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Author Topic: Gay community apologizes to Amy Koch for ruining her marriage
Adam Masterman
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I think my bomb analogy may have been unclear; I was referring to military bombing, not terrorism. And I consider the decision-makers to be the most culpable parties, not the actual bomber pilots.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
That doesn't seem particularly likely to me as a matter of logic, though, or as a matter of evolutionary experience. I'd expect that such a system would have developed organically if it were functionally advantageous; certainly there's been no shortage of men more than willing to skip out on their mate and children in every society known to man, and I don't think cultural factors alone can explain the fact that this structure didn't arise to meet that challenge *across the experience of a broad range of cultures with enormously different ideas about sexuality and the family*.
You're being a bit presumptive there in your assumptions about previous social structures, especially because we're not far removed when the norm was multi-generational, extended households, and long before that tribal and clannish structures where parenting responsibilities were more distributed and less tied to immediate biology.

I think you also take the evolutionary metaphor for social change a bit to far, missing that all social structures are, ultimately, the result of intelligent (not necessary smart or benevolent) pressure to correct or impose changes on what cam before. While certain principles of selection apply, intelligent pressure is explicitly at the root of all human social dynamics because they arise from intelligent behavior rather than simply from more passive genetic variations. Active, intentional pressure for change is one of the primary mechanisms by which society changes for better or for worse, and the current state doesn't stand as the example of any ideal, just where we happen to be right now.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
By saying essentially that they had higher rates of depression and related problems in places where SSM/SSUs were banned? All of us who care about our public life are depressed about it when things don't go our way.

I'm significantly more depressed every time liberals or secularists win a major election or score a major legislative victory. Living in a state whose laws in many instances interfere with my ability to live a free life makes me significantly more sad than I'd otherwise be.

I found this staggeringly dismissive of you, Paladine. Did you really mean it the way I'm reading it -- that the higher rate of clinical depression among homosexuals in bigoted states is because they live in a state opposed to their political views?

If so, would you expect that bigots who live in states where same-sex marriage is legal would also have a significantly higher incidence of depression?

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Adam Masterman
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Yes, its worth pointing out that "feeling depressed" as Pal used the term is nothing at all like clinical depression, which is a chronic and sometimes fatal condition. It is indeed unfair to compare this to being disappointed in an election result.
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Paladine
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quote:
While basically true- any argument saying that we should maintain such structures and differences solely based on the fact that our current society imposes them on us is rather circular.
I never said that we should maintain structures solely because they exist; I said that the fact of their existance is something we need to take into account in analyzing the extent to which a given family structure is well-suited to raise kids in our society. If you want to make the argument that whether they're good at raising kids in this society or not is irrelevant and that we should make policy in order to shape the future in what you consider to be a more just way regardless of whether or not kids suffer a functional disadvantage on the way from here to there, feel free, and take account of the arguments about rights and justice and legality which I addressed earlier in the thread. You'll be answering a fundamentally different question than the one Jordan and I were discussing, though, and you won't have demonstrated any erorr or circularity in this part of my argument.

quote:
The parts of your argument along this line, I think are flawed in that the presume that the current situation is being ignored in favor of a different ideal rather than understanding that part of the overall point is to actively push back against and correct the current dysfunction rather than being complicit in continuing to perpetuate it. Injustices don't correct themselves, they require conscious pushback from a society to move toward a different overall social norm.
I don't think it's an injustice, and I've talked at some length about why.

quote:
Unfortunately, you are avoiding the question, and I am interested in your response. Because, IMHO, it touches on the heart of this matter, whether the State should sanction or deny marriages without children.

What if a couple publically avows that they are sterile and intend never to have children? Would you deny them the right to marry?

I know a lot of people who have had children when they had *no* intention of doing so, and others who have thought themselves sterile and had children. Intentions change and potentiality emerges where doctors say it can't.

If for some strange reason there were a widespread epidemic of people publicly castrating themselves and signing legally binding documents promising to abort any children born by chance of their union, then I'd support denying marriage to that group of people. I hope you can see the important factors that distinguish that hypothetical from anything resembling the case of a sterile couple or one not wanting to have kids in the real world.

quote:
While the other benefits of marriage (stability, commitment, etc.) may not be significant, they are real, and of real benefit to couples, regardless of the participants respective sex.
I explained earlier in the thread why marriage isn't about giving benefits to couples for their own sake, and why I think it's dangerous to view it that way.

quote:
There's a qualitative difference between the reaction of a person to an injustice directly visited upon them and that of a person not directly affected by the change in question (or, at most, only prevented from continuing in an oppressive behavior)
Many people consider the illegitimate deprivation of their franchise on questions of public policy to constitute an injustice. Of course you don't agree with their assumptions, but neither do I agree with yours that a same-sex couple suffers an injustice when the state doesn't refer to their relationship as a marriage; neither do I agree that those of us who would define it differently are engaged in "oppressive behavior". We'd hardly be having this conversation otherwise. All of that aside, you didn't even really rebut the point I was making, which was not to equate peoples' sense of injustice and outrage. I'll explain more in my response to Adam, below.

quote:
I think my bomb analogy may have been unclear; I was referring to military bombing, not terrorism. And I consider the decision-makers to be the most culpable parties, not the actual bomber pilots.
I understood your analogy, it just didn't work. I'm not a bomber pilot dropping a bomb which I know will kill an innocent person or a person with legal authroity to command that bomber to drop the bomb. I don't want people to drop bombs (i.e. engage in intolerant, violent, or harassing behavior) and I explicitly tell them so; if they do it in my presence I stop them with any tools at my disposal, whether that be social pressure and argumentation, my authority as a teacher in the case of such behavior by students, or by physical intimidation. While it's thankfully never come to that, I'd be willing to intervene physically if necessary.

Again, I don't think that the causation runs the way you think it does; I don't think that people are intolerant or hateful because SSM doesn't prevail at the ballot box or because I'm on Ornery opposing it. If anything, I suspect that people are more intolerant and more hateful because of how they react to *your* arguments and the tactics which your side applies in advancing them than to mine.

I think people, whether you think rightly or wrongly, get really pissed off by things like your friends' public campaign against that Inn in Vermont. I think they get pissed off when they're told that they're bigots or homophobes for believing what they do about marriage and the family. At times, inexcusably, they do and say positively awful and ugly things as a result of those feelings. I don't blame you in the slightest for their behavior. But if you stand by your contention that in advancing arguments you're responsible for the "collateral damage" which arises when people, against your strongest urgings and arguments, feel ugly things because of what you say and do ugly things because of what they feel, then YOU own the hatred, intolerance, and division plaguing this society to a MUCH greater extent than do I.

quote:
You're being a bit presumptive there in your assumptions about previous social structures, especially because we're not far removed when the norm was multi-generational, extended households, and long before that tribal and clannish structures where parenting responsibilities were more distributed and less tied to immediate biology.
I don't think that I am. I'm not familiar with any society in which a MM or FF combination of people in an exclusive sexual relationship was the standard unit employed to raise children. I actually think there is a lot to be said for extended families and clannish structures; their functional advantages do indeed find voice in our collective past. You're actually bolstering my argument here. The paradigms you're describing existed and functioned well for extended periods of time. The one your agitating for now simply didn't.
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Paladine
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quote:
I found this staggeringly dismissive of you, Paladine. Did you really mean it the way I'm reading it -- that the higher rate of clinical depression among homosexuals in bigoted states is because they live in a state opposed to their political views?
Insofar as their depression isn't about their state's opposition to their political views, the study isn't relevant to a discussion about the impact of my political proposals. If you think, and I'd find this view exceedingly plausible, that the correlation demonstrated by the study fails utterly to display a causal link between state opposition to SSM and clinical depression in gays and lesbians, then I'm sure you'll join me in rejecting Adam's claim that the study demonstrates a concrete and unjust harm imposed by the state on gays and lesbians by its rejection of SSM. Right?

Also, the bit about "bigoted states" shows that you're either not trying to read what I write charitably or that you're failing badly at reading comprehension. I don't think that states which have rejected SSM *are* "bigoted states"; that's *exactly* what I've been arguing about this entire time.

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Paladine
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quote:
I believe I was answering the question of harm, which is shamefully minimized by dismissals of "hurt feelings". The study demonstrated a measurable harm to the gay and lesbian community in the wake of ssm bans.
Tom, you and Adam actually seem to have a pretty profound disagreement here. Adam seems to be saying that the study implies that depression is a harm gays and lesbians suffer in these states because in large measure of where the state winds up falling on political issues (e.g. SSM), and consequently something of which I ought to be mindful in advancing political positions. You seem, rightly to my mind, to be expressing incredulity at that view. Is this were you two have at it?

[ January 11, 2012, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
If for some strange reason there were a widespread epidemic of people publicly castrating themselves and signing legally binding documents promising to abort any children born by chance of their union, then I'd support denying marriage to that group of people.
That is an interesting stance, and one that would be opposed by, I would guess, about 90 percent of all people. Thank God we don't abide by your definition of marriage!

Besides, it ignores one basic possibility: what if one of those couples decides to adopt? Would you would deny marriage to a couple with children, or deny children to a couple incapable of conceiving? [Smile]

Of course, gay couples could adopt children, too, unless they are prohibited from doing so.

Tying marriage to children inevitably leads to denying rights to heterosexual couples, if only the right to marriage. It's a dead-end argument.

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Paladine
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quote:
That is an interesting stance, and one that would be opposed by, I would guess, about 90 percent of all people. Thank God we don't abide by your definition of marriage!
You brought up a bizarre counterfactual hypothetical having nothing to do with the real world. I modified it to make it even more strange, and said that under those really impossible circumstances I'd deny marriage to that group. That tends to lead to unintuitive conclusions which most people refuse to even think about in a rational way.

I wouldn't deny it to sterile people in the real world or to people who don't want to have kids. In a hypothetical world of voluntary public castration and irrevocably contractable enforced abortions I'd oppose extending marriage to people who voluntarily undertook both of the above. If you think that makes my view implausible, then I guess you're welcome to your opinion.

quote:
Besides, it ignores one basic possibility: what if one of those couples decides to adopt? Would you would deny marriage to a couple with children, or deny children to a couple incapable of conceiving?
Again, I haven't proposed to deny anything to couples incapable of conceiving. I've answered your hypothetical; now the burden is on you to show how my answer about what I'd do in that strange hypothetical world makes my view untenable with reference to the real world. Good luck relating them. [Smile]

quote:
Tying marriage to children inevitably leads to denying rights to heterosexual couples, if only the right to marriage. It's a dead-end argument.
Which heterosexual couple have I proposed be denied the right to marriage? It is a dead-end argument.

[ January 11, 2012, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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D.W.
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So maybe as a society we should all only have civil unions. Then at the point of adoption or birth we can apply for a marriage license, if we want. As soon as you have no living spouse or child under the age of 18 that license is voided. Because marriage serves no purpose other than child raising...

I get the “marriage means man and woman” opinion. I don’t share it but I understand it. I would even understand intellectually the argument that we cannot afford as a country to provide the same legal protections, rights, tax and workplace benefits to same sex couples as we currently do for heterosexual married couples. I don’t like it but I’ll concede it’s not dismiss able as an argument.

Trying to dance around these concerns while avoid the negative branding or religious bias of the above two positions, while still being credible, has thus far been laughable or hopelessly academic and irrelevant. I’m beginning to think that same sex marriage will indeed damage the institution of marriage. In order to avoid institutionalized bigotry marriage may be neutered and reduced to child rearing issues only as far as the law is concerned. All other benefits of what we think of as marriage from a legal stand point will either vanish or be applied equally to everyone regardless of sex preference. In fact why not expand it further and all of a sudden all employers must offer benefits to you, your child/children and one person of your choosing, regardless of any state sanctioned marriage, civil union or legal contract? By establishing that marriage, as a legal state, is incompatible with abolishment of state sponsored bigotry, those safe guarding it’s “sanctity” are IMO the greatest threat to its survival.

I don’t like the idea of couples treating child rearing as an economical strategy or a patriotic obligation to the state. Marriage should be about two people pledging devotion to each other. That is what marriage means and does. This happens to create a good environment for raising a child. Don’t destroy the illusion that we are individuals who care about each other and love our children. The less obvious it is that we are thought of as cogs in a machine and just another renewable resource for our country the better.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm sure you'll join me in rejecting Adam's claim that the study demonstrates a concrete and unjust harm imposed by the state on gays and lesbians by its rejection of SSM. Right?
I think it's weak evidence, yeah, especially compared to the much more obvious harms.

quote:
Also, the bit about "bigoted states" shows that you're either not trying to read what I write charitably or that you're failing badly at reading comprehension. I don't think that states which have rejected SSM *are* "bigoted states"; that's *exactly* what I've been arguing about this entire time.
I'm reading it charitably. I'm not writing charitably. I disagree with you about whether or not those states are bigoted. [Smile]
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Which heterosexual couple have I proposed be denied the right to marriage?
Technically, to your bizzare hypothetical. But it still comes down to tying sex and marriage to reproduction.

You are still evading the question by only acknowledging bizzare hyptheticals which have no relationship to the real world. Would you deny marriage to those who it is know cannot have children? Assume it can be absolutely determined (like a woman born without a functioning uterus, or a 80-year-old woman). Assume it is known without invading anyone's privacy (like the person is not ashamed of anyone knowing about it, or a 80-year-old woman [Smile] ). Assume there is no barrier from everyone knowing the couple can not possibly have children. Would you deny them the right to marry?

If your answer is no, they can marry, even though the sex they have will not result in children, then fine.

If your answer is yes, then should not be allowed to marry, then that is fine, too. And I believe that a good 90 percent of people would disagree with such a restriction.

But stop hiding behind, "well, we can never know for certain, so we don't have to address that problem." After all, this isn't quantum mechanics. [Smile]

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Jordan
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quote:
Wayward:
But stop hiding behind, "well, we can never know for certain, so we don't have to address that problem." After all, this isn't quantum mechanics. [Smile]

Quite—quantum mechanics makes way more sense than people and public policy. [Razz]
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Wayward Son
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Well, you have to admit, QM works a whole lot better... [Smile]
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Well, you have to admit, QM works a whole lot better... [Smile]

Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. [Big Grin]
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
Adam seems to be saying that the study implies that depression is a harm gays and lesbians suffer in these states because in large measure of where the state winds up falling on political issues (e.g. SSM), and consequently something of which I ought to be mindful in advancing political positions.

I wouldn't characterize my position this way. I think that these are states which tend to be hostile environments for gays and lesbians anyway, and that ssm bans exacerbate the hostility of that environment by institutionalizing opposition to people living their lives as gay individuals. Its not comparable to having my candidate lose an election, or my referendum item defeated; its a law that singles out a minority and denies them access to a civic institution.

I have no desire to label you or anyone else a bigot. I don't think its true, considering how the word is generally used, nor is it fruitful for discussion. However, I don't think that opposition to ssm and ssus are categorically distinct from anti-gay bigotry. I think they exist on the same spectrum. Its a form of intolerance, and the same arguments for it could be used to justify criminalization of gay relationships, or even gay sexual expression of any kind. I also don't think its a coincidence that anti-gay bigotry corresponds geographically with opposition to ssm.

Another way to say it would be that its not reasonable to expect that gays and lesbians will experience the two any differently. Being denied legal recognition of their marriage is not any different an experience from being told that you are a hell-bound sinner, or a faggot, or what have you. In a way, its worse, as it puts your entire community against you, and our (perhaps naive) expectation is that the law is an expression of justice, not preference.

Do you think its reasonable to expect gays and lesbians to NOT feel personally targeted and ostracized by ssm bans?

[ January 11, 2012, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Adam Masterman ]

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Paladine
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quote:
I'm reading it charitably. I'm not writing charitably. I disagree with you about whether or not those states are bigoted.
I was responding to this:

quote:
I found this staggeringly dismissive of you, Paladine. Did you really mean it the way I'm reading it -- that the higher rate of clinical depression among homosexuals in bigoted states is because they live in a state opposed to their political views?
Seemed pretty clear to me that you were ascribing that "bigoted state" nonsense to me, given that you asked if I really meant it the way you were reading it.

quote:
You are still evading the question by only acknowledging bizzare hyptheticals which have no relationship to the real world. Would you deny marriage to those who it is know cannot have children? Assume it can be absolutely determined (like a woman born without a functioning uterus, or a 80-year-old woman). Assume it is known without invading anyone's privacy (like the person is not ashamed of anyone knowing about it, or a 80-year-old woman ). Assume there is no barrier from everyone knowing the couple can not possibly have children. Would you deny them the right to marry?
No. I don't think the law needs to anticipate people who go around trumpeting to the world that they've had their reproductive organs removed. Essentially you're asking me if I think that government should keep a database detailing peoples' reproductive abilities and deny them a license should they come up as infertile. Are you really telling me that you don't see how I can both oppose doing something that absurd and oppose SSM?

quote:
But stop hiding behind, "well, we can never know for certain, so we don't have to address that problem." After all, this isn't quantum mechanics.
No, we can't know for sure, and I don't *want* government keeping records about my reproductive organs or anyone else's. It's not quantum mechanics.

quote:
I wouldn't characterize my position this way. I think that these are states which tend to be hostile environments for gays and lesbians anyway, and that ssm bans exacerbate the hostility of that environment by institutionalizing opposition to people living their lives as gay individuals. Its not comparable to having my candidate lose an election, or my referendum item defeated; its a law that singles out a minority and denies them access to a civic institution.
So now you're saying that they don't suffer this depression *because* of state opposition to SSM per se, but simply because they're already so put upon in these states and the state not adopting SSM pushes them over some kind of edge? Various levels of government take about half of my income on any given year. Don't think I have good reason to be sad about it when an administration comes in and proposes to take a bunch more based upon the flawed assumption that I can afford it? Don't think I care when politicians make online poker illegal and confiscate thousands of dollars of my money, and much more from some of my friends? Elections matter very much to me and how I live my life.

So do school board referrenda. My mom's a school administrator in our local public school system, and a lot of my extended family works in the schools. A referrendum going down could mean that she loses her job or has to take a massive pay cut; elections have the potential to take away or reduce her pension depending upon how they turn out. She'd be damn depressed if that happened, and so would the people she works with.

Pretty much every single public policy question we vote on is like that. The lives of people and the shape of societies change depending upon action the government takes. Invariably that makes people on one side happy and people on the other side sad. For some people that sadness represents a tipping point, whether it's a public employee losing her job or a private citizen's property taxes going up so high in order to support those public sector workers that he needs to sell his house and leave the state.

Again, though, the fact of people being depressed about something doesn't really speak to me about what the just thing is to do or what the prudent thing to do is for society. They could be considerably more or less depressed about it and it wouldn't change my mind in the slightest, nor do I think it should. Do you disagree? If I could demonstrate that people on my side of the issue would suffer clinical depression were SSM to prevail, would that be a good reason for you to oppose it?

quote:
I have no desire to label you or anyone else a bigot. I don't think its true, considering how the word is generally used, nor is it fruitful for discussion. However, I don't think that opposition to ssm and ssus are categorically distinct from anti-gay bigotry. I think they exist on the same spectrum. Its a form of intolerance, and the same arguments for it could be used to justify criminalization of gay relationships, or even gay sexual expression of any kind. I also don't think its a coincidence that anti-gay bigotry corresponds geographically with opposition to ssm.
You seem to be contradicting yourself. Either SSM and anti-gay bigotry are distinct things and you can be opposed to SSM without being an anti-gay bigot, or they're not and you can't. For what it's worth, the arguments I've made can't be used, at least not consistently and without significant modification, to criminalize gay relationships or gay sexual expression.

quote:
Another way to say it would be that its not reasonable to expect that gays and lesbians will experience the two any differently. Being denied legal recognition of their marriage is not any different an experience from being told that you are a hell-bound sinner, or a faggot, or what have you. In a way, its worse, as it puts your entire community against you,
I don't know, you tell me. Do you imagine that gay people on Ornery should feel the same reading my arguments as they would if I told them that they were hell-bound sinners, faggots, or what have you? Do you imagine that my gay friends and family members should? I can see how someone might, but only if their emotion clouded their ability to read my motives in a very significant way.

For what it's worth, a lot of my most interesting, substantive, and friendly exchanges on this and other questions have been with our gay and lesbian members. It doesn't tend to be the case that we wind up agreeing, but the conversations have almost always been characterized by mutual respect, charitability with respect to motives, and a genuine effort to understand one another. Nastier exchanges where I'm accused of vile motives and hateful speech pretty much always involve straight liberals. I similarly tend to get along with black people and have interesting conversations with them about race and public policy relating to it; my nastier exchanges there are again almost universally with white liberals. For some reason it seems to me that people inside the group against which I'm charged with prejudice and intolerance are able to see that I respect and care for them; the people unable to distinguish tend to be outside the group imagining what it would feel like to be in it.

quote:
and our (perhaps naive) expectation is that the law is an expression of justice, not preference.
That's my expectation too, and what I've been trying to talk about this entire time. Pretty much all of my points on this thread have been with reference to justice, with reference to what people are due and why and what the state's legitimate interests are. I've talked at length about rights in the moral and legal senses of the term, the framework surrounding both moral and legal rights and the implications for both of adopting SSM. I've defended on practical and philosophical grounds that my ideas adhere to a requirement of justice. You're the one making arguments based upon peoples' subjective preferences, desires, and feelings.

You're not even asserting that what you imagine those peoples' feelings to be represent a fair or accurate evaluation of my actions, arguments, or attitude; you have in fact explicitly said that you don't consider me a bigot, if I understood you correctly. But just the fact that they might think that I am implies that there's something wrong with my view? I just don't get the argument you're trying to make here.

quote:
Do you think its reasonable to expect gays and lesbians to NOT feel personally targeted and ostracized by ssm bans?
You just said that the law is an expression of justice. Do you imagine that the law and justice turn, or ought to turn, on whether people "feel personally targeted and ostracized"? Imagine a judge dividing up an estate or deciding who is due what in a lawsuit. Do you want the fact that one side will be really, really sad if they lose to swing his decision the other way?

The argument you're making here is directly at odds with your last point. If law is and ought to be an expression of justice, then this kind of talk has no place at the table.

[ January 12, 2012, 12:27 AM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't *want* government keeping records about my reproductive organs or anyone else's.
What about those people who don't want the government keeping records about their gender?
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Paladine
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quote:
What about those people who don't want the government keeping records about their gender?
I think the ship's sailed on that one for a variety of reasons, from the census to the draft to birth certificates and so on.
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TomDavidson
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Ah. So you're saying that if there is sufficient reason, we let the government violate our privacy? And yet there is not sufficient reason to let the government know whether or not your marriage can produce children?
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Paladine
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quote:
Ah. So you're saying that if there is sufficient reason, we let the government violate our privacy?
There are a few problems there. One is that the question's set up in such a way as to be definitionally true (unless I were to take the absurd position that nothing at all can justify violating someone's privacy). Of course if there's sufficient reason for government to do thing X we should allow government to do thing X; the question is always whether there's sufficient reason (implicit in that question are considerations like whether government is the appropriate agent to do thing X, whether the justification for thing X is sufficiently powerful to override competing concerns, etc). Given that I can't but agree to your question, but I don't really see that my agreement implies much of anything.

Secondly, if you're seeking to apply that question to this particular case, you're making an implicit assumption with which I disagree: that the government knowing someone's gender constitutes a violation of privacy on the part of the government, or at least that it constitutes a violation of privacy in roughly the same way that knowing about someone's reproductive disabilities might.

Thirdly, there's also the issue that documentation with respect to gender already exists in birth certificates, driver's licenses, social security, census information, tax filing, selective service registration, etc. To my mind there's a much lesser burden required to use information we already have (and which we can confirm with 99.9%+ accuracy simply by looking at and listening to a person) than there is to generate and store an entirely new set of data which would be *much* more difficult, expensive, and invasive to gather and confirm exclusively for this purpose.

Lastly, as relates to infertility, the sort of records which would be requried to keep track of peoples' sterility would fly in the face of settled precedent and the wording of the Constitution, which promises us security in our persons and effects from unreasonable searches. Having government keep that sort of record would allow it by extension to keep extensive medical records on us, and on and on. The harms we're talking about are very significant, and vastly outweigh whatever possible benefits we might derive from such a system. The same's flatly untrue of gender.

quote:
And yet there is not sufficient reason to let the government know whether or not your marriage can produce children?
No, again. Look at everything that would entail. There's nowhere *near* sufficient reason there to justify all of that very real harm.
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Pete at Home
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Giggle

Sufficient reason to violate privacy

Happens to beat precisely what the fourth amendment says

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Jordan
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I almost don't want to answer you, Pal, in case I tip the balance of the discussion from manageable disagreement to dogpiling. Pete's severely limited access means you're effectively the only person able and willing to raise detailed counterpoints, which is already a considerable burden…
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Giggle

Sufficient reason to violate privacy

Happens to beat precisely what the fourth amendment says

Not "precisely", at best you might claim it implies a right to privacy but you really have to work at it to find that right in the 4th amendment - it deals with searches and seizures, no mention of privacy.
quote:
The Constitution does not specifically mention a right to privacy. However, Supreme Court decisions over the years have established that the right to privacy is a basic human right, and as such is protected by virtue of the 9th Amendment. The right to privacy has come to the public's attention via several controversial Supreme Court rulings, including several dealing with contraception (the Griswold and Eisenstadt cases), interracial marriage (the Loving case), and abortion (the well-known Roe v Wade case). In addition, it is said that a right to privacy is inherent in many of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, such as the 3rd, the 4th's search and seizure limits, and the 5th's self-incrimination limit.

It's a very common mistake to believe this "right" is in the constitution.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There's nowhere *near* sufficient reason there to justify all of that very real harm.
I guess whether marriages can produce children or not isn't all that important to the legal recognition of marriage, then.
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D.W.
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Paladine, nobody wants the government to go to the invasive, costly and potentially error fraught process of keeping those types of records and rejecting marriage certificate applications because of them. Well maybe nobody is not accurate… If the legal premise for rejecting SSM is because the state’s only interest in marriage is child rearing then it is the logical conclusion. Those of us who think allowing SSM is a good idea understand that this conclusion is a ridiculous one to implement. It is however “fair”. Rather than choosing this option the hope is that the other “fair” option is taken and SSM is just granted as it’s cheaper to implement and less invasive at least as far as administrative work goes.

Now if the argument is SSM spouse benefits is an expenses that our country’s employers cannot absorb currently and being legally obligated to do so would cause businesses to downsize and reduce the jobs available and raise health care costs as more dependants enter the system then there is a serious discussion we should be having. Maybe the government wants a slice of those death benefits that aren’t defaulting to a spouse or child? Twisted and politically untenable IMO.

There is also the assertion that SS couples who do raise children may not do as good a job as heterosexual parents. This is not something that can be demonstrated without a tremendous amount of data. To generate this data and for it to be a fair comparison we would have to eliminate all societal prejudices against the SS family. Without doing so the results are going to be tainted. The children may turn out differently than those raised by heterosexual married couples not because of 1 mom and 1 dad but because they didn’t have the additional stigma of being from a non-traditional family. I get that some people could legitimately have nothing against SS equality yet honestly fear for the mental well being of potential children in that environment. I find the likelihood of finding such a person about equal to me winning next week’s lotto drawing.

With a few exceptions to the child rearing issue nobody argues these things. They either proudly assert their beliefs against homosexuality and want the laws of the land to coincide with those beliefs in order to punish what they feel is wrong, or they hide behind some BS argument of which I’ve seen no shortage here. I do not share the same allergic reaction to calling SSM opposition a bigoted position as some posters here. There are a few points which can be exceptions to that generalization but I have yet to see anyone argue them seriously or effectually. My default presumptions of anyone opposed to SSM is that they are a bigot until/unless they can propose a reason for their opposition that I can rationalize. It is after all my opinion of them not a scientific fact of their character.

Could I be wrong now and then? Yep. I don’t “think” it happens very damn often as far as this is concerned.

Also Paladine, I do not intend this to be a specific attack on or accusation of you. Though my opinion by this criteria does hold. Your post was just a catalyst which caused me to vent the above opinion piece on the topic at hand. I suppose to be accurate this me railing against a popular opinion and not against one person specifically.

[ January 12, 2012, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Adam Masterman
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Its also worth pointing out that gay couples *can* acquire children, and raise them, currently. Indeed, even the potential biological connection between parent and child is no less than it is for couples that use IVF or surrogacy. Currently, children of gay couples are being *denied* the opportunity to grow up with married parents by the anti-ssm movement.
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Paladine
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quote:
I almost don't want to answer you, Pal, in case I tip the balance of the discussion from manageable disagreement to dogpiling. Pete's severely limited access means you're effectively the only person able and willing to raise detailed counterpoints, which is already a considerable burden…
Thanks very much for the consideration. I'm probably close to done with this thread anyway. I very much would like your thoughts, though, and would like to answer them as best as I'm able (albeit maybe not at such a fast pace as this has gone). Shoot me a message on Facebook? It'd be good to catch up a bit also.

quote:
I guess whether marriages can produce children or not isn't all that important to the legal recognition of marriage, then.
I guess that'd be one obtuse misreading of what I wrote. Making sure that each and every marriage doesn't include a sterile person isn't worth scrapping the Constitution and having government set up a massive healthcare informational database which would be expensive, invasive, and difficult to get running and maintain, and which would invariably be used as precedent for a wide range of other intrusions into the most personal aspects of our lives.

None of that has anything to do with SSM, the denial of which doesn't require any kind of illegality, any kind of what most people would understand to be gross privacy violations (since your gender is very much public information by and large), and doesn't set any precedent for illegal, new and massive governmental intervention into our lives.

quote:
If the legal premise for rejecting SSM is because the state’s only interest in marriage is child rearing then it is the logical conclusion
No, it's an idiotic conclusion. See above. Saying that government has an interest in thing X so it performs action Y doesn't mean that it's rationally required to rip down long-established legal protections and expand its intrusion into peoples' lives dramatically to ensure that thing X is optimally served in each and every instance of action Y. By your reasoning I suppose I'd also have to accept a government monitor in every bedroom making sure that every couple has the right amount of sex in the right way and at the right times for conception in order to hold that government's fundamental interest in marriage is children.

quote:
There is also the assertion that SS couples who do raise children may not do as good a job as heterosexual parents. This is not something that can be demonstrated without a tremendous amount of data. To generate this data and for it to be a fair comparison we would have to eliminate all societal prejudices against the SS family. Without doing so the results are going to be tainted.
There are so many problems in here that it's hard to know where to begin. The world isn't a fair place. When we're talking about how well people are raised, we're talking about how well they're prepared to interact with the world around them, THIS WORLD, in a multitude of ways. If people aren't given the tools they need to succeed in this world, it isn't at all of interest to me and shouldn't at all be of interest to anyone else whether the tools they were given suited them to live in some alternate universe that better conforms to your ideas about "fairness".

I talked at significant length earlier in the thread about who the burden of proof was on to establish that SSM should be implemented and why, and about why I think opposite-sex couples are better suited to raise kids than same-sex couples. I've responded to everything which looked to me like it might constitute a valid criticism of any of that, and I don't want to rehash it all again now.

quote:
I get that some people could legitimately have nothing against SS equality yet honestly fear for the mental well being of potential children in that environment. I find the likelihood of finding such a person about equal to me winning next week’s lotto drawing.
It's one factor of many, but in many places it's a real one.

quote:
With a few exceptions to the child rearing issue nobody argues these things. They either proudly assert their beliefs against homosexuality and want the laws of the land to coincide with those beliefs in order to punish what they feel is wrong, or they hide behind some BS argument of which I’ve seen no shortage here. I do not share the same allergic reaction to calling SSM opposition a bigoted position as some posters here. There are a few points which can be exceptions to that generalization but I have yet to see anyone argue them seriously or effectually. My default presumptions of anyone opposed to SSM is that they are a bigot until/unless they can propose a reason for their opposition that I can rationalize. It is after all my opinion of them not a scientific fact of their character.

Could I be wrong now and then? Yep. I don’t “think” it happens very damn often as far as this is concerned.

Also Paladine, I do not intend this to be a specific attack on or accusation of you. Though my opinion by this criteria does hold. Your post was just a catalyst which caused me to vent the above opinion piece on the topic at hand. I suppose to be accurate this me railing against a popular opinion and not against one person specifically.

Either you're talking about me here, accusing me of being a bigot and of "hiding behind BS arguments", or you're not. If you aren't, then don't respond to me with this kind of crap; the fact that you think some other people are bigots isn't particularly interesting or important to me, and adds nothing of value or substance to the conversation. If you are accusing me of those things, then drop the pretense about it "not being a specific attack on or accusation of" me and own your criticism.

Either way, I'm going to try and take a break from Ornery posting for a little bit; it's taking too much time and making me a little...ornery. Should anyone have a particular interest in engaging further in a substantive and polite way, I'll do my best to answer email (my address is visible through my Ornery profile) or Facebook messages from those of you with whom I'm friends on there. I'd especially like to hear from Adam and from Jordan.

[ January 12, 2012, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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MattP
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quote:
Thirdly, there's also the issue that documentation with respect to gender already exists in birth certificates, driver's licenses, social security, census information, tax filing, selective service registration, etc. To my mind there's a much lesser burden required to use information we already have (and which we can confirm with 99.9%+ accuracy simply by looking at and listening to a person) than there is to generate and store an entirely new set of data which would be *much* more difficult, expensive, and invasive to gather and confirm exclusively for this purpose.
So how do you feel about disqualifying marriage based on age? We already have the necessary information to make that determination. Surely a pair of 80-year-olds are unlikely to be fertile and, even if there's a tiny change that they are, they are unlikely to be able to adequately care for a child to adulthood.
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D.W.
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quote:
Either you're talking about me here, accusing me of being a bigot and of "hiding behind BS arguments", or you're not.
I was talking about you as part of a group. I was stating that opinion and by my criteria for applying it I would include yourself. It was stupid of me to ask for it not to be taken personally as it is in fact quite personal. I would be more truthful in stating that I don’t accuse only you of hiding behind BS arguments. I apologize for using my own brand of cowardice and blunting the rest of my opinion with those last few lines. I'm getting frustrated with the topic and my writing is suffering because of it.


Of course the world isn’t a fair place. The laws should not, but often serve to make it less fair. We should strive for fairness in the legal sense even if we are never likely to achieve it in a global sense. I will concede that a proper benchmark of mental health is how well one can participate in society.

Theory: Children are at a disadvantage when they are in an environment where they by extension of their parent’s lifestyle are treated differently and arguably worse than children not in that situation.
Solution 1: Situation should be avoided by limiting the instances of children being raised by SS couples.
Solution 2: Situation should be avoided or mitigated by swaying public opinion and removing legal barriers to equality.

I believe that unless solution 2 was achieved, all theories on the potential disadvantages of SS parents are flawed. The societal pressure could be the harm, not anything inherent in the parents or parenting, if any harm was demonstrable that is. You must eliminate that potential factor to be credible when arguing cause and effect. We are after all debating making SS marriage and families more acceptable. At least that is one subset of the issue we have chosen to fixate on.

[ January 12, 2012, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Pyrtolin
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I think the question is being phrased backwards- civil marriage comes with a package of benefits designed to enhance social stability and overall prosperity by supporting stable family benefits. What societal benefit is gained from denying access to that same civil benefit package to any committed family that wishes to form such a stable unit on the basis of gender?
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D.W.
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Devil’s advocate of potential societal benefits of preventing SSM.
Without role models of each gender you will be less able to relate to and interact with members of the sex absent in your parents? Potential societal benefit: More relatable population.

Children of SS parents may determine that SS pairing is natural and there for be pre disposed to SS partners. This could cause a rapid decline in birth rates. Some could interpret this decline as a weakening of our nation’s labor force and intellectual assets. Potential societal benefit: Safeguarding population growth.

There is a potential than any long running study could find that there are no drawbacks to SS parenting and this could be interpreted as proof that those opposing SSM were wrong. This could then be associated with people of specific belief systems are demonstrably wrong on one point so may be wrong on others. This could weaken those belief system’s institutes ability to recruit and retain members. As some of these institutes are quite integrated with our society as a whole this could be interpreted as “harmful to society”. Potential societal benefit: Safeguarding organized religion.

This could make adoption more common which could in theory lead to less abortions and more giving up children for adoption because the mother believes their child will have a happy family. This occurrence could increase our countries birth rate. Someone could interpret this increased population as a negative and come to the conclusion that an increase in potential stable families is not a desired outcome. Potential societal benefit: Lower population growth.

Any ridiculousness of the above theories and extrapolations is intentional.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I guess that'd be one obtuse misreading of what I wrote. Making sure that each and every marriage doesn't include a sterile person isn't worth scrapping the Constitution and having government set up a massive healthcare informational database which would be expensive, invasive, and difficult to get running and maintain, and which would invariably be used as precedent for a wide range of other intrusions into the most personal aspects of our lives.

None of that has anything to do with SSM, the denial of which doesn't require any kind of illegality, any kind of what most people would understand to be gross privacy violations (since your gender is very much public information by and large), and doesn't set any precedent for illegal, new and massive governmental intervention into our lives.

You are still hiding behind that lame excuse. A huge database isn't needed to enforce a ban on sterile marriages. That isn't a barrier at all.

For one, it could be handled like homosexuality when it was illegal. Did the government keep a huge database recording the sexual orientation of everyone? Of course not! It would only step in when it became apparent that someone was homosexual, and then take appropriate (or at least legal [Smile] ) action.

The same could be done with sterile couples. If it became known that a couple was sterile, for whatever reason, then the marriage would be annulled. A DADT for marriages. [Smile]

Another way is to ask for proof of fertility when the marriage license is issued. In the past some states have required blood tests for a license (to prevent some forms of birth defects, IIRC). Why not a doctor's form for fertility? No database required.

Or even just MattP's idea of basing it on age.

No, Paladine, you are hiding behind this "it's too big to be enacted" excuse to avoid the real reason: that when it comes to hetrosexual marriages, no one gives a **** if the couple will have children or not. People would find it offensive if someone even asked. And believe me, if the government started annulling marriages based on fertility, there would be a revolution, or at least a massive recall drive. [Smile]

No one associates fertility with marriage, unless is has to do with SSM. Only then does it somehow become important.

I hoped that you would prove me wrong. That you would explain why keeping infertile couples apart was in the best interest of society. But, apparently, you cannot face that question, for whatever reason. [Frown]

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Wayward Son
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You're forgetting perhaps the most significant benefit from banning SSM, D.W.: Preventing the legitamacy of homosexual sex.

Consider what marriage really means in our society. If I'm boffing little Jenny down the street, society as a whole sees it as an illegitimate activity--as her Dad does, in particular. [Eek!] However, if I marry little Jenny, not only is the activity legitimate, it is actually expected. Lack of boffing has been a reason for divorce over the years.

So if SSM was allowed, people could no longer frown on homosexual sex. As it stands, although they may tolerate it (like they would tolerate my boffing little Jenny--unlike my wife, who would cut off my...eh, let's not go there [Eek!] ), they can still consider it immoral and "not to be done." But if homsexuals could marry, why then, they would be expected to have sex, and the government would actually be condoning such sex! It would be legitimate sex.

And for something as icky as gay sex, that is a bit too much.

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Grant
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woooo saaaaa

"don't get aggravated. Then the enemy has you by the short hairs." -Al Swearengen

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Pete at Home
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Wayward, Have you even read The lawrence versus texas decision?

If you boff jenny down the street, You might get her pregnant.

The law has a strong interest in discouraging unprotected illegitimate heterosexual sex.

Lawrence made clear that the law has no interest in regulating consensual homosexual activity.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
You're forgetting perhaps the most significant benefit from banning SSM, D.W.: Preventing the legitamacy of homosexual sex.

Consider what marriage really means in our society. If I'm boffing little Jenny down the street, society as a whole sees it as an illegitimate activity--as her Dad does, in particular. [Eek!] However, if I marry little Jenny, not only is the activity legitimate, it is actually expected. Lack of boffing has been a reason for divorce over the years.

So if SSM was allowed, people could no longer frown on homosexual sex. As it stands, although they may tolerate it (like they would tolerate my boffing little Jenny--unlike Myrtle wife, who would cut off my...eh, let's not go there [Eek!] ), they can still consider it immoral and "not to be done." But if homsexuals could marry, why then, they would be expected to have sex, and the government would actually be condoning such sex! It would be legitimate sex.

And for something as icky as gay sex, that is a bit too much.

Wayward, did you just concede that the purpose of the SSM movement is to change the language in order.to control.people's beliefs?

Do you really think that is a legitament function of government?

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MattP
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quote:
Wayward, did you just concede that the purpose of the SSM movement is to change the language in order.to control.people's beliefs?
Not to change language - change law. The language has already changed. Marriage can refer to same-sex couples, but most jurisdictions in the US don't recognize marriages between members of the same sex.

When a gay man in Massachusetts puts his arm around his partner and says "we're married" few people will answer "to whom?" as if they were playing a straight man (heh) in a farce. Most people understand very clearly what that means.

If that same situation were to happen in Utah, it's likewise understood what they meant so again the response won't be "to whom?" but more likely something like "but that's not legal here" or "where were you married?" We understand the "married" part just fine as applied to same sex pairings. The confusion only arises in relation to differences in legal recognition.

Again, language has moved on. We're just working on getting the legal system to catch up. And yes, doing so will affect people's beliefs, but not because the definition of the word changes. People's beliefs will change because there will be no discrete political issue upon which anti-gay sentiment can be hung.

"Marriage is between a man and a woman" is an easy message to convey and has a certain syllogistic vibe to it. It's structured as an obvious and powerful truth. It can go on posters and can bring people to the polls. Once gay marriage is more legally ubiquitous there's nothing to go to the polls for. You can vote against the occasional openly gay candidate or anti-discrimination law, but it's getting harder and harder to publicly advocate for that without being exposed as a bigot. Marriage is the last topic upon which it's socially acceptable to express anti-gay sentiment on the level of a politician seeking high office. Once that battle is lost, anti-gay discrimination will settle into the same low simmer with occasional boil-over that we see with most other minority groups.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Wayward, did you just concede that the purpose of the SSM movement is to change the language in order.to control.people's beliefs?
No, to put what MattP said more simply- it's to stop using the law to control language and beliefs, and instead allow them to progress based on social pressure. There are places where there is a public benefit to pushing back against social pressures by restricting certain harmful freedoms; this isn't one of them.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Wayward, did you just concede that the purpose of the SSM movement is to change the language in order.to control.people's beliefs?
No, to put what MattP said more simply- it's to stop using the law to control language and beliefs, and instead allow them to progress based on social pressure.
That ship has sailed.
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