Illinois Family Institute: If Gays Aren’t Jumping at Civil Unions, Why Bother with Gay Marriage?

The Illinois Family Institute’s David E. Smith and Andrew Willis have used their incredible wisdom and logic to poke a hole in the idea that gay and lesbian couples in Illinois really want to get married.

Here’s how their argument goes: According to the census, very few gay and lesbian couples in Illinois got “civil unionized” in 2012. Therefore, why would they fight so hard for marriage equality?!

In Illinois, only 0.45 percent of the homosexual population received a civil union in the first full year of availability, and only a fraction of a percent (0.0166 percent) of Illinois’ population got “civil unionized” in 2012. This is the response to all the enthusiasm and celebration that surrounded the passage of Illinois’ civil unions law?

The response to civil unions has been lackluster at best, and one should not expect these percentages to rise dramatically. The law came into effect June of 2011, so one would expect that homosexuals who had been committed to a partner would have formed a civil union by now, but the vast majority have not.

Why the sudden political urgency for a same-sex “marriage” law in Illinois — when there seems to be so very little interest in forming civil unions? And there is absolutely zero evidence that same-sex “marriage” would be more popular in the long run than civil unions has proven to be in Illinois.

The short answers are these: Separate but equal is not equal. And for many gay and lesbian couples, they’re not settling for a watered-down version of marriage. They want to be treated the same as straight couples in the eyes of the government and that’s not going to happen until full marriage equality is achieved.

But back to the numbers. I’m trying to make sense of IFI’s statistics, but when they distort them this badly, it’s hard.

Like this idea that only 2,140 gay couples obtained civil unions in 2012. Since civil unions became legal midway through 2011, shouldn’t we count those couples, too? The Chicago Phoenix reported that the number of couples in civil unions was closer to 5,000 a year after it became legal in the state, midway through 2012. You would think, too, that couples who were most interested in getting a civil union got them as soon as they could in 2011 — they didn’t wait until 2012, the only year that IFI seems to care about.

IFI also claims that only 0.45% of gay people got civil unions in 2012. As far as I can tell, they obtained that number by dividing the number of gay couples who got civil unions in 2012 (2140) by the number of gay people in Illinois (466,460) which equals 0.00459 or 0.45% (poorly rounded). But that makes no sense. Why divide by all the gay people in Illinois, including teenagers and single people? They should be dividing the number of gay couples in civil unions by all the gay couples that could theoretically get them.

In any case, IFI claims what gay rights supporters really want is not equality, but power. Power and the destruction of society:

The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and legal climate that promotes homosexuality as normal behavior. Redefining marriage in order to accommodate the unjustifiable demands of a tiny but politically powerful group will ultimately prove too costly.

There’s paranoid bigotry at its finest.

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.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “… Why the sudden political urgency for a same-sex “marriage” law in Illinois when there seems to be so very little interest in forming civil unions? ”

    Because Majority rule is balanced against individual rights. It does not matter that only ‘.00459%’ have actually “civil unionized”. It only matters that they are equal and have the same freedoms as heterosexual couples to “unionize” (i.e. Marry, not some word substitute) or not.

  • ortcutt

    Marriage already is a civil union. It’s civil, in that it’s a status determined by law, and it’s a union between two people. Separate “civil unions” were created for the sole purpose of denying marriage to same-sex couples.

    • Gus Snarp

      Well put.

  • koseighty

    Since only about half of eligible voters vote, why bother to have free elections at all?

  • Space Cadet

    “Cookies for everyone!”

    “I’d like a cookie, please”

    “No. Sorry. No cookies for you. Here, have a cracker instead.”

    “Oh. No thanks.”

    “What?!? Why would you ask for a cookie if you won’t take a cracker?”

    • Artor

      Maybe we should label this as The Cracker Fallacy?

      • Jasper

        The Catholics may have dibs on that already

        • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

          Or racists.

        • Space Cadet

          Since the pope is willing to share redemtion now, maybe they’ll share this, too.

      • Anna

        Sounds like an episode of The Big Bang Theory, LOL.

        • allein

          Now I’m reading the first, third, and last lines in Sheldon’s voice. I think the other person would have to be Raj…

      • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

        “Cracker” is a no-no word. It is hurtful to mah people.

  • WallofSleep

    “The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs…”

    Riiiight. And when blacks were fighting for equal representation and equal treatment under the law, it was only because they really wanted to kill whitey.

    And I think you mean “biblical moral beliefs”, because the conservative part of me thinks gov’t should just stay the fuck out of consenting adult couples’ relationships.

    • Miss_Beara

      And when women fought long and hard for voting rights, it was only because they wanted to repress the white men.

  • Spuddie

    If they don’t like “separate but equal” why should we bother with civil liberties?

  • Savoy47

    If very few gay and lesbian couples in Illinois got “civil unionized” why fight so hard to ban marriage equality?

  • Guest

    yet another Christer hate group soiling the word “family”.

  • JET

    People who deserve the same civil rights as other people: 100%
    (I don’t do math as well as Hemant, but I believe this is accurate.)

  • Karl

    And how many heterosexual couples engaged in “civil unions”? The number is zero! So obviously heterosexual couples don’t want marriage at all! By this logic, we should make straight marriage illegal (since none of them want it) and gay marriage legal (since *some* of them want it.)

    • dats3

      LOL!

    • nude0007

      Perfect logic! Karl for the WIN!

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

    They also forgot to multiply by two: there are two people in each couple. If they were in your math class, I doubt you’d give them high marks.

  • Miss_Beara

    Homosexuality is as much of a behavior as heterosexuality. Some people are straight, some are gay. Deal with it Illinois Family Institute.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    The bad math is staggering.

    In order to really compare numbers, we need to know how many people got married in Illinois in 2012 so we can get the equation:
    (total marriages in Illinois) / (total population – homosexuals) = %of all people who got married in Illinois in 2012

    If we can find the number of marriages in Illinois in 2012 I am sure we’ll get some bullshit small percentage as well, and then we can strongly make our case that no one in Illinois should get married ever because, meh, it’s such a small percentage anyways, so who cares?

    • Amor DeCosmos
      • Michael W Busch

        Thanks for finding the report! But you misread the table – that’s the number of marriages in 2009 December only. The full-year number for Illinois in 2009 was 72741.

        That said, using the artificially strict division of the population into heterosexual and homosexual:
        # of heterosexual people in Illinois: ~12,000,000
        # of homosexual people in Illinois: ~450,000

        Fraction of heterosexual people getting married in 2009: ~1.2%
        Fraction of homosexual people seeking civil unions in 2012: ~0.95%

        This isn’t strictly accurate, because of artificial divisions and unfounded and significantly inaccurate assumptions (like everyone who got married being heterosexual). But it illustrates the point: the rate of people getting civil unions is comparable to the rate of people getting married. And we would expect the remaining ~20% difference in the rates to be resolved with marriage equality and the removal of the artificial distinction.

        • Judith Fursdon

          Thank you for doing the math that the IFI failed so spectacularly at.

    • Good and Godless

      There are either Zero bigamists in Illinois or at least an even number of them. Couples/2=number of married individuals is just filling space.

  • griffox

    “The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and legal climate that promotes homosexuality as normal behavior. ”

    Right…You’re the victims and gays are the malicious ones. hmmhmm…

  • Johnathan Fullman

    If you divide [# of civil unions in 2012] by [total homosexuals] shouldn’t you at least compare to [# of people who got married in 2012] by [total heterosexuals] — Not [# of people who are married] by [total population].
    A bad argument anyway, but even the bad argument is done dishonestly.

  • Fourcorners Athesit

    Turn the question back on them – If only a fraction of a percent of people that want to get married are same-sex couples, then why the big fight against equal rights for same-sex couples? Seems to me to highlight the hypocrisy and bigotry behind anti-same-sex-marriage.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    The Illinois Family Institute seems to think civil rights work on the same principle as Groupon.

  • Matt Potter

    “The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and
    the creation of a social and legal climate that promotes homosexuality
    as normal behavior.”

    Why is it always about ‘promoting’ homosexuality with this group. I don’t promote my heterosexual marriage as normal just like I don’t promote homosexual relations as normal. The problem for them is they fail to understand that homosexuality is normal but they just can’t just past their ‘icky’ feelings.

  • more compost

    Are they stupid?

    Or just lying?

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

      both.

  • allein

    (0.0166 percent) of Illinois’ population got “civil unionized

    Is it too much to hope that if they went out one more decimal point it would be another 6? :-}

    • Michael

      Unfortunately for the joke, yes. For that to be the case, the number would have been rounded to 0.0167. I like the way you think, though.

  • Michael W Busch

    In addition to the horrible ethics and complete failure of statistics, the last point is at the best misleading and at the worst a deliberate misdirection.

    30 seconds on Google referred me to this case: http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/illinois-marriage/take-action/illinois-marriage/index.html , submitted to the Circuit Court of Cook County. Several of the couples concerned have obtained civil unions, but have found that the “separate and unequal status invites others to discriminate”.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

    I looked it up, and the number of marriages in Illinois in 2009 divided by the population was about 0.6%. IFI really is disingenuous.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_25.htm (see table 2a)

    • Michael W Busch

      You forgot to multiply by 2. The number of people getting married is 2x the number of marriages. Of course, IFI left out that factor of 2 as well…

  • Darric

    The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and legal climate that promotes homosexuality as normal behavior.
    Wait, whats wrong with this? Conservative moral beliefs belong in the past and homosexuality is normal behaviour.

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

    because civil unions are the equivalent of “colored” water fountains.

  • lorimakesquilts

    The big take away here is most likely that the number of marriages/civil unions performed per capita isn’t significantly different when homosexual and heterosexual populations are separated and compared. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have to lie with statistics.

  • Rodney Barnes

    I don’t remember the inter-racial couples coming out of the woodwork immediately after Love vs. Virginia. What a fucktard!

  • http://truth-tables.com James Hotelling

    While I’m quite glad to see them called out on their distortions, it doesn’t matter to these people whether few or many same-sex couples avail themselves of the lesser “civil unions”- it’ll always count as evidence against allowing actual marriage equality.

    If there had been a great many same-sex couple getting civil unions, they’d have simply gone the exact opposite route: “So many couples are getting them, they must be pretty popular! We don’t need to have same-sex marriage because all these couples are using civil unions!”

  • Phil

    They shrieked about civil unions back in 2011 too. So we’re still waiting for the sky to fall IFI. Exactly when and how does this happen?

    http://illinoisfamily.org/marriage/ifi-press-release-ifi-objects-to-new-civil-unions-legislation/

    • allein

      I dunno…it rained pretty hard for a while here today…(though I’m not in IL so I guess it doesn’t count)

  • plaids

    I wonder if gay marriage can coexist with First Amendment freedom of speech and religion. There is such intolerance for people who oppose gay marriage but the intolerance and name calling will not change anyone’s mind about this very divisive – and perhaps only symbolic – issue.

    • allein

      What does the first amendment have to do with anything? IFI and their ilk can yell all they want about how wrong they think gay marriage is. That doesn’t change the fact that they have no rational basis for making laws against it. Their religious beliefs are not a basis to make laws for other people in a secular country.

      Gay people suffer actual harm from not being able to have their relationships recognized in law the way straight people automatically do just by signing a piece of paper and having an officiant of some sort say some words. If I get married, my spouse and I are automatically each other’s next of kin, whether we’re married 5 days or 5 decades. If I were gay that would not be the case (unless I move). And it’s the hard points of life – when someone dies and their partner loses their home; when someone is incapacitated and their partner can’t make decisions for them – that it really matters. That’s not “symbolic.”

      • plaids

        Those problems you mention can be resolved by the gay partners simply “signing a piece of paper,” like a will or an advanced directive.

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

          Except where “tolerant” people decide to ignore those pieces of paper.

          • plaids

            How many wills are contested? Thats pretty rare. Advanced directives are dubious with married couples, actually. Thats a very difficult area if theres a conflict with the doctor(s).

            • Michael W Busch

              How many wills are contested?

              That number is irrelevant. What matters is preventing discrimination. And right now, every single same-sex couple in the United States is discriminated against because many states and the federal government don’t hold civil unions, same-sex marriage, and opposite-sex marriage as equal.

              This is the proximate cause of United States v. Windsor, currently being argued in the US Supreme Court. Edith Windsor is contesting having to pay $363,000 in estate tax after the death of her wife – where the surviving partner of an opposite-sex couple would not have had to pay anything. This problem arose because equality isn’t only a matter of wading through all of the expensive legalese to sign off on the things an opposite-sex couple gets automatically. Right now, opposite-sex marriage is accorded a large number of unique privileges in the United States.

              And there is no justification for that.

        • allein

          Theoretically, yes, but straight people pay a small fee, get a marriage license, and that’s that. For a same-sex couple (in a state without SSM) to get a semblance of the same rights as married couples requires lots of legal paperwork and lawyers (which costs a lot more money; and there are many benefits granted by the government that are not possible to get through a private contract.) And unfortunately, there have been many cases that prove that it is not that simple. Other family members have successfully contested these things because the partner is not treated by the law as a family member the way a legal spouse is.

          • plaids

            Wills and advanced directives are very easy legal paperwork for probably 99% of people. Dissolving a marriage or civil union — thats much more complicated and a strong reason why gay marriages and civil unions will continue to be so rare and probably become even more rare.

        • Pawel Samson

          Wow get over yourself. It seems like you think about gay marriage more than the average gay person. Maybe you should- I dunno, I’m just throwing this out there- stop worrying so much about something that doesn’t affect you at all. Every gay person in the world get could get married tomorrow, and your life would still be the same.

          • plaids

            Pawel Samson,

            Theres the totalitarian mindset in a nutshell: You cannot stand it that someone disagrees with you about a public issue. So you HAVE to be insulting to an anonymous poster on the internet that you wouldn’t recognize if we passed on the street.

            • Pawel Samson

              How exactly did I insult you? Believe me, I could be a lot more insulting.

              I’m fine with anyone disagreeing with me about a lot of things… abortion, the role of government, what have you. What I have a problem with is people who hold these strong opinions on issues that don’t concern them or wouldn’t affect them in the least. Basically, you’re a concern troll who worries about religious people being ostracized in a hypothetical gay-friendly future, instead of worrying about real people who face real discrimination in the present. I don’t care about your slippery slope arguments- they mean nothing.

              So using your logic, should atheists be able to marry? After all, marriage has been a religious sacrament for centuries, and the majority of Americans consider atheism to be immoral.

              • plaids

                “Concern troll” (any kind of troll, really, or just “troll”!) is pretty insulting.

                I give blood every 2 months and I don’t care who it goes to, color, race, creed, gender or sexual orientation or anything. I am fine with my own integrity and that I am not a bigot.

                Thats really all that matters though it is discouraging that you and others have this crabbed view that someone who disagrees with you is a bad person. I have one vote only so I am not dictating anything. I don’t limit my worry to religious people but if they are harmed for their religious beliefs, thats just wrong.

            • Pawel Samson

              I also love that I’m apparently the one with the totalitarian mindset. I just want to be able to marry my partner, have the same rights and benefits as you and your spouse might have, and be left in peace. But I can’t because of people like you. Thanks for that. You better believe that I can’t stand it, because your all-important opinion dictates what happens in my life.

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

          Only to have it ignored by bigoted officials, hospital workers, and family members….

    • Donalbain

      Lets count all the people who have been arrested for opposing gay marriage shall we?

      • plaids

        http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/16/christian-adrian-smith-gay-marriage_n_2143017.html

        British case of a man who was demoted, lost 40% of his salary and warned for posting opposition to gay marriage on Facebook.

        I don’t care what people do consensual sexually (just don’t scare the horses) but if I have to choose between freedom of speech and freedom of religion vs gay marriage, its no contest.

        Also, IMO, in the near future, there will be gay people voicing regret that they were used as political pawns for a divisive wedge issue.

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

          Plaids, I hate to inform you about something.

          The United Kingdom is different from the United States.

          • plaids

            Katherine,

            Who is to say it won’t happen in the US? The judge who eventually decided the case decided that what the company did was illegal but that guy had to go through a lot of grief (and a lot of expense) to get his legal rights to freedom of speech.

            Heres a US case http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/19/jerry-buell-florida-high-_n_931941.html

            Please do your own research; there are loads of US cases of people being punished for freedom of speech and religion regarding homosexuality/gay issues.

            As someone who does not have a religious bone in my body I fear the totalitarianism of anti-religion probably more than I fear religion.

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

              Well alright, you’re correct there. But there’s a problem. That man was fired because he did not follow the guidelines set out by his school (and smartly so, imagine if you were a gay student in that man’s classroom.)
              The man’s statements were vile and bigoted, and he should rightly have been fired, the same as if he was saying such vile screeds against black people or Muslim people or persons with disabilities.

              • plaids

                That man has opinions about a public issue, an issue in the news. The school is horribly wrong to have “guidelines” against free speech, no????

                Sorry, Katherine, but that way lies 1984-ish totalitarianism and it should frighten everyone, especially non-religious people.

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

                  Lots of organizations have guidelines against free speech. I could not go into my colleague’s cubicle and start ranting about “n-words.” I would get fired so quickly I wouldn’t know what happened.
                  You missed my question though – if you were a gay student in a classroom with a man who, on his public Facebook account, called you vile and horrible things, how would it make you feel?
                  Would you feel safe going to him with questions?
                  Would you feel he has your back and would protect you?
                  Would you, perhaps, feel that he might abuse or harrass you due to your sexual orientation?

                • plaids

                  Its not a public Facebook account. Its his own personal Facebook account and he’s posting on it in his free time. I am stunned that anyone wants to regulate someone’s freedom of speech in his own free time. I don’t care if people worship Satan in their own free time.

                  No, I’m not for censoring anyone because someone else – someone who has the freedom to ignore what this man said on Facebook and not visit his Facebook page – thinks THINKS! this man might possibly harm him. Now, that is paranoia for real and the real definition of paranoia.

                  No, I don’t want people’s freedom of speech persecuted because gay people are paranoid.

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

                  Answer my questions, plaids.

                • plaids

                  I think I did answer it. I don’t care if some paranoid thinks something and I don’t want the government doing anything about it, certainly not firing teachers.

                  I could probably find a couple dozen paranoids worrying about something between my house and the 2 miles to the supermarket. So what? I had an elderly neighbor who was worried that a tree on my property was going to fall on her and kill her. Was I supposed to cut the tree down for her? And I had no constitutional right to that tree.

                  Let me ask you a question, Katherine. Do you think people have a constitutional right to burn an American flag? (I do.)

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

                  Answer my questions plaids, let me repost them in case you missed them:

                  Iif you were a gay student in a classroom with a man who, on his Facebook account, called you vile and horrible things, how would it make
                  you feel?
                  Would you feel safe going to him with questions?
                  Would you feel he has your back and would protect you?
                  Would you, perhaps, feel that he might abuse or harrass you due to your sexual orientation?

                • plaids

                  I have no idea what the gay student feels and neither do you. Why do you think gay people are such fragile violets, anyway? Or more so than any other student who feels a teacher is hostile or antipathetic. Didn’t we all have teachers who weren’t nice to us? Gym teachers were always pretty awful.

                • Spuddie

                  A Facebook account is not considered private. You are putting stuff out for the entire world to see it.

                  You are entitled to free speech, you are not entitled to be immune from criticism or social consequences. He was free to say all of that hateful crap. But he was also free to suffer consequences from his job and socially from it as well. A

            • Michael W Busch

              fear the totalitarianism of anti-religion

              [opens dictionary]

              Totalitarianism: a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society.

              Marriage equality is not totalitarianism. Nor is freedom of religion or freedom of speech unduly limited by marriage equality. And no-one here is advocating Marxist-Leninist atheism.

              Cut out the nonsense.

        • Shadist

          Just who is using them as pawns?

          Because oddly enough everyone I’ve met working towards equal marriage rights is someone who either wants to marry or someone who believes others should be able to.

          • plaids

            Lets see in a few years. This is a divisive wedge issue that Democrats and Democratic partisans in the media are playing. Very, very few opponents of homosexual marriage get to speak in the mainstream media. Test it: What do people think the basis for opposing homosexual marriage is? You will always hear that its simply based on religion, i.e., “Bible thumping.” That is not true and the assertion that the opposition is religion-based is simply dishonest and manipulative. http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/a-secular-case-against-gay-marriage/

            • Shadist

              Wow.

              It’s hard to take serious any argument which flat out says its going to use a slippery slope fallacy.

              And that’s before you get to the absurd notion that because there’s homophobia we should restrict the rights of anyone.

            • Spuddie

              Actually the assertion is the anti-gay marriage is irrational and religious. This one definitely has the irrational part down pat.

              The slippery slope argument is dishonest bullshit. Gay marriage has been adopted in several states and nations. If you can’t point out to some harm it has caused there, you are talking out of your ass.

        • baal

          Amazingly enough, I don’t think support for gay marriage was dreamed up in the mind of the big – D democrats political leaders. They were late to the issue and only really got on board whole sale in the last year or so (2012). The legislators I spoke with were very much in the, “come on guys, do we really have to do this? you know I love and support you all but this is a big fight” camp.

        • Donalbain

          OK.. so that is a grand total of zero people who have been arrested. Well done.

    • Spuddie

      Your first amendment freedom of religion means you can believe anything you want and I am not obligated to give a crap under compulsion of law. Nobody has to do anything because your God says so. But you are free to do so on your own.

      Likewise for your freedom of speech. You have a right to speak your mind, but it does not mean you have to be taken seriously or that you are immune to criticism.

  • Rwlawoffice

    The last quote you cite along with your comment that is is paranoid bigotry is interesting. Do you deny that the goal of the LBGT community is to change the view of homosexuality from something that some think is immoral to being a moral equivalent of heterosexual relationships? Do you deny that it is the goal of the LBGT community to promote homosexuality as normal moral behavior? Do you deny that it is the goal of the LBGT community to attempt to force those that view homosexuality as immoral to be silenced, if not by government action by through cries of bigotry and public outcry? If you do deny these then you are a liar. We all know that is the goal. It has been stated countless times here and in the public sphere. Calling for boycotts or putting pressure on groups such as the Boy Scouts comes to mind as recent examples.

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

      Wow RW. You start out well and then go screaming into paranoia.

      • plaids

        huh? Katherine, you are talking to 2 different posters. I’m going to post as “plaids” here at all times, only “plaids.”

        That said, I don’t think Rwlawoffice is “screaming” at all, nor “paranoid.” Those are relevant, honest questions that he/she asks and they aren’t going to go away with backhand swipes that they are “paranoid” or “bigoted.” Homosexuality was not invented 20 years ago and opposition to it – for whatever reason – has been the dominant opinion throughout human history. To say that it was all just “paranoid bigotry” is not going to be the end of it.

        • Dez

          It really doesn’t matter if your opposed to marriage equality because of religious or secular reasons. As long as the government is issuing marriage contracts then they have no right to deny it to gay Americans. Our laws shouldn’t follow your bigotry.

          • plaids

            They let you deduct mortgage interest but not credit card interest on your taxes. They let you pass inheritance to people you are blood-related to with different tax consequences than non-blood related. They let you deduct gifts to charity but not to individulals. They are allowed to draft men and leave women alone. Etc. etc. Governments have the right to discriminate.

            • Dez

              Your personal dislike and others religious dislike against gays is irrelevant. The government has no valid reason to discriminate against American citizens.

              • plaids

                They do it all the time (discriminate), for one thing. For another, it is only your opinion that there is no valid reason. I come at this from a purely non-religious POV and am persuaded that one man-one woman marriage is essential to civilization and that expanding the definition of marriage will undermine marriage and thus harm social order and public safety. Thats my opinion and, obviously, I see that as a valid reason for government to protect, advance, promote, discriminate for, etc. one man-one woman marriage. The police can’t be every where so we need institutions that inherently promote order and traditional marriage is the most important of those. In my opinion.

                • Michael W Busch

                  expanding the definition of marriage will undermine marriage and thus harm social order and public safety.

                  That is wrong, as the last 12 years of history amply demonstrates – 25 years if you count civil unions.

                  Nor is there any plausible non-religious rationale for the idea that marriage equality is somehow bad for society in the first place. And, given the last 25 years, claiming so at this time is either a lie or willful ignorance.

                • Spuddie

                  One of the most dishonest things the anti-marriage equality people argue about is hypothetical results of gay marriage.

                  As if it is not already in existence in several states and countries by now. If there was real harm which resulted from it, they would be able to cough up an example. But they can’t.

                • plaids

                  25 years vs thousands of years of human civilization that always had a disdain for homosexuality. So, the sky hasn’t fallen in yet after a big 25 years of a few thousand civil unions or gay marriages and thats it, end of story. I’m guessing you wouldn’t feel the same way about someone who thought global warming or climate change were non issues because the world hasn’t yet come to an end and we still have ice cubes.

                  This is an interesting non-religious page someone wrote http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/a-secular-case-against-gay-marriage/ (Of course, I know by now that most of the time discussing gay marriage on the internet, the pro-gay marriage side doesn’t want to read or think about anything. They know it all. Thousands of years of human history, everyone was just a bigot.)

                • Michael W Busch

                  thousands of years of human civilization that always had a disdain for homosexuality

                  That is wrong too. As 15 seconds on Google would tell you. e.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_human_sexuality

                  And even if it weren’t so outrageously wrong, it wouldn’t matter. “Argument from tradition” is a logical fallacy, has has been explained to you before.

                  And your attempted analogy to climate change is incredibly and offensively misplaced, since the science behind climate change is amply and readily demonstrated and its progression can be measured on decade and even annual timescales.

                • Shadist

                  Is that crap page with shit logic the entirety of your poorly thought out attempt to find secular reasoning to deny people equal rights?

                  I would love to see more.

                • Spuddie

                  Your argument is pure bullshit used to cover up what is really a religious argument against gays.

                  Procreation is not the basis for marriage. Never has been. It is not a tenable argument because lack of procreative abilities is not ever used as a reason to deny marriage to couples. It certainly provides no cause for banning relationships or for keeping couples who are already raising children from acting as legal parents. You are making a phony irrational argument because it is not really your motivation here. You are just covering up what amounts to prejudices about gays living as couples and families.

                  The only person who is changing the definition of marriage is yourself. You are taking an insultingly reductive and infantile view of what marriage actually means. You dishonestly avoid the legal obligations and shorthands that marriage entails.

                  Marriage is not attacked by including gay couples.

                • plaids

                  I have not mentioned procreation at all. You’re just making thing up.

                • Spuddie

                  No. I just know your argument better than yourself. Your response shows, you are just rehashing something without bothering to understand it.

                  If procreation is not important to your argument, your statement of “one man-one woman marriage is essential to civilization and that expanding the definition of marriage will undermine marriage and thus harm social order and public safety. “ becomes meaningless undefined garbage.

                  Why would it be “essential to civilization” if you are not referencing procreation? Or were those words something you just heard and thought people might consider it an intelligent response?

                • Dez

                  No it is not my opinion. Studies and reality shows there is no valid reason to discriminate against gays. Bigotry and ignorance of gays is not a valid reason. There is no factual basis for your opinion. So far many states have passed marriage equality with no negative consequences. Please show a real example of gay marriage hurting society.

          • Guest

            There’s no valid reason for the government to discriminate against gays. Your personal dislike is irreverent.

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

          I am aware you and RW are different persons. I put your name instead of his by accident. I realized the errors of my attribution, but was unable to fix it as promptly as I wish I could have because I got sidetracked by my supervisor.
          He starts by asking good questions, to which we can certainly answer ‘yes:’
          Are we trying to make homosexuality normal? Yes.
          Are we trying to get anti-gay bigots to see that a homosexual relationship is as natural as a heterosexual one? Yes.
          But then he goes off the rails:
          Are we trying to silence, through government action or outcries of bigotry, the anti-gay bigots? No and maybe yes.
          When your spiel involves government action, then you’re taking a trip down paranoia-road.
          And it’s funny how up in arms anti-gay bigots get when the LGBT calls for boycott, but call boycotts against pro-LGBT companies the right thing to do.

          • plaids

            Katherine,

            We are already there. Did you forget the mayors of Boston and Chicago (and some other politicians) saying that Chick-Fil-A was unwelcome to open outlets in their cities?
            Or the speaker of the NYC council pressuring the president of NYU to throw Chick-Fil-A off their campus?

            The government totalitarianism is on the gay marriage side, clearly.

            http://www.towleroad.com/2012/07/quinnchickfila.html

            I go with the quote attributed to Voltaire (I may not agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it) and so I feel you have a right to use the word “bigot” to describe people you disagree with. It is your right, sure. And it is my right to say and feel that calling the overwhelming majority of human beings who have ever lived “bigots” is ridiculous.

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

              Appeal to Tradition, logical fallacy. Come up with another argument besides “it’s been that way for thousands of years.”
              (Which, by the way, is patently untrue. Many societies across all of civilization embraced homosexual unions)

              • plaids

                Honest question: Please name a society that embraced homosexual unions.

                I don’t know what the Speaker of the NYC Council has to do with tradition but that was outrageous that she would send a letter to pressure the President of NYU, wasn’t it?

                • Michael W Busch

                  Honest question: Please name a society that embraced homosexual unions.

                  Once again, you have access to Google. Please use it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions

                  Ancient Greece. Ancient Rome (at least until 342 CE). Parts of Ancient Mesopotamia. China, especially Fujian, up through the Ming. Some scattered examples in medieval Europe. And a few from the Americas, although documentation is in short supply.

                • plaids

                  Wow. You think the homosexual activities of Ancient Greece and Rome — “pederasty” is the name for that practice of homosexuality, adult males dominating adolescent boys — you think thats something we’d tolerate societally in this day and age???

                  Go back and read about what these homosexual activities were and you will never put them up as examples again.

                  Name a previous society that approved egalitarian (i.e. same age, same status) homosexual bonding.

                  Read Wikipedia on pederasty at least. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty

                  “The Western model of age-similar homosexual relations, currently prevalent in modern industrialized societies, is seen by researchers as a departure from this norm since it has rarely appeared as a pattern in other times and places.”

                • Michael W Busch

                  More egalitarian same-sex partnerships existed and were accepted in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in parallel with the horrific abuses of pederasty, although they were less common. And this is explained in Wikipedia – including in the article you quoted.

                  Name a previous society that approved egalitarian (i.e. same age, same status) homosexual bonding.

                  That question has already been answered here repeatedly.

                • plaids

                  Your link references Nero as a Roman emperor with a same sex marriage. He also had sex with his mother, didn’t he?

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

                  I think that was a slanderous statement by Suetonius… actually. He lied a lot about the Caesars.

                • plaids

                  You’re defending Nero? Did I get that right or are you pulling my leg? Gotta be the latter.

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

                  I’m only defending Nero so far as that Suetonius may have slandered the Caesars, so some of what was is traditionally assumed about them should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

                  The man himself? Pretty horrible.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Your comment is entirely irrelevant to this discussion, and therefore can be ignored.

                • Shadist

                  Honest Question: Please name a society that embraced the internet before ours?

                  Ah, none did… therefore we should do away with the internet.

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

                  See, it doesn’t matter even if there weren’t (AFAIK, certain Native American societies, some African societies.)

                  Do you think that it was wrong to stop slavery, even though throughout human history the dominant opinion was that slavery was acceptable?

                  Do you think it was wrong to give women the right to vote, even though throughout human history the dominant opinion was that women weren’t deserving of their own voice in political matters?

                  Do you think it was wrong to allow miscegenation, even though throughout human history the dominant opinion was that mixing races was an abomination?

                  I hope you do not, but at the same time I hope you can see why the appeal to tradition is such a stupid argument. There are THOUSANDS of things that have changed in the last hundred years that didn’t hold true in societies since the Sumerians first started building civilization. No one seems to argue against any of those, except when it comes to allowing gay men and lesbian women to marry the person they love.

                  And I know you’ll go straight to slippery slope argument (which is another logical fallacy) so I’ll stop you right there.

                  No, gay marriage does not lead to bestiality or pedophilia and it’s so freaking offensive to suggest so.

                • Shadist

                  How dare gay marriage lead to weddings and loving couples!

                • plaids

                  The slippery slope argument is pretty darned strong. Until recently, all canon and civil law governing marriage banned same-sex marriage … So what will stop them from changing it again?

                  No offense but I find your examples just very weak and not worthy of debating point by point. More things stay the same than change so the fact that anything has changed is not in itself an argument for change.

                • Shadist

                  Isn’t it the most weak of arguments to go “your points are not worth debating”?

                • plaids

                  Its actually a declaration of not bothering to argue it because I can’t see throwing everything on earth into the argument. How about throwing in my town’s new policy that you now need a permit to build a new fence? Its discriminatory.

                  Where does it end? The body of things that are irrelevant (IMO) is huge but a good legal mind could call them into relevance somehow. Slavery and women voting and miscegenation are just irrelevant. We’re discussing gay marriage, not musical chairs.

                • Shadist

                  Yes you’re absolutely correct, discriminatory issues of the past are not relevant when someone keeps bringing up the past as basis for discrimination.

                  I don’t know why I didn’t see it before *coughs*

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

                  We’re discussing the logical fallacy of appeal to tradition. And for your information, miscegenation has a LOT to do with same-sex marriage.

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

                  How are my examples weaker than your appeal to tradition, seriously.

                  I think the decision by society to stop owning other persons to be a significant step away from tradition. More so than just letting two guys get married.

                  Also the slippery slope is the stupidest argument and extremely offensive. Same-sex marriage is about love and consent and wanting to be with the same person for a significant period of time if not forever. Bestiality and pedophilia are about predation, about injury, about abuse.

                  And you wonder why people find your arguments offensive.

                • plaids

                  I do wonder why people find my arguments offensive as I am pretty darned polite and have never brought up bestiality, pedophilia, etc.

                • Shadist

                  And yet the “secular reasons” list you’ve posted at least twice does bring it up for you.

                • plaids

                  I looked at it again but did not see the words “beastiality” or “pedophilia.” It certainly seemed a very polite, reasoned article.

                • Shadist

                  It mentions, in the slippery slope fallacy, marrying a pony.

                • plaids

                  Which is obvious snark. I mean, really.

                • Shadist

                  *laughs* obviously given the hilariously bad logic used in the piece overall.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Your statements are offensive because you are advocating bigotry. There is no way to deny people civil rights and be nice about it.

                • Shadist

                  Also, given the expanse of human civilization I would love to hear all these things that have stayed the same over that time. Let’s just go back to… oh… Sumeria pre 2900 BC. What’s been the same since then?

                  What with various huge swaths of time being so mind alteringly different from our own it makes your point laughable.

                • plaids

                  Did the Sumerians think murder or stealing was OK? Did they raise crops? Did they wear any kind of clothing or anything on their feet? Did they bandage wounds? Did they cook meat? Did they put roofs on their dwellings?

                  How humans regard homosexuality is basic, like all the other basic elements of the human experience.

                • Michael W Busch

                  How humans regard homosexuality is basic, like all the other basic elements of the human experience.

                  No, it isn’t. As has already been explained to you repeatedly, and as you should be able to understand by the attitudes of everyone else who has commented here.

                • Shadist

                  Nice list, more or less the basics but good choices all.

                  Now, can you think of any number of changes which as technology and the societies change over time?

                  Should we refuse the industrial revolution because it’s new?

                  Or should we live in aristocratic monarchy because the greatest expanse of time we’ve had on this planet has involved kings and emperors?

                  Because a thing has been doesn’t mean it should be, or is right.

                • plaids

                  How has homosexuality changed technologically???

                • Shadist

                  Between this and your reading of the very material you posted I’m starting to wonder about your level of reading comprehension.

                • Michael W Busch

                  The slippery slope argument is pretty darned strong.

                  No. It isn’t. It is a logical fallacy and is unsupportable.

                  So what will stop them from changing [the definition of marriage] again?

                  Nothing – and that is not by itself a bad thing. And there is also no “them” and no “us”. There are just people.

                  In this particular case, the guideline for human sexuality goes roughly “safe, sane, and consensual”. Within that range, people can do what they want.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  India has a long tradition of hijras, who are transgender MTF.

                  Japan has a long history of accepting homosexual relationships as well (though actually much less today). Have you seen any of the erotic woodcuts? There’s almost as many male-and-male ones as male-and-female ones! One of the most famous artists, known for his fluid style and impeccable technique, specialized in homosexual male pairings.

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

                  Yaoi and boy’s-love seems to be pretty popular, for a society that so disapproves of homosexuality…

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yeah. I’m trying to figure out how to word it. It’s like, “proper people” don’t do that and aren’t homosexual, but there’s a lot of ways to be “improper people” and still not be total outcasts. So a gay artist is fine, but a gay salaryman confuses people. And people should get married heterosexually, but they can have “special friends” and that’s not really looked down upon.

            • Michael W Busch

              it is my right to say and feel that calling the overwhelming majority of human beings who have ever lived “bigots” is ridiculous.

              You can say that, but you are wrong to do so.

              Bigotry is a relative scale. Almost everyone is bigoted in some way – often unconsciously (including me, as much as I try not to be). The goal is to not give any bigotry sanction and decrease the overall amount of bigotry in society. In this particular case, the goal is to reduce bigotry based on sexual orientation by allowing couples to get married regardless of their genders.

          • plaids

            When was there an LGBT boycott or call for boycott and who got up in arms about it? Honest question.

            I know that JC Penney got a lot of people upset last year by running gay themed ads for both Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Bizarre. Bizarre that such a large retailer would seek to deliberately alienate a huge segment of the population. The CEO who was responsible for that got canned and replaced because the company has been doing so poorly.

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

              Google it, plaids.
              The FRC has demanded boycotts against Starbucks, against the Girl Scouts, against Google, against a bunch of companies for being pro-gay.
              But when LGBTA persons boycott anti-gay companies, suddenly FRC calls it wrong.

              • plaids

                No, I asked when was there an LGBT boycott called for and who called it wrong? What companies have gays and lesbians wanted boycotted? What did the FRC (or whoever) say about the gays wanting people to boycott. Honest question. I don’t know of any.

                I’m not involved in any boycott campaign but I was very offended by Starbucks and other big money players financing gay marriage referenda in several states last year, outspending opponents of gay marriage by as much as 14 to 1. Its not the gay marriage issue that bothered me there, it was the assault on democracy by big money.

            • Anna

              Bizarre? Why? LGBT people have children. Why shouldn’t there be two moms or two dads in advertisements for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?

              The fact that you see an advertisement featuring LGBT people as “deliberately alienating” is the problem. LGBT families exist, and their existence does not hurt anyone. Why on earth should you feel alienated simply because a group of people exist and are shown in an advertisement?

              • plaids

                Actually, I was quoting the new CEO of JC Penneys, Myron Ullman, ” There’s no reason to try and alienate customers who want to try and shop at J.C. Penney.”

                • Anna

                  What on earth are you talking about? Ullman’s comment seems to be about the former CEO’s performance. There’s absolutely no indication he’s referring to LGBT people being featured in advertisements:

                  In an interview, Mr. Ullman—who will also get a seat on the board—acknowledged the tough job Penney faces to climb back from the drop in sales and profitability, but said he has yet to make any decisions about what to keep and what to replace from Mr. Johnson’s strategy, including the former CEO’s management team. “I wouldn’t recommend that we go back to the way J.C. Penney was when I left. Things change,” he said. But, he added, “There’s no reason to try and alienate customers who want to try and shop at J.C. Penney.”

                  http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2013/04/09/j-c-penney-was-ron-johnsons-strategy-wrong/

                • plaids

                  Oh, yeah, “alienating” wasn’t referring to the gay themed ads. I think that comment “seems” (your word) to refer to a bizarre episode of a major retailer running ads that got huge publicity for offending a lot of people. “Alienating” is a strong word, doesn’t sound like Ullman was just talking about the self-service cash registers.

                • Anna

                  No, it clearly wasn’t referring to anything of the kind. Where are you getting your news? No one was upset about J.C. Penney having two moms or two dads in their ads except the usual religious extremist groups.

                  You may not have a “religious bone” in your body, but you have just as much irrational prejudice as any fundamentalist. Why are you attacking LGBT people? I have two lesbian moms. Why do you call a store’s advertisement that reflects my family a “bizarre episode?” No one should be alienated or upset by the mere fact that different kinds of people and different kinds of families are shown to exist.

          • rwlawoffice

            I don’t believe it is paranoia when I see government officials suing businesses that believe in traditional marriage or arguing that they should be thrown out of town (Chic filet).

            • Michael W Busch

              If a business discriminates against a legally protected class, it can and should be punished for it. People have freedom of speech. Businesses don’t have the same rights, and nobody is given sanction for bigoted actions.

              • plaids

                Chick-Fil-A wasn’t discriminating against anyone. The issue was only the opinion of the CEO of Chick-Fil-A. He told an interviewer that he supported traditional marriage. And for that voicing of his opinon, the mayors of Boston and Chicago publicly stated that Chick-Fil-A was not welcome in their cities. And the Speaker of the NYC Council wrote a letter trying to pressure the President of New York University into throwing Chick-Fil-A out of their food services.

                A lot of figuring out public issues is trying to figure out who the good guys are.

                • Michael W Busch

                  He said so as the head of the company, and the company had donated large quantities of money to groups opposing marriage equality and LGBT rights. That was the company endorsing discrimination. Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A_same-sex_marriage_controversy

                • plaids

                  So what? Thats no reason for elected officials to try to harm the company unless you have a very totalitarian anti-freedom of speech mindset.

                  Honest question: please provide something to substantiate Chik-Fil-A the cormpany donating large quantities of money to groups opposing gay marriage or gay rights. (Which still wouldn’t make it OK for elected officials to try to harm the company.)

                • Michael W Busch

                  please provide something to substantiate Chik-Fil-A the company donating large quantities of money to groups opposing gay marriage or gay rights.

                  Those are in the article I linked.

                  Thats no reason for elected officials to try to harm the company unless you have a very totalitarian anti-freedom of speech mindset.

                  Wrong. Once again, people have freedom of speech and of action, within limits. Companies do not have the same freedoms.

                • plaids

                  Your link says that an independent franchisee made contributions to an organization and that a private foundation set up by Mr. Truett made contributions to some other organizations.

                  Thats not Chik-Fil-A the company making contributions to anything.

                • Michael W Busch

                  As explained in the article, the money chain went from Chick-Fil-A to its WinShape Foundation charitable branch to anti-equal-rights groups. Mr. S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, set up WinShape as a charitable endeavor by the company – this is a common practice for large corporations (good PR, good tax breaks). The problem here is that a large fraction of WinShape’s charitable donations were being used in significant proportion for opposing equal rights.

                  And the article also cites the official statements by the company about their advocacy against equal rights.

                  The contribution chain and the intentions were quite transparent and admitted to, and Chick-fil-A has since changed its corporate policy and charitable donations.

              • rwlawoffice

                Rationalizing why it happened is far different from calling it paranoia and trying to claim it isn’t happening.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Your initial claim was that it is the goal of those who advocate for equal rights to silence those who claim that homosexuality is immoral. As has been explained here, that claim is nonsense. I would not call it paranoia, since that has a specific technical meaning.

                  What you are doing now is confusing the legal requirement that a company not discriminate against a protected class with the individual right to freedom of speech. Once again, those are not the same thing.

    • Shadist

      It seems you’re starting from the false premise that homosexuality is inherently immoral and unnatural.

      Add to which actual violence is used to silence and punish homosexuality… well it seems to take some wind out of the “poor us they called us poor bigots bigots in light of our bigotry”

      • baal

        “change the view of homosexuality from something that some think is immoral”

        I was going to comment on the same issue. RW, you do not get to assume that right of center christian is the default value for everyone. It’s factually in error. There have always been a range of views in the population. And no, you cannot take historical ‘leave it to beaver’ public media mores as a stand in for what actual humans believe.

      • rwlawoffice

        It is not a false premise to view homosexuality as immoral and unnatural. It is an opinion and it has been the prevailing view through out history. The LBGT agenda is to have this behavior be morally equivalent and to silence those that have a different opinion. To deny this is a lie.

        I would never condone violence towards anyone, much less directed at homosexuals. The goal of calling someone who has a different opinion of you a bigot is not an attempt to end the discussion, disregard their opinions and silence them. It is a common practice.

        • Shadist

          Ah, appeals to tradition and popularity, charming.

          So in an effort to explain myself:

          I think blah blah blah is wrong and immoral and therefor people who support blah blah blah are wrong in trying to say it’s normal/moral.

          The false premise here being that you’re operating under two assumptions 1) that your opinion is correct and 2) that it should matter via a vi legally denying the rights of the people you don’t like/agree with.

          It’s only all the things you say it is (Agenda, blah blah blah) if you’re correct and it’s unnatural/immoral.

          And as you’re the one making that claim I would love to see the evidence, outside of logical fallacies, to support the point of view.

          • rwlawoffice

            Wrong. If you think homosexual behavior is moral that is your opinion. Others have a different opinion. My point is that the LBGT agenda is to change the opinion of those that believe it is immoral. To argue otherwise is to deny reality.

            • Michael W Busch

              The LBGT agenda is to change the opinion of those that believe it is immoral

              No, that is not “the LBGT agenda” – there is no one such thing. It happens that that opinion is wrong, which is quite enough reason to oppose it and to convince people otherwise.

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

              And you’d know aaaall about denying reality, you lying shit-stain.

        • Michael W Busch

          “It is not a false premise to view homosexuality as immoral and unnatural.”

          Yes, it is a false premise. Homosexuality is entirely natural, as any thorough study of biology will tell you. Nor is it immoral or harmful. If you think otherwise, go and learn psychology, psychiatry, and/or medicine – homosexuality and heterosexuality are simply two points in the very wide range of normal human sexual behavior.

    • Donalbain

      It is always hilarious when people have to rely on the line “We all know.” Calling someone a bigot does not silence them. Watch. “Rwlawoffice is a bigot.” You have not been silenced by that. You have been CRITICISED. Learn the difference.

      • rwlawoffice

        I do know the difference but if you really believe that the purpose of this criticism isn’t an attempt to end the discussion, dismiss a differing point of view and silence anyone who disagrees with you than you are denying reality.

        • Donalbain

          Nope. I called you a bigot because I want people to know that you are a bigot. I don’t want you to be silenced. Indeed, I *like* the fact that you are here, expressing your bigoted opinion. It makes the rest of us look better by comparison. But, please, continue to lie about why I did what I did.

          • rwlawoffice

            My point proven. I express an opinion regarding the morality of homosexuality different from yours and your response is to call me a bigot. Do you even know what that word means? It is nothing more than the agenda driven response from those that want to force their opinions on morality on others. You can try to call it criticism, but it isn’t. Criticism is debating the point made not calling the person making it a name. For example, if you would try to argue why you believe the way you do, we could discuss it. By simply throwing out an insult you show you don’t want to discuss anything, you simply want to dismiss a point of view.

            • Michael W Busch

              [opens dictionary]
              bigotry: 1. the characteristic quality of a bigot.
              2. treating other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, or other status.

              You assert that an entirely normal and healthy set of human behaviors are somehow immoral and advocate discrimination against people on that basis. That makes you a bigot. This is a statement of fact, not an “agenda drive response”.

              • plaids

                rwlawoffice has been very civil. He/she hasn’t been contemptuous of anyone. He disagrees on a public issue. This is like someone accusing an opponent of the Keystone pipeline of wanting everyone to suffer and die from freezing in the winter.

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

                  Uh, right, because CIVILITY is the be-all end-all…

                  Fuck off, liar.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Civility is irrelevant to if someone is being a bigot or not. Your analogy is bad.

                  He disagrees on a public issue.

                  No. He advocates ideas that are provably false. That is not the same as reasonable disagreement.

            • Shadist

              Ah, so it’s OK for you to force your morality on others?

            • Donalbain

              Your claim was that people try to silence you. That is demonstrably not true. You claimed then that I wanted to silence you. I explained that this is not true. And yet you think your point has been proven? If you want to discuss the issue of gay marriage, then please present some evidence that it harms anyone. Until then, you have nothing of interest to me, and so I will just call you a bigot.

    • Spuddie

      Is there anything lamer than the argument of “you guys are the real bigots for calling out our hateful and irrational intolerance of a given group”?

      It has become a popular but brain dead argument of the far right to make. It does not deny one’s bigotry. It just means a person is a spineless douche who is afraid of being criticized and doesn’t have an actual rational argument.

      There is nothing immoral about homosexuality. There is something immoral about promoting hatred, discrimination and attacking the civil liberties of others.

      There is nothing rational or secular in arguments for bans on gay marriage. It is informed entirely by religious based bigotry. You may not like being called a bigot, but it is the most appropriate description of your POV.

      • plaids

        OK, you’re not a bigot, you’re a know-it-all. Is that better? The people who think God is against homosexuality are also know-it-alls. You are the same ilk.

        Then there are the rest of us who think its a matter of opinion and people are entitled to their own opinion and that is called freedom of speech and freedom of religion. They are entitled to think its immoral and you are entitled to think its not and there is no one on earth who knows what God thinks.

        • Spuddie

          You got it half right. I am a know it all. But calling me a bigot would be untrue. The people who think God is against homosexuality are bigots and know-it-alls. There is a difference. My view is not based on irrational hatreds.

          You are entitled to your opinion. You are also entitled to be called out on it as well. The whole point of freedom of speech is that you are not immune to criticism.

          The whole point of freedom of religion is I don’t have to give a flying crap what you think God says either. That is for you and you alone.

          You may think such things are immoral, but it is an absolute certainty that you lack any rational or secular argument in favor of your POV.

          When we are talking about the law of the land, it must be both rational and secular. We don’t have to jump because you think God said “booga booga”.

          • plaids

            You have a very crabbed and knee-jerk hostile way of thinking. People can view morality all kinds of ways, certainly. Some think moral is what god wants and some think moral is whats good for society. Regarding homosexuality, its pretty obviously just opinion. Its not like murder which everyone (pretty much) thinks is immoral.

            • PhiloKGB

              So the morality of homosexuality is just opinion because there is considerable disagreement, but murder is immoral because everyone thinks it is? Really?

            • Spuddie

              Its more like a low threshold for phony, ignorant, overused arguments.

              “Some think moral is what god wants and some think moral is whats good for society.”

              Neither of those are actual notions of morality. Your moral sense borders on the psychopathic. Moral sensibilities are tied to outside approval rather than deeply held belief or notions of empathy and humanity.

              Regarding homosexuality, people who are expressing such “opinions” are doing so in order to affect how our laws and the lives of others will function. So it is a little more important than just an “opinion”. Claiming it is just some esoteric concept for detached discussion is dishonest. its meant to avoid discussing the reality of the situation or its importance.

  • SeekerLancer

    Even if there was only one gay couple in the world who wanted to get married it would still be wrong to deny them that right.

  • Pawel Samson

    Where do they get these numbers? I’m a gay and in Illinois, and I never had to take part in any roll call.

    And until DOMA falls, the amount of LGBT people forming civil unions or marriages is going to be low. There is virtually no reason for us to get married, as most legal benefits don’t apply.

  • Carpinions

    “The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs”

    At least around this issue, yes, that is exactly what’s being sought, because those beliefs have no merit. Asserting “Adam and Eve!”, “God’s design!”, and “It’s unnatural!” are arguments not to be accepted. You can have those beliefs if you really want to, but you’ll have to excuse if I feel a lack of empathy for your biased position because of your objective lack of empathy for others.

  • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

    It’s good to check their math, but we shouldn’t forget the basic problem: their argument doesn’t support their thesis. If gay marriage is going to be a non-event because hardly any gay people want to get married, that doesn’t justify prohibiting it. If either side should be willing to let the other have its way because the issue is unimportant, then there’s no reason why the anti-marriage side shouldn’t be the ones to bow out graciously and let all these weddings proceed (or not, if their claim is correct, but what is that to them?)

    • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

      An addendum: I personally know one couple who want to marry and currently can’t do it in Illinois. That’s enough; it’s not a vote, and there’s no threshold for how many people will exercise a right.
      Think about this. Do you know anyone who has founded a new religion? Most of us don’t. But do we have the right to do so in the United States? I think we do, whether one new prophet or a million step forward to exercise the right.

  • Salvador Arachnor

    Have you heard of the Kate Hunt case in Florida? I doubt that the family are atheists, but this is a situation that every rational person should be aware of. Supporting a teenage girl against an unjust and illogical system fired by evangelical puritanism and hateful homophobic zealots should be a *must* for upstanding secularists. Check out freekate. n_e_t and learn more about this horrific injustice.

  • Derrik Pates

    Because who wouldn’t want a heaping helping of “separate but equal”? Never been a problem before.

  • newenglandsun

    Here’s my question – would these gay marriage advocates even be happy if we proposed a solution to reduce all forms of marriages to nothing more than “civil unions” (this includes heterosexual ones)? This would mean they get the same benefits from their civil union as a heterosexual gets from their civil union. Now there’s no more marriage to have to fight over and it would be equal for everyone to call their civil union a marriage on their own private marriage.

    I mean seriously, what exactly is being fought over? Politics or equality?


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