Are you a pro-gay bigot?

September 7, 2010 at 9:58 am 152 comments

I originally posted this on my personal blog, but it’s the sort of thing that begs for commentary and fresh input. It’s a list of twenty questions on a conservative web site under the title, “Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?” The questions reveal quite a lot about about the author’s mentality. Since NOM has taken to calling marriage equality supporters hateful bigots, I think it’s appropriate to post it here, especially as we explore issues around messaging.

Here are the questions from the conservative web site, along with my own answers to each. If you have answers of your own, share them with the Prop 8 Trial Tracker community. I would love to hear them. — Rob

by Rob Tisinai

1. Do you believe in free speech about homosexuality for everyone except conservatives or Christians?

No, I believe in free speech for everyone.

2. Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?

No. It takes more than an objection to homosexuality. Here are the people I call bigots:

  • People who bully, assault, and kill gays because of their sexual orientation.
  • People who think gays should be imprisoned or put to death.
  • People who devote their professional lives to stripping gays of their rights.
  • People who make sweeping generalizations about the character of gay people.
  • People who automatically believe any anti-gay statement they read, while shutting their eyes to contradictory facts and evidence.

3. Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?

a. Yes I do.

b. No they don’t. Here are three responses:

  • Do you really think we’ve achieved equality and freedom just because I have the right to do what YOU want me to do? That’s not equality or freedom — that’s putting you in charge of me.
  • Your question is based on the principle that if everyone has the same rights, then everything must be okay. But does this principle hold true? Apply it to religion: Suppose we passed a Constitutional amendment shutting down all non-Christian places of worship. Your principle would suggest that no one has been deprived of their rights because everyone has the same right to enter a Christian Church — and if everyone has the same rights, then we’re fine. That would be ludicrous, so your principle is flawed.
  • If only same-sex marriages were allowed, and all opposite-sex marriages were invalidated, would straights think they’ve been deprived of their right to marry? I’d like to see someone do on a poll on that question.

4. Do you believe those who object to homosexuality are motivated by fear or ignorance? Do you believe they could never be motivated by compassion for the people involved, and if they say so, they must be lying?

a. For the most part, yes. I was raised to be afraid of gays and was kept ignorant of the facts by my parents (who were trying to “protect” me and had themselves been taught untruths), by my church, by my public school teachers, and by the media. I think this is true of most people, not just me.

b. I do believe some anti-gays are motivated by compassion — a compassion based on ignorance and fear. They’re trying to “rescue” me from something they fear, they know nothing of, and they’ve been lied to about by people they trust.

To read the rest of the questions and my answers to them, click here for …)

5. Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex? Do you think homosexual experimentation could never become ‘chic’ and popular? Is there no risk for the people involved or our culture if this happens?

a. Of course. There’s me, so that’s at least one. And while it’s possible that more people will engage in gay sex if the culture embraces it, we won’t see an increase the number of people who are actually gay.

b. Anything could become “chic and popular.” Especially if it has the lure of the “forbidden” around it.

c. All sex carries a measure of emotional and physical risk. That’s why we need realistic and genuinely useful sex education, not “abstinence” programs that lead kids into risky behavior (like unprotected anal sex) because that way they can still think of themselves as virgins.

6. Do you automatically dismiss any conservative comments about homosexuality without listening? Do you believe you are well-informed, while refusing to learn about what homosexuals actually do and the risks involved?

a. No. I dismiss lots of conservative comments because I do listen. And then I write a blog post detailing the factual and logical errors.

b. I do believe I am well-informed, despite the best efforts of conservatives to deceive the public about what homosexuals actually do.

7. Do you believe that the tragedy of any suicide by someone involved in homosexuality is the fault of conservatives? Is the best solution to these tragedies to demand that everyone in America accept homosexuality?

a. No. People — straight and gay — commit suicide for many reasons. I do believe, however, that quite a few suicides (especially teen suicides) are the fault of those people — liberal or conservative — who perpetuate lies about homosexuality.

b. I believe many teens now dead would still be alive if their parents (and our culture) were more accepting of homosexuality, rather than telling kids that all gays are despicable, selfish people who prey on children and can never know love.

8. Do you automatically dismiss the idea that anyone could be a former homosexual, despite the hundreds of groups started by ex-‘gays’ and the thousands who live in America?

Please define “former homosexual.” Many ex-gay groups say they cannot take away your homosexual urges but can help you stop acting on them. That’s an odd definition of “former homosexual.” Sounds like a celibate gay to me, and yes, I do believe some gays are celibate.

9. Do you believe that homosexuals are born that way? Do you refuse to consider the evidence against this claim? Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later homosexual attraction?

a. I don’t know.

b. The “evidence against this claim” tends to be weak. People point to a lack of definitive evidence in favor of the claim, and erroneously call that evidence against it. They also say things like, “We’ve mapped the human genome without finding a gay gene, so it doesn’t exist,” which does nothing but illustrate their ignorance of what genome-mapping means. Or they assume “born that way” means “100% genetic” and ignore research on things like pre-natal hormones.

c. Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later heterosexual attraction?

10. Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way? Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts? Do you believe it’s impossible to be “kind” and oppose homosexuality?

a. I only have access to a translation of a copy of a copy of the Bible, so I can’t speak on the correct interpretation of the Bible.

b. Again, I can’t read ancient languages, and even if I could, no one has access to the original documents, so no one can really read the relevant passages themselves, much less claim they are “straightforward.”

c. No, I think it’s possible. There’s so much deception from the anti-gay leadership, it twists the kind impulses of some people into tragically ugly statements and actions

11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?

No.

12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts? Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do? Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined? Are you the one who defines sin for yourself? Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless? Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?

a. I don’t know and neither do you.

b. No.

c. I think of sin as a religious concept that differs from religion to religion. I do believe in right and wrong, and I think “wrong” is defined by treating others as objects and things for your disposal rather than as human beings who deserve the same kindness, generosity, and respect you would want for yourself.

d. Life is hard and we all long for a savior sometimes. Christ’s death wasn’t pointless because it gave rise to a religion that has, in various times and various places, inspired humanity to greatness and led it to horrific acts of evil. I don’t have evidence that the resurrection happened.

e. I do not consider myself a Christian. But what contradictory beliefs are you talking about? You didn’t even know the answers to my questions when you wrote that. Is this a thought-provoking questionnaire or merely yet another listing of stereotype and prejudice?

13. Do you believe sweeping stereotypes, like that all ‘gay’ people are innocent victims or that all conservatives must be mean and stupid?

No. Do you believe the many negative sweeping stereotypes about gays?

14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?

No. But if conservatives believe this then I have to wonder why so many of them oppose realistic sex education.

15. Do you believe anyone who objects to homosexuality is automatically “hateful,” while you seethe with hate yourself?

No. And I’ve written at length to that effect.

16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have homosexual sex with each other? Do you close your ears when concerned parents are outraged? Would you call such parents “ignorant” and accuse them of “censorship”?

a. I don’t know what you mean by “they have the right.” I do believe that thirteen year-olds should be taught the information they need to protect themselves from doing permanent harm to themselves, and I’m amazed anyone could advocate otherwise.

b. No.

c. I would call the parents ignorant if they were ignorant, but not if they weren’t. I don’t throw around the term “censorship” lightly.

17. Do you believe that, after several thousand years where most cultures have prohibited homosexuality, only now the ‘real’ truth is emerging? Do you believe this is not an arrogant, narrow or immature position?

a. Have most cultures prohibited homosexuality? Certainly ancient Greece and Rome, from which our own culture derived, did not have blanket prohibitions on homosexuality. And what do you mean by “prohibit”?

b. No, for two reasons.

  • I do not think it’s arrogant, narrow, or immature to think for yourself. I find your question appalling, frankly.
  • I also find it a bit frightening that you think it’s arrogant, narrow, and immature to move beyond the moral code of our ancient ancestors, who once believed it was fine to rape women as long as they belonged to a different tribe. Do you think we were arrogant, narrow, and immature to outlaw rape?

18. Do you believe that ‘gays’ are the target of widespread violence that goes unpunished in the United States? Do you understand that hate crimes stats don’t support this claim and that laws already exist to punish all crimes, no matter why they are committed? Would you be unconcerned about overall civil liberties if trumped -up charges of so-called “hate speech” were used to silence people?

a. Yes.

b. No, I do not understand that hate crimes stats “don’t support” this claim. Yes, I do understand that laws already exist to punish all crimes — do you realize that this statement is an empty tautology?

c. I am in fact concerned about countries in Europe outlawing hate speech against gays, Christians, and so on, and I’ve written to that effect. Fortunately, in the US, there is no such thing as a legal charge of “hate speech,” and the First Amendment prevents such a thing from happening here. I wish conservatives understood that, too.

19. Do you believe that conservatives are making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies? Do you scoff at any claims that serious public health issues are involved, like sexually transmitted diseases or risks to children?

a. I believe that many conservatives are making a dishonest deal out of something — not a behavior, but an intrinsic human trait — that can be a source of joy and of harm (just like heterosexuality).

b. I do not scoff at serious public health claims. I believe we need realistic sex education about sexually transmitted diseases and risks to children associated with sexuality in general (not just hetero or homo).

20. And–very big question: Is your need for other people’s approval greater than your appreciation of truth? Do you refuse to consider an unpopular viewpoint because it might make you appear unenlightened to some people? If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?

a. We all struggle with this issue throughout our lives. You can be sure an openly gay person has struggled successfully at least once, by coming out of the closet and living in truth rather than hiding for fear of losing the approval of the people around them.

b. No.

c. Yes. And in fact I get enormous satisfaction from being a small rebel in a great and worthy cause — the crusade for truth, dignity, and equality. Wait — are you people claiming to see yourselves as rebels?

Entry filed under: Community/Meta, NOM Exposed, Right-wing.

Marriage Wars 2.0: As millennials divorce church and state, evangelical elders regress Prop 8 trial update with questions about Imperial County

152 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

    “Since NOM has taken to calling marriage equality supporters hateful bigots,”…..that’s pure projection by NOM & totally the pot calling the kettle a bigot…stupid Pot…..Kettle believes in Freedom….NOM..I mean Pot believes in dictatorship…wait…what?

    Reply
  • 2. Skemono  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    2. Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?

    People who “object to homosexuality” generally are bigots, same as people who object to black people and Asians are.

    If you don’t like being called a bigot, stop being one.

    Reply
    • 3. Sean  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Exactly! As an old cartoon once pointed out:

      “I don’t HATE ________, I just don’t approve of them.”

      People seem perfectly fine filling in the blank with “homosexuals” and believing it to be okay. But would you fill in the blank with “Asians” or “black people.” Of course not! Because it’s bigotted.

      So…why would you say “homosexuals” and think it’s alright?

      Reply
      • 4. Guest  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

        Because they consciously or unconsciously think being gay is a choice. I firmly believe the war will be won if people get blitzed with research, television ads, etc. showing everyone that (for the most part, at least) homosexuality cannot be changed and is not a choice.

        Reply
      • 5. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

        The only answer I have every gotten to that is “because it’s different! The Bible! THE BIBLE!”

        When I point out that the Bible is not and has never been the basis for US law I get all kinds of Christian reconstructionist nonsense. that’s easy enough to disprove.

        Then, I get the argument by popularity “Everyone voted for it! The courts have no right!” Do people not take civics/Social Studies any more? That’s the point of the courts, at least federally.

        Reply
      • 6. Mouse  |  September 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

        That’s only the point of courts when the decision is aligned with what you believe. Otherwise, it’s all “activist judges.”

        I really would like the bigots to stop trying to make themselves out to be victims. Grow a pair and embrace your role as the villain, guys. Your choices and your behaviors define you guys as evil, anti-Christian, and anti-American. Come out as evil and embrace who you are; have a little self-respect. Stop pretending to be something you are not.

        You are not the victim – you’re the villian.
        You are not Christian – Christ would be horrified by you.
        You are not American – America stands for freedom and equality, you’re after the opposite.
        You are not for “Family Values” – you seek to destroy families that are not made in your ideal image.
        You are not open-minded – you’re bigots, what’s why people call you that.

        Reply
  • 7. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    ‘Scribing from work. Will finish reading later. These are questions we should be asking.

    Reply
    • 8. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Just scribin

      Reply
  • 9. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Rob.

    Reply
    • 10. DazedWheels  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Excellent post. Thanks Rob.
      (Hi everyone)

      Reply
  • 11. Alan McCornick  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Rob, you’re hitting them out of the ballpark every time. Just the right responses, just the right tone. Really appreciate it.

    Reply
  • 12. Sean  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

    This post is simply amazing. Every answer was spot on. I honestly can’t believe they would post such obviously biased questions.

    But seriously, I’ve had enough of this “we’re the victims” BS. NOM’s rights, and the rights of their many supporters, are not in danger of being taken away. The rights of LGBT people in the United States are! So who are the victims here, really?

    Reply
  • 13. Jess  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Which website did you pull the questionnaire from?

    Honestly, I hate throwing the word “victim” around. By playing the victim card people seem to think it absolves them of all responsibility for whatever they have done and lay all blame against the other side in a conflict. I’ve seen both pro-gay AND anti-gay people do this, and all it does is make people feel hurt and self-righteous, and that’s just not the way to settle a conflict.

    I’m annoyed at the amount of religious based questions they threw out. Seriously, what does it matter if you’re a Christian or not, what does THAT have to do with gay rights!?! Conservatives only throw religion into the argument so they can make it sound like gay rights is a personal attack on them and thus feel victimized and justified in opposing gay rights, even if it doesn’t affect them in any way, it’s totally cheap!

    Reply
    • 14. robtish  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Jess, I found a link to these questions on NOM’s “oneman.onewoman” Facebook page. That link was to here:

      http://www.lifeandlibertyministries.com/archives/000157.php

      But at the moment, the link doesn’t seem to be working.

      Reply
    • 15. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      I dislike using victim so much as well. I firmly believe that the only people who are victims are people who are actually victims of a specific wrong towards them – abuse, assault, etc. (and to be fair, FAR more LGBT people are than Cis straight Christians are in regards to this issue).

      Reply
  • 16. Shelly & Simie 4 ever  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:06 am

    ROB U ROCK!!!!! We LOVE this!!!! We also need to ask about their pretchers how do we know they are not gay?? and what about all these prechers & preists that molest all these young kids??? they started it lol seriously i mean like they started condeming homosexual acts in the first place!!!

    Reply
    • 17. Lora  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      Remember, those that molest “all those young kids” are pedophiles and most likely heterosexual.

      And, is it me or can anyone else hear Rob’s voice while reading his answers to the questions?? I’ve seen so many of his videos…

      Reply
  • 18. Steve  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:18 am

    There is nothing straightforward about the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Those passages have been mistranslated and misinterpreted for thousands of years. They mean something completely different than what most people think. The fact that we only have an idea about what they probably refer to is telling in of itself.

    Reply
    • 19. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Yes. I love pointing out to people who say it is clear that the word homosexual and it’s modern connotation wasn’t even around until the 19th century, so how could a translation that uses that word be accurate?

      Reply
  • 20. Josh  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    #5 “Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex?”

    They think we choose to be GLBT and therefore if society increasingly welcomes us then more people will choose to be GLBT. Thier goal of keeping us closeted through continued discrimination is supported by their false belief that orientation is a choice. I believe orientation is not chosen and like handedness, there is no known gene for it, yet it’s a very real human trait. There won’t be more GLBT people as discrimination is reduced, there will just be more out GLBT people and less depression and tragic suicide.

    Who is asking our culture to embrace gay sex? I’m not, although I’d like to embrace a cute gay guy ;-) It’s always about SEX with them. They say stuff like that to get people riled up to continue marriage discrimination but it has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is not required to have sex nor is sex required when people are married. Having sex comprises a small portion of the time a couple (gay or straight) spends together. We’re expecting equal treatment from our civil laws. They are free to continue disliking our orientation.

    Reply
    • 21. AndrewPDX  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      I think the percentage of the population that is gay will not change… But the percentage of out individuals will increase, so the anti-gay folks will think it has increased. They won’t understand that the fear of being persecuted will have decreased, allowing more people to come out of the closet.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 22. Tomato  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm

        I read research somewhere (probably in “The Natural History of Homosexuality” which is now mostly out of date but still good), that the percentage of adults who are gay has remained constant over centuries. I’ve also read the research (corroborated through repeat studies, and even acknowledged by NARTH) that left handed people are far more likely to be gay than right handed people. And then there’s the fabulous idex vs ring finger length study which gave so many male media figures a chuckle. “Oh, look, I’m a lesbian! My ring finger is longer than my index finger!”

        The link seems to be levels of androgens (hormones, often related to stress ,which is why dexamethosone is being tried by Dr. Marian New as a way to prevent lesbian fetuses) experienced by the fetus during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. The 10 percent oddity has always been sinister (derived from the word for “left”) to the 90% majority, whether due to handedness or orientation.

        The evolutionary arguments are many, and there remains the question of why approximately 30% of gays do not have handedness, sibling birth order, or androgen markers.

        But the biologic and historic fact remains: there have always been gays, and there will always be gays.

        (Just as there have always been lefties, and there will always be lefties; and even if you teach a lefty to use their right hand for tasks, their every instinct and reflex will be lefty.)

        Reply
    • 23. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      I’ve always thought it horrible that our rights hinge on whether our sexuality is a choice. That argument is one big straw man for at least two reasons: because in a more-or-less enlightened culture, such as our own, it shouldn’t even matter; and because the issue may never be proven.

      Everyone, feel free to add to! :)

      Reply
      • 24. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm

        And what about the fact that my heart and soul will love BZ until the day I die, so that should count for something! Yes, I have a right to marry if I choose to lie about who I love. Straight people are not forced to lie about who they love so that they can get married. I could care less what someone else does in their own home with their husband or wife, but dammit, don’t stop me from being able to have the legal and civil recognition of my marriage just because YOU don’t like My spouse. Who I marry is not YOUR choice, and it is not YOUR right to tell me that I CAN’T marry him! Just like I can’t tell you who to marry.

        Reply
      • 25. Dee  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

        i totally agree. whether its a choice is really irrelevant. its not about having gay marriage. its about allowing everyone marry regardless of the sex if the person they are marrying. in a world with gender neutral marriages ur sexuality really doesnt matter. u are just free to love who u want and marry that person regardless of sex. but that would take us being a truly enlightened society to embrace that.

        i feel the same about the whole children argument. its irrelevant. its not like if someone is a bad parent u can make it illegal for them to have children. and its not like u have to be married to have children.

        but if ur going to use the children argument, i think it just serves as an argument for same sex marriage. allow it and u have more kids raised by married parents. more families with married parents also promotes that family structure. so a really conservative goal would be to increase the amount of families ppl see that include married parents. but this would imply that these conservatives really care about conservative values rather than just hate and fear of homosexuals.

        Reply
    • 26. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      The interesting thing is that there is no known gene for heterosexuality either.

      I have to say, I have NEVER met anyone as obsessed with sex and sexual acts as a born-again Christians, particularly an unmarried one. I would say that at least 1/3 of my Youth Group church meetings were discussing technicalities of virginity and sex acts in detail. So, their obsession with gay sex, and equation of sex with homosexuality completely isn’t really surprising.

      Reply
      • 27. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm

        It’s true, Rhie–there are so many other important things to focus on in the bible–things about loving each other and learning to forgive–that I believe it says a lot when people choose to focus on the bits about sex. Who’s the pervert NOW?

        Reply
  • 28. Leo  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

    16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have heterosexual sex with each other?

    Reply
    • 29. AndrewPDX  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      Exactly. If straight sex is okay to teach a 13 year old, then gay sex should be too, IMO.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 30. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

        They think the only sex ed that should be taught is what I was taught in a very conservative Christian school: don’t have sex or even look at a boy because if you do you will get pregnant and die.

        I’m serious. I had no idea what the sex act was all about until I picked up a YA novel at 16. SIXTEEN.

        Thank God for Judy Bloom.

        Reply
    • 31. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

      I also believe it is the right of every person who is of an age where sexual activity is part of their reality to have the full measure of information to be able to make responsible choices, rather than being left to figure it out without proper guidance and instruction. The highest rates of teen pregnancies and STD’s are in those areas where the only sex education the kids get is abstinence only or none at all. And to me, that is child abuse and neglect.

      Reply
      • 32. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

        Oh, but abstinence education works! Just ask pregnant-before-wedlock Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol!

        Reply
      • 33. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm

        (works to keep women barefoot, pregnant, and not in control of their lives or sexuality, I mean.)

        Reply
  • 34. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:48 am

    It’s a misunderstanding of the word “bigot”. All of the questions relate to opinions, and it does not make one a bigot to have a blanket objection to everyone who holds a particular opinion.

    Depending on what opinion we are talking about, it could make one wrong or stupid or hateful, but not a bigot per se. Bigotry is when you have a blanket objection to everyone who possesses a certain trait, and generally one which they have little or no control over.

    That’s why if you have a problem with black people you are necessarily a bigot, but if you have a problem with affirmative action you are not necessarily a bigot (though you very well may be a bigot for other reasons, and I would assert that you would be wrong about affirmative action — but holding that opinion does not necessarily make you a bigot)

    Therefore, I can say that anyone who is opposed to same sex marriage is not only wrong, but is doing so either because they are a bigot or because they have been deceived by bigots, and that does not make me a bigot.

    “That word… I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Reply
    • 35. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way?

      Heh, this is an interesting one. Sorry to contradict what Steve said, but I find the Bible rather unambiguous on this point.

      I do believe that only churches that have rejected the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality can possibly claim to be preaching a message of love rather than hate. Does that make me a pro-gay bigot? heh

      Reply
      • 36. Bennett  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

        Have you read the story of Sodom? Or, do you just believe what someone told you it said.

        Reply
      • 37. Steve  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

        The Bible says nothing whatsoever about loving, committed same-sex relationships. Let alone that sexuality wasn’t an identity when it was written. It was all about behavior.

        The places that are actually about gay sex only refer to some specific behaviors like temple prostitution that were common in pagan societies.

        Then we have the fact that the condemnation that’s there in the original text is on a completely different level. In Hebrew, it doesn’t say “abomination” as if it is some intrinsically bad thing. It just refers to a cultural taboo or a ritual uncleanliness.

        Reply
      • 38. fiona64  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

        Oh, Bennett. You have just made a huge mistake.

        The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about same-sex relationships. The sin of Sodom was inhospitality which, in a desert culture, is tantamount to a death sentence to those so denied.

        It even says so right in the Bible: Ezekiel 16:49, to be precise.

        “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

        Now, why don’t you take your trolling self out of here? Isn’t school back in session?

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
      • 39. Ronnie  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

        A story…that’s all it is…not fact..no evidence of occurrence…just another fairytale created & misinterpreted over time to justify someone’s hatred of that & those they cannot control nor understand… : I ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 40. fiona64  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

        Actually, Ronnie … there is documentation about the destruction of Sodom. Again, remember that we are talking about ancient peoples trying to explain something they couldn’t quite figure out:

        Clay tablet identified as asteroid that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

        Much more prosaic, obviously …

        That said, my apologies (again) to Bennett for not understanding his pro-equality stance (even if it doesn’t extend to women having self-determination).

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
      • 41. Ronnie  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        lol…fiona…what I meant was the Bible’s “story” of S&G…but thank you….<3…Ronnie

        Reply
      • 42. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

        I don’t really want to get in a big debate about this, but…

        I do believe the apologetics regarding the Sodom story — as fiona says, Yahweh was more concerned about the lack of hospitality than about teh butt sex. However, I do not buy the apologetics regarding the passages in Leviticus, Acts, etc. I feel those passages are rather clear — no offense.

        (It’s worth pointing out that, right after Lot escapes from Sodom and Gommorah, he goes up into the mountains after which his daughters get him drunk and proceed to take turns having sex with him… just sayin’….)

        In any case, that’s not the point. The point is that, whether it is accomplished by a) twisty rationalizations of the anti-gay passages in the Bible, b) a conscious decision not to take everything in the Bible literally, or c) flat-out rejecting dogma gleaned from the scribblings of ancient goatherders as being irrelevant — one way or another, if you want to avoid spreading a message of hate, you have to find a way to excise the Bible’s apparent condemnation of homosexuality from your worldview.

        Reply
      • 43. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

        Bennett, have you actually read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah with an open mind, or have you read it through the filter of the lies that have been perpetrated about the story for centuries, since the time the Romans first got hold of the Torah and decided which of the sacred books from Judaism would be included in their Bible and which verses and other passages needed redaction to fit in with their scheme of things, and would work best to promote their political agenda. Even the Levitical code was rewritten by them, and redacted to the point that the current version of it is far from the original intention and tone. The Levitical code was for the Levitical priesthood, and the sections dealing with homosexuality were in reference to certain cultic festivals wherein to appease the local fertility gods and goddesses, the followers were to go and have sex with the temple prostitutes of the same gender as the particular follower, so that the family would be guaranteed a bountiful crop in the field and a bountiful “crop” of children. And yes, even today, in the Oriental cultures (which, contrary to the current usage of Oriental, DOES include the lands of the Bible) inhospitality and arrogance are very much to be avoided, and in some of the stricter areas of observance, you can obtain a death sentence, particularly if you are a repeat offender. They don’t take too kindly to rapists, either. And that is regardless of the gender of the rape victim.

        Reply
      • 44. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

        @ Fiona, the crash of an asteroid only seems prosaic after the asteroid has stopped flaming. I am sure you are aware that asteroids do have this HUGE ball of flame around them once they enter the earth’s atmosphere, and to the people of that time it would definitely have looked like fire raining down from the heavens. I bet that would be beautiful to watch though. But I would hope that the asteroid would either burn completely before making landfall, or that it would land somewhere that was rather deserted so that there would be no casualties.

        Reply
      • 45. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

        Bennett,

        Most good scholars agree the story of Soddom had nothing to do with homosexuality, but rather was a condemnation of their lack of hospitality and grace towards strangers.

        Suggesting that condemnation of threatening rape = condoning homosexuality is necessarily a wrong view. It plays on the lies that homosexuals are necessarily violent and that homosexual love and sex is necessarily wrong and depraved.

        Homosexual rape act has as much to do with homosexual loving sex as heterosexual rape has to do with heterosexual loving sex. that is: NOTHING WHATSOEVER.

        Reply
      • 46. Bennett  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

        Not to worry Fiona, applogy gleefully accepted. That was an easy mistake to make.

        Reply
      • 47. Dee  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

        @ Bennett

        (from http://www.godmademegay.com/Letter.htm )

        Genesis 18:20 to 19:29–The Sodom Story

        Some consider the sin of Sodom to be same-gender sex, although we are not told in Genesis what Sodom’s sins were, only that they were so great that God determined to destroy the city. On the evening before its destruction he sent two angels, in disguise as men, to the city to lead Lot and his family out early the next day. Hospitable Lot invited them to spend the night at his house. During the evening the men of the city surrounded the house and demanded of Lot that he bring the two men out so that they could [19:5]
        King James Version: “know them.”
        Revised Standard Version: “know them.”
        New International Version: “have sex with them.”
        When Lot refused to bring his guests out, the men of the city were about to break his door down when the angels struck them all blind and the mob dispersed. The next day Lot and his family were led out of Sodom, and the city was destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven.

        The Hebrew verb used here, “yadha,” “to know,” is used 943 times in the OT and only ten times clearly to mean “have sex,” then it always means heterosexual sex. The word normally used for homosexual sex is “shakhabh.” Many scholars believe that in Gen. 19:5 yadha means “know” in the sense of “get acquainted with” (the city’s men may have wondered if these were enemy spies or they might have sensed the city’s impending doom and been concerned with what these strangers were doing there) and have several arguments for this, including Sodom’s being used as an example of great sin numerous times in the Old and New Testaments with nothing ever said about same-sex sex, and the context of Jesus’ references to Sodom (Luke 10:10-13) which seems to imply lack of hospitality as the sin.

        Other scholars think it was the common practice of showing dominance over and humiliating outsiders by forcing them to take the part of a (an inferior) woman in a same-gender rape.

        Others think it means “have sex,” and point to Lot’s offering his two virgin daughters to the crowd if sex is what they want, if they will just leave his guests alone. If this is the right interpretation, it is clearly about violent, criminal, gang rape, something always condemnable.

        Another thought is expressed by Religion Professor David L. Bartlett: “This story is certainly an unlikely starting point for a `biblical’ understanding of sexual ethics. While the attempted homosexual rape by the men of Sodom is explicitly condemned, the offer by Lot to hand his two virgin daughters over to the violent and lecherous inhabitants of Sodom is related without a word of judgment.”B-2

        Conservative theologian Richard Hays says, “The notorious story of Sodom and Gomorrah–often cited in connection with homosexuality–is actually irrelevant to the topic.”B-3

        There is nothing in this story applicable to our consideration of homosexuality.

        Reply
      • 48. Dee  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm

        @James Sweet

        (also from http://www.godmademegay.com/Letter.htm refer to Appendix B for explanation of the other scriptures. has info to the sources regarding translation as well)

        Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
        Revised Standard Version:
        22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.
        13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death…

        The King James and New International versions say virtually the same thing.

        Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are the only direct references to same-gender sex in the Old Testament. They are both part of the Old Testament Holiness Code, a religious, not a moral code; it later became the Jewish Purity Laws. [“Abomination” is used throughout the Old Testament to designate sins that involve ethnic contamination or idolatry. The word relates to the failure to worship God or to worshiping a false god; it does not relate to morality.] Professor Soards tell us, “Old Testament experts view the regulations of Leviticus as standards of holiness, directives for the formation of community life, aimed at establishing and maintaining a people’s identity in relation to God.”B-4 This is because God was so determined that his people would not adopt the practices of the Baal worshipers in Canaan, and same-gender sex was part of Baal worship. (The laws say nothing about women engaging in same-gender sex; probably this had to do with man’s dominance, and such acts by the subservient had nothing to do with religious impurity.)
        God required purity for his worship. Anything pure was unadulterated, unmixed with anything else These Purity Laws prohibited mixing different threads in one garment, sowing a field with two kinds of seed, crossbreeding animals. A few years ago in Israel when an orthodox government came into power, McDonalds had to stop selling cheeseburgers. Hamburgers, OK. Cheese sandwiches, OK. But mixing milk and meat in one sandwich violated the Purity Laws–it had nothing to do with morality. These were laws about worshipping God, not ethics, and so have no bearing on our discussion of morality. Helmut Thielicke remarks on these passages: “It would never occur to anyone to wrench these laws of cultic purification from their concrete situation and give them the kind of normative authority that the Decalogue, for example, has.”B-5

        Another reason they are not pertinent to our discussion is that these laws were for the particular time and circumstances existing when they were given. If you planted a fruit tree, you could not eat its fruit until its fifth year, and all fruit the fourth year must be offered to the Lord. A worker must be paid his wage on the day of his labor. You must not harvest a field to its edge. We readily dismiss most of them as not applicable to our day and culture, and if we dismiss some of them for any reason, we have to dismiss all of them, including the sexual regulations, for that same reason.

        When we add the fact that these laws were talking about heterosexuals, it makes three reasons, any one of which would be sufficient, why they have no bearing on questions about homosexuals or homosexuality or on the morality of same-gender sex by homosexuals today.

        Reply
      • 49. James Sweet  |  September 8, 2010 at 6:10 am

        @Dee: Yes, I am aware of the rationale attached to Leviticus, etc. As I said, I just don’t buy it.

        OTOH, after having watched For the Bible Tells Me So (which is where I learned all that stuff), I see that some people are just not ready to accept that the Bible contains quite a bit of hateful BS, not just about homosexuality (no offense to Christians, but… have you read it? Yeesh…), and therefore, for some people, these rationalizations are crucially important to maintaining a good relationship with family members, etc. So I don’t fault people for trying. I just don’t personally buy it.

        Reply
      • 50. Dee  |  September 8, 2010 at 8:04 am

        @ James Sweet

        i can agree the bible is faulty. I personally consider myself an Agnostic Deist. I treasure the good positive stories & historical relevance in any book as good examples to live by, but i also accept that to get through to some Christians you have to try to speak on their levels. Some you will never get through to, but the ones you do is all the more worth it. Sometimes u got to talk to them on their own level. At the end I really could care less what they think and just wish for them to realize that they should expect laws to represent their personal beliefs. also i think that things like this help ppl who are Christian and gay to not harbor some much self loathing.

        Reply
    • 51. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Bennet —

      meant to say that condemning rape does not equal condemning homosexuality.

      Reply
    • 52. Bennett  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      The story of David (after God’s own heart) and Jonathan is a compeling example of same sex attraction. I would recommend everyone too read it. It describe a very personal relationship involving a convenant, disrobing, and a comparison by David a love relationship that exceeded the love of woman. David father, the king, didnt like it very much and confronted him saying “do i not know that thou has choose the son of jesse to the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness” These are explicitly sexual terms in the bible. In David and Jonathans final time together, there is the situation where david removes his clothes and some intimate moments occur ending with David “exceeding” what ever that might mean. David, if i rember this correctly, marries the kings daughter in a political marriage and the king say to him “today I am your father in law in teh train” likely meaning “for the second time” remembering Davids covenant with Jonathan. It is in 1st samuel i think. An analysis can be found easily by searching on terms like David, Jonathan, Christian, Bible, homosexuality. That should at least bring up the biblica reference.

      Reply
      • 53. Bennett  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

        “In the twain” not ” “in teh train” :)

        Reply
      • 54. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:35 am

        Actually, Bennett, while you are right that David and Jonathan were lovers, Saul, the king, was Jonathan’s father. David was the son of Jesse. There is also a book that was written by a Christian theologian titled And Jonathan Loved David. While this book deals primarily with the relationship between David and Jonathan, it also tells of others in the Bible, such as Ruth and Naomi.

        Reply
      • 55. Franck  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:49 am

        I tend to like mentioning the stories David/Jonathan and Ruth/Naomi in biblical discussions. It can be fun to listen to the other side trying to rationalize David loving Jonathan “more than any woman” as anything else than romantic attraction.

        More often than not, an argument is made for a brotherly relationship instead — when an argument is even made. Sometimes the only reaction I get is “they weren’t lovers because that would be yucky.

        – Franck P. Rabeson
        Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1174 days, as of today.

        Reply
      • 56. Apricot  |  September 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

        I love it how folks like to take a literal interpretation of the bible when condemning homosexuality, but when the bible says that David loved Jonathan more than any woman – All of a sudden – “Well, lets look at the translation – or the historical context – it was symbolic of…something!”

        Yeah, okay, right.

        Reply
    • 57. James Sweet  |  September 8, 2010 at 6:13 am

      And actually, Dee, your last sentence says it all. We don’t need these twisty rationalizations to decide that Leviticus “has no bearing on questions about…morality today”. I mean… Really? Have you read Leviticus? Not just the anti-gay parts, but the anti-shellfish parts, the anti-mixed fibers parts, the anti-menstruation parts, the pro-genocide parts, etcetera, I could go on and on… Yes, clearly Leviticus has no bearing on morality today (or back then, too, if you ask me… I don’t care what rationalizations you put on it and what century you are talking, stoning a man to death for working on the Sabbath is objectively, absolutely, morally wrong — and I make no apologies for saying so)

      Reply
      • 58. Dee  |  September 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

        “stoning a man to death for working on the Sabbath is objectively, absolutely, morally wrong”

        I agree. but it kills me that ppl look past that as ok and consider themselves moral. but these are the same ppl that kill abortion DRs in cold blood and think it’s ok.

        i don’t need religion to be a moral person. shit i don’t even believe in killing ppl in the name of war, but this is reality and it’s a necessity. but i dont see how ppl who fornicate, are hateful, kill abortion DRs, etc somehow assume they are a better person than me just because i’m a lesbian.

        it’s a superiority issue. if we are equal who do they have to say is below them now?

        Reply
  • 59. Dude  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?

    Virginia and many other states, prior to the end of the racial integrity act and similar: “Do you believe ‘interracial’ couples have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of their own race?”

    Reply
    • 60. Linda  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      The true question isn’t ‘have gays been deprived of the right to marry?’ It’s ‘Have gays been deprived of the right to CHOOSE who they marry?’

      Reply
  • 61. Andrew Adaro  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I like the title. Everyone always thinks they are on the right side- so believing you are on the right side isn’t enough to entice change. You have to be knowledgeable and tactful and respectful. Holding up signs and yelling at people as they walk by can only get you so far (which is not very far at all).

    People who don’t educate themselves about their cause, merely support it because they ‘feel they should’ or their friends/family/church support it, will probably end up hurting the cause by doing or saying something stupid at the wrong time.

    Bigots are universal, which is why I cringe every time I hear it used. I hate it when ANYONE uses this word. It shows you aren’t educated enough about your cause to have a real argument, and that you probably ignore the ‘bigots’ who are on your side, even though they can do almost as much damage as outright opposition.

    Just my 2 cents I suppose.

    Reply
    • 62. Andrew Adaro  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

      I think being able to stand back and cast emotion aside for just a second or two- look at everything objectively, with reason, rather than emotion, is a skill most people need to work on.

      Reply
      • 63. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm

        Yes, but the reality is most people are persuaded by “Fear for my child” type arguments than reason and logic.

        Stories of people coming out, stories of people being killed or driven to suicide, stories of loving families just like theirs…those are what will change hearts and minds more than logical arguments.

        Reply
    • 64. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

      It ain’t necessarily so, Andrew. Being “tactful and respectful” will only get you so far, too.

      Remember, the endgame here is social change, not just getting a few people to vote a different way. And history is not exactly filled with social movements that succeeded because their advocates were “tactful and respectful”, or that were sabotaged by their advocates being too outspoken….!

      The one exception, I think, is in the runup to an election in which same sex marriage is on the ballot. In that case, a tactical solution of trying to soothe and allay fears is defensible. Other than that, though, I prefer the strategic solution of being unapologetically in favor of what I believe to be right.

      Opposing same-sex marriage is bigotry. Not all people who oppose it are bigots, but all those who oppose it have, at the very least, been deceived by bigots. I do not apologize for saying so.

      Reply
      • 65. Andrew Adaro  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

        I’m not necessarily saying you can’t be outspoken about your cause. What I’m thinking of is an amount of people who insult and condemn people- which, as research shows, instantly puts them on the defensive. Once you do this, they refuse to really ‘hear’ facts and research, they just bundle themselves up. Of course you can say they are wrong, or say that it’s none of their business what we do. But it can get tricky. When you cast something they hold dear and personal (such as religion) in a negative light… a lot of the time, they instantly don’t care about what you have to say anymore. I guess I should alter my statement to ‘knowledgeable, tactful like a general, and respectful of what is unrelated.’ For instance, you’d want to avoid religion in marriage debates because you want to show there is no relation between your cause and their personal beliefs. I know a great many people who are insulted by certain pro-gay friends of mine, and this instantly becomes the face of our movement. They don’t see equality, rainbows, etc- they see the word ‘bigot’ and the negative feelings at gave them. Maybe I just deal with unreasonable people but the instant you make them feel stupid and bad at the same time… well, you’ve lost them, for now at least. Maybe I just deal with simple, overly emotional people who are not the norm. I guess life experiences when I go off to college will show me differently haha

        Reply
    • 66. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      I don’t know about the idea that only tactful discussion works. It seems pretty close to the Tone Argument for me. I think that a lot of social change can’t happen without people yelling, demonstrations, etc. Certainly people can take it too far, but I absolutely believe that there is a place for anger.

      Reply
  • 67. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    What I’m thinking of is an amount of people who insult and condemn people- which, as research shows, instantly puts them on the defensive.

    This is true, but IMO the target audience is not always — and often isn’t — the person being addressed.

    You are almost never going to convince an opponent of gay marriage. Oh, it happens, but goddamn it’s rare. However, outspoken and unapologetic condemnation of an opponent of gay marriage has a definite potential to convince fence-sitters who may be privy to the conversation, and perhaps more importantly it helps to alter the cultural landscape.

    If I say, “I respect that your religion forbids homosexuality, but we have freedom of religion in this country so you must respect my beliefs”, you might convince a couple of people (though I have my doubts), and this is probably worth doing in the runup to a ballot vote on same-sex marriage.

    On the other hand, if I say, “I absolutely do not respect that your religion forbids homosexuality, and in fact I think that your religion is stupid and bigoted”, I will most definitely not convince the person being addressed, I agree about that… But the endgame, if I’m not mistaken, is not to get bigots to accept that they can’t legislate their bigotry, the endgame is to eliminate the bigotry in the first place! And to do that, we need a cultural shift that refuses to respect religions that push for that kind of intolerance. You’re not going to bring about that cultural shift with tact and respect.

    I must admit here that, being straight and married, I am vulnerable to a “that’s easy for you to say!” reply. But I don’t think I am sacrificing the short term in favor of the long term here. Like I say, the tactical solution — despite my doubts about its true efficacy — is probably the right approach when an election is on the line.

    Reply
    • 68. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Moreover, the single biggest factor that has increased public acceptance of gay marriage has been simple demographics. Even young conservatives have a tendency to shrug when it comes to same-sex marriage.

      Do you think young people have shrugged off their parents’ anti-LGBT prejudices as a result of reasoned argument? That the upcoming generation just happens to be more susceptible to logic and reason? No way. The next generation is just as emotion-driven as you and I and everybody else is.

      The difference is that the next generation views religious opposition to homosexuality as antiquated and bigoted. And why do they think that? Because they grew up seeing that type of religious belief called antiquated and bigoted.

      Reply
      • 69. robtish  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

        Somebody once said me: “Think about the last time you changed your mind. Now think about the last time you changed your mind because someone called you a hateful bigot.”

        Put another way, it’s hard enough to get people to change their minds. It makes it even harder if we make them say they were hateful bigots before the change.

        I also don’t think the hateful bigot notion applies to everyone who opposes SSM. I wrote about this once after a day canvassing for marriage equality in Pasadena:
        http://wakingupnow.com/blog/no-h8

        Reply
      • 70. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        Again — the target audience is not the person being spoken to. The target audience is fence-sitters who will say, “Hey yeah, now that you mention it, the guy on that side of the fence is a hateful bigot. I don’t want to be on his team!”

        In any case, think of the last time someone with whom you had a diametrically opposed position on a contentious political issue in the Culture Wars changed your mind by reasoned argumentation. If it’s happened to you even once, you are an outlier.

        Reply
      • 71. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm

        Hey robtish, so I read your link. Fascinating story, thanks for that.

        However, I do not think that in any way contradicts the point I am making.

        Did Jeanette and her husband change their minds? No way. Probably, there is no way that you could have gotten them to change their minds on same-sex marriage. But maybe you opened them up to being a little bit more tolerant of LGBT individuals on a personal level. And I agree that, in that context, it would have been entirely unproductive to point out that, although Jeanette and her husband were not themselves motivated by hate, clearly they were being deceived by people who were. That would have just led to a nasty conversation.

        But your nice conversation probably didn’t have much effect either. Jeanette is not the target audience. The target audience consists of fence-sitters and young people, whose jaws might not (yet) drop at hearing Jeanette’s comments. We want to condition these people so their jaws do drop, just like yours or mine.

        And how do we do that? Well, if you had encountered Jeanette, say, in a blog forum or on a talk show, or any place with an audience, then you do point out the hate which underlies those opinions (even if Jeanette has no hate herself) and the illogic of it all, and generally make it sound like a very undesirable position to hold. As nice a person as Jeanette may be, if you make her look stupid for saying that an orphanage is preferable to a same-sex couple in front of an audience, that audience won’t forget it. You might piss off poor Jeanette, but her mind wasn’t going to (and didn’t) change anyway.

        In any case, I want to reiterate my agreement with your comment below that begins “Loud protests or calm reason?” No social change has ever come about without a multi-pronged approach.

        Reply
      • 72. robtish  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm

        Hey James, my point about Jeannette wasn’t so much about changing her mind as it was about the careless use of the word “hate” when talking about the opposition.

        And btw, I completely agree that when we debate about equality in public, the most important listeners are probably not the people we’re debating.

        Reply
      • 73. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        I understand your point. And I think we are mostly on the same page.

        I will say, though, that at this point in history, for all intents and purposes 100% of the opposition to same-sex marriage stems from religiously-motivated hate. (I say “at this point in history”, because not that many decades ago, opposition could reasonably be based in an acceptance of a scientific consensus that turned out to be terribly wrong-headed … but — yay science! — science, unlike religion, has a mechanism for correcting its mistakes, and therefore that is no longer a defensible reason for anyone to oppose gay marriage.) You are absolutely right of course that not all people who oppose same-sex marriage hate…. but their opinions still stem from hate ultimately, in the form that other hateful people have told them lies.

        Again, though, in personal private conversation your point is well taken. I actually don’t advocate an in-your-face strident approach (about religion or politics) when it comes to private conversation, as I agree with you that it doesn’t typically change minds and only results in unpleasantness. It’s only in the public conversation that I advocate a no-apologies brand of stridency — and even then, there is a place for others to provide a more measured criticism as well.

        Reply
    • 74. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      No, I agree and I am not straight nor married. It needs to become socially unacceptable to be blatantly bigoted. Social shaming does a great deal to move society either forward or backwards.

      Reply
  • 75. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Rob, after reading this post, I cannot add anything to what you said, as you summed up my answers so well already. WOW!

    Reply
  • 76. robtish  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Loud protests or calm reason? There’s no silver bullet for changing people’s minds. Here’s one possible sequence for how change might occur:

    1. Some guy is opposed to marriage equality but doesn’t really think about it much.

    2. He encounters a loud, noisy protest that blocks traffic, annoys the hell out of him, and draws his attention to the issue.

    3. He starts noticing lots of gays and lesbian working to achieve equality.

    4. He wonders how important the issue is to his gay colleagues and neighbors, and what they think of his opposition.

    5. He grows uncomfortable with his views and starts looking for an excuse to change them.

    6. He sees or reads a calm and reasonable argument in favor of marriage equality and he accepts it. He doesn’t actually remember the details later, but he consciously decides to change his mind.

    All those steps were necessary: loud protests, an well-publicized campaign, openly gay neighbors and colleagues, and calmly reasoned arguments.

    No silver bullet. Just many strategies (and temperaments) working together.

    Reply
    • 77. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      And BTW, I absolutely agree with this. I’ve written about the need for a multi-pronged strategy to enact social change already, though in a different context.

      My point is not to tell people using reasoned argumentation, tact, and respect that they are Doing It Wrong(TM). That’s a fine approach. I’m just asking those people not to tell me I’m Doing It Wrong(TM) when I use a more “strident” approach. Both approaches are necessary.

      Reply
    • 78. Tomato  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      “openly gay neighbors and colleagues”

      I truly believe this is the key. Harvey Milk hit the nail on the head. Come out, come out, where ever you are. Don’t let anyone in your world persist in the belief that they don’t know any gay people.

      Reply
  • 79. Bill  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    A great article here:

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/69652

    Reply
  • 80. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?

    I don’t use the bible to argue my points, so no. But I do understand the Christian theology behind it, probably better than many as I was raised by a theologian, and it is judgemental of you to assume I do not.

    Reply
    • 81. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      To extend Anongrl’s point…

      and the height of arrogance to assume you do.

      Reply
  • 82. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts? Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do? Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined? Are you the one who defines sin for yourself? Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless? Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?

    If he were alive today, probably. But he might not have accepted them openly during the time period he was supposed to have lived since the concept of homosexuality was much different then.

    Jesus was obviously not cool with “whatever anyone wants to do” (again, a very slanted question). Anyone whose basic premise was “Love your neighbor as yourself” would not be very happy with people burning the Koran, segregating people by skin color, denying equal rights, cutting programs to feed the hungry in favor of less taxes for the rich…

    Sin? No. I don’t think there is such a thing. I think some things are wrong, harming others, for instance, but sin carries with it a divine judgment that I don’t see being either true, or necessary to me. I do define right and wrong for myself, yes. We all do. We may take cues from others, but ultimately, the determination of our own right lies within ourselves.

    I don’t need a savior. If I need saving, I will do it myself. If I have done wrong, I take the responsibility and do not accept someone else’s torture and death as being on my behalf. So yes, they myth of Christ’s death and resurrection were unnecessary to me. I do not consider myself a Christian. I do like some of the ideals that the character of Jesus was said to espouse, but I do not like the much of the religion that has devolved from it.

    Reply
    • 83. Bill  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      But, if he created each and every one of us, wouldn’t Jesus have created our sexual orientation as well?

      If he is all-knowing and all-might as Christians believe, than the mere existence of gay citizens suggests God’s approval.

      Reply
      • 84. Sean  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

        Bingo!

        Reply
      • 85. AndrewPDX  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

        I agree… But the anti-gay ones believe it was a choice, and not the true nature that God created.
        They’re wrong, oh so wrong, but they’ll never see it.

        Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
        Andrew

        Reply
      • 86. Tomato  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

        The word “eunuch” has been misapplied in translation. Several words with sexual connotations (like body servant) lost connotations in translation. The story of the Centurion and his “servant”, when you go back and look, is an acceptance of homosexual relationships even more than the acceptance of the enemy Roman. The story of the Samaritan on the road (a “eunuch”) is again an acceptance of a homosexual.

        Of course Jesus accepted homosexual acts. It’s right there in the bible, and it’s right in line with his teaching!

        Reply
  • 87. Roger  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    1. I believe in free speech for all, however legislating is not speech in the same way shooting someone in the face is not telling them you don’t like them.
    2. Yes in the same way I call those opposed people of African decent participating in the exchange of labor based services for monetary compensation.
    3. Yes I do in the same way that blacks had the right to drink water…in their own water fountain.
    4. Most are motivated by fear and discomfort, some on the other hand are motivated by misplaced hysteria, and others are openly lying, especially those who do not make the same argument when confronted by the penalty of perjury or swearing on a bible that they speak the truth.
    5. Yes, and honestly there is not any more risk than heterosexual experimentation.
    6. No, I dismiss theocratic-neoliberal comments about homosexuality as non have willingly stepped up and swore on a bible that all they say is truth, I dismiss any arguments where the arguer is not willing to stake something on the words being spoken.
    7. No as conservatives support the rights and dignity of homosexuals, the neoliberal-teocrats are the ones who have created a false social stigma attached to homosexuality just as they have in the past attached the same stigma to people who are not of European decent.
    8. No as there are bisexuals who stick to one gender or homosexuals who have been through intense mental trauma been converted to asexuals
    9. More or less, no I do not, I have not found any person willing to stake something on evidence to the contrary, and yes and I found it to be wanting.
    10. No, No and No.
    11. Yes and in response I judge them on the character they show to homosexuals based on their own rules of judgment in place of their god.
    12. Yes, Yes, Depends on your faith, Yes, Yes, and I’m not a Christian.
    13. No, I believe in a statistical predisposition towards neoliberal-teocrats such as Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, George Walker Bush and Ayatollah Khamenei to self-identify as conservative and that there are only a small number of actual conservatives such as Penn Gillette, Ted Olson and Dick Cheney.
    14. No, I figure that there is a large chance that those opposed to proper sex education is ar least partly responsibility for that statistic
    15. No, some are simply misguided or conflicted and the question is loaded.
    16. Yes as it is everyone’s civic duty to know the law and it’s the school’s duty to teach the law even if the parents oppose it, those opposed to it can easily home school their children instead of forcing it on everyone else’s children.
    17. Yes, no as long held positions in cultures can be wrong, for example for thousands of years many cultures have considered the world as flat with the sun orbiting it, even the catholic church didn’t acknowledge the fact until 1994
    18. Yes there are always unreported crimes, The first statement is questionable and while laws exist it is a question of what whether punishment should be determined by action or motivation, and yes I would, fortunately that is not what is happening as the 1st amendment is in place to prevent neoliberal-teocrats from passing laws that restrict the homosexual community from speaking out about outrages against them.
    19. Yes and yes as the professional medical establishments have stated as a matter of fact that homosexuality pose no more danger than heterosexuality
    20. No, and I am the one who is taking an unpopular viewpoint in terms of the asker’s community which likely outnumber those who agree with me, as I am the one who is opposed to what is currently established I would say that the cause of freedom and liberty is a truly worthy cause to be fought against the neoliberal-teocrats who are portraying themselves as victims while voting down the rights of the American people.

    Reply
  • 88. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Pastor in Florida, plans to proceed with Quran burning on Sept 11th, Pause for thought, is that an act of bigotry?

    Reply
    • 89. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      It’s definately and act of hatred and ignorance.

      Reply
    • 90. Sean  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      It is. Same thing as if a Muslim burned the Bible. Burning the book isn’t merely a protest against something the pastor disagrees with; by burning the Quran, he is condemning an entire religion. That is bigotry.

      Reply
      • 91. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

        Jones has joined Phelps on at least one occasion to protest homosexuals.

        So they do know each other. And are on the same page.

        Reply
    • 92. robtish  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      Check this out:

      Reply
      • 93. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        OMG…Thx Rob!

        It actually made me sick to my stomach, ’til I realized it was satire.

        Jones and Phelps…..*shiver*

        Reply
      • 94. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

        this video could be countered with the real news story, the video at ABC news.

        Reply
      • 95. Bolt  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm

        AmeriKa sucks. Fly over Florida. We’re as strong as our weakest link, and xtianity is fuckin crazy!

        Reply
      • 96. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm

        @Bolt, hope I’m getting to understand this,

        the statement you just made is a classic example of bigotry? right???

        and it’s okay to call things or label them by their right names, naming or labeling is not judging, it simply states a fact

        Reply
    • 97. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      It is even worse than that. By the fact that this pastor refuses to cancel this burning of the Quran, he is inciting violence against our men and women in uniform who are currently in Afghanistan, so it is also an act of endangerment of others.

      Reply
    • 98. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      I don’t think that the burning of a religious symbol is inherently an act of bigotry, but of course the context in which this pastor is doing it pretty clearly is.

      If one were to, say, burn a copy of the Quran in protest at the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (yes yes, I know the Quran doesn’t mandate FGM, but it’s undeniable that it is a predominantly Islamic practice), that might not be an act of bigotry, because one is protesting a specific issue, one which can be changed. Similar logic would apply to, say, ripping up a picture of the Pope in protest at widespread cover-up of child abuse by the Catholic church. A purely hypothetical scenario of course…. but that was not bigotry, because a specific issue was being attacked rather than an entire people.

      But this guy is just burning the Quran because he’s a Christianist dick. That’s pretty bigoted.

      Closer to home for readers of this blog… Attempting to close gay bath houses in San Fransisco because you have a “moral” objection to gay sex would be bigoted, but attempting to temporarily close the gay bath houses while figuring out what the hell is going on with an apparently sexually transmitted immune disorder that is spreading like wildfire through the gay community is not necessarily bigoted. (Though I don’t deny there was all kinds of bigotry swirling around that whole unfortunate controversy)

      Reply
      • 99. James Sweet  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

        Oh, one more point… another big difference between this hypothetical burning of the Quran to protest FGM vs. what this pastor is doing is that in the former case you are drawing attention to an issue that the mainstream media is just now beginning to take notice of. But 9/11… yeah, I’m pretty sure everybody knows about that one.

        Reply
      • 100. wolfinlv  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

        Why is it called Female Genital mutilation but when it a man it is circumcision? (spelling might be off I don’t have spell check on phone) It’s the same surgery, can carry the same risks for males. Causes many problems from infections to dysfunction. Female circumcision is the removal of the clitoral hood which if the child is male would be the foreskin. What’s the difference?

        Reply
      • 101. Tomato  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm

        They don’t just remove the clitoral hood in FGM, they remove the clitoris entirely, often causing damage to the pelvic bone as well.

        Similar to amputating a boy’s penis so deeply that the skeleton underneath the bulb of the penis is also damaged.

        Girls die from this procedure.

        Reply
      • 102. Dee  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:58 pm

        @wolfinlv

        FGM is definitely not the same on many levels.

        1st on reasoning and purpose. male circumcision is for cleanliness and based off religion yes. FGM is a female oppressive institution that takes away a woman’s ownership of her sexual oppression. it is to supposedly prevent women from losing virginity prior to marriage and to keep fidelity during marriage. so basically to take away any sexual pleasure so we will not want to have sex. sex is only done to fill wifely duties and to procreate.

        also removes way more than the clitoral hood. it removes the clitoris at least. this is actually the least invasive version of it. performed between the ages of four and eight, but can take place at any age from infancy to adolescence. people who have had no medical training performing the cutting without anaesthetic, sterilisation, or the use of proper medical instruments. The procedure can lead to death through shock from excessive bleeding. The failure to use sterile medical instruments may lead to infections. the first episode of sexual intercourse will often be extremely painful for infibulated women, who will need the labia majora to be opened, to allow their partner access to the vagina. This second cut, sometimes performed by the partner with a knife, can cause other complications to arise.

        here are all the types (from wikipedia):

        -Type I
        partial or total removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy) and/or the prepuce (clitoral hood);

        -Type II
        partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.
        -Type III: Infibulation with excision
        narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and repositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris a(infibulations
        -Type IV: Other types
        all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.” This includes a diverse range of practices, such as pricking the clitoris with needles, burning or scarring the genitals as well as ripping or tearing of the vagina.

        Besides the barbaric nature & unsafe procedures, it happens in a culture where it is not a choice whether this happens. If you opt out of this you become a social pariah and subject to a life of loneliness because you are seen as undesirable and dirty without this procedure.

        This is clearly not the same as male circumcision. The equal treatment for men would most likely be removing the penis and scrotum with an old rust unsharpened knife by some random tribal member. and the social stigma that ur existence is only for procreation & that sex is not to be enjoyable for you nor do you have any ownership of your own sexual enjoyment.

        Definitely not the same and definitely inhumane

        Reply
      • 103. Wolfinlv  |  September 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

        1st on reasoning and purpose. male circumcision is for cleanliness and based off religion yes.

        FALSE – I have an uncut roommate he is very clean. the only reason is for religious reasons and tradition… and because DRs don’t ask first sometimes. I’ve played with many who are Uncut and they are very very clean. So NO don’t try the clean argument here.

        Boys are damaged by this procedure. It lessens sensitivity, lessens sexual pleasure, takes away the natural protections, can and does result in the amputation of the penis, can and does result in complications if the Dr is over zealous and takes off too much skin.

        Yes the further removing of the clitoris, labia etc is bad, but if it were just the removal of the clitoral hood aka prepuce which is the same word that is used for foreskin would you be all up in arms about it?

        And just because wiki doesn’t list it doesn’t mean that’s not what also is the case. Wiki is edited by people I could go in and add things don’t trust it.

        So there was a great outcry in this country when a visiting family wanted their little girl circumcised. They wanted the clitoral hood removed – it’s part of their culture and religion. The hospital, Dr, people were up in arms over how it’s abusive to do that to a baby girl. They were even upset when their religious leaders said just a pin prick to it to draw blood would be enough… Why is not the same outrage applied to boys?

        Reply
      • 104. Dee  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        @wolfinlv

        i’m not saying that a guy needs to be circumsized to be clean but that is one of the non-religious reasons i’ve heard parents give to do it. most of it is just tradition. most ppl really don’t get their sons circumsized due to religion nowadays. the average non-reiligious person does it just out of tradition.

        for a circumcision to result in amputation he would have to be a really bad Dr. I’ve actually watched circumcisions done before. and the pediatrician i saw did it was the kind that was very careful and mindful of how it looked, but he did also say that there are Dr’s who are not as mindful of it as he is. i’m also not advocating for circumcision. i personally haven’t thought of it much either way. and probably wouldn’t do it if i had a son, but i just dont sit around thinking of penis so it’s never crossed my mind lol.

        i’m not to say this can’t be a horrible thing for some guys, but it’s a safe medical procedure overall.

        if it were just removal of the prepuce i guess it wouldnt be so bad. but also the reasoning for FGM is to remove sexual satisfaction. as horrible as it can possibly be for a guy, one thing for sure, no one is circumcising a guy to remove sexual satisfaction. and to be honest the majority of guys are completely unaffected.

        i used wiki cause it was easily accessible. but i’ve also attended multiple workshops and adocacy informationals on the topic. point bank it is always atleast removal of the clitoris atleast and many times involves sewing up of the labia majora so that no vaginal insertion can be done to preserve virginity making u more a desirable mate. they just leave a small slit so that u can pee. and this procedure is not a safe medical procedure done by doctors.

        well and the situation with the little girl automatically has an negative connotation due to FGM. someone asks for that and FGM is what comes to mind. Society has normalized circumcision. It is a cause and issue that needs to be publicized more, so that people are made more aware that it is not necessary and the negative effects, but i would still say it’s a far cry from the brutality of FGM.

        Reply
    • 105. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      Yes it is. He is condemning an entire religion and all its adherents based on his belief that they are evil. That is the height of bigotry.

      And his is the blatant, vitriolic sort of bigotry that leads to violence.

      I hope the local fire department, which has refused him a permit, shows up with hoses and soaks the whole thing down because he will be breaking the law.

      Just so you all know, if he HAD a permit, while I would still hate what he is doing, I would grant that he was within his legal rights to do so, and this would be protected by free speech.

      Reply
    • 106. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Yes, and – according to Petraus – a breathtakingly stupid thing for anyone who claims to care about Americans fighting in Afghanistan to do or condone.

      Reply
  • 107. Robin  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    “Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?”

    Only in the way I “participate in name-calling” of those who think black people are inferior — names like “bigot” and “racist.” How mean of me.

    Reply
    • 108. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      I know, right? apparently calling a spade a spade is OMG MEAN now.

      Reply
  • 109. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    In Minnesota, The Anoka-Hennepin school board is fighting issues regarding a toxic atmosphere for it’s students, there have been three LGBT suicides in this one year. Is the failure to address the problem bigotry? check out the story at Change.org

    Reply
    • 110. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      In this case, the failure of the school board is most likely buereaucratic inertia to changes in the status quo (if we recognize it as a problem, we have to fix it, which takes money, and we have to acknowledge that we failed on this in the past), which is an unfortunate by-product of our form of gov’t.

      I’m sure there the nay-sayers would profess a multitude of reasons for their stance. Some may be bigoted, some not. It’s not appropriate to lump them all together and categorize them all by a single name. I’m certain it’s way more complex than that.

      Reply
      • 111. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

        maybe someone could post the letter written, by the mother of the last victim? I’m handicapped in that ability, but from what I read, I wonder, how complicated can it be to form a gay straight alliance for starters, ???

        Reply
      • 112. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

        I think a GSA is a great idea for any school. Again, the problem is inertia. In a lot of these conservative areas, parental, and even student objections to such an organization would make the process….difficult….at best.

        Remember, school board members are elected officials, and retain their titles (and power/prestiege/money) only so long as they remain in their constituants good graces. Strong enough opposition, and they’ll back down and huddle in their board room in a heartbeat.

        Reply
      • 113. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm

        But it would not cost them any money to stop this. Thanks to Peter Yarrow’s Operation Respect, and the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program, the materials and assistance they need to implement a zero-tolerance anti-bullying program is available free of charge. the only thing it will cost them is the time it takes to go online to either website and request the needed materials and training.

        Reply
      • 114. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

        It’s complicity by silence. I think some of it is bigotry, and the rest is ignorance and the unfortunate choice of most teachers and staff to ally themselves with the popular bullies and not the unpopular minorities.

        Reply
    • 115. Fulton  |  September 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      I don’t know where the letter is, but here is a great summary with an amazing tribute to one of the victims…

      http://minnesotaindependent.com/64047/anti-gay-group-organizes-in-anoka-schools-as-community-deals-with-gay-suicides

      The school lies within Michelle Bachman’s district. That tells you a little about what it is like there.

      Reply
  • 116. the lone ranger  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?

    Well, what about Africa, where as of 2007 roughly 88% of the world’s HIV+ people live (http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/HIVData/GlobalReport/2008/2008_Global_report.asp)? It’s clearly not a rampant case of “males having anal sex with each other” that’s fueling the spread of HIV there, or else homosexuality would seem a lot more prevalent there than any Christian missionary would care to admit. And why focus specifically on the U.S. in any case? Is an African’s life worth less than an American’s? I’m not sure I’d like to see the answer to that question if it were posed on some conservative website.

    Reply
    • 117. elliom  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      I’ve lived in the “bible belt” and I can give you an answer to that question….and I can guarantee it’s not one you’d see on their “mainstream” sites, no something that’s discussed outside their select groups.

      The best answer I got to that question one time was: Jesus was white, and he’ll rule a world in his image. Take that as you will.

      Another telling anecdote from a rural school disrict somewhere in MO (as I heard it): in conversation with teachers regarding starting foreign language classes, superintendent replied “If english was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for my students.”

      Reply
      • 118. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  September 8, 2010 at 12:48 am

        Somehow, I doubt that Jesus spoke English. Me thinks that superintendent needs further education.

        Sheryl, Mormon Mother

        Reply
      • 119. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 8, 2010 at 5:03 am

        Also, anyone who has seen the Semitic peoples (the children of Ham, which include but are not limited to the Jews and the Arabs) would know that Rabbi Yoshua ben Yosef of Nazareth was not white, but would have been olive-skinned and probably rather dark in his complexion. So, yes, Sheryl, that superintendent definitely needs to go back to school.

        Reply
  • 120. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    my husbands good friend, was our house guest last nite, we got on the subject of work, and she mentioned her last work related trip was to Texas, she said when se walked in the office she was sick to her stomache, because there was a sign that read no firearms allowed in the office,

    that was jaw dropping, do Americans need to be told not to bring guns to work, duh!!!!

    Reply
    • 121. wolfinlv  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      yes they do. There are people where I work that have their guns either on them or in their car. Their reply when I tell them that they are in violation of the no weapons policy. “it’s in my car and I have a permit to carry it anywhere” To which I reply “it’s in direct violation of work policy and if you wish to continue your employment here no you can’t. No weapons are allowed on property.”

      Reply
      • 122. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

        this point about guns, point being, do Americans realize there are many countries in the world that find this attraction to and love for,,guns, as sooooooo wierd, and forgien in nature to us.

        Yes it’s part of american culture and they enjoy the freedom to arm themselves, BUT WHY

        hopefully in the culture wars that is one thing that may change, peoples dependence on guns for protections, (from what) your work mates, and neighbours, whoooo that’s freaky, It’s so engrained in us , and the U.S. has been so succesfull, except for Sept 11, at fighting the enemy on enemy soil, as they rejoice in saying by doing so, they live a life free of war on homesoil, but that too is a lie, or they wouldn’t be hauling all that metal, to ensure theire freeedoms.

        when we are defining bigotry, we don’t need to go outside ourselves and project it on others, as humans we all carry the possiblity to display these characteristics and do from time to tome, I gues I just exposed my bigotry towards people who are pro-guns, as a right.

        we really have nothing to fear, but fear itself, what is it we’re afraid of., the fact that we have believed a lie for so many generations, and that we actually are capable of living , loving and sharing a planet peacefully, that I think is our biggest fear.

        Reply
      • 123. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm

        Bob – Oh, I know that many countries consider America and their Second Amendment weird. I consider their anti-gun stance weird, so that’s ok.

        My view is that we have enough sensible laws. We need better enforcement. As far as why, I look at it this way: in a free society the government has to give really, really good reasons backed by tons of evidence to even think of taking away a right (theoretically and idealistically). We have the right to own and carry gun, so the government has to give good reason to disallow that. I don’t need a reason to have one. They need to give me a reason not to.

        And I tend to really, really dislike “the both sides do it too” rhetoric. It’s usually not true. There are such things as wrong opinions, bigotry, violence and true victims. To say it’s all the same is to lessen the seriousness of all of this.

        Unless you actively hate people who own guns for no other reason than that they own guns, you aren’t a bigot. You simply have a different opinion.

        Reply
      • 124. Wolfinlv  |  September 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

        American’s hold on to guns because we are taught that having a weapon is the last defense against a tyrannical government, it’s also as a last defense if there would ever be an invasion on our home soil.

        I don’t have any guns but I understand it.

        The why. Our country was fought for and won by the people getting together into militia to fight off the English. George Washington’s army wasn’t really an Army like the British had it was mostly regular men and boys who happened to have guns mostly for hunting but they worked for defense of their land. You also have to remember that unlike Europe and our country hasn’t been settled for that long. After all we’re only 200 some odd years old… How old is France, England, and Germany? You have buildings older than this country.

        I don’t have a problem with people having pistols and riffles I have a problem with them having assault riffles, grenades and launchers. I do have a problem when they bring them to work. But at times I can understand it since every day I have to pass through about 50 day laborers who sometimes start rushing your car and have almost knocked me over on my motorcycle.

        Reply
  • 125. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I was able to read many comments at work, but now must run to an early rehearsal; apologies if I’m repeating anything someone else has already said.

    Like an earlier poster said, I agree that there is a tendency to overuse the word “bigot.” A “bigot” is someone who holds to their views without considering alternative viewpoints.

    Along those lines, some thoughts:

    If someone opposed to same-sex marriage fairly considers arguments for same-sex marriage, but in the end does not change his/her mind, is that person a bigot?

    If I have fairly considered arguments against same-sex marriage, but I have not changed my mind, am I a bigot?

    Could bigotry, like beauty, be in the eye of the beholder?

    If we are too quick to use the word “bigot,” could that word come to mean “anyone who doesn’t believe what I do” — much like “activist judge” has come to mean “any judge whose rulings I don’t like?”

    I’ll look forward to reading more comments tomorrow; apologies for my hasty departure. A pleasant evening to all!

    Reply
    • 126. the lone ranger  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      I don’t think that “a bigot is someone who holds to their views without considering alternative viewpoints”. That’s too broad of a definition, that would, for example, indict a scientist who was especially dogmatic about a pet theory. I think a critical component of “bigotry” is how one regards other people.

      I would consider the fundamental question to be: “Are all groups of people in the world deserving of being treated equally?”

      I think the bigot is the one that answers “no” to that question. Personal morality, religious teachings, “tradition”, or even sheer ignorance are not satisfactory excuses to answer “no”, even if there’s widespread sympathy for some of those reasons. Even for groups that one may be suspicious or wary of, the question remains… do they deserve to be treated fairly, like everyone else? For example, I’m not much of a fan of brutal serial killers, but I’d still prefer they received a jury trial than just subjected to vigilante justice. I’m not a fan of religious people either, but I’d grudgingly allow them the freedom to practice their religion.

      I think everyone, even the most open-minded progressive liberal, has a scattering of deep-rooted prejudices, ones that were sown by our diverse life experiences and are probably impossible to completely erase… I suspect it’s almost part of biological nature. But when one allows those prejudices to dictate how they treat other people, then bigotry is born.

      Reply
    • 127. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      Actually a bigot is someone who actively hates and works against someone, usually for a characteristic they can’t change and for no other reason than that characteristic.

      So, yes, a person can hear and consider all the evidence for LGBT rights, and be a bigot based on what they do with that.

      Reply
  • 128. HunterR.  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    C’mon California! 400 gay marriages registered in Mexico?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/400-gay-marriages-registered-in-Mexico/articleshow/6510834.cms

    Reply
  • 129. mandy  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    wow thanks for the great post and responses. It really helps to see some of these posts where the answers to questions like the ones posed in that “questionnaire” are answered. Apparently duh, STFU or no sh&* sherlock are not appropriate and mind changing answers. :)

    Reply
  • 130. AndrewPDX  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Think about the last time you changed your mind. Now think about the last time you changed your mind because someone called you a hateful bigot.

    Actually, the verbal slap in the face tends to work pretty well for me. The last time I changed my mind on something REALLY important was because I was told how I was acting in an unacceptable (to me) manner. It caused me to stop and evaluate what I was doing, and I realized I was wrong.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

    Reply
    • 131. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      Yes me too. Long story short…I got called on a bad behavior by a friend recently in a really blunt way. It was something that had previously pointed out in a round-about way. The tactful talk didn’t sink it; the verbal headslap did.

      (Not trying to claim I have achieved perfection in this area overnight, but it definitely made me much more aware)

      Reply
  • 132. Ray in MA  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Back to Sodom and Gomorrah … now…

    From Queerty:

    The Faroe Islands Theocon Who Refused to Dine With Iceland’s PM Johanna Sigurdardottir

    …Funny, because as Zachariassen notes, “[I]n the famous Biblical story about Sodom and Gomorra, which is so often used against gay people, it was not homosexuality that awakened God’s judgement, but, according to Ezekiel 16:49-50, lack of hospitality. All throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus extended his hospitality and ate with those who were deemed unworthy, often because of their perceived sexual sins, by the religious leaders of the time. That the irony of this situation is lost on Jenis av Rana is baffling.”

    Read more: http://www.queerty.com/the-faroe-islands-theocon-who-refused-to-dine-with-icelands-pm-johanna-sigurdardottir-20100907/#ixzz0ytISWoKx

    Reply
    • 133. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:35 pm

      Interesting! Thanks!

      Reply
  • 134. Larry Little  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    One of the most silly solutions from the bigot mill is pray away the gay. It underscores extreme stupidity as if prayer can take away lefthandednes or skin color just by speaking from the pulpit. Unfortunately, Palin and Beck has thousands of believers whose I.Q.’s must be borderline ignorance if they think religion is going to change gay behavior. Gay is naturel………religion is artificial.
    I’m not gay…………but I firmly respect those who are against the tyranny of religion.

    Reply
    • 135. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      These are the same people who think I can pray away PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) so…

      Reply
      • 136. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:57 am

        I have had people in my past tell me that I could just pray away the PTSD, my hearing impairment, the dissociative disorder, my vision impairments (myopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism), even my broken wrist and the aftermath of the two operations to repair it.
        What I have learned to do is to recognize the signs that I am about to go into a dissociative episode, and the interventions that work for me so that I remain in the here and now. That works with the DD.
        For the PTSD, I have learned my triggers and how to avoid them.
        I have also learned to stand up for myself and let people know that when they are talking to me, I need them to stand face to face with me, keep a clear visual path to their mouth, and to not walk away from me in the middle of asking me to do something.
        As far as the visual impairments, I wear glasses and go to the ophthalmologist regularly.
        I also have been diagnosed with Complicated Ocular Migraines, and I have been told to pray that away. What works better is avoiding certain foods and other triggers, along with taking my medication so that I can reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of any headaches I do have.
        How prayer has helped me with all of these is by keeping me focused enough that I can educate myself and be proactive in my treatment planning so that I have the most active life and the highest quality of life that is possible for me.
        Rhie, I see you as yet another strong member of this P8TT family, and if I were to suggest prayer WRT the PTSD, MDD, and FMS, that would be my only suggestion as to its need–a way to stay focused on doing the best thing for you, and remaining proactive in your treatment planning.
        One last thing on this mini-book, and I will finish reading the other posts I have in my mailbox: I am proud of you, and glad you found us here at P8TT. Shalom, Be Well, and take good care of yourself.

        Reply
  • 137. Ronnie  |  September 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Openly Gay actor, Glenn Shadix has passed on today at only 58yo…. : ( ….Ronnie

    Many people don’t know that Glenn (aka Otho from Beetlejuice) (RIP) suffered “ex-gay therapy”. In this video he talks about his experience w/”ex-gay” shock therapy &the harm it does, his family, his suicide attempt, &that the so called “cure” did NOT work……

    Reply
    • 138. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks for posting that, Ronnie. I was sad to hear that he passed away too, he was a wonderful actor and, as this video shows, a smart and compassionate human being.

      Reply
  • 139. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Why Is the Anoka-Hennepin School Board Doing Nothing About LGBT Suicide?

    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/why_is_the_anoka-hennepin_school_board_doing_nothing_about_lgbt_suicide

    Reply
    • 140. Lora  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Because they don’t give a shit, obviously.

      Reply
    • 141. Bob  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      thanks Sagesse for the link, in light of the descussion on this thread, we could take a challenge to change hearts and minds right here in this school district.

      It’s not a republican or democractic issue, nor is it one of religious values, it’s a human rights issue, and with attention and effort from the right LGBT organizations, maybe they could score an endrun around all the heirarchy, and use the law to enforce some rules about creating safe learning environments,

      Use this district as a test case, use the law, and see if hearts and minds change, don’t wait for the next child to die.

      Reply
  • 142. Leo  |  September 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Regarding 12 and related questions, has NOM ever taken an official position on faiths that approve of homosexuality and of same-sex marriage? If not, perhaps we can encourage some reporter to force them to take one? I’d be especially interested as it relates to non-Christian and even non-Abrahamic faiths, since they won’t be able to claim “they are misinterpreting the bible.”

    Reply
    • 143. Ronnie  |  September 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      I’ve never hear Maggie “Shoe Flinger” Gallagher or Brainless Brown Suit say anything along those lines….but the admins of their sister Facebook page, Destroy…I mean “Protect” Marriage: One (wife beating) Man. One (submissive) Chattel…I mean Woman…have publicly stated if you support people being LGBT, Marriage Equality, as well as any & all LGBT Rights then you are not a Christian. One of them has even go so far as saying that you are not American unless you practice his version of Christianity….so its pretty clear where their affiliates, even though they deny being affiliated w/them (coincidentally, as soon as you click on that page it brings you to a tab to join NOM Instead of the page’s wall…a little food for thought…NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM), stand on the matter….. ; )

      <3…Ronnie

      P.S. Hi Louis!!!!

      Reply
  • 144. Linda  |  September 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Rob–
    I think you did a great job with this survey.

    I leave the theological arguments to those to whom it matters. We have enough TRUE people of faith in our community to handle these questions quite capably.

    Reply
  • 145. rosebud  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    “If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?”

    I love this question. I once had a change of heart about this issue. Back in 2004, when my home state of Ohio put an amendment on the ballot to define marriage as one man and one woman, I kept going back and forth on my opinion of it. At the time I was 17 so I couldn’t vote, but I very well might have voted for it. I was raised Catholic and went to school at a conservative public school, so I was surrounded by anti-gay opinions except at home, where my parents have always been very accepting of all- I know they voted ‘no’ on the amendment. I now would be very ashamed to have played any part in allowing that thing to pass. But, my change of heart came and now I firmly believe that the State has no right denying any consenting adults the right to marry and be happy. Now, I always try to have the courage to speak up for this worthy cause; and I won’t quit until we have equality!

    :D

    Reply
  • 146. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Is it okay to call someone a “spigot” if they’re spewing hate speech?

    Reply
  • 147. draNgNon  |  September 8, 2010 at 2:14 am

    hi Rob. people have moved on from this thread for the most part. but I’ve had a very long work day, and wasn’t able to read it til now. while I was waiting for work to wind down I took the time to compose some answers to these questions for you and whoever else “subscribed” to see emails from these comments.

    I did not copy the questions, you already have them printed out. and it ended up pretty long.

    1. I have long believed in free speech for everyone but the intolerant.

    2. I will call people on their intolerance, but merely “objecting to homosexuality” isn’t quite all the way there. I mean – I object to breeders having a dozen kids. Does that mean *I’m* a hater?

    3. I believe that as soon as we all agree that men and women bring equal contributions to the relationship table, then any group of consenting adults of legal age and sufficient genetic separation should be allowed to form a legally recognized family unit. Anything short of that is depriving the adults involved of their right to define next of kin, inheritance, and health care coverage & decisions.

    My opinion on this is unpopular with gay marriage advocates becuase they don’t want some of the anti-equality forces to be right about “what’s next.”

    4. I believe that straight is the default, and that questioning one’s sexuality is a scary, uncomfortable, and difficult thing. Moreover I believe that anyone who has gone through that questioning, instead of floating with the straight default, end up at such a comfort level with themselves sexually that it is THAT – the comfort level – which triggers what the gays call “gaydar.” By definition, GLBT folks will have gone through it. But sometimes the person discovers they aren’t, actually, gay. Every straight person I ever met who questioned their sexuality ended up fooling most of my friends’ gaydar.

    That said, going back to the actual question, folks who float with the default get scared when the abyss of the entire sexual spectrum opens up for them as possibilities. If they haven’t been through that finding-themselves process, they are totally lying if they say they are motivated by compassion. And, vice versa.

    5. I think some percentage people are destined to be gay, some bisexual, some straight. I think the number of bisexuals who are out with same sex partners will increase if a culture embraces gay sex. I think homosexual experimentation could become ‘chic’ and popular but I also think that the number of people who identify as gay won’t change – but the number of straight people comfortable with themselves for being straight will increase.

    Any risk for the culture has more to do with sex education than anything else.

    6. I automatically dismiss a lot of what everyone says about everything without listening, becuase I’m just that egotistical. Yes of course I am well informed about what homosexuals actually do and the risks involved; I know people who worked at Falcon Entertainment.

    7. Wow, are conservatives so addicted to guilt that they just automatically assume it for gay suicides too?

    8. Being bisexual is really horrible, in terms of community acceptance. The gay community is so strong, yet rejects you as a poser when they find out you sleep with the opposite sex. The straights around you revile you for homosexual acts.

    When one is young, one could glom onto the gay community, which is in general slightly more understanding and well-knit than most straights. However bisexuality spans a large spectrum, and one can actually meet the right partner or life mate who is the opposite sex. Voila! “ex-gay”!

    9. I believe the tendency is there from birth, since it appears to run in families, and reinforced by life experiences. It sure does seem to me that there is a connection between child sexual abuse and later homosexual attraction. I often wonder if anyone has done any longitudinal studies of it. I sort of doubt there exist any done with a lack of bias.

    10. I feel it’s pretty damned necessary to read the Bible actually, and some of the writings that got rejected from the Bible too. It’s quite an interesting read, and provides a lot of context for the conflicts in the modern Middle East.

    I wish more fundie Christians would do so. They’d have a better sense of what God was all about.

    I have no clue where the question on being “kind” and “opposing homosexuality” came from, that question makes no sense to me.

    11. I went to Christian schools for 12 years, and took other religion classes outside of school. Religion and esoterica and metaphysics both interest me greatly, they are pretty neat. (My partner, who is an atheist, is constantly appalled by this aspect of me.)

    So, don’t even accuse me of not understanding Christian theology. I’ll take anyone on, any time, about it. I might get shaky out on the fringes with the Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, and Christian Scientists. There are elements in their theology I’ve not studied.

    12. holy cow, what is this, Catechism? Jesus said “let he who is without sin throw the first stone,” and moreover expressed this sort of sentiment repeatedly during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Jesus was also pretty not “cool,” he had a bad temper.

    I don’t consider myself a Christian becuase I don’t really feel the need to require a blood sacrifice to expiate my sins in violating the laws of the god of the Jews. First of all, I’m not Jewish; and second of all, this whole notion of sacrifice – killing living beings – as some purgative for guilt is actually really horrible. I would feel more guilt about the killing. And Christianity is all about some guy standing in for that, and moreover becuase he did so, that makes everything you do OK. What? No, it’s not OK.

    Which brings us to the sin and homosexual sex acts. Well, in the time of Jesus, for most cultures, it wasn’t considered homosexual, for the guy on top. It was the bottoms that were condemned for it. As far as I know that’s true in many cultures even today.

    Sin is this thing in which a person misbehaves against the strictures of their deity. For Christians, there are two commandments, and breaking either of them constitutes sin, no matter what else the church tries to tell you. I paraphrase here: 1) love God with your entire self, 2) love your neighbour as yourself. So, homosexuality doesn’t come into play here, unless you are committing homosexual acts with your neighbor’s spouse and lying to them about it.

    13. I believe stereotypes had an origin somewhere. They weren’t just whole cloth made up out of the air.

    14. No, I open my mouth and ask for the data to back it up.

    15. Wasn’t this asked already in question 2? Oh wait, question 4?

    16. I believe it is a fine idea for 13 yr olds to learn at school what sex is and the variety of sex acts that can be done between two people, and how some behaviours are likely to lead to those acts. I believe it is good to explore the risks of those acts – the risk of pregnancy, the risk of disease, the risk of social stigma if caught experimenting with something out of band (and unpopular person, a person of the sex your peers didn’t expect). The risk of rape if they say and do leading things. Adolescents think they are invulnerable. It’s irresponsible to leave them uniformed.

    Parents will only be outraged if they fail their responsibility to have already had such conversations with their adolescent children, and now feel they have lost control. Good riddance, let them be outraged, but kids should know these things before there is pregnancy, disease, rape, stigma, or other harms.

    17. I believe I have heard for years and years and years and years that most vertebrate species have an increase in homosexual tendencies as population density goes up. It’s like it’s hard wired to be there. And lo and behold, we see that behaviour in humans, more nowdays, and more in the cities.

    I also believe that same sex relationships are more open in societies where the genders are equal.

    18. Gays are the target of widespread violence. That’s not a belief, it actually happens. So, this question has false claims that are disquised as questions.

    I already said I don’t feel the need to tolerate the intolerant. However in the US we are aware that censorship is a slippery slope so we do not have laws against hate speech.

    19. Conservatives are definitely making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies. And I don’t scoff at claims of serious public health issues being involved. They are.

    The first public health issue comes from transmission of disease. By not educating adolescents of the dangers and risks of unprotected sex in the variety of ways it can occur, we do our entire society a disservice.

    The second public health issue is actually more economic. By denying health care to GLBT partners by restricting them to straight married couples, or brutally fining them if they access said health care, we force them to cut back on going to a doctor. They don’t get checked out when tehre are minor complaints, and those could turn into communicable diseases – not just STDs.

    20. It’s strange to me how a group that is so hellbent on oppressing a very much smaller minority than them, who already have to struggle with the legal and health care framework so skewed against them, try to portray their oppression as an unpopular viewpoint that takes courage to speak up about.

    Courage?!
    courage is putting a rainbow triangle on your car. no doubt someone will run you off the road.
    courage is holding hands at Disneyland. you will get thrown out.
    courage is going to pride somewhere other than san francisco. there will be folks on the edges with bats.
    courage is insisting on a hotel room with one bed. they may refuse to serve you.
    courage is mailing HR where you work and asking the question, about health care costs. you could be fired.

    courage is wearing the rings.

    Reply
  • 149. truthspew  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I did my answers on my blog. I guess you could call me a pro-gay bigot. I wear the badge proudly!

    I’m not as generous in my answers as Rob is, but I make some good points about their book, the Bible.

    Reply
  • 150. Joe  |  September 9, 2010 at 9:36 am

    “Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Reply
  • 151. Joe  |  September 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    “A few thousand ex-gays living in the US” versus tens of millions of gay people seems like a horribly, horribly ineffective therapy! That’s what, a 0.01% success rate?

    Reply
  • 152. banach tarski paradox  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Response to question #3:

    3. Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?

    This question sounded familiar.

    So I went online to listen to the oral arguements of the 1967 US Supreme Court Case of Loving v Virginia.

    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1966/1966_395

    (the oral arguements can be listened to there, or the mp3 can be downloaded for convenience.)

    I listened to the oral arguements, and came up with at least 3 instances of this very arguement being made.

    Below, are the quotes (my transcription) as I hear them on the audio linked to above. I have included the timestamps of where the quotes start and stop on the Loving v Virginia oral arguement audio.

    My response to the question would be that the fact that the arguement didn’t work out so well the last time around, when it was made before the US Supreme Court 43 years ago, doesn’t bode well for it in the future.

    But to answer the question more directly, i would look back at another court decision 19 years earlier, in 1948, when the California Supreme Court addressed that precise question in Perez v Sharp with more elloquence than I could manage.

    “the essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice”

    A member of any of these races may find himself barred by law from marrying the person of his choice and that person to him may be irreplaceable. Human beings are bereft of worth and dignity by a doctrine that would make them as interchangeable as trains.

    It is that last sentence that would be my response:

    Human beings are bereft of worth and dignity by a doctrine that would make them as interchangeable as trains.

    Now, as for the promised quotes and timestamps:

    ———————

    Timestamp: 1:11:50 – 1:12:30

    “If the statute equally forbad the white race to marry the colored race, and the colored race to marry the white race, then in the opinion of the framers, that was not a violation of equal protection or due process. In other words, the classification itself was not a violation.”

    ———————–

    Timestamp: 1:13:00 – 1:13:40

    “Now under this, the language which they used in saying that it had no relation, that it had no effect in the state’s power over marriage, they also said provided no discrimination is made by it. It is clear, under the legislative history of the 14th Amendment, that if a statute had forbad white people from marrying colored people, and then had a different penalty for violation of that statute, that even the framers of the 14th Amendment would have thought that that would have been unconstitutional, and that the 14th Amendment was specifically designed to *unintelligible* that difference in penalty problem.”

    —————————

    Timestamp: 1:17:09 – 1:17:24

    “But, it is clear that the framers understood, that in their intention, a law that equally forbad the members of one race from marrying the members of another race, with the same penal sanction on both, did treat the individuals of both races equally.”

    Reply

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