Same Sex Marriage Reached A Crescendo In The Courts

In the heady times following the Massuchusettes ruling allowing same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage activists thought the corner had been turned for their cause.  They were very much mistaken though.  The latest blow to their cause came this week when the New York courts ruled that there is not a fundamental right to same-sex marriage.  This is especially troubling for same-sex marriage advocates, because New York is a deep-blue state and the courts there are seen as “progressive.”

The New York case results from suit brought by 44 couples denied marriage licenses in various municipalities in New York.  The plaintiffs brought suit claiming that the failure to issue a marriage license to them to marry another of the same gender violated the due process clause and equal protection clause of the New York Constitution.  The clauses have been given more expansive readings than similar provisions in the U.S. Consitution, which is part of the reason suit was brought.  The New York High Court, joining Arizona, New Jersey and Indiana, rejected the claim.

At the time of this writing, twenty states have constitutional amendments explicitly barring the recognition of same-sex marriage, confining civil marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. Forty-three states have statutes defining marriage to two persons of the opposite-sex.  Most of the constitutional amendments have been in reaction to the Massachusettes decision.  This comports with public opinion polls reflecting roughly 60-40 against recognition of same-sex marriages.

It appears that the courts will let this play out in the state legislatures from coast to coast.  I agree with the courts.  If one looks at traditional due process rights, the right to marry is fundamental.  The right to same-sex marriage is not, as even those legal scholars in favor of gay marriage will admit .  If the activists want to obtain same-sex marriage rights for same-sex couples then they must win over the public, rather than try to force feed them. 

There is only one other state in the country that might allow same-sex marriage.  The battle in the courts is largely over.  The activists jumped the gun.  As a result of running to the courts instead of winning over the public, same-sex advocates face nearly insurmountable hurdles to achieve their desired goals.  This result is a direct outccome of a belief that it is an “us against them fight”  mentality.  So much for we will break the door down tactics.

377 thoughts on “Same Sex Marriage Reached A Crescendo In The Courts

  1. Justin: Unlike the liberals on this board, I want for all children – black, white, and in-between – to be raised by their biological parents. And it is certainly a momentous goal for people who actually care about the wellbeing of children.

    Where is your evidence that “traditional marraige” contributes more to the well-being of children than non-traditional parental relationships? The only argument that you could put forward that would make an ounce of sense is the documented fact that children raised in single-parent homes don’t generally do as well as those raised in homes with two parents. Gender or marraige, then, are hardly factors. Marraige is nothing but a social construct; love and care for one’s children is not.

    Unless you can convincingly demonstrate otherwise (here’s a hint: by “convincingly” I don’t mean the emotional hysteria and lack of hard evidence put forward by “pro-family” outfits), I have no choice but to conclude that your arguments stem not from documented evidence but rather from religious and/or “moral” prejudice.

  2. Justin: Shelley, I have a suspicion that in your googling you selectively visited gay and liberal websites and avoided websites that were Christian or conservative

    Okay, this comment actually made me laugh out loud.

  3. Sadie, the fact that single motherhood and divorce is destructive to children has been well documented for more than 40 years. You may want to do more digging than checking out a wiki article whose neutrality is disputed. I’ve published links earlier in the thread, but since they were not checked, perhaps I should be more explicit.

    The first person to really pay attention to family was a Democrat – the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. When he worked for the Department of Labor they kept unemployment statistics. In the 1950’s out of wedlock childbirths were correlated to unemployment. But in the 1960’s the statistics suddenly changed and the correlation stopped. This is the Moynihan Scissors:

    3moynihanscissors.jpg

    Another early piece of data was that the famous 1964 Civil Rights Acts had a clause requiring a study on black schooling. The theory was that black schools were worse than white schools, and this caused poverty. The famous sociologist James Coleman was put in charge of this study and to his surprise, he found that school played only a minor role. The primary cause of poverty was the breakdown of the family. Moynihan released a report about this in 1965 and was pilloried by the left and called a racist. Kill the messenger because you don’t like the message; poverty is caused by the breakdown of the married, two-parent family. After words the left went into denial mode.

    No one really studied the link between marriage and poverty because the no one wanted to find out the truth. A few conservatives like Charles Murray and Thomas Sowell raised the issue but they were attacked or ignored. It was only when the Sara MacLanahan, a sociologist with strong left-wing bona fides, published Growing Up With a Single Parent that the left wing community started to come around. William Julius Wilson tried to stem the tide with his theory that the loss of manufacturing jobs in the city resulted in increasing out of wedlock childbirths among blacks who no longer had the economic means to marry, but this objection has not been sustained because immigrants – including African immigrants – have found ample work in the same cities in which blacks have foundered. IT has also been challenged by studies showing that most out of wedlock childbirths occur to women who have employed boyfriends – it is just that the relationship dissolves in the future.

    Nowadays no one on the left will try to challenge the theory on marriage and poverty, but they don’t really have a lot of energy to actually fight for marriage.

    Further reading:
    Dan Quayle Was Right a reprint of a long article published in the lefty magazine, the Atlantic Monthly. It is a pretty comprehensive survey of the research for the last 30 years.
    How Welfare Reform Worked Another survey of the research with an emphasis documenting the predictions of lefty sociologists in 1996 compared to the actual results (which were generally positive).
    Marriage and Caste. There are two America. The richest fifth have 92% of their children raised by their parents, but only 22% of the poorest children are raised by both parents.
    Why We Don’t Marry an article by sociologist James Wilson. Makes a lot of points, such as the fact that welfare benefits have kept up with inflation if you include the benefits from public housing, food stamps, and Medicaid.

  4. Marraige is nothing but a social construct;

    And therein lies the rub.  My dear Sadie, if you wish to deconstruct this construct, the burden lies with you, not with poor ol’ Justin.  Justin’s commonsense is telling him that there will be differences that result from the lack of a father or mother in homosexual home.  Even the expert’s agree that there is: 

    “It doesn’t make sense to claim that there are no differences based on the research that’s been done so far,” said Dr. Judith Stacey, a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California and the lead author of the paper, which appeared in The American Sociological Review.

    Well of course it doesn’t make sense to claim. That is what makes it so incredibly difficult to believe that there wouldn’t be.  That is what has Justin and Darryl so uptight.  So what are the differences?

    Well, for the longest time we have heard, and do hear, being gay won’t rub off on you or your kids.  It’s a nice play on an old saw.  Kudos for the PR campaign with it.  When it comes to raising children though, even the experts recognize and minimize what they see as “political” differences by the fact that it does seem to rub off:

    “We recognize the political dangers of pointing out that recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of children with lesbigay parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity,”

    Interesting data.  Either their are serious methodological flaws with the study, or the gay community is dead wrong on its premise that homosexual behavior is not a lifestyle choice that is not environmentally fostered. 

    In addition, when looking at children raised in lesbian households, lacking a father figure, the male children are less masculine in their behavior, while the females are more masculine. Surprising?  Of course not.  It is exactly what was expected and what would be predicted.

    Further, the high promiscuity rates of the parents have translated into high promiscuity rates of the children.  Surprising?  Again, no.  Without commenting on whether this is turning children into sluts or sexually empowering them, it is sufficient to say that a whole host of behavior is learned from parents, healthy and unhealthy.  This is yet another example of that.

    Commonsense says there will be differences.  There are differences.  There are likely to be even more differences as the longitudal studies with wider samplings come forth.  Darryl and Justin, in unpolished fashion point out that they see a whole host of possible problems.  Those possible problems are not illusory, as the expert’s point out.

    The question is not, does a household lacking a mom and/ or a dad (since even homosexuals themselves admit that taking on the traditional role of a male role model is at odds with their typical role within the homosexual community) hurt the children.  The question is:  Are their any studies that show tangible benefits to children by allowing adoption by same-sex couples.  I know of none.

  5. I can’t think of a single study that shows there are benefits to children adopted by same-sex couples versus oppossing sex couples.  I guess because the studies I have heard of were trying to see if there were any downsides to children growing up in same-sex households.  And a study done in Canada found that there was no conclusive evidence to support the theory that children growing up in a same-sex household were any worse off than a child that did not.  The study below actually shows that if same-sex couples were allowed to marry, children would be at an advantage.
    From Census 2000

    This study shows that children of same-sex couple do fine.

    This study also suggests that commone stereotypes are not supported by the data.

  6. There are a lot of factors all tangled up in this discussion: the practicality of the gay legal strategy, duelling studies, Wikipedia vs. JAMA, and frankly, a refusal to imagine how the world could still go round if people stood on it differently.

    Consider: whatever their percentage, gays who want to marry constitute a self-selected group of people who are trying to effect stable partnerships.  That’s good for them, and it’s good for society too.  If they are raising children, it’s good for those children.  And there are huge numbers of us who seem to want to stop them.

    Will gay couples succeed?  Some will, some won’t, just like heterosexual couples.  But any study of gay couples in the US must take into account the tremendous social forces against those couples.  If they succeed in the face of such odds, it is to their credit, and constututes a case study in the possibility of others’ success.

    There are other countries that have allowed gay marriage for quite some time now.  Shouldn’t they be all smoking holes in the ground by now, ridden with every conceivable social ill predicted by the opponents of gay marriage?  If gay marriage is an experiment, it’s fared about ‘even’ in places where it’s been tried.

    As for the putative low value on marriage in the gay community, is that any surprise?  Given the hostility of some people, it’s a wonder any gays want to marry at all.  For me this is simply a moral issue, a civil rights issue.  I want no part of singling out a minority of free people and saying; “you cannot marry”.  We allow prisoners to marry, the mentally retarded, physically handicapped, uneducated, the drug-addicted.  Hell, we let Tom Cruise marry.  OK, bad example…

    The “please think of the children!” objection is nonsense.  Unless you just can’t stand the thought of one man giving another a kiss before he goes off to work, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a real reason why they couldn’t give a child a hug and send them off to school.  It’s just a simple, human thing.

  7. Thanks DOF for that insightful comment.  The only real objection people have to gay marriage, is that they are afraid of change, or have a some religious teaching against it.  There is no other reason to object to gay marriage.  Justin can make claim to whatever he wants, but he has a religious objection, and is finding whatever he can to support what his faith has taught him.

  8. Consi: My dear Sadie, if you wish to deconstruct this construct, the burden lies with you, not with poor ol’ Justin.  Justin’s commonsense is telling him that there will be differences that result from the lack of a father or mother in homosexual home.

    You, Justin, and Daryl are free to believe that marraige is divinely inspired. However, the fact remains that as long as we are here on Earth, marraige is a social contract arbitrated by and for humans. In some societies polygamy is the norm; in others, polyandry. India has practiced the institution of arranged marraige for centuries. Why should gay marraige be considered so repellent? Because its participants are of the same gender? I personally have yet to hear a single decent, compelling argument against gay marraige.

  9. Daryl: Nothing resembling science has come from the APA in the past 20 years or so.

    Okay, Daryl, we know how you feel about biological science and, as such, you’re probably equally wary of psychology. What would you think if the testimony came from the very ones you and Justin purport to care so very deeply about, the children themselves? Mind you, this is just one of the many studies (most of them peer-reviewed) that effectively puts to rest the notion that gay parenting is somehow more harmful to children than traditional parenting.

    Here’s a hypothetical question: suppose that it was determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that gay parenting is actually better for children than any traditional methods. Would you still oppose it? If so, don’t you care about “the children?”

  10. Shelley, I have a suspicion that in your googling you selectively visited gay and liberal websites and avoided websites that were Christian or conservative. A trip to PubMed (an online database of peer reviewed studies) shows:

    Let me begin by telling you that your source article is from the journal Psychological Reports: In terms of credibility in the psychological sciences it is on the very lowest end. It has a very high acceptance rate (meaning that the article you referenced was very likely rejected by more credible journals). No one who has convincing ‘goods’ publishes there. You’ll need to do much better than that in your search for evidence.

    Second, I’d want you to know that I don’t google for this kind of information. Any reference that I don’t know off the top of my head I call up on PsychINFO—that’s the American Psychological Association’s index of psychological publications. It is by subscription only, but you can access it on any campus if you want to do some real research.

    Maybe it’s not you, but I thought you all were saying it was a hormone deficiency that resulted in homosexuality because the older brothers got all the goodies?

    No, it isn’t because older brothers get all the goodies—it is most likely because younger brothers get some extra goodies that don’t belong to them.

    That aside, females, from humans to chimps, are just as driven by the desire to get laid. They are more discrete about it though.

    Sorry, consigliere—it just ain’t so. The definitive word on the topic is that across multiple measures and studies, men have more frequent and intense desire for sex than women. There’s an outstanding review article on the subject. See: Is there a gender difference in strength of sex drive? Theoretical views, conceptual distinctions, and a review of relevent evidence. By Baumeister, Catanese, & Vohs (2001) in Personality and Social Psychology Review. 5(3), 242-273.

    As an aside, you shouldn’t confuse appetite with enjoyment—men may eat more, but women enjoy food just as much wink 

    But do most same-sex couples accept the norm of sexual exclusivity? In a 1999 survey of such couples in Massachusetts, sociologist Gretchen Stiers found that only 10 percent of the men and 32 percent of the women thought that a “committed

  11. Nothing resembling science has come from the APA in the past 20 years or so.

    Well, that’s a vast overgeneralization, wouldn’t you say? Yup. There’s been some work that is absolute crap (Justin’s Psychological Reports being a case in point). But of course, this is the case in virtually

    all

    disciplines. Caveat emptor.

    That’s why it is well worth having a strong background in statistics and research methods if you’re going to try to evaluate this stuff. wink

  12. Shelley:

    I’ve not suggested increased homosexual activity in children from lesbian homes; the studies confirmed it.  One of the articles I’ve cited to and the one I believe you want is :  Judith Stacey & Timothy Biblarz, “(How) does the sexual orientation of parents matter?” American Sociological Review, 2001-APR

    I truly wish I could find the prior thread here on SEB in which SS, Elwed, GM, zilch and myself previously had a similar discussion. Most of the literature is cited in that thread already, if I recall correctly.  If anybody locates that thread, please let me know. 

    Sadie:

    And you are free to make assumptions.  When you do, expect those assumptions to be wrong.  As in here:

    You, Justin, and Daryl are free to believe that marraige is divinely inspired.

    As to the social contract, you are right and I agree.  My point for starting this thread was to tell my friend before you go deconstructing long-standing constructs, better make sure the society sanctioning that social contract is on board.  As we know now, at the current time it is not.

  13. Apart from ‘Think of the children!’ what exactly are Justin’s and Daryl’s objection to a legal gay partnership?  I would hazard a guess most gay couples do not have children.  Gays are an attractive customer base because they lack children so have more disposable income.

  14. According to Justin:

    We already know what happens when you introduce non-biological guardians into the family: increased rates of poverty, domestic violence, child abuse (physical and sexual), bad grades, dropping out of school, suicide, and low self-esteem. (Some reading available here).

    And according to his link:

    Filed by: Justin on May 24, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

    If I were in charge of the GOP, I would play the “marriage and poverty

  15. Consigliere wrote [concerning number of gay marriages in Mass during first year that gay marriage was available]:

    The percentage of gays married in the first year. 1.8%.

    This isolated figure, even if it were accurate, is a totally useless statistic.  What was the percentage of straight people in Mass that got married during the same time period?  What is the trend? What was the age distribution?  There are a number of gay couples that are in the closet (including military members).  What percentage of gay adults in commited relationships are not “out” enough that they would get married?  What are the other social factors that would not affect the straight marriage rate but would affect the gay marriage rate?

  16. On the “children of homosexual parents are more likely to be homosexual” point, two thoughts, completely unresearched and off the top of my head.

    1 – Even if the percentage of children with homosexual leaning were exactly the same in both hetero and homo households, the lack of stigma attached to the behavior in homosexual households would propably lead to more open and honest answers to the question, thus leading to a difference in the results of such a survey.

    2 – Even if such an assumption is true, SO FUCKING WHAT? That it’s even being discussed is offensive as far as I’m concerned. It implies that homosexual behavior is a problem or a fault. Utter bullshit.

    You know, children raised in Christian households are more likely to become Christians. That’s a much more frightening problem.

  17. KPG: 2 – Even if such an assumption is true, SO FUCKING WHAT? That it’s even being discussed is offensive as far as I’m concerned. It implies that homosexual behavior is a problem or a fault. Utter bullshit.

    Very well put, KPG. I’ve missed you, man! smile

  18. Very well put, KPG. I’ve missed you, man!

    Thank you, darling.

    I’ve actually been around, just haven’t been posting. Haven’t had much to say, if you can imagine that……

  19. That it’s even being discussed is offensive as far as I’m concerned. It implies that homosexual behavior is a problem

    When we examine mental health issues we find that there are higher incidents of mental health issues in the homosexual population.

    We found high rates of planned and actual deliberate self-harm and high levels of psychiatric morbidity as defined by CIS–R score among gay men (42%), lesbians (43%) and bisexual men and women (49%) compared with previous community surveys of (predominantly) heterosexual people. Meltzer et al (1995) and Singleton et al (2000) reported prevalence rates of mental disorder (defined by CIS–R score) of approximately 12% in men and 20% in women. The disparity between previous studies and our sample suggests higher psychiatric morbidity in the gay, lesbian and bisexual population. Alternatively, the higher rates of mental disorder in this survey might be due to differences in recruitment methods or biases inherent in snowball sampling (see below).

    “Rates and predictors of mental illness in gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women,” The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004)185: 479-485.

    This should not be surprising to anyone in the gay community.  In fact, at a national lgbt gathering
    in Washington D.C., in 2000 a survey was done which indicated that depression and mental health
    was the top concern of lesbian respondents and the second top concern for gay men, AIDS being number one.  A full 75% of of the respondents believe that depression and other mental health issues are more prevalent in the lgbt community than in the general society. KY Brand Liquid Community Health Survey Reveals Top Concerns of Gay Men and Lesbians, Press Release, July 19, 2000, conducted by Bob Josefsberg.  Sadly, the studies back up their intutitive beliefs.

    Utilizing dictionary.com to define “problem,” a “problem” is a “A situation, matter, or person that presents perplexity or difficulty.” An increased incidence of mental health issues is “a situation that presents difficulty.” In study after study, from the U.S. to much more tolerant communities, the results are universal-an increased incidence of mental health issues is correlated with those who practice homosexual behaviors.

    That is not utter bullshit. It is a mental health issue that demands study so we can help those suffering.

  20. Unfortunately, the trend will be to say “no homosexuality”. Normally, I might root for the cause, but it’s hard to be convinced when the strongest proponents of such ideals are Christians. At least here in North America.

    The other thing I notice a lot of statements are missing, something that those who are defending the GBLT community here keep bringing up – cultural context. We’ve spent a goodly part of the last 30 years treating them like social garbage. You’d think that having to be a cultural rebel and having to absorb more of people’s crap might lend itself to any number of unhappy, unsavory, or outright unhealthy things. Especially where mental illness is concerned, states which are not the norm seem well appropriated to those who do not represent the norm.

    I’m sure I’ve got a small stack of em too, and I’m straight as a board.

  21. Consi: It is a mental health issue that demands study so we can help those suffering.

    Preferably by magically ‘turning’ them into straights rather than accepting their differences and helping them accept their differences, yes? LOL
    Yeah, I know …

    It’s not open for debate …

    LOL

  22. That is not utter bullshit. It is a mental health issue that demands study so we can help those suffering.

    Consi, am I wrong to assume you know better than this?  Anyone who is markedly different from the main population will be more apt to experience mental health problems, because people treat them like pariahs. 

    Everyone else gets to enjoy legally defined lifetime partnerships that connect intimacy and sexuality.  Straight people can walk down the street holding their lovers’ hands and other people smile at them. Straight people aren’t presumed to be pedophiles.  ‘Straight’ sex-addicts aren’t held to be representative of all straight people.  Straight people don’t have to go to court to hold on to their own children. 

    Given all that, why wouldn’t gays experience depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness?  But the solution isn’t really all that complicated.

    Want to help gays?  Treat them like human beings.  Stop campaigning to keep them in second-class status.

  23. Me: Now, let’s assume that there’s no rational way to actually prevent children from being raised in other circumstances (if I’m wrong here, please call me on it).

    Justin: Consider yourself called. That is precisely what marriage has historically done, both in our society and in others: it has been the gatekeeper for proper family structure. 

    I´m sorry, I should have been clear in my phrasing. I was trying to point out that, unless you want to massively overhaul the machinery of democracy, you cannot force people to raise children in the conservative ideal. Your argument is circular Justin; all you´re saying is that putting people in situation A puts them in situation A.

  24. So, Consi, just for the sake of argument, why don’t you tell us exactly what we *do* need to do to get people like you “on board.”  Send you flowers?  Point out the facts on homosexuality?  Show you devoted gay couples who are excellent parents?  ‘Cause none of that seems to be working.

    I’d really like to know, because personally, I don’t think it’ll ever work.  We still have racists in the population, decades after the laws changed, and I seriously doubt they would have been “brought on board” by pandering to their prejudices ahead of time.

    Studies show that the younger generations are a lot more accepting of homosexuality, though.  Maybe we just have to wait for enough of the “not-on-board” people to die out for justice to be enacted.

  25. Amen GM. This is a losing battle for conservatives- just like every other battle based on prejudice they´ve ever fought. The only question is how much longer the embarrassing specatacle can drag on.

  26. When we examine mental health issues we find that there are higher incidents of mental health issues in the homosexual population.

    They have “issues” because they have to spend their whole lives listening to fuckers like you saying there’s something wrong with them.

    Stop being part of the problem.

  27. I’ve not suggested increased homosexual activity in children from lesbian homes; the studies confirmed it.  One of the articles I’ve cited to and the one I believe you want is :  Judith Stacey & Timothy Biblarz, “(How) does the sexual orientation of parents matter?

  28. Consi: When we examine mental health issues we find that there are higher incidents of mental health issues in the homosexual population.

    Oh, so that proves that there’s something “wrong” with homosexuality. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that gays are still discriminated against and looked down upon on a disturbingly wide scale.  hmmm

  29. I posted a response to you GM, but it has apparently been lost in the Internet Bermuda Triangle.  I will try again later.

  30. I have noticed a similar problem as well.  I think the reason your message got lost consi is because you let it sit for to long with no action.  The same thing happened to me twice and both times my comment sat for at least 10 minutes, then I posted it and nothing appeared.  Try typing your posts up in notepad, then pasting them in.

  31. There does appear to be something about the way ExpressionEngine handles things that if your comment or entry takes a long time to write it’ll end up being eaten instead of posted. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what’s going for awhile now as it has happened to me on occasion. I think it may be related to some of the anti-comment spam features, but I’m not sure.

    Anyway, the work around I’ve been using is pressing CTRL-A and CTRL-C to highlight all the text and copy it to the clipboard before I hit submit, just in case.

  32. I’ve noticed that when my posts get eaten, it usually happens that someone else has posted while I’ve been typing, but that could just be coincidence.

  33. Well, for the longest time we have heard, and do hear, being gay won’t rub off on you or your kids.  It’s a nice play on an old saw.  Kudos for the PR campaign with it.  When it comes to raising children though, even the experts recognize and minimize what they see as “political

  34. Sorry KPG, you posted exactly the same view (which I was too impatient to read my way through to), and with less typos too. wink

    Shouldn’t do SEB as bedtime reading. But when else do I have the time…

  35. “We recognize the political dangers of pointing out that recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of children with lesbigay parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity,

  36. From what I have read (from having children) the biggest problem that psychologists forsee with ‘non-traditional’ households (inc single mothers) comes not from the sexual orientation of the parents, but from the lack of positive male role models for boys.

    Our (ie mens) bodies are evolved for societies different to today, where aggressive behaviour is needed on the hunt etc. Boys need to learn that their natural instincts to dominate women are not suitable for modern society.  A number of commentators in the field point out that now many boys do not see any positive role models- their primary school teachers are probably all female, and if dad is absent they probably spend a lot of time with mum/mums freinds, none of whom can prepare him for the testosterone. Small boys love spending time with their dads, you get to do ‘man things’- mine is an electrical engineer, so at the age of 8 I got to play with oscilloscopes and learnt to weld (badly).  My eldest (10) loves joining in on my hobby (wargaming) or helping with DIY.

    It is not the sexuality of the parent, but whether they can guide the child to ‘fit his shape’.

  37. Consigliere,

    Recall that in the 1960’s, public opinion was agaist laws concerning equality for non-white races, but our government pushed Civil Rights legislation, not because minorities had “won over the public”, but because it was the right thing to do.

    Similarly, in the 1950’s with miscegenation laws.  In our Republic, the rights of the minority should not be at the whim of the majority.  We should not have to ‘win over’ anyone to have equality.

  38. Joining this thread rather late, I know. 

    You know, children raised in Christian households are more likely to become Christians. That’s a much more frightening problem.

    Amen, KPG.  Perhaps Christians should be forbidden to marry, especially since they’re more likely to divorce than agnostics or atheists, according to a study by the Barna Group, led by George Barna, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian:

    11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
    25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
    Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significently higher than for other faith groups, and for Atheists and Agnostics.

    If the point of not allowing gays to marry is their alleged bad influence on children, then why should, say, Pentecostals be allowed to marry?  I say, allow no one to marry but atheists.

    Ulfrekr: you said it.
    Consi: I think the SEB thread you want is this one by ingolfson.  What you basically said there is that being gay is bad and should be cured or abjured.  Read it again and see if you still stand behind it.

  39. Thanks for that link Zilch and a belated ‘bravo’ to Ulfrekr – great post, as is the one above.

    Consi: That is not utter bullshit. It is a mental health issue that demands study so we can help those suffering.

    Obviously you you still believe the same stuff you posted here.

    Consi – 12/25/04: If being gay was an inherent trait I might be inclined to be moved.  However, unlike the color of the pigmentation in one’s skin, it is a choice.  We know this because of science.  Science has looked and found no “gay

  40. Consi, the real argument is whether or not homosexuality is part of the human condition or as Jon Stewart would say, “A fad.”  But the science actually contradicts what you say.  In every species ever tested by science, homosexual species have been found.  So if God really is against homosexuality, why did he make every species imperfect?

  41. A few details before I get to the response GM

    1) Les-The lost post has to do with timing.  I was working on the post on and off for about 2 hours.  I know better than to not copy and save a long post before hitting submit on any site.

    2) zilch-Thank you for the link. I think my position is largely the same.  At the same time, I’d say personally, although it may not appear that way, that I’m more open to seeing how the marriage issue plays out in Massachusetts with long-term studies being done.  If it turns out that the increased mental health issues within the homosexual community are related to cultural issues rather than sexual identity, then I may have to say let everybody do their own thing.

    3) GM:

    I must have missed the flowers.  I like flowers too, esepecially orchids.

    I spent a considerable amount of time on the last post and lost it.  Consequently, I was pissed about losing it and the time it took to write.  I will often double check links and do some research to respond to a post, but it is rare for me to spend that much time on one post writing and rewriting sentences. 

    Let me say publicly that I have a great deal of respect for you.  You are someone who is intelligent, has a wonderful sense of humor exhibited by your feeding of a jackass, and best of all, you have a big heart.  The combination is priceless.  So, I have come back to retype the post because you are worth the time and effort to respond to in a meaningful way.

    My initial post that was lost was painstakingly detailed and organized with headings, subheadings, etc.  It really missed the point though.  You are far too bright to ever need my help setting forth the other side of the discussion.  You are more than capable of thinking that through on your own.  After pondering that fact, I’ve scratched the long detailed post about this issue specifically.

    My suggestions about how to get people on board are simple: Don’t demonize, acknowledge legitimate concerns, address those concerns and send flowers. 

    a) Don’t hit people with sticks:  When one starts a converstation by saying you are a no good yellow-bellied polecat (or bigot), it is putting the wrong foot forward.  That is true, even if the individual is a no good yellow-bellied polecat (or a bigot, or fugly).  The only thing it does is harden positions and piss off people.  Don’t hit people with sticks by demonizing them.  (I know physician heal thyself)

    The same principle applies to end runs around the public.  It only inspires backlash.  Going to court is the equivalent of throwing a punch.  If you want a fight with very few rules, go to court.  If you want to get people on board, stay out of court. 

    b) Acknowledge their concerns: There are legitimate concerns about which reasonable minds can differ at this time.  There may come a time when their is not, but acknowledgement of the other sides concerns, no matter the issue, helps, rather than hurts your cause.

    Minimizing what is being proposed in societal recognition of homosexual marriages is disingenuous.  It is a monumental change the likes of which mixed race marriage recognition doesn’t even begin to compare. No society that I know of has ever done this until very recently in human history.  I repeat, nobody has ever done this before.  Coupled with that, some on one side are advocating the Burger King approach to marriage. (Have it your way)  That is hardly reassuring for those with real concerns about the total deconstruction of a very effective social construct that has been in place for thousands of years. 

    c) Address the concerns: Long-term studies done by those who don’t have a vested interest in the outcomes with strict methodologies that support your position would go a long way towards validating your point.  Kicking the Burger King advocates (like yourself) to curb, or at the very least, getting distance from them would help.

    d) Send Flowers:  I know you meant this in the sharpest sarcastic way possible.  I don’t and you shouldn’t.  I don’t need to explain why, which is why I like you. smile

  42. As an additional update:

    Supporters of banning gay marriage won two major court rulings Friday, with a federal appeals court reinstating Nebraska’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage and the Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that voters should have a say on the issue.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13859516

    Nebraska’s ban is a constitutional amendment that passed with over 70% of the vote.  I expect now that TN voters are faced with the issue of amending their constitution it will pass by the same margins as well. 

    Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday said a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Tennessee may be “overkill,’’ but he nevertheless plans to vote for the measure in this fall’s election.

    Bredesen, a Democrat who’s running for re-election, said he doesn’t expect the gay marriage proposal to have a major effect at the polls.

    “The only question is whether it passes by 85 percent or 95 percent,’’ he said

    Constitutional amendments are very difficult to undo, as is stare decisis.  The costs of the “victory in Boston” are still being tallied.

  43. Some observations on the influence of parents’ sexuality on their childrens’:

    A. The majority of gays have straight parents.

    B. The majority of children of gays are straight.  http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html
    “In all studies, the great majority of offspring of both gay fathers and lesbian mothers described themselves as heterosexual.”

    So, Consi, how exactly does parental orientation influence the childrens’ ….?

  44. If it turns out that the increased mental health issues within the homosexual community are related to cultural issues rather than sexual identity, then I may have to say let everybody do their own thing.

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re saying here, consigliere. Can you clarify it? Mental health issues in the homosexual community (depression; higher rates of suicide and greater use of mental health services) can be explained in several ways:

    -Ongoing social stigma and minority status.

    -Higher than average lifetime rates of victimization (from childhood through adulthood).

    -Higher rates of acceptance of psychological help-seeking (therefore grater willingness to admit to difficulties than in the straight population. (Men who subscribe to traditional gender roles are less likely to seek help when needed).

    All of these explanations have received support in the empirical literature.

    I’m not sure what your explanation is for the increased presence of mental health issues in the homosexual community – do you believe that it is biological??

  45. zilch: Perhaps Christians should be forbidden to marry, especially since they’re more likely to divorce than agnostics or atheists, according to a study by the Barna Group, led by George Barna, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian

    I am feeling rather lazy at the moment, so I will just copy-and-paste what I’ve already posted in another SEB thread.  Executive summary: The Barna Study clearly shows that Chrisitan couples are less likely to get divorced than atheist couples.

    For the record, this study asked people their religion, and whether they had ever been divorced.  They were then shocked, shocked! to find that religious and non-religious people are equally likely to be divorced.  This is often held up as evidence that religion doesn’t make you any less likely to divorce, which is complete hogwash.

    News flash: Religious people are far more likely to get married in the first place.  This is particularly true of the more conservative denominations like Catholics and Evangelicals.  So, even if the same percent of Christians and atheists have been divorced, the fact that Christians are far more likely to marry in the first place means that fewer of their marriages end in divorce.

    In any case, the benchmark study in this area is the City University of New York’s American Religious Identification Study (PDF file here).  For starters, the CUNY survey is almost 15 times as large (Over 50,000 respondents versus 3,800).

    Skip forward to page 27 for the relevant numbers: Amongst adult Catholics, 60% are married while 9% are divorced.  Amongst atheists, just 19% are married while the same 9% are divorced.  The rest is left as an exercise to the reader.

    One added note: Christians are even less likely to divorce if they’re married to another Christian, as opposed to struggling to make a “mixed marriage

  46.   So, even if the same percent of Christians and atheists have been divorced, the fact that Christians are far more likely to marry in the first place means that fewer of their marriages end in divorce.

    Want to make sure I understand the issue you are raising.  If I understand you right, you are saying that zilch is trying pull a switcheroo on us by giving us numbers that are in effect comparing apples and oranges. 

    It appears that you are saying that if we use (let’s use 10 so that this simple farm boy can still use his fingers) 10 atheists and 10 Catholics we may find that 10% of each group has been divorced or 1 from each group.  It also appears that you are alleging that if we dig deeper that we will find that 6 of the Catholics have been married, while only 2 of the atheists have been.  So when we compare numbers, if I understand you properly, the correct comparison is: percentage of each group married and then divorced, rather than just percentage of each group divorced.  Using my fingers here, in the example that would would 50% and 16.66666% respectively. 

    Hmmmm, that looks like a switcheroo all right. 

    Shelley:

    If one views homosexuality as a maladaptive coping mechanism that is a choice, then it would not be surprising at all, in fact it would be expected, that we should find an increased rate of mental health problems within the homosexual community.  We do find such increased rates.

    I don’t take issue that reasonable minds can disagree with the reasons for the higher rates of mental health problems.

  47. Consi: “using my fingers… 16.66666%”

    Consi, too many sigs.  It is difficult to measure a machined block of steel to a precision of one part in ten million, let alone conduct sociological research.  Next time use fewer fingers. /offtopic

    By the way, supposing just for the sake of argument that everyone is born straight and some people just choose to go homo, and further supposing that it causes mental illness, what of it?  Do we require applicants for marriage licenses to prove they are mentally fit?  Many of us would be living in sin were that the case.

    Homosexual behavior has been discovered in nearly every vertebrate species.  Is there something wrong with all those animals?  Are they unhappy because they rubbed up against the ‘wrong’ genitalia?  I suppose real unhappiness requires a religion.

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