    “Churches are also open to the public and  they receive tax exemptions.”

    Churches are tax-exempt by virtue of the fact that they are churches but they are private property. They are not “open to the public” in the same sense as a business.  A person cannot just walk in and demand the church host their wedding, funeral, baptism or other event.  A church can refuse anybody who doesn’t meet their criteria (wrong faith, not a member, not a member in good standing, didn’t tithe enough, interfaith marriage, didn’t go to confession enough, etc).  They have never been and never will be sued for refusing to marry anybody, despite all of the lying by people like yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    So when a church is forbidden (by laws like Prop8) to perform a legal same-sex marriage that’s not a violation of their religious liberty, but when a church “might” be forced (which exists only in the fevered imaginations of anti-gay bigots because it never has happened in real life and never will) to perform a gay wedding that is a violation of religious freedom?    George Orwell is spinning in his grave.

  • Isilzha

     “marriage”–you keep using that word, but I don’t think you know what it really means, especially in a historical and cultural context.

  • Isilzha

     Fear and hate–sometimes they are just two sides of the same coin and pointless to try and distinguish between them.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    Translation: “Waaaaah!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538670736 Jl Kerrbear

    It is not about hate. Scripture is quite clear on the matter: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (First Corinthians 6:9-10)

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I’d suggest the same to you, but the glass would get confused by the reflected irony.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538670736 Jl Kerrbear

    Margaret – sincere question here: please help me understand what you mean about church being subsidized by tax dollars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538670736 Jl Kerrbear

    Huge difference between interracial marriage and so-called ‘gay marriage:’ Black men/women who marry white men/women (example) all bleed red blood and can still biologically produce children. Most naturally and without biological/medical intervention. Gays/lesbians can’t produce children without that intervention because it is against laws of nature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538670736 Jl Kerrbear

    could you please make a rational argument without resorting to obscenities?

  • Gambitgrrl

     The definition of marriage straight from Webster’s Dictionary:

    Marriage

    a (1) :
    the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or
    wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
    2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
    3: an intimate or close union

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

    So according to a well established, English dictionary, there are multiple meanings of the word “marriage” . That you and others like you want to cling to one narrow definition of the word, and claim that’s the ONLY  correct definition and it’s some how set in stone is just ludicrous.

    The meanings of word change over time. That’s just how language works. Sorry if you don’t like that.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    Against the laws of nature? You mean, the same nature where there are thousands of incidents of homosexual behaviour observed in animals?

    Also, the interracial marriage comparison refers to a cultural question, not a biological one, which is far more relevant.

    Your ignorance is burning a hole in your head.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    You and your ilk keep missing the obvious lesson. Theists have a right to express their views, and so do atheists. NO ONE, including you, has a right to not be criticized for those views. Why is it when you post nonsense and you get smacked down for it (with logic and reason of course), you start to wail like a spoiled brat who was told that they couldn’t have the toy they wanted right now?

    It’s perfectly fair to turn the tables by the way. By all means come at us with all the logic and reason at your disposal. Most atheists are also skeptics, so if you have a sound argument, you do have a chance of swaying us. That’s a far cry from what WE have to contend with. We present solid, reasoned, sensible arguments as to why theists and bigots are wrong, and they retreat into Holy Book passages and “You need Jesus.” I suppose it shouldn’t be astonishing how theists categorically refuse to ever admit they’re wrong — doing so would totally screw up your world.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    Then you had better not eat shrimp or wear clothing of mixed materials, or your asshole of a God is gonna put you on a rotisserie in Hell.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I’ll help. Churches are tax exempt. That means the tax burden that churches should shoulder, their fair share, is shifted to the rest of society. Society of course includes everyone who pays taxes, including atheists and those with no religious affiliation.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    What on EARTH makes your religion and holy text the right one? The Egyptian gods have been around a lot longer. I’m thinking maybe Ra or Osiris have a leg up on your buddy Jesus.

  • Miss_Beara

    That is beside the point. The same arguments that people are giving against gays marrying are the same arguments people were giving against interracial marriage. 

    The ability to have children is irrelevant. A young married couple could choose not to have children. An elderly married couple cannot have children. 

    “Most naturally and without biological/medical intervention.”

    What about the ones that can’t? Since they can’t “produce children” without intervention, and they want children, is it also “against the laws of nature”? 

  • Miss_Beara

    “This child needs to be raised into a functional adult. If we don’t have children, society ends. If we don’t raise our children, society degrades or ends. So the community has a reason to encourage both the birth of children and their proper raising. This encouragement is called “marriage.” ” 

    Why do people act like children will stop being born? It is a ridiculous argument. 

    “This encouragement is called marriage.”

    This makes no sense. Plenty of children are born to single or divorced parents that grow up to be perfectly fine adults. I was raised by two strong women who loved and raised me right. 

  • Travis

    Dear Mr. Mehta,

    I want to apologize for my previous comment from this afternoon. I wrote out of anger and not love. Immediately after I posted it, I got in the car. The first thing I heard on the radio was a pastor discussing 2 Timothy 2:14-16 about how Christians should not get involved in useless debate and “wrangling about words.” This is what I was doing. If anything, I suppose my comment would only drive people further from God, not at all my desire.I understand that you believe homosexuality is okay because you do not know God, and I applaud your desire to stand up for what you believe are the rights of your fellow humans. Perhaps God will have mercy on you and open your eyes, but my angrily quoting scripture is probably not helpful.
    Therefore, I am apologizing, and ask for your forgiveness.

  • Landerson26

    I’m not sure how insulting the belief systems of others validates yours at all. I am a Christian, and as such I am anti-gay.  I do not believe that you can be a homosexual Christian because it directly contrasts the way of life that is laid out by God in the Bible. That being said, everyone make their own choice. If they want to be gay, they can do so but they they make that choice (and those of you who say it is not a choice clearly have no understanding of what a choice is, you either do or you don’t. Love is not a feeling it is a way of life, you can choose who you love, who you have sexual relations with and what you desire in a life mate.) If they make that choice they are not Christians. Becoming a Christian does not mean you say a prayer, it means your entire life is laid out through the example of Jesus Christ and in the character of God. You may not agree with what I have to say, but if you want me to respect what you believe, why is it so much that I ask the same of you?  I love all people, whether gay, straight, bisexual… that does not mean that I have to agree with what they do. I want the best for all people, including those who will bash me and my beliefs.  People have misunderstood Christianity for so long, but I’ve come to realize that it is supposed to be that way. Those in the flesh of this world cannot understand the spiritual realm that God dwells in.

  • Landerson26

    You are sadly confused about what the Bible says about marriage. In Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” not he will be united with his wives. Though many people in the Bible had numerous wives and concubines that does not mean that God approved of this situation. 

  • JD

    I’m a gay Christian and I agree with your friend. Christians do honestly mean well. You don’t need to tell me how wrong most of them are on these issues, but we have to meet them where they’re at. They are at a place where their entire upbringing praised homophobia. To change their minds is to convince them that everything they were taught by their parents is a gigantic lie. Such is not an easy accomplishment, and calling people who haven’t seen the truth yet nasty names gets the LGBT community nowhere.

  • AxeGrrl

    Sorry Bill, you’re spreading lots of ignorance here.  You REALLY need to watch this (and so should everyone):

    <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzUFYNjUTcM"It's all about children (or at least the anatomical possibility thereof)"

  • stochasticsoul


    Eventually, I’m sure we’ll get to a point where even the vast majority of Christians support gay-marriage. All the trends point in that direction.”
    That’s exactly what keeps me hopeful. We’ve seen it happen for abolition, civil rights, and interracial marriage, and I see it happening for marriage equality in my lifetime. On the other hand, I’m glad we haven’t had to wait around for all Christians to get on board in order to make some progress.

  • Landerson26

    I found your reply very sad. You grew up around people who claim Christianity, but only treated it as a restraint system and you became one. I am a Christian, I have been my entire life. But it is only recently that I really began to discover God and have a relationship with Him.
     Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot, defined by Merriam-Webster
    as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own
    opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the
    members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and
    intolerance. 
    I do not hold any hate in my heart, nor intolerance. I say let them be gay. If they are gay, they cannot be true Christians because this direct opposition to the Word and the Law of God would be weeded out through a study of their beliefs and a reflection on God himself, thus if they are gay they are not justified anyway. If only I could make you understand what that implies, but that is not my job. My only job is to report to you the truth. You will do what it what you will.

  • http://twitter.com/tkmlac Katie

    I agree. If Rachel wants to help find a way for her friends to be able to hold their convictions without insulting or hurting (oppressing and discriminating against) their LGBT friends, she should tell them to change their convictions.

  • AxeGrrl
  • AxeGrrl

    And one more time for Robert…..

    It’s all about children (or at least the anatomical possibility thereof)

    Seriously, the information is here. Avail yourself of it.

  • AxeGrrl

    Even if the encouragement of procreation were a legitimate government interest, denying marriage to gay couples does nothing to protect or encourage straight couples.

    You nailed it, Stev84

  • AxeGrrl

    Moreover, no one is saying that marriage is only about procreation; simply that procreation is essential to marriage.

    One more time…..it ISN’T.

    You’re steeped in ignorance on this precise issue, but you can pull yourself out of that ignorance.  The question is, do you want to?    You can do it in a measely 9min:

    It’s all about children (or at least the anatomical possibility thereof)

    If you continue to spew incorrect information, while this has been offered to you, I guess we’ll have to assume that you’re choosing to remain ignorant.

  • Landerson26

    I’d like to point out that noone enjoys persecution. Christians are just warned beforehand that we will be persecuted. The Bible is not hate-mongering, we are called to love our neighbor, how is that hate? Since when is disagreeing hate? When you mom told you bedtime was 9, and you thought it should be 12 did you hate her? No. You disagreed.
    Herein, lies the difference. Christians are called to be set apart, we know we will sin, but we know that when we mess up we can repent and God forviges us, even if we don’t deserve it (trust me, I know I don’t).
    Growing up in a “Christian” community  does not make you a Christian. Even the Devil knows God’s word and believes it. The difference between us and him is that we trust in God to lead our lives. He is the one we look to with everything. When God says, “A man should not lie with a man as he would with a woman.” (Leviticus 18:22) I believe in His law. I resign my heart to follow His law and wish the same for you, but if you choose to not follow His law, that is your choice.  I will not persecute you for it, I will sit quietly by and continue living my life. But I must speak truth, so here I am at 1 in the morning when I should be sleeping because I so want you all to understand the truth about what Christians believe so you can make an educated choice at least.

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    Ooh, witty retort! “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    So I’m writing as a Christian who is deeply, deeply trouble with how many Christians have treated the LGBTQ community.

    I honestly think a lot of the problem comes from a disagreement of what *marriage* is.  If marriage is only a legal right, then in my mind, there really is no justifiable means of not having nationwide same-sex marriage.  It boils down to dignity, respect, worth, and treating each other fairly (though I’m sure there would still be far too many people who would be against it, sadly). 

    However, I think for many people, marriage is seen as a religious event.  In the Catholic church, marriage is seen as a sacrament – it is an act of worshiping God (let’s save the talk about hypocrisy for another day… it really doesn’t add or subtract to what I’m trying to get at here).  Now, I’m well aware of that there are a lot of problems with this belief, and I’m well aware that marriage traditionally has not always been religious… but for better or worse, for many people it is intimately tied to their faith.  If these people believe that their Scriptures teach that marriage is between a man and woman, you have to understand how government dictating what marriage is or isn’t can be seen as a violation of religious freedom and violating the First Amendment.

    I think on for many it is seen as a legal issue.  On many others its seen as a religious issue. Both are trying to fight for their rights and freedom.

    I appreciate your thoughtful dialogue Hermant, but I guess I really do think there are more than two-sides to this issue.  I think simply boiling it down to an “us vs. them” fight is kind of unfair to the many other ideas that are out there, some of them bigoted, others not, and still others that are just very confused and contradicted.

    My personal view is that the government shouldn’t even be involved with “marriage”.  It should just get out altogether – heterosexual or same-sex.  It has no place in government.  By doing this, each faith community could practice marriage as they see fit… and there are some faith bodies who do recognize and welcome same-sex marriage and partnerships.  

    But at the same time, the government MUST, MUST make sure that all couple receive same, legal rights.  Call it civil unions or whatever you want.  But the legal recognition, protection, and opportunity that are provided for heterosexual couples must be provided also for same-sex couples.  It is unjustifiable, in my view, the rights that LBGTQ communities 

    So I have no idea what that belief makes me.  I guess I do feel somewhat in the middle, someone who is fighting for gay rights, but that doesn’t necessarily see same-sex marriage as the be-all, end-all solution.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I think the Marin Foundation is something that is very needed.  I kind of dig them.  Anyways, thanks for sharing, and allowing me to share too.  I know I might be in for some rough feedback, but try to be kind…

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    Especially when the response will be, “Damned queers ruined it for all of us.”

  • Landerson26

     I do not fear the LGBT community. This change means that society is telling our children that it is okay to do these things when we are telling them (and more importantly God is telling them) that it is not. You may think that our children should be smart enough to make the decision themselves, they are not. Young people are easily impressed upon by their peers.
    You mistake the fact that Christians disagree with the world as “fear” or “hate” but it’s simply what we already have come to expect. While you think it will have no effect on us, you are wrong. It has a strong effect on us (Christians) and our children, and that is something I cannot tolerate. If you do not want me forcing my beliefs on you, don’t expect to be able to enforce your beliefs (yes, that’s what they are) on me.

  • AxeGrrl

    Robert, I don’t mean to be unkind, but you really haven’t done your homework on this issue.

    Once again, your ignorance can be easily remedied:

    How Proposition 8 Went Down (Part 1 of 2)
    How Proposition 8 Went Down (Part 2 of 2)

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    It’s really pointless to bother the troll with facts. He’s heard them before and has decided to ignore them because they’re inconvenient for his thesis.

  • Landerson26

    Okay, “but I’m an immoral sinner too, so I’m not being hateful. I’m just telling the truth.” Only difference, here I go blast it where ever you want, I don’t mind telling you what I’ve been forgiven of. My husband and I had sex before we were married, we lived together before we were married. I am a liar, and I try to control everything. I have stolen before, several times. I have felt hate in my heart toward others. These are all things that I personally have done.  Blast away. I am a sinner, I deserve Hell, and yet God has loved me enough to make a way for me to still have a personal relationship with Him. This is the Christian walk. Anything else, protesting at funerals, trying to murder, imprison, rape or torture others, this is not true Christianity. I cannot stress that enough. And the Christian faith has been persecuted and are still being persecuted in other countries.  Don’t think we haven’t been tortured, raped, imprisoned, and killed for our beliefs.

  • C Peterson

    I disagree with your interpretation, but it doesn’t matter since even more than that, I don’t believe in your god at all. The opinion of a fictional being invented by primitive tribesmen has no bearing on how we legally recognize families in a modern secular state.

  • ImRike

    Matthew 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You
    hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will
    see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
     
    Can you explain to me why you don’t let your almighty god take care of these problems? If two guys (or two women) don’t care about inheriting any kingdoms but rather would prefer to get married instead, isn’t that enough? If it pisses off your god, is he not big enough or mighty enough or powerful enough to take any action he deems necessary without needing you to help him along? Two gays getting married has zero practical effect on you or on anybody else’s marriage. Why do you have to agitate against it and spend money to prevent it – money that could be used to help the poor and the sick?
    Oh, but I just thought of a way that gay marriage might affect society at large: if there are thousands of married gay couples, many of them might like to adopt children, so that would probably help reduce abortion rates; but yeah, I know, most christians wouldn’t care about that (since that wouldn’t be punishment for either the gay couple or the mother of the child! Abortions must be reduced by making women suffer and feel guilty!).

  • E Xarian2

    then what about when the bible commands a raped woman to be married to her rapist?

  • AxeGrrl

    Yay!  this action of yours will make you part of the solution.  Kudos :)

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    No, it doesn’t, but the fact of the matter is that Yahweh didn’t often hesitate to take out his wrath on people whose actions he didn’t approve of, like Onan not fulfilling the duties of the Levirate marriage to Tamar. And it happened a lot. If God didn’t approve, he sure didn’t make it clear and allowed many of the patriarchs to go along with it. (Knocks some nice-sized holes in your theology, eh?)

  • Landerson26

    I’d like you to quote the verses in the Bible these ideas are found. Because there are very easy explanations for these.
    1. You find that girl attractive is different than you are desiring to have sex with her.
    2. Masterbation is not really addressed in the Bible. The closest mention is Onan who married his brother’s wife because he did not have any children with her, and instead of fullfiling his duty (culturally) he was punished for spilling his “seed” on the ground.
    3.The Bible does not insist that you control your dreams.
    4. God does not say we should not be angry, only that we should be “Slow to anger” (James 1:19) We should not be prideful because we should know that all that is good in us if from God, not of ourselves.
    5. We are not called to understand God, but to follow Him. In cases such as Job, he did not understand why he was being cursed so, yet he stayed true to God.  In the end, God does not explain himself, he generally says “Just trust me.”

    I know most of this is stuff that people say, but you have to ask yourself whether it has a Biblical premise or not. These claims do not.

  • AxeGrrl

    It is not about hate. Scripture is quite clear on the matter: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (First Corinthians 6:9-10)

    Dear, that is utterly irrevelant to the issue of civil marriage.

    What, for Pete’s sake, is SO hard about understanding that very simple fact for some of you?

    *mind boggled*

  • AxeGrrl

    Neither religion nor Christianity ‘owns’ marriage.  Civil marriage has absolutely nothing do with religion, so this idea of “keeping” is a religious thing is utterly baseless.

    When will people stop making this ridiculous argument?

  • Garzaomar21

    Marriage is a term created by the church…
    if they want the right to have a legal civil union thats one thing 
    however lgbt unions will never be considered an actual marriage in the eyes of the church so this argument is pointless 
    btw he’s been one of the biggest contributors against gay marriage for a long time and now people are barley pretending to give a shit? 
    give a a fkn break!

  • The Captain

    “If these people believe that their Scriptures teach that marriage is between a man and woman, you have to understand how government dictating what marriage is or isn’t can be seen as a violation of religious freedom and violating the First Amendment.” 

    Exactly, and that’s what’s so infuriating about people who think this way and who are against same sex marriage.. it’s that they have NO concern for the religious freedom of those whose religious beliefs say same sex marriage is fine. If you think the definition of marriage comes from your religion, and you want the government to only recognize your religions definition of it, then you are directly violating the first amendment rights of those that do not follow your religion! They just do not fundamentally extend the same “freedom of religion” to others that they demand.

  • EivindKjorstad

    I’d not hesitate to call Rachel a friend either, except I don’t know her well enough. She’s smart, friendly, compassionate and with her heart in the right place.

    But she’s trying to do the impossible. People and institutions who oppose giving a marginalized group the same rights the rest of us enjoy, are, infact, to blame for this.

    If you go around arguing that black people should not be allowed to vote, you are infact a racist no matter how many of your friends are black. If you go around arguing that women should not be barred from priesthood, you are infact sexist.

    And if you argue that homosexuals should not be given exactly the same rights heterosexual people enjoy, then you are infact a homophobe. 

    Rachel is aware of that (she’s smart, remember ?) That’s why she posted this: http://rachelheldevans.com/out-of-step-religious-community

    “I am hanging by the tips of sweaty fingers on this ledge of faith,
    wondering if letting go will bring freedom or death. I’ve hung on
    before—through the science wars, the gender wars, the Christmas wars,
    the culture wars—but I’m just so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling out of place. ”

    Ofcourse *we* know that letting go, brings freedom, not death, but I can totally understand that it’s a scary place to be in for someone who doesn’t know if there’s feathers or rocks at the base of the cliff.

    Rachel decides to “hold on…at least for another day. ”

    If the day comes when she decides to let go, I hope we’ll all do our best to make her landing a soft one. That doesn’t apply just to her, but indeed to all the people who have been let down and made to feel “out of place” by the bigotry and hatred of organized religion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pookiemcnoodles Pookie McNoodles

    Well said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003289001624 Cailin Koy

    This is and has always been a simple distinction to make: consenting adults. If you’re an adult and your daughter is an adult and you both consent to the marriage, it may not be popular but I say it should be legal. With bestiality and pedophilia (as the slippery slope so often falls to), those participating are not consenting adults. The law is reason without passion, opinion, bias, or religion. What is distasteful to you or your chosen deity has nothing to do with what the law should be.

  • Chadachada123

    >implying there are only ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’
    >implying this article isn’t retarded
    >implying religion isn’t retarded.

  • SphericalBunny

    “Though many people in the Bible had numerous wives and concubines that does not mean that God approved of this situation.”

    Try 2 Samuel 12:7-12. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.pfennig Todd Pfennig

     So you’re saying marriage didn’t exists before the church? You have you head buried in your dark stinky place.

    Remember christards this November show your faith, don’t vote, pray.

  • Piet

     Do your research, being gay is not a choise, no matter what lies you’ve been told.

  • Piet

     Then speak up there, in stead of here.

  • Concerned Citizen

    The difference is that you believe you’ve got the direct pipeline to God and know what God wants and expect everybody else to defer to your superior discernment and judgment. But (and I’m just speculating here), I don’t think you have anymore direct experience of God than anyone else. So it’s a little presumptuous for you to justify your own prejudices and saying “well, I can’t be held responsible, I was just following God’s orders!”

    Jesus says in Luke 14:26 that his followers have to hate everybody, anyway, so I don’t see why you’re so quick to make excuses for yourself.

  • Dusty

    Bigot is the correct term.  Homophobe/Asshole may or may not apply; these are terms of anger, not descriptors in this case.  Might as well use Motherfucker and cut to the chase.

    I understand Rachel’s point (as related here), though I think she is incorrect. 

    I think the whole Chik-fil-a thing is a red herring.  The Owner expressed his personal view. He did not make any policy statement regarding gay people; I know several openly gay people who work at the ones near my house.  While I think it was a bad idea for him to make it public since it had to be reflected back on the company, he has a right to his own opinion.  Other public figures, particularly celebs, make their opinions know all the time. If I ‘boycotted’ everyone of them I disagreed with, I wouldn’t watch many movies or buy many albums.

    I agree with the comment I’ve heard that in twenty years, opposers of gay marriage will look as idiotic as those who opposed inter-racial marriage look now.

    I’m still not sure why government has any hand in marriage anyway.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Hear, hear.

    “Would you like a portion of this purchase to go towards lobbying in favor of legal measures to discriminate against you?”

    “Um…no, actually I wouldn’t! Please check that box ‘no’!”

  • Dusty

    P.S.  I have been unable to find ANY example of “Traditional” marriage as defined today… i.e. one man/one woman.  In the old testament, Traditional Marriage “taking a woman into ones tent and marrying her.”  Also, it seems to be that one would work seven years then the father of the bride would pull the ol’e switcheroo and marry you to the wrong daughter, in which case you worked seven more years and married the one you wanted in the first place (sister of wife #1).

    Also, traditionally, if a man got caught raping a virgin, he had to pay the dad about $30 and marry here for life.

    Anyone for “Traditional” marriage really????

  • Concerned Citizen

    Or just leave incendiary language like “bigoted” out of it altogether.

  • SphericalBunny

    So what you’re saying is that you completely endorse lesbian marriage? Halfway there then…

    Of course, I think you’re more than a bit weird for wanting to do a nation wide survey asking straight married couples if they’ve ever had anal sex and seeking to deny/dissolve their marriages on that basis. Those poor Christian saddlebackers! Won’t someone think of the Xtian saddlebackers?!

  • Concerned Citizen

    If you’re so convinced you “deserve Hell” does that mean you’ll turn down Heaven if it’s offered to you?

  • Piet

    No apologies nessecary for posting, you are forgiven for that.
    What you will not be forgiffen for, are your actions, should you choose to keep equal rights away from others.
    I know you believe that your god is real, but that is just because you choose to close your eyes to reality. And that is ok, if you could just keep it to yourself and don’t push it onto others by voting against equality.

  • Concerned Citizen

    + a million.

    “Here’s a token so I can social-signal how high status I am.”

  • Concerned Citizen

    Good for you! You’re not the bigoted kind of Christian, you’re the kind who selectively ignores the aspects of your religion that would be socially unacceptable and subject you to ridicule in your liberal-leaning community.

    I have a cookie for you!

  • SelectiveINfusion

    I find that the biggest error was using a religious term as a legal term to denote a legal union between two people. Religious folks refuse to give up the word to same sex individuals as Christians see it. This would be solved by deeming all legal marriages civil unions, be it same sex or hetero….then those who want a “marriage” obtain it from a religious institution, after they obtain a civil union certificate….just my thought. There has yet to be a law that approaches the issue from this angle. It would equally apply of all persons and not be discriminatory, and all civil unions would enjoy the privileges. Meanwhile, those in civil union may have a religious marriage ceremony, thus keeping their beloved “marriage”obtain within the church w/o screwing a group of people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608226360 Paul V Ruggeri

     Not disagreeing with you, but to be fair, marriage has not always been between two consenting adults – arranged marriages used to be fairly common.

  • Concerned Citizen

    They don’t know the difference between people posting blog comments that disapprove of you, and people passing laws that disapprove of you.

  • Piet

     

    I think the whole Chik-fil-a thing is a red herring.  The Owner expressed his personal view.

    He donates large amount of company money to organizations that fight against equality. So every dollar spend at Chik-fil-A indirectly funds bigotry.
    So it is more than just expressing personal views.

  • SphericalBunny

     Black men/women who marry white men/women (example) all bleed red blood and can still biologically produce children.

    Same as gay people then.

    Gays/lesbians can’t produce children without that intervention because it is against laws of nature.

    Like a straight married couple with fertility problems then.

  • SelectiveINfusion

    C Peterson: advancing equality with every pompous post/comment. Love thy liberal soap box?

  • Roninbear

    God also prohibits eating shellfish, waterfowl, and pork. He apparantly does not like tattoos, pierced ears, or short hair. If your child is so disobedient that you can’t figure out what to do with him, taking him outside the city gates and stoning him to death is an appropriate action to take. Want to make love to your wife while she’s still menstruating? God doesn’t like that either, even if she’s just spotting a teeny bit. Oh, conquering a country in God’s name? Make sure you kill every last man, woman and child unless you just want to rape one of the women and keep her as your wife. I am tired of your cafeteria Christianity. Either man up and realize what Jesus had to say about homosexuality himself, or kindly shut your mouth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JosefKirchner Josef Kirchner

    God made a rule that prophets were to speak on his behalf and what they said was law.  The prophet Nathan tells David in 2 Samuel 12:8: “I would give you twice as much over,” which the rabbis interpret to mean that the number of David’s existing wives could be tripled: from six to 18. So, there you have it…if you want to argue Biblical fact that God gave prophets power to speak on his behalf and inact laws then you are a blasphemer.  The arguement that some had many wives, but God did not approve is a provable false statement. – As well, the “Bible” defines a marriage as valid only when the wife was a virgin before marriage or it’s adultery and whoredom and the penalty is stoning her to death unless she can prove her virgin premarital status.    REAL CHRISTIANS NEED TO STAND UP AND DEMAND ALL THE NON-VIRGIN, NON-VALID MARRIAGES END WITH THE ADULTEROUS WHORE BEING STONED IN FRONT OF HER FATHER’S HOUSE.  Biblical marriage is also defined as rape being acceptable as long as your raped woman to mourn her parents for a period of one month.  Come on you evil and barbaric Bible believers…..lets see some real Biblical marriage action…rape some virgins and stone some whores, instead of this fantasy modern definition of marriage you’ve cooked up.

  • Piet

     Seriously, we don’t care what any scripture says. It is all moot. If you want to keep to your personal cherry picking, that is fine with me. But don’t expect rational people to share your delusion.

  • Piet

     Look up “No True Scotsman Fallacy”.

    PS:  Your persecution complex does not allow you to keep equal rights away from others.

  • Piet

    Yes, his double standards are famous here.

  • SphericalBunny

    Could you please make a rational argument? You are free to use obscenities or not as you please.

  • Kmac

    To all of the religious people on here who use a Bible as their excuse for bigoted, intolerant, homophobic behavior?  To you I say that Gods reflect the people who worship them.  I’ll say it again.  Gods reflect the people who worship them.  Yes.  Gods.  Yours is one of many.  In every single religion, there are people who are loving and tolerant, and there are people who are closed minded and intolerant.  Within Christianity, there are loving tolerant people, and closed minded intolerant people…and you all read the same book.  You could just as easily choose to pray to the God that is tolerant, because it’s just as valid an interpretation…but you don’t.  The fact of the matter is that you choose the God and the interpretation that serves your personal views.  It’s as simple as that.  You get out of the Bible what you WANT to get out of the Bible.  I have never in my life head someone say, “Gee, I don’t have any problem with gay people personally and I really REALLY wish they could have the same rights I do…but that darn Bible makes it pretty clear that God says they can’t”.  You don’t hear that because people who believe that gay people should have equal rights gravitate toward a God that is just as open minded and tolerant of humanity in all it’s forms as they are…or towards no God at all.  I’m sick and tired of people hiding behind the God they choose and the interpretation of the Bible that they think justifies their discriminatory behavior.  Face up to your own bigotry.  It isn’t your God.  It’s YOU.  Take some responsibility for yourself already.  You go to a church that thinks gay people are somehow less because YOU think they’re somehow less.  If attempting to deny people equal rights feels ok to you, it’s because you’re not ok.  If you can’t manage to see people equally, you could choose to mind your own business.  If I’m not mistaken the Bible says it’s not your job to judge.  Not all bigots are Christians, and not all Christians are bigots.  The two operate individually of each other, but you’re both.  You picked a God who’s a bigot because you’re a bigot.  Own it or change it, but quit using religion as an excuse for your discriminatory behavior. 

  • Piet Puk

    Of course you are totally correct, but if you think you can reason with these people, you seriously underestimate the depth of their delusions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Agree entirely mate – if you are a person who discriminates on the basis of sexuality then you are exactly the same as the person who discriminates on the basis of skin colour – a fully blown mullet headed cross burning hateful bigot. When you are on the same side of an argument as Fred Phelps and his hateful WBC cultists you really have to question that position and wonder why.

    And me calling you out on that does not make me a bigot…..as the Three Stooges on Fox and Friends seem to believe.

    I can also happily level a further charge at my US chums, and do so on a regular basis with a certain glee…..

    See that Pledge Of Allegiance you guys like to recite a lot? See that end bit that says “With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL”? Sorry to shout that last bit but maybe that way you will hear the words you are saying…..

    So my little anti-gay Kristyhun chum…..which are you then? An empty headed drone who just parrots a meaningless phrase, a liar who makes a pledge without intending to keep it, or just a damn hypocrite?

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    I think this is a fair point. And I don’t necessarily disagree with it.

    I guess what I was getting at is I think in some cases it isn’t bigotry as much as fear that motivates these people to act as they do. Right or wrong, they are afraid of losing their rights. Which is a completely different problem… And in which case calling them a bigot isn’t all that helpful.

    Maybe I’m just naive and cynicism hasn’t caught up with me just yet.

    In the end, I just find myself asking, what is most important? Is it the word “marriage” or is it to ensure that all couples, regardless of orientation, have the same, equal rights? And if it’s the rights rather than a word (especially one which rightly or wrongly means different things to different people) maybe there are other ways to accomplish this, and to accomplish this sooner.

  • AxeGrrl

    In the end, I just find myself asking, what is most important? Is it the word “marriage” or is it to ensure that all couples, regardless of orientation, have the same, equal rights? And if it’s the rights rather than a word (especially one which rightly or wrongly means different things to different people) maybe there are other ways to accomplish this, and to accomplish this sooner.

    This ‘different label’ has already been tried in the U.S.  It’s called “civil unions”, and it hasn’t worked.   Civil marriages comes with hundreds of federal protections that don’t come with civil unions……

    So, ‘separate but equal’ isn’t even equal.

    Here in Canada, we just have marriage.  Hetero, same sex, simply marriage.
    It’s astonishing that the U.S., the country that used to proudly boast about the “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” things is lagging soooo badly behind countries like ours.  Really, America, get on with it already ~ the rest of us are looking at you and thinking “what the f is taking them so long?”

    Oh yeah, we know why.

  • Piet Puk

    Are you also sorry about  the kind of christianity that stop people from having equal rights?

  • Isilzha

    Marriage is a religious term?  Huh, well, I’m married and managed to get that way with a justice of the peace at a courthouse with absolutely NO mention of god.

  • Isilzha

    Wait, that’s not quite right…it’s taking a woman into ones tent, raping her and calling it ‘marriage’!

  • Isilzha

    I’m particularly offended at the idea that marriage requires a religious component since I was married in a courthouse by a justice of the peace and requested that there be NO mention of god during the ceremony.  I’d love for one of those religious wingnuts to come up and tell me to my face that I’m not MARRIED!

  • Isilzha

    Exactly…I’m MARRIED and there was NO church, minister or even a mention of god.  Instead, there was a courthouse, Justice of the Peace and I requested NO mention of god during the ceremony.  I’ve NEVER had anyone question whether or not I’m MARRIED!  This ‘civil union’ crap pisses me off!!!

  • Isilzha

     Wait…didn’t jeebus tell you to abandon and renounce your family and follow him?

  • Isilzha

    lolololololol!!!!!!

    Why don’t you go bash some babies against some rocks or stone your disobedient children as god and jesus commaneded???

  • Isilzha

     I bet you were a disobedient child.  You should have been stoned to death at the city gate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tabitha.zangre Tabitha Zangre

    This blog is so relevant to my day yesterday. I called some facebook friends out on their trip to Chick Fil A Wednesday, telling them I was deeply disappointed that they went out of their way to support an anti-gay agenda. Then I got a phone call from one of my Christian friends yelling his head off at me because I was full of hate and prejudice towards Christians…huh?! He said that they didn’t go to Chick Fil A because they hate gays, they went because they SUPPORT HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE! Then he accused me of being the one to twist around words! He then informed me he was defriending me. I said were we at an impasse, because I have always been honest about my views that inevitably conflict with his Christianity. I refused to apogolize on calling him and his family out on their bullshit excuse for supporting heterosexual marriage. Let’s call it what it is people.

  • Birdlay47

    It should be equality for all, not just gays etc. What about the children who are the sole caretakers of aged parents? What about the son who is living with and taking care of his aged mother? What about the aged sisters that are living together to make ends meet? I could go on and on. That is why it should be called a union and not a marriage! The right should extend to all living together, and should not signal out gays and lesbians as deserving of special treatment.

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    Please don’t be offended. That’s not what I was trying to say. I don’t see much changing except that you wouldn’t have gotten “rights” from getting married. It would have been a public ceremony. And the same option would be open to all couples.

    Look, I get this seems like symantics. But I guess I just think it actually would make a difference in the fight for equal rights.

  • Isilzha

    I wouldn’t have gotten WHAT ‘rights’ exactly?

    Oh, and NOW I’m VERY offended.  How dare you even try to tell me that I shouldn’t be able to say I’m married and able to claim all the rights and privileges of it (like being there for my husband if he’s in the hospital) because I didn’t include your imaginary critter in my ceremony.  Go away you nasty little BIGOT!

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    I agree that separate but different doesn’t work. For one thing it isn’t equal, the very fact it is ‘separate’ makes it not ‘equal’. And for another, like you mentioned, there are very few rights that get properly extended. I don’t see that as a good or acceptable option at all.

    Maybe the confusion was what I was suggesting is being confused with civil unions as is. I’m not. In my mind, though, government doesn’t belong in marriage, and it certainly doesn’t belong in telling couples who can and cannot be together. In fact, it should be protecting that right.

    In my mind “civil unions” or whatever we want to call them would be widespread, the same for all couples, and available to all couples. It would be a federal legal document and agreement.

    A marriage would be a public ceremony. No legal ramifications. Religious for those who desire, non-religious for those who desire, much as it currently is.

    It doesn’t seem like much, but if we took ‘marriage’ out of the government, I guess I just think we actually could see equality for all couples in the States. I’m optimistic that distinction would ease the fears of many, and even if didn’t, it really opens up a way for the government to move forwards anyways.

  • Ryan

    We will all get there in about 30 years as we did with the black/white issue of the 60′s.  We will all sit down and say “I can’t believe Christians thought that way,”  and all along there is a trail of pain we all had to go through so the future can say “oops….we made a mistake….sorry (with a smile)”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003085174964 David Pope

    If you’re going to quote Bible verses, remember to always amend it with the passage in Revelations that if you should rescript or re-read the Bible in any language other than Hebrew, you’re going to Hell.
    So, enjoy your Hell.

  • AxeGrrl

    Seriously, we did it here in Canada.  Marriage.  That’s it.  No wasted money setting up two precisely the same things that are just called something different just to ‘not offend’ people who don’t have any right to any ‘special say’ in the matter in the first place.

    It’s a little mind boggling that some people insist on trying to make this a whole lot more complicated than it has to be……..especially given that there’s no substantive reason NOT to just call all civil marriages marriages.

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    Double post.

  • Animallover

    Who are you to say I cannot marry a farm animal? I am in love with my cow, she is in love with me as well. I buy her flowers on valentines day and everything. We need to change the definition of marriage so my lover and I can have the same rights as everyone else!

  • Jake

    If you disagree with any moral or philosophical position you are a essentially a “bigot”.  Society is already bigoted against murders, theft, fraud, and rightly so!  Society is also bigoted against other things, like left handedness – our whole language is designed to be written by right handed people!  By using this particular word, you are insinuating that people are automatically wrong for rejecting or discouraging certain behaviors.  

    What often gets lost in this discussion is freedom of association.  Which is essentially the right to be bigoted if I want to be, at least in my own personal associations.  Be it friends, business associates, clubs, or other private organizations.  When I cannot choose my associates upon my own criteria, you take this away.  This is the road we are on, and we are having the wrong types of discussions while it’s occurring.  When you force acceptance upon me, you open the door for me or someone else to force acceptance upon you.

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    Ugh. Driving through mountains. Please delete.

  • Stev84

    It’s religion that co-opted marriage. The Christians kept Roman (secular) marriage laws for centuries and didn’t get involved in solemnizing marriages until the middle ages. For a long, long time they didn’t even have official marriage rites. That all came later.

    Marriage is already an entirely civil contract. You can get married at city hall, in a court house or by a justice of the peace. The religious stuff is entirely optional, even if many people don’t realize that.
    If you want to make the distinction obvious, you need to look at continental Europe where you have to get married at city hall before the religious ceremony. Priests don’t act as notaries there.

  • Guest

    Animals are exactly that, animals. They have no morals, they do not know right and wrong. You can’t possibly compare humans to animals or you must allow humans and animals to interbreed as well since “we are all animals” as you insinuate.
    I’m sorry if you do not like the laws of morality, men and woman make children, men and men cannot! It’s wrong and us Christians have every right to state our opinion on it. If we want to donate money to what we believe is good for humanity who are you to tell us we can’t do so? You are as bigoted as anyone!

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    The difference is, your belief that homosexuality is harmful and/or wrong has no merit or supporting evidence outside of “the Bible says so.”  Society at large has decades of scientific studies (as well as the actual lived experiences of gay people) showing that there is nothing harmful about homosexuality to individuals or civilization in general.  It’s not even comparable.  Do we really have to keep going through this??  The Bible also says wearing blended fabrics is a grave sin, and that women should be silent, whereas we have the actual lived experiences of millions of people wearing blended fibers showing that this is clearly not the case, and that women (and society) are far better off when they can speak for themselves.  There’s a huge rift between believing what you want, and having actual proof on your side.  You can believe whatever the hell you’d like to, but unless you can show some concrete, compelling evidence that everyone else should agree with you (other than a book that’s clearly been wrong on countless other topics), then you’re being flat-out irrational.  Why aren’t you people taking to the streets demanding that disobedient children be stoned?  Is it because you’re a weak sinner, or because common sense has shown this to be an abhorrent practice?

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    I am so confused. That isn’t what I meant at all. Clearly I am misunderstanding what you are trying to say and unfamiliar with your story, so I won’t say anything else. Except that I never intended to and never would question your marriage.

  • Stev84

    Do you know why marriage is the responsibility of the government? Because Martin Luther and John Calvin wanted it to be so. They saw marriage as worldly thing and wanted the churches to stay out of the legal side. That’s why after the Protestant Reformation more and more countries (including the United States) left the registration and licensing of marriage to the civil authorities.

    The Catholic Church itself didn’t get involved in marriage until the middle ages. For centuries they neither required solemnization for a marriage to be valid, nor did they even have an official liturgy for marriage. Instead they mostly kept Roman laws, which were already secular.

  • Isilzha

    “except that you wouldn’t have gotten “rights” from getting married.”

    So, explain what ‘rights’ I wouldn’t have gotten becuase I didn’t have a religious ceremony that included YOUR imaginary critter.

  • The Bane

     Marriage predates the bible AND your hateful religion. Stop trying to make your bigotry and hatred masquerade as fact.

    Here are some facts for you:
    1. God does not exist.
    2. What you’re saying is not only wrong, it’s stupid and antiquated.
    3. You’re retarded.
    4. It stopped being a freedom of speech issue when Chick-Fil-A gave money to anti-gay groups.

    Have fun in Lala-Land.

  • Stev84

    Try telling straight couples to get civil unions. See how far that will get you.
    In France, the only reason why PACSs are so popular with straights is precisely because they aren’t a marriage. They’re far easier to dissolve.

    Here are documents showing you exactly why Civil Unions don’t work:
    http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/curc.html
    (especially the “First Interim Report”)

    For better or worse, the term “marriage” is so ingrained in American culture (ironically because it’s so hyper-religious at all levels) that it’s all people recognize. Religion is responsible for giving marriage such a high social status and now it has to deal with the fact that people won’t settle for less. And that despite being equal on paper, Civil Unions still don’t offer the same rights.

  • Rwlawoffice

    What verse is that? Revelation was written in Aramiac, not Hebrew.

  • Linuspumpkin

    Man created god, not the other way around. Man created that bullshit u call the bible. God DOES not exist. Hate does.

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    Ah! Sorry, I was unclear. I explained it further down a little, but not very well here I guess.

    I just would rather see a separation of marriage and government. In my mind, the government should be responsible for the LEGAL rights of all couples, and provide a civil union certificate (for lack of a better name) to all couples who desire it. Widespread, across the board, the same.

    Marriage would be a public ceremony. For those desiring a religious ceremony, they could have it. Those desiring a nonreligious ceremony could have it. It is a public declaration and celebration, not defined by government and with no legal ramifications.

    Is it redundant having a “civil union certificate” instead of just opening up a marriage certificate to everyone? Yeah, probably. But with endless debates and concerns about the word ‘marriage’ maybe taking government out of it would actually get something done and would provide equal rights for all couples.

  • Revruthucc

    To all my fellow Christians: STOP trying to defend marriage as “one man, one woman.” That is a Judeo-Christian construct that much of the world hasn’t and doesn’t follow in principle or in practice. If we had been founded by a polygamist or polyandrous culture, our laws would be different.

    Here’s the deal: within your CHURCH/RELIGIOUS organization, you will always have the right to define the marriage sacrament however you’d like (to wit, the toleration, if not legalization, of polygamous marriages in some parts of the country by breakaway segments of the LDS). That is a First Amendment protection that stands and no one has the authority to force your congregation or denomination to marry a couple if they don’t fall within your definition of acceptable marriage material. You don’t have to accept a couple if one or both is previously divorced, has a child out of wedlock, or isn’t of your faith/denomination; you would never have to accept a gay or lesbian couple. Period. It isn’t even necessary to write such protections into any law legalizing same-gender marriage because it is a settled part of law and has been for, I don’t know, maybe 220 years?

    What you DO NOT have the right to do is deny anyone else their right to equal treatment under the law as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. This is a CIVIL right and it trumps the First Amendment to the extent that it provides for state and national recognition of a legal relationship that is equal to and called the same thing as all other relationships between two consenting adults. It is about the benefits and rights that accrue to a couple who have committed to each other and the protections a legal certificate of marriage provides at far less cost and more fully that any other legal document such as a power of attorney, a medical directive, or a legal trust.

    So yes, when you make arguments from religion that are not about religion, you sound like those who defended slavery and second class status for women as religious truth. WRONG, heartless, and prejudiced. When in doubt about something the Bible says, remember that one religious and moral truth is universal (and in the Bible): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This ought to settle the matter for you when everything else gets muddled.

    –Rev. Ruth Shaver
    United Church of Christ clergywoman

  • Rwlawoffice

     That is nonsense.  Cultures around the world, even those without Christianity have condemned homosexual behavior. A few pockets of where it was not condemned are very rare indeed. In addition there is ample evidence that at least in the male homosexual community there are known health risks associated with homosexual behavior, lower life expectancy, mental issues, etc.  Also, despite years of education on Aids, the population of where this is rising is still the homosexual community (61% of all new cases according to the CDC).

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-issues-for-gay-men/my00738

  • Stev84

    Jesus also said something about rendering unto Ceasar what is his. Marriage a civil contract that has nothing to do with religion legally.

  • Stev84

    Actually, one argument often given against interracial marriages was that biracial children would be stigmatized by society and thus such couples shouldn’t be able to marry. It’s all been heard before.

  • Isilzha

    Let’s just take the religion out of the concept of marriage.  There was NO religion involved in my ceremony and I’m just as married as those who included that crap.  In fact, I’ve been married longer than MANY who included imaginary critters in their ceremony.  There’s NOTHING magical about religious marriage.  It doesn’t confer anything special onto anyone.

  • Rwlawoffice

     AxeGirl,  I viewed this video.  It is not persuasive.  The guy in the video has no understanding of family law. If you look at the family law of all states you will find that the majority of these laws deal with children and what happens to them in the event of divorce. You will also find a presumption of paternity when a child is born to a couple that is married.  The clear indication is that the laws surrounding marriage are based upon the protection of children . That is the secular reason behind the states legitimation of marriage.  It is not because two adults are in love and want to get married.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Excuse me it was New york, not New jersey:

    In Hickey v. State University of New York at Stony Brook Hospital, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105182
    (ED NY, July 27, 2012), a New York federal district court denied
    cross-motions for summary judgment in a Title VII religious
    discrimination and retaliation lawsuit by a painter in the hospital’s
    Physical Plant Department whose employment was terminated  for insisting
    on wearing a lanyard around his neck printed with the phrase “I ♥
    Jesus.” Attached to the lanyard was a plastic badge  holder with hand
    written religious messages on it. The hospital claimed this conflicted
    with its uniform policy.  It also alleged other job performance issues,
    including alleged proselytizing.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Signing a marriage license is not part of religious expression, it is the secular acknowledgement of the marriage. So this difference is not relevant. 

  • Parse

    Consider the following hypothetical situation: 
    I do not fear Christians.  However, the presence of churches, as well as the weight given to the views of Christians, means that society is telling our children that it is okay to believe in God when we are telling them (and more importantly our morality system is telling them) that it is not.   
    Would I then be justified in fighting for removing Christianity from the public eye, for forcing my views on the entirety of society?  If not, how does this differ from your fighting for removing the LGBT community from the public eye?
    Also, how do you reconcile your view of God with the view of God other Christians have, one that doesn’t see the LGBT community as sinful?  They’ve got the same Bible as you, after all, and can support their view with verses.  Please try to avoid (in your explanation of why they’re wrong) any unfounded statements that they could also use to to explain why you’re wrong.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Why would a couple in New Mexico force a photographer to perform their civil union when they knew she did not believe in their union?  why would a gay couple insist that a baker in Colorado make their cake for their union knowing that the baker did not approve? because they want it and think they can demand it.  the same thing will happen to churches, just like in new jersey with the gazebo.   

    It is lie to say that all gay couples want is equality.  what they want is moral acceptance and they won’t be satisfied until everyone morally approves of their behavior. So they will continue to push at the cost of religious liberty.

  • Stev84

    It’s already separated. The only thing that counts is the marriage license and certificate. Everything else is optional. Marriage is already pretty much exactly as you describe. People can have any kind of ceremony they wish. It doesn’t have to be religious, but for it to be legal they need a document from the civil authorities.

    You are going at this the wrong way. It’s not the government that needs to get out of marriage. It’s religion that needs to get out the legal aspects of it.
    And for that you simply need to look at continental Europe. In many countries influenced by the French Code Civil (which also includes South America), you must get married at city hall by a civil registrar. People who don’t want a religious ceremony can do that more elaborately or also have a civil registrar come to some location. More religious people can have a short civil ceremony (just a few minutes) and then go to church. But a priest can’t perform a marriage without it having been registered at city hall first.

    The US has muddled that concept by having priests act as notaries (the British system is a mix between the two). They are able to notarize a civil legal document. That has led to many peoples’ (including you) misconception that they are an essential part of the system. They aren’t.

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    Yeah, and those other cultures have as little hard evidence as Christians do, relying on “tradition” and “ick factor.”  An overwhelming number of those other cultures hold the same archaic views on women that the Bible does.  That doesn’t make them correct.

    The higher inclination towards mental illness is attributed to the horrific treatment LGBT people experience living in a society that treats them like second-class citizens…or worse.
    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

    And to follow that, depressed people tend to engage in more risky behavior, regardless of sexual orientation.  This is helpfully addressed in your link from the Mayo Clinic.

    Prior to the education of the general public about AIDs transmission, more gay people were exposed to the disease, and thus the community at large continues to have more people that carry (and can potentially transmit) the virus.  And seeing as human AIDs is a very new phenomenon as far as viruses are concerned, this clearly wasn’t a concern of ancient cultures and Christians when they began stigmatizing their non-straight citizens.

  • Rwlawoffice

     The New Mexico case involving a civil union instead of a same sex marriage is a distinction without a difference. The result is the same- a person who disagreed with the morality of same sex unions based upon her religion was fined for this belief. so it is a great example of religious liberty being affected by this shift. 

    As for new Jersey, again your distinction makes no difference. The church did not approve of the same sex union which is different from not approving of their sexual orientation. It is the behavior they were objecting to and the fact that their facility was being asked to be used for something they did not agree with. That was a threat to their religious liberties.

    You may think it will never happen but the use of same sex marriages and anti discrimination laws are already being used to try and deprive churches of their religious liberties. The reason they will continue to be is that the gay community wants moral acceptance of their lifestyle and they will continue to push until the churches are silenced. 

    One of the arguments made by religious people about same sex marriages is that it would open the door to all sorts of other unions, including polygamy.  At the time and continuing until today the gay community says that will never happen and is silly.  Yet we are already seeing it.  Suit was just filed in Utah trying to overturn the polygamy laws and is using the redefinition of marriage as the basis. 

    So your assurances are hollow and a lie.

  • http://twitter.com/Denveater Denveater

    I don’t understand what you’re saying…what rights are family members lacking? Gays are asking for the right to marry that heterosexual couples have. 

  • Rwlawoffice

     Churches are open to the public.  They invite visitors. however, you proved my point.  You stated that if the church only allows its members to marry than it would be private and can not allow same sex marriages to take place in their facility, but if they allow non members to use their facility, they would be required to.  That is exactly my point. they would no longer either be allowed to open their facilities at the risk of losing their religious liberties. 

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Marriage was almost certainly a civil institution before it was a religious one. It was created by people in power as a mechanism for maintaining their power. In modern times, different churches view it different ways. In very few jurisdictions is a church marriage recognized as a legal marriage for civil purposes: you first have to get a license from the state.

    What do you mean by “the church”? There are millions of churches, and many of them do, in fact perform marriage ceremonies for LGBT members, and recognize the validity of those marriages just as they do for different-sex folks.

  • Rwlawoffice

     Take the baker in Colorado as an example. That baker served the gay community all the time and did not say no until it came to making a wedding cake because of religious grounds.  Yet this is deemed discrimination when in reality it is disagreeing with behavior.  Or the bed and breakfast owner who refused to allow any unmarried couple to rent a room on religious grounds, yet the only people who cried discrimination were the gay couple that was refused a room. Churches do the same thing. I know for a fact that my church accepts gay people all the time as visitors and members, but they would not perform a civil union ceremony and they disapprove of people living together and counsel against it. If someone wanted the church to bless their union outside of marriage they would refuse.  We have that right under the constitution. It is called freedom of religious expression. On this basis religious expression is special and does hold a special place in our society.

  • Parse

    Because everybody knows that once a word is defined in an official source, that definition is eternally immutable.  After all, if you remove the parentheses from this next sentence, the meaning is unchanged, no?  “I’ll be the gayest (exuberantly happiest) man around, as I burn a faggot (bundle of sticks) in tonight’s campfire!”

  • Rwlawoffice

     Prop 8 does not forbid a church to preform a same sex marriage.  That is a lie.  It just says that the state won’t recognize it.  No religious liberty is threatened by that.  Yet the reverse is exactly the case- when the state approves same sex marriage, people use that acceptance to force others to change their views or participate in them against their religious beliefs. George Orwell understands clearly what you are ignoring.

  • SwimCA

    It’s “you’re” not “your.” Credibility revoked.

  • Stev84

    Some states do recognize that elderly people who live together benefit from having some legal ties to each other. It’s why domestic partnerships are sometimes available to straight couples above age 68 or so – even if their relationship isn’t romantic.

    That said, biological children already have all necessary legal rights. They’re next of kin.

  • http://www.jasonmillsonline.com Jason Mills

    I’m off for the long weekend. To be honest, this whole thing kind of derailed. I didn’t necessarily intend to share my own thoughts, mostly because they aren’t the ones that need to be heard, and secondly, they aren’t all that important.

    The real point I guess I wanted to make was that I think it is unfair to only have two sides people can belong to. People are more complex than that, and while it is easier to quickly categorize people, I don’t think you fully understand how they think until you talk to them.

    The other thing is, and this is simply my experience, a lot of people I know want equal rights for the LGBTQ community. They just get hung up on the word ‘marriage’ and get conflicted. I’m not saying this is right, okay, or whatever – because it’s not- but I wonder if simply changing a word (for everyone) would save a couple years or decades or discrimination. I don’t know. It might be something to descreetly ask people. I guess just seeing this desire and confliction in people makes it hard for me to throw the term bigot around. There certainly are a lot. But to group all… I’m not sure that’s fair.

    For the record, given two choices of pro same-sex marriage or no same-sex marriage, I’m pro same-sex marriage. I’m not sure people gathered that. I think it’s immoral they aren’t treated as equal.

    Anyways, it’s been good. Learned a few things too. Maybe I’ll swing by again someday.

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    You don’t have the religious liberty to discriminate against someone else because of their race, sexual orientation, religious views, etc. Your rights stop where they infringe on other people’s rights. I would think that this is a pretty obvious truth.

  • Parse

    In other words, you aren’t intolerant, your God is.  You’re just passing on his intolerant views on gays (which you think is the only correct position to take).
    Well, my older brother thinks people like you, who use God as sword to attack other people and as a shield to protect yourself from criticism (and critical thought) should have no place in modern society.  I think it’s the only logically correct thing to believe, but I don’t hold any hate in my heart, nor intolerance.  Blame my brother – he’s the one who said it – all I’m doing here is reporting to you the truth.  Do what you will with it.

  • Parse

    I’m just gonna quote Margaret Whitestone below, because  she said it better than I could:

    You can’t tell the difference between loving relationships between consenting adults and predation on children, animals or inanimate objects which clearly cannot give consent.   Your morals are clearly twisted and you probably shouldn’t be allowed in the general population.

  • Jim Olson

    Here here.  For the record, I’m a UCC pastor and my church does endorse same-sex marriage.  The complicated messy part is that not all the individuals do, nor do all the local congregations.  But I do, and the congregation I just left serving does.  What else are we supposed to call those who do not support us?  Bigot is a nice word.  And, you’re right.  If your feelings are hurt because I called you on the carpet and called you this word, try being gay every day in this society.  

  • Parse

    In other news, there is a rational basis for enforcing halal dietary rules - Quran 2:173, 5:3, 5:5, 5:90, 6:118.  Or is using a religious text to force views on the entirety of society a Christian-only privilege?

  • Jim Olson

    Still are in many parts of the world.  

  • Jim Olson

    Lets talk about the definition of a Christian while we’re arguing about definitions.  Are you a Christian because you follow all the rules and laws in the Bible? (an impossible task, btw.)  Are you a Christian because you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?  (Good, if you have, but now what?) Or are you a Christian because you try to live the primary teaching of Christ in community, which was to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself?  All three are valid expressions of Christianity.  But IMHO, the third one is the one that comes closest.  One cannot be a faithful Christian if one holds hate in their heart for anyone.  

  • Anon

    So according to you it’s my fault that your god made me gay?

    I think your logic is broken.

  • SelectiveINfusion

    Both of you totally miss my point. My point: call all marriages civil unions. All the people clining to the stance “marriage is between man and woman” will have no leg to stand because eveyonewould no longer be getting “married”, they’re obtaining a civil union. Stev84, you spent more effort attempting to make me look less inteligent than actually addressing my point. Thanks for the unecessary history lesson, it does nothing to address my point that the US legal system (actually the state and local govts) issue a “marriage” license or cert. The use of the marriage term opens the door for the b.s. “we cannot just change the defenition marriage” argument.

  • Sarah

    If you suppose man made god tell me how man made the earth and the galaxy and the stars. Tell me how man made it exactly where the moon would make just the right tides and how the sun just so happens to be at the perfect distance for us to not burn up. God created everything just perfect. You can’t have all this proof that is so perfect and say there is still no god that makes no sense.

  • Sarah

    As well wht would be the point for man to make god anyways

  • Stev84

    I got your point. I just think it’s nonsensical and unrealistic. Why should marriage belong to religion when religion never had a right and monopoly to it in the first place? Especially when you’re talking just about the US, marriage has always been a civil contract. Even the theocratic Puritans set it up that way.

    It’s religion that needs to get out of the legal aspects of marriage. Religious organizations have no business whatsoever acting as notaries for a secular legal contract. A marriage should be legally finalized at city hall. Afterwards people can have whatever ceremony they want.

    If you want to turn your idea into reality, start by asking straight couples to get Civil Unions instead. Let us know how that goes.

  • http://openid.anonymity.com/agzpr The Pope

    I can’t resist the triple correction.  The New Testament — all of it — was probably written in Greek, and in the case of Revelation I don’t think there’s anyone arguing otherwise.  Greek was the language one disseminated texts in.  There are some religious groups who believe there are Aramaic originals for some of the books, but among historians the consensus is that the Greek texts are probably the originals.  I’m not familiar with a statement banning translation in any clear terms, but perhaps David is thinking of the conclusion of Revelation which does say that no one shall ever add to it in any way lest they be severely punished.

  • Amach19

    If I say I dont care does that make me a bigot too…

  • SelectiveINfusion

    I agree with many of your points. The logic of my approach is this: if we say “fine, we’re not changing the defenition of marriage, we’re calling all unions between two people civil unions. You can have your precious word.” Then anyone who ardently opposes after thatthe point will truly look like a bigot. The “we can’t change marriage” argument is a weak stance that they all crowd behind as an alternative to syaing “gay marriage disgusts me,” which is less norally defensible and they know it.

  • Rwlawoffice

     I have seen others argue that Revelation was written in Aramaic. But you are correct that most of the New Testament was written in Greek.  Either way it had nothing to do with Hebrew language.  The verse your reference may be what David is referring to.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    It’s so frustrating! But I think all the screaming about children evokes some deep sense of fear in them. Perhaps they really do imagine that straight people are going to be so tempted by the possibility of a same-sex marriage that gay people will take over the world.

    That seems crazy, but their stubbornness makes no sense. Even if they believe wholeheartedly that “children need a mother and a father,” denying legal marriage to same-sex couples is not going to a) prevent their children from existing or b) give them parents of the opposite sex.

    I really think punishment and control come in at this point for the organized anti-gay movement. I’m pretty sure their ultimate goal is to make life so unpleasant for same-sex couples that they’ll want to stop being in those relationships. It’s as if they think they can prevent people from “choosing” to be gay by making them suffer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=824228623 Unicron Case

    try sticking with asshole or bigot. 
    homophobia and its derivatives are a terrible misnomer. they promote the wrong kind of ideas….
    if hating gay folks was an actual phobia, namely an irrational and crippling fear of something,  you would be one of the most terrible people there are for accosting and berating someone with a mental illness. you wouldnt make fun of arachnophobes or claustrophobes by waving rubber spiders in their face or cramming them in tight space, respectively, would you? so if homophobia is a real phobia than why would you yell at them and tell them how wrong their fear is, surely their mental health professional is or should be working with them on it.

    but more realistically its a term that some clown conjured up 20-25 years ago to describe a problem that didnt have a handy “-ism”,  like racism or sexism. so they slapped a root word and something technical sounding together, and voila, we have the biggest misnomer in civil rights since ‘colored people’
    and frankly when youre fighting a war of ideas it tends to hurt your cause when your terminology is half assed and made from piss poor ideas. 

    but fear not, if you dont want to just say the word HATE because its too simple, or call someone an asshole, theres alternatives… 

    Homonegativity is based on the term homonegativism used by Hudson and Ricketts in a 1980 paper; they coined the term for their research in order to avoid homophobia, which they regarded as being unscientific in its presumption of motivation.

    or theres Sexual prejudice – Researcher at the University of California, Davis Gregory M. Herek preferred sexual prejudice as being descriptive, free of presumptions about motivations, and lacking value judgments as to the irrationality or immorality of those so labeled.[104][105] He compared homophobia, heterosexism, and sexual prejudice, and, in preferring the third term, noted that homophobia was “probably more widely used and more often criticized.” He also observed that “Its critics note that homophobia implicitly suggests that antigay attitudes are best understood as an irrational fear and that they represent a form of individual psychopathology rather than a socially reinforced prejudice.”

    but unless your to do list today includes flash-mobbing agoraphobes, id suggest some serious though to the continued usage of such poorly thought out terminology.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TV77I2RBKQLZSJRQBEWWHHCMHA Rickie

    This is fucking BRILLIANT.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    The only thing more ridiculous than all the screaming about children is the screaming about anal sex. It’s funny how they only seem to have a problem with it when it involves two men.

  • Mana

    I am against gay marriage. Well… I am against heterosexual marriage, too. Is there a single, credible, non-religious reason to deny equal rights to unmarried people? Giving people the “right” to marry and enjoy “privileges” of married people is sheer discrimination. Fighting for equal rights for something that gives you discriminative privileges sounds a bit paradoxical to me.

  • DMSaban

    Not all Christians are bigots and not all Christian groups repress their members desire to focus on Christ’s teachings and not what was written before him. Much of what Christ did was in opposition to the directives given in the old testament, or at least how the religious establishment at the time interpreted those directives. I personally think that Christ would have been in favor of gay marriage rights. That might be some common ground on this issue. I bet that there is even a group of nuns out there that would agree.

  • Glasofruix

    How about the one that says that women should stfu or that other one about killing disobeying childre or another one about killing people on sabbath? Do you follow those “laws”?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    The things you list did not require any conscious creation. We understand (at least broadly) how they came to exist simply as the product of natural laws.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    To explain things before we figured out a better way of doing that.

    There have been millions of gods throughout history. Do you think they were all real? Maybe you think they were all made up, except for the one you happen to believe in?

  • Piet Puk

    Thank you for sharing. Now go tell your christian brothers and sisters that.

  • Melinda

    Who defined it as that? If you look in the Bible there were many examples of multiple wives, concubines, etc. It’s a marriage.  I have been married since 1974.  Allowing gays to marry will not degrade my marriage.  If that is the issue let’s find a different word for anyone who has been married more than once (unless they were widowed) I agree Chick Fil A has the right to support what they want.  But I have the right to let people know why I won’t eat there since I don’t want my money supporting their philosophy.  That’s why there is a boycott.

  • Johnwilson815

    Not voting,  still count it as wrong… call me what you want.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/comingoutchristian/ Kimberly

    Fan-freakin-tastic!

  • Glasofruix

    If you eat only for pleasure you tend to overeat, get fat and then die from a heart attack. Your analogy is flawed, because sex for pleasure and sex for procreation aren’t different things it’s the same mechanism with same effects.

  • Glasofruix

    So, first you say it’s unnatural and we point to you that it is not and then you go around by saying that because of our brain we are can overwrite every natural settings we have?

  • Glasofruix

     “And for that you simply need to look at continental Europe. In many
    countries influenced by the French Code Civil (which also includes South
    America), you must get married at city hall by a civil registrar.”

    Belgium here, my sister got married a couple of years ago, first we went to the mayor where she and her husband signed some papers and then everyone got wasted in a big party, no priests, rabbis or imams involved at any point. Anyway the law here says clearly, civil marriage first, then you can have whatever ceremony you like.

  • Kyla Jackson58

    I agree so much with this, but they don’t mean well. You don’t call people fags, dykes, or any other name, throw pop on them, tell them their going to hell, and so on because you mean well. I was raised in a christian home and I am a lesbian. I believe in God but I cannot support christian ways. They are wrong in this case, and I don’t know whether to pray for God to have mercy on the judgmental souls or pray that he doesn’t. 

  • tcohen1267

    Great article. And to those arguing its merits below, who cares how something is “defined” if said definition is baseless and wrong. For millenia the earth was “defined” as being flat…

  • Laurenyoung0115

    I have to say, I am a married Christian mother of four who did indeed give birth to a child out of wedlock and also divorced my husband. I was sexually active before I was married and even was involved with a married man (in my young stupid days). My god still lives me. I am a niece of a catholic bishop and three nuns. I am a sister to an openly gay man who is in fact engaged to his partner of 9 years, and I am a daughter to two of the most country catholic people u will see meet. I also have a small child which I suspect is gay. ;) I know without a shadow of a doubt that homosexuality is not a choice, I know that Mr. Cathy did exercise his right to freedom of speech (as I am now), and I know that in this blog, u r too. And I appreciate all of it! I have objectively listened to both sides of the argument in a mature manner and have in fact opened some people’s eyes and some people have opened mine. Ur right, this is not a matter of free speech….. Bc everyone has that right already. It is an issue of equality and a law that should be unbiased to religious preference. BUT…. With all of that being said, be better. … Mr. Cathy exercised his right to freedom of speech, but in doing so, he insulted people with his blatant disregard and disrespect for other peoples feelings. Don’t reduce yourself to that. The LBGT community has handled themselves with poise for many many years about their views and I would hate to see all of that grace destroyed because of one mans national platform on small mindedness. Let’s not make this an eye for an eye. Let’s take a breather and collect ourselves and remain the moral high ground. He may in fact be the definitions of everything u say, but don’t say it. Maintain yourself. Be better. Much love <3. I support equality and love. How could I be a good mother if I didn't??? Think about that parents? All u parents with small children… Do u know who ur kids are yet?

  • Guest11

    Actually your argument of saying churches will be forced to perform same sex weddings by using the Danish state church as an example is a poor one. For one thing: it’s a state church. This means that it is owned and partly governed by the state and that it must adhere the to state laws. Private churches can, but are not required to, perform same sex weddings; it’s entirely up to the individual church. Some of them has been asking for permission to marry same sex couples, which used to be prohibited. (So these churches freedom used to be impaired, while now they have the freedom of choice).
    And in the state church priests can still refuse to partake in a wedding if it’s a same sex couple or one of spouses are divorced, so they are not forced to do anything against their personal beliefs.

    Please, the next time you want to use something as an example, do better research first. State churches operate under different rules than private churches.

  • Miss_Beara

    “Perhaps God will have mercy on you and open your eyes.”

    Which god? The god of the Christians that are for gays marrying or the god of the Christians that are against equal rights. 

    It is funny how you and your god are both against equal rights. 

  • Kmac

    I don’t think I underestimate the depth of religious delusion.  As an atheist I find religious people across the board to be deluded by default, because God isn’t real.  That being said, I study religion.  I study history.  I study human nature.  I find the idea of religion fascinating.  I find that people actually believe in it fascinating when the social, historical, and scientific truth is glaringly obvious.  I know it doesn’t do any good to post common sense ideas to religious people, but I don’t see the harm.  I think there’s more harm in not saying something than in putting it out there.  I get it.  I know it’s futile.  It doesn’t cost me anything to say it though, so i say it.

  • Dnalyfe

     Can you explain to any of us why your religious belief should be the law?

  • Crystal

    Your comment is very hateful. Please don’t be hypocritical by telling those people that they are “retarded”. I hate when people use that word. Its disrespectful and hateful towards people with intellectual disabilities.

    I myself support gay marriage and have engaged in fierce debates over the issue. I am also a Christian. So it bothers me to have people like you ,who is socially on the same side as me, denigrate my faith. You may not think there’s a God but don’t tell people that they’re being hateful and then turn around and use hateful words. You undermine what we’re working for and you are equate Christian with anti-gay just like anti-gay people equate gay marriage with sin.

  • DeadInHell

    Great post. I’m so tired of conservatives actively pushing to strip away the rights of our citizens and force their religious beliefs on all of us through the law, then turning around and crying persecution the second someone tries to call them on what they’re doing. The fact that it actually works with so many people is frightening. The fact that people don’t see the parallels between this and civil rights, or women’s suffrage, is disheartening. And it’s the reason why conservative politicians love to cut the education budget, hike up our taxes, and pacify us with sensational news stories about fried chicken. The less we know, the less we have,  and the less we understand, the greater their license to oppress and discriminate. 

  • Piet Puk

    Yes, it is facinating indeed!
    The hoops and mental gymnastics they go through to keep reality at bay are amazing!

  • Crystal

    You could also use that analogy with interracial marriage. Fear of change in society with black men marrying white men and having children (omg), when you’re desperately trying to teach your children that you don’t agree with it. That was certainly how “anti-race mixing” advocates felt 45+ years ago. Thank God we’re over that dumb fear and I have a beautiful mixed son and daughter on the way by a white man. I pray that we will eventually come to accept gay marriages like we accept interracial ones.

  • Michael J.W. Thomas

    Does anyone get the irony in this all?  Christians themselves were persecuted, tortured, and even executed for their beliefs. Catholics were the worst of all.  They were persecuted from their own brethren – other Christians!

    With all this hate – quoting the Bible, which has been the standard-bearer of every philosophy, from Fundamentalists to Satanist - can’t there be any tolerance at all for love?

    Remember, Christ hung around with a prostitute (as traditional Christians believe), and it wasn’t gays that were thrown to the lions.

  • Alex

    Why the hell are we debating how the Bible defines marriage? When did the Bible become the standard for civil matters in a secular society?

  • amycas

    Don’t claim to be open to the public if you’re not open to ALL of the public, and don’t accept government funding if you’re not willing to follow the rules that everybody else has to follow. It’s really that easy. And getting around the “open to the public” rule is super easy. Restaurants in dry counties do it all the time. You just have whoever wants to use it fill out a little card with their name on it and voila: they’re in the club. Since it’s a private club that doesn’t take government funding, then they can let whoever they want be in the club. Then they can discriminate to their heart’s content. Seriously, like I said before, if the Catholic Church is not forced to marry previously divorced people, then why would they be forced to marry a gay couple?

  • Stev84

    Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication.

  • Kmac

    I politely disagree.  People need to call out bigoted behavior when they see it.  If they don’t, nothing will change.  I have a three year old daughter, and I don’t want her to live in a world where bigotry is acceptable under the guise of religion.  Not ok.  It isn’t acceptable ever.  If we don’t stand up and call people bigots when they act like bigots, we’re allowing it, and we shouldn’t.  What on earth is “better” about letting that kind of behavior continue without standing up to it?  Do you think that it’s disrespectful or insulting to call people what they are?  What you’re suggesting is that we all just “maintain ourselves”?  If you support equality and love, then do something about it.  Sitting quietly isn’t supporting anyone.  Letting bigoted behavior run rampant isn’t supporting anyone.  Not pointing out that bigots are bigots isn’t supporting anyone.  Every bigot you don’t call out sullies your religion.  It sullies gay people.  It sullies our communities.  It sullies humanity.  Do I care about insulting bigots?  I surely don’t.  Being a bigot is a choice.  The way you interpret religion is a choice.  With exceptions, being gay isn’t.  Keeping the victimizers feelings from being hurt doesn’t help or accomplish anything.  It’s totally craven, and it lets everyone know that you don’t do a thing to assuage bad behavior, even though it hurts people.  I’m going to teach my daughter to stand up to bullies and bigots and misogynists and racists, because if I don’t I’m not being a very good parent.

  • LesterBallard

    I’m sorry. I missed it before, but did you write “No I don’t think Christians need to worry too much about persecution yet either.” Like they will in the future? Are cereal?

  • Crescenthawk

    I will have to say I share all of the views as Crystal. I would like to point out, the non-existence of God is not a fact, it is a hypothesis and if you want to stretch that a theory. Theories are just continually tested hypotheses. A lot of what we know about science and our world (how it came to be, how some things function) is theory based ( not hard core facts). The theories are accepted until there is proof to the contrary, in which the theory might be amended or changed.  

  • Laurenyoung0115

    I think u may have misunderstood my perspective. I am, by no means at all, saying to stand quietly by and endure things. I am simply stating that name calling by both parties has seemed to drown out te very valid points that pro equality individuals are trying to get across. Sadly, when supporters of the LGBT community do resort to that, the opposing side completely shuts down and tunes out. I have taught my children to stand up for injustices and bullies, even if they have to do it alone…. In my experience ( and trust me I have had plenty) it normally just takes away from the real subject at hand

  • http://www.facebook.com/Missa.Sempai Missa Phoenix

    More than thousands, he has given over 3 million dollars.

  • Red Prince Darktower

    Better question is: Why should any religious belief be the Law?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Are none of you paying attention?  This isn’t about “free speech”?  Chick-fil-a donated thousands of dollars to anti-gay hate groups which work to strip LGBT people of their civil rights, and to support Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.    Mr Cathy didn’t merely express an opinion.  He financially supports oppression and genocide. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     When your cow can give informed consent and sign a marriage certificate you can petition for the right to marry her.  Until then just boink her in the field like you’ve been doing up until now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Humans *are* animals, and if by “laws of morality” you mean your little book of myths that says women should be stoned to death if they’re not virgins on their wedding night, kids should be killed if they disobey their parents, rape victims should be required to marry their rapists, etc, then you can keep that.  Most of us here wouldn’t treat a dog that poorly.

  • Steve O

    You don’t have to call ME a bigot or a homophobe, I have been married and divorced (like most marriages) so I speak from experience when I say that institution is vooked.  We treat single people differently than married ones (I would speculate for religious historic reasons).  It is not unlike sodomy laws in that it affected pretty much the entire homosexual population (except those asshats that married straight people).

    Knowing what marriage is, I can’t say it is a choice for me.  Nor can I force another to marry me, so being single is truly not a matter of individual choice.

    Yet, we pay lots more for taxes, cannot easily assign rights of survivorship, get insurance discounts, etc. etc.  Even those of us who are single parents.

    And really, love and marriage are not mutually inclusive.  I do not buy the “who cares if they are in love”, it is the benefits and rights and etc that are denied single people that is the issue.  There are no laws preventing you from loving another person, and that love is not Dependant on marriage.

    Singleism is an issue that affects gay people and straight people alike, it affects like 4.5 times more people than gay marriage.

    Wouldn’t you like to have the same rights and privleges as married people, regardless if you love another romantically or not?   Or even if you want to love 10 others?

    And on the  otherhand why should single people subsidize romantic relationships?

    So, my “opposition” such as it were, isn’t that gay people should not love one another, nor is it religious or particularly emotional, but that I simply don’t think it is right to have different rights for single and married people period.  That is textbook discrimination.  Equalize rights and benefits between married people and you can proclaim your love for whoever (or bail on a crappy relationship) with no legal impact.

    Even if you think marriage is or should be about love, do you think it is a matter for the government/industry to stick their fingers in?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Basically you want people to have special rights because of their chosen religious beliefs.  They should be allowed to disobey any law they choose by simply declaring their “religious beliefs” make it necessary.   You’re a disgusting, selfish, parasitical bigot.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    True. You’d think they’d notice that their complaints about being silenced are getting published and responded to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

     Churches can perform a ceremony that has no legal significance.  That’s not a marriage.  Because of Prop8 and other laws like it, churches are forbidden to perform legal marriages even if they want to.  That is religious oppression. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/TemiBe Temitope Bewaji

    the problem with the post is that it ties marriage rights to marriage.  You cannot be calling someone a bigot when they are not so much trying to prevent you having the same rights as they are protecting something they hold dear. Its a bit of a dirty tactic to do what this author is doing.  You are trying to circumvent what very many consider a religious institution and insisting that protecting that institution equates to withholding rights. 

    I still maintain that gays should leave marriage alone and actually focus on fighting for equal rights. Otherwise you are just being disingenuous. It would be like men fighting for the right to enter the female restrooms and calling anyone who opposes a bigot, when they can have free use of the male restroom (equal rights). I don’t know if the pro-gay marriage crowd is too stupid to realize this or they are really being that dishonest. Maybe the real aim is to demolish certain moral views rather than allowing them to coexist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TemiBe Temitope Bewaji

    you guys are becoming zealots in the way you oppose those who see things differently from you. More and more those who advocate against long held moral views are acting irrationally and spewing hateful insulting language. I wonder when they will wise up and look in the mirror. 

  • JohnnieCanuck

    But are you and your socially conscious fellow Christians making any useful noises against the anti-gay or the anti-women Christians? Have you tried to block any of their hateful attempts at legislating against gay’s or women’s rights?

    It’s not enough to accept gay ministers and yet let the haters take the microphone and imply they speak for all Christians.

    You’d be less likely to be painted with a broad brush for supporting hate if you were heard criticising it directly and effectively, yourselves.

  • Kmac

    Definition of BIGOT: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intoleranceThat is exactly what these people are.  It isn’t name calling.  If a plant is green and I call it green, I’m not calling the plant names.  I’m describing the plant.  If a person is a bigot, you describe them as such.  It isn’t a name calling game.  Fag is a name calling game.  Homo is a name calling game.  I think you’re misunderstanding the difference.As for standing up for what is right, how does that take away from the subject at hand?  There IS no subject if people don’t define it and stand up to it.  How exactly would you rid the world of bigotry, if not to stand against it and denounce it?  Love it to death?  Sometimes good people have the stand up for what is right and just.  When you do nothing, you accomplish nothing.

  • Dgsinclair

    1. If you are not for equality for the unborn child…

  • Dgsinclair

    Defined by human biology and psyche, fallen as it is. And by the creator and Jesus. Stop trying to justify dysfunction.

  • Dgsinclair

    If you are against rights for the unborn…

  • Guest

    Christians that do not support same-sex marriage aren’t homophobic or hateful! No one is against being homosexual!! And at Chick-fil-A, they have said that again and again, and the other side does not LISTEN that that.
    Christians are being persecuted for standing firm in what WE believe for something that IS NOT persecution! People can think it is unfair as much as they want to, Christ did not come to “play fair;” He said that he did not come to bring peace to the world, and with that, He didn’t come so that just anyone could have any given definition of what “love” is. … And “Christians” that compromise their Christian beliefs on this or any matter don’t understand or don’t want to understand what Christ taught. And those that are standing by OUR beliefs aren’t going to have a change of heart. We don’t just “mean well.” You aren’t ever going to understand because you don’t want to. No one is misunderstanding you, we get it, but unless you want to ever want to listen… the bridge will continue to be burned… And it isn’t by Christians. 

  • Guest

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

  • Guest

    BUT he did not accept those people as they were. He loved them, yes, and they left their life behind to follow Him. 
    He let the man that chose his riches over following Him leave… And he told His disciples to “leave and shake the dust from your sandals” when people refused the Truth when they offered it. 

  • Guest

    Whoops. Replied on the wrong one. 

  • Guest

    BUT he did not accept those people as they were. He loved them, yes, and they left their life behind to follow Him… Because that is what loving Him is. 
    He let the man that chose his riches over following Him leave… And he told His disciples to “leave and shake the dust from your sandals” when people refused the Truth when they offered it. 

  • Whirlwitch

     Feel free to leave and shake the dust off your sandals, then.

  • Whirlwitch

    Not thousands.  Millions.

  • Jeffjr02

    I would rather live my life believing that God exists and find out in death that he doesn’t, rather than live my life believing that He doesn’t exist only to find out in death that He does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.kissam.7 Nancy Pants

    it’s called Science.

  • Gary

    Protect means to prevent from harm.  How would gay marriage harm the institution? 

  • Kmac

    I would see your point if marriage were strictly a Christian ideal, but it absolutely isn’t just for Christians.  Although plenty of religions have marriage rites, in this country marriage is a secular institution.  People get their marriage licenses from the government, not the church.  Go ahead and have a Christian marriage if you want, but understand that people who are not religious get married also.  People get married all the time for reasons other than procreation.  It isn’t that people don’t care to listen, it’s just that you’re wrong.  Marriage in this country is civil, not religious…and that means that civil rights are involved.  If you want to complain about your Christian rights being somehow taken from you, then complain about straight people who use the word marriage.  Complain about elderly couples who can’t have kids using the word marriage.  Complain about sterile couples using the word marriage, because in this country marriage is open far past your Christian definition of one man + one woman = babies.  Gay people have the civil right to use the word, because people other than Christians have the right to use the word.  They have the right to it because the umbrella of rights in this county covers everyone equally, including the civil act of marriage.  Honestly I don’t know what ever makes you think that Christians have the patent on marriage in the first place.  People have been having marriage ceremonies a lot longer than Christianity has been around…and that includes gay people.  The Catholics got ahold of marriage in the 1800th century as a way to control people.  When they were in charge in Europe, they made the declaration that if your marriage wasn’t blessed by the church, it wasn’t valid.  They did that to make sure people couldn’t stray from the church.  A very handy way to keep people in line.  Please don’t act like you actually believe Christians are the ones who invented marriage, or that only Christians get married, or that someone is taking something from you.  The fact of the matter is that although you yourself may not be homophobic…and that is up for debate…the church as a whole definitely IS.  If Christianity cared so much about the holy sacrament of marriage, it’d be up in arms any time anyone other than a Christian got married, and it isn’t.  If it really cared so much about the holy sacrament of marriage, we’d all be getting our marriage licenses from a church, and we don’t.  You still have the same right to marry that you’ve always had.  Get over it.

  • http://www.phoenixgarage.org/ cr0sh

    Actually, what I can’t wait for (whether I’ll live long enough to enjoy the spectacle is another matter, though), will be the rise of strong artificial intelligence. I can easily see someone wanting to marry their android or gynoid.

    I can see such machines declaring that they are sentient, thinking, rational and alive.
    I can see the hatred and backlash by humanity against this kind of thing.
    I can see humans losing the battle very quickly – probably via extermination.

    Ever wonder why in fictional sci-fi universes the machines rise up and stomp the humans? Could it simply be because we denied them their rights as sentient, thinking, rational and alive beings?

    The crazy thing? That is what many of these sci-fi fictionalizations explore – yet despite watching them, despite these same rights battles going on constantly (with a few changes in names, places, and definitions), some grand part of us refuses to learn. Not all of us – but enough of us to make the rest of us shake our heads at the stupidity and ignorance around us.

    I keep hoping we figure it out before we make our “dumb matter” intelligent – because it very well may not be as forgiving to us, as we have been to each other (simply because their memories won’t degrade like our species’ memories do over time)…

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    MORAL

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    Marriage is not a man made institution.
    In the beginning the Creator created a man and a woman and the Creator married them.If it was right the Creator would have created a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but I think we can all see if that was the case we wouldn’t be here now would we?
    Can you understand what is RIGHT and what is WRONG now?
    It cannot be both ways.Right is right and wrong is wrong.

    As far as your race comment, well all I can say is there is only one race and that’s the human race and I would go so far as to say, anything else is just racist…

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    It is scientifically accepted that the odds of the universe  NOT being created by a higher power or architect is 10 with fourty THOUSAND zero’s behind it.The odds of reaching out and grabing a single atom is far greater.Basically it’s impossible for the universe to have been a thing of chance.
    This your God/my God is irrelevent since there is only ONE God/Creator or whatever name you choose.The name itself is unimportant,in fact God says “I HAVE MANY NAMES”

  • Rwlawoffice

    I have heard this argument before and it is flat wrong. The Supreme Court has specifically held that religious freedom includes the right to practice that religion. However, when it comes to practices the state has an interest in how that is done and can regulate it. In order to do so the state must show a compelling reason and must tailor this regulation narrowly in order not to unduly infringe on the religious liberties of the religion. But to say that the first amendment only protects
    religious beliefs is an atheist myth.

  • Rwlawoffice

    The supreme court has defined free speech to include advocacy so this is a distinction without a difference. Additionally, you should really check your facts on the family research councils involvement on the Uganda bill.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    LOL natural laws. A law must be written before it can be a law.You simply cannot get something from nothing.

  • Miss_Beara

    “If Christianity cared so much about the holy sacrament of marriage, it’d be up in arms any time anyone other than a Christian got married, and it isn’t.”

    Also, if Christianity cared so much about the sacrament of marriage, they would ban divorce, but they don’t. 

  • Miss_Beara

    What the heck does that have to do with anything? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    The book of Revelation is basically a summarized prophetic book of the old testement books.

  • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

    Which is pretty damned convenient, don’t you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    Here it is plain and simple.If the Creator (or whatever name you choose) made a man and a man or a woman and a woman well we wouldn’t be here arguing about it now would we?If we all became gay the human race would end in a very short time.It’s basically genocide.Still think it’s right?If so I can assure you,your logic is flawed.Man and woman = continuation of the human race,man and man or woman and woman = genocide…It’s as simple as that.
     

  • allein

    “In my mind “civil unions” or whatever we want to call them would be widespread, the same for all couples, and available to all couples. It would be a federal legal document and agreement.” 

    We already have a word for this legal construct. That word is “marriage.” And if the government said “we’re not going to have marriage anymore and everyone will have a civil union,” we’d have an even worse outcry from the religious people screaming about having their marriages taken away by the big bad government.

    Aside from that, on a purely practical level, do you know how much it would cost to reword every document (laws, forms, etc.) out there to replace the term “marriage” and its variants? I don’t know either, but I do know that we have a lot better things on which we could (and should) be spending our tax money. Besides, people will still call it marriage anyway. People need to learn that some words mean more than one thing, and get on with their lives.

  • Rwlawoffice

    All 501(c)(3) organizations are tax exempt not just churches. Like planned parenthood for example. That evil organization is tax exempt and gets federal dollars.

  • allein

    “because eveyonewould no longer be getting “married”, they’re obtaining a civil union”

    And you think the religious right wouldn’t have an absolute fit over that? They’re so keen on not ‘sharing’ a word, wait until the evil liberal government tries to take it away altogether!

  • Rwlawoffice

    It is called religious freedom. It is protected in the first amendment. Churches having to through these steps simply to be called a private club in order to stick to their theology would be a violation of this right nd an infringement on their religious liberties. From your example if a catholic church opened its doors o the public they would be forced to marry a gay couple because the gay couple will claim discrimination based upon sexual orientation, whereas a divorced couple does not have that protection.

  • The Captain

    “However, when it comes to practices the state has an interest in how that is done and can regulate it” But it must do so with SECULAR reasoning. 
    If you think the definition of marriage comes from your religion only for religious reasons, and you want the government to only recognize your religions definition of it, then you are directly violating the first amendment rights of those that do not follow your religion! You just do not fundamentally extend the same “freedom of religion” to others that you demand.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Your argument up to this point has been that religion has nothing to do with the state sanctioning marriage, now all of a sudden it’s religious liberty to perform marriages only if the state sanctions them? You can’t have it both ways. And by the way, what religion has as its theology that they will only perform marriages theatre sanctioned by the state?

  • Rwlawoffice

    Religious expression is protected by the first amendment to the constitution so they ate given exemptions to some laws in order to protect this freedom.

  • allein

    Hello, Mr. Pascal.

  • The Captain

    You know what, it doesn’t matter if you think you cant explain your religion to me. You still have no right to force me or anyone else to practice it. I will never bow down to your god and I will fight you and people like who would force others to do so. those of you who feel they can use the rule of law to force others to practice your religion are nothing but thugs in the name of christ. 

  • allein

    Do you think allowing gay people to marry each other will somehow increase the incidence of homosexuality in the general population? If so, may I suggest a biology class or two?

    Also, that’s not what the word genocide means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    The law doesn’t provide you the right to practice your religion all over other people.   Your religious liberties stop where the rights of others begin.  Or would you think it’s OK for Muslims to insist you kowtow to their beliefs because otherwise you’re infringing on their “religious freedom”?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Personally, I consider the very idea of a creator, or of an original man and woman, to be nonsense of the highest order. It’s a religious viewpoint, and not something the government can consider in creating laws.

    Believe what you want, and your church can marry whomever it wants. But the state cannot base its definitions on a bit of bronze age religious rubbish.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Your abject ignorance of this subject does not change the actual facts in the slightest.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Then there is no source for your god, either.

  • Kmac

    We don’t live in biblical times when procreation was extremely important.  People needed a ton of kids back then, and a third of them died as infants with another two or three dying in childhood.  The reason why procreation is important in the bible is because it WAS important.  Today we live in a world that is overpoulated, and every baby that is born adds to the poverty level.  People live longer.  Birth is safer and has much higher percentages of babies living.  We don’t have open plagues where large populations of people die.  In biblical times it’s true that having as many kids as you could was necessary, but we don’t live in biblical times.  We have unwanted kids in foster care, orphanages, and living on the streets.  Procreation in the numbers seen thousands of years is no longer needed or wanted if we want the earth to last.  Our resources are dwindling.  For you to say that gay people would create a genocide is ridiculous.  Do you know what genocide even is?  We have straight people who get married and don’t have kids.  Do you tisk tisk them?  Your logic is flawed on multiple levels…and by the way…gay people aren’t sterile.  They have kids all the time.   

  • Kmac

    Agreed.  Honestly I don’t know how people can believe  or follow the bible or any other religious texts in the age we live in.  I try not to get involved with people’s religion as long as their arm ends where my nose begins, but it seems like the amount of ignorant Fox News followers are getting out of hand these days.  The media in the United States is completely abhorrent.

  • AxeGrrl

    If we all became gay the human race would end in a very short time.

    Good grief, not this lame argument again.  Look around you, gay people are capable of reproducing

    Secondly, if everyone were female the human race would ‘end in a short time’. Does that make being female unnatural or immoral?

    Please give some thought to the ‘arguments’ you toss out before you do so.

  • AxeGrrl

    the problem with the post is that it ties marriage rights to marriage

    Dear, Hemant’s post doesn’t do that, federal law ties “marriage rights” to marriage.

    You cannot be calling someone a bigot when they are not so much trying to prevent you having the same rights as they are protecting something they hold dear.

    You are not “protecting” marriage when you deny it to certain people. Why?  because heterosexual marriage will STILL EXIST if/when same sex marriage exists.  Do you understand this very very simple and obvious point?

    Please, shut the “lame argument” drawer and give some thought to what you’re presenting instead of tossing out such moronic ‘points’. 

    Maybe the grade 3 class that helped Sarah Palin with her speech-writing should take over from you guys……they couldn’t do a worse job.

  • jonhanson

    The Christians in this comment section are making me really happy I freed myself of that bullshit.

  • Geust

    This a thousand times over. Secular marraige and religous marraige are two completely different and seperate things.

  • Kmac

    “You cannot be calling someone a bigot when they are not so much trying to prevent you having the same rights as they are protecting something they hold dear.”

      I hold a lot of things “dear” also.  Just because you “hold something dear” doesn’t mean that you own the rights to it.  By all means, hold your marriage dear.  No one is stopping you from doing that.  When you group an entire portion of the population together and tell them that they, and only they, don’t get to marry because Christians hold their marriage “dear”…you’re a bigot.

  • Piet Puk

    You are not being persecuted.
    All we ask is to keep your religion to yourself and have enough respect for other people to let them have equal rights.

  • Piet Puk

    I would rather live my life believing that Zeus exists and find out in
    death that he doesn’t, rather than live my life believing that He
    doesn’t exist only to find out in death that He does.

  • Piet Puk

     I would rather live my life believing that the FSM exists and find out in
    death that he doesn’t, rather than live my life believing that He
    doesn’t exist only to find out in death that He does.

  • Piet Puk

    ..and this one time in band camp..

  • Susanna from Brussels

     Todd Pfennig:

    - foul language like the one you’ve just used is not Christian. Jesus told us not to insult others; it even puts us “in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22; see also 15:11). 

    - urging people not to vote could be interpreted as anti-democratic. Ultimately, if no-one voted, there would be no democracy.

  • Andrija Sekulic

    Also, expect trolls here and PLEASE do not feed them. Life is short. Trolls are innumerable.

  • Andrija Sekulic

    Ignore trolls…

  • Zorbear Sr

    then what should I do with my WWJH* bumper sticker?
    (*Who Would Jesus Hate)

  • Stev84

    Whenever someone says crap like that I can’t help but think the only thing keeping them from acting on their homosexuality is their inability to get married

  • Stev84

    Total non sequitur. We are talking about civil marriage. Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

  • Stev84

    It just doesn’t work that way. They only pretend that all they care about is the word. In reality, they don’t want gay people to have any rights. Christians also vehemently oppose any other form of relationship recognition and even anti-discrimination laws.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gpswenson Guy Paul Swenson

    All that crap about “God’s definition of marriage” craftily bypasses the millions of straight people married in a courthouse, all the people who are married who aren’t Christians, or perhaps don’t believe in any God at all, and the fact that one of the reasons we declared our independence from England was “taxation without representation.” Gay people  pay more taxes than straight people because their marriages are not recognized by the government, plus they can’t even draw spousal Social Security or pension benefits, or get family insurance rates. Why should a gay person be denied equal government benefits because YOU (and I mean the bigot) chose to practice a particular religion? Practice all you want, but don’t impose your impression of a hateful god on me.

    (And I am a gay Baptist in Texas, a member of a Welcoming and Affirming Baptist Church, that does not take to any of those cherry-picked and questionably interpreted excuses for bigotry that some people claim to excuse them from Jesus’ commandment to love their neighbor as themselves.)

  • Zempelstl
  • Stevenalanmelanson

    If you do believe in God( which I don’t) and you believe he is omnipresent and omnipotent then where did all the gay’s and lesbians come from? Is he not the “creator”? Or is he some sort of prick who creates things he doesn’t like and condemns them just to torture people and make the world miserable? If that’s the case then that’s some God you got there! I’ll stick to my Godless atheism thank you very much!

  • Devin Parro

    The church defines marriage as a man and woman. I’m sick of hearing it. The judge marrying in a civil ceremony has no tied to the church! Leave religion in church and give everyone equality. As long as consenting adults are committing and given respect ; who are you to judge?
    Let’s separate church and state and give all members of society their constitutional rights. Not special rights.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Randy, that’s ridiculous. Even if the entire world magically “became gay,” it wouldn’t mean that children wouldn’t be born. My parents are lesbians, and guess what, my brother and I still exist.

    All being gay means is that same-sex couples can’t have children by accident. No unplanned pregnancies. No unwanted children. When you think about it, wouldn’t that actually be a good thing for the human race?

  • Miss_Beara

     Bwahahahahaha…

    hahaha…

    haha…

    ha.

    That is all.

  • kaydenpat

    Rachel sounds naive.  If someone in the 60s said, I support segregation, but I love Black people, would that make any sense?  Or someone in South Africa pre-1990s saying, I support apartheid, but I’m not a racist?

    If you don’t support equal rights for gay people, you’re a homophobe.  You can be a nice homophobe, and even a homophobe who has gay friends, but you’re still a homophobe.

  • Jaylijahsmommy

    Not all Christians think that gay and lesbians shouldn’t marry. I am a Christian raked Catholic now attending Methodist, and I feel that people should be able to marry anyone they please wheather is be same sex /race/religion/etc.

  • JimTreacher

    If You Oppose Marriage Equality, What Else Am I Supposed to Call You?

    Up until a couple of months ago, you could’ve called me Obama.

  • Anon

    So basically, you’re worried that if we allow gay marriage then gay children who are being brought up in your repressed, homophobic culture might actually have the temerity to actually be gay rather than spending their lives hating themselves because a 2000 year old book said they should.

    Newsflash. I’m pretty sure you can’t force somebody to be gay through peer pressure.

  • Slapdashmom

    Amazing, amazing article. I’m quoting you in my post at slapdashmom.com today. :)

  • Stev84

    Obama never opposed it as such. He was for it when he was a Senator. When his political career advanced, he just didn’t endorse it. But there is a middle ground between not being for something and actively opposing it. Things would be fine if Christians would just stop campaigning and voting against equality. Doesn’t mean they have to actively support it.

  • gigi4747

    lol @ the title of this article. Why do you have to “call” people anything? Why can you not simply state your opinion without trying to silence everyone who disagrees with you through namecalling? Why don’t you state your opinion and let it be praised or panned on its own merit?

    I don’t like some of the statements made by people at Family Research Council, etc, but in fairness, you don’t know that Dan Cathy agrees with EVERYTHING they say either. I’ve never been to a chick fil a, but all the hatred and slander shown to Dan Cathy makes me want to go to one.

    I am religious, but the marriage issue has nothing to do with religion for me. I don’t want to see marriage redefined in our culture, whether it’s to accommodate same sex couples or plural groups. If there were a “right” to redefine marriage, I’d have to honor that. However, there is no such thing. As far as marriage being “redefined” throughout history, there’s not one instance of which I’m aware of any culture recognizing homosexual marriage. That doesn’t mean in and of itself that there is no “right” to gay marriage, but it does say that this supposed right had never been recognized anywhere, until a judge in Massachusetts decided it existed a few years ago. Could that be because this “right” does not in fact exist? Some might make a comparison to women’s suffrage here. Women’s suffrage, however, didn’t require a fundamental redefinition of a cultural cornerstone like marriage.

    The race issue is different too as it likewise did not require a change in the definition of marriage. And there were many Catholic and other Christian clergy, religious, and laypeople who were involved in the civil rights movement, so to say that Christians try to deny people their civil rights is a nonstarter.

    And btw, have you gone to your local mosque to call them out on their “bullsh1t”? I’m betting they also oppose same sex marriage. Are you boycotting oil products due to the horrible treatment of gay men in some of the opec nations?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    Thank you!

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Randy, I took a look at your Facebook profile. You do know that your own marriage would have been illegal in many states as recently as 1967. Rather ironic, don’t you think? 

    People who were against interracial marriage offered up religious reasons for that, too.

    Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1586081586 Rebecca Herring

    The reason there is no agreement is NO ONE is trying to find the common ground.  The ultimate reality is the common ground is no man’s land, full of mines and barbed wire and not exactly where either side wishes to be.  To be precise, if marriage is a religious institution, then why is the government even involved in it.  The only interest government might have is in regard to regulating one’s sexual partners to avoid offspring as the result of inbreeding.  So the government CAN say you can’t procreate with your near relatives.  However, traditional heterosexual unions and all homosexual unions do not result in inbreeding.  So if the government must issue a license for lifetime partners, they are issued solely based on the possibility the two mates are inbreeding, and since marriage is a religious term, they ARE NOT MARRIAGE LICENSES.  EVERYBODY, from the Catholic couple, to the Baptist couple, to the Gay couple, are LEGALLY referred to as something other than “married.”  This does not stop the Christian couples from referring to themselves as “married,” nor does it stop the gay couple.  But if legally, they are all nothing more nor nothing less than domestic partners, since by legal definition that is all they are.

  • Piet

     Does planned parenthood discriminate?

  • Agnostic

    Marriage is for the purpose of protecting children procreated by the couple. For others, have contracts since it is always about possessions. People who procreate children they can’t take care of are selfish so they should not be allowed to rely on society to take care of their children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.hall3 Eileen Verchot Hall

    Can you understand that not everyone is a member of your religion or agrees with your interpretation of it? Can you understand that you do not have a right to rule these people according to the dictates of YOUR religion?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.hall3 Eileen Verchot Hall

    Even if everyone accepted your argument as true, which is not going to happen in your lifetime, there is nothing in it to indicate that “The Bible” has any authority. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.hall3 Eileen Verchot Hall

    Surely this statement alone proves that you are a troll just trying to irritate people. No one is actually this stupid.

  • Steenie

    Apparently, you missed the story of the Tower of Babel…God perhaps saw an inequity and corrected it. I like to think that by showing His own vulnerability, perhaps others would understand that change was inevitable over centuries…the very reason we don’t stone the non-virgin wives, sacrifice humans, and marry our rapist. 
    I have often heard my Bible referred to as the Living Word…in order for something to Live, it must, by definition change. 

  • JimTreacher

    So you’re a rube.

  • Sindur420

    Marriage is not unique to your religion, it has been done all over the world and by every religion, or secular institution, for a very, very long time. If someone is being married not by your religion but by a secular authority then what bearing do your religious beliefs have on the ceremony or contract?

  • Uniquelysee

    Your denial of the truth…doesn’t make it less truth!

    your denial of your creator doesn’t make you less a unique creation…your hate games and finger pointing doesn’t make anything better…but the puffed up feeling you get inside…as you deny the fact that all people…ALL Humans are children of our God…and if you only want to play with some kind or another…and not with others…only makes you limited in your understanding of your creator…all who are alive…must account for you own relationship with your creator…i pray continuously for you…and all others who think that who or what they have sex with could make them better than another…all are accountable…all must account for what they do while here…he is the God of love…and he loves all of us…even those who hurt others…even those who deny who he is…all must know him…or he will truly tell you in the end…”I never knew you.”
    So stop playing name games…and pionting fingers and blaming Eve for the first sin…and be accountable to God…He aleady knows what is in your heart…wake up…or better…grow up…so you can Go up!

    You are all looking rediculous…will you ever graduate from Kindergarden?

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    Explain to me how two men or two women can naturally procreate without going outside their marriage.Remember the key word here is NATURALLY.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RUUFQCBA3PEZP7AKESBML6M2GM Neal

    I’m a Christian with a conservative interpretation of the Bible on homosexuality, but I don’t care if gays get married.  Me thinking that homosexuality by practice (NOT orientation) is a sin does not make me think  that gays are less worthy human beings than straights.  I mean, I know atheist couples who live together outside of marriage, but I love them just as much as my Christian married couple friends who “stayed pure” until marriage.  Recognizing that someone is sinning doesn’t mean you get to mistreat and discriminate them, or think you’re better than them.  I’m a sinner too and other sinners do not have to justify their life choices to me. 

    America separates the church and the state, so pro-family groups cannot expect gay and lesbian couples who want LEGAL, not RELIGIOUS recognition of their union to follow the biblical teaching.  It just doesn’t make sense and it’s not realistic.  I mean, if America has a Hindu rather than Judeo-Christian heritage, is it fair, for instance, for non-Hindus in this hypothetical, alternate universe to be denied beef when they go to a restaurant?  Food and marriage are two different issues, but you see my point.

    My other objection to the pro-family group tactic is why so worked up to de-legalize one sin and not others.  I mean, Christianity says pre-marital sex is sin, so where’s the outcry circus to ban common-law marriage? Not saying that I want to ban common-law marriage, I really don’t care, but I’m just saying they’re very inconsistent.  

    Tony Campolo expressed it best when he said that Christians couldn’t expect the lgbt community to believe that we love them when we deny them equal rights.  Being a Christian myself, I totally understand why some well-meaning Christians are so shocked by the bigot label, but they must also take the time to understand why lgbt people feel so insulted.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Why does that matter? I was conceived by donor insemination. Last time I checked, I’m a real person. I exist exactly the same as someone who shares DNA with both parents. Are we “unnatural” children somehow less deserving of legal protection than children whose parents conceived them the traditional way?

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Steenie, I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say. I don’t believe in any gods, but I think it’s clear that people interpret what’s in the Bible to fit their own prejudices. Slave owners used it to to justify slavery. Opponents of interracial marriage used it to justify miscegenation laws. And now opponents of same-sex marriage use it the same way. The content of the book hasn’t changed, but people have.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    In practical terms, any single-occupant restroom is a ‘genderless’ bathroom. 

  • Bloobie

    So then you admit that you’re trying to insert a purely religious definition of marriage into law.  That’s a violation of church-state separation.
    As for your creation myth, women were an after-thought. They were never part of the original plan.  After all, Eve was merely plucked out of Adam because he was lonely and begging for a companion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    True we live in times where abortion seems to take more importance to procreation.I guess you would have me believe because times have changed that makes it normal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    Is your donor a part of your life?
    Now if I have a child out of wedlock that child would be deemed illegitimate.Goggle it for an understanding of the word.Don’t get mad at me I didn’t make the law.In fact what a lot of people don’t realize about the law is it’s made in a foreign country call Washington District of Columbia.You might want to goggle that up too.

  • Steve O

    Well, the religious types are foaming incomprehendibly, but I have demonstrated that there is sound, secular, reason to not think gay marriage should be the “right” we address first.  Hemant, you generalizations have helped destroy meaningful and rational discussion about gay marriage and convinced me there are “well-meaning” small minded bigots on the left as well.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    No, I have never met my donor. Why on earth does that matter?

    You didn’t answer my question. Are children conceived by donor insemination less deserving of protection? Apparently you seem to think we should be deemed illegitimate (very 1950s, by the way!) and denied protection because our parents didn’t conceive us the “right” way. Please explain why it matters how a child is conceived.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Address first, or address at all? I don’t see how it’s possible for there to be “sound, secular reason” to deny marriage equality. One could argue about the best way to go about it, and whether it’s the most pressing issue facing the LGBT community, but unless you’re against the government issuing marriage licenses at all, there’s no reason (other than bigotry) to oppose marriage equality. How can there be meaningful and rational discussion when the vast majority of the debate is framed by religion? When 99% of opponents are willing to deny same-sex couples legal protection because they think their god doesn’t like gay people getting married?

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.russell.5015 Randy Russell

    Well if it doesn’t matter to you that you never met your father why should it bother me.If you believe that’s completely normal that is your prerogative.Just remember though what is normal to you may not be normal to others and vise verse.
    As far as you stating protection could you define what you mean by that?I do believe every child should be safe and have the necessities of life but whats that have to do with same sex marriage?
    Oh it’s not 1950′s.Example I live in the Philippines(I’m American) and I have a child out of wedlock,not only is that child illegitimate but also cannot be an American.
    Personally I don’t care what other people do when it doesn’t pertain to me.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Randy, why exactly are you bringing it up? What does me knowing or not knowing my sperm donor have to do with legal protection for same-sex families? Unless you’re just being nosy and feel the need to ask irrelevant personal questions. For what it’s worth, I am not at all ashamed or embarrassed about my family. I’m happy to have two mothers and feel grateful to my biological father for providing the sperm so that my brother and I could be born.

    So, now, back to the topic at hand. You still have not answered my question. Why does it matter how a child is conceived? You seem very concerned with the fact that same-sex couples can’t have a child that shares both of their DNA, but you have failed to explain how or why this matters when it comes to protection under the law. Our families exist and need legal protection, regardless of how children are conceived. When I speak about protection, I’m talking about the rights that civil marriage affords couples. Heterosexual families formed by adoption, surrogacy, and insemination are not denied these rights, so why are gay and lesbian families?

    I don’t know what goes on in the Philippines, but we’re talking about marriage equality in the United States. Whether or not the Filipino government would designate your hypothetical out-of-wedlock child “illegitimate” really has nothing to do with the present discussion.

  • Sarah Ryle

    As a Christian who supports Marriage Equality I have to say WELL SAID! 

  • Sarah Ryle

     Well said Neal!!!

  • Sarah Ryle

    I’m linking to this post, and quoting Neal’s comment  below (because it was just so well said, I couldn’t have said it better) in my post at http://sgryle.blogspot.com (From Ashes to Beauty.) 

  • guest

    I’m iffy about gay marriage on the base that it’s all about sympathetic passion. What will happen when gays can marry? Will pedophiles, polygamists, bestiality people make an uproar after this? How will this effect a future generation?  Most people who support gay marriage who AREN’T gay that I have met, are unconventional people. They don’t want to get married themselves, they cohabit with their partners and live huge lives of drama. I just find it so ironic that these kinds of people who are tad on a promiscuous side and don’t care about marriage as a covenant, want to push push push for gay marriage, yet they don’t even believe in it. They don’t even care about the high divorce rates in America. How can you push for something when you can’t even fix the basis? Sorry, but I think a lot of liberals talk a good game, but don’t really act well on it. On a religious side, sure, if gays want to marry, don’t do it in the church, but I personally don’t agree with liberals trying to alters one’s religion’s rules to please them. When you’re a Christian, it’s about God and not you. That’s why there has been so much difficulty. Some people don’t believe and others believe. It’s a lose-lose situation. You guys can protest for your unhappy friends. Should I protest to a company because my unhappy friend lost his job there? It’s not really any of our business.

  • Maria

    You do realize that your “unconventional” friends are lobbying for other (gay) people right? And that these other (gay) people may actually believe in the sanctity of marriage? There are gay christians out there, if you didn’t know (something that’s very incomprehensible to me) and that’s why their straight friends want THEM, who DO very much want to be in a loving and committed relationship recognized by the state, to be happy. They’re not doing it for THEMSELVES, they’re doing it for others who DO believe in marriage.  And the high divorce rate should debunk the “sanctity” of straight marriage anyway, if anything.

  • Maria

    Hmm…that’s not at all related to the disscussion on this particular article.  And I agree that people shouldn’t be having children when they can’t take care of them, but I also believe that a government should take care of ALL of its citizens, no matter what, so I disagree with the rest of the statement.

  • Jude

    Hello…I have a quick question. Perhaps someone here can answer it.
    Many people who support Traditional Marriage argue that gay people have never been denied the right to marry…as long as they meet the definition (marry a member of the opposite sex, not closely related and only 2 people). It is certainly true that many homosexuals did (and do) marry members of the opposite sex (for whatever reason).
    How do we counter this argument? Also, they argue that if we change the definition to allow same sex, then we will eventually have legal polygamy marriages with 30 women and one man (a la Mormons and Muslims). I don’t know if I like that, but how can we deny them their rights if we want ours?
    I was asked if I would support a brother marrying his 4 siblings. How can I say no? Should I say no? Finally…why does the government sanction marriage anyway? The libertarian in me is saying the government should get the hell out of the marriage business.
    Help me please.

  • Edmond

    Many people agree that the gov’t should get out of the marriage business, but it seems that it is currently so entrenched that this is a near-impossibility.  It isn’t going to happen.

    The old argument that gay people CAN marry, as long as they follow the current rules (marry someone of the opposite sex), is deliberately insensitive.  It does not recognize the structure or needs of gay relationships.  Sure, many gay people HAVE married someone of the opposite sex, but how often has that been done out of love, rather than convenience?  Certainly, no such arrangement would benefit my relationship with my partner.

    There may actually be some good arguments for polygamy.  If we feel that the gov’t shouldn’t be meddling in same-sex relationships, then it stands to reason that we may feel that the gov’t should treat multi-party relationships the same way.  Maybe that’s true.  Although, a closer look (and not even very close) at polygamy finds that it’s rarely a beneficial arrangment for all involved.  Many polygamous relationships are not equal partnerships, but simply an attempt for one man (usually religious) to build himself a docile harem of women.  How often do we see things the other way around, with one woman seeking to marry a dozen men?

    Still, I think many good arguments can be made for some polygamous relationships.  I wouldn’t personally be against legalizing such marriages, however it would require extensive review and revamping of current tax codes, inheritance laws, pensions, social security, etc etc, so that polygamy doesn’t become an effective way to “game the system” and rake in money or benefits.   Equality is the key word in “marriage equality”, and I wonder if removing limits on the quantity of spouses would truly further that goal.

    I laugh at people who bring up incestuous marriages as an argument.  Tell them to go look up CURRENT incest laws across the country, and get back to you.  Straight people have already set the limits on what kinds of incest they’ll allow, and it’s pretty lax.  Go to NJ, and marry ANY relative you want.  Incest laws are like divorce laws: they need to clean up their own mess first, before they can accuse us of causing any problems.

    In any case, I don’t see anyone from any “polygamy” or “incest” camps even fighting for such rights.  Let’s see these people rise up and call for marriage rights, rather than someone who does NOT represent them, acting as a mouthpiece.  Where can you go to get a “legalize polygamy” t-shirt?  Where is the Incest Defamation HQ?  What is the URL for their advocacy group?  Where are their parades?  Nowhere.  There is no push for these rights.

    Marriage brings two unrelated people together to make them into family.  People who are already family have no need of this.  They don’t need the protections and benefits that are afforded to two people who have met and chosen to spend their lives together.  And remember, gay people don’t want multiple spouses, we just want to be able to have the ONE.  This hardly seems unreasonable.

    Also, there is no such thing as a “polygamous” orientation, or an “incestuous” orientation.  People are not born with these needs.  There is no young man in a high school in the Midwest somewhere, who has fallen in love with a girl, only to wish that he could have 8 more before he’d be capable of marrying her.  There is no young cheerleader who pines for that handsome basketball star, sadly wishing that he were her brother so they could have the relationship she hopes for.  This doesn’t happen.  Being polygamous or incestuous isn’t like being gay at all.  None of these arguments address the reality of being gay.  They’re red herrings, intended to tie marriage equality to unrelated issues so that they can all be dismissed together.

  • graphicstyle7

    Harsh, but true.

  • sam28596

    True. Also, ten years ago when the lgbt rights movement hadn’t come so far my homophobic brother used to say he’d beat up my sister’s gay friend if he came around. I’m a lesbian and he also threatened to beat up my girlfriend around that time.

    These days, he says that he “loves” lgbt people, he just thinks same sex love is a sin and opposes same sex marriage. Judging from the angry rants he still makes these days it seems like the same animus is still there, he’s just being more polite now that the anti-lgbt side is no longer winning. So, in my opinion, it’s the same old hate, it’s just more restrained.

  • sam28596

    Opponents of pedophilia, polygamy and bestiality should take it up with those groups. Is it fair to say that straight marriage should be outlawed since the existence of straight marriage allows for the possibility of pedophile, polygamous and human-animal marriages?

  • sam28596

    The word bigot sums up the issue concisely and that is why people say it. Opponents of same sex marriage have no rational basis for their position. Their prejudice makes them make all sorts of accusations about the awful things that happen when same sex couples marry that they absolutely cannot support or offer facts for. See, bigot says in one word what it would otherwise at least take 20-30 words to say. That’s why it’s useful.

    Plus, if you’re trying to deny someone else equal rights with no rational basis for it, you really don’t have the moral standing to complain about your feelings being hurt.


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