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on May 27, 2009
California has domestic partnership laws which grant all the same rights as marriage. So gay couples have the same rights in California as heterosexual couples. But, you'd never know that listening to the gay leadership or the Prop 8 leadership. Leadership of both sides want people to think something important happened with Prop 8. The court decision upholding Prop 8 said, gay and lesbian couples continue to have "a constitutional right to enter into an officially recognized and protected family relationship with the person of one's choice and to raise children in that family if the couple so chooses." (This is a huge win because it makes it clear that any attempt to eliminate domestic partnership laws would be rejected by the Court, as it's done in the past.) My children have a birth certificate with my name on it and my partner's name on it. We have all the same protections (in California) that a heterosexual couple/family has. So, in the end, what has really changed? Nothing.
I'm quite happy having a term different from "marriage" applied to my relationship. Why do I have to use a heterosexual term to describe my relationship? I'm proud of my diversity and celebrate the differences of my relationship so I don't feel compelled to describe it by using a term created by heterosexuals.
Additionally, I think gays in California are being selfish. Given that we have the exact same rights as heterosexuals, we should be focused on all those states where gay people don't have domestic partnership laws to protect them. Or, we should be demanding that our Federal representatives abolish DOMA since it does little more than stomp on states' rights, a founding principle of our country. What has Obama, Feinstein, or Pelosi done to eliminate DOMA? Nothing. They are a disgrace.
Also, you don't hear gay leadership cheering that in numerous court cases our parental rights are consistently being upheld based on the Fair Faith and Credit Clause. Frankly, my parental rights are THE most important rights to me. Last week an appeals court in Florida ruled that Florida must recognize an adoption granted by Washington (state) even though Florida law prohibits homosexuals from adopting. (There have been other Courts that have ruled similarly when a state has attempted to deny recognition of parental rights held by same sex parents.) So, our parental rights are being upheld across the Country and that's what counts the most.
GayDad -- if, indeed you are a gay dad, the two institutions are the same -- except in the close to 1,000 ways they are different. And that's in addition to the second-class citizenship that civil unions 'bestow' on their holders -- and their kids. Civil unions are akin to "don't ask/don't tell" -- a politically expedient intermediate step on the road to full civil rights.
Perhaps you are willing to stop here on that road, but millions of others who support the cause of equal rights will not. They will continue, relentlessly and persuasively, until the cause is won. As Dr. Martin Luther King said: "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."
Prop 8 is a bump on that road, but only a bump. Won't you continue on with us?
Tom, as usual, you put that so much better than I could. When demonstrating against Prop 8 on a very rainy day, I stood with my sign next to two women who were already married and had their kids with them. One said she had dreamed her whole life of getting married (not getting getting domestically partnered) - the church, the reception, her dress, etc. She wanted to make sure that choice - of having the same marriage ceremony and acknowledgment of being married was available to other same gender couples.
GayDad - I'm glad things are working so well for you, but others might not be of the same mindset. Whether you join the cause for equality or not, I'll be in there fighting.
George Carlin edited the ten commandments to just two and an additional commandment, "One should keep their religion to thyself." This very humorous reality explains the word "marriage" as joining together in a civil consideration. Papers can be married into a document is an appropriate example.
However religions wishing to define marriage beyond joining and gathering is an appropriate freedom under our constitution, but it should never be the right of religions to enter into the definition of our civil liberties. In civil contracts, adults come together in a marriage with no specification of religion.
Of course, I might be a somewhat poor authority because I believe GOD is a woman or has a strong feminine side. (smile)
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Diane, having Prop 8 reversed would not fulfill your fellow protester's 'dream' of a full church wedding in many, many houses of worship.
Forgive my ignorance, but aren't there now a few churches who will marry same-gender couples? And shouldn't those whose tenets, et al, do not support those unions be allowed to abstain from performing them?
We allow pharmacists the right to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions, doctors the right to refuse to perform abortions (both of which are legal to obtain in our country).
Perhaps I'm misreading your post - I'm under the impression that you think everyone should be forced to do what you would like done.
Just an aside - I don't attend a church and was married in a civil ceremony.
Hi Dawn: I don't see anything in Diane's comment that proposes a mandate for churches to perform these nuptials. That idea may have been part of the pre-election disinformation that was making the rounds at that time.
More broadly, I think "religion" in general has gotten a bad rap in this debate. There are many church communities who welcome parishioners of various stripes, including rainbow stripes. They and their leaders have stood with those who opposed Prop 8. There are, of course, a few other popular traditions who have prominently supported Prop 8, citing mostly Old Testament brimstone to sanctify their opposition to homosexual otherness.
Personally, I think the Thumpers have got it wrong. As I understand Jesus' teachings of love transcendant (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount), if he were here today, I'm confident he would counsel acceptance and "tolerance" -- and question why anyone would work to deny the opportunity for a loving marriage to any other human being.
Just my two cents.
Then I was misreading. Thanks.
Dawn - Yikes! Absolutely, you misread my post. My contribution was to acknowledge the spirit of a woman in a same gender marriage who felt lucky to realize her own dream of a wedding and marriage, and her commitment that others would have that same opportunity.
I do find it incredibly unfair that I could have met my husband and married him a month later in Vegas, yet my sister who has been in a committed relationship with her female partner for over 20 years is not given the opportunity to marry at all. To me this is discrimination, and for that reason I raise my voice, contribute my (limited) $, and try to peacefully create an environment of openness and acceptance that will be carried along.
One person at a time, I truly think we will get there.
Yes, I'm a gay dad with four children (two step and two biological). I gave up a professional career to stay home and raise my children. I've had a school nurse question my authority to make medical decisions regarding one of my step-children. I've had an admissions clerk at a Castro Valley hospital insinuate that I wasn't entitled to visit my step-daughter in the ER. I've had total strangers in line at the grocery store tell my toddlers how sad it is that they don't have mother. I once endured 12 hours of shopping so that my daughter could find the "perfect" prom dress. So, don't for a second insinuate that I'm not a gay dad. I have the battle scars to prove it.
Our state have come very far in a relatively short period of time:
1. When Earl Warren was governor of California he called a special legislative session in 1949 to pass laws that increased the penalties for sodomy and created a new crime: loitering in a public toilet. If you were convicted of this crime, your name was registered with the State.
2. In the mid 1950s, California's Atascadero State Hospital was known as Dachau for Queers. Men convicted of consensual sodomy were, as authorized by a 1941 law, given electrical and pharmacological shock therapy. They were also castrated and lobotomized.
3. California's legislature didn't repeal sodomy laws until 1975.
Today same sex couples can register as domestic partners in California and enjoy almost all of the same benefits (at the state level) that heterosexual married couples have. Same sex couples (and homosexual singles) can legally create families through adoption, surrogacy, and sperm donation and have both parents listed on the birth certificate.
Rather than continuing this marriage fight, it's time we helped same sex couples who live in states where they have NO protections - no marriage rights and no domestic partnership rights.
Did you know the new CEO of Wal-Mart was among those who signed a petition to place an initiative on the Arkansas ballot last November to ban adoption and foster parenting by gay couples? I wouldn't step foot in a Wal-Mart if it was the LAST store on Earth. We should be helping same sex couples in states like Arkansas overturn such hateful legislation. We should be discouraging folks from spending a single dollar in the state of Florida until its State Supreme Court rules that its ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional.
While the situation is not perfect in California, it's improved dramatically in the last 60 years and I'd still much rather live here than in about 40 other states. Let's give the marriage issue a rest for now and help those living in other states who have no legal protections at all.
Nicely put, Gay Dad. Yes, we must not lose track of the progress that California has made thus far and I appreciate your spirit of equality in wanting same gender couples in other states to have the rights (albeit limited in some respects) afforded here. I hope we can both support continued progress in our own state as well as support much needed changes in those that are more oppressive.
BTW - I'm pretty sure that 12 hours of shopping with your step daughter for the perfect prom dress puts you in some sort of sainthood category! I lasted about 4 hours - I thought my daughter looked amazing in all of them and was quickly replaced by a friend and her mother who had "better taste" than I do - I must admit, I was pretty relieved.
Marriage is between God, one female, and one male. I am all for being equal, just don't call it Marriage!
Maybe CA wouldn't be in such the financial mess it's in if we just stuck to the basics.
iCare -- May I ask you please: how would you be personally affected if gays were allowed to marry in this state? Asked another way -- was your life any less meaningful or pleasant during the six months last year when they could? Did it cost you anything, at all? If so, what and how much?
Further, let's suppose that the state came along and (getting back to basics) announced: sorry, no more heterosexual marriages -- no nore of this one man, one woman thing -- but we'll let you have something we call "breeding licenses." They're sort of similar to what you used to call "marriage," and they're good enough for you. Would that impact you, or anyone you love? Might you feel like your rights had been trampled?
If you weren't significantly impacted by that plague of same-sex marriages last summer, but you would be outraged if someone took away Your right to be married -- then perhaps you can understand how gay Californians might feel today.
If I correctly interpret what you wrote above, you're uncomfortable with calling same-sex commitments "marriage," but you don't say why. Your mention of God suggests there may be a perceived Biblical injunction involved, but there were some pretty prominent Bible characters who violated your rule -- including Moses (2 wives), King David (at least 18) and wise old Solomon himself (700, plus-or-minus a few).
I hope you'll rethink your opposition, based on cost to you (very little), benefit to those affected (fundamental), and "tradition."
iCare - If marriage is, as you say, between God, then we had better have another proposition in California that bans "marriages" between male and female atheists. How can atheists "marry", even if they are male and female, if they don't believe in the God that you say marriage derives from? Hmmm? And, while we're at it, we had better ban Muslim "marriages" because they believe in Allah, not God. Hmmm? Oh, and we better ban those marriages between Buddhists because they believe in Buddha, not God...We enter an awfully thorny thicket when we bring religion into a matter of civil rights.
Gay marriage is not a religious issue. Gay marriage is not a state issue. Denying marriage to gays is a violoation of equal rights as provided by in the U.S. Constitution.
THAT's what gay marriage is "between", as you say, -- Gay marriage is granting equal rights to citizens under the Constitution of the United States.
Gays should be at the bottom of the list concerning adoption. All things being equal between two couples, the straight couple should get the kid. I have gay friends and I've seen the gay community in full-force in San Fran. I know the effect their lifestyle choice can have on an adopted kid. They turn the kids into gays or the very least drag queens. It's true. It is not genetic. Gayness is a mental choice, a disorder in my opinion, akin to drug addiction. It doesn't make you a bad person, just screwed up a little bit. You don't have the right to push that on kids. Watch Rosie's Gay Cruise if you want a little anecdotal evidence to prove my point. Finally, I think it's hilarious that the gay community claims that their lifestyle choice is so normal, but they can't have kids while abiding by that choice. So, they want to take the kids from straight people, whose very essence of being straight allows them to have kids. Sex is for procreation. I know most of us do it for pleasure, but we must not forget its true purpose. When we do, we drift farther and farther from good, and deeper into deviance. When we are too apt to see sex as nothing but an act of pleasure, what then is the problem with the way we have sex? Sex in general has been dragged down into the lower pits of decadence, as opposed to being exalted for the miracle it is, something that creates life, when between a man and a woman.
What does this arguement have to do with the economic problems our County, State, Nation, and World faces, as well as the Nuclear threat, and the Environmental threats? Let's focus on those real problems, first!
Dear Rick: I wish I could be as certain of things that are demonstrably true as you are sure of propositions that are demonstrably false. There is simply no reputable evidence that sexual orientation of the adoptive parents relates to the incidence of homosexuality in their kids. None.
And if sexuality is, indeed, a conscious "mental choice," please ask yourself when you made your choice. Ask your gay friends when they made theirs. For most people, gay and straight, sexuality isn't a choice -- it's an inherent part of their make-up. And you know it the first time that cute boy or girl stirs up your heart-rate.
Society used to try to force lefties to conform to the predominantly right-handed world -- to very poor effect. What some societies did/does to gays is much, much worse than that, with similar results and a great deal of misery all around.
Ralph? I fear you may lack "empathy" -- not of the judicial temperament kind, but of the human kind. Can you really not accept that what may be trivial to you might be vital to someone else -- and that they oughta have the very American right to pursue it?
My children are biologically mine thanks to an egg donor and a gestational surrogate. So, I had kids while still abiding by a homosexual lifestyle. I didn't "steal" mine from straight people.
Your statement about turning children into gays or drag queens is truly amusing. I'm gay and have never dressed in drag. I'm proud to be a man, enjoy my masculinity, and have no desire to be feminine. Given the sexist nature of our society, I'm quite thankful God made me a man. I'd hate to suffer the discrimination women still endure in our society. I have 4 children. The oldest two are definitely heterosexual and my youngest two are most likely heterosexual. I thank God everyday that he hard-wired them to be heterosexual so they won't endure the ignorance, stupidity, and hatred that people such as yourself exhibit towards gay people.
As a gay parent active in various gay parenting groups in the City, I've met hundreds of straight kids whose parents are gay. Have never met a gay parent whose agenda was to make their child gay or a drag queen. (Let me guess - these gay friends you speak of -only you can see them, right? They only exist in Rickworld, that imaginary land swirling in between your ears.)
Out of curiosity, do you believe lesbians want to make their children construction workers?
You are absolutely correct. It's not a choice - it's hard wired. I knew by second grade that "gay" was something bad because kids used that word to tease other kids. By 14, I knew what gay meant and realized I was gay and that I should hide it at all costs. So, by 16, I had a girlfriend who I used as a cover. Unfortunately, I never told her that she was just a "cover". To avoid sex, I would get her rip-roaring drunk. It's a miracle I didn't turn her into an alcoholic. When I finally told her the truth at graduation, she was nothing but kind and gracious. She made me promise never to feel ashamed of who God made me. More than 20 years later, we are friends to this day.
It's time we got over our issues with homosexuality and moved onto real problems, not ones that we've made-up.
But I don't fault Rick for having his mistaken beliefs about gay parents. When was the last time you saw a mainstream media outlet (newspaper, TV, radio) do a favorable story about a real-life gay family? They'd rather stick to stereotyping gay men as a feminine and lesbians as basketball players.
Gay Dad: are you married to a man?
I do not want your life to change or be more difficult, but I still believe that God made men and women to marry and have children. I hope you enjoy your life, but please respect my choice for myself and my family.
I am partnered to a man and have no problem with your beliefs as long as you don't use the government to impose your beliefs or treat my children differently because they have two dads. My partner and I didn't marry last year because we don't feel the need to define our relationship in heterosexual terms as if those terms are superior. As registered domestic partners we have the same legal rights (at the State level) as you and your spouse. I'm quite content using different terminology to define our relationships. You can be married and I can be partnered, so long as the government treats us equally.
By the way, we attend Church every week (even when on vacation) and my two younger children were baptized at 6 weeks of age. My two older children were acolytes in our Church until they went off to college. So being a same sex family has nothing to do with being or not being a Christian.
It's not genetic. It's not hardwired. No one makes a single choice to be an alcoholic. It's a series of life choices that lead them down that path of pain and heartache. The same is with being gay. I don't hate gays whatsoever. As a student of history, I know gays have contributed much to civilization. The Greeks were largely gay, even the Spartans, the toughest warriors in history. Alexander the Great was thought to be gay. Many Renaissance artists and engineers such as Leonardo were gay. So, I can still have respect for the gay community on the whole, while vehemently disagreeing with their lifestyle choice and especially its effects on adopted children.
Your position on children raised by same sex parents is not supported by facts or any of the leading medical groups. I can believe with all my heart that Big Foot is real, but it doesn't make it true.
For those who say being gay is not a choice, please show me the gay gene. At least provide a link that allows me acces to view the gay gene on the net.
Until you can prove being gay is not a choice, it is a choice.
Pretty clear your study of genetics stopped in 3rd grade. Gene mapping is a new and complicated field. Not all traits have been mapped. It's not a choice. It's genetic. Try a high school course in genetics, Tommy.
Hey Moron, it's pretty clear that you don't know about modern-day genetics and that you consider assumptions to be facts. As you said, we haven't mapped all traits. In fact, we haven't found most of them. Because they don't exist. Bexause genes are far more complicated than what we first imagined. There are no single genes that define a person's personality and psychology. Modern genetics recognizes that such traits are derived from combinations of certain genes, of which the permutations are infinite and incalculable. What does that mean? It means that there is no gay gene. It is definitely not a fact that one is genetically gay. It is at the most a possibility, but one must remember that it is as much a possibility as murdering and drug addiction being part of our genetics. Are we to excuse all things because of our genetic make-up. Thankfully, genetic science is showing us more and more that we are not destined to be a certain personality because of our genes. When it comes to the abstract world of the psyche, genes can make someone prone to something, but one can choose to be whatever they wish. Try reading a non-fiction book Moron.
It's genetic. Unfortunately, us heterosexuals are stuck with folks like yourself. Would be nice if we could pawn y'all off onto gay people by making you choose to like men. But, alas, since it's genetic y'all would slither your way back home.
Wow, that was really intelligent and backed up with a solid argument Moron.
Your views on why people are gay are totally inaccurate, not based on logic, and irrelevant. It doesn't matter why someone is gay. It doesn't give you the moral authority to use the government to punish them or make 'tard statements about their affect on children. You have NO scientific basis for your claims about their parenting. All respected medical organizations in this country AND other western nations have agreed that parenting ability is unrelated to sexual orientation and children of same sex parents fare no better or worse than kids of heterosexual parents.
Like almost everything else, being gay can be a choice and/or can have a genetic basis. The question of gay marriage boils down to whether marriage is a privelege or a right. Calling gay marriage a "civil right" does a disservice to all the racial minorities struggles for equality throughout millenia. Is health care a privelege or a right? Should undocumented residents have a right to attend college? Is smoking a right? abortion? see where this goes? It is not a religious question but it may have a moral basis. Should cousins be allowed the "right" to be married? Is driving a privelege? What differentiates a right from a privelege?
I still don't understand why we have this debate in California. At the state level, same sex couples have all the rights that heterosexual couples do. That's a fact of life. So, if you're against recognition of any form of same sex relationships then too bad. That train has left the station. If you support same sex marriage, I don't see why you feel the need to define your relationship in heterosexual terms. I like being in a domestic partnership. I'm proud of who I am and am quite content not having to use terms developed by straight people.
As for parentage rights, those of you who are opposed to same sex families, get over it. That train left the station years ago.
If gay leaders want to be angry then look no further than the democratic leadership. BO has done nothing with respect to DOMA or DADT (despite numerous promises to the contrary). Nancy Pelosi has done nothing to repeal DOMA and she lives in San Francisco for crying out loud. Harry Reid's state just passed domestic partnership recognition. Yet, he's done nothing to repeal DOMA. Frankly, we ought to be asking why the leaders of the Democratic Party are afraid of their own shadow.
Because their shadow's scary
Amen, Rick. See, we do agree on some things.
Pelosi, who during Barry's Presidential campaign last year echoed his call for a full repeal of DOMA, told reporters during an interview in early May that Congress is focused on jobs, jobs, jobs and that now is not the time to worry about DOMA. Whether you agree or disagree with DOMA, surely you can see how Pelosi and Barry are being spineless, lying (nasty word for female dogs) on this issue.
Is it true that heterosexual one night stands are illegal, but homosexual one night stands are legal, at least in the Castro District?
I leave for one weekend and a foodfight breaks out. Sheesh. Well, I want to join the fun, so here goes:
iCare: No one is attempting to impose upon your "choice" for yourself and your family. Prop 8, however, does impose your choice on a significant, enduring minority of Californians. If the imposition is objectionable when applied to you, as you indicate it would be, then why is it okay for your beliefs to be imposed on those others?
Rick: your comments are once again long on contention and short on support. Further, in this and other threads, your aggressive participation has tended to lower the discourse level to the least common denominator level ("you suck" -- "no, YOU suck!"). Goading moroni to join you down there and then complaining about his company is disingenuous, methinks.
Tom: To my knowledge, no one has located a left-handedness gene, either -- does that make it a choice? Yet there is an ongoing minority who exhibit the trait, despite many prior attempts to expunge it. My point is, that our understanding of the genone and its complex interactions is in its early infancy. Until our understanding of it matures, I will take one GayDad's personal testimonial over unsupported claims of a thousand heterosexuals whose disdain for homosexuality absolutely depends on its being a choice. GayDad started this conversation by expressing his non-suport for gay marriage, so he has no axe to grind here. Why is it so difficult for you to accept his truth?
You can probably remember the first time someone stirred your loins. I do -- it was Mrs. Stabley's second grade, when my sun rose and set on Jeannie Walker's blonde locks. I didn't choose it -- I didn't know what a loin was -- but I know I was utterly captivated, and destined to play for the majority team. Can you really not accept that for someone else, that captivation may have been caused by a Eugene Walker? Or that I might have had competition from Sally in the third row?
Dear Ralph Hoffman:
Most bedroom sets come with two night stands, whether sold in the Castro or Walnut Creek.
You could look it up.
Hey Tom, I don't need to believe gayness is not genetic anymore than a homosexual needs to believe it's genetic. I respect that gaydad is not an agitator in the sense of gay marriage, and I don't have a problem at all with civil unions. I do have a problem with gay adoption. If you have your own kids, that's fine, although I would say just suck it up and have straight intercourse with somebody, instead of resorting to taking eggs out of one woman and implanting them in another. I don't really like when science is over-applied to something that's supposed to be a natural miracle. But, you have the right to be different and have kids. For instance, nudists can have a kid and no government has the right to take them away. However, if nudists try to apply for adoption, their lifestyle might put them on the bottom of the list. Anyway, Cushing, all I have to say is people who complain about my style take no note of how other posters start the insulting dynamic. Case in point, Moron accused the other Tom of not learning anything about genetics since the third grade, an infantile insult. So, I give it right back. Then, people like you complain about my attitude. Well, you know what, get a life. Don't worry about my attitude. Worry about the words. State your case and if my argument against it is irrational, people will see it. You think I'm here to prattle on with you people. I'm talking to the hundreds of people who read these blog comments but don't write. They're the silent majority.
For Ralph Hoffman re: one-night stands:
One-night stands aren't illegal anywhere between consenting adults (with the following caveats). In some states, if one or both parties are married, the 'stand' may constitute grounds for divorce, but that's entirely another matter. In other states, there are probably still laws on the books from the 1900s that prohibit sex between any people who aren't married to each other - but again, another matter. And, in some states, there are still sodomy laws in effect that make it illegal for same-gender adults to engage in sexual activity, even privately...
If the point you're trying to make (and I believe it might be) is that PROSTITUTION between heterosexual adults is illegal in the Castro but prostitution between homosexual/gay adults is legal there, then you would be mistaken. Prostitution is still illegal in San Francisco.
Nightstands. Very, very funny.
Is that what he was talking about? I couldn't figure out what his point was.
GD - like I said in my comment, I believe that might have been it. Then again... who knows?
Gosh, I am so old-fashioned!!! I try to be a good person and accept everyone for who they are. However, no one will change my mind about marriage being between one man, one woman, and God (whether you call him Allah, Buddha, or something else).
Yes, Caroline, I don't think that atheists should get married. I think that only the church should perform marriages. If the government wants to get involved, then it should be called something else. Boy, I know I just got some of you steaming hot, sorry.
I'm still laughing over Tom Cushing's "breeding licenses" comment, but if that was what they decided to call it way back in the day, then I would accept that and would not want the name to change. So, I don't understand! This same-sex marriage thing is brand new; no one is taking anything away. They are just getting with the times and trying to work this all out. If Gay Dad is happy with his domestic partnership, why can't everyone else be? Why is this an issue? Gay Dad says the rights are the same.
As far as the issue of children, you all can guess where I stand on that. Science is great, but some things need to be left alone to work the way they were intended.
I enjoyed the point about bedroom furniture generally having two nightstands! :-) What, by the way, is the difference between a one night stand and Prostitution, other than legality, when both are practiced between consenting adults?
The State of California should not be in the business of deciding what constitutes a marriage. Marriage is between two consenting adults regardless of their sexual persuasion. Laws to prevent public harm, such as forced marriage or if involving minors, makes sense and a license is one method used for inspection to see is harm is being committed.
If your church or your personal viewpoint does not allow for homosexuals, people of color, opposite religions, atheists, races, et al to get married, so-be-it. I can't change bigotry, overt or hidden behind a religious piety. But, do not violate the rights of others by preventing them from marrying.
iCare: While I'd be the last to say I've never been unintentionally funny, I can assure you that my point is as serious as a heart-attack.
I was trying to address what I perceive to be your ethical blindspot in the dysjunct between "I am a good person" and "I don't think gays deserve equality under the law." Sometimes, challenging folks on those inconsistencies gets them to reconsider the application of their belief system to new realities. If you are unwilling to engage in self-reflection, then so be it --- but that's on you.
The gay-rights movement may be relatively new (if the 40 years since the Stonewall riots still qualifies it as "new"), but that's a function of the fact that it took remarkable courage to be "out" in a culture that vilified gays for their otherness (read Gay Dad, above). Like race, gender and disability civil rights, it will prevail -- but only if folks stand up for their inclusion in the full benefits America has to offer.
rick: Prop 8 failed handily in both Contra Costa generally, and Danville specifically. I think that makes it fair game to dispute your unsupported claim that you speak for any kind of local majority.
DublinMike -- "amen."
And Ralph -- I believe you're getting at the "hooker's dilemma" -- how do you charge for something that folks are giving away for free? That's an issue that all journalism is facing these days.
Tom Cushing: I never said "I don't think gays deserve equality under the law." Go back and read my posting!
So I realize I will immediately be attacked for my question if the even remotely sway from suppor of the homosexual proponents, and I further realize that when you are "happy" with who you are, you don't look to research that doesn't support you, but I am curious if anyone of you that are gay have read the growing research of detachment issues between those that identify themselves as gay and their fathers?
The research is pretty legit when you read the studies. The info just is unpopular at this time to bring up with any hint of questioning being deemed as "intolerance". I'm not attacking anyone on this forum, just interested in your personal opinion. I'm open to hearing your perspective if you are willing to be honest. I'm not sure that will happen, other than to say, "my relationship with my father is terrific". I'm believe the study is titled, "Emotionally absent fathers: furthering the understanding of homosexuality." I find it interesting that researchers in a controlled variable environment can determine a baseline for behavior, but in "real life" this baseline data cannot be replicated. Someone isn't being honest. As a researcher myself, I would say it is the general public, not the data.
As far as the left-handed theory, based on the theory of neuroplasticity (the basis for any neurological retraining), in fact the brain can be retrained to do a lot, including retraining one to be right handed if expressing a left handed trait. As a BioChemist and researcher, I'm interested in hearing anecdotedly why this assertion is false in your opinion and experience. I understand plenty of the genetic model. The human genome project was completed; we are using it today for disease therapy, for example. So far, no "gay gene" identified. What we do know is the role the environment plays in the expression of a trait.
Interested in your thoughts.
Sorry for my many typos, be thankful I didn't have to hand write this.
I disprove your theory regarding the absent father. My father was a pilot in the military until he retired. Other than when he was deployed, he was always around. We were quite close. He helped with my homework, took me to work with him, taught me to swim, taught me how to drive, helped me study for the SAT, helped me with college apps, etc.
My parents have been married for 42 years. I was never molested as a child by a male or female. I've never experimented with illegal drugs, have never abused prescription drugs, and consume one glass of alcohol once every two or three years. I've had two sexual partners in my lifetime (and they were both adults). I'd be willing to pit my fidelity against that of any heterosexual male.
I have a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and PhD in business fields. I have never been prescribed any psychiatric medication, nor has anyone (including my doctor) ever suggested that I need psychiatric treatment. I've never had a desire to be anything other than a male. I enjoy my masculinity. I played sports in high school. I didn't play with Barbie or any other dolls as a child.
I've never had an STD. Although I did get a terrible case of jock itch while playing sports in high school and convinced myself that I was being punished by God for having homosexual thoughts. Thankfully, when I confessed this to the Priest (not a Catholic one) he assured me God was not punishing me and encouraged me to see a doctor. I was quite happy to learn it was Jock Itch and not some disease unleashed by God to punish me.
So, I'd say that I've led a fairly normal, albeit boring, life. It's genetic. From my earliest memories, I've always felt differently about guys than I have women. I just never knew the different feeling was of a sexual nature until I was 14. I was watching Gone With the Wind at the Fox Theatre and when Rhett Butler appeared on the big screen I knew what it meant to be a homosexual. There was no choice involved. And, I would hardly define GWTW has homoerotic so I wasn't enticed into the lifestyle. (I guess you could say it exposed to me slavery, but thankfully I resisted the temptation and still believe slavery is immoral and a horrible blight on our history as a nation.) I spent the entire movie thinking Scarlett was a moron for wanting the wimpy Ashley.
But, hey, if someone wants to blame their father the go for it.
Maybe it would be better to say it's hard-wired instead of genetic. For example, I have twins who've been offered the same foods their entire life. One LOVES pasta. The other won't eat it. They've exhibited this taste preference since infancy. It's not a choice. It's probably not genetic. It's a hard-wired preference. So, maybe it would be better to think of homosexuality as a hard-wired trait.
Most critics want it to be a "choice" so they can paint it as a negative. Even if for some it's a choice that still doesn't make it "bad".
I have to say that I don't blame the general population for their views on homosexuality. If all I knew about homosexuality was what the media portrayed, I'd probably be opposed to it, too. When have you ever seen this newspaper we're blogging on do ONE story that positively reflected on average gay people or parents? This paper runs stories and photos all the time depicting heterosexual families.
Look at the characters on Will and Grace. They're either a perpetuation of the stereotypical shallow, feminine homosexual or they're so asexual who can tell if they're gay or straight.
Watch how the local media will portray the PRIDE festivities this month. They'll show the typical shock-value images of the bizarre folks who attend PRIDE. (Every group of people has members who exhibit odd behavior, not representative of the group.) I'll bet you don't see a single image or interview of the gay families or organizations representing those families (COLAGE, OFC). Because it lacks shock value, you won't see the media portray your gay next door neighbors who are busy raising their two kids. Those folks are worried about health care, taxes, education, the environment, and what to cook for dinner - just like heterosexual parents.
And while I do like this paper - let's consider a few things. Editorials in this paper have implied that motherhood is more special than fatherhood so the prospect of ever seeing a positive image of two dads is unlikely for that reason alone. Geoff wrote a great piece last year about his experience as a stay at home dad. (And the challenges he faced - still exist today. Try having the nurse ask you which one is the "real" dad.) However, his theory as to why more men are staying home to raise families - "economics" and "society is more accepting of changing gender roles". Hello? Could there also be some stay at home dads because it's a two dad family?
Contra Costa County has the 10th largest gay population in California. For the first time, the CC Board of Supervisors declared June as Pride Month. This vote occurred on Tuesday. What story was posted on here Tuesday? A bar fight.
First of all thank you for your honest reply. It made a lot of sense. I'm a researcher and clinician and I always wonder how research really relates to life outside of the lab/clinic.
I am also a parent, and along those lines judging from your posts alone, I would want me and my family to be friends with you and yours.
I am one of "those" conservative Christians that doesn't agree with some of what you said relative to how we are created, but you know what?
I'm seriously coming to the conclusion more and more that we simply don't know the origin, just like I can't verify my origin. I just have to trust God. And while I look to the Scripture to guide my choices in life, that is where I am at and how I see them (emphasis on the I). I don't presume to know all - just what God has revealed to me by the Holy Spirit about his Scriptures. You and I clearly did not have the same experiences in life, but I think I am simply going to continue to love the person you are and not the action you identify yourself with. Just as I would hope you would if I made a poor choice in my life. I've always been fairly conservative, but I once stole a library book, took money from my parents, snuck out of my house as an adolescent, etc. I was never involved with drugs, alcohol nor was I involved sexually before marriage and neither was my spouse). I've just always set out to make good decisions as I felt God has revealed to me to do.
I think I get secretly "riled" up by the exact descriptions you gave in your post of the parades and the in-your-face behavior. It just rebuffs me because I am not like that in general. Frankly, I don't think anyone should be doing things like that - homo or hereo. You know, it's hard as a parent to try and explain things to your kids and I think the more media we see the more issues arise around homosexuality and the more annoyed we get.
I just have so much more compassion for those who feel that they just want to be accepted and loved for who they are. I am sure you are not only loving to your family, but judging by your post, you also are probably very lovable. I hope you know that.
That said, I would say that YOU are the first person I have "spoken" to on a very outspoken forum that seems SO reasonable. You know, as a Protestant Christian what my issue is with the word 'marriage' being applied to homosexuals? I am concerned that it is the first step of a battery ram that will be used to knock on the door of my church and demand a "blessing".
Because, that is what happened in Canada. They cannot read the full text of the Bible because anything against homosexuality in Scripture is considered Hate Speech and no one can say that they can't be married in a church there. My cousin lives in Quebec and that is what is happening there. That is what bothers me.
I want you to have the right to live your life in peace, without physical harrassment, without emotional harrassment. I would be the first to jump in and support your rights to make your choices, because God gave us ALL free will and we are responsible before him alone ultimately.
I'm not using my faith to deter you, I just don't want a group to deter my faith. Does that make sense?
Reasonable people are reasonable when they are speaking to other reasonable people. You are by far a reasonable person. I pray I am as well.
I know for sure that while I may not always agree with you, although that is hard to believe since I agree with most of your posts, but I know if you truly claim God is your Father, you are my brother in Christ and I am commanded to love you.
I said, "Just as I would hope you would if I made a poor choice in my life"
I meant to say, "Just as I would hope you would if I made a choice you didn't agree with in my life."
Not Popular -
I think your post was very reasonable. The sad (and frustrating) part is that there are more gay families like mine than there are the ones depicted on TV. But, because we're busy living our lives and raising children, we are too busy to be running around making headlines. And, as I stated earlier, we're too boring for the media. The media only wants to show those folks that generate "shock-value".
I learned a long time ago that an "in your face" attitude on ANY subject doesn't turn people on to your message - it simply turns people off. There's a blogger on this website who speaks about a valid subject - illegal immigration. However, he doesn't persuade folks to support his position because he uses an "in your face, over the top" way of expressing his views. If he toned down the rhetoric, he might find his message better received.
Christians are also misrepresented by the news media, too. Ever noticed that the media only interviews Christian leaders with hard-line excessive opinions? I grew up in the Episcopal Church and attended an Episcopal elementary school. As an adult, I attend the Episcopal Church every week. (If we're on vacation, then we find the local Episcopal Church for that City.) My children were all Baptized in the Episcopal Church and my two older children served as acolytes. I hope and pray that my younger kids will be admitted to the Cathedral School for Boys as I want them to receive an Episcopal education. So, I know not all Christians espouse the views expressed by those who constantly make the talk show circuit. But, reasonable religious people are not shown by the media because they're not "interesting".
It's really too bad that the media only depicts the extreme fringes of an issue and not the mainstream people and families. I think that's one reason for the polarization of our electorate on so many issues.
Just a quick point. Gay Dad did a great job of opening himself up and sharing his story with you, yet you still drew a correlation between his sexual orientation and "choice" (and labeled it a poor one at that) in spite of the fact that he made it clear that there was no choice made. He's gay. You're straight. You likely didn't choose your orientation either.
I disagree with gaydad. During the prop 8 election most of the area papers covered the candle light vigils and things done at peace luthersan church and things like that. I didn't see pictures of drag queens or burning evangelicals in the local papers. i do think some of the media goes out of there way to play up the worst in things but idon't think it is limited to the gay issue. Have you ever seen the coverageof bay to breakers? Or the chicago st patrick's day parade? if all the meda did was interview the mainstream peopl who didn't have an opinion the newscasts would have nothing in them. I alsothink its interesting how you don't want all gays lumped together with blankt statements but you do the same thing to 'the media' like they're the boogey man or something.
I don't find your comment helpful, but I respect that you felt the need to interject your opinion. I tried to be incredibly honest and respectful about how I feel in this informal forum, and I even tried to correct when I didn't state things exactly how I wanted them. Has that ever happened to you?
Despite what you commented on, my heart's desire was to relate honestly with GayDad. I did so honoring who he is, but not departing from who I am either. I don't think GayDad expected that of me.
My heart's perspective, which is also to be respected, is that homosexuality is inconsistent with Scripture, which is what I hold as the standard to live life by, not myself and my choices. I don't hold anyone to my standards, because I have fallen short too. That's kind of the point when you confess yourself to be a sinner: You are agreeing with God that you have fallen short of what he expects. He then fills in the gap with Jesus Christ so I can be in a relationship with him. I'm standing with God in this, because He is the most important relationship I have in my life and ever will, but to that same point, I am commanded to love others - and I do. GayDad was made in the image of God just as I was and you were, and my Lord made a commandment of those that love him in Matthew 22:34-40 Web Link.
I'm sorry if you cannot see that my motives were sincere when I commented to GayDad and if I didn't say things "perfectly" in your opinion. I was incredibly transparent with my feelings and I was honest about my opinion - mine are just as valid. GayDad was honest, I was too. I get my opinion, so does GayDad, and so do you. Do you find it odd to instruct one person that their opinion is less than anothers? Afterall, without indisputable data on either side, isn't that what we're working with?
Peace to you Diane :)
There are numerous media studies that share my opinion. News and entertainment media do a poor job of portraying homosexuals in a positive light. That's not painting with a broad brush. That's simply stating a documented fact. Giving viewers/readers the impression that most gay people want to dress in drag is not a depiction of fact. That's implying that the desires of a small subset can be applied to the whole population of homosexuals.
I don't think the news media behaves this way because of bias or meanness. I think it's done because they're too busy to fully flesh out a story and/or are simply uninformed about the gay community and don't have time to do adequate research.
Not Popular - I understood completely that you were honoring who you were in your comments. I can only speak for myself, but if I were to explain my life experience and how it is contrary to some mainstream opinions of how sexual orientation is shaped (by experiences in youth and/or choices made by individuals), I would think you missed the point entirely when you related my orientation to a choice I was making. Yes, you were transparent in your post and I have no doubt your motives were sincere. My point was that in spite of a heartfelt attempt to provide you with another point of view, you were steadfast in your previously formed opinion. Whether you choose to take that which is said by someone who shares their experience with you and try to broaden your understanding of the issue outside your current framework is up to you.
I have a very hard time understanding the idea of choice around orientation - I didn't choose to be straight. I have never been attracted to women, so I married a man. My sister has never been attracted to men, so she has a female life partner. Our love for our partners is equally special and resolute. I honor both our relationships and look forward to the day when she has the same right to marry the person she loves as I have. I can accept that not everyone agrees with that, but I choose to offer my feelings on the subject to contribute to the pool of opinions out there.
Not Popular & GayDad: I enjoyed reading your posts. Thank you for being honest and not pushing your lifestyle on the reader. Also, thank you for reminding me that the in-your-face "bizarre" people do not represent the whole. I wish that we could all communicate this way and be accepting of each other.
If you look at the polling data below, it supports my theory that an "in your face" attitude will not persuade people to follow your viewpoint. This insistence that government label same sex relationships as "marriages" is driving away support for laws that would protect same sex couples. In each of the polls, the support for same-sex marriage was about 40%. However, when poll respondents were given the choice of calling the relationships "civil unions/domestic partnerships" support jumped to nearly 60%.
Since there are many, many same sex couples living in states that afford them no legal protection, I'd much rather call the relationships "domestic partnerships", pick up the 60% support and get laws on the books. Arguing over semantics only drives away people who'd be willing to support legislation protecting same sex couples. Many same sex marriage supporters may not like hearing that statement but we have to live with the reality we are dealt. I'm more interested in affording same sex couples legal protections than I am worrying about we title our relationships. Frankly, those legal protections will have more of an impact on their life than the title the state assigns to their relationship.
Note the very last poll, you even pick up a third of Republicans if you'll call same sex relationships "civil unions". It's stupid to leave this kind of support behind just so we can argue about the term "marriage".
Quinnipiac University Poll, April 21-27, 2009.
Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would allow same-sex couples to get married?"
"Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would allow civil unions for same-sex couples?"
"Do you think same-sex couples should be allowed legally to marry, should be allowed legally to form civil unions but not marry, or should not be allowed to obtain legal recognition of their relationships?"
Legally Marry 33%
Form Civil Unions 26%
No Legal Recognition 34 %
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll
April 23-26, 2009.
"Do you think marriages between gay and lesbian couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?"
Should Not 54%
If a state's government does not legally recognize marriages between gays or lesbians, do you think that state should or should not allow gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions which would give them some of the legal rights of married couples?
Should Not 38%
CBS News/New York Times Poll. April 22-26, 2009. .
"Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry. OR, Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry. OR, There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship."
Legal Marriage 42%
Civil Unions 25%
No Legal Recognition 28%
ABC News/Washington Post Poll. April 21-24, 2009.
"Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian / homosexual couples to get married?"
CBS News Poll. March 12-16, 2009.
"Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry. OR, Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry. OR, There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship."
Legal Marriage 33%
Civil Unions 27%
No Legal Recognition 35%
Legal Marriage 46%
Civil Unions 23%
No Legal Recognition 26%
Legal Marriage 6%
Civil Unions 34%
No Legal Recognition 59%
Gay Dad, once again I appreciate your spirit of accepting less/different than the label "marriage" in the interest of the greater good and working toward civil unions in all states. That said, not everyone in a same gender relationship would be satisfied with that, as we saw with the impassioned fight against Prop 8.
As for me, I'm prepared to "downgrade" my marriage status to a civil union/domestic partnership if this is as far as we get for same gender couples. If it is indeed the same, why don't we make that the norm? (yes, this is a rhetorical question).
If you do not agree with Prop 8, for any reason, get off you a** and Pass a new Proposition to change it. It that Proposition does not Pass, SHUT UP!!!
Hey Madness - proof read. It lends credibility. And (I can't resist...) anger management. Words to live by.
Given the revelations this weekend about the brief BO's DOJ filed in support of DOMA, I yet again argue that LGBT folks would be better served focusing on other issues. The LGBT community should be focused on finding and supporting Congressmen and women for the mid-term elections who will be more supportive than our "Homophobe in Chief", Barak Obama.
BO has proven that his campaign promises to the LGBT community were, in fact, LIES. He delivered those lies with such skill that it does make me wonder/worry what else he lied about and/or will lie about in the future.
What good does it do to repeal Prop 8 if the Feds won't recognize same sex marriages or domestic partnerships? I'm not asking that other States be required to honor same sex marriages or that States be required to label same sex relationships as marriages. However, the Feds should remain true to a Federalist system and accept the legal definition of a "couple" (marriage, domestic partnership, etc.) established by each State. Anyone in favor of States' rights should be supportive of this position, too.
Frankly, I'd rather deal with a McCain-Palin duo who attack from the front rather than an Obama-Biden duo who stab you repeatedly in the back then throw you under the bus.
And, yes, I know that some of you will brand me a racist since I dare criticize a black President. But, I'd bet I'm teaching my children more racial tolerance, acceptance, and understanding, than Barry and 'Chel are teaching Sasha and Malia when it comes to those same ideals and LGBT folks.
iCare: at your request, I have reread your early posts and believe I have accurately characterized them as denying equal rights to gay Californians, by implication. I reach that conclusion because I do not think it can be both ways -- believing that gays are equal, but not 'marriageable.' Here's how the CA Supremes handled that issue in the 'In re marriage' cases, saying it better than I:
"Whether or not the name "marriage," in the abstract, is considered a core element of the state constitutional right to marry, one of the core elements of this fundamental right is the right of same-sex couples to have their official family relationship accorded the same dignity, respect, and stature as that accorded to all other officially recognized family relationships."
"The current statutes by drawing a distinction between the name assigned to the family relationship available to opposite-sex couples and the name assigned to the family relationship available to same-sex couples, and by reserving the historic and highly respected designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples -- while offering samesex couples only the new and unfamiliar designation of domestic partnership pose a serious risk of denying the official family relationship of same-sex couples the equal dignity and respect that is a core element of the constitutional right to marry."
The experience of American culture under the tradition of 'separate-but-equal' is that separate is never, ever equal. I believe that applies here, and is worth fighting.
I realize that GayDad and I part company on this issue, and so be it. My sense is that he finds it liberating to not be bound be conventions originally set by heterosexual society, and that there are other, larger fish to fry in the context of gay rights. I don't, in part because I see civil unions as only a part-way measure, and when you leave work undone, you have to come back and finish it later.
In a (much) larger sense, I hope we will also reach a point in true Christian acceptance of our fellow human beings, when we will realize that it is not up to the gay community, or the Muslim or black communities, or any culturally unfamiliar group to refrain from being themselves in order to keep the local traditionalist community "comfortable." That "not-in-my-face" viewpoint imposes a burden on them that you do not bear. And I believe the discomfort arises out of an instinctive fear that it somehow embodies a threat to your chosen way of life -- a threat that is neither intended nor real. Recognizing that fear should be the beginning of reflection on the subject, not the end.
I feel fortunate to have been drawn to a welcoming religious tradition, which encourages me to try and grow through that kind of issue -- to get out of my personal comfort zone, especially when by staying in it I would put somone else in a box. I wish for others hereabouts a similar growthful journey, as I believe it to be part/parcel of striving for true spiritual maturity. No I'm not there, nor will I ever be, but some wise person has said "if you're not growing, you're dying," and I'm not ready to prepare for the grave.
Not Popular: harking back to your June 10th entry, you wrote: "The human genome project was completed; we are using it today for disease therapy, for example. So far, no "gay gene" identified. What we do know is the role the environment plays in the expression of a trait."
Did the genome project uncover a Heterosexual Gene? If not, one might conclude that it's All environment, or, perhaps, that science doesn't know enough yet in this very new field to draw definitive conclusions about inherent characteristics of individual human beings. Especially expedient conclusions that are at-war with the overwhelming experience of those about whom we're concluding.
I would also submit to you that "environment" is very far removed from "choice" as a concept. Suppose it was somehow proven to an extent we're both comfortable with, that those who slept on their bellies as infants were much more likely to identify later as gay. Would that justify the denial of basic social rights to those individuals?
Interested in your thoughts. We may end up in Scopes territory on the ultimate questions of thought vs. faith, but we could do worse than to discuss it.
To Gay Dad -
Your participation in this forum has been enlightening for me. I have very much enjoyed your insightful, intelligent comments.
It has been good to hear from what I always suspected was the majority of 'the gay community' (it's in quotes because, really, I have problems with folks identifying themselves as community members in a way that doesn't specifically connect to neighborhoods; that includes ethnic-American identifiers) all along.
Having no relatives or current friends who are gay, my exposure - and likely my sensitivity, as well - to the Prop 8 issue is limited.
Thanks again for taking the time to post.
Interesting study by the Barna Group on religion and the gay and straight populations here: Web Link
One can find some similarities or differences to suit one's preconceptions, but overall, it's clear that these two populations are similar in the importance of spirituality in their lives, and different in terms of literalist approaches to all the Bible's verses. Rather a large contrast with the view of gays as god-bashing heathens -- 'folks is folks,' it seems.
As to my own preconceptions, I suspect that there would be more allegiance among gays to the New Testament view of love and the application of Christ's teachings than to the hell fires of the Old Testament. How do literalists rationalize those two distinct approaches?
In this continuing saga, a lawsuit has been filed in federal court on behalf of two gay couples, represented by leading trial lawyers from both ends of the political spectrum, claiming that Prop 8 violates the US Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.
The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and all federal and state/local laws must be consistent with its provisions.
David Boies and Ted Olson opposed each other in Bush v. Gore. Boies is perhaps best known as the advocate who beat the DoJ on behalf of IBM, and who beat Microsoft on behalf of DoJ (which is not to say that he necessarily swings both ways in other parts of his life). Boies wrote an OpEd piece in the Wall Street Journal about the case, that may be of-interest.
Link is here: Web Link
It's a pretty good read, as are the comments, all 372 of them (and counting!).
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