Gay homosexer unions issue heats up in NH

Last week a gay civil-unions bill passed the New Hampshire House of Representatives by close to a 2-1 margin, and the Senate has begun hearing arguments on the subject. Naturally, this has already resulted in some especially gaseous output.
To me the heart of the matter is the grounds for opposing gay marriage or gay unions. Certainly, these would have to be valid and supportable using basic reasoning by those who are anti.
Read the quotes from Diane Murphy Quinlan, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, here and here.
She says:


“Two persons of the same gender, no matter how loving and nurturing their relationship may be, cannot fulfill the responsibilities or the obligations of a husband and wife.”
Really? Got any evidence for that? See, my understanding is that in Vermont, California, New Jersey and Connecticut (which legally recognize gay unions) and even in Massachusetts (which allows gays to actually marry), there has been no widespread rending of the so-called moral fabric. Straights are still getting engaged and married with aplomb, HIV and crime rates have not soared, and no one is being jailed for not liking queers. So what’s the story, Ms. Quinlan?
Oh, what’s that? You’re talking out of your ass? My bad; I forgot you represent the Diocese.
It’s great to see New Hampshire gamely act in accordance with humanistic values while so many states are still looking for the smoke on the battlefields at Antietam. I suppose the state’s strong libertarian streak may be partly responsible. But the Manchester Union Leader remains a chancre on the junk of the state. Not only does it continue braying about the evils of gaiety, but its editors elected to run this as an editorial on Easter Sunday. Never mind that non-Christians might take umbrage at an excerpt from the New Testament; it’s plain lazy to cut and paste from the Bible into an opinion column, and especially dumb when the Resurrection may be the most grandiose of the “are you f*cking kidding me?” claims Christianity makes. “Just you wait,” I’m told. “You can talk smack now, but when He returns, you’ll know it!” Well, now that you put it that way, I’m a-scairt shatless.
There are several things the holy rollers refuse to acknowledge besides the proper use of English. One is that their Biblical ideas regarding civil unions are irrelevant to pertinent legislative measures. A civil union is a strictly secular contract. The very reason these exist was because religious people were alarmed at the prospect of the sacred institution of marriage (quit laughing!) being overrun by unrepentant sinners joined in officially sanctioned faggotry.
The thing is, the righteous faithful are never satisfied. You can agree to absurdly exempt their properties from taxation, to make all sorts of special provisions and ad hoc arrangements such as “civil unions” so that their hackneyed sense of morality and their institutions remain officially untarnished, and it’s never enough. They simply don’t want homosexuality acknowledged or accepted and the Quinlan harpy exemplifies this obvious fact. They want their ethos superimposed on everyone’s rights.
The second, greater problem is that Catholicism, like all sects, is a bubbling crock of shit and its ideas are not only not legally applicable to non-Catholics, but are senseless in any context. This point, however, is not likely to persuade the Diocese of Manchester.
I’m a straight guy. I understand that millions of Americans are gay. They can’t do anything about it, but even if they could, so what? Who or what is being harmed by their bumpin’ of uglies? I’ve had hyperreligious people tell me I’m going to hell for fornication; in the past all I could do was gape and chuckle, but these days, having become more cognizant of the fact that loads of incurious people actually listen to and believe this balorkey, I’m apt to loose a caustic verbal shitstream of epic proportions, albeit while still chortling. I don’t care what gays do; I couldn’t care. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone believes that other consenting adults in loving relationships should not be able to receive the same benefits as others when the only difference is in the plumbing.
As for marriage being primarily a vehicle for procreation, screw that noise too. Promising to breed is not part of anyone’s marriage vows.
If (as is the case) people are simply offended, tough shit. Grow up, mind your own business, and quit equating your gut reaction with God’s disapproval, not that there’s a discernible difference. Stupidity is offensive, but you don’t see anyone calling for tests of intellect in order to have children or take part in civic affairs such as voting. When someone — the parent of a gay child, no less — says,“This issue has been settled by God thousands of times … if this lifestyle was a sin [in Biblical times], then it is a sin today,” he should be laughed off the public stage, perhaps pityingly, perhaps not.
Look: If there were tenable reasons for excluding civil unions, the most begodded people in the world would have every right and every sound reason to broach them. But there aren’t, and so we hear vacuous whining instead. This, people, is what the god-free dislike most about religion, and spare me the crap about how not everyone of a given faith is a zealot. If you haven’t figured out why this is a trvially hapless defense, and that there’s never a shortage of people who openly admit to opposing things outside their own spheres of meaningful concern solely on the basis of THE LORD, then I can’t help you.

Advertisements
  1. #1 by The Ridger on April 11, 2007 - 9:27 pm

    As pointed out in a study reported in the Wall Street Journal, in an article by by William Eskridge and Darren Spedale last November, apparently gay marriage actually helps regular marriage (or at least doesn’t hurt):

    [T]here is no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry weakens the institution. If anything, the numbers indicate the opposite. A decade after Denmark, Norway and Sweden passed their respective partnership laws, heterosexual marriage rates had risen 10.7% in Denmark; 12.7% in Norway; and a whopping 28.8% in Sweden. In Denmark over the last few years, marriage rates are the highest they’ve been since the early 1970s. Divorce rates among heterosexual couples, on the other hand, have fallen. A decade after each country passed its partnership law, divorce rates had dropped 13.9% in Denmark; 6% in Norway; and 13.7% in Sweden. On average, divorce rates among heterosexuals remain lower now than in the years before same-sex partnerships were legalized.
    In addition, out-of-wedlock birthrates in each of these countries contradict the suggestion by social conservatives that gay marriage will lead to great increases in out-of-wedlock births and therefore less family stability for children. In Denmark, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births was 46% in 1989; now it is 45%. In Norway, out-of-wedlock births jumped from 14% in 1980 to 45% right before partnerships were adopted in 1993; now they stand at 51%, a much lower rate of increase than in the decade before same-sex unions. The Swedish trend mirrors that of Norway, with much lower rates of increase post-partnership than pre-partnership.
    Is there a correlation, then, between same-sex marriage and a strengthening of the institution of marriage? It would be difficult, and suspect, to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between these trends in heterosexual marriage and marriage rights for gays and lesbians. But the facts demonstrate that there is no proof that same-sex marriage will harm the institution of marriage, or children. An optimistic reading of the facts might even suggest that the energy and enthusiasm that same-sex couples bring to the institution of marriage may cause unmarried heterosexual couples to take a fresh look at marriage as an option.

    So, while I firmly believe that “marriage” should be reserved for church rituals that carry no civil benefits with them, only religious ones, and all civil benefits should accrue to purely civil contracts, it sort of looks like encouraging “the gays” to get married might promote a spate of the sort of morality most of these opponents claim to want.

  2. #2 by Ex-drone on April 12, 2007 - 8:13 am

    A review of social progress in the Western world indicates that same-sex rights will come in time. The US has just not hit the tipping point yet. In Canada, we’re on the other side. We still hear sniping from our fundies and social conservatives, including our Republican-like Conservative party, but I can’t see the right of same-sex partners to get married here ever being repealed. Oh, and by the way, our society and families have not degenerated into a morass of moral depravity since we tipped.

  3. #3 by Warren on April 12, 2007 - 12:17 pm

    “The Evils of Gaiety” would be a great name for a punk band.
    Thanks for the post; it’s always refreshing to see the religious fucktards getting soundly and roundly spanked.

  4. #4 by JimFiore on April 12, 2007 - 12:21 pm

    “Two persons of the same gender, no matter how loving and nurturing their relationship may be, cannot fulfill the responsibilities or the obligations of a husband and wife.”

    Let’s assume for a moment that this is true. The obvious question to ask then is “Can two persons of the same gender fullfill the responsibilities or the obligations of a husband and wife better than a single individual of either sex?” Logically, it appears that even if one of them was completely disconnected from the process the result would be no worse than the result from a single individual. If we don’t forbid single people from raising children based on their supposed “inability to meet certain obligations” then why would we disallow two people who must perform at least as well?
    It’s all bat shit. They simply don’t have the gonads to come right out with it and say “Those gayers gimme the heebie-jeebies”. They’re smart enough to realize that thinking people would say “too bad, learn to live with it because it ain’t your life”, so instead they try to rationalize their fear.
    I agree with The Ridger that all governmental or work related benefits, requirements, etc. should hinge solely on civil union, not on marriage. Religious organizations could have their marriages automatically count as civil unions and the rest of us can get on with our lives. Let them think that their religious ceremonies are somehow “special” or even “better than” a civil union. I don’t really care. All I know is I don’t want to see religious tests preventing people from sharing their lives or their committments to somehow be deemed of lesser quality and therefore not worthy of government recognition.
    My wife and I were married by the local judge in our backyard in front of a small group of family and friends. The party followed immediately. No voodoo, no hokum, and a lot of fun! I guess that makes us damnable in the eyes of some people as we were not “blessed” by a sacred ceremony, but you know what? The government didn’t care. All that mattered was two people making a committment to each other. Why should the plumbing matter?

  5. #5 by JimFiore on April 12, 2007 - 12:32 pm

    I forgot to add I saw this in one of the links to the Union Leader:

    But marriage as a legal institution does not exist to satisfy the personal preferences of individuals. It exists to strengthen our society through the creation of families, which are the building blocks of our civilization.

    It seems to me that if folks who say things like this are serious, then they should stand up and propose legislation that would require fertility tests and an oath of procreation before allowing a marriage license.
    How do you think that would fare in the court of public opinion?

  6. #6 by The Ridger on April 12, 2007 - 2:06 pm

    No, Jim Fiore, you misunderstand me: I don’t think “marriages” should automatically count as civil unions (heck, they don’t know; the preacher has to be licensed by the state). I think it should be clear that the “marriage” is a different animal, not confused with the civil. Let ’em go to a jp TOO.

  7. #7 by Caslim on April 12, 2007 - 3:49 pm

    One is that their Biblical ideas regarding civil unions are irrelevant to pertinent legislative measures.
    Actually, you should read better. Opine Editorials makes a secular case for equal gender representation of marriage. That is based on long-accepted principles of responsible procreation and integration that we understand as part of our common humanity.
    The article you linked to as “holy roller” says this:

    Ummm… same-sex couples can not be given marriage. Marriage is something that is given between the bride and the groom. Marriage must be consummated to be perfected. Isn’t a non-consummated marriage still grounds for a annulment in some states?

    Which is a direct reference to coitus (biology) and annulment (law). What you might be quoting from otherwise (as far as the author’s own commentary) was duly labeled as a “Religious aside:”.
    civil union is a strictly secular contract.
    In the eyes of the state, yes. And that is the way it should be. So is marriage secular in nature though great latitude is given for religious expression of how they get married. I like how that works out.
    In your rant, I should note, your focus on the evil religious influence reads like a monologue from Captain Ahab. What you ignore is the strong secular case made every day at sites like Opine for equal gender representation in marriage. A strong case that neutering the definition of marriage has far reaching implications that should be considered strongly — if not enough in and of themselves to dismiss neutering the marriage institution entirely.
    Also,
    I’ve gone over Eskeridge’s numbers, and a few things I have to note.
    1) Quoting marriage rates before and after the marriage institution is changed (neutered) is much like how children during the Reagan administration were actually given more vegetables than before. Because they re-defined french fries as a vegetable.
    I have no doubt that marriage rates rise, even among heterosexual couples (though a friend of mine calls that a dead-cat bounce). The strength of the movement to neuter marriage is that it concentrates so much on the adult relationship. That is the strength commentators such as Carpenter and Rauch rely on in presenting their case for neutering marriage.
    The problem is that it does so at the expense of the children. Which brings us to…
    2) Marriage has been a mooring for procreation responsibility through the ages. It is the responsibility to our offspring that one might call the real vegetables in the monogamy diet, the source of its real nutrition. It is also sometimes the hardest thing to eat. Eskeridge does well to note the trends of out of wedlock births along side the marriage rates.
    But a friend of mine looks at primarily first child out of wedlock birth and sees some interesting things. There are certain times where there is a real acceleration in their rates, and then they taper off. Sociologically speaking, this is not uncommon as factors usually form more of an ‘S’ curve as they are introduced and disseminate through the populous, rather than an exponential (or even linear) continual rise. The quibble then is whether the advocacy for neutering the definition of marriage carries the change, or does the change in law. Eskeridge and Badgett argue it must be the change in the law — exclusively. Kurtz and now Blankenhorn argue (more plausibly) that the effect probably happens during the debate preceding the change as well as after the change. They also point out many mutually re-enforcing factors of how these arguments and other arguments that de-institute marriage work together.
    My friend discusses this in particular with Badgett (that continued).
    While you are checking that out, you might be interested in how Carpenter’s commentary on Kurtz was misleading if not outright egregious. His reaction to having that pointed out was swift and final, fair or not.

  8. #8 by Caslim on April 12, 2007 - 3:49 pm

    One is that their Biblical ideas regarding civil unions are irrelevant to pertinent legislative measures.
    Actually, you should read better. Opine Editorials makes a secular case for equal gender representation of marriage. That is based on long-accepted principles of responsible procreation and integration that we understand as part of our common humanity.
    The article you linked to as “holy roller” says this:

    Ummm… same-sex couples can not be given marriage. Marriage is something that is given between the bride and the groom. Marriage must be consummated to be perfected. Isn’t a non-consummated marriage still grounds for a annulment in some states?

    Which is a direct reference to coitus (biology) and annulment (law). What you might be quoting from otherwise (as far as the author’s own commentary) was duly labeled as a “Religious aside:”.
    civil union is a strictly secular contract.
    In the eyes of the state, yes. And that is the way it should be. So is marriage secular in nature though great latitude is given for religious expression of how they get married. I like how that works out.
    In your rant, I should note, your focus on the evil religious influence reads like a monologue from Captain Ahab. What you ignore is the strong secular case made every day at sites like Opine for equal gender representation in marriage. A strong case that neutering the definition of marriage has far reaching implications that should be considered strongly — if not enough in and of themselves to dismiss neutering the marriage institution entirely.
    Also,
    I’ve gone over Eskeridge’s numbers, and a few things I have to note.
    1) Quoting marriage rates before and after the marriage institution is changed (neutered) is much like how children during the Reagan administration were actually given more vegetables than before. Because they re-defined french fries as a vegetable.
    I have no doubt that marriage rates rise, even among heterosexual couples (though a friend of mine calls that a dead-cat bounce). The strength of the movement to neuter marriage is that it concentrates so much on the adult relationship. That is the strength commentators such as Carpenter and Rauch rely on in presenting their case for neutering marriage.
    The problem is that it does so at the expense of the children. Which brings us to…
    2) Marriage has been a mooring for procreation responsibility through the ages. It is the responsibility to our offspring that one might call the real vegetables in the monogamy diet, the source of its real nutrition. It is also sometimes the hardest thing to eat. Eskeridge does well to note the trends of out of wedlock births along side the marriage rates.
    But a friend of mine looks at primarily first child out of wedlock birth and sees some interesting things. There are certain times where there is a real acceleration in their rates, and then they taper off. Sociologically speaking, this is not uncommon as factors usually form more of an ‘S’ curve as they are introduced and disseminate through the populous, rather than an exponential (or even linear) continual rise. The quibble then is whether the advocacy for neutering the definition of marriage carries the change, or does the change in law. Eskeridge and Badgett argue it must be the change in the law — exclusively. Kurtz and now Blankenhorn argue (more plausibly) that the effect probably happens during the debate preceding the change as well as after the change. They also point out many mutually re-enforcing factors of how these arguments and other arguments that de-institute marriage work together.
    My friend discusses this in particular with Badgett (that continued).
    While you are checking that out, you might be interested in how Carpenter’s commentary on Kurtz was misleading if not outright egregious. His reaction to having that pointed out was swift and final, fair or not.

  9. #9 by Kevin Beck on April 12, 2007 - 4:23 pm

    Caslim, be serious. The post I linked to by Renee consisted of two quotes from religiously motivated gay-union opponents (this is explicit in the first quote and strongly implied in the second) and a discussion of the “Sacrament” of marriage sandwiched around the one paragraph that doesn’t make mention of the church and is, in fact, factually wrong. And even if she insists that sexual intercourse can only take place between men and women, she’s out of touch for continually bringing up marriage when the New Hampshire bill, if passed into law, would only allow for civil unions. As some have said, the churchers can still have their sacred institution while the civil benefits of state-sanctioned partnerships are extended to others.
    If Renee is not a holy roller by some defintion, she’s certainly jumping on their bandwagon. Regardless, I don’t expect her or anyone to make a useful case for opposing same-sex civil unions other than the usual scaremongering (including the hauling out of language like “neutered marriage”), appeals to tradition, hysetrical predictions, and what have you, none of which ever sum to more than a basic distaste for homosexual relationships — and worse, their acceptance by the masses.

  10. #10 by Caslim on April 12, 2007 - 8:10 pm

    “consisted of two quotes from religiously motivated”
    Neither quote contained an appeal to religion. The reference you make to the religious affiliation of those quoted, as if that made the content religious in nature, is what is normally considered ‘poisoning the well’ — a logical fallacy.
    The Sacrament quote was accurately labeled as a religious aside.

  11. #11 by Kevin Beck on April 12, 2007 - 9:58 pm

    “Neither quote contained an appeal to religion. The reference you make to the religious affiliation of those quoted, as if that made the content religious in nature, is what is normally considered ‘poisoning the well’ — a logical fallacy.”
    Be serious. Quinlan was speaking as a respresentative of the Catholic Diocese of the state’s largest city, and Knutsen iterated the standard Bible-slapper’s rationale for denying gay unions — even secularists who oppose civil unions aren’t hard to spout that mawkish nonsense about sowing seeds. The fact the neither person explicitly mentioned God or the Bible hardly divorces their comments from their religious roots.
    If I had said “Of course those so-and-sos oppose gay unions, they’re Christian by vocation” in advance of giving the people in question their say (which I did not), that might have been poisoning the well. Then again, it might merely have been accurate — how many Christians who work for the church don’t have something untoward to say about homosexuality? As for Renee, she introduced Catholicism herself.
    “The Sacrament quote was accurately labeled as a religious aside.”
    This is even more nonsensical. The fact that it was given a certain label means that we’re supposed to heed it at some level, but that it’s immune to criticism? Thos smacks of paralipsis — the crude art of bringing something up while pretending it’s of no importance: e.g., “We won’t even mention the time my opponent was caught banging a goat in a back alley.”
    But never mind all that; the fact remains that Renee thinks these newspaper quotes, whatever their impetus, are “great,” but of course offers no reasons for resisting gay civil unions other than 1) her contention that gay sexual intercourse isn’t sexual intercourse (a position that any jurisdiction recognizing forcible sodomy as rape would certainly find odd) and 2) her religious “aside.”
    You seem to bright to be defending an airhead like her. Maybe you have codified reasons for opposing gay unions yourself (something to do with children, evidently), which is fine. But a blog like yours is going to provide a ready refuge for all manner of knee-jerk scatterbrains like the Renee creature, thereby putting you in the difficult position of trying to rationalize away their vapid bullshit.

  12. #12 by Op Ed. on April 12, 2007 - 11:10 pm

    Kevin Beck: 1) her contention that gay sexual intercourse isn’t sexual intercourse (a position that any jurisdiction recognizing forcible sodomy as rape would certainly find odd)
    Using the term sexual intercourse as a synonym for coitus is not improper and is clear from the context.

    Main Entry: sexual intercourse
    Function: noun
    1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS
    Merriam Webster

    Your appeal to the definition of rape fails because rape is defined in terms of sexual assault, not sexual intercourse.
    The fact the neither person explicitly mentioned God or the Bible hardly divorces their comments from their religious roots.
    More Captain Ahab on his quest for the Great White Whale.
    …we’re supposed to heed it at some level, but that it’s immune to criticism?
    Nonsense. Nobody said anything was immune to criticism. If you don’t like that quote, fire away. Your error, however, is in extrapolating an aside to be the entire argument. It suits your purpose, which is to avoid debate by doing battle instead with your Great White Whale, but as an argument it is intellectually barren.
    …trying to rationalize away their vapid b***s***.
    And speaking of intellectually barren…

  13. #13 by llewelly on April 12, 2007 - 11:29 pm

    Your link lists another definition:

    2 : intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis

  14. #14 by Kevin Beck on April 12, 2007 - 11:33 pm

    You guys are really not very bright, are you? Or maybe it’s a matter of basic dishonesty.
    Renee quoted this (bold face mine):
    Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut provide civil unions. New Hampshire’s civil union bill would give same sex couples everything marriage entails, except the word.
    Here’s Renee’s response (bold face again mine):
    “Ummm… same-sex couples can not be given marriage. Marriage is something that is given between the bride and the groom. Marriage must be consummated to be perfected. Isn’t a non-consummated marriage still grounds for a annulment in some states?”
    If I’m chasing a white whale, this comprehension-challenged individual is trying to extinguish all marine life.
    Suppose I play along and grant that men lack vaginas and therefore cannot partake in coitus in the same way men and women can. Please explain what effect this has on civil unions, which have no “consummation” requirement, Webster’s-dependent or otherwise.
    Also, none of you are doing so well at providing valid reasons for denying civil unions, which is what I challenged people to do in the original post. You can buzz around like shitflies and insist that Renee’s pious outburst was an “aside” when anyone who can read can see that her entire argument against civil unions (which wasn’t even such an argument, as Renee is too careless or too stupid to distinguish between marriage and civil unions) is based on the religious dogmatism of her sources — she even winds up with a ramshackle analogy about Baptism, which, I’m told, is not something secular world gives a rip about. To say otherwise is farcical, but then again, to support this twit is to take up a farcical quest.
    But even if she weren’t drawing almost entirely on Catholicism in her post, she’s given zero objective support for her anti-gay-union stance. None. Neither have those she quotes; they simply assert that gays can’t have the same quality of relationships straights can. Renee’s entitled to oopse gay unions, but so far all she’s backed it up with is the irrelevant observation that “gays can’t consummate a marriage.” She’ll have to do better if she wants to be convincing to anyone on the fence.

  15. #15 by Renee on April 13, 2007 - 2:55 am

    It’s me, Renee “the holy roller”. I’m all for civil unions for different types of relationships other then same-sex. I understand that there are many types of relationships that have a personal investment, but as a woman who has sex as in coitus sex I can get pregnant even with the most effective use of family planning and children are a big obligation.
    Two people of the same sex never have to think their sexual actions might produce a child. I have three small children I think it is society’s best interst to facilitate that my husband are in a low conflict relationship and he doesn’t abandon me or the children. Marriage primary role is to reduce “baby mama drama” and keep women and children off welfare. Those are two very good things.
    I find a lot of hope though in the contradictions we see regarding marriage, parenthood, the relationships between moms and dads. I find a lot of men, who themselves fatherless wanting to be dads to their children. Many of the situations I see the fathers are not married to their girlfriends, but the intention is to always to be not just apart of the child’s life but also the mothers. It’s hard to re-enforce that idea though and have realtives and others support a commitment to be a family, when the relationships between the mother and father, as husband and wife are not cemented and formed in itself. It’s hard to re-enforce an idea that moms and dads are important to kids, when the talk is all about rights and benefits and not obligation. We might not become parents, but we all have parents. Parents are important to us.
    Like I said, I’m a mom of three. A mother of a infant who still exclusively breastfeeds. When you become a mother, you become vulnerable. You’re a mother no matter your religious beliefs. I grew up with modern day feminism,in which I was told marriage was obsolete, so I thought. That day changed the day I found I was pregnant.
    As a heterosexual woman, if all my husband wanted was sexual actvitiy other then “coitus”, wouldn’t think I would be a little then more dissapointed and seek an annulment?
    Thanks for letting me explain myself,
    Renee

  16. #16 by Kevin Beck on April 13, 2007 - 7:23 am

    Renee,
    Thanks. I read through your comment a few times and if I understand you correctly, you’re essentially saying that marriage between men and women is a family stabilizer, protecting both women with children and the children themselves in a number of ways. No argument there. In fact, you’ve given a lot of support for marriage which has nothing to do with religion. I also share in your enjoyment of coitus and if I were a women whose husband quit putting out for some reason I’d maybe think about ending the marriage as well.
    That said, “I’m all for civil unions for different types of relationships other then same-sex” strikes me as a complete non sequitur. I can’t conceive of how gay civil unions could possibly threaten any of the issues between straight married couples that you mentioned.

  17. #17 by JimFiore on April 13, 2007 - 8:19 am

    Marriage primary role is to reduce “baby mama drama” and keep women and children off welfare.

    Bullshit. That may be your definition but it is far from universal. I will agree that “keep(ing) women and children off welfare” is a good thing but there are ways of doing that outside of marriage, and further, if it was the PRIMARY role of marriage, then getting a marriage license should entail far more than it does currently.
    I am sick of all this marriage-procreation crap. I love my wife and the fact that we do not have children in no way reduces our commitment to each other or relegates us to some lower status. I find implying otherwise to be demeaning and insulting. Further, I know long-term couples who are not married and are as committed as any married couple (and perhaps more than many), some of whom are straight and some gay.
    The Ridger: My point was that the state could license a religious official to act as a jp and also grandfather any existing marriages. It’s just less paperwork. Ultimately though, it should be the state’s definition (civil union) that carries with it the promise of state-sponsored benefits (taxes, visitation rights, etc.), just as a religious definition (marriage) carries with it the promise of religious rewards (not going to hell for fornication, avoidance of “nose bleed” seats at heavenly events, etc.)
    The major problem that I see with civil unions is the lack of nice terminology. It’s easy for a couple to say “We’re getting married!” while “We’re getting civil unionized!” just doesn’t roll off the tongue so nice. It’s all marketing. We need a nice term for it.

  18. #18 by Fitz on April 13, 2007 - 9:34 am

    The argument is flawed in its very premise. Lets say we were arguing against the abuses of Enron. (or for that matter against the invasion of Iraq using just war theory) Simply arguing against theft is not a ?religious? argument. Now obviously Biblical reference and religious tradition tell us Thou Shalt Not Steal. Do we rid our law of all criminal sanctions against stealing?
    The proper dividing line (if one can impose one) our arguments based on scriptural revelation. Any argument based in reason or history is naturally going to echo those traditions that are also espoused in religion.

  19. #19 by Fitz on April 13, 2007 - 9:34 am

    The argument is flawed in its very premise. Lets say we were arguing against the abuses of Enron. (or for that matter against the invasion of Iraq using just war theory) Simply arguing against theft is not a ?religious? argument. Now obviously Biblical reference and religious tradition tell us Thou Shalt Not Steal. Do we rid our law of all criminal sanctions against stealing?
    The proper dividing line (if one can impose one) our arguments based on scriptural revelation. Any argument based in reason or history is naturally going to echo those traditions that are also espoused in religion.

  20. #20 by Kevin Beck on April 13, 2007 - 10:05 am

    Fitz, you just shat all over your keyboard. That’s the worst analogy I’ve seen in some time.
    Stealing is intrinsically destructive and therefore wrong, along with other actions such as murder. You won’t find a lot of stable societies — secular or religious — in which this is not accepted at face value. The fact that the various writers of the Bible picked up on this is noncontributory. Primitive as they were when it came to astronomy, they also seemed to know that the sun didn’t shine at night and that the moon was distinct from stars.
    However, what the Bible says about homosexuality is not any sort of universal truth — not in the animal kingdom, not in humanity’s corner of same. The inherent “evil” of stealing informed the Bible authors; the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality “informs” the opinions regarding homosexuality of people who today adhere to scripture. The respective causes and effects here are completely transposed.
    I can give you all sorts of reasons for why stealing is harmful to society without mentioning the Bible once. Can you provide any reasons exclusive of “scriptural revelation” for why gay civil unions are similarly harmful?
    This is what I continue to ask for from you poo-flingers, and it’s what you continue to fail to provide. If you continue to offer no reasons other than “scripture says,” you have in fact made a religious argument — and solely a religious argument — against gay civil unions. And religious arguments, by definition, are bullshit.
    Christ in a crabcake, how many more bloggers representing Opine-Editorials are going to come scrambling out of the shadows before someone actually explains how gay civil unions are roundly ruinous to us all?

  21. #21 by Op Ed. on April 13, 2007 - 5:53 pm

    Beck: That’s the worst analogy I’ve seen in some time.
    If an analogy is what Fitz was going for, then you’re right, he did a very poor job of it since he never likened anything to anything else, an essential element of an analogy. (You may want to look that word up.)
    What Fitz presented was a counter example, i.e., a case which disproves another argument. Your argument that a religious interest in something, i.e., marriage means the state should have no interest easily falls to Fitz’s counter example. After describing Fitz’s argument with an explative (which seems to be obligatory in your commentary as if you fear your content, alone, isn’t sufficiently discrediting) you then go on to agree with him completely.
    And religious arguments, by definition, are b***s***.
    Speaking of self discrediting…
    …someone actually explains how gay civil unions are roundly ruinous to us all?
    Sorry, I have a habit of only skimming invective laden lunatic rants. I must have missed where you asked this question the first time. In the future, if you have a meaningful question, you’d do well not to camouflage it with your hate filled emotive garbage.
    I don’t think recording homosexual romances as a prelude to advancing some societal interest in those romances is going to harm anybody except, potentially, those who submit to that procedure. I’d be interested in hearing exactly what interest you think society has specifically in the homosexually intimate relationship, but given your level of commentary so far, it would be foolish of me to believe you had any kind of insight there.
    The harm that Opine, and indeed Renee, points out is not in registering homosexually intimate relationships, but in replacing marriage with such a registry. Marriage serves a vital societal interest and, as your emotional ranting points out, a homosexual registry does not serve that same purpose. There are two ways people have attempted to replace marriage: outright replacement as in Massachusetts, or by simply saying marriage is the same thing as the registry, which is what the term “civil union” has come to mean. Opine opposes specifically that replacement.

  22. #22 by Kevin Beck on April 13, 2007 - 8:33 pm

    Wow, Op Ed, links to your own tripe? That’s as convincing as citing the Bible!
    “Your argument that a religious interest in something, i.e., marriage means the state should have no interest easily falls to Fitz’s counter example.”
    More nonsense. We don’t predicate civil laws on religious dogma in this country, and I reiterate the point I made and you quoted, without the asterisks — religious arguments by definition are bullshit, because they don’t apply to people with no use for the religion in question. I don’t give a happy hump what the Bible says I should do with my pecker; the courts don’t give a shit what the Bible or the Koran or “Dianetics” say about queerdom or anything else. “Fitz” didn’t contribute piss-all because the state would recognize theft as wrong whether it was in the Bible or not.
    Please read this asmany times as you need to in order to understand it: Just because the state does not derive laws from the Bible does not imply that if a law happens to appear in scripture, the state will not implement a similar law. By way of analogy, I wouldn’t take your or Fitz’ advice on a whole lot of things, but just because the two of you in all likelihood wipe your asses from time to time after you shit doesn’t mean I’m going to stop wiping my own.
    “I don’t think recording homosexual romances as a prelude to advancing some societal interest in those romances is going to harm anybody except, potentially, those who submit to that procedure.”
    Then mind your own business. Why is it up to you to keep gays from “harming” each other when they don’t in fact incur any harm? (Doesn’t it feel good, though, to admit that homos just cause you intrinsic discomfort and that you want ’em kept out of your sight?)
    “I’d be interested in hearing exactly what interest you think society has specifically in the homosexually intimate relationship, but given your level of commentary so far, it would be foolish of me to believe you had any kind of insight there.”
    Society at large doesn’t need to have an “interest” in homosexuality in order to accept it. After all, society on the whole has nothing to gain from the ideas expressed by squint-eyed, slack-jawed morons, yet no one is trying to use the government to shut down your blog.
    “Sorry, I have a habit of only skimming invective laden lunatic rants. I must have missed where you asked this question the first time. In the future, if you have a meaningful question, you’d do well not to camouflage it with your hate filled emotive garbage.”
    Right, anyone who cusses a little is unleashing a “lunatic rant.” I think you’ve skimmed your way through life itself. And yes, you did miss it — check the final paragraph. As for my “hate filled (irony meter goes BOOM!) emotive garbage,” feel free to go suckle a giant, veiny phallus. I didn’t invite you here. And my “explatives” [sic] don’t substitute for content, they enrich it. Greatly.
    “The harm that Opine, and indeed Renee, points out is not in registering homosexually intimate relationships, but in replacing marriage with such a registry.”
    What the hell are you yapping about? Does one hetero marriage dissolve at random for every civil union a state approves? I didn’t realize it was a zero-sum game.
    “Marriage serves a vital societal interest and, as your emotional ranting points out, a homosexual registry does not serve that same purpose.”
    Nor does such a “registry” detract from your or anyone’s concept of marital purpose. Jesus, you are some busybody!
    “There are two ways people have attempted to replace marriage: outright replacement as in Massachusetts, or by simply saying marriage is the same thing as the registry, which is what the term ‘civil union’ has come to mean. Opine opposes specifically that replacement.”
    “Boy!” he exclaimed. “You assholes sure do like referring to yourselves in the third person!”
    So you don’t like the idea of gay civil unions per se, and you believe this emotive garbage is a valid reason for the state to not recognize them. Thanks for the update on that. We’ve come a long way.
    The upshot is this: I asked you how society could be hurt by gay unions. Your response wasnot to give any reasons, but instead to ask me how they could help society. This evasion speaks volumes, and marks you as nothing more than a perseverating, moderately baroque bigot.

  23. #23 by llewelly on April 14, 2007 - 7:27 am

    I’d be interested in hearing exactly what interest you think society has specifically in the homosexually intimate relationship, but given your level of commentary so far, it would be foolish of me to believe you had any kind of insight there.

    Marriage is a normal and expected part of life. Preventing homosexuals from marriage is a kind of ostracization; it harms people.

  24. #24 by Op Ed. on April 14, 2007 - 11:17 am

    Beck: More nonsense.
    So far everything you have said is pure nonsense. No need to prepend it with warnings such as this.
    blah..blah…religious dogma…blah…religious … blah… explitive…blah… religion…blah… explitive … blah …blah …Bible …explitive … explitive… Bible …Koran… “Dianetics”… blah… blah.
    There goes Capt. Ahab again. You’re simply too consumed by hate to think rationally.
    …the state would recognize theft as wrong whether it was in the Bible or not.
    Which is exactly what Fitz said. Too bad your reading comprehension is zero. The state, incidentally, would recognize marriage whether it was in the Bible or not. Countries that push atheism as a state religion, for example Cuba, Communist China, and the former Soviet Union all recognize marriage. In fact, marriage predates any publishing of the Bible by at least millenia. Your anti-biblical rant is just your quest for the Great White Whale. It is completely superflous to any discussion of marriage as Fitz aptly demonstrated in what you erroneously called an “analogy.”
    Why is it up to you to keep gays from “harming” each other…
    It is not, nor do I ever say it is. You simply haven’t the reading or thinking skills to maintain a conversation.
    …anyone who cusses a little is unleashing a “lunatic rant.”
    No, yours would be a “lunatic rant” on its merits. The cussing simply identifies you as not having the mental capacity to form your thoughts, let alone express them. Cussing is much like posting a warning sign like “more nonsense” to identify what is coming.
    And yes, you did miss it — check the final paragraph.
    Just skimmed it again. Not so much as a questionmark there.
    And my “explatives” [sic] don’t substitute for content, they enrich it. Greatly.
    That, as you say, speaks volumes about your mental state. Tell me, if explitives are so “enriching,” how many did you include in the book you edited and promote on your site?
    What the h*** are you yapping about?
    That pretty much sums up your problem. Try working on reading comprehension.
    Nor does such a “registry” detract from your or anyone’s concept of marital purpose.
    No, but replacing marriage with it does.
    You …sure do like referring to yourselves in the third person!
    Another demonstration of how poor your reading comprehension is. “Opine” does not refer to myself, but rather to a blog with many contributors. You had acknowledged such in the past but apparently your memory retention is on par with your reasoning abilities and your reading comprehension.
    So you don’t like the idea of gay civil unions per se…
    I don’t? Where do I say that, reading comprehension boy? What I don’t like is the idea of government running around doing things for no purpose. You have clearly demonstrated that you have no purpose in mind, but that doesn’t mean one exists. That you have no clue is proof only that you are advocating empty mindedly, but as I said before I knew that already.
    you believe this emotive garbage is a valid reason for the state to not recognize them.
    No, as I said, reading comprehension boy. That you can only spew invectlive laden emotive garbage is simply evidence that you are clueless and base your life around your own bigotry. I have been giving reasons not to replace marriage for many years before I encountered your nonsense. (Which, as it turns out, is fairly run of the mill nonsense. I find it funny that you can’t even be originally vacuous.) I do not advocate against a homosexual registry, I only ask why we should have one.
    I asked you how society could be hurt by gay unions. Your response wasnot to give any reasons, but instead to ask me how they could help society. This evasion speaks volumes…
    Evasion, reading comprehension boy? Here is what I said.

    I don’t think recording homosexual romances as a prelude to advancing some societal interest in those romances is going to harm anybody except, potentially, those who submit to that procedure.

    Exactly what is evasive about that answer, reading comprehension boy? The only “volumes” that statement speaks are the “volumes” explicitely stated. If there is a purpose in the state registering homosexually intimate unions then register them. Just tell me what that reason is.
    Or by “evasion” are you referring to what you were about to write, which was to evade the question of purpose entirely. You neither admit there is no purpose nor advance any purpose. In response to a question about purpose, that is what qualifies as an evasion, reading comprehension boy.
    lewelly: Marriage is a normal and expected part of life. Preventing homosexuals from marriage is a kind of ostracization; it harms people.
    And that is why “homosexuals” are not prevented from marriage and should not be. Or are you saying that it is a normal part of all relationships to register themselves with the government as “marriage” and therefore no relationship should be denied that “right” because it harms those relationships or, by extenstion, the people in them?

  25. #25 by Kevin Beck on April 14, 2007 - 12:58 pm

    “So far everything you have said is pure nonsense. You’re simply too consumed by hate to think rationally. Too bad your reading comprehension is zero. You simply haven’t the reading or thinking skills to maintain a conversation. The cussing simply identifies you as not having the mental capacity to form your thoughts, let alone express them. Try working on reading comprehension. Another demonstration of how poor your reading comprehension is. That you have no clue is proof only that you are advocating empty mindedly. That you can only spew invectlive laden emotive garbage is simply evidence that you are clueless and base your life around your own bigotry … you can’t even be originally vacuous … your memory retention is on par with your reasoning abilities and your reading comprehension.”
    This is great. You poor, poor wounded soul! Is noting that religion is a bunch of bullshit, a salve for the deluded and the weak-minded, really enough to catapult you into Snitsvile, never to be seen writing rationally again? I imagine you’ve seen others make a note of this. If you were one of those unfortunates who was indoctrinated with the faith-byrus at a tender age, my condolences, as this tend to fuck people’s minds up irrevocably.
    I wonder, as a profane aside, are you so poorly socialized that if I use throwaway phrases that mean no more to me than a knock-knock joke like “Jesus sucks leprous camel cock,” all you can imagine is someone seething with hatred while your pea-brain desperately rushes to replace pertinent letters with asterisks in order to shield itself from the baaaaad people? I think it’s clear which of us is more emotionally invested in this, Opster.
    Oh, but this is the best part (I’ve removed your air quotes):
    “homosexuals” are not prevented from marriage and should not be.”
    So after all of that ichor, we actually agree. You may now quit crying.
    “…explitives”
    How many different ways can you misspell this, I wonder? You haven’t gone for explutives, explutives or explytives yet.
    “No, but replacing marriage with [gay civil unions] does [detract from the concept of marital purpose].”
    Natrually, you cannot substantiate the idea that marriage is under threat of being, or even could be, “replaced” by gay civil unions. To your dubious credit, you don’t even try.
    When women were admitted to Ivy League colleges for the first time, did this “replace” the freedom of males to enroll at these institutions?
    “I do not advocate against a homosexual registry, I only ask why we should have one. If there is a purpose in the state registering homosexually intimate unions then register them. Just tell me what that reason is.”
    llewelly answered this question. If you’re not satisfied wth the answer, and believe that only traditional hetero marriages merit sanctioning by the government, you’re entitled to this bigotry. Few of us have ever claimed we canmake idiots smart. Ed Brayton may have banned you, but I merely find the lot of you entertaining in a pitiable, dogged sort of way, though my need to respond is dwindling in the face of both other obligations and the inability of you and your comrades to do anything besides repeat yourself and focus on verbiage rather than take the radical step of supplying a meaningful argument.
    I suspect, given your affront at criticism of religion in conjunction with your open distaste of gay relations (evidenced by your use of meaningless quotes around “homosexual”), that you are simply one more person who thinks that queerdom is fundamentally evil, and you spend your time now in a failed attempt to dress this up using pretty words, hollow euphemism, and ad hominem bullshit. I hope this is rewarding for you.

  26. #26 by Op Ed. on April 14, 2007 - 3:35 pm

    Beck: expletive… expletive… nonsense… stupidity… rant… rant… invective… hate… tirade… nonsense… etc.
    If Kevin said anything of substance, feel free to point it out and I’ll be happy to respond.

  27. #27 by Op Ed. on April 14, 2007 - 3:35 pm

    Beck: expletive… expletive… nonsense… stupidity… rant… rant… invective… hate… tirade… nonsense… etc.
    If Kevin said anything of substance, feel free to point it out and I’ll be happy to respond.

  28. #28 by meatbrain on April 14, 2007 - 9:16 pm

    You’re running away from any meaningful discussion of the issue, OpEd, and it’s pathetically obvious that that is what you are doing.
    Stay gutless.

  29. #29 by JimFiore on April 15, 2007 - 7:51 am

    And that is why “homosexuals” are not prevented from marriage and should not be. – Op Ed.

    You appear to be stating categorically that you support marriage between homosexuals (and consequently, the granting of rights associated with it). That’s very progressive of you.
    Hmmmm. Of course, the quotes might lead one to assume that you are referring to some manner of fake or pseudo homosexual. Yes, yes, what’s that link say? Hmmm, I see now. In your narrow little mind all homosexuals are somehow deluded and they can marry all they want, just so long as they marry someone of the opposite sex. So you don’t oppose homosexuals getting married; you oppose people getting married to other people of the same sex (I guess a gay man and a lesbian getting married would be fine by your definition).
    I’ve seen obfuscating idiocy before, but you seem to have a natural talent for it.
    I remain interested in how allowing two people of the same sex to get married in any way harms heterosexual marriages or the state, or how the absence of it does not create an inequality of rights among pairings of adults.

  30. #30 by Op Ed. on April 15, 2007 - 4:44 pm

    meatbrain: You’re running away from any meaningful discussion…
    I see nothing meaningful that Kevin said. I gave you the opportunity to point out anything meaningful in his tirade, and you failed to come up with anything either.
    Jim: Of course, the quotes might lead one to assume
    No need to assume. The quotes mean I am quoting someone else.
    …all homosexuals are somehow deluded and they can marry all they want, just so long as they marry someone of the opposite sex.
    I don’t believe “homosexuals are somehow deluded.” I believe the man-woman requirement to marry is well understood whether or not one agrees.
    The concept is simple. You’re free to be a police officer all you want, just meet the qualifications and perform the function. You’re free to be a ballerina all you want, just meet the qualifications and perform the function. You’re free to be a rockstar all you want. Just meet the qualifications and perform the function. You’re free to be a CEO all you want, just meet the qualifications and perform the function. You’re free to be President all you want. Just meet the qualifications and perform the function. I don’t care what identity you care to call yourself.
    If you’re not interested in being President, be something else, but don’t tell me to call you President even if you would like riding around in a big plane. If you’re not interested in being an astronaut, be something else, but don’t tell me to call you an astronaut even if you would like riding around in a rocket. If you’re not interested in being a rockstar, be something else, but don’t tell me to call you a rockstar even if you like being on stage. If you’re not interested in being a police officer, be something else, but don’t tell me to call you a police officer even if you like driving around with flashing lights. And don’t tell me you’re suddenly a “second class citizen” because you don’t get to redefine my words for me or dictate laws to the rest of us.
    I’ve seen obfuscating idiocy before…
    I’m not surprised. Like inventing new meanings for words?
    I remain interested in how allowing two people of the same sex to get married in any way harms heterosexual marriages or the state…
    I suspect “interested” is not what you really meant, but neutering marriage hurts society and individuals by replacing marriage with something else. The state has an interest in procreation. You would replace marriage with some instituion that is nothing but a random Hallmark basket of “benefits” for adults and serves no purpose. That would leave a vital societal interest unattended. You can read up on it here.
    …how the absence of it does not create an inequality of rights…
    The question of “rights” was already decided by the U.S. Supreme court in 1972. The same court that discovered a fundamental right to abortion in the constitution still found no “inequality of rights” in reserving marriage to be a man-woman relationship. Try this thought experiment: if simply not calling a same-sex relationship a marriage were “an inequality of rights,” why wouldn’t it also be “an inequality of rights” not to call any other relationship a “marriage?”

  31. #31 by JimFiore on April 15, 2007 - 6:36 pm

    Op Ed: Look up “obfuscating”. If I said “Homosexuals should not be prevented from marriage” when discussing rulings such as the one in question, I would be willing to wager that the vast majority of people who heard that would assume that I was in favor of this legislation, and rightly so. In this situation it would not be rational to assume that I was referring to homosexuals joining in a non-homosexual union. After all, that is not the point of the legislation. Saying that a homosexual is “free to marry”, just not another person of the same sex, is downright silly in this context. Consequently, either you have purposely used that terminology to confuse the situation (obfuscation), you have an idiot’s delight for the pedantic, or you are a liar. Take your pick.
    Regarding your comment I believe the man-woman requirement to marry is well understood whether or not one agrees., perhaps it is well understood by you and those who hold your line of thinking, but it is in no way universal. This appears to be the troublesome part for you. As much as it may pain you, a great number of people do not subscribe to your religiously-inspired social constructs and beliefs, and do not feel that they should be inflicted upon others.
    And finally, … neutering marriage hurts society and individuals by replacing marriage with something else. The state has an interest in procreation. Don’t just reiterate the claim that it “hurts society”. Anybody can claim anything, but repeated bleatings in no way enhance veracity. I see no link and I have read no studies or similar items of an unbiased scientific nature that support your assertion. If you make a claim, back it up, and if you can’t then you’re no better than a child (or adult) who simply counters arguments with “Because I said so”. As far as the second part, it has already been established that there is no statute on the part of the government linking marriage with procreation. That is a dead issue. If you disagree then I suggest you push legislation requiring fertility tests and an oath to procreate before a marriage license can be issued. Good luck with that.

  32. #32 by Kevin Beck on April 15, 2007 - 11:13 pm

    Op-Ed, I realize you cannot stand my rhetorical style and my use of gratuitous profanity, especially as regards the ramshackle, doddering slagheap known as Christianity. However, no matter how eagerly you point out that I have employed invective, tirades, rants, or whatever, this is a red herring.
    All bullshit aside, I asked you and your co-twits to produce a fair rationale for not legalizing gay civil unions. You have not.
    You’ve turned the question around, asking “What GOOD will such arrangements do society?” You’ve mumbled about abortion, as if the merits of gay unions hinge on some external, unrelated issue. You have proved the quintessential question-dodger, declaring only that you don’t like the idea of gay marriage (which you are too stupid or too blind to distinguish from the topic of this post, gay civil unions.
    You seem to believe that marriage and its state-serving (in your trite view) function, procreation, are threatened by gay civil unions. This also exposes your lumbering idiocy. Tell me, how many of these fuckin’ queers aiming to tie the not would go on to procreate if denied this option? Remember, they’re “homosexuals.”
    One last thing. My calling Renee a “holy roller,” while not exactly complimentary, was hardly off base. She has three blogs: The debacle you contribute to and two godder-blogs, “Up on Christian Hill” and “Lowell League of Catholic Women.” You can roll your eyes around in circles and pretend that her anti-gay union views aren’t fueled by her adherence to ancient mythology, but in the end it doesn’t matter, because her opinion, and of course yours, remains shiningly unsupported by anything besides raw, basic distaste.

  33. #33 by sailor on April 17, 2007 - 5:31 pm

    Look at all this hot air!
    It was just like this in Vermont a few years ago. Practically civil war with the “take back Vermont” and “keep Vermond Civil” signs. You know, at the next election a few years years later IT WAS NOT EVEN AN ISSUE.
    Everyone had got used to to it. No one fealt threatened. People had become habituated to the idea.

%d bloggers like this: