October 28, 2008

"Does same-sex marriage threaten your freedoms of speech and religion?"

The L.A. Times has a point-counterpoint (as California voters face the decision on Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage). Dean R. Broyles, president and chief counsel of the Western Center for Law and Policy, says:
In a chilling statement, Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown University law professor and thoughtful gay activist who helps draft federal legislation related to sexual orientation, said that when push comes to shove and religious- and sexual-liberty conflict, "I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win."

The actual evidence is overwhelming that this conflict is not imagined but very real. Unfortunately, religious freedom and free speech are increasingly on the losing end of the equation. In 2005, Swedish minister Ake Green was sentenced to jail for preaching about homosexuality from the New Testament book of Romans (the conviction was eventually overturned). New Jersey's Ocean Grove Campground, a religious nonprofit, lost its tax-exempt status in 2007 because the organization refused to rent its facility to a lesbian couple for a civil commitment ceremony. In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston stopped doing adoption work rather than be coerced by the Massachusetts to place children with same-sex couples. A Massachusetts father was arrested in 2007 when he would not leave the school because the administration stubbornly refused to acknowledge his legal right to opt his child out of ongoing homosexual indoctrination occurring in a kindergarten class.

This year, two Christian doctors here in California were successfully sued for violating state civil rights law because they asserted their right of religious conscience by refusing to perform artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. And famously, just this month, a first-grade class went on a "field trip" to watch its lesbian teacher's wedding in San Francisco.

While legal protections for free speech and religious liberty have been a critical component of our nation's core civil rights protections for more than 200 years, laws granting special rights to those engaged in homosexual conduct are the legal "new kid on the block" -- and this new kid is proving to be an 800-pound gorilla.
Lorri L. Jean, chief executive of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, responds:
Come on, Dean: Do you really think that people will believe your incredible claim that there is "ongoing homosexual indoctrination" in any kindergarten class, let alone that such indoctrination would be required if Proposition 8 fails? That's ridiculous. Proposition 8 has nothing to do with education, and you know it. All the voters have to do is read the language of the measure itself. Proposition 8 is about one thing and one thing only: eliminating rights and treating one group of people differently under the law. That's just wrong.
Jean doesn't really want to understand Broyles's point, and, frankly, Broyles doesn't want to make his point clearly. They are locked in the end stage of a political battle, where wringing out votes is crucial. So they argue strenuously and obtusely.

Let me see if I can make Broyles's point. I think he means to say that if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should not be permitted to have his way. Thus, in order to preserve the right to discriminate against gay people and to keep schools from teaching children that gay couples are perfectly nice and so forth -- all things Broyles wants -- it's important to outlaw gay marriage, because it will be a powerful force in changing perceptions about gay people and those who think gay people are doing something terribly wrong.

Now, with Broyles's argument clarified, what do you think of it?

IN THE COMMENTS: Bissage says:
The problem with this fight is it has been framed in all-or-nothing terms.

But there’s a middle-ground for compromise.

Same sex marriage should become the law of the land but only if it’s interracial.

That’ll buy us some time.

152 comments:

peter hoh said...

I'd say the insurgency is in its last throes.

Windbag said...

Don't conflate the legality and morality of an issue.

Troy said...

If homosexuality reaches the protected status of race or gender -- then -- unless legislatures make exceptions under law for religious beliefs -- it could easily become illegal for religious institutions to both preach against homosexuality and/or discriminate in hiring, etc.

Saying it is not possible that a Christian would be prosecuted for hate speech or expelled for violating speech codes is a bit obtuse.

And don't tell me it won't come to schools. Our legislature in CA already tried Harvey Milk Day -- the bill AB 2567 would encourage schools to have appropriate exercises, etc.

http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1112044.html

I don't care if they have Harvey Milk Day. I DO care if I don't have control over what and HOW my kids learn about such things.

Let's at least be honest about the possibilities here.

Ann Althouse said...

"it could easily become illegal for religious institutions to both preach against homosexuality"

No, there is a rock-solid free speech right here.

Ann Althouse said...

But there isn't a free speech right to control what public schools teach your children (though there is a right to take your kids out of public school).

walter neff said...

"I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win."

Whoop, there it is!

Get used to it suckers.

PatHMV said...

Perosnally, I think he's saying that people should generally be free to do business, or not do business, with whomever they please, for whatever reasons they please, without interference from the state.

And I think he's pretty clear that he's saying that the more legal protections are given to same-sex relationships, the more likely that the public will demand that those who disagree with such must not only accept them under the law, but must be forced to accept them in their business and social interactions.

I don't see him saying that these legal protections for same-sex relationships must be defeated so that anybody can avoid any natural social consequences (ostracism, boycotts, whatever) of their antipathy to homosexual relationships. His concern, based on the examples he's provided, appear to be about the LEGAL consequences which will very likely stem from those protections becoming ever greater.

Why don't you answer his challenges directly, Ann, instead of rewriting him? Do you believe that a church or social group should be required by law to allow a gay couple to have a civil union, commitment, or "marriage" ceremony in their hall, or should they have the religious liberty to refuse to allow their private property to be used for a purpose which offends them? Should a wedding photographer be entitled to decline to take "wedding" pictures for a lesbian couple, if the photographer doesn't agree with gay marriage? Or should our society force such individuals to "tolerate" such activity by forcing them to perform services against their will?

jimspice said...

I guess it comes down to it's OK to be a bigot, but don't act like one.

Sometimes laws are necessary to take over when common decency won't cut it. Just replace gay with inter-racial and it's much easier to understand.

spice

mccullough said...

Maybe the state should just get out of the marriage business all together. Then everyone can be happy.

walter neff said...

It's not a problem for law professors who do not believe in God or practice any organized religion. To them, it is all a silly superstition. Get with it. Don't be a square. Freedom of religion means you have to tailor your religious practices to what the liberal elite think is appropriate.

(Unless of course you are a Muslim).

Shut up and sit down.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let me see if I can make Broyles's point

How about this instead. If same sex marriage becomes legal. then the right to object to homosexuality on a religious or educational/parenting standpoint will be eroded.

Freedom of religion: for example the doctors who don't believe on religious grounds that artifical insemination for the purpose of creating children for same sex couples is moral will be forced to participate or be sued.

Freedom to parent: The right to object to certain indoctrinations of your children by the "public" school system is taken away. The freedom to keep schools from discriminating against your religious or moral views by forcing your children away from your own moral precepts.

Freedom of speech Just try to wear a button or have a yard sign that is negative about gay marriage or homosexuality in the future. It's ok to wear an Obama button in the classroom. Can students wear an anti gay button? I don't think so.

Freedom of association Can we all say Boy Scouts of America.

The gay community and people who are pushing Prop 8 are being very disingenuous. Big word for telling lies. There are no rights that will be taken away if the Proposition passes. The gay community already has ALL the same legal rights that the State of California has confered upon heterosexual unions in the form of Civil Unions. There will be no change other than the word marriage. BFD.

The gay agenda is to be able to discriminate against employers, religious institutions, parents and private organizations to force acceptance of their lifestyle through lawsuits and other legal actions.

Personally, I could give a shit if two guys or two gals want to get married. I do give a shit about having an agenda shoved in my face.

Duncan said...

Presumably: "a bigot who should [not] be permitted to have his way."

Andrew Berman said...

Yeah, there is a right to take your kid out of public school... if you can afford to do so.

There's a reason that there's a battle over vouchers, charter schools, home schooling, and even taxes in this country and that these battle lines are drawn in their current configuration. What social conservatives want most of all is the right to raise their children with their own values. And what too many on the Left want is the right to raise the social conservative's children with the Left's values.

Henry said...

...if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should be permitted to have his way.

Shouldn't there be a "not" in that sentence:

anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should NOT be permitted to have his way.

Anyway, touche.

It does occur to me that there is a separate freedom of speech & freedom of association issue that is larger than Broyles' desired focus on religious liberty. By prioritizing religious liberty over freedom of speech Broyles attempts to have things both ways -- to defend speech he likes and repress speech he does not.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Now, with Broyles's argument clarified, what do you think of it?

For complaining that Jean doesn't want to understand Broyles' point, I think you did an equally poor job of "clarifying" his argument.

Dean raises good points about actual cases where religious belief is trampled. He has a point worth addressing, Ann, and it's not concern over how people will think of him.

Rich Beckman said...

I think Broyles made his point clearly enough. I bet Jean understands it well enough.

But Jean doesn't want voters to be looking down the road (slope), just to look at this particular point in time.

Ann, you say there is a rock solid free speech barricade up the road a bit there.

But I'm sure many don't see it as so rock solid. Broyles cites an example from Sweden and I remember reading about problems with this in Canada. And it seems like here there are examples of PC trumping free speech here in the US.

This is a very difficult tangle that will need undoing at some point.

mccullough said...

By the way, what does the "black community" think of gay marriage?

Roland Hulme said...

For God's sake, that's not religious freedom - it's bigotry. Same excuse the south was making to justify segregation 60 years ago.

Religious intolerance and freedom and speech have nothing in common with each other.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But there isn't a free speech right to control what public schools teach your children (though there is a right to take your kids out of public school).

For NOW there is. But you can't just remove your child from school and start them picking beans in the field. They still, by law are required to attend school and the parents can be fined and cited for contempt.

"(1) Upon a first conviction, by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).
(2) Upon a second conviction, by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
(3) Upon a third or subsequent conviction, if the person has willfully refused to comply with this section, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In lieu of the fines prescribed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), the court may order the person to be placed in a parent education and counseling program."



"Parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California's home schooling families." A ruling that is going before the State Supreme Court (I believe).

Charter schools? Maybe not available in your area and can many people afford these?

Vouchers? The teachers union is fighting tooth and nail against the possibility.

The rich have many opportunities. The poor are trapped.

Kristina said...

I absolutely hope that Prop 8 is defeated, because I think it gives people a justification to stay bigoted, and I have a hard time coming up with any justification, other than religious, under which it should pass.
But, as a Christian, a part of me is concerned that my church will have to perform gay marriages against their will, because it seems like a violation of church and state. I think that churches should be allowed to refuse to marry gays if it conflicts with their religious beliefs (just like they can refuse to marry people of different religions, etc.)
But then I think, would I have been as concerned if my church had refused to marry my husband and I, just because we are two different races? No, absolutely not.
I wonder, if Prop 8 is defeated (and I hope it will be), what level of constitutional protection will homosexuality be given? Will we consider it as protected as race (meaning the Boy Scouts couldn't exclude gays) or only as high as gender (meaning they could)?

walter neff said...

"For God's sake, that's not religious freedom - it's bigotry. Same excuse the south was making to justify segregation 60 years ago."

Whoop there it is. We get to decide what your religion should be. Anything goes, you are a bigot if you are fighting it. Shut up and sit down and stop clinging to your religion.

(Unless you are Muslim or Rev. Wright then you can hate whitey all you want)

SteveR said...

Now, with Broyles's argument clarified, what do you think of it?

I'm reading it to "clarify" Jean's view of Broyle's arguement. To deny that the moral high ground will be claimed and used to push down the "bigots" goes against history.

I wish I could share your confidence about free speech. For one thing, I'm not tenured, I can get in trouble for making someone feel uncomfotable. Well, what does that mean, you ask? I don't know.

Freder Frederson said...

Dean raises good points about actual cases where religious belief is trampled. He has a point worth addressing, Ann, and it's not concern over how people will think of him.

His first two examples were not examples of religious belief being trampled. In both those cases the religious organization was acting as a secular agency, and in such cases they must abide by anti-discrimination laws that exist. The third story is so off-the wall, I don't even know what it is about.

Broyles cites an example from Sweden and I remember reading about problems with this in Canada. And it seems like here there are examples of PC trumping free speech here in the US.

Neither Canada or Sweden have the absolute rights to free speech that this country does. To say that we will become like either is simply hyperbole.

Bissage said...

The problem with this fight is it has been framed in all-or-nothing terms.

But there’s a middle-ground for compromise.

Same sex marriage should become the law of the land but only if it’s interracial.

That’ll buy us some time.

David Walser said...

What do I think of his argument? I still like it. He raises concerns that need to be addressed. I don't like your clarification of "his argument". Instead, you made the gay community's argument: Bigots don't have rights. Since I cannot trust you or anyone else to define bigotry, I'd prefer my rights not to be contingent on such a tenuous and subjective basis.

AlmaGarret said...

Those of us who've lived in California for over a decade remember the last time we passed a proposition on this topic. Gay marriage lost. But thanks to Gavin Newsom (mayor of San Francisco) and the California Supreme Court, the will of the people was ignored. Now, we're back where we started. Or at least that's how many voters I know think about this.

I think the law professor made some great points - and the opposing viewpoint seemed to consist mainly of "nyah, nyah, just cause you say so don't make it true."

Personally I don't care about gay marriage one way or the other - I just really hate this notion that we pass a proposition, and for at least five years it holds up, and then a Mayor decides to brazenly defy the law.

The best ad the Yes on Prop 8 people are running is one that features a grainy video of a very scratchy voiced and gloating Gavin Newsom addressing supporters who are cheering as he says, "whether you like it or not" regarding gay marriage. It nicely underscores the message: we don't give a crap about the voters because we know better. (sorry I don't have a link.)

Rich Beckman said...

"To say that we will become like either is simply hyperbole."

It may well be hyperbole, but that didn't stop Broyles from referencing the Swedish case.

And what if it is decided that sexual orientation is no different than race?

Do we allow churches to discriminate on the basis of race?

Paul Snively said...

It seems obvious to me that the only way out of this is to get the State out of the marriage business and leave the State supporting various types of civil unions, of which marriage would be one, and civil unions of homosexual couples would be (and are, in California) another. Marriage is a religious concept--it has been around considerably longer than any State on the face of the planet has been--so faith communities get to decide what it means. If homosexual couples wish to be married, they'll need to take that up with whatever faith community they wish to be married within.

Meade said...

Recognize same-sex marriages but outlaw opposite-sex marriages for the next 250 years. That will even things out. After that, define marriage as between one human and one dog. No cats - cats are evil.

Duncan said...

Obviously, this is only one argument against SSM. It's also not too strong simply because the secular humanist institutions dominating Mod Cult are already doing all the things he fears -- w/o SSM.

Your restatement of the argument (though stated negatively) is true.

I might redraft it as:

"If same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, it will be a powerful force in normalizing those who practice homosexual relations (some doubt that different sex practices make a "people") and forcing believers in traditional religious faiths to become Unitarian-Universalists."

Since choosing winners among religions is a violation of the 1st Amendment, government coerced acceptance of homosexual practice is illegal.

David Walser said...

I think he means to say that if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should [not] be permitted to have his way.

Ann, I think you do a great job of illustrating exactly what was wrong with the court's intrusion into public policy making. The court can be a powerful mover of public opinion. The problem is that we have two political branches of the government that are supposed to shape society; the courts are not one of those branches. What the court did was wrong and, over time, weakens the court and is bad for society. It's bad for the court because it, too, will become viewed as nothing more than a political entity and worthy of no more respect and deference than the other political branches. As that happens, stare decisis will become a thing of the past. Society will become more polarized and will lose much of the benefits that come from the rule of law.

You accept and endorse the public policy position adopted by the court and endorse their action. Would you do so if the courts took a different tact and tried to shape society in a manner you don't like?

Joan said...

Bigots have the same rights as everyone else, don't they?

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you believe that a church or social group should be required by law to allow a gay couple to have a civil union, commitment, or "marriage" ceremony in their hall, or should they have the religious liberty to refuse to allow their private property to be used for a purpose which offends them? Should a wedding photographer be entitled to decline to take "wedding" pictures for a lesbian couple, if the photographer doesn't agree with gay marriage? Or should our society force such individuals to "tolerate" such activity by forcing them to perform services against their will?"

I think a church will be able to retain its doctrines and only perform services that comport with its beliefs, but if it offers its premises to the general public for rental, it could lose the ability to discriminate if a statute is passed saying so.

I think a photographer, not an artist, but a commercial wedding photographer could lose the ability to discriminate if a statute is passed saying so.

These "forced services" are similar to the way restaurants and hotels are required to accommodate black people, even if the owners are very deep believers in segregation.

Obviously, the more normal gay relationships become and the more invidious the discrimination looks to ordinary people, the more likely it is that these statutes will be passed and will be upheld by the courts.

By the way, if you're hiring a wedding photographer, you are a fool to hire someone who hates your wedding, so it's pretty much a non-problem.

ron st.amant said...

Broyles gins the argument quite a bit with his 'evidence'.
First he cites a Swedish case as if the same law exists in the US. I guess IKEA stores on a gateway drug.

The Campground lost its tax-exempt status because it discriminated. If you wish to discriminate as a private enterprise simply forgo tax exemption.
Ditto with the CCAB, which has the ironic mission statement of 'building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people'...I assume with the exception of gay people.

Kindergartens 'indoctrinating' kids huh... *eyeroll*
And the field trip, if Mr. Broyles cared to research, was voluntary and supported by the parents of the students.

The AI case is trickier I grant you.

Like many bigots, Broyles confuses his moral judgments (protected speech) with specific acts he deems an exercise of religious freedom (illegal discrimination).

The law can never change the hearts of men, but it can protect the targets of their hatred from illegal discimination.

junyo said...

Let me see if I can make Broyles's point. I think he means to say that if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should be permitted to have his way. Thus, in order to preserve the right to discriminate against gay people and to keep schools from teaching children that gay couples are perfectly nice and so forth -- all things Broyles wants -- it's important to outlaw gay marriage, because it will be a powerful force in changing perceptions about gay people and those who think gay people are doing something terribly wrong.

Now, with Broyles's argument clarified, what do you think of it?

I think the characterization is insipid.

You can inshrine anything in law and thus make it "regarded as normal and good"; but just because you can doesn't mean a) that you should, and b) that people that disagree should be forced to not only accept but actively participate in the practices of the majority.

To the former point, the biggest objection that some people have with gay marriage isn't gay marriage itself but the logical precedent it sets. Two same sex people in a committed relationship isn't a big deal, except you've now essentially moved the standard for governmental sanction of your relationship away from the naked self interest of encouraging structures and activities vital to the species down to the mere fact that you're deeply committed. Well lots of people are deeply committed; to 5 other people, to their sibling, to livestock. Logically and fairly how do you make some brightline and tell them that their commitment, while just as deep, doesn't rise to the level of constitutional protection, or is in fact still illegal.

Is hetero marriage a completely arbitrary line? Yep, but we draw them all the time. A girl magically becomes a woman with the full ability to consent at midnight on her 16th or 17th birthday. But that line is convenient in preventing child abuse, so we rarely challenge it. Most of us gay, straight, whatever, seem to be comfortable with relationships being limited by law to two people , so we rarely challenge it. So, other than political un-correctness is there the sudden need to dismantle this line?

Smilin' Jack said...

-- it's important to outlaw gay marriage, because it will be a powerful force in changing perceptions about gay people and those who think gay people are doing something terribly wrong.

Nonsense. Most people's perception of gays isn't that they're doing something wrong, it's that they're doing something icky. That will never change.

David Walser said...

By the way, if you're hiring a wedding photographer, you are a fool to hire someone who hates your wedding, so it's pretty much a non-problem.

Ann, you're fairly dismissive of what would be a BIG problem for the person being sued!

I also wasn't aware that wedding photographers didn't consider themselves to be artists. Do we want to have the government deciding which occupations have 1st amendment rights and which ones do not? (I know that we already have that to some extent, I'm asking if that's what we want.) This is getting to be really weird. If you're the "right" religion, you don't have to carry dogs in your cab. If you're an artist, you can refuse to photograph gays. If you're a mere photographer, you cannot refuse to photograph anything a paying customer wants photographed.

LarsPorsena said...

Why can't the same arguments that are used to advance same-sex marriage be used advance polygamy, polyamory,incest, or the limits on age of consent?

Ann Althouse said...

David, about the photographer, I think there will be a free expression argument, but I am guessing about the likelihood that a statute will be passed and upheld. I don't know for sure. But I do think that the more people see objection to gay people as just hateful bigotry, the more likely it is that the photographer will be compelled not to discriminate.

Pastor_Jeff said...

By the way, if you're hiring a wedding photographer, you are a fool to hire someone who hates your wedding, so it's pretty much a non-problem.

Ann, it's a nice thought -- except that it is a problem for the wedding photographer who has become a public accommodation and is forced to either lose her business or compromise her beliefs.

The NM Human Rights Commission ruled that the 1st Amendment simply doesn't apply in anti-discrimination issues.

That should scare and outrage every American.

reader_iam said...

I think a church will be able to retain its doctrines and only perform services that comport with its beliefs, but if it offers its premises to the general public for rental, it could lose the ability to discriminate if a statute is passed saying so.

What about if it's not "rental"? What if, say, a church allows its premises to be used as a Boys Club/Girls Club site, a gathering place for kids (often lower income, with fewer opportunities) to go after school for activities, tutoring and the like? Does that count as public accommodation, and if so, does that act--hosting that service for kids--open churches to being required to accommodate any other sort of activity, regardless of whether it's consistent with the church mission? It strikes me that there are some serious implications--and perhaps some unintended, very unfortunate consequences--if that's the case.

I am asking this as a serious question. I don't know the answer, and so I am asking, Ann.

David said...

I'm still waiting for the ballot initiative to overturn Perez v. Sharp. Those damn activist judges!! ;)

reader_iam said...

I'm dubious about claims that same-sex marriage threatens freedom of speech, but I am a little concerned--again, as someone who is not a lawyer, so excuse me if I'm misusing terminology or misunderstanding legal concepts--about the public accommodation issue and churches.

TMink said...

Kristina wrote: "But then I think, would I have been as concerned if my church had refused to marry my husband and I, just because we are two different races?"

Any church that refused to marry you and your husband would be violating Scripture. Not much of a church in my mind. Moses married an African. There are no racial prohibitions in the NT that I am aware of. The opposite is the message from my reading.

Gay marriage would be an abomination to God according to Scripture, Old and New Testaments. The question is how long will we be allowed to follow our Scripture as Christians.

The truth is, we will whether you allow us to or not! 8)

Trey

Joe M. said...

The artificial insemination case is the most clear as to the dangers that lie ahead. The state punishing an individual because he refused to engage in immoral activity? Scary.

It's not like the physicians were going out and lynching the lesbians. They just chose (as should be their right) not to do business.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think a photographer, not an artist, but a commercial wedding photographer could lose the ability to discriminate if a statute is passed saying so.

These "forced services" are similar to the way restaurants and hotels are required to accommodate black people, even if the owners are very deep believers in segregation


I dont' think this is a valid comparison. A restaurant and a hotel are public access businesses and rightly should not be discriminating against potential customers. They are not private clubs nor are they private businesses.

I have the right to refuse to do business with potential investment clients, and I have done so in the past. Sometimes you can just see a pain in the ass and potential time wasting client before you do business with them. I refer to several other investment professionals and explain that I just don't think that we would be a good fit because our invetment philosophies are too far apart. ( Subliminal:I'm a professional with licenses to protect and you are an idiot who will eat up my time and possibly sue me because you lost money in your hair brained investing schemes and refusal to listen to my advice).

Don't attorneys have the right to refuse to take a case and refer to other attorneys? My husband has a plumbing business, and there are people he will no longer do business with for various reasons.

Why should the wedding photographer be forced to do business with anyone for ANY reason? He isn't a public access business and can refuse to take photos for any reason. I would suggest he not disclose the reasons just as I don't disclose. But still he should have the right to not be forced to do business. What are we...indentured servants.

Rich Beckman said...

"It's not like the physicians were going out and lynching the lesbians. They just chose (as should be their right) not to do business."

And if the doctor's refused to help a mixed race couple because it violated their morals?

Beth said...

a first-grade class went on a "field trip" to watch its lesbian teacher's wedding in San Francisco

A field trip organized by the children's parents. Is truth a consequence of religious freedoms? One minute this group is all up in arms defending the father who wants his kid to opt out of "homosexual indoctrination" and the next minute, this group can't apply the same parental authority to those who happen to be happy for their children's teacher and want to celebrate her marriage.

Beth said...

And if the doctor's refused to help a mixed race couple because it violated their morals?

Don't worry, the market will take care of it. Just like it took care of Jim Crow.

Beth said...

I dont' think this is a valid comparison. A restaurant and a hotel are public access businesses and rightly should not be discriminating against potential customers. They are not private clubs nor are they private businesses.

DBQ: if that's the case, then Prop. 8 won't change that.

Original George said...

This morning at Lowe's I bought a switchplate, furnace filters, and a light for the stove-top. At noon I was at the Borders.

Big display at the doors. Sale books. First to catch my eye: "An Encyclopedia of *ssholes." No star in the real title.

I go past the history section. That's where all the Lincoln books are. Saw the new one: "Lincoln's Doctor's Dog."

Then I went by the zombie display where I saw "The Zombie Survival Guide' by Max Brooks and 'Day by Day Armageddon' and 'History is Dead.' I was hungry, so I didn't pause on my way to the rear of the store past the 'gender studies' aisle to the 'religion' department. Needed a Bible for a teenager. Saw the 'Extreme Teen's Bible' and the 'CoolGirlz Bible.' Ended up buying the backpack Bible. I liked the clasp.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing the music played in the store. Lyrics were "I want to squeeze your thighs. I want to scratch your face. I want to be your beast."

Just as there are economic bubbles, there are cultural bubbles.

They pop, too.

Joe M. said...

Rich:
And if the doctor's refused to help a mixed race couple because it violated their morals?

That's okay with me. I'd say the doctor would be wrong, as he (probably) would be in the case of the lesbians, but I wouldn't want his (non-)actions to be punishable under law.

Althouse said:
in order to preserve the right to discriminate against gay people

Almost correct. He wants to preserve his right to discriminate. After all, discrimination is essential to morality.

It is impossible to be good without discrimination.

Perhaps it would be easier for y'all if I put it this way:
It is impossible to be both indiscriminate and good.

Pastor_Jeff said...

the more people see objection to gay people as just hateful bigotry...

By the way, Ann, if you really are trying to understand and fairly represent other people's views, I think it's important to recognize that 1) It's possible to oppose gay marriage out of motives other than "hateful bigotry," and 2) Opposition to gay marriage is not "objecting to gay people."

The Christians I know don't "object to gay people," but to having the government compel a particular view of sexuality that is in direct conflict with deeply held religious views.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Beth: I believe the issue on the field trip was that for field trips you send home a permission slip for your child to attend whatever function it may be... going to the aquarium, planetarium, a play ...whatever. In this case they didn't do that and the children were taken to what amounts to a religious (Marriage) and cultural event (homosexual marriage) that had nothing to do with the school curiculum without the parent's permission. Behind their backs if you will.

I don't care if they were going to do something that I thought was worthwhile. If it were my child and she were taken off school grounds without my permission, I would be very very angry.

David said...

Dust Bunny Queen,

That's a bold faced, and easily disprovable, lie.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/outraged-parents-children-featured-latest/story.aspx?guid={0BBF4A30-4E59-43A8-A990-32003F371D25}&dist=hppr

Dust Bunny Queen said...

David, can you read? I said. "I believe" not that I know that was the case. If it isn't true and it is true that every parent signed a permission slip then it should be a non-issue. The parents get to decide.

Just as it should also be a non-issue if the parents DON'T want their child to attend a non-curriculum related event. They have the right to refuse to participate as well (at least so far)......don't you think?

Geoff Matthews said...

Anne thinks that photographers should be open to lawsuits for refusing business, but dismisses this by saying that only fools would want hostile photographers.

But wouldn't there be a healthy business in rooting out those folks who hold the stance that homosexuality is wrong and they should not participate in normalizing it? In Canada, an individual, Dean Stacey, has a healthy business in suing people for violating various Human Rights. An enterprising soul could identify the non-believers (those who think that homosexuality is wrong), approach them for their services (photography, insemination, rentals, etc.) and when turned down, drag them into court for punitive damages.

Anyone who thinks that this wouldn't happen is a fool. And that includes the hostess.

Freder Frederson said...

Do we allow churches to discriminate on the basis of race?

We absolutely do. Google 'Christian Identity' and imagine trying to get one of those ministers to perform an interracial marriage.

Joe M. said...

By the way, Ann, if you really are trying to understand and fairly represent other people's views, I think it's important to recognize that 1) It's possible to oppose gay marriage out of motives other than "hateful bigotry," and 2) Opposition to gay marriage is not "objecting to gay people."

Thank you, Pastor.

MadisonMan said...

As far as churches being force to accommodate, the (Catholic) church that I attend is already limiting who can use its premises using insurance reasons. If things fall under the broad category of diocesan-related, the the Diocese's insurance will cover any liabilities that might be incurred. If not, however, the user must purchase a rather expensive rider to cover liability for their event. That kind of insurance is not cheap : more than $100, less then $1000, typically.

Now, an asshole could buy the insurance to try and make a point, but a savvy priest is going to be able to schedule a different event that is church-related and boot the person out. My experience is that priests are exceptionally patient and will outlast just about any idiotic attempt.

Ann Althouse said...

Pastor_Jeff said..."By the way, Ann, if you really are trying to understand and fairly represent other people's views, I think it's important to recognize that 1) It's possible to oppose gay marriage out of motives other than "hateful bigotry," and 2) Opposition to gay marriage is not "objecting to gay people.""

I think if you read what I wrote carefully, you will see that I did not do that. I am projecting how the culture will change if there is gay marriage and how that will affect things that some people care about. I wrote "But I do think that the more people see objection to gay people as just hateful bigotry, the more likely it is that the photographer will be compelled not to discriminate," but that was after many other statements to the effect that the culture will change. I think the objection to gay marriage is premised on the idea that gay relationships should not come to be viewed as normal and good, and that people want to be able to discriminate against gay people -- restated inelegantly as "objection to gay people" -- which is not going to be easy to do after the culture changes and the activity they want to have a right to is seen as premised on bigotry. I am not calling it bigotry. I am saying that it is in their interest and serves their goals to stave off the perception that it is bigotry. I understand the point that religious people feel required to uphold what they think is God's rule. I know they want to be respected for being devotees of their religion. And in fact, I think they deserve legal protection from being required to do things that violate their religion. Nevertheless, no one is required to like them for it, and the gay rights movement is usually eager to see that people don't like them at all for it. Well, the tables are turned. The disapprovers are disapproved of. Hard to complain!

Windbag said...

By the way, if you're hiring a wedding photographer, you are a fool to hire someone who hates your wedding, so it's pretty much a non-problem.

Wow. I can't believe the cavalierly dismissive sentiment of that statement. What else might be a non-problem? Let's see...

...since nobody would be attracted to someone of another race, it's a non-problem if we outlaw interracial marriage.

...since the government only investigates criminals, we don't need any 5th amendment limitations anymore.

Are you so naive as to not think that ACLU-backed losers with nothing else to do will target Christian organizations, businesses, and individuals to "correct" the wrongs? I've never read anything so sloppy on these pages. Wow.

Southbound Blues said...

Ann says: "I understand the point that religious people feel required to uphold what they think is God's rule."

Those silly things with their misguided *feelings*.

How clueless.

David Walser said...

Nevertheless, no one is required to like them for it, and the gay rights movement is usually eager to see that people don't like them at all for it. Well, the tables are turned. The disapprovers are disapproved of. Hard to complain! -- Ann

It's not all that hard to complain. No one is using the power of government to compel gays to behave in one way or another. You are advocating government forcing approved behavior and prohibiting disapproved behavior. I can complain about that all the day long and never tire of the effort.

I might prefer to have your approval, but your lack of approval wouldn't keep me up at night. Your enlisting government to enforce your preferred behaviors, that I would object to even if my free-will behavior would be left unaffected by government decree.

Windbag said...

So many issues have popped up here. Removing your kids from public school and either sending them to private school or homeschooling them is an option for anyone. It's expensive, but worth it. I know dozens of families who have willingly forgone luxuries to educate their children at home or in private schools. It can be done.

Does anyone remember that it was California that recently was trying to outlaw homeschooling? Thankfully, they were thwarted in their efforts (for the time being), but removing kids from public schools in order to protect them from the indoctrination of Big Brother may not be an option much longer.

Concerning forcing churches to perform ceremonies that conflict with their core beliefs, if it's simply a matter of forfeiting their tax-exempt status, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. Again, it is an expensive stance to take, but standing up for your beliefs isn't always financially beneficial. Beyond that pressure, it becomes a serious issue of our 1st amendment rights.

ricpic said...

All the indoctrination and brainwashing in the world won't change the revulsion homosexuality stirs in heterosexuals.
That's why coercion is the order of the day.

walter neff said...

"Concerning forcing churches to perform ceremonies that conflict with their core beliefs, if it's simply a matter of forfeiting their tax-exempt status, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it."

Do you really want to poke a sleeping tiger with that stick? I do not think you will like what happens next. Not at all.

MadisonMan said...

Windbag, you are jerking your knee too much.

Let's assume that photographers are compelled to be hired by whomever wants to hire them. (I don't think that will happen, but what do I know?) Why would anyone hire a hostile photographer? Do you want to get lousy pictures of your wedding?

Sure, you could sue the photographer for the lame shots -- but any photographer who is compelled to shoot against his will can produce a contract that declares that shot quality is not guaranteed and that you get what you get and that by signing this document, etc. etc.

Jeff said...

While there are strong similarities between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement, believing that gay unions are equal to heterosexual unions and that opposition to gay marriage is equal to the discrimination of race is a misconception.

If the state legalizes gay marriage, then suddenly marriage changes from a protected belief of a small minority, to the false impression that the state (which is an extension of the people) believes that it is morally acceptable to practice homosexuality.

As individuals, law abiding homosexuals should be entitled to every inalienable right held by any heterosexual; but as couples, gay relationships no longer hold an equal stance to the synergy of a heterosexual relationship. The answer lies in procreation—the primary responsibility of a family.

The gay agenda wants to redefine marriage as simply commitment, honesty, affection, and warmth between two loving individuals. If so then it simply becomes an equal protection issue and the gay couple argues they are being discriminated against for a relationship they claim holds equal commitment and value to the heterosexual relationship. This argument breaks down because it ignores posterity and procreation. Children are what differentiate the marriage contract from all other consensual adult arrangements. The state has always had a keen interest in the bearing and rearing of children. Indeed that is why the state got in the business of registering and recognizing marriage in the first place.

The point, both legally and historically, the gay family can ONLY exist as a product of government policy and modern science, and a dependence on the natural family. It is very clear that there is no natural procreative ability between gay partners. The procreative ability between heterosexual couples is, by contrast, perfectly natural, and dates back to the start of recorded history. The natural family would continue whether the government or science became involved or not. Thus, we see that a homosexual relationship is not naturally equal to a heterosexual relationship.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that we are endowed with unalienable rights, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". John Locke, called this "natural law". Natural law is not a creation or product of the state, but was to be protected by the state as these are the natural rights of all men inseparably connected to being human. Gays may argue that they are in the pursuit of liberty and happiness, yet there is no logical means by which they are naturally in the pursuit of life. Indeed we may argue that the gay movement, by its very nature, is a movement in pursuit of death, its own extinction, for without the intervention of the state and modern science, homosexuality results in the termination of posterity. Thus, from the perspective of both science and state we can see that the union of man and women, with their resulting children compared to the gay union are polar opposites both in origin and fruit.

What about couples who are infertile? Many married heterosexuals choose not to have children, and others cannot because of medical problems or physical handicaps. But gays fought furiously to convince the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from their books as a "disorder", or medical problem. The majority of the United States will now agree that homosexuality is not a medical problem or disorder. Even in perfect medical condition, a gay couple cannot procreate without the help of a third party. Therefore homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships are inherently, and naturally, unequal. Gays should NOT shunned because of their beliefs and tendencies. Nor does this fact infringe on their God given rights. The argument is that the two relationships are very different from one another and for that reason they should be defined differently.

More here

Joan said...

David, your link went to a press release about an upcoming press conference, that was to be held last Sunday. Do you have a link to the actual press conference? The parents holding the press conference object to their children's images being used in Yes on 8 campaign. It doesn't say why. It doesn't say anything at all about who organized the field trip, or whether or not all parents gave permission for it. Do you have any other links with this information?

Pastor_Jeff said...

Let's assume that photographers are compelled to be hired by whomever wants to hire them. (I don't think that will happen, but what do I know?)

MM - I believe the commenter is referring to the case in NM where the photographers were fined by the state Human Rights Commission for refusing to take pictures of a gay commitment ceremony.

So, no, I guess they weren't "compelled" to take the photos, but a $6000 fine seems like a form of compulsion, doesn't it?

MadisonMan said...

Yes, I read about the NM case a while ago. Nonsense. I hope an appeal was made.

But, NOW, I hope, that photographer has a clause it her (I recall it was a woman, could be wrong) contracts as I suggested. It's ludicrous and spiteful to hire someone who doesn't want to do the job.

Original George said...

I'll bet right about now most of those photographers would be glad to have that business.

I'd also bet that a lot of those gay folks getting married can't afford the photographs.

TMink said...

Freder, Christian Identity is just the Klan. Racist pigs all of them. They do not follow Scripture and they claim to be a church, so they are Christian heretics as well.

Thankfully, the Christian Identity wipes are a very small band of reprobates. I bet the high number of their membership, 5,000, greatly inflates their actual numbers. But they are a miniscule blip on the nation's landscape. Jeremiah Wright's church has more members than that for instance.

But I appreciate that you saw those folks as racists. They remind me of the racists at Jeremiah Wright's church. I know I can ount on you to condemn their racism too. Right?

Trey

David Walser said...

Let's assume that photographers are compelled to be hired by whomever wants to hire them. (I don't think that will happen, but what do I know?) Why would anyone hire a hostile photographer? Do you want to get lousy pictures of your wedding?... -- MM

Why are you (and Ann) pretending that there's no issue here when a wedding photographer already's been sued in the US (not Sweden or Canada) for refusing to shoot a same sex ceremony? It has already happened. Claiming it won't happen in the future because only idiots would try to offend their wedding photographer seems to be disproven by recent experience.

Now, you might plausibly argue that the 'harm' in forcing a photographer to shoot a wedding he disapproves of is outweighed by the government interest in getting everyone on board with the same-sex-marriage program. I'm just not aware of where the courts have previously allowed fundamental constitutional rights to be overridden so the government could get its point of view across. Weren't we supposed to be concerned about some kind of "chilling affect"?

Pastor_Jeff said...

But, NOW, I hope, that photographer has a clause it her (I recall it was a woman, could be wrong) contracts as I suggested.

That would be great, except that it's become a civil rights issue. You can't deny someone's civil rights by putting a clause in your contract. And the NM HRC made it clear that claims to 1st amendment protection are invalid.

It's ludicrous and spiteful to hire someone who doesn't want to do the job.

Yes, it is, isn't it?

walter neff said...

Religious views are just silly superstitions. Our legal minds know what is best. God's rules are just silly outmoded customs. The opium of the people. You have no rights to your religion or to any views that are different than those of any five judges that sit on the Supreme Court at any one time.

Shut up and sit down.

TMink said...

"It's ludicrous and spiteful to hire someone who doesn't want to do the job.

Yes, it is, isn't it?"

Wow, can you imagine the pictures? I hope the couple had backup because the person they forced to take photos was certainly not inspired to give great service!

I wonder if the film came out at all? Or did the files get mysteriously erased? If they survived, it would take a person of extraordinary character to do a good job under those circumstances.

Trey

reader_iam said...

Honestly, I wouldn't want to marry a man OR woman who was that spiteful. I mean, wouldn't you think it's bad sign? Just sayin'.

chuck b. said...

I've been following the SSM campaign in California with Google Alerts (blogs, newspapers, etc) and I live in California so I see the commercials that come on the television and radio every few minutes. (Surprisingly, I have not seen commercials for the opposing sides aired back-to-back yet, but I'm optimistic--there's still a week to go.)

The arguments have gotten samey. At least 90% of them recite objections to what sort of things children will be "forced" to learn about in public schools. (I get Clockwork Orange-type visions of children with eyelids clamped open in front of a giant TV screen...) Seems like all the TV commercials contain at least an inference (if not more) that children will come home from school with embarrassing questions. In terms of sheer volume, it seems like the overriding issue to me. (No explicit mention about the end of civilization that I can detect--historically, the Althouse commentariat's loudest complaint.)

I'm starting to think "protect the children" is actually code-speak for "protect the parents [from embarrassing questions]".

Even without legalized SSM, children sill still come home with embarrassing questions, phrased usually at the most awkward, inappropriate times. I mean, aren't they doing that right now? It's hard to preempt children from asking or talking about certain things.

I am confident parents will find a way to duck the embarrassing questions as they have since forever.

MadisonMan said...

I mean, wouldn't you think it's bad sign?

Oh, but they're in LOOOOOVE!

I can laugh at this 'cause my daughter has dated a spiteful SOB yet.

pastor jeff, it would greatly surprise me if the clause I suggested was ruled invalid. A photographer cannot guarantee picture perfect pictures every time, and some allowance must be made for equipment malfunctions and mistimed exposures. That has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with the mechanics of taking a picture.

Trooper York said...

No one becomes more conservative than the father of a teen age girl. I look forward to welcoming you to the dark side Madison Man.

The best thing to do when the young gentleman comes to pick up your girl is to be cleaning your gun at the time.

William said...

Religous people and gays are united in the belief that gay marriage will somehow change the nature of marriage and/or gays. It won't, but it does give both parties a chance to illuminate their cause in the holy flame of righteousness. Lawyers also get the chance to elucidate the unyielding, eternal principle of justice in their viewpoint.....Furriers and PETA members can advance their arguments with passion and reason. I only wish the right not to be in the room when they do so.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A photographer cannot guarantee picture perfect pictures every time, and some allowance must be made for equipment malfunctions and mistimed exposures. That has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with the mechanics of taking a picture.

Still.....the point is the right of a self employed private business to decide who to do business with and who NOT to do business with.

If the person is employed by a public firm (like a pharmacy, grocery store, hotel) or public agency (like the County Clerk's office) there is no excuse for refusing to do business. The county clerk must marry gay couples if that is the law and the pharmacist must dispense the medicine prescribed. If they say those actions go against their religious or moral precepts then they need to get a different job.

However, the private business owner (plumber, investment advisor, photographer, cake decorator) should never ever be forced to do business if they don't want to do so. The potential client can just find another provider.

Pastor_Jeff said...

The best thing to do when the young gentleman comes to pick up your girl is to be cleaning your gun at the time.

That's exactly the advice a friend gave me. He got it from a mentor of his who recommended a break-action shotgun so he could ask the suitor to look down the barrel and tell him if it was clean :)

Freder Frederson said...

However, the private business owner (plumber, investment advisor, photographer, cake decorator) should never ever be forced to do business if they don't want to do so. The potential client can just find another provider.

Nonsense, you may not like providing financial advice to gays, blacks or jews, and there is nothing to stop you from making up a million reasons not to provide them with your services (and very little anyone can do about it), but if you put up a sign that says "I don't provide financial advice to fags, dykes, coons, or kikes", damn right you deserve to be sued.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm just not aware of where the courts have previously allowed fundamental constitutional rights to be overridden so the government could get its point of view across.

Gee, just ask all those restaurants in the south that didn't want to serve black folks (or at least thought they should be served from the back door) if their fundamental constitutional rights were overridden.

Freder Frederson said...

That would be great, except that it's become a civil rights issue. You can't deny someone's civil rights by putting a clause in your contract. And the NM HRC made it clear that claims to 1st amendment protection are invalid.

And if it was an interracial couple--rather than a same sex one--would you defend the photographer's right to say, "sorry, I don't believe in interracial marriage and won't take pictures at an interracial wedding"

wanderlust747 said...

for every "defense of marriage" proposition, someone should counter it with an "offense on divorce" proposition which outlaws divorces and annulments altogether. i mean, if people are so interested in the sanctity of marriages, then why not make it legal until death do us part.

David Walser said...

And if it was an interracial couple--rather than a same sex one--would you defend the photographer's right to say, "sorry, I don't believe in interracial marriage and won't take pictures at an interracial wedding" -- FF

Yes, I would. Not because I have anything against interracial couples (or same sex couples), but because I believe people should be allowed the maximum freedom to choose how to behave -- even when they will make choices that I might disagree with.

Self-actualization, in my view, involves making proper moral choices. To the extent behaviors are forced upon us, we cannot learn to choose (and to prefer) the good from the evil. To that extent, our ability to grow as moral beings has been stopped.

Any system that prevents us from living our lives to the full extent humanly possible and from fully developing our moral natures -- becoming fully self-actualized -- is a flawed system.

Revenant said...

Still.....the point is the right of a self employed private business to decide who to do business with and who NOT to do business with.

I agree, but Ann doesn't; neither do most other left-leaning folk. You only have the right, in their view, to not do business with someone if your reasons for not doing business are the right ones.

"I don't like gay people or blacks", for example, is not the right reason for refusing to do business with someone, ergo you do not have the right to refuse to do business with them.

Windbag said...

The best thing to do when the young gentleman comes to pick up your girl is to be cleaning your gun at the time.

A friend did that. He was cleaning his gun when the young lad arrived. He called the guy over and showed him a cartridge with his name etched into the side.

Beth said...

DBQ, it's already been pointed out that the field trip was suggested by parents, and involved permission slips. Two families opted out, in fact. So no involuntary indocrination. The critics took the "how is this academically relevant" argument, since they couldn't attack the school for undermining the parents. Since the parents were part of the decision, and had suggested it. My point is, these groups are all about "family values" only up to the point that it's their family, and their values being valued.

AlphaLiberal said...

Listen to all the conservatives and Republicans, who claim to be in favor of freedom, once again argue against it.

What's wrong with this compromise:
- Churches and religions set their own standards for the services they conduct.

- Churches do not enforce their doctrine onto services performed outside their congregation.

- Same-sex marriages are otherwise legally sanctioned and protected activities.

Southbound Blues said...

Freder says: "And if it was an interracial couple--rather than a same sex one--would you defend the photographer's right to say, "sorry, I don't believe in interracial marriage and won't take pictures at an interracial wedding"


Yes! Freedom of association. It's fundamental. Obviously.

And those "restaurants in the south" that you disparage so readily *were* having their rights violated. You might not like the views the proprietors held--I sure don't--but it's their business and not yours and not mine.

David Walser said...

for every "defense of marriage" proposition, someone should counter it with an "offense on divorce" proposition which outlaws divorces and annulments altogether. i mean, if people are so interested in the sanctity of marriages, then why not make it legal until death do us part.

You may be aiming at the wrong target. I suspect that many who currently support SSM would have been supportive of the no-fault divorce rules passed in the '60s and '70s. Content with the results of that social engineering exercise, they now clamor for additional changes that, like the changes in divorce law, will have no ill affect on the institution of marriage.

By contrast, opponents of SSM might be supportive of additional limitations on divorce. Witness the movement in some states to pass "covenant marriage" laws -- marriages that are more difficult to dissolve. So, I suspect many supporters of "defense of marriage acts" would not be appalled by your threat to counter with making divorces more difficult to obtain. They'd most likely say, "Go for it!"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

it's already been pointed out that the field trip was suggested by parents, and involved permission slips. Two families opted out, in fact. So no involuntary indocrination.

Yes, and that does make all the difference. If the parents agreed and signed permission slips, then it really isn't anyone's business and no harm was done.

chickenlittle said...

Does same-sex marriage threaten your freedoms of speech and religion?

I'll vote present on that one for now.

My concern is that it's too easy to imagine a world frowning on song lyrics like this:

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more...

Beth said...

If this is true:

The natural family would continue whether the government or science became involved or not.

Then why:

The state has always had a keen interest in the bearing and rearing of children.

Make up your mind: do "natural families" need government involvement, or not?

But my favorite point is this:

The procreative ability between heterosexual couples is, by contrast, perfectly natural, and dates back to the start of recorded history.

How did they make people before the start of recorded history?

dbp said...

"Proposition 8 has nothing to do with education, and you know it."

So, why did the California teachers union give a bunch of money to the No on Prop 8 campain?

Beth said...

Joan - here you go.

Revenant said...

Make up your mind: do "natural families" need government involvement, or not?

There's no contradiction in the two statements you cited, Beth. The fairly obvious explanation is that while obviously men and women will continue to pair up and raise kids no matter what, the government can encourage or discourage this behavior, making it more or less common. The government has an interest in making it more common, since that's where the next generation comes from.

Revenant said...

So, why did the California teachers union give a bunch of money to the No on Prop 8 campain?

Yeah, I was listening to a "No on 8" ad and it listed the teachers' union as one of the groups opposed to the measure. That was infuriating to me, and I'm strongly AGAINST Prop 8. If the teachers' union has money to spend on gay marriage, teachers are obviously overpaid.

Kirby Olson said...

Right now you can still take your kids out of school, but California wants to ban home-schooling and then enforce a rigid PC agenda in the schools, too.

Freedom of speech in schools has been out the window for at least thirty years, particularly at the college level.

You have to tow the line or you're done. This is increasingly true even in the seminaries, in which if you decide to support the Bible against the William Ayers types of the seminaries, you are toast.

Every institution has a new religion in it, which is trying to establish itself as the only true and valid religion, and suppressing all others.

If Obama wins, this will intensify very quickly. It won't be as bad as Rome under Nero, but it will be moving in that direction.

Orthodox Christianity will have to go underground to a great extent, and meet out of sight of the PC police.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Trooper: Back in about '84 I was at the range with a colleague "Bob", shooting his .44 Magnum. He told me about the time his daughter had her first real date: Bob had this hand-cannon out on the breakfast table, cleaning it , when the boy arrived. After a bit of chat, when the happy couple were leaving, Bob reminded the boy "have her back by 10, OK son?" and the kid replied "9:30, yes sir!".

Joe M. said...

See, what we really need is to find an example in which an ultra-lefty photographer refuses to photograph a neo-Nazi wedding ...

jprapp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan said...

Beth, thanks for the link.

The parents sound very sentimental and caught up in the moment. Would they have organized a field trip if the teacher had been straight? Probably. Would the school have approved that field trip? I doubt it.

I'm also surprised that the teacher scheduled her wedding for a school day, and so that she would have to take a week off from school for her honeymoon. Hereabouts, teachers only get so many paid days off, very few, and after that their pay is docked a not-insignificant sum to cover the substitute. (I sub, so I hear about it.) Why would the school administration hire a teacher who planned to take off such a big chunk of time so early in the school year? Would they make the same accommodation for a straight teacher?

On the face of it, it seems as if the couple planned the whole thing so they could politicize it. Surely they had other choices as to scheduling, one which wouldn't have necessitated an out-of-school field trip. They could have, for example, had an afternoon wedding and invited the children and their parents to the ceremony -- but then they wouldn't have had such a great photo opportunity, as more parents and children would have likely stuck to their usual routines.

The kids in the video looked charming, but what kid wouldn't be thrilled with the opportunity to throw flowers? And I suppose the teacher can be excused for saying "her whole class" was there, when in fact a couple of families opted their kids out. The article creeped me out by noting the 6-year-old with the "No on 8" button, and the parents' plans to use the wedding footage as part of a video where the kids get to talk about what marriage means to them. I love kids -- have three of 'em and often wish I could have had more -- but are 6-year-olds' opinions on marriage really supposed to be persuasive? First graders are oriented towards short-term satisfaction and have no concept of commitment or unintended consequences. But sure, ask the kids what they think, I'm sure it will be adorable.

jprapp said...

Kirby (4:48 pm) -

Rorty offered philosophical justification for using higher education to indoctrinate against what he judged to be religious bigotry (anti-gay sentiment, creationism, etc.). It’s an open question how much practical effect ideology makes in day to day decisions. Attribution studies of “orthodox” believers show a lack of correlation between confessed dogma and every day events in the external world. I don’t have the answer, but I’d say there’s at least a half-truth to George Marsden’s social science argument that the so-called secularization of society had less to do with ideology (changes in epistemology) than this change had to do with rough and tumble political compromises or power plays across several generations – clergy and churches lost control of the purse strings of an array of institutions.

The seminaries you mentioned (I think you meant to name Jeremiah Wright and his liberation theology, and not Ayers) are just not up to snuff to do the quantum physical research at CERN, that is, to find the “God Particle” (Higgs boson). These seminaries don’t qualify for hefty line item government funding in the US, say like SLAC at Stanford. While “bible” seminaries may be perceived by believer-donor-seminarians as a last bulwark against evil-Rorty, I think you’re a bit premature to attribute too much to Obama in mentioning (do you see a direct correlation?) Obama in connection with the orthodox church going “underground,” because this retreat is generations long in coming (see Marsden, above).

But, where’s your “orthodox” faith, man? – surely you’re not saying that “orthodox” faith would go underground because it lacks the robustness to mount its own version of civil rights marches including civil disobedience ala King? – or, that lawsuits like that of State Senator Ernie Chambers to get a restraining order against God, in order to prevent God from executing terrorist threats of “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants” – would really be effective as against the Almighty? (Yeah, yeah, the Chambers lawsuit was symbolic and failed for lack of notice). Isn’t it part and parcel of “orthodox” faith that God has already taken the dock? – haven’t you seen “Chariots of Fire,” and the colloquy about why the nations (and their laws) roar and make mere noise? – aren’t these legal maneuvers mere irritations that perturb the Almighty’s holy butt? – and, at just what point does “orthodox” faith not require legal protection because puny restraining orders by mere human courts against God can’t really stop God’s “orthodox” interventions, roaring back against Rorty in human affairs?

Revenant said...

Would the school have approved that field trip? I doubt it.

For first graders? Probably they would. Field trips aren't terribly education-related at that age.

Freder Frederson said...

See, what we really need is to find an example in which an ultra-lefty photographer refuses to photograph a neo-Nazi wedding ...

Refusing service to someone because they are a racist asshole is not prohibited.

You really need to get acquainted with Civil Rights laws.

It is just amazing that such a large percentage of Ann's (who claims not to be a conservative) regular commenters are so hostile to Civil Rights laws and the idea that it should be illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin (all that has been settled law for well over 30 years). Apparently, it is not the fact that sexual orientation is being added to the list, but that you never liked the idea of civil rights laws in the first place.

Synova said...

By the way, if you're hiring a wedding photographer, you are a fool to hire someone who hates your wedding, so it's pretty much a non-problem.

Not if you're the photographer!

Sheesh, Ann.

You really think that people with an *agenda* are going to quietly find someone else when a photographer they contact seems reluctant? Really?

I mean... look... I've been unserved in Denny's (since you brought up restaurants) more than once and *I* assume it's because the store was poorly managed, so I just didn't go back for a third try... but then I'm not black and I'm not standing waiting to be seated while I hold my girlfriend's hand either.

Heck, even without an agenda, how do you KNOW that you just happened to go to a photographer who is naturally bad at scheduling or is a jerk to everyone? You don't. All you really know is that you're sitting there with your same-sex true-love and getting dissed.

You really don't think that photographers are going to get sued?

Elaine said...

Until 2001, every culture, every religion, throughout time has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. How these marriages have been arranged, how long they last, and even how many wives or husbands one has has varied; but, never has anyone questioned that it was between a man and a woman. So, I was wondering, when did it become bigotry to believe marriage is between a man and a woman?

Synova said...

for every "defense of marriage" proposition, someone should counter it with an "offense on divorce" proposition which outlaws divorces and annulments altogether. i mean, if people are so interested in the sanctity of marriages, then why not make it legal until death do us part.

Cute hyperbole, but otherwise, yeah, why not?

It *should* be hard to get divorced. Making it easier hasn't made divorces any more friendly, has it? It should be very hard to get divorced and getting divorced should have serious social consequences. There should be reasons... or else some pretty impressive hoops to jump if there aren't reasons.

It would be a sad thing if homosexuals gain the right to a "marriage" that isn't worth the paper it's recorded on.

Synova said...

Any why NOT poly marriages?

I honestly do not care who gets married, I care that marriages are so freaking *disposable*.

Divorce needs to be possible, but promising to love and cherish until it isn't fun anymore is *lame*.

Trooper York said...

"Any why NOT poly marriages"

Who would want to marry a parrot?

Trooper York said...

Any why NOT poly marriages?

If Mort were awake he would say marriages to parrots are racist because poly would only want a cracker.

Revenant said...

Refusing service to someone because they are a racist asshole is not prohibited. You really need to get acquainted with Civil Rights laws.

And the blue ribbon in the "Missing the Point" contest goes to... Freder! :)

veni vidi vici said...

"And if it was an interracial couple--rather than a same sex one--would you defend the photographer's right to say, "sorry, I don't believe in interracial marriage and won't take pictures at an interracial wedding""

The free-market guy in me says, "hell yeah, especially if I was a competing photographer!" For everyone who wants to limit the scope of the market for their services, there will be others who seize the opportunity.

We're talking the equivalent of what buggy-whips became in the 20th century, people. The Amish must really piss Freder off!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Freder,

It is just amazing that such a large percentage of Ann's (who claims not to be a conservative) regular commenters are so hostile to Civil Rights laws and the idea that it should be illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin (all that has been settled law for well over 30 years).

OK, let's substitute "Christian Identity wedding" for "neo-Nazi wedding." (Are "racist assholes" a protected class so long as they bill themselves as a religion?)

dbp said...

Ann said:

"But I do think that the more people see objection to gay people as just hateful bigotry, the more likely it is that the photographer will be compelled not to discriminate," but that was after many other statements to the effect that the culture will change."

Is it illegitimate to not want the culture to trend in this direction? Or to put it another way: Is it only acceptable for culture to move in one direction--that of secular liberalism?

chuck b. said...

"So, I was wondering, when did it become bigotry to believe marriage is between a man and a woman?"

A few years ago.


Until recently, we didn't care if husbands beat their wives or parents beat their children. Now we're so nosy. Let's go back to how it used to be. Respect privacy!

And I would like to bring slavery back too. I mean, it was fine for thousands of years. I could really use a slave around the house.

And I'm tired of democracy. Can't we have something less... disorganized?

People get along better when everyone has the same religion. Let's just pick one, and be done with it.

Floridan said...

dbp: "Is it only acceptable for culture to move in one direction--that of secular liberalism?"

It is if the alternative is your religion telling me how to live my life.

veni vidi vici said...

"If Mort were awake he would say marriages to parrots are racist because poly would only want a cracker."

That was breathtakingly brilliant.

dbp said...

Hey people can live however they like. At some point society as a whole makes decisions where one side looses and the other wins.

If gay marriage is legitimized by the state, then a moral standard is being established. We citizens of this republic have every right to a say in what the standards of our civilization should be.

Synova said...

dbp: "Is it only acceptable for culture to move in one direction--that of secular liberalism?"

It is if the alternative is your religion telling me how to live my life.


How about if the alternative is everyone getting to live their own life how they want?

Why can't we shoot for that goal, eh?

Ann's saying that there's no threat to free speech or freedom of religion... and who'd want a hostile person to take their wedding pictures... so why has a photographer in NM already been sued?

Who is telling who how to live?

Revenant said...

How about if the alternative is everyone getting to live their own life how they want? Why can't we shoot for that goal, eh?

Because that goal is incompatible with left-wing politics (and quite a lot of right-wing politics, too).

reader_iam said...

How about if the alternative is everyone getting to live their own life how they want? Why can't we shoot for that goal, eh?

Because that goal is incompatible with left-wing politics (and quite a lot of right-wing politics, too).


Word II!!!!!! Except I'd ditch the the parentheses (NOT a comment on Rev including them, but rather just a simple statement of my own view).

Things That Come Between Us said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

If [xx] is legitimized by the state, then a moral standard is being established.

Really?

What a horrifying view of state power--and I do mean horrifying, and particularly because of both the explicit and implicit slashing to bloody ribbons of the individual. You are validating, empowering, the very thing that you're supposedly opposing.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, would you just give it up, and over, like that, and just like that?

This is what I just don't get, from whatever direction, on whatever hill on which supposedly last stands are being taken.

Things That Come Between Us said...

If gay marriage is legitimized by the state, then a moral standard is being established.

This is self-evidently ridiculous.

Things That Come Between Us said...

This would all be much simpler if the state would stay out of marriage and content itself with civil unions for everybody.

reader_iam said...

I think Palladian made the point in a nutshell (was it on this, or another thread, of today? whatever!) earlier. He didn't say it this way, and I will totally accept his smacking on that account, but still: It ain't limited Government--capital "G" government-- if it fails to puts limits on itself s to what it can limit on the individual level.

F15C said...

I want to marry two wives.

The three of us can have a 50% more committed relationship than a gay couple.

And we can propagate naturally.

Like bunnies.

If commitment and natural propagation are good, then more is better.

The proposition almost writes itself.

Beth said...

I'm also surprised that the teacher scheduled her wedding for a school day, and so that she would have to take a week off from school for her honeymoon.

Gay people have been rushing to get married before the vote on the proposition. I'm not surprised she didn't wait until semester break.

Revenant said...

"If gay marriage is legitimized by the state, then a moral standard is being established."

This is self-evidently ridiculous.

Is it? Look at how many people equate "the state isn't dealing with X" with "X isn't being dealt with". The United States is routinely criticized for not giving enough aid -- because even though our PRIVATE giving is second to none, the federal government doesn't open up its wallet widely enough.

There are, indeed, a lot of people in the world who equate government action with moral action.

dbp said...

reader iam said, "What a horrifying view of state power--and I do mean horrifying, and particularly because of both the explicit and implicit slashing to bloody ribbons of the individual. You are validating, empowering, the very thing that you're supposedly opposing."

I see this two ways: First, recognizing reality--if something is recognized by the govt. then it has gained a kind of legitimacy it wouldn't otherwise have. I think Ann is right that once something is legal, then those who oppose it can be branded as bigots. Second, even if these laws are formed undemocratically by judges, we are still a democracy. As such, those laws represent who we are as a people in a way which would not be true if we lived under a dictatorship.

Things That Come Between Us said...

There are, indeed, a lot of people in the world who equate government action with moral action.

"A lot of people in the world" aren't always right, though you're correct to suggest that we should take common opinion into account in conducting an investigation (thank you, Aristotle).

I see this two ways: First, recognizing reality--if something is recognized by the govt. then it has gained a kind of legitimacy it wouldn't otherwise have.

That's true. But to say that a "moral standard" is being created gets right at the heart of the problem: moral standards must be independent of legislative action, otherwise we have no grounds on which to object to the law. We can't say "law X is wrong" if the only standard for right/wrong is that it is law.

We might remember the Declaration (forgive my mistakes, I'm quoting from memory): "All men were created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Now that statement is nonsense if we do not recognize that there are objective moral standards independent of government action.

Now there are many things that can and should be said here (such as the relation between gov't action and common opinion, and whether common opinion forms a sufficient moral grounding--it doesn't--, &c, &c), but I'm out of time, so I'll hand it back over.

Cheers,

Things That Come Between Us said...

P.S.

Strauss's introduction to his Natural Right and History informs (thought not exclusively) my last comment. Good reading.

TMink said...

"Religous people and gays are united in the belief that gay marriage will somehow change the nature of marriage and/or gays."

Well, many of the gay folks I know are religious people, so I think you are dealing with a false dichotomy.

And as a person of religious persuasion, I do not fear that gay marriage would change or affect marriage at all. I would vote against it because I am being obedient in doing so. Scripture is clear about homosexual activity while it says nothing concerning homosexually inclined people.

As a Christian, I work to follow and obey Scripture. No lying, no stealing, no adultry, no endorsement of homosexual activity. I also try to follow and obey Scripture in loving my gay and lesbian friends, feeding the poor, and tithing. I am commanded to do so.

Since my lesbian and gay friends are human beings like me and my straight friends, I find that it is no special challenge to love them like I do other human beings. See, it is not my issue, my panties are not in a wad, I am just trying to live a Christian life.

Trey

Things That Come Between Us said...

Blah. Feel free to ignore my last few comments. I forget that the comment thread of a blog (even such a blog as this, with mostly well-educated and thoughtful commenters) is not the place to conduct philosophical inquiry.

And Rev, I completely missed your point in my rush this morning. Sorry. Though I would affirm that the statement in question is indeed self-evident, it would be another argument as to what makes self-evidence. I should have extended my quote back to the beginning: "We hold these truths to be self-evident ..."

TMink said...

"It is if the alternative is your religion telling me how to live my life."

I have never told anyone how to live their life. But I vote! So can you. That is not your telling me how to live my life, nor me telling you. It is democracy.

Grow up.

Trey

BobN said...

All of the bogey-man issues regarding same-sex marriage and religious liberty apply to religious liberty and religious diversity in America.

Do Christian churches which rent out their facilities to the public have a right to refuse, say, a Buddhist wedding? No.

Do Catholics have the right to monitor how and when the public schools mention divorce? No.

Are "conservative" churches prohibited from railing on and on about the "evil" of Islam, the "cult" of Mormonism, the "whore of Babylon" in Rome? No.

Is any pastor prevented from preaching that HIS version of religion is the ONLY way to salvation and that ALL must obey the rules of HIS god? No. (unfortunately)

There is no threat to liberty from society acceptance of same-sex marriage that did not and does not also exist due to our acceptance of religious liberty itself. Granted, there are plenty of people who would have religious conformity for all. You see, we're free enough to tolerate even them.

Synova said...

"Is any pastor prevented from preaching that HIS version of religion is the ONLY way to salvation and that ALL must obey the rules of HIS god? No. (unfortunately)"

Why unfortunately?

That bother you? That someone might actually think their religion is the right one?

Granted, there are plenty of people who would have religious conformity for all. You see, we're free enough to tolerate even them.

For a moment I thought you were talking about those people who seem to want to insist on the most basic of religious conformity possible... the belief that "whatever you believe is true for you." Because when it comes to religious conformity that's where I see it happening. Call everyone else a bigot or hateful because they have the gall, the ever-living gall, to imagine that their religion actually represents Truth.

People who actually believe Truth matters diverge away from conformity at every turn.

Over and over and over again, the faithful diverge... in every religion. If Truth matters then there are splits between those who disagree, who feel that teaching Truth is important.

The ones who don't, the "True for You" sorts... they want agreement and harmony... conformity of ideas and conformity of all religions so that differences have no more importance than a quaint cultural observance.

But I'm thinking probably you're talking about religious True Believers of some sort, those threatening to usher in the pending Theocracy.

Crazier than Truthers, really... as if Catholics and Baptists are going to let that happen. Sheesh.

knowitall said...

I know who and what will threaten your freedom of speech, and that's the liberal illuminati who don't want us to discuss anything that will expose them.

Eowyn said...

Urgh. My husband and I were discussing this last night. Does SSM threaten my marriage? Nope. Does it threaten my freedom of speech and religion? Probably not-- I have a hard time picturing the US going as far as the Canadian kangaroo courts. Do I oppose SSM?

Yep.

I'm a religious person-- but I don't think that that has much place in politics and laws, beyond common sense (thou shalt not steal, of course the President can pray, etc.). My policy beef with SSM is that, like it or not, American society is founded on marriage, as it has been traditionally defined. Perhaps founded is the wrong word... but unofficially based, certainly. Like it or not, the bedrock of society in the west has always been (traditionally) married families.
I read through a series of articles that Stanley Kurtz had in National Review a few years ago, concerning SSM in Europe (yes, Kurtz's tone is near insufferable, but that doesn't negate the data). Marriage as an institution and, more importantly, children having two parents in the home, has declined since the imposition of SSM/civil unions. I know it's only correlation, not causation-- but dinking around with a bedrock institution like marriage seems like a fundamentally bad idea.

TMink said...

BobN wrote: "Are "conservative" churches prohibited from railing on and on about the "evil" of Islam, the "cult" of Mormonism, the "whore of Babylon" in Rome? No."

Bob, I am an evangelical Christian who has attended services at scores of churches and I have never heard anything like what you are describing.

Never.

I am not denying that idiots like Tony Alamo say things like that, but how many people go to his services? 40? Those hate mongers from Kansas with the "All Fags Must Die" baloney come from a church with less than 60 members. The Christian Identity movement has less (far less) than 5000 members.

These type "churches" exist, but I have never encountered anything like that kind of message at the scores of churches I have attended.

Have you?

And I appreciate your putting conservative in quotations. What you described is off the charts outliars that no mainstream denomination would tolerate.

So have you heard this sort of filth in church?

Has anyone here?

Trey

Synova said...

Railing on and on? No.

Because I don't go to Rev. Wright's church.

But you fail to understand that the "evil" of Islam, the "cult" of Mormonism, the "whore of Babylon" in Rome? means anything other than repeating with a smile that all religious belief is equal, all religions are "True", they are all just different ways to know God.

Most Bible believing churches (as opposed to those who think that the Bible is nice, but shouldn't be taken too seriously) believe that Islam is, if not actively evil, at least very wrong, that Mormons are a cult, or at least not Christian, and if Protestant, consider that the Catholic church may be the whore of Babylon... either past tense or future. The thing is, that mostly it's just not *important*... not any more important than any given church believing that the members of any other given church are probably not saved after all.

bully said...

Why do people think that judges who rules this way are "activists" but people who voted against marriage equality in CA the first time around AREN'T activists?

First of all, it is the specific roll of judges to interpret the Constitution specifically to protect the rights of individuals. Judges are appointed by the executive branch, and confirmed by the legislative branch -- there's your "checks and balances" going into it right up front.

The whole ballot initiative on every topic is where things go awry. The thing that people in this country forget is that we do NOT live in a democracy, we live in a FEDERAL REPUBLIC. The very foundation of which is that we elect representatives who pass laws on our behalf. The California Assembly even passed a law granting marriage equality, but the Governor vetoed it, probably because he feared political fallout from voters who had the first ballot initiative.

So, the judges, appointed by the governor, confirmed by the assembly, did their consitutional job and ruled. That is not activism, it's checks and balances. It's only called "judicial activism" when you get a ruling with which you disagree - funny how that works.

It was author Ayn Rand who I think said it best when she penned "Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."

That quote describes precisely why there shouldn't be referendums on the rights of any group of people, because it allows majorities to impose their will onto minorities.

What does that sound like? I could say The Inquisitition. I could say McCarthyism. I could say Hitler and the Third Reich. One group after the next fell to Hitler's majority. The question finally will become: Who's left when they come for you?

Eowyn said...

Bully-- no one said that people voting for or against something weren't activists (or at least not that I saw here, but there are about 150 comments). Anybody who gets remotely involved in politics could be defined as an activist, and it's not a big deal. Activist JUDGES, however, are an extremely big deal when they bring their political hobbies with them to the bench.

Michael said...

I personally believe that religious institutions should be allowed to disagree with gay marriage, that they shouldn't be forced to marry people if they don't want to.
At the same time, I believe marriage is a right for all citizens, and to tell someone they are not allowed to get married is a violation of their rights. Marriage, while it is viewed as a holy sacrament, is also a financial contract between two people before the State. While religious institutions should not be forced to marry homosexuals, homosexuals should be allowed that right to bind themselves legally together in the same way heterosexuals can.
By denying people this right, you are promoting hatred and discrimination. On top of that, the New Testament (in it's original language, not in it's continually re-translated script) has no references to consensual homosexuality within a committed relationship, and certainly do not contain any unambiguous condemnation of gay and lesbian sexual activity. It has been translated through the belief system of individuals several times, and now condemns homosexuality itself, even though the original texts DO NOT.
I exclude the old testament because I don't believe you should be able to pick and choose what you believe in from the bible. You must take a look critically at what it says, WHY they said it and if it is appropriate to be applied to today's society. Homosexuality MAY have been a problem because of the high infant mortality rate or people only living to the age of 45 or so, but in this day and age, it is no longer an issue. To state that, say, homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry because they don't produce children would also say that infertile and older couples shouldn't be allowed, because THEY don't produce children. Jacking off was a sin condemnable by death. Find me one person that hasn't ever rubbed one out.
I view homosexuality as a form of population control, and we certainly need that today. I saw this woman who had 18 children and another on the way. Now, you are entitled to have as many as you like, but don't you think that's a little bit excessive?
Anyways, I've become sidetracked.
The whole point of the matter is: Do you personally believe that people should have the same civil liberties as everyone else?
I do.
I also believe churches should have the right to deny people based of their religious beliefs, and doctors as well. If they want to put themselves out there as promoting hate and discrimination, so be it. If gay marriage is allowed, eventually people WILL come around and realize the sky isn't falling, children aren't growing up with gay couples and turning gay themselves (that's a FACT, not a speculation, as many gay couples have adopted or fostered children already: In one example, my mother worked as a social worker for Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, in Foster Care. She worked with a gay couple who was trying to adopt two little boys they were fostering whose mother was a heroin addict and hooker. This was roughly 7 years ago I met them. Boys were 3 and 5 when they got them, and neither of them spoke a word of anything. They had no vocabulary and could not articulate through words what they wanted. One year after having the kids, they were capable of speaking at the level of a child their age. Years later, the 5 year old is now 12, and VERY much into girls, and I'm pretty sure the younger is as well,) and God hasn't come down and smitten us (i.e. Massachusetts.)
It shouldn't be force-fed to people, BUT those against need to realize THEY shouldn't be allowed to force-feed their beliefs down the supporters throats. NOR should a majority be allowed to CONTROL a minority and call them second class citizens.
It's about fairness and justice for ALL people.

Lisa said...

But what freedom of religion for the same-sex couple being married? If two women belong to a church that sanctions same-sex marriage, and are married there, then aren't they married? If the government refuses to recognize the marriage, isn't that a clear violation of freedom of religion?