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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Uncivil Righteousness

We all have the same civil rights.

That’s what Michele Bachman said to a group of Waverly High School students in Iowa last week.

We all have the same civil rights.

Isn’t that nice?

We all have the same civil rights.

Of course, it depends entirely on what you mean by “we.”

Bachmann told the teenagers, “We all have the same civil rights…”

“Then why can’t same-sex couples get married?” asked student Jane Schmidt, who is also the president of Waverly’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Bachmann’s answer?

They can get married.

Just not to the people they love.

Clever, huh?

SCHMIDT: One of my main concerns is government support for the LGBT community. So my question is what would you do to protect GSAs in high school and support the LGBT community?

BACHMANN: Well, number one, all of us as Americans have the same rights. The same civil rights. And so that's really what government's role is, to protect our civil rights. There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.

SCHMIDT: Then, why can't same-sex couples get married?

BACHMANN: They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man.

SCHMIDT: Why can't a man marry a man?

BACHMANN: Because that's not the law of the land.

SCHMIDT: So heterosexual couples have a privilege.

BACHMANN: No, they have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.

SCHMIDT: So you won't support the LGBT community?

BACHMANN: No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You're an American citizen first and foremost and that's it.

ELLA NEWELL (a junior at Waverly High School): Wouldn't heterosexual couples, if they were given a privilege then, that gay couples aren't, like given that privilege to get married, but heterosexual couples are given a privilege to get married?

BACHMANN: Remember every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex

According to Bachmann’s convoluted logic and staggering condescension, gay people have the same right to marry as straight people, they just have to be not gay.

Got that?

Opines Bachmann, allowing gay people to marry somebody of the same sex would be conferring special privileges on a select group based on their (presumed) sexual practices. Because, as I’m sure you all know, gay people only want to get married to each other for the squicky gay rainbow sex and not because they actually love each other and want to commit to spending their lives together like normal people do. It’s totally true and you can look that up.

In replying to Ms. Schmidt, Bachmann gave a total of six responses – and those six paragraphs clearly demonstrate why this ridiculous goof should be kept as far from public office, any office, as is possible.  Not only should voters, all voters especially including conservatives, soundly reject her bid for president, they shouldn’t even elect her to be the town dog catcher – let alone a United States lawmaker. 

The paragraphs above demonstrate not just a cognitively challenged viewpoint but a sharply bounded intellect as well. But, Hell, you know maybe she was just having a bad day. Too much cold medicine and not enough hetro bang bang jungle monkey sex or something.  But both in the context of the conversation above and in the broader context of 21st Century American society, Bachmann’s responses add up to a big fat intellectual zero. 

Her statements are neither internally consistent nor do they make any sense whatsoever in the context of her own stated political positions. It’s nothing more than gibberish, the kind of internal bizarro-world rationalizations given by an un-medicated psychotic. 

Well, number one, all of us as Americans have the same rights. The same civil rights. And so that's really what government's role is, to protect our civil rights. There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.

All of us have the same civil rights.

Except, of course, the part where we don’t.

What? You want a non-gay example? Bachmann, as a high ranking member of the government, has the right not to be strip-searched at the local airport. You and me? Not so much.

Civil rights are those inalienable entitlements that each American is given by his or her supposed creator (or by the happy accident of just being an American, whatever), i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the specifics of which are partially delineated in the Constitution.

The key words in Bachmann’s statement above are “us,” “we,” and “our.”   Bachmann’s use of those words is not all inclusive, when she says “us as Americans,” she is not talking about everybody. She barely acknowledges that gay people are human, let alone American.  It’s the doctrine of extremism and increasingly of mainstream American conservatism itself, i.e. you’re either with us or you’re against us. There is us, and there is them, and that’s all there is.  Period.

In Bachmann’s clearly stated worldview, Americans are Christians and Christians aren’t gay. Period. 

But then how does Bachmann explain gay Americans who are both clearly gay and clearly American?  Simple, according to Bachmann, gay people aren’t really gay, they’re just wrong, broken, defective. At best they are the result of incorrect choices and the victims of uncontrollable lusts and dangerous behavior. At worst, homosexuals are the work of the literal boogieman. Bachmann’s husband has made an entire career and a tidy living based specifically on that exact view of homosexuality – i.e. it’s not a sexual orientation, it’s a disease, a sin

A disease like alcoholism or drug addiction.  A disease which can be cured

A sin like avarice or gluttony, a sin for which the sinner can repent.

The rights Bachmann alludes to up above include, but are not limited to, the specific rights spelled out in the Constitution and its various amendments.  And, according to Bachmann, government’s role is to protect those rights.  Unfortunately, while each human being may be entitled to the same civil rights, what the Constitution fails to define in any but the most general sense is what, exactly, constitutes an actual American – or what constitutes a human being for that matter.  Apparently, that definition was a truth the Framers thought was self-evident enough that it didn’t require formal description (well, except for that part about slaves being only three fifths of an actual human being, but I digress).  Because of this, for the last two and a half centuries, senators and representatives exactly like Michele Bachmann have used their religion, bigotry, and shameless lust for power to define who exactly gets to be a human being in America and who doesn’t.  We’ve used this exact reasoning to exclude all kinds of people from full realization of their civil rights.  People who are the wrong color, people who worship the wrong god or none at all, people with the wrong political view, people who lack the proper reproductive organ, people who can’t read, people who have funny accents, people without land or means, people whose ancestors came from the wrong country (including those whose ancestors came from this country before it was this country) and so on right up to this very day.

Americans have civil rights. Gay people aren’t American. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

And it’s really just as simple as that.

That’s what Bachmann means when she says that we all have the same civil rights.  We.  Us real Americans.  We all have the same civil rights. Those other people? They aren’t really Americans, so they don’t count.

That’s why in Bachmann’s mind equal rights means special rights.

If she, and those like her, actually saw all people as people, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place, would we?

They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man.

Try something, substitute the racial designator of your choice for the gender nouns in that statement, i.e. They can marry a Caucasian if they’re a Caucasian. Or they can marry an Asian if they're an Asian. Or they can marry an African American if they’re African American. And so on.  How’s it sound now? Think it would stand up in court? They can only marry if their ancestors came from the same European culture. They can only marry if they are both of the same religion or attend the same church. They can only marry if they own land or have jobs.  They can only marry if they can both read. They can only marry if they both love tractor pulls and lite beer.  They can only get married if they are both liberals, or both conservatives, or both independents. They can only get married if the wife casts her vote same as the husband. They can only get married if the woman is a virgin. They can only get married if they are of the same socioeconomic caste.  They can only get married if they plan on having children – and only if they are both capable of producing children together. They can only get married if they don’t have any genetic defects that they might pass on to future generations.

Oh, hey, I know, they can only get married if they are both blond haired and blue eyed and a card carrying member of the master race…

How about now? How’s that sound?  Too far? Too extreme?  Of not extreme enough?

Don’t try to tell me that it’s not the same, because it is

It is exactly the same. 

Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann, or her mouthpiece, start bleating the standard slippery-slope warning, i.e. if we let gay people marry other gay people of the same gender, then we have to allow people to marry animals and farm equipment and the Eiffel Tower.

That’s true. 

Just as soon as dogs, milking-machines, and French landmarks are sentient self-aware beings who have attained the legal age of majority and are responsible for their own decisions under the law. 

This is the same exact legal precedent that gives people with Down Syndrome, Autism,  or other cognitive impairments, the right to get married, i.e. if they are of legal age and are legally responsible for themselves no matter their particular impairment, then nobody can prevent them from getting married – even if the thought of mentally challenged people having sex makes others squicky and uncomfortable.   Just as it is conversely illegal to have sex with somebody who isn’t legally able to give consent, such as a child or a dog, or to marry somebody who can’t understand what they are doing, such as a person in a coma and no more aware or legally responsible for their own actions than a potted plant. 

The admonishment “but but but then we’ll have to let people marry animals and so on” is a logical fallacy and a specious idiotic product of somebody who simply doesn’t have an actual argument other than “I don’t like it.”

The inalienable civil rights of others are not determined by what makes you uncomfortable. 

You deal with your own squick on your own time, you have no right whatsoever to force your logical fallacies on others.   If the thought of homosexuality makes you uncomfortable, too damned bad, that’s your problem, you deal with it.  Just as if the thought of a black man marrying a white woman bothers you, or people of different religions bothers you, or people with Down Syndrome.  It’s your problem, and that has no bearing whatsoever on other peoples’ civil rights.

According to Bachmann, the purpose of government is to protect civil rights for all citizens.  Bachmann is also a vocal advocate for small government, maximum individual sovereignty, and minimal federal meddling in people’s lives.

So how come Bachmann, as a sitting United States lawmaker, is going around telling a bunch of high school kids who they can marry?

[Why can’t people marry who they want to?] Because that's not the law of the land.

There was a time when the law of the land didn’t allow people of Bachmann’s gender to vote. Or own land. Or hold a job. Or run for office.

There was a time when the law of the land considered people of color property and less than human.

There was a time when the law of the land herded people of certain ethnicities into internment camps for no reason other than they had slanty eyes or their last name was Eichmann or Frazetti.

There was a time when the law of the land allowed a government committee to destroy your life simply because an anonymous accuser alleged that you might be a communist – or a terrorist.

There was a time when the law of the land sterilized people deemed undesirable. 

There was a time when all of these things were the law of the land. That doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make it moral.  And it doesn’t mean we can’t fix it.

Times change. Society changes. Laws change

Bachmann knows this, else why is she fighting so hard to change the law of the land that allows all woman access to a safe and affordable abortion?

Times change. The men who founded this country knew it and expected exactly that, and that’s specifically why they incorporated directly into the fabric of the Constitution a method for changing it as society itself changed.

It is blindingly obvious that Bachmann is a coward, a moral coward, who instead of answering a teenager’s question honestly and directly, i.e. instead of giving her real reason for opposing same-sex marriage, hid behind a specious sound bite.   And make no mistake, Bachmann knows exactly what she is, i.e. a coward and a hypocrite, otherwise she would have answered this question directly. We’ll come back to that in a couple of paragraphs.

A great many of the horrors of our past have been perpetrated under this same exact moral cowardice. 

The Red Man doesn’t feel the same way about his kids as we do. 

Negros are better off as slaves in America than as savages in Africa.

I was just following orders. 

I didn’t know what was happening inside Abu Ghraib, the CIA was in charge.

We can’t change the past, but we can damned sure change our future.

They have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.

There it is again, they

And the truth of the matter is that in many cases they don’t have the same opportunities under the law.  They don’t have the simple right to see a loved one in the hospital – if that loved one is their same-sex partner. They don’t have the right to insurance benefits or next-of-kin notification or joint ownership or medical decisions or tax breaks or any of the veritable host of rights that come with traditional relationships.  In a lot of cases, they don’t have the right to adopt children if they so choose to do so – or, in some cases, gain custody of their own biological offspring.  In fact, there are a lot of rights they don’t get – including the right not to be discriminated against when it comes to fair and equitable representation of their civil rights and interests by their own Goddamned Representative.

Bachmann says that a man is free to marry a woman and vice versa.  True.  But, ask yourself something, if same-sex marriage is allowed, how does that change – in any way whatsoever – a man’s right to marry a woman and vice versa?  How does same sex marriage in any way, any way whatsoever, affect traditional male/female marriage?  If men can marry men and women can marry women, can’t men still marry women and women still marry men and will not one goddamned thing be any different for Michele Bachmann in any way whatsoever?  Assuming that you’re heterosexual, your rights, my rights, your marriage, my marriage, Bachmann’s marriage, will have changed not one iota. If you’re straight, same-sex marriage affects you, whoever you are, in no way whatsoever, other than the fact that you will have to come to terms with the idea that some people you don’t know, somewhere that has no impact on you, are maybe doing something that you don’t like.

LGBT people aren’t asking for special rights, they’re demanding the same rights that any American is entitled to, i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of goddamned happiness. Nothing more, nothing less.

And to be clear here, it’s not just gay people making this demand, a hell of a lot of straight people, say like yours truly, demand the same. Not because we either approve or disapprove of who you have sex with or who you love, but because in America either we are all free or none of us are.

[Will you suppose the LGBT community?] No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You're an American citizen first and foremost and that's it.

No. That’s the only truly truthful statement Bachmann made. No. You can depend on me not to represent your interests as long as I am in government. No, despite the fact that I swore to support and defend the Constitution and civil rights for all Americans. No. Fuck you.

Here’s a thought, a hell of a lot of heterosexuals perform the exact same sexual acts that homosexuals do.  In fact, heterosexual sex only has one combination that homosexual sex doesn’t have. I’m not going to spell it out for you, being as this is a family blog and all, but you should be able to figure it out.  If you’re having trouble, type the word “sex” into Google Image search and educate yourself on how the naughty bits fit together in various combinations.

Every single American should fully understand the implications of this line of reasoning: Given that there is only one thing heterosexual couples can do when it comes to sex that homosexual couples can’t, and people like Bachmann have stated fairly specifically that that one act is the only form of sex they believe to be sanctioned in the eyes of their God, then their actions indicate that they believe that they have the right and the authority to dictate how you have sex – and quite likely the position you have it in.  Here’s the kicker, Bachmann and her ilk believe they have the God-given right to dictate why you have sex, not for pleasure or intimacy or love, but for the sole purpose of reproduction. 

That’s what this is all about. 

Now, you want to talk about governmental overreach?

Bachmann not only wants control of your bedroom, she wants to decide how you think.

And that’s why Conservatives should send this woman packing sooner rather than later.

If there are no special rights for people based upon their sex practices, then there should be no special prohibitions either.

Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann bring up how gay marriages don’t produce children, or don’t produce children without help.  This is an asinine argument. There is no requirement whatsoever, under any law or regulation at the Federal, State, or local level for a marriage to produce children as a requirement for validity.  If you require that gay people produce children as a result of their particular sexual practices in order to be married, then you must apply this requirement to all marriages regardless of the genders of those involved.  This argument is invalid. It also doesn’t apply even within the context of traditional pairing. It’s also stupid. Fail. Try again. 

As to that bit about being an American first and foremost, well, we’re back to a United States Representative telling American citizens who they are.  And I have to wonder what Bachmann’s reaction would be if, say, President Obama told this girl that she was an American first and foremost – and thereby implying that Schmidt was a Christian second.  I’ll leave the imagining of that outraged response by the usual rightwing pundits as an exercise for the reader.

Remember every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex

While the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act does specify that marriage is between one man and one woman, the actual implementation was left up the individual states. DOMA has no Constitutional basis at all and is quite likely to be repealed upon Supreme Court review – especially since the White House has declined to defend it.  As to the Constitution itself,  House Resolution 56, the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, was introduced before the House of Representatives on May 21, 2003. Ratification of this constitutional amendment would have overridden state law and defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the US Constitution.  So far, it hasn’t even come close to getting out of committee, let alone passed the House or Senate and gone to the states for ratification.   The question at this point is of course, how someone who strongly advocates for State’s Rights and smaller Federal interference, and in fact is campaigning for president on this exact issue, could possibly be for an amendment that is directly counter to those stated positions – unless she is, in point of fact, a flaming hypocrite who simply wants her way. 

In Iowa, where Bachmann made this condescending proclamation, the law specifically says that you do not in fact have to marry somebody of the opposite sex. But, I digress. Again.

 

Here’s the thing: The plain and simple truth of the matter is that aversion to same-sex marriage here in the land of the free and home of the brave is based entirely on religion.

Just so.

Take religion out of it, and there is not even one legitimate reason why any mentally competent adult should not be able to marry any other mentally competent adult regardless of gender – and especially despite what some politician thinks. (Don’t. Just don’t even go down the road of, “Gay is a mental illness so gay people aren’t mentally competent. Because that just makes you even more of a douchebag than you already are. You’re also wrong).

Same-sex marriage deprives nobody, not one single person, of any right that they have at this exact moment.

Same-sex marriage cannot be shown to have negatively affected any traditional marriage in any way whatsoever, ever – even if that was a factor for basing a law on.  Which it isn’t.  And so-called defenders of traditional marriage should be damned grateful that we don’t start implementing laws based on what might or might not impact good old-fashioned hetro marriages, because booze, gambling, sports, money, work, porn, children, and religion are a far, far, far bigger threat to traditional marriages than any random pair of queers minding their own business in the privacy of their own bedroom.

Same-sex marriage in states that now allow it has had zero, repeat zero, impact on the lives and livelihoods of people who oppose it. No church has been forced to perform marriages that they oppose, just as they didn’t have to perform marriages they opposed prior to the legalization of same sex marriage – hysteria not withstanding.   Marauding bands of sparkly homosexuals don’t roam the streets waving guns and wearing tri-corner hats.  Law and order and life seems pretty much the same now as before. National security remains unaffected.  The earth’s orbit hasn’t changed.  Now, it’s true that a lot of lives and livelihoods have been degraded to some extent nationwide in recent years – but that has everything to do with the immoral actions taken in the boardrooms of Wall Street and nothing whatsoever to do with gay marriage (If you want to go all Westboro Baptist and argue that God is punishing America for Teh Gay, I will listen to you – just as soon as you can prove what you say using accepted mainstream scientific methodology and empirical forensic laboratory evidence to the legal standards in the US state of your choosing).

Now, this is typically the point where people like Bachmann bring up the final ultimate idiotic argument:  If gay people get married and raise children, those children could turn out to be gay help us lord jebus oh noes!  Gay parents might make for gay kids. So? What do you care? Seriously, one way or the other, so what? Question, without resorting to pseudo science or Jesus, explain where gay people come from now

Here’s the thing, so pay attention: In America we don’t make laws based on religion, yours or anybody else’s. Period. 

And no, American law is not, in point of provable fact, based on the Christian bible.  No, it’s not. It only looks that way if you cover one eye and ignore pretty much most of the bible. Sure there are some superficial similarities, the bible forbids murder and theft for example. Hardly surprising since most human societies generally frowned upon killing people and stealing their shit long before Moses went up the mountain.  Thou shalt not murder people and steal shit isn’t something you should need God’s guidance on. But the bible also says that rape is fine, providing the rapist marries his victim afterward – I’m curious why Michele Bachmann doesn’t advocate for changes in our law to reflect this biblically endowed civil right: Rape + marriage afterward = God Happy. It would certainly have a far, far greater impact on our society than if one man lays with another don’t you think? (Here’s a question, what if one man rapes another? Can they get married then? Whoa. Sorry, somebody slap Jesus on the back there. My bad)  How come Bachmann isn’t advocating for the abolition of divorce? After all, dissolution of a marriage is forbidden in both the New and Old Testaments.  How about adultery? Why hasn’t Bachmann demanded that Newt Gingrich be stoned to death as specifically directed by God?  There wasn’t any of this vague “lays with” crap either, God said commit adultery, die motherfucker. Period. Speaking of Children, God recommends that if a man dies childless, his widow must have intercourse with each of the man’s brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband’s male heir. 

There is plenty more where that jackassery came from, but I think that’s about enough silliness at the moment.

And yet, this is exactly what Michele Bachmann and the religious Right would have.  And that is exactly why Bachmann refused to answer Jane Schmidt’s question directly and instead choose to hide behind an inane and idiotic sound-bite like “it’s the law of the land.”  Her answers are motivated entirely by her religion and her un-American attempt to force those religious views on everybody else in this country.  She knows it.  She absolutely knows it. And she knows why it’s counter to everything this country stands for.

And that’s exactly why she tried to hide her real intentions.

The  law of our land is that our laws are not based on religion. 

Nor should our law be based on hate.

Give me one valid argument against same-sex marriage that isn’t, ultimately, based on either religion or just plain bigotry.

Bottom line: We may not all have the same civil rights, yet, but we all have the right vote against dimwitted hypocrites like Michele Bachmann.

Please do so.

 

 


Commandment #1:    Speculation about Marcus Bachmann’s sexuality is not relevant to the conversation.  Whether or not he is straight, bent, closeted, confused, or a piece of farm equipment is his business.  Does that or does that not make him some kind of hypocrite? Who gives a fuck? He is not running for office.  Should he become First Dude and lead the charge for Teh Gay Cure, then you may have at him.  Until and such, mocking, ridiculing, or belittling any person for his or her supposed sexual orientation is the tactic of the hater and the bigot.  Don’t be that person, at least not here.  Any comment that engages in such douchebaggery will be deleted immediately and without notice. 

 

Commandment #2:  This post is in no way whatsoever an attack on religion in general or Christianity in particular.   It is a blunt assessment of one Christian and one form of Christianity.  If you take that personally, that’s your problem. Don’t make it mine.  If you feel that this is directed at you and your beliefs, then you should go back and read the post again, carefully.  Sound out the big words and get help if you need it. If you still feel that this article is a condemnation of your personal brand of Jesushood, well then it probably is. Go somewhere else and think about that.  Any comment attempting to turn this into a discussion of my supposed intolerance of your particular religious viewpoint or about the much ballyhooed persecution of the poor, poor American Christian will likewise be removed without warning or comment.

85 comments:

  1. I love you. I really do. THat's all. Thank you.

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  2. “Then why can’t same-sex couples get married?” asked student Jane Schmidt, who is also the president of Waverly’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

    Bachmann’s answer?

    They can get married.

    Just not to the people they love.


    This sounds like something that Virginia Justice Harry L. Carrico wrote in 1965, upholding the conviction of Mildred Loving (a black lady) and Richard Loving (a white man) for the crime of marrying, interracial marriage of course being illegal in the state of Virginia. Carrico ruled that since the law punished both the white partner and the black partner it wasn't racially discriminatory, and that Mildred and Richard were perfectly free to marry -- someone else, of the same race -- so their right to marry wasn't being infringed.

    The U.S. Supreme Court overturned this with Loving v. Virginia, where the unanimous decision read:

    Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

    What is interesting to me is that this decision should apply 100% to gay marriage too. I.e., the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of the same sex resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state. But every time you mention such a thing, gay right advocates gasp in shock at the very thought that their struggle for civil rights might have some similar to the struggle of black people for civil rights (I wonder -- does the fact that every gay rights advocate that I've ever encountered is *white* have something to do with that reaction on their part?), and black civil rights activists blow several dozen different kinds of fuses at the thought that there might be some discriminated-against minority other than themselves (nevermind that nobody has ever tried to exterminate blacks, while Hitler did his best to exterminate gays, sending a million or so of them to the gas chambers to keep the Jews company).

    So there you are, you have a clear constitutional principle that isn't getting aired publicly for fear of offending the sensibilities of black civil rights leaders... to which I say bah humbug. Rights are rights, regardless of whether you're gay or black, marriage is one of those rights and how dare Michelle Bachmann say that a white man and a black woman are perfectly free to marry -- except not to the person they love. Oh wait, she said that about two gay people. Same difference. And anybody who can't see that parallel either doesn't care, is willfully blind, or is a bigot. 'Nuff said.

    -BT

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    1. Wow. I know this was written a while ago, so all I can hope for is you have met more gays and/or minorities by now than you knew a year ago BadTux, because I've been a gay womyn all my 42 years (which means I know LOTS of gays. Maybe spend some time in P-Town for Womyn's Week, it may help), have dated womyn of color, and known many different people of many different colors, male & female, but I have never...not once...known any one that would agree with any of your statements made above. Just wanted to throw my 5 cents in... Really sorry, but your ignorance was showing. Only trying to help.

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    2. Sorry BadTux, but as a gay womyn for most of my 42 years on this planet, I've known lots of different people and dated a few different kinds of people, including womyn of color...I've even been to P-Town and been totally surrounded by people of all races, genders, colors, & sexual orientations, but I have never, in my life, met anyone that would agree with the statements you made above:
      "gay right advocates gasp in shock at the very thought that their struggle for civil rights might have some similar to the struggle of black people for civil rights (I wonder -- does the fact that every gay rights advocate that I've ever encountered is *white* have something to do with that reaction on their part?), and black civil rights activists blow several dozen different kinds of fuses at the thought that there might be some discriminated-against minority other than themselves"
      I won't even start on the Hitler thing.
      The rest of it was fine.
      Just my 5 cents. (Inflation don'tchya know)
      I guess all us gay folks do thank you for your support of our rights though. O.o

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    3. I do know this is from quite a while ago too, so maybe you've met more people by now. :)

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    4. Heather, I was talking to the people in charge of the pro-marriage campaigns at the HRC, who absolutely refuse to turn gay marriage into a civil rights campaign for fear of offending black civil rights activists. The HRC accounts for probably 95% of the funding and political groundwork involved in the pro-marriage movement within the gay community. You are of course correct about them not being *all* pro-marriage activists in the gay marriage community, but they are the people with the money and are the main political force in the pro-marriage campaign.

      Your accusation of me as being some kind of bigot who hasn't ever encountered gay people, or whatever, is just stupidity. Until you address the fact that the HRC absolutely refuses to couch gay marriage as a fundamental civil right no different from inter-racial marriage (a refusal verified with multiple top people in the HRC), you have not addressed my point.

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  3. Jim_ If you built a house like you argue a point you'd have a pile of wood sitting on your foundation and a pile of nails in your neighbor's yard.

    Way to drive it home. I'm humbled.

    b.t.w._ Sometimes I squick when I run into a gay male couple, not always, but I can think clearly enough to know it's none of my goddamn business. Lot's of stupid things make me go squick. It's my problem; alone.

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  4. I meant nails through wood, out other side, over fence. As in pounded nail very, very, hard. Pounded arguments home equally hard.

    I suck at metaphor.

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  5. I suck at metaphor.

    Is that what the kids are calling it nowadays?

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  6. I thought Ms. Bachmann was a Representative, not a Senator.

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  7. I thought Ms. Bachmann was a Representative, not a Senator.

    Heh heh. Well, hell. Guess I'd better go fix that, hadn't I?

    Thanks

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  8. That's what happens when you over edit the hell out of an article.

    Thanks for catching that embarrassing error, Barbara CY. It's fixed.

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  9. *Standing ovation!*

    Well said!

    On a personal note: I find it ridiculous, and a little frightening, that someone like Michelle Bachmann can actually draw a large enough audience and base to even be considered in the running for president. She represents one of the most toxic messages known to man, namely politicized religion (or religious politics. Either fits). While I know that she stands little hope of winning the nomination, and even if she did she'd likely[1] lose to Obama and badly, having someone that outright and unabashedly batty on a national stage makes me nervous.

    [1] The only reason I say 'likely' is because there is a conceivable, miniscule chance that something insane happens that will render her a viable candidate.

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  10. The fact that Bachmann is even vaguely a viable candidate says more about us than it does about her.

    And I don't mean that in a good way.

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  11. Given how Michele has more than once stated that the proper position of a woman is "submitted to her husband" there is a case to be made that Marcus Bachmann is in fact running for Office -- through his wife...

    inglu: What most of the GOP candidates sound like they're sniffing.

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  12. "And then I looked, and, lo, there was a great multitude before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing red faces and a kind of expression of indignation, and they cried out in a loud voice:

    Oh, Lord, no! Can't You do something about her? She's so embarrassing! Just a little bit of smiting? Drinking of the cup of Your wrath for being a brain-dead disingenuous think-peanut? Please? We'd be everso grateful."


    [a free translation from the Greek]

    Two questions:
    - given that la Bachmann is being dishonest and knows it, how do you begin to counter this? You can't challenge her views, because they're not up for debate - they're hidden behind other stuff. How do you counteract that?
    - Has anyone asked these guys - given that US law is totally based on the bible, about enacting the Jubilee commandments? That would be hilarious...

    Thanks again Jim: clarity with such style. If you build houses this way, they would be bad ass.

    Dan

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  13. I've long held that the ones who actually want "special rights," are those who wish to impose their religion on others, though they would surely be the first to scream their fool heads off if adherents of even another sect of Christianity tried to do the same to them. How would they like to be forced to wear magic underwear? Or attend church on Saturdays? Or actually decry usury? I fail to see where they should have the right to dictate who and who cannot get married, particularly given that it's a purely religious objection. Which, under our Constitution, gives it exactly no legal standing whatsoever.

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  14. I am so glad we don't have to go thru this anymore in Canada.

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  15. "What? You want a non-gay example? Bachmann, as a high ranking member of the government, has the right not to be strip-searched at the local airport. You and me? Not so much."

    TSA has said time and time again that they do not strip search people at the airport, it is not in their procedures manual.

    The two older women who have recently been strip searched were not done by TSA but agents straying outside the procedures in the manual. At least they have admitted it did happen.

    About that bridge over the east river

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  16. BZ Jim. BZ!

    And based on the questions and followups, I'd say the kids are alright. Indeed, what we are witnessing is the dying of the old order, embodied by the likes of Bachmann and others, who will fight the rising tide until they drown.

    I just hope we can keep them from the reins of greater power until the water can do its job...

    RP

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  17. Retired Patriot: I hope you're right; I thinks so, too.

    Pangolin: Very honest of you.

    Mr. Wright: Another great post, thanks.

    bd

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  18. "And to be clear here, it’s not just gay people making this demand, a hell of a lot of straight people, say like yours truly, demand the same."

    Me, too.

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  19. We make laws based on religion all the time. We shouldn't do it, but we do.

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  20. As a gay man, who has been with my husband for 27 years (but can't legaly get married to him) THANK YOU!!! Seeing a straight person spell out EVERY argument I have used on this subject and making the points that peopel need to see, I appreciate it more than you can know!

    THANK YOU!!

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  21. I believe it's Down syndrome, not Down's.

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  22. It's kind of like the flip side of bridges isn't it: rich people have the very same rights as poor people to sleep under them.

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  23. I believe it's Down syndrome, not Down's.

    You are correct. It's now fixed in the post. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    _____________________


    It's kind of like the flip side of bridges isn't it: rich people have the very same rights as poor people to sleep under them.

    The full quote is "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France.

    I was going to include that in the post, but I figured it was long enough already.

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  24. Just imagine if the tables were turned. If -- for some imaginary reason -- only same sex marriages were allowed. Would us poor breeders be satisfied to be told that we had the same right as anybody else to enter into a same sex marriage, but we couldn't claim any "special rights" based on our sexual preference? In the fifties, black people had the same right as white people not to be discriminated against for being white. Seems stupid today, doesn't it?

    You forgot to mention polygamy. A marriage in the civil sense -- which is the only sense that the government should be concerned with -- is still at its base a civil contract. And I'm not all that sure how contracts are supposed to work with more than two parties involved, but I suspect that there's some kind of legal mechanism whereby a three party contract actually involves in effect three contracts that form a triangle, if you get what I mean. Anybody know how that works?

    The real shame is not that Bachmann thinks this way -- there will always be people who think this way. Usually society has the good sense to marginalize them. The shame is that people who think this way are now in control of the Republican party.

    The only political debate I want to see right now is one where Jim debates Bachmann, live on CNN or wherever, either Bachmann or any other politician trying to make hay out of their brave stance against The Gay. And speaking of rights, I reserve the right to quote liberally from this post, with attribution. And let's get somebody on that stoning Noot thing ASAP.

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  25. I live in Canada, and since this country legalized equal marriage in 2005 the world has not ended, the country has not collapsed, and the institution of marriage has not been destroyed.

    I'm bisexual. Until 2005, half of my potential long-term committed relationships were not legally protected under Canadian law. After 2005 the gender of my partner doesn't matter, we are legally protected.

    In 2010, I got engaged to a wonderful person with whom I plan on sharing the rest of my life. And no, I'm not telling you the the gender of my fiancee, because it doesn't matter, nor should it.

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  26. Whoo-hoo! I adore these intense writings. Especially on the subject of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    Now, one teensy little question, about that "life" part: Can I read the Right to Stay Alive with Needed Health Care as a part of that inalienable right? According to an article in a recent Journal of Public Health, nearly 45,000 Americans died last year (or maybe the year before; it takes a while to get an academic paper published) specifically because they did not have health care.

    Otherwise, I am just as intense about the Pursuit of Happiness clause covering same-sex marriage.

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  27. It comes to this: I have the right to marry whomever I like, and you have the right to marry whomever you don't like.

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  28. Marauding bands of sparkly homosexuals don’t roam the streets waving guns and wearing tri-corner hats.

    Which is too bad, as it would certainly spruce up the neighborhood.

    I work at a university, surrounded by students. As Retired Patriot says- the kids ARE all right. Given sufficient time, the old order will change- we just need to change it faster, despite the efforts of Bachman and company.

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  29. I'm with Kado. I just keep clicking the box for You Are My God because damn, nobody puts an argument together and annihilates the hypocrites and idiots as well as you do.

    Well said, sir!

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  30. As history has shown us, the young people of today will change the Old Order. The rabble rousing kids of the 60s changed the direction of this country. I hope the kids of today to the same!!! Funny how people who are so upset over the debt facing this country also bring up the impact of this debt on the future generations get all bent out of shape when the future generation strikes out on a different path.

    I am far more upset over children - as young as 14 - getting married in this country than 2 people of the same sex over 18 getting married.

    I chose who I married and strongly believe that others should have the exact "right" as long as everyone is over 18. To do otherwise, is wrong.

    Early in our marriage my husband expressed opposition to same sex marriage. I told him that when his argument against same sex marriage could be made without any religious support or basis, I would listen. He couldn't and eventually realized that it was a civil rights and equality before the law issue and not someone's religious beliefs.

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  31. Excellent! Now I understand her marriage choice.

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  32. Well, in her (and others like her) mind we all have the same rights… to be exactly the way she thinks we should be. And we have no right to be any different. It's an externilization of the effect that most people experience that "this new person whom I don't have any contact with before" beleives exactly the way I think they do (which is oftern how the observer believes and feels). Only through more exposure do we really find out that other person believes and feels some radically different things.

    Basically, IMHO, conservatives of this stripe haven't emotionally progressed past the second grade.

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  33. I see Jim Wright is resorting to deleting posts even if they don't pass his moving goal post rules.

    So sad what a bad turn he's made (at least in my mind) since he got it soooo wrong on OWS.

    Now he is forced to subjectively delete comments. Basically becoming a part of the same hypocritical opinionators he claims to rail against.

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  34. Well, if it isn't my old friend Anonymous, the one trick pony.

    You're like a child. Pay attention: This post isn't about OWS. Just as the previous post wasn't about OWS. Just as the post before that wasn't about OWS. If you must blather on about OWS, go to the OWS posts and comment there. How many damned times do you have to be told?

    As to my "subjectively deleting comments", when you start paying me to maintain Stonekettle Station, you can have a vote in what comments I keep and which ones I delete. Until then fuck off.

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  35. Many comments to make. Last first - Jim Wright hasn't moved his goal posts. He's been consistent with them and always warns potential commenters to abide by his rules.
    2) When people complain "life's not fair", I reply that life is fair, what they are usually asking for is for life to be unfair - but in their favor. Life is fair, people aren't.
    3) Your arguments that same sex marriage does not intefer with opposite sex marriage is great. What I've said for years.
    3) When people say this is a Christian nation, I ask - which brand? Lutheran, Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, whatever? Then I ask them if they go to church and if they don't, why not? If they do, do they tithe as directed? (family member is in a clergy and keeping the church financially afloat is very difficult). I point to the last sentence of Article VI Constitution and Amendment I of the Consitution.
    Good post, thank you.

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  36. And Perry is now going after the President about gays serving opening in the military. How much talent and training would be wasted, has been wasted, when gays were kicked out? I'm not gay or bi or anything but hetero, don't even have any good friends who are anything but hetero, but I sure know lots of hetero who let their sexual preferences interfer with their jobs and lives. Based on that, I'd say LGBT could probably do jobs just as well as hetero, and that's what jobs are about, getting done - and the military is a job that needs to be done. Use the best talent available.
    Now I'd better go do my job.

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  37. Thank you. I am glad that someone else is actually articulating why the "slippery slope" arguments about animals and inanimate objects is so absurd. I would be happy to let someone marry their dog when their dog can sign his/her name on the marriage license and verbally state in an understandable language that they are entering into the binding agreement of their own free will and are of legal age to enter into a binding legal contract.

    One small issue with your post though. The slaves were only counted as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution, not four fifths. It was the three fifths compromise for the Southern states.

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  38. One small issue with your post though. The slaves were only counted as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution, not four fifths. It was the three fifths compromise for the Southern states.

    Damnit. I lose track of which ethnic minorities are which fraction of a real human being. It's because I'm Irish - that's like 120% of a human being, only more so

    ;)

    ;)

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  39. Once again a great post, Jim.

    But I just have to point out that the Three Fifths Compromise equated a slave to 3/5 of a person, not 4/5.

    Thanks for doing what you do.

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  40. Well, damn-it.
    That's what I get for not refreshing one last time before posting.

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  41. "...dissolution of a marriage is forbidden in both the New and Old Testaments." Actually, not so much forbidden in the old testament: Deuteronomy 24:1

    Canada has survived the recent economic problem much better than the US. Perhaps due to allowing same gender marriages, thereby disproving Westboro church's premise.

    The Christian opponents of same gender marriage in Canada realized that they didn't have a hope of preventing the change in law. So instead of campaigning against gay marriage they campaigned against it being called "marriage". It was pretty silly.

    As far as polygamy goes the British Columbia Supreme Court recently upheld Canada's polygamy laws. The challenge was based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was defeated because "women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm. They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse." I wonder where that leaves polyandry?

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  42. Jim if you're ever in Ohio I'd like to buy you a drink.

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  43. Jim if you're ever in Ohio I'd like to buy you a drink.

    FNG, and if I'm ever in Ohio, I'll let you. Beer though, not one of those fruity gay drinks...

    ;)

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  44. fng, if everybody who said that actually bought Jim a drink, he'd need a 747 hangar to store it all in :).

    timb111, I wouldn't gloat so much about Canada's economy. Canada's housing bubble hasn't burst yet -- and if you believe Canada doesn't have a housing bubble, might I suggest you go to any real estate site and check housing prices in Vancouver or Toronto?

    lee27, yeah, each generation of kids changes our country. The baby boomer generation sure changed our country, didn't they?

    Finally: When I was 19 years old, umpty-ump years ago back when the President's first name started with a J and last name started with a C (hmm, just noticed his name starts with the same letters as Jesus Christ!), I was asked (by a gay man) what I thought about gays. I shrugged and said "the notion of gay sex really makes me say 'ick', but what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of my business." Odd that a redneck kid from Loosianer can figure that out, but a supposedly educated woman from a state that has a real educational system can't...

    -BT

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  45. Funny you should bring this up. JC dropped by the house the other day and this Bachmann stupidity was on the tube about then. We popped a couple of cool ones, and I say to him,” Jesus, why do you let this crap go on? She's messing with your brand."

    Well, HE just rolls his eyes and says, "Look, WE started teaching you hairless apes about five thousand years ago how to get along. For the first 3,000 or so, we held you freakin' hand most of the time. And you still got it wrong. All that stoning and smiting .... I never told you to do that and neither did Dad. None of the other guys -- Moses, Buddha, Lao Tzu -- they didn't tell you do that, either. Your politicians and priests did.

    The Book of Leviticus – aw, for MySake, a bunch of angry old altekockers just made that shit right up, pulled it out of their wazoo and told you to do it! It a whole book of “You kids get off my lawn” crap.

    "Lemme give you a clue -- any time some A-wipe tells you that GOD told him that he can take your stuff and tell you what to do, you need to get as far from that guy as possible. He's lying like a rug.”

    OK, this I knew. “But Jesus, why do you let people like her mess with Your Name?”

    He stared at me like I was the slow kid. “You hairless apes think so much of yourselves. You really think it’s gonna mess up my day – or my eon – what a bunch of hairless apes think about ME? I mean, it was nice when you built those cathedrals and invented polyphony just for ME, I appreciate that, but really…

    "Besides, last time I tried to talk to you people face to Visage, you nailed me up. _Not _cool_.

    “ So WE decided that it was time you ride the bike on your own. That Hitler guy? I coulda come down and kicked his ass. Stalin’s too. But then what? Some other jerk woulda just taken their place. Nothin’s gonna change until you people decide it’s going to. So grow up. Take care of it, and each other. That’s all I got, and it’s all WE ever had for you.”

    HE went over to the fridge. “You got another one of these? Oh never mind, I make more.”

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  46. I don't get the argument that same-sex marriage will ruin hetero marriage at all. It makes no logical sense. Do these people think that it's a trade or something? That's like saying if my brother and his partner were to marry, my marriage would fall apart. Thanks for this post.

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    Replies
    1. neurondoc,

      I'm glad you brought this up. I was a little sad that Jim didn't quite address this point in his brilliant-as-usual post.

      Without defending the dog-in-the-manger types who want to reserve marriage unto themselves at the expense of others, they do have something to be concerned about. In a nutshell, they are worried that extending the right of marriage to any old riffraff that comes along will dilute the franchise.

      Before we jump immediately to whether that is *rational* or not, think about this analogy:

      In many neighborhoods in the US, if you move into the neighborhood and proceed to neglect your lawn, the neighborhood association will eventually come and mow the lawn for you and bill you for the service. While technically infringing on your right to maintain your property as you please, their reasoning is that your neglected property is reflecting badly on the neighborhood and therefore on them, and may even be lowering the property values and thereby causing real fiscal damage to everyone in the neighborhood. As the individual in question, you have two choices: either submit to the community's standards or else move to some community where your standards are tolerated (or the property values are already low enough that your behavior doesn't matter).

      Now, it can be said that LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender) folks are in general perfectly okay about having other LGBT folks marry and the only people who will feel that the franchise of marriage has been debased are the Dogs-In-The-Manger. However, the opinions of another Manger Dog are really the only ones that matter to a Manger Dog.

      The crux of the issue is that the Manger Dogs DON'T see LGBT folks as mattering. In the past, they didn't even SEE LGBT folks. Out of sight, mostly out of mind.

      The Manger Dogs never actually had to confront the idea that they themselves are in any way, shape or form similar to someone who is so nasty, evil and perverted as to be LGBT. However, when they not only move into the neighborhood, but belong to the same institutions (marriage, parenthood) and call themselves by the same names (husband, wife, father, mother) it becomes increasingly hard for a Manger Dog to look in the mirror and not notice similarities.

      This puts the Manger Dogs on the horns of an emotional dilemma: either they have to admit that they were wrong about LGBT folks being so darned awful (how could they be bad if they're so much like me? I'M not bad) or else they have to recognize their own personal failings and wonder if they aren't themselves, a little bit icky and perverted.

      In this situation, is it any wonder that avoidance (No! LGBT can't marry! Manger Dogs marry. If the LGBT marry, they share something in common with us and they CAN'T be ANYTHING like us. WE'RE NOT perverts! Marriage is just not applicable to them. It's applicable to… to… Manger Dogs. That's it! You have to be a Manger Dog to be married. Anyone else is just, um… wrong.) is a popular response? Compounding this is the "we were here first, quit forcing yourselves into our sandbox and go play in your own" feeling.

      So while ETHICALLY, no one should be able to tell anyone else that they can't marry, as a practical matter it's easy to see why Manger Dogs feel like they are the ones who are hurt by LGBT folks pressing to join the club and they are vocally fighting back to protect their right (to not feel inadequate).

      How does this end? The same way it ended for the Grinch: his nose was rubbed in his failings until his heart "grew three sizes that day" and he was able to take his place as an emotionally responsible member of society.

      Like the racial bigots before them, the Manger Dogs will have to experience the pain of emotional growth before they will be able to reap the benefits of being part of a larger and more culturally diverse world. In the meantime, everyone else will have to put up with managing the havoc they cause.

      -- Mack

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  47. I just want to know why the government thinks it has to stick its nose into small issues like marrage? What the heck does that have to do with running a country? Dont they have bigger issues to worry about?

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  48. Hey sailor, that wasn't a pick up line ;)
    Badtux,I'm fully aware Jim cant drink all the drinks his readers owe him, but it does not mean they aren't owed.

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  49. Okay ... I would never attack anyone because of their religion or sexual orientation. I will, however, as politely as I may muster, point out that both Bachmanns are lame, and given way too much credence. Basically they are their own worst enemies - not us gays and atheists!

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  50. Wow, bravo! On Bachmann I think you miss a very important point. I'll illustrate...

    A friend of mine works with a woman of Bachmann's Christian brand. He asked her "Not to be rude, but I'm really interested in how you square your job (nuclear-based and dependent on radioactive decay etc) with your religion that says the world is 6000 years old, and evolution is false?" Her answer? "I'm a Christian!" with a smile. That was it.

    You see? That example really struck it home to me. There is no logic, no form of argument, no piece of data that can't be twisted or blatantly ignored to justify the belief system. It doesn't matter. ANY admission of the truth would crack the foundation of these people's lives...everything they've built themselves to be and where they think they are going when they die. To admit ONE part is false pulls the whole house down. So they have to answer like she does. To do anything different would cause complete mental collapse. The fact is that she doesn't even know she's doing it. Honestly she doesn't. Shields are up all the time.

    In some ways I feel very sorry for these people. Not sorry enough, of course, to think that they should hold public office or perhaps be confined to some State like Iowa where they can all wait for the rapture together. But sorry for their lives and the terrible fear they must have gnawing at them all the time. Think about it: everything around you is constantly telling you none of your "faith" is true and you have to constantly make things up to keep it going. How much fear is that on a constant basis deep inside? Because I do think that, in a corner of their mind that they brand "the devil" the truth does gnaw at them. Of course they could just become a nice Episcopalian or something, so maybe I shouldn't be so charitable :)

    Btw, this is the same story with professors, scientists, and now most economists. To admit error is to ruin a life's work, and few have the courage to do that. Look at Greenspan for a living example. Remember what Max Plank said "Science advances one funeral at a time". It's not just science. It was the rights of black people, now it's the rights of gay people. The fact is most younger folk don't see the issue. They'll find this an amusing historical time, sort of like I find the old miscegenation laws as I now wonder what the fuss could have been about.

    But everyone needs to really realize what is going on here. It's a form of mental illness, actually. And it's the very survival of the self. Not that it's an excuse, but if the actual truth found it's way into her brain, it would destroy her and others like her.

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  51. The phrase that you're looking for with respect to Rep. Bachmann and other fanatics such as the religiously blind is "Cognitive Dissonance".

    http://en.wikipedia.org
    /wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

    Quoting selectively from the Wikipdeia page:

    "Cognitive dissonance is a condition of conflict or even anxiety resulting from holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. ... Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. ... It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. A closely related term, cognitive disequilibrium... the experience of a discrepancy between something new and something already known or believed.
    ... In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,...dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior."

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  52. I also love what you say and when you say it, you mean it. I'm old enough to remember the Equal Rights Amendment, it still hasn't passed. And now, the morning after pill for young women under the age of 16? Oh, A hormone loaded uterus can't accept a fertilized egg? S'cuse me, that's now an abortion? WTF? Obama, pandered in. Shame on him. Clinton had DOMA and NAFTA and now Obama declaring this? WTF he has teenage daughters, but they wil have SS protection for life so no boy might get near.

    OK different rant there. So, Now the USA is the bully and saying gay rights are important around the globe? Yeah! Except here in the USA. As you have presented, we do not have equal rights. Straight, great, Gay, no way. State and Federal taxes, joint filing? No. Protection under Federal marriage law, no. Social Security benefit to surviving spouse? No. Hospital and medical decision making, in most states, no.

    We live in the wonderous state of Massachusetts so have access to some of the state bennies, but not tax filing an dI have to claim my parter supplied health care package as income. Oh? Not fair. There is always legal work required..survivorship, Power of Attorny, Health Care Proxy..and more. At least we don't have kids, that's a whole 'nother balliwick.

    That, and her family, or mine can challenge every step of the way. Sure We can be bullies over seas but we sure as hell aren't taking care of the homefront.

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  53. Skyman_ It's not unusual for closeted gay men to display such cognitive dissonance in the extreme to the point of extreme public homophobia while privately pursuing active, even obsessive, homosexual, um, contacts.

    I know a guy like that; I call him "Dad." I've watched him trying to pathetically deny the fact that he regularly wrote checks to a bar called "The White Swallow." Call me crazy but I am freaking all for gay marriage. Because it's honest. It let's people be who they really are. Because nobody should feel forced to lie about who they are and not one more child should have to grow up living in a web of lies.

    Hey, TMI? Probably. Honesty is way overdue on some of this. If you don't turn the compost pile it will always stink.

    -J.P.

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  54. Jim et All

    Since my friend Steve did mention Canada, I want to run something from this way past the Americans.

    As far as I know, Canada and the USA share a reciprocal agreement on very many legal issues. Now, I don't know exactly how far this goes, but on many legal licenses, if you have one in Canada, you have it in the USA. The driver's license being a good example here. (Ok, not your concealed handgun permit.)And most importantly, your marriage certificate. But its legal for same sex couples to get an official, Government of Ontario sanctioned, duly registered marriage certificate.

    What, I cross that line and suddenly its not a legal document any more?

    Pierre Trudeau said (famously): 'The State has no place in the bedrooms of the Nation'. Ok, it was back in the early 70's, and yes the politicians here took decades to get *their* acts together.

    Just something to think about - maybe a possible legal argument for some hot shot lawyer type?

    PS - NOT THAT I SUPPORT THIS OPINION!
    I think the 'slippery slope, it costs us hetros' argument (if there even *could* be a rational argument) goes like this: If we let same sex couples legally marry, think of all those spousal / survivor benefits that will have to be paid. Dental. Maternity Leave. Health Insurance.
    (Ok, I *do* support spousal benefits for same sex *married* couples...)

    PPS - My wife (girlfriend at the time) was so determined to NOT to have children that she had her tubes tied - as a young woman in the early 80's. Not the easiest thing to get approved back then. I could then (and even more so now) live without 20 years of life focus primarily on children. This obviously makes me some kind of Godless heathen? No sex for me? (Wait a minute, I *am* some kind of Godless heathen...)

    PPS - As for farm machinery, I think clearly being non living, farm machines have no intrinsic 'rights'. I can't imagine this situation applies to any of your dear readers, but winter *is* just starting to set in for all of us up North...

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  55. Anonymous, I live in a city...oh hell ok I live in Boston. Over time I've noticed behavior that backs you up. The guys that are always looking for other guys whether at the gym, in a park, near gay bars or in rest areas are almost always "straight" men, especially married ones. (remember this the next time you're naked at the gym...the guy most likely checking you out isn't the little girly one in the corner...he's getting plenty of sex. It's the guy with the wedding ring or athlete.) It's because they just can't be who they are because the courage to do that is very lacking in the general human population, especially when faced with huge societal pressure.

    A friend and I play this game on Sunday mornings. We look at the NYT wedding announcements and play "Does she know her fiancee/husband is gay" Try it! It's fun! It's sort of the same for me with Tebow...hmmm....what's all this "in your face Christianity" covering up? Because, you just know it's covering up something.

    But being deadly serious for a moment letting people be who they really are makes all of this a non-issue. If every kid felt that he or she would still be loved and accepted no matter what, they'd be no need for deceit and people living dual lives. It's not fair to either of them. So yes, part of this is just about being honest, open, and fair. And saying that love is love. Period.

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  56. You have made your point clearly and I appreciate that. Hope you continue to see clearly other issues.

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  57. I liked your PS commandments almost as much as your post.

    As usual, outstanding work, Warrant.

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  58. I don't need to join the chorus of "well-said"s, but I'd like to be there when all these folks start buying you drinks. I'll help deal with the overflow.

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  59. Nick from the O.C.December 8, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    I hope you won't mind, but I'm going to forward a link to your post to the Pastor of my church. I think he and his (male) partner of 25 years will very much enjoy reading it.

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  60. I know you have probably 40 comments like this, but I love you and you rock so very much. Preach it, Warrant.

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  61. Thank you, thank you! As usual you have crystalized so many of the thoughts and arguments that have been trying to organize themselves in my brain. I can try to refute and dispute the anti-gay sentiments I hear but you do it so much better. Now I can just copy and paste your blog's address and let them read it.

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  62. fng, we Ohioans have no worries about Jim collecting on those drinks, heck, this summer 4 of his fans, including the one right above (Jane) were in Anchorage and we couldn't even get him to come that far for a beer. I wish he would come collect some, I feel like he's doing all the giving, Maybe it's time to buy another bird house.

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  63. and we couldn't even get him to come that far for a beer

    Yeah. There's a little more to that story

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  64. I don't think anybody, not even Jim (long may he wave!) has explicitly remarked on the inherent contradiction of Bachmann's pronouncement:

    BACHMANN: No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life.

    But that's EXACTLY what she's saying. If you and your loved one engage in only hetero sex, you can get married. That's a special right based on your sexual practices.

    And the whole "if gays can marry, then people can marry their dog and their tractor" argument is just like saying that if we allow people to eat meat, then next thing you know we'll have cannibals chasing you and your kids down the streets with forks and steak sauce. Same stupid argument.

    I challenged a fundamentalist once to go find the Bible verse where Jesus condemned homosexuals. Neither of us had a Bible on us at the time or I could have shown her, especially promptly in the red-letter edition, that there is no such verse. What Jesus did condemn-- repeatedly-- was being rich, but those verses have been torn out. He also said that divorce and remarriage was the same as adultery, which the Ten Commandments was rather down on, but that's been torn out too. Ron and Nancy Reagan were both divorced, and they were the right wing's darlings until they got too damn liberal and socialist for the looneys in charge of the GOP now. And Newt's okay with them because he's been "forgiven." Isn't that nice?

    A slight majority of Americans-- especially young people-- now believe that same-sex marriage should be legal, and the percentage is increasing all the time. That is one of the few things that give me hope for this benighted country.

    I copied a photo off the internet somewhere that shows a couple of young women in nice dresses and a middle-aged man and woman, all with big smiles and their arms around each other. The man is holding a sign that says, "We love our daughter and her new wife." When I'm fed up, I look at that picture, and it makes me feel better about humans.

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  65. Question: let's presume the LGBT lobby wins out, and homosexuals are indeed accorded the same right to marry the person they love. The way things are going, the only conjecture about this is "when?" not "if?"

    Cannot the same cogent argument that you just posted be used by polygamists?

    What's YOUR feeling on the rights of polygamists to marry the oneS they love?

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  66. Polygamists do have the right to marry, they just have to marry somebody of the opposite sex and only one at a time...



    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    My personal feelings on polygamy? I don't care. As long as everybody is of legal age, in their right mind, and under their own free will I really don't see what difference it makes or what business it is of mine.

    Hell, come to think of it, there's even biblical precedent, isn't there?

    Now that said, I will qualify that answer with this: same-sex marriage requires no changes to existing legal structures or laws (excepting those laws specifically enacted to bar same-sex marriage).
    We just have to stop acting like assholes about it.

    Polygamy would require that serious and complex legal questions be addressed, such as child custody, property ownership, inheritance, beneficiaries, insurance, and so on. All of which could be done, certainly, but would require significant effort and a change of attitude at a number of levels.

    I will also say that I don't believe the two situations are directly analogous. I don't think same-sex marriage is a special-right, or a "gay-right." I think it's a civil right.

    I'm not sure polygamy is - I'm not sure that it's not, but I note that there aren't a lot of people at the moment demanding the right to marry multiple partners either. That could change in the future. Until then, I reserve judgement.

    And frankly, one spouse drives me crazy enough, I sure as hell wouldn't want another one... ;)

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    1. The problem I have with all of this is that I used to know what a word meant and now I don't know because it has had its focus set so broad that it is now meaningless - like folks who feel but do not think. I have one spouse, who's been around for 45 years. We understand one another (mostly) and we know what our relationship is and what it includes - but if our relationship is a marriage, well, I'm not so sure I know what it means now. If you want to call it a civil partnership, then I'm OK, because the contract implied will have stated what the limitations and privileges are.

      I'm not trying to be contentious - most of the time I can agree pretty easily with your points, although my reasoning is not always the same - but I remember a time (from my Air Force days) when a certain group decided that the only noun that could appear in a sentence was 'change' - and they were spectacularly difficult to understand sometimes.

      The one I'm waiting for is NAMBLA - because they are sure to stick their oar in to this redefining game - and lots of folks are REAlLY gonna hate that.

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  67. Polygamists do have the right to marry, they just have to marry somebody of the opposite sex and only one at a time...

    Quit making fun of Newt Gingrich!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist ;).

    One of the things that often confused critics of Robert Heinlein's supposedly "militaristic" views was his rather... free... handling of the whole polygamy thing. In his personal life he was decidedly monogamous -- I doubt Ginny would have put up with anything else, she was made of sterner stuff than that, but given the way he always talked of Ginny (almost worshipfully) it's doubtful he was ever tempted to test that -- but in his novels marriage agreements were loose and free and might be between any number of people of any sexual orientation (though given his generation, he didn't quite "get" some of the new permutations of such that have become common lately). "But... free love... starship storm troopers... does not compute... szzzzzzzzl". But in a sense that was an expression of an old kind of conservatism that doesn't seem around anymore, what I might call "MYOB Conservatism". Not exactly Libertarianism, though with some libertarian tendencies, but more along the lines of, "a strong government for what needs strong government to deal with, and MYOB for everything else." A sort of conservatism that was *not* about dictating who could marry who or what kind of sexual acts they could do in the bedroom.

    Sadly, that sort of conservatism is pretty much dead and gone. Instead we have radicals on the right who want to dictate what happens in the bedroom, wishy-washy do-nothings on the left who don't have a problem with that, and traditional conservatism like Heinlein embodied... eh. Was a good idea, I guess.

    - Badtux the Traditionalist Penguin

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  68. Sadly, that sort of conservatism is pretty much dead and gone. Instead we have radicals on the right who want to dictate what happens in the bedroom, wishy-washy do-nothings on the left who don't have a problem with that, and traditional conservatism like Heinlein embodied... eh.

    You're going to love tomorrow's post.

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  69. Reading all that gave me two thoughts. So, someone is born a woman and decides later in life to become a man. She goes through all the legal mumbo jumbo and gets her identification changed over to male. Time for the last thing, she gets an operation and is officially legally a male. Who does "he" marry? Say "he" marrys a woman. By law "he" is male. Wait though, "he" was born a she. Do a DNA test and, ta-da, reads female. So "he" can't do that, same sex and according to her not aloud. So "he" marrys a man. Oh, wait, can't do that either. "He" is legally a male, so no-no-no. Seems "he" would be screwed, but she has to give "him" a right to marry. That would be the kicker, either one she approves of could be concidered same sex depending on your view point. So, which one? 2nd question, what if you are born with both sex organs? Either way you go would be same and different sex at the same time. What then? Ok, I know that often one is chosen and the other discarded, or one set works but the other doesn't, but ignore that when you think of it. So according to her not all Americans have the same right, how do you marry the opposite sex if you were born both? If you were born one and became the other, what then? They have a right to marry, but who?

    Just a thought.

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  70. couple of things...

    First, Jim, you are my god when it comes to putting complex seeming responces into easy to understand prose. Thanks once again for your post.

    Second, Canada survived the economic crisis because Canada regulates their banking industry. I tend to use that point when arguing with the idiot right about "free market" and "not too big to fail". While I do get a few chuckles about Canada being a "free marriage" country and not having the issues economically we are, they are not related.

    Third, the word you should be using (especially in reference to Heinlein) is Polyamory, not polygamy. Polyamory is the state of "loving more than one" and there are well in excess of 100,000 poly relationships in America alone. While they can't get married in the traditional sense, civil unions in many states have resolved the legal issues.

    Thanks again, Jim.

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  71. Great post....excellent! I really think you speak for a lot of us out here with your writing. I would hazard a guess that a great majority think like this, we are just never the one polled...LOL.

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  72. It seems to me that we are missing the point in the argument about gay marriage being a threat to traditional marriage. (Note: I do not agree with the following line of reasoning, merely doing my best to illuminate the train of thought that leads to this stance.) I don’t think that the people who posit this argument are under any assumption that gay marriage will somehow ruin their marriage. What I think they do believe is that if we allow people to start marrying others of the same sex, future generations will see this as an increasingly attractive option. This will lead to a country full of sexual deviation, a sort of Sodom and Gomorrah writ large across the whole country. Once that happens, God will clearly no longer be on our side and it is only a matter of time before this once great country collapses into a cesspool of sin and iniquity.

    PS: I have been reading this blog for a few months now without commenting. I just wanted to say I love your writing and your style of argumentation really drives the point home in a way that is difficult to disagree with.

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  73. To clearly divide church and state when I was wed my wife and I got married twice.

    I am an Orthodox Jew (not actively practicing, though). To clearly delineate between the religious institution and the civil contract we had a wedding performed by a female Judge, and then the person who led the formal ceremony was not registered in the state.

    Neither one is legally recognized by the other, as it should be.

    My wife and I are firm believers of separation of Church and State, and this was a simple, painless, but crystal clear way to show our support for all our gay couples who still can not wed.

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  74. And frankly, one spouse drives me crazy enough, I sure as hell wouldn't want another one... ;)

    Everybody wants two wives... nobody wants two mothers in law.

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  75. "[].. for the last two and a half centuries, senators and representatives exactly like Michele Bachmann have used their religion, bigotry, and shameless lust for power to define who exactly gets to be a human being in America and who doesn’t."

    This leads me directly to the question of why you, Jim, would support such an arrangement with your life, your sacred honor or even your vote; given that we still have to battle this system itself daily, tooth and nail, to get any surcease?

    Believe me, I'm not being a dick; just trying to figure out why most people[who live within US borders(sic)] support the arrangement, by commission or omission. And no, I don't have an alternative, except that whatever it is would be a hell of a lot more organic in the socio-chemical sense
    (and by Dog, I do love Heinlein!).

    Actually, a bunch of anti-government ministers spent some nasty time in pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania jail, because they refused to acknowledge the governments right (sic) to demand that marriage be liscenced (anointed) by the state (and permit fees collected there on). I think they had a point.

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  76. LOVE IT, LOVE, IT, LOVE IT!!!! Seriously man, you make point after point! I have told every person I know about Stonekettle Station, because this fulfills a need in my life to find people who think the way I do.

    I live in the south and most everyone I know is a devout christian and a gun totting republican. Don't get me wrong, I own a gun, but I don't yell out ye-haw.....EVER. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that my wife and I enjoy your blog immensely and we always look forward to your posts.

    Thanks!!!

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  77. True story: my mother is extremely coservative, however she admits to loving my gay brother in law. I never thought I would I would ever see this in my lifetime. I feel that when the individual is separated from the "group" it is harder to make stereotypes stick and bigoted beliefs don't hold tgether as well.

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