January 20, 2005

Spongebob Squarepants: Gay Tool!

I sometimes bristle at the haughty sneers in Red America’s direction from the coasts. I used to live in a red state – Iowa. It was still barely a blue state then, and it’s barely a red state now. Blowing it off as “Jesusland” not only denies the state’s complexity and diversity (yes, I am talking about Iowa here), it’s also a snot-nosed condescending attitude unbecoming of grown-ups.

Still. Some people on the more crimson end of the spectrum don’t do Red America’s image any favors. Look no further than the latest hysterical outburst by the brainless, bigoted blowhard James Dobson.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 20, 2005 07:09 PM
Comments

Yo.Dobson is a complete idiot.I was wandering around Free Republic today and the posters there were making fun of him.You gotta know you are way outside the Conservative mainstream when everyone at FR thinks you are looney-tunes.
Getting upset about a CARTOON !!!

Lunacy appears to be an equal opportunity affliction.

Posted by: dougf at January 20, 2005 07:17 PM

Dougf: I was wandering around Free Republic today and the posters there were making fun of him

I'm slightly surprised, but that's good to know. Got a link? I'm curious what they are saying.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 20, 2005 07:20 PM

To MJT--- Your wish is my command(as long as it does not involve money,untoward behaviour,or agreeing with DPU).

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1324955/posts

Posted by: dougf at January 20, 2005 07:27 PM

SpongeBob has given me a totally different outlook on seafood. My foodie orientation will never be the same.

Posted by: chuck at January 20, 2005 07:42 PM

Gay, eh? This is deeply humiliating to me. I've always had a little thing for Spongebob, but I assumed it was a girl.

Oh, my god! Am I gay??!!

Posted by: Jim at January 20, 2005 08:32 PM

Worse, Jim. You're a Spongeist.

Posted by: jeremy in NYC at January 20, 2005 09:04 PM

Yeah - I was surprised that Free Republic was making fun of this too. They are one of the most anti-gay websites I know. I figured that out after they banned me from posting within 30 minutes of finding out I was gay.

And of course - they still ARE anti-gay. Check out their comments on this SAME subject from only two weeks ago.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1316670/posts

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 20, 2005 09:22 PM

Dobson has definitely jumped the gun. But I think it's worth keeping an eye on.

There is a gay agenda, and they are targeting the youth for their propaganda.

Now, you may be in favor of that agenda, and that's your prerogative, but others aren't. And they have every right to know what you insidious Lefties are up to when it involves their children. So they're keeping their eyes peeled.

Again, Dobson probably jumped the gun on this one. Folks are jumpy.

Posted by: David at January 20, 2005 09:34 PM

And of course - they still ARE anti-gay

So, are you saying they are mistaken? That Spongebob really is gay?

Again, Dobson probably jumped the gun on this one. Folks are jumpy.

I don't even want to think of the implications. Arrggghh, not Dobson too.

Posted by: chuck at January 20, 2005 09:53 PM

David: There is a gay agenda, and they are targeting the youth for their propaganda

Is "be nice to gay people" really propaganda? You know, if it were for asshats like James Dobson the "gay agenda" wouldn't even need to exist.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 20, 2005 09:59 PM

Is "be nice to gay people" really propaganda?

No, it's not.

Is that all it is?

We'll see.

Posted by: David at January 20, 2005 10:07 PM

David: Is that all it is?

What else would it be? A screed against "breeders?" A "Sodomy for Dummies" cartoon? I'd love to see some evidence for that.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 20, 2005 10:16 PM

Michael - Exactly right! What the religious right are up in arms about is that somebody is promoting a music video that has a vague reference to a website, and on that website there is an obscure pledge that people can sign on their own accord that says "I will be be nice to people of different races, religions, sexual orientation, etc."

And as all know - that will make people gay!

I'm gay, and happen to find these "diversity" days pretty sappy. I'm sure children aren't even paying attention. But to say this is part of some evil gay "agenda" is absurd.

The "gay agenda" is pretty simple: People are perfectly free to have their religious views about homosexuality, but the "civil" laws of this country should not discriminate against gay people. Bigotry should be a private concern, not official government policy.

The agenda of the religious right is to make discrimination against gay people the law of the land, to make homosexuality illegal so that they can throw gay people in jail, to put gay people back in the closet, and to ostracise and demonize gay people wherever possible, and to try and "recruit" gay people into heterosexuality with dangerous conversion programs that don't work and do a great amount of harm. That is not stretching the truth. Go to any religious right website (like Dobson's) and the hatred of gays comes through loud and clear.

And lying about the "gay agenda" is just one facet of the hate emanating from the religious right.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 20, 2005 10:16 PM

David, is your post a parody of the writer MJT has linked?

You're surely not seriously proposing that there is a "gay agenda", and further that people are recruiting?

Further, that people's sexual preference can be ascribed to a political preference?

Posted by: viacollins at January 20, 2005 10:16 PM

You're surely not seriously proposing that there is a "gay agenda", and further that people are recruiting?

viacollins,

Recruiting? That's what you heard, but that's not what I said.

And yes, I do believe in the fabled "gay agenda." But you obviously don't know what I mean by that, and I'm not on this blog to educate people about it.

Posted by: David at January 20, 2005 10:21 PM

The agenda of the religious right

oh, I see. There is no gay agenda. Just a "religious right" agenda.

Phew! thanks for that!

Posted by: David at January 20, 2005 10:24 PM

David - Of course there's a religious right agenda. And you're propagating it on this board and you're not even aware of it.

I already told you what my "gay agenda" is. Tolerance, respect, and civility towards gay people, even if you happen to personally think homosexuality is a sin. But I guess that's asking to much from society, right?

The religious right agenda: intolerance against gays, no respect for gay people, uncivil behavior against gay people. Spreading evil lies about gay people to boot by spreading lies about their "agenda". Trying to force gay people to change their sexuality (looks like the religious right is the one doing the "recruiting".

Here's some examples from the Religious Right, directly from their own mouths:

http://www.hatecrime.org/subpages/hatespeech/afa.html

Can you please find me this secret "gay agenda" that you're talking about.

It's pretty clear to me that you're a bigot David. That's your perogative. But don't act shocked when people point the obvious out to you.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 20, 2005 10:37 PM

Golly.I hate this topic even more than 'leftist'politics,and that is saying something,because I despise leftists to pieces.This is just nasty,guys.Gots to run.

Posted by: dougf at January 20, 2005 10:37 PM

I too wonder what the 'Gay Agenda' is, maybe it's like the 'Jewish Conspiracy'

Never underestimate the innate blowhardness of the white protestant religious hard right.

Posted by: Epitome at January 20, 2005 10:46 PM

white protestant religious hard right.

What does white have to do with it?

Posted by: chuck at January 20, 2005 10:54 PM

Downtown Lad: Trying to force gay people to change their sexuality (looks like the religious right is the one doing the "recruiting".

An excellent point that I had not thought of before.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 20, 2005 11:01 PM

You will know, if you have or are around grade school aged kids that they are the meanest and most hateful human beings in the world - in the sense that they will torment and torture anyone who has any sort of identifiable difference (i.e.; not like them).

I'm not sure if this Spongebob thing is a waste of time or not, but any attempt to get these little miscreants to be nice to each other has the potential to dramatically improve the state of our world and is ok with me.

Posted by: too many steves at January 21, 2005 05:08 AM

Well I will have to take a contrarian position on this. It has nothing to do with gay rights - I am still at heart a liberal (whatever that means anymore). But to me there is just something distasteful about getting children to sign a pledge. It brings to mind the widepread use of children to sell things door to door. This probably started with Girl Scout cookies but now it's Christmas wrapping paper - which doesn't seem so bad unless you're a non-salesman type person who has had to suffer the indignity of having to sell something you don't believe in (my own dignity was jeapordized in the service of vinyl thermopane replacement windows. Perhaps I should be proud of the fact that I never made one sale in 3 months of half-hearted effort).

I don't really care how noble the cause of "tolerance" is. Trying to get kids to sign a "pledge" for tolerance smacks of bullshit PC. That little pledge doesn't just include sexual identity. It includes "beliefs". Does that include the beliefs of the KKK (or is that now more precisely called the "Aryan nation")? Does it include the "beliefs" of the anti-Semites? The radical Islamists? So "tolerance" is unequivocably good?

Posted by: Caroline at January 21, 2005 05:29 AM

Okay - so I was being a real crank in my previous post. However, the petition does refer to tolerating both "beliefs" and "cultures" that are different from my own. I do take issue with that. I think the petition would have more credibility if instead of touting "tolerance" - it stated "I will not tolerate intolerance". But that's really a bit much for kids isn't it? Considering that even adults seem to be having a hard time figuring it out?

Posted by: Caroline at January 21, 2005 05:41 AM

"I don't really care how noble the cause of "tolerance" is"

Believe me, I've noticed.

Hey, if you're gonna right straightlines, then don't complain when people go for the (not very dignified) punchline.

On a related note, yes people should be tolerant of others' beliefs no matter how loathesome (being tolerant does not mean accepting such beliefs or sparing the believers the consequences of their beliefs).
On the other hand, they do not need to be tolerant of actions, especially illegal actions. When Spongebob endorses tolerance for actions that harm others I'll go Tarantino on his porous gay ass, until then I'm not much alarmed.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 21, 2005 05:45 AM

"I don't really care how noble the cause of "tolerance" is"

Believe me, I've noticed."

Man and I thought I was the crank.

"On a related note, yes people should be tolerant of others' beliefs no matter how loathesome (being tolerant does not mean accepting such beliefs or sparing the believers the consequences of their beliefs)."

Well once you bring in the idea that the holders of such "loathsome" beliefs are not spared the "consequences" of holding said beliefs, it seems to me you've opened the door pretty darned wide. Where lieth your inviolate notion of "tolerance" now?

Posted by: Caroline at January 21, 2005 06:46 AM

OFF-TOPIC Alert ----

I found the conversation at the 'Belmont Club'to be right on the money today,so am attaching a link below.Just FYI,and on this thread only because it is the most current,and therefore the most active.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming--

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2005/01/unrepentant-thomas-friedman-observes.html

Posted by: dougf at January 21, 2005 06:47 AM

David - Of course there's a religious right agenda. And you're propagating it on this board and you're not even aware of it.

Downtown,

I haven't denied there's a religious agenda. I just think it's the height of Leftist disingenousness to claim there is no gay agenda (even as you yourself engage in promoting it). Like one-handed clapping right? Of course you don't see the promotion of your worldview as an "agenda". You only see someone else promoting their worldview as an agenda. How convenient for you, no?

And I understand that your beliefs are all about "love" and "tolerance" and "candy and ice cream" and all that is good in the universe. I get that. And I get that the religious right is all about "hate" and "villainy" and having to eat your vegetables before dessert, etc. etc. Good. I understand that too. And you're welcome to your worldview and your desire to propagate it. We live in a democracy after all (even though you'd prefer to pursue your objectives through the courts and thereby bypass the democratic process). But let's just keep the kids out of it ok?

Parents say no to 'gay' agenda in schools

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31171

Lawmakers 'sanction' use of district-approved porn

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26192

Schools sued over pro-homosexual skits

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26337

And ps., this is my last post on the topic. I'm not particularly interested in it, and I'm here for the foreign policy wars, not the culture wars. You kids keep playing.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 06:52 AM

Actually, as one raised in Iowa (but born in India) I'd have to say Iowa is like the rest of the US - polka dotted blue with swathes of red in between (sorry, watching too much Project Runway lately). Iowa City is pure blue, Ames (yeah, Ames!) is bluish with red edges, Des Moines is bluish with red speckles and then lots of the spaces in between are red. Unless you count the strong sense of isolationism that is sort of ingrained in that part of the Midwest (though not as much as Minnesota). Is isolationism blue or red? Dear me. Maybe we have to come up with a different color?

Also, when my parents immigrated to Iowa from India in the late 60's they said it was very provicincial, but kind. Couldn't order a cup of tea in restaurant, only coffee then, but kindness kinda trumps the other stuff, huh? And I remember, way back in the 1980s, having my high school invite the parents of a gay man to talk about gays and how hard it is to be one in our society. They also invited a minister who talked about how he didn't think it was right, but I thought it was a very good thing to have an open and honest and civil discussion about the whole thing. The administration was concerned that some gay students were not being treated well and wanted to just get it all out in the open and stress tolerance. Those darn red state Iowans!

( PS - this Dobson fellow is just plain foolish.)

Posted by: MD at January 21, 2005 07:01 AM

I did preview, and yet, I still spelled provincial wrong and left out an 'a'. Sigh. Not a good advertisement for Iowa schools, huh?

Posted by: MD at January 21, 2005 07:04 AM

"Well once you bring in the idea that the holders of such "loathsome" beliefs are not spared the "consequences" of holding said beliefs, it seems to me you've opened the door pretty darned wide. Where lieth your inviolate notion of "tolerance" now?"

True tolerance is like water, you can't hold it in your hand, you can only swim in it.
True tolerance is like fire, it can light up the darkness and keep you warm, but you must remain vigilant and not let it escape the hearth lest it consume you.

Is that clear, grasshopper?

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 21, 2005 07:16 AM

You bristle at the haughty sneers in Red America’s direction from the coasts?

You're taking the "Red State" thing a little too seriously. People from the coasts have always sneered at the heartland. It doesn't, really, have anything to do with politics. On my local Boston sports station the very pro-Bush sports jocks have no issue saying that people from Indiana are hicks or that people in Western PA are missing most of their teeth. If you spend any time in New York you'll realize that Bush supporting New Yorkers often laugh at midwesterners and southerners.

Posted by: Vanya at January 21, 2005 07:32 AM

The SpongeBob episode I found egregiously offensive showed Patrick at a Bikini Bottom party dressed in desert camo and sporting a swastika armband.

Posted by: Deuce at January 21, 2005 07:47 AM

Big Cities, like Prague in the Czech Rep, have always had folk that sneer at others. This is one reason Slovaks, who mostly just visited Prague when visiting the Czech Rep, felt so looked down upon by the "Czechs" (in Praha) -- 'cause the Praha folk look down on all. Like NYT looks down on NY state folk NOT from the Big Apple, etc.

Dobson is neither brainless nor an idiot, nor that much of a blowhard. (Where's the full quote in context?) He's a person who sincerely wants to minimize homosexual behavior in the USA... While accepting that gay sex remain legal -- it's not clear to me that he wants to reinstate any sodomy laws or use of more force to punish that behavior. He is strongly opposed to any promotion of the gay agenda (gay lifestyle is 'equal but different' to straight lifestyle). He also believes the Bible calls gay sex "sinful", and he is concerned that the gay agenda includes declaring parts of the Bible as unacceptable*, for instance as "hate speech". As has already occurred in Europe AND the USA*.

Michael, I know you disagree with this desire. You have fine gay friends. I do (did?) too. And I see there hasn't been much AIDS discussion here, either.

AIDS, as well as the demographic trends (noted by Wretchard), has convinced me, on "civilization utilitarian" grounds, that homosexual promotion is a mistake. As is the more serious sexual promiscuity; even more serious abortion ethic (is OK); and the most serious huge divorce rates (as high among Christians as non-believers, to the shame of Christian family folk.)

The high divorce rate problem (my mother divorced 3 different men; my father 4 different women -- I have a half-sister and a half-brother who are unrelated to each other) is a little bit like human rights violation in China. Just too big a problem to do much about. Even though it might be the biggest, worst problem.

Let's remember that the pro-abortion courts "forced" the pro-abortion morality into the Law of the Land. It wasn't done by democratic votes. Whenever I hear opposition to having "morals shoved down their throats", this fact doesn't seem to come up. The FMA is a democratic response to stop the imposition of pro-gay morals by the courts.

On AIDS, most gays who have been infected were infected ... by irresponsible gays. If not criminally irresponsible. But I don't see many calls, here or elsewhere, to hold infectious gays to anything close to the same level of responsibility as drunk drivers, for instance.

How many gays have to die before "infecting another" (knowingly OR unknowingly) is a crime that is actually enforced? If Sully (great writer!) indulges in his preferred bare-back riding sex play, and infects somebody, should he be treated as a criminal? I think so.

*In Sweden a preacher was sentenced to jail (don't know if he served) for hate speech against gays. In America, a Christian former-lesbian, separated from prior lesbian lover, was prohibited from reading parts of the Bible on homosexuality to her daughter.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at January 21, 2005 08:28 AM

OK, how's this. Some politically active gays, claiming to speak for all, have an agenda approximating thaqt identified as "the gay agenda".

Posted by: triticale at January 21, 2005 08:45 AM

Michael,

Completely O/T.

LGF has a picture from the march downtown yesterday.

No biggie, right?

THe morons were actually wearing tinfoil hats

Even as irony (which isn't apparent), that is a bit much. Even for Portlanders.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 08:57 AM

Is it really that much of a stretch to think that they would create a gay character in order to subvert the minds of our children and indoctrinate them early on into the gay agenda? Do your research before you dismiss this as quackery.

1)Watch the show sometimes and wonder why the lead character is so unnaturally effete? Also wonder, why have all the strong male role-models, like Superman and Popeye, been wiped out altogether from children’s programming in exchange for feminized talking sponges.

2)This show is property of Viacom, the same people also own MTV. You know, MTV, the people who brought you the super bowl fiasco, three-way Madonna Britney Spears kiss, as well as other decidedly pro-homosexual-agenda programming, and then market it to your teenage daughter.

3)The very same network that airs this repulsive show, aired another one some 10-15 years ago called “Ren and Stimpy.” Now get this: this show featured a similarly flamboyant dog and cat who also had a very seemingly unwholesome relationship. Now, 15 years later, the show makes a comeback. All the kids who used to watch it are all grown up, and guess what: it’s revealed that the dog and cat are and always have been full-blown homosexual partners! Now think about the psychology involved in this. You have your childhood icons you grew up with. You’ve known, say, Batman all your life, now all of the sudden it’s revealed he’s gay, turning every preconceived notion you’ve ever had on its head.

They’re very smart and their methods are insidious. This kind of trickery and dishonesty should not be tolerated. I think parents have a right to know that this kind of brainwashing is happening to their children. Last time I checked, we still live in a free society where no one has the right to impose his crooked agenda on anyone else.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at January 21, 2005 09:06 AM

Kay, you know too much. Expect a knock on the door at midnight ... soon.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 21, 2005 09:19 AM

Last time I checked, we still live in a free society where no one has the right to impose his crooked agenda on anyone else.

Mr. Dobson- that means you too.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at January 21, 2005 09:25 AM

I tell ya, I'm gonna have to go on vacation just to figure out all the conspiracies that exist in our society.

The Right-Wing Christian Conspiracy

The Gay Conspiracy

The Stoner Conspiracy(those people advocating Medical Pot are just trying to get it legal in order to smoke it and make girls horny).

The Bush/Saudi Conspiracy

The Left is really a bunch of Authoritarian bastards.

The Right is really a bunch of authoritarian bastards.

The Pagans are trying to subvert the Christians

The Christians want to burn the Pagans, again.

WMD's were a lie for Revenge

WMD's were a lie for Oil

WMD's weren't a lie and they were secretly spirited away to 'X'.

The Skull and Bones is secretly controlling the President.

Kerry sucked to ensure that his fellow Skull and Bones brother stayed in power.

Ohio cheated.

----

Almost everyone on this board seems to believe one or more of these conspiracies, then laugh at the 'foolishness' of people who believe the other ones listed.

I think thats funny, especially when I know what the real conspiracy is.

It's obvious.

the illuminati, using their private security forces (known as the knights templar), have long been engaged in a secret war with the hashishem (which were not actually destroyed by the mongels) the hashishem, of course are headed by "the old man in the mountain", abdul alhazred (also known as the mad arab), who has been posing as bin laden since bin laden was killed during a freak accident in saudi arabia, involving an oil tanker and a young, drunk, george walker bush, bush thinks that bin laden has survived (which is what the illuminati wants him to think) and so has mounted attacks on abdul alhazred (thinking that he is bin laden)in order to keep his dui secret, this gives the illuminati good ground support in their war against the hashishem, in some of their magic rituals they pull on the psyche of american citizens and are unable to offer this 'essence' if it comes from a gay person because tsathogghua is a homophobe, therefore they are actually behind the christian conspiracy, while the gay conspiracy wants to make everyone gay in order to starve tsathogghua of his precious essence, all of this, of course, was documented by da vinci, but has been hidden by the wiccans who are trying to take over tsathogghua so that they can wipe out the christians with his power in retaliation for years of being used as heating fuel.

I think.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 09:59 AM

Tosk,

the fallacy of your thinking is to assume that simply because you're "neutral", then both parties must therefore be either right or wrong in equal measures (pretty standard Lefty thinking, by the way).

I call it the Reuters model. Because they choose to assume "neutrality" (so-called), they would violate that "neutrality" by recognizing the superior claim of one party over another. Even if that claim is obviously superior. Therefore, neither party has a superior claim over another--both parties are to blame in equal measure. This explains, for instance, why they can't use certain words like "terrorist", because it would recognize the superior claim of one party and thus violate Reuter's "neutrality." Unfortunately, neutrality and fairness are rarely ever one and the same. You're doing pretty much the same thing. By standing in the middle and minimizing the claims of both parties, you're denying that any one of the parties might have a superior claim. Both sides are equally foolish. But statistically, you, as the neutral party, have only a 1 in 3 chance of being correct; no better a chance than any of the two parties whose claims you're mimimizing. And let me reiterate, that is a huge blind spot in contemporary Lefty thinking. The fallacy of neutrality.

Your impartiality

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 10:15 AM

The gay conspirators are everywhere. I can see them peeping out of my wife's blouse. Oh, and Superman comics? His tights were a bit, um, tight, as if to say, "Read this comic young man, consider the sleek contours of Superman's thighs, gaze upon his pert buttocks and ample chest. Let your imagination run wild." Get the drift?

Oh, and Elmo? Please. I'm not stupid. He talks in a high voice.

Posted by: Jim at January 21, 2005 10:18 AM

Tosk! Man, you are NOT supposed to reveal those things in a place like this! Get a grip man!

Posted by: too many steves at January 21, 2005 10:18 AM

David - No wonder you're so messed up. You go to "World Net Daily" to find your "gay agenda".

Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? World Net Daily is oen of the prominent sites that propagates hatred against gay people.

It's the equivalent of going to the Nazi World Review to find evidence of the "Jewish conspiracy". Pretty lame if you ask me. And not very intellectual.

When I gave you evidence of the "Religious Right agenda", one of which is to demonize gay people - I gave you quotes directly from the Religious right. Why don't you just go to the American Family Association website (http://www.afa.net/) to see clear evidence of anti-gay hatred. In fact, one of the headlines there today is "P&G Chairman Gives Thousands to Promote Homosexual Agenda". How can you deny that the religious right does not have an agenda to demonize gay people?

If you could please provide me links to gay websites that are supposedly propagating this "gay agenda" I'd be interested in seeing it. Here's a link to the most prominent gay periodical. http://www.advocate.com You don't have to agree with it, but it looks pretty mainstream to me. You'll even find an article from a Reverand who is advocating the need for the gay community to partner with people of faith.

Let's get this clear. You're propagating hatred against gay people, as are others on this board. And then you take offense when we point out that the religious right hates gay people. Why does that so offend you? But you do hate gay people! So stop taking offense when people point this out to you.

As a gay person, I take offense at people who insist on making their anti-gay beliefs public policy, i.e. trying to interfere with my life. I have no qualms about saying that. Any rational person would feel the same way. But the only objection I have with the religious right is that they keep trying to interfere with my life. If they would stop doing that, I'd stop complaining about them.

Your beliefs are no different than racism or anti-semitism. You can try and justify it all you want, but if you're going to sit here and say that the gay lifestyle should be stopped, you are lying to yourself if you're trying to claim that you don't have an anti-gay agenda.

You're entitled to your beliefs. But to pretend that you are tolerant of gay people is a fraud.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 10:23 AM

Let's get this clear. You're propagating hatred against gay people, as are others on this board.

dude, stfu. Your post isn't even worth responding to just based on your above statement.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 10:25 AM

Tom Grey,

You must be on drugs if you think Dobson does not want to reinstitute the sodomy laws. Of course he does. He wants to put gay people in jail. Just ask him. Look at his writings. Read his comments when Lawrence V. Texas overturned the Texas Sodomy laws.
You act as if only an extremist would want to put gay people in jail, yet George Bush did just that when he was Governor of Texas, and advocated in 1994 that the sodomy laws should stay in place (only for gay people of course).
And now the religious right wants people placed on the Supreme Court who will overturn Lawrence V. Texas, which would make gays criminals again.
Your talk on AIDS is silly too. You use AIDS to malign all gay people and use that as a reason to punish homosexuality. Why? What does AIDS have to do with lesbians, who have a lower AIDS rate than the general population? What about the vast majority of gay people who do NOT have AIDS and practice safe sex. What AIDS does have to do with is promiscuity, not homosexuality. And promiscuity SHOULD be discouraged. But you're not helping your argument much, since you are against gay marriage. Gay marriage would obviously do tons to LOWER promiscuity.
But you're really not interested in lower promiscuity amongst gay people, now are you? Of course not. You're just against gay people period.
Please pardon me your crocodile tears. You were against gay people before HIV was even discovered, and you'll be against them when there's a cure. If you'd just admit that and argue that you're against gay people SIMPLY because the Bible says so, you'd have more credibility in my book.
You're entitled to have your religious beliefs. If you really think being gay is a sin, then you know what, don't be gay. If you think divorce is a sin, then fine, don't get divorced. But why you take such an interest in how I live my life as a consensual adult is beyond me.
But we shouldn't have laws in this country, SOLELY becauase the Bible says so.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 10:36 AM

David,

You are in denial if you claim that you don't hate gay people. Let's look at some of your quotes:

There is a gay agenda, and they are targeting the youth for their propaganda. - David

And yes, I do believe in the fabled "gay agenda." - David

Now let's play a little game here. Let's change the words "gay" for "Jewish".

There is a Jewish agenda, and they are targeting the youth for their propaganda. - David

And yes, I do believe in the fabled "Jewish agenda." - David

Sound anti-semetic to you? Of course it does.

The reason you can't see your hatred of gay people is that you are blind to it. I'm sure the KKK gets upset when people call them racist. I'm sure the PLO gets upset when people call them anti-semetic. Just like you're getting upset when people call you anti-gay.

But you are.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 10:43 AM

The Religious Right is far too happy to be the bogeyman. Geeks and freaks like Mr. Dobson do more to harm the reputations of the devout than anything else today. (I'm including Catholic Priest shenanigans; those perverts may have done more damage to their congregations and their religion, but I'm talking about perceptions of the deeply faithful by those who aren't that tight with God.)

And speaking of flamers, Hugo Weaving of "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" fame also had a bit part in another movie where his character famously says "Me, me, me."

Behind Dobson's quotes, that's all I perceive he's thinking. If it looks like a publicity whore and acts like a publicity whore, well, you know.

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 10:47 AM

Downtown,

you're basically reading from your talking points. I'm sure your screed is pretty standard for you by now, and everybody "hates gays" who isn't of your thinking. It's like moonbats calling everybody "racists" who isn't of their thinking. Minimal impact. But it does tell me who I'm talking to and how seriously I'm going to take them. In this case, not much.

I give you worldnetdaily, and it's all "lies." But I'm supposed to read your crap from a site called "hatecrimes.org"? Don't be infantile. Woldnet just links to stuff, just like your "hatecrimes.org". You can choose to read it or ignore it, but you're on equal footing with me, and your standard accusations of "hate" aren't making much of an impact on me right now.

All I can say is, let's keep the children out of this, shall we?

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 10:53 AM

You have your childhood icons you grew up with. You’ve known, say, Batman all your life, now all of the sudden it’s revealed he’s gay, turning every preconceived notion you’ve ever had on its head.

Batman wasn't supposed to be gay? I mean c'mon, tights, Boy Wonder (a teenage syncophantic acrobat in tights)? And Ren and Stimpy not being gay in the 1990s? Please.

That said, Lad's hysterical rants are alomst as much of a crude stereotype.

Gay marriage would obviously do tons to LOWER promiscuity.

Oh, really Lad? Like the Massachusetts gay men who got married and them loudly proclaimed their "open" marriage? OK, fine then, marriage for lesbians but not for gays. Oh, wait, that wouldn't be very fair (logical, but not fair). PLease spare us the moral indignation when someone points out that there exist gay men far less morally upright than, and are perhaps in the majority of the gay population. And don't pretend that the gay activists speak for only a fraction of gays.

Ten years ago gays said they wanted rights, they'd never want marriage ("Scoff, who'd want that uptight, straight thing, darling?") Now the mainstream gay man is all too hypersensitive about his marriage rights.

In fact, what you're doing is making a compelling case for lesbians only to be treated on par with heterosexual couples. (greater fidelity, less VD, etc). You're actually making the case against applying these standards to gay men.

Will I admit my dislike for promiscuous gay male culture? In a heartbeat. And it's not just based on Biblical precepts. It's based on numerous social and cultural factors that are, when magnified to social acceptance not toleration, corrosive to society.

It's like muslims decalring Islam is the religion of peace when their compatriots are sawing off a head in the back room. Unless and until mainstream gay culture repudiates dangerous and morally reprobate practices, gays can forget about acceptance from more than a few Americans.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 10:57 AM

"far less morally upright than [yourself]"

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 10:59 AM

David,

Everyone knows exactly what you are talking about when you say "let's keep the children out of this."

Your disgusting implication is that all gays are pedophiles.

Stop the hatred David. Stop the lies. Your actions are evil.

I gave you direct quotes from the religious right. Direct quotes. I also gave you links to the American Family Association website. World Net Daily is another perfect example. Why in the world do they have three current articles up there demonizing gay people??? That is evidence enough of an anti-gay "agenda".

Again - the religious right agenda is to demonize gay people. Just like you are doing.

The real "gay agenda", what every gay person wants if you would just talk to them (which you obviously haven't) is to stop people from demonizing them. So? Is that so bad?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:02 AM

Kay Hoog: You have your childhood icons you grew up with. You’ve known, say, Batman all your life, now all of the sudden it’s revealed he’s gay, turning every preconceived notion you’ve ever had on its head.

I couldn't care less if Batman is gay. I never thought about it one way or another. I don't have preconceived sexual ideas about cartoon characters. They're cartoon characters.

I have gay friends. Am I supposed to have some kind of a problem with gay people? Well, I don't, and you're not going to change my mind. I used to be anti-gay, but that was when I was a stupid teenager. I have moved on and am not going back.

What if you found out Batman was Jewish? Would you care?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 11:05 AM

Hobgoblin,

That's great. Quote one gay couple out of 4000 who said they are going to have an open marriage and use that to malign the other 3,999.

Guess what Hobgoblin? There are straights with open marriages as well.

Then you put out the LIE that gay people have said they didn't want marriage. Huh? Gay people have been clamoring for marriage since the gay rights movement began. Andrew Sullivan argued for it in the 1970's. The Economist had a magazine cover article on it almost 15 years ago (in favor of it by the way).

You know nothing about gay people except the viscious propaganda you read on anti-gay websites.

But at least you admit you're a bigot. Good for you. Now maybe David will do the same.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:07 AM

Your disgusting implication is that all gays are pedophiles

you truly are an idiot. And most people here know that even though I get passionate I rarely call people names. You deserve it though, what can I say.

'Keep the children out of it' means let parents raise their kids the way THEY want to raise them and stop using the fact that they're captive audiences in the schools to push your insidious agenda on them. Is that "hate"? Good. Then it's hate.

NOT pedophilia you dimwit.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 11:07 AM

the fallacy of your thinking is to assume that simply because you're "neutral", then both parties must therefore be either right or wrong in equal measures (pretty standard Lefty thinking, by the way).

Your view of my view, is a dim view at best.

I don't particularly think that both parties are right or wrong in equal measure. In fact, I tend to believe that some conspiracies are real, while many may contain only an element of truth and a few seem to be outright paranoia.

What I do think is equal, is the fanatical, dogmatic thought process, displayed by those who see conspiracy, only when it fits their worldview.

By standing in the middle and minimizing the claims of both parties, you're denying that any one of the parties might have a superior claim. Both sides are equally foolish. But statistically, you, as the neutral party, have only a 1 in 3 chance of being correct; no better a chance than any of the two parties whose claims you're mimimizing.

Alas, you are yet again looking through the glass of your computer monitor... darkly.

I am not taking a stance that both sides are equally wrong or right. In fact, I don't think that I stated my belief or disbelief in any of the conspiracies listed. I merely made fun of the lot of you, because you tend to paint yourselves with bright colors, glue feathers to your naughty bits and run up and down the blogsphere screaming about the death of America from the Gays, Liberals,IslamoNaziCommuFacists, Pagans, Science Teachers or anyone else who disagrees with your worldview (or scream about the death of America from the Republican, BushNazi, Oil Baron, Christian Zealots.

I'm not judging the validity of what your saying... I'm just making fun of the spectacle you make of yourself.

So the way I see it:

You believe in the Gay/Liberal/Insert whatever here Agenda.

Your opponent believes in the Conservative/Christian/Big Business Agenda.

I believe that you all act like howler monkeys that found Hunter Thompson's stash of LSD.

So either:

You are right, I am right and your Opponent wrong.

Your Opponent is right, I am right and You are wrong.

You are Wrong, Your Opponent is Wrong and I am right.

They way I count that is one for you, one for your opponent and three for me.

Better yet, I get to act like a howler monkey, blessed by Lucy and have a three in three chance of being right. Thats a really good deal!

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
Muncher of The ChaoAcorn
Chatterer of The Words of Eris
POEE of The Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal
(and all night BBQ)

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 11:08 AM

Not sure I get the difficulty in finding a 'gay agenda'. Surely we haven't forgotten Mayor Newsom and the Massachusatts Supreme Court? These actions surely weren't undertaken at the beckoning of the religious right.

Posted by: Matthew Ryan at January 21, 2005 11:08 AM

I'm tired of arguing with the bigots, so this is my last post today. I don't expect to change their minds. I just want them to leave me alone and let me live my life as I see fit.

I don't think that's asking for much.

I know exactly where these people are coming from. I had similar reactions with people from my own family. I had family members who have the same beliefs, and claimed to not be anti-gay. Yet, when I came out to them last year, they stopped talking to me. Enough said?

I've elaborated on my coming out experience in detail on my blog. It's an eye-opener, especially since I consider myself to be pretty conservative on most issues (pro-life, low taxes, pro-war, etc.) You can read it below if you're interested.

http://downtownlad.blogspot.com/2004/10/gay-and-conservative-oxymoron.html

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:13 AM

I'm tired of arguing with the bigots

You're not "arguing" with bigots. All you're doing is calling them bigots.

That's why you're a waste of time.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 11:14 AM

One last post.

David - Two posts ago you said gays have an "insidious agenda". Then, you claim you're not a bigot.

The sane people on this post can see through your crap.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:18 AM

Here's a scary thought: what if Dobson decides to run for President in 2008?

Posted by: Sean at January 21, 2005 11:20 AM

Regardless of however we are "supposed" to feel toward homosexuals, of which I am keenly aware thanks very much to MTV shoving it down my throat since I was 10 (I'm now 25), it doesn't change the fact that homosexual behavior is both socially, and sexually deviant.

Now in perspective I'm sure Mr. Dobson and his ilk would take offense to some of me an my fiance's bedroom activities, most likely preferring that we sleep in separate beds with a 3" wooden board between us at night. Therefore I don't claim any moral superiority over those who prefer the same sex, but don't try to tell me that it's natural and I should accept and embrace it as I would heterosexuality.

It is just that assertion that I think causes so many people to reject greater tolerance of homosexuals. That and their propensity to quite literally parade their sexuality about, and behave with self-righteous indignance at the mere suggestion that homosexuality doesn't have to be accepted as a social norm.

I would also like to point out that I am not ignorant of homosexuals. I actually know and enjoy the company of several people of that pursuasion, both male and female. And I accept them as they accept me and my daughter, who was born out of wedlock. But just as I have stated that homosexuality should not become a social norm, neither should the fathering of illegitimate children. It is there where I draw my parallel.

Tolerance is a good place to start, but forcing something like homosexuality upon the populace as a social norm is neither tolerant nor progressive, and is in a great part at fault for the reactionary hypersensitivity which allows for dolts like Mr. Dobson, Rev. Jerry Falwell, and the like, to have a voice.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 11:26 AM

One last, last post! :)

The Secret gay Agenda. Here it is!

http://www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1039561&t=Opinion&c=22,1039561

Money quote:

"The secret agenda? It’s apparent with almost everyone I spoke with. Life. Love. Family. A good job. Growing old with someone special. It’s the same agenda almost everyone has. It only has to be a secret when you’re gay."

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:27 AM

Bigot - One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

While I'd agree that David is 'one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, and politics', I'm not yet sure about his 'intolerance of those who differ'.

He's a blowhard, he talks a lot, he rants a lot.... I think he would very much like a society where anything not 'Conservative Christian' was considered 'bizarre' and treated like the readheaded stepchild. I think it would tolerate it, but you can bet he'd love to see it live in the lottle room under the stairs and have only bread and water for nourishment.

Of course, since I only know him from the blog, that could be completely in error. He may blow off here, while be a quiet scared little man in real life, or he may be a friendly tolerant guy who just gets excited in debates. Or perhaps he's a real prick. I don't know.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 11:27 AM

He's probably my brother-in-law . . .

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:31 AM

Some parsing of "gay agenda":

To use argument, rhetoric, and imagery to

(Agenda A) ...try to get Americans to stop hating gays and instead to tolerate them even if not approving of them; also perhaps even to get Americans accept gay marriage.

(Agenda B) ...try to make America more gay, to recruit more gays, to suggest to children that they consider becoming gay, to try to legalize sex with boys, etc.

Of course there are a few nut jobs with Agenda B. But Agenda A is above board and not deserving of condemnation (athough there is room for reasonable disagreement about the propriety of tactics such a public high school classes having a unit on how it's okay to be gay.)

Vehemently to condemn Agenda A is bigoted, although to disagree with parts of it may not be bigoted. To condemn Agenda B is not bigoted. To claim that all Agenda A is really B in disguise is paranoid. To mistake the two agendas and condemn the whole ball of wax can make one seem like a bigot, even though one really just needs to distinguish the two agendas.

Posted by: Jim at January 21, 2005 11:31 AM

Lad,

But at least you admit you're a bigot.

My aren't you just epitomizing the ad hominem flinging, spittle flying, hysterical gay stereotype? You have no idea who I am.

Up to this point, I had not stooped to call you any names at all. I called your rants hysterical, and I stick by that now. I've got little concern what you do in private (toleration), but that not what you want, is it?

The real "gay agenda", what every gay person wants if you would just talk to them (which you obviously haven't) is to stop people from demonizing them. So? Is that so bad?

Now, that wasn't directed at me, but let's use the marriage thing as an example. Marriage is a societal institution (perhaps based on Judeo-Christian norms, but heterosexual marriage exists in every culture across the world irrespective of religion). What did gays want? Toleration? No. They wanted to change a fundamental societal institution. It'd be similar to Orthodox Jews lobbying for everything to close on the Sabbath and driving to be outlawed. You're no longer asking for toleration, your asking for acceptance, and that's a different ball of wax.

So too with the "child-indoctrinization." It's not enough that kids are told not to tease the "queer" kid and to just get along. No, that's not good enough. No, now children must learn, at increasingly younger ages, what everyone does in their bedroom. That's not only distatesful, iits brainwashing. Lots of different people have lots of different opinioons about what is and isn't appropriate sexual behavior, even among married adults. How is it "tolerant" to force one libertine ethos into the minds of all children?

Got news for you, it's not.

Now I don't know where David's coming from, and maybe he is less than tolerant of homosexuality. That's fine, this is America. But calling everyone who disagrees with you a bigot, even when done respectfully, is a crock of shit.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 11:32 AM

My aren't you just epitomizing the ad hominem flinging, spittle flying, hysterical gay stereotype? You have no idea who I am.

I know. Who in their right mind would get into an argument with that.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 11:40 AM

David and Hobgoblin would make a great match for each other. I'm sure they are lusting after each other right now.

Geez - Not even the gay people I know are this obsessed with other gay men.

Talk about closet cases.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:45 AM

Sean: Here's a scary thought: what if Dobson decides to run for President in 2008?

Let him. He won't win a primary, and I'll be interested to know what percentage of the GOP actually takes his bullshit seriously.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 11:47 AM

David and Hobgoblin would make a great match for each other. I'm sure they are lusting after each other right now.

So when you aren't delivering your pre-prepared hysterical screed, you descent to that level of intelligence?

I was right to dismiss you.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 11:48 AM

Wow Lad, that's a petty shot. You really had nothing more intelligent to offer than a pitiful attempt to exploit an assumed sexual insecurity? Who's the narrow-minded bigot now?

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 11:49 AM

Apparently, tolerance was a lesson some of the people posting to this site missed out on while they were children.

This is not a new concept. In the 70's, when I was a kid there was this movie, "Free to be You and Me." And it included a song about a little boy, Billy, who had a doll. Maybe Billy, was gay, maybe he wasn't - but the message was, it's OK if Billy wants to play with a doll, it's no big deal.

If kids will relate to Sponge Bob saying it's ok to be different - then by all means let's encourage it. Hatred and bigotry breed hatred and bigotry. We should sieze every opportunity possible to interrupt that pattern and influence children NOT to hate and to accept diversity for what it is - something different (and really not all that different), not something wrong.

A docmentary called "Paper Clips" tells a story about a middle school in the middle of Tennessee and a teacher who wanted to develop a class to teach a group of white protestant children about tolerance. In a town where there were literaly no Jewish residents, the teacher decided to focus on the Holocaust. The reaction of the children and the support they get make a great and inspiring story. The documentary underscores the importance of introducing these concepts into places without a lot of exposure to diversity - not places that are "backward" or "ignorant", but places that simply are not exposed to such issues. I encourage you all to read about the project and to see the documentary if given the chance. (Miramax picked it up for theatrical release)

That is what we are talking about here, right, among the jabs of conspiracy (very humourous Ratatosk) and who-hates-who? A project, using popular icons such as Sponge Bob and Barney to teach our kids to be kind (tolerant) to other people.

...Of course it all could be part of that national security threat, the "back-door" gay draft, or NOT.

Posted by: Chris at January 21, 2005 11:50 AM

Mike,

Yes, I admit I am bigoted against anti-gay bigots. And blacks are bigoted against the KKK. And Jews are bigoted against the Nazi party.

And your point is?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 11:52 AM

Hobboglin: What did gays want? Toleration? No. They wanted to change a fundamental societal institution. It'd be similar to Orthodox Jews lobbying for everything to close on the Sabbath and driving to be outlawed.

If Downtown Lad marries a man it doesn't affect you. If he lobbies to force you to marry a man, that is similar to Orthodox Jews closing down your favorite restaurant on Saturday.

No one wants to force you to marry another man. (I assume you're a man because "hobgoblin" just isn't feminine.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 11:52 AM

Who's the narrow-minded bigot now?

Mike,

the point isn't that he's a bigot, it's that, well, he's dumb. His post at 11:45 pretty much outed him about that.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 11:56 AM

MJT,

My analogy was aimed more at the idea that toleration does not imply fundamental changes to the structure of society. A toleration of gays does not necessarily imply a redefinition of marriage.

Rights? OK. Equality under the law and all that.

But the structural definition of marriage is just that, a siocietal structure. Asking to change the structure of society so it conforms to one's beliefs and actions (as opposed to their existence as with slavery/Jim Crow) is not "tolerance."

It's a radical political agenda.

And Lad, you are an ignorant, bigoted, juvenile fool. How do you know I'm not gay? Or female? Or both? Or none of the above? Moron. Now why don't you spend some energy decrying the rampant promiscuity of gay men and the dangers it poses to full legal equlality for gays.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:01 PM

Thanks Michael. That's an excellent point.

I like to compare homosexuality to smoking cigarettes (no pun intended). I, myself, despise cigarettes. But I don't want to ban them. If people want to smoke cigarettes in the privacy of their own home, let them. If people want to advertise cigarettes. Let them. I don't care. I don't even care if people light up a cigarette next to me. I'm pretty tolerant. Other people should be tolerant of smokers as well. How many times have you heard people yell at smokers, even when they are not smoking???? I think these anti-smoking zealots and the anti-gay zealots and the anti-drinking zealots are all of the same breed. They are like the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live.

If you think being gay is a sin, then don't be gay. If you're against gay marriage, then don't marry someone of the same sex. If you're against smoking, then don't smoke. But why do you really care if somebody else does?

This desire to control other people's actions is a very strange one to me. I don't want the government in my private life, and that includes telling me who I can and cannot marry.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:01 PM

Tosk:

The Left is really a bunch of Authoritarian bastards.

The Right is really a bunch of authoritarian bastards.

As Dobson and Downtown Lad so elegantly demonstrate, forcing a worldview on an unwilling audience is an intramural sport. I wouldn't call those conspiracies. (We HATES nasty filthy artificial dualities. Gollum! Gollum!)

WMD's weren't a lie and they were secretly spirited away to 'X'.

Personally I'm keeping an open mind on this one. (By the way, I never assume something proven to be untrue was a lie if it can be equally well explained by stupidity and/or incompetence. Hence, I believe Mapes and Rather may really have believed the Killian Papers to be authentic. May still believe it. Another truism is to never underestimate the seductive power of willful ignorance.)

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 12:05 PM

Ren and Stimpy, in my opinion, was never intended for children.

That is all.

Posted by: john at January 21, 2005 12:07 PM

Rampant promiscuity? And how exactly would you know this?

It certainly doesn't apply to me. It doesn't apply to my gay friends. And it's not really up to me to tell others (straight or gay) who they can or cannot sleep with.

I do know that I CAN encourage government policies that would reduce promiscuity, amongst both gay and straight people. Marriage is the most important one.

So as far as I can tell - you are the one advocating gay promiscuity, not me, since you are doing everything possible to discourage gay people from settling down (by banning gay marriage). I'm favoring policies that will reduce it.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:08 PM

Lad: Yes, I admit I am bigoted against anti-gay bigots. And blacks are bigoted against the KKK. And Jews are bigoted against the Nazi party

My point is that if the situation were as you would like us to believe, then I'd support you. But judging merely by his posts, David is not a bigot. Reactionary, sure; bigoted no.

Therefore by simply assuming he's sexually insecure and lobbing that pathetic attempt at an insult, you exposed your own prejudice. You've made up your mind, like so many of your peers, that anyone not in total accordance with complete acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is a homophobe.

Or in other words you're a hypocrite.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 12:08 PM

Heh, chris said ""back-door" gay"

heh.

Seriously, Dobson's a kook, Spongebob is weird, but tolerable, and not everyone who recoils from the idea that America should be restructured to fit every grievance group's particular gripe is a bigot.

MJT, I guess what I'm really trying to say w/r/t marriage is that we don't know what making such fundamental changes will do. No fault divorce has proven to be an incredibly corrosive agent on society. Abortion likewise (whether it's a constitutional right or not aside---some rights are corrosive to society). How could court-ordered gay marriage prove much different?

When a legislature passes a gay marriage bill without pressure from a court, I'll be fine with it as an expression of the popular will. Until then, how can anyone say the drive for such treatment isn't (1) an agenda, and (2) possible harmful to society?

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:12 PM

Mike - that's the definition of the word homophobe. Yes, someone not in complete acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is a homophobe. Again, what's your point?

Secondly, calling somebody gay is not an insult. In fact, my post was in jest. But there was some truth there. People who are that obsessed with proving their "straightness" by lobbing anti-gay assaults, may very well stem from some same-sex feelings that they are struggling with. I came out at 36, so I went through the same thing.

And David is indeed a bigot. Bigot - One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. That describes him perfectly.

As I said previously. If somebody is anti-gay, but lets me live my life as I see fit, I have no issues. When he insists on DICTATING how I live my life through restrictive laws, damn right I have a problem with that!

Smokers don't have a problem with me, even though I hate smoking, because I don't dictate my views on them. Smokers have every right to have a problem with people who want to outlaw smoking.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:16 PM

lad

"I don't want the government in my private life, and that includes telling me who I can and cannot marry"

News flash: the government can't tell you who you can or can't marry. It only tells you what marriages it will recognize. That's government intrusion into your private life. You want to get married? Great, go down to the nearest Unitarian Church and get hitched. No government in your private life there.

Oh, not good enough, you want the rights? OK, here's a civil unions package.

Not good enough, you want "acceptance"?

Tough shit. You can't legislate acceptance, and nothing anyone will do can change that. Say I'm a polygamist: why can't I have acceptance? Aside from your own narrow, narcissistic view, there's no logic to the demand for gay marriage that's not equally ablicable in 100 different situations.

Face it, you're not asking for tolerance. You're asking for a pat on the head from a society that doesn't have any duty to do so.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:18 PM

Face it, you're not asking for tolerance. You're asking for a pat on the head from a society that doesn't have any duty to do so.

That pretty much sums it up.

You want a pat on the head Downtown? Daddy didn't give you enough of that? That might explain a few things.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 12:24 PM

Gee, from my unsophisticated perspective, I would have thought there were lots of different homosexual lifestyles. I though maybe David just wasn't comfortable with the hypothetical subset of the Gay community that wants to start teaching Politically Correct Thought in elementary schools. (My take: no scripture, no "Heather has Two Moms.")

Does that make me a bigot?

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 12:25 PM

That's why it's interesting to have these debates. The truth is exposed.

Lad's gone from "tolerance" to "Yes, someone not in complete acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is a homophobe.

Really, Lad?

Glory holes?

Am I a homophobe if I say that's gross? Gosh, 'phobe me up.

Guys I know like you (politically) are the exact same way. Start out all reasonable, until at some point it comes out that no, nothing's good enough until they brainwash all the drooling rubes into loving them. What happened to "gay activists are only a small unrepresentative part of the population"

You have power to speak out. You have a blog. You comment in places like MJT. Think, man, think. Evaluate your positions. As MJT has realized, deviation from teh party line can get you ostracized and attacked, but sometimes, just sometimes, the party line is wrong.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:26 PM

hobgoblin - Liz Taylor got married and divorced 9 times. Was the government and society giving their "acceptance" of that by making it legal?

No. But they are letting her live her life as she sees fit. Society, rightly, lambasted this mockery of marriage. But she's still free to get married again, as she should be. It's her life, after all.

Why are you trying to control my life? There are over 1000 rights that come with marriage. Why are you denying me the right to have those?

And the government could indeed arrest a gay person who gets married. If a married gay couple moved to Virginia they could get arrested. They have not done it yet, but they could if they wanted to.

Read the history of Loving V. Virginia if you don't believe me. Virginia was going to put an interracial couple in jail for a year, even though they were married out of state.

You're really think that can't happen? You really think it won't?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:30 PM

Jesus, Lad if you consider lack of total acceptance homophobia then don't read my first post here. You might expect me to throw on a black shirt and start hauling gypsies, jews and queers out of their homes.

I agree that some U.S. citizens shoudn't have their rights curtailed more so than others just because of sexual preference. But the gay lobby isn't just fighting for equal rights under the law, they want impose on the entire society what role they feel they want to play.

Furthermore anyone who objects is a bigot and a homophobe. As people should be tolerant of you, you should tolerate them and respect that your lifestyle is offensive to some. I think my vegetarian friends are rediculous, but I still don't order a rare T-bone when we go to dinner. We need less PC, and more mutual human respect.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 12:33 PM

Yes hobgoblin - You are a homophobe. I thought you would have been proud of that.

News flash: Most Americans are homophobes. My parents are homphobes. My siblings are homophobes.

I never said homophobes are evil people. Homophobes are simply uncomfortable with gay people and the gay lifestyle. From my perspective, I'd say only 40% of America, at best, is not homophobic.

Your glory hole comment will not even be answered. Do you really think that is common in the gay community? Probably a lot less common than prostitution is in the straight community.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:36 PM

Liz Taylor got married and divorced 9 times.

I think it was only 8

Posted by: Stephen Silver at January 21, 2005 12:41 PM

But, all of my friends that play in the polyamory, glory hole, swinger areas are straight or bi. Mostly, the guys I know that are into this sort of lifestyle just enjoy having two or more girls in bed at once.... and who wouldn't? (well, I guess the gay people wouldn't)

I've seen gay glory holes, but more often I've seen women waiting behind the wall.

(I've been in some pretty bizarre places)

Now, if I read David and hobgoblin correctly, since some gay men are promiscious, then all gay men should be considered dangerous to society... because they might spread AIDS. Isn't that, though, like saying since some religious leaders have raped children, then all religious leaders should be suspect and considered dangerous? I mean, really, isn't it like saying that Jews are stingy or that Christians are a bunch of murderers since some crazy christians have killed abortion doctors?

Isn't it just like every other intolerant stereotyping attitude?

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 12:43 PM

Mark Poling - No, you are not a bigot. Not even close. As I, myself, stated previously, I think diversity day activities are "sappy".

But people who start talking of "insidious gay agendas", making it sound like a conspiracy that all gay people are secretly part of, yes, that is getting into bigotry. It's the exact same thing as those who talk about a "Jewish conspiracy".

How did "sexual orientation" even get into the pledge in the first place? Did anyone even possibly consider the fact that a STRAIGHT person put it there?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:45 PM

Now, if I read David and hobgoblin correctly, since some gay men are promiscious, then all gay men should be considered dangerous to society...

Ok, now who's the blowhard. Show me where I said that.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 12:46 PM

Lad,

Liz Taylor got married and divorced 9 times. Was the government and society giving their "acceptance" of that by making it legal?

Yep. Yep. And yep.

That's what legality IS, dude.

And after Lawrence, no homosexual can be arrested for engaging in sodomy. Period. I would have thought you knew Lawrence backwards and forwards.

If a married gay couple moved to Virginia they could get arrested

BZZZZT. WRONGGG!!! (McLaughlin voice)

You're getting hysterical again with the comparison in Loving (and potentially offending quite a few blacks).

We had a war over whether race mattered in America. Racists lost. The Fourteenth Amendment fundamentally changed America's thoughts on race. It took 100+ years to finally fulfil the meaning of the 14th Amendment, but it was always the law during that time. Apples and oranges, me boy.

There's been no public consesnsus on sexuality. Hell, here in deep Blue Oregon, they voted against gay marriage. Trying to impose it by judicial fiat is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever seen.

Are you really "conservative-leaning?" Do you know what that means? It means you let society catch up at its own pace.

No one wants to control your life. You want to change the very building blocks of the society in which we live. Pardon me if I think that's a bit rushed, radical, and stupid to boot.

Oh, and have you decided to put me on the homophobe train to re-education camp for not liking "gay coughsexparlorcough lifestyles"?

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:46 PM

Lad, I'm for gay marriage, but if you intend to howl until everyone "totally accepts" homosexuality, don't count me as an ally. It is possible for a reasonable person to believe that homosexuality is unwise (and why you count that person as "homophobic" is unknowable except to you). It's unreasonable to howl at reasonable people.

Ratatosk: That's disgusting, the booth with the lady behind the hole. Now, where exactly did you see this booth?

Posted by: Jim at January 21, 2005 12:49 PM

But people who start talking of "insidious gay agendas", making it sound like a conspiracy that all gay people are secretly part of, yes, that is getting into bigotry. It's the exact same thing as those who talk about a "Jewish conspiracy".

Downtown,

In fact, I don't blame most gay people for the activistas and professional hysterics like yourself. When I say "insidious", I mean YOU, and your type. Not all gays. And if thinking YOU and YOUR agenda to indoctrinate kids while they're in school is insidious, then tough luck for you. Because most people in America feel the same way my friend. And if that makes us "homophobes", then who cares. The more people you call that, the less power the word has.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 12:51 PM

Furthermore anyone who objects is a bigot and a homophobe. As people should be tolerant of you, you should tolerate them and respect that your lifestyle is offensive to some. I think my vegetarian friends are rediculous, but I still don't order a rare T-bone when we go to dinner. We need less PC, and more mutual human respect.

Mike - There are lots of bigots and homophobes, including my family. I'm not intolerant of them. I deal with them every day.

I have already made a committment to my family that I will never discuss any facet of my gay life ever in their presence. That means that they will never meet my boyfriend, they will never hear what movie I went to see with him last weekend, they will never hear about my vacations with him, etc.

You trying doing that with your girlfriend/spouse, never bringing up her name in any conversation that might imply you are heterosexual. Imagine not bringing up her name ever in any conversation?

That's the life I live, so please don't imply that I'm not tolerant of people's attitude of homosexuality that might be counter to mine.

But you know what. If I want to marry my partner, I should be able to. If I want to join the military, I should be able to. If I want to arrange for medical care for my partner, I should be able to.

But I can't. And I think I have every right to pissed off by that fact. I'll keep my family out of my life if they really want that. But I get mighty pissed off when the government starts telling me how I should live my life.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:53 PM

hobgoblin,

I agree with much of what you've said. We cannot legislate society, we should not try to legislate society. I think that the pro-gay groups that have pushed for legal judgements to protect marriage were dumb dumb dumb. Americans a bullheaded, no matter what you want them to do, don't try to force them... I think thats part of the problem with the anti-Bush people.

However, I do have to state one key difference between you and I. I see ,b> "gay coughsexparlorcough lifestyles" as homophobia. Any rational person who would care to take a look at the " "coughsexparlorcough lifestyles" would find many, many heterosexual and bisexual people, living that life. Are they a majority? Of course not, but I have never seen evidence that gays live a "coughsexparlorcough lifestyles" in a higher ratio than straights.

Those sort of statements really make you sound like a bigot, though the rest of your comment was well thought out.

do de do de do

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 12:54 PM

Indoctrinate kids to be nice to gay people. That's insidious?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 12:58 PM

Rad
"then all gay men should be considered dangerous to society... because they might spread AIDS."

No, at least I think that's incorrect. No, rather the "gay lifestyle" (of which I must believe or be tarred with the horridly awful moniker of 'phobe) is in its current form corrosive of society, and should not be fostered or held up as a paragon.

Homosexuality was frowned upon in Greek culture, but they had an open acceptance of homophilia. Men were romantic (and indeed sometimes sexual, but not openly so), and society tolerated it as an inevitable result of sex-segregated living.

The problem with most politically militant gays I know and see is that they want to impose acceptance---not tolerance---of their (often deivant) sexual practices. Really, what is the guy in a leather cod and chaps marching down the street trying to say?

It's not about his fundamental humanity, unless his humanity consists of nothing but sexual drive.

This mindset cheapens humanity and acts to mainstream even more promiscuity into the culture. That's a bad thing.

So, too with the extension of "marriage" to gays. If it's just legal benefits, Lad, we can talk. You start going on about social acceptance, you've lost me. Too much of the gay male culture revolves around promiscuity and sexual immorality (not even talking about the sex act itself).

And compounding it all, the militant gays are pushing the agenda through the courts, in full knowledge of massive public disapproval. Want to talk about how to make a disaffected citizenry? The "gay agenda" as it pertains to mainstreaming the "homosexual lifestyle" and gay "marriage" is highly dangerous to society.

Gay male promiscuity, standing alone? Only dangerous to themselves, no problem.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 12:59 PM

In fact, I personally enjoy the occasional orgy. I think, though, it gets out of hand once you have more than 12 people or so.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 12:59 PM

I've linked to it already, but I don't think anyone read it. THIS is the gay agenda:

http://www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1039561&t=Opinion&c=22,1039561

Despite what you think, I do not want or need your approval. I really don't care. I just want you to stop running my life.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:02 PM

Homosexuality was frowned upon in Greek culture

Only if the reciever was over the age of 10. Under the age of 10, it was not considered sex with a Man.

what is the guy in a leather cod and chaps marching down the street trying to say?

Probably the same thing as the straight guy who wears that outfit... the straight guy just prefers that girls use the whips and paddles. Let me tell ya, my lovely Sjaantze is damn good with a riding crop.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 01:02 PM

Tosk (I thought there was a "d" there, sorry---Tosk is easier)

point taken. While a that particular practice involves a minority, gay male promiscuity is hardly something that's infrequent in gay culture. And it's certainly significantly more prevalent that in heterosexual or lesbian demographics.

and really, my point was to illustrate the absurdity of the "total acceptance" idea of Lad, but there are better ways to do that, agreed.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 01:03 PM

Tosk,

"marching" was the operative verb. as in parade. for political reasons

A personal (though hardly philosophical) objection to gay activism is the conflating of a sex act with a political status. It both cheapens politics and elevates animalistic desires far beyond their relative worth in life. For instance, do you feel that swingers' groups (which you seem to know and understand) should be given marriage licenses as a matter of constitutional law?

b/c that's essentially the logic Lad is using.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 01:08 PM

By the way - If I'm the "radical", you guys have a problem. Here's my philosophy:

Pro-Life
Lower Taxes
Less government spending
Pro War
Against gun control
Privatization of public schools

So essentially, it really doesn't matter what your ideology is. As soon as you declare that you're gay, you are suddenly part of the "radical gay agenda".

Whatever that means (be nice to gay people????)

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:09 PM

hobgoblin,

I agree that no American needs to 'accept' any lifestyle other than their own. I think that gays that expect this sort of behavior are fooling themselves.

However, if you are disgusted by promiscuity, then be disgusted by promiscuity... not specifically Gay promiscuity. It's akin to slamming the evil Irish who drink too much, leaving the rest of us drunks out of the condemnation.

Or is it?

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 01:12 PM

I’ve disliked James Dobson ever since he said that toddlers should be smacked around.

He said "pain is a marvelous purifier." I don’t want to violate Godwin’s law here, because I think it’s too extreme, but the word ‘purity’ has always been a red flag to me. At the very least, it indicates a very intolerant and exclusionary worldview.

The worst special interest groups have a thing about purity. Some feminist, Christian and black organizations start out by seeking equality, and then they slide down the slippery slope of claiming special rights because of past ‘victimization’. Once a groups says ‘it’s a womyn/Christmas/black thing, you wouldn’t understand’ , it’s proof that this special interest group has outlived its usefulness.
I’m pro-equal rights for gays, but I hope gay rights groups never descend to the level that some feminist groups like NOW have.

When it comes to special interest groups, I agree with this Muslim from London who said:
I choose to define my community as the people with whom I interact and choose to be represented by the political party for which I vote. Why should I, in community terms, have more in common with a Muslim from Bradford than with a Jew from Tonttenham or a Christian from Ramsgate?
Why should Dobson have more in common with a Christian from Tennessee that with his gay neighbor down the block? Why does he even have a special interest group? Dobson already has his rights – fellow Americans who happen to be gay aren’t trying to take anything away from him, they’re just trying to get their rights too.

More proof of the corrosive effect of special interests – reasonable grownups are getting into a knock-down-drag-out fight here about Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Once equal rights are won, the formerly disadvantaged should change attitudes by proving what they can do, not by using a group to push everyone into seeing things their way. Once rights are legally won, it’s time for the special interest group to dissolve, for its members to rejoin the rest of the world.

As Joe Bob Briggs said, ‘a good monster movie has got to realize its limitations. Once that monster is dead, those credits have got to roll.’

Posted by: mary at January 21, 2005 01:12 PM

Lad,

In truth I haven't made up my mind about the Gay Marriage issue. Ideally I think each state should let it's citizens decide for themselves, and decide if they want to recognize the decisions of other states. However, I have no interest in limiting the rights of homosexuals to come together in civil union, and enjoy many of the rights and benefits of heterosexual couples. (I say many and not all b/c I don't think gay couples should have equal standing as heterosexual couples regarding adoption)

Secondly, I don't care if gays are in the military or not. Personally I could give a shit if the soldier next to me likes men, as long as he's got courage and can aim well, it's good enough for me. Gay or not, those men and women are standing watch and I am grateful.

Third, I'm sorry for your family that they do not have the capacity to love and accept their son unconditionally. And in that I'd say you do have a legitimate grievance, but that doesn't extend to everyone else. By labeling anyone who disagrees with total acceptance a "homophobe" or a "bigot" you are closing the door on compromise, and delivering an indictment upon all those who disagree with your lifestyle.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 01:13 PM

Swingers are not forbidden from marrying. Swingers are not kicked out of the army. Swingers are not the target of religious right hatred.

Gay people are.

Again, your comparison between behavior (promiscuity) vs. sexual orientation is pretty disgusting. It implies that sexual orientation is a choice.

Of course the only people who believe that sexual orientation is a choice are straight people.

Still waiting to find that one gay person who "chose" his sexuality.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:14 PM

Downtown Lad, you need to settle down and get married. The local Unitarian-Universalists will gladly perform a same-sex wedding. Hell, they'd marry you to the Aurora Borealis, if you wanted. But thanks for pointing out gays are just as diverse in their views as everybody else and nobody is necessarily a part of any agenda but their own.

Posted by: Deuce at January 21, 2005 01:15 PM

"do you feel that swingers' groups (which you seem to know and understand) should be given marriage licenses as a matter of constitutional law?"

Honestly?

I think that people confuse the two types of marriage. Common law marriage is the stuff that people have used for centuries in most countries. These may or may not be presided over by a religious official, but is usuall a social/civil function, not a religious one. Cannon law marriage, is a newer Religious wedding, which was only available to the privledged class throught the Late Middle Ages and the Early Renissance.

I think that the States made a mistake when they marginalized Common Law marriage. In my personal view, I would say that Cannon Law marriages would be marriages blessed by the Church (or whatever religious institution), while a Common Law marriage is simply a social contract that is honored and enforced by the government.

I would never suggest that Christians facillitate gay, lesbian, or swinger marriages.

However, if four people moved in together and all worked to support each other financially... then I think they should be able to get the same benefits of two people supporting each other financially.

If four people care enough about each other to form a single unit. Then who am I to say no? It neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 01:21 PM

Lad,

I'm not trying to be condescending with this, but if you can't see that changing the definition of society's core institution isn't radical, then you're being deliberately obtuse.

That great that we share so many other values. I feel proud to have another person who generally feels the same way as myself about so many issues as you do. And I, for one, am not accusing you of being completely enthralled with the entirety of any putative "gay agenda"

But any agenda that does exist is certainly far more broad than "be nice to gay people," and you admit that yourself in supporting gay marriage. You're not being honest, and you're not addressing the inconsistencies in your position. In this way, you're a lot like Andrew Sullivan (which you might take as a complaiment, but it's not) in that you have a blind spot when it comes to gay marriage because it's so personal and close to your emotions.

Well, all I can say is that re-defining marriage is radical. Whether you think that telling first graders that Heather has 2 mommies is right or not, it's radical. Preaching "acceptance" instead of toleration is radical. You have a radical spot when it comes to gay issues.

You're a gay radical.

You might be conservative about everything else, vote straight ticket Republican, and I'm sure the republicans will accept your vote. But you are indeed in a different position on gay issues, and the folks with whom you share that position tend to fall on the far(ther) end of the gay activist spectrum.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 01:23 PM

Lad: Again, your comparison between behavior (promiscuity) vs. sexual orientation is pretty disgusting. It implies that sexual orientation is a choice.

Yeah I'm gonna have to go with Lad on this one. Have you been around the internet lately? Not that I ever look at porn, ahem but straight people do some pretty perverse stuff too. And I can't imagine anyone making the consious choice to be a social outcast b/c of their sexual orientation.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 01:24 PM

Mike - I'm not closing the door on compromise, because these people have already made up their mind. They will never tolerate gay people, period.

When I say acceptance of the gay lifestyle is required to not be a homophobe, that does not mean you have to favor gay marriage. I am talking about acceptance of gay people, i.e. not prejudging them based on their sexual orientation. Let's face it, if I said "I don't completely accept the Jewish lifestyle", or "I don't completely accept the black lifestyle", you would have to admit that I at least had some subtle anti-semitic or racist attitudes, wouldn't you? It is no different with homophobia.

Homophobia is ingrained in society. Both on the left as well as on the right. I don't expect that to change anytime soon. Certainly not in my lifetime.

Maybe you have to live through it to understand. Trust me - when you hear your sister tell you that she will never accept you and that you can no longer see her children - when you came out to her as gay at 36 years old, that is a major eye-opener!

And her response was "I don't have a problem with gay people".

Sure - she doesn't have a problem. Yeah right. I just can't see her or her kids anymore, becaues I'm gay.

(she has since mellowed by the way)

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:24 PM

Hobgoblin - By your definition then, every gay is "radical". Because yes, almost all gay people want basic rights.

And I guess all black people were "radicals" prior to segregation being disbanded.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:28 PM

tosk,

We lost on heterosexual promiscuity with no-fault divorce (screw around on the wife? no big deal, just a quickie divorce). And it's not gay promiscuity itself that is troubling. OK, that's the way some men want to live. No skin off my back.

But in light of the prevalence of gay promiscuity, it would make extending marriage to gays seem all the more like dangerous and futile pandering to the latest grievance group.

(and lad, almost every gay man I've ever known has a story about when they "turned" gay, not all of them by specific, conscious choice, but an action nonetheless, and a concrete occurrance).

However, if four people moved in together and all worked to support each other financially... then I think they should be able to get the same benefits of two people supporting each other financially.

yes, but would you DEMAND that everyone call it "marriage." No.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 01:32 PM

Lad,

Like I said I'm sorry about your family. I'm not patronizing you either, I really do feel for you. I agree that is a prejudice, your sisters actions speak louder than her words.

But am I a homophobe because two men showering and making out in bed on MTV's "The Real World" offends me? I don't want my daughter to see that, and it's disgusting to watch.

What you do in your home is your own damn business, and if you want to leave that home to your partner should the worst happen, then so be it. But it's not right to force acceptance of a lifestyle on society just b/c it's yours and you feel you have a right.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 01:32 PM

I guess all black people were "radicals" prior to segregation being disbanded.

I would say so, yes. The problem is that in modern society, radicals are considered bad. This scares me, since I am of the opinion that anything that doesn't continue to grow and change, anything that maintains the 'status-quo' becomes stagnant and dies.

Stagnation is the only sin and the US is fast beginning to go stale.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 01:34 PM

in light of the prevalence of gay promiscuity

Here's the main bit we disagree on hobgoblin, I'm not at all sure that gays are more promiscious than straights... I think that promiscious gays are 'more open' about their actions than most straights, but I doubt that there is a large difference in the ratios.

And no, I think its foolish to whine about a word. Marriage, Civil Union, Tax-Break-For-You-Lover, call it whatever people will bitch about least.

I don't want my daughter to see that, and it's disgusting to watch.

Then take personal responsibility and don't watch it. If you let your daughter watch Real World, expect to see the 'alternative lifestyles' that exist. If you don't want her to see alternative lifestyles then don't let her watch Real World.

How is it that conservatives understand the beauty of personal responsibility when it comes to economics, environmentalism, retirement and gun control... yet miss the same beauty of personal responsibility in choice of entertainment?

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 01:41 PM

Tosk: Then take personal responsibility and don't watch it. If you let your daughter watch Real World, expect to see the 'alternative lifestyles' that exist.

I agree, but it should be treated the same as typical programming and relegated to a time when young children are not typically watching TV, not on all day marathons over the weekend.

And it's a bit telling of the narrow-minded liberal secular view of anyone who doesnt agree with them, when they have the token guy from Alabama witha southern draw who starts out "hating queers" but by the end of the season has some epiphany and accepts gay relationships just like any other.

Meaning: Red Staters who don't accept homosexuals are stupid and ignorant.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 01:50 PM

I wouldn't let your daughter watch two men kissing. Bad things could happen. She might end up being attracted to men for example . . .

Hobgoblin - I have no clue what you are talking about when you say that they "turned" gay. And I doubt you know many gay people (just a hunch - albeit a strong one).

Unless of course you're referring to "puberty". Most people are aware of when they "realized" they were gay. Just like most straight men are probably aware of when they "realized" they liked women.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 01:51 PM

I wouldn't want to be part of any orgy that would have me as a member.

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 01:58 PM

Oh and Tosk,

I love how you and others take my position on one issue and automatically slap a Conservative stamp on me. David's done it to me too, only he said I was a liberal.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 01:58 PM

I agree, but it should be treated the same as typical programming and relegated to a time when young children are not typically watching TV, not on all day marathons over the weekend.

Why? Are you unable to teach your daughter your morals so that she would know that you found images of two men kissing to be unacceptable? My parents taught me a strict christian morality... and I never watched anything that might have been bad, even if it was available on Television.

Well, until I was 17 and mmy best friend got a porn video.

And it's a bit telling of the narrow-minded liberal secular view of anyone who doesnt agree with them, when they have the token guy from Alabama witha southern draw who starts out "hating queers" but by the end of the season has some epiphany and accepts gay relationships just like any other.

It's MTV of course its got a specific (usually liberal) view. It's not like they're CBS news. ;-)

There is nothing wrong with having a biased tv show, is there? I mean I could find an agenda in Seventh Heaven if I were a paranoid weirdo (and if Jessica Beal weren't such a hottie).

Ray Stevens, in a song once said "There are just some things, I don't wanna know... but you can't have that attitude and subscribe to cable".

If you're worried about liberal shows influencing your child's nmind, save $50 a month and drop cable service until you can trust your daughter.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 02:02 PM

Lad,

Even though I know all bout your sister, your family, and your political leanings, you know almost nothing about me.

Admittedly you call it a hunch, but you're pretty clear in your assertion. Guess what, you're wrong.

I always hate the "some of my best friends" crap, and I won't say that. None of my "best friends" are gay. But friends, acquaintenances, clients, professional colleagues, and random folks I've met have been gay. Scores of people. Hundreds even, (ok maybe not hundreds). Plenty.

And sacre couer!, I've also gotten along well with them. Those gays I know who believe as you do about marriage simply avoid the discussion with me. Gay marriage has been part of my professional life for almost a year now. And in a different aspect of my work, a large portion of clients are gay men. Some are more conservative and some are more radical. I avoid discussing the topic of marriage with them generally, but I've heard first hand stories from gay men to back up every asserition I've made here.

Again, I've got less of a problem with "gayness" than you can possibly imagine in your cramped, dim, little cell of persecution you've built up for yourself (with a good deal of help from your family it unfortunately seems).

I do have a problem with people mucking around with forces they know nothing about and which they cannot control. Gay marraige (especially court-ordered) represents just such ignorant tinkering.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 02:02 PM

Mike,

I'm sorry I should have been more clear about the final paragraph... it was a comment and not directed specifically at you (it just flowed from your comment).

Sorry if I mislabeled you :)

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 02:05 PM

I'd always assumed Squidward was the one who was gay. Into scented soaps (lilac!), interpretive dance, broadway show tunes, etc., etc....

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at January 21, 2005 02:09 PM

Ok, so if I didn't want her to watch a show that only casts black people in subjugated roles you'd feel the same way right?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 02:09 PM

And on a more serious note, Lad, I do think indoctrination of young children is a bad thing. Specifically, I think the idea of seeding their heads with all these descrete never-the-twain-shall-meet pigeonholes is a bad idea. The message "play nice" shouldn't need the qualifier "even if johnny is gay" when these kids still don't have pubic hair.

And Rat, I agree that anyone who wants The Holey One removed from Cable TV shouldn't be called Conservative. (As I understand it, specific channels can be blocked. Empower the individual parent, that's my preferred solution.) But the meta-messages being taught in the public school system is a different class of problem entirely.

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 02:10 PM

Thanks Tosk, I appreciate the apology.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 02:10 PM

Hobgoblin: Glory holes?

What do glory holes have to do with anything? I always thought glory holes were a straight thing. It's not me scene, so what do I know? I guess it makes sense if both straight people and gay people go to glory hole clubs.

So? What would you say to a gay person who tried to discredit "the heterosexual lifestyle" by pointing to straight glory holes? I would think that person was hysterical and reactionary, but maybe it's just me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 02:15 PM

Ok, so if I didn't want her to watch a show that only casts black people in subjugated roles you'd feel the same way right?

Actually, yes I do.

I feel that people should make what tv shows they think people will watch (and will therefore provide advert money for). If advertisers find it something distastful, they won't attach their name to it. If no one watches it it will go away. If enough advertisers and viewers like it, what business is it of mine? I won't watch it.

I don't watch Real Life because I think it sucks.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 02:18 PM

Alright Tosk, checkmate. My white flag is up. : )

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2005 02:22 PM

MJT,

Again, it's Lad's reference to accepting the "gay lifestyle" without reservation and qualification.

See the context?

Lad's gone from "tolerance" to "Yes, someone not in complete acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is a homophobe."

Really, Lad?

Glory holes?

Am I a homophobe if I say that's gross? Gosh, 'phobe me up.

I've never heard of glory holes for straights, as the only time it's ever come up in my life was in one particular instance of a gay guy talking about what he did in the past.

Plus, I absolutely despise the whole "anyone who disagrees with me is a _____-phobe" It's an utter b.s. argument.

Posted by: hobgolbin at January 21, 2005 02:30 PM

The crazy thing is that I highly doubt that it is promiscuous gay people who want to get married. Just like promiscuous straight people, they are perfectly happy being single.

Instead, it's the committed gay couple, who have been together for years, who want to get married.

Can you imagine denying marriage to straight people, because some young men and women happen to be promiscuous?

That's how these arguments sound to me. Sigh.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 02:31 PM

hobgoblin,

I've never heard of glory holes for straights, as the only time it's ever come up in my life was in one particular instance of a gay guy talking about what he did in the past.

Then... perhaps you had a false perception of what glory holes are and who frequented them. Nearly all the glory holes I have seen/heard about have been for straights.

PS - I've never personally experienced one, as there are some things that are too weird, even for me. Especially if they include lime jello and chickens. That is right out.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 21, 2005 02:34 PM

Will I admit my dislike for promiscuous gay male culture? In a heartbeat. And it's not just based on Biblical precepts. It's based on numerous social and cultural factors that are, when magnified to social acceptance not toleration, corrosive to society. - Hobgoblin

Hob - Are you really denying that you're not homophobic? You've got to be kidding me.

I don't like the term, because it's a made up one. But it generally means someone who has a dislike for gay people.

Surely you have at least a mild dislike of gay people? Again, I thought you wore that as a badge of honor.

Are you really denying this?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 02:37 PM

Under your definition of the word ("the entire gay lifestyle," made up from whole cloth as you said) I assuredly am.

As a general rule though, as people, I don't like or dislike gays on the basis of how they "take their tea." Just don't much care. I dislike militant gay activists for sullying politics and elevating a sex act to political weight, but not for engaging in their sex act.

When I meet a(n obviously) gay guy, I don't think "ewwwww, gay." If he's a mincing queen, I think, "God, what a mincing queen," but I think the very same thing about effete straight guys too. (the whole Alexander controversy was like that for me---it's not like the dude didn't like men, obviously he did. The problem is that Stone made the conquereor of the known world a pansy. I know all homosexual men aren't pansies. That in itself should have proven more offensive to the easily-slighted "gay community")

If your ultimate question is whether I approve of gay sex, then the answer's no. But gay sex is not a gay person.

Am I going to go watch a play about the trials of gay life performed through modern dance techniques? Nope. Sit through a movie about the struggles of "gayness." Nope.

But will I give a guy the benefit of the doubt and live and let live, even though he's gay? Yeah, you bet.

Guess I'm just a homophobe.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 02:53 PM

Anybody else feel that going from Spongebob to glory holes was a long, strange trip?

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 02:54 PM

Come to think of it, it may be one Dr. Dobson takes quite often.

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 21, 2005 02:56 PM

Guess I'm just a homophobe.

I'm almost tempted to wear that label as a badge of honor the more I'm called that. Well, not really. But it has almost as little impact as being called a "racist." I think it defines the person doing the name-calling more than it defines me.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 03:05 PM

But you don't believe in "live and let live". You basically believe in "live and let live, as long as you stay in the closet and don't expose me to your lifestyle."

Nobody is talking about gay sex here. Telling people that I am gay and mentioning my boyfriend no more involves "sex" than would you mentioning your girlfriend/wife in a casual conversation.

I'm not elevating any sex act to a political weight. That in itself is demeaning. Does a heterosexual relationship solely exist of it's sex act? I hope not.

My love for a gay man is no less real than straight love. It is just as genuine. Straight people are attracted to someone of the opposite sex, and they build their entire life around that fact. They get married, they form families, etc. But when a gay person wants to do the same thing, and they are denied that right, they have every right to demand better from society.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 03:07 PM

There is a gay agenda, and they are targeting the youth for their propaganda. - David

And yes, I do believe in the fabled "gay agenda." - David

Homophobe? Who me? - David

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 21, 2005 03:10 PM

Downtown,

it's a proven fact you're targeting the schools. And it doesn't make any difference whether I'm a homophobe or a green man from Mars.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 03:21 PM

Lad,

"My love for a gay man is no less real than straight love. "

Bully for you. It doesn't make it any of the government's damn business who you love. That make sense? The government doesn't care who you love.

Another News Flash: Marriage isn't about love.

The only reason marriage exists as a government institution is the ability to procreate. We don't need "best friends licenses" for a reason: it's none of the government's biddness. The only reason the governemnt regulates---let that sink in, regulates---heterosexual relationships is the potential for procreation. Not the actuality, b/c fertility testing in order to validate marraiges is draconian. You know what though? Consummation and fertility used to be requirements for a valid marriage. Again, let that sink in---infertile people could not validly marry.

Lad, it's really too bad you feel excluded because you can't marry. But you have no logical right to expect to be able to. You can't procreate with your partner, and thus government has no business regulating---regulating---your relationship. It's like me being offended that I am excluded from something that, by definition I have no expectation of going (the women's room).

It is in this way you are elevating a sex act to political scope. See, what you're saying is that a sex act defines you to the point that you must have legal validation for it. Guess what, you CAN get married. You just don't like your choices. OK, well no one is forcing you to marry the chick down the hall. But marriage is societally defined as a man and a woman for a reason. It's simply a reason you don't care about. But it's a valid and logical reason nonetheless.

Again, government's interest in marriage isn't about love.

So all your love sonnets to your beau just don't count in the legal and logical world of what we have marriage for. That's a harsh truth, but it's the truth.

Slow down and think what you're asking for. You are asking for society to start caring about people's emotional ties for their own sake. How intrusive is that?

How would we define "gay marriage"? Do you have to sign a declaration of intent to sodomize? Or more gently, a "love contract"? What's to prevent college roommates from marrying for tax breaks (though that can happen now with op-sex couples)---I'm thinking of what would be a principled limitation to only "gay" couples? What I'm proposing is just where the gay rights folks don;t want to go, but where Tosk has openly admitted it leads---polyamorous "marriages."

Like I said earlier, you want "rights"? Okey dokey, that's a valid discussion. But your love is none of my business and none of my concern. the governemnt's duty is not to validate your emotional committments. I have no right to license who you fuck, especially when children are a physical impossiblity. There is simply no logical reason that "marriage" MUST be provided to gays.

Please try to realize that you're not asking for equality, you're asking for something no one else gets or expects: ego gratification from the authorities.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 03:43 PM

Lad,

Obviously I can't convince you on an emotional issue for you like this.

Let's just get back to making fun of Dobson?

Sponge Bob has "glory holes" all over his body!

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 03:55 PM

Downtown -

The problem with gay activists is that they are so in-your-face-about everything. Sex belongs in the bedroom, not in the public square. When I see two men making out in a restaurant, I am offended. When I see a man and a woman making out in a restaurant, I am offended. Take it to a motel. Get the picture? Personally, I could care less whom you screw. I don't know, and I don't want to know. If we ever get to know each other well enough to discuss sex, then so be it. Until then, shut up already.

Assault and battery is a crime in all 50 states, whether you are assaulted and battered because you are gay or for any other reason. Making fun of people is bad manners in all 50 states, whether it is because you are gay or for any other reason. Being gay is not typical, no matter how much you may wish otherwise, because gays are a small minority. When you advertise things that are not typical, some people will make fun of you. If you advertise your sexuality, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences - i.e., that some people will react negatively.

Discrimination against gays is wrong, in most cases*. Failure to accept someone's sexual orientation without reservation is not discrimination. Restricting marriage to one man and one woman is not discrimination (marriage is primarily about rearing children in a stable environment). Advocating the position that children are more likely to be better off wehn raised by their natural parents than when by a gay couple (empirical research suggests this is true) is not discrimination.

You appear to be interested in shouting down everyone who disagrees with you by calling them homophobes. Just as making fun of you for your sexual orientation is bad manners, shouting down everyone who disagrees with you is bad manners. If you want to live in peace with your boyfriend, I'm quite sure that most people are happy to allow you to do so. If you are going to proclaim your gayness loudly from the rooftops, however, you need to be prepared for some backlash because it will inevitably occur.

I have no interest in affirming your lifestyle choices: they are between you and your conscience. If I want to know about your sexual orientation, I'll be sure to ask. If sexual orientation is somehow relevant to a discussion we are both involved in, you may feel free to tell me yours, and I will not be offended. If we are discussing the World Series or the weather, I will hold you to the same standard as everyone else: keep your sex to yourself.

*There may be a valid reason for it sometimes - e.g., if permitting open gays to serve in the military is disruptive to millitary discipline and erodes the effectiveness of the military at making war (I don't know whether it is or not), then open gays must be exculded from the military. Sorry, but it is more important to have an effective military.

Posted by: Ben at January 21, 2005 04:16 PM

Hobgoblin: Again, it's Lad's reference to accepting the "gay lifestyle" without reservation and qualification.

Glory holes have nothing to do with the "gay lifestyle." They have everything to do with a promiscuous lifestyle irrespective of sexual orientation. If you can't discredit heterosexuality with glory holes, then you can't discredit homosexuality with glory holes either.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 04:17 PM

MJT,

And again, I had only heard about them from a gay man. I've never heard the term before or since (until today), and Had assumed they were a gay thing. No way I was going to google that.

And the promiscuity I hear about from numerous gay men is so far beyond what I have ever heard from heretosexuals, (plus with research statistics that are debatable, but definitely out in circulation), that it seems reasonable to ascribe a predominant ethos of promiscuity to the majority of gay men. Maybe I'm wrong, but simple assertions of some heretosexual promiscuity doesn't prove that.

(won't let me cut and paste the #s)

http://www.corporateresourcecouncil.org/white_papers/Health_Risks.pdf

of gay men with over 1000 sex partners was 28 (the highest percentage of all demographics, and 75% of all gay males surveyed admitted to over 100 sex partners)

( googled "corp research council" and "right wing" to see if there were any clear criticisms of bias, but didn't find any explicit. if this is a biased source, take with a grain of salt)

That's a promiscuous lifestyle.

I don't think I'm a bigot for not finding that acceptable to bring into the mainstream of society.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 21, 2005 04:44 PM

Michael:

The harm Dobson could cause to the Republican Party is the same harm Jackson, Sharpton & Kucinich cause. He can't win (Not many Republicans are eager to rehash Falwell's "Tinky Winky" crusade from several years back) but he MIGHT have enough support to veto any serious candidate who crosses him. Hell, even John "Straight Talk" McCain kissed Dobson's ass back in 2000 (though, in fairness, he hadn't ventured into Falwell territory at that time).

Given level of Dobson's support, he will probaby not be challenged by the '08 field of Republicans. If Dobson's metamorphasis into Falwell continues, he will be poison by '08, and Republican deference to him now could cost the party by then. THAT's what scares me about a Dobson presidential run.

Posted by: Sean at January 21, 2005 05:05 PM

Glory holes have nothing to do with the "gay lifestyle.

That's a crock. You sound like a moonbat pretending terrorism has nothing to do with Arabs or islam. You're being just as disingenous.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 05:13 PM

{Oh no, you've already stopped the argument! good}

Michael: If Downtown Lad marries a man it doesn't affect you.

This is a false statement. How "marriage" is defined, and regulated, affects everybody in that society. We're all in this together. [I'm pretty sure you don't really believe that different US or global birth rates, between 1%, 2%, or 3%, or 10%, has no affect on anybody. And if you DO believe we're all affected by birth rates, your statement, to be true, would require "marriage" to have no affect on birth rates.]

There is also my own view about the "causes" of sexual orientation, and the distribution of men who desire to have sex with: exclusively men, both men and women, exclusively women.

In my mind's eye there's a small number of pure gay (perhaps around 2%); [Nobody knows these numbers, nor do I] and a much larger number of bi-sexuals (around 6%); and a much, much larger number of straights (92%). But the more that gay sex and gay lifestyles are tolerated, accepted, promoted, the more gays there will be. Perhaps too the more porn there is; the more promiscuity, more infedility (in marriage and other love/ sex relationships), more divorce. I find it quite plausible, though likely unprovable, that such negative "Moral Values" tend to increase the other negatives. I'm absolutely certain that you, and others who claim "no harm; no effect", cannot prove there is no effect. (Though you would not be able to prove no effect even if the truth WAS that there is no effect.) Were you to merely explain a belief, rather than assert a truth, there wouldn't be this long comment.

And cultures that don't maintain a replenishment fertility rate of about 2.1% will be diminishing cultures. Cultures of death. Which is what the Pope calls the Secular pro-abortion cultures; and the pro-gay marriage folk mostly overlap pro-abortion.

So Lad, please explain why anybody, and everybody, who accepts "civil unions" for monogamous gays, but not "marriage", is a gay-hater. Cause I don't consider myself a gay hater, and support civil unions (like Bush), but oppose marriage.

Posted by: Tom Grey at January 21, 2005 05:18 PM

Hobgoblin,

If your problem is with promiscuity rather than homosexuality, then why don't you argue it from than angle. You will find a lot more people agree with you when you frame it that way.

None of my gay friends behave promiscuously. They are all monogomous and want to be officially married.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 05:32 PM

captive audience

Gays want children taught "queer issues"

By Frank Stirk

A PENDING human rights complaint aimed at forcing British Columbia's public school curriculum to include compulsory lessons on "queer issues" could make some students balk at discussing those issues, said Christian educator Steve Bailey.

"I've talked with students recently who have had speakers on gay-lesbian-transgender issues, and these 16-year-old boys just don't see any purpose being exposed to that," said Bailey, a former high school English teacher and vice-principal in Burnaby.

"That's typical. 'We're not interested in having people come to speak particularly on those issues,' they say. 'What's that got to do with us?' They don't see the relevance when they're hit over the head with it."

Murray and Peter Corren, a married same-sex couple, allege in a complaint lodged with the B.C. human rights tribunal that the absence of pro-homosexual instruction is a denial of equal treatment on the part of the provincial education ministry.

"Basically, there is systemic discrimination through omission and suppression of queer issues in the whole of the curriculum," Murray Corren, an elementary school teacher in Port Coquitlam, told the Vancouver Sun.

While conceding there is nothing in the curriculum that is anti-homosexual, he claimed that the curriculum's failure to highlight prominent gays in history, for example, "has the effect of enforcing . . . the assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual."

(Prior to their marriage last summer, the Correns were known individually as Peter Cook and Murray Warren. "Corren" is a combination of their former surnames.)

National Post columnist Susan Martinuk countered that it is "the ultimate in revisionist history" to assume that the sexual practices of people in the past "played a major role in determining their acts and contributions to history. (Could it be that former prime minister Brian Mulroney's heterosexual orientation led him to impose the GST?)"

As well, Derek Rogusky, vice-president of family policy at Focus on the Family Canada, said many parents would be rightly indignant at a public school system that trumpeted a lifestyle offensive to their religious beliefs.

"If we are going to be providing and promoting a curriculum that treats homosexuality as just a normal thing that's really no different than heterosexuality, we will be trampling on the religious freedoms of thousands of British Columbia families," he said.

Rogusky also rejected Corren's claim that the fact that gay marriage is now legal in B.C. makes it even more urgent that the curriculum be changed to reflect this new "reality."

"Look at Reginald Bibby's material," he said, referring to a new survey by the University of Lethbridge sociologist. It found that for nearly six-in-ten adults, the ideal family setting is a man married to a woman and at least one child.

Bailey, who has worked on curriculum development, said a curriculum ought to reflect the commonly held social values that parents want transmitted to their children, such as tolerance, acceptance, and positive human interactions.

What Corren is seeking, he said, would inject a specific issue into a values-based system. And not only would that open the door to other groups demanding their own special teaching units, he believes most British Columbians would oppose such a radical step.

"And that's where I think . . . you get a backlash," said Bailey.

One form that backlash would take, Rogusky predicts, will be an even greater exodus of children out of the public system and into independent schools and homeschooling.

"Already what the schools are teaching and what's going on in the schools are often in opposition to what parents are teaching at home and what they hold up as the ideal," he says, "and this will just further that."

New education ministry figures show that 62,200 students are now enrolled full-time in independent schools, a rise of over 2 percent in one year.

A better approach to handling "queer issues" in the classroom, says Bailey, would be to make it part of learning how people ought to treat one another and "seeing for instance in history courses how gay people have been discriminated against through history.

"You put it in that broader context and you're more likely to get a positive response from students."

The tribunal will begin hearing the case July 11.

http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/050119issues

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 05:45 PM

gay agenda? what gay agenda.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 05:46 PM

It's an odd thing. I went to bed last night at 21 posts, and wondered where this would go.

Dougf made the best exit, he made a good call on where the thread would head, and got out at the get-go. David's opening comment was, in my opinion, a really hate-filled little barb. I did check first if he was serious or not before completing that opinion.

I wondered if MJT might close the thread on account of the inevitable downward spiral. 137 posts later, David has of course attempted patronising all who he senses disagree with him, clearly stated he was done with the thread, and then posted a further dozen or so times. That part was predictable enough.

But I am genuinely fascinated by the notion that there could be an organized agenda to inflence young people. I'm sorry, but this read like an episode of Get Smart to me. Where I live, this notion would be laughed out of town. What the heck is happening over there? It just seems so damn intolerant. I'd figured that homophobia was an anachronism, a museum exhibit. It's a slap in the face to see it living & breeding.

Oh well, democracy can be messy I've heard it said. And MJT, congrats on keeping it open too. It's been an eye-opener.

Posted by: viacollins at January 21, 2005 06:52 PM

Oh well, democracy can be messy I've heard it said. And MJT, congrats on keeping it open too. It's been an eye-opener.

If only it were by the democratic process instead of by fiat in the courts, and by subterfuge in our schools. You don't like people pointing out to you what has been obvious to us for a while but apparently is "news" to you? You better get used to it.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 06:57 PM

I have to admit I don't even know who this guy is.

Now Michael you claim he has come out against some cartoon character called Sponge Bob (who I do not know either) but your link is just to some hysterical blog issuing a tirade against this person.

Anyone got a link to a source where this guy makes the claim he is purported to have made?

I really hate this kind of hear say digital pogrom.
I prefer the original transcipt of a statement rather than some possibly creative edited or made up from whole cloth quote.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 21, 2005 07:51 PM

Viacollins: I wondered if MJT might close the thread on account of the inevitable downward spiral.

I very seriously considered it, and it's the first time that's ever happened. It's also the first time anyone has ever commented that I might do such a thing.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 08:11 PM

Hobgoblin said (at the end of an excellent post): “Please try to realize that you're not asking for equality, you're asking for something no one else gets or expects: ego gratification from the authorities.”

Assuming that means that he also supports the concept of equal civil rights for homosexuals, then I couldn’t agree more. What I find so ironic though is that it was the liberals – I assume beginning in the 60’s – who basically destroyed the institution of marriage! As I was born around 1960 I got a front row seat at the demolition derby. By the time I was in my 20’s the concept of marriage was largely discredited for a liberal like me. Hence I lived with my 1st BF for 8 years and then lived with my husband for 8 years before tying the knot at the county courthouse (with 2 witnesses) and we did that (on new year’s eve) because we erroneously thought we’d save money on our taxes (that was before they changed the marriage tax penalty). Now suddenly marriage is such a "sacred" concept to the liberals that they’re all crying in their soup over the fact that gay couples are unable to partake in it. Sorry – don’t mean to sound harsh –but to a "post"-liberal like me – it’s pretty much a crock.

I think I’ll worry instead about the ugly people! For example:

“the curriculum's failure to highlight prominent gays in history ..."has the effect of enforcing . . . the assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual."”

Imagine instead –

“the curriculum’s failure to highlight prominent ugly people in history…”has the effect of enforcing…the assumption that all people are or should be beautiful.”

“A better approach to handling "queer issues" in the classroom, says Bailey, would be to make it part of learning how people ought to treat one another and "seeing for instance in history courses how gay people have been discriminated against through history.”

Surveying the current social landscape (which probably bears a strong resemblance to the social landscape of the past) I’d say that ugly people suffer a whole lot more discrimination than gays, on a daily basis. When is society going to pick up the banner for the ugly people? Institute school programs for the ugly people? I mean - I figure that even good-looking gays have a better chance of getting laid and finding love than the ugly people do. (Of course - maybe those glory holes would come in handy there, assuming that I am correctly inferring what the darned things are?)

.

Posted by: Caroline at January 21, 2005 08:14 PM

I found the statement. WHY Michael did you not even bother linking to the man's own words instead of what someone else said about him?

Not certain I agree with all his views but I do agree that parents should have some say and or warning on what their 6 or 7 year old children are exposed to.

I do not find him to be hysterical or brainless, bigoted perhaps or at least biased.

Does the appeal for Tsunami aid on the site also illustrated hysteria brainlessness and bigotry?
I found a lot of good things and I also found his statement not as extreme in tone as you indicated.

Did you read it yourself or did you just read about it?

Why is Dr. Dobson objecting to the distribution of a video featuring such popular children's characters as SpongeBob SquarePants?


Answer
From the outset, let's be clear that this issue is not about objections to any specific cartoon characters. Instead, Dr. Dobson is concerned that these popular animated personalities are being exploited by an organization that's determined to promote the acceptance of homosexuality among our nation's youth.

We applaud the ideal of championing to children the value and dignity of every human life as well as respect for our differences. What we vehemently object to is using these beloved characters to help advance an agenda that's beyond the comprehension of 6 and 7 year-old children, not to mention morally offensive to millions of moms and dads.

The video in question is slated to be distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools throughout the United States. Where it is shown, schoolchildren will be left with the impression that their teachers are offering their endorsement of the values and agenda associated with the video's sponsor. While some of the goals associated with this organization are noble in nature, their inclusion of the reference to "sexual identity" within their "tolerance pledge" is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line.

We believe that it is the privilege of parents to decide how, when and where it is appropriate to introduce their children to these types of sensitive issues. The distribution of this video trumps the authority of mothers and fathers and leaves it in the hands of strangers whose standards may very well be different than the children they teach.

By calling it to light this video and its affiliation with this larger organization, we are attempting to do for parents what their busy lives often prevent them from doing themselves--connecting the dots.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 21, 2005 09:26 PM

I found the statement. WHY Michael did you not even bother linking to the man's own words instead of what someone else said about him?

Not certain I agree with all his views but I do agree that parents should have some say and or warning on what their 6 or 7 year old children are exposed to.

I do not find him to be hysterical or brainless, bigoted perhaps or at least biased.

Does the appeal for Tsunami aid on the site also illustrated hysteria brainlessness and bigotry?
I found a lot of good things and I also found his statement not as extreme in tone as you indicated.

Did you read it yourself or did you just read about it?

Why is Dr. Dobson objecting to the distribution of a video featuring such popular children's characters as SpongeBob SquarePants?


Answer
From the outset, let's be clear that this issue is not about objections to any specific cartoon characters. Instead, Dr. Dobson is concerned that these popular animated personalities are being exploited by an organization that's determined to promote the acceptance of homosexuality among our nation's youth.

We applaud the ideal of championing to children the value and dignity of every human life as well as respect for our differences. What we vehemently object to is using these beloved characters to help advance an agenda that's beyond the comprehension of 6 and 7 year-old children, not to mention morally offensive to millions of moms and dads.

The video in question is slated to be distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools throughout the United States. Where it is shown, schoolchildren will be left with the impression that their teachers are offering their endorsement of the values and agenda associated with the video's sponsor. While some of the goals associated with this organization are noble in nature, their inclusion of the reference to "sexual identity" within their "tolerance pledge" is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line.

We believe that it is the privilege of parents to decide how, when and where it is appropriate to introduce their children to these types of sensitive issues. The distribution of this video trumps the authority of mothers and fathers and leaves it in the hands of strangers whose standards may very well be different than the children they teach.

By calling it to light this video and its affiliation with this larger organization, we are attempting to do for parents what their busy lives often prevent them from doing themselves--connecting the dots.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 21, 2005 09:26 PM

I don’t mind so much the fact that there is a gay agenda in this country. Live and let live, I say. What bothers me is the lies and deceit these people use to achieve their goals. I also find it loathsome that they actively target their twisted agenda at our children.

And as for my Batman analogy it still stands. It’s like being blindfolded while you’re told a beautiful woman is performing o*al s*x on you, only to remove the blind fold at the exact movement of cl*max to discover it’s really a man. These people want to tear down symbols and institutions of strong heterosexual role-models. That’s why your kids are playing with dolls instead of guns, and watching “Ren and Stimpy” instead of “Popeye.”

Posted by: Kay Hoog at January 21, 2005 09:37 PM

I don’t mind so much the fact that there is a gay agenda in this country. Live and let live, I say. What bothers me is the lies and deceit these people use to achieve their goals. I also find it loathsome that they actively target their twisted agenda at our children.

EXACTLY. They have as much right as anybody to promote their own truth. But they're so goddam underhanded about it. Leave the friggin kids alone! And then when the parents complain, they either 1) call them homophobes, or 2) tell them it's all in their heads.

And when you point it out to them, they insult you, and then add insult to injury by accusing you of insulting them! Psychos.

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 09:45 PM

Kay Hoog: I also find it loathsome that they actively target their twisted agenda at our children

What is "twisted" about a tolerance plea from Spongebob Squarepants? You say live and let live. Great. So does Spongebob Squarepants.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 21, 2005 09:48 PM

What is "twisted" about a tolerance

Have you seen any tolerance on this thread from those pleading tolerance as their standard? I haven't. I hope you'll forgive me if I begin to get nervous around people who are "tolerant."

Posted by: David at January 21, 2005 10:03 PM

'It’s like being blindfolded while you’re told a beautiful woman is performing o*al s*x on you, only to remove the blind fold at the exact movement of cl*max to discover it’s really a man.'

What a peculiarly distrubing 'analogy'

"These people want to tear down symbols and institutions of strong heterosexual role-models."

Uh-Huh

"That’s why your kids are playing with dolls instead of guns, and watching “Ren and Stimpy” instead of “Popeye.” "

You nailed it Mr. Hoog. The gay illumanati judged that Popeye was too a strong a bedrock of strong heterosexual lifestyles, and through their 'twisted' agenda, and stripped him from his millions of adoring fans and forced them to watch Ren and Stimpy today. There can be absolutly, positively no other reason modern day children would for go watching a mundane cartoon that hasn't reproduced itself in 40 years for talking rodents and chihuahuas that pick boogers and burp soda. It's too bad we dropped the ball on Rocko's modern life.

Posted by: Epitome at January 21, 2005 11:50 PM

"What I find so ironic though is that it was the liberals – I assume beginning in the 60’s – who basically destroyed the institution of marriage!"

What pray tell did those evil liberals do to 'destroy' the institution of marriage?

"By the time I was in my 20’s the concept of marriage was largely discredited for a liberal like me. Hence I lived with my 1st BF for 8 years and then lived with my husband for 8 years before tying the knot at the county courthouse (with 2 witnesses) and we did that (on new year’s eve) because we erroneously thought we’d save money on our taxes (that was before they changed the marriage tax penalty)."

So the big bad liberals committed the unspeakable crime of 'discrediting marriage, in your eyes' thereby forcing you (against your will) to shack up with a boyfriend for 8 years (no doubt due the mandatory cohabitation laws in your state) before tyeing the knot. If the liberals were dastardly enough to expose you to contrary opinions about the institution of marriage, thereby forcing you to have small regard for it and delay, one wonders if the godless policies of these statist socialists have any bounds at all!

'Now suddenly marriage is such a "sacred" concept to the liberals that they’re all crying in their soup over the fact that gay couples are unable to partake in it.'

There is no 'crying in the soup' about it. The liberal argument for gay marriage has little to do with the 'sacred' nature of the institution (that is the reactionary conservative argument though), the liberal argument for gay marriage is the same as the libertarian argument for gay marriage; because who or whatever prevents such, be it the state or majority rule is to deny them what they see as fundamental rights that should be granted to them based on sexual orientation.

"Sorry – don’t mean to sound harsh –but to a "post"-liberal like me – it’s pretty much a crock."

That's wonderful. Luckily for me since I live in a Western Liberal Democracy and not in North Korea, I look forward to the full realization of rights that are granted to me and cannot be infringed upon "post"-liberals whatever their reasoning might be.

Posted by: Epitome at January 22, 2005 12:10 AM

This thread reminds me why I am not a Republican.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 22, 2005 01:03 AM

I'm going make three different postings, to reply to three distinct topics raised on this thread:

1. Dobson;
2. the gay agenda;
3. "tolerance" vs. "acceptance"

POST # 1 - On Dr. James C. Dobson

Yes, he is “Mr. Dobson,” but the “Dr.” is earned. He’s a Ph.D. in child psychology, and worked for 14 years at the USC Medical School, until he founded “Focus on the Family in the late 70s.” His academic training and professional experience qualify him well to speak on issues relating to children. Is he “over the top” to be picking on “Sponge Bob?” He might be. I found the 80s TV sitcom character Steve Erkel to be just about as effeminate, and I didn’t hear Dobson calling him part of the “gay agenda.” Nonetheless, I think gays underestimate how huge the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling is, and this has made evangelicals that much more sensitive on the gay issue in general. Incidentally, my middle school boy loves watching “Sponge Bob,” and never once has thought the potrayal was of gays. He doesn’t even know about this controversy, and won’t, if I have anything to do with it. Why should I ruin innocent entertainment for him?

But back to us adults. If you listen carefully to Dobson’s spokesman, as reported on MSBNC video, he talked about the website connected to it, which does include a “tolerance pledge” that mentions sexual indentity. No, it’s not a prominent part of the website, but it is there, and when you factor in the huge reach this video will have via some 60,000+ public schools, and no doubt the promoting of the website alongside, it is a legitimate concern. Dobson may be more concerned to nip this one in the bud. When it comes to public (compulsory) education, a greater level of vigilance is appropriate.

A final comment for Post # 1. I’ve found it interesting on this thread that Michael Totten, who is normally quite rational, when it comes to Dobson, quickly launches into namecalling mode, as evidenced on the post that began this discussion. Why is that? To use a pyschological term, Dobson is quickly becoming more of a Rorschach inkblot, that people see according to their own point-of-view. How we react to him may tell us more about ourselves than anything else.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 04:36 AM

Post #2 – “Agendas,” “strategies” and "goals"

Some on this thread have debated whether there is a “gay” agenda, and what that means. Other have countered that there is a “Christian right” agenda. Both are correct; both agendas exist, though I think “strategies” is a better word.

I’ll start with the gay objective, because arguably, it existed first, and the so-called “Christian right” agenda has largely been a reaction to it. Some who read this thread couldn’t tell me who Anita Bryant is, or why in the late 70s, she had her 15 seconds of fame. She was a reaction to hundreds of gays in south Florida who had “coming out” parades. And from that time, there emerged a new strategy, if you will, among the until then more-or-less closeted gay community. The ultimate goal, toward which any strategy works, is acceptance at every level of society of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.
And yes, it includes making children supposedly less “bigoted” than their parents. (Remember the children’s book “Heather has two mommmies?”)

As for THE gay strategy, I don’t know that there’s one “steering committee” behind the whole thing; in fact, there would seem to be multiple strategies at-play, yet all working toward the same goal. But one proof that strategizing takes place is Andrew Sullivan, who on his blog just yesterday argued how he thinks the ultimate goal should be reached. Hint: Massachusetts Legislature.

Just one comment on the “Christian right" agenda. Historically, it has been overwhelmingly reactionary; however, "defense" has changed to offense, with the faster-paced passage of state-level DOMAS, and now the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which is pre-emptive.
And yes, Dobson and a dozen or so other conservative Christians strategized for that one, and continue to do so. I think their latest name for the proposed constitutional amendment is the Marriage Protection Act.

Agendas? You bet, and all over the political spectrum. Gotta love democracy.

On to Post # 3….

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 05:17 AM

"I assume beginning in the 60’s – who basically destroyed the institution of marriage! ... By the time I was in my 20’s the concept of marriage was largely discredited for a liberal like me. Hence I lived with my 1st BF ... before tying the knot at the county courthouse"

You sound like you're blaming "liberals" for choices that you freely made on your own (and which have nothing to do with the spongebob agenda.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 22, 2005 06:12 AM

Luckily for me since I live in a Western Liberal Democracy and not in North Korea, I look forward to the full realization of rights that are granted

Who "grants" them to you? The government? That sounds like N. Korea to me.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 06:28 AM

Post # 3 – Homosexuality short-circuits the future

"Downtown Lad" has compared homosexual behavior to smoking.
I find that an interesting analogy, and I’d like to expand upon it.

If homosexual acts are like cigarettes, then like smoking, they are harmful to the person engaging in the behavior. Cigarettes cause cancer; likewise, unprotected anal intercourse can transmit AIDS, or lead to “gay bowel syndrome.” But we know that cigarettes also have “second hand” negative effects on others. Does homosexuality? Downtown Lad says no; I disagree. He seems to be right at first, but he’s wrong. The second hand effect is on the future. How so? Because every society has a vested interest in the future by producing and raising the next generation.

We build schools, ball diamonds, gymnasiums, churches, and community centers for people. It’s people that bind us together as communities and as a nation. Homosexuality strikes at the very heart of all that the word “community” means, because in 100% of cases, sodomy does not produce children.

Now you may say that heterosexuals using birth control don’t make babies either, and you would seem to have a point. However, these are usually temporary measures, and many heterosexuals (not all) go on to produce children. Even in the instance of a man who has a vasectomy, or a woman who has her tubes tied, in most cases, he or she has already fathered or mothered children, and in this way affirmed his or her faith in the future. On the other hand, homosexuality is nihilistic, because in no cases do two men or two women produce children together, unless one of the lesbians is impregnated by a third party, and that's heterosexual, not homosexual. To validate her lesbian relationship, she must have recourse to a sperm donor. That's ironic, is it not, a testimony to the dead-end that is lesbianism?

So, is it right that Downtown Lad’s parents and family reject him? It’s a tough pill to swallow, that’s for sure, and his bitterness is obvious to anyone reading this thread. But I have to say, as a parent myself, that I understand his parents' initial reaction. (It may soften with time; he's their son, after all).

If we can step back for just a minute and try to look at things from a larger perspective, I don’t see Dowtown Lad as merely an individual.
I see the little community that is his family; I see the “second hand effect” of his selfish action, which means that there will never come a time when he can place a grandbaby in his parents arms, and in effect say, "I believe in this family." I’ve had that experience twice, and believe me, it’s one of life’s unforgettable moments.

China has experimented for 20 years with a one child only policy, and regrets the negative effects it has had. So, if homosexuality becomes the norm, we can only imagine the negative effects a NO child policy would have. If homosexual behavior is given equal legal and cultural footing with heterosexual behavior, then like second hand smoke, the negative effects on all would be enormous. A new school? Doesn’t need to be built. No kids to put in it, so no, we don’t need to hire any teachers. Ball diamonds? Daycares? (And the workers it would employ to build them?) Not necessary; no kids. Sorry. Go draw your unemployment check. (Ooops...have to cut that unemployment check; fewer people working to underwrite that program.) Government pensions? Only two workers for every Social Security retiree in 2042, experts say. If homosexuality is raised to equal status with heterosexuality, maybe we should just count on one worker for every retiree.

Is parenting the only way an individual contributes to community? Of course not. I have a gay cousin who contributes to his community in many ways. However, it must be admitted that in one important way, he can never contribute, and that is by fathering children, as long as he remains in a gay relationship.

Now, countries have always had “exceptions” to the non-parenting rule. What’s a priest or a nun, after all, or a childless couple? They contribute to community, and they don’t have kids. Nonetheless, these are exceptions, not the norm. Like the video that started this whole controversy says, “We are family.” And you can only be family for as long as you have people. The future is people. Homosexuality short-circuits the future, and that is why it is wrong and should be opposed.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 07:01 AM

"You sound like you're blaming "liberals" for choices that you freely made on your own..."

No Michael - I'm not blaming liberals for those choices. I am merely pointing out the irony that throughout the 60's and 70's it was clearly the liberal half of the political spectrum that promoted acceptance of the idea of "shacking up". It certainly wasn't the conservatives. I used myself as an example of someone who belonged to that cohort. During some 16 years of cohabitation I never felt that I was deprived of something. Millions of heterosexuals cohabititate today instead of getting married. I simply find it amusing that it is now this same liberal half of the political spectrum who seem to feel that homosexuals are being deprived of something very significant because the majority of the voting public is not willing at this time to grant marriage to homosexuals. As far as I can tell - the majority of "Republican" posters on this thread are personally very accepting of homosexuals themselves, they acknowledge their rights to their personal lifestyles - we even have many television shows starring openly homosexual actors, there are famous hs musicians and so on. It seems to me that our culture is indeed very tolerant of homosexuality (obviously there are exceptions). But if a majority does not want to grant marriage status I am simply making the point that I am dubious regarding the claims of great "deprivation" suffered.

Posted by: Caroline at January 22, 2005 07:15 AM

I should add that I think the conservatives make some very good arguments regarding the possible destabilizing effects of altering such a fundamental social institution as marriage. But I think those concerns have to be weighed against the suffering and deprivations experienced by those being denied this right. I am simply making the point (as someone with long experience in cohabitation) that I don't buy the claim of suffering and deprivation. Its hard for me to believe that many of the liberals making that claim really buy it either, for the reasons I stated above, namely their role in discrediting the importance of marriage in the first place. This assumes that in every other respect homosexuals are granted equal civil rights. And that is something that the majority of Americans already favor.

Posted by: Caroline at January 22, 2005 08:03 AM

I am simply making the point (as someone with long experience in cohabitation) that I don't buy the claim of suffering and deprivation.

It's not about being "deprived" of some benefit. As you've clearly reminded us of, the Left has minimized the importance of marriage since the early 70s. Weren't the feminists trying to equate marriage with slavery, and sex with rape? Now these same feminists are telling us it's a "right". The Left has no moral core, thus their continual flopping around from one contradiction to the next.

Rather, they want acceptance. Tolerance is so last week, after all. They want a government-enforced pat on the head. This has nothing to do with "benefits" and "rights." That is only the guise.

They have every right to speak their mind, but don't try to intimidate me into silence for speaking mine with your insults and name-calling. It's not gonna happen, and you're not going to convince anybody that way.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 08:15 AM

Epitome: “What pray tell did those evil liberals do to 'destroy' the institution of marriage?”

David: “Weren't the feminists trying to equate marriage with slavery..”

Epitome – there’s your answer re the historical trends that discredited the institution of marriage. But please don’t put words in my mouth. When did I call those liberals “evil”? Obviously I was a feminist myself. But from a cultural and psychological perspective, doesn’t this also imply that being denied the right to marriage is a totally different thing from say being denied the right to vote – or worse, slavery? Because obviously no one would voluntarily choose to be a slave or voluntarily choose to be denied the right to vote. Yet millions of heterosexuals choose to cohabitate rather than marry.

“the liberal argument for gay marriage is the same as the libertarian argument for gay marriage; because who or whatever prevents such, be it the state or majority rule is to deny them what they see as fundamental rights that should be granted to them based on sexual orientation.”

Based on sexual orientation? Then why stop there? What about polygamy?

Posted by: Caroline at January 22, 2005 09:48 AM

If there was ever an argument in favor of abortion, it would be so that people like Didsbury wouldn't have to be born.

The world would be much better off without scum like him walking this earth.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 10:07 AM

Didsbury,

Your first post was opinion, and I'm fine with your opinion, though I don't agree with Dobson's methods and ideas.

The second one I agree with.

The third one is really stupid.

1. "unprotected anal intercourse can transmit AIDS, or lead to “gay bowel syndrome.” There are many, many happily married heterosexual couples that engage in anal sex. There are many heterosexual couples that are dating or swinging that engage in anal sex. All of these people are just as prone to AIDS and "gay bowel syndrome" (which is a terribly bigoted term).

2. Homosexuals are homosexuals. Homosexuals do not have intercourse with the opposite sex. Therefore homosexuals will not, as a rule, produce children. It doesn't matter if a homosexual has one monogamous partner, or 1000 different partners, nor does it matter if they have legal protections or not... They will not procreate.

In conclusion, homosexuals have always been part of society, they will likely always be part of society. They will never contribute to the continuation of the race (except through artificial means). They never have and we've survived just fine. There is no evidence to support your thesis that allowing homosexuals to marry will somehow strike at the heart of civilization.

Your third post was a bigoted screed, based on emotion and dogma, instead of facts or even reason.

You fall to several debate fallicies here, but we'll take the most obvious one.

You have tried to make an argument based on "appeal to Nature" or saying what IS natural IS right. Since sodomy IS unnatural, then it must be wrong. Unfortunately, right and natural or wrong and unnatural are not necessarily linked. Just because something is considered 'natural', creates no oneous on the federal government to consider such a thing as 'right'.

You also fall victim to a 'non sequitur', in that you state a conclusion that doesn't necessaarily follow the argument.

You argue that homosexuals don't reproduce and that if homosexuals don't reproduce, then (and here is where your train of logic flies off the track) Society will suffer, since we, as a society, must procreate.

You have failed to make the first required argument that somehow, ever member of a society MUST procreate to continue the society. Most people who choose to procreate birth at least 2 and usually more children. Therefore from a mathmatical perspective, since gays make up a small (single digit) percentage of society, and since most families produce enough children to repalce themselves, as well as other children to grow society... you have not proven the basis for your argument.

This is, I'm afraid, typical on all sides of our political spectrum. Without a basic understanding of what is required for logical discussion, we are plagued with dogma and bias instead of logic and discourse.

Posted by: Ratatosk at January 22, 2005 10:19 AM

A recipe for civil dialogue (no, really)

If you think that homosexuality is evil, then:

don't engage in it - easy enough to comprehend

don't pretend to like some homosexuals - if you think homosexuality is inherently wrong, then you do not have any gay friends, you know some gay people, there's a difference

be able to explain your position politely - don't shut up, but choose when and where to speak and don't repeat yourself too often, don't use religious arguments with the non-religious (it's your basic waste of time)

don't show too much interest in other people's sex lives - it's kind of creepy

If you think homosexuality is okay, then:

don't talk about "bigots" or "hate" - no one will listen to you once you use those words (downtown lad, you're not doing our side any good here), no, that's not fair, but it's the way it is

don't treat homophobic arguments seriously - you're playing on someone else's field, that's a recipe for losing

If you're undecided, then:

make up your mind - it's not that tough an issue, either adults have the right to order their lives as they wish (within their capabilities and respecting the rights of others) or they don't.

be consistent - "I'm in favor of civil rights, but ..." didn't get anyone off the back of the bus, if you're ever tempted to say or think this, then you've decided, you're in the first camp, act accordingly.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 22, 2005 10:41 AM

Farris,

I generally agree with your post. But if religious arguments are wasted on the non-religious, then you might also consider that non-religious arguments are wasted on the religious. Not for purposes of this thread necessarily, but in the national dialogue generally, remember that most Americans ARE religious, and many if not most of them base their positions on their religious beliefs. You first have to destroy their religion, but don't worry, that's what you have the ACLU for.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 10:52 AM

Ratatosk:

Just a few quick points:

1. "Gay bowl syndrome" is indeed a pejorative term, and I will cease to use it. This does not change the fact that more homosexual men suffer from these types of anal infections that heterosexual men. My point was simply that anal intercourse increases the risk of such infection, and in that sense, is destructive.

2. Yes, homosexuals have always been with us. That wasn't my point. The point is whether society at-large should put a stamp of approval on what has traditionally been considered behavior destructive to community, and to the long-term continuance of it.

Your response seems to assume that the percentage of homosexuals will always remain static, no matter what changes in law or general societal approval come about. If you're right, then no harm done, but if you're wrong, then the kind of demographic "domino effect" I describe above is plausible. Already in Europe (Spain, for example) you have governments pleading with couples to have more children, because the very structure of their pension system is in danger, due to low birth rate. Now, in some of the same countries, laws giving equal footing to homosexual couples are going on the books.
A simple question comes to mind: Is this likely to increase the population, or decrease it?
Time will tell, but I would opt for the second answer, since young boys or girls who may have been "on the fence" so to speak about their sexual identity will now feel societal approval to pursue what is innoculously called an "alternative lifestyle." The gay lifestyle is socially isolating in two directions. First, it alienates from families of origin, but secondly, it precludes having a family of one's own.
That's a choice you can make, but let's not be cavalier about the nihilism it represents.

3. I re-read my e-mail, and in no place did I argue about whether homosexual behavior is "natural." By putting these words in my mouth, you've set up the "straw man" only to knock it down again. This is a classic technique used when you don't have an answer to an opponent's arguments.

Have to close this off now, time for dinner with the family.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 03:42 PM

Hey, Downtown Lad -

I'm sorry you feel that way. What I posted was not intended to be a personal attack, and I regret you seem to have taken it as such.

One reason I enjoy coming to MJT is because, more than some sites, it seems to encourage dialogue, and dialogue between those of diverse perspectives. Namecalling is easy; marshalling arguments for your position is much harder. You may think my arguments are poor, so tell me why. Give me a counterargument, but hurling insults only reflects badly on yourself, and it certainly does nothing to further a discussion about the topic.

A closing observation:

MJT and all blogs are a bit like a public pool. One or two people pee in it, and nobody notices,
but if everyone starts doing that, people won't swim in the pool anymore. Namecalling on a blog is like peeing in a public pool. You get the picture.

Downtown Lad, hope your Sunday is pleasant and relaxing.

Take care, and stay warm.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 04:44 PM

Didsbury,

notice that it's the paladins of "tolerance" who are the ones that find it so easy to engage in the personal vilification. It's like an automatic response to them. I see it across the board on the Left.

Did you hear what happened to Harvard Pres. Lawrence Summers? He's being drawn and quartered right now for making a comment about genetic predisposition in women re mathematics. The Left threw a hissy fit and one professor walked out saying she wanted to puke. He's apologized, each time more profusely. No matter. He'll be lucky to keep his job.

They'll burn you at the stake if you're not careful. Free speech my ASS. But no doubt these same Lefties opposed to a "math gene" in women are vigorously in favor of the "gay gene" angle for gays. That would fit their Lefty orthodoxy just fine. And they say they aren't religious! balls.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 05:40 PM

Sorry Didsbury - Apology not accpeted.

You basically argued that society is worse off because I exist, and it would be better if I did not.

You stated that there is no room in this world for gay people.

So my opinion that the world would be better off without hateful people like you still stands.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 06:59 PM

David - The people today who are trying to crack down on free speech are those on the right.

Spongebob being the perfect example.

Then of course there is Janet Jackson, Desperate Housewives, Howard Stern, etc.

Before denouncing censorship, you should look in your own backyard.

What's wrong with the Lawrence Summers episode? He made some statements and people disagreed with it. If they want to march out of his speech, that's their perogative.

You seem to be under this false impression that free speech and tolerance means that you cannot denounce something you disagree with.

In case you didn't know - that is what free speech is all about.

But of course the only people trying to OUTLAW such speech are on the right. You are the one who is against freedom here, not me.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 07:03 PM

But you're not helping your argument much, since you are against gay marriage. Gay marriage would obviously do tons to LOWER promiscuity.
*************************************************
What a load of unsupported crap. Whether I agree with gay marriage or disagree, I can at least recognise that the institution of HETEROSEXUAL marriage has done nothing whatsoever to prevent promiscuity, unless you figure that when a couple gets married they are done and finished. ;-)

Gay marriage is not about spiritual unions in any case its about INSURANCE MONEY and other financial benifits. There are no lack of denominatons willing to perform the ceremony as far as inheritance etc there are legal means to join the assests of two individuals, what is not available is forcing a company to extend insurance benifits to a gay partner, and other tax benifits.

If someone cannot be faithful to one partner and is habitually promiscuous, then the marriage liscence will have little effect.

I really don't care how someone exercises their sexual identity so long as their partner is willing and competant.

I am not certain about bestiality, I guess if the animal is willing and not damaged, nah I think I will put that aside for now.

NAMBL I will NOT put aside willing or not a minor is not competant to decide he prefers Man/boy Love.

Those are exteme examples but its a complex area with extreme positions.

Until I read this thread truth be told I had never heard of this Dobson character, I had seen ONE commericial on a video tape about Spongebob thought is would be a waste of time to get anything using that character,

I went to Dobson's website in reaction to this statement,

"Look no further than the latest hysterical outburst by the brainless, bigoted blowhard James Dobson."

That was after I followed the link here to a realy hysterical site spouting all about Dobson.

Sorry I did not see any example of brainlessness, or hysteria anywhere but HERE and 3martini so Mike did you READ the statement by Dobson or a statement ABOUT it before you posted?

PS I have also decided after reading some of these posts that I am glad I decided a while back
that I could no longer be a Democrat, odd how things can effect us different ways? ;-)

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 22, 2005 07:03 PM

Didsbury,

If homosexuality short-circuits the future, why has society prospered for so long with all sexual orientations running synchronously? To suggest it short-circuits the future is a nonsense in my opinion. If you wish to talk about the economic future based on consumption, I would propose that the substantial fall in birthrates among all people is the key. There were gay couples in the post-WW2 birth rush, and there are now in the 21st century decline. Their presence has zero proven effect on birthrate.
If your comment that "most heterosexuals have babies" were true, the above would not be the case. Please expand further on how you prpose homosexuality is halting human expansion.

Further, I think you should probably leave the sodomy aspect aside, and focus on the other 99.8% of people's lives. I guess Michael Farris alluded to this in his well thought out post. Gay couples can, and do, raise children. Sometimes these children are conceived through social agreement, other times, they are orphans who would otherwise be raised in state care. It's a mighty progressive move, but it's happening now. You refer to lesbianism as a "dead-end". I'd rather think of it as a world of possibilities. And here's the kicker: a child bought up in a comfortable, non-threatening world of opportunity is more likely to want to have their own family, than one who is brought up in state institutions.

You suggest "Homosexuality strikes at the very heart of all that the word "community" means"

I live my life on the periphery of a very large gay community. It's a place where gay people live, work, and socialise. And it intersects with my heterosexual community many times a day. I found your points regarding the lack of community pertaining to gay people to be utterly unfounded.

Finally, it's my feeling that a few times throughout your third comments, you were directly hurtful towards Downtown Lad. Perhaps not deliberately, but it was quite clear to me, and I would have taken offense were you addressing me. It doesn't justify his reply, but I felt it worth my view, for what it's worth. What I do agree with you upon is the value of MJT's 'blog as a civilized venue for exchanging opposing views. I dig it a lot.

I applaud Michael Farris' post as a menu of strategies to discuss delicate issues. Michael, I may pin that one up on the fridge! Perhaps it's because I'm young, I don't know, but I do see tolerance as the key here. No-one's going to wish away the issue of homosexual society. And hating and marginalising is just a vile option. Marginalizing sections of society you don't like has never worked.

Posted by: viacollins at January 22, 2005 07:04 PM

Thanks for the support Viacollins!

When people attack me, I have no problem attacking back.

But the attackers are always shocked when I do so (see Disbury and viacollins). I have no idea why they feel that they can make hostile remarks, but it's somehow "out of bounds" for me to do the same in return.

There's a lot of hateful people on this board. Take a look at Dan Kauffman. He brings up NAMBLA, which advocates pedophelia, thus making the argument that gay people give moral support to this organization. They, of course, don't. In fact, they are denounced almost unanimously by the gay community. But you won't here that from Dan Kauffman.

And David of course was making the same accusations in a previous post, saying "leave the children out of it". Of course he denies that he wasn't comparing being gay with being a child molestor, but just go to any anti-gay website (American Family Association, Family Research Council, etc.) and you will see ample evidence that they equate homosexuality and pedophelia.

As long as people keep bringing up these lies - I'm going to have to make it apparent to other commenters exactly what they are doing.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 07:26 PM

David - The people today who are trying to crack down on free speech are those on the right. Spongebob being the perfect example.

No he's not. Right out of the gate your entire premise is false. Nowhere will you find anybody saying Spongebob can't speak. Spongebob was merely "denounced", which you and I both agree is fair play, no?

But you seem to confuse denouncing with personal vilification. They're different. Just look at your own posts on this thread. It's disgusting they way you've wielded your insults and personal denigration of people whom you consider fair game just because you're gay, and I think that's pretty standard fair with you Lefties. But here's the IRONY. You claim to be the protectors of free speech/expression! Irony of ironies! and not only are you NOT the protectors of free speech and expression, but you're the very embodiment of modern censorship with your nonsensical pc speech codes and intentional efforts to silence voices of diversity through personal vilification (see Lawrence Summers). And I think it's intentional. You want to club your opponents into silence by intimidation. Try talking to your average peacenik. He'll shout you down so you can't even hear yourself think. And these tactics work by the way, because most people don't want to engage the rabid activistas of the Left. And I would include you in that group.

But of course the only people trying to OUTLAW such speech are on the right. You are the one who is against freedom here, not me.

Where? Who? "spongebob"? Wrong again. Denouncing is not censorship. Vilification is. And please, don't make me have to right another post explaining the obvious and simple difference between the two. I'm assuming a modicum of intellectual honesty on your part.

and ps., thanks for finally not calling somebody a homophobe in your last post. We're making progress.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 07:36 PM

And David of course was making the same accusations in a previous post, saying "leave the children out of it". Of course he denies that he wasn't comparing being gay with being a child molestor

I'm beginning to think you're a mentally imbalanced individual the way you knowingly make false accusations as part of your tactics. I've already explained to you that I didn't call gays pedophiles, or even insinuate it. And yet you insist. Is that what you mean by you're only "fighting back"? That is so twisted. The thread above is all the evidence anybody needs to see that even though you're a "gay victim", you're hardly better than a troll. You think being gay gives you the right to essentially flame people and intentionally misrepresent them? All for "the cause", right? You're scary. You typify all that is wrong and disgusting with the modern Left, and why people are leaving it in droves. People like you are driving them out. People like you are going to get Lawrence Summers fired. You think you bolster your argument by slandering your opponents and misrepresenting what they say? If you really, really think you're only "responding to attacks," then you have serious emotional problems, my friend.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 07:50 PM

Indiana Clears the Way

Indiana Appeals Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

http://www.legalreader.com/

Posted by: David at January 22, 2005 07:59 PM

Well David - Your whole argument is wrong, because I'm not a "LEFTIE".

I'm a registered Republican - sorry. Your whole argument goes down the drain.

And $200,000 fines from the FCC DOES represent censorship.

Again - You can deny that you're not calling gay people pedophiles all you want, but when you keep saying "keep the children out of it" OVER and OVER and OVER, that is the impression that you are making - intended or not.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 08:25 PM

Also, notice how David is now making accusations that all gay people are "mentally imbalanced" and have "emotional problems".

This is of course another slander progagated by people on the Religious Right - like David.

And it's a big lie. See below:

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_mental_health.html

Here's more on the religious right making lies about gays and pedophelia:

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

David can deny he's doing this all he wants. But when he makes alludes to gays and "children" and gays and "emotional problems", do you really believe him?

I don't.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 22, 2005 08:30 PM

Thanks, Viacollins, for a thoughtful post.
I think it furthers the discussion, and I appreciate the kind tone.

I won't respond to every argument in your letter, as I suspect folks are tiring of me by now, and I don't want to monopolize. But let me address one of your points, and add a further comment on "bigotry."

1) Population decline - You're exactly right. Population decline is a complex issue, with many factors. But if our "economic house" is burning to the ground, in part because we just don't have enough people to run the economy, or to support pension programs that neither Republicans nor Democrats want to see fold, then isn't it the height of insanity to throw more fuel on the fire? Yet that is exactly what we do when we liberalize abortion laws, or place homosexual unions on the same footing as heterosexual ones. In the first case, abortion, there are 43 million fewer workers paying taxes now than there otherwise would have been. As for homosexuality, perhaps in 10 years we'll have a better idea from studies in places like France and Holland, as to what impact gay marriage or civil unions will have had on population decline. Meanwhile, wouldn't it be the better part of wisdom to "look before we leap"? I think that's what 13 states said on Nov. 4, when they passed DOMAS, or Defense of Marriage Acts, that the traditional family, with all of its problems, isn't ready for the trash heap. After all, if two men can marry each other, why not three? Why not polygamy? It's a slippery slope, and lots of folks said: "Let's not go there," including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissenting opinion in Lawrence vs. Texas, that overturned sodomy laws in the summer of 2003.

2) Bigotry, or sanity? -- I don't believe the passage of the state DOMAS was bigotry, but sanity. If it was bigotry, then you'll need to call Martin Luther King's daughter a bigot, because she marched against gay marriage in Georgia. Even Jesse Jackson several months ago said that the '60s civil rights struggle does not easily compare with the gay rights movement of today. Are these two civil rights leaders "bigots"? And I wonder how many African-Americans in Ohio voted for the DOMA that was on their ballot? Are they all "bigots," too? Are they all "hateful" or do they see something larger at-stake in this debate, namely, the continued existence of heterosexual marriage as we know it? After all, put a lot of counterfeit bills in circulation, and pretty soon, the entire currency is unstable. Homosexual marriage is a counterfeit; heterosexual marriage, with all of its shortcomings, is the real deal.

3) Right to exist? Of course! -- I don't believe that any of the arguments you hear coming from social conservatives on this thread have ever said that homosexuals or lesbians don't have a "right to exist." I don't doubt that you can find some of that kind of extremism on the Right, but you haven't seen it here. What you see mostly is great hesitancy to accord equal legal and cultural status to homosexuality, and that, quite frankly, is a different ball of wax altogether.

Last post; time for someone else to opine.
I think I'll go watch "Popeye" -- smile.

Viacollins, may 2005 be for you a time of blessing and abundance.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 22, 2005 09:54 PM

"In the first case, abortion, there are 43 million fewer workers paying taxes now than there otherwise would have been."

I saw an article a while back pointing out that these "missing" folks (ironically) would have largely tended to be democratic voters!

Since a cartoon character inspired this thread in the first place, perhaps its relevant to point out that its starting to remind me of the Energizer Bunny!

Posted by: Caroline at January 22, 2005 10:18 PM

Well, Tosk already jumped in on this one, but I also wanted to comment on Didsbury’s comment #3. Of all the arguments against homosexuality, I think the ‘it will lead to the extinction of the species’ one is my absolute favourite, just because of the Bizzaro world logic that it requires. You see, gays are only 2% of the population, and they aren’t having kids anyway, but if we allow them to marry then the reproductive rate will collapse and there’ll be no more humans left. Or something. Actually, legalizing gay marriage might very slightly increase the birth rate, as lesbians in a stable relationship might increase their use of IVF (or turkey basters if the money is tight) (BTW, is the turkey baster thing an urban myth, or has there actually been documented cases of children produced that way?). Either way, if gay people aren’t having kids now, how does letting them marry decrease the birth rate?

Of course, we all know the dark truth. Letting gay people marry will turn straight people gay! This is the truth the Homosexual Lobby doesn’t want you to know. You see, being gay is apparently so cool, that if not for powerful social taboos, everyone would be gay, and then as a society, we’re fucked. And not in a good, child-producing way, nosiree. Because if this weren’t true, well, then this whole argument would crumble to dust, and we can’t have that, now can we?

Posted by: Dave Ruddell at January 22, 2005 10:59 PM

Lad,

You're welcome for support.

As I said, you had been slurred personally by Didbury, so probably best to just leave that one alone altogether. Reconciliations chances minimal as I see it.

And responding to David? A manifestly futile gesture. He has posted 26 time since posting that he had no time for the subject and would not be posting further. He is not here to learn anything. He is here to tell people what he thinks. Those who care. A subset of MJT's blog to which I for one do not belong.

Just ignore him. You'll get nowhere here by venting anger.

Best wishes.

Posted by: viacollins at January 23, 2005 02:09 AM

Didsbury,

Seasons greetings back to you sir. You do youself a disservice by suggesting people are tired of your views. Your efforts are appreciated by many I'm sure.

I can see where you're headed with return point # 1, but I'm afraid the waters are immediately muddied by the addition of the abortion issue. That's a heck of a right-hand turn after 200 posts on homosexual agendas.

Forgive me if I remain focussed on the issue at hand. How will population growth be affected by legitimisation of homosexual relationships, versus their continued existence without legitimisation? People love, co-habit, loan money together, whatever. They always have done, they always will, regardless of what the society at large deems correct. Remember, "the love that dare not speak its name?".

I'd like to think that in 2005, it can speak its name, and we're all mature enough to say "uh huh", or "whatever", and mind our own respective businesses.

Where in the name of J Edgar Hoover did the suggestion of multiple partners enter the debate? Far as I knew, that had been tried in Utah, and it wasn't by homosexuals, and it wasn't popular. But that's a diversion. I still challenge you to provide a reasoned argument that the existence of homosexual couples in society is counter-productive to population growth.

The traditional marriage on the scrap-heap? No, not as far as I can see. But taken for granted? abused? in decline? - yes, divorce rates would suggest that. But those circumstances occur exclusively of homosexual relationships. The two should not be conflated.

Yours etc,

Posted by: viacollins at January 23, 2005 02:29 AM

Downtown Lad,

Gay is your crutch.

Because in my posts, I'm referring to YOU, not "gays". I insist on addressing you as a regular poster, not a gay poster, but you insist on making everything about you being gay. I treat you like a regular troll, but you insist you're being persecuted because you're "gay". It's your crutch, can't you see that? Plain as day to me. But you WANT to live in the world of victimhood. It serves your purposes all too well.

What would you do, Lad, if you didn't have gay to hide behind? It would suddenly be clear for all to see that you're not a victim after all, but just an old fashion asshole.

Stop hiding behind gay, Lad. It's just a tactic, and a pretty despicable sick one at that.

Posted by: at January 23, 2005 03:45 AM

David

Posted by: David at January 23, 2005 03:48 AM

David,

Did you hear what happened to Harvard Pres. Lawrence Summers? He's being drawn and quartered right now for making a comment about genetic predisposition in women re mathematics. The Left threw a hissy fit and one professor walked out saying she wanted to puke. He's apologized, each time more profusely. No matter. He'll be lucky to keep his job.

I think Mr. Summers comments were made with no ignoble intentions, but 'free speech' doesen't mean you don't have to bear the consequences of your speech in the public sphere. If I suggested that there was something biologically innate in black people that made them perform more poorly in scholastic endeavors than white or other people, I'm going to pay a price. You can blame the public and their intolerance of your views but in the end you are going to pay a price for your ignorance.

'They'll burn you at the stake if you're not careful.'

Oh of course! and I suppose if some oblivious university president suggested that conservatives are not intelligent enough to pursue intellectual endeavors to the degree liberals can, or that religious belief constituted simple mindedness and need for dependancy I'm sure you wouldn't take the slightest offense. Wouldn't wanna get all PC now would we?

"Free speech my ASS. But no doubt these same Lefties opposed to a "math gene" in women are vigorously in favor of the "gay gene" angle for gays. That would fit their Lefty orthodoxy just fine. And they say they aren't religious! balls."

I don't know about religion, but this particular 'Lefty orthodoxy' certainly suits me just fine. I see no problem with the speculation that there's some dormant biological trait that can affect any and all humans predisposing them to homosexuality. I do object to the notion that there is a gene that indisposes an entire sex to mathematics.

It would figure that conservative doctrine would have no problem with such a gene (they shouldn't be working anyway) yet would object to the notion of a 'gay gene' (we all know it's just a vice)

Posted by: Epitome at January 23, 2005 06:03 AM

"I don't believe the passage of the state DOMAS was bigotry, but sanity. If it was bigotry, then you'll need to call Martin Luther King's daughter a bigot, because she marched against gay marriage in Georgia."

Ok then, Martin Luther King's daughter is a bigot, does that clarify everything?

What is this black folks trump card you are playing? I'm sorry but using disadvantaged minorities who hold similiar views to you as a cover for your own views on certain subjects is a hollow shield. Worse yet, it's yet another example of conservatives adopting repugnant liberal tactics they used to condemn. Black people are no more special or enlightened, and just as prone to bigotry, racism, sexism and what have you as the rest of us. Their blackness doesen't make them immune from their views, even the nameless offspring of dead civil rights leaders.

"Even Jesse Jackson several months ago said that the '60s civil rights struggle does not easily compare with the gay rights movement of today."

That's legitimate of him to say. I dont think the press for full homosexual rights compares to the struggles of the civil rights movement either, and that's no disrespect to gay people. That doesen't mean it isn't a legitimate grievance.

"Are these two civil rights leaders "bigots"?"

If they lobbied for depriving homosexuals the same rights afforded to heterosexuals, then yes that makes them bigots. Simply being a civil rights leader, or one who has faught against bigotry and oppression yourself, doesen't discriminate you from being a bigot. If Jesse Jackson doesen't think gays should get married because of his prejudices, it makes him a bigot just as much as he was a bigot when he referred to jews as 'hymies' .

'And I wonder how many African-Americans in Ohio voted for the DOMA that was on their ballot? Are they all "bigots," too? Are they all "hateful" or do they see something larger at-stake in this debate, namely, the continued existence of heterosexual marriage as we know it?'

If African Americans voted in favoir of DOMA, they probably did such for many of the same reasons whites who voted in favor of it did. And if they did such, I will hold their actions in contempt for the same reasons as their white counterparts.

Posted by: Epitome at January 23, 2005 06:24 AM

Caroline,

"doesn’t this also imply that being denied the right to marriage is a totally different thing from say being denied the right to vote – or worse, slavery? Because obviously no one would voluntarily choose to be a slave or voluntarily choose to be denied the right to vote. Yet millions of heterosexuals choose to cohabitate rather than marry."

That's a mis-analogy. Millions of couples 'choose' to cohabitate instead of marry, how many of them do you know who would voluntarily forfeit their right to marriage, should they so desire at some point?

Posted by: Epitome at January 23, 2005 06:28 AM

As for the original topic, I agree with David (somewhat)

I find nothing wrong with promoting the acceptance of homosexuals and homosexuality, I don't even mind using cartoon characters to do it. But this promotional is directly targeted at children who are barely old enough to read. How many first and second graders even really grasp the concept of homosexuality? I have no problem with sesame street esque specials directed at 6 and 7 year olds that try to explain that boys and girls aren't better than eachother and blacks and whites and yellows aren't better than eachother, but can't we hold off educating the 'see spot run' crowd about homosexuality and mandatory tolerance pledges until later? At least 10?

Posted by: Epitome at January 23, 2005 06:34 AM

Viacollins: "How will population growth be affected by legitimisation of homosexual relationships, versus their continued existence without legitimisation?"

I'll proffer one example. There's a whole lot of bisexual males as well. It seems that historically they have tended to marry women and raise children while carrying out their homosexual affairs on the side. In the event that homosexual marriage is legalized they might well fall in love and marry a man instead (with the result of no children). Of course this bisexual might down the road end up having an affair with a woman (recall that many people elect not to divorce even when in an unhappy relationship because of the financial costs). If the woman becomes pregnant, there is no cost to population growth but there is some cost to the overall social fabric in terms of her raising those children without a father.

"Where in the name of J Edgar Hoover did the suggestion of multiple partners enter the debate? Far as I knew, that had been tried in Utah, and it wasn't by homosexuals, and it wasn't popular."

Isn't its popularity irrelevant to the issue? Both Mormons and Muslims believe in polygamy. And as we know the Muslim population is rapidly increasing in the US. What is the case for not going down that road, if we are willing to grant marriage to same-sex partners?

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 07:16 AM

To my previous post I would add: Historically, because of the societal pressure to marry in combination with the deligitimization of homosexuality - the consequence was that many purely homosexual men did in fact marry (unhappily) and did reproduce - again I'm sure they carried out homosexual affairs on the side. Now of course society has lifted that pressure to marry, which means that homosexual men are no longer forced into heterosexual marriages. It does mean less overall reproduction but society evidently thinks that trade-off is worth it, given the suffering caused to the individual. Now homosexuals are not forced to live a lie. They can cohabit openly with their partners but it has undoubtedly still had an impact on overall population growth.

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 07:30 AM

David,

Another slur against gay people, no calling us "victims." Man - you're just going through one homophobic slur after another. First you call us pedophiles, then you say we have psychological problems, and now we're the weak victim.
All I did was point out to the rest of this board that you're using these stereotypes and I'm calling you on it. How that makes me a child-molesting, insane, victim is beyond me?
If this was a thread about Israel and you started calling the Jewish guy "cheap", or if it was a thread about affirmative action and you started calling the black guy "lazy", people would see right through the bigotry. Your claims to only be referring to the one commenter, rather than the entire group as a whole would not be believed by anyone.
But not everyone is as familiar with the homophobic rants from the religious right. I have no qualms about pointing them out. And you're using every single one of them.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 08:58 AM

Plenty of gay people have kids. Especially lesbians. It's not difficult to get in vitro fertilization.

And if you're talking about reproduction, it's really only the women who matter. They are the ones having the kids, not the men.

Why does it matter if I get married or not? If there's some single girl out there who wants to get married and have kids, isn't it better for her to marry a guy who's actually attracted to her rather than some gay guy who is faking love?

I really wonder how all of these gay bashers would feel if their daughter or sister ended up marrying a gay guy. Would they really want that?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 09:03 AM

Ok then, Martin Luther King's daughter is a bigot, does that clarify everything?

Yes, it does. I gladly include myself in the group MLK's daughter is in. She's not alone in the black community, nor in the American community at large. So it seems the term bigot and home "phobe" are quickly losing their cache. I guess you're going to have to find new words to sling at people because we're quicly becoming immune to these ones.

Posted by: at January 23, 2005 09:20 AM

David

Posted by: at January 23, 2005 09:21 AM

Lad,

it's your crutch. You weren't disowned because you're gay, you were disowned because you're a vile human being. Blaming everything on "gay" is just your coping mechanism.

Posted by: David at January 23, 2005 09:24 AM

"Why does it matter if I get married or not? If there's some single girl out there who wants to get married and have kids, isn't it better for her to marry a guy who's actually attracted to her rather than some gay guy who is faking love?"

Downtown: I don't think I have said anything that can be construed as "gay bashing". Like many people I have gay friends whom I dearly love, I am not in any way offended by the sexual practices of gay people (obviously oral and anal sex are common practices among heterosexuals as well) - although like many people I don't particularly care to see public displays of homosexual sex any more than I care to see public displays of heterosexual sex (thats in reference to the "Real World" example way up the thread).

As to your question, I believe that society has already answered it. Yes - we would rather see our sisters marry men who really love them - as we do not want to force homosexual men to live a lie - a false life - by being forced to marry women, or for that matter, forced to hide their real feelings for men. Noone is forcing that on you are they? However, you must acknowledge that society - from a reproductive POV - has paid a price for that already? As I said - its a very fair trade-off, a price that society is willing to pay for the sake of the happiness of the individuals involved. But society is also bigger than the individual. There is the greater good to consider and I think at the current time that is why people are drawing a line in the sand. My understanding is that pure homosexuals make up about 2% of the population while bisexuals make up almost 10% (correct me if I'm wrong). I would appreciate it if you would address the points I raised about how how legalizing gay marriage might impact the larger social fabric - in terms of bisexuals forming homosexual marriages, and also the issue of the "slippery slope" - i.e. - on what grounds would you deny marriage rights to polygamists?

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 09:29 AM

David - you're being a jerk. Sorry but if the shoe fits - wear it.

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 09:41 AM

David,

I agree with Carolyn's post. Tone it down, you're over-the-top.

Posted by: didsbury at January 23, 2005 10:06 AM

OK, off the bench, and back onto the field.

A post on the NUMBERS GAME, and how both sides are playing it:

Ever notice how the percentage of homosexuals and lesbians, as cited by the gay lobby, has morphed? A few years back, all anyone ever got beat over the head with was:

"Hey! We're 10% of the population! We've got numbers! Just look at the Kinsey Report."

The reason for that was simple. The gay community wanted to show its demographic importance, "we're big, and we're not going away" etc. (By the way, Kinsey's sample population was a men's prison, where the non-availability of women was a factor. Turns out many of those men, upon release from prison, adopted previous heterosexual patterns from before they were jailed. In short, Kinsey's sample wasn't random; they might have described a men's prison in 1948, but they didn't reflect US society as a whole.)

But back to 2005. Now that the gay rights lobby has been favored with some court victories, and in the process, rankled millions of traditionalists, all-of-the-sudden, shazam!

"But we're only 2% of the population" they now claim on threads, like MJT. I guess now that lower figure is more politically acceptable, a little less threatening to some, maybe?

But lest conservatives get off too easily --

It was the Family Research Council (among others)that trumpeted the 2% figure for many years.
Why is that? Here's one take that I found at
http://www.geocities.com/plusg1/facts_05.htm --

********
"A simple websearch will yield many websites discussing this subject that are maintained by anti-gay organisations, mostly of a US Christian persuasion. Their purpose is often to highlight the lower range of figures, to dispute the higher figures and to suggest that homosexual persons are too few to be accorded equal rights."

********

But is this still true? There was an eloquent silence on the % of gay population if you look at www.frc.org. A quick review of the titles of 31 "hits" on the topic of homosexuality had lots of things about gays recruiting children, but nothing obvious in the titles about what percentage of the U.S. population is gay.
I may have overlooked something, but at very least, they're not trumpeting this figure like before.

The geocities cite linked above was interesting, by the way, because it pointed out the difficulty of getting an accurate read on this question. It depends how the question is framed, whether gay means "orientation" or "behavior" etc. So, is it 2%? Is it 10%? Who really knows?

The numbers game aside, there's an old saying that "perception is reality." When it comes to this issue, I think the San Francisco gay weddings by Newsome and the Mass Supreme Court ruling together created something of a "critical mass" on this issue in the mind of the average American. Through the month-long running of MSM footage of brides kissing brides and grooms kissing grooms, a perception was created of tsunami-like wave of gay weddings, a perception that this thing is growing. (And yes, provoking what some gay activists themselves have described as the "Yuck" factor -- and before you hang me from the rafters for that comment, those are their words, not mine).

Whether the percentage of gays is increasing, your guess is as good as mine. I suspect it is, but I have no proof.

Maybe someone out there has an authoritative link to post?

Posted by: Didsbury at January 23, 2005 11:19 AM

"Whether the percentage of gays is increasing, your guess is as good as mine. I suspect it is, but I have no proof." (Didsbury)

I would agree with you. When you increase the acceptibility of the thing you will inevitably increase the numbers for the reason that people do not really have all that great access to their emotions. People are unhappy and they don't always know why they're unhappy. Relationships are hard. Hence it is not such a stretch to say - I just can't seem to make my relationships with men work out. They're always pissing me off. Maybe I'm really a lesbian. Maybe I should explore that. Before you laugh at that idea - I have actually known women who said exactly that! That was also essentially the theme of the charming movie "Kissing Jessica Steyn".

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 12:19 PM

Caroline - Nope you haven't been gay bashing at all. Your posts are fine.

I'll try and answer your post. First of all, I don't buy your stats that only 2% of people are gay and anohter 8% are bi. I've only met one person in my entire life I truly consider to be bisexual. I have met lots of gay people who claim to be bisexual, but later on come to admit that they are truly gay, and that they were just use the bi-sexual thing as a front.

But lots of gay people do end up getting married, etc. due to pressure from society. And they end up being miserable marriages. Take a look at Rock Hudson and Jim McGreevey. Judy Garland married a gay person and look where that took her. Now her daughter, Liza, is marrying gay people as well (just like Mom). This is a good thing?

I don't know any gay person who ever says definitively what percentage of the population is gay. I think it's at least 4%, because that's what the exit polls from the last two Presidential elections have said. And I think there are definitely people who are lying and pretending to be straight, i.e. still in the closet, so my hunch is that gay people make up about 6% of the population.

My hunch is that it's always been that number and is not increasing. Every gay person I know did not want to be gay at first and struggled with the issue for quite a while before coming to terms with it. Some come to terms with it earlier now, but for people like Jim McGreevey, he didn't come to terms with it until he was 46.

So if we are so worried about society not reproducing itself, then the other 94% of society need to have 1.06 as many kids as they are today in order to make up for gay people not having kids. But since many gay people do have kids, i.e. lesbians having in vitro fertilization, it's actually even less urgent.

Wouldn't it be easier to just convince straight people to have more sex, use less birth control, and have less abortions in order to raise the birth rate rather than trying to convince gay men to have sex with women when they can barely even get it up for them?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 12:20 PM

David's really gone off the deep end, hasn't he? Well he WAS talking to a gay person, guess that's why. You know how dangerous we can be . . .

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 12:24 PM

Actually I have a better way to make sure society keeps reproducing.

1) Let the nuns and priests get married so that they can have children.

2) Catholics who won't use artificial insemination for religious reasons, should start doing so, so that they can have more children.

It's awfully silly for people to start blaming gay people for the lack of children in society, when plenty of religious people are not doing their part.

Time for the Pope to start having sex.

If of course, you buy the myth that the world is in desperate need for more kids. Which I don't. 6 billion is plenty, and I don't see humans going extinct anytime soon.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 01:16 PM

Downtown - no - I agree that its definitely a bad thing for society to pressure gay people to stay in the closet and marry people they don't love. I do think most of society accepts that (although unfortunately it sounds like your own family is an exception).

What you say about bisexuals is rather interesting. You think they're actually gay. Funny - I would have guessed the opposite - straight people who are either outright hedonists or straight people who are sexually confused. I wouldn't discount this latter group (I don't really mean sexually confused - rather, trying to find something - love, happiness, fulfillment - and searching in the wrong place).

I am still waiting for you to address the polygamy issue. Once we alter the definition of marriage, on what grounds do you deny polygamists the rights to marry?

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 01:19 PM

I'm not saying bisexuals are gay. I'm saying most people are either mostly gay or mostly straight. Bisexuals do exist, but there are very few of them. At least amongst men, I've only met one who I truly consider bi.

As for people who are sexually confused, my hunch is that they are gay. Think of all the straight men you know. Can you really see any of them sleeping with another guy just to try it out? I can't. Why would he, when there are so many other women out ther who he IS attracted to???

I have never, ever had any temptation to sleep with a girl, and I TRIED to date women for two decades. The only curiosity I had was for other guys.

As for polygamy, that's another story. I'm not sure what polygamy has to do with homosexuality. I do know, however, that polygamy has support from the Bible. It was the norm for thousands of years. We also need to ask if polygamy harms another party. What if one party in the relationship objects to the spouse taking on a new wife? With gay marriage, you don't have those conflicts. What if all parties agree to a polygamous relationship, but one of them wants to leave it later on?

But as a Libertarian Republican, if all parties want to form a polygamous relationship, I fail to see how this will harm me. So bottom line, I don't care. They can do whatever they want to. I don't see a huge clamor to make polygamy legal, except from religious quarters (Mormons, Muslims).

But I don't think polygamy is a "right". Unlike gay marriage, which unfairly harms gay people, polygamy restricts the rights of everyone equally. So it's similar to a law saying you can't get married until 18 years old. Is that unfair to 16 year-olds. Yes. But since it's applied equally to everyone, it's not unconstitutional.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 03:27 PM

There's a lot of hateful people on this board. Take a look at Dan Kauffman. He brings up NAMBLA, which advocates pedophelia, thus making the argument that gay people give moral support to this organization. They, of course, don't. In fact, they are denounced almost unanimously by the gay community. But you won't here that from Dan Kauffman.
*************************************************
Not at all I used that to illustrate that sexual identitiy is a very broad topic and that parents might want to address the difference between decent homosexuals ( surprised you with that statement?) who limit themselves to consensual adults and others.

I am not certain the topic is appropriate for 6 and 7 year olds and I am REAL certain the parents should be consulted before discussions of sexual identity are presented to young children.

Your opinion is?

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 05:17 PM

They, of course, don't. In fact, they are denounced almost unanimously by the gay community. But you won't here that from Dan Kauffman.
***********************************************
Should be "hear that from Dan Kauffman" nah that is a tacky form over substance attack the jury will disregared the previous statement. BTW did you start pounding the keys as soon as you saw the acronym NAMBLA or did you bother to read what I wrote at all?

Point out to me where I claim "He brings up NAMBLA, which advocates pedophelia, thus making the argument that gay people give moral support to this organization"

Or maybe you are somewhat vague on the definition of the term extreme?
"I really don't care how someone exercises their sexual identity so long as their partner is willing and competant.

I am not certain about bestiality, I guess if the animal is willing and not damaged, nah I think I will put that aside for now.

NAMBL I will NOT put aside willing or not a minor is not competant to decide he prefers Man/boy Love.

Those are exteme examples but its a complex area with extreme positions."

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 05:50 PM

But I don't think polygamy is a "right". Unlike gay marriage, which unfairly harms gay people, polygamy restricts the rights of everyone equally. So it's similar to a law saying you can't get married until 18 years old. Is that unfair to 16 year-olds. Yes. But since it's applied equally to everyone, it's not unconstitutional.

Posted by Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 03:27 PM
**************************************************

There is no unconstitutional restriction on the right of a gay to marry. The Law is neutral with respect to their homosexuality, everyone of legal age can marry.

They just have to marry someone of the opposite sex. ;-)

What you want is to redefine the institution of marriage to cover relationship that it does not.

Under the present Law anyone can marry regardless of color creed, national origin and sexual identity, but all have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

You don't want to marry someone of the opposite sex? Don't.
You can form any kind of Union you choose ,it does not effect me one way or an other.
You can pledge to spend the rest of your life together, comingle your assets, make provison in your wills for survivorship call it anything you want but it is not marriage and is not entitled to the legal benifits of marriage.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 06:00 PM

Downtown: "As for polygamy, that's another story. I'm not sure what polygamy has to do with homosexuality"

It has nothing to do with homosexuality, rather it has to do with the definition of marriage.

"if all parties want to form a polygamous relationship, I fail to see how this will harm me"

Its not an issue of whether it harms you as an individual - its an issue of how it affects the broader structure of our society.

"I don't see a huge clamor to make polygamy legal, except from religious quarters (Mormons, Muslims)."

You discredit your own argument in favor of homosexual marriage when you point to the relatively low number of people wanting polygamy. Why then should 94% of the population give any credence to what (roughly) 6% of the homosexual population demands?

"polygamy restricts the rights of everyone equally."

No - it specifically restricts the rights of the Muslims and Mormons for whom this is an important definition of marriage. In fact, since polygamous relationships typically involve 1 man and many women - and those women all have children - monogamy effectively discriminates against all but one of the mothers - the one who is granted the title of wife. One could actually claim that since these women are actually bearing children, they have more of a claim to have a legal husband than do homosexuals. OK - so grant that you don't care about polygamy. Is it also OK for a woman to marry many men (otherwise there would be dicrimination based on sex.) So now its not just Mommy and Mommy - but Mommy and Daddy and Daddy and Daddy.

Well - this everready battery is about run out on this topic! But its something to think about...

Posted by: Caroline at January 23, 2005 06:06 PM

I'm very tempted to find some jerk like you, Dan Kaufman, find his daughter, and then marry her.

Then we'll see who has the last laugh.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 06:06 PM

The Bible has polygamy, therefore to oppose it is to go against the will of God.

Or that's what fundamentalists should be saying if they want to be consistent.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 06:08 PM

I'm very tempted to find some jerk like you, Dan Kaufman, find his daughter, and then marry her.

Then we'll see who has the last laugh.

Posted by Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 06:06 PM
**************************************************
You mean because you have an issue with someone you would rather stike at their family instead of them?

I can't have the marriage I wish so I will make an innocent persons life a nightmare, WAH WAH WAH.

With that kind of maturity you don't need to be marrying anyone no matter what their gender.

I notice you seem mute on the principle that as with your claim that polygamy is neutral towards all so is opposite sex marriage.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 06:22 PM

The Bible has polygamy, therefore to oppose it is to go against the will of God.

Or that's what fundamentalists should be saying if they want to be consistent.

Posted by Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 06:08 P
*************************************************
So? Those are your Gods not mine, mine are called Sky Father, Earthmaker, Great Spriit, Earth Mother. etc Am Indian actually, despite the addition of my Father's Pennsylvania-Dutch last name,. fakes out a lot of people. ;-)

Right now the Cultural definition of marriage in this country is one man and one woman.

You cannot make the claim that the contitution is neutral towards the prohibition against polygamy and not against same sex marriage.

Both require a redefinition of the State of Marriage as has been recognised up to this time.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 06:29 PM

I just found this thread, so I'll be responding to the original topic and not the subsequent discussion. I am a cloth-coat Republican with both neocon and libertarian tendencies. I don't agree with social conservatives on most issues but I've always gotten along with them due to our common goal of preventing the Left from waging all-out war on religious freedom in this country. However, ever since the election, the social right has been empowered and all of these crazy Theocons are coming out of the woodwork. They are espousing views that I've never heard before from serious conservatives --- views that are bigoted, ignorant, and demagogic. The Theocons are not only opposed to gay marriage and abortion, they want abortion doctors to be jailed or even executed, gays to be treated as people who have a mental disorder, and Leviticus to be legislated. Just take a look at any of the threads on social issues at Free Republic and you'll see what I'm talking about. There is a growing movement on the Right to turn this country into a benevolent theocracy at home and a Christian Crusader abroad. These are the modern-day Dixiecrats: the Theocons.

James Dobson is a Theocon Mullah, and he is far more dangerous than the leaders of the old Religious Right, like Falwell and Robertson. Falwell was nutty, but basically harmless. Robertson was more interested in religious liberty than anything else. He often went too far, but always knew when to compromise with the other factions of the GOP. Dobson and company are not like that. They are convinced that America should be a Christian Nation, not just culturally, but legally. And now that the Party that they belong to has complete control of the government, they want payback.

These are the Western version of the Islamofascists. Just go on any site like Free Republic and start arguing with them. You'd be advised to do so at your own risk. The reaction will be similar to debating a radical Muslim in a chatroom. You'll be fed the propaganda, the demagoguery, the bigotry, and the hate. Your logic will be met with irrational statements, emotional outbursts, and perhaps even threats. You will leave with a sense of uneasiness. The neo-Marxists at Democratic Underground will seem docile by comparison.

Dobson is the Al Sharpton of the Right, a dangerous demagogue spewing hateful propaganda. Like all propaganda, it targets the ill-informed (rural Christians), plays on their fears regarding a specific group (homosexuals), and overcomes gaps in logic by finding ways to appeal to emotion (such as claiming that homosexuals are after their children). The bottom line, of course, is the creation of a cultural powder keg that will ignite just as soon as the juggernaut of gay rights begins to reach the reddest states and counties.

Look, I'm a moderate on social issues. I support the right of each state to define marriage on its own. I think the state should stay out of the bedrooms of both heterosexuals like me and my gay friends. I'm reluctantly pro-choice regarding early-term abortions. Like I said, a social moderate. But I have no problem with social conservatives of the 1980s variety. It's the rise of the Theocons that scares me. And from what I've seen, Dobson is one of many leading the charge.

Posted by: Dave at January 23, 2005 07:19 PM

Caroline -

Downtown Lad answered your question, so here's another effort.

First, here's a link that shows how one lawyer, hired by a convicted polygamist, is using Lawrence vs. Texas, the Supreme Court decision to overturn sodomy laws, to challenge the Utah law that forbids polygamy.

http://www.talkaboutrecovery.com/group/alt.recovery.mormonism/messages/10118.html

Lawrence vs. Texas, according to Justice Antonin Scalia, could conceivably be used to challenge a number of other existing laws, including adult incest. I can hear the arguments already, made by those panting after their sisters:

"It's my sister. So what? We're consenting adults, aren't we? In fact, I've been attracted to her since birth, must be genetic. I can't help it I'm this way. And besides, this doesn't hurt anyone else. How will it affect the marriages of others? I'm not making YOU marry YOUR sister, am I, so leave us alone. You do it your way, we'll do it ours, etc. Hey, I bet you're secretly attracted to your sister, too. What a closet case!"

You see, all the arguments are ready at hand,
already been field-tested by the gay lobby.
Your sister underage? No problem, we'll just lower the age of consent. They're lowering the age of consent in Europe, why not here? Everyone knows they're so much more enlightened over there.

As for the "leave the children out of this" angle, I think we'd all like to. Too bad some didn't think that way, and put the Boy Scouts on the ropes, all for the sake of requiring this private organization to accept gay men as troops leaders. Now, if that's not a case of targeting children, then I don't know what the word "targeting" means. And when you look at the sex scandals in the Catholic Church, more often than not, these are homosexual men who go into the priesthood (up to 35% of Catholic priests are gay, by some estimates). They then molest altar boys. That's pedophilia, yes, but also of a homosexual nature. These are men who for selfish reasons, act on impulses they didn't choose, true enough, but who act nonetheless, thereby damaging children for a long, long time. Naturally, the MSM doesn't want to talk about this angle, but it's there for any person to see.

Let's not paint with too broad a brush. Are ALL gays pedophiles? Of course not, but enough are that it's not unreasonable to bring this argument to the table.

"Ah, be quiet, Didsbury. You're such a BIGOT, that's such a screed, blah, blah, blah."

Yep, heard that before, doesn't change the truth.
No, not "your truth" vs. "my truth," just the truth. We used to believe such a thing existed.

Posted by: Didsbury at January 23, 2005 07:21 PM

Here here Dave! Awesome post. I was banned from Free Republic within 30 minutes of telling someone I was gay (despite having posted with zero issues for over two months).

I agree that Dobson wants a theocracy. As do other commenters on this board. Very sad.

Posted by: at January 23, 2005 07:24 PM

Didsbury just proved my point that the religious right slanders gay people by saying they are pedophiles.

Now I'll wait for David and Dan Kaufman to start denouncing him.

Why do I have a hunch that I'll be waiting a long time.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 07:28 PM

You're late Dave, but you've brought the cavalry with you. Fine post.

I don't live in the USA, so don't live with the effects of these religious swings in society. But you sure have nailed the tone, and the potential damage sweetly.

Stay out of my bedroom, my relationships, and I'll decide when my kids are targets of propaganda. Thanks for the dose of common sense and balance.

Posted by: viacollins at January 23, 2005 07:31 PM

Downtown Lad, I just sent you an email on the subject. But I see you've already read my post! Yes, I was banned by Free Republic too. I had posted there for two months, generally about political predictions as to who would run in 2008 and such, without any problems. The minute I defended the dignity of homosexuals, I was banned within a half hour. It was despicable.

Posted by: Dave at January 23, 2005 07:42 PM

Let's not paint with too broad a brush. Are ALL gays pedophiles? Of course not, but enough are that it's not unreasonable to bring this argument to the table
**************************************************
Didsbury just proved my point that the religious right slanders gay people by saying they are pedophiles.

Now I'll wait for David and Dan Kaufman to start denouncing him.

Why do I have a hunch that I'll be waiting a long time.

Posted by Downtown Lad at January 23, 2005 07:28 PM
**************************************************

Are you reading impaired? The statement above is nothing like you porpend.

BTW you never did answer my question on the neutrality of marriage law visa vi same sex marriage being the same as your presentation on polygamous marriage.

LET ME SAY FOR THE RECORD.

I no more believe that all homosxuals want to have sex with children than I do that all heterosexuals want to have sex with children.

I noticed the issue of abortion has also been raised.

That legal matter is a total mess in this country.
The Supreme Court really needs to set some defining guidelines our medical science has passed our laws.

You have babies in neonatal care units of the same state of developement as aborted embryos.

There is something not right with this picture.

You have people being charged with fetal homicide.
I am sorry if the fetus is indeed only a part of a woman's body then the above charge makes a much sense as a charge of hand homicide for an accident in which someone lost a hand.

Homicide means taking a human life, not an animal not "part" of a body, the taking of a human life.

You cannot have one person charged with a homicide while another's action is legal because of the mother's willing consent.

We are going to have to choose one or the other.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 07:47 PM

Dan Kaufman said: "I no more believe that all homosxuals want to have sex with children than I do that all heterosexuals want to have sex with children."

Then you would agree that pedophilia is a non-issue as far as any debate over homosexuality goes? That is, if sexual orientation has nothing to do with pedophilia, then why is it even being brought up in this discussion?

Posted by: Dave at January 23, 2005 07:53 PM

Because it is part of the "sexual identity" issue and I maintained in my original post that the entire subject may be too complex for small children and should NOT be presented to them without the willing and informed consent of the parents.

Maybe such issues should be part and parcel of a course on democratic and libertarian ideals for high school students.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 08:11 PM

That is, if sexual orientation has nothing to do with pedophilia, then why is it even being brought up in this discussion?

The only person that's brought that up in discussion is Downtown Lad. For gays, it's their best weapon.

Posted by: David at January 23, 2005 08:59 PM

That is, if sexual orientation has nothing to do with pedophilia, then why is it even being brought up in this discussion?

The only person that's brought that up in discussion is Downtown Lad. For gays, it's their best weapon.

Posted by David at January 23, 2005 08:59 PM
**************************************************
No I did bring up NAMBLA in one of my first posts as an extreme position in the sexual identity issue.

So Downtown Lad is not the only one who brought it up, he used the word first but I brought up the concept by introducing NAMBLA into the discussion

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 23, 2005 09:15 PM

The integrity of the instituion of marriage is fundamental to the fabric of American society. If homosexuals wish to marry they should form their own separate society. The rest of us should not have to deal with the consequences of their choices. We have already seen how our society has begun to fall apart and the future health and success of our nation been imperiled by divorce, abortion and miscegenation. Legalising gay marriage would be the final straw.

Posted by: Lex at January 23, 2005 09:38 PM

Under the better late than never banner:

"if religious arguments are wasted on the non-religious, then you might also consider that non-religious arguments are wasted on the religious."

Yes, I agree.

"Not for purposes of this thread necessarily, but in the national dialogue generally, remember that most Americans ARE religious, and many if not most of them base their positions on their religious beliefs. You first have to destroy their religion".

Well, the first step is to convince them that beliefs specific to a particular religion/religions are not a good basis for civil law, especially in a country with no single dominant religion/sect. That is, "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" are not only widely encountered in religious contexts, but have a lot of backing in secular ethics as well. On the other hand "Thou shalt not have gay sex" doesn't. Non-religious objections to homosexuality are rare and even when they exist tend to not call for criminalization.

I support gay marriage and think it's not a good sign for the US that it's so far behind the curve on this issue. On the other hand, as a practical issue calling what gay people can do "civil unions" doesn't bother people as much and might be a necessary transition period as people see that the numbers of people who would enter such an institution are relatively small and that the skies don't fall as a result.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 03:15 AM

I support gay marriage and think it's not a good sign for the US that it's so far behind the curve on this issue.
**************************************************
We are behind the curve with regards freedom of speech and expression and a few other things, individual libertys and responsiblity being deemed archaic the new thing seems to be group entitlments at any cost.

You say "numbers of people who would enter such an institution are relatively small"

Then what is your justification for such a radical REDEFINITION of the concept of marriage?

I could see a bettter case for allowinng polygamous marriage, since there is historical precedent for that practice HERE as well as a large percentage of the world which adheres to it.

I would ask those who support same sex marriage to give us some examples of Culures in which that was practiced.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 24, 2005 03:47 AM

"what is your justification for such a radical REDEFINITION of the concept of marriage?
I would ask those who support same sex marriage to give us some examples of Culures in which that was practiced."

Second part first, I'm not sure about the anthropological record, but I seem to recall that some native american groups had something like marriage for berdaches (the question being was a berdache regarded as male or female ...). And of course, not going back so far, some countries in Northwestern Europe. But then, precedence is not the primary foundation for civil law (or how would the US have ever been formed?)

Second part, the real radical redefinition of marriage in western culture came about with the advent of birth control (culminating in the 60's), which took a lot of the risk out of pre-marital sex for women (there's never been risk for men). In other words in western countries, the element of sexual permission was taken out of marriage (except for the extremely religious).
Actually, same-sex marriage is part of several long-term trends, including (but not limited to):

separation of sex and marriage
separation of children and marriage
growing equality of marriage partners

Social conservatives are liable to not view any of these (except maybe the last in limited terms) very favorably, but they're all here to stay barring some radical reformation of the legal codes
.
I think social conservatives have an important role in making people think about possible consequences of societal change (and I'm certainly not in favor of unconsidered change). But on the issue of same-sex marriage, their arguments are completely irrelevant or wrong. Either it's not a problem or they've misidentified where problems would be. In either case, they haven't made their case (to me) so the most sensible course of action is to go-Vermont - start with civil unions and see if society crumbles, if not, then go ahead with same-sex marriage.

Third part, polygamy doesn't really bother me as long as the participants are consenting adults. There are certain situations where it's not a good idea (where it could be used to bypass immigration restrictions) but theoretically I have no problem with it. Same with arranged marriage (as long as the arrangees are willing, arranged marriages certainly have as good a track record as do love marriages).

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 06:31 AM

I think social conservatives have an important role in making people think about possible consequences of societal change (and I'm certainly not in favor of unconsidered change).

Now that certainly IS in keeping with a civil dialogue. It's a start, however meager.

Posted by: David at January 24, 2005 06:58 AM

I notice that both Downtown Lad, and Michael Farris - in response to the question of on what grounds we could deny polygamous marriage, once we alter the current marriage definition to allow homosexual marriage - respond by stating that polygamy doesn't bother THEM. That says to me 1) they acknowledge the slippery slope argument (i.e. there really would be no grounds to deny polygamy) 2) its all about their "personal" feelings rather than about the implications for the larger social structure (e.g.if 1 man can have many wives it would eventually be Ok for 1 woman to have many husbands) - and that includes the implications for our children. You seem to be saying that its so darned important for me (the homosexual) to be able to wave my marriage license around (its just a damned piece of paper remember?) that I don't care if the long term consequence is group marriage configurations that create confusion and destroy the social fabric of the country. Hey - doesn't bother me. I get what I want. Its just all about our own desires at any cost. I want. I want. I want. Apparently thats the refrain of American society. I don't think in the long run that a society is sustainable when personal desire always trumps the larger good. I wouldn't look to enlightened Europe for an answer to these questions either, as its pretty clear where they're heading.

Posted by: Caroline at January 24, 2005 07:18 AM

"That says to me 1) they acknowledge the slippery slope argument "

To a point, yes, though I don't think of it as a slippery slope. And I don't think anything should be rushed too much. (Let's leave out scenarious including siblings and cats, which actually go against the current trends).

"(i.e. there really would be no grounds to deny polygamy) 2) its all about their "personal" feelings rather than about the implications for the larger social structure"

Not my personal feelings. It's about civil rights.

"if 1 man can have many wives it would eventually be Ok for 1 woman to have many husbands"

No "eventually" about it. Polygamy is not limited to polygyny (one man more than one wife) it also includes polyandry (one woman more than one husband). I'd be against legalizing one and not the other.

"and that includes the implications for our children."

I'm willing to discuss that question if you are. My tenative position (subject to change) is that children raised in a loving and generally mentally healthy environment (no matter the parental constellation) do better than those raised in a bad environment (Regardless of parental constellation). As a result, I'd say the emphasis should be on providing children with a) physical environment (enough food etc) b) emotional environment (no mental, physical abuse) c) stimulating enviroment (education) rather than micromanaging who the parents are.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 07:49 AM

Michael - thanks for the term "polyandry". Obviously I'm no expert in these issues. But may I say - you're nuts! I don't know what the term "civil rights" means anymore from what you're describing. It also seems to make a mockery of the very notion of partnership benefits that has gone hand in hand with the pro gay-marriage movement. If I have multiple spouses, is more than one entitled to health insurance benefits through my employer? Look - you're just not talking about our society as we know it anymore. What makes you think a given society is so infinitely flexible that you can keep stretching it without eventually breaking it?

Posted by: Caroline at January 24, 2005 08:30 AM

Wow,
y'all had a lot of fun this weekend.

I'm going to ignore the good fo society/bad for society arfgument (as it's really no longer a debate in any real sense), and address Michael Ferris' contention:

My tenative position (subject to change) is that children raised in a loving and generally mentally healthy environment (no matter the parental constellation) do better than those raised in a bad environment (Regardless of parental constellation).

OK, so the question is "do kids develop well in loving homes?" Obvious answer: Yes. However, that's a strawman, I fear.

Unless you're saying that all gay/polygamous/polyandrous relationships are uniformly loving, the question is not whether a loving family is enough, but rather under which family structure do children as a rule do best, developmentally.

Without question, children do best---best---with a birth mother and birth father as opposed to all other models. Obviously that is not to say that adoptive heterosexuals, homosexuals (be it 1 birth parent or full adoption), or even "groups" cannot raise healthy children. Of course they can in the proper circumstances.

Here's an outtake from a legal brief in the gay marriage case here in Oregon:

APA Amicus’ conclusion about same sex parents is particularly suspect when “most of the research compares development of children with custodial lesbian mothers to that of children with custodial heterosexual mothers” who are divorced. See Charlotte J. Paterson, Family Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, 62 Journal of Marriage and the Family 1052, 1059 (2000). Patterson is cited in the APA Amicus Brief at 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35.

Furthermore, when research is done for the purpose of supporting a position in litigation, it is inherently suspect. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 43 F.3d 1311, 1317 (9th Cir. 1995) (importance of whether research was done in support of position in litigation). Indeed, the [pro homosexual] authors of a meta-analysis cited in the APA Amicus Brief suggest that most of the research about children of homosexuals may have been done out of “a desire to produce evidence directly relevant to the questions of ‘harm’ that dominate judicial and legislative deliberations over child custody.” Judith Stacey & Timothy Biblarz, (How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?, 66 American Soc. Rev. 159, 176 (2001). See also Charlotte Patterson & R. Redding, Lesbian and Gay Families with Children: Implications of Social Science Research for Policy, 52(3) Journal of Social Issues 29, 45 (1996) (“the research findings can be brought to the attention of the courts in the form of amicus briefs”). Because of this recognized motivation for specific findings, the “remarkably consistent” scientific research cited by APA Amicus in its brief is best viewed with skepticism.

  • * * * *
Showcasing the necessarily contradictory nature of so much advocacy research, in arguing that children of gay and lesbian couples face no social stigma, Juvenile Rights Project Amici directly contradict themselves from one paragraph to the next. See Juvenile Rights Project Amici’s Brief at 17 (children of homosexual couples both do and do not experience social stigma as a result of their parent’s orientation). In this, Juvenile Rights Project Amici also contradict the argument of APA Amici that “children of same sex couples may be secondary targets of stigma directed at their parents because of the parents’ sexual orientation.” APA Amici’s Brief at 34.

An admittedly partisan source, but the data are there---there's nothing to suggest that gay parents are any worse (or better) than a single parent. OK, but that's hardly "best," is it?

In general, children do best in a family of their birth parents. That does not mean we have to outlaw all other alternatives. But before you recommend redefining marriage to include gays, you need to realize that it's not "for the children."

(Man, I hate the "for the children" argument)

Not only that, but an assumption of universal loving and stable homosexual relationships runs afoul not just of any informed understanding of gay relationships, but of simple human nature. No one group is perfect.

Simply put, the question of whether we tinker with a fundamental cultural institution on the basis of political (judicial) whim is neither easy not clear. The quetion of gay marriage is not about "equality" but about so many different and interrelated things that is should frighten any thoughtful and careful person.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 24, 2005 10:30 AM

"Unless you're saying that all gay/polygamous/polyandrous relationships are uniformly loving"

Of course not, but sticking to same-sex couples for the time being (one major variation at a time) there's no evidence that on average they do a worse job than traditional couples.

"Without question, children do best---best---with a birth mother and birth father as opposed to all other models. "

Source? Definition of "do best"? This is also a circular argument

Let's look at it this way. There's supposed to evidence (I'm too disinterested to track it down) that children from mixed-race couples have proportionately greater adjustment/psychological problems than children from same-race couples. Add to that, children from mixed-race couples can have (again I haven't looked for the source) problems with some sorts of medical treatments (since they often represent rather unique biological combinations). Is this a reason to bring back anti-miscegnegation laws?

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 11:28 AM

"But may I say - you're nuts!"

Thank you, you're not the first to make that observation.

"If I have multiple spouses, is more than one entitled to health insurance benefits through my employer?'

I have no idea, I think I perceive what way we're headed (long, long term) I have no idea how we're getting there or exactly what it will be like.

"Look - you're just not talking about our society as we know it anymore. What makes you think a given society is so infinitely flexible that you can keep stretching it without eventually breaking it? "

I don't. Someone (you?) asked a question that was equivalent with my personal opinion about polygamy. I answered. That doesn't mean I think it could or should or will happen any time very soon (just that, pending further evidence - I'm not automatically against it). The current item on the marriage agenda is same-sex marriage, which I'm in favor of. More precisely, I'm in favor of civil unions, which are probably a necessary intermediary between the current situation and eventual same-sex marriage.

I think the ultimate choice isn't between "saving" the current form of marriage and adding same-sex marriage, but between having marriage in some form (including samesex marriage and maybe other currently non-conventional forms) and ... non-marriage (where I think we'll end up without same-sex marriage).
To be clearer, ultimately marriage is going to be redefined (as it has more than once already), whether you or I like it or not. We can either do what we can to make sure it's aimed at stable partnerships or it will devolve into Brittney-hood (a series of poorly thought-out flings).

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 11:47 AM

"Best" means according to all the standard norms of child development (drug use, teen pregnancy, academic achievement, etc.). Studies exist, and they are available. I've cited a couple, and pointed out where the pro-gay-marriage folks' studies fail.

I think that's fair, and as the proponents of gay marriage are the ones advancing their case, the burden seems to be on them to show that gay marriage is a benefit for society.

I'll call that the burden of proof, for lack of a better term, and we should have a high bar, a strong presumption in favor of traditional structures of society, when we're talking about altering those structures.

We decided as a society (some part of which under the barrel of a gun) that race didn't matter, and that we were going to change society in the realm of race despite any problems that may arise. In the long run, that was the right decision.

Now, maybe we should alter society a bit more to embrace gay partnerships. Maybe not. Ultimately society (the members thereof through their representatives) will, or should, make that call. As of now, Americans have come down against it. To say, as you do, that we should someday have gay marriage is a lot different that Lad saying we should have them NOW.

My only point to you, Michael, was that you can't say that kids do just as well in gay and lesbian parenting environments. The data just aren't there. The g/l parenting studies used single parent (divorced mother) homes as the benchmark.

We could as a society stand to tread a little more lightly in this area, especially given the current social consensus against gay marriage. A little more reticence in implementing no-fault divorce would have helped a great deal.

Posted by: hobgoblin at January 24, 2005 12:29 PM

Second part first, I'm not sure about the anthropological record, but I seem to recall that some native american groups had something like marriage for berdaches (the question being was a berdache regarded as male or female ...).

I believe the berdache underwent a special ceremomy to turn them into women, after which they dressed as women did women's work etc.

Our present system allows a sex-changed ,by operation which could be considered our modern day ceremony ;-) to marrry someone of the gender opposite to that they have assumed.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 24, 2005 12:58 PM

separation of sex and marriage
separation of children and marriage
growing equality of marriage partners

These do not change the basic definition of
marriage sex without marriage has always existed.
separation of children and marriage has always existed.

Opposite sex marriage was the norm even in matriarchial societies. So the range of equality of genders does not alter the basic definition of marriage.

The Cultural norm of human history for marriage despite numbers on either side has always included both genders, when they relationship was single gender one had undergone spritual ceremones to make them the opposite gender.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 24, 2005 01:02 PM

"An admittedly partisan source, but the data are there---there's nothing to suggest that gay parents are any worse (or better) than a single parent. OK, but that's hardly "best," is it?"

No, but it's enough. There's probably research that shows that kids of really smart and/or upper middle-class parents do better and that what's best for children is well-off, well-adjusted parents, we don't tell others to not reproduce.

"think that's fair, and as the proponents of gay marriage are the ones advancing their case, the burden seems to be on them to show that gay marriage is a benefit for society"

Well I'm of the school that the only 'burden' is to show that samesex marriage is not harmful to society, which has yet to be convincingly done.

I'd say, knowing full first hand how inconclusive and fragmentary most social science research is (and how much weight is put on how little evidence) that the only way to find out if gay parents do a good enough job at raising kids is to let them raise kids for a while. There's no evidence that as a class they do worse and therefore, for the time being, no evidence to discriminate against them as a class (unlike, say drug addicts or the mentally unstable, who probably don't do a good parenting job as a class).

"To say, as you do, that we should someday have gay marriage is a lot different that Lad saying we should have them NOW."

Well, I think we should have had them for some time now already and that it's not a proud moment for the US that it's lagger and backslider and not a leader on this issue.
That said, I think civil unions a la Vermont are a good transitional idea. it avoids the word 'marriage' which inflames so many people's emotions and can show that the sky won't fall (and can be discontinued if said sky does start to fall).
It's the other modifications of marriage that I think are a "someday" issue and which I'm in no hurry to bring about.
And overall, I'd rather make it harder to get married than harder to get divorced.

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 02:09 PM

"it's not a proud moment for the US that it's lagger and backslider and not a leader on this issue."

The US is most certainly at the forefront of civil rights in the world. Don't be fooled by the apparent "progressivism" and "bohemianism" (and what? - "coolness", "hipness" of certain social circles (largely urban, mainly European). In fact those people are some of the most racist, least tolerant people around. Why do you think so many of their immigrants live in slums on the periphery of their (enlightened) cities? The fact is, liberals are committing cultural suicide. I'll wager it is the comparatively conservative US who will be having the last laugh. What you are espousing goes beyond eliminating the obvious causes of oppression and discrimination - to trying to feed a never ending emptiness and unhappiness through experimenting with the new and ever more promising "sensation" - trying to fill the bottomless empty hole. The funny thing is - its just digging a deeper hole! That's why our kids are so messed up. Adults are providing them with the example of perpetual disatisfaction. Its not enough to be able to live one's deviant (yes - it is deviant from a normative perspective) sexuality free of harassment and discrimination. I want more. I want a piece of paper that satisfies my need and to hell with the slippery slope of polygamy and polyandry. Its not enough to permit divorce so that people shouldn't have to spend their lives with cruel or abusive people. Now I'm bored. I'm not being mistreated in any way - I just want something more. Frankly - I'm proud that the American people AREN'T buying it.

End of rant. I started out being somewhat open to gay marriage and some 260 posts later, I find myself more opposed. Go figure...

Posted by: Caroline at January 24, 2005 03:44 PM

Why do you think so many of their immigrants live in slums on the periphery of their (enlightened) cities?

Because that's where the cheap housing that has access to public transit is? It's not like the exurbs zone for apartment complexes -- or train systems.

Posted by: Kimmitt at January 24, 2005 05:00 PM

Kimmitt - the Europeans come from a very long history of class -consciousness. My father immigrated from Europe in the 1950's. He traveled there frequently with my mother (beginning in the 1960's). He would tell her - whatever you do let's pretend we're Canadian (convenient - since she was) - not American (that was in the 1960's). My brother was educated at a British boarding school and then went to Oxford. He endured years of being ridiculed as a "Yank" and informs me that the Europeans are ridiculously intolerant. I believe him. Did you read Bruce Bawer's piece on anti-Americanism at the Hudson Review? Great piece. Americans should feel no shame. Europeans are far far more "provincial" than we Americans are. Let's at least just watch Europe for the next few years. Let's learn from their experience before we make what may be irreversible social changes ...

Posted by: Caroline at January 24, 2005 06:13 PM

Found this link to the Bruce Bawer article (excellent!): "Hating America":

http://www.hudsonreview.com/BawerSp04.html

Posted by: Caroline at January 24, 2005 06:19 PM

Caroline, Dan, Hobgoblin, David and others -

It has been fun tag-teaming with you. Time to move on to other things...

For those on the "other side" --

Thanks for being good opponents in debate, and patient toward me. If we didn't agree on a whole lot, at least we're still talking. Isn't that what makes America great?

Finally, thank you, MJT, for a balanced site. It's a breath of fresh air, compared to the blindly partisan ones out there.

You're in "my favorites" and will continue to be. Keep up the good work.

Hey everybody, give your kid a hug.

Right of center,

Didsbury

Posted by: Didsbury at January 24, 2005 07:09 PM

"End of rant. I started out being somewhat open to gay marriage and some 260 posts later, I find myself more opposed. Go figure..."

Makes sense to me. You thought you might be in favor (possibly without giving the matter much thought), but closer examination indicates you're not.
Not any big loss, arguably, losing undeciding and wavering allies is not a bad thing for samesex marriage advocates. The question is now, will you be neutral or head more strongly into the cultural conservative camp (I assume the latter).

Posted by: Michael Farris at January 24, 2005 10:12 PM

"The question is now, will you be neutral or head more strongly into the cultural conservative camp"

I reckon I'll do what I always try to do - keep an open mind. :) Anyway, its the slippery slope I'm more worried about, not homosexual marriage per se.

Bye guys (and the occasional lady too...)

Posted by: Caroline at January 25, 2005 01:49 AM

I'll bow out now too (barring somebody writing something new and innovative).

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