Friday, September 7, 2007

Lies and Lessons of the Intolerant

Intolerance = lack of understanding or kindness towards people who are different from the majority of people.

While intolerance has generally been used in reference to race or religion, I have only personally dealt with intolerance towards gay people. However, I do think that intolerant people, in general, use the same tactics ad nauseum when arguing their points.

By intolerance towards gay people, I mean, "unwilling to acknowledge or accept sexual orientation as a natural, normal state of being that deserves equal status under the law as heterosexuality." When I say "intolerant" in this article, it means "intolerant against gay people," because as I stated before, this is the intolerance I have faced.

But most Intolerants do use the same arguments regardless of who their target group is. Just insert "Black" or "Woman" or "Transgendered" for "Gay" or "Gay Marriage." That's my definition. I'm sure the critics will find something wrong with it. As a matter of fact, this leads me to Lesson #1.

Lesson #1: The intolerant person will consistently argue over word choices and semantics as a way of evading the original argument.

For example, an argument with an intolerant usually goes something like this:

"Jane: I think that anyone who opposes gay marriage is heterosexist and committing a metaphorical lynching of gay people.

Intolerant: Oh, so now anyone who disagrees with Jane Know is a lyncher? That's just great. See, everyone, she doesn't even know how to argue correctly."

or

Intolerant: So I guess anyone who opposes polygamy and incest is a lyncher, too. because we don't agree with those, and anyone who doesn't agree with something is lynching them. Further, you are obviously in favor of polygamy and incest due to your own faulty reasoning."

Instead of focusing on the argument of whether or not people who oppose gay marriage are heterosexist or committing metaphorical lynching, the Intolerant will focus on one word (lynching) and blow it up into an inflammatory argument that you didn't even make .

Note also the Intolerant's use of trusty ol' polygamy and incest red herrings- which, apparently, are multi-purpose distractions. There is no real desire for meaningful exchange of arguments. In fact, their only motive is to denigrate or embarrass their opponent.

Lesson #2: The Intolerant puts most of his/her eggs in the tradition basket.

In simple terms, this is almost always what the argument boils down to (petty namecalling, bad reasoning, and patronizing comments aside): Straight marriages have been around for millenia. Gay marriages haven't. Thus, we are obviously correct in thinking that you don't deserve to get married.

I don't even have to bring up the U.S.' embarrassing past stances on slavery and women's equality for most people to know that appeals to tradition aren't a very strong argument.

Oh, apparently I do have to bring it up.

Lesson #3: The Intolerant puts the rest of his/her eggs in the "Natural" basket.

This goes hand-in-hand with Lesson #2. The Intolerant often will add: "The purpose of marriage is to procreate and raise responsible citizens. And gay couples can't procreate, it is against the nature of gay couples, so they don't deserve to get married."

I have already sufficiently addressed this argument.

Yet no matter how much you dismiss the "natural" arguments some Intolerants will continue beating the dead horse as though, no really, you just don't understand than men and women are able to procreate, and that's a beautiful, natural thing that two people of the same gender can never do.

Lesson #4: the Intolerant are modern day witch-hunters, that firmly deny this on grounds of protecting something they deem important.

They often operate under the guise of "protecting" something that most people would like to protect, like "family values," "children," or "religion." This way, if you are pro-gay or pro-gay marriage, then obviously, you are anti-family, or anti-religion, or you must be harmful to children.

For example, the AFA (American Family Association) operates under the guise of Christianity. It is basically a witch-hunt against homosexuals, and how homosexuals are to blame for everything wrong with this country. However, it is easy to counter this type of argument by saying that a true Christian is tolerant. (if that is the religion that these people claim to be). as even Jesus would say, Biblical literalists and judgmental people are "wolves in sheep's clothing."

Opine Editorials motto: "Defending Marriage on the Firm Ground of Reason and Respect for Human Dignity." They purport to defend marriage, yet the overwhelming majority of their articles are related to gay marriage and homosexuality, which is thus far (since gay marriage isn't even legal) the LEAST of their worries. I'd say they have much, much bigger fish to fry than the gays. Further, if one of their grounds are "human dignity," they have a loooonnnnng way to go. Gays are their current scapegoats for the failures of the modern-day heterosexual marriage. Websites like this are thinly-veiled in their homophobic and narrow-minded content.

Lesson #5: The Intolerant will Try to Reverse the Argument.

For example, opine editorials comment policy states: "Some of the following feeds are from sites who feel that marriage equality means something other than a man and a woman being completely supportive of each other's uniqueness. You may wish to take such assertions for the value that they really believe that marriage equality means being indifferent to childrens needs, and social concerns that would get in the way of their ambitions. These feeds are given in hopes that you will engage them in polite and meaningful discussion, in hopes that with loving compassion they will no longer see equal marriage representation of one man and one woman to be a threat."
(emphasis mine)

This is similar to the oft-used: well, you're intolerant because you don't tolerate me being intolerant argument.

Tolerance as used in the above sense is not the same context that gays and other minority groups use it. "Toleration and tolerance are terms used in social, cultural and religious contexts to describe attitudes and practices that prohibit discrimination against those whose practices or group memberships may be disapproved of by those in the majority"

Sure, I may not "tolerate" the idea that gays don't deserve to get married. But does that mean I am "intolerant" in the sense of discriminating against a minority group?

And, I am "tolerant" of heterosexual marriages. I am also tolerant of two people of the same gender getting married. I am not, however, tolerant of those who are intolerant of two people of the same gender getting married. So, no, i guess i don't tolerate intolerance.

That's all for now.

Up later, when I have more time: the myth of "special rights" for minority groups.

46 comments:

teddy2 said...

I guess I just don't get why anyone could have an issue with same sex marriage. I am a straight man, I was brought up in a town that taught me to be against anything different. I moved the Chicago area, and all of a sudden, I started interacting with people of different cultures and backgrounds. If anyone has a problem with people who don't fit into their proverbial cookie cutter image of normal, than they are just plain sad. I think that straight people live under the guise that if same sex marriage is not allowed, then same sex relationships will stop... GUESS WHAT... WRONG. I here straight people say all of the time "I am fine with it, I just don't want to see it." Guess what, I don't wanna see it either, and by it, I mean PDA in general! I get disgusted every other day when working in my bar when a guy and his girl are practically having sex in the corner.
I know that now I am pretty much just rambling on, but seriously...
I have many friends now who are gay/lesbian. In most instances, they have better relationships, and understand each other better, and communicate better, and mostly get along better than most of my straight friends do in their relationships... These people love each other... and in a world where it is now commonplace to get married, just because someone got knocked up and they are gonna "try and work it out" and everyone seems to be okay with it..... then why can't people who are actually IN LOVE, which is what the bond of marriage is supposed to be about, get hitched?

Thats all I have for now

Jane Know said...

thanks, teddy2. i appreciate your comments. and, of course, i agree with it.

On Lawn said...

I think that straight people live under the guise that if same sex marriage is not allowed, then same sex relationships will stop... GUESS WHAT... WRONG

Actually, I agree, that is wrong. I find it inaccurate to believe that supporting marriage means oppressing homosexuality.

I worry, honestly, about the paradigm where it is "you are either for us or against us". This isn't homosexuals v heterosexuals. I doubt you will find many who support marriage who feel that way. There are some, but they are a small minority.

Better to understand what they do say, rather than what others say they say. Jane's done a very bad job of quoting (as in using quotation marks when no quote is associated with them at all). She should use less editorial license, and more editorial accuracy. (Actually what she pulled is a very bad no-no in circles where people try to encourage mutual respect and tolerance).

You can follow my reply to this, and the discussion her post spawned from, here.

I wonder if you would support the principles I asked Jane to support. I believe that you probably would.

Jane Know said...

"She should use less editorial license, and more editorial accuracy. (Actually what she pulled is a very bad no-no in circles where people try to encourage mutual respect and tolerance)."

Example of my Lesson #1.

part of what i have in quotes are example conversations. i NEVER claimed those were actual arguments.

"Actually, I agree, that is wrong. I find it inaccurate to believe that supporting marriage means oppressing homosexuality."

doy. and i find it ACCURATE to believe that your view of marriage oppresses homosexuality. that's why we're even having this discussion.

oh, and re-read Lesson 4.

your blog that purports to protect marriage is very thinly-veiled in its anti-homosexuality.

if you really wanted to protect marriage, you would focus on positive action people could take to help save their marriages. not only on trying to make it impossible for others to get married.

further, why do you presume teddy2 is going to agree with you? pretty bold assumption considering he's made one post regarding this topic on my blog total.

as of now, the ONLY author of opine that has addressed any pro same-sex marriage argument "on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity" has been Fitz.

and guess what? instead of name-calling, accusations, and threats, we are engaging in meaningful dialogue. i've said it before, and i'll continue to say it, the fact that he even associates himself with the opine people is doing much more harm to his case than any good.

i am assuming this is Christian due to their similar writing and argument style.

actually, your entire blog, is a very big no-no in terms of civil rights.

you should be ashamed.

Rachel said...

How helpful of on-lawn to completely exemplify your point. I'd quote sections of his statement, but it'd pretty much be the whole thing. One thing I’d add to what I think to be Jane’s perfectly well spoken blog is the, "hey, I’m just trying to be your friend and help you my misguided brother/sister" approach by the intolerant. As on-lawn said, "I worry, honestly, about the paradigm where it is "you are either for us or against us". This isn't homosexuals v heterosexuals. I doubt you will find many who support marriage who feel that way. There are some, but they are a small minority." I'm going to have to pull the BULLSHIT CARD on this one. As Jane pointed out Opine and AFA spend nearly ALL of their blog/web-site time on same-sex marriage. I don't see much on the rise of infidelity, divorce, abstinence to prevent pre-marital conception that would push couples to marry who would otherwise not. There is no "us against them" in the gay community. Our families, friends, co-workers, clients, baristas, postal-workers, and most of the members of our communities and country are heterosexuals. The gay community exists within this greater whole. We consider ourselves a part of "THEM." It is the homophobic members of the nation--the self-proclaimed, "protectors of marriage and family" that blame the gay community for failed marriages and poor parenting that have created the division.

John Howard said...

It's true the Opine crew is more interestedin opposing homosexuality than preserving marriage, that is why they refuse to support or even give space to the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise. The compromise achieves full equal protections via civil unions that are just like marriage but without marriage's right to conceive children together, using the marriage's own gametes. They don't like that, even though it also preserves marriage as a man and a woman and stops genetic engineering and same-sex conception.

They are doing more damage than same-sex marriage, by not affirming the core right of marriage is conception rights. They want to treat the subjects separately, as if we could have a marriage that was not allowed to conceive together, or that we could allow people to conceive together but refuse them marriage. All because they want to be able to oppose homosexuality more than they want to defend marriage.

I have no idea why they are so complacent about the development of same-sex conception, they will briefly acknowledge that it shouldn't be done, but they refuse to push for a law against it. They think the whole argument should come down to homosexuality being bad, because, uh, it's two left shoes or something like that.

Have you noticed all the deleted comments on there? Those were mine, bringing up the subject of conception rights. Those guys are doing more to stifle the only valid argument against same-sex marriage than anyone else, I wonder if they work for a biotech lobby.

Jane Know said...

On Lawn:

and ps-
as stated in MY comment policy, i delete comments that are attacks on me and my friends personally, critiques of my "about me" section, and (as i and my friends have recently had to) posts that contain the words "fag" and "n---er," or posts from anonymous people that repeatedly tell lesbians to commit suicide.

you and your opine friends, on lawn, are walking a fine line right now. call that censorship if you like (hyperbole and all), but it's my blog. i'll call it protecting myself and my friends.

and franky, my dear, i just don't give a damn whether you like it or not.

if you have nothing but petty insults and false accusations to bring to the table as your "argument," then leave.

On Lawn said...

A lesson in fallacy...

part of what i have in quotes are example conversations. i NEVER claimed those were actual arguments.

By using quotes, you did. I believe at one point Rachel was asserting that your academic credentials were, if we were to know them, unassailable. I do not doubt that, she would know more than I. So it is academic material I am sure you are familiar with that I point out to you now...

-- "Direct quotations are another person's exact words--either spoken or in print--incorporated into your own writing. [...] Indirect quotations are not exact words but rather rephrasings or summaries of another person's words. Do not use quotation marks for indirect quotations." --

That isn't usually a big deal. Certainly as a semantical argument its impact is very light on the conversation. However, in asserting that this is a semantical battle, you seem to have missed something I said earlier about why I brought up your mis-use of quotation marks...

-- "Better to understand what they do say, rather than what others say they say." --

I doubt you disagree with that statement. Yet by mis-representing (with the use of quotes and poor paraphrasing) others arguments you have committed fallacy at best, dishonesty at worst. It is a Strawman Fallacy.

As your site's mission statement includes, "deception detections..." I figure you would be most interested in showing others arguments with more integrity.

Hence, you seem to have mistaken a semantic argument, for one that has much more impact on the discussion at hand. If anything, it seems you were the one who focused on "semantics as a way of evading the original argument."

i find it ACCURATE to believe that your view of marriage oppresses homosexuality.

Why, you mentioned your support of the very values I support also. There is obviously a disconnect, but perhaps you can point out where you feel that disconnect is?

Just what is it about supporting marriage and its role that you find as intolerant? Please be specific.

Rachel notes that the majority of the mainpage items are anti-homosexual. I'm having trouble seeing that also. Perhaps you all can take a tally and specifically pinpoint which of the items on the front page are anti-homosexual and how?

Something else I bet you'd agree with, it is better to identify explicitly these charges so everyone can see what the charge is specifically, rather than vaguely accuse.

Why do I think Teddy2 will support the values I mentioned? Well you supported them, and so do most people I talk to. Its not a given, but I find it probable. Teddy2 is most likely a sensible person, just as you are.

And I am not the same person as Christian. But that you make such an accusation perhaps puts you in the same rebuke that Fannie left when someone pointed out the strange coincidence of her posting the same comment as two names. Why did you make such an accusation, were you creating a diversion just as Fannie accused others of doing?

Just curious. Its no big deal to me, I've left a number of better questions to ask, both in response to what you wrote on Opine and here.

On Lawn said...

Rachel,

Good to see you again.

It is said that you will find what you look for. And I am sorry if you find nefarious undertones to a, "hey, I’m just trying to be your friend and help you my misguided brother/sister approach" [punctuation changed, see note about use of quotation marks for indirect quotes in the post above].

Either way, you made some very outlandish claims against Opine and they do not seem warranted.

1) "How helpful of on-lawn to completely exemplify your point."

I looked for support for this claim, and I found this statement, "I'd quote sections of his statement, but it'd pretty much be the whole thing." Just what about the whole thing, or any part of it really exemplifies her point? If I am to learn tolerance from you all, or for the benefit of people not used to the goings on of this echo-chamber, it would be better to explain this with more specific examples.

2) "As Jane pointed out Opine and AFA spend nearly ALL of their blog/web-site time on same-sex marriage. "

In the comment above to Jane, is a specific charge that will help me understand just what you see and where. I'm interested in reviewing what you find.

3) "I don't see much on the rise of infidelity, divorce, abstinence to prevent pre-marital conception that would push couples to marry who would otherwise not."

It may be difficult to quantify what "much" is. But I'll tell you this. The focus, as I see it, is on responsible procreation. It isn't on what isn't responsible procreation except to discredit claims by others that their view of procreation is responsible. That claim rarely comes from adulterers or teen-age recreational sex.

Again, I'll be interested in seeing which specific posts you find on the front page are anti-homosexual and why. Then we can discuss proportions.

Fannie said...

On Lawn,

At no point did I read, as you say, that Jane had written:

"you are either for us or against us"

Your use of quotes implies a direct quotation which just doesn't exist in Jane's writings. Or, were you paraphrasing her idea? Hmmm. It's not usually a big deal but your use of quotes here is a fallacy at best, and plain ol' dishonesty at worst.

Just an example of how you think you are the one who is so reasonable, and so rational, with your insulting links to explanations of fallacies and grammatical rules, yet, in the very same comment you commit the same fallacy you accuse Jane of comitting.

You are insulting, with your little lessons and the way you speak down to the people you argue with. And THAT is why people abandon conversations with you. It is extremely frustrating. Yet, it is also sad that you are so sure of your own abilities that you "teach" us lessons in logic and fallacy. Because when you do that, I can't help but think you and your site are a parody of a site that uses "the firm ground of reason."

And on top of that, you come to her blog and demand that she address your questions. As though you are some sort of teacher so "please be specific" in your answers. Well, this isn't your space, On Lawn, it's hers. And you can call it an echo chamber if you like, meanwhile pretending that Opine Editorials is not.

And, you are all about challenging people to go to your site and pick out arguments and add them up and rebut them, knowing full well that most people have lives outside of the internet and that they won't take you up on it.

Then, you will probably post a blog article bragging about how you supposedly deftly handled Jane and Rachel (and me) and how they didn't take you up on your little challenge and then post links to their comments and yours and so on and so on and then they abandoned the conversation so, guess what, On Lawn WINS AGAIN!!! Surely not because he's a prick, but because he's just SO. DAMN. LOGICAL. (and correct, of course).


So, fine. I can already predict your response as something along the lines of "you are projecting" because that has been you and some of your fellow bloggers trusty standby reply.

Fine. Like I said, it must be how grown-ups play "I'm rubber and you're glue."

Jane Know said...

On Lawn, I definitely never said you were Christian.

That would be a GROSS error on my part.

It's obvious you are not Christian.

I said I thought Fitz was Christian, as they are the only respectful bloggers on opine, and they have the same writing style and arguments. Even though Christian and I have different ideas on same-sex marriage, I think I would probably like him in the real world.

You, I think not. Unless you hide behind your internet persona to voice the way you truly feel.

You sound nothing like Christian. and telling you that you did would be a compliment.

Let me also add Lesson #9192203 to this Blog:

The Intolerant likes to Mock Any Education Received by a Tolerant Person.

I haven't told anyone on Opine what I do for living or what my degrees are. Why? For exactly THAT reason. And yet you still find a way to mock it. I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I made that information public.

But trust me when I say the LAST thing I need is a rudimentary lesson in quoting from On Lawn.

In the context I used quotes, I made it clear I wasn't using a REAL conversation. i was citing a hypothetical. How else would I have cited a hypothetical conversation without using quotes to signify conversation? I think this is obvious to any reasonable person.

But again. You are far from reasonable.

You claim I am using the straw man fallacy.

Honey, you're just grasping for straws.

On Lawn said...

Fannie,

Did you really take the following conversation between men and teddy2 to mean, "implies a direct quotation which just doesn't exist in Jane's writings."

-- "[teddy2] I think that straight people live under the guise that if same sex marriage is not allowed, then same sex relationships will stop... GUESS WHAT... WRONG

"[me] Actually, I agree, that is wrong. I find it inaccurate to believe that supporting marriage means oppressing homosexuality.

"I worry, honestly, about the paradigm where it is 'you are either for us or against us'. This isn't homosexuals v heterosexuals. I doubt you will find many who support marriage who feel that way. There are some, but they are a small minority." --

The topic wasn't Jane, neither was the reference. It appears that the reference traces back to a mentality that would describe what someone felt was being said at Opine. Its a phrase coined, and popularized into a meme, from GWB's world posture after 9/11.

I am, of course, happy to clear that up. But it isn't near as interesting as the other points raised. And as it turns out you seem to have been off-base in your accusation.

You are insulting, with your little lessons and the way you speak down to the people you argue with.

Hmmm. Recently on Opine we had a visitor who said to an author, "Really, you're a hideous human being". You can judge for yourself the reaction that individual got there. Yet, Jane invited him to her site saying she would be nicer to him.

So, just a quick question, are my "little lessons" more insulting than the labels wielded by the commenter welcomed by Jane?

you come to her blog and demand that she address your questions.

Demand? Are you really saying I'm demanding she answer questions?

It would be nice, however, if I could get Rachel's, Jane's, and your opinions which is why I asked those questions. Other questions relate to allegations they have made which I would like them to point out more clearly and specifically.

On Lawn WINS AGAIN!!!

Is it really a matter of winning or losing to you? Is it really us v. them? You v. us?

When we come together and commit to dialog to get to know each other better and our ideals, we all win.

I can already predict your response as something along the lines of "you are projecting"

Well then it appears that what you think I'm doing, and what I'm doing, are different things indeed!

Now I've come to the end of this response and I am left to wonder.

What was the subject of your reply? I'm happy to talk about me, its a subject I'm quite an authority on. But I suggest that the topics, questions, and subjects at hand will be far more interesting than myself. I believe you would agree.

On Lawn said...

Jane,

I said I thought Fitz was Christian

Thanks for clearing that up. I happen to know they are different people also, and when you get to know them they are quite different. So I believe that makes two people you find rational on Opine?

I'm curious what they said that you liked, for all the cross accusations here it would be good to hear what you liked reading. Thats all.

i was citing a hypothetical

Of course you were, and I agreed. Its hypothetical nature is what classifies it as a strawman fallacy (see link above).

So you admit to using a hypothetical argument to represent (you called it an example) arguments you've dealt with. And now you say that isn't a strawman fallacy?

I'm curious on what grounds you make that assertion from.

Now the quotes is no big deal. Simply put, a hypothetical or even indirect quote does not deserve quotation marks.

Now, enough about little old me. Lets not get distracted with me. I'm just here to find out about you, and the others. Are you really going to leave me empty handed in knowing your positions on the questions I asked?

teddy2 said...

Well, at first I thought this was a discussion of same sex marriage... I guess I was wrong. I am, however, glad to know the correct use of quotation marks now. I don't want to give suggestions on someone else's blog, but maybe Jane's next topic should discuss when to use a colon instead of a semi-colon... Maybe then On Lawn will have something RATIONAL to talk about.
Oh, and by the way, I read the link you provided... In fact I spent about 2 hours of my life (of which i can never get back) reading your site. As far as whether or not I "support the principles" that you thought I would, ummm, one word... nope.

Side bar... I don't know if I correctly used the quotation marks when i QOUTED you... I will sit and wait patiently for the Punctuation Police to take me away...

Anonymous said...

"Instead of focusing on the argument of whether or not people who oppose gay marriage are heterosexist or committing metaphorical lynching, the Intolerant will focus on one word (lynching) and blow it up into an inflammatory argument that you didn't even make."

Jane, anyone who believes x is y is not a classic "argument" to begin with. Why should we spend our time arguing against the classic ad homeniem fallacy?

"Metaphorical lynching" doesn't mean anything, since metaphor isn't substance. Anyone can be a metaphorical rapist, a metaphorical whatever, depending on the person making the metaphor. There's nothing to address in your accusation.

If you have real arguments that we should redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships, then make the arguments. Passing off classical fallacies and ugly "metaphors" to insult us, insults everyone's intelligence, and suggests that you lack any substantive argument for your case. I've seen you do better than this. I'd criticize someone from my own side for using those tactics. Honestly, I don't think that such statements help anyone.

Anonymous said...

-Christian, who forgot to sign the last post

Anonymous said...

John Howard, I've repeatedly said that I support ssus that give gay couples all of the substantive rights associated with marriage, so long as we don't call SSUs "marriage." The fact that I don't want the state to tell gays and lesbians what to do with their sperm and eggs hardly makes me an opponent of homosexuality.

Marriage exists to make it more likely that children will be raised by a father and mother. It's not a eugenics program. I see no evidence that gay men don't make good fathers or that lesbian women don't make good mothers, nor do I see any evidence that gays have less need for a father and a mother.

Jane, I've been incredibly busy with a big case and with other real life issues. I have not visited your site for a while. Last time I checked, you told me that I was welcome to post here. You've dealt with me honestly, and I have no reason to post here under a different name. I've used a lot of creative sigs over the years, but Christian is my actual name, and I have never posted under the name "Fitz." If you think someone is posting under a different name, check their IP. If I had easy access to multiple IPs at this moment, don't you think that I'd be using them to respond to a site that had made false statements about me while banning me?

-Christian

On Lawn said...

Well, at first I thought this was a discussion of same sex marriage... I guess I was wrong.

You're not wrong. Much of what has been discussed is along those lines.

As far as I can tell the ball is in your court, and with Jane and Rachel. I've asked your opinions on many different aspects of this debate. I've received no answers, which is of course your right. But I don't see what you hope to do by dropping the conversation that is going on about same-sex marriage, drive some cartoonish extreme of a side conversation, and then blame others of not discussing the topic.

You can prove me wrong very easily with a quote, but it seems my reply to Rachel, and the post to Jane right above that, was the last time anyone was discussing marriage policy here at the time you made your post.

So the question I have, is why the silence on the marriage topics from you (other than complaining that people haven't talked about it), Jane and Fannie, all who have replied since my questions about marriage policy were given them?

On Lawn said...

For the record, I also support extending marriage benefits to households that are currently not marriageable, such as same-sex households. I like Reciprocal Beneficiary that Hawaii has, which do not require any presumption of sexuality, thus keeping the government out of their bedrooms.

Hawaii was the first to attempt to neuter marriage, and I think in many ways it is they and not Massachusetts that are the most progressive in this debate.

Anonymous said...

"As Jane pointed out Opine and AFA spend nearly ALL of their blog/web-site time on same-sex marriage. "

Rachel, Opine is speficially about protecting marriage from the likes of the Goodridge atrocity. When we blog about other topics, we do so on other blogs.

After I got banned from "Democrats.com" for doing nothing more than quoting President Bill Clinton's position in support of an FMA, and after I received threats in my law school mail room for participating in an email debate over ssm, I realized that even though most Democrats support ssus and oppose ss"m," that we've allowed extremist demagogues to hijack party leadership positions and to control the discussion. So when I lay out my position on SSM, I prefer to do so in a focused environment where I don't get my position misrepresented, or have idiots pretending that I'm say, against socialized medicine or against the MAP, just because I believe that marriage is the union of man or women for life.

Anonymous said...

-Christian, who again forgot to sign his last post (sorry, Jane)

Anonymous said...

-PS, I did *NOT* say that anyone who supports ssm is an "extremist demagogue." I applied that term to the loser from "Democrats.com" who banned me for doing nothing more than quoting President Bill Clinton's position in support of an FMA, and to the sicko who sent anonymous threats because I said in public that marriage was about promoting that a child needs a mom and a dad, and wasn't an attack on gays.

-c

Jane Know said...

and in the end, it still all boils down to:

same-sex marriage supporters believe we are fighting for equal rights.

opposite-sex marriage supporters believe they are fighting for the tradition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

i'm personally just sick of beating this dead horse for the time being. i definitely didn't think i would spend so much time blogging about this.

ugh. any suggestions about a new topic that doesn't involve gayness, straightness, sperm, eggs, lesbian suicide, or sex?

Jane Know said...

oh, and christian, i read your comments and will respond to them.

i've had a long weekend as well, and just don't have the energy right now.

On Lawn said...

opposite-sex marriage supporters believe they are fighting for the tradition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Sorry to interject, you are free of course to change the subject. If you don't mind me making one adjustment.

Tradition means very little to me. Because something is traditional usually means I second-guess it rather than accept it. Its just my way.

But what marriage (meaning equal gender representation) has more than tradition is:

1) Precedent.
2) A great value that is rooted in our humanity in the fact that it encourages the best practice for procreation. For a vast majority of us our greatest capacity, and our greatest impact on the future will be in exercising our potential to procreate, and then how we raise our children.
3) Is an institution of integration, and because of that has become more equal over time. Nothing is more equal than a marriage where each gender supports, celebrates, and provides for each other's differences -- both gender specific differences (such as who breast feeds, gestates, etc...) and otherwise.

The institution that recognizes the same-sex couple has value too,

1) It supports the freedom of association and trust.
2) It supports commitment for that trust.
3) It helps society encourage people to support each other.

And, when you think of it homosexuals are a minority of couples who could benefit from a program that does those three things. Just an added bonus.

On Lawn said...

TO clarify, the added bonus is that the program (such as RB's) support a much larger swath of families than just homosexual couples.

John Howard said...

Christian, that's great that you are open to civil unions. They should not have conception rights though. That should be the only difference. By conception rights, I mean, using a lab to create a baby that has same-sex bio-parents, by somehow coaxing a male-imprinted genome from a woman's stem cells, or vice versa. The state should certainly step in there and say that's not allowed, for lots of reasons. It might seem nice to take a hands off approach to what people want to do to create children, but, well, read "Enough" by Bill McKibben. We shouldn't allow labs to start making babies that are not from a man and a woman's actual unadulterated egg and sperm.

I know marriage is not a eugenic program! It is anything but, especially these days, now that virtually everyone can marry someone because they love them, not because their tribe insists that they marry someone they pick out. There are people who are frustrated with that, they are upset that love-based, rights-based marriage doesn't even try to do a good job at eugenics, they hate that it gives conception rights to unfit couples who they think shouldn't have children together.

Are you against an Egg and Sperm law to stop genetic engineering and other genetic manipulations to create people in labs? Because if you are for an egg and sperm law, and if you are for civil unions as long as they aren't called marriage, then you should say you support the EAS/CU compromise, and help convince the rest of Opine to support it also. I think some of them agree about the Egg and Sperm law part, but don't want to give any legal status to same-sex couples at all. So there's some disagreement there, and I think you should all step back and think about it more, and come to this middle ground that achieves a lasting peace.

teddy2 said...

on lawn,
As far as my last post, I was only using your punctuation post as an example that many times people will only pick out a certain item from a post and roll with opposing that... whether it be one line from a comment, or a punctuation issue or what not. I actually enjoy reading what you have to say. I wasn't trying to offend, I was just frustrated with peolple (not just you) nitpicking certain things from other posts...
Maybe I am sensitive to this because I am not as highly educated as the rest of the people that are commenting... However my views are clearly posted in the first comment on this blog... As far as finding a quote to support my claims or my views, maybe I am old fashioned, but, I don't need someone else to support my thoughts to believe them. I just believe what I believe. No book or quote is going to change that.
I would be interested to know what your views are on the last portion of my first post...

On Lawn said...

maybe I am old fashioned, but, I don't need someone else to support my thoughts to believe them.

I couldn't agree more.

I would be interested to know what your views are on the last portion of my first post...

Certainly.

I have many friends now who are gay/lesbian. In most instances, they have better relationships, and understand each other better, and communicate better, and mostly get along better than most of my straight friends do in their relationships.

That isn't surprising, actually. I believe Jane mentioned on Opine how being a woman helps her understand a womans needs. I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Integration is hard, and fraught with the danger of misunderstanding. One needs to be extra careful, show extra respect and tolerance just to understand where someone who is different from them is coming from.

That is the peril of marriage, and in the end it is its own reward. You are more careful, respectful, tolerant and understanding. You know better how to love, and the unity that love brings from crossing the divide that was between you.

Long before de-segregation, marriage is the oldest institution of integration we know of. It is older than history. Its a strange but poetic design in us humans that there are two genders, and for the sake of our society requires them to integrate.

why can't people who are actually IN LOVE, which is what the bond of marriage is supposed to be about, get hitched?

Love really is the core of marriage, but what happens when it is no longer there?

In a marriage (loosely speaking) a child is born who is a literal incarnation of the relationship between the mother and father. The child's identity comes literally from the mother and father. It is this relationship that we call the in-tact relationship.

In learning from diversity, we have the adult-child relationship. But, consider the unique significance that they have, that extra bond that gives the mother and father in-sider information on dealing with the child because of that shared identity. In raising a child, it is a benefit much like Jane noted where their common identity helps them know what will help the children.

What if those parents are no longer in love? And that happens, marriage is perilous. Divorced couples are the first to tell you that the marriage never really dies, because the child who is the incarnation of that relationship survives. Often the fighting gets even more bitter as vacations, special events and other items need to continue to be coordinated in these now separate lives.

It is this bond that survives that marriage is built to recognize and strengthen. It is this element (among other concerns that arise from procreation) that makes marriage a government sponsored endeavor. It invites the scrutiny and regulation of the government.

So what about love?

Well, do you really want Uncle Sam to be in the business of romance regulation? For me personally, I don't like to see the government in the bedroom. But there is a concept of free-association and mutual trust in loving relationships that the government could help support. It is that conduit, more than romance, that invites people to extend benefits after all.

So there's my two cents (and incomplete at that) on the last part of your comment. Though it is incomplete I hope it answers your concerns.

Jane Know said...

On Lawn, the govt is already in the business of "romance regulation," hence the status of married couples in society. your view of marriage as an institution whose only purpose is for procreation of future citizens is not the only way the govt sees marriage.

i have already addressed these concerns/arguments in the original blog.

John Howard said...

no, Jane, the gov't is already in the business of conception regulation. At least that is what they are trying to do when they prohibit certain marriages, they are saying that these people should not have children together. If "romance" means wanting to have have sex together, then OK, they are the same thing, since that is how (until very recently) all conception was done.

Jane, please consider the compromise proposal - it really could result in a great advance for same-sex couples in terms of security and protections, and woudln't give up anything except stuff that hardly anyone wants to do and might never be possible anyhow. No one would have to call these civil unions "civil unions" except the city hall clerk, everyone else could say "marriage" in their everyday usage.

This could happen really quickly if you got behind it. Forget the Opine crew, they are frauds, just trying to waste our time.

Jane Know said...

John,
i will look into it.

yeah, i'm over the opine people.

after someone over there said i sound like someone who would favor "ethnic cleansing," i decided i was done with them.

and the morons who standy quietly by and let people say those things are just as evil.

Rachel said...

On Lawn,
Let me get this clear--before i go any futher; are you telling me that you and the majority of anti-ssm-ers (i.e. Opine, etc...) are not anti-homosexuality and the life-style of homosexuals? I will continue after getting a direct answer on this.

Jane Know said...

rachel, my best advice is to give up with the Opine people. even if they are intolerant towards gay people, they will never admit it.

as others have already realized, they are a waste of our time.

they will never admit to their intolerance. they can (and will, eventually) only be proven wrong by the majority.

let's just turn our attention to our fight for equality and move on.

Rachel said...

nuff said.

Anonymous said...

"christian, i read your comments and will respond to them."

Thank you. I look forward to your response, Jane.

"even if they are intolerant towards gay people, they will never admit it."

The thing about prejudice, Jane, is that it hides itself, like a blind spot. Everyone's prejudiced about something, but it's difficult to realize when you are prejudice, since most prejudices come from implicit assumptions about the world. Telling someone that they are "intolerant" doesn't do any good unless you can be specific, and show the inconsistencies in what someone has said or done. And I say this as someone who has overcome many prejudices, and is struggling to overcome other prejudices. God's not done with me yet. If you see faults and prejudices in what I've said, please bring them to my attention, but please don't make such accusations carelessly. Forgive me, but suggesting that my anger with a certain woman's mistreatment with me was a reaction against strong women ... that sort of accusation discredits you.

-Christian

Jane Know said...

christian,
i believe i have spent many days and blogspace on the subject of the Opine editorials' intolerance and citing specific examples. there is nothing more to say about them. i'm through with them.

i don't think i've said anything about your intolerance personally. (?). correct me if i am wrong. i may very well have.

what i do know is that you don't think gays and lesbians should be given the right to use the term "marriage" to define their relationships, which is the only term that would give their relationships equal footing with the government and society.

until this is accomplished, the GLBT community will remain second-class citizens. of that, i am certain.

what i also know is that you associate with a blog that is very obvious in its intolerance towards the GLBT community. even if nothing you have said specifically is "bigoted," by standing by and allowing others to continue to use hate speech, you are also perpetuating it.

Anonymous said...

christian,
i believe i have spent many days and blogspace on the subject of the Opine editorials' intolerance and citing specific examples. there is nothing more to say about them.


Your post that I'm responding to in this response group, "lies and lessons of the intolerant," makes a number of general accusations, but doesn't really provide specifics.

i don't think i've said anything about your intolerance personally. (?). correct me if i am wrong. i may very well have.

Perhaps I misunderstood you the other day, but you seemed to assume that my angry words against one of your friends was based on some hostility to strong women. I'm not the most tolerant person in the world, and I have a lot of faults to work on, but I am certainly not biased against *strong women.* :D So there's that personal bit, and also the general stuff you've said about Opine, while in other places you've acknowledged that at least two of Opine's posters (me and Fritz) are reasonable. Ironically, tolerance requires that we "discriminate" within groups. It's not intolerant for me to dislike a particular woman who has wronged me (e.g. the one who molested me when I was 7) so long as I don't generalize the negative traits to all women, or to all strong women.

"what i do know is that you don't think gays and lesbians should be given the right to use the term "marriage" to define their relationships,"

On the contrary, Jane, as I told Rachel on another site, I respect your existing right to use the term "marriage" to define your relationships. I don't want you to be given the right to sue or harass others who refuse to use the word "marriage" to describe same-sex relationships. Not that I think that you specifically would use that right even if you had it. Someone else would. There's always someone willing to sue, to exploit new laws to make problems for folks that never harmed them.

If the government were to redefine the word marriage, the courts would eventually translate that into a license to go after private individuals and businesses that use the word "marriage" in an "invidious" way.


until this is accomplished, the GLBT community will remain second-class citizens. of that, i am certain.

Why? I've shown you historical societies that distinguished SSUs from marriage, where gays were not "second hand citizens."

We don't have to call black people "white" in order to acknowledge their equality. Equality of rights, equality of access to the same facilities, and huge prejudices dissapear over a generation. It's only a few years since the courts started enforcing the rules giving girls equal access to school athletic programs, and look how far we've come in recognizing the validity of women's sports. Sure, there's a way to go, but time will do what coercion cannot achieve.

what i also know is that you associate with a blog that is very obvious in its intolerance towards the GLBT community. even if nothing you have said specifically is "bigoted," by standing by and allowing others to continue to use hate speech, you are also perpetuating it.

I certainly do not stand by and allow others on Opine to use hate speech. I and others on Opine have carefully avoided allowing that sort of person to join our group. We avoid inflammatory and misleading references to "Sodom and Gomorrah" (which is about rape, not about consensual homosexuality), or "homosexual agenda." If there is any actual HATE SPEECH on Opine and written by Opine contributors, please bring it to my attention.
-Christian

On Lawn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jane Know said...

christian said:
"Why? I've shown you historical societies that distinguished SSUs from marriage, where gays were not "second hand citizens."

which historical societies do you speak of?

and that says nothing of our current society. surely you aren't claiming that gays and lesbians are treated just as well as heterosexuals here in the U.S. in 2007.

"We don't have to call black people "white" in order to acknowledge their equality"

true, but black people now have all the same rights as white people.

and before anyone jumps the gun... i'm not saying black people and white people are treated equally, just that now, by law (and common sense), they should be.

the same should be true for gay people. but it isn't.

it's still considered okay for MANY people to publicly make fun of gay people.

just look and listen around you, christian. how many times do you hear the word "fag" and no one even blinks twice. how many times do you hear gay jokes, and everyone laughs. people don't even try to hide their hatred and mockery of gays and lesbians. because it is still considered normal to make fun of them.

if gays were given marriage as a right, this would help to stop that.

and yes, by disavowing homosexual relationships as "unequal" and "immoral" and "unnatural," as SO MANY opine bloggers (renee, jose, et. al.) do, that is hate speech. and you and others stand idly by and don't say anything. that is just as bad.

Jane Know said...

teddy2 said "Maybe I am sensitive to this because I am not as highly educated as the rest of the people that are commenting..."

education hardly matters in issues of morality. and that is what the gay marriage issue always boils down to.

besides, people can have PhD's or JDs and still be ignorant, dangerous fuckwads.


"However my views are clearly posted in the first comment on this blog..."

i thought you stated your position very clearly, too:

"... These people love each other... and in a world where it is now commonplace to get married, just because someone got knocked up and they are gonna "try and work it out" and everyone seems to be okay with it..... then why can't people who are actually IN LOVE, which is what the bond of marriage is supposed to be about, get hitched"

Christian said...

"just look and listen around you, christian. how many times do you hear the word "fag" and no one even blinks twice."

I assure you that I do more than blinking twice when someone uses that word in front of me. Where I grew up, people used that word as forplay to an asskicking. I respond to it in the same way as I respond to the sound of a loading shotgun. The only persons that I associate with that use that term are actually gay.

"how many times do you hear gay jokes, and everyone laughs."

Not for years. During the 1980s, all the time. During the 1990s, in college one of my roomates bragged that he'd beat up gays in a park a few years earlier. The rest of us, all five, talked and decided we didn't want to live with such a person. It would have been no different than if he'd bragged of beating up blacks.

"people don't even try to hide their hatred and mockery of gays and lesbians. because it is still considered normal to make fun of them."

Not in my neck of the woods.

I will say that most gay couples do not feel free to show affection in public as hetero couples do. But folks were every bit as upset about Matthew Shephard's crucifixion as they were about that horrible racist murder in Jasper Texas, and the only reason Shephard's killers didn't get the death penalty is that Shephard's mom asked the prosecutors not to seek it if the defendants would agree not to appeal.

In some aspects gays are more persecuted than African-Americans, and 20 years ago, during the late 1980s, gays were clearly more persecuted than any other group, but for the most part, the tide has turned. Do you disagree?

Christian said...

"besides, people can have PhD's or JDs and still be ignorant, dangerous fuckwads."

Conversely, even a dangerous fuckward can be right about something. You know who comissioned the Volkswagen Beetle?

Christian said...

"... These people love each other... and in a world where it is now commonplace to get married, just because someone got knocked up and they are gonna "try and work it out" and everyone seems to be okay with it..... then why can't people who are actually IN LOVE, which is what the bond of marriage is supposed to be about, get hitched"

I have no objection to same-sex hitching. So long as we don't use the word marriage. If marriage really was all about love, then why would we want it regulated by the state?

Life, liberty and the regulation of hapiness? I don't think so.

Jane Know said...

christian,
maybe that doesn't happen in your neck of the woods. but i can assure you, in mine it does.

or maybe i notice it much more being a lesbian. i've dealt with it for a long time. i've dealt with snide comments, rude jokes, public humiliation in college when i had done nothing wrong (just for being gay), family and friends not aknowledging my relationships, being called a dyke, being almost raped by men who thought i just needed a "real man," etc. the list goes on. and i'm sure i'm not the only one. why? because society tells these people it's okay to dislike gays because they aren't normal.

while i do think it's gotten better in the past 5-10 years, we still have quite a long way to go.

until a couple final steps are taken, gay people won't have equal protection and equal rights. gay marriage is one of them.

Christian said...

maybe that doesn't happen in your neck of the woods. but i can assure you, in mine it does.

or maybe i notice it much more being a lesbian.


I don't deny the validity of your experiences.

being called a dyke, being almost raped by men who thought i just needed a "real man," etc.

??? Men plural? This happened more than once? And how long ago was it? I've seen horrors, but not since the 1980s.

I've never heard a woman called that word to her face, except by another self-described lesbian.


i'm sure i'm not the only one. why? because society tells these people it's okay to dislike gays because they aren't normal.

Society is like feminism -- it's not really uniform :D And I don't doubt that stuff happens even in my city. I just haven't encountered it or been told about it, even by other gays that live here. I've read many articles lamenting the lack of gay hot spots here, but never any articles talking about anti-gay violence in particular. Plenty of violence, mind you -- two people were shot in unrelated incidents in the same parking lot where we shop. But it would surprise me that the community would spends more time bemoaning the lack of gay entertainment rather than focusing on actual threats, if violence against gays was a recurring issue here.

"while i do think it's gotten better in the past 5-10 years, we still have quite a long way to go."

Sure. But since Goodridge used gay rights laws as a rationale for neutering the word marriage, other states have slammed on the brakes. You're losing a lot of ground over this word. Not to mention driving would be allies to the other side.

I think you should talk to Scandinavian gays and see if they feel treated as second-class citizens because their government refers to their relationships as "registered partnerships" rather than marriage. I'd like to see stats on hate crimes against gays and other discrimination, contrasted between Vermont and Massachussetts, and between the Netherlands and Scandinavia.