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Mormon Prop 8 Plan: 1,000,000 yard signs



Click here to read the new national survey by the Pew Research Center that explains the above graph. Bottom line: Americans are having a change of heart about mixing religion and politics. A new survey finds a narrow majority of the public saying that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters.

Against this trend, what follows below is a letter found on this site: yesonprop8.blogspot.com

The site has since turned off public access, but the original webpage from which the letter was copied can be seen here.

The letter was presented on that site as having been written by Boyd K. Packer, a senior leader of the LDS (Mormon) church.

According to commenters who were able to visit the site while it was still accessible, this notice was placed there in response to my diaries:

I am Bob Packer, a church volunteer working with the coalition supporting Proposition 8. For the record, the letter you are citing was written by me, not by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or any other Church leaders.


So, now that we've found the author, I'll note a couple of items that caught my attention before posting the letter without further comment:

- Apparently, there is a plan in place to put up one million 'Yes on 8' yard signs at 7:00 am on September 22nd.

- This letter also makes clear that those walking their precincts on behalf of the 'Yes on 8' campaign are not doing so to persuade their neighbors, but rather to identify potential 'Yes' votes. As such, the precinct walking is clearly part of a standard get-out-the-vote operation, rather than an attempt to change hearts and minds.


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July 28, 2008

Dear Presidents:

Yesterday a wonderful meeting was held with the eight Area Directors in Northern California. These are amazingly powerful people. The Area folks represent the grassroots effort for the passage of the Proposition and their responsibility overlays each Coordinating Council. This was a great and powerful meeting. I assure you that the LDS folks who work closely with or who are on the Board directly of the coalition are very impressive and politically experienced folks. It was great to see.

I have a few answers to frequent questions that are being asked and I feel that if I were you, I'd wanna know. Hope that this helps:

Organization, it' s a little confusing!? Answer: The Brethren have felt that the best way to organize and pass the Proposition is to have an Ecclesiastical arm and a Grassroots arm to organization. Elder Dalton, Area Seventy and Chair of California for every thing, reports to the Brethren. I assist him. We work with coordinating councils, all 17 in California and then Stake Presidents and Bishops, rank and file. The second leg to organization is grassroots. This is done so as to engage as many like minded folks who are not LDS, but whom will help. The senior folks who run the grassroots are LDS at the coalition and are headed by Glen Greener and Gary Lawrence. These folks are assisted in Nor Cal by Boyd Smith, and in turn by Area, then Regional Directors. The regional directors overlay Stakes. Below are Zip Code Supervisors by wards.

What is the role of grassroots? Answer: The grassroots folks in each Stake, Regional Directors will train zip code supervisors. Their goal, is to find the voters who will vote yes. It is not to persuade others ... but to find those who will vote yes. The ZCS will seek, with the RD help, to encourage as many as the ward members and like minded people as possible, to accept eight different responsibilities, all from walking a precinct to determine folks opinions (not to sell), to calling, to placing signage, to a myriad of essential tasks that Area Directors will oversee. Please know Presidents, that the RDs/ZCS's will be contacting many many people to accept responsibilities. We hope that you are fine with this happening without the Stake President or Bishop approving each assignment! We assume that you are ok with that!!

Will like minded people from other congregations really join with us? Answer: There was a conference call last week with 1200 pastors in California with James Dobson as the featured speaker. This Thursday, there is another conference call with 2000 California clergy. It appears that the effort on the part of like minded people is huge compared to eight years ago. The Area Directors and Regional Directors will be aware of contacting the congregations for a joint effort. Walking the precincts in particular is where we all may have an opportunity to grab a good friend of another religion and walk with them. If LDS people want to participate in that conference and know of the site of broadcast, they are welcome to go.

What is the timeline from here for the next few weeks.? Answer:

1. Congregations of LDS all having been taught the doctrine in July so that they may see the importance of fundraising and grassroots participation. Some Stakes have called all Stake Council and wives as well as several folks who may be able to contribute not on the Council. The Stake President, in that Cottage Meeting, has asked for their support. A great part of a fund raising effort, accomplished in one night.

2. August 1st: All Regional Directors have been called and contacted by Area Directors for training.

3. August 3rd: Training of Regional Directors commences by the Area Directors

4. August 1st-10th: Zip Code Supervisors are in place and are to be trained by Regional Directors..

5. August 16th: The First of three Saturday precinct walks are to be held under the direction of the Regional Directors.

6. August 23rd: The Second of the Saturday precinct walks are to be held.

7. Sept. 22nd: One million signs will be put up in yards around the state at 7:00am.

Other timeline events will be planned and executed and you will be updated.

That's enough. if I caused more questions than answered, please hit me back.

Thanks for all that you and have on your plate. The Lord will make up whatever we all feel we are lacking.

Brother Packer


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Quite the letter, no?

And quite the audacious plan:

...the avalanche of signs is, indeed, a goal of the Yes on 8 folks. Our ward training program said that signs would be handed out a few days before September 22nd, but with instructions to not actually put them out until 7 a.m. on the 22nd. They wanted to give the effect that suddenly the signs were blossoming all over the place and all-of-a-sudden everyone was supporting the proposition.


I wish that more rank and file members of the LDS church would realize that Prop 8 does nothing to protect their marriages and everything to deny marriage to fellow tax-paying Americans who deserve equality before the law.



Mormons enter Calif. marriage fight TPMCafé

An invitation to show up or walk out on June 29th Daily Kos * OpenLeft * TPMCafé

Meet Rameumptom, Inc: Schubert-Flint Daily Kos * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend * Booman Tribune * TPMCafé

The Prop 8 ATM: A Christmas Carol Daily Kos * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend * Booman Tribune * TPMCafé

Googling Gay Marriage: Putting a Fork in Prop 8 Daily Kos * MyDD * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend

Feeling the spirit of political rules Daily Kos * MyDD * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend * Booman Tribune * TPMCafé

Is Jesus pleased? Daily Kos * MyDD * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend * Booman Tribune * TPMCafé

Hypocrisy and gay marriage Daily Kos * MyDD * OpenLeft * Pam's House Blend * Booman Tribune * TPMCafé

"Yes on 8" Open House: RSVP or Rally? Daily Kos * MyDD * Pam's House Blend * Talk to Action * calitics

101 comments:

Velvet Blade said...

Hi Chino,

Can you believe I just got your comment now that you left on Softly Dreaming. It got caught in my spam filter and buried.

I cut and pasted it into a post and it is up tonight at http://softlydreaming.com/blog.

Feel free to contribute anytime, or let me know of things you want to broadcast. If it fits in, I will post it for you.

C. L. Hanson said...

I've found your blog through the link you posted on Main Street Plaza. I'm writing because some of the commenters on your Daily Kos thread doubt the rumors that the "grassroots" LDS efforts are being organized from above. There's another thread here that adds a bit more to the picture. (Note that this is an established LDS blog whose authors are well-known in the LDS blogging community.) You may have already seen this post (since they mentioned it had gotten an incoming link from a major site -- I don't know which one), but I thought I'd pass along the link, in case you hadn't seen it and if you're curious for more info about the experiences of ordinary members with respect to this campaign.

Blondie Writes - Pamela said...

I beleive they are being organized, but what I do not understand is why they feel the need to do it. Are they that worried that people are going to vote NO.

Voting NO gives equality to everyone. Voting YES takes away from the eqaul rights of everyone incliding themsleves.

bluestocking said...

I have every confidence that prop 8 will fail soundly, and the church will suffer a well-deserved and humiliating defeat. That said, I can't possibly believe anyone would think this letter comes from Packer or his office--it's not pompous enough. That guy would NEVER use the word "wanna."

Nick said...

Does anybody have a hard copy of this letter?

Chino Blanco said...

Sure, I'll print one out for you.

Sorry, bad joke.

lds9999 said...

Chino, I suggest you consider making a correction on this story, or change it completely.

It was written by a Brother BOB Packer. In the comments of the source blog he clarified, "I am Bob Packer, a church volunteer working with the coalition supporting Proposition 8. For the record, the letter you are citing was written by me, not by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or any other Church leaders."

So one out of the million members of the LDS Church in California writes a letter, happens to have the last name as Boyd K. Packer and you pronounce it as coming from Elder Packer.

That's just sloppy work not to check into it a little more before posting such a story that has then been carried on other blogs.

Chino Blanco said...

Hey lds9999,

Uh, OK, whatever you say.

Guess what? The page was clearly titled as a letter from "Boyd K. Packer" ... if you don't believe me, just check the screen image that I saved.

If it's anyone's "sloppy" work, that'd be the fault of the original source, now wouldn't it?

Oddly enough, the original source is no longer a public blog. Now why would that be, do you suppose?

Oops.

Pants on fire.

Lying for the Lord, 9999?

Velvet Blade said...

Boyd Schmoyd,

Fact is, I am sure we can find a bunch of California men and women who could take 'em down as fast as they can put 'em up, like, you know, at 1am on the 23rd?

Chino Blanco said...

And here's another link for those who might suggest that I'm either sloppy or deceitful:

http://ia311233.us.archive.org/1/items/Boyd-K-Packer-Letter-July-28/letter-from-brother-packer.html

I'm neither.

Chino Blanco said...

Hey Velvet,

We'll have none of that kind of talk around here ... we're all law-abiding citizens in these parts (although if my kids were to ask to stay out late on the 23rd for some important civic duties, well ...)

Just kidding, lds9999, don't go getting all worried!

By the way, lds9999, your "Bob" Packer story has got to be the lamest thing I've heard all year.

Thank you for demonstrating again your side's complete and utter willingness to lie shamelessly in the pursuit of Prop 8's passage.

Shame on you.

Velvet Blade said...

All the kids I know think for themselves, and I am sure they will know what the intention of the extra $20 in gas money is for (wink).

As to LDS and the 9's... Ya know, if you turn that upside down it looks like you added an extra 6 to the anti-christ thing... What's up with the 9 significance?

Chino Blanco said...

lds9999,

I should've paid closer attention to what you were trying to tell me.

When I tried to visit the source blog, I was denied access and assumed (wrongly) that you were purposely trying to confuse and misdirect me.

You have my apologies for that and I should probably actually thank you for the heads up. I've updated all my diaries accordingly.

On Lawn said...

Does Prop 8 deny equality?

Folks, remember this is California where Domestic Partnerships already ensure every benefit of marriage. This is the USA where DOMA ensures that federal marriage benefits are what they are. Prop 8 changes nothing on those two fronts.

Someone can easily prove me wrong, however. Someone can name one state benefit or provision that will be granted or denied by prop 8.

I think the equality mantra here is not very well thought out, and y'all need to take a breather and think this through.

On Lawn said...

By the way, I recommend checking the law against removing campaign signs -- especially those on private property.

I am not the least surprised, yet very disappointed that you suggest such a tactic. You should have more security in your own arguments for the dialog California is having on this issue.

In fact, given the two headlines, "Prop 8 wants a million yard signs on Sep 22" and "Anti-Prop 8 wants to suppress freedom of political expression", I say the latter is far more alarming.

Velvet Blade said...

Dear On Lawn,

I see that you have lost your sense of humor when it comes to lawn signs. Please. Seriously. You see, it was a joke. Ha ha.

What you did not hear me say was that so-and-so big wig somewhere was canvassing neighborhoods to solicit the help of one million people to take down their neighbors signs. Are you being sensitive, or just plain silly?

You see, Lawn, I believe we all have the right to have different views. I also hope that consciousness is shifting. I believe that through living our lives in a positive way (that means honestly NOT taking down silly lawn signs for one) we will influence more people than any other action. Once you see a strong gay couple, get to know them, perhaps even be fond of them, you will see there is no difference in the way we love, only more obstacles to overcome in the recognition of that love.

There are differences in Domestic Partnerships and Marriage. You can read a good compare here http://softlydreaming.com/blog/2008/06/06/domestic-partnership-vs-marriage/

Heck, there's even differences in the rights of gay and straight married couples (mostly federal and cross state).

The biggest thing has to do with the rights of one partner when the other partner is ill and in the hospital. The right to be treated the equivalent of a spouse. Even though DP should give you those rights, often that is not the case. In fact, unlike our straight married counterparts, we have to do silly things like carry around documents proving DP and Power of Attorney in some cases. Sometimes we even have to carry around a copy of the current laws. Then, it can take HOURS and HOURS for the hospital to pick through them, and pass them along because no one really knows what to do. Usually, you can imagine, these are times where your chosen life partner is in critical condition or in an emergency status, so time is of the essence. The precious time between comforting and supporting the one you love, and being barred from doing so. Precious time, sometimes, to say sad goodbyes before the other passes away. Yes, the above example actually came from California, and Oregon, and almost every other state that allows DP but not marriage.

What marriage says is that you accept a same sex committed relationship on equal footing in the feelings we have for each other with a straight marriage. It's the humane thing to do. We may not be able to procreate with each other directly, but heck, neither can a lot of wonderful straight couples I know, so if that's the argument, it's mute.

If you give me your address and I will tell the invisible joke children to leave your sign alone, okay?

Chino Blanco said...

Hey On Lawn,

I appreciate the importance of strengthening marriage and family (my wife of 12 years and our two kids are #1 in my life).

But Prop 8 is not about our family or your family, it’s about families that we’ll most likely never meet, like Richard’s:

Just for the record, here in a northern California county, on January 27th, my beloved husband died. We were registered Domestic Partners with the Secretary of State. Had been since 2001. But Domestic Partners really is 2nd class - no it really is no class here.

He died at home so the Deputy Sheriff acted as Coroner. He refused to recognize me as next of kin. He insisted we call a blood relative in New York State to choose a funeral home etc. He wanted to remove all of my beloved’s possesions from our home and ship them back East … including his wedding ring. It was a Sunday night so I could not get the County judge or attorney to set things right (as I did on Monday) I had to lie and weasle to keep our stuff in our home. Because I did not count at all. Our family did not count. We were 2nd class - no class. Because we were not married.

Don’t tell me that Domestic Partnership is just as good as marriage. And don’t tell me that I was not married in my heart AND in my church to my husband. The Court just recognized what is a fact … he and I were married … and it is a civil right.

You have no idea how much it hurt … still hurts … that in 2008, in California, my family was ignored when I needed it to be recognized the most.


This is a political issue, not a moral one. Religious freedom is very well-protected in our country and nothing about Prop 8 either enhances or threatens that freedom.

Richard pays taxes just like you and me, but can’t get a marriage license. As a matter of fairness and equality before the law, that kind of discrimination is just plain unAmerican.

It saddens me that so many in the LDS church leadership are leading the members to believe that Prop 8 is about defending straight rights and straight marriages. Frankly speaking, nothing could be further from the truth.

On Lawn said...

VB,

It seems you may still be kidding. At least I can't explain some of the factual errors on your post more charitably than that. I would hope that others here could have a better dialog about this very serious issue.

So for example, in order to challenge the claim that voting "yes" on prop 8 would deny equality, I asked, "Someone can name one state benefit or provision that will be granted or denied by prop 8." you said:

"There are differences in Domestic Partnerships and Marriage. You can read a good compare here http://softlydreaming.com/blog/2008/06/06/domestic-partnership-vs-marriage/"

I read that page, and there were no state benefits and rights mentioned that were different. In fact it recommends, "If your intent is to be bound by all the rights, rules and responsibilities of marriage, you should enter into a DP. If you only wish the symbolic union of marriage and its ritual, then marry as well (or only)."

I also wondered at this strange argument, "Once you see a strong gay couple, get to know them, perhaps even be fond of them, you will see there is no difference in the way we love, only more obstacles to overcome in the recognition of that love."

Knowing that I have never met you (that I know of) I believe that I am reading your imaginative assumptions about me. And they happen to be wrong.

I see and know strong stable and loving same-sex couples. And count them as some of the most trustworthy and charitable people I know. Perhaps I do not have the powers of perception that you assume for yourself, but I hesitate to judge their love compared to mine. I expect it is admirable from how they treat each other. But every love is different, that much I know.

I can't comprehend the presumptuousness. I for one find it distasteful judge their love as more or less valuable than my own. I certainly wouldn't want the government to assume that by enforcement everyone will see each marriage as equal in the love they share. I hope that their love does not require a specific label from the government.

And for the record, I appreciate your refuting stealing lawn signs as a stupid and unlawful action. Turning web cams into surveillance is a very easy thing to do. And you wouldn't want to see anyone run afoul of the law or principle of free speech here.

On Lawn said...

Hey Chino, greetings! We cross posted, I think.

On this point I think we can find quite a bit of agreement, "But Prop 8 is not about our family or your family." Having been around the Internet for a while, I can recognize the argument as the same one that people who wish to legalize drugs will offer. Letting someone else do drugs in the privacy of their own garage won't affect you.

But I have to concede, that it likely won't directly impact my family relationship. Yet the problem in that argument is that it does not take into account the general impact that the neglect and impairment that the person might suffer affects his life and the life of those that depend on him. In many ways, a drug user can let their own life rot away. But no one is an island.

But, homosexuality is not drug use. I do not consider it to be any source of impairment like drug use is. But the impact on society is perhaps even greater. For while the government might take a passive note on the drug user, neutering the definition of marriage is for the sake of subsidizing and encouraging a new marriage reality -- for homosexuality's sake. Its the equivalent of the government handing out drugs or even enforcing them on people.

The rhetoric of second class citizens, though stories like the one you shared are sad, is reckless and I wish someone would come to their senses and quit its use on the campaign.

Gays are not second class citizens. And marriage does not make them first class citizens. Yet the effort to enforce "first class citizenship" through government enforcement is a dangerous precedent to take. Consider what it means that the couple you mentioned in your story would receive relief of their situation (though relief is already offered through other means), yet two friends who live together in a committed relationship to help each other would not. A mother-in-law helping house and raise her daughter-in-law and her family after being disowned from her own family, would naturally want the same benefits of having that person she loves and trusts make the funeral arrangements for her.

To say that constitutes second class citizenship means that everyone who wishes to have someone make funeral plans for them are in need of relief. Its reckless and desperate rhetoric. It needs to be checked with reality for everyone's sake.

For the record, I'm for offering protection to these families. All of them. I see no reason to act biased towards homosexual couples when they are a minority of the needy families out there. Hawaii is still, probably, the most mature in this debate with their program for Reciprocal Beneficiaries. Can you justify the prejudice towards homosexuality, especially when it seems you consider marriage as prejudiced against them for excluding them?

I'm just curious.

Chino Blanco said...

OL,

Regarding "presumptuousness" ...

It’s been estimated that 1/2 of the approx. 100,000 same-sex couples in CA will choose to marry during the next 3 years (in 2000, the census identified 92,138 same-sex couples residing in California). As of March 2007, there were about 38,000 registered domestic partnerships in CA (the figure on which the 50,000 marriages within three years estimate is based).

So, that'd mean roughly 100,000 tax-paying gay Americans planning to enjoy their right to marry.

And you presume to take that away.

In a Mormon context, if 2% of California is LDS, that’d suggest there’s something like 4,000 same-sex couples in which one of the partners is LDS. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that these gay Mormons probably favor the "No" side of the Prop 8 battle - which is actually not such a stretch, considering that they plan to get married and all.

In your case, aren't you presuming to speak for your gay friends? Have you queried these good friends of yours for their view on this issue? Whose view should count more in this contest - yours or theirs? Considering that marriage is currently a legal right for your gay friends in the state of California, and that Prop 8 seeks to eliminate that right, maybe we should pay closer attention to the opinions of those who stand to lose that right?

Chino Blanco said...

OL,

Yikes, no doubt we're crossing each other and kinda messing up the chronology. No worries. Comment away. I'll be back in a bit to reply.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

Thanks for your well thought out reply. I stick by my claims of presumtuousness only in the narrow context of this interpersonal communication.

Because VB's argument seems to rest on me not knowing gay couples well enough. Well I suppose you can always claim that anything short of a God-like understanding is not enough, but I'm much better off than was presumed.

I hope for all the world that gays enjoy their right to marry. I just wish that people understood better that they are not served at all by changing what marriage means so they can have the token or label. I don't think it serves them at all, and severely weakens the government's ability to help the needs of those that marriage was meant to help.

Its like saying everyone can have a car in their garage and a chicken in every pot. But then re-define a car to mean a self-propelled vehicle, and a chicken to mean simply a chicken wing.

But that is my view. Tell me, what is yours? Perhaps we are talking past each other on what marriage really is.

So tell me, what do you advocate is the state's purpose in having the preferentially treated status of marriage at all?

And I am still very interested in your thoughts on why Civil Unions and DP's are so exclusive, considering they were built to bring marriage benefits to all?

Chino Blanco said...

I view civil marriage as a contract between consenting adults. I believe our government is right to attach benefits to such a contract because binding couples legally benefits the parties involved and society as a whole.

If there was no prejudice against gay Americans, we wouldn't be wasting our time discussing civil unions, DP's, and the like. As that prejudice becomes less and less prevalent, civil marriage will become increasingly available to gay Americans. Not because there is a "gay agenda", but simply because the ability to deny civil marriage to gay Americans has always relied on anti-gay prejudice. The reality is that the electorate is slowly but surely losing its anti-gay bias, and what we're seeing now with the 'Yes on 8' campaign is an ill-fated rearguard action by those with a vested interest in pumping up vestigial anti-gay prejudice.

That's my view on civil marriage. It should available to all who qualify, and I don't see how being gay amounts to a disqualification. As far as I know, a generation ago, I would have been legally barred from marrying my wife under anti-miscegenation laws. Those laws were unconstitutional and shameful then in exactly the same way that our prohibitions of same-sex marriage are today.

My view on marriage as a religious sacrament or covenant is that such marriages should be entirely protected under the right to religious freedom that remains very strong in our country. The availability of such marriages can be as exclusive or as inclusive as the churches involved with dispensing them choose to make them. That is the case now and will continue to be the case after Prop 8 fails.

Two different definitions of "marriage" - thanks for asking to clarify this point - which one are we talking about?

Velvet Blade said...

OL -

Sorry I didn't get to respond sooner to your responses to my comment.

First, how can you say that your gay couple friends are so wonderful, and then liken homosexuality to drug use? Guess I am a little confused. Could you explain, please?

It's fairly obvious that you do not see your homosexual friends on the same par as your straight friends, irregardless of their relationship status. No wonder you are so against gay marriage.

If you saw them and their relationships as equal, you would feel they should have the same protections and rights as their straight counterparts.

For instance, usually the largest issues people have with homosexuality is that they have preconceived notions of what those relationships are like. Usually these don't change until they know at least one solid gay couple.

The largest arguments against gay marriage is that it will give state and federal (eventually, hopefully) benefits to a new group of people who had been excluded. The other is that since gays can't procreate together, it shouldn't be considered the same. For that argument I point to all those wonderful straight couples who for various reasons also can not conceive and choose to adopt or artificially inseminate.

To me, marriage is a ritual and bond, between two people who love each other. It is a religious and a legal status.

DP is something that gives some, but not all, of the legal rights. Because the use of the term Domestic Partnership automatically brings to mind homosexuality specifically, not a marriage.

So, forgive me if I am a little confused, but later you say this:

I hope for all the world that gays enjoy their right to marry. I just wish that people understood better that they are not served at all by changing what marriage means so they can have the token or label. I don't think it serves them at all, and severely weakens the government's ability to help the needs of those that marriage was meant to help.

In what way does gay marriage change what marriage means? Does it not mean to you, two people who love each other?

Jen said...

You take much interest in something that is happening MILES away from where you are. Why? Do you hate or agree with the mormons, I can't quite gather.

Chino Blanco said...

Jen -

And what I can't gather is what those nice New York boys, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, thought they were going to accomplish so far from home?

Mississippi was MILES away from where they lived.

Did they hate racists?

Or did they agree with Martin Luther King?

Or maybe they simply chose not to use skin color or geography as an excuse for not engaging in the struggle for civil rights?

That said, don't worry, when it comes to not liking what I'm doing, and questioning my motives, you're definitely not alone: plenty of Mormons sat out the previous generation's struggle for equality - why should this generation of Mormons be any different?

I trust Idaho Falls is treating you right this summer. Me and the wife and kids are havin' a grand ole time here in Taiwan.

Actually, come to think of it, being from Idaho and all, why do you care if gay Californians want to get married?

Steph said...

Chino,

I did read your comment on my Blog about my choice to vote YES on prop 8 and I can respect your decision to vote however you choose as you do mine, although I do not agree with your views.

I will keep supporting my LDS church leaders and my own views on the subject. I do understand that my marriage to my husband is currently unaffected, but my concern is more with the education of my children and the quote unquote SOCIAL NORMALITY being changed here.

I do not agree that homosexual marriage, relationships, or orientation is recognized by God our Heavenly Father, and because I beleive in a Divine Nature and purpose I do not condone any homosexual to have a recognized marriage in this state or any other. Some may call this discrimanatory or hateful, and I can assure you I have plenty of homosexual friends who are great people.

But I do not accept their way of life and do not want my children growing up in a world where it is ok to have "Party A" and "Party B" on a marriage license. Homosexuality is a choice, not a genetic disorder, or God putting a person in a wrong body. Gender is an essential characteristic of a person's pre-mortal, mortal and eternal progression and is completely deliberate. Our human bodies were designed as nature and God intended; Man with Woman and Woman with Man. For this reason I will be voting YES on Prop 8 this November to define Marriage in California at least as between a Man and a Woman; Male and Female. To me it is not a mix or separation of "religion" and "politics".

I expected a lot of back lash from my blog and it's fine for you to feel the way you do. My beliefs are my LIFE and so are my views on every subject that affects my life. I hope this is a view that you can understand and respect.

Thank you for your time
http://stephandjon-alston.blogspot.com

Chino Blanco said...

I'm sorry to hear you describe my comment at your blog as "back lash" ...

If you're gonna get online - rather than worrying about "back lash" - you might do well to welcome diverse opinions and enjoy the opportunity for discussion.

You have every right to your beliefs, but the same country that protects your right to believe as you do is also the same country that promises equal treatment before the law to all its citizens.

That promise remains unfulfilled when it comes to our fellow Americans who happen to be gay.

emily said...

How very upsetting.

I am embarassed that fellow Latter-Day Saints are using the church as a vehicle for grassroots political campaigning, blatantly over-stepping their bounds as they are clearly not working through the proper authority.

I am thinking specifically of the quote from the letter you posted: "Please know Presidents, that the RDs/ZCS's will be contacting many many people to accept responsibilities. We hope that you are fine with this happening without the Stake President or Bishop approving each assignment! We assume that you are ok with that!!"

I hope that Bishops and Stake Presidents recognize that they canNOT be okay with that, since this is precisely the sort of thing that the church's organization is supposed to keep in check. The very fact that 'Brother Packer' (which, by the way, is a rather common name in the Mormon community) and company are not going through proper channels gives me a hunch that they know they're not doing things right.

Please don't let this Brother Packer's foolishness lead you to believe that all LDS church members are blindly offering their support to a cause that has been improperly loaded by the context in which it has been thrust upon them.

Many of us are still seeing clearly, and we know that God gave us the power to think for ourselves.

Thanks for visiting my blog and thus inviting me into the conversation.

Velvet Blade said...

Hi Stephanie,

Good for you for being so solid in your beliefs.

Wait! Didn't the founder of your church also upset the "social norms" at the time? Just sayin'...

You have a right to feel the way that you do, just as everyone else has a right to whatever opinion, political or religious, that they have.

I guess my God is a little different. You see, if God made everything on this earth and in the universe, are you saying God makes mistakes?

The thing that saddens me is statistically Mormon homosexuals have the highest suicide rate. This is attributed to the treatment of them within the Mormon society. You are such a close knit in community and in your family relationships. Those close ties are wonderful. Truly. But I would also hope that SHOULD one of your children tell you one day that they are gay, or think they might be, that you would support them with love and kindness, not guilt and humiliation.

I am not saying you are not a loving and kind individual. Or that you don't want what is best for your children. But sometimes what is best for our children, is not what we feel is best for our children. We are all a work in progress.

Social norms are a safety net. They make us feel secure in the world that we live in. They are good, yes. But when they are discriminatory, then they must change. Just as the Mormon church, a fairly young church organization when compared to Catholicism, Judaism, and other world religions, felt it was time for a change. Just as women having the right to vote upset the norms, or blacks riding on the backs of the buses.

We learn and grow as people and it's up to us to treat everyone as humanely as possible, even if we disagree. I am sure the Aryan Nations doesn't want their children growing up in a world with inter-racial marriages, but that doesn't make them a flag waver for "social norms", though they claim it does.

http://sofltydreaming.com/blog

Steph said...

I really do accept everyone's opinions, that's exactly what they are. Opinions. What I meant by back lash is that you were attacking my blog with your opinion because you feel I am wrong in my opinion. That is fine for you to do so. If I were to have a homosexual child as was mentioned above I would be sure to love them as a person and support them as much as I could, of course. BUT I would never be able to condone their lifestyle choices and that includes allowing them to join their partner in marriage, which I view as a sacred institution. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

I am not blindly following anyone, religion or political, with my views, and I am sorry that anyone would think that. I did not join this conversation to argue and I am not going to jump down anyone's throat. I am sorry if my comment came across as angry to anyone, because that was not my intention. I just want to share my views like everyone else, but I can assure you my views will not change.

I believe that God is a higher law than any state, country or government. Marriage is ordained of God and has been established as an institution for creating eternal family units in this Earth life. If there are Latter Day Saint church members who do not agree with the church's urging to be involved in protecting marriage as between a man and a woman, that is their choice to do so. But I do not feel that marriage is a "right". It is a privelege and a responsibility.

I do have a lot of freedoms in this country, that's true, and anyone will tell you I love America and living here with the freedoms I do. And using my freedom is allowing me to vote YES for prop 8 just as yours is allowing you to vote NO if you so choose.

I am glad to discuss any views on the subject if you have questions on what I believe. I do not agree with homosexual relationships or marriage, and I will be voting YES on prop 8 this election to define marriage in CA as between 1 man and 1 woman.

Chino Blanco said...

Steph -

Are you able to distinguish between CIVIL marriage (which is a contract recognized by the government) and your LDS marriage?

They are NOT the same thing.

LDS marriage is a privilege.

Civil marriage is a right.

Based on your comment, you seem unable to make this distinction, and that's a pity, because it's an important one for anyone who understands and cares about our American system of government.

Tbone said...

Sorry Chino, but I had to reject your comment on my blog. Your point of view is noted, but I have to respectfully disagree. Religious rights are very much under attack, and the legalization of gay marriage is the root cause of the loss of those rights, rights which of course existed from the moment our constitution was adopted. Prop 8 isn't about denying rights; in fact, under the CA family code, all domestic partnerships and civil unions had the same rights as married couples. Your example may have been true previously, but is no longer the case.
Finally, it is important to be careful about not falling into apostacy.

Katie Babie said...

I don't know by what "previous generation's struggle for equality" that you speak of. Would you please let me know because I don't believe that we are "sitting out" on anything.

I agree with Steph. Marriage is a privelege within and without LDS communities, not a right. Marriage is not something that should be considered available to everyone. I know that many mentally handicapped people are not afforded the privelege of marriage, even if they find someone they love and want to be with. There are also many other things that mentally handicapped people can't do, like donate blood, or drive a car. Some may say that everyone can give blood, but those that can't read well enough to fill out the paperwork cannot. People also argue that driving is a right, but it's a privelege just like everything else, only available to certain people.

By your reasoning that gay couples are second-class, are you saying that mentally handicapped people should be considered second-class citizens because they are often not allowed to marry? If so, then you really need to meet many of the people that I have grown up with because I know without a doubt that they are in no way second-class.

Freedom of speech is a right, but you can't yell fire in a crowded building. Freedom of the press is a right, but you can't publish lies that you profess to be truths. Freedom of religion is a right, but you aren't allowed to teach any religion in schools, despite the teachings of evolution in schools. Life and liberty are rights, but if you take another's life or commit any other crime, these rights are challenged. From these examples, I'm sure that you can see the trend, rights are still conditional upon other limiting factors. Well then, why can't there be a conditional to the "right" to marry?

So, anyway I guess I'm a little confused as to your definition of a "right" because there are many different limiting factors that deny other people of their "rights".

Velvet Blade said...

Katie -

The only trouble with your argument about mentally handicapped people not being able to marry is this:

Two mentally handicapped people who are gay would also not be allowed to marry. Equitable.

If a straight person or a gay person gets their drivers license taken away, or is not allowed to have one, it's equitable. Both sets of individuals come under THE SAME guidelines. It doesn't say, "If you are straight, you get one, if you are gay, you don't."

Yet, not allowing two gay people to marry who are consenting adults in love, is not enforcing your privilege or your right. It's creating an inequitable situation on many levels.

I would be interested to hear why you are against gay marriage in the first place? Is it societal normality, religious belief, or something else?

On Lawn said...

VB,

I appreciate when you are trying to be funny, but sometimes I think you are just downright careless. For instance, you asked,

"First, how can you say that your gay couple friends are so wonderful, and then liken homosexuality to drug use?"

Shocked that I might think homosexuality is like drug use, I re-read my comment to see if I mis-wrote something. I can't see where you got that impression especially when I explicitly wrote...

"But, homosexuality is not drug use. I do not consider it to be any source of impairment like drug use is."

This is much like your pointing to a web article to answer a question if any state benefits or provisions would be withheld gay couples if Prop 8 (hopefully) passes. The site you pointed to directly affirmed that they are the same.

There is a popular saying. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It appears from much of your writings that you have a thing against bigotry, so everything naturally looks line it is unfair to you.

Its easy to be caught in this spiral, I see teenagers caught in it all the time. Everything is unfair, sometimes, in the eyes of a teenager who doesn't understand why they can't yet drive a car, get married, etc...

I have heard that a lot of the zeal behind neutering the definition of marriage comes from the youth, perhaps that connection is more meaningful than just a thought provoking observation.

I also think it is interesting that you compare homosexuality to a disability:

"The other is that since gays can't procreate together, it shouldn't be considered the same. For that argument I point to all those wonderful straight couples who for various reasons also can not conceive and choose to adopt or artificially inseminate."

Is homosexuality a disability? You tell me. Don't you argue homosexuals can't get married unless the definition of marriage is neutered to allow two people of the same gender?

On Lawn said...

Hey Chino,

I recently reviewed an excellent piece of commentary produced by the LDS church. I think it answers many of the points you've presented.

"If there was no prejudice against gay Americans, we wouldn't be wasting our time discussing civil unions, DP's, and the like."

The statement declares that prejudice against gays is a bad thing...

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference. [...]

The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.


"I view civil marriage as a contract between consenting adults."

Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults.

"Are you able to distinguish between CIVIL marriage (which is a contract recognized by the government) and your LDS marriage?

"They are NOT the same thing."

While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.

"The availability of such marriages can be as exclusive or as inclusive as the churches involved with dispensing them choose to make them. That is the case now and will continue to be the case after Prop 8 fails."

Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place “church and state on a collision course.” [16]

The prospect of same-sex marriage has already spawned legal collisions with the rights of free speech and of action based on religious beliefs. For example, advocates and government officials in certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.

Other advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemptions and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions. [17] Public accommodation laws are already being used as leverage in an attempt to force religious organizations to allow marriage celebrations or receptions in religious facilities that are otherwise open to the public. Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples. Student religious organizations are being told by some universities that they may lose their campus recognition and benefits if they exclude same-sex couples from club membership. [18]

Many of these examples have already become the legal reality in several nations of the European Union, and the European Parliament has recommended that laws guaranteeing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples be made uniform across the EU. [19] Thus, if same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.


[Note, those bracketed numbers are references to evidence backing up those claims. Chino, I appreciate your assurance to the contrary on this matter, and I mean no disrespect when I point out it seems very small in comparison to the social current outlined.]

Hey, I'm still awaiting your answer on the question of equality. Are Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships excluding cases of distress like you point to within the gay and lesbian community? What do you have to say about their exclusivity?

Thanks again for your time.

Velvet Blade said...

OL -

Now let's not take your comments out of context, shall we.

But, homosexuality is not drug use. I do not consider it to be any source of impairment like drug use is. But the impact on society is perhaps even greater. For while the government might take a passive note on the drug user, neutering the definition of marriage is for the sake of subsidizing and encouraging a new marriage reality -- for homosexuality's sake. Its the equivalent of the government handing out drugs or even enforcing them on people.

That's as idiotic as Sally Kern's comments about homosexuals being like terrorists. But, you are entitled to your opinion. FYI, I don't recall a homosexual murdering during a robbery to feed their habit in the papers, yet see it every day with drug use. Also, a high percentage of domestic abuse is linked to a legal drug, alcohol.

If you feel that DP or civil unions are equal to marriage, then I certainly hope you put your life where your mouth is. Why not get a civil union instead? That is, if you are married or intend to be.

Each state is allowed to interpret what DP or civil union means in that state. A marriage is an across the board acceptance. Not all states give all rights on a state wide level.

I also think it is interesting that you compare homosexuality to a disability:


"The other is that since gays can't procreate together, it shouldn't be considered the same. For that argument I point to all those wonderful straight couples who for various reasons also can not conceive and choose to adopt or artificially inseminate."


I find it interesting, again, that you seem to take things out of context. I said that is one of the arguments made by people who are against same sex marriage, not that I believe homosexuality is a disability. Obviously, it's clear that I don't believe that.

As to the article, again you read what you wanted, and ignored the rest. The reason for suggesting both a DP and marriage is in case of a move to another state. Obviously the ideas of DP have been in swing longer than same sex marriage. Only two states allow same sex marriage. Many more recognize DP. Here is the clip: Many other states do not recognize same sex marriage, but will recognize a domestic partnership. Why is that? Again, because the movement for marriage equality is still in its infancy.

Also stated in that post is that many state, city, regional and county offices offer different benefits to spouses, but not to DPs. Does that sound like all the same protections? Don't you somehow see how wrong it is to have to consider doing both a DP and a marriage? Just to have a small measure of equal recognition of your love (keep in mind, the federal acceptance is still a long road)?

You may liken me to a teenager. Maybe it's my love of life you're picking up on? Or maybe you are just so frustrated that you have to quote out of context to make your point. And your point again is?

Oh yes, you feel marriage equality actually neuters what marriage is. Last I checked, the dictionary explains neutering as: noting or pertaining to a gender that refers to things classed as neither masculine nor feminine. In the terms of a household pet, neutering is taking something away to stave off reproduction. It's okay, we gays will still allow you your right to reproduce. After all, most of us come from straight parents and households.

If you could just take a minute and maybe, without taking quotes out of context or being argumentative, tell me in what way gay marriage legalization would neuter straight marriage, I would appreciate it.

For the record: My age? Four decades strong and growing, yet, fancy that, I can still laugh at just about anything that strikes me as funny...

On Lawn said...

VB,

I think it is you who need to be wary of context. The phrase, "Its the equivalent of the government handing out drugs or even enforcing them on people" has an antecedent which is not in your emphasis. Not have you identified it accurately in your commentary.

"Its" in that sentence refers to the government policy towards drugs and marriage, not homosexuality. The preceding sentence illustrates:

"For while the government might take a passive note on the drug user, neutering the definition of marriage is for the sake of subsidizing and encouraging a new marriage reality -- for homosexuality's sake."

I'm always happy to point out the error, but please be more careful in your reading.

The comparison, then, is the policy of neutering marriage and the policy of legalizing drugs in the context of dispelling each as only affecting those that have newly gained access.

I can assure you that talking about the arguments presented is far more meaningful and polite than complaining about arguments I have not made.

Sound fair enough?

I don't recall a homosexual murdering during a robbery to feed their habit in the papers, yet see it every day with drug use.

Actually molestation in the same gender happens more than molestation of the other gender.

Also, a high percentage of domestic abuse is linked to a legal drug, alcohol.

Of lesbians, gays and heterosexuals, lesbians have the highest rates of domestic violence. Followed by gays, and unmarried heterosexuals about even though there is some worry that gay violence is vastly underreported.

But lets be honest, I don't present those comparisons as arguments for my side. You were the one who made the comparison, I just checked your facts.

The reason I don't make those arguments is that the bad actions of one homosexual should not badly reflect on the rest, just like any other group of people. We are all individuals, and should not be guilty because of other's crimes. I would advocate neutering marriage if presented with those numbers if not just to help use that institution to inspire them to treat each other better. But then any program title will do, all it counts on is the actual ability of the group to make the word mean something that others want to emulate and believe in.

But as it is, you made the comparison of violence associated with drugs and homosexuality, I just did the fact checking.

Why not get a civil union instead? That is, if you are married or intend to be.

Because while my union is very civil, it is the literal uniting of two people as one. Both genders act as a single biological unit on producing children. In fact even if we get a divorce, the children who were produced from our unity remain. The bible puts this poetically, but it is none the less important, "they twain shall be one flesh".

I've often suggested that same-sex unions are like banding together than a marriage. Perhaps we can call it bandage (That is a joke, just to lighten the atmosphere around here :)

Not all states give all rights on a state wide level.

California can simply lead the way on that then. Or perhaps the other states are right. What does a pair of lesbians need with presumed paternity? Or a pair of gays for that matter.

The reason for suggesting both a DP and marriage is in case of a move to another state.

Right, and as you point out a few sentences later that is because the marriage is the less worth outside the state, not the other way around. When analyzing the benefits of marriage, that actually points to DP's as being more beneficial.

You said, "Here is the clip: 'Many other states do not recognize same sex marriage, but will recognize a domestic partnership.'"

Why is that? Again, because the movement for marriage equality is still in its infancy.

Funny, I think the state most mature and equal in its recognition of benefits for couples is Hawaii. They were the first to attempt to neuter marriage, after all. I think they found something more inclusive and fair to all couples if you ask me.

I said that is one of the arguments made by people who are against same sex marriage, not that I believe homosexuality is a disability. Obviously, it's clear that I don't believe that.

I think I am seeing a trend of you saying something is shown, when the opposite is far more evident.

Here, when presented with the purpose of marriage as relating to the heterosexual capacity for procreation, you noted that the disabled (those who cannot have children at all) are allowed to get married. So, I figure, you are saying that a homosexual couple should too. Am I wrong? The equivalence and comparison is right there then.

I'm just pointing it out.

You may liken me to a teenager. Maybe it's my love of life you're picking up on?

Oh my, now you think you are being picked on. Its never very worth while discussing issues with people who take everything personally.

Oh yes, you feel marriage equality actually neuters what marriage is.

Actually, I think marriage equality affirms what marriage is. Marriage is already an institution of inclusion and integration -- across the genders. Its an either or proposition, marriage either means integrating man and woman and their responsibility for the powers that union has, or it means uniting heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles which winds up doing little for either side. No one is served by re-defining what marriage is so everyone can have the label.

It's still something else.

I think re-applying marriage equality actually does the term and its civil rights heritage a disservice. Its a step backward not forward.

If you could just take a minute and maybe, without taking quotes out of context or being argumentative, tell me in what way gay marriage legalization would neuter straight marriage, I would appreciate it.

Marriage before:

"The lawful institution between a man and a woman".

Marriage after:

"The lawful institution between two people".

Lest I be accused of being argumentative, yada, yada, I leave it an exercise to the reader to identify and describe the difference between those two definitions.

Done.

D. Rolling Kearney said...

Hey, just posted a response to your comments on my site here:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1029505792821562881&postID=1042306218509049071&page=1

Also, the following articles contain scientific information that you and your readers may find useful in determining which side is the correct side in this debate:

Born That Way? Facts and Fiction about Homosexuality, by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., MBA, MPH:

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2004_Facts_and_Fiction_about_Homosexuality.html

The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue. (From an LDS magazine. Read the entire thing because there are prominent similarities between the LDS Church's opposition to the ERA and gay marriage.)

http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1980.htm/ensign%20march%201980.htm/summary%20questions%20and%20answers.htm?fn=document-frame.htm&f=templates&2.0


Does legislation like "gay marriage" really have an effect on society? Consider the following excerpt from Dr. Byrd's article linked to above:

"The developmental biologist from Brown University, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, a self-identified lesbian, offers some interesting insight. Referring to the "born that way" argument, she states:

It provides a legal argument that is, at this moment, actually having some sway in court. For me, it's a very shaky place. It's bad science and bad politics...

When asked about how much of her thinking about change in sexuality comes from her own life, Fausto-Sterling responded,

My interest in gender issues preceded my own life changes. When I first got involved in feminism, I was married... The women's movement opened up the feminine in a way that was new to me, and so my involvement made possible my becoming a lesbian."

By her own admission, the ERA and feminism preceded her lesbianism! She was not born that way - she was taught that way!

Chino, my friend, you are fighting for things that you do not understand. God is real, and He has made His stance on this issue perfectly clear. Don't believe in God? Okay, well, science has also made it perfectly clear that homosexuals are NOT "born that way," but rather become that way through a combination of experiences and nurturing, or lack thereof. Gays are the result of dysfunctional families, inappropriate sexual encounters, and/or poor life choices. True, heterosexual marriages aren't perfect, but we as a society should be finding ways to strengthen those marriages that should exist, instead of seeking to justify the damaging lifestyles of those who have had poor upbringing/were molested/or are just plain hedonistic.

I've known tons of gays in my life, and I have been very close to many of them. I have loved them as I have loved any of my friends. The ones whose backgrounds I knew about were quite often drug addicts, running away from poor home life, or just seeking to be accepted and found acceptance in homosexuality, as a group to belong to, to make themselves feel special like they never had before.

Yes, Mormons feel for gays. We feel for them as children of God who do not know who they are, who do not know what is required of them in life, and who often simply feel that they need to rebel against accepted culture. We love gay people, and in loving them we want what is best for them.

PS- If you haven't done so, please please please read the article by Dr. Byrd. You need to understand that the politics of this issue have greatly distorted the facts.

Chino Blanco said...

Can we make a deal, d. rolling kearney?

I'll read Dr. Byrd's article if you'll take a second to read and comment on these remarks by LDS (Mormon) Apostle Mark E. Petersen:

"The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth....We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject.... "I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the negro seeks absorbtion with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace.'.... "Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? when the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation.... When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation.... "Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them.... "The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there.... "Now we are generous with the negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing -- what God hath separated, let not man bring together again."

Source: Race Problems -- As They Affect The Church, Address by Mark E. Petersen at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954

You're in the same business now as Apostle Mark E. Petersen was back in his day: coming up with plausible sounding reasons for Mormons to join in preventing their fellow Americans from enjoying equality before the law.

Some things never change.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

I am happily awaiting your response to the question above. You mentioned the fight against segregation, and it is an important one.

It brings even more curiosity to my mind as to why CU's are exclusive to homosexuals considering that they are a minority of households that could use the benefits and protections of recognizing their commitment to each other.

In fact, given what we've seen in areas that have neutered marriage, same-sex couples are as a whole not very enthusiastic about partaking in that institution they helped create. The same can be said of CU's and DP's.

And Peterson's remark brings up an interesting difference in the debates...

"I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing -- what God hath separated, let not man bring together again."

Marriage is a program of integration, probably the oldest in the world. Don't you think it is a step backward to say that sex-segregation (another term for same-sex) is equal to integration?

I mean, you are asking for the right to have all-male or all-female "marriages" right next to the integrated ones. Isn't that like asking for a publicly funded and recognized all-white school to be built by the state also?

For all your attempt to shame Kearney, I think you really should take a look at your own position. If you believe in integration, then joining together men and women has a unique and important purpose. A unique humanitarian purpose.

Katie Babie said...

VB-

You question why I am against Same-sex marriage. Well, I feel that children have a right to be born within the bonds of matrimony to a mother and a father. Children need to have both a male and female parent that they can talk to and learn from. You may argue that the sperm/egg donor for the child may stick around and remain present, but that I'm sure would be a minority considering the discomfort it would cause them to know someone else is raising their child. Also, think, if a lesbian couple had a son, that boy wouldn't have a father figure to whom they could go to for advice or guidance. And, think of the daughter of a gay couple, she would have no female figure to teach her about all she is/would be going through. Sure, the "fathers" could explain the science behind it, but they couldn't comfort her by sharing their experiences or personal knowledge. I know that if I didn't have a mom, I would be ill-prepared to care for my children as a mother. Without a dad, I wouldn't know what to expect of a husband or what to expect of men.

Do you think that it is fair for children to not have a father but two mothers, or not have a mother but two fathers?

Sure, you may point to children that have single parents that result from a divorce or death, but they still have the present parent to teach them of the absent parent and of their experiences with the opposite sex. In cases of divorce, they often still maintain contact with the absent parent.

I hope now that you understand why I stand and am willing to fight for marriage to remain as only between a man and a woman.

Chino Blanco said...

OL,

Per your previous comment, I assumed you were - in your own words - "done".

In any case, I find it telling that you so casually dismiss Velvet, the only gay person commenting here.

Her view on this issue is more important than mine or yours.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

I'm disappointed. I feel Velvet casually dismissed me, and from the beginning constantly accused me of being someone I am not.

As for you, its not a matter of when I'm done. Its simply waiting for you, who I assume is comfortable in the reason of your opinions, to explain them further.

I never directly accuse you of being self-contradictory, or simply fallacious. I assume you have reasoning behind your opinion. I respectfully ask for your comment on those questions I posed.

I will continue to wait, your confidence in this issue seems to suggest you have answers.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

I did a quick check, just to make sure I didn't miss something. You claim I casually dismissed VB. I do not see her as having replied since I wrote to her last in this thread. Is there a reason you feel she was casually dismissed?

Also, I think you are showing bias when you say her opinions are more on this issue than everyone else's because she is gay.

Chino Blanco said...

OL, man, I've been busy:

Check this out and let me know what you think:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/24/61932/7927/663/573944

Or here:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/8/24/133859/351

Or here:

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6627

Or here:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7706

Or here:

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2008/8/24/14315/1507

Or here:

http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6745

It's all the same post, so any one of the above links is all you need. If you happen to be registered at any of the above sites, we'd sure get a kick out of you commenting.

Cheers.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

Sure thing. But before I do, are you saying the answers to the questions I posed are in that spamming effort?

Steph said...

I just wanted to respond to the comment above about my seemingly inability to distinguish between "LDS" marriage and "civil" marriage.

I do not require anyones pity for my situation as I do not find my views and life pitiful. I feel that even though the different religious ceremonies surrounding marriage are not the same (take for instance Judaism, Muslim, Catholic, or any faith) the core definition of marriage is the same, And that is what Prop 8 is about. Defining "MARRIAGE" not the religious sect that performs the ceremony.

Marriage to me is between a man and a woman. That is what prop 8 is defining. And there should be no difference in MARRIAGE between any person or any religious affiliation. They will all be defined the same way: joining together one man and one woman.

Chino Blanco said...

Sure, Steph, but you disqualify Velvet as a candidate for marriage on a religious basis, all the while ignoring the reality that plenty of churches now perform gay wedding ceremonies. Your church has no need to provide such service if it considers gay marriage to be out of line with its doctrine, but what about those churches that accept gay marriage? Are you saying that you're now going to prohibit them from performing marriages that are in accordance with their beliefs? Talk about religious freedom. You're apparently against it.

And OL, don't talk to me about spamming. Takes a spammer to know a spammer. I've seen you here and there and everywhere. Give it a rest.

terrierchica said...

Hello, California!

Chino, dude, I am enjoying your blog. Thanks for commenting on mine so I found yours! I can't figure out if you are really sarcastic and actually for gay marriage, or legit against it. I am hoping for the former.

In any case, to the rest of you californians...my dear home of patriotism, Massachusetts, has not burned or fallen into the ocean since we legalized gay marriage years ago. In fact, MA has the lowest divorce rate in the country, so we're doing just fine. Hope that you dudes out west vote properly and PRO-CIVIL RIGHTS this year!

terrierchica said...

oh, and to the mormon that posted a link to FAIR:

they're pretty much junk science. They aren't taken seriously outside of Utah. Try finding a real scientist, attached to a university not on probation (ie, not BYU) that agrees with FAIR or FARMS. there aren't any.

Chino Blanco said...

Hey terrierchica,

Thanks for dropping by.

Sarcasm? Me? Heaven forbid.

What follows is 100% sincere:

I'm all for gay marriage.

Any reason why I shouldn't be?

Didn't think so.

Like you said, it's a CIVIL RIGHTS issue. Rock on.

On Lawn said...

Chino,

Well, you've been a very engaging person to talk to. Thanks for your time.

I for one, however, think Benkof was right about you. Your rhetoric is made for preaching to the choir.

And when I attempt to engage you in discussions about this topic you rely more on spamming your beliefs than responding to the concerns your rhetoric raises.

That is sad. Its telling. If you were more concerned with the issues raised, you would discuss them.

And by the way, for someone who argued above that civil and religious ceremony are a different thing, you certainly took an interesting tack with Steph in that last post.

Prop 8 does not outlaw people performing ceremonies and calling them marriage. Prop 8 does not even say gay couples of of less value since it does not try to outlaw DP's. All it does is say that government has a unique purpose in supporting the commitment men and women share. There are all sorts of reasons that commitment is unique in comparison to same-sex unions. It is a commitment of real integration. It is a commitment to an unpredictable future of burden of children who they create simply by combining in natural ways. It is a commitment to be a husband to a wife, and a wife to a husband, a mother and father to children.

And as you continue to call that oppression to homosexuals, it speaks volumes of just what fickle intolerance you have towards fairness and diversity.

On Lawn said...

So terrierchica,

Are you saying that homosexuality as an innate and immutable quality is crucial to the debate over marriage?

Chino Blanco said...

For the record, OL, Benkof is a weirdo. Where is he now? Not having much, if any, impact these days, that's for sure ... but if you'd like to get in touch with him, just let me know. I'll send you his email address. Maybe you two can put your heads together and figure out how to get your precious Prop 8 passed.

Come to think of it, I'll go ahead and give you his address here:

DavidBenkof [at] aol.com

Enjoy.

On Lawn said...

Actually I've really liked Benkof's commentary and certainly respect his take on this issue. Both in opposition and in support of the amendment.

By the way, I currently read an AP article about LDS church members who are speaking out against Prop 8 on the web. One point of interest was that it said many of them note they are in good standing while opposing Prop 8.

Would you say that your standing is threatened with your advocacy? Or are you already one of the exmormons I've read on this issue?

If you don't want to answer that is okay. My interest is simply ascertaining the validity of the AP's statement with my own poll.

Chino Blanco said...

Wow, cool, I'm taking a poll, too.

Who here thinks on lawn is a jerk?

If you don't want to answer, that is okay.

On Lawn said...

So much to be disappointed in.

Chino Blanco said...

I'll count that as the first 'Yes' vote in my little poll.

terrierchica said...

I'll vote yes.

I'm an ex-mormon. But I was only ever an east coast mormon to begin with, which is far more liberal and a lot less crazy than western mormons (This isn't all-inclusive, of course).

OL, what am I saying about gays being important to marriage? I'm saying everyone's equal end should get the same rights. That's what the issue is, civil rights. I know that a lot of people are working backwards right now. It took a LONG time for blacks to have equal rights (with no help from the mormons that time, either) so I expect this to be an uphill battle too. The Supreme Court we have right now certainly won't help, but I expect at least the oldest 2 to retire or die in the next presidency. With any luck, that will be Obama, and we'll get some better judges in there, who will not allow any marriage amendment federally, who will strike down that marriage act from a few years ago. That's what's got to happen.

In the meantime, a good friend of mine got married about a month ago to another man. They'd been together for 3 years. They looked beautiful and wonderfully happy on their wedding day. Before you speak against their marriage, go while you still can to where they're performing gay marriages in CA. Look at their faces, the pure happiness. Do YOU really have the right to take that away?

On Lawn said...

It took a LONG time for blacks to have equal rights (with no help from the mormons that time, either) so I expect this to be an uphill battle too.

Blacks obtained equality by breaking down the barriers of segregation.

Gays are obtaining equality by creating separate but equal sex-segregated arrangements that are equal to the integrated arrangements -- by government social oversight?

How well did you think this through?

That's what the issue is, civil rights.

I don't disagree, but the issue of re-defining marriage for the sake of adult sexual lifestyles does not strike me as a compelling civil rights issue. Especially in light of what civil rights has accomplished in the past century to encourage integration and equality.

The civil rights issues that marriage has addressed are very important. The quality of each gender's participation in the creation and raising of children is very much a civil rights issue. One that transcends the narrow focus of adult sexual lifestyles that seems to be nearly exclusive in the gay rights paradigm.

Children are entitled to be born within the bonds of marriage, that the two people who combined to share their identity with them committed to each other and their children to protect their bonds. This protects the children's rights to their heritage, and ensures the best environment for fostering the value of their identity. Each member who shared their identity to create the child shows love, tolerance, and respect to each other.

I think it is very much a civil rights issue, but I believe it is evident to me, in my review, it is the marriage defenders that are selflessly looking out for others rights. Which is such a known quality of compassion that it is the very ideal that is targeted with campaigns that claim homosexuals are harmed when we don't let them inflict damage to the marriage ideal.

With any luck, that will be Obama, and we'll get some better judges in there, who will not allow any marriage amendment federally, who will strike down that marriage act from a few years ago.

1) Obama has come out in favor of keeping marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. I for one wouldn't mind seeing him elected.
2) To say Judges will overturn a marriage amendment is a shocking travesty against the ideals of democracy.
3) DOMA protects each state's rights to define marriage as they wish. I hardly see a problem with that.

Before you speak against their marriage, go while you still can to where they're performing gay marriages in CA

Of the three of us (Chino, you and I) I seem to be the only one who is actually in CA.

I know from my experience here that same-sex marriage ceremonies have happened for a long time. Well into the 70's if I understand it right. I've seen the joy in their faces and I don't want to stop that.

But I also know what marriage means, and wish they did too. If they knew what marriage meant (which is not a difficult thing when you understand the humanitarian principles of kin altruism and responsible procreation), they would crawl on hands and knees across the mojave desert (if they thought it would help) to find someone of the other gender to integrate with to unlock the real joys that marriage has.

Not that I want to enforce people choosing that path, I also support their life-long choice of a loving same-sex relationship. But not at the expense of what marriage is, and the civil rights issues that it could no longer address if the spot light moved from responsible procreation to emulating even the most charitable of same-sex couples.

Do YOU really have the right to take that away?

And here is where the rhetoric really gets bizarre. What am I taking away exactly. Their benefits? No DP's ensure every marriage benefit and provision. The ability to hold a ceremony mimicking marriage? No, because those ceremonies have occurred long before there were even DP's.

Give me a real thing that is being taken away that absolutely requires changing the definition of marriage.

If you are going to claim Prop 8 does same-sex couples harm, I hope you will give it in real tangible terms. Because nothing that has been discussed in this whole thread shows a real loss from Yes on Prop 8.

Chino Blanco said...

This short article concisely sums up where we're at:

Marriage Equality Foes Peddling Lies

Just a heads up, the next post here will undertake to debunk the Six Lies that the LDS church is helping spread in California.

Sad that it's come to this, but the "Yes on 8" side is just making stuff up at this point in its attempt to scare voters to the polls.

http://earthlingblues.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/scumbags-for-jesus/

On Lawn said...

True Lies...

Its funny really.

I read the link you provided (thanks for providing it), and there seems to be a theme in them.

Chino's link was scant on the evidence, and it took following a second link to find anyone offering any analysis. (The first link simply took it for fact).

So the analysis follows this template...

_______

NOT TRUE. A sentence re-asserting it is a lie with a charged verb like "blatant". Start analysis with a sentence with the word "fact", usually pointing out that the condition predicted in the sentence already exists. Claim that the condition in the statement can't therefore be related because it existed without neutering marriage. Therefore, claim that there is no impact from neutering marriage.

______

This "liar" journalism is really just poor journalism. Logically it does not add up.

For instance, one might argue that there is no global warming caused by man because CO2 existed in the air before automobiles. And the earth experienced warmer times than we are allegedly heading to now. Thus any predictions that our green house output will cause global warming is a lie. And there are people who make that argument quite often.

I've also seen it used for the claim that smoking causes cancer. Yet cancer existed before smoking, and not all smokers get cancer. Therefore it is a lie to say that smokers get cancer from smoking.

These are all fallacies. And, in this case rather careless ones. Because how reassuring will it be to people who want to enjoy religious freedom to hear that they don't have it on this issue anymore anyway due to the paranoid lobbying of a special interest group?

How re-assuring is to to someone who fears global warming to hear it happens even before we started burning fossil fuels on a global scale?

Is there anyone really thinking these things through on the anti-8 side, or is this just another exercise of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what if anything is a little more than half baked?

Besides, in spite of such misplaced consolation people will easily see that the same thrust behind the current legislation and anti-Prop 8 campaign will simply lead more of the same erosions on our freedoms.

Velvet Blade said...

Hey OL -

Just so you know, I don't feel 'dismissed' by you at all. I haven't replied because I have been incredibly busy and haven't had the chance to do so in the manner that I want to.

Off the top of my head, from your last post, good joke, it made me smile. Progress, right?

However, I think that your statement as to WHY you are against same sex marriage kind of is a gutless one. Of course if you are against it, you believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. But it still doesn't tell me why.

Religious belief? Societal belief? Financial interests? Bad food for dinner? (make no mistake... that's also a joke)

Open dialog requires that. A certain openness, not a bunch of back talking, out of context taking and one minded junk.

Can we start again. So WHY are you against same sex marriage? Saying it's between one man and one woman still doesn't say why. Saying it will "neuter" (still not the write word, by the way, but we will let it slide as what you are comfortable with) marriage still isn't a reason.

On Lawn said...

Hello again VB,

There really is a lot of effort that both sides will need to come together. There are those wishing to drive wedges in various groups of people, sometimes so completely as to let them say the exact same thing and still not connect on the real meaning of what they say.

Evan Wolfson, (do you know who that is BTW?) has suggested that for clarity we should abandon the phrase "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage". I agree with him for the very reason he gives. He says "gay marriage" means something designed for to gay couples. That would describe Civil Unions, or Domestic Partnerships.

So while I appreciate what you mean when you say "same-sex marriage" I have to say (and this is not a dodge but an opportunity to understand and be understood) that I'm not against it in principle. I am not against DP's or CU's.

Evan Wolfson continues on that theme stating that what he wants is marriage, and that marriage to mean the same thing for gays and straight couples. He even goes so far as to say that means procreation has nothing to do with marriage. A claim that I find over-reaching, though I appreciate that there are infertile couples who are happily married. But I've belabored that point, above I don't want to re-hash it here.

You are right, the phrase "neutered marriage" is in and of itself not a reason. But it points to the reason rather well. Marriage is changed from an institution that helps keep bonds in-tact by encouraging the humanitarian values of commitment and integration, values that are life giving and reach across gender lines.

So while I rather same-sex couples are in life-long commitments, and those commitments are recognized by the state, I do not believe that should come at the cost of neutering marriage of its meaning. A meaning dripping with the liberal, humanitarian values that have brought about such advance in our civilization -- especially in the past two centuries.

So what motivates my struggle in this manner?

So many people consider this a heterosexual v homosexual endeavor. I think that is the wrong line to draw, because there is a lot of heterosexual activity that I don't condone.

For me, the highest civil commitment we all share is to unite with someone of the other gender in the commitment of an uncertain future for the sake of the children. Marriage recognizes that, uniquely, and exclusively, not to oppress others but so it can target it so completely.

Commitment of other relationships can be recognized too, and protected. And, like I mentioned before, homosexual couples make up a minority of these committed relationships. Even among same-sex couples. Barack Obama was raised by his mother and grandparents. I know of many other children raised by a committed team who could use benefits and protections associated with marriage to help their arrangement.

For me the ideal plan is to have what Hawaii has, I consider them the most mature in this debate. They have marriage, and they have Reciprocal Beneficiaries which are not exclusive to any group of people. They are free-association and come with protections and benefits (which can be adjusted according to need) also given to marriages.

If you wish the commitment of homosexual couples to be recognized, can you really give me a reason why those other committed relationships shouldn't be given the same?

The reason marriage is something different is because it is like the railing at the top of the hill. It keeps family bonds in-tact, and preserves the status of gender in their roles of creating children.

The second is like the ambulance at the bottom of a cliff, helping those broken bands be healed with new ones, strengthened and supported by the government.

Just like you want to keep a railing to help people from doing harm, and a station to help those that have been harmed, this two fisted approach makes sense to me.

What are your thoughts on that proposal?

terrierchica said...

Marriage doesn't keep family values intact. There's more broken marriages than good ones. Clearly, you're an idiot not worth debating. I'm moving on.

On Lawn said...

Terrierchica,

Care to explain?

Velvet Blade said...

Hi OL,

Now I have a little more clarity on your viewpoint. You see the term "marriage" specifically to two people of the opposite sex so they have a sheltered commitment in raising a family (that they have ideally procreated together). I think that once that was much truer than today, but I understand where you are coming from at least.

Evan Wolfson is incredibly well known and has worked on the forefront of equal marriage. I'd love to see where he said what you stated. I looked but could not find it. I did find this: "a relationship of emotional and financial interdependence between two people who make a public commitment." (His definition of marriage). He has worked with LAMDA and Freedom to Marry, spearheading many of the large cases that make up the body of work for this movement.

As to the semantics of calling marriage equality "same sex marriage" or "gay marriage", I think it's just that. Semantics. Just as interracial marriage was called interracial or mixed marriage. It's a quick, easy way to describe something so that people immediately understand what you are talking about. It's not intended to un-unite or make a heterosexual union LESS than it is. Most state constitutions describe marriage as between two people, and never specify between one man and one woman. So technically, and legally, the way most of the state constitutions are written, marriage between two people of the same sex and is already legal, just a withheld right.

And we agree on your description of marriage as it is now: an institution that helps keep bonds in-tact by encouraging the humanitarian values of commitment and integration, values that are life giving and reach across gender lines. Since equal marriage doesn't seek to change that, but extend it to everyone, the definition should not change. But I understand where you are coming from believing it will.

Here are a few links you might find interesting, that better explain why marriage and not DP or CU.

This one (Over 1100 protections & responsibilities conferred on married couples) http://www.freedomtomarry.org/get_informed/marriage_basics/protections_and_responsibilities.php

Marraige vs CU, DP etc
http://www.freedomtomarry.org/get_informed/marriage_basics/marriage_v_other_more/definitions.php

Civil Unions Don't Work
http://www.civilunionsdontwork.com/

And, for the record, often DPs are extended to other groups, not specifically gay people. This would cover, depending on the state and situation, some of the people you brought up way back when we first started discussing this. (Heck, I think ya did, but we've been doing this so long, maybe it was some one else's argument). Again, this goes to the argument that DPs and CUs are enforced by state, and have a broader changing list of "rights and responsibilities" in those relationships that vary depending on the state. Marriage, across the US, is pretty much the same, with very few differences.

I think the other reference from TerrierChica about straight marriages not working well is the divorce rate so prevalent in America. (My own parents have been married 56 years, so I have good modeling.) Also, more heterosexual couples are choosing to live together and not get married at all. This makes it appear as if the divorce rate is lowering, and it is, but the marriage rate is also getting lower between straight couples. I was a little shocked to find that 40% of these cohabitating relationships result in children. Children that often end up being raised by parents who no longer live together early in the child's life and often struggle financially. That tends not to happen as much with homosexual couples because we have to think harder, plan more and be financially able to either adopt or artificially inseminate. We can't have a moment of indiscretion and end up pregnant from our partner.

Let's face it. We've all been cheapened by the fact that you can get a drive-thru wedding in Vegas to any old stranger you met while drinking a martini or two too many. Just as quickly, you can get a divorce in some states.

There really aren't enough statistics yet to say that gays would do much better. So far in England, the dissolution rate is less than 1% for gays. (They have a mandatory 1 year waiting period before any marriage is dissolved.) Certainly there are other European countries where gays have been allowed to marry legally for decades and those statistics would be interesting. Just as their straight statistics on marriage might not reflect whatever it will be here in the US.

Let me know what you think of those articles.

op-ed said...

So let's sum up:

Lds9999: Chino has misattributed his letter and should correctly attribute it.

Chino: It can't be a misattribution because another blogger made the same misattribution.
--
On Lawn: Taking down campaign signs is unethical and illegal.

Chino: It's funny to joke about intimidation others and the suppression of free speech, especially when kids are involved...just like it's funny to joke about rape or assault.

Everyone else: Actually, nobody has taken Chino's side on that one.
---
Katie Babie: Children have a right to be raised by a mother and a father and neutering marriage would weaken that right.

On Lawn: Marriage is an important institution for ordering and providing for the unique procreative potential between a man and a woman.

Terrierchica: Marriage is stupid and worthless and of no import, therefore it should be redefined every chance we get. Anyone who thinks marriage has value is stupid and worthless and of no import and should not be talked to.

Velvet Blade: Procreation is vital and important to society, just not important to marriage. No mention of what institution is set up to handle society's interests in procreation, but it's not marriage. Marriage is just a private contract. No mention of why marriage needs to be just a private contract when we already have private contracts to do that.
---
On Lawn: What right does Prop 8 take away?

Velvet Blade: Here's a bunch of websites. No mention why if those websites can answer On Lawn's question Velvet still can't.

terrierchica said...

wow. not what I said at all. Look, I'm a college debator, I was thrilled that chino commented on my blog and found his another forum to debate on. But here's the thing: The ultimate sign of intelligence is the ability to take a step back and view everything from the opposite side. Now, I'm trained to do that. Give me a subject, I'll argue any side. But it's no use talking to people that are blind to anything but their own opinions; a waste of time all around. Hence, I choose not to waste time...

also, I didn't said marriage is stupid. As a matter of fact, I think it is, but I didn't find that relevant to this discussion. What I think about marriage doesn't matter. What I think about civil rights, does! This is an argument over whether or not to allow rights. I will uniformly vote for civil rights.

op-ed said...

Terrier: As a matter of fact, I think it [marriage] is [stupid], but I didn't find that relevant to this discussion.

But marriage is exactly the topic. Whether it is or is not stupid is entirely relevant. You simply don't realize that this is a debate about marriage.

What I think about marriage doesn't matter. What I think about civil rights, does!


Everything with a purpose has restrictions. Sirens, for example, have a purpose and so their use is limited to those whose use upholds that purpose. By teenage standards, this is "unfair" and "unequal" and a violation of a "civil right" to let one person use a siren and not another. Nevertheless, if everyone used sirens whenever they wished, establishing a childish equality, they would serve no purpose at all.

No, yours is a completely inconsistent position. Something cannot simultaneously by worthless and a "civil right." Tell me first what the purpose of your new institution of marriage is, then we can talk about whose civil right it is.

Chino Blanco said...

Nice try, op-ed.

I corrected the attribution. Are you gonna come back and correct your ridiculous characterizations?

Velvet Blade said...

Op-ed:

Hey, great summary. Pretty insulting to everyone... Oh yeah... Except for you, of course. You may want to consider proof reading before you post as well.

Now, more about me: Marriage isn't "just a contract", rather a covenant between two people. You can get married in a church, or another venue. It is filled with the ritualized symbolism of a couple joined in a significant manner. It is not a trip down to a court house to sign papers you are supposed to be happy about. Papers whose definition is decided state by state and so may or may not give you any protections at all.

As to procreation: It takes one stupid man with a sperm count, one slutty woman with the correct reproductive parts, an age of both to be biologically adequate and about five minutes to make a baby. Don't be such an idiot. It takes much more than that to make a family. Point made.

On Lawn said...

Hello VB,

Thanks for your reply. If you don't mind I think it has some elements of wishful thinking. But to answer its points...

Evan Wolfson is incredibly well known and has worked on the forefront of equal marriage. I'd love to see where he said what you stated.

Yes he is. The support for his desire to discontinue the phrase "gay marriage" and "same-sex marriage", as well as his denial of marriage as an institution designed to meet the human rights needs of procreation, you can turn to his Freedom to Marry FAQ...

Why does our country need "gay marriage"?

"We don't. The term 'gay marriage' implies that same-sex couples are asking for rights or privileges that married couples do not have, or for something lesser or different. What gay people are seeking is the legal and equal freedom to marry the person they love and care for, just as non-gay Americans do. The Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and the right to marry belongs to us all."

I appreciated that you recognized the validity of the definition of marriage as respecting procreation interests. That is more than Evan provides...

Isn't marriage really about procreation?

"No. Many non-gay people marry and cannot or do not have children."

He even gives this in unequivocal language,

"Ending the exclusion of gay people from marriage would not change the 'definition' of marriage [...] "

But in actuality, he simply ignores the difference and bluffs that the change already happened.

While I respect his effort to clarify the language between the two camps, I think he could provide at least as much respect as you did in acknowledging the change in marriage definition.

Most state constitutions describe marriage as between two people, and never specify between one man and one woman

Actually, the I think all of the court cases on the matter have found (including Goodridge v Public Health) that there was sufficient language in the law to know that it meant one man and one woman. If there were references to "husband and wife" and such, that was enough.

And we agree on your description of marriage as it is now: an institution that helps keep bonds in-tact by encouraging the humanitarian values of commitment and integration, values that are life giving and reach across gender lines. Since equal marriage doesn't seek to change that, but extend it to everyone, the definition should not change. But I understand where you are coming from believing it will.

And to be honest I don't see where you are coming from in saying there will be no change. I'm aware of Dale Carpenter's analysis which concludes (essentially) that it won't change the procreational definition because people will still adhere to it even when government discontinues its observance. But that observation underlines there will be a change, and simply limits the scope of that change.

As far as the 1000 incidents of marriage, that is an often mis-reported finding.

"In 1997, the General Accounting Office (GAO) identified 1,049 federal laws 'in which marital status is a factor.' In January 2004, the GAO updated this report, identifying 1,138 incidents of marriage in federal law.3 These are often loosely referred to in the press as the 1,000 federal benefits of marriage,4 despite the 1997 GAO report’s disclaimer that 'no conclusions can be drawn . . . concerning the effect of [a] law on married people versus single people. A particular law may create either advantages or disadvantages for those who are married, or may apply to both married and single people.'"

And, for the record, often DPs are extended to other groups, not specifically gay people.

True, but other groups (like elderly couples in CA) are already marriageable people anyway. They never wind up as inclusive as RB's, and certainly do not stack up to the rhetoric of bringing marriage benefits to "all people".

I think the other reference from TerrierChica about straight marriages not working well is the divorce rate so prevalent in America.

Andy why do you think the divorce rate is so high?

Velvet Blade said...

Hi OL -

I have a hunch that one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high is that many people get married before they are ready. Others really do not know what a commitment means. Still others flit around and use marriage as a status tool. (This is based not on DPs or CUs, but straight marriage as it sits currently.)

Face it. We have become a disposable society in many ways. We eat too much fast food, create more personal waste than any other country per capita, thrive off of plastic utensils and paper plates, and manufacturers create things that will not last so that there will be a stream of income to count on in some way. We have more debt per capita than any other country because we can't wait for anything often times. It's a combination of immediate gratification (getting married quickly) and a disposable outlook (getting rid of things when it's no longer convenient).

Notice, I did not mention religion in here. Most people in the US are affiliated with some religion, so it's a non-issue. The commitment not to get divorced, but to work through the hard times with your chosen partner is an individual one. For some religion helps focus that, for others, their outlook does the same. Just as I commit to doing the same.

A small percentage of divorces happen because the relationship for a variety of reasons is unsafe or incredibly dysfunctional to the point of emotional and physical abuse.

For the record, I don't believe the definition of marriage includes procreation. I believe that marriage was something created by humans. Even when Jesus walked the earth, there was no such thing as marriage as we know it today. That's not to say there was not monogamy and a sense of community in raising a family. There was. It was simply termed differently and not a legal binding contract, but one of two souls who chose to love each other for a year and a day, renewing those vows to each other year after year.

The changing of state constitutions often does not refer to husband and wife at all in the current vernacular. It refers to two people in a marriage situation, not gender specific and no specific reference to gender. However, the argument to change to one man and one woman is the argument that the state founding fathers certainly didn't really mean anyone, despite gender. In only a few cases where gay marriage has become an issue does the state constitution go on to state husband or wife at all.

You were confused as to why I feel there will be no change: And we agree on your description of marriage as it is now: an institution that helps keep bonds in-tact by encouraging the humanitarian values of commitment and integration despite your sexual orientation, values that are life giving and reach across gender lines this even says specifically reaching across gender lines. Love and commitment is not the sole property of a straight heart. There are many gay couples who have been together for longer than most straight married couples, yet you choose to demean that by withholding the same recognition for them by disallowing them to marry in the EXACT same way as straight couples. Since equal marriage doesn't seek to change that, but extend it to everyone, the definition should not change. Just as the base definition did not change when interracial marriage was allowed, or when women were given the vote But I understand where you are coming from believing it will.

And you may say that the 1000 rights (a little more than that) are misreported. These are rights, as well as responsibilities. Some are in favor of married couples, some are against them. However, in the federal tax code alone, there are over 4,000 different concessions made for married people that they may or may not take advantage of, that are withheld from same sex people living in the exact same covenant of commitment and love. DPs and CUs do not change that.

Here's the long and short of all of this. We are both obviously on different sides of the fence (pun intended). We can still respect each other's points and take them to heart in an attempt to try to understand where someone with an opposing view is coming from. It doesn't mean that our mind changes, just that we gain a larger understanding.

I don't get the whole idea that procreation between two people somehow makes marriage the sole domain of straight people. As I pointed out to the irritating Op-Ed who slammed everyone's point of view (and no, I am not calling anyone who thinks differently an idiot, just Op-Ed specifically due to his/her idiotic approach at every opinion):

As to procreation: It takes one stupid man with a sperm count, one slutty woman with the correct reproductive parts, an age of both to be biologically adequate and about five minutes to make a baby. Don't be such an idiot. It takes much more than that to make a family. Point made.

And sadly, many children are born out of wedlock to two people to hardly know each other, and are ill prepared to face their own life, let alone raise a mentally and physically healthy child. My point in this being since it takes actual planning for a same sex couple to have a child together, they are generally more prepared emotionally, mentally, physically and financially to provide a loving and stable home for that child vs. a straight night of passion after a pick up in a bar. (And of course, not ALL straight people do this, and not all children born to two straight people are conceived in this way. It's just an example of the other extreme.)

op-ed said...

Velvet: We can still respect each other's points and take them to heart...

Can we now?

I am not calling anyone who thinks differently an idiot, just Op-Ed specifically...

Apparently not.

My "idiotic approach" as you called it is to summarize the debate. My summary may be inaccurate or accurate. If it is inaccurate, you can correct it and the conversation can move on. I pointed out several holes in your position. You can either plug those holes or modify your position to clear up the contradictions and the conversation can move on. Name calling and personal attack is what you do when you can do neither of the above. The flaws in your position and your inability to address them are your problems, not mine. Acting childish isn't making your position any more reasonable.

And sadly, many children are born out of wedlock to two people to hardly know each other, and are ill prepared to face their own life, let alone raise a mentally and physically healthy child.

And that is what marriage is here to reduce. In a world without marriage, or in a world where marriage is just some affectation among adults as you wish it to be, your worst case scenario, above, would happen with far more regularity.

Again, you simply agree over and over again with my summary of your position and call me an idiot for getting it so right. Procreation is of enormous import to society you yourself provide example after example of this. You even go so far as to include "out of wedlock" in your description of an irresponsible birth. (Hint: Look up what "wedlock" means.) You don't want marriage to be the institution that looks after that interest, but you don't say what institution you do want to do that.

...since it takes actual planning for a same sex couple to have a child together...

No "same sex couple" ever, throughout the history of the world ever "ha[d] a child together." Here you simply show how your devotion to identity politics has blinded you to the physical facts of life.

On Lawn said...

VB,

Thanks for the conversation. You've told me enough now that I believe I know where you are coming from. I think you've underestimated just what marriage means, and it is causing much of your contradiction on this issue. In my estimation you take a very meta-physical desire and make it almost polyanna-ish. But its a good sentiment and I applaud you for the good intentions.

I've taken your comment, and how it contradicts your assertion, over to Opine so it can receive a larger audience to review it to see if I am wrong in how I see it or not. I'm making you aware of it so you can do likewise.

Chino Blanco said...

" ... in a world where marriage is just some affectation among adults as you wish it to be ..."

op-ed - if you're gonna write stuff like the line I've quoted above, please don't feign shock when you get angry replies.

Who are you to suggest that a gay couple views their marriage as an "affectation"? That's some pretty hateful and specious drivel coming from your side, especially when you consider:

An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent.

Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States.

An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents.

Gay and lesbian parents are raising three percent of foster children in the United States.

Millions of children in the United States have LGBT parents.

You're not denying marriage to "gays" ... you're denying marriage to "parents" - not something to be proud of in my book.

op-ed said...

Chino: ...please don't feign shock when you get angry replies.

I'm not the least bit shocked. When one doesn't have logic and reason one must resort to emotion to plead one's case. And good job coming up with a premise for your outrage. I doubt anybody else could have waxed so indignant over the entirely accurate observation that redefining marriage to be "any two loving adults" turns it into an adult affectation.

Millions of children in the United States have LGBT parents.

Check your census stats, Chino.

You're not denying marriage to "gays"...

I'm not denying marriage to anybody anymore than refusing to call the local sandbox "The Moon" denies neighborhood children a trip to another world.

Chino Blanco said...

Last time I checked "affectation" meant something like this:

A particular habit adopted to give a false impression.

So when you throw out a term like "adult affectation" ... it sure sounds like you're suggesting that gay couples in committed relationships are faking it.

If you think my stats are wrong, please bring better stats. Until then, here are mine:

In 1990, an estimated 6 to 14 million children had a gay or lesbian parent.

Between 8 and 10 million children are being raised in a gay or lesbian household.

Source

You haven't even bothered to get your facts straight about how many parents and children and families you'd be impacting with this discriminatory proposition, have you?

op-ed said...

Chino: Last time I checked "affectation" meant something like this:

You should check again.

affectation: the quality or state of appearing or trying to appear more important or more valuable than is the case

...as in thinking one's emotions were of import to society at large.

...it sure sounds like you're suggesting that gay couples in committed relationships are faking it.

What? Even the definition you claimed you relied upon can't be twisted to saying that! And where do I mention "gay couples" anywhere, let alone limit my use of "affectation" to them? Indeed, my use of the term applies to all marriages under the new definition. Go ahead. Scroll back and read. Apparently you overlooked that little fact in your rush to conjure an emotive reply. That's what happens when one tries to hide one's lack of reason with emotional outburst.

Between 8 and 10 million children are being raised in a gay or lesbian household.

According to the 2000 US census, there are roughly 415,000 children in all same-sex households, an order of magnitude smaller than what you claim in just the "gay or lesbian" portion of those households. The vast majority of those children came from past broken marriages or cohabitation by one of the same-sex householders. In fact, there are only about 600,000 same sex households in the US, period.

You haven't even bothered to get your facts straight...

Wrong again, Chino, but I admire your ability to hang in there. Lesser folks after being proven wrong over and over again would have resorted to fact checking by now, but not you. From your Packer gaff to invented quotes to wildly exagerated statistics, you just charge right ahead, never letting the facts get in the way of a good cause.

And why the need to inflate statistics to begin with? Let's see you make your ill fated excursion into numbers here somehow relevant to the definition of marriage.

How many "children and families" need to be "impacted" before you need to care? Now that you know your statistics were inflated, should we not neuter marriage? How many children are in polygamous households? Not enough for you to care? Have you bothered to get that fact straight before undertaking your discriminatory policy toward them?

How many children are enough to care about? Should government declare every situation in which adults have placed children to be "equal" and to all be "marriages?" How many of the 71,000,000 children in the US would be hurt by that? Enough to care?

Let's see you make your appeal to numbers relevant if you can. If not, simply admit your rant for the off topic side show it was and move on.

Chino Blanco said...

What Packer gaffe?

Anyway, have checked out my latest?

Thrice-married Newt Gingrich: Brave Champion of Proposition 8

Available at:

www.calitics.com

www.pamshouseblend.com

Enjoy.

Chino Blanco said...

What Packer gaffe?

Anyway, have checked out my latest?

Thrice-married Newt Gingrich: Brave Champion of Proposition 8

Available at:

www.calitics.com

www.pamshouseblend.com

Enjoy.

Chino Blanco said...

Double-posting all my comments is my latest affectation ...

On Lawn said...

It appears that Op-Ed has gotten the best in the debate when Chino starts claiming he has something new to talk about.

This is reminds me of the street magician desperate for attention, who starts hyperventilating and saying, "Wait I have another trick" when he loses his audiences attention or someone points out how poorly his last effort went over.

op-ed said...

Chino: Anyway, have checked out my latest?

I believe this is Chino's way of "simply admitting his rant for the off topic side show it was and moving on."

Too bad for Chino his attempt to "move on" has ad hominem fallacy written all over it. You'll notice he doesn't find any contradiction in the myriad bad marriage histories of those arguing to neuter it.

Chino Blanco said...

Nice tag-team you two got going on here ...

At some point I'll come back around and reply to your latest barbs.

In the meantime, seriously, you oughta check out the comments on the latest post over at this LDS Yes on 8 site:

yesonprop8.blogspot.com

Prove you're a couple of good sports and check out the link.

On Lawn said...

Shorter Chino,

"Sorry guys, I got nothing."

Chino Blanco said...

Wow, you really think you're winning the Prop 8 battle here on this thread where noone but you and your buddies and me are paying attention.

Whatever. What I got nothing of right now is time - i.e., time to make you feel special for putting up such a valiant defense of a losing position.

Seriously, OL, I'll check in later.

Chill.

You want the last word? It's yours. I've got things to do.

On Lawn said...

As much of a non-reply as I've seen. Its getting pretty funny to see you spend so much time telling us you don't have the time.

Unfortunately, the people that lose are the ones that live in the state that neuters marriage. But what does that matter to someone in Taiwan?

Chino Blanco said...

I guess I do tend to be somewhat adamant about getting the last word in on my own friggin' blog ... just as a matter of courtesy.

But, of course, you can't resist asking the obvious: what does it matter to someone in Taiwan?

In which case, I see .. we're back to the ad hominems. I thought that kind of attack had already been deemed a sure point-loser in the debating society you've got going here. I guess it's OK when you use it?

Next, you'll be wanting to take a poll to find out if I'm currently holding a Temple Recommend or not.

But you already did that, didn't you?

And if you're still not getting where I'm coming from, let's just be clear, that's why I called you a jerk before. Who are you to come around here polling me on my relationship with the faith I grew up in?

Rock on, losers. My last US address was in Pasadena. What was yours?

So much to be disappointed in.

On Lawn said...

Thats another nice try. I'll respond to what it says, but its clear it doesn't say anything about the issues above.

I guess I do tend to be somewhat adamant about getting the last word in on my own friggin' blog ... just as a matter of courtesy.

Your last words are your own, no? Just like this site. But it is naive to suggest that they say nothing about the author.

But, of course, you can't resist asking the obvious: what does it matter to someone in Taiwan?

Lets make sure you understand the question. The damage that is done by neutering marriage is not something you have seen, dealt with, or likely will. It is easy to inject cheap commentary from afar, and there is nothing saying your commentary would be of less value. But to establish its value, you need to do more than stumble clumsily over the cultures you are writing about. I've noted where you've misunderstood the cultures you've written about.

It is a good invitation for you to present why it matters. Instead you took it as an ad-hominem (which makes me wonder what you consider your post on Newt Gingrich to be :). Missing the opportunity makes me continue to suspect that you don't have any answers as to why people should care.

In which case, I see .. we're back to the ad hominems. I thought that kind of attack had already been deemed a sure point-loser in the debating society you've got going here. I guess it's OK when you use it?

Then you missed the point. I'll put it in more explicit terms. Your distance explains your misunderstanding, but your misunderstandings are exposed on their own.

Next, you'll be wanting to take a poll to find out if I'm currently holding a Temple Recommend or not.

But you already did that, didn't you?


Wait, weren't you getting around to answer why you care, or why anyone should care?

As if the point of your cultural gaffes needed any more examples, you were kind enough to provide another. There are many in the LDS church who do not hold temple recommends which would identify themselves as being in good standing.

To add to the shame I have to point out that I did not ask if you hold a temple recommend or not. In fact, another person (terrierchica) who replied to the poll saying they were an ex-mormon didn't assume that was the question. And didn't go around calling people jerks for asking. Especially since the AP is the one that reported that the people speaking out against the LDS church were in good standing in that church.

And if you're still not getting where I'm coming from, let's just be clear, that's why I called you a jerk before. Who are you to come around here polling me on my relationship with the faith I grew up in?

Wait, can someone point out where he answered the question above, "what does it matter to someone in Taiwan?"

Rock on, losers. My last US address was in Pasadena. What was yours?

Check it out, Chino is a spammer and a phisher. I've lived in California most of my life, I was here when Prop 22 was discussed and I moved away. I'm here again during Prop 8. I'm native.

Just to really highlight your failure here, you have yet to give a good reason why Californians should care, let alone people from Taiwan. Claiming that there will be harms to benefits or protections was quickly debunked by noting that California (that state you used to live in) has DP's which ensure every protection and benefit California gives marriage will be afforded to DP's.

And you've never really explained why DP's are so exclusive to gay and lesbians when two sisters, or two committed friends raising children could use them too. Why so exclusive? How can they really say they are for equality with a straight face?

So much to be disappointed in.

Thats funny, I remember saying that about you when you first tried sloughing off non-responses as informative discussion. And while you've added some interesting points from various arenas, they haven't amounted to anything that would convince someone to support your position.

Chino Blanco said...

"And while you've added some interesting points from various arenas, they haven't amounted to anything that would convince someone to support your position."

Thankfully, our side isn't nearly as desperate for supporters as the Yes side.

Losers.

terrierchica said...

It kind of amuses me how much OL is freaking out about how the losers in this arguement are the people living where it's legal...

seriously dude, have you ever been to massachusetts? we're doing quite well. we don't like people telling us otherwise, because clearly, you don't know.

just as the american revolution started in boston, the marriage revolution did too. and we'll win equality this time around, as we've done in the past. I certainly believe that John Adams is smiling down on his home commonwealth, proud to see civil rights on display. Prop 8 will fail in California. Stop fighting the inevitable. Turn your attention elsewhere and fight for something important. Chino's keeping people informed and doing a damn good job of it. Your empty and non-sensical attacks probably get a laugh out of him and little else, so yeah, why bother responding? You are the losers in this debate. The winners are those enjoying basic rights.

On Lawn said...

It could all just be a manner of opinion, but some people like what neutered marriage brings. Some people reveled in how well slavery worked in the south, too.

The changes in Massachusetts has been noticeable, and many have left the state because of it.

I think the argument that civilization is dead the second the legislation is enacted is a misunderstanding, and perhaps an analogy is in order.

A person committing adultery can go for decades not realizing that his marriage is over -- its just a matter of time. But for that time they might think they have the best of both worlds, that the world really didn't cave it. But there is that time that they might get caught, and then it likely is over or very bad for them for a good while.

For neutered marriage, there are a lot of people who don't see any damage because they never really knew what marriage meant in the first place. Like VB, they think it does not mean anything beyond what satisfies them, and don't want government to see that value either.

The people that are hurt, then, are the people who are the least defended. The children who are bought and sold from catalogs, having their right to heritage and parental care stolen from them. Those that buy into the notion that marriage is nothing more than a government hallmark gift basket to let people know their marriage is worthy, are hurt because they never learn the permanence and importance of marriage. Its just another welfare program to them, and they wind up not really caring about the institution very much. Those that sell their gender away and find later that they really were swindled. Those that know what marriage means, and like the lady being tripped in the television commercial, find that people are keeping them from exercising the real meaning of marriage because it is being likened to white supremacy.

No, there are a lot of people who will do just fine in the transition, there is no doubt of that. But at the expense of others, and at a costly expense that will be judged in the future among slavery and abortion as the some of the most oppressive acts one segment of society has inflicted on another.

terrierchica said...

wow. you know, I think you're completely wrong. I also can't wait until the baby boomer generation dies off and lets the young people, the new generation of change and intelligence, take over. I think we'll do quite well.

Velvet Blade said...

OL - Please don't assume you know what marriage means to me personally. You are putting words in my mouth again, out of context and it sucks.

Simply by doing that, you are also stating that you "know" what marriage is, but I don't. Please don't... Just stop. Seriously.

Make your own argument, from your view point. Don't use what you think I say to back it up, because you are wrong and hurtful to assume to know.

Personally, I feel I have a very comprehensive sense of what marriage is, legally, emotionally, spiritually and the commitment involved.

... And please... Who picks their kids from a catalog like Ikea? Ever had that experience?

Funny you should liken progress to slavery. Makes one think... Hmmm... Not.

On Lawn said...

VB,

You are obviously upset, and probably haven't read what I wrote clearly enough. take some time. Get some air. Re-read it with patience and realize I'm not against you.

And after that please offer corrections. This venting hot air is what gets people offended and put off. You'll find its not half as bad as you think it is now.

Velvet Blade said...

For neutered marriage, there are a lot of people who don't see any damage because they never really knew what marriage meant in the first place. Like VB, they think it does not mean anything beyond what satisfies them, and don't want government to see that value either.

OL - What did I misunderstand in that statement? I certainly believe and have stated that marriage means different things to different people, not just self satisfaction. And of course I want the government to see the value of marriage equality, that is the whole point of this debate is it not?

On Lawn said...

I certainly believe and have stated that marriage means different things to different people, not just self satisfaction.

I believe this is very much what I was saying. I was saying you have a definition of marriage which does not move much beyond what is self-satisfying.

I do not think that you believe marriage means self-satisfaction, in and of itself.

The difference lies in that you believe marriage means something different to everyone, which re-enforces the use of relativism to self-satisfaction.

This isn't in and of itself a bad thing, but as you may realize it is often too narrow.

By my post, I pointed to you as an example that the definition of marriage that you propose is in fact in conflict with the definition of marriage that I uphold.

Much of our belief is built on our own self-identified views. They are often called "personal values". I think there is a lot of room for personal interpretation within those values, but I think that anyone who thinks these definitions of marriage co-exist nicely should look at themselves. And considering the Evan Wolfson's and Velvet Blades of the world who themselves denounce the value of marriage that society has upheld, (value which supports the rights and care of children and equality), while claiming to tolerate all ideals shows just how incompatible they are.

And by the way, slavery is not progress. Neither is homogenizing -- by government intervention -- sex-segregation with sex-integration.

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