Prop 8 and the language around equality

August 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm 158 comments

by Adam Bink

I gotta echo my colleague Eden, the SF Chronicle really is on a roll in publishing some terrible pieces. Last week, he wrote:

On Thursday, they went full FOX News, publishing Maggie Gallagher’s Red Dawn op-ed warning of a “Soviet-style” government takeover of marriage. Not to be outdone, Debra Saunders also published a column in the Chron on Thursday revealing her failure to understand basic civics, as Brian Devine demonstrates [in this post]. Of course, that’s not very surprising coming from Gallagher and Saunders. What is surprising is why the Chronicle wastes so much ink on such ignorance. Just another “fair and balanced” #FAIL.

Yesterday, Nelson Lund, a George Mason University law professor who assisted the pro-Prop 8 side, wrote in the Sunday Chronicle. His lede:

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday that President Obama is a bigot. And not just the president. Joe Biden as well, and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sandra Day O’Connor. And maybe you, too.

No, Nelson. The Obama/Biden campaign, as well as Clinton, actually all opposed Prop 8. For all the lack of Obama’s support of full marriage equality, he did oppose enshrining discrimination in the state Constitution. I can’t speak for what was in candidate Obama’s heart,  but perhaps he knew that using a state Constitution to restrict rights was wrong. Not only that, but all three also opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment to amend the U.S. Constitution for the same purpose.

But on the crux of what is perhaps Lund’s point- that Walker is saying people who oppose marriage equality are  all bigots- Lund’s strategy is to use hyperbole to make readers feel like they’re being attacked by being called a slur. I mention this because it’s something pro-equality advocates need to watch out for.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at my family/friends/colleagues who do not support full equality, there’s distance the length of a football field between folks like Larry Adams/NOM’s leadership, and people I know. There are people I know who, in their heart, want to support full equality, and see reason, but are just set in their ways. Many of them come around with reason and a lot of patience. Others after seeing same-sex couples demonstrate their commitment and responsibility to/for one another, or research demonstrating how children can be raised just as well under same-sex parents. But it’s a long way from a word like “bigot”.

The point here is that sometimes poor communication results in misunderstanding. Kind of like the friend who feels insulted because of some offhand remark you made when you didn’t mean anything by it. There may be folks out there in your world who think you believe they are bigots. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But there’s an opportunity here to both reach out to someone on that topic, and while you’re at it, have a conversation about the ruling and equality.

Words can harden people’s hearts, and that’s what Lund is trying to do here- harden hearts against equality by insinuating what equality advocates think of them. Our job is to not let him.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta.

On the Prop 8 Stay and Standing Would you like to spend an hour with David Boies?

158 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave in ME  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I need to break this subbing habit…

    Dave

    Reply
    • 2. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Wow how did you beat me to this one?! (notice how I didn’t say subscribing?[ doh! ])

      Reply
      • 3. Ronnie  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

        me three…<3..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        New Post: New Subscribe: New Emails in Inbox

        Reply
      • 5. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        Anything from Walker?

        Reply
      • 6. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm

        Nothing that I’ve heard.

        Reply
      • 7. Ronnie  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

        Maybe that would have worked if I had checked the notify box….(facepalms)…. :”> …….Ronnie

        Reply
    • 8. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      P8TT, I wish I could quit you.

      Instead, I am subbing.

      Reply
  • 9. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    big·ot
       /ˈbɪgət/ Show Spelled[big-uht] Show IPA
    –noun
    a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

    Reply
  • 10. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Not all who are against marriage equality are bigots. A number of them simply don’t understand.

    When Prop 22 came around, I was still in undergrad and I called my mother to talk about it. I was not bold enough then to ask her to vote no, but I did want to hear her thoughts.

    She told me, “Well, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, but I do think that gays and lesbians should have equal rights.”

    When Prop 8 came around, my mother had a No on 8 sign in her car window and had conversations with her friends about the issue, trying to convince them that Proposition 8 was unfair and wrong.

    During the Prop 8 campaign, I also called my grandfather and asked him to vote no on Prop 8. His response was, “I just don’t know. I’m going to have to think about this one. I just don’t know.” Now, he is one of my strongest supporters, clipping news articles and the like.

    I had dinner at my grandparents house the other day and told them “Thank you. Thank you for supporting me and my wife. It really means a lot to me.” They just looked at me like I was stupid for thinking it could be any other way. I have certainly been blessed (if you believe in blessings).

    I would say that my mother and grandfather were stuck in the mindset of tradition. To them, marriage had always been between a man and a woman (never a woman and a man… (: )

    It is important to note that tradition alone is not a sufficient purpose to codify discrimination, even under a rational basis review. That finding was included in Judge Walker’s ruling on page 124. That particular finding has absolutely nothing to do with moral disapproval and in no way calls anyone a bigot, a hater, or morally bankrupt.

    Reply
    • 11. ralzma  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      That’s what seems to be the odd thing. People believe they must codify their morality into laws. They don’t think about things in a legal or civic sense, only in their opinion.

      Opinions can be changed, though.

      Reply
    • 12. Dave in ME  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      I agree, Trish. I know that a lot of people who support marriage-equality like to throw that word around and paint everyone who disagrees with us a someone who’s intolerant and hateful. I KNOW there are thousands of people here who can be swayed to support us but we have to respect the fact that it IS new and different and unconventional, just like your mother and grandfather felt. Name-calling, yelling, acting like violent criminals only fuels the fire of hate and doesn’t show that the majority of us are just regular joes and janes who want the same things that they want.

      It IS a slow process, but it works, and once they see it, they are on our side for good.

      Dave

      Reply
      • 13. Tuffwreslr  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:09 pm

        I agree that its a slow process.

        I live in SF, have been out for 20 years, love anything and everything unconventional, come from a family who insisted every child had to see La Cage because they just loved female impersonators, yet still always felt a split second of discomfort when I saw two guys ice skate or ballroom dance together.

        That said, seeing that cute little Kent dance with that hot blond guy on “so you think you can dance” last week confirmed my evolution on the matter. Woofy.

        Reply
      • 14. Tuffwreslr  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm

        This…

        Reply
    • 15. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      SD Mayor Jerry Sanders said it best on the stand in this case. He used to think civil unions were “good enough”. It wasn’t until he realized that this was based in the subconscious assumption that same-sex unions were inferior that he finally broke through.

      When said that he wasn’t a bigot… he was just prejudiced. And that was, in my opinion, an amazing way of putting it.

      And I think that if people who know and love us really ask themselves if we are “lesser than” heterosexuals, then this will begin to really change public perception.

      They are just prejudiced, suffering from long-held presumptions. They aren’t hateful or bigoted… just prejudiced.

      Reply
      • 16. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

        He wasn’t bigoted because he was open to change, or at least to different ideas based on reason.

        Reply
      • 17. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

        Here’s a blip from his testimony:

        And, yet, the fact that I still believed that civil unions were equal to marriage, I think, really kind of shook me, because I think that the decisions I made on that
        were grounded in prejudice.

        It didn’t mean I hated gay people. Didn’t mean I didn’t think the community was equal in every way. It simply meant that I hadn’t understood the issue clearly enough, and I was discriminating even against my own daughter by saying that her relationship was less than the relationship and marriage my wife and I had.

        I think there are a lot of people out there who just haven’t made that realization.

        Reply
      • 18. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

        If you haven’t seen his public statement on reversing his opinion about same-sex marriage, this is very much worth a viewing:

        Reply
    • 19. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Trish. I believe like you do that a lot of people just don’t understand. I don’t think they are really haters, just not prepared for progression. I am so sorry this trial couldn’t have been televised because it would have provided a huge education to a massive number of people.
      My frustration is in the biased coverage from the media (and to all those who believe at face value what they read). I have the court docs downloaded and have suggested to one friend that he read those to get the unbiased truth.
      My husband and I have commited to educating any person that makes an unkind comment to us. And that brings me to my big THANK YOU for this website and for all of you who have shared your stories, your questions and answers. And of course, to Kathleen for interpreting and bringing us updates, almost before they even happened. I feel so equiped to talk to anyone at this point, knowing I have access to the unbiased truths. Let all the wedding bells ring out!!!

      Reply
    • 20. adambink  |  August 10, 2010 at 6:52 am

      Very good comment.

      Reply
  • 21. Eddie  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Lund went to Catholic University. Figures.

    Reply
  • 22. Dave in ME  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Has the Chronicle published supportive commentaries?

    Dave

    Reply
    • 23. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      Yes. For some reason, they decided to send me a Sunday paper yesterday, and there were a few supportive commentaries. They weren’t as lively as the anti-gay ones, though.

      Reply
      • 24. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        All of the editorial board’s own editorials have been in favor of equality. I guess they feel compelled to publish all this anti-equality drivel to prove they’re balanced.

        Reply
  • 25. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve cancelled my subscription to the Chronicle and avoid going to their website at all costs so they don’t make a cent from my browser looking at their ads. I have no idea how they have survived with such a conservative editor in a liberal area. They should be ashamed.

    I’m convinced that a boycott should the next step. They are doing more to damage gays and lesbians than practically any other news outlet (I exclude Fox from that definition – they aren’t news).

    Reply
  • 26. Josh SF  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Okay… This might be a little uncalled for… but I want to go back to one of the arguments thats been going on for the past two years…

    Do you think that any one of the middle class suburban couples in the 40’s or the 50’s who were watching their families and friends marry, who were scandalized and shocked by the thought of an interracial marriage and were opposed to it, were truly opposed to it from hate? Most of them didn’t “truly” harbor any outward hatred toward any of the black people they might have met… It was just wrong to them for that concept… But as we look back now it is bigotry and prejudice.

    I know we cringe at calling it such, and I can honestly say I don’t think its a conscious thing to these people. Most don’t actively “hate” homosexuals… its just ingrained that we’re different and until such as time as people can soul search and realize for themselves how they are acting because they are uncomfortable, it can never be fixed.

    Even though subconscious it is STILL bigotry and hatred.

    Reply
    • 27. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      Josh….

      It wasn’t bigotry or hatred, probably. That assumes a conscious way of thinking.

      It was probably just prejudice. Ugly presumptions about “how things are” based in what they’d always known.

      Most probably would have said “no” if you asked them whether black folk were inferior. But they were cautious to give up what they “knew”.

      I suspect most of them now “recall” not being opposed to mixed-race marriage. Because it is now what they “know” and so they mostly assume that, well, they’ve always felt this way.

      Prejudice is an evil to fight, but it isn’t nearly as hard as fighting bigotry or hatred.

      Reply
    • 28. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      I think we should make a distinction between the emotion of hate and an atmosphere of hate. NOM encourages an atmosphere of hate by stating that marriage equality supporters are themselves bigoted haters, by having speakers that encourage recriminalization of sodomy, and by using religious disapproval as a basis for denying basic rights (including civil unions).

      Hate crimes against gays and lesbians increased significantly in 2008. Why? Because there was an atmosphere that gays and lesbians were inferior, nefarious, harmful beings that wanted to take away YOUR right to treat them differently and to teach your children that being gay is wrong. That atmosphere fed the hate that led to hate crimes. I’m sure a social psychologist could describe this better, but I don’t believe that there are more than a few handfuls of people who truly hate (the emotion) gays and lesbians. Regardless, those who do hate are encouraged by the words and actions of those who claim to act out of love by taking away rights.

      Reply
      • 29. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

        Yes, Trish, there are those who hate.

        But, ironically, I doubt that they even recognize this. I suspect that Maggie and Brian have convinced themselves that they don’t hate anyone. They just want what is best for children.

        I don’t think that “hate” and “bigot” are effective words against our opponents. They truly don’t see themselves that way. They think that WE are the haters and bigots.

        I cringe when I see the “no hate” signs or hear the chants about “get your hate out of my state”. They just don’t think it applies to them and that we are big meanies for not tolerating their views.

        I think “equality” and “decency” and “fairness” and taking on their rhetoric face on is a more effective method. They just dismiss claims of “you hate us”, cuz they don’t think they do; but they can’t as easily dismiss “you are hurting us and our families” and still think of themselves as good people.

        Reply
      • 30. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        @Timothy, I agree. Calling people who are anti-equality “haters” is not conducive to changing their minds.

        Reply
      • 31. Straight Grandmother  |  August 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

        IMHO, the very very few people who out attending the NOM rallies in support of Discrimination against GLBT people are not in any stretch of the imagination ripe for dialog. These are the hard core H8ters and i have no problem calling them that and also bigots.

        Now I would not in an way use these same terms with people I meet in the general public and have a discussioon with them about Discrimination. Of course I would dial it back as I am positive all of us would.

        But at the NOM rallies, these are our hard core enemies and I will shout them down if given a chance and call them what they are. I respect everyones right to have a different opinion and disagree.

        Reply
      • 32. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:05 am

        @SG, respectfully, please bear in mind that calling NOMers bigots and haters — well, they tell other people (who might not be so hard core, but this turns them against us), they complain to anyone who will listen, they become that much further entrenched in their positions. Some people might show up at their rallies just to see what it’s about, because they haven’t actually made up their minds yet, and being called names may entrench them further.

        Personally, I do think the best course is to shout that we want equality and civil rights, and about love — positive messages.

        Reply
      • 33. Straight Grandmother  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

        @AnnS, sure you are entitled to your opinion. I dont’ think you may have been around when we had long long discussions on this Board about protesting and the best way to protest. Maybe you were and my memory is faulty. There were diverse views on this same topic :)

        I sincerley believe that Nom Rally attendess are firmly entrenched in active Discrimination against the GLBT community and are not ammenable to any other postion, so I prefer to “calls ’em as I sees ’em.”
        No way are we ever going to “nice” our way into their hearts, never.
        There is never any passers by who happen to walk into a NOM rally, so I don’t have any worry about creating a bad image and I beleive it is a good thing for the press to see how outraged we are.
        You may feel differently and I am okay with that.

        Reply
  • 34. Cat  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Walker writes this in his ruling (p.132):

    In the absence of a rational basis, what remains of
    proponents’ case is an inference, amply supported by evidence in the record, that Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that same-sex couples simply are not as good as opposite-sex couples. FF 78-80. Whether that belief is based on moral disapproval of homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief
    that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate.

    He does (of course) not say that people who voted yes on Prop.8 are bigots. A bigot is intolerant of other people’s opinions. Holding a belief that turns out to be in conflict with the constitution does not automatically make you a bigot. You’re a bigot only if you want to impose this belief on other people anyway.

    Reply
    • 35. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      “Holding a belief that turns out to be in conflict with the constitution does not automatically make you a bigot. You’re a bigot only if you want to impose this belief on other people anyway.”

      Just wondering, if in the end Prop 8 is deemed constitutional, will you then change your beliefs so that they align with what is constitutional to avoid being a bigot?

      Reply
      • 36. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

        You really just don’t get it, do you?…I’m still embarrassed for you….. : I …Ronnie

        Reply
      • 37. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:40 pm

        I believe that the constitutional arguments laid out in this case are compelling. I truly believe that if someone looks at the facts without being driven by religious motivation, and applies constitutional legal principles and respects precedent, it will be almost impossible to not see how correct this decision is. But then, I have training in constitutional law, which I’m guessing you don’t, so I don’t expect you to be able to see how in keeping this decision is with a long line of civil rights cases.

        However, even if this current Court can’t uphold this decision, I believe it is just a matter of time until the Supreme Court eventually does recognize the basic civil rights claims being made here. And in the meantime, we go back to the legislatures and ballot boxes to persuade the individual states and the federal government to pass fair minded laws with respect to civil marriage which do not discriminate against a group of its law abiding, tax paying citizens.

        Again, I urge you to read the decision and then come back here and discuss it.

        Reply
      • 38. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm

        Your statement is not logical.

        If Proposition 8 is deemed constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, then my beliefs will remain the same — that it is unfair and wrong to deny same-sex couples equal dignity and respect under the law.

        My belief would be in conflict with the constitution and would not automatically make me a bigot. I am not trying to impose that belief on anyone. Individuals are free to believe I am not married and free to treat me as unmarried (within the anti-discrimination laws, which actually have nothing to do with marriage). It would be nice if they changed their minds, but I will not force them to believe in their hearts that I am married, unlike you who would force individuals not to be married simply because of their biological sex.

        Reply
  • 39. Josiah  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Another point which is important to remember is that even bigots can change their way of thinking — but they’re less likely to do so if you call them bigots. When you tell someone “You’re a bigot”, their mind generally doesn’t become more open. Instead, they become defensive and begin to see you as an enemy to be fought. In the battle for hearts and minds, the key is to be able to make people reconsider their opinions without triggering that defensive reaction.

    So even if privately you do think that someone is a bigot because (as Judge Walker puts it) they think that same-sex relationships are inferior to opposite-sex ones, it’s not always advantageous to point it out.

    Reply
    • 40. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      That’s why absolutely every time Maggie Gallagher opens her mouth, she accuses us of “calling the 7 million voters in California bigots.”

      We really don’t call them bigots, but Maggie knows its a good selling point to say that we are slurring them.

      Reply
      • 41. Josiah  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

        Yep. And like the best pieces of propaganda, it’s effective because it’s got an element of truth in it.

        Reply
  • 42. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Something that I feel is important to keep in mind, and important to make clear when discussing these issues with people who are on the fence about marriage equality -There is a difference between someone’s point of view and the results of their actions. They are not the same thing.

    What I mean is, there can be a wide difference in attitudes between someone who really hates gays and someone who just doesn’t understand the issue of SSM. But if they both voted for Prop 8, they both hurt us equally.

    So when talking with folks who are in the middle and are receptive and possibly able to change their opinion, it is important to point out to them that we don’t think they hate us, but their actions are still hurting us just the same. And we need them to stop hurting us. And since they don’t hate us, can they think of any good reason to keep hurting us?

    Reply
  • 43. Cat  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Calling somebody a bigot indeed hardly ever helps them to change. The difficult part of the discussion around Prop.8 is that pro-Prop.8 people do impose their definition of marriage on same-sex people, and feel threatened by widening the definition beyond their approval. Of course, it’s always bad form to label people. One should only call out the behavior, and help them understand how it hurts other people. Love the sinner, address (not hate) the sin…

    Reply
  • 44. AndrewPDX  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    So, how do we call out the true bigots that really will never see the light of reason? The Tony Perkins and the Larry Adams and the Carrie Prejeans of this world? Can we still call a spade, a spade?

    What do we call the middle-of-the-road folks who may eventually come around if we don’t scare them off? Naieve? Ignorant? Uneducated?
    I’ll suggest the word “misinformed”.

    To borrow from the French, maybe we should use “liberty, equality, fraternity” as our chant.

    Love,
    Andrew

    Reply
    • 45. Cat  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      I’d say you never call the person anything, only their opinion or action.

      Reply
      • 46. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

        Cat, I agree. Just point out the harm done by their opinions and actions.

        Reply
      • 47. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        this whole conversation is beginning to sound real NOMish, exactly the same as separating the person from the action, hat the sin , not the sinner.

        didn’t Ginsburg’s ruling say something to the effect of no distinction between how a person identifies themselves and thier behaviors. They are the same.

        Baby Roy, died because a brute acted on thoughts he had about a male exhibiting femine behavior, that is the extreme to which this thought process can go, no matter how we lable it, bigotry, hatred, ignorance, all of these come from the realm of emotions that are the opposite of LOVE, they come from the realm of FEAR.

        I’d say that would be the easiest distinciton to make people aware of the difference between love and fear.

        Reply
      • 48. AndrewPDX  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

        Sorry, thank you for slapping me up the head; I needed it as I was feeling very snarky.

        I was just listening to some coworkers talking about something totally unrelated and I was feeling very defensive, and that came out in my writing…

        Please forgive me.

        Let me try asking this instead:
        When dealing with the true bigots (for there are those in this discussion), what is the best way to hold them accountable for their actions? We know they’ll never be won over, even if/when SCOTUS finally clears up the issue across the country. These are the ones who I just don’t know how to deal with.

        For the others, those I think of as ‘misinformed’… sometimes I can be calm and reasonable, and sometimes I cannot. How can I keep my cool when trying to help re-educate someone?

        Love,
        Andrew

        Reply
      • 49. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm

        in this particular case , and many others , which can be pointed to, the harm done, was extermination of a life, just ask people very matter of fact, where they draw the line,

        problem is they all say they draw it before murder, but we know that doesn’t happen in reality,

        NOM promotes thoughts and ideas, which get acted on by people, period., why promote those thoughts.

        Reply
      • 50. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm

        How can we tell who the true bigots are?

        Just yesterday, I was on my way out the door to go to dinner with my wife and decided to drop something off at the mailbox before I left. As I open the garage door, a van full of LDS missionaries is unloading in front of my house.

        I saw red. I was angry. I wanted to tell them to get away from my property and go unload their hate elsewhere.

        But I knew that there was absolutely no way for me to know if each individual person felt that gays and lesbians were less of a person than they were and less worthy of their God’s love. I was, of course, approached by two of the missionaries and I spoke cordially with them. They asked if I had a moment and I said I wasn’t interested. They asked why, I responded that I did not agree with the way the church treated its gay and lesbian members and other gays and lesbians who were not members of the church. There was some polite conversation after that in which they asked if I would at least pray to Jesus that I would know his love etc. and I told them again I was not interested but I was glad they had found something that fulfilled them.

        After I walked away, I was shaking. I felt the anger burning my cheeks, but I knew that nothing good would have come from me yelling at these young kids fresh out of high school who knew, just knew, that they had found the right religion and path to God.

        I would like to think that was me taking the high road. I could have tried to engage them in debate over the church’s treatment of gays and lesbians. I could have tried to engage them in debate about the church’s stance on seeking out opinions that criticized the church. I could have yelled and blamed them for making me go through the hell that was (and is) Proposition 8.

        But I thought about my wife. Her dad was Mormon (now Catholic) and her (many) cousins are still members of the LDS church. And none of her cousins feel that we are an abomination and did not agree with Proposition 8. And her cousins also went on missions. Maybe, just maybe, those kids were the same as my wife’s cousins.

        Reply
      • 51. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        @Trish, thank you for that story. I think you did very well. Good for you for taking the high road — some of them will remember your reasonable words and reflect on what you said.

        Reply
    • 52. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      The middle of the road folks, are known by their ability to have the conversation in the first place, they will also allow for your difference of opinion, and listen to it in a willingness to learn.

      My grandmother was a bigot, there was no dicussion, as a very young child any disagreement towards her opinion, was greeted with a slap across the face, just to prove as the elder her opinion deserved respect. no discussion.

      Tilll this day, I know a bigot, cause any challenge to their opinion is met with outrage, often backed up with physical resitance to the point of fighting, and definetly ends the party. if their in your house they leave, if you’re in theirs , you’lll be leaving,

      Middle of the road folks, can have the discussion

      If I went to my family of origin and took up this discussion they would tell me to fuck off. that’s how you tell the difference. They”re the ones that site the gay defense for the Mathew Shepard murder. They wonder if baby Roy isn’t better off being spared a life of homosexuality. If I followed that train of thought willingly with them, you bet, they think God wants the world to have no fags, however that’s accomplished. All the beatings I experienced in that environment where chocked up to the fact that I was just a sissy, and deserved it.

      Middle of the road folks, don’t do that. perhaps it’s more difficult for people who haven’t experienced true bigotry and hatred, to know that very obvious line. At some point the bigots and haters, stop talking, and start acting,

      Problem is the one’s who are smart enough to place their thoughts out there in a way that NOM does, so that other people act on them, even Rainbow people themselves follow through on the actionh, it’s called suicide.

      I for one don’t think you can tie this all in a pretty bow, and talk nice, about it.

      Call it what it is, middle of the road people will know where to place themselves, and it may even make it more clear for them, the action taken by middle of the road people when pushed , is to reveal themselves, and speak up on the side of LOVE, please don’t be afraid to give them that chance.

      Reply
  • 53. Ray in MA  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    All of you are too polite… IMO, the appropriate descriptor is “ignorant”. Ignorance of the law never holds up in court.

    And yes, that term puts people on the defense also.

    But when someone doesn’t konw that our laws protect the minority from the majority, it is ignorance.

    Reply
  • 55. mattymatt  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    We posted a rebuttal to Lund over at the SF Appeal here: http://sfappeal.com/news/2010/08/law-professor-convinces-us-to-hate-gays.php

    He doesn’t even seem to have read Walker’s decision.

    Reply
    • 56. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      Very funny…I needed a laugh and that did the trick. Thanks MattyMatt!

      Reply
    • 57. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      Excellent! : )

      Reply
    • 58. AndrewPDX  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      ROFL!
      That was funny! Thanks!

      Love,
      Andrew

      Reply
  • 59. Ray in MA  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Argumentum Ad Populum:

    How fear is spread…

    http://www.queerty.com/how-many-logic-fails-can-rachel-maddow-find-in-bill-oreillys-monologues-20100808/

    Reply
  • 60. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Nelson Lund, a George Mason University law professor who assisted the pro-Prop 8 side….

    Yet strangely, he didn’t serve as an expert witness. It’s like he didn’t have any evidence to support his position in court, or something.

    Reply
  • 61. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    And why shouldn’t California get some extra money for Domestic Programs.

    California is raising Marriage License fees from $10 to $23…and they might make some serious money off that hefty increase. I can see Arizonans and even gay couples from Utah (and other states) hopping over to Cali to get married soon (and probably won’t have any issues with the $13 increase.)

    Cost of CA Marriage May Jump

    Engaged couples may soon be paying more to get hitched in California.

    Lawmakers have approved a bill to raise marriage license fees to help fund domestic violence shelters.

    The bill would give counties the choice of whether they want to increase the cost of marriage licenses by $10, a significant increase from the $23 it currently costs.

    Source: Cost of CA Marriage May Jump | NBC San Diego

    Read last Paragraph here (I know we aren’t supposed to put in full articles, but this one is real short!): http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics/Cost-of-CA-Marriage-May-Jump-100310269.html

    Reply
    • 62. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      I’m all for raising money to fight domestic violence, or as you say fund shelters, and possibly some of that money could be spent educating those shelters about SS domestic violence.

      Reply
  • 63. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Fantastic article…I only wish I could site the entire article here!

    Queer notions: How Christian homophobes misuse my “gay gene” report

    And speaking of setting straight, Christian homophobes have misused my writings on the biology of homosexuality, particularly “Gay Genes, Revisited,” published in Scientific American in November 1995. In it I reported on weaknesses in the claims of scientists—and particularly the geneticist Dean Hamer, “discoverer” of the “gay gene”—that homosexuality has a genetic basis. (I’ve continued beating up on Hamer over the years for exaggerating the links between specific genes and behaviors; see for example this essay.)

    Anti-gay Christians cite “Gay Genes, Revisited” to make the case that homosexuality is not hardwired; people with homosexual inclinations can change their behavior and even minds through therapeutic interventions. See, for example, the references to “Gay Genes, Revisited” on these Mormon and Catholic sites.

    A few points: First, being a good tolerant liberal, of course I support gay rights—including the right to marry. Why shouldn’t gay couples share the misery of us straights? Second, I can think of no dumber reason for doing or not doing something than what the Bible supposedly says. Third, I suspect that homosexuality is probably at least in part innate, even though the evidence so far is flimsy.

    Read full article here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=queer-notions-how-christian-homopho-2010-08-09

    Reply
    • 64. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      and sorry for my typos…

      Reply
  • 65. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    hmmmm…

    My Fellow Conservatives, Think Carefully About Your Opposition to Gay Marriage

    The Supreme Court has previously ruled that the right to marry is a fundamental constitutional right.

    When an unpopular minority is denied the right to marry, it is indeed the role of the courts to protect the rights of that minority, especially when a majority would deny them. This is why Judge Walker’s opinion reads, “That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

    Not to mention that conservatives have a flawed history with civil rights, a trend that began when Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional. While Goldwater was no racist there is clearly a conservative precedent for a breakdown at the intersection of ideology and reality.

    The aforementioned arguments against Judge Walker’s Perry v. Schwarzenegger decision risk undermining legitimate conservative gripes about the judiciary and putting conservatism once again, on the wrong side of the latest chapter in American civil rights.

    Read more here: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/09/margaret-hoover-prop-gay-rights-marriage-conservatives-civil-rights/

    Reply
    • 66. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      Wow.

      It is kind of for the wrong reasons, but what the heck, I’ll take it.

      Margaret Hoover argues that fighting gay rights will put conservatives on the wrong side of a civil rights issue again, and alienate younger voters. That is her reasoning that marriage equality should be supported.

      Not the best of reasons, but in the end, if it gets the job done, I will accept conservative compliance for the sake of their own political life expectancy.

      And the valuable point she does make is that this case is clearly supported, constitutionally.

      Reply
      • 67. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm

        Actually, it seems pretty clear that she believes the case was rightly decided, on constitutional grounds and considering the evidence presented. But she does say that refusing to accept that decision will lead to the consequences you mention.

        Reply
    • 68. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      If I can read between the lines a bit, it sounds like she is saying that being a ‘conservative’ should not mean being someone who supports disrimination and unfair treatment of minorities. That this should not be a ‘conservative’ value.

      That sounds a lot like what Olson was saying recently – that this should not be a conservative versus liberal issue or a republican versus Democrat issue. That it’s a human rights issue.

      Hey, if the Republicans / conservatives want to go back to focusing on issues of fiscal conservativism and less intrusive govornment instead of using their numbers and influence to promote intolerance and discrimination, that’s certainly OK with me.

      Reply
    • 69. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      I’ll admit that I drank the koolaid and read the comments. I was not disappointed.

      Reply
    • 70. Sagesse  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Outstanding summary of the case.

      The following is a quote from Diane Woods, one of Obama’s short list candidates for the Supreme Court.. The article is about something else (international human rights), but in it she describes the ‘unwritten constitutional protections’ that are considered to be implied in the words:

      “The Constitution does not explicitly mention equal rights of men and women; a right to travel; a right to be free from arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, family, and home; protection of the family; the right to marry; or cultural rights of minority groups. Yet as presently understood, U.S. law affords protection to most, if not all, of these rights as a matter of constitutional law. . . .”

      The best concise description I’ve found. This is how you get the ‘show me the right to marriage in the Constitution’ argument.

      Here’s the link, but the article, as I say is not directly relevant.

      http://opiniojuris.org/2009/05/21/diane-wood-world-federalist-or-sovereigntist/

      Reply
      • 71. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:28 am

        Thank you, I like that. I posted it in another forum, too.

        Reply
  • 72. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    and that Dpeck, would be a real accomplishment, wouldn’t it be nice, it would make it all worthwile,

    Reply
  • 73. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Playing catch-up in reverse, scrolling down through my emails instead of starting at the bottom and going up. Will hopefully catch up completely after we get home tomorrow evening.

    Reply
    • 74. Sheryl  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Looking forward to your report tomorrow, Richard.

      Reply
  • 75. Sagesse  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Haven’t read any of the comments yet, but I agree that this whole cycle of who’s calling whom a bigot is completely pointless. It lets no air into the discussion, it proves nothing, it changes nothing. It’s just name calling. I’ve no idea how to pull the tone of the debate up out of the sandbox and get beyond it, however.

    And remember, it is Brian and Maggie who say that by permitting marriage equality [fill in the blank] is calling 7 million people, anyone who believes in traditional marriage a bigot. That is not what the ruling says.

    Reply
  • 76. Straight Grandmother  |  August 10, 2010 at 6:52 am

    AdamBink, well you could have titled this topic,
    Prop 8 and the language around Discrimination
    The Judge used the term Discrimination 59 times in a 138 page decision.
    Something to think about…

    Reply
  • 77. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    First of all let me say that the only reason i’m commenting is that the other comments have been in a professional tone, not some random angry ranting.( it is appreciated) Marriage is not a right. It is a religious institution between man, woman, and God. I will agree however that it is now more secular in nature, like Christmas has become. That being said, there is no law that states a gay/lesbian cannot be married. they have they same ability as everyone else, and like everyone else, they must marry a member of the opposite sex. Saying that gays/lesbians are being discriminated against for not being able to marry the same sex is like saying that i as a male am being discriminated against for not being able to use women’s restrooms. I have the ability to use public restrooms, but i must go about it in the appropriate manner and use the men’s. For me to use the women’s would infringe on the women’s rights in the same way that same sex marriages would infringe on my and my wife’s marriage.

    Reply
    • 78. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      If My marriage would infringe upon YOUR marriage, then you and your wife truly need to see a professional, board-certified marriage counselor to see how you can work together to strengthen and save your marriage. That is, if it CAN be saved.

      Reply
    • 79. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Did you just compared people who want to marry someone of the same sex with people who use the wrong restroom??

      Well, bless your heart.

      Reply
    • 80. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Mr. Rational Twenty-something, your logic is circular, you cant’ justify your definition of marriage by using your definition of marriage.

      I am heterosexual, and married. I did not get married in a church, I have no interest in the church’s usage for marriage. You are trying to project your church laws onto secular law, that’s where your flaw lies.

      You do sound reasonable, as you state, so I would like you to look at this from another direction, one that doesn’t involve the church and its laws. Then, you will see that there are laws that say a man can marry a man, and that is in states and countries where it is already legal. The US Supreme Court has in fact ruled that marriage is a right, a fundamental right at that, a right that needs to be protected.

      Church law doesn’t belong in civil law, and that is what is being fought for here.

      Reply
      • 81. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

        i will admit that the reasoning is circular, you have me there. But that is because what is being discussed and decided in this IS the definition of marriage. What marriage means changes when you include same-sex couples. Most of you seem to think this is a positive change, but i disagree.

        Reply
      • 82. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

        No it doesn’t….. : I ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 83. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm

        OK just because i recognize that marriage IS a religious institution(originally any way, as i said before i agree it is now more secular) does not mean that i am part of any religious group. Thank you to all who tore apart my reasoning, rather than simply spouting. In reading the comments amongst yourselves, you said middle of the roaders who were open minded were better than “bigots” . But when I attempt to discuss, i am met with bitterness and tackiness. FYI that will not change my views nor hurt my feelings

        Reply
      • 84. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        @Rational twenty-something, can you explain why you think expanding marriage to same-sex couples would be bad, without comparing marriage to using the restroom, without making reference to religious tradition, without saying “because it’s always been that way”, and without saying “because only a man and woman can make babies”?

        Then maybe we can talk.

        Reply
      • 85. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        Really?!…because that sounds like defeat…I’m crying a river for you…..make sure you say hello to your wife, the love of your life…..that you compared to toilet…Again…I am soooooo embarrassed for you…… : I …..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 86. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm

        @R. T-s — first of all, kudos to you for admitting that you were using circular logic. That shows an admirable intellectual honesty.

        In the same spirit, I will acknowledge that you are correct when you say that what marriage means changes when you include same-sex couples. This is a different understanding of marriage than the historical one.

        But it’s far from the first change in the meaning of marriage, and possibly not even the biggest one. That probably came when married women ceased to be considered under the law as an extension of their husbands. Under the doctrine of “coverture”, a married woman was considered under the law to have no rights of her own; her rights were subsumed under her husband’s. That was the traditional understanding of marriage. It was gradually whittled away in the twentieth century, and we now understand marriage to be a union of equals.

        Once that change has occurred, and there is no legal difference between a husband and a wife in terms of their civil rights, it is only a small step to say, as Judge Walker did in his decision, that there is no rational reason why a marriage may not consist of two husbands or two wives. It’s almost mathematical: if the value of “husband” equals the value of “wife”, and “husband” + “wife” = “marriage”, then by simple substitution “husband” + “husband” = “marriage” = “wife” + “wife”. If you disagree with that, you must believe that husband and wife are not equals — in which case, I’m sorry for your wife.

        Reply
      • 87. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm

        I ask again, please read the decision. Then come back here and discuss it. I haven’t the time or energy to restate what the judge so clearly laid out in his decision — a decision he came to after listening to many days of testimony and reading the massive amount of evidence presented in court.

        Once you’re read the decision, if there is a particular finding of fact that you don’t agree with, please present the evidence that contradicts it. If there is a particular conclusion of law that you don’t believe follows from the facts, let’s talk about it.

        Until you’ve done that, there really isn’t much more to say.

        Reply
      • 88. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

        @ Rational twenty-something. NO, it is not the definition of marriage itself that is changed. However, if you will take the time to honestly go back through history and even the history of the 20th century, you will see that what HAS changed is the idea of each gender having a specific, cast in stone role to play in our society. Women now have the right under the law to do those things that they should always have been allowed to do: own property in their own name, be proactive in their own health care and the well-being and maintenance of their own bodies and minds, including safe methods of planning their families, work outside the home and use their own judgment wrt how that money is spent, vote, and decide who they will marry. It no longer raises eyebrows when a woman is the one who proposes marriage. But for you to say that the only marriage I have the right to is a marriage that is nothing more than a sham, because the marriage you say I have a right to would not be based on love, is most assuredly not only an insult to me, but also an insult to your wife, because it shows that you even consider your wife to be a second class citizen. And, as Ronnie stated, you also compared your “love” for her to using the toilet. Of course, this really makes me wonder where you received whatever schooling you have gotten, and it also makes me wonder if you really are in your twenties, because your reasoning and your logic are so very juvenile.

        Reply
      • 89. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

        @ rational twenty-something. Actually , marriage as an institution PREDATES religion, so you don’t have all the facts there, either. Marriage was a civil institution even before the days of Judaism, which as a Jew, I can tell you predates your Christianity. And those laws from Leviticus that so many of you try to cherry pick when you say the Rabbi Yoshua ben Yosef of Nazareth fulfilled them on the cross, well, those were laws of ritual purity that were primarily concerning the conduct of the Levitical priesthood. Thus the name for the book–Leviticus. If you have any further questions, please feel free to post them here and I will answer the ones I can, and refer the rest to my husband, who is a Lubavitcher Hasidic rabbi.

        Reply
    • 90. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm

      The marriage that you talk about – that religious institution to which you refer – is not what this court case is about. You can define marriage within your religion in any way you want. It would be factually incorrect to claim that all religions define marriage in the way you do, so please be clear that you’re just speaking for your religion, not all religions.

      But you’re really confusing the issue if you think that the marriage that this case is about has anything to do with religion. This is about whether the civil government is allowed to discriminate in the way it issues marriage licenses. This doesn’t concern your religion. It doesn’t concern any religion. It has to do with whether discriminating, in the way the state of California has (not a church within that state) violates basic rights guaranteed to all US citizens by the US Constitution.

      I suggest that you read the decision. If there are any facts in that decision with which you disagree, or there is a conclusion of law that you don’t think is supported by the facts, then please come back here and discuss them.

      Reply
    • 91. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      I fail to see how same-sex marriages infringe on opposite-sex marriages in any way. I’m straight and married, and I think that my marriage is stronger and better because it doesn’t depend on gender roles. I don’t see any meaningful distinction between my heterosexual marriage and various friends’ homosexual marriages.

      As for the argument that gay men can marry women, and lesbians can marry men — do you really want them to? Do you really think that’s the sort of union that produces a stable, loving family? When gay men marry women, it just causes pain and suffering for them and the women they marry. The same goes for lesbians who marry men.

      Reply
    • 92. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      NO…nuh uh…”Rational twenty-somthing” my @$$….there was nothing rational about what you just said…comparing marriage to the use of bathrooms….yeah that was rational….I’m sure your wife would love to know that you just compared her your love for her to a toilet..I’m embarrassed for you.

      Marriage IS a civil right. It is something that is sanctioned by the government. The same government that my tax money pays into. Marriage is NOT only a religious institution in this country, American, a secular society. There are heterosexuals who do NOT marry for religious reasons. Their weddings do NOT even include religious aspects or ANY mention of “God” so get off your high horse.

      “That being said, there is no law that states a gay/lesbian cannot be married. they have they same ability as everyone else, and like everyone else, they must marry a member of the opposite sex.”…..Are you really that dense you idiot? I must marry somebody of the opposite sex? Where is that written? What law states that? It certainly is not the Bible because the Bible is not the law in this country. I’m not Christian, so its irrelevant to my life. There is no law that says I have to live my life according to the Bible & Christian definitions. Sorry to bust your bubble. I will not marry somebody of the opposite sex because you say so. Who the frak do you think you are? I will marry the man I choose to, whether you like it or not. You don’t get to make that choice for us.

      Get over yourself….. : I ….Ronnie

      Reply
    • 93. AndrewPDX  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you for sharing your opinion. Please note that not everyone’s religions believe as you do. Not even all Christians — I happen to be a member of the United Church of Christ who are very much in support of letting LGBT couples get married.

      As such, per the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, you cannot use your religion to justify the denial of the recognition of my church’s rite of marriage — let alone the thousands of benefits of the legal contract between two adults and recognized by the State.

      Do you have a Constitutionally-sound reason why I should not be allowed to marry another man? No? I didn’t think so.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
  • 94. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Let me ask something. Please don’t overreact as i’m not being an a-hole. Is is the word “marriage” the sticking point. if gay couples were allowed civil unions that afforded them the same rights as marriage, would that suffice? Because honestly thats the way to go if you want to accomplish your agenda. Most americans simply will not change their views on marriage, but might be willing to expand the rights of civil unions. just a thought, and folks i really am just trying to understand. i have no hatred of gay/lesbian couples, just get upset when i feel my liberties and rights are being infringed upon. Sounds familiar doesnt it?

    Reply
    • 95. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      Civil unions are essentially “separate but equal”. Nobody dreams about getting civil unioned.

      I’m interested in what liberties and rights you feel are being infringed on. Can you say more about that?

      Reply
    • 96. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      @Rational 20-something, please think about how it would feel if YOU could not have marriage, but could have a civil union.

      Separate is not equal.

      Reply
    • 97. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      NOPE…I want a Marriage. A husband, kids, a home, a life & how obtain those dreams is nobody’s business but mine & the man I choose to obtain them with. If it looks like a duck, & walks, like a duck, then its a duck. Nobody get’s to define marriage for everybody else & limit what words we can use to describe our relations. The words “Marriage”, “Wife”, & “Husband” fall under freedom of speech & I have the right to use them how they configure into my life not how you want them too.

      If I want a to be a part of a union, I’d join one. I have no agenda. I don’t care what other American’s want. What they want is irrelevant to my life. You & they do NOT get to control my life according to your wants & needs. Your liberties & rights are NOT being infringed on. Nobody is telling you that you can’t marry the person you LOVE. Nobody is telling you how to live your life according their beliefs. You still have your liberties & your rights. That last argument by you was completely irrational & illogical. Nice try…I’m still embarrassed for you…. : I ….Ronnie

      Reply
      • 98. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

        Ronnie, dono why you are defensive ,as i’m not attacking you. My beliefs differ from yours. you will never agree with mine and i’ll admit i probly wont ever agree with yours. from what you said , it is the word “marriage” (or lack of it) that gets everyone riled up. but look at it this way. i will never be eligible for a civil union as i choose to spend my life with someone of the opposite sex. and if civil union leaves a bad taste in your mouth call it something else. point being that if you reject having the same rights afforded to you under a different label than it is a matter of pride and not one of any discrimination. **to any one who has not read previous posts this is assuming civil union is equal to marriage which i understand is not a true statement as of now**

        Reply
      • 99. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

        Wrong again, civil unions are available to heterosexuals also. Maybe you should look it up. You asked a question. I answered it. I’m not supposed to answer it how you want me too. It was not defensive & nobody said anything about you attacking me. Those are your words, sweetie. Sorry if the way I answer question is not to your liking, get over it.

        I’ll call it a marriage because it is a marriage, whether you like it or not. What you like is irrelevant. We don’t dictate law based on what people like….Getting more & more embarrassed for you…. : I ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 100. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

        RTS, have you read the decision yet? All of the issues you’re bringing up are addressed in the decision.

        Reply
      • 101. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:15 pm

        @R. 20-s: Part of the problem is that the word “marriage” has associations of stability, permanence, social acceptance and legitimacy that “civil union” or any other new coinage will never have. In Judge Walker’s decision (which you really should read if you’re interested in this), he talks about the intangible benefits of marriage. It might be hypothetically possible to have civil unions which granted all the tangible benefits of marriage (though, as you point out, civil unions as they exist in some US states fall far short of that). But as long as civil unions are a parallel structure separate from marriage, they will never have the intangible benefits of marriage.

        That’s why it’s comparable to the old “separate but equal” idea. Under Jim Crow, there were many white people who honestly believed that as long as separate institutions existed for black people, there was no injustice in preventing them from participating in the same institutions as white people. But the Supreme Court recognized that separate institutions are never equal, because the very act of separation implies a judgment of superiority.

        Similarly, if the word “marriage” is reserved for heterosexual couples, there is an automatic implication that they are superior to homosexual couples. That implication violates the equal protection clause of our Constitution.

        Reply
      • 102. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

        @RTS:

        “My beliefs differ from yours. you will never agree with mine and i’ll admit i probly wont ever agree with yours.”

        Then why are you here? Answer honestly. Are you here just to get people angry? To communicate about something controversial because you get a rush out of it? Why converse about something if you don’t expect to change anyone’s minds and won’t open your own mind to being changed?

        Reply
      • 103. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

        And yes, it is good to see that you are beginning to realize that civil unions are not the same as marriage. Another way they are not the same is this. Did you and your wife have to live together for one year before applying for your marriage license? I didn’t think so. Yet for a civil union or a domestic partnership registration, that is one of the requirements. Also, in those states where marriage equality is the law, at tax time, same gender couples have to fill out a fake federal return so that they can get all the calculations to complete their state return, and then still have to file two separate federal returns in order to complete their taxes. You and your wife only have to file two tax returns total. Our couples have to file four. Then there is all the legal paperwork that we must carry at all times that married couples don’t need, and in my state, this paperwork will cost us no less than $1,500 just in the lawyers fees (and that is for one of the solo practitioners who is not with a major firm), plus all of the filing fees. Just so that we are assured of the same protections, rights, responsibilities, and obligations that you and your wife are recognized as receiving with a $30 marriage license.

        Reply
    • 104. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 10:51 am

      Actually, no, civil unions will not suffice. Case in point, a couple were talking recently about going to the bank to open an account after getting a civil union, and the bank employee brought out the paperwork for a business account. With civil unions, if your spouse is taken to the emergency room, the ER staff may not realize that you ARE the next of kin and deny you entrance. That is why the word marriage is important. Everyone understands what you mean when you say this is my husband, or this is my wife. And how are your rights and liberties being infringed upon by extending marriage equality. It is not as if anyone is telling you that you have to get a divorce, or that your marriage is no longer valid. You are simply advancing the same arguments that many country clubs used when denying African Americans and Jews admittance to the private clubs. Marriage is NOT a private club. It is a private union between two consenting adults, but it is not a club where you can restrict the membership to someone just because he or she is not sitting next to you in the pew on Sabbath (or as the Christians celebrate, Sunday). Marriage is a fundamental civil right, as has been affirmed 14 times by SCOTUS since 1888. Is your marriage devalued because Charles Manson is allowed to get married, even though he and his wife will never be able to consummate that marriage and have children? Is your marriage devalued because tow people of different skin tones can get married? No. Neither will your marriage be devalued when marriage equality is the law of the land nationwide. If marriage will no longer be desired when marriage equality is granted, then why, in Massachusetts has the divorce rate plummeted from nearly 70% in 2003 to 4% now? And why has their marriage rate increased dramatically among both ss and os couples since then? If your marriage would be devalued, then how do you explain all of the straight couples who attend the weddings of their friends who are in ss couples and leave those weddings reminded of the love that brought them together with their spouses and who renew those vows at the first opportunity because of those weddings? To me, all of these represent an increasing of the value of marriage, not a weakening of it. This weakening of the institution of marriage is all a plot to confuse all of you about the real issue which is this country living up to its ideals of equality, liberty, and justice for all.
      And if you really think this is about “same-sex marriage” than look on the DC website at the application for a marriage license. Nowhere on that paperwork does it say “gay marriage.” It just says marriage. Ask the officiants and the registrars what the licenses say. They still say “Marriage license.” It is only those who are trying to muddy the waters, stir up trouble, and breed dissension and theocracy who are focusing on the gender of the couples.

      Reply
  • 105. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    To josiah #84, i agree with you up to the last paragraph. yes the def. of marriage has changed, and yes it was an improvement, and yes my wife is my equal. i think you are confusing equality with sameness. My wife and I are completely different and completely equal. she can do things that i cannot and vice versa, biologically and otherwise. Without the balance of the two sexes, you lose out on many things (more than just the obvious reproduction thing, that is not what i mean) if both parents are of one gender, the child will be missing half of the developmental tools he/she would otherwise have.

    Reply
    • 106. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      That’s a fallacy & lie…You just insulted adoptive parents, single parents, & yes even Same-gendered parents. You don’t get to define what family is either. Why don’t you people get that? I grew up without father…& I turned out perfectly fine…I had coaches, uncles, cousins, & teachers who taught me what it’s like to be (in deep deep voice) ” a man” I saw what my father did to my brothers. I he was a child abuser. My mother told me the stories of how he use to beat her & shove her in the closet the size of a refrigerator. I thank my mother everyday for leaving him right after I was born. My mother is a strong woman & raised me very well without the help of my father in blood only. & trust me the men in my life taught me what its like to be a real man…..Now I’m even more embarrassed for you…. : I ….Ronnie

      Reply
      • 107. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

        dono how adoptive parents are involved.? Also you mentioning the other men in your life only serves to prove the point that both male and female figures are needed to provide guidance. in my opinion the best way to have that is to have a man and a woman in the household.

        Reply
      • 108. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

        NOPE wrong again…get over yourself…& now your starting to piss me off….. >I …..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 109. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:12 pm

        Mr. 20 something,

        You stated “in my opinion, the best way to have that is to have a man and a woman in the household.”

        Whether a certain household is healthy for children is a matter of empirical study, not opinion. Social scientists and psychologists have been studying the issue for years and have determined that there is no difference in the raising of children by two parents of the same sex. Children do just fine as long as they are loved and cared for. Yes, it is better for children to have two parents. That has been proven again and again. But why? Not because of arcane theories of gender and teaching children how to emulate a certain gender, but because the two individuals can share parenting duties, wake up on opposite shifts to feed the child while still getting adequate rest to work the next day, sufficient incomes to pay for school clothes and supplies, and the list goes on and on. On this issue, I do really encourage you to read the factual findings by Judge Walker. See the link provided by Kathleen.

        Reply
    • 110. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      Please read the decision. All of the points are discussed.

      Reply
      • 111. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

        Kathleen, you and I know that the decision answers every question. However, I had someone tell me that he wouldn’t read the decision because: “It is easy for you to read the decision and think it’s logical. You agree with it.”

        I do invite Mr. 20 something to actually read the opinion and discuss with us the points that you disagree with. If you educate yourself, we will be on equal footing. Until then, you’re recycling things you have heard that have already been addressed.

        Reply
      • 112. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm

        Trish, I’m not expecting anyone to agree with the decision. I’m just asking that they read it and then tell what they don’t agree with and why.

        It just seems so disingenuous of someone to suggest that they disagree with the outcome without being willing to at least look at the evidence presented and the reasoning that led to the conclusion. And if, as RTS claims, he wants to have a reasonable discussion, he needs to start by actually looking at the thing he claims not to agree with.

        Reply
      • 113. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm

        i have read parts of the 136 pages (which by the way is made up largely of one mans OPINION) yes he a study to prove his point, and if you want i’ll go find one to prove mine. Studies are dime a dozen and statistics can be skewed to say almost anything. my point is i disagree with several of his premises.
        a) homosexual couples are equivalent to hetero in terms of childrearing and social development
        b) that an exact duplicate of marriage under a different name for homosexual couples demeans the relationship.
        c) including same sex couples under the umbrella of marriage will not change what marriage means to heteros

        Reply
      • 114. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

        I’m sorry, are you saying that you don’t believe in studies?

        So, all you have are your own opinions?

        And so you came here to debate opinions and disregard all facts?

        Hmm…

        Reply
      • 115. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm

        Ahhh. I’m beginning to understand. RTS apparently doesn’t believe in science – or, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he doesn’t understand it. Sigh… what are we teaching in schools these days?

        Reply
      • 116. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:37 pm

        OMG…the ignorance & arrogance…..NO it is not based on one man’s opinion (This is how this country works…its called judicial law…look it up) Its based on CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, Evidence provided by lawyers & witnesses, & precedent law cases.

        a) LGBT couples ARE equivalent to Heterosexual couples in terms of childrearing and social development.
        b) “That an exact duplicate of marriage under a different name for LGBT couples demeans the relationship.” It does…you are saying that your relationship is better then mine & the only one that deserves full 100% respect from the government the same government that I pay into. That only you are allowed to use those words. You’re selfish.
        c) Including same sex couples under the umbrella of marriage will NOT change what marriage means to heterosexuals. Maybe insecure little selfish brats like you. But then again I care what you want. What you want & like is irrelevant to my life…… : I …Ronnie

        Reply
      • 117. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

        RTS:

        To your point a, studies have proven, time and again, that gay couples do a good job raising children. You can state your opinion, but your opinion is not fact. Moreover, California (and other states) already encourage same-sex couples to have and adopt children. Those children of same-sex couples would benefit by having their parents married because of the legal rights that flow through the parents to the children.

        Reply
      • 118. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

        RTS:

        To your point b, would you have gotten down on one knee and asked your wife to “civil union” you? Would you have had a “civil union” ceremony where you invite your friends to celebrate? That’s all gay couples have. Furthermore, there is cultural significance to the word marriage.

        I was married in 2003 to my wonderful, beautiful wife, whom I love. We were married before a minister. But no one recognized it. I called her my wife and people would be confused because it wasn’t legally recognized by the State. We applied for a car loan and the manager told us we couldn’t apply for the loan together because we weren’t married. You see, it isn’t the same, and explaining what it means to be in a registered domestic partnership just isn’t the same.

        Yet again, please read in full pages 79-83 for a more thorough analysis of facts, not opinions.

        Reply
      • 119. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm

        RTS:

        To your point c, I ask simply, prove it.

        Prove that my marriage hurts yours.

        I’m married under God and by law.

        Prove injury to the word marriage.

        Reply
      • 120. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

        @RTS:

        “Premises” — I don’t think that word thinks what you think it means.

        Reply
    • 121. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      Mr 20 something,

      Please understand that studies have actually been performed to determine the issue of whether children of same-sex parents are developmentally challenged. In those studies, it has been determined that same-sex couples raise children just as well as opposite sex couples. As a matter of fact, some studies seem to suggest that two women raising a child actually do better than one man and one woman. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.html

      You’re right, men and women are not the same. But neither are two women. Each person is individual and unique and can do things others cannot. That is not something unique to men and women.

      And you keep talking in binary terms. Did you know that about one in every 100 live births is intersexed? That means that the binary standard you apply does not fit them. With over six billion people in this world (thank you, Keith Olbermann) that means there are over sixty million intersexed persons. This does not even count transgendered persons. But your binary system pretends that neither exists.

      Reply
      • 122. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

        I realize that just because they are the same gender doesnt automatically mean they share they same opinions/beliefs etc. also i do not see how intersexed people come into play. if im not mistaken most of those people will come to see themselves as one or the other. also the discussion was not about transgender or intersexed so their inclusion to the topic is somewhat irrelevant.

        Reply
      • 123. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:12 pm

        facepalms….. # ( ……Ronnie

        Reply
      • 124. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm

        No, their inclusion in the topic is absolutely relevant. If you insist on going along without reading the opinion (leaving yourself uninformed and uneducated) I will explain.

        You have set up a completely binary system of marriage. One man + one woman. Intersexed individuals do often associate with one gender, but not always. Some flip-flop throughout their lives. Some are forced to live as one gender by their parents and realize they are not that gender as they grow older. The reason this is relevant is because it provides evidence that gender is not a binary system.

        Reply
      • 125. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

        Actually, since this site is a site dedicated to equality for LGBTQQI people, the inclusing of transgender and intersexed is absolutely, totally relevant. And just for your information, no, not all intersexed people come to see themsselves as one sex or the other. i do know some who see themselves as being neither male nor female, and are fighting to have their gender listed as neuter. In fact, I remember reading about one individual who won that battle. I really think you need to find a library that is a little more rounded out than the Fred Phelps collection.

        Reply
    • 126. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      It’s true that men and women are not the same… but the question is whether the differences between men and women have any role in the legal definition of marriage.

      The model you hold up, in which men and women are equal, different, and complementary seems appealing at first, but it’s flawed because not everybody fits into neat gender boxes. The closer one looks at the concepts of “male” and “female”, the fuzzier they become. Fifty years ago, most people thought that a gay man wasn’t really a man, that a lesbian wasn’t really a woman. (Some people still think that, but it’s generally regarded as a backwards attitude.) We now understand that gender is a complicated social construction, and that it doesn’t necessarily match up with biological sex.

      Once you understand that not everybody fits into the binary model of sexuality, it’s hard to maintain the idea that male-female complementarity is the only valid model.

      Reply
      • 127. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm

        you say that it is now generally accepted that a gay man is as much a man as a straight one. that means he does fit into neat binary terms. he is a man. also gender is not a social construction but a scientific reality. if you want to argue in terms of sexuality or physical attraction fine but sex/gender is pretty much cut and dry.

        Reply
      • 128. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        wow…. : / …..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 129. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:23 pm

        Actually, sex and gender are two different things.

        Reply
      • 130. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm

        Er… no, it’s not cut and dry. First of all, you need to understand the difference between sex and gender. One useful shorthand is that sex is what’s between your legs, while gender is what’s between your ears. Sex is about biology, and gender is about psychology and social roles. The options for sex are the same across all human cultures (though they’re not binary — you need to learn more about intersex people). The options for gender vary from culture to culture. For example, many Native American tribes identified a “third gender” of people who were not considered male or female; these people were often regarded as holy, and became shamans and storytellers, passing on the wisdom of the tribe. In modern India, the hijra have been recognized in law as neither male nor female. It’s a very complex subject, and can’t be reduced to “either one or the other”.

        The fact that historically in Western culture we do think of gender in binary terms is itself a reflection of our culture’s ideas about gender. And those ideas are changing.

        Reply
      • 131. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

        RTS (stealing this from Kathleen. I like it)

        You are disregarding years of research. You are also disregarding the existence of intersexed individuals and transgendered individuals.

        I still encourage you to read the opinion because the evidence presented at trial proved this point.

        Gender is the social construct.

        Sex is scientific. But even sex has its intermediaries. Lack of testosterone in the womb and a person with xy genes fails to develop testicles and a penis. What makes him a man? Persons with a penis and testicles may have two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome and are normally infertile. What makes him a man?

        These ambiguities on the edges should be reason enough to reconsider your binary construct.

        Reply
    • 132. AndrewPDX  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      @ RT
      I’m glad you and your wife have a happy and equal partnership in your marriage. Truly, that is rare in both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.

      Without the balance of the two sexes … the child will be missing half of the developmental tools he/she would otherwise have.
      That is a logical conclusion, one worth examining with real-world experiences to see what the outcomes are when a child does not have both sexes.
      Luckily, numerous studies have been done on this topic which have shown that children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off than children raised by opposite-sex couples (please forgive me, I can’t find the links in the previous discussions off-hand; if someone could post them again, that would be handy).

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 133. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

        as stated before, i am sure i can find numerous studies to prove my side as studies generally find what they set out to find.

        Reply
      • 134. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        “i am sure i can find numerous studies”

        Well, it would have been nice if you could have given those studies to the folks at Alliance Defense Fund (the Defendant-Intervenors in the Proposition 8 trial) because they did not present any of them as evidence in the trial.

        Reply
      • 135. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        @RTS, the proponents of Prop 8 tried really hard to prove at trial what you’re arguing about opposite sex parents and failed miserably. The studies you’re thinking of generally compare children of a two-parent family with a mother and a father with single-parent families. They don’t apply to two-parent families.

        Reply
      • 136. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

        RTS…if those studies that you say you’re sure you can find existed….how is it that legal professionals couldn’t find them to use in court…huh? huh?….HUH?….That’s what I thought…… : I …Ronnie

        Reply
      • 137. AndrewPDX  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:59 pm

        Ah, yes please… if you can find credible, recent, peer-reviewed studies comparing same-sex parenting to opposite-sex parenting, please share them.

        Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
        Andrew

        Reply
      • 138. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm

        Any study that is set up to automatically come to a pre-determined conclusion isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. That’s why there are standards within the legitimate scientific community.

        I’m sure there are others here who can explain this more clearly than I can. It’s not my area of expertise, but I have a general understanding of what makes a reliable study. Appropriate methods are developed, those methods are followed, results are obtained, and then conclusions are drawn from the results. Then — and this is IMPORTANT — the study (the methodology, the results, and the conclusion) is subjected to peer review. Even then, the studies that carry the most weight are those which have been replicated independently by other scientists.

        Many of the studies I’ve seen bandied about which argue that same sex couples are inferior to opposite couples in child rearing outcomes are either (1) not scientifically sound in the way they were conducted, or (2) came to conclusions that are other than what they are being used to support.

        Reply
      • 139. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm

        That was meant to read “…bandied about to which argue…”

        Reply
    • 140. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

      And are you expecting that when you and your wife have children or adopt, that you will exclude your parents and her parents from having any contact with your children? Are you expecting them to grow up in a little bubble of a world with no human contact other than you? If so, then you are revealing another fallacy behind your arguments about children with parents of the same gender. My partner has four adult children, all of who are as well adjusted as children of opposite gender parents, and we have grandchildren as well. One of the adult children is gay, and our grandchildren have no trouble with our relationship. You see, it is not the gender of the parents that determines how the children will turn out as adults. It is the love and guidance that those children receive while they are growing up that determines how well adjusted they will be. That is what all of those who oppose marriage equality are failing to see. This is where they are saying we are deficient. The opponents of full equality are saying that we do not have the capacity to love and to form commitments. Actually, if you look at the length of time our couples who have gotten marriage licenses have been together before getting married, and compare that to the average length of time in heterosexual marriages before a divorce kicks in, you will see that we are probably have an average commitment time that is longer, and stronger than that of the heterosexual marriages. So, no our children are not missing anything as far as developmental tools. In fact, they are probably getting those tools in double measure at the very least.

      Reply
  • 141. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    my apologies trish for waiting so long to respond to your comment. I have read the desicion Or at least parts of it (i mean its 136 pages!!)

    As for intersexed people. even if the flip-flop they still identify with one or the other at a given time. And even if there are those who do somehow identify with both simultaneously (that will need one hell of an explanation for me to buy that) they would be statistically irrelevant for this discussion.

    Reply
  • 142. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    i do understand the differences between gender and sex but whatever one you choose it still by definition a binary situation. i get that they dont necessarily have to match but gender and sex are binary. yes lines can be blurred, but that does not mean the lines don’t exist

    Reply
    • 143. Ronnie  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm

      No not really…get over yourself….. : I ….Ronnie

      Reply
    • 144. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      That is a lay person’s understanding of sex and gender, not a biologists or psychologists or social scientists understanding. Explain to me how an intersexed person is supposed to marry a person of the opposite sex?

      Reply
      • 145. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

        in the same way they marry a person of the same sex. what is the opposite/same sex for an intersexed person? that is why they are irrelevant to this discussion. not because they themselves are irrelevant, but because they are both/neither hetero/homo.

        And am i to understand that you trish are a biologist or psychologist?

        Reply
      • 146. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm

        So, are you saying that an intersexed person just plain can’t get married because they cannot be the opposite sex of anyone else?

        And no, I’m neither of those. I’m a lawyer who reads studies of psychologists and biologists on the issue of gender in order to understand the issues involved in the Proposition 8 case and the fight for marriage equality. I am a lawyer who read transcripts of the evidence presented at the Proposition 8 trial, a trial in which both sides were permitted to present evidence, but only one side addressed the issue of gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, and the interconnectivity of the three.

        Please see my comments to you above.

        Reply
      • 147. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

        Also, could our legal eagles here or someone who has been there please lay out for RTS all of the paperwork that is needed for a same gender couple to have the exact same protections as a marriage license provides, and give an approximate cost based on your local area that includes the least expensive lawyers in your area, the most expensive lawyers in your area, and the total of the relevant filing fees, and how long it takes to finish those up in a structure that will be recognized universally and how many copies each couple is recommended to keep on hand as well as on file, and who they need to be filed with in addition to your traveling papers so that confusion is minimized?
        You know, just to give him a cost comparison as part of the analysis of the inequities of the current situation.

        Reply
      • 148. Ann S.  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:54 am

        @Richard, not my area of expertise, but here’s an article from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/03/your-money/03money.html

        This actually doesn’t even seem to address your question about the cost of getting things like inheritance and healthcare decision-making rights. This addresses things like the much higher costs for lack of employer benefits, higher tax preparation costs, etc.

        Per couple: worst-case scenario for the lifetime cost of being deprived of marriage was $467,562. The best-case scenario is a lifetime cost of $41,196 per couple for not having the right to marry.

        Of course, this assumes both spouses are citizens, in reasonable health, etc.

        Reply
      • 149. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

        @Ann S. thank you so much for this. Of course, I am going to read this even more thoroughly once I fully get caught up with the comments (as if, right?). I am also hoping that others will add in as well. that is the beauty of this site. All of us are important to the discussion, because each of us has something to contribute, and each of us brings a unique perspective that enriches us all.

        Reply
    • 150. Josiah  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      RTS, the important thing is that not everybody fits into that binary. Some people travel from one side to the other. Others don’t fit into the schematic at all. Sex and gender are more like shades on a color wheel than black and white squares.

      If you still don’t see how intersex and transsexual people are relevant to the discussion of same-sex marriage, look up the case of Nikki Araguz. At birth, Nikki was classified as male, and named Justin. (It turns out that Nikki has neither male nor female gonads.) Justin grew up feeling different from other boys, and eventually began living as a girl. In 1996, Justin legally became Nikki. In 2008, Nikki married Thomas Araguz, a firefighter. Two months after their wedding, Nikki had genital reassignment surgery, with Thomas’ apparent knowledge and blessing. In June of this year, Thomas died in a blaze. Within weeks of her husband’s death, Thomas’ parents sued Nikki for his inheritance, claiming that because Nikki had been born a man, their marriage was invalid.

      Of course, there are some messy human details in this particular case — it seems that Thomas and Nikki were going through a rough patch in their marriage at the time of his death, and Nikki has a past criminal record, and it looks as if they both lied in an earlier court deposition to hide Nikki’s transgender status. But none of that is really relevant. Think about the emotional context: how would you like it if while grieving the loss of your spouse, you had to expose the most intimate, personal details of your life and marriage? How would you feel if people told you that your marriage was not valid?

      Nikki Araguz has to defend her marriage and her identity because people assume that sex and gender are simple and binary. They’re not. What is simple, though, is that Nikki and Thomas Araguz were married; they lived as a married couple for two years. They loved each other. But because of the way that the state of Texas draws the lines between male and female, their marriage may not be recognized, and Nikki may not be able to receive the benefits that she’s due as a widow.

      This is just one example of the human cost of the flawed binary thinking you’re espousing, RTS. Just think about it for a while.

      Reply
      • 151. Rational Twenty-something  |  August 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

        so he/she lied in court and doesnt receive benefits. seems like thats the issue and not transgender, but watev.

        So long everyone. You try to hide your own bias and beliefs by hiding behind some noble cause, but in the end ur no better than the bigots you are trying to defeat.

        Peace out, and good luck

        Reply
      • 152. Ronnie  |  August 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm

        F.U…..Fascist pig…. > I ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 153. Trish  |  August 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm

        Aww… I’m so sad. RTS can’t keep up with the big boys and girls so he insults us and runs away?

        Reply
      • 154. Kathleen  |  August 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm

        Ah, bless your heart, you don’t understand science, don’t understand how our system of government works and you’re sorely lacking in critical thinking skills. Have a good day.

        Reply
      • 155. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

        poor little boy. And yes, I mean boy. If you were a real man, you would be able to stick around and learn something new. Instead, since you cannot force your stereotypes down our throats, you grab your marbles just like a little five-year-old and run home to mommy crying because you got your feelings hurt.

        Reply
  • 156. Trish  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Dear Marriage Equality Opponents:

    Let me define fact for you: a fact is “a statement that is objectively true and can be verified.” Facts are not “premises” to arguments, facts are verifiable truths.

    You are free to your opinions. But making up your own facts makes you a liar. Disregarding facts that don’t support your conclusions makes you “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to [your] own opinions and prejudices.”

    Reply
  • 157. Josiah  |  August 11, 2010 at 6:30 am

    RTS, earlier in this discussion you said that you “get upset when i feel my liberties and rights are being infringed upon.” I asked what rights and liberties you felt were being infringed upon, and you didn’t reply. Could you clarify this, please?

    Reply
    • 158. Josiah  |  August 11, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Oh, how interesting. RTS isn’t brave or intelligent enough to answer our questions, so he runs away with an unsubstantiated accusation of bigotry. What a shame.

      Reply

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