Michael Kinsley: Being against gay marriage doesn't make you a homophobe.
One reason the idea of gay marriage, or “marriage equality,” spread so fast is that it seems obvious once you think about it. It was a genuinely new idea when it first appeared in this publication in 1989. As was not the case with civil rights for African Americans, feminism, or for that matter gay rights themselves, there was no long history of opposition to be overcome. The challenge was simply getting people to think about it a bit.
Not everyone was immediately persuaded. In March, Ben Carson appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” show to talk about gay marriage. Carson is the latest Great Black Hope for the Republican Party, which is quickly running out of African American conservatives to make famous. But Carson’s appearance was not a success. He should have left bestiality out of it. And any reference to [...]—the “North American Man / Boy Love Association”—is pretty good evidence that we have left the realm of rational discussion and entered radio talk-show territory. This alleged organization exists—if indeed it exists at all—for the sole purpose of being attacked by Republicans and conservatives on talk radio and television.
Well, we all get our kicks in different ways, and if yours is watching someone being verbally flogged by Sean Hannity, I’m cool with that. Unwisely, though, Carson went on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC show three days later. There, he tried to clarify his position. He said: “If you ask me for an apple, and I give you an orange, you would say, ‘That’s not an orange.’ And then I say, ‘That’s a banana.’ And that’s not an apple, either. Or there’s a peach, that’s not an apple, either. But it doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach.”
Carson may qualify as a homophobe by today’s standards. But then they don’t make homophobes like they used to. Carson denies hating gay people, while your classic homophobe revels in it. He has apologized publicly “if I offended anyone.” He supports civil unions that would include all or almost all of the legal rights of marriage. In other words, he has views on gay rights somewhat more progressive than those of the average Democratic senator ten years ago. But as a devout Seventh Day Adventist, he just won’t give up the word “marriage.” And he has some kind of weird thing going on about fruit.
But none of this matters. All you need to know is that Carson opposes same-sex marriage. Case closed. Carson was supposed to be the graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins Medical School. There was a fuss, and Carson decided to withdraw as speaker. The obviously relieved dean nevertheless criticized Carson for being “hurtful.” His analysis of the situation was that “the fundamental principle of freedom of expression has been placed in conflict with our core values of diversity, inclusion and respect.” My analysis is that, at a crucial moment, the dean failed to defend a real core value of the university: tolerance.
The university’s response was wrong for a variety of reasons. First, Carson isn’t just another gasbag. He is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Hopkins. Pediatric neurosurgery! He fixes children’s brains. How terrible can a person be who does that for a living? Yes, I know the flaw in this thinking: There is no necessary connection. As a character says in Mel Brooks’s movie The Producers: “der Führer vas a terrific dancer.” But Carson didn’t murder millions of people. All he did was say on television that he opposes same-sex marriage—an idea that even its biggest current supporters had never even heard of a couple of decades ago. Does that automatically make you a homophobe and cast you into the outer darkness? It shouldn’t. But in some American subcultures—Hollywood, academia, Democratic politics—it apparently does. You may favor raising taxes on the rich, increasing support for the poor, nurturing the planet, and repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, but if you don’t support gay marriage, you’re out of the club.
Hopkins, as a private institution, may not have been constitutionally required to let Carson speak. But it was wrong...
for the university, once the invitation had been extended, to make Carson feel unwanted to the point of withdrawing. (In fact, it was wrong of Carson to let Hopkins off the hook in this way.) Behind the First Amendment is the notion that good ideas have a natural buoyancy that bad ideas do not. In fact, the very short (as these things go) debate about marriage equality demonstrates this. Denying Carson the right to speak was not just unprincipled. It was unnecessary. The proponents of marriage equality have not just won. They have routed the opposition. It’s a moment to be gracious, not vindictive.
There are those who would have you think that gays and liberals are conducting some sort of jihad against organized Christianity and that gay marriage is one of the battlefields. That is a tremendous exaggeration. But it’s not a complete fantasy. And for every mouth that opens, a dozen stay clamped shut. In the state of Washington, a florist refused to do the wedding of a long-time customer “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.” Note that “long-time customer.” This woman had been happily selling flowers to the groom. She just didn’t want to be associated with the wedding. Now she is being sued by the state attorney general. DC Comics dropped writer Orson Scott Card’s planned Superman book when thousands signed a petition demanding it because of his many homophobic remarks.
Thought experiment: If you were up for tenure at a top university, or up for a starring role in a big movie, or running for office in large swaths of the country, would it hurt your chances more to announce that you are gay or to announce that you’ve become head of an anti-gay organization? The answer seems obvious. So the good guys have won. Why do they now want to become the bad guys?
The decision of gay leaders to concentrate on the right to marry was brilliant. This wasn’t an inevitable choice. They might have chosen some other strategy, such as getting sexual preference under the protection of the civil rights laws, along with race, gender, and so on. Choosing marriage totally undercut the argument of opponents that gay men and women were demanding “special” rights. All they wanted, supporters could say truthfully, was a right (to marry someone you love) that every other American already enjoys. But the focus of gay rights on marriage is a historical accident, and to make support for marriage equality the test of right thinking on gay issues is absurd. In fact, the very idea of a “test of right thinking on gay issues” or any other kind of issues, is absurd. Gays, who know a thing or two about repression, ought to be the last people to want to destroy someone’s career because they disagree. In their moment of triumph, why can’t they laugh off nutty comments like Carson’s, rather than sending in the drones to take him out?
The first known mention of gay marriage is an article (“Here Comes the Groom” by Andrew Sullivan) commissioned by me and published in this magazine in 1989. And I would bet that there is no one born before 1989, gay or straight, who didn’t, when he or she first heard the idea, go, whaaa? Many on reflection got used to the idea, and a majority of Americans now support it. The day will come, probably next Tuesday at the rate things are going, when previous opposition to the idea of same-sex marriage will seem bizarre and require explaining, like membership in the Ku Klux Klan in the youths of some old Southerners—are there any left?—on Capitol Hill. But we’re not quite there yet. At the moment, simply opposing gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe, any more than opposing affirmative action makes you a racist or opposition to settlements on the West Bank makes you an anti-Semite...
The dean calls Carson’s remarks “hurtful.” They weren’t hurtful to him, unless he’s hopelessly oversensitive. The dean was just making a move in the great game of umbrage that has clogged American politics, where points are awarded for taking offense at something the other guy said. No one, when confronted with some opponent’s faux pas, or some stray remark that can be misrepresented as a faux pas, ever reacts anymore with: “Who cares?” Instead, it’s: “I am deeply, deeply offended by this person’s remarks. She should drop out of the race immediately, or quit her job, and move into a nunnery to contemplate her sins. And we certainly can’t let her speak at commencement because ...”
Michael Kinsley is editor-at-large at The New Republic.
I'm gay and against gay marriage, civil unions are enough.
Kinsley's a smug low-information contrarian. Carson wasn't vilified for being against gay marriage. He's hardly the only person in the public who feels that way. He was vilified because he compared gay people to pedophiles and bestiality freaks.
Americans are fucked up.
R3, being gay doesn't make your view any more valid. I'm not gay and I support consenting adults getting married. Frankly, when it comes to this issue, one's sexuality is of no consequence.
It's only a question of whether or not you're an evolved human being.
Why would a gay person be against gay marriage?
R7 Right, either be against marriage in general or support marriage for all consenting adults. The few against gay marriage specifically probably just want everyone to conform to their idea of how a gay man should be. Or make them feel uncomfortable about their own life.
r7 some gay people view marriage at best as a state sanctioned contract and are not looking for a pat on the back from the state to legitimize their relationships.
others view it as yet another way gays try to prove we're just as good as hets, and argue that assimilation dilutes what makes us special.
I'd love to get married just for the ceremony and big party, but I'm sure I could think of another reason to throw a big party
R9 You've just listed all the reasons why straights get married. A state sanctioned contract and pat on the back to legitimize their relationship, a way to make it official and a fun ceremony and big party. And presents. Religious ceremony optional. A whole bunch of rights and duties come with it. There really isn't more to it and those who want that should be able to have it.
Kinsley is assuming that Carson was disinvited because he doesn't support gay marriage. At the same time he explains all the objectionable, disrespectful and intolerant things that Carson said which makes it clear that the reasons for objecting to Carson go well beyond that.
There's a difference between your opinion of what marriage is in general (be it favorable or unfavorable) and having the basic right to make the choice to marry.
It doesn't matter if you think it's some archaic concept or something wonderful - it's about having the option one way or the other, regardless of your sexuality.
You shouldn't be OK with having that avenue closed just because you personally dislike the notion of "marriage" as defined by the state/religious institutions. It is discrimination. Period.
As a taxpaying citizen of this country, you should be pissed off when there's any attempt to take away a right that other Americans have - even if you personally couldn't give a shit about that right.
Just because I have a long bushy tail, live in a tree, and store acorns for the winter, everybody calls me a squirrel! So unfair.
[quote]some gay people view marriage at best as a state sanctioned contract and are not looking for a pat on the back from the state to legitimize their relationships.
[quote]others view it as yet another way gays try to prove we're just as good as hets, and argue that assimilation dilutes what makes us special.
And yet, neither of these positions even attempt to address the rights that are secured only by federal recognition of same-sex marriage, which are currently unavailable to gay people in this country. Which means both of these positions are nothing more than utterly pointless navel-gazing.
Kinsley is a evangelical, very conservative Christian. He thinks being gay is a choice, his religious beliefs require that to be true.
So what if you are gay and choose not to act upon it? It is then a choice, either religious or personal. There are some of us.
[quote]So what if you are gay and choose not to act upon it?
I don't understand the question. You mean what happens to gay people who choose not to marry? Exactly what happens to straight people who choose not to marry. Nothing at all.
Kinsley has always seemed as closeted as they come, to me. So this op-ed doesn't surprise me, though I thought he was a liberal. Guess not.
R3, You are an idiot, if you think Civil Unioins are enough. They simply don't offer the same protection as Marriage !!
Explain yourself R3- civil unions do not impart the same rights that marriage does- not close.
So don't get married to a same sex partner.
But why deny it to another couple? If want to take that route, there is only one answer to your point of view. You do not think gay men and lesbian have the same right to it as heterosexual couples. If you believe that, you are a bigot.
All the rest is spin.
Yes, being against gay marriage makes you homophobic. Period.
It's like saying "never eating meat doesn't make you a vegetarian". Uh, yeah, it does. Whether you choose the label for yourself or not, words having meanings regardless of your "beliefs".
"All he did was say on television that he opposes same-sex marriage—an idea that even its biggest current supporters had never even heard of a couple of decades ago. Does that automatically make you a homophobe and cast you into the outer darkness? It shouldn’t."
WRONG. It not only SHOULD make you a homophobe, it DOES make you a homophobe. Period.
Any relatively sane person, particularly an educated one, cannot possibly continue in this day and age to justify the inequality inherent in disallowing gay citizens access to the very necessary rights of family and protection they are guaranteed according to the constitution, unless they are basing it solely in prejudice and bigotry.
There is no wiggle room or middle ground here. Equal marriage supporter OR homophobe, take your pick, but you're either one or the other. It is the most black and white issue in America today.
And for what it's worth, the quote about 'two decades ago' is an attempt to muddy the issue in a way that is itself homophobic for two reasons: first, because this is America now, not 20 years ago, a VERY different place and culture, and secondly and more important, because equal marriage has been talked about and very much supported by fair-minded people for much longer than 20 years. Not only were some people aware of it 20 years ago, they were getting symbolically 'gay-married' long before that.
Both the subject AND the author of this article are homophobes. The author is one of the worst kinds: the one who thinks he's fair and equitable and not homophobic, even though he doesn't support equal rights for ALL American citizens. H-O-M-O-P-H-O-B-E.
r7. That's not what I meant. I mean that if a gay man or woman chooses not to act upon having sex, then it is a choice. Yes, I am R3 and fine if you think I'm a bigot I can live with that but no matter what men and women are different and so should marriage. Flame away, just how I feel.
r23, you're not making a damn bit of sense, which is not at all surprising because I have yet to hear an argument against gay marriage that wasn't pure drivel.
R24 it is not an argument. It is my opinion/belief or what ever you want to call it but it is mine and yes opinions are just like assholes. Everyone has one. :-)
Okay, then. Your opinion doesn't make a damn bit of sense.
"The first known mention of gay marriage is an article (“Here Comes the Groom” by Andrew Sullivan) commissioned by me and published in this magazine in 1989."
This statement is not even remotely true. The most notable example is the Minneapolis gay couple tried to get a marriage license in 1971. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And they were not the only gay couple to fight for this kind of recognition reaching back many years.
R7, it's fear of commitment and dear of being alone. Right now they have it not being legal as an excuse not to marry their partner. Once it's legal they'll have to admit it's just because they don't want to get married, then they'll be left.
[quote]It is my opinion/belief or what ever you want to call it but it is mine and yes opinions are just like assholes.
In your case, not merely a simile, but one and the same.
I'm against gay marriage because it's not good public policy. There's a mountain of evidence that children do best when they have the duality of having a female and male parental figure. Good public policy should be about encouraging ideal outcomes, e.g., a mother & father in the home, and discouraging less optimum results. For this reason, I also believe no-fault divorce should only be available in cases where the would-be divorcing couple does not have minor children.
[quote]and neither does your little world [R26]...
Oh go away, you frightened little turd. If you expect the rest of us to be impressed by your fear of sex, you're sadly mistaken.
If there's such a mountain of evidence, let's see some of it, r31. And if you link to any religious or right wing-funded data, you will have already lost the argument.
Thanks R27 - my feeling also was that it was not true.
Why are you bringing child rearing into the equation, R31? Last I checked, infertile heterosexual couples with no desire to get married have just as much legal right to get married in this country as those who want/have children. People also have the right to be single parents in this country. The marriage equality debate and the right for gays to adopt/have children are two separate and distinct issues. If you want to argue against gays adopting or having children, do that. But don't justify your bigotry and discrimination against marriage equality as a "noble" concern for children. Own your hatred for what it is. I swear Datalounge has been invaded by idiotic NOM bots.
Most same-sex marriages do not involve, nor will they ever involve children. This is a red herring. There is not mountain of evidence except the steaming pile of shit put together by the Rightwing media/propaganda complex (Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, NARTH, Liberty Counsel, World Net Daily, Townhall.com, etc.)
R15, Kinsley is an atheist.
R37, Kinsley is a CUNT.
I shove old, hardened dogshit up my dead mother's asshole then squeeze it out into my mouth every day.
[quote]So what if you are gay and choose not to act upon it?
Then you are the very definition of self-loathing.
[quote]There are some of us.
There are a lot of you. We know. It's damaged freaks like you that hold the rest of us back.
[quote]There's a mountain of evidence that children do best when they have the duality of having a female and male parental figure.
No, there isn't. You're cherry-picking right-wing sponsored studies supported by wingnut groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family.
The American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the American Pediatric Association all refute what you are claiming. All of them support equal marriage and gay families.
Also, as others have pointed out you are conflating marriage and child rearing, which are two separate things. Your whole line of thinking sounds quite conservative, ill-informed and homophobic.
R31's one of the creepy, low-IQ fraus that have ruined this place.
I'm bi (yes, really) and I'm against all marriage.
Our tax code discriminates against single people. Equality does not mean allowing same sex marriage. Equality means ensuring that the government does not recognize any marriages.
I'm gay, and I have to admit that I don't particularly support the idea of gay marriage either.
Of course I want us to have all the rights that straight people do - the right to visit a partner in hospital, the same tax breaks etc. etc. In short, I do believe we should have a legally recognized union.
However, I don't like the idea of taking someone else's tradition and trying to redefine it to suit our needs. To me, that's disrespectful. I don't really like Christians all that much, but I respect the fact that it's their tradition, not mine, and I don't get to change it's meaning.
It's like when bisexuals start calling themselves "gay" just because they like that label and want to be part of the gay community. It pisses me off to no end.
So, it's all about language. We should have a legally recognized union just like the straights, but we need to make it our own by calling it something else.
I always thought the word "phobia" meant "fear of"...I always thought it odd that if someone is against homosexuality or hates gay people it is called homophobic....isn't is possible to not be afraid of something but to hate it?
I'm with R43!
If you are against gay marriage, you are anti-gay. It means you want privileges for straight couples only.
Marriage in general, though - no thanks. It's all about money, isn't it? Or someone trying to control someone else. It isn't really about freedom, or equality, or love.
So hard to live in a world of received ideas. I don't want to be legally married, but at least its a new wrinkle, or a new twist on an old one.
r44 is the biggest moron in the thread if he thinks marriage is a Christian tradition only.
R44 is so right. We should not allow those dirty Muslims to get "married" either, and those Hindus have the nerve to get "married" too. Hindus! And don't get me started on Atheists.
All those infidels should not be allowed to appropriate the sacred Christian traditions
Being against gay marriage is nothing more than selfishness; the desire to make other people's lives less validated than yours.
The notion that marriage is irrelevant to childrearing is ahistorical. The marital construction was built to protect children.
That's how you choose to comment, R48? Really?
Of course I know it's not just a Christian tradition, but since countries like Saudi Arabia probably aren't looking to let gays marry anytime soon, I fail to see your point.
As far as I know the only countries who either have gay marriage or are talking about it are Christian.
I remember Janeane Garafolo got into a fight with Kinsley on her Air America show. He said something that implied liberals are lazy, and when it pissed off Garafolo, he pretended it was just a joke. But I think she correctly sensed that he just a contrarian dickhead dissing liberals. He was supposed to stay on the line for two segments, but hung up during the commercial break.
r51, marriage was constructed to protect PROPERTY - and wives were considered part of it.
But that hasn't been true for a century now, nor has anyone ever tried to restrict people who couldn't have children from getting married.
You really suck at reading, R49.
It's sad that you'd rather derail the discussion than comment on what I wrote.
r48, you're the raging imbecile who tried to claim that marriage was a Christian tradition.
Also: America is not a "Christian nation."
I'm quite comfortable calling you a moron because you keep saying utterly moronic things.
R44 is absolutely right. No one has ever gotten married in the history of the world who was not Christian. It is solely a Christian tradition, practiced only by the minority of the world's population that identify as Christian. The billions of people in the world who aren't Christian would never do something crazy like require two people to declare their commitment in a marriage ceremony. That's why the only religion with a concept of marriage is Christianity. The only one!
I know Mike, and have for years. He's a very weird guy who's greatest joy in life is to have intelligent opinions that differ from those of other smart people. I don't think he actually has any real beliefs of his own. It's all relative to what others have said. There's little inside him except a burning wonkdom.
When we were younger we all thought he was gay. Then we all thought he was asexual. Now the feeling he's just sui generis. He probably beats off to the idea of people getting angry over his best and most well thought out op-eds.
R54 is totally correct. Marriage was to protect PROPERTY and anything anyone considered as PROPERTY.
You want to talk about history and children "being protected" - HA!
What you wrote was stupid, r55. And since I had the same response as r49, you might want to consider that what you wrote, not r49's reaction, is the problem.
Come back when you can express yourself more clearly.(Or don't, because I think we all know what kind of drivel you want to spout.)
I never claimed that marriage is just a Christian tradition, moron. I simply referred to Christians because they are the main group of opposers when it comes to gay marriage. Don't blame your lack of reading comprehension on me.
And please, do keep trying to change the topic. It's not transparent at all.
[quote]I never claimed that marriage is just a Christian tradition, moron.
Yes yo did, imbecile:
[quote]However, I don't like the idea of taking someone else's tradition and trying to redefine it to suit our needs. To me, that's disrespectful. I don't really like Christians all that much, but I respect the fact that it's their tradition, not mine, and I don't get to change it's meaning.
r44, your argument was that gay people should be respectful of Christians (as if there are no openly gay Christians, but I won't touch that) by not co-opting their tradition, by calling marriage something else if we want it. But what we are trying to tell you is that marriage [italic]is not a Christian tradition[/italic]. The word marriage does not belong to Christians; it is not exclusive to them, nor were they the first (or the last) to come up with it. Marriage has, in one form or another, existed in every culture and society that we know of. So why should some Christians (again: some, not all, because there are Christians who support gay marriage) get to define marriage for the rest of the country? Why should we be respectful of this particular subset of one of the religions represented in this country? Why should one subset of the population get to define marriage when it wasn't even their idea to begin with?
R31 If public policy would be about encouraging ideal outcomes they would have to ban 50% of straight couples from getting married and a huge percentage from having kids. Studies have actually shown that gay couples in general put more thought into the decision of having children and that kids being raised by same-sex couples are better educated and live in better economical circumstances than the average kid raised by straight couples.
R44 Marriage is not a christian tradition. It's an economical tradition all about securing and distributing goods, land, money and power. The various religions ceremonies were just added at some point. You do know that people can have a religious "marriage" ceremony and they still wouldn't actually be married because they didn't sign that civil contract? Marriage has always been a civil contract with various cultures additing religious tidbits.
You would not be redefining marriage. If anything christians have tried to redefine marriage as something exclusively religious in the last, say, 80 years even though it used to be about goods, land, money, power and security for millenia. Come on, in some European countries they have more atheists than christians and skipping the religious bullcrap couldn't be truer to the actual tradition of marriage. Of course luckily today people have an additional great reason to get married. They love each other, something that probably wasn't the case that often until maybe a 100 years ago.
I said that marriage is a Christian tradition but I didn't say it's ONLY a Christian tradition. I commented only on the Christian tradition of marriage because it's the only relevant one as I see it.
I guess I hit a nerve, but this is getting stupid.
r65, you hit a nerve because you said something stupid and spent every subsequent comment either back-pedaling or claiming you didn't say what you said.
You're a moron.
To reiterate: Marriage is not a Christian tradition any more than it is a Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or atheist one. It is a legal contract found in every culture since the dawn of civilization.
Also, America is no more a Christian country than it is a Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim...etc.
[quote]The marital construction was built to protect children.
We live in a world that has just recently developed the idea that children need special protection, that the age of consent shouldn't be something like 12 and that child labor is not okay. Marriage historically to protect children? You've got to be kidding.
You didn't hit a nerve, it's just that you're not making sense. Not advocating for marriage because you don't want to offend Christians is silly. Marriage doesn't belong to them, so why should I care what they think about it? If it's not ONLY a Christian tradition, why should we worry exclusively about not offending Christians? Marriage belongs to everyone, in every religious tradition, and even to those who are not religious at all.
If you'd like to clarify rather than taking your toys and going home, I'd like to hear it. (But of course you won't, because your argument doesn't make sense and you can't defend it.)
R44, you also seem oblivious to the fact that your argument was the "intellectual" basis for "separate but equal". And we all know what a rousing success that was.
R65 Of course it's getting stupid to you because you've been handed your ass. What are you, some christian fundamentalist bigot? Because your closeminded and historically and currently inaccurate idea of marriage would mean only christians should be able to get married. Because to you apparently only christian traditions millenia younger than the concept of marriage are relevant.
[quote]I'm gay and against gay marriage, civil unions are enough.
I can't believe how many cripplingly stupid gay people there are on DL. Just because YOU will never have love in your life R3 doesn't mean the rest of us deserve to be in the back of the bus. My partner and I deserve to have the same federal benefits as our parents and str8 siblings have.
I am a same-sex oriented follower of Jesus Christ who is celibate for life because of my faith in and love for Christ. I understand that we live under a Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and does not allow the Establishment of any religion. Further, we have a Constitution that guarantees equal protection and liberty for all, regardless of religious or philosophical orientation. Thus, as a Christian, I acknowledge all people's right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even if their pursuits violate my biblical views. Moreover, we should respect people enough not to compel them to live by our particular religious beliefs. You can't make people love or obey God, only God can draw people to Christ. As such, I support marriage equality because I value the Constitution, freedom, and liberty.
[quote] I commented only on the Christian tradition of marriage because it's the only relevant one as I see it.
Which is exactly why you're being called a moron.
R72, you're celibate for life just because you're gay and you think Jesus disapproves? Denying yourself a sex life, your entire life, because your religion has an ancient, primitive bigotry against gays, is pathetic, even if you're cool with other gays marrying.
R72 Your attitude towards marriage equality is great but I don't think Jesus ever said anything about gays and you sure do not live by most laws of the bible so why get stuck with those bits about gays? Which are open to interpretation anyway and most likely part of the acient Jewish and Christian propaganda against pagan cultures like being against mixed fabrics (fancy colourful fabrics of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians), tattoos (Celts, Germans), evergreen (part of Roman and Greek religious practices), eating pigs and shellfish (typical Roman and Greek diet) and all that nonsense.
R75, are you seriously trying to rationally convince a Jesus freak that the bible is not the word of the sky fairy? Using facts? Really? I'm predicting a failure.
Kinsley is a PEP (Progressive Except Palestine)
Why such assholes toward r72? I don't agree with the poster's way of life, but at least s/he isn't trying to impose anything on anyone else. I don't care what people believe or don't believe, or do or don't do, in their personal lives, as long as they're not trying to control mine.
Michael Kinsley is the weeniest weenie who ever weenied. Moreover, he's a dreadful writer: beginning sentences with "Thought experiment:" went out with parachute pants.
My grandfather still believes in separate but equal facilities for African Americans and still believes he is not a racist.
[quote]I guess I hit a nerve
Posting something really stupid has a way of doing that.
[quote]but this is getting stupid.
You began stupid and you've been getting worse. Just cut your losses and move on.
[quote]There's a mountain of evidence that children do best when they have the duality of having a female and male parental figure.
Actually, that's not even remotely close to being true. The "mountain of evidence" is on the other side, that there is no difference in outcomes of children raised by opposite-sex couples and children raised by same-sex couples. Perhaps you should educate yourself before you post next time?
R76 I don't know why I keep trying. :(
[quote]The marital construction was built to protect children.
Not really. It was all about property, not children.
Go ahead, find me anything about children in the traditional marriage vows. I'll wait.
R78 I hope I have not been an asshole. I tried with facts and reason. It just makes me sad to see that R72 is denying himself so much based on religious superstitions and isn't even consequent and consistent in that.
"Carson decided to withdraw as speaker"
Let me say it again "Carson decided to withdraw as speaker."
The entire argument that Carson has somehow been unfairly silenced by the university is a non-starter, but the writer proceeds with the essay as if the university itself somehow demanded Carson's withdrawal as speaker, which they did not. They're free to feel glad that he's no longer speaking if they find his hateful views abhorrent. Deal.
The opposition whines like bitches that other people DARE to think differently, and then backs down from debate at the slightest hint of disagreement, meanwhile screeching that they've been silenced by the PC police. Pathetic. They've been circling the drain for YEARS.
I'm against marriage on principle.
[quote]It was wrong to make Carson feel unwanted to the point of withdrawing.
His feewings were hurt?!? We should all avoid mentioning we disagree because he might start to feel unwanted?
If you're going to go out in public and argue that a disfavored minority doesn't deserve civil equality, you need to toughen up. End of story.
Carson decided to withdraw as speakerCarson decided to withdraw as speakerCarson decided to withdraw as speakerCarson decided to withdraw as speaker
Well, r87, hopefully, you're not so tied to that tiresome, received notion that you can't still stand up FOR legal equality... on principle.
I'm sure plenty of black people back in the day weren't huge fans of the turkey club at the Woolworth's lunch counter, but fortunately most realized the importance of legal and civil equality, even if the particular object of deprivation was not one they idealized beyond measure.
I'm assuming Mr. Kingsley is unaware of the older gay man who was tossed out of the hospital in Colorado unable to see his partner who was dying? This sort of thing happens all the time. Or, partners who are cut out of wills. This is why gay marriage is so important. That hospital visitations and wills are the most important part of gay marriage, in my opinion.
Yes it does. BYE!
r75, we ostensibly don't have have the same beliefs about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and what God requires of Christian believers. As I stated, I respect the right of non-believers to seek and pursue their happiness in accordance with their religious beliefs. You should respect my right to do the same.
I'm going to get flamed for this, but gay marriage is not an urgent issue. I'd much rather see the minimum wage raised substantially than another state pass gay marriage. And being married isn't going to do gays a whit of good keeping the planet from burning up. We would be much better off channelling our righteous energy into curbing fossil fuel consumption.
Save the concern-trolling, r93. It's lame and it's tired. It didn't work when people said the same thing about freeing the slaves, about civil rights for African-Americans, about women's lib, and about...oh, let's just say every single social advancement in the history of the country. They all had people like you on the sidelines wringing their hands and pointing to other more "urgent" problems, as if securing civil rights for a disenfranchised group uses up all your political points for the decade or something.
Save the righteous tone, 94. Gays at this period in history are a universe away from the disenfranchisement experienced by African Americans prior to the civil rights era.
No, I think I'll keep the righteous tone, r95. After all, I'm not the one arguing against the granting of civil rights and on the wrong side of history.
If you did save the righteous tone for church, 96, you might be able to think logically. No one is arguing against marriage for gays here. There's a difference between denying marriage rights to gays and simply not putting it at the top of the current agenda.
r97, there is literally no difference at all. Result in each case: no marriage rights for gays.
Or are you really so naive as to think a civil rights movement can just be put on hold and then picked up an indeterminate amount of time later (after we "solve" the problem of fossil fuel consumption, which should only take - what? A couple months at most, right?) with no loss of momentum and society still giving it the same amount of support it had before?
I'll happily keep my righteous tone because you're arguing unicorns and fairy dust and stroking your chin the whole time, fooling yourself into thinking you're being intelligent and thoughtful.
There will ALWAYS be something on "the agenda" that will seem more important than the granting of civil rights, which is why such selective and arbitrary concerns as yours deserve every bit of derision and eye-rolling possible.
Even though it's a valid point, I don't think we should get defensive when people link marriage to children.
The "marriage protects children" argument is an effective one, unfortunately. Rather than countering this argument by trying to separate marriage from children as distinct issues, we should be doing as R41 says and fight back with the evidence that same-sex parenting is not damaging and is not inferior.
There is no "mountain of evidence" in opposition to same sex parenting that doesn't come from a biased starting point. Objective research suggests the opposite.
Yes it is a ridiculous argument, but insisting that marriage and children are separate doesn't do much for strengthening the arguments in favor of same-sex parenting.
R72, I hope you reach a point where you realize you don't need to deny yourself a full relationship because of your faith. Doctrine is far from settled when it comes to sex and relationships (even heterosexual set outside marriage).
If you can't give up religion altogether, seek out a progressive church and give it a go.
[quote]He supports civil unions that would include all or almost all of the legal rights of marriage.
[italic]Almost all[/italic] of the legal rights or marriage! Why, separate but equal never sounded so good, boss!