Prop 8: Why It Is Wrong To Reject Gay Marriage genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

As I've thought about Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative designed to deny gays the right to marry, and what I could do to oppose it, I've continued to come back to a missive I wrote nearly eighteen months ago. I'm of the mind that in order to discuss gay marriage, one must understand the state and meaning of marriage as it exists today, what impact, if any, gay marriage may have upon the institution of marriage, the progression of gay culture, and what is at stake for the gay community.

All too often, those opposed to gay marriage speak of it in terms of the harm it will do to their marriages. I summarily reject that premise...contending instead that whatever ails marriage has little, if anything, to do with homosexuality. It's also true that the quality of love isn't heightened with the attachment of a state approved license any more than it is diminished by its absence. Notwithstanding, the decision to deny that affirmation to gays is a tacit rejection of the merits of love.

I can't force anyone to support gay marriage...but I think I can argue that a recognition of love should not be withheld because one happens to be a homosexual. In suggesting as much, it should be apparent that efforts to deny gays the right to marry is antithetical to love. Should you conclude the same after reading the following words, I implore you to consider making a donation to oppose Proposition 8.


Does Where You're Going Depend Upon Where You've Been?

I was gay when being a homo was a mental illness...when queer sex was illegal...when you didn't discuss being a faggot with your doctor...when sodomites were chased down and thrown out of the military...when AIDS was god's punishment for being a fairy. I was gay before being gay was remotely fashionable. Nonetheless, I was always just me.

Perhaps the most shocking part...I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to returning to those days if given the opportunity. Not because I enjoyed being a mentally ill criminal who was likely to die well before my time...not because it was easy to hide my identity and live in secret...not because I might find myself the victim of hatred and violence.

No, I would return to those days to remind me why I must still fight today...why it isn't enough to no longer be a mentally ill criminal destined to die young...why it isn't enough to be allowed to serve in the military if I just keep quiet and conceal my lifestyle...why it isn't enough to be an acquaintance that hip heterosexuals get to namedrop at a dinner party like a new pair of Pravda shoes...why I don't want to abandon my gay culture in order to have a place at the insiders table...why I don't want the right to marry to be held over my head as if it were the Holy Grail.

I don't accept that my destiny is to assimilate myself into heterosexual culture such that I no longer create discomfort for those who demand homogeneity over homosexuality. I don't want the music I hear in gay clubs to be the same music I hear everywhere else...I don't want my sense of fashion to be identical to that of my straight counterparts...I don't want heterosexuals to understand everything I say...I want gay slang to remain gay slang. I don't want to have a party that is so nondescript that the neighbors can't tell that a gay man lives on the same block.

Let me be clear. I don't say this to reject heterosexual culture or to assert the superiority of gay culture...I appreciate and honor the validity of all cultures. I say it to remind myself and my gay brethren that acceptance need not come with capitulation...the world is large enough for every cultures to exist...and the world ought to be educated and enlightened such that acceptance equates with the, the desire and the demand to embrace and celebrate them all.

If society is akin to the palette of an artist, then it is essential that all the colors remain...lest we become a canvas absent contrast...imbued with the blandness born of banality. America may be the proverbial melting pot but our greatness results from the soup we serve from that pot...a complex soup that maintains an array of distinct flavors...all perfectly blended such that each maintains its identity and each is enhanced by the presence of the others...not overwhelmed or masked such that the independent flavors are indistinguishable.

The need for acceptance is no stranger to trepidation. How one responds to that anxiety may define the degree to which the achieved acceptance is authentic or, conversely, it may define the distance one has traveled from one's authenticity in order to obtain enough acceptance to mitigate the trepidation. The distance between the former and the latter may well describe a journey of betrayal that is predicated upon the need to extinguish discomfort at the expense of preserving identity.

That which is authentic need never become inauthentic to achieve acceptance. Any society that expects as much becomes a faceless, colorless canvas which consumes itself while feeding upon its fears. The same is true of any subset of that society which would accede to those expectations.

The issue of gay marriage is an excellent case in point. Marriage has become the gauntlet upon which the war for acceptance of homosexuality and the associated authenticity of our existence and our relationships is being waged. I reject that premise. So long as we allow marriage to define the legitimacy of our relationships, we enable the opposition to defile us.

Are we entitled to the rights afforded by marriage? Absolutely. Should we wage the battle for gay acceptance on that platform? I don't think so. Let me explain. At the core of a large share of the opposition to gay marriage is an inherent bias and prejudice against homosexuality. The message sent by those opposed to gay marriage is that we refuse to give your lifestyle the legitimacy afforded by such state sponsored recognition...your relationships are lesser than ours and we intend to maintain the institutional constructs to demonstrate as much.

Simultaneously, the dialogue that opposes gay marriage is couched in the argument that it would represent an affront to family and longstanding societal and religious traditions. By design, this is intended to steer voter debate around and beyond the realm of civil rights and the basic notion of equality. It also leaves gays on the outside asking to be let in...and nothing communicates the perception that I'm not as good as you as demanding another admit, acknowledge, and accept that I am.

An example is warranted. If you've ever watched a group of children playing, you've seen the situation where a couple children form an alliance that excludes another child or group of children...and they often flaunt a possession or a privilege...telling the outsiders they have the newest Game Boy or their parents take them to the country club on the weekends. The goal is to establish a distinction of inequity whereby those on the outside long to be included.

Fortunately, circumstances can change and the excluded can become a sought after commodity...maybe it results from a discussion about animals in a science class whereby it is exposed that one of the outsiders lives on a farm with horses...and the teacher elects to take the class on a field trip to the farm. That can lead to realignments such that some children choose to befriend the child with horses in the hopes of being invited to go riding after school. You get the picture.

Coming back to gay culture and the issue of gay marriage...beginning in the early nineties, society became fascinated with all things music, gay fashion, gay theater, gay television characters, and many of those elements were mainstreamed...or If I may gently suggest...they were co-opted by society at large.

Conventional thought argues that familiarity breeds contempt...but on the contrary, with regards to being gay, I would contend that familiarity brought a degree of tacit acceptance on the part of society which was followed by complacency on the part of the gay community. In the wake of our perceived assimilation, we ran for the cover of conventionality...embracing many of the means and measures of conformity...which included the traditional model of marriage.

Sometimes, in order to understand one's own progression (the place at which one has arrived)...whether that be individually or collectively as a must consult the perceptions of those with whom we now consort. During a past airing of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, I was struck by a comment made by George Will as the panel was discussing the issue of gays in the military. Mr. Will remarked, "The culture is moving anyway...I have a her cohort...being gay is just like being left's just boring".

In terms of acceptance, perhaps that is a good thing which will ultimately, by default, manifest itself in the full granting of recognitions...including gay marriage. Call me a skeptic, but while many heterosexuals worry that including gays will diminish the integrity of marriage, I worry that our acceptance of marriage as the means and the measure by which we define our relationships may in fact diminish the fundamental premise of those relationships.

Perhaps loving someone in spite of society's validation of that love is an added demonstration of love...a love that must be found and fostered absent the endorsements and benefits that society grants when recognizing an announcement of marriage. Frankly, I'm not convinced that marriage, in its current iteration, requires much more consideration than we bring to bear on the purchase of a new automobile. It seems to me that marriage has become another commodity in this zero-sum equation that typifies our consumption crazed society.

As such, when gays bestow idyllic attributes upon the acquisition of marriage rights, do we not endorse a failing system and in the process begin to minimize the relationships we chose to form in spite of their rejection by society? I, for one, reject the notion that society, in its current form, represents the best we can do and I believe that the state of marriage no doubt supports my premise. Gays should not accept the role of villain with regard to the state of marriage and they should not seek its sanction if it simply becomes a vehicle for their ongoing victimization.

If acceptance and the affording of full participation in society were to require we give up portions of our cultural identity...or if we were to succumb to the premise that it does in order to best achieve our objectives...then I would opt to remain detached but whole. Unfortunately, I'm worried our history and our heritage may be slipping into the abyss...exacerbated by the loss of a generation to HIV....a generation that facilitated so much of the progress we've made by standing strong and living large.

At the same time, I'm inclined to reject the current state of America's morality...a morality that is worn as an external badge upon hollow human holograms of holiness. Our proximity to hallowed temples on Sunday is not a measure of our piety any more than another's absence is a measure of their dedication to the devil. Morality cannot and should not be reduced to a sexual preference scorecard, a campaign slogan, or policies that deny or impose.

The state of grace must be our goal. It holds the power to promote change and to heal hearts. Graciousness is a conscious choice that is elected when innocence has been innocence that has long since evaporated but remains forever valued and painstakingly imitated. It is not an emblem we does not flow to the winner of an is an endeavor of example whereby words are not must be lived.

Our gay authenticity is no different and it mustn't be wagered or mortgaged for any imagined or perceived prize. We must never accept that homosexuality and morality are mutually exclusive. Morality is an internal state; not a litany of state installed mandates. Morality maligned by the majority is nothing more than the manifestation of institutionalized immorality.

One's love for humanity requires no higher being, no promise of salvation, no threat of should be unconditional and absolute. It need not elevate nor annihilate those who are similar or dissimilar. It honors humanity simply because it is humanity. It seeks no special treatment nor does it require one to adopt any specious identity in order to find acceptance. We humans share the same origin but we also possess different identity's...which is as it were intended. We mustn't forget.

I love beauty queens and drag queens...I love girls who are cowboys and boys who are cowgirls...I love tin soldiers, toy soldiers, and our soldiers...I love rednecks and red lipstick...I love drama whether it's on the big screen or just plain old big drama...I love cry babies and babies crying...I love hetero sexy and homo sexual...I love girls with big boobs and boobs that are big girls. They give us our texture, our color, and our depth.

I'm reminded of the words from an old song that have always spoken succinctly and eloquently to these issues that I hold near and dear, "Don't make me over, now that I'd do anything for you...Don't make me over, now that you know how I adore you...accept me for what I am...accept me for the things that I do". May I suggest that there is no finer song to honor the sanctity of our shared humanity?

No sexual skin nation...has a monopoly on goodness. We're all at our best when we embrace the best our identity has to offer. I am not an opinion poll...I am not a debate question...I am not a threat to marriage...I am not that queer homo fairy faggot sodomite gay guy who blogs. I have always been first, foremost, and forever human. I should not need to tell you and you should not need to ask me...I have always been me. I will always be me.

Are gays not human enough to grant them the right to marry? Wouldn't it be grand if we Americans could find a way to embrace and celebrate the simplicity of that which connects us...our humanity? Isn't the affirmation of love the place to start?


Tagged as: California, Equality, Gay Culture, Gay Marriage, LGBT, Love, Marriage, No On 8, Proposition 8

Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2008 | 11:13 AM
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1 On October 20, 2008 at 12:22 PM, ben in Oakland wrote —

As always, Daniel, a brilliant analysis. I don't agree 100%, though. We'vre pretty much decided that if Prop. 8 passes, it really doesn't have much effect on our lives. And it won't. But it means we will definitely be fighting for marriage again, and an end to the prejudice againm as I approach retirement.

Here's where we really agree.

when asked what the gay agenda was, I used to go on a bit about ending prejudice, allowing pariticpation in society, ending DADT, adoption bans, marriage bans, sodomy laws, etcetcetcetc.

I later reduced it to quoting the Declaration of independence, "We hold these truths to be self evident... pursuit of happiness.

I have now decied to reduce it to one word:


2 On October 20, 2008 at 1:15 PM, Doris Tracey wrote —

I sense that gays have a right to be with anyone they so desire to be with, but God sponsored male and female as a divine polarity. He blesses marriage between male and female. Homosexuality is a psychological problem and momentum from passed embodiments and it has to be overcome and it can be overcome with spiritual work. I guess if gays desire to be legally married without a blessing it would be fine with me and of course God will judge all relationships anyway. Many gays I have met seem OK but they are very manipulative. Many are tremendous users and abusers. Please forgive me for saying that. I guess some gays are stable, but it is a perversion and gays need a paradime shift and a tremendous amount of soul healing. With the creators help, gay men can become more masculine and gay woman can become more feminine. All have free will to choose. All suffering comes from wrong desire(Buddha).

3 On October 20, 2008 at 1:34 PM, Paula wrote —

When did civil rights campaigns ever redefine the right they were addressing? Should we have freed the slaves by simply re-defining freedom to include the state of being owned by someone else? Should we have extended the vote to women by re-defining a vote to mean nothing more than a chance to tell someone what you think? If you have legitimate civil rights concerns, you need to find a way to address them that doesn't fundamentally change the right you claiming to seek. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. If you need to legitimize a same-sex union, perhaps you can coin a new word.

4 On October 20, 2008 at 1:41 PM, Ben in Oakland wrote —

Doris, honey: The cause of all suffering is actually people who think that they know something and are willing to spout it out to the detriment of people they do not know and know nothing about.

Your posting sounds sweet and compassionate and very buddhariffic, but it is in fact just more ignorance and prejudiced given an I love-you-but-hate-your-sin drag outfit to make you feel better about what you're doing. To quote the buddha does not make you compassionate, nor wise. It just makes you another religious idiot thinking that you have found the truth because somehow God or the universe had decided to confide in you-- against all the probabilities.

It's the meaning of the expression: if you meet the buddha in the road, kill him.

Divine Polarity? God will judge all relatonships? how do you know? god blesses marriages between male and female? I guess that explains the 50% divorce rate, the spousal abuse, and the child molestation.

Some gay people are all right. So are some straight people. There's a divine truth you can take straight to the bank.

just so you know. I'm very masculine. I'm very healthy, emotionally and physically. I feel just fine. You don't know what you are talking about.

But like most people who spout off this kind of nonsense, it sounds nice and compassionate. But it's just bullshit designed to give you an opportunity to judge others yet tell yourself that you are just a wise compassionate human being with access to divine truth.

This just in: you are not.

5 On October 20, 2008 at 2:14 PM, Ben in oakland wrote —

And how is your marriage being re-defined? not the abstract marriage-- that has been repeatedly redefined for centuries.

your marriage

6 On October 20, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Lori wrote —

I enjoyed your article, and I think the crucial difference between Yes and No to 8 depends on one's view of what is Real, in a philosophical sense. How did we get here? How do we derive meaning in life?

If we are the gods and creators of the universe, then sex, marriage, straight or gay, really doesn't make a difference. Freedom will be found in self-will and self-constructs of reality and meaning. If one has this view, then gay sex and gay marriage will be more easily accepted and even lauded as a great human achievement.

If there is a transcendant moral structure, then freedom will be found in aligning ourselves with those constructs as best as possible.

The failure of marriage, in my view, has come from, among other long-standing trends, an inexorable cultural pursuit away from transcendental truth toward that of sexual freedom as an avenue for finding meaning and autonomy--self-creation, if you will.

The result has been devastating on marriage in our society. Social research shows that the best situation for children is to be raised with their married biological father and mother, period. The fact that many of our citizens do well in spite of that does not mean that we should still not strive to uphold the best case scenario for kids as the idea.

If you haven't guessed by now, I believe in a transcendental moral order, and that the physical structure and biological capabilities of the male and female sexes indicates that homosexuality is contraindicated. I also believe that monogamous heterosexual marriage is a true-north construct, and that veering away from that will cause collateral damage, as one might have when running around a china shop in bare feet in the dark. This damage is abundantly clear to me both in my personal experience and in the civic arena.

As a teacher and youth worker for over a decade, one of the greatest heartbreaks I have experienced is walking with kids through the broken commitments of their parents. A teacher can do a lot, with passionate commitment, time and unpaid labor, to mitigate the damage, but we cannot make up for the lost opportunities to these kids, and the lost paradigm of successful relationships for future generations.

The human heartbreak toll is enormous, but it is not particulalry honest not to mention the heartbreak of AIDS, STDs, ripping of unborn children from limb to limb via abortion, and unwanted children. The economic toll of millions of foolish sexual decisions (of both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuous persons, along with drug users) that required and still requires billions in aid and correctional facilities for lack of parenting and research on HIV drugs and their implementation.

My husband's entire career has been built on a compassionate medical response to the AIDS crisis, so while I do believe that much of the social problems we have today are a consequence of ignoring true-north principles, I find it a grave matter--a human tragedy, and not one for finger-pointing and judgment.

I thought your comments on the state of marriage today were very appropriate--but I disagree that having it be whatever we want it to be redefines it in Reality. Marriage is not about my rights. We have fashioned it to be a commodity, but that is our problem, and not a problem with marriage.

Marriage is actually about giving up my rights (and my spouse giving up his rights) in order to love my spouse and whatever kids might come from that union. The egalitarian marriage doesn't work. If both partners agree to give 50 per cent and meet in the middle--there will be human failures, and the gap will widen as each one fails. If both spouses agree to give 100 per cent, it feels like a risky emotional endeavor, but they will certainly fail, but they will have a much more secure possibility of meeting in the middle, and even overlapping and strengthening their bonds. It is this kind of relationship that cements a child's reason to believe that unconditional commitment to another is a good thing.

Heterosexual marriage has failed not because Marriage Itself is weak, but because we heterosexuals have failed in loving our spouses in this way, and fulfilled the proper meaning of Marriage. By making marriage more meaningless, it has opened up the cultural door to accept gay marriage.

I have a fair number of gay and lesbian friends, many of whom I like and admire very much. I strongly believe that all people are equal in value, and will continue to treat them along with others, with dignity, humanity and respect. I cannot, however, come to the viewpoint that love and marriage are items that anyone can create in his or her own fashioning. I am convinced there is a True North, and I cannot see that gay sex or marriage is aligned with it. As you mentioned, the right to have gay marriage does not really define the gay community, so there is not much to be added for the gay experience. On the other hand, No to 8 would limit the rights of millions who believe as I do, to have any dissent in the public square, nor to abide by one's conscience on the matter, as seen in the recent case of the two fertility doctors who lost a suit for referring a lesbian for successful treatment rather than performing it themselves. This kind of litigation is sure to follow those who disagree. The Catholics have already stopped their compassionate adoption services rather than violate their consciences. What will ministers do who do not wish to perform gay and lesbian weddings? These concern me very much. Happiness in marriage is not a right--some people are too fat, too mean, to immature, to ugly, too beautiful, too famous. Marriage is a responsibility--but freedom of speech and freedom of conscience--those are foundational rights, so I must respectfully disagree with your views, which is why I have donated ideas and money to Yes for 8.

7 On October 20, 2008 at 4:04 PM, daniel wrote —

NOTE: The following comment was inadvertently sent by Doris as a reply in response to a notification of Ben's new comment. I have copied and pasted it from my email.

Please remember that responding to new comment notifications will not post your will simply send a reply to my email. If you want to respond to a new comment, it needs to be added here. Thanks.

Comment from Doris:

Hi Ben from Oakland,

What I said shouldn't upset you if you are completely comfortable with yourself. We all have heavy issues in our life and we all have to sooner or later change. I am not judgeing you, but God layed down his laws from the beginning of time. Earth is a school room for the growth of the soul and the earth is a womb. The creator is giving all of us time to work out our problems and return to him in loving obedience and with our God desire full of fire. We all became a watered down version of how we were in the beginning. God created male and female polarities. In heaven there is no sex they are androgenous. Male and female souls in heaven are attracted by polarity. Every soul has a divine counterpart. Sinse we all take turns at being male and female to work out our destiny, we sometimes get confused when we desire to be a male when we are in a female body or desire to be female when in a male body. People should outplay their desires so they can move on or better yet transform their desires. All life is energy and you can only transform energy never destroy it.


8 On October 20, 2008 at 4:10 PM, BEN IN OAKLAND wrote —

I said i wouldn't but here i go. i've got about three minutes.

You want to sound compassionate and wise, like Doris, but you're really not. Your arugments are totallly bogus, but you want to believe otherwise. The Catholic social services example-- nothing to do with gay marirage or freedom of religion. The fertility doctors-- nothing to do with prop 8, just the laws that protect us from religious discirmination. Every child deserves a mother and father is irrelevant, as none of the three words is mentioned in prop 8 at all. nor is divorce== tellingly. No minister has to marry anyone-- it's called freeedom of religion, and it is not in danger.

In other words-- your arguments are bogus, they're known to be a provably bogus, and if you had any inteelectual honesty, you would take the trouble to find out that they are bogus. but you won't, because you don't want to be called a bigot.

9 On October 20, 2008 at 4:19 PM, ben in oakland wrote —

And for you, doris;

I am quite comfortable with who i am. It is not upsetting me in the sense that you mean. IT IS PISSING ME OFF...

That my life, my love, my family, and my equality before the law are continually under attack by ignorant, know-nothing bigots who think it is their god given right to make my life as difficult and unpleasant as they posslby can, all the while asuring themselves and me that they really love me, or love marriage, or love children, or love god, or whatever their excuse du jour is.

You now pursue gay people with the same aboslute certainty that you are doing God's will-- and with about as much tether to reality-- with which you used to burn witches. It's that simple.

You are ignorant. you know nothing.

don't tell me you love me. i have a lifetime of experience that tells me that is something you need to keep repeating so that you will feel good about yourself. I find the results of your love absolutely indistinguishable from hate when you insist that your life is valuable, mine is just sad.

I would prefer your hate. there at least, you are being honest.

10 On October 20, 2008 at 4:59 PM, daniel wrote —


The fact that you believe you speak for God is startling to say the least. It presumes that you know as much as he and that it's possible to intuit his every intention. In my world, that is akin to playing god. Now I realize that your next move will be to cite the Bible. So be it.

If you want to believe in a book that was written by human beings thousands of years ago...complete with the cultural and societal influences of the times...then you ascribe to a faith you cannot demonstrate at this moment. You see, countless individuals assert that God speaks to them and yet you arbitrarily select the one's you choose to believe...regardless of evidence.

Yours is a faith of that is black and white in a gray existence...but it is what you need because the alternative is far too frightening for you to embrace. Hence, any nullification of any of your beliefs is apt to create unwanted anxiety...therefore you choose to ignore that which may refute some portion of your blind faith.

What you don't realize is that it is your challenge to explain the contradictions in the Bible such that one could believe the portions you affirm while accepting the reasons you offer for the portions you ignore. You simply can't do it with the use of reason and you create a narrative to suit your purposes.

The problem this creates is that such actions are a usurpation of the very God you purport to embrace. To presume to know what God supposedly intended (as recounted through individuals, some of whom were chosen by other men to have their writings included in a book and others who were rejected by those or other men at a later date) is to elevate yourself to his level. Your own beliefs reject that behavior. The fact that you engage in it simply highlights the circular nature of your argument and therefore your beliefs.

You're free to suffer any illusions you choose...but they most certainly aren't facts. As to your characterizations of the gays you know or have encountered, suffice it to say that it evidences your predisposition for hyperbole and your ignorance of scientific method and the hypotheses it requires.

As to your assertions about the nature of the afterlife, pray tell when you were there to record your observations? You do realize that such proclamations approach delusion, don't you?

Lastly, the fact that you reduce the issue of gay marriage to a religious construct flies in the face of our foundational principles. You don't have to condone homosexuality but you have no legitimate right to deny the issuance of equal rights under the law any more than I have to preclude you from choosing your religious beliefs.

Sadly, you think you have that right based upon your religious beliefs...just as every other religion does. You see the problem, don't you? The differences cannot be resolved since every religion is sure their god is the only god. What that ultimately leads to is the construction of millions of in the bodies or mortals who presume to be as all knowing as the god they claim to worship. It's ultimately akin to a narcissistic perversion of faith.



11 On October 20, 2008 at 5:27 PM, daniel wrote —


It's typically beneficial to be accurate when making assertions. Lest you're unaware, blacks weren't defined as the equivalent of a whole white human being. They were defined as three fifths of a person. When they were freed and given the right to vote, did they continue to be three fifths of a person?

The fact that you attempt to conflate rights with definitions simply illuminates your intellectual dishonesty. Using your absurd rationale, I suppose you would have been happy to be defined as chattel had you been a woman living many years ago, eh? How much do you think you would have sold for? No doubt you would have been happy to simply know your cash value was more than the woman down the street, right?

As to claiming I need to create a new word for marriage, let me assure you that you do not own it any more than a white aristocrat owned his slaves or the right to have them. I don't have to legitimize gay relationships to you or anyone else...just as blacks and women didn't have to legitimize their right to vote.

And yes, I realize you likely think the Bible defines marriage...but it also defined slavery...go figure?! Withholding a right based upon your arbitrarily chosen definition doesn't make you correct. In fact, it simply makes you a garden variety bigot. Look it up and then convince me you don't meet the definition.



12 On October 20, 2008 at 6:19 PM, Lori wrote —

Thank you for responding. You and I have a fundamental difference in how we see the world. I've explained my view fairly clearly. I can and do accept every person's equal value as a human with dignity, and his right and responsibility to order his life as he sees fit.

I do not, however, accept every choice as equally good and beneficial--it would be absurd to do so in any arena, and sex is no different.

You say that gay marriage law has no implications for freedom of religion. In some senses, the gay marriage issue is only one (albeit a large) brick in a widespread judicial effort to promote a right to practice gay sex with absolutely no social repercussions or dissent from other citizens. I am absolutely against any crimes against anyone, including gays, but all sex has social repercussions, whether for good or bad, so I disagree with this premise.

The courts were forcing the Catholic Church to adopt babies out to gay and lesbian couples. This violated their beliefs, so in order to respect their consciences and the law simultaneously, they stopped providing adoptions. Every law has consequences, and this is one is quite harmful, considering the number of unwanted babies who are born. Okay, so let gays and lesbians adopt babies, but why force the Catholic Church (or anyone) to violate their conscience in some effort to pretend that we all agree on this issue? So it's not necessarily related to Prop 8, but it's related to the judicial effort to force everyone to consider gay sex as normal and equal.

The same goes for the fertility doctors. It actually was the court's decision to give gays the same civil rights status as African-Americans that won the case--again, not Prop 8, but judicial activism in the same vein. The lesbian was free to get fertility treatment, and got her baby! Why penalize a doctor for acting according to her conscience? Freedom means freedom for everyone--not just gays and lesbians. Whenever doctors or other service providers are forced to violate their consciences, more human rights will deteriorate.

Pretending "'Every child deserves a father and a mother' is irrelevant" is absurd! Social research shows over and over the strength of benefits given to children who are raised with their biological married mother and father, particularly if the parents can have the type of relationship I described. Gay parenting assumes that moms and dads are interchangeable, a fact which my experience sharply disproves.

You dismiss my concern with "It's called Freedom of Religion". Yes, freedom of religion is at stake here. It is only a matter of time before gay couples begin asking conservative ministers to marry them, and then suing them for referring them elsewhere, as happened in the fertility case, and with a photographer who was fined for refusing to take a lesbian ceremony, and as the law stands, the ministers and all businesses who disagree with gay sex and marriage will lose, and so will heterosexual couples who desire to be married by conservative ministers.

I respect and defend your responsibility to choose how to live your life and speak out according to your beliefs, and I respect and defend my responsibility to live and speak out according to mine.


13 On October 20, 2008 at 6:27 PM, daniel wrote —


The simple fact that you presume to know the "transcendent moral structure" violates the precepts of your faith. The fact that Jesus made judgments that seemingly usurped existing values and beliefs evidences the fallibility of humans...assuming one believes Jesus was the son of God. How you can subsequently believe you have all of the answers strikes me as presumptive and likely to garner the ire of your savior when and if he arrives.

As to your biological imperative, I'm always amused when believers seemingly rely on science when it serves their purposes and refuting it when it doesn't affirm their beliefs. I'll give you one FYI to confound your male and female biological construct...take a look at the virgin birth shark. Should I assume divine intervention? If so, can you explain its meaning? If not, perhaps biology isn't as simple as you want to make it. In fact, I could easily transform it into a belief system about the purpose of gays. Fortunately, I'm not inclined to such absurdities.

As to marriage and moral decline, I'm not buying it. Life is about choice (in fact I believe that notion is found in the story of Adam and Eve). Excuses are excuses. Those gays who have adhered to all of the edicts of marriage...without the title...did so by choice...with even more extenuating circumstances to overcome. Good people do good things regardless. Their sexual orientation is irrelevant and Jesus demonstrated that level of understanding.

The fact that people of faith have taken it upon themselves to act on his behalf is wrong...and should there be a judgment day, the eye of the needle and the camel could well be translated to apply to the gay couple that acted as Jesus intended...regardless of their sexual orientation. You simply don't have the ability to discern his purpose or his ability to evaluate who has or hasn't succeeded in living accordingly.

The fact that the New Testament modified the Old Testament suggests that our faith and our awareness of God's views and plans for us is a work in progress. Presuming to know where we stand on that path or that we have all the information we need to make judgments is to equate oneself with godliness.

If you think marriage has become more meaningless, then shame on you. You possess it and yet you devalue it. I cannot have it and yet I understand its purpose and its value regardless. Seems to me that heterosexuals need to smell their own socks and forego the rationalizations that afford their indiscretions. The picture you paint is pitiful and yet you aren't attempting to pass laws to prohibit divorce but you have the time, energy, and money to deny marriage to gays. Please...listen to what you are saying before you present it as thoughtful insight.

You state, "I thought your comments on the state of marriage today were very appropriate", and yet you would seemingly have me believe that my being gay somehow nullifies my right to it...even though my awareness of the flaws of marriage apparently exceeds that of those who can avail themselves of it...only to abuse it and diminish its value. Give me a break!

Lastly, I'm sorry, but spare me all of the slippery slope nonsense. If one's child is gay, they will be gay despite all of the contrivances you put forth. If your own child turned out to be gay, I'd love to hear you tell them why they can't get married. If you ever have to confront that possibility, you'll find your abstract views to be woefully inadequate. I dare you to tell your own child that they are too gay to get married. I dare you to tell them you believe in a god that instructs you to do so. I dare you to tell that god that you did so in his name.

If God is the ultimate accountant, I'm confident my donations to defeat prejudice and promote equality will find their way to the right side of his ledger. I suspect those who did otherwise won't be so lucky.



14 On October 20, 2008 at 9:22 PM, Lori wrote —


You presume a lot about my beliefs. I believe in a transcendent moral order that is relevant to sexual behaviors, and I acknowledge that people have different views. I think wisdom occurs when we most closely align ourselves with what is Real, which is a work in progress, but I do strongly believe that there is a Reality that doesn't change, greater than any of us, regardless of where we are in the process.

I agree with you that total morality is a whole lot more than merely sexual morality, so pristine sexual morals with an unforgiving heart does not make one Right, and many religious people fail in this regard (or in both regards).

The virgin birth shark is an amazing event, and has little bearing on human reproduction, homosexuality, anatomy or marriage. Are you using that as scientific evidence to support homosexuality?

I am surprised that you stated that I believe marriage has actually become more meaningless, since I specifically stated that the problem is not in the weakness of Marriage, but with us--meaning our society's interpretation and practice of it. I personally greatly value marriage, and place a very high priority on my own. Good marriages today don't happen by default--I find at least in our experience, we have to be intentional and almost counter-cultural to nurture it and enjoy it to the fullest.

I agree that the practice of marriage in our nation is pretty bad--which I wouldn't care too much, except for the human and social fallout with broken people and hearts, but you presume that I would do nothing against no-fault divorce laws, etc, which I abhor. If that is a bandwagon you are on, I'd be happy to get on it with you.

I don't think that anyone has a right to be happily married. I think it is a miracle and a blessing, and it is also a whole lot of hard work. I don't believe marriage is for the purpose of acquiring personal happiness or status(although a whole lot of happiness can happen in marriage-- but a whole lot of happiness can be found in many places). Marriage is not a right but a responsibility--a building block of society, and the right and best venue for raising future generations. If gays can have great relationships without marriage, as you claim, why the fuss?

I can't spare you all the slippery slope information (although I won't repeat it) (: because I've been watching freedom of speech and conscience and religion be eroded by judicial activists. Nibble Nibble Nibble. You can dismiss it, but it's there, and Prop 8 will slow it down for a while.

Once again, I respect your responsibility to your choices and your speech, and I respect mine.


15 On October 20, 2008 at 9:34 PM, Lori wrote —

Ahh--I apologize--you were not using the shark to prove homosexuality, but to disprove that my observations in the physical order had anything to do with a transcendant moral order.

I think a rare, odd event does not prove anything, except, like you said, that baffling mysteries exist. The observations that I made are based on overwhelming and repeated phenomena that I simply cannot deny, even if I tried to pretend to do so.


16 On October 20, 2008 at 10:52 PM, daniel wrote —


Is the infrequency with which God has spoken directly to man...during which he put forth his of those rare events that are baffling mysteries or am I to assume that his words are based upon observations and repeated phenomena that are undeniable? Is the fact that God allegedly sent his son Jesus to earth one time, many years ago, an odd event and a baffling mystery, or an occurrence upon which one can presume certainty?

Why is the shark an odd event to which you attach little relevance? How does one determine which odd events are relevant and which aren't? Do you possess the omniscience to make those determinations? If so, where did you obtain that amazing perceptivity?

As to gay marriage, I will probably never avail myself of it even if it is granted. Notwithstanding, I have every right to it. The fact that you would minimize that by suggesting "why all the fuss" is a testament to your subjective notion of equality. The appropriate response to your trivialization is, "If you straight people are going to make such a mess of it, you don't deserve it so hand it over to those who would appreciate it."

I also think you're capable of denying anything that doesn't comport with your narrative as well as pretending to believe anything that suits your ideological persuasion. Your beliefs are just that...your beliefs.

The presumption that you know what is "Real" and what is or isn't "Reality" is the first indication of arbitrary and intransigent ideation. Unless you establish a basis for your notion of reality, it is little more than conjecture. Until the existence of gay marriage is found to hinder heterosexual marriage, you're assertion is simply a straw man argument designed to reinforce your unfounded and biased conclusion.

Were I to use your construction of logic, I could conclude that heterosexual marriage is implicated in the causation of homosexuality. You see, every homosexual I know was raised by heterosexual parents. Hence, the only way to stop homosexuality is to prohibit heterosexual reproduction.

After all, it tears me up to think about you having to fret over "the human and social fallout with broken people and hearts". I'm right there with ya...we can't have any more of that, can we?!



17 On October 21, 2008 at 9:10 AM, Ben in oakland wrote —

I will add a little bit more, then I will not bother. I already know that at least one of them is a shill for the anti-gay folks-- all of the talking points are there, and impervious to fact or reason.

Lori wrote:"It is only a matter of time before gay couples begin asking conservative ministers to marry them, and then suing them for referring them elsewhere, as happened in the fertility case, and with a photographer who was fined for refusing to take a lesbian ceremony, and as the law stands, the ministers and all businesses who disagree with gay sex and marriage will lose, and so will heterosexual couples who desire to be married by conservative ministers."

The initiative deals strictly with civil marriage, nor religion. What if the Church refuses to marry divorced people, or a synagogue to marry non-Jews? They already do, and their "constitutionally guaranteed" freedom of religion means no law can force them to do otherwise. But what about Reformed Jews, Episcopalians, Unitarians, UCC, and other churches that are eager to marry gay people? Is freedom of religion only for conservative churches?

What a load of BSD, and ignorant BS at that. Has it happened in MA? No. Did you read the California supreme court decision which clearly said that freedom of religion is not at stake here, that no minister or church would be forced to marry anyone in disagreement with their religious beliefs? You know the activist supreme court that is busy protecting your rights as well as mine? No, you won't read that, because you would rather pretend to be a victim and pretend it is all about your religious beliefs. Finally, there is this: would any couple would turn the happiest day of their lives into a legal and political nightmare in order to force compliance at a church where their presence and families are unwelcome, their union unrecognized, and their love denigrated?

Your ignorance is absolutely invincible. The Catholic charities case had nothing to with marriage. check the Boston Globe editorials on the subject. It was a question of public accommodation and child welfare laws. To state otherwise is an outright lie.

Likewise the wedding photographer fell afoul of discrimination laws. That it was for a wedding is irrelevant. Had she refused to photograph a black person's wedding or a Jewish wedding, it would have been the same result.

what you really want is for your conservative religious beliefs to be the law of the land. Freedom of religion for you, bondage to your beliefs for the rest of us. And just because you claim that something is your religious belief does not make that a true statement. nor does it make it right, either morally or politically. Your willingness to lie and distort reveals the sdark heart of hate and fear that lies at the very center of your so-called religious beliefs.

The intellectual and moral dishonesty of you so-called guardians of morality is just appalling, and I believe one of the reasons our country is in decline. you will tell any lie, especially to yourself, to justify continuing to do what you have always done to gay people when ever you have had the chance.

Whether prop 8 passes or not, it will probably have little effect on my husband's and my life. But if it does pass, then we'll be back. the tide is turning.

18 On October 21, 2008 at 11:28 AM, Lori wrote —

Again you are presuming the foundation for my beliefs.

A rare phenomenon with sharks might indicate that male/female/reproduction is more complex than commonly accepted. On the other hand, the repeated phenomenon I am referring to is the simple fact that men and women are physically made to fit anatomically, provide mutual pleasure simultaneously, and to reproduce offspring for the important job of carrying on the human race, all of which must be imitated or contrived in the act of gay and lesbian sex. Heterosexual reproduction and heterosexual anatomy working has been observed billions of times over over, so I consider it more authoritative for normal and positive human behavior than a virgin birth by a shark.

The extensive human tradition of heterosexual marriage also carries tremendous weight, as well as the human fallout from ignoring those traditions. I observe that the sexual revolution sold to our nation is a false bill of goods, with tremendous personal and economic costs. You don't accept this, so be it. Were it to hit you in the head, you still will not see it, because your assumptions will not allow you to, which is your prerogative, as it is mine.

You demand that I provide an authoritative foundation for my assumptions, yet you provide nothing for yours, except that, "I'm gay." and "Marriage is a right." What makes a person gay? Desiring a person of the same sex? Well, I don't find sexual desires to be authoritative for legal decisions and social authority, let alone for wise-living purposes. Sex is a wonderful gift, but it is a terrible master. I think a large part of our problems with marriage today is falling for the deception that love is based on feelings, and personal desires. "But I don't love her anymore" should not carry weight--marriage is to be a commitment for the common good, and it is a blessing that it often flows back to the person giving out. Love is a choice, and feelings are a blessing that come initially from being in love and it only continues with wise and loving choices. It is a whole lot more than feelings and personal fulfilment, and adding gay marriage into the mix because someone feels a desire for a person of the same sex is taking it further in the wrong direction.

I disagree that marriage is a right. It is a responsibility. Viewing marriage as a commodity or a right demeans it and diminishes its power for good.


19 On October 21, 2008 at 1:02 PM, daniel wrote —


The fact that you avoid identifying your religious beliefs is your prerogative. Expecting me to believe that you're simply making a biological argument (a suspect one at that) or a sociological argument (fully unfounded) is not going to happen.

I'm fully content to make assumptions about the basis of your beliefs as I've had enough contact with stealth Christians to recognize them. You see, there is a belief in Christian circles that selling their views with non-religious arguments might be more persuasive or effective in the public relations battle. While Christians like to characterize the "militant homosexual agenda" as the bogeyman, that is merely a projection of their own propensity for deception.

As to sex and the sexual revolution, how is that the fault of homosexuals? As I recall, it wasn't gays who engaged in wife swapping. Am I to assume that gays convinced straights to fool around? Since gays have been around forever, how did they suddenly force all the poor heterosexuals to schtoop the neighbor?

As to the sexual revolution, I fail to see how that relates to denying gays the right to marry. Conflating the "sexual revolution" and homosexuality as a causal factor in the decline of marriage is simply a fabrication. Where's the evidence? If you're going to approach the issue scientifically, let's see the data.

The fact that heterosexuals don't value marriage enough to cease diddling each other indiscriminately isn't my problem. If you value marriage, why don't you focus on the infidelity of your fellow heterosexuals? Seems to me that your energy is fully misplaced...which of course is a clue to the foundation of your beliefs.

As to the foundation of my beliefs, you suggest I need to do more than state I'm gay. First, I'm not sure where I stated that my being gay is the basis of my belief system. Second, if I have to explain my sexuality to you in order to be entitled to marriage, then you need to explain why marriages are so unsuccessful when the only one's engaging in it are heterosexuals. If marriage is a responsibility, then heterosexuals are awfully irresponsible. Perhaps you should start a blog railing against the damage heterosexuals are doing to the institution of marriage.

You simply can't stand the thought that allowing gay marriage will have no impact upon heterosexual marriages. Hence, you have to oppose it because you know the evidence from Massachusetts isn't supporting your argument...and it isn't going to. Face it, heterosexuals are destroying their own marriages.

Look, you may think I'm stupid...but I'll tell you what...if you want to come to Thought Theater and spout your views, then do so without the mask. You and I both know the basis of your beliefs and the fact that you think you're being clever and coy is laughable. Your arguments have no substance...which means you're concealing the real source of your positions.

Just look at your closing comment, "Viewing marriage as a commodity or a right demeans it and diminishes its power for good". What exactly are you saying in that comment? Does the fact that voting is a right demean it or diminish its power? Give me a break. That's exactly how blacks and women were denied the right to vote.

The truth is that those who abuse their rights ought not have them. As such, heterosexuals have demeaned marriage and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Further, the last person to be in charge of granting rights should be the ones who treat them as commodities or demean them. Why don't you go sing your message to your own choir?!

With that said, since I've given you a platform to tell all of us here at Thought Theater what rights you believe we are entitled to, I'm now going to exercise my rights and suggest that you move're not welcome here. If that insults or offends you, consider us even.



20 On October 21, 2008 at 10:38 PM, Lori wrote —

Back to my original comment: Again, one's views about what is Real will determine one's viewpoint--if we are here by a random chance, then what one does with one's biology makes little or no difference. If there is an ultimate cause which or who designed this existence, then the facts of biology holds more significance for our actions.

For the record, I do not think you are stupid--I think we have different worldviews, and we have come to different conclusions, and I thank you for allowing me to express my views on your page, and I will respectfully "bow out".


21 On October 22, 2008 at 9:38 AM, Ben in Oakland wrote —

Brilliant, Daniel.

I was going to write something else to her, but I wouldn't have been as nice.

Actually, I will write it. just shorter. Lori, I know you'll read it.

Personally, Lori, what you see as a difference of world view, I see as just plain old prejudice. It sounds nicer, it looks nicer, it may even be deemed as compassionate, but the dark heart of bigotry is still there.

And why? Because you can't tell the truth, and the lies make all of your motivations suspect.

One of the lies you tell is that your religious freedom is threatened if I am allowed to marry. What you really mean is that your freedom to say whatever you want about gay people is threatened by reality. (It is not threatened by me). you want to enforce your religious opinions by law. A lie is at the very heart of your argument, which makes your whole argument suspect.

We can both agree that marriage requires a great deal of commitment and responsibility. and you rightly deplore the irresponsibility that seems to go with marriage, at least for heterosexuals.

and here is your other great lie. you deplore it, but apart from a few social programs here and there, you don't actually CARE about it. whether prop. 8 passes or fails, nothing will change about the sorry state of hetero marriage, and you will go back to doing whatever it was you were doing before you got your hard-on for hate.

It will still be the case that any man and woman of legal age that have $50 for a marriage license can get one. You will make no requirements that they are ready and capable of marriage. Yet my friends that have been together for 40 years, in sickness and health and the whole thing, must remain legal strangers to each other. A certain pop star has more rights for the 15 drunken hours of her marriage than Andy and Paul do with all of their powers of attorney documents.

You deplore it, but you won't do anything about it. You only have energy to beat up on the queers.

Heteros will still pop out babies for no other reason that they can, with no requirements for support, care, readiness, training, or anything-- let alone that they get married and take care of the life they brought into the world. Of course, you will say that they should. but do you actually care? I doubt it.

Yet my friends that have together raised six children will remain legal strangers to each other. I have another friend who adopted a child with her partner-- an unwanted child who would have been raised in poverty and disease, but has been given a chance at a different life with her. M. is now healthy, bright, charming, well behaved, and a joy to be around, instead of merely another piece of 3rd world refuse heading towards an early death because his heterosexual parents neither wanted him nor were prepared to care for him. How does preventing my friend from marrying another woman, thereby giving M a set of married parents and all of the benefits that the law and society allow, do anything to protect anyone else's family? As the Supreme Court decision said, there are an estimated 70,000 children in California being raised by gay parents. Do not those families need the protection of marriage as well?

I'm sure if you had your way, these children would not be with their parents at all. You only care about some children.

The $40 million spent on this campaign could have fed and educated a lot of children-- something I'm sure Jesus would have approved of.

so, I'll say it once again. please don't tell me how much you love me. I don't believe a word of it. come out of your moralizing, hate-filled closet and just admit it.

You'll feel liberated, I promise. "I hate queers, and I will tell any lie, distort any truth, to support that position."

Doesn't that feel better?

22 On October 22, 2008 at 10:03 AM, daniel wrote —

Hi Ben,

Always good to know you're here to participate in pushing back. Your last comment is spot on!

It really is frustrating to watch those on the right attempt to disguise themselves in order to promote their hatred. It's even more frustrating to realize that they view themselves as God fearing Christians...which seemingly leads them to believe that the end justifies the means.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughtful observations. It's so nice to know that Ben in Oakland is out there making a difference!


23 On October 22, 2008 at 10:35 AM, ben in oakland wrote —

Thanks for your kind words, daniel.

I really just wanted to lay it our for her. I wonder if someday, should she ever meet jesus- not that for a moment do i think that's likely-- what she will say when he says:

how moral are you being when you attack other people with statments you know are lies. Do really really think that pleases me?

I really hope she reads it. I doubt she will.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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