June 15, 2008

"Being gay is like belonging to an 'exclusive club.' I just worry that the drive to marry will end up kind of chipping away at the culture."

That's a quote from Clint Wolbert, in a NYT article titled "Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag." I wasn't going to blog that article, but I went back to it today when it was cited as the solution to a secondary puzzle within the big puzzle I asked for help about here. That is, I was getting a few visitors who were searching for the name Clint Wolbert — someone I didn't remember ever hearing of though my blog came up second on these searches. My update explaining the source of the blog traffic brought Wolbert to the blog comments over there, where he wrote:
My point in the article was that gay people should acknowledge that marriage is a double edged sword. It's great to have the option to marry. Some day far away I'll probably avail myself of it. But the more gay culture takes on the trappings of heterosexual normalcy, the less distinct the culture will be. And I like the culture.

The photographer and I were talking about this subject and he equated it to when Jackie Robinson, et. al. were invited to participate in major league baseball. It's great, a watershed, a step in the right direction. But that meant the community built around the Negro Leagues was going to disappear. That's a net positive, but only because the benefit outweighed the detriment. The detriment did in fact exist.

It's the same with gay marriage. Nothing is black and white. It's great that gay people can marry, and it's great that more gay people have these rights in the US now than ever before. But people should be aware that gay marriage comes at a price to the community. (A price that's worth paying, definitely, but still, it's a price).

It's tough to capture that sentiment in a sound bite.
I thought it was cool that he stopped by, but I'm not writing a separate post merely to marvel at the coolness of blogging. I wanted to set up a place to talk about the actual issue. I'm glad Wolbert expanded on his point, because, reading the article, I assumed he was like those gay activists who gave Andrew Sullivan hell years ago for arguing in favor of gay marriage. It used to be much more common to expect gay people to be radical and to critique conventional society — not to want to join it.

ADDED: I'm trying to find video of the great debate that Sullivan (and Norah Vincent) had with Richard Goldstein and Carmen Vasquez, but I did find this 2002 article by Camille Paglia that describes it.

66 comments:

Dave F said...

I don't get the point of the article. Being married is not all it's cracked up to be? Being married takes work? Being married sucks for some and works for others?

This is what gays have been agitating for? Trust me, I've been married before, and it's not all roses and sunshine. Sure, there are some fun times. But there are difficult times too. Mere marriage is not a panacea. Don't delude yourself into thinking it is.

That would seem to be the message of the article. Concision allows us to say this in a few words. I guess the Times just likes to waste ink

tjl said...

Clint Wolbert is so right on this.

During the fourth hour of an excruciating family law mediation last week, I kept thinking, why on earth should gay people want this?

Of course there have always been gay breakups, with lots of drama and mutual recrimination. But the absence of state sanction for gay relationships meant that the parties had to work out their own solutions, which they did. But now they won't, because the byzantine machinery of the family courts will be fully available to those gay people who wish to exact a full measure of vengeance on their ex-spouses.

Freeman Hunt said...

The question is this:

In the context of gay culture does "marriage" mean the same type of commitment as it does in the wider culture?

I always thought that it did until I read a certain post by Sullivan and some comments on blogs by a few gay men. Now I don't know the answer to that question, but it's important.

Clint said...

I think the term "marriage" has a lot of different meanings within both gay and straight culture. There isn't a standard definition of the meaning of marriage within such a large sample.

And I know a lot of gay couples who have very strong commitments without the status of being married. Marriage is neither necessary nor sufficient for a relationship to thrive.

Dave F said...

"In the context of gay culture does "marriage" mean the same type of commitment as it does in the wider culture?"

This question presupposes that there's a single conception of marriage in the "wider culture." This does not seem to be the case, though. Some marry for money, some for love, some marry with the intention of committing to their partner for life, others marry with the intention of making their partner as miserable as possible. Etc.

So, the question, as posed, seems rather irrelevant.

Fen said...

Being gay is like belonging to an 'exclusive club.'

He's got that right. In our branch of the federal government, fellow gays refer to each other as "family". Rampant nepotism too - hiring each other's partners the same way Senators hire each other's "niece" to play at receptionist.

Palladian said...

"He's got that right. In our branch of the federal government, fellow gays refer to each other as "family".

Stop making things up. Gays hate each other.

holdfast said...

Fen - the State Deparement, I assume? Or maybe FEMA?

Freeman Hunt said...

This question presupposes that there's a single conception of marriage in the "wider culture."

I would argue that aside from a few outliers, there is a general conception of marriage in the wider culture. Most people take marriage, for example, to be an intention of commitment to lifelong monogamous fidelity.

Fen said...

Stop making things up. Gays hate each other.

Huh? I'm serious. They refer to fellow gays as family, as in "that woman sitting by the door is family". Its how they identify each other in a subculture of perks and privs.

the State Department, I assume? Or maybe FEMA?

Labor. You be shocked at how many have hired on their boyfriends/girlfriends to sister agencies within the dept.

Beth said...

Its how they identify each other in a subculture of perks and privs.

What do "perks and privs" have to do with using slang to identify someone as gay? Remember the disco song, We are Family? That was a big gay anthem. It's just like saying "He sings in the choir" or "She's a friend of Dorothy."

Beth said...

Gays hate each other.

Oh shut up, Miss Thing.

Palladian said...

"Oh shut up, Miss Thing."

You cat.

peter hoh said...

I would argue that aside from a few outliers, there is a general conception of marriage in the wider culture. Most people take marriage, for example, to be an intention of commitment to lifelong monogamous fidelity.

Freeman Hunt, I was struck by a single word in your last sentence. I'm pretty sure that for my parents' generation, marriage was seen as a commitment to lifelong monogamous fidelity.

If it's now merely an intention of commitment, then the general conception of marriage has been fundamentally changed in the last 50 years.

peter hoh said...

Here's Andrew Sullivan addressing the issue of same sex marriage back in 1997.

It may seem like the debate over SSM is winding up, but I think it's winding down. It's like the final couple minutes in a basketball game in which one team is up by 15 points. There's not enough time to change the outcome.

former law student said...

I'd suggest that California gay couples should seriously consider getting a pre-nup before getting married. People who are used to disposing of their property as they please probably haven't had to worry about California community property law.

reader_iam said...

Beth: LOL.

rhhardin said...

Marriage is a double-edged sword. That's gay marriage, just to be clear.

Peg C. said...

Reading gays bemoaning the double-edged sword of gay marriage is an awful lot like reading race-baiters complaining about upper- and middle-class achievement being "whitey" and wanting to maintain a distinct black culture that ultimately requires keeping blacks down. You cannot have assimilation and equality and acceptance and also maintain a separate, unique culture.

It's gay culture so many straights have serious issues with - and gays know it. Wolbert pretty much confirms what so many of us have long suspected: that SSM is not about wanting to be married; it's about upending the status quo.

Meade said...

Straight marriage, on the other hand, is like a single-edged sword and a spring-loaded non-havahart critter trap.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Marriage in its modern iteration has become nearly meaningless, at best describing a minimal contract for disposal of property.

How this once useful institution, now in its death throes, could be seen as a threat to gay culture is ironic. Gay marriage proponents have long argued that marriage could not possibly be threatened by expanding it beyond heterosexual couples, but here argue that marriage itself threatens them.

MadisonMan said...

The famous Groucho Marx quote springs to mind.

Jennifer said...

that SSM is not about wanting to be married; it's about upending the status quo.

What I read was that he would like to be able to get married but was unhappy that the status quo would change. How do you get that he wants to upend the status quo?

Zeb Quinn said...

You cannot have assimilation and equality and acceptance and also maintain a separate, unique culture

There's a bigtime ultimate reason hanging out there why when all is said and done there will be no equality, and not much happiness either. The equality sought and demanded is most basically rooted in an equality that cannot be had. Biological equality.

Oh yeah, het couples marry professing their supposed everlasting love, and they want to set up house together, and live happily everafter, yada yada yada, and yeah, that window dressing stuff is all the same, het or gay. But beneath those superficial trappings, there's a big something else why young, healthy, vibrant het couples marry, and actually, though usually implicit, it's the raison d'ĂȘtre for it all. They marry because they know and intend the fruit of their love to be new life. Love as they might, gays can't have that equality. Their love will never create that. They feel like they are missing something that hets have? Yeah, they are. The fundamental component ingredient of het marriage, the biological reason for it all. It a'int there for gays. And no justices of any Supreme Court anywhere can create rights to fix that and put it in there. Sorry.

Outis said...

But people should be aware that gay marriage comes at a price to the community.

So, gay marriage will have costs to the gay community. But we've been told over and over again that it will have no costs what so ever to the wider community. How can it have a cost for the gay community but not to the wider community?

srolph said...

Interesting discussion. I think peter's comment is very astute. It does seem that marriage has changed in exactly that way; for the most part, our culture allows us to hedge our bets, promising only the intention. (There is no longer much stigma around divorce; only 25 years ago there was a lot; kids with divorced parents were from "broken families.")

I agree with dave that in our society today there are many different definitions of marriage. That's both a good thing and a bad thing--it militates against a cohesive society, but it also allows for more individual freedom.

I don't agree with either of zeb's points. While there is a large kernel of truth in what he says (obviously gay couples can't conceive children and that will always set them apart), I don't think the expectation of having children is the defining characteristic of marriage. Maybe it used to be, maybe it even should be, but many married couples choose not to have children--or can't have children; they are still very married. Zeb might also be surprised to learn how many lesbians choose to have babies. If they choose this within the context of a loving marriage and the couple raises those children together, that marriage is arguably very similar to most. This increasing acceptance probably is changing the lesbian subculture and increasing assimilation. The gay male subculture will probably change less because those marriages are less likely to include children (although sometimes they do--perhaps that is a point in favor of zeb's argument).

I think it's nice to see the issue of assimilation vs. differentiation being addressed openly. I wish it were more openly discussed in the context of other subcultures--when race and ethnicity is the issue, the topic is practically taboo.

Beth said...

Anyone watching "Swingtown"? Kind of dated, with the 70s looks, but not untopical, as I learned watching the news the other day, which focused on a swingers club in Melbourne, FL, that has the neighbors all a flutter.

To have and to hold; forsaking all others. It's so sad gay people are going to ruin all that, after it's been so reliable all these years.

Pogo said...

after it's been so reliable all these years

I suppose there's also no point arguing that males should not beat up females since, despite this knowledge, men still beat up women. I mean why bother fighting the tide pull of the worast humanity has to offer, when the best it has is so meager?

Why go to church when people go and yet sin? Why not steal when others still steal? Why be good when other people are bad?

Why bother? Rush to the bottom. Faster, faster. Criticize virtue because it fails to crowd out the wicked. Don't even try, you'll lose.

age appropriate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
age appropriate said...

@ Beth

I don't think that the gays are trying to ruin the concept of marriage for anyone, I think that heterosexuals have managed to do that themselves for years.

As film-maker John Waters once said, if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, don't ban gay marriage, ban heterosexual divorce!

nicoletedesco said...

Clint's point is that to be gay has meant to be different in so many ways. When this difference occurs in humans, especially when those that are different find themselves disenfranchised from the mainstream, subcultures tend to form around those that have been cast off from "polite" society. Symptoms of this subculturing include language adaptations, tight communication networks, feelings of "closeness" because of known shared experience, experimentation in entertainment form, and so on. Belonging to a subculture can be a cozy experience, even downright exciting at times, and certainly self-affirming. "I finally feel I belong!" may be words uttered by the newcomer who just found "their people."

The need to create "us" versus "them" identities is and always has been an important part of the human experience. The necessity of this dynamic is very probably driven by physiological limitations of our brains and is probably reinforced through mechanisms such as highs that accompany the sense of novelty, the sense of trust that accompanies unambiguous recognition of shared experience, and adrenaline surges that accompany the human "struggle" and "fight" modes. Because of the necessities and rewards associated with culturation many have in fact sought to institutionalize their differences in order to never lose the perceived benefits. We have invented self-limiting religions, nations, professions and other social mechanisms in order to preserve the "orders" that we have decided we hold dear.

Lo and behold Gay Culture has been, perhaps for as long as humans have organized into cities, a net positive for homosexuals who have discovered the associated cultural enclaves wherever they may have lived. If embedded within larger cultures where one could be killed for being gay (e.g., Nazi Germany and probably such places as North Korea) the "feeling of family" is not only strong and assuring it is also a necessary survival mechanism. Clint's point is that the absorption of gay marriage into the larger American community is a step towards normalization and with that a lessening of the very purpose of Gay Culture's being. However, as other commenters on this topic have pointed out, there are biological reasons why gays will always be different than hets and hence, always remain in some way different than the mainstream. I don't see Gay Culture disappearing entirely but I see it diluted, and with that comes the dissolution of the "us" versus "them" benefits that gays have shared amongst themselves for so long. Clint was pointing out these losses--and they are losses--that accompany the community's newfound social gains. What Clint isn't saying is that throughout history some people don't respond well to de-culturation (otherwise known as "normalization"). I would not be too surprised to see a "gay religion" or two spring up, in a way similar to the Nation of Islam, in an attempt to preserve the collapsing but beneficial (and perceived "righteous," which provides a sense and high on its own) Us versus Them system.

Pogo said...

Gay marriage, then, does nothing to hetero culture.

But marriage will hurt gay culture.

Do I have it right now? Do I got my mind right?

Pogo said...

Or imagine the hue and cry if Ann had posted "Being married is like belonging to an 'exclusive club.' I just worry that the drive to permit gays to marry will end up kind of chipping away at the culture." instead.

This is more about whose ox is gored than any underlying principle, as Clint Wolbert's quote demonstrates.

Beth said...

Do I have it right now? Do I got my mind right?

No. You are obsessing on one perspective. It's likely marriage will change gay culture. Cultures change. "Hurt" is an evaluation. Whether marriage hurts gay culture will depend on one's perspective about change, about what it means to be gay, on the role of culture, and more.

Gay culture isn't fixed; the only constant in life is change, yes?

Your question reminds me of the old gay bumpersticker: I'm so queer I can't even think straight!

titusistiredverytired said...

I am a gay who intends to never get married. I would rather hang out with my dogs. People tend to get on my nerves.

But I do like knowing that marriage is available to gays. My friends that are married in Mass seem to be happy and enjoy the benefits that go with it.

"Gay culture" has evolved and there is not one tidy box to define it.

You have tons of varieties of gays.

Of course after all the hoopla gay marriage isn't all its cracked up to be-just like straight marriage. Some divorce, some stay married, some don't get married. There people-just like straight people. Except the men like other men's hogs and the women like other women's queaves.

Also, not all gay men hate each other. Palady just hates all gay men. That is called self hate.

titusistiredverytired said...

Also, I don't think of being gay as belonging to an "exclusive club".

I don't want to belong to any "exclusive club" except maybe the clumber spaniel club of America.

Some gay people do say, "he's family" just to identify another gay. It doesn't necessarily mean they actually think of them as some family member.

titusistiredverytired said...

Some gay groups are below:

Twinks
Leather
Bears
Muscleheads
Eggheads
Cubs
Diesels
Lipstick Lesbians
Power Lesbians
Vevet Mafia
Guppies
Downlows
Papithugs
Rice Queens
Dinge Queens
Drag Queens
Chubby Chasers
Asexual Queens-I have quite a few friends in this category.
Tweakers
Senior Queens-many who were previously married and have children.

And many others that don't fit into any category.

Jeremy said...

"As film-maker John Waters once said, if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, don't ban gay marriage, ban heterosexual divorce!"

Yeah, we tried that. See every arguement over No Fault Divorce ever. Our side lost, but we'd be open to reexamining the issue if anyone would listen.

In 15 years (more? less?), when SSM is an established practice and we're having this same conversation about polyamorous marriage, someone, somewhere will say "If you wanted to protect the sanctity of marriage, you shouldn't ban polyamorous marriage, you should've banned gay marriage when you had the chance" and we'll all have a good laugh. Good times.

Beth said...

queaves?

I'm not even going to google that. But I bet I'll know it when I see it.

Palladian said...

"Also, not all gay men hate each other. Palady just hates all gay men. That is called self hate."

No, I just hate you.

Pogo said...

will depend on one's perspective about change

Is that entirely a subjective thing then, that one cannot draw any large or lasting conclusions on this change because of perspective?

That seems to counsel ignorance ...we cannot know anything at all, as if the Heisenberg uncertainty principle operates as well outside of electrons. A little too postmodern for me.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

One good thing about being gay, until recently, is that your lover couldn't pressure you to marry him. Right? Well, those days are ending. And while I'm thinking about it: will some gay men withhold sex from their boyfriends until marriage? You know, buying the cow versus buying the milk? Just askin'!

chuck b. said...

""Being gay is like belonging to an 'exclusive club.'".

Why does 'exclusive club' need a quote? Are those finger quotes?

I think Paglia overstates how fabulous the gays used to be. She also can't pose a convincing argument while ignoring how intensely dysfunctional (and sad) gay life often is/was. I wasn't there, but I wouldn't want to live the gay life of the 1960s or 1970s (presumably that's what she means?).

I don't want to be in an exclusive club. I have not use for exclusivity--and I don't want to join any clubs. When I came out, there was no pink carpet, no secret decoder rings. I was on my own.

Paglia's Romantic notions about the gays are just as insidious as Goldstein's, although more flattering.

Gay marriages begin statewide in California in three hours and twenty-five minutes. Watch the world not end.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman Hunt, I was struck by a single word in your last sentence. I'm pretty sure that for my parents' generation, marriage was seen as a commitment to lifelong monogamous fidelity.

If it's now merely an intention of commitment, then the general conception of marriage has been fundamentally changed in the last 50 years.


Just to clarify, I only added "intention" because I knew that if I left it out, someone would immediately cry, "But there are straight people who fail and cheat or leave!" So, yes, it is, by my way of thinking, an ironclad commitment, but the word "intention" was a weasel word to show that some people fail at it.

My question still stands. Are gays seeking this same type of commitment in marriage?

I have to agree with Pogo that I don't see how you can argue that marriage will change gay culture but gay marriage won't change marriage culture. I want to explore what that change might be.

chuck b. said...

"Are gays seeking this same type of commitment in marriage?"

What if lesbians are, but gay men aren't? I'm just kidding.

I do wonder who you would like to answer your question. Maybe a queer theorist at random liberal arts university. A pair of gay seniors who've been together for decades? This couple? An anonymous stranger in the Althouse comments?

chuck b. said...

"I have to agree with Pogo that I don't see how you can argue that marriage will change gay culture but gay marriage won't change marriage culture."

I would agree too. But I think gay "culture" is a creature of necessity, a relic, now in its death throes.

Marriage, not so much.

Freeman Hunt said...

I do wonder who you would like to answer your question.

Anyone. All of the above and more. I think it's worth talking about.

chuck b. said...

Okay--an answer from an anonymous stranger in the Althouse comments (me): Monogamy is important to me. I've been with the same one person since 2003 when we bought a house together--and for a year before that.

Staying monogamous has not been the hard part; it's the staying together that's been work.

We don't want kids. Is that relevant? It seems like it's part of the marriage question. Kids are fine, I like kids, it's important [for responsible people who are prepared for it] to have kids, but it's not for me.

If gay marriage survives California's November ballot initiative to ban it by constitutional amendment, we'll talk seriously about marriage. Until then I'm not getting my hopes up.


Honestly, I cannot imagine why you would care.

Dave F said...

The conceit that there is a monolithic "gay culture" is as naive as the conceit that there is a monolithic heterosexual culture. Some straight people are promiscuous, and either do not want to get married, or, if they do, decide they want to cheat on their partners. Some even enter into open arrangements with their partner's consent.

So it is with gay people. So, it does not follow for gays to conclude, unilaterally, that gay marriage would change "gay culture."

Nor does it follow, pace the anti gay marriage folks, that gay marriage would threaten the "institution" of marriage.

Neither premise--the one proferred by some gays that marriage would destroy their culture, nor the one proferred by opponents of gay marriage--is established, yet everyone on either side is confident in the veracity of their opinion.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

chuck b. said...

I'm working on a long project in a very solitary office where I don't talk to anyone at work for several days at a time. So I have a little TV to keep me company once in awhile. Until this job, I never watched daytime television, but now I'm hooked in a sick (but fun!) way to the Maury Show, Dr. Phil, all the various small claims court TV shows (Judge Judy--love her)...

Suffice it to say, an endless parade of human dreck passes by every time I turn on the television. Almost none of it is gay.

It's bewildering to me that gay marriage--a big media hit, but really impacting a tiny percent of the American population--is seen as such a threat, while all these poor, trashy, lonely, angry, pathetic people with their miserable lives and their resolute hostility to responsbility, maturity, and civility are ostensibly less of a threat to American life. I'm thinking, the proliferation of these people are what scares me about our future.

Freeman Hunt said...

The conceit that there is a monolithic "gay culture" is as naive as the conceit that there is a monolithic heterosexual culture.

The conceit that there is no difference between "gay culture" and the wider culture is also quite naive. And I don't think anyone is saying that "gay culture" is monolithic, only that it does, in many varieties, exist.

poor, trashy, lonely, angry, pathetic people with their miserable lives and their resolute hostility to responsibility, maturity, and civility are ostensibly less of a threat to American life

I don't think anyone has ever argued that skanks aren't a major threat to American culture. In fact, I think it's argued pretty much all the time that they're ruining everything.

newscaper said...

Forget what the people saying "I do" think (though most thoughtful ones would agree with me).

The reason for some sort of community/tribe/state sanctioned "marriage" between men and women for the last however many thousands (and probably tens of thousands) of years is simple:
In the narrow, it's about establishing a de facto presumption of paternity, including impacts on child support, inheritance all in return for some basic level of fidelity.

In the broader sense, its about maintaining a more stable social order, reducing sex-driven intra-male violence and supporting the transmission of the culture into the future.

It's obvious from any [un-blinded by PC] study of history, prehistory, and evolutionary psychology.

The above holds true for cultures that practice polygyny versus monogamy (serial or otherwise),as well as for cultures that have arranged marriages as well those who think romantic love is the basis for choosing a spouse.

It is absurd how overcomplicated people want to make the issue -- forget what people say about marriage, and try to look objectively at its social function.

Given the undeniablly fundamental difference in the stakes for het and gay couples (the former have to go out of their way to *not* have kids), civil "marriage" for the latter (as opposed to civil unions or whatever) smacks of playing house.

In that light, the usual "equality" argument bandied about would warrant granting blind people driver's licenses.

I will grant that as more gay couple shave children (by whatever means) the line gets more blurred.

Tituslovesyouandyouandyouettu? said...

"Stop making things up. Gays hate each other"

A very small minority of the gay population are fat and as a result they are invisible to other gays.

This is the gay cardinal sin fellow republicans.

This causes them to hate other gays, be bitter, resentful, angry, depressed and eat large amounts of cheesecake and tacos with extra guac and sour cream. They also make metallic objects that no one likes.

So in order to receive any sort of attention (because they don't get any from other gays because they are fat) they lash out. They hate all gays, as the statement above indicates. Not just the pretty ones wih the hot bodies that populate their city. They can't compete with those gays so they feel better about themselves when they say they hate them. What they are really saying is they hate themselves because they are fat, are invisible and can't compete with other "family members". Also, they don't get any. They can't look at themselves in the full length mirror because it causes them to cry.

They tend to live a bitter existence that is fueled by jealousy, anger, insecurity, and a love of fatty sandwich spreads.

The redeeming quality of these minority gays is that they can cook up storm. Nothing to look at but they can make a mean meal.

peter hoh said...

Not being gay, I'm hardly the expert, but I suspect that what Wolbert is referring to as gay culture has been changing for some time now, both internally and in its relationship to the wider culture. The push for SSM is a reflection of those changes. As active discrimination drops, the need for a separate cultural identity also abates. Or so I suspect.

Or maybe the flamboyant and the queer theorists will always be with us, but the picket fence gays are no longer willing to let them define what it means to be gay. The picket fence gays were always with us, too, but now they are speaking up.

A friend of mine is active in gay rights organizations. He tells me that the push for marriage came from outside what he jokingly referred to as the "usual suspects." That is, the people and organizations who had a long history of agitating for things like employment non-discrimination and hate crimes laws were not the ones promoting the idea of marriage equality. Many of these activists were openly hostile to the idea of marriage, for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that they would lose their raison d'etre.

Back when civil unions seemed like a possible compromise for the issue, a marriage scholar I know was concerned that setting up a parallel system of civil marriages would likely hurt hetero marriage. Her concern was that straights would eventually seek these civil unions, removing the pretense that they were entering into something that carried the intention of being lifelong and monogamous.

I enjoyed Pogo's way of summing up the discussion, but the answer is yes. How? Reread Althouse's post. Breaking the color barrier ruined the Negro Leagues but didn't ruin the Major Leagues.

And the changes that everyone seems to fear? For the most part, they've already happened.

peter hoh said...

Newscaper wrote: Given the undeniablly fundamental difference in the stakes for het and gay couples (the former have to go out of their way to *not* have kids), civil "marriage" for the latter (as opposed to civil unions or whatever) smacks of playing house.

The link between childbearing and marriage is broken.

One of the ironies is that among the unmarried, the people who are more likely to marry are the ones who do a better job of avoiding pregnancy.

Thus we have large numbers of unmarried people having children, and a significant percentage of married couples who, having delayed marriage and starting a family, must use reproductive technology in order to have children.

Tituslovesyouandyouandyouettu? said...

Gay marriage will be something that will eventually be granted throughout the country.

I anticipate that it will start with the more progressive/liberal states (which it already has) and eventually work it's way down to the south-similar to interracial marriage. Most people under 40 don't give a shit. We just need to wait for all the oldies to die off and we should be in good shape. I expect it will be a done deal in 40 years.

I read somewhere that either 1 in 6 Americans live in Californial or 1 in 9-that is a large chunk of the American population where gay people will be able to marry. Also, New England, with the exception of Maine all have civil unions-as well as New Jersey.

It's coming people. It's coming-I actually said that to my really big black trick last weekend-how funny.

Zeb Quinn said...

The link between childbearing and marriage is broken.

Maybe, maybe not. Probably a little too early to assess that. But one thing we know for certain. Childbearing and heterosexual sex have a perfect 1:1 relationship, whereas childbearing and homosexual sex relationship is zero. That's the quixotic windmill being tilted at by those who are clamoring for "equality," whether they realize it or not.

peter hoh said...

A perfect 1:1 relationship between hetero sex and childbearing?

Really?

Zeb Quinn said...

Yeah, really. Go back to biology class.

peter hoh said...

Zeb, I passed biology. Never took a course in information science, from which you may have borrowed the language of 1:1 relationships. A quick Google search suggests that the 1:1 relationship language has something to do with data mapping or entity relationship diagrams, neither of which is familiar to me.

Perhaps you could explain what you mean by a "perfect 1:1 relationship." To this layman's ear, a perfect 1:1 relationship would seem to suggest that every time X happens, Y is the result. I am certain that's not what you meant to imply.

Of course hetero sex is associated with childbearing, but it is no longer required for childbearing. In my layman's thinking, this would mean that the relationship could not be described as a perfect 1:1 relationship.

But again, I most likely do not understand what you mean by a 1:1 relationship. I await your explanation.

Using your terms, how would you describe the current relationship between childbearing and marriage?

Robert said...

"But the more gay culture takes on the trappings of heterosexual normalcy, the less distinct the culture will be. And I like the culture."

In other words, "Remember the good old days when we were all like oppressed n'shit? Equality is for suckers!"

Texas, bro, we're still pretty old fashioned here. Come on down, I can hook you up with some great barbecue, and a good ole fashioned gay bashing if that's your style.

Also your new favorite beer is Shiner Bock, cause that's how we roll.

Zeb Quinn said...

Peter, tune in to the obvious. There is a direct causal relationship between het sex and procreation, and it's the only way it happens.

Freeman Hunt said...

1:1 as in that for every child, there is heterosexual sex involved.

peter hoh said...

When exactly does the sex occur when someone lines up an egg donor, a contribution from a sperm bank, and a surrogate womb?

Karen said...

What seperate gay culture?

Fifty years ago, before the Sexual Revolution, Gay men had a "distinct culture" i.e. a knee-jerk reaction to heterosexual "normalcy" defined by doing the opposite of whatever het culture valued, for the sake of sheer opposition. Lesbian culture did not evolve this way, and kept many so-called "het norms".

Since the 1970's with the rise of the open bisexual, and thanks to the influence of Disco and dance clubs, heterosexual and homosexual cultures have been on a course of convergent evolution. Today they are virtually indistinguishable except by who is making out publicly with whom. 75% of the heterosexual people I know go clubbing at gay bars, have gay friends etc.

Before the sexual devolution, Lesbian culture and Het culture had most in common. Religion, despite all cries of "patriarchy" favours sexual norms that are closer to female norms. Gay male culture, having no women to have to restrain themselves around and having rejected a religion that rejected them, formed a culture based solely on male desire....pleasure, multiple partners, no commitment or responsibility, and a delusion that there are no consequences. Het culture has now become similary male-dominated and women are expected to conform to male sexual norms.

So what are the consequences of this male-dominated sexuality? AIDS and other STDs, high detachment and lonliness, broken relationships and families, high levels of interpersonal distrust and anger, a sense of spiritual emptiness, high levels of sexual addiction, alchoholism and drug use. In short, there are consequences, and gay men are experiencing these at higher rates than any other group. Also, this sexualized culture promotes appearance at all costs, resulting in gay men having a rate of anorexia nervosa that is exceeded only by that of young women. Those gay men who are experiencing these "side-effects" are afraid to speak openly in the community. They are dismissed and ridiculed and the problems minimized. And the baccanale goes on while Rome burns.

I am bisexual, I was thoroughly damaged by this "lifestyle" while living totally heterosexually. Why in the name of sanity would I want to volunteer for some more of it in GLBT Culture? Count me out of the Club. I want to meet a nice man or woman and get married. I'm having trouble finding one....in EITHER culture.