Image, Counter Image: The Facebook Meme War

I’m sure lots of you have noticed the recent facebook profile picture trend in favor of marriage equality, especially the use of the now ubiquitous red square with a pink equal sign. You may also have noticed conservatives changing their profile pictures in opposition. I want to take a moment to look at a few of those.

The first category were profile pictures that sought to respond directly to the equality message—sometimes really directly.

This seems . . . I don’t know, really blunt to me. It’s like giving marriage equality advocates the middle finger. Seriously, who responds to a campaign for equality by saying “sorry, not equal”—except without the “sorry”? It seems to me that most people are more, I don’t know, tactful about it. But then, maybe seeing them being direct is a good thing. The mask comes off.

The point is . . . ? I mean, I get the idea. Clever, right? Just take the pink equal sign lines and cross them! A cross! Given that those who support marriage equality—Christian or not—were using pink equal signs and not using the cross, I’m going to assume that the statement was meant to be something along the lines of “I’m Christian, so nope, sorry, I’m against marriage equality, obviously.” The trouble here, of course, is the assumption that Christian = against marriage equality. It doesn’t. You can be Christian and support marriage equality. In fact, I personally know quite a number of Christians who do just that. And besides, responding to a message in favor of equality with a religious symbol is a bit . . . odd. Like, “I know you want equal rights and all, but sorry, my religion says NO.” How . . . loving?

Next come several images that weren’t generally used as profile pictures but have nevertheless been shared widely over the past several days.

Honestly, this image just made me sigh. Look, I have a “man-woman marriage,” and I think it’s great! Guess what? No one is talking about banning or disallowing or dishonoring marriages between men and women. No really. No one. That’s not what this discussion is about. This discussion is about equal rights, and I’m sorry, but even if your desire to deny someone else equal rights—the same rights you already have—isn’t rooted in hate, it’s still damaging. It still causes others real harm and affects real life. Disagreement may not be hate, no, but withholding rights from someone is harmful. And that, quite simply, is what we’re talking about.

Two things of note: First, it cracks me up when people speak of supporting “the Biblical definition” of marriage. I mean, really? How’s that polygamy working out for you? Second, this image seems to admit that supporters of “traditional marriage” (another term that makes me laugh) are on the losing side here. But really? I’m pretty sure that the push for marriage equality is indeed an attempt to change “the laws of America” and not an attempt to change “the laws of God.” (But also, it’s worth noting that there is disagreement among Christians over “the laws of God.”)

But as you may have noticed, the most popular response was to turn to the issue to abortion. I think that conservatives are fully aware that they’re losing on the marriage equality issue but winning on the abortion issue, and that they want to capitalize on that both by trying to turn people’s attention from the one to the other and also by trying to draw connections between the two.

First the images, and then discussion:

After pointing out that “saying life begins in the womb is not an argument against gay marriage,” blogger Lana of Wide Open Ground had this to say of these images:

Two ways I can see of reading it. 1) gay rights begins in the womb, or 2) a fetes has the same rights as a human, but gays do not have a right to marry who they want. Somehow I think people mean the latter.

As Lana points out, the obvious interpretation is that we need to remember that gay fetuses should also have the right to marriage equality—except that not only am I pretty much 100% sure that that’s not what they’re saying, primarily because the people posting this image are those who oppose marriage equality but also because we don’t let children, babies, or fetuses get married. Lana’s second interpretation, that fetuses should have equal rights but gay people shouldn’t, is probably closer to the actual intent, but it really doesn’t make sense either, both because that’s not what the image actually says and because there’s nothing in that argument to get us from premise to conclusion. Responding to one group’s claim to equal rights by pointing to another group and saying that they need rights too is not actually an argument against the first group’s claim.

I think I understand what’s actually going on here, though. It’s actually an argument that happens all the time. It’s goes like this: “How can you advocate for people’s right to XYZ (or support XYZ program to help people) when you don’t care about the thousands of babies being murdered every day?” It’s the argument that any compassionate program of rights or social justice we argue for cannot be valid, because we aren’t doing anything about the abortion “holocaust” (also called the abortion “genocide”). In other words, it’s an attempt to invalidate our claim that we believe in equality and justice. But what this argument turns into in practice is an attempt to hold other rights and programs hostage—to say that until fetuses have rights, we can’t have nice things.

How about you? What images did you see on facebook over the past couple of days that you found interesting—or enraging?

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://yeswesam.wordpress.com Sam

    I saw the fetus one, as well as one that showed two guns (making the same point as the abortion one, but for guns, I assume).

    The most upsetting image that I saw showed a little boy next to the Equality sign and a caption that said “Guess what! You’re a f*g!” More upsetting than the image was the slew of homophobic comments following it.

    The most powerful pro-equality image I saw was from an acquaintance of mine who superimposed the red Equals sign over an image of her and her (same-sex) partner. Simple idea, but exponentially increased the power of the image.

  • Christina

    The most upsetting one I saw had the Equality sign with text underneath saying “The equals sign. Two exactly indistinguishable bars with the same orientation that are forever standing apart” placed above a Cross sign with underneath saying “The cross. A juxtaposition of two different orientations which perfectly fuse into one single shape. The two shall become one…”.

    The sheer number of Equality signs inundating the rest of my news feed helped to cheer me up after seeing that post come through.

    • http://www.texannewyorker.com jwall915

      I have seen this one a few times too. SMH. First of all, it is completely distorting what the equals sign is saying. Secondly, I am straight and have a heterosexual marriage, but we resemble the equals sign so much more than we resemble the cross. Even back in my Christian days, I never got what “the two shall become one” even meant. Frankly, I have no desire for my husband and to become one. I like that we are two individuals with different personalities, preferences, and hobbies, not to mention different careers, friends, and interests. I like that we are equals and we strive for an egalitarian marriage. Being equals does not mean standing apart.

      • http://none Greg

        The two become one flesh means the baby that results from the marital union.
        Your DNA mixes with your husband’s and the two of you become one flesh in the baby that results. Your love is now physically present in the new human being conceived from your union.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033147304 Matthew Hanna

        No it doesn’t. You need to go back and relearn the real reason for “one flesh” and it isn’t the cutsie Sunday School version.

      • http://none Greg

        The two become one flesh means the baby that results from the marital union.
        Your DNA mixes with your husband’s and the two of you become one flesh in the baby that results. Your love is now physically present in the new human being conceived from your union.

        Marriage unites a man and a woman and any children born from that union. Marriage is not just about adults, but also about children. Marriage is the only institution that unites a child with his or her mom and dad. It is universal that a child wants to know where he or she came from. Redefining marriage allows the deliberate breaking of this bond by adults for their self interests with regard to the child.

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

        Hey Greg, guess what? People can adopt. Those families, which are not bound by DNA, are bound by the only thing that actually makes a family- love. Why are you claiming that only DNA-related children make for “real” families?

        You can also do that “two-in-one” thing you describe in a one night stand. Or a rape. Or two fifteen-year-olds fucking like bunnies. The creation of children doesn’t require a marriage, nor does marriage require creating children. Marriage means the creation of a family unit, embedded in larger familial structures (grandparents, grandchildren, step-parents, step-siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, godparents, birth mothers in open adoption, triads and quartets and pentads and more, cousins, best friends, and more). A family unit can be complicated, messy, tangled, and not at all related by DNA and it’s still a family.

      • http://none Greg

        In response to jwalla915: The two become one flesh means the baby that results from the marital union.
        Your DNA mixes with your husband’s and the two of you become one flesh in the baby that results. The love between you and your husband becomes physically represented in the new human being conceived from your union.

        You are right to say that being equal does not mean standing apart. In fact every human life has equal dignity and we are all strengthened when we live by that reality and recognize our shared humanity. It is good to have compassion for all of humanity, especially those we find difficult to love and those who can offer no advantage to us for doing so.

        To help bring about a little bit of the happiness and peace we all seek , perhaps we could agree to seek ways to discuss this issue in the public square that are helpful and bring understanding between people of opposite views. In this regard I’d like to offer that there are really just two competing understandings or definitions of marriage. One says that marriage is the union between two people for their mutual benefit, and the other says that marriage is the union between a man and a woman and any children born from that union for their benefit and the benefit of society.

        What the marriage equality movement must do to carry out its aims is to place in law the first definition above. What many people may not have thought about is that redefining marriage in law eliminates in law the only institution that unites children to their moms and dads because these two different understandings of marriage are simply not compatible. In order to satisfy the marriage equality movement’s aims, marriage must be understood as the union between 2 persons for their own private interests. It is not a matter of extending marriage to those who have been excluded in the past, it is a matter of redefining marriage and with the unintended circumstance that children are disenfranchise and the needs of society sidelined.

        The reality is that marriage unites a man and a woman and any children born from that union. Marriage is the only institution that unites a child with his or her mom and dad. It is universal that every child has a desire to be cared for and to know his or her mom and dad. Children who are denied knowing their mom and dad will want to find out about and know their mother and father. Redefining marriage means that the private interests of adults outweigh those of children and society. If marriage is redefined in law, adults can choose, on purpose, to deny children their right to know and to be raised by their mother and a father. Sociologists on both sides of the political spectrum agree that what is best for human thriving is a mother and a father in a stable bond with their children. If marriage is redefined, it becomes discriminatory to promote what most everyone agrees is best for children and society, because if the law is changed there can be no distinction in schools and public institutions between what we know is best for children, families, and our local communities, and any other type of adult relationships allowed by redefined marriage.

      • ScottInOH

        The two become one flesh means the baby that results from the marital union.

        I’ve never heard this interpretation in my life. I’ve always understood it to mean the relationship between the people who get married, either the physical relationship (PIV sex means they are joined together) or, less often, the emotional and social relationship (they become a single unit as a married couple).

        Furthermore, according to biblegateway.com, the following is from I Corinthians 6:16

        Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

        It’s not the baby that is unity, it’s sex.

      • Greg

        M, you are an intelligent and caring person and I can appreciate your frustration with my apparent lack of understanding. All I ask is that you hear me out and consider things from a child’s point of view. I have a friend whose grandchild was sired by the type of alternatives you are saying are also loving. That child at age of 2 asked why don’t I have a daddy? The mom introduced the child to the paternal DNA donor, as you term the father, but the father had no interest in being part of the child’s life. The child knows that he is missing something. He sees that men and women are different. Why doesn’t he have a father? I know what I have to say is difficult and may not be easy to hear, but it is critical to allow this to be said. The two women raising this boy love him with all their hearts, but neither one can be this child’s father or fill the roll a father plays in a boy’s life. Of course other male figures can and do provide a male roll model when the father is absent. But those two women have deliberately denied that boy a father on purpose and not by accident. Redefining marriage will mean that the state endorses the privation that little boy feels.

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

        I do understand where you’re coming from. I think you underestimate how much is cultural and how much is inherent in the problems you state. The feelings the boy has- those are not the family’s problem alone. That is society’s problem. That little boy has probably been asked where his father is, if he goes to daycare the childcare providers probably ask the kids about their mommies and daddies, and any image he sees of a family probably has a man and a woman in the picture. He knows he’s “supposed” to have a father, but only because society has said so.

        In other words, the only reason that boy feels privation is we, as a society, have decided that he ought to feel privation. Even at only 2 years old, he picked up on that. It simply doesn’t have to be that way, and we can build a society in which it isn’t that way. Of course once rejected by his biological father, the child felt a loss. However, that chance of rejection should never have had to happen. The women aren’t “denying him a father” but rather raising him with two mothers. They aren’t deliberately aiming to hurt their child, and I strongly deny that they are hurting their child. In fact, all the sociological evidence we have suggests they are not hurting their child. I do agree that children should have multiple role models of all genders around, but I strongly disagree that they need to be in a mother/father configuration. Redefining marriage means the state has taken the first steps to preventing other little boys and girls from feeling the same privation that little boy feels, because no one will make ‘alternate’ families feel bad.

    • http://none Greg

      In response to M: My apologies for the multiple posts. Apparently several posts got made before I completed my thoughts so I apologize for any misunderstanding. Thank you for your thoughts which help to illustrate my point that if marriage is redefined in the law, the needs of children will be further left to the whims of adults.

      • Greg

        In response to ScottInOH: Thanks Scott. It is a new understanding to me too, but one that makes senses doesn’t it? The child is the resulting one-flesh union of the male and female. Of course sex is naturally both unitive and procreative. Perhaps the answer is that the ancient Hebrews understood one-flesh union in both ways–the sexual union of the couple and as the physical result in the child produced.

        Just curious, how do you interpret and follow the bible, or do you?

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

        No, Greg, I don’t think you understand. Parents have a relationship to their child, but marriage is not what reifies it. The law recognizes legal guardianship, adoptive parenthood, and birth parenthood equally. That parent-child relationship is the institution you want to praise, not marriage.

        As for sociology, what it shows is that children do best when raised in a stable, loving, non-poverty-stricken household by two parents. The only difference in well-being between children raised by straight parents and children raised by gay parents is the ones raised by gay parents were more likely to be more empathetic and sensitive to any sort of discrimination against anyone. That’s a good thing in my book. We don’t know how children raised by stable, loving configurations of more than two people do, because they haven’t been studied, but probably pretty well.

      • ScottInOH

        Greg, no, it doesn’t make sense. The people who wrote the Bible had no idea about DNA. And if that’s not enough, I think the I Corinthians verse makes it unambiguous. Paul is not talking about having a baby with a prostitute; he’s talking about having sex with her. That’s what makes two people “one flesh” in the eyes of God.

        The interpretation you are giving (I don’t know if it’s your own or you found it somewhere else) is clearly meant to play on the emotions of people who consider themselves Christian and who already feel uneasy about same-sex marriage.

      • Greg

        ScottInOH, DNA is a modern discovery, however, ancient people who raised animals understood the rudiments of biology. So I don’t find your argument convincing, and my point is that sex is both unitive and procreative. Every child without exception has or had a mother and father. Marriage unites children with their moms and dads. If marriage is redefined, adults would be allowed under the law to deliberately deny children the right to a mom and a dad.

      • Greg

        M, The law provides for all kinds of situations, but every child without exception has a mother and a father. Moms and dads are not interchangeable. If the child’s father or mother is lost, the child suffers a loss of his or her mother or father. In marriage, a man and a woman make themselves irreplaceable to each other and marriage unites children with their moms and dads. If marriage is redefined, marriage become an even more adult-centric institution (no-fault divorce at least provides visitation) and adults are given license to deny a child the right to be raised by a mom and a dad. That is a right, by the way, that is recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. If marriage is redefined in the law, how can anyone defend a child’s right to a mom and a dad, since promoting one type of family structure over another would be considered discriminatory?

      • Anat

        Greg, the child suffers a loss because the child loses a person they know and with whom the child has formed a close connection. That has nothing to do with the gender of the person. If a child is raised since infancy by 2 men, losing one of them is the same loss to the child as losing one parent of an opposite-sex couple.

        As for redefining marriage – marriage has been redefined plenty of times in the past. Societies change, values change and laws change to reflect that. Once upon a time marriage was entirely about forming relationships between clans. Now that we live in nuclear families this aspect of marriage is irrelevant and therefore not included in the laws. Once marriage was entirely about property rights (and the poor had no use for it). Some societies never had marriage at all (children were raised by the mother and her siblings). You are making all kinds of false assumptions because you are assuming that what you know is universal and best for all situations.

      • ScottInOH

        my point is that sex is both unitive and procreative

        No, your point is that same-sex couples shouldn’t marry or raise children because they are not biological parents. You are twisting a particular scripture (which shouldn’t be the basis for laws in a secular society anyway) to support that position.

        (Also, Anat and M are exactly right and probably more to the point regarding your policy recommendation.)

      • Anat

        Also Greg, it is birth, not marriage, that unites a mother with her child in the eyes of the law (unless and until the mother signs away her rights in adoption or surrogacy agreements). As for the presumed father, being married to the mother is one way of legally uniting a man and a child, but not the only one. (And note there is no requirement the man is the actual biological father of the child.)

      • Greg

        Thanks ScottInOH. Glad you agree this is a discussion of public policy. Now we are getting somewhere.
        When you boil it all down there are really two competing understandings of what marriage is. One says that marriage is the union between two people for their mutual benefit, and the other says that marriage is the union between a man and a woman and any children born from that union for their benefit and the benefit of society. What are the public policy implications of adopting or strengthening either of these two understandings?

      • Greg

        Anat, Each and every child has a mother and a father. One definition of marriage allows adults to deny children from having one or the other and prevents the promotion or strengthening of the understanding that marriage unites a man and woman and any children for the good of the children. It is this second understanding of marriage that preserves the rights of children to have a mom and a dad. What are the public policy implications of these two understandings of marriage?

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

        Greg, each child has a maternal DNA donor and a paternal DNA donor. Who their mother(s) and/or father(s) are is often the same, but not always. A child born to a woman who uses a sperm donor still calls the husband Daddy and loves him as Daddy, even though they share no DNA. This relationship matters far more than who the biological father is. A child adopted by two women or two men sees them as hir parents and they see hir as their child. That bond is what makes them a family, not DNA ties.

        There is no definition of marriage that denigrates the bond children have to their parents. One definition acknowledges all the ways that bond might get there and also acknowledges that marriage is about two adults joining their lives together. This life may or may not include children, and those children may or may not be blood-related. If there are children, they’re still important, though. The other claims that DNA-relationship and gender matter more than love and that some relationships are better or “more real” than others. I’m all for a more inclusive, less judgmental policy myself. You?

      • SueBee

        ScottinOH…I don’t know where you got your understanding of 1Cor 6:16. This is a reference to Gen 2:24 and according to Genesis, sexual union cements a bond between a man and a woman that makes them one flesh. The proper context of this unifying act is the covenant of marriage, where the bond is meant to be permanent, FRUITFUL, and exclusive. Prostitution was a regular part of Roman society and often took place in cultic context within pagan temples. The verse you quote is a call by Paul, to shun immorality and idolatry. Paul is warning believers to run away from this type of sin. Prostitution was a form of idolatrous worship in those pagan temples.

      • ScottInOH

        I don’t see where we disagree, SueBee. “[S]exual union … makes them one flesh,” not having a baby. Paul’s use of the phrase was to tell people to “shun [the] immorality” of sex with prostitutes, not to warn them not to have babies with prostitutes. Greg’s attempt to make it into a statement that God wants all parents to be able to conceive their own children is made up.

        OK, I do see where we disagree. You’ve added that “The proper context of this unifying act [sex] is the covenant of marriage, where the bond is meant to be permanent, FRUITFUL, and exclusive.” That context appears nowhere in the Genesis chapter you cite, and we all know that marriage and sex in biblical times, even by biblical heroes, often did not fit this model.

        Look, we all know that Christians who oppose same-sex marriage want to see prohibitions against it in the Bible. Some of those prohibitions are pretty darn obvious. I was just struck by this reinterpretation of a well-known phrase to suit a new purpose.

      • Greg

        M, thank you for your comments–I appreciate your concern and time you took to explain how you see and understand this issue. Calling a mother or a father a maternal or paternal DNA donor illustrates how far one must go to justify the redefinition of marriage and is an insult to human dignity. What is common to every child is to have a mother and a father, each is a person, not an object. Every child has a fundamental human right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by his or her mom and dad. Marriage is the only institution that promotes that interest. It is also in the public interest as recognized by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 7, 9.

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

        Greg, I will then assume that you’re against adoption of all kinds, sperm donation, and surrogacy. After all, all of those separate DNA from child-rearing and parent-child bonding. What matters isn’t the DNA, it’s the love. You’re denigrating that and pretending it isn’t important and I don’t know why.

        Every child has two people whose DNA combined to create that child. Not every child has a relationship with those people and that’s OK. Abusive parents don’t deserve the appellation “parent”. Sometimes children are given up for adoption. Sperm donors donate knowing they will almost certainly never meet any of their offspring, and parents use sperm donors in order to have children they otherwise couldn’t have. Surrogates know they won’t have any relationship with the child they birth, even if they provide the ovum. Are you arguing that the person/people who raise these children are not their parents?

      • Greg

        M, I know it is difficult to put oneself in the place of the child and see things from the child’s perspective. However, the adult-centric view that you espouse is especially self-righteous. You can see no harm because you can see no harm to your interests or the interests that you have for children. But those are your interests, not the interests of a child. I don’t know why you fail to see that a child is a person who naturally wants to know his mother and father. The marriage equality movement is not satisfied with any substitute for marriage, they want marriage, not just civil unions. Why is a child any different? He sees the difference between men and women, he knows that he has a father. Why should he settle for a substitute? Because you say so? If you raise kids, you know that doesn’t work. Two ‘Moms’, don’t equal Mom and Dad in the eyes of a child. That is not a result of culture, it is just reality.

      • Anat

        Greg, you are arguing based on one particular case. At the same time there are plenty of kids raised in some other arrangement who don’t see the family they are being raised in as inferior in any way to what you think of as ideal. And there are children who note the difference between their family and others, and decide the difference is unimportant, or that their family is the best for themselves. So?

  • L

    I’ve seen all these images in the same colors as the red equals sign:
    an x, a not-equal sign, a man and woman holding hands, a non-equals sign with words about traditional marriage and god says homosexuality is wrong, and then finally people got ‘clever’ and started making red crosses. plus there are a bunch of the fetus pictures showing up.
    my facebook friends are still mostly fundamentalists. i have ONE friend with a red equals signs. yeah i’m mostly on twitter these days. i have liberal friends on twitter.

    I think the people with the X’s, etc, honestly think they are being clever and brave, ‘standing up for what is right’
    one friend posted a bible verse about a man who lieth with a man, etc, is an abomination and should be stoned. … And it never even crossed her mind that homosexual and gay-affirming friends might read it and think she was advocating killing gays. she was SHOCKED when someone said that looked like what she was saying.
    They genuinely think they are being brave and bold for god, when i think they are really just privileged and insensitive (of course, one should never be sensitive about sin, because it’s evil and you should confront it blahblahblah), and incredibly proud of their ‘godly’ stance… they won’t even listen to the other side or think about how their words and pictures are being perceived, or how they are hurting people… and this is part of why i am an ex christian.

    • alfaretta

      You may be surprised — I know I am not the only ex-Christian whose first tiny chink of doubt was being faced with the reality of gay friends. They may even redouble their opposition verbally while trying to regain their certainty.

      • L

        You probably have a good point there, about redoubling their verbal opposition. I didn’t experience that myself, but it does make sense, in the confusing kind of sense that brains make :)

  • L
    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      I’m still trying to get over how people can call themselves libertarians and also be against abortion. So, they want the government out of their lives but IN MY UTERUS? For this reason, I don’t take them seriously. Well, that’s one reason. It’s not the only one. :P

      • http://www.viewsfromthecouch.com Queen of the Couch

        Don’t stereotype too harshly! LOL, I’m a Libertarian and, if it is any consolation, I think the government should stay out of marriage AND vaginas. ;)

      • http://ansilica.tumblr.com/ Aighty

        I’ve heard a few libertarians who are anti-abortion say that since they believe abortion is a crime, it’s one of the few things it’s worth letting the government get involved with. *Shrug* But I think most of the libertarians I know just aren’t for making abortion illegal in the first place.

      • http://www.viewsfromthecouch.com Queen of the Couch

        Yeah, it’s the “Glenn Beck libertarians” (aka Conservatives putting on a Libertarian name tag) that are ruining it for the rest of us.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Queen of the Couch, would you believe that theocrat Rousas Rushdoony described himself as a libertarian in an interview? I’m not a libertarian, but I about died when I heard him say that!

      • HelenaTheGrey

        Libertarian here….I think you know people who are republicans who don’t want to be called that so they say “libertarian” instead but don’t actually know what it means. I have many libertarian friends. They lie on different sides of whether abortion is a sin or not….but none of them think the government should be involved in telling women what they can and can’t do about it.

      • http://www.viewsfromthecouch.com Queen of the Couch

        I had JUST finished reading that and came back to this conversation to say I had just learned of someone else destroying my street cred! As if it wasn’t appalling enough that he sees nothing unreasonable about homosexuality be deemed a crime, much less one punishable by death, but that he seems to envision them carried out at neighborhood block parties, in the interest of community unity? To then call himself a libertarian is—you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. It’s people like Rushdoony and Beck and the tea party that spew prejudice, hate and psychosauce, under the pretense of being libertarian because, I guess, identifying as a “conservative” is no longer fashionable, is beyond frustrating.

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

        I still think libertarians are quite wrong, but Rushdoony and Beck are definitely not libertarians! *Grumble mumble* That bugs me as much as people claiming all liberals/socialists/communists are the same, when those are in fact distinct and incompatible political philosophies.

        Ok, I’ll take my political science-nerd self over there now.

      • L

        i consider myself vaguely libertarian (for lack of fitting in anywhere else) and i’m pro-choice. or maybe i’m a liberal in denial? (no offense to liberals; i was raised to mistrust liberals and and conquering that, but not enough to identify as a democrat yet :D )
        I know there are many self-proclaimed libertarians who are both ‘pro-life’ and against ‘big government’. They would say that abortion is a crime/murder, and the government is supposed to be in the business of stopping crime. i disagree but am just explaining that to them, it is not remotely a contradiction to libertarian/small government ideals. The framework of the discussion is entirely different.

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

        L, your stance is the “true” libertarian one, insofar as libertarianism is a political ideology that espouses smaller government. Basically, libertarianism (as I understand it) says that government has very few roles because the private sector can do pretty much everything better. The federal government 1) funds, trains, and controls the military, and 2) enforces contracts. That’s it. It doesn’t even do law enforcement, because most laws just don’t exist. Pro-choice is very much within that non-regulatory framework.

  • The_L
  • Hilary

    I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the variations on Jesus fish signs. Maybe that type of Christianity is moving to a different meme because of all the silly spins on their Jesus fish sign?

    And Libby is right, I am 100% pro straight marriage for straight people. I will do everything I can to help the straight people in my life have safe, peaceful, joyful and egalitiarian marriages with other straight people they love who love them back. I’ll even stand up for your legal rights, too, if it ever comes to that! / very friendly snark

    Hilary

    Hilary

  • DataSnake
  • http://amethystmarie.com/ Amethyst

    If I saw the last one on my facebook news feed, I’d be like, “I agree! I’ll support my unborn child’s right to equality no matter what hir sexual orientation or gender identity is.”

    • LeftSidePositive

      I’d probably say something along the lines of “Fetuses are already equal. No born human being has the right to use someone else’s body without zir consent. Allowing abortion does not make fetuses any less equal than every born human being on the planet, who do not get to force others to give them their organs, blood, or bone marrow. All you’re trying to do is take away equality from pregnant persons by forcing them to have their bodies exploited, in a way that no one else is forced to.”

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Oh wow, these make me so angry. I guess I’m lucky that I only saw one of them on my fb feed.

  • Thomas

    I agree there’s a tendency to derail with abortion, especially when it comes to antiwar protests, people start getting their knickers in a knot over the dead babies.

    On the other hand, the question “How can you support human rights/Revolution without XYZ?” is important if XYZ=women/feminism/womanism. Too often a bunch of guys get together and don’t pay attention to the needs of women in their communities when pursuing societal change. A revolution without women is not a revolution.

    • http://www.texannewyorker.com jwall915

      I think you’re right. I personally haven’t seen any abortion and gay marriage talk this week (probably because I’ve hidden or unfriended anyone who might be so inclined), but I have in the past with other issues. I think it’s part shaming (how can you say such-and-such has rights when unborn babies don’t have any?!) and part trying to change the subject. If they can drag you down the rabbit hole of the abortion debate, they don’t have to actually address the issue at hand.

      As an aside, I unfriended someone on FB a couple years ago, because she brought up abortion on the anniversary of 9/11. People were putting up the usual messages about never forget, how many people had died that day, etc, and she wrote something along the lines of, “why are we mourning those who died on 9/11 when we don’t mourn the thousands of unborn babies killed every day?” I was fuming over that one.

      • Louise

        That reminds me of a comment I read after the Sandy Hook shooting. Someone said why are so many people devastated over the violent deaths of 20 children but not about the “unborn babies killed” everyday? There really is nothing to say to that. To them it is fetuses>people, even children!

      • Louise

        Oh, and some people think that abortion is worse than the Holocaust that killed millions and millions of men, women and children. There is no reasoning with people that think like this.

      • HelenaTheGrey

        To be fair, Louise, if you believed as they absolutely do, that fetuses were babies with souls, fully human, it would be an absolutely tragedy the amount of abortions that take place. I’m not defending that they are right, but as someone who was Pro-life and who is now waffling somewhere around “this is much more complicated than I was ever lead to believe and SO not black and white”, I still ruffle when people make out pro-lifers to be a bunch of nut jobs. They would be nut jobs if they agreed with you that fetuses were just cells…potential humans, but not fully human yet. But that isn’t the case. They believe that these are people who are literally being brutally murdered every day. When someone gives birth to a baby and then leaves it in a trashcan to die, most people are horrified. That is how they feel about every abortion so it isn’t that far of a leap. I don’t have an answer for working with them. I don’t think that they will all be converted or if that is even the goal. But I think it starts at being able to rationally discuss the subject so that they can start to see how this isn’t black and white. To try and get them to admit that in order for a fetus to have the exact same rights and protections as all people are supposed to be afforded by the constitution, that pregnant women must have rights taken away from them. Getting them to see that a lot of anti-abortion agendas are full of slut shaming. Advocating for a more reasonable response from there, namely where I sit right now. I honestly feel like people who don’t like abortion should be the biggest pushers of making birth control affordable for everyone, better sex education, etc. The fact that the people who are most against abortion are also frequently most against birth control and sex ed ought to tell us something. And if we can chip away at that….show them these discrepancies, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll start doing things that will help women get access to the tools she needs to be able to have a fulfilling sex life with the least chance of pregnancy modern science currently affords.

        I’m not trying to start an argument. I know when it comes to abortion, things can quickly turn into inflammatory, passionate statements. I sure as heck don’t have all the answers. But I have a very strong feeling that when trying to change things as volatile as this, it is important to try and see why someone sees things the way they do and try to reason with them. Libbey Anne was a Pro-lifer who changed her mind. I am a pro-lifer who is changing her mind. I know others who, much the same, have or are changing their minds. It isn’t impossible. But my mind was never changed by name calling or being told that I was unreasonable and not even worth talking to. And the change won’t happen overnight. On the comments of this blog, I have seen a lot of people who pretty much say that anyone who is a religious idiot just needs to be shoved out of the way and treated like the scum that they are. But that makes me think that the other side isn’t so desirable either. Because how long before they turn on you as being the unreasonable scum who needs to be squashed out of existence. Call me a dreamer, but we need to try and understand one another and we need to try and learn how we can make things better for everyone.

        Anyway, sorry for hijacking there. I just…I don’t know. It strikes a nerve when people act like people on the other side aren’t even capable of change. That isn’t true. We can all change. We can all BE better.

      • Anat

        Helena, it is possible to believe that fetuses are people and at the same time believe women (and other uterus-havers) should not be forced to donate the use of their bodies for the benefit of such a person against their will. This is consistent with the way we treat potentially life-saving organ donations – the owner of the organ gets to decide when to donate it to save the life of another. Prohibiting abortion isn’t giving fetuses equal rights to those of the born, it is giving them rights that no born person has.

      • HelenaTheGrey

        I totally get that, Anat…great analogy btw. But that’s my point. People who are pro-lifers (and if you’ve never been one yourself, you couldn’t know this) don’t see it that way because for a lot of them, it has never been explained rationally to them. Now, please don’t think that I believe this to be an easy task. Pro-lifers (and pro-choicers to be fair) tend to be excessively passionate and when in groups especially, completely unwilling to have rational conversations about the topic. But, when someone like me (then) has a conversation with someone who can explain things calmly and prompt them to see that even if the fetus is a human, that there might still be circumstances in which an abortion is the best choice, it starts to chip away until you can get them to see the other side of the equation. Even if they don’t fully grasp it. I think it starts with the “when a woman’s life is at risk” argument. Though, again, most pro-lifers I know would die with the off chance they and their baby might make it through. But it is the easiest place to start to get someone to say abortion might be ok in at least 1 circumstance.

        I’m sorry to be so long winded, but I just feel like because I am in a place of transition, it might be useful. I still have a hard time with abortion. I don’t think it is ideal. I don’t think it is something a person should enter into lightly. I don’t think it is a good form of birth control on the whole. And I’m still not sure that it isn’t unfair in some ways to the fetus/baby. However, I also don’t think 15 year old girls should be having babies and ruining their chances at finishing school and pursuing a career. I don’t think women who are sick should be forced to carry a baby that will cause real harm and possible death to themselves. I don’t think that bringing a baby into a family that it would impoverish by existing if the parents wish it otherwise is a good idea. I don’t think that forcing a woman to have a baby as punishment for her “whorish sins” is a good way to foster a loving bond between a mother and a child. I don’t think that forcing a woman to have a child who is likely going to be deformed/extremely ill/or any other special needs is necessarily kind…to the mother/father or maybe to the child even. All this is just stuff that I hadn’t ever even considered. In my world of pro-life banquets, it was all about perfect, healthy, lovable infants who were murdered just because mommy was a slut who wanted to have sex without consequences. If a woman would just keep her pants on and wait to have sex until she was married, then there would be no need for abortion. I never thought about women who were sick and could die…maybe part of me softened on that because I was SOOO sick with my pregnancy, which I wanted with all my heart. But I still have panic attacks every time I get nauseous and fear getting pregnant again even though I want another baby. Would I want that forced on me? Would that make me love a baby I didn’t want and who made me so very ill? I never thought about women who were married but simply couldn’t afford a baby. I never thought about rape victims. I never thought about women who were told their baby had a 75% chance of having a debilitation disease that would cause it pain and suffering for as long as it lived. And maybe, had I been told when I was in the heat of all that, it wouldn’t have changed my mind a bit. But it has now, for whatever reason. And it stands to reason that if people like me and people like Libbey Anne can somehow change, surely it could work on others as well.

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

        Helena, thanks for being honest about how you felt and how you feel now. Changing your mind on something this big isn’t ever easy, especially when it involves (potentially) human life. I’ve been guilty of just writing pro-lifers off in the past (I still do sometimes, unfortunately) but posts like yours make me keep trying to be calm and reasonable and rational. Because you’re right, sometimes just that trickle of doubts or the one example opens the door a crack to seeing the world in a new way.

      • ako

        Helena, this is really informative. I think part of the reason I tend to be intensely pro-choice is because I’ve known people who had abortions, or wanted them and couldn’t get them, and a lot were rape victims, incest victims, young teenage girls, people with life-threatening mental health conditions who would have to go unmedicated for months at a time in order to carry a pregnancy to term*, women with health complications, and otherwise in desperate situations. (And actually, I’ve known people who’ve had several of those problems put together.) So I don’t naturally think of the whole “frivolous slut” stereotype, and I have a hard time envisioning that happening.

        *The mental health thing particularly sticks out for me, because many people are likely to shrug it off and dismiss it, but if you’re close enough to see the suicide attempts, you can tell that people literally die because of reasons like “You can’t have those antidepressants, you’re pregnant!”

      • Christine

        The flip side of the mental health issue is also terrifying to me – when women are told to continue their anti-depressants off-label not because they needed them a lot in the first place, but because going off of them is hard, and then the baby dies. (And I’m being very technical with language here – I’m sure that a lot of the time the woman miscarry instead, but you expect that to happen when you’re pregnant, this is an infant).

        And a lot of the pro-choice voices don’t seem to be trying to reach pro-lifers, and are more interested in patting themselves on the back about how moral they are. (Note: this is exactly the same as a lot of pro-life voices.) I have heard a lot more arguments about “if we couldn’t get abortions it would be a lot more difficult to have sex in college, because then you’d need to be a lot more careful with birth control” (I don’t think the person realised that she was saying that, in fairness), I’ve heard “women need to be able to have an abortion for any reason they want” (I completely agree with the pro-life rhetoric condemning the fact that people would vote against the statement opposing sex-selective abortions just because they don’t want to step on the right to have an abortion) , I’ve heard arguments which basically come down to “sovereignty!”, and no one seems to think it’s ridiculous. The real reasons for a need are rarely addressed.

      • http://www.texannewyorker.com jwall915

        Helena: I definitely appreciate where you are coming from. I know from experience that changing your mind on a big-ticket issue is a painful process, and kudos to you for taking that journey. However, I think the point Louise and I were trying to make is not that all pro-lifers are nut jobs, but that the type of people who make such statements cannot be reasoned with, not because they are pro-life but because they made such statements. 9/11 was a tragedy, full stop. 9/11 had *nothing* to do with abortion, full stop. Attempting to link the two is intellectually dishonest, inappropriate, and very offensive. What my former FB friend was essentially saying is that people shouldn’t be grieving 9/11 because women terminate pregnancies. Um, excuse me?! The same goes for the Newtown shooting. It was a tragedy, and it had absolutely nothing to do with abortion. And saying that someone shouldn’t grieve that loss because of some unrelated actions of others is horrible. And it doesn’t really matter what their beliefs are, or how sincere they are. Saying something like that demonstrates a lack of integrity and basic compassion.

        Now, I guarantee you that I and pretty much everybody, has plenty of pro-life friends who didn’t write or even think such a thing, whether it was about 9/11, the Newtown shooting, or the gay marriage debate. Those people are not nut jobs. But the point I was making was not about all pro-lifers but about people who would say such a terrible and dishonest thing.

  • Shannon

    Hi Libby,
    I’m a longtime reader, but have not commented before – but this image was too good not to share: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/562302_10100805822742118_950082362_n.jpg
    As someone who has also left a fundamentalist culture, I get a lot of comfort and inspiration from your blog!

  • flyn

    The fetus one… paired with the tagline, “Let’s talk about equality”.
    Yes, let’s talk about equality. Let’s talk about how you think a fetus has more rights than a woman. Let’s talk about how a fetus matters more than a baby.
    Let’s talk about how everyone is equal, except that pregnant woman who can’t get welfare to see the doctor for prenatal care because she happens to be an illegal immigrant!

    Seeing these images on FB really made me angry. I was being pretty passive about the whole thing until I saw one of them.
    How dare they take an image used to support and turn it into something to hurt others!

    Yeah, there is free speech, but they don’t realize the difference in the image usage.
    The equal sign is largely used to uplift people; showing the amount of people on their side, or showing which friends people who are homosexual can turn to without worry. The division sign or unequal sign is purely for showing disagreement and nothing more. “Look how many people think you’re wrong!”
    Wow, I’m sure Jesus would be so proud of you .

  • Jurgan

    I saw this pop up in my facebook feed the other day, from a former teacher of mine:

    http://jurgan.tumblr.com/image/46426301124

    I responded with this:

    “The thing is I agree with this quote in the abstract. Certainly people should be able to disagree without necessarily being enemies, and you can show compassion while objecting to someone’s specific actions. The problem is this isn’t abstract. Context is key, and it’s clear he’s talking specifically about gay rights. There are a few tells, like the word “lifestyle” (there’s no such thing as a gay lifestyle- gays are individuals who live their lives many different ways), plus the fact that it’s written by Rick Warren. Rick Warren endorsed Proposition 8, which took away the right of marriage from gay couples in California. That’s what I mean when I say he’s forcing others to live according to his morality. He’s now back-pedaling, saying he didn’t really mean for people to listen to him outside of his church, but he should have known better. Besides, endorsing it to his church of 20,000 affects the vote, which impacts many people. It seems to me he’s trying to have it both ways. He wants to publicly oppose gay marriage, but doesn’t want to be called on it. Actions speak louder than words, though, and his actions, along with those of others in California, have caused direct emotional harm to thousands of couples (if you deny that, imagine being forced to divorce your spouse). He’s taking a popular position in the conservative religious movement of trying to be a nice bigot- and let’s be clear, saying people should be treated differently under the law because of inherent characteristics is bigotry. He’s certainly not the worst of the anti-gay religious right, and I take him at his word that he holds no personal animosity towards gays, but the fact that he’s not Fred Phelps doesn’t excuse him from accountability for his actions. So, yes, people are going to get angry with him, not for his beliefs but for his actions. If he genuinely wants to be compassionate, he can continue advising people what they should do with their lives, but he should not support laws forcing them to make certain decisions.”

    She apparently didn’t realize he was talking about gay rights, and we had a nice discussion of the issue. She’s fairly conservative, but a lot more open-minded and reasonable than you might expect.

    • Hilary

      Thank you – that was wonderfully said. + 1 ally

    • Carys Birch

      Thanks for bringing this one up, my father posted this one on his Facebook, and since I am incapable of having a reasonable and polite discussion with my father about this kind of thing, especially in public, I kept my mouth shut, but it’s been eating at me.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily a given that if you disagree with someone you must fear or hate them. But when you’re trying to legally enforce your way of life on someone, in an area that doesn’t harm or materially affect you in any way whatsoever, then we need more grounds than mere disagreement. Marriage equality would have zero effect on my dad’s life. He is already married (to a woman), he doesn’t work in a marriage industry, so he doesn’t even have a conscience issue as far as that goes (another argument I personally think is bullsh*t, but at least a practical effect on someone’s life!), he has no close gay friends or relatives. So what does he stand to lose? Not a thing. So what motivates his opposition? The idea that he, and only himself and people like him, are normal, and everyone else really is not equal. That and, you know, scoring the last point.

      If you want to deny someone something that would greatly increase their quality of life because you can’t stand to lose the argument or admit you aren’t super duper special? Cry me a river. I don’t understand how you can think about it in those terms and parse it out to not be bigotry. You have every right to disagree with someone in your own personal opinion, but you can’t insist on your way with the force of law.

    • Steve

      Anyone saying “We only disagree” is an idiot and an asshole. Plain and simple. If they really disagreed they’d say “I don’t like it, but I’m not going to do against it”. Yet Christians constantly lobby politicians, write letters, speak out, protest, preach and vote against granting gay people rights or take them away when courts and legislatures do so. That’s not “disagreeing”. And given the rhetoric of all their spokespeople, they can’t really complain when they are accused of hatred. If it quacks like a duck and all that.

      Second, this isn’t a topic where you can just “agree to disagree”. They are trying to pretend this is some theoretical ivory tower debate that doesn’t have consequences, but they don’t admit that they are hurting real people in the real world.

  • Adam Lee

    There’s also this one, apparently from the archbishop of San Francisco: the red equals sign turned into a “divide” symbol, and a proud reference to the Bible verse where Jesus says he’s come to bring division rather than peace.

    • Julian

      That’s especially heartbreaking, considering that until recently, Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro District was perhaps the most liberal Catholic parish in the world and welcomed queer worshipers with no questions asked; it is, in fact, the last Catholic church at which I attended Mass before de-converting. MHR had been doing praiseworthy work in the Castro for decades, but about a year ago, the current Church hierarchy brought the hammer down and cleaned house in SF. They replaced a lot of clergy, including the priests at MHR, and it’s just like everywhere else now. The division sign from the SF Archbishop is a deliberate dash of salt in an already painful wound.

  • http://shinybutter.com Coco

    Here’s my favorite one: https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/524061_460170877385557_273448345_n.png
    I hope that showed up correctly. I do love it- it’s happy and funny.
    Great post- thanks for enlightening me, because I must have succeeded in unloading my (outspoken) conservative friends on FB since I had seen none of these negative responses. Either that or my conservative FB friends, who at this point are few and are relatives or friends I actually do like in spite of their often-narrow views, have hidden me from their anti-equality posts.
    I guess we still have a long way to go…

    • http://wideopenground.com Lana

      Freakin’ hilarious.

  • flyn

    I just found out that some of the people posting variations of these aren’t really aware that they’re counteracting. They assumed it was a general internet meme and are trying to participate using their own interests.

    However, I still think the people who are aware that they’re counteracting, (like the majority of icons shown here), should also realize that they’re hijacking something uplifting and turning it into something negative.

    Red Equal Sign: “You’re not alone!”
    Unequal Sign: “Yes you are.”

    • Christine

      I think that the people who post an unequal sign are probably aware of that. It’s the people posting a cross who would pretend that their intention is not to exclude.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        I think unequal signs are a great thing for bigots to have on their profiles. It’s like my own personal Early Warning System. They want me to know they’re against progress and they’re proud of standing against human rights–and mission is accomplished beautifully.

        Also, this entire story goes to tell us that there is nothing beautiful and wonderful that fundagelicals can’t totally poop all over and try to wreck. But this time there’s no way to turn the Equality Yacht.

  • K

    I havent seen any of those.

    The majority of my friends list have the Equal Sign on their profile picture :D No idea who everyone is, it gets confusing, but its awesome to see so much red. The only variations I have seen have been one made of lego, one which is rainbow colored, and a few other pro gay rights images. Even most of the Christians I know have posted statuses in support of gay marriage or changed their profile picture.

    • http://ansilica.tumblr.com/ Aighty

      Yeah, it’s been more or less the same story with me. ^-^ The Facebook page for the LGBT-friendly hang-out area at my school was kinda hilarious for a couple days. If you didn’t glance too closely at peoples’ names, you’d think that it was the same person posting everything. XD

      • Little Magpie

        yeah that’s sort of how my facebook looks right now, too. (not entirely, some of my friends just have whatever picture (ie haven’t changed it in any direction), but it helps that several of my friends are using (positive) variants – for instance the one with the my little pony, one where the equals sign and the background are both made up of words, the equality + star trek badge one, etc. So that provides some visual variety. :)

      • Carys Birch

        I saw a cute one where Luigi and Mario are jumping on the equals sign! Gamers for equality! Yay! :)

  • Pingback: Religious Right, Religious Identity, and Life Overseas | Wide Open Ground

  • Derek

    The best I saw was the statue of liberty kissing lady justice with the red equals in the background.

    • The_L

      Liberty X Justice for all! :D

  • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

    Seriously, my favorite is the red equals sign with Lady Liberty giving the Justice statue a big old lesbian smooch imposed over it (you can see that one here: http://cheezburger.com/7171931392 ). Although the Bert and Ernie ones are nice too.

    I only saw the “Biblical Definition” anti-equality one on fb myself…most of my friends are pretty liberal or live and let live.

  • http://wanderinginthestacks.wordpress.com MJ

    My favorite has been from a couple of my Jewish friends who posted the equal sign with the bars made with matzo crackers. Happy Passover!

  • Barefoot Bree

    Except for the on with the explicit tag “Equality Begins in the Womb”, I have to wonder if there’s an alternate interpretation for the other two (the baby footprints and the = with the fetus picture): is it possible they aren’t dragging in abortion, but making the tired and equally erroneous “marriage is for making babies only” argument?

  • HelenaTheGrey

    The weirdest one I saw today was the = sign meme, with the words “Stop Monsanto” written on each of the bars. Uhm…totally out of left field, that one.

    • Nebuladancer

      Actually, this is not out of left field. While everyone has been distracted by the Supreme Court’s hearing, Monsanto quietly slipped the Monsanto Protection Act through Congress, and President Obama, contrary to his campaign promise signed it into law. The basic point is that while normally in this country an issue can be brought before the courts, Monsanto can now plant their crops EVEN IF THE SUPREME COURT RULES AGINST THEM. Sorry for the shouting, but this effectively makes Monsanto no longer within, but ABOVE the laws of our country. And virtually no one has expressed any outrage over the flagrant disregard for 200 years of legal in our country. The reason the Supreme Court is even looking into the issue of gay marriage is because they have the legal right to question the laws that are enacted in our country. But Congress, with Monsanto’s help, has stripped the Supreme Court from judging or making a ruling against a single protected corporation. It is an outrage.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        Not saying that isn’t just terrible, but … what in the world does it have to do with gay marriage? I’m not seeing it. Is Monsanto against gay marriage or something? Are they filing briefs one way or the other about it?

  • Judy L.

    Granted, I only have about 80 ‘facebook friends’, but I didn’t see any of these hateful pictures until I read (well, skimmed) this post. I consider myself very lucky indeed.

    It seems to me that there’s something fundamentally screwy about the way far too many people think that their right to hold and express beliefs extends to actively imposing those beliefs on others. And yet the anti-gay crusaders actively deny this through claiming that their actions to restrict equal marriage are merely expressions of their beliefs about straight marriage. But beliefs are not actions, actions are not beliefs (though they may be driven by beliefs or be evidence of intention); and the expression of beliefs ceases to be merely expression when your goal is to restrict or deny someone else’s rights and freedoms. Here’s an example of the difference, using crab as marriage to illustrate:
    The belief and its pure expression
    “I love crab, it’s delicious, but gay people don’t deserve to eat crab because I don’t approve of them/God says crab is only for straight people/the straights-only crab buffet is the foundation of our society and exists for the nurturing of children (but only the children of straight parents) and if gays are allowed to have crab at the buffet it’s going to ruin crab’s specialness for me/denigrate the societal value of crab.”
    The action/expression-as-action
    “I’m supporting the campaign and voting for a federal ban on gay couples eating at crab buffets. I’m trying to amend my state’s constitution to ban gay couples from going to crab buffets even if the couple is originally from a state where they were allowed at crab buffets. And I’m not a bigot, just because I believe that crab buffets are only to be attended by one man and one woman. I hate the sin but love the sinner, so much in fact that I’m okay with having separate buffets for gay couples and their children and they can eat all the surimi* they want, which is sort of like crab, except for purposes of federal and inter-state laws.”

    *Crab-flavoured product made from pollock, frequently found in salads and California sushi rolls. It has to be labeled as ‘Imitation Crab’ because it is affirmatively NOT CRAB.

    P.S. So glad I live in Canada and we finally put this issue to rest ten year years ago. Also, now I’m kind of craving sushi rolls with surimi.

  • Silver

    Ironically, if I had seen the pink cross on the red background (most of my friends on Facebook are liberal) I would have assumed it meant “I’m a Christan who supports gay marriage”.

    • Rosa

      me too! I didn’t see any, but a number of my Christian friends had the equals sign.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’ve dealt with a few of these on my blog, because I was trying not to get into more than 2 or 3 arguments on facebook. Feel free to share if you like my responses. I didn’t get into the abortion ones because that’s just irrelevant and derailing. http://hatehurtsusall.blogspot.com/2013/03/friday-facebook-falsehoods-and.html

  • Hilary

    I doff my cap at all of you – this was a wonderful thread to read. Now I’ve got to uncross the image of matzah equal signs with crab cakes, because that is so many levels of not kosher that it’s funny as all get out and works.

    Hilary

  • Katie

    So, I’ve seen this one some: http://www.transadvocate.com/turn-your-profile-pic-red.htm . Trying to remind people that gay/lesbian issues aren’t the only LGBT issues, and that while marriage equality is important, us trans people are discriminated against too and also need equal rights. (btw, the symbol making up the equal sign on that one is the trans pride flag)

  • Andy

    My image is of the symbols: = OO
    This says that equality is not about marriage/family. We all support equality. We all want our children to have the benefit of a mother AND a father. Equal opportunity for the children. http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/578195_10151491514413808_677506581_n.jpg

    • Kodie

      What’s the difference between a mother and a father to you? That’s sexism. Children need to be cared for. They don’t need a penis helping them with their homework and a vagina cooking their meals. Those tasks do not require the use of genitals.

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

        Also, could I get like a gallon of brain bleach? The images of that literally happening are … disturbing. Very, very disturbing.

      • Kodie

        Sometimes you have to draw a diagram.

    • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

      Right. Because telling a man that he cant’ marry his boyfriend, or a woman that she can’t marry her girlfriend, is totally gonna encourage them to go out and start dating someone of the opposite sex.

      • HelenaTheGrey

        This is one of the most ludicrous arguments I have seen against gay marriage. Somehow, this idea that by denying them the right to marry who they want, they will just give up and decided to “turn straight” and marry the right sex person. And the other is an argument I’m sad to say I’ve seen very often. Basically it goes like this…”God made man and woman so they could get married and have children. Clearly he did not make 2 men or 2 women able to have children together. If gay marriage is allowed to continue, the earth will soon cease to be populated because gay couples can’t have children.” It’s as though, by allowing gay marriage, EVERYONE is going to suddenly “catch the gay” and all people will just stop procreating because they can’t seem to become straight again.

      • Steve

        And forbidding gay marriage will stop gay couples from having children. Not. At least in countries that don’t restrict adoption and/or insemination to marriage.

        It also misses the fact that children borne to gay couples would never be borne otherwise. If it weren’t for the gay couple they wouldn’t exist. Its not like the same one would magically be borne to a straight couple. And when it comes to adoption, then they’d just age out of the system most likely.

    • Anat

      Children with two mommies or two daddies have the same opportunities as children with parents of opposite sexes, they all have two parents. Now what about equality for those children with one or no parents? Allowing same-sex couples to marry may actually increase the chance for some of them to end up with two parents.

    • TicklishMeerkat

      Gag, another “won’t someone think of THE CHILDREN” Christian. Sorry, you don’t pass Go or collect $200. No reputable study supports your notion. It is purely your subjective–and might I add demeaning, sexist, oppressive, and cruel–opinion. Not only do you not realize that studies support entirely that children benefit from having two parents of whatever gender, you also totally minimize and erase single parents from your equation. Is it better to have two parents, one of whom is toxic and abusive, or to have just one who is totally there for the kid(s)? My mom raised me and my sister for several years alone between husbands, and I think she did a splendid job–way better than when she had a third child to deal with (my biological father), especially when that third child was old enough to drink, do drugs, and sleep around on her. But no, Christians all chirp that tired old rhetoric about a “mommy and a daddy” — ostensibly a mommy who is doing the bulk of childcare and LAUNDRY IN THE LAWD, and a daddy who is out earning plenty of money to keep the family fed and housed. That’s really what this post was about, isn’t it? A yearning to return to that never-never land when men were men, women were women, and children were seen and not heard and everybody went to church and there weren’t any messy distractions like LGBTQA people or heathens like me or childfree people who have the crazy idea that marriage is about love and not about making someone’s uterus into a clown car.

      Your Mayberry utopia exists only in Christians’ minds. It never existed in the real world except for a very narrow part of society. Kids deserve parents who love them and will be there for them. It doesn’t matter if those parents are same gender or different gender, one or two or three or a dozen (I know a couple of polyamorous pagan triads and quads raising awesome kids without that Mormon weirdness and a couple of open marriages with kids that look like they’re doing just fine). What matters more than the simple configuration of genitals is that the situation’s stable and consistent.

      But that’s a scary idea, isn’t it? People making their own situations to reflect their own needs, desires, ideals, and goals rather than just following the life script you treasure so much? Maybe you need to think a bit about why you feel so threatened by the idea of other people not validating your opinions that you ignore every reputable study done on the subject *and* negligently erase single parents from your mind in your rush to shove bigotry on people “for the children.”

  • Miranda

    I got long, rambling, incoherent, and incredibly hateful messages from Christians whom today sent me messages telling me I should come to Good Friday services. Ummmm…right? I saw how loving you all are, and I’m just DYING to jump on that bandwagon, lemme tell ya.

    • TicklishMeerkat

      “You’re an evil bucket of scum, but nobody will ever love you like JEEZUS, and he’s willing to give you a(nother) chance if you fall into line.” That sounds pretty abusive to me. I had an evangelical Christian ex who did that after I dumped him–”You’re a cheating, lying whore, but I still love you, baby, and I think we’ve got a chance.” (He did actually call me that; it isn’t hyperbole. And no, most certainly this bit of manipulation did not work.) I’ve been comparing Christianity to an abusive boyfriend for many years, but it still startles me to hear it demonstrated so starkly as this, Miranda.

      • Steve

        Ding. Ding. Their “relationship with Jesus” is pretty much the definition of an abusive relationship. Especially when you factor in the concept of hell. “Love me or I will torture you”

  • Andy

    Some people just do not see the unique value of each gender beyond the genitalia, it seems. Look harder, I say. Look harder. The differences go way beyond physical attributes. And they are each essential in a family.

    • http://www.shaenon.com Shaenon

      I see people say stuff like this a lot, but they never seem to specify what these very important differences are. Okay, so I’m a lady. What is the unique value of my gender? What can I do as a parent that my husband can’t?

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

      And what can my husband do, as a (potential) parent and person, that I can’t do?

    • Beutelratti

      I call bullshit until you can prove that these difference a) exist and b) are essential to the upbringing of a child.

      I do not need to look harder, you need to explain yourself instead of just asserting that there are differences that everyone needs to see just because you see them. That is not how reasoning works.

    • Noelle

      I’m looking harder, Andy, and I don’t see it. I don’t see it from my own childhood. i don’t see it as a parent. I don’t see it as someone who works with people of all ages and genders on a daily basis. I don’t see it as one who has studied human medicine and psychology. Your argument makes no sense based on what we know about genetics, development, and physiology. While it’s certainly preferable to have more than one caring adult involved in raising a child, there is nothing magic about those people being opposite gender or even biologically related to said child.

      You are being offensive to everyone everywhere who’s grown up fine without a male and female parenting combo. You are being offensive to those of us who lost parents young. You are offensive to any married couple who cannot or chooses not to have children. Look harder yourself.

    • TicklishMeerkat

      Do you have any actual evidence or proof of your claims? Would you care to explain what those differences are without resorting to circular arguments, unprovable or disproven arguments, outright misogyny, and offensive stereotypes?

      And while you’re at it, would you care to apologize to those of us who did not grow up within that very limited ideal you hold so dear? I hold your post to be a hateful denial of human dignity and freedom, oh and a direct insult to my mother, who did a far better job raising her kids alone than with a partner. You’d rather she have kept her ex-husbands around “for the children”? The first one was a drug addict and womanizer; the second was outright abusive. She stayed with him “for the children.” I grew up knowing it, too. I wish I had a dollar for every tear I shed wishing she’d dump him, wish I had a nickel for every knock-down, drag-out fight they had, but she kept saying that children needed a dad and she couldn’t afford to raise us alone. What, precisely, were the unique, “essential” things my abusive (Christian) stepdad brought to our family that were so necessary in your eyes? His alcoholism? His screaming matches and his constant snarky putdowns and hurtful remarks masquerading as “aw, it’s just a joke”? The hitting and molestation? What exactly in your opinion made his marriage to my mother so much more superior than one between two loving, stable, compatible men or women?

  • Nurse Bee

    The first time I saw any of the alternative icons was on your blog (although I had a cousin post an equal sign which consisted of two batman logos…), anf though I may disagree with gay marriage, I would have no wish to post such a thing and offend my gay and lesbian friends on fb.

  • Elaine

    Today it will be equality for gay couples… tomorrow equality for 40 year old men marrying their 14 year old boy lovers… next up? Polygamy equality, then comes nudist equality? And then there are assisted suicide… I’m not even making this stuff up. A good google search will give you enough articles to see that the wheels are beginning to turn for the rest of those modeling after this gay rights event.

    • Anat

      Are you trying to shock us? You are mixing all sorts of unrelated things. What’s wrong with assisted suicide? And what does it have to do with marriage (other than a spouse being involved in carrying out the wishes of the dying person)? With some precautions to make sure the choice to die is made freely it is much better than forcing people to linger on in pain or after losing their faculties to such degree that they no longer find meaning in their lives. It isn’t marriage equality that leads to legalizing things you don’t like, it is people realizing that many things are forbidden for no good reason, and that there might be situations where those forbidden acts would be beneficial rather than harmful.

    • phantomreader42

      And, of course, the fact that your desperate attempts at distraction are a worthless pack of lies will not dissuade you in the least from mindlessly regurgitating the talking points your cult has programmed you with. Nor will the fact that your cult screeched the same bullshit fantasies in opposition to interracial marriage. And we certainly all know that there’s never any point in trying to explain the concept of consent to a christianist.

      Reality is against your religion, yes, we know. That doesn’t make reality go away.

    • The_L

      Wow, yet another slippery-slope argument! We heard this same thing 45 years ago, when interracial marriage went to the Supreme Court. And yet, incest didn’t become the law of the land, dogs and cats aren’t marrying each other, and the sky has not fallen.

      • Anat

        Well, once interracial marriages became legal in all US states, within 2 generations people are legalizing same-sex marriages! Who knows what they’ll want to legalize in 2-3 generations!

        Yes, this is so silly. Some people have trouble catching up with this snail speed of progress.

    • Darren

      What’s wrong with nudists? They never did anyone any harm. They’re just people who enjoy being naked.

    • Qubert

      This is called the slippery slope arguement and it’s a logical fallacy. There are obvious differences between gay marriage and all the other things you’ve mentioned. And there’s no reason why gay marriage would lead to those other things. The people who want gay marriage don’t necessarily support any of the other things. Gay marriage a) doesn’t involve minors b) won’t kill anyone c) can be done with your clothes on and d) is just between couples so far.

    • Bess

      Umm, you know nudists are already allowed to get married, right? As long as they’re not gay, of course.

      I’m not quite sure how you go from two consenting adults marrying to all of a sudden allowing an adult to marry a child (who cannot legally give consent). I find it very difficult to believe you can’t tell just how big the difference between these examples really is. You know they didn’t automatically allow 40 year old men to marry their 14 year old girl lovers, right? Even though straight marriage is allowed. That’s still illegal, and even having just by having a 14 year old girl lover, that’s rape. Rather than them actually being allowed to marry, the 40 year old man would, like, actually go to jail. You do know that, right?

      Although, I must say, in all honesty I really don’t care if people choose a polygamist lifestyle. As long as ALL participants are aware that this is the relationship they are in and they are ALL consenting adults, why do I care? Although, again, it’s quite a big leap from gay marriage to polygamy. Gay marriage is the same as straight marriage, two people who love each other, getting married. That’s it. Although, I guess not really, straight people get married for other reasons too, also get divorced an awful lot too. To be honest it doesn’t really mean much when straight people get married anyway, half the time it’s a lie. Why do we let straight people get married? They’re destroying the sanctity of marriage.

      Oh, that’s impressive, can you please provide a flowchart that demonstrates the steps it will take to get to legalising assisted suicide from legalising gay marriage? I love flow charts and it would really help me to get on board with your argument.

    • Niemand

      Marriages between 40 year old men and 14 year old girls were quite common in the “good old days” when “everyone” was Christian. If anything, it is Christianity and marriage inequality that encourage pedophilia. Extending marriage equality encourages people to think about what is important in marriage: consent. Marriage is, at its core, an agreement between two adults to make a family together. Marriage equality encourages this view. Prejudice discourages it and encourages people to believe that it’s ok for a 13 year old to marry a 60 year old (perfectly legal in anti-equality South Carolina as long as the 13 year old is female and the 60 year old male.)

  • liu

    The fact that they admit that, up until now, God’s law influenced federal law in a country that supports and has repeatedly defended seperation between church and state is the most sekf daming thing that I could imagine.

  • Ben Dover

    Funny how the last 50 years people all the sudden want gay rights…Marriage is between a man and a woman…No place in the Bible–Polygamy or not–did it support gay marriage…In fact, it was called an abomination to God and the whole Sodom and Gomorrah message bears that out…If this is legal, then let people marry their domesticated pet and make that equal rights….Where’s PETA when you need them.

    • Nea

      All of these random talking points have been debunked over and over, especially in this blog; is repeating them going to make any of us change our minds now? Still, just because I have a little time this morning.

      1) Homosexuality did not suddenly appear in the last 50 years; it’s been around for forever. Only now are the prejudices of our society changing enough for people to be able to publicly say “I want the equal rights given to others.” Before that, it was the same fights (and the same arguments against) interracial marriage, although that was not a new “thing” either – as the Hemmings family could tell you!

      Citation needed for your definition of marriage as the absolute one. Please back up your sources with references as to why they have not applied to Canada, England, the Netherlands, and all the other countries and American states that allow gay marriage.

      I don’t care what the Bible says about marriage; the Bible is not the source of American law and it violates my First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to force me to live by your religion. Therefore, the arguments that the Bible says, and it’s an abomination to your version of the deity, and referencing the Old Testament do not hold sway.

      Only the people pounding the Bible seem to think that there’s an equivalency under civil law between two consenting adults entering a contract and bestiality. You may find Libby Anne’s “Two Boxes” post edifying as to why that argument not only doesn’t convince the opposition, but makes you sound ridiculous.

  • Victoria

    I saw a equal sign with two sharks. Left me a bit puzzled and confused but I guess where they were coming from was that if two males and two females have the right two marry then so do two sharks. I can see the narrow-minded point where they’re coming from…but humans aren’t animals. (Although we are creature-like and have the same organic matter – we can reason.)

    • Whirlwitch

      You’re over-analyzing, I think. There are quite a number that are just altered to suit individual interests, like the “bacon” one, and the various fandoms, and indeed the handful that incorporate animals just because the person likes them, which I think is where the sharks come from. Mine has a witch hat in it. No added message, other than “this witch supports equal marriage”.

  • Monica

    A member of my extended family changed her Facebook picture to an equal sign with a circle and line through it, a la the “no smoking” sign, with a caption something like “I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage.” What really upset me was the hypocrisy in her statement–she and her husband have at least four divorces and remarriages between them. The “Biblical definition” of marriage doesn’t support that either. Isn’t the 50% divorce rate more damaging to the “sanctity of marriage” than the 10% of same-sex couples who want to have marriage equality?

    Regarding the debate about how same-sex couples deny children a mother and father, I say again that divorce could have the same effect. Or the death of one parent. Or a single parent who decides to adopt, or an unmarried mother who decides to keep and raise her child alone. The legal definition of “family” has been broader than “biological parents and child” for a long, long time, to include adoption, step-families, and legal guardianship. If a child MUST be raised by the biological mother and father, should the product of a one-night stand be aborted? All children deserve to be raised by a loving family. If this family can include step-parents and step-siblings, adoptive parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who’s to say it can’t also include two parents of the same gender?

  • Micah

    Actually. Let us start speaking truth. A true Christian believes and follows the word of God. And the word of God tells us,
    “So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:27&28

    “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

    God created man and woman for each other. Also proves polygamy is not biblical, and this is just the Old Testament. If we include the New Testament in which is more of the foundation of Christianity (followers of Jesus Christ).

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9&10

    “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, en-slavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” 1 Timothy 1:8-11

    Pretty straight forward if you ask me. (Also tells a little something about laws) So the bible does condemn homosexuality but wait. Notice that even a liar is put into the same category. You know what that means. It means even those who tell the smallest white lie have rebelled against the Lord God who is infinitely Holy.

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

    From the murderer, to the sexually immoral (including homosexuals), to the liar. We are all condemned. So in this, yes we are all equal, we all have sinned and deserve punishment and condemnation. But before Romans 3:23 the bible speaks of the law again. In which it states the humans can not be justified by their works (they don’t receive salvation by their own doings), but rather by God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. After Romans 3:23 as well, in Romans 3:24-26, it speaks of God’s grace,
    “and are justified [speaking about those who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ] by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

    Those who are saved by the grace of the Lord God have a desire to be obedient and follow Jesus Christ (true Christians, true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ), which means turning from our sins and way of life that is dishonoring to the Lord. Turning away from our sins: pride, greed, hate/murder, lust/adultery, homosexuality/sexual immorality, lies, etc..

    “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” Acts 3:19-21

    I don’t write these word out of hatred or malice, but out of love. Love for my Lord God first and foremost, and then love and care to everyone. The last I want is for you to be eternally separated from the Lord, in a place of unimaginable pain. Seek truth. Seek to follow the Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior.

    • Michael Busch

      “I don’t write these word out of hatred or malice, but out of love. Love for my Lord God first and foremost, and then love and care to everyone.”

      I think you should read something Libby Anne wrote a while ago: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/08/so-you-say-you-dont-hate-gay-people-part-i.html

      Also: It happens that the Epistles to Timothy are forgeries, written around 100 CE and falsely attributed to Paul. It also happens that there are at least eight different types of marriage referred to in the Bible (man+woman, man+woman+slave,man+woman+concubine,man+woman+woman+woman, man+brother’s widow, rapist+victim, soldier+prisoner, male slave+female slave), all of which are presented positively. So if you want to cite the Bible as a justification for only permitting monogamous heterosexual relationships, you will have to reconsider any theology which says that the “smallest white lie” condemns people to an entirely of hellfire.

      • Alice

        Genesis is obviously an allegory, but for the sake of argument, the first generation would have to be male-female and have children so that the human race wouldn’t die out. Not that I am supporting the ridiculous argument that couples should only be allowed to be together if they can produce children: GLBT are such a small minority that they have little effect on a large world population, and there are plenty of heterosexual couples who either cannot have children or choose not to.

        Secondly, if one carefully researches cultural context, the original language in the passages, and just reading the texts themselves, one finds that all of the Bible passages supposedly against gay relationships were actually condemning same-sex rape, prostitution, pedophilia, and adultery (a married man sleeping with a male prostitute). These are NOT examples of a loving, consensual commitment between two adults. These are examples of sexual immorality. Saying that every time the Bible says “sexual immorality” it must be referring to gay sex ignores the large number of definitions of sexual immorality in the Bible.
        Also, the word “abomination” simply means “unclean” which is the same Hebrew word used for many other Old Testament laws, such as the dietary laws.

        Finally, apparently polygamy was not a big deal because most of the major characters in the Old Testament practiced it, and God never said “How dare you! Stop this at once!” The only reason God was angry about Solomon’s collection was because they convinced him to worship other gods.

      • Michael Busch

        “Genesis is obviously an allegory,”
        _
        Not quite. Genesis is obviously _myth_. It is not at all obvious that the writers of the book didn’t intend the two different creation accounts in Genesis as what they thought was an account of the origin of the universe – the book was written during the Babylonian exile, and the creation accounts and the flood legend are derived from Mesopotamian stories that were taken seriously at the time.
        _
        And anyone who wants use the Bible as a guide for sexual ethics or any selection of ethics at all has to deal with the various evil things that the Bible _does_ endorse (women being forced to marry the men who raped them, people handing their children over to be gang raped, slavery, genocide). It is not possible to consider the Bible to be consistent on just about any subject.

    • Thony

      All you say is true. Through Christ all things are made new. Born again for 12 yrs now, of spirit and water. Jesus said “deny yourself and follow me” I did. I gave my life to him. 18-24 I lived as an openly gay man. Later at the age of 24 I accepted the Lord’s salvation. It was a process. Salvation is a relationship with God, it’s not religion. You take the bible as a whole. You read it all and learn from it. “A fool says there’s no God” also written “for us to renew the spirit of our mind” “to put off the oldman”(oldways). Through faith it’s possible. God’s ways and thoughts our not ours. He has the final say. We can debate it all we want. We can’t bend his ways, his commands. Through Jesus we have a chance and God’s spirit to help us please our Heavenly Father. The spirit of God is our comforter and counselor. Faith

  • Jamie Heintz

    All other discussions aside, I think that what this demonstrates is that these social issue campaigns where everyone changes their facebook picture are more divisive than unifying. Has anyone’s opinion ever changed because of them? All they accomplish is to highlight the line between opposing views. They do not accomplish any meaningful discussions or create any noticeable change. It just points the spotlight at how our country is becoming polarized and how much we love to disagree with others, but don’t take it well when others disagree with us.

  • Concerned

    Greg above poses some important questions and makes some solid points, and I can’t believe how opponents simply dismiss it outright. This is a big deal, and no one really seems willing to have careful, considerate, thoughtful dialogue. Instead, the “Gay Pride” camp is resorting to IDEOLOGICAL BULLYING and the “Conservative Christian” camp is resorting to DEFENSIVE OVERREACTING. No society in earth’s history to my knowledge has attempted to supplement the natural, biological family with a homosexual prototype family—not even in societies like ancient Sparta, which for a time was virtually 100% homosexual. Wow, then this warrants some careful, prolonged discussion, especially in the absence of substantial, meaningful data. Important aspects of child development arise out of interactions with the parent of each gender. Heterosexual couples who adopt children have at least a semblance of biological parenthood, and even then it can be big deal for an adopted child to learn they are not literal offspring of their mother and father. Many adopting parents wait until children are older and their minds have matured before they help them begin to understand the nature of adoption. Smaller children simply don’t have the mental development to reason through issues like that. They just perceive that people come from a mom and a dad, and they are reassured when they perceive that they do, too. And let’s not even BEGIN to get into hormones, neurotransmitters, oxytocin receptors, DNA, and more. All of this involves hardcore science (e.g. biology, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, etc.), so why is it not allowed into the discussion? Greg is also correct in noting that by redefining marriage (per the definition of “redefining”) you are in essence supplanting the current definition. That’s what gay marriage proponents really want at the end of the day, and that’s why there’s no reasoning with them. The California constitution already guaranteed civil rights to LGBT people long before Prop. 8. The status quo simply held that homosexual civil unions are not the same thing and do not bear the same implications as a potentially fecund heterosexual union. And duh. How has 10 years of internet surfing, tweeting, and emotional overreacting caused virtually half of a society to completely forget about this? No one is in favor of denying civil rights (such as those that were denied to black Americans before the Civil Rights era) to LGBT people, and very few LGBT have even come close to having those rights denied. Yes, society’s attitudes need to be less aggressive towards gays (and by now, towards people of faith, too). Real, mature negotiating involves sitting down and focusing on each party’s needs and desires. It takes logic, consideration, effort, and willingness. What has happened to these time-honored principles? Instead, “positional bargaining” is where two parties establish a “position” and won’t back down from it at all, whether to save face or to be selfish, stubborn, and controlling, and it is SO ineffective and is why we have a world full of hatred, war, and strife. Why is the gay marriage movement so hellbent on bulldozing anyone or anything that stands in its way? Especially when not long ago, they would have gladly seen marriage thrown out the window entirely.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Albright/100001047690991 Michael Albright

      I sincerely hate the “redefining marriage” argument. Arguably technically true, but nobody has ever been able to explain how marriage would actually change or how it would be incompatible with same-sex (or group marriages, for that matter) without the narrow and relatively new “one man and one woman” phrasing. Nor has it ever been demonstrated to anything close to my satisfaction why I ought to care about the integrity of a word’s definition over social justice, the protection of a disenfranchised minority or the stability of unorthodox families.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294909535 Curtis J. Ver Mehren

    No true Christian supports homosexual rights or abortion. If they do, they are either stupid and misunderstand the basics of the faith, or are lying by claiming one or the other. There is no middle ground.
    And, if you progressives would please stop running this country into the ground with your wondrously expensive ‘social programs’ that suck the money out of our economy and throw it at profitless pits, we Americans who still understand reality would greatly appreciate it.

    • Richter_DL

      True Christians read Rand? Awesome. Way to twist your religion into something horrible. Or do you just take offense in the lesser races forgetting their place and don’t have the guts to say this out loud, like so many of your type?

  • kaiya_ann

    I have a bunch of new pictures now. Some I’d never even seen before.

  • Lori

    I believe I will repurpose the image that depicts baby footprints in an equal sign to signify equal rights for the parents of all children. If you are really in support of children and their well-being, having people who love them regardless of their sexual orientation, race, etc. nurture and raise them would only make sense. <3

  • Peter Kent

    It is amazing how ignorant you all are, this argument is not about “equality”, it’s about allowing something completely against God and something that’s unnatural.

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

      1) Against God? Prove God exists, you’re following the right one, God really truly does hate homosexuality, etc … all the standard things religions have to do.

      2) Unnatural how? Homosexuality has been observed in wolves, deer, penguins, many other birds, bonobos, and humans among other species. Homosexual swans, penguins, and boobies form permanent pair bonds and raise chicks together. Besides, even if it was “unnatural”, so what? I’m wearing clothing made partly from polyester, typing on a computer, drinking iced tea (refrigerated!) in a plastic cup. There’s not a whole lot I do that could be considered “natural” in the sense of “found in nature”. Having sex with another woman is more natural than the shirt I’m wearing!

      • Michael Bay

        Okay, let’s forget about religion, God, and laws and pretend that humans
        are all animal-like creatures inhabiting the earth. STILL the only way
        for reproduction is with male and female creatures together, further
        proving that homosexuality is unnatural. Love is love and perversion
        is perversion. No animal mammal, or bird can reproduce without a male and female together. Just because two animals raise a young together doesn’t make them homosexual.

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

        People have sex for lots of reasons other than making babies. I have heterosexual sex using contraception designed to make sure I don’t have babies, because sex can be an expression of love, a fun pastime, a crazy endorphin high, a challenge, an art form, or all of the above.

        Gay people can and do reproduce. They also adopt children whose parents didn’t want them or couldn’t afford to keep them or were such shitty parents the children were better off without them. As long as 90%+ of the population is heterosexual, I wouldn’t worry about us killing ourselves off by not reproducing enough. There’s 7 billion of us already and the population is still expanding. It’s a stupid worry and a stupid argument.

        Why is any kind of consensual sex a perversion? What does that even mean? Usually a perversion is defined as something that’s against God or nature, but since homosexual sex isn’t either of those things, by what definition can you call it perverse? Are you really suggesting gay people can’t love their partners? That’s what it looks like, but that’s such a bigoted, immoral, immeasurably stupid and wrong thing to say that I must be misreading you.

      • Hal Jordan

        Some people are literally too stupid.

      • Rosa

        are you trying to argue that reproduction is the only kind of love? Or that reproduction is the only purpose of marriage?

    • Anat

      Posting on the internet is unnatural. Maybe we should outlaw that?

      And since when does your god (or any other one) have a say in what laws a constitutional state legislates?

  • Michael Bay

    Okay, let’s forget about religion, God, and laws and pretend that humans are all animal-like creatures inhabiting the earth. STILL the only way for reproduction is with male and female creatures together, further proving that homosexuality is an unnatural. Love is love and perversion is perversion.

    • Hal Jordan

      Typo: -is unnatural-

    • Mogg

      Damn, I’d better not ever hug my mother then, it’s perverted!

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

      Oh hey, you moved your reply. Copy/paste time!

      People have sex for lots of reasons other than making babies. I have heterosexual sex using contraception designed to make sure I don’t have babies, because sex can be an expression of love, a fun pastime, a crazy endorphin high, a challenge, an art form, or all of the above.

      Gay people can and do reproduce. They also adopt children whose parents didn’t want them or couldn’t afford to keep them or were such shitty parents the children were better off without them. As long as 90%+ of the population is heterosexual, I wouldn’t worry about us killing ourselves off by not reproducing enough. There’s 7 billion of us already and the population is still expanding. It’s a stupid worry and a stupid argument.

      Why is any kind of consensual sex a perversion? What does that even mean? Usually a perversion is defined as something that’s against God or nature, but since homosexual sex isn’t either of those things, by what definition can you call it perverse? Are you really suggesting gay people can’t love their partners? That’s what it looks like, but that’s such a bigoted, immoral, immeasurably stupid and wrong thing to say that I must be misreading you

    • Anat

      …. and bigotry is bigotry. What do I win for adding a tautology to your list?

  • bobthechef

    Actually, accepting gay marriage does change the definition of marriage. Yes, you’re not banning heterosexual marriage (redundant), but extending the definition does change it. That’s just Basic Human Reasoning 101, you sophist. If I say “kangaroos are now reptiles”, it changes the definition of what it means to be a mammal and what it means to be a reptile even though we still hold that cats and dogs are mammals and iguanas and snakes are reptiles.

    I’m sorry if this rather obvious truth is over your head.


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