Those who fail to learn from history…

Stunningly stupid Christian argument against gay marriage.

Only a True Believer™ would find the following argument against gay marriage reasonable:

Because Gravity and Marriage are exactly alike… except that they’re not. One is a natural law of the universe and the other is a social construct. It doesn’t help that they can’t even describe gravity properly. Gravity only goes in one direction? Since fucking when? It’s not about direction, it’s about mass and attraction. If you are standing on the “bottom” of the Earth then gravity goes “up” towards the center. That’s why you can stand on the “bottom” and not fall off. Not to mention that once you get into space the ideas of “up” and “down” start to lose any real meaning.

It’s always hilarious when the True Believers™ try to use science to make an argument. Invariably they fuck it up pretty badly so that you have to be pretty damn scientifically ignorant to agree with it. Alas, there are a lot of people out there who fall into that category. You’ll know them when you see them. They’ll be nodding along in agreement with this video.

Found over at The Friendly Atheist.

And here I always thought lying was supposed to be a sin.

Pic of Marc Mutty

What's a little dishonesty in the service of God? It's not like God never lied to anyone, right?

Silly me. I was dumb enough to think that Christians actually believed in that Ten Commandments thing they’re always promoting as the Ultimate Guide to Morality that deserves to be emblazoned in court rooms and classrooms everywhere. Much like the fabled “Pirates Code”, it appears they may actually be more guidelines than actual rules. At least when it’s politically expedient.

That’s the lesson I’m picking up on in this news article about a documentary called Question One about the vote to ban gay marriage in Maine back in 2009. It seems the folks making the documentary got permission from both groups that were campaigning for and against the proposal to allow their efforts in pushing their positions to be filmed so long as the film wasn’t released until after the election.  Probably a wise stipulation given the following revelation that was made by Yes on 1 campaign chairman Marc Mutty:

We use a lot of hyperbole and I think that’s always dangerous,” says Mutty during a Yes on 1 strategy session, at the time on leave from his job as public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine.

“You know, we say things like ‘Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!’ ” he continues. “Well, that’s not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t, you know?”

“No,” interjects a woman off-camera. “We don’t say that.”

“Let’s look back at our ads and see what we say,” Mutty persists. “And I think we use hyperbole to the point where, you know, it’s like ‘Geez!’”

In the interests of giving credit where its due, I should point out that Mutty was at least ethical enough to voice concerns over statements in their advertising that were flat-out lies. It’s just a shame his ethics didn’t compel him to actually do more than voice his concerns:

Mutty admitted that what they were doing was the equivalent of slamming people over the head with “a two-by-four with nails sticking out of it,” adding,  “it’s the only thing we’ve got — it’s the only way. That’s the way campaigns work.

In short, we had to lie because we couldn’t pass the legislation if we told the truth. But hey, such moral relativism is easy when you have an all-loving God who’ll forgive you so long as you sincerely repent. I’m sure the Big Guy will understand that this legislation to deny others equal rights was just too important to allow a little thing like honesty to get in the way.

Which isn’t to say that his lack of ethics won’t have some consequences:

Mutty now regrets allowing the filming, worrying that “what impact it will have on my professional life remains to be seen.”

You’ll note that Mutty doesn’t regret the lie. He regrets letting himself be filmed acknowledging the lie. Because it may have an impact — not on his mortal soul mind you — but with his professional life here and now.

But at least those nasty gays won’t be allowed to get all the benefits of being married. That’s something to be proud of, right?

Hat tip to the Box Turtle Bulletin.

I have a bad feeling this article from The Onion of the future will turn out to be all too true.

Sometimes the folks at The Onion really know how to drive a point home. Take, for example, this news item from Decatur, IL in the year 2083:

Future U.S. History Students: ‘It’s Pretty Embarrassing How Long You Guys Took To Legalize Gay Marriage’ | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

The classroom of 15-year-olds at MacArthur High School—all of whom were born in the late 2060s and grew up never questioning the obvious fact that homosexual couples deserve the right to get married—were reportedly “amazed” to learn in their Modern U.S. History: 2081 Edition textbooks that as late as the 2020s, gays and lesbians actually had to fight for the constitutional right to wed.

“Wow, that is nuts,” said student Jeremy Golliver, who claimed he knew gay rights was a struggle “like, a hundred years ago” but didn’t realize it lasted so long. “It’s really embarrassing, when you think about it. Just the fact that people in this century were actually saying things like, ‘No, gays should not be allowed to marry,’ and were getting all up in arms about it, as if homosexuals weren’t full citizens or something. It’s insane.”

“I mean, was everybody just a huge bigot back then or what?” Golliver added.

Think about all the crap from our history that we look back on and are amazed that we, as a nation, ever allowed it to occur. Slavery, forced segregation, Japanese internment camps, etc. and so on. I have no doubts that gays will eventually get the same rights to marriage as everyone else. It’s only a matter of time, but it’d be nice if it were sooner rather than later. As this article points out, it’s already been entirely too long:

“If they thought it was the right thing to do, why didn’t President Clinton or Obama or whoever just say, ‘Hey, discriminating against gay people is wrong, so let’s let them get married’?” said Pete Merriam, 15, who was born in an age with no death penalty and with nationwide approval of a woman’s right to choose. “I get that they wanted to be reelected or whatever, but come on. That is so stupid.”

“And look, our textbooks say civil rights legislation was passed in the 1960s, but then it somehow took another three generations to legalize gay marriage?” added classmate Jennifer Goldberg, laughing. “How does that even make sense? Oh my God, and those civil union things were ridiculous, too. Just let gay people get married already!”

As if this vision of future America weren’t already liberal enough, the closing paragraph cinches it:

After concluding the week’s examination of the history of gay marriage rights, classroom sources in the year 2083 said they would be moving on to the topic of how their grandparents’ generation was too late to do anything about global warming.

Sure, it’s just a bit of parody from some of the finest craftsmen around.

But damned if it doesn’t feel like it’s truer than you’d like it to be.

Some dudes marry dudes. Get over it. – FCKH8

Lots of F-bombs in this video, but it’s a message worth hearing just the same. Definitely NSFW or the homophobic:

Don’t know too much about the group behind this yet, but I’m intrigued. You can check them out at their site:  FCKH8.

A Moral Crossroads for Conservatives

Just read a great article here: A Moral Crossroads For Conservatives – National Journal Magazine

“Here’s the key principle,” Peter Sprigg, a gay-marriage opponent with the Family Research Council, said in an April radio interview on Southern California’s KCRW. “Society gives benefits to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. And therefore the burden of proof has to be on the advocates of same-sex marriage to demonstrate that homosexual relationships benefit society. Not just benefit the individuals who participate but benefit society in the same way and to the same degree that heterosexual marriage does. And that’s a burden that I don’t think they can meet.”

Can’t they?

* * *

Having just been told, at 3 a.m., that his partner of three decades might die within hours, Mike Brittenback was told something else: Before rushing to Bill’s side, he needed to collect and bring with him documents proving his medical power of attorney. This indignity, unheard-of in the world of heterosexual marriage, is a commonplace of American gay life.

Couple of thoughts from the article:

National Review has a cover story this month by Maggie Gallagher, a prominent anti-gay-marriage activist, subtitled: “Why Gay Marriage Isn’t Inevitable.” She is right, in a sense. Most states explicitly ban same-sex marriage, often by constitutional amendment, and the country remains deeply divided. The national argument over marriage’s meaning will go on for years to come.

In another sense, however, she is wrong. Never again will America not have gay marriage, and never again will less than a majority favor some kind of legal and social recognition for same-sex couples. The genie that gay-marriage opponents still hope to stuff back into the bottle is out and out for good.

The story that the author, Jonathan Rauch, writes about his cousin, Bill, and partner, Mike, hits like a pallet of bricks in the abdomen. Please read the whole article and see why the genie is out of the bottle.

Judge asks Prop 8 lawyer to explain what threat gay marriage poses to conventional marriage.

I’m definitely liking the way the trial in California to determine the constitutionality of the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage is going. It seems the judge is challenging the Prop 8 lawyer to define the harm from gays getting married:

The unusual exchange between U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the group that sponsored Proposition 8, came during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the measure as discriminatory under the U.S. Constitution.

Cooper had asked Walker to throw out the suit or make it more difficult for those civil rights claims to prevail.

The judge not only refused but signaled that when the case goes to trial in January, he expects Cooper and his legal team to present evidence showing that male-female marriages would be undermined if same-sex marriages were legal.

The question is relevant to the assertion that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the states goal of fostering “naturally procreative relationships,” Walker explained.

“What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?” Walker asked.

“My answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know,” Cooper answered.

Ooooo, bad answer! That one had to hurt.

But don’t count the Prop 8 folks out just yet. The lawyer managed to recover enough to offer the following justification for the ban:

Moment later, after assuring the judge his response did not mean Proposition 8 was doomed to be struck down, Cooper tried to clarify his position. The relevant question was not whether there is proof that same-sex unions jeopardize marriages between men and women, but whether “the state is entitled, when dealing with radical proposals to make changes to bedrock institutions such as this … to take a wait and see attitude,” he said.

“There are things we can’t know, that’s my point,” Cooper said. “The people of California are entitled to step back and let the experiment unfold in Massachusetts and other places, to see whether our concerns about the health of marital unions have either been confirmed or perhaps they have been completely assuaged.”

In other words, the majority should have the option of suppressing your civil rights until such time that they feel other people someplace else have established there’s no harm in letting you have them.

Yeah, the Judge wasn’t having any of that:

Walker pressed on, asking again for specific “adverse consequences” that could follow expanding marriage to include same-sex couples. Cooper cited a study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, showing that straight couples were increasingly opting to become domestic partners instead of getting married.

“Has that been harmful to children in the Netherlands? What is the adverse effect?” Walker asked.

Cooper said he did not have the facts at hand.

Again he comes up short and, yet again, he manages to rally:

“But it is not self-evident that there is no chance of any harm, and the people of California are entitled not to take the risk,” he said.

“Since when do Constitutional rights rest on the proof of no harm?” Walker parried, adding the First Amendment right to free speech protects activities that many find offensive, “but we tolerate those in a free society

I like this judge. I like him a lot. I’ve been waiting for someone to make that argument for years. I wasn’t particularly optimistic that a challenged to Prop 8’s constitutionality would have a snowball’s chance in Hell of working, but suddenly the odds seem a lot better. The judge goes on to give even more reason to be optimistic:

Walker made clear that he wants to examine other issues that are part of the political rhetoric surrounding same-sex marriage but rarely surface in courtrooms. Among the questions he plans to entertain at the trial are whether sexual orientation is a fixed or immutable characteristic, whether gays are a politically powerful group, and if same-sex marriage bans such as Proposition 8 were motivated by anti-gay bias.

Excellent! It’s about fucking time someone challenged these assertions in a court of law. Make those assholes put up or shut up.

Of course there’s a chance the Prop 8 folks may prevail, but at least their claims are being questioned this time out and there’s some good reason to hope the ban will be overturned.

A well made point about marriage.

This video is short, clever, and makes a great point. Watch it:

Found over at Pharyngula.

Massachusetts sues U.S. government over DOMA.

The first state to legalize gay marriage is now suing the federal government to overturn the Defense Of Marriage Act:

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law. Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Mrs. Coakley said at a news conference.

[…] Before the law was passed, Mrs. Coakley said, the federal government recognized that defining marital status was the “exclusive prerogative of the states.” Now, because of the U.S. law’s definition of marriage, same-sex couples are denied access to benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including federal income tax credits, employment benefits, retirement benefits, health insurance coverage and Social Security payments, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also argues that the federal law requires the state to violate the constitutional rights of its citizens by treating married heterosexual couples and married same-sex couples differently when determining eligibility for Medicaid benefits and when determining whether the spouse of a veteran can be buried in a Massachusetts veterans’ cemetery.

“In enacting DOMA, Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states’ efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people,” the lawsuit states.

I am overjoyed at this development as it is long overdue. I’m not a lawyer, but the arguments are valid and I think may have a good chance of succeeding in court. DOMA never should have been allowed on the books in the first place.

Needless to say, the Freepers aren’t happy about it:

“seems some do not know what DOMA is about

this is another angle to attack DOMA working in sync with the homo agenda and special interests up there

Can MA and the north east please just leave the union, please please please.

All conservatives not republicans from there are welcome to move out, in place of you moving out we’ll send our homo’s illegals, child molesters and loony brain dead sheep left wing idiots.”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 06:14:58 PM EDT by manc

“String em all up. We will save billions on retirement benefits.”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 06:38:07 PM EDT by Pikachu_Dad

“fell sick and every person on here and around this country should see that website

That is what America will look like if some go along with the usual “well I know a couple and they are nice who want to be left alone” course they do not see their new friends at their freak parades etc
Or the Govt should not get involved
Well this is not about marriage like on that website but a small platform to a bigger agenda, adoption, into schools to now teaching little kids fisting another man

sick sick sick

there sickos should be put back in the closet or told to seek mental help and not off another sicko perverted shrink”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 08:05:14 PM EDT by manc

Anything that gets the Freeper’s upset is a good thing in my book.

Sweden legalizes gay marriage. World doesn’t end.

Kudos to Sweden for being progressive and fair in voting to legalize gay marriage:

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will allow homosexuals to legally marry from May this year after parliament on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move.

The change in the law, which currently allows gay couples to register unions but not formal marriage, comes into force on May 1 this year under the timetable set out in the bill.

[…] “The decision means that gender no longer has an impact on the ability to marry and that the law on registered partnership is repealed,” the government said on its website.

Of course there’s still some folks who aren’t happy about it:

The Christian Democrats, part of the four-party coalition government, refused to back the bill.

The new legislation eliminates legal distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual spouses, but does not force dissenting clergy to wed gay couples.

Which, honestly, is how it should be. Dissenting clergy should be allowed to not perform marriages they don’t agree with, but the state should recognize and allow them. There’s sure to be enough clergy and justices of the peace out there to handle gay marriages without having to coerce anyone into performing ceremonies they don’t agree with.