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Obama Backs Same-Sex Marriage

President Obama declares support for same-sex marriage. We’ll look at the politics of gay marriage.

President Barack Obama is seen on television monitors in the White House briefing room in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. President Barack Obama told an ABC interviewer that he supports gay marriage. (AP)

President Barack Obama is seen on television monitors in the White House briefing room in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. President Barack Obama told an ABC interviewer that he supports gay marriage. (AP)

Joe Biden blew the doors open on Sunday, saying he was fine with same sex marriage. Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s education secretary, was suddenly right there too, on the record. And then yesterday, for the first time in history, the President of the United States endorsed gay marriage.

President Obama, saying “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” Gay marriage supporters – now half the country, we’re told – were ready to carve that on a monument. Opponents, Mitt Romney, ready to fight.

This hour, On Point: History made. What now for gay marriage and the president who’s endorsed it?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent at the Washington Post.

Richard Kim, executive director TheNation.com. He’s written on the issue of gay marriage here.

Jeffrey Bell, director of policy of the American Principles Project, is author of The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism. He has written about the issue of gay marriage here.

Rick Thames, editor of the Charlotte Observer.

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News “In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters.”

CBS News “Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday said he unequivocally opposes “marriage between people of the same gender,” drawing a contrast to President Obama’s “evolving” position on the issue.”

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  • Roy Mac

    In the end, it comes down to organized religion insinuating itself into governance–where it doesn’t belong, and don’t even start with that ‘founding fathers’ nonsense.  Any superstituition can stake out any ground it wants, and do any weird stuff–like raping children and enslaving females, for example–it wants.  Where it crosses the line is when it insists that I sanction and subsidize their goofy beliefs without affording me the same forbearance.

    • Gregg

      Atheist get married too.

      • Brett

        Generally, not in a church they don’t! 

        Roy can speak for himself, but what I take away from his comment is that gays have to support, through subsidizing religion, the ways of the church, but their lifestyles (as well as who they are fundamentally, in terms of their sexuality) are fundamentally rejected by the church. 

        Maybe this comment of yours could be further indication that you are more interested in reframing, characterizing, obfuscating, etc., the debate than honestly participating? Your intermittent politeness can’t really cover up your other aforementioned tactics. 

        • gay christ

           why should I care what the f the church thinks!?  You are not important.  You have no right in politics or democracy.  separation of church and state big guy!

          I dont want your church–if i were getting married the last godforsaken place would be a church!  and i dont need no child-rapist approving my marriage.
           

          • Brett

            Are you on drugs? Did you even read  Roy’s comment or my reply to Gregg? If you did, you certainly didn’t understand them.

          • hail mother

             Yes I certainly did.  My response was to Christians in general and moreover republicans.  Or those that oppose gay marriage or espouse that one needs to get married. 

            Are you so perfect and right in all your opinions and everything you say that anyone outside your small realm of insulated thought–must be on drugs? 

            yes, I’m on drugs.  mm, good. 

            it’s a cliche by the way–’are you on drugs?”  Americans have such limited imagination.  Always always looking to shut down opposing opinions.  if one really studies and observes American thought and culture–one would see that Americans hate and abhor democracy.  They always find ways to humiliate, shut down, insult, and bully opposition. 

            Instead of lashing out, maybe you should say–what do you mean?  That would be the civilized thing to do.

            excuse me, I gotta go light a doobie–it’s Labrador laced with crack cocaine and middle-class barbiturates and Prozac.  With it, I can see God–she tells me, she never wrote the bIble.  She says–that was Satan.

          • Brett

            The part of my reply that you missed is that you didn’t understand it my comment. I was trying to offer a valid reason: your being on drugs. Maybe you’re just stupid?

          • Gregg

            Much like abortion, marriage is not necessarily about religion. That’s all.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I think you replied to the wrong comment.

      • gay christ

        shame!1  shame!! ban atheist marriage!  How dare such heathen infidels even have children.  shame shame!

        • Brett

          Ah, you’re Jason_A aren’t you? You’re at least as angry and irrational

          • Fury

             Um, no i’m not Jason–why do you care who I am–I’m Gay Christ, I’m Hail Lord Mother, Im BOO! And many many more–hahaha!  What the f–do care who I am?  Are you Brett?  Is that your real name–oh, you knwo what–I dont care!  Focus on the content of comments–not identity.  And rathe than tell people what you think they are or how they should think, just politely share your comment.  Am I angry–YES–aren’t you–YOU should be–if you’r enot–you’re not paying attention.  But isn’t that always the way with the Republicons–insult, disparage–key phrases to shut down intelligent conversations–god says…in the Bible… are you angry…are you on drugs….support your troops…

          • hail mother

             oh..and you’re a conspiracy theorist…

            actually…no

          • Brett

            You are an irrational, misguided fool; by any other name, you’re still an irrational, misguided fool. BTW, yes, my name is Brett, and if you read me correctly, which you seem to have problems with receptive language, you’d know I am a liberal. One thing you said is true, neither I nor anyone else cares about you are your comments. 

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          You’re neither very gay or at all christ-like. Perhaps you should pick another handle.

          • hail mother

             I am not trying to be Christ like.  Christ  did not exist.  No proof.  no mention of him by any scholar or man or woman ever–except in the Bible.

            Do I have to be gay?

            Does it matter who I am?

            You people spend more time worrying about who is saying what and what ideology they cling to and what background they came from then you do what really matters. 

            How should I be?  Homophobic?  War-mongering?  Pious?  At what point do we stop being polite and respectful to Hitler, or his blind disciples? Point being–its time to call out these republican conservatives for what they are–hypocritical loudmouth terrorists!  fight fire with fire.  irony–reblithugs always want bigger bigger government, getting involved in my personal choices–abortion, sexuality, marriage, prohibition–alcohol, drugs–sex, sexual positions, gambling, race, suffrage.

            And you can’t know who I am or what I believe in by a few posts here.  The beauty of the human soul is that it has a myriad of shapes, and blogging is like Halloween–i wear masks and become something you want to destroy.

            You want everyone to be unmasked–use your real name–as if that matters–but is that really democratic or ideal–i mean, nobody makes you reveal how you voted come election time–its confidential for a reason.  yes, it is the same thing.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            gay christ, hail mother, or slimy amoeba with no spine.

            “Does it matter who I am?”

            Not if you’re here just to spew your bile and then run and hide behind yet another “handle”. Nor does it matter what you say, because no one is going to give a shit.

            Anyone who resorts to “You people” reveals themselves to be a bigoted ignoramus, the slime of the earth. You have already unmasked yourself. You cannot hide. You are nothing.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Yes atheists get married, too. And they don’t need a church to sanction it, since marriage is a legal contract in civil society and the 14th amendment guarantees equal treatment under the law for all natural people, while the 1st amendment puts up a firewall between church and state.

      • bellavida

        Not in a church, I would guess that the majority would be married in a courthouse by a justice of the peace.   I am having a hard time picturing an atheist sitting through pre-marriage counseling in a Catholic church with a priest. 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “insinuating itself” – that sounds vaguely sexual.

      • Roy Mac

        Everything else I considered wasn’t at all vague.

  • Gregg

    I voted against the amendment yesterday but it is noteworthy that so far the people of 32 States have spoken.

    Regarding President Obama, does anybody believe or care what he says anymore?

    • Sean

      48% of Americans approve of President Obama and “believe or care what he says…”

      20% of Americans approve of Republicans in Congress.

      34% of Americans approve of Democrats in Congress.

      Who doesn’t America care about anymore???!!!

      It’s certainly not Republican trolls in comment sections!

      • Sean

        Fortunately, Google makes it extremely simple for anyone to examine these ratings on sites which aggregate all significant individual polls.

    • jefe68

      Besides you, yes.

    • Brett

      The other day, Gregg, you wrote to Ray in VT: 

      “I voted against the amendment today but not because I support same sex marriage, I don’t. It also closed the door on civil unions which I support.”-Gregg

      So, how you voted the other day is less significant than your views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. There are no “props” for voting against the NC amendment in your case, because it would have been a good bet that the thing was going to pass in NC anyway. 

      You also make it a point of mentioning that “people in 32 states have spoken” on the matter in some of the comments you’ve made on this topic in recent On Point forums. Here, you add the words “so far” and that it is “noteworthy” (although, you might have also used “so far” and “noteworthy”  in earlier posts, I can’t say for sure).   

      The “32 states” part is a fact; the “so far” and “noteworthy” parts are based in your opinions. Your views on homosexuality, and anyone who shares your views about this issue, are on the wrong side of this debate; you and others who share your views are also on the wrong side of history. It is also noteworthy that in the south, ALL of the states “have spoken,” as it were, and that collective voice is NOT in favor of gay marriage. 

      • Gregg

        I don’t recall ever commenting on the states that have banned gay marriage. It was news to me this morning there were 32. You must be thinking of someone else, either that or I’m nuts.

        What do you think you know about my views on homosexuality?

        • Brett

          “What do you think you know about my views on homosexuality?” 

          That’s just it, Gregg, you seem to be avoiding my series of questions to you in a couple of my comments, one from yesterday’s forum on political rhetoric, and the other (which asks the same questions) farther up in today’s forum. You could clear up any misunderstanding or misconceptions by answering those questions. Why don’t you?

          I’ll have to look for your comments from days ago about states that have banned same-sex marriage…anyway, I do think the one of yours above is sort of telling in its use of “so far” and “noteworthy.” For someone so principled and honest, you seem evasive to say what you really think. Just tell us rather than playing games. Go up to my comment to you farther up the thread and answer those questions in a straight forward manner, if you have the guts.

  • NewtonWhale

    History will not be kind to those like Romney and Jeffrey Bell who stand in the way of civil rights.

    Want to experience the reaction of future Americans to their position?

    Read this opinion by the trial judge who convicted Mildred and Richard Loving of violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act in 1959:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
     
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0388_0001_ZO.html

    • Sean

      Excellent!

    • Zero

      Great quotation.  I find it fascinating that right wing Christianity is about deviance, control, and vengeance.  I guess that false feeling of power over people’s sexuality and women’s bodies is enough for them to ignore the fact they vote against their economic interests.     

    • gay christ

       to bad god didn’t create the races–evolution did,  they are on separate continents because they evolved separately–from the same origins–migration–look at the earth you Christians–you can see the migration of peoples in skin color and regions–the map of our genetic code, our evolution is in races, the regions, the languages…

      if there is a god–he must be displeased with right-wing Christians the most–it is ye, spoken of in revelations.  You do not live by Christ’s words.  Doesn’t the book of revelations claim you kind of people will burn in hell for eternity–for your false representation of all that is good–ye poor poor shameful right wing Christians.

       gay Christ has spoken 

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        You’re neither gay nor christ-like. 

        • hail mother

           how do you know i am not gay–come on–is there a way to be when you are gay.  Do you have that memo?

  • NewtonWhale

    Yesterday, Richard Mourdock defeated Richard Lugar for Indiana’s GOP senate nomination. He seems like a true believer in Jeffrey Bell’s ‘Case for Polarized Politics’:

    CHUCK TODD: You have said that there needs to be more partisanship in Washington. How do you square that with being a legislator?

    RICHARD MOURDOCK: Well, what I’ve said is that I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. [...] Bipartisanship means they have to come our way [...] To me, the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else with a microphone or in front of a camera.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_Z_CykUml9s

    • jefe68

      This man’s ideology is scary. I hope he loses and the extremist get thrown out in November. However I’m not sure this will happen. Our nation is in deep trouble.
      The editor of the Virginia GOP’s news letter openly called for armed revolt if President Obama is reelected
      The GOP have gone off the rails.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        A right-wing armed revolt would be just what we need. Then the police-state forces can shift their attention from Occupy, round up all the wingnuts and use those concentration camps DHS has spent so much money on.

        • aj

          Occupy can hold its own. Let the boys in blue sit this one out.

        • hail mother

           Sounds good but far-fetched–the gov would sooner embrace the revolt and deputize them–then turn their hounds on Occupy.  brown shirts.  SS.  Fingermen.

          • aj

            Good shit ma’. Pardon my French

      • aj

        Who’s ready for war? I got machete’s and swords for any cracker, who said he was raw.

  • Zero

    If you don’t believe two consenting adults should have the same rights as two other consenting adults, you don’t believe in equality.  It’s immoral to deny rights for some and grant them to others.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Leave morality out of it – that’s the religious realm. It’s unconstitutional to deny equal legal protections. That should be sufficient.

      • J__o__h__n

        Morality shouldn’t be abandoned to the religious realm.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Morality IS the religious realm, and is as arbitrary as any dogma.

          Ethics are standards of behavior based on reason and philosophy, and are less arbitrary.

          But legal rights are what is at issue here, as defined by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

          • aj

            Tomato, Tamato.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            eggplant

          • aj

            LOL! LOL!! 

          • hail mother

             its all rhetoric–diction, figures of speech.  but yes I agree Robert of the River.

          • Zero

            Oh, a Nietzscheanite.  Then let me clarify about what is above.  And I disagree in degree.

            Ethics are arbitrary standards constructed at the whims of a herd.  This is the realm of religion, where metaphysical laws are written for all time across an ever-changing physical world.  They falsely lock down a moral code but it’s really ethics.

            Morality transcends the many different herds because it is determined according to human’s most primal and essential nature.  Morality takes into account cultural differences and situational differences, and judges the proper human action given that time and place.  Morality looks at what doesn’t change about our humanity: our blood, our breath, are we not warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter; i.e., things we share. The things not all humans share should not be taken into account.  And here is why science is more crucial to morality than religion: science shows us our natures and our possible actions.  We are no longer inherently evil, but are products of our environment and prisoners of situations–we have limited will of choice within each moment. 

            Christians call this moral relativism, but it is our ability to cognitively empathize with other human beings regardless of race, name, religion, sex, gender, class, nation, and appearance that allows us to make moral judgements within a changing world.  That is the principle that has worked throughout history.  The golden rule per se.  One cannot take into account a god and an afterlife because if one believes in an afterlife, no matter what, it will influence moral judgment (often cheapening the physical life that (as far as we know) is the only one we have). 

            I’ve lost my train of thought.  Sorry it’s late.    

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You lost your train of thought before you began.

            Try taking a taxi.

      • hail mother

         if morality is a bad word, then can we ask, is it ‘ethical’?  The constitution is not everything.  it is not to be worshiped.  The constitution need s amending from time to time–like now–Earth first.  earth has rights.  health care for all.  health is an American right, a human right–you cant wave a flag and call yourself the home team when you dont care what happens to the team members.

        Morality–by thh way–is not the property of the religious.  morals came before religion.  religion corrupted morals. Sin became political correctness for anything natural and human.  I noticed the god thumping right never cries sin when it comes to war–killing–mass killing, or lynching–they found a reason to put that in the bible too and make it right by god–as they did with slavery.  There comes a time when their ‘morality’ and their bible is better off dead–you blathering god-thumpers talk to much–and kill too much–how very un-christ like.

      • Zero

        The foundation of morality is empathy.  It’s realm has no boundaries.

        But you’re right about the rest.   

  • Yar

    Why would anyone want to force a gay person into a straight marriage?  
    Isn’t that what happens when society condemns same sex relationships?
    It is wrong for both partners.  Love is intended as the basis of marriage.  If it is from God then let no man put it asunder.  We have a divide an conquer politics, and they are leading us toward revolution.  Don’t fear people who love, fear people who hate. A church that hates is not a church of God. 
    Sodom and Gomorrah are often quoted by people making a points on morality, it wasn’t sex that condemned the cities, it was exploitation.  Yes, America is becoming like those notorious cities,  not because of loving same sex relationships, but because of not paying a living wage or providing access to health care for all citizens.  Calling yourself the right doesn’t prevent you from being wrong.  Jesus said, when you do to the least of these, you do for me.  If you want to talk about morality, look in your heart and read the words Jesus wrote in the sand.  You will walk away and not cast a stone.

    • gay christ

       I am not religious but i do respect the words such as this that come form the Bible–from those who’s words were stolen to manufacture the bible–and well said.  How true.  i say this myself, often–to warped Christians.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT POINTS!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Love is intended as the basis of marriage.” 

      Whoa there Yar, that sounds just as dogmatic (and wrong) as any bible-thumping insistence on reproduction as the “intended” basis for marriage.

      For most of human history, marriage was either for political or family alliance or for purely economic necessity. Love marriage is a very modern notion and one still not accepted in many cultures. And, I might add, it has been profoundly non-durable as a “glue”, given our 50% divorce rate.

      Love is fickle, while the more practical reasons are durable and functional.

      • hail mother

         of course but you are being slightly pedantic here–what are we talking about if we are not talking about marriage as we see it today?  If anything love and marriage is individual culture and a western cultural notion.  but even in India and China–most youth dream of love and marriage.  Even in China–gays can marry–not a problem and only share their love in the streets.  Why is America so backwards and authoritarian–so collective?

        • hail mother

           ..and openly share love in streets…

  • Lin

    About Obama backing same sex marriage–it’s about damn time. 

  • Ed

    We all knew President Obama supported same-sex marriage, let’s hope it costs him the election.

    Same-sex ‘marriage’ means that marriage is defined without any reference to children. It redefines all marriages in this sense.

    But it’s not the only sexual mistake around today. There is a return in the Church to natural family planning, and when you see these couples, you see why artificial contraception is a bad idea, and why same-sex ‘marriage’ isn’t real.

    • margbi

       If marriage is only for procreation, how much more time will it take to declare as invalid marriages between barren people, people beyond childbearing age or those who have stated they do not intend to have children? Talk about your slippery slopes!

    • Brett

      Assuming that “the Church,” meaning Catholicism (in regard to your religion), has the same stance as you, which is that the only purpose of marriage is procreation, what about the non-procreating couple? It doesn’t seem too much of a leap, then, to consider marriage that doesn’t involve procreation to be less “sacred” in the eyes of “the Church.” So what about heterosexual couples who can not procreate for whatever reason? What about heterosexual couples who do not wish to procreate? Wait, I didn’t mean to ask that last question, you would consider them non-Catholics or, at the very least, bad Catholics.

      • Ed

        This is not against homosexual persons at all. But it’s for a correct use of sexuality, which is being misused all over – abortion is the greatest crime that results. But as your questions point out, it requires study to understand the differences. I would suggest reading ‘Humanae Vitae’ (1968) to get a clear view of the Church’s view of human sexuality.

        • Brett

          Ed, thanks for your reply. I do, however, understand the view of “the Church.” In your reply, you didn’t answer any questions specifically about your views or the views of “the Church.” I appreciate being directed to reading ‘Humanae Vitae’ by Pope Paul VI on some level, although I am already familiar. I find it interesting that you eschew giving direct responses to your beliefs and the stance of “the Church.” Is your faith so weak? Is your belief in your religion so precariously perched that you fear it toppling by a few heathen challenges?   

        • J__o__h__n

          Of course it is against homosexual persons when you deny equality.  At least the Reverand Fred Phelps is honest about hating gays.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Catholics DEMAND MORE VICTIMS FOR CHILD-RAPING PRIESTS?

        • jefe68

          “correct use of sexuality”…
          This has to be one of the most oppressive and absurd statements I’ve heard in a while.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Ed should read the Kama Sutra sometime. 

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          “correct” is an entirely subjective or dogmatic term. Homosexuality occurs in nature, making it a natural part of creation.

          And, you may be disappointed to know, abortion is not a “crime” in the US, only a “sin” to some religious doctrines. And both abortion and infanticide have been practiced by humanity since long before the Church existed – it is also a natural part of the human experience. 

    • gay christ

       ur funny dude!  Completely warped.  but funny.

      God never existed.  Christ never existed.  The bible is
      a propaganda–an ancient lie.  Why would god despise something that is
      not the fault of the being–what i mean y that is–whether homosexuality
      is natural–as we se it in all species of the animal kingdom–or if its
      chemical imbalance or whatever–its not the fault of the being–one is
      who one is–with your misguided hateful unintelligent reasoning, then god
      should condemn all disabled people, all diseased people, all deformed
      people, all evil women–according to the bible–all skin colors you
      don’t see fit, all deaf people, all blind people, all republicans–as
      they are not perfect–in your eyes.  in HIs eyes–what kind of god is
      that?  And why would an all-powerful god–create homosexuals if he is
      perfect and they are so bad an unnatural–did not god create them–he
      created all nature did he not?  hmmm.  maybe gays were created by
      Satan–that wicked trickster!  Satan is a homosexual woman–butch to be
      sure.

      Sick.  You have a sickness.  half the US is sick and demented.  And
      they rule our policies across the world.  no wonder people hijack
      planes.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Child-RAPING Catholics have a BIGGER problem to resolve!   EVERYTHING else is a distraction!

    • Jesus was accepting…

      You are right,
      As the Bible clearly supports polygamy, sex-slaves (harems, etc.) and wife-swapping between brothers we are quite out of touch with “biblical sexual mores.”  I, as a life-long, devout and seminary-trained Christian, am quite okay with this.  The Bible IS an important document that passionately presents various peoples’ experience of God in their Lives.  But, it was not a stagnant document; later people updated older stories to make them relevant to their time.  Certainly the Jewish Midrashim are good examples of the variety interpretation allowed – even thousands of years ago.  Why should the text now be considered “set-in-stone.”  It never was intended to be a book of facts (assuredly, not ‘facts’ as understood in the modern age). 
      However, I am equally disappointed by the anti-religious vitriol being espoused around these topics.  The level of ignorance and bigotry of the same-sex denying ‘Christians’ is no less than the ignorance and bigotry of these spewers of anti-religious hate.  Whether you like it or not, Jesus was right: we need to stop the hate and treat all humans with love and respect – especially those with whom we disagree.
      Peace.
        

      • hail mother

         but you talk as if you are absolute authority.  Christ is a fabrication–or a huge conspiracy exists to blot him out of history.  There is no record of him.

        And, Christians have spilled more blood now and in the past then any other organization on earth–in Christs name, in the name of the bible.

        And they force their beliefs on others.  As you just did–by chastising us for not believing your truth.

        its time to make religious talk against the law on public airwaves–in art form only, movies.  It should be against the law for politicians to invoke religion in any way shape or manor.

        otherwise, you will continue to do what you have always done–hold democracy hostage. 

        I’m sorry–but i stand by my disgust of religion–and especially Christianity.  And you know what–thats none of your business.  faith should be wholly private–never discussed in politics or public functions.  You have given us much much much reason to condemn you.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      What a terribly narrow view of family possibilities. Given that 1) there are far too many people on the planet and we can’t afford continued births, and 2) that there are millions of children in need of loving adoptive parents, any family configuration can include the raising of children, and studies are showing that the children of same-sex couples are often more psychologically healthy than the norm.

    • bellavida

      Artificial contraception is a bad idea upon seeing couples in a church choosing natural family planning?  I’ll tell you what’s a truly bad idea, having more children than I know I can afford to raise, for instance.   

  • Still Here

    Wonder how this will affect voter turnout among religious blacks?  

    To me it smells like political desperation.

    • Lin

      So, political desperation is the POTUS coming out to say he believes that all people “are created equal” deserving of “liberty and justice for all”? Really? That’s desperation?

      • Still Here

        It’s all political.  Don’t be so naive.

        • Lin

          LOL! Naive? I didn’t say it wasn’t political. The point was “desperation.” Not a desperate act from my POV. More like sincere and courageous.

    • Brett

      The LGBT community would have already voted for Obama. It does serve to push away some conservative/swing voters not particularly thrilled with Romney; Obama may have lost whatever of those votes he might have garnered, by his declaration yesterday. Political desperation? Naw, I don’t think so.  

    • NewtonWhale

      You do realize that you have this exactly backwards, don’t you?

      “Many people in the black community have a problem with homosexuality.Sixty-two percent of African Americans opposed gay marriage in a Pew Forum poll in 2008 and 2009. The number had dropped to 59 percent in 2010, but resistance to the idea of legal marriage for gay couples was still much stronger in the black community than among whites, whose opposition dropped from 52 percent in 2008-09 to 46 percent in 2010.”
      http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/15486317/article-Gay-marriage-and-the-NAACP?instance=hs_editorials 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      As you note, it’s more likely to hurt Obama than to help him. There are always political implications in every statement in an election year, but this may be less calculated than you’re suggesting.

  • Greyman

    It may be worth pointing out: Rick Thames’s Charlotte
    Observer, while the largest circulation newspaper in the Carolinas, has been
    losing subscribers in significant numbers for years, a circumstance at least
    partly attributable to its being a property of absentee owner McClatchy, based
    in Sacramento, California. The present publisher, Ann Caulkins, was formerly
    associated with The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, another
    McClatchy property that has been losing readership steadily for years.
    (Interestingly, California-based McClatchy also owns the News and Observer in Raleigh and
    another handful of smaller papers in South Carolina.) Fairly unambiguously,
    McClatchy time and again has demonstrated its uncritical and unapologetic
    devotion to the Democratic Party, exactly in keeping with the findings of the
    Pew poll on the American people and the press back in 2004, which showed the
    disconnect between the views held by the community of professional journalists
    and the American public at large, a circumstance which of course can also be
    cited when considering the views of all our friends in the NPR/PRI/APM/CPB
    universe, their partners at the New York Times, et al.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ALL newspapers have LOST circulation, or nearly all!

  • Vicki

    The real threat to the institution of marriage is the rise of the concept of domestic partnerships. Thus, I’m relieved that Obama has endorsed gay marriage. Gays, as well as straights, need to stand up for legal, committed relationships under the title of marriage.

    • gay christ

       why?

      i dont care what a person’s sexuality is.  i don’t care if they get married.  No law should stand in the way of that.

      but what is so bad about a domestic partnership.  Why must we focus on and worship marriage.
      ,
      i dont feel the need to get married.  i have a loving relationship with a girl–6 years now.  But we dont feel th eneed to get married.  why i do in nned the state in my personal affairs–the stae should be involved in community affairs–health care, employment, jobs, markets, corporate regulation, high taxes, gun control, criminal justice, but not my sexuality, not my marriage status, not my right to abortion, not my right to embryonic research and science, not my skin color–racial profiling is too often instituted by the state, etc…

      why must i get married?  why must the institution of marriage be protected.  Why should i care about marriage.  To hell with marriage-it just means eventual divorce, heart ache, pain (in many cases) and more legal battles.  Why must I serve your fragile sensibilities–ooh, your not married–shame shame…when ar you getting married–don’t you want kids.  i don’t need to be married to have kids.  i shouldn’t have to want kids. 

      marriage rights and sexuality is a distraction for plebeians

      puppet candidates always avoid real important issues, focus on insanity like war and terror–the right always on one side, the left on the other.  Obama can safely come out and say he is for gay rights/marriage, but he cant come and say he’s not religious or hes against war.  he cant takes sides against big oil–because they run the show–but its ok for him to come out for gay rights because it doesn’t concern the war-mongering oil companies or the MIC–its a plebeian issue–these are probably the only issues that we have even an inkling of say about–plebeian issues–let the plebs eat cake–let them vote on trivial things, trivial domestic issues–it matter not–but anything that determines the future of America, the world, big issues, financial issues, war and peace–you have no right and no vote and Obama will keep his mouth and shut and play the silent middle, apologies and excuses as he lines the coffers of billionaires.

       So we argue plebeian issues while they undermine and destroy democracy, plunder and pillage and torture and brand you.  They whip the red right into a frenzy with hatred, xenophobia, homophobia, and god–meaningless crap–while the real issues are ignored.

      and so the right once again acts the hypocrite as it demands more big gov to tell you how to be human.

      • potter

        Apparently  the City of Cambridge does allow you to register a “domestic partnership”.  Compare that to what benefits you get from civil marriage.

        I don’t know where else you can do that or whether the societal benefits ( whether or not you care, OTHERS care) are the same as from a civil marriage.

        I agree with your larger point that these issues come out during election season and there are more pressing problems– this is part of the Republican “culture war” that Obama is playing. But I disagree that this issue is not important.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “i have a loving relationship with a girl”

        So you’re an admitted pedophile? 

        • hail mother

          excuse me?  What the hell are you talking about? Do I detect anger now in your tone?

          Why would you say this to me?  What does pedophilia have to with our topic or my words?  Why woud you insult me like that. I never insulted you.  We actually seem to agree on everything–except one thing–identity.  So why would you attack me with such accusations. 

          You are a small man.

          Girl doesn’t mean underage.  I am not a priest and not a catholic so I beg you pardon Mr riverboat.

          And this is why the left cant hold it together–too much against each other.  petty petty petty.

          To Potter:  thank you for your comment.  i understand and agree. 

          • aj

            Mr Riverboat..LOL! LOL!! Hey ma’ atleast he stands by his text with a name and face.

            Your analysis of the Left was tight, meaning sharp, meaning smart.

    • Brett

      What about issues like hospital visitations? Or honoring wills? Or being put on the same health insurance plans? Or visitation rights for children produced by domestic partners? To name a few issues at stake in domestic partnerships, civil unions, as well as same-sex marriages.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Why are domestic partnerships any more a threat to marriage than same-sex marriages are to heterosexual ones?

      Expanding the spectrum of relationship in no way diminishes the value of any part of that spectrum. You’re just as stuck on a narrow concept of marriage as is the Church.

      Besides, true, legal, even church-sanctioned marriages don’t last anymore. So what makes them so sacred?

  • potter

    There is “marriage” that the state legalizes and then there is  “marriage” that your organized religion, if you belong, either “sanctifies” or does not. A clergyman can refuse to marry you. You can or don’t have to abide by that. You can hire a Justice of the Peace and argue with your church.  

    In these United States, we are bound  legally to treat all citizens equally. This SHOULD mean that a person can marry whomever they choose and receive those rights that come from marrying.  The state calls that “marriage”, not “civil union”. 

    This should be so regardless of how others feel about it. This does not harm others and the state does not have to protect you from it.Question: At the state level we have laws that conflict with Federal law as in this case. I think 30 states have laws against same sex marriage. If states (such as California) are challenged by Federal law enforcement as to their medical marijuana laws, shouldn’t the laws against same sex marriage be challenged as well?

    • potter

      Can we discuss the “Defense of Marriage Act” of 1996 and how that comports with the concept of equal treatment, equal justice?

      Or is this program about the political ramifications of  what Obama said… which was courageous.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “a person can marry whomever they choose”

      Not quite. There are laws against marrying first cousins and minors (and dogs, even though they are far more loyal), which we all accept for legitimate societal reasons. There can be reasonable limitations within a generalized equality of access.

      • potter

        Correction: A person SHOULD BE ABLE TO marry whomever they choose-of course not minors and not dogs. We still protect children/minors. We do not need legal marriage to “marry” a dog- you can go ahead and do that without a civil servant to okay it. I am fine with that.  Let’s not be obtuse!!

    • hail mother

       i like your comment and understand the reasoning, but no–slippery slopes–with state power we can win back democracy–dominoes will fall–in issues like health care, abortion, embryonic research, marijuana, hemp, maybe war–whole states should resign from the war!  See what happens.

  • Jim978

    It’s an old and sad story.  “My country club is special because we don’t have Jewish members.  My community is special because we don’t have low income residents.  My school is special because it doesn’t have non-English speaking students.”

    Is denying legal and civil rights to same-sex couples what makes marriage special?  I hope not!  If couples’ love and commitment to one another isn’t enough to make marriage special, then the institution is clearly in trouble and denying access to those rights to others won’t fix the problem.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      TELLING POINT!!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      No, what makes marriage special is that God ordained it. Take Jesus, for example. Whoops, he never married and had children, and he hung out with 12 guys and one stoned prostitute? God damn, he was a sinner!

      • aj

        The stoned prostitute was a woman separate from that of Mary Magdalene.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          It depends on which gospel you read. I prefer Jesus Christ Superstar.

          • aj

            So… in retrospect, he was the messiah? No offense, hindsight is 20/20. It all worked out in the end, not really though.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            There are no messiahs, except in our wishful fantasies.

      • hail mother

         if such a thing happened, i doubt she was a prostitute.  She was his lover–but Catholics, couldn’t reconcile, god being so human–and wanted to preserve patriarchal domination of man and spirit.  The female goddess-the earth–suggests a woman at the center of the universe–and feminine qualities.  As was true before the rise of murderous monotheistic religions.

    • hail mother

       yes its high time we in the south forbid interracial marriage too, and while we’re at it dangnabbit–only whites can sanctify the institution of marriage.

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama’s flip flop just shows that it is part of politics to change one’s mind to get votes.

    In one statement, Obama has seriously injured himself politically.  The “flip-flop” attacks on Romney will ring hollow and all of the voters who voted against gay marriage will reconsider Romney, a very large political block.

    The question that needs to be answered, will churches, synagogues, and mosques be sued to perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples?

    Will Obama conspirators whisper about Mormon bigamy issues?  It will happen on this radio show, no doubt.

    • Brett

      “The question that needs to be answered, will churches, synagogues, and
      mosques be sued to perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples?”

      Probably not, at least not in states where it is not legal…but, then  anyone can sue for any reason. Actually, you don’t really have much of a point, there.

      While I hadn’t thought of it, your second point about Mormon bigamy issues is a better one. How would Romney defend some factions of his own church? 

      • donniethebrasco

         You are an idiot.

        Bigamy has been banned by the Church of Latter Day Saints since 1890.

        • Ray in VT

          There is the FLDS “faction of his own church”, however.  The LDS did discard “Celestial marriage” long ago, but there have been practitioners of polygamy within the Mormon community down to the present day.  Fundamentalist Mormons appear to still condone this practice, saying that abandoning it was a political move, and not one sanctioned by God.  I think that many of them also reject the idea that people of African descent can be LDS.  They may not be a part of the main LDS community, but they are still there as a sub group.

          • Lin

             Right. Isn’t that why a faction of Romney’s own family fled to Mexico? And are still there in polygamous marriages even today?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Shhhh….

            He doesn’t like to talk about that side of his family.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            However the LSD church is all-inclusive and accepts celestial anything.

          • aj

            Know your mushrooms!

        • Brett

          No one could accuse you of charm…Some factions of Mormonism still engage in such practices, but I was using humor in reply to your insipid and partisan comment, anyway; something which went right over your head, moron.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Warren Jeffs?  Bret said ‘some factions’, and THEY have made the news, in the past decade!

        • Ironman

           Um, idiot, watch Sister Wives lately?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          No, you are the idiot. Obama didn’t “flip-flop” on this since he had previously supported civil unions and still supports states’ rights to make the call.

          And legal recognition of same-sex marriages in no way mandates any church to do anything that doesn’t fit within their doctrines. That’s the beauty of the 1st amendment – it works both ways.

    • J__o__h__n

      They won’t be forced to.  Churches have the right to conduct marriages as they please as guaranteed by the first amendment. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Romney HASN’T Flip-Flopped?  Where you been?

  • Still Here

    This will end up being like jobs, energy independence, the economy … all talk, no walk, or even working against it.

  • gay christ

     ur funny dude!  Completely warped.  but funny.

    God never existed.  Christ never existed.  The bible is apropaganda–an ancient lie.  Why would god despise something that is not the fault of the being–what i mean y that is–whether homosexuality is natural–as we se it in all species of the animal kingdom–or if its chemical imbalance or whatever–its not the fault of the being–one is who one is–with your misguided hateful uninteligent reasoning, then god should condemn all disbaled people, all diseased people, all deformed people, all evil women–according to the bible–all skin colors you don’t see fit, all deaf people, all blind people, all republicans–as they are not perfect–in your eyes.  in HIs eyes–what kind of god is that?  And why would an all-powerful god–create homosexuals if he is perfect and they are so bad an unnatural–did not god create them–he created all nature did he not?  hmmm.  maybe gays were created by Satan–that wicked trickster!  Satan is a homosexual woman–butch to be sure.

    Sick.  You have a sickness.  half the US is sick and demented.  And they rule our policies across the world.  no wonder people hijack planes.

    • gay christ

       this is meant in reply to ed below

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “half the US is sick and demented”

      Glad to see that half so well represented by you.

  • Hidan

    Good for obama, I always thought that those states that ban gay rights should also ban divorces for anyone religious if they care about marriage so much. 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Not only ban divorce, but they should have priests in the bedroom to make sure everyone procreates (the priests would probably get off on that, too, and maybe abuse fewer little boys).

  • Brett

    “…The institution of marriage is somewhat sacred and centered on family. Call me sentimental but I think It’s sweet. Gays cannot procreate. The relationship is fundamentally different.” -Gregg, from his comment to Ray in VT on May 8

    1) Can gays not have a similar sense of sacredness (in the secular, general sense of the word) in their love relationships? 2) Are heterosexual couples who can NOT procreate or do NOT wish to procreate committed to a relationship that is less sacred (in the secular, general sense of the word) by virtue of their lack of procreation? 3) Are gays generally less fundamentally centered on family?

    “IMHO opinion it [same-sex marriage] should not be made equal by law and to a lesser extent, culture because it isn’t.” -Gregg, from his comment to Ray in Vt on May 8

    What would happen undesirably should gay marriage be made equal by law? What would be diminished, culturally speaking, should gay marriage be made equal by law?  

    • Hidan

       “What would happen undesirably should gay marriage be made equal by law?
      What would be diminished, culturally speaking, should gay marriage be
      made equal by law?  ”

      Hellfire and brimstone. The end of the world as well know it. Don’t you know that marriage is sacred? Just look at the U.S. and the % of divorces. I haven’t checked but I’m guessing there’s only an 1 to 2% divorce rate in Religious marriages in the U.S.cause clearly it must be since it’s so sacred otherwise people advocating against gay marriage who themselves have been divorced would be………

      • Terry Tree Tree

        GREAT SARCASM!
           Expose the HYPOCRICY!

      • Ray in VT

        I think that I saw some figures a while ago that pegged the divorce rate among American Christian Evangelicals at about the same rate as the rest of the population.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t in any way think that gay marriage has undermined my marriage to my wife.  There was a big uproar here in Vermont when Civil Unions passed back in 2000, and the sky didn’t fall.  There wasn’t much of an uproar when marriage passed a couple of years ago.

      I think that there should be exemptions that allow religious leaders, houses or affiliated institutions who do object on religious grounds to opt out of performing same sex marriages without fear of legal issues.  I may not agree with their religiously based objections, but I do believe in the free exercise of religion.   That is what we have done here in Vermont.

      I think that some people will be opposed to any sort of recognition of gay and lesbian relationships no matter what.  Some, like Gregg, appear to have issues not with granting the legal rights and protections, but concerning the word marriage.  Marriage is a very special thing, and many people in our country do not take it seriously enough upon entering into it, but I do believe that we should offer those legal protections and recognitions to same sex couples who want to make that great commitment.

      • Brett

        I agree with you; I agreed with your same sentiments the other day, too, although I didn’t comment to you. However, I don’t think this is an issue of whether people take marriage seriously enough, I think it’s an issue of gay people being able to marry.  

        • Ray in VT

          Hi Brett,
          It seems like a pretty straight forward proposition to me, and I think that it has played out pretty well here in Vermont.  We’ve allowed people to engage in this legal arrangement on an equal footing while at the same time protecting religious groups’ freedom of practice for those opposed.  It’s not a zero sum game where granting rights to one takes anything away from another in my opinion, except that one’s ability to push one’s religious faith upon another has been diminished.

          I added the comments about people not taking religion seriously as a counter to those who would argue that gay marriage somehow undermines straight marriage.  I think that the biggest threat to straight marriage is straight people.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        AMAZING!  You didn’t dump your female wife, and go marry a guy, just because it’s legal?  Is THAT what the ‘right’ are afraid of?
           I had a ‘preacher’ wedding, and, later, a ‘Justice of the Peace wedding.  NEITHER held her to me, and our children.
          Guys DON’T interest me!
           I AGREE, that preachers, or other religious types, shouldn’t HAVE to perform the ceremony.  I doubt it will be THAT hard, for them to find one that will.
           There’s a chance that this may make things BETTER for children, as people won’t HAVE to marry opposite sex, to be married, for job, or other places requiring ‘stability’.
           If it passes, I hope it brings LESS Child-Abuse!

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          “Guys DON’T interest me!”

          Bummer. I though you liked me.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “What would happen undesirably should gay marriage be made equal by law?” 

      It would undermine the Church’s mission to “be fruitful and multiply” and to have “dominion over the world”.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The laws attached to legal marriage afford rights to spouses not afforded to non-spouses: the right to medical decisions, the right to visit in the hospital, protections in legal proceedings, i.e. inheritance and other LEGAL TECHNICALITIES. Marriage is the only legal remedy to afford ‘justice for all’.

    Anything else is nothing less than discrimination: the denial of legal rights to one group of persons.

    Gay and lesbian soldiers fight to protect this nation and defend our liberties, some of which they are currently denied.

    These issues have absolutely nothing to do with religion except test the sense of fairness and honor of religions and their adherents and the grace and respect they offer to those who disagree with their beliefs.

    300 years ago Catholics murdered Protestants and vice versa. 150 years ago there was Christian persecution of Mormons and vice versa. Heck, Northern Ireland is sad modern example of sectarian Christian violence. Think on that before condemning as evil those working here in America to end this discrimination on a matter of the heart and the law.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Gay and lesbian soldiers fight to protect this nation”

      Well, no wonder we’re losing! Let’s get those pansies off the battle field and put some real mean there – like Mitt.

  • Greyman

    Because I do not watch television at all (having worked for NBC for three years provided the sufficient cure), I had to hear the voice clips that ATC played yesterday. Our President’s delivery was hardly what I would characterize as “robust and forceful”, certainly not as loaded with conviction as our Vice-President’s delivery some two days earlier (to hear Biden and Duncan, I began to think they were about to propose to each other). Instead, Obama sounded . . . reserved and serious, but also . . . sheepish and apologetic, as well he might if he’s taking counsel from Sasha and Malia (shades of Jimmy Carter consulting Amy). This President who claimed as recently as 2008 his aspiration to be “a leader, not a divider”: is he not now a model of fatuousness staring itself in the face? He is, if he thinks HE is leading America through or past this divide. The invocation of Obama’s “should” that we see already being repeated on this page is only the apotheosis of preferred outcome, the moral force behind it sounds suspiciously like sputtering momentum being lost. Perhaps the most glaring feature of this episode is that it might finally demonstrate to Americans that, having allowed the term “equality” to become self-evident, no two citizens can predictably agree on what that consists of.

  • Yar

    @@e02e96a0f513e06ee51ea898695c1f9f:disqus “The real threat to the institution of marriage”
    What has changed marriage over the past 50 years?  One spouse used to have the ability to stay home and raise children.  One outside the home income would provide for education of the children, healthcare for the family and a decent retirement.  Much has changed in the past 50 years and with those changes we have seen an undermining of the family and of marriage.  It is not gay unions that are destroying marriage, it is union bashing by the corporations and the chamber of commerce.  Marriages fail when stresses from outside the marriage make it more difficult to invest in relationships.  True happiness comes from the genuine expression of love.  Not the illusion of love hijacked by drugs, gambling, food, sex, sports, or any other addiction.  Love is hormonal, love is emotional, love is physical, love is complete.  No wonder every company, religion, political campaign and individual attempts to regulate love for their advantage.  Any attempt to regulate love comes from greed and is not love.
    The real threat to marriage is greed!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      WOW!  WELL SAID!

    • Azra

      BRAVO!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Yes, economic pressures often help to undermine relationships. But the biggest threat to marriage is the very modern illusion that a partnership based on emotion, hormones, and physical attraction can have any durability.

    • aj

      Yea Yar!

  • at

    Well, I suppose that his strategists assured him this is a good move. I have doubts about that.

    Personally I have always felt that same-sex couples do need the same legal rights as traditional couples.

     

    However, I think that those persons who go through the expense, and
    herculean efforts of caring for and nurturing, and supporting, and
    hopefully educating, the future generations, deserve this one little
    distinction.  Let all couples or triples or whatever, have equal moral, legal and financial rights, but when it comes to the word marriage
    what would it hurt them to reserve this appellation for those who
    undertake this life long sacrifice of their own pleasures and wealth for
    the sake of their offspring?

    The most important feature of marriage is that the two distinct genetic
    expressions of life that are found in the bride and groom are combined
    – married — to procreate a new and unique individual.  Loving your
    dogs and cats may work as sort of a emotional empty calorie substitute,
    for children, but until the technology is made available to the public
    that allows two men or women to procreate (and it will) it is just a
    nasty small minded desire to attempt to dismiss this distinction as
    meaningless.  It is not meaningless.  And no matter the evident hatred
    between some of those on the gay side — who despise everything about
    tradition, and their counterparts on the other side who are sickened by
    the very thought of gay sex (genetically programmed to feel that way and
    with darn good reason) I think we could afford to allow those who
    undertake this burden the small distinction of the word “married”.

    Of course the polarized political mind will disagree with this because it is neither a knee-jerk liberal or conservative reaction but as usual, what is actually real isn’t to be found in conservative or liberal stances on anything.

    • Hidan

       “Well, I suppose that his strategists assured him this is a good move. I have doubts about that.”

      Would sound pretty sad if the only reason he did so was because his strategist told him too. It would make him sound alot like Mitt.

      • Stephenmangion

         Of course it was a political decision.  Just look at the timing. 

      • JamesK

        He didn’t say it was the only reason.

    • Ray in VT

      There are, of course, options that will allow same sex couples to rear children, just as there are options for straight couples who are unable to produce their own off spring in the standard way.

      • Gregg

        That’s true and some gay couples can do a better job than some straight couples. When we start talking about gay adoption, foster parenting, surrogate mothers/fathers, sperm banks and test tubes its completely different than rearing a family in a traditional marriage. Especially for the child. Sorting through all that is confusing to a 4 year old. 

        • Ray in VT

          You know, I don’t know if it is confusing for kids.  My wife and I are friends with a lesbian couple who are married, and they had a little girl with the assistance of a donor.  My son’s only question on the matter was when could he see the baby.

          • Gregg

            I can’t imagine it isn’t confusing (or won’t become so) for the little girl but I did start my comment with a caveat. 

          • Ray in VT

            She’s only about 1 1/2, so it’s not an issue now.  In the future, then maybe, but she will always have known that this is normal for her family.  I often hear a somewhat similar sentiment expressed by some older people whom I know regarding the children of inter-racial relationships.  As this is not really an issue for many young people today, so may it be for the children of same sex relationships in the future.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          If you actually spent any time with kids, you’d know that it is NOT confusing at all – it’s just “the way things are” to them.

          It is only adults who get confused about such variations.

    • Gregg

      AJ that was beautiful, I could not agree more.

      • aj

        I agree, that was one smart post. I wish I was smart enough to articulate an opinion as effectively and insightful as ‘at’ did.

    • Ray in VT

      I must say that the formatting compelled me to skip a bit of your comment, and having now read that bit, I have to take issue with your statement that some “on the gay side” despise “everything about tradition” and that people are “genetically programmed” to be repulsed by gay sex.  One the first point I think that there are very few who are opposed to traditions as a matter of principle, and on your second point, I think that that is cultural, and not somehow genetic.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        On the “repulsion” thing. I’ve always found it amusing that so many avowedly heterosexual men enjoy anal sex with women but are repulsed by the same among men.

        • aj

          What? As an “avowedly heterosexual man who enjoys -ALL- sex with women” I find your amusement perplexing!?!?? Brotherman, you need to sit your ass down here and have a drink! (Oops, No pun intended!) LOL

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            I’ll pass. I wouldn’t want to blow your mind – it might be misconstrued.

          • aj

            LOL! I managed to avoid the Rikers handshake (both giving and recieving). Had I not, perhaps I would share your nuanced (LOL) view on the (cough) issue. 

            Lest, my enjoyment/repulsion shall remain black/white atleast until you enlighten me with your 50 shades of grey perspective. 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      at: What you propose may have made sense a thousand years ago, but when the very existence of life on earth (God’s creation, if so inclined) is threatened by the sheer numbers of human beings, perpetuating and solemnizing relationships based on procreation is both irrational and blasphemous.

  • donniethebrasco

    Just call a flip-flopper a flip-flopper.

    A flip-flopper calling a flip-flopper a flip-flopper.

    • JamesK

      Yeah, I have much more respect for someone who makes the wrong decision and sticks by it.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        I witnessed Dennis Kucinich (far more progressive than Obama on almost every issue) also go through an evolution of consciousness about abortion rights.

        As a devout Catholic, he always opposed it, and it was only after years of conversations with people he trusted, particularly the women in his life, that he began to see another side of the issue.

        Honest people can go through an evolutionary change of mind, while opportunistic people change their minds suddenly.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Even if they legalize it here, I’ll NOT marry a male!  I’m NOT worried about it. 
       I know MANY gay couples, that have been together longer, and seem FAR more dedicated, than many hetero couples!  YOU probably do too!
       Republican Congressman Larry Craig was forced to be a hypocrite.
      The Roman Child-RAPING church IS hypocritical about this, and does FAR MORE CRIMINAL things, but is against gay marriage?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many other ‘men of God’, are hypocrites?

    • Azra

      Divorce among hetersexuals has reaced epidemic proportions. Marraige has a much deeper meaning to most gays, who treat it with the reverence it deserves.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        That, too, will change.

  • J__o__h__n

    This was the right thing to do morally and politically.  No one was fooled by his claim he was still evolving.  He repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  He refused to defend DOMA.  This courageous stand should help excite his supporters and the youth vote.  The bigots who care most about denying gays equal rights weren’t going to vote for him anyway. 

    • Ray in VT

      I mostly agree with you, although I do think that this move may alienate some moderate to conservative Democrats.  Net, maybe it’s a wash.  The problem with the youth vote is that turnout can be an issue.  I didn’t really believe his evolving views statement either.

      • Brett

        Turnout has been an issue with respect for support of Democratic candidates. The good news is that, historically, the higher the voter turnout the better the Democrats do at the polls. This is true among older-age voters, as well.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        See my response to JamesK above. Thoughtful people do allow their thinking to evolve, particularly as they are effected by the people they love.

  • Ray in VT

    I was glad to hear the President state his support for same sex marriage.  I don’t think that same sex marriage in any way undermines the marriage of heterosexual couples.

    As a political move, though, I think that it is a bit risky.  The President has been criticized from the left for not doing enough on some issues.  I think that this will play well with many liberals, and it may help to motivate much of the Democratic base, but it certainly has the power to motivate much of the Republican base as well.

    It is also very interesting to see how much public opinion polls have changed on this issue during the past 15 years.  Such a move would have been a kiss of death a few years ago for someone seeking national office, but recent polls show a slight national preference for allowing same sex marriage.  This may be an even safer political move in the future, but I still think that it is risky at the present.

    • Gregg

      It could be a risky move, I don’t know, I think Biden forced his hand. He kind of needs to roll the dice IMO.

      I would never say “same sex marriage in any way undermines the marriage of heterosexual couples”. I would say it dilutes the meaning of the institution many hold dear. 

      • Ray in VT

         I can’t say that I understand your position as to how same sex marriage dilutes the institution, Gregg.

        • Gregg

          Because marriage traditionally means one man and one woman making babies by having sex the way nature intended it.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Slavery traditionally meant that the greater should rule the lesser, as nature and God intended it. That was true for thousands of years, and so must be right.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It’s an interesting time, politically.  During times of fiscal stringency and stress, the tendency among humans is to circle the wagons.  Anyone not “one of us,” whether descendants of slaves or disabled people, maybe immigrants, they are the ones to be left at the side of the road, and if this makes their lives more difficult, well, we don’t look outside our circle.  We take care of our own.  There is something hugely pragmatic about that inclination to make life harder for people who are “different.”  But I suppose evolution and nature has given us homosexuals for a pretty good reason.  They are the extras, in many ways, like post-menopausal women, non-reproductive, but terribly important for holding things together societally.  Grandmothers, we encourage their maximal participation.  Homosexuals, not so much.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Actually, in Native American culture, the “contrary” was also given a place of high esteem in the tribe.

        It’s ironic that we use the term “tribalism” to describe a homogeneity of loyalty, just as we use the term “primitive” to describe what was far more advanced than modern culture.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Religion is being used here by right-wing politicians (as throughout history) to spur hatred and pose neighbor against neighbor condemning as evil those working here in America to end this bigotry which is a point of law.

    If anyone is going to H.E.double-toothpicks or purgatory, it’s these hatemongers you see on TV and hear on radio. Why do people listen to these agents of hatred? Jesus was not a hatemonger.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Marriage is a religious institution, and under the separation of church and state, marriage should be solely at the choice of a church, mosque, temple, et al.  The government should give civil unions to everyone.  Then, civil unions would cover matters such as property, taxes, and insurance that are under the pervue of the government.

    • J__o__h__n

      Governments have always been involved in regulating marriages. 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Yes, but we made a possibly unique decision to separate government matters from religious ones.  We should continue down that road.

        • J__o__h__n

          Most thinking people can tell the difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. 

        • Azra

          The decision has been made, but Republicans don’t realize it.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ???

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             What don’t you understand?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      There have been Civil Marriages, and Religious Marriages, for almost all recorded history.
         You INSIST on going back, and CHANGING ALL those past Civil Marriages? 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Control your vitriol.  This is my suggestion for going forward.  Giving civil unions to everyone in the future will take away the emotional force behind the word, marriage.  It leaves the government not having to decide what “marriage” means.  That’s a private matter between two persons and a matter of doctrine or belief in various groups.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Church-sanctioned marriage is a historically recent phenomenon, and for much of Church history there was either no religious involvement in marriage or it was no more than as a non-obligatory registry.

          In a number of modern European countries, civil ceremonies must be separate from, and often precede, religious ones. In the US and Canada, a religious officiant is acting as an agent of the state.

          Marriage has almost always been either a private, or family/tribe, affair or a state-sanctioned one. Religion was often a peripheral element.

  • AC

    personally I feel this is very good news; I’m for anything that helps check population growth.
    Many gay couples I know that want the full traditional ‘family’ also adopt or take on foster children, which is expensive and requires patience as many have disabilities…..
    win-win in my book…
    the only down-side is I don’t work in the wedding industry; think of all the businesses that will benefit!!

    • Gregg

      Now there’s an different angle! You’re good at that.

    • Brett

      Excellent comment, AC! Both in terms of stemming the tide of population growth and in terms of economic growth, the latter in a small business sense. ;-) 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You Capitalist!     (Just joking)  LOL!  LOL!

      • AC

        cake tastings for all!! 

  • Azra

    The conflict is over. His position on gay marriage has always been the one thing that didn’t jive with the the kind of person President Obama is. He was’t convincing, because he’s so fair and just in every other way. The only thing he said was that gays should definitely have rights, but he thought that marriage should be between a woman and a man. He never elaborated. It was obvious that what he said was going against his grain.

    When he made his announcement, he went on and on about how it’s the right thing to do, and still could have said more. It was the release he has needed for so long; so freeing.

    Now he’s smiling when he speaks about gay marraige; at last he has inner peace. There is no more conflict. By finally revealing his true feelings, by doing the right thing, President Obama has liberated himself. We love and admire his honesty. What a fine man!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Finally, Obama takes an unequivocal stand on something that is right.  Of course, what specific legislation is he pushing on this subject?  And wasn’t he backed into this admission by his administration?  I’d be more impressed if he’d been the first to speak, but President Charlie Brown is wishy-washy.

    • Victor Vito

      I may need to throw the “racism” flag.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Speaking sarcastically, I hope.

  • Prairie_W

    I’ve been for gay marriage from the get-go and have seen no — not one iota of — justification for opposition.  But there has all along been something that bothered me about it that only lately has seemed clear.  It’s not that I don’t support full equality for gays.  Even suggesting that gays should be set apart in some way seems ridiculous.  Why shouldn’t gays not have all the rights and privileges !A.n.d R.e.s.p.e.c.t! we all enjoy? 

    So what’s my problem?  Uh, it’s marriage! I’ve never approved of or supported marriage.  The vile history of marriage, its use as a tool of suppression, its social context, its use even today as a tool of conformity to state and economic systems make it unacceptable in any society that believes in freedom.  I guess I see marriage the way I see religion:  a surprising carryover of brutality and ignorance into a world that should know better. Both religion and marriage are used gleefully by authoritarian governments, though.  And, face it, capitalism profits greatly from the conformities marriage imposes.

    • Ray in VT

      I suppose traditional marriage:  I think that it should be for exchanging property or political allegiances.  My wife cost me three cows.

      I’m joking of course.

      • BHA in Vermont

         I’m sure your wife was worth WAY more than 3 cows. You got a deal! ;)

        • Ray in VT

          Oh, she was, but that’s all that I had a the time.  If my father-in-law had pushed, then I could have thrown in a goat too.

    • BHA in Vermont

      marriage is a ” carryover of brutality and ignorance”? Not all of us are into spouse beating and control. In fact most of us are not.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      You’re being every bit as ideologically narrow and biased as the Christian right.

      You might study the history of marriage before jumping to such conclusions. There have been a wide variety of forms and functions, typically necessary for the continuity and harmony of the community, and for the division of labor necessary for subsistence and child rearing.

      Marriage was a cultural expression long before it became either a governmental mandate or church doctrine.

      • Prairie_W

        The continuity and harmony of the community, to use your words, as well as the division of labor and child rearing, were assigned, not always willingly accepted.  And women were not, typically, allowed to make their own choices or to have the freedoms men did.  Our societies still, in some quarters, take for granted men’s sexual freedom during marriage but not women’s.  In fact, although violence against women isn’t the issue it once was, it hasn’t gone away.  In fact, it often seems to be the result of men exerting control over “their” property. 

        The boundaries and leadership/ownership of land and nation were often defined by marriages — between the daughter of one leader and the son of another.  Marriage wasn’t about two people entering into a relationship because they chose to but rather because society/economy/national interest required it of them.  They had no more real choice than, say, a plantation worker in Georgia in the early 19th century who couldn’t choose his/her way of life, his partner, or anything else.

        Many protest that slavery wasn’t so bad.  It was needed after all, as a key part of the economy of the southern states and of the hugely important production of cotton.  Slavery was “justified.”  It was central to the state’s interests just as marriage was central to the state’s interest. It’s not entirely coincidental that the political disadvantages for Obama when he decided, as president, to accept gay marriage — lie mostly in those southern states. 

        But slavery (useful to white landowners, not “useful” to the slave) is not something we celebrate in 2012, thank goodness.  For many of the same reasons, I don’t celebrate marriage now.  I’d like to get the word out of use — banished to the far territory of being the “m” word!  I think “m” is a hangover, one which still controls many women from puberty onward, imposes conventions on them, imperils their self-respect and tends to narrow their expectations. There are plenty of ways for two people to have a strong, committed relationship.  Let’s not limit it to that “m”-word.  Let’s get past the idea that the relationship isn’t “real” or truly committed unless it is blessed with a word and a concept with such a rotten  history! 

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          You continue to base your opinions on a fabricated and thoroughly biased history. 

          As I’ve noted elsewhere here, because men are biologically designed for multiple sexual partners and maximum genetic spread, monogamous relationship was created primarily to restrict men’s sexual activity and benefit women, who will know the paternity of their offspring and have someone to provide for her sustenance.

          Indigenous marriage customs were not more restrictive for women than for men. Even in the Old Testament prescriptions, wives were expected to perform certain household tasks, including spinning, sewing, weaving, manufacture of clothing, fetching of water, baking of bread, and animal husbandry, while men were required to provide food and clothing to, and have sex with, each of his wife or wives – and was forbidden from neglecting a first wife if he took a second.

          In ancient Israel, a wife was given a tent of her own or an inner room in the house, which no man could enter.

          Today’s divorce laws overwhelmingly favor women over men, as do laws on domestic violence (which studies have shown to be about 50-50 against each gender), sexual harassment and even murder – all of which are significantly biased toward women.

          Male power is almost entirely mythological in modern American culture.

          94% of people killed in the workplace are men.

          The street homeless are approximately 90% men. 

          Approximately 92% of all prisoners are men.

          Being male contributes to a longer sentence more than race or any other factor.

          Over 99% of the executed are men.

          Both sexes kill men more than they do women.

          Twelve distinct female-only defenses allow a woman who commits premeditated murder to have her charges dropped or significantly reduced; no man has successfully used any of these defenses in similar circumstances.

          In 1920, men died on average only one year sooner than women; in the 1990s, men die seven to eight years sooner.

          When non-whites have about 80% of the chance of whites to reach age 85, we blame it on the powerlessness engendered by racism; when a boy infant has only half the chance of a girl infant of reaching age 85, we call it the price of privilege.

          Blacks die earlier than whites from twelve of the fifteen leading causes of death; men die earlier than women from all fifteen of the leading causes of death.

          Males are the primary victims of all violent crimes except rape.

          Pre-adolescent boys commit suicide at a rate slightly less than girls of the same age; but as their sex roles become apparent – the roles of performer, pursuer, and payer – the rate becomes 4 times as great as their female peers.

          Men commit suicide 5 times as often as women.

          These are not the metrics of privilege.

          • Prairie_W

             Whewwwww….!

            To be against marriage as an institution isn’t to be against men as a gender!  I do think you present a very narrow view of how marriage has been used, politically and socially, over the centuries and, in doing so, reveal a somewhat limited view of how we have evolved and can evolve.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            To distort human evolutionary history as well as current social patterns to create a fantasy of male empowerment and female victimhood (hardly a liberating self-identity), is both dishonest and self-defeating.

            You pretend that your feminist mythology is the “broad” view, when it is in fact an ideologically constrained and distorted perspective. 

            The statistics I quoted are from the Myth of Male Power, which was the only feminist treatise that presented the full and balanced analysis of the oppression which our culture imposes on both sexes, and was called “A revolutionary
            understanding of equality, power, women, and men. I love this book!” – Karen DeCrow, former
            president, National Organization for Women

          • aj

            You the man!

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Warren Farrell is the man. I’m just a man.

  • Victor Vito

    !0-15% of population is gay.  Not all gay people wish to be married.

    These percentages make this a silly wedge issue.  Why the hell do we get distracted by NONSENSE!!!  Conservatives have been using this tactic since Reagan…  AND IT STILL WORKS!!!!  AAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!

    • Ray in VT

      Now, as Gregg will point out, there are those who oppose same sex marriage for non-religious purposes, but to a large extent I think that this issue has had such staying power because the fans of a certain large book get very stirred up over the issue, and predominantly one party has a vested interest in keeping them stirred up and coming to the polls.

    • Azra

      You can fool some of the people ALL of the time. These people are known as Republicans.

  • Victor Vito

    I have always been a backer of Civil Unions.  Give the legal endorsement without the religious baggage.

    • J__o__h__n

      The government should continue to regulate marriage.  Let the religious come up with a new institution if they want to exclude people. 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Why?  Leave marriage to each religion to make up its collective mind about and accept religious liberty.  Make the secular matters of marriage the only area in which the government gets involved.

        • J__o__h__n

          That is what the government already does. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             So take the inflamatory word, marriage, out of the thing.

          • J__o__h__n

            Why let the bigots define it?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’m not saying let the bigots define things.  I’m for the separation of church and state, and I want the civil aspects of relationships to stay with the government, while the religious aspects of relationships to stay with religions.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Then give up the title of “marriage”, since the Church expropriated what had been a private or civic function.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Definitely – have a civil union that defines the legal and economic structure. Leave marriage to the church’s.

      Having religion involved in this is as silly as having the church being involved with people getting passports or joining the military.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Um… the church IS involved in the military and is used to bless our paid killers and justify their actions in the name of God.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Except that secular marriage (with that name) preceded religious marriage, and in most Western nations civil marriage takes precedence over church ceremony.

      It was, in fact, the Church which expropriated marriage for their own social control. It’s time they give it back.

  • Drew (GA)

    Here’s an idea: Give EQUAL rights to ALL individuals.

    I understand that all of the “bonuses” given to the traditional Family model were to encourage growth of the traditional family unit. I say enough. Giving a married couple a $4000.00 refund when they only paid out $3000 in Federal Income Tax is lunacy. Once again: Here’s a novel idea, let’s treat EVERYONE the same.

    • Brothersower88

      True equality can not be achieved if humans are involved. 

      The government has incentives for everything (and disincentives for some things—cigaret tax, gas tax, fees, etc.

      Bias always gets in the way of every decision even if it is subconscious.

      • Drew (GA)

        “True equality can not be achieved if humans are involved.”

        Obviously. Does that mean we shouldn’t even bother trying to achieve (true) Equality?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Here’s a novel idea, let’s treat EVERYONE the same.”

      WHAT! Treat the 99% the same as the 1%? The sky would fall!

  • J__o__h__n

    I always thought “evolving” was a strange word to use if he was trying to appear to be undecided.  Intelligent Design land probably wasn’t appeased by that. 

    • Azra

      True, but is there ANYTHING that can ever appease them? Who, (except for Mitt, of course), really cares about them and their narrow little minds anyway?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      A Republican recognized ‘evolving’?

  • Nancy

    It’s about time President Obama start heeding progressive voters, rather than worrying about backward hicks who would NEVER vote for him anyway!

    Obama 2012!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      But what about frontward hicks? Who do they vote for?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It’s about time.

    Ideally, government should get out of the marriage business entirely, stick solely to “civil unions”, and leave marriage to the religious folks. But that would be even a bigger leap than the one Obama has taken.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Except that marriage was first a private matter, then a state-sanctioned one, with the medieval Church acting as nothing more than a non-obligatory registry.

      So it was the Church which later expropriated the marriage ceremony as part of their strategy of social control. 

      If any institution should give back the concept of “marriage”, it should be the Church.

      In many European and some Latin American countries, any religious ceremony must be held separately from the required civil ceremony. Some countries – such as Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey – require that a civil ceremony take place before any religious one.

      Civil marriage has precedence over religious ceremony, which is secondary and derivative.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The unasked question behind all these votes is this:  Why do people need the government to protect their religious views?  Are their religions so weak as to require being propped up by the state?

  • PI Man

    Amazing of how the “elites” – a term a guest on yesterday’s DC Rehn show used – try to spin the results of the actual votes vs the (push) “polls.”

  • kaltighanna

    Yes, Obama’s comments were historical. I just wish he had said the words with a bit more sincerity and less hesitation. I didn’t watch any video of the interview, but what I can hear from the audio is a very uncomfortable politician who had been backed into a corner. At this point, if he hadn’t endorsed gay marriage he’d be in big trouble with his base. I think he’d have preferred to stay on the fence, but he had to do it. Either way, this is a great victory for equal marriage and equal rights.

    • Drew (GA)

      Great comment.

      “Either way, this is a great victory for equal marriage and equal rights.”

      Wish I shared your enthusiasm

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Actually, Obama has made parts of his base happy and alienated other parts, such as blacks (who mostly oppose gay marriage).

      I don’t think Obama was being insincere or was “backed into a corner”, but is honestly wrestling with a complex issue. 

      • aj

        Last I saw was 56% African-Americans oppose. That is hardly “mostly” though it does constitute a majority.

        Meanwhile, I know a kid (black) from Staten Island who takes a bus,ferry, and a train (2hrs) just to go hang out at the pier in the West Village with other gay kids his age from other parts of the city. And he says, the wealthy gay old timers who live there, veterans from the Stonewall riots on Christopher Street, are some of the most rascist crackers in all of NYc! Even to their fellow homosexuals! What kind of Solidarity is that, huh?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          It’s probably because they’re wealthy. 

  • BHA in Vermont

    It is REALLY SIMPLE:
    As it relates to the GOVERNMENT (federal or state) “marriage” is a LEGAL STATUS.  It is about equal treatment for all subjects (er, citizens). It has NOTHING TO DO with religious unions. Anyone getting married by a Justice of the Peace is NOT seen as a marriage in any religious organization. A marriage performed in a religious ceremony is a government recognized legal status because the clergy is registered with the government with the right to perform GOVERNMENT RECOGNIZED marriage. 

    All the fearful need look no farther than Vermont. We had the first Civil Unions. The sky did not fall, my marriage to a person of the opposite gender did not collapse.
    We now have equal marriage – the sky has not fallen, my marriage to a person of the opposite gender did not collapse.

    And Civil Unions are NOT equal to marriage in the legal sense. Yes, SOME of the rights of married people are conveyed, BUT NOT ALL. For instance, those in a CU do not get to pay the marriage penalty on April 15th. ;)

  • NAV

    We’ve had gay marriage here in MA for a while.  And you know what, it doesn’t hurt anything, its a non-issue.  And the fear that conservatives raise about this are just un-founded.  The President did right.  And it was a good political choice.  So, thank you Mr. President.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I see this issue as parallel to the economic issues.  The question is whether we are stronger when we are inclusive, empowering the maximum number of people?  Or are we stronger when we conserve, circle the wagons, keep the best of the status quo and consider accommodating testy new possibilities as threatening even as ideas.  It’s Red, it’s communist, it’s Too Inclusive, Too Big.  Something like that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    We’ve had gay marriage here in MA for years – how has it negatively impacted you? 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    President Obama has made his statement on this issue.  NOW, he will be able to govern, while the ‘right’ tries AGAIN to make this an ‘important issue’, when ‘W’ did NOT take their desired action, when he had a MAJORITY in both houses of Congress, and almost even Supreme Court?

  • Enhabit

    our opinion on this matter is irrelevant…to prevent same sex marriage is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional

  • J__o__h__n

    Wasn’t Obama UCC, a group that supports marrying gays?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Yes the UCC supports marriage equality, but each congregation is independent and can set their own position.

      Obama is now “unaffiliated”.

  • Matt Wade

    Obama believes the Golden Rule applies. Romney does not, as evidenced by his bullying of gay classmates during his prep school days.

    • Azra

      . . . and the way they treated that poor dog!

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        I even hear that Mitt opposes canine marriage.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Any time I talk to someone who opposes gay marriage, I always ask how gay marriage will harm marriage in general.  I never hear a specific answer to that.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Jeffrey Bell, be specific:  What harm will result if gays and lesbians are able to marry?  Don’t give generalities or blather.  Be specific.

    • Ray in VT

      Agreed!  We heard how the sky would fall here in Vermont, and that did not happen.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        It did when Irene came through. Don’t ya thunk that was divine retribution?

        • aj

          ~GOOD NIGHT IRENE~

          “sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown,”

          -Lead Belly

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmQXmqbZ3Pc

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            That’s Huddie William Ledbetter to you, buster.
             

  • John C

    I don’t find this announcement either surprising, or newsworthy.  The only thing I find interesting about this is the pushback that the president might get from some of his more traditional constituents who strongly oppose it.  I.e., within the african-american community.

    For me, as a conservative libertarian, I find this akin to the president coming out and saying the automobile is superior to the horse.  Talk about a bit late getting with the program.  It’s a non-issue except for that pushback, as it _should_ be.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Exactly so.  Being conservative should mean supporting stable relationships in our society, and being libertarian should mean that what doesn’t harm me is free for you to do.  I’m with you.

      • Ray in VT

        I believe that Barry Goldwater spoke out in favor of gay rights.  I think that part of the reason that gay marriage has become law in many northeastern states is the strong socially libertarian streak up here.

    • Guest

      As the guest stated, this isn’t an important issue to most people; it’s a distraction.  I wish someone would do a national poll with one question: “Without any prodding by the media or politicians, how much thought do you give to gay marriage?”  On a scale from “I hardly think about it at all” to “It’s constantly on my mind,” I bet the former would be chosen by a landslide.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “I find this akin to the president coming out and saying the automobile is superior to the horse.”

      Be careful about your assumptions. While the introduction of the horse to N. America did result in the decimation of the buffaloes and made warfare more deadly, it was generally a boon to both farming and transportation.

      The car, on the other hand, spurred the growth of suburbs, the nuclear family home, strip malls and highways. It created smog and pollution and accelerated the exploitation of petroleum and its consequent global warming.

      Lest you fall victim to the illusion of speed that it provides, Ivan Illich (priest, philosopher and social critic) calculated – way back when both cars and gasoline were cheap – that if you include all the time required to purchase, insure, pay for, drive and maintain a personal automobile, and divide that into the average annual miles driven, most Americans were travelling at about the speed of a good horse (but with no manure for their garden).

      • aj

        A half dozen St Bernards can pull a plow almost as good as a couple draft horses, no? Exterminating Buffalo was U.S. Government policy, don’t blame it on the horse? What’s your beef with the nuclear family home?

        The last paragraph is why I’m so glad your back posting to the forum, AND why I suspect your a ‘Born again Amish luddite’ or something like that?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Dogs can pull a sled (but not St. Barnards – they’re too heavy), but not a plow. They don’t have the torque of a good pair of draft horses or an ox team.

          And I’m not blaming the decimation of the buffalo on the horse – it was the horse’s ass, er rider, that was the problem.

  • Drew (GA)

    If we spent our time legislating against what actually harms us instead of that which offends us this wouldn’t even be at issue.

    • Nutricj

      Well said Drew!

      • Drew (GA)

        Awwww, thanks. I’m just the Fool On the Hill, still see something once in a while though.

      • Azra

        Here, here!!!

  • Shgaunt

    Since the days of the Puritans, marriage has been a civil matter in the United States; a contract between two people. This is why the American colonies (except for South Carolina), had far more liberal divorce policies than Britain did in the period before the American Revolution. I think Obama’s move is inline with Truman’s Executive Order 9981, desegregating the military; and Eisenhower’s decision to send troops to protect the Little Rock Nine. What is a civil right is constantly evolving; it’s great to see the president taking the leadership here.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Even if a very tepid and timid leadership. He’s putting no money where his mouth is going.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller, Jefferson was a deist, as were many other Founders.  They were a lot more complex than simple fundamentalists.

  • Joshua Pierce

    Does anyone else find it interesting that his “I support it but think the states should decide” is the same reason his parents marriage in ’61 wouldn’t have been recognized in something like 21 states?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      If we still had states’ rights we’d still have slavery. I thought good ole Abe took care of that when he pitted half the nation against the other half for the sake of industrial capitalism and the myth of social progress.

      • aj

        You packed a lot in there, without explaining any of it. Hence, I will defer from knit picking. Except to say, ‘Abe’ was likely Bi-sexual, and his predecessor, James Buchanan, was our first homosexual President in addition to being a pawn of the slave states. 

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Yah, that’s why Abe was shot. It was his jilted male lover.

        • Brett

          Abe also loved wrastlin’! Greco-Roman style!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The Bible includes passages about stoning children who disrespect their parents.  It also has passages about how women must submit to men.  How far do we go with legislating the Bible into our law?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Actually, it was the other way around.

      The Old Testament that a wife was expected to perform certain household tasks, including spinning, sewing, weaving, manufacture of clothing, fetching of water, baking of bread, and animal husbandry. The Talmud, however, says that a man must provide food and clothing to, and have sex with, each of his wives.

  • Drew (GA)

    To the caller who said “Our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves”: pft

    And “God gave men inelligible rights” lmao
    And “God hates” homosexuals: I didn’t think God Hated anyone, infinite love ring a bell?

    • Ray in VT

      I liked a bit of Tom’s retort.  How many Founding Fathers would be turning over in their graves to know that slavery was ended or that a man of African descent is President?

  • J__o__h__n

    What bible is the caller reading?  Jesus didn’t comment on homosexuality.  If you are going to impose your myths on society, at least read them first. 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      In fact, Jesus never got married and hung out with 12 guys and a prostitute.

      • aj

        No, Mary Magsalene was not. She was a wealthy widow. She was JC’s ‘sugar mommy’. The Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him) also had a sugar mommy.

        The prostitute thing was early to middle Church ad-lib and has subjugated women in the Church erroneously ever since.

        “And since we all came from a woman,
        got our name from a woman,
        and our game from a woman.
        I wonder why we take from our women,
        why we rape our women,
        do we hate our women?”
        -Pac

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Sure she was. Didn’t you see Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Last
          Temptation of Christ? That’s my gospel.

          • Brett

            You’re dating yourself, meaning you’re giving away your age, not that you call yourself up to go out for conversation and Thai food. Although, there’s nothing wrong with that… 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Giving away my age? I have nothing to hide, but I don’t like Thai food.

  • Lmmaloney

    1. Good for the President to present himself as someone who says what he thinks — in contrast to Mitt Headroom, the “perfectly-oiled weathervane.”

    2. Since when is it a good idea to let the majority vote on the civil rights of the minority (whites/blacks; heterosexuals/GLBT)?

    • Thinkin15

       With any big social change baby steps are a better way to go. Less backlash that way. Once people realize that this doesn’t affect their straight marriage, or their lives, they’ll forget about it and go on to the next persecution in the name of their religion.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Unfortunately, in our governmental system it is the majority which prevails. That’s why we have a Supreme Court to (ostensibly) prevent the majority from violating the constitutional rights of minorities. Occasionally it functions as intended.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t marry the same sex?

    • Ray in VT

      Exactly.  I hear people talk about gay marriage as though they will be compelled to do it, and I hear gay-hating guys talk about how they think that gay men will be all over them if we let them come too far out of the closet.

      • Brothersower88

         Please see my comment to Terry Tree Tree.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        What conservatives are really worried about is that, once the floodgates are opened, and all those closet gay Republicans come rushing out of the toilet stalls, there’ll be a mass conversion to the Democrat party where they can have more fun.

    • Brothersower88

      Please reread the post before you make comments without comprehending what is actually being said.

      I never said that I didn’t believe in same-sex marriage.  I actually said that it is much more complicated than most fundamental Christians choose to believe. I also indicated that perhaps Christians should self-narrow allowing different types of marriage (i.e. same-sex, religious, non-religious, etc) that could all be recognized by the government, but maintain the sacred feel for the religious.

      Where people get caught up is in the term marriage.  Conservative Christians see it as a holy sacrament that is recognized by the government.
      Non religious people tend to see it as a governmental contract/right that religious people attempt to claim.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “but maintain the sacred feel for the religious.”

        You mean the “sacred feel” that happens behind the confessional curtain?

        “Non religious people tend to see it as a governmental contract/right that religious people attempt to claim.”

        But that’s historically correct. Marriage was originally a private contract, then gradually became a civil contract and eventually a religious ceremony. But it was the medieval Church which co-opted the marriage ceremony for their own purposes (largely social control).

        The Reformation gave it back to the state as Martin Luther didn’t see it as a church matter.

        • aj

          * * * * *

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Exactly. Same sex is boring.

  • Brothersower88

    Thought experiment and not necessarily my belief:

    Assuming the Christian God sees all sin as equal, (yes there are different consequences)
    If homosexuality is actually a “sin”
    If lying is actually a sin
    If two liars are allowed to be married
    Should homosexuals be allowed to be married?

    That being said, I support civil unions for everyone, but marriage holds for me an inherent covenantal bond between me, my wife, my community, and my God.

    Perhaps a better way to address the issue would be for Christians to simply specify that they are in a “Christian Marriage”.  Perhaps it would be better to self-narrow rather than forbid something from someone else.

    This way the religious can keep the covenantal feeling and inclusion of God while the nonreligious may still be in meaningful relationships recognized by the government and their communities.

    • Drew (GA)

      A need to point out that you are in a “Christian Marriage” is (in my opinion) no different that the need to point out that one considers themselves to be a “Christian”. Why the need to point out anything? We’d all like to feel special, shame many of us think that pointing out or Religious beliefs will make us so. We’re all the same, what difference does it make what one “professes” to believe in?

      • Brothersower88

        By pointing out that you are in a “Christian Marriage” to your community and spouse (the government need not know), you maintain the feeling that it is still sacred which I think (and I could be wrong) is the main concern for conservative Christians.

        No person wants something they deem holy made common.

        • Ray in VT

          True.  But then how does one who believes that marriage is a sacred rite deal with a marriage like mine:  heterosexual, but conducted by a Justice of the peace in a gazebo.  Some members of our family did not like it’s nonreligious nature, but our feelings and the intentions were far more important to us than the setting.

    • Thinkin15

       “Christian marriage”, this may be a good political solution. That gives the traditional Christians something to comfort them and differentiate them. (as if we can’t tell!) Hetero couples marry outside of the church all the time and the Christians don’t campaign against it.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “If homosexuality is actually a “sin” 
      If lying is actually a sin
      If two liars are allowed to be married
      Should homosexuals be allowed to be married?”

      Yes, but only if they lie to each other. Crossing fingers during the ceremony will suffice.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Perhaps a better way to address the issue would be for Christians to simply specify that they are in a “Christian Marriage”.”

      That is, in fact, the way marriage works in many European and some Latin American countries, where any religious ceremony must be held separately from the required civil ceremony, while in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey the civil ceremony take place before any religious one.

      In both history and much of modern culture, civil marriage takes precedence over religious ceremony, which is optional and secondary.

  • Ray in VT

    I think that James from Malone, NY is fairly representative of North Country New York.  It is quite socially conservative there.  I see a lot of homophobia and racism there, and I’m not saying that James is either.  Here’s my counter:

    God also hates, or hated, clothes made of more than one fabric.  God may be referenced in the Declaration of Independence, but God is not in the Constitution.  You want to be a Christian and believe in the tenants of the Bible, then fine, but don’t expect me to fall in line with that.  I left the Church for good reason.  I should be able to shop on Sunday, eat meat on Friday, or, if I am so inclined, enter into a legal contract with whom I want.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Which god is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence?  It isn’t specified, so it could be Odin or Zeus.

      • Ray in VT

        Correct.  It says “Creator”, not God.  I wondered who would call me on that.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I’m a social liberal and an economic conservative who actually reads the documents that I quote.

          • Ray in VT

            And although I sometimes disagree with you, you do seem to at least be informed and have a good command of the facts, unlike some here with whom I both disagree and agree.

  • EWessels

    Who cares what the bible says?  This is an equal rights issue.  No religious text is relavant

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Not completely true. Sometimes having the woman stand on a book makes vertical sex easier, and the bible is often convenient for that purpose, as it can be found in many motel rooms.

      • aj

        Oh, No you didn’t? You are one freeky Amish dude!

  • Azra

    The Bible has nothing to do with this. It’s the stand of the Government that is being discussed here. Leave The Bible out of it. This is about fairness, doing the right thing, and LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, no some.

    • Azra

      ~ ~ ~ CORRECTION: ^ should be “NOT”, instead of “no”, of course.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        You know there is an “edit” function here. Why do so many ignore it?

        Speaking of which, the bible is probably the most edited book in human history, so it’s hardly a reliable authority on anything.

  • Sefabish

    The bible may say that God hates gays, but it also says don’t judge lest you be judged, he who is without sin may cast the first stone and love your neighbor. I don’t know if anyone remembers the old expression, “Shoot them all, and let God sort them out,” but I feel the Bible means we should love them all and let God sort them out.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       In addition, where is the Bible listed as a part of the law in the United States?

      • Ray in VT

        Last I checked with First Amendment violates the First Commandment of “thou shalt have no other God but God”.

  • Matt

    I am tired of this false choice between conservative morale values married with deregulated, cut-throat capitalism and liberal morals married to regulated fair play capitalism and health, safety and environmental protections. While in my view protecting our earth and health trumps the marriage issue I am deeply disappointed that Obama is once again forcing me to choose between a these two sets of bad marriages.

  • Bob (Saunderstown RI)

    I’m surprised that nobody has brought up the legal issues surrounding marriage.  Inheritance rights, Insurance Coverage, Child Custody issues, Tax filing, etc.  Straight couples aren’t required to have children to justify their marriage and reap the legal balances and that’s the true discrimination.  The issues of sentimentality, love, and even dignity seem secondary when arguing the legality of the matter.

  • Nancy

    Great caller!

       A genius bible thumper who believes god gave men “inelligible rights!!”

    • Nancy

      These are the kind of people who Republicans want molding the world for the rest of us!!

  • Jill

    This caller sounds brilliant!  Could it be that low IQ and intolerance are directly related?  Hmmm.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I think probably so.  If you have limited intelligence, you probably have to be more conservative, without letting ideas buffet your world.  And someone will encourage you like that, the better not to have someone unglued running around the house.  (Is there a better way to run a slow mind?  I really don’t know.  If I were a primary school teacher, I think I would know the answer, but I’m not.)

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Now, now, political position and intelligence aren’t correlated, despite what a few psychologists may say.  It’s a question of thinking, regardless of which side one ends up on.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I didn’t mean specifically party.  I think a child in a Democrat house, if those ideas were bruited about, would use those ideas as mental infrastructure and be as wedded to those as the Republican child in a similar household.  God help the teachers.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          A 2010 study at University College London in the UK has found that conservatives’ brains have larger amygdalas than the brains of liberals. Amygdalas are responsible for fear and other “primitive” emotions. At the same time, conservatives’ brains were also found to have a smaller anterior cingulate – the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism.

          And, apparently, John Stuart Mill was right: “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.”

          A study conducted at Brock University in Ontario led by Gordon Hodson and reported in Jan, 2012 found that low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             I’m sure that such studies make you feel good.  Reality has a way of being more interesting than social scientists think it to be.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            But when scientific studies comport with one’s reality-based experience, then one has reason to think them credible.

            Intelligent conservatives tend to be quite moderate, while dogmatic and fundamentalist conservatives are almost always of low intelligence.

    • Bob (Saunderstown RI)

      I work with a community of individuals who were categorized and assigned services (ie forced into wards) based on IQ during the days of institutionalization.  The people I know who have “low IQ” have always been a lot more tolerant of superficial differences of the people around them, but very discriminating on the basis of actual behavior.

  • Thomas A. Krause

    The King James version of the bible does not mention “homosexuals” or “homosexuality.” No version of the bible used those terms until the 1950s. The terms used by Paul are ambiguous at best. Read your bible. It doesn’t say what you think it says. 
    Dale Martin is a professor of religious studies at Yale. 
    Arsenokoitês and Malakos: Meanings and Consequences,” in Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture, ed. Robert L. Brawley (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 1996), 117-136.

    • TFRX

      Good stuff. And it gets more elemental than that: Remember who wrote and translated the Bible(s) for 2 millenia, and consider how locked up the whole idea of “literacy” was until a few hundred years ago.

      That “the winners write the history” should never be ignored.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      That’s a bit disingenuous or evasive. What the King James bible does say is that “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

      However, the Hebrew word for “abomination” as used in Leviticus (where this proscription is found) is used in reference to eating unkosher foods and being unclean, rather than for mortal sins.

      So the most likely interpretation is that, after you lie with a man as with a woman, wash your hands before you prepare food.

  • Thinkin15

    People who oppose gay marriage should remember, it’s not about you, it’s not about your life or your marriage. You don’t have to endorse it, or marry of the same sex. You just have to let others live their private lives the way nature intended them to.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      It’s no more about what nature intended as it is about what God intended. It’s only about what is constitutional: i.e. equal protection under the law.

  • NewtonWhale

    The caller is wrong. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.

    http://www.ldolphin.org/Homo.shtml

    The quote he gave is from Leviticus:

    ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.’
    (Leviticus 18:22)
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=lev%2018:22;&version=31;

    Why is it that those who profess to be devout Christians seem to know so little about his teachings, and what they do know is wrong?

    • Ray in VT

      So, is the Bible condoning Lesbianism?

      • TFRX

        That depends on where the Bible stands on Jell-o wrestling. It is an animal byproduct, you know.

  • Ellen

    I,too, have been on the fence about gay marriage vs civil unions.  Kudos to President Obama for being a leader on this issue!

  • TrudyS

    One of the guests just brought up swing voters and Ohio.  Didn’t John Kerry lose the 2000 election due to Ohio voters being riled up about a gay-marriage like issue?  Should there be concern about a repeat?

    • J__o__h__n

      Kerry lost votes for appearing to be on both sides of the issue.  He claimed he supported it in MA but not federally.  Sort of like Mitt’s position on Romneycare.

      • TFRX

        Aren’t there thousands of people in Dem districts in Columbus still waiting for Ken Blackwell to repair the fugging voting machines?

  • C-ya

    Our President’s honest message about gay marriage is more evidence of his genius. He could not have handled this issue better. Republicans lose, America wins again. bravo sir…

  • Ellen Dibble

    I bet the IRS is totally pro gay marriage.  If they have to have a separate set of 1040s vis-a-vis every single state, vis-a-vis where every gay couple may have gotten married x-number of years ago, before or after this or that state legislative move — oh, my head.  The tax code is complicated enough WITHOUT 50 different states differentiating this way.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    The Bible has almost 300 admonitions for straights, and less than a dozen about gays. Who was God worried about?

    Also, most of the anti-gay admonitions were put in by men, not God, during ancient times when it was all about having progeny to keep the family business going.   These were the same people that called widows “whores” , and barren women much the same, for the same reason – If you don’t produce kids you’re useless to society. 

    The call that wondered which version of the Bible Obama’s reading, he should ask that himself as “Version” i on his own Bible, with language specifically chosen (and often written) by man for specific purposes of furthering that societies own moral views.

    All marriage is civil. You can get married in any church you want, but until the  (civil) government recognizes it, it’s not legal.

    • Thinkin15

       And when you think that gays were even mentioned way back in Biblical days, before anyone could say it’s a teenage fad, or choice, the way a child was raised, or due to modern society, etc., it says a lot about what may just be the way people are born.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         I pissed a few people in a college class off once because a few Christians were going off on it being against God.   Boiling it down – They all agreed that every aspect that humans have, God gave them, save maybe a bellybutton.  Then I said: “Then God had the idea of gay sex somewhere, and that some of mankind will be gay. Do does that make God gay? Bi?  Why would he make some of mankind something he hates?”  

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Does Satan give us our bellybuttons?

  • Greg N. Weaver

    I am not sure about the timing by Obama and his administration on this, but you have to think that this was planned.  Greg Weaver – Burlington, Vermont

    • ana

      When do you think would be good time for the President to  declare his position?  Planned for what?  It is a risky move.

  • BHA in Vermont

    The FEDERAL government needs to toss DOMA then OFFICIALLY recognize gay marriage. It doesn’t matter if EVERY state adopts gay marriage, those married couples are not able to file joint tax returns, etc until the FEDs recognize gay unions.  

    Make it FEDERALLY legal, then gay couples married in states where their marriage is legal will get the same FEDERAL protection as married heterosexual couples.

  • Eric HAfermann

    If the the term marriage shall only be applied as a Christian commitment, why, as an atheist, was my marriage, to the opposite sex, legitimized culturally, when I do not believe in any God? 

    Eric Hafermann

    Lincoln, NE

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Your marriage might be legitimate but you’re still going to hell ;-)

  • Chadfred69

    Another subject where Christians are trying to impose their values/beliefs on everyone else, when Christians themselves can so rarely agree on anything outside of the fact that some guy 2000 years ago was God.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Actually, Christians can’t even agree on that. Was he the son of god, or God, or does God have three parts which are also one…?

  • Thinkin15

     I hope that the gay community steps up and supports the Dems. Whether they agree with it, or not, they aren’t trying to persecute gays and demonize them the way the GOP does.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    This is yet another Obama distraction away from what he doesn’t want to talk about — THE ECONOMY.

    Too bad for him, it won’t work.  It IS the economy — and we aren’t stupid.

    • Les

      Speak for yourself, not the rest of us Republicans!

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Les, I’m not GOP or Dem.

    • ana

      Funny, I hear President Obama talk about the economy all the time especially  Jobs, jobs, jobs.  He recently this week  spoke of  another jobs plan.   I tune into various channels.
      This week is the first time in a while he has spoken about gay rights.     
      Where do you get your information? 

  • Ray in VT

    I heard it said of the North Carolina vote that many people surveyed on the topic did not realize that it also outlawed civil unions and domestic partnership.  Is that correct?

    • TFRX

      That’s what I hear.

      Once again: Referenda results in crappily written laws. Some folks should be careful what they wish for.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Gregg said so.  He said he voted against the ban, because it banned civil unions, etc…, but MANY believed it didn’t! 

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Yes, all those who watch TV.

  • Azra

    To your last caller:

    The President is well aware of the political implications, but believes that doing the right thing trumps placating his base. Let the chips fall where they may.

    

  • Pandorasalome

    Divorce is so much more a threat to “marriage” than gay couples wanting to get married.  I think opponents are really just anti gay anything and marriage is a convenient cover to protect themselves from sounding prejudiced.

  • David from Lowell

    I’m 33, and the only time I hear people complaining about gay marriage is visiting family when the older generations talk about it, and everyone of my generation or younger groans, implicitly grouping this perspective into the old foagy category.  Opposition to gay marriage is a dying perspective.

  • Frustrated Moderate

    I am a moderate (socially conservative fiscally left) and I oppose gay marriage completely.  Obama has up to this point done little on the liberal social agenda and I was thrilled with his actions overall.  Now I am thrown into a choice I don’t want to make, a conservative fiscal agenda I dislike and a democrat social position I abhor.  Until now Obama was a no-brainier.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Why do you oppose gay marriage?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Good luck deciding!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      And now you’re the “no-brainer”, as anyone with half a brain would not oppose equal protection under the law.

  • Nutricj

    There are various estimates, but somewhere around 8-10 million children world wide need homes, families, and care by loving parents. Single, married, gay, straight, who cares? The more gay marriage is accepted, the more children get loving homes. I don’t believe in religion, but sheesh, shouldn’t the bible beaters be all for more households taking care of more homeless/familyless children? Why we are so obsessed with sex and whose having it and “defining” marriage I will never understand. Love cannot be controlled. The more love in this world the better. Anyhow, my point is that all politicians should support love and tolerance for a better global community. If there is a God, wouldn’t she want all the babies to have loving homes and parents?

  • Matt Wade

    with 2/3 of voters born after 1981 supporting gay marriage, Obama is showing leadership and getting ahead of the wave that is coming. This decision will energize his progressive base as well.

  • Thomas A. Krause

    The Roman Empire collapsed after adopting Christianity. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       It was already on the way down.  Accepting Christianity was a last ditch effort that failed.

      • Thomas A. Krause

        You missed the point. The point was the caller’s post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      I think the reason we know about homosexuality in Greece (and Rome) relates to the richness of their culture, and the extent to which those cultures still live, in our languages and our schools, and our thinking and way of life.  Those empires, the bones of them, did not disappear, although administrations change.  By the way, wasn’t Alexander the Great homosexual, or bisexual?  And you can see what a bad influence he was.  He cut a path clear across the known world, and that was the end of that.  Except…

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “wasn’t Alexander the Great homosexual”

        I think he was just well-hung.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      And I thought it was the introduction of Twinkies.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller, you are full of nonsense (and something else).  You don’t know what you’re talking about. Homosexuality was always accepted in Greek and Roman society, as was the subordinate role of women. Rome fell for complex reasons, but accepting gays wasn’t one of them.

    • Ray in VT

      Oh, but you’ll hear people argue that it did cause the downfall.  I’ve met them, and it’s an adventure.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Don’t be so sure. Emperor Nero is reported to have engaged in a marriage ceremony with one of his male slaves and Emperor Elagabalus married a Carian slave named Hierocles.

      Just think what the children of those unions must have done to the gene pool.

  • Dsheldon

    I was raised in the church and we were taught that marriage was forever – no divorce and remarriage. If you did, God would not recognize the second union. However, how would the church feel about having that legislated? I’m sure most reasonable people believe that judgement should be left to God rather than a law made to deny people the right to remarry. I have no problem with persons believing gay marriage is wrong and not accepted by God. My objection is the arrogance of people trying to make laws so that everyone is required to live by their interpretations of the Bible. The Bible does not say to make laws to that all persons have to live by. It does say he has laws that people need to follow in order to enter his kingdom. It’s up to every person to make up their own mind as to whether they’re willing to follow his rules. Whether a gay marriage is acceptable to God or not should really be left up to God to determine. We can all have our opinions and express them, but it appears too many people want to force everyone to adopt their beliefs or at least live according to their beliefs. Even God allows you to make your own choices here on earth, and he’ll determine whether or not you’ll enter heaven. I so wish these people would stop being control freaks, they’re getting so annoying.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “I was raised in the church”

      Were you ever allowed outside?

      All kidding aside, let’s not forget the difference between a church as a congregation of people with a shared belief, and the Church as a political institution of power and control.

      It is the latter which has long insisted on controlling civic functions.

  • Lynn Thompson

    As a resident of a state with a marriage equality ban, I am thrilled that President Obama has thrown his support for marriage equality.  His statement brings a long standing issue further into the public eye and into mainstream media.  I also like in a city and state that have repeated refused to offer fairness legislation to protect LGBTI individuals from hate and bigotry in the workplace, home, and public accommodations.  It is my hope that, by bringing these issues into the greater public sphere, steps will be made to protect and offer civil equality to all Americans.

  • Tncanoeguy

    I’m relatively progressive and vote for democrats but I have to say that when I hear a man talk about his “husband” it sounds a little odd.  I guess it’s largely semantics – civil unions, marriage, husband, wife…  This decision won’t change that I’ll vote or Obama.  I guess the Obama folks crunched the numbers and figured this was the way to go.  

    • Ray in VT

      It was weird at first to talk about my female friend’s wife, but it’s been a few years now, and it’s gotten less odd to say.

    • TFRX

      “But I’m a happily married man!”

      That was the old riposte in which a guy protests something vaguely unseemly (even an outing to the burlesque*, or having in his office, innocently, the CEO’s attractive young secretary*).

      Semantically speaking, that phrase won’t have the same connotation as more men married to men get to say it. And good for them.

      Should my newly-engaged nephew have kids, it’ll be another on the list of idioms he’ll have to explain from the “time capsule”, such as “hanging up” a “dial telephone”.

      (*Archaic words used on purpose.)

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The Nuer of Sudan allow women to act as a husband in certain circumstances. Now that’s confusing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001969680540 Benjamin Franklin

    On the comment that our founding fathers would be turning in their graves…According to “The Peoples Almanac” at least one founding father may have been ecstatic on this announcement as Alexander Hamilton (one of our founding fathers) is quoted within his own writings that might indicate that he himself was gay.  One of his writings to John Laurens, a fellow young revolutionist, was written on Sept. 11, 1779 stated “But like a jealous lover, when I thought you slighted my caresses, my affection was alarmed and my vanity piqued. “.  Indications are that Laurens rejected Hamilton’s advances.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Strange that a “gay” man like Hamilton would have to resign as treasury secretary over an extra-marital affair with a WOMAN.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001969680540 Benjamin Franklin

        Obviously, Hamilton struggled with his own sexuallity.

      • Ray in VT

        There’s always the switch-hitters.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      You apparently missed the analogy: “like a jealous lover”, suggests he was in a similar but not identical relationship.

  • IsaacWalton

    Pretty odd comment from the caller. Several civilizations that didn’t allow gay unions failed also. Thank you for pointing that out Tom.

    • Ray in VT

      Which one?

      • IsaacWalton

        Sorry about not being specific Ray. :-)

        • Ray in VT

          That’s okay.  Thanks for clarifying.

  • BHA in Vermont

    I think NC needs to change their constitutional amendment process. When the Constitution can be changed with only 1/3 of the registered voters participating, something is wrong. I think something as major as Constitutional amendments should require a super majority of ALL registered voters.

    Of course, I have no idea if it is different in other states :)

  • Colleen

    I am pleased the President has finally come around to the injustice of denying civil marriage benefits to gay couples (let’s hear it for the arc of history bending towards justice). I don’t think it will make any difference in the election.  Folks who are rabidly anti-gay marriage would never vote for Obama anyway, and supporters are already supporters of the President .

  • Christine

    The caller that just mentioned civilizations that normalize homosexual relationships is cracking me up!  The ancient Greeks also introduced democracy … I guess we’re definitely doomed now!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      You betcha! Look what democracy has led to in 33 states.

  • Jabu12

    Why are we showering Obama with such lavish praise for making a statement that only a bigot would refuse to make? I am dissapointed that it took him so long to “evolve” to the moral and humane stance on this issue.

  • Anne

    It seems like our modern society is mostly persuaded by emotional and sentimental rhetoric.  Legal marriage is created by law.  It is not a “God given” right.  This kind of law was established because marriage was understood to have some benefit to society.  Views of marriage have changed in our society – marriage is now viewed as a benefit to individuals not primarily to our society.  Opponents to gay marriage may be offended if someone suggested that marriage should be more difficult to enter into by heterosexuals as well – this is why divorce is supposed to be difficult.  What benefit do gay marriages have? 

    What seems to be missing from the discussion is what the actual purpose of marriage is and why benefits should be granted to 2 people who want to enter it.  Why not extend benefits to 2 elderly siblings that continue to live together.  And if “love” is the primary criteria (as some callers have suggested, and, which one could argue even in heterosexual marriages is not always the case), with such nebulous reasoning, what prevents us from legalizing polygamous marriages – or other unusual situations?

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      “This kind of law was established because marriage was understood to have some benefit to society.”

      I’m not sure I agree with this statement.  Marriage Contracts were created and entered into in order to exchange property including Farm Animals and WOMEN.

      So before you go too far espousing the value of marriage, you really should understand where the Legal Construct of Marriage comes from.

      I agree that Marriage is a LEGAL CONTRACT and it has nothing to do with the Church, Religion, or God.  The most obvious time in todays society that this becomes so obvious is when someone gets DIVORCED an is in a COURT, not a CHURCH, arguing over money, the kids and the custody of the Dog.  Clearly the Marriage at that time is just a contract you’re trying to get out of.

      Needless to say I find all the pining for the “Sanctity of Marriage” to be a bit Sanctimonious. 

      I’d just as soon get rid of Marriage entirely OR to have Marriage Licenses expire every 5 years, in all fairness…  It’s a complete waste of money and courts time dealing with the more than 50% of marriages that end in divorce.

      • Drew (GA)

        Nice!

        If people want to enter into a private contract that says they’re committed to each other and whatever Deity they believe (or don’t believe) in, more power to them. But PLEASE stop wasting everyone’s time and money to support your public declaration.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “Marriage Contracts were created and entered into in order to exchange property including Farm Animals and WOMEN.”

        Before there were any legal contracts, there were tribal mores about reproductive relationships, and monogamous marriage was primarily of benefit to the woman who would know the paternity of her children and keep her man around to provide for her and her children.

        Men are biologically designed for multiple partners and maximum genetic reproduction. Monogamy was created to restrain men and benefit women and their offspring.

      • Jim978

        Re: “Sanctity of Marriage”

        Sanctity seems a strange word to describe something two people can do in front of an Elvis impersonator at 3:00 am after a night of partying!

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Are you suggesting that Elvis wasn’t divine?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “What benefit do gay marriages have?”

      Odd that you would even have to ask. How about relationship stability by dint of public recognition and legal equality of treatment? How about more non-reproductive families that can adopt children who need homes at a time when overpopulation is threatening our very existence? 

  • Bjorlinggm

    Maybe Obama did not make this anouncement for political reasons

  • Jesus was accepting…

    Tom,
    please correct the previous caller who said, “Jesus reaffirmed this in the New Testament when he said a man shouldn’t lay with a man…”  and, after your comment about Jesus’ statements on the Golden rule said, “I’d like to know what Bible he is reading?”  both of these comments are inaccurate representations of the biblical texts.  In the NT Jesus said absolutely nothing about same-sex relations!  (the man laying with a man, etc. is only found in the Hebrew Bible – it had nothing to do with Jesus).  But, the NT absolutely DID state that we are not to judge other, but to treat each other as we would like to be treated.  I think broad, biblical ignorance is perpetuating these divisive issues.  I think you were right to bring up the “golden rule.”  

    • Ellen Dibble

      I believe the Old Testament set forth some male-male relationships that were clearly, to me, as a four-year-old listening to the Bible stories, of another scale than pals.  It was not Greek or Roman stories that cued me into the way same-sex relationships could expand into a category of its own, of their own.  I was in awe of it.   Apparently the writers and publishers of children’s books acknowledged and valued those same-sex relationships. One I remember had the name of Jonathan.  Am I wrong?

      • Brothersower88

        The claim that David and Johnathan had a relationship beyond strong friendship would be very hard to defend.

    • Brothersower88

      This

      “I think broad, biblical ignorance is perpetuating these divisive issues.”

  • Jeremy

    I think that it is about time that President Obama grabbed his cohoona’s and stood up for what is right! We who support and believe in our secular constitution need to STOP catering to the fundamentalist right wing nut jobs and start embracing human rights. These right wingers based on their rhetoric are looking more to a nation like Iran, a THEOCRATIC dictatorial regimen. ALL OF YOU THAT FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY PLEASE GO FIND ANOTHER COUNTRY AND LEAVE OURS FREE!!!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Do you realize how authoritarian your last sentence makes you look?

    • Brothersower88

      What Greg said. 

      Also, this comment makes you look over emotional, irrational, and supporting the same kind of regime that you so hate (they don’t agree with me, so they should be cast out/killed/silenced).

      Also, looking at the UN’s definition of human rights, it doesn’t mention same-sex marriage.  At best you “might” be able to claim civil rights.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “the UN’s definition of human rights, it doesn’t mention same-sex marriage”

        Universal Declaration of Human Rights
        Article 2.

        Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

  • Screamingpalms

    Umm….what is the current divorce rate amongst heterosexual couples ??? Something like 60% ???? And legalizing same sex marriage is going to cause a problem ???? Give me a break. The absurdity is immeasurable.

  • Seamus B. H. Q.

    Newsflash for Estelle (who seems very ignorant of history): homosexuality was a part of Greek culture long before that civilization went into decline.  The genesis of homosexuality among the ancient Greek neither caused nor coincided with that rich culture’s decline; it preceded the decline by many centuries.  As to the Romans, they never accepted homosexuality as clearly or openly as Greek culture did.  Many people make the mistake of conflating the two cultures, but of course they were distinct and each had its own origin.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Roman acceptance depended on how public the relationship was and which end of an unequal pairing the person was on.  The main point was service to the state.  Everything else was secondary.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s certainly what the readings that I have done have either suggested or outright stated.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “The main point was service to the state.”

        Is that service by the hour?

  • Goldbug

    How gay marriage is still an issue, blows my mind.

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      AMEN!

    • TomK in Boston

      Amen Amen!

      Gay marriage has no effect whatsoever on hetero marriage. If the right was really concerned about traditional marriage, they’d look to the economic reasons why it is in decline.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “How gay marriage is still an issue, blows my mind.”

      And maybe other anatomical parts as well.

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    That last caller was HYSTERICAL!

    I know people bend facts to suit their own views, but OMG she bent the history of the Greeks and Romans over backwards so far that their heads were where the sun don’t shine.  I mean REALLY?  The Greek and Roman empires fell apart because they accepted homosexuality???  I’m pretty sure that is not how that happened.

    I wonder if we could create a policy where if you are convicted of a homophobic hate crime we can ship you to NC…  like the British did with Australia.  We could create a whole state full-o-stupid.  Or maybe we’ll get lucky and the homophobes will ship themselves there.

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    AMEN!

  • Greyman

    The matter is not that this issue will overwhelm other issues facing voters in November: it is the case that this issue will inform the emotive incentives of voters to register satisfaction or complaint with the President’s overall performance come November.
    Marriage between men and women is a social institution older than Islam, Christianism, and Judaism combined. It is an institution far older than this nation’s history and far older than the generation of twenty-somethings who have every reason not to have a normative view of that history, given the assaults on the institution of marriage that the Baby Boomer generation foisted on them, which of course came in its part from the largesse of the WWII generation’s sponsorship of the pill, no-fault divorce, and eager talent for promiscuity. How in the world could the rising generation have anything but an impaired view of the institution of marriage when their immediate forebears have undertaken every diminishment of it that they could think to conjure?

    • Thinkin15

       Read history and you see that debauchery, unfaithful marriages, desertions, affairs, unwed mothers, illegitimate children, are all part of it. Through most of history marriage was about property rights and heirs and love had little to do with it. The boomers didn’t invent all this they just took it out of the closet. As Billy Joel sings: “We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world’s been turning..”

      • Greyman

        You are correct that, formerly, marriage through most of history was more about property rights and heirs, because the institution was dedicated to the proposition of social and political continuity. If the institution is now appropriated serially simply to help a generation limp through its respective span of threescore-years-and-ten, we can anticipate that social and political continuity within our society will not long endure. (Billy Joel is a much more accomplished exponent of Billy Joel than he ever was of enduring marital bliss.)

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t think that my support of same sex marriage is in any way the result of an “impaired view of the institution of marriage”.  If you believe that, then fine.  But also keep in mind that marriage for love, or couples getting to choose their own mate, is a relatively new phenomenon in the West.  Traditionally many marriages were for other reasons, and the woman was often regarded as a piece of property exchanged.  That is a tradition that we have discarded and with good reason.  I think that your view of history is far too hunky dorry when it comes to the institution of marriage.

      • Greyman

        “Love” is hardly a sound or sufficient basis for any marriage: marriage is much more a political institution than a relationship for accommodating ephemeral affectivity; “marriages-for-love” constitute as much a mockery of the institution as “marriages-of-convenience”, arguably. (Charles Chaplin perhaps could be taken as a paragon of the virtue of marrying for love: he loved any number of women without discriminating against those he was not married to). Arranged marriages certainly are not the norm now, but I think you’d dig without discovering any evidence that the practice was ever typical or normative in any preceding century.

        • Ray in VT

          I cannot think of a better reason to get married to someone than love.  One should also take some other factors into account, but why should one marry another if that one great factor isn’t present?  If you want to get married for some other reason, then feel free to do so.  Also, cheating on one’s spouse, no matter how the marriage came about, certainly isn’t new, and I’m not sure that the rise of marriage for love has done much to change that.  Arranged marriage has certainly been more the norm in some non-western cultures, and I’ll admit that I’m no expert on the history of marriage in the West, but I think that if you dig, then you will certainly find that, especially among the aristocracy, it certainly existed so that alliances could be forged, property could be maintained and that familial stature could be enhanced.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Marriage for “love” (often confused with lust or other primal attraction), can be shown to have directly led to the current abysmal success rate of this modern institution, particularly coupled with the idolatry of the self and the feminist “liberation” of the woman to seek her bliss.

            When marriage was primarily an economic contract, to share the work of creating a home and family, with sufficient division of labor to make the enterprise efficient, it was a far more durable arrangement, and abiding affection (more grounded than “love”) was often the outcome.

          • Ray in VT

            Points taken, Robert.  Marriage for love may not be as durable as those founded upon more “practical” grounds, and it puts more pressure on the individuals and the institution, but I’m not sure that this is a situation where I would favor efficiency and durability as primary factors in and determinants of success.  Many marriages will endure that should, and many will end that should.  Once the societal, and for all practical purposes the legal reality, was that marriages would be for life, and that could mean despite philandering, abuse, neglect, etc.  I said earlier today that many people undertake this venture with too much haste, and some give up on it far too easily, but in most ways I would take our modern arrangement, warts and all, over the bargain which many people were locked into previously.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            There’s about zero probability of returning to a more contractual partnership arrangement, at least in the old world sense. But it’s worth noting that pre-nuptual 
             agreements - a pragmatic contract – are becoming common, and that extended families (a pragmatic economic arrangement) are re-forming as young people and old alike find they have lost their financial independence.

            One of the most popular forms of community are co-housing developments, in which every member has a contractual as well as familial relationship with one another. Housing coops and community land trusts are others. All three of those artificial extended family constellations allow the emotional benefits of familiarity and the pragmatic benefits of legally-defined mutual obligations.

            These kinds of intentional communities have staying power, whereas the communes of the 1960s, which were based on shallower commonalities, rarely lasted. One of the exceptions is Gaskin’s Farm in TN, which almost from the start created a collective economic model and service mission which lent a pragmatism to the venture.

            The kind of love that endures is more appropriately called respect, caring and loyalty – because those qualities can persist even when we’re not feeling either very loving or well loved, or when the lust diminishes or dies.

            Loyalty is perhaps the least valued and likely the most important element of a satisfying and durable relationship. An intimate partnership has its ebbs and flows, and without some “glue” more durable than emotional satisfaction, there’s little chance of longevity. 

          • aj

            Are you born again Amish bro?

        • Jim978

          Greyman,

          You believe that, “”Love” is hardly a sound or sufficient basis for any marriage: marriage is much more a political institution than a relationship for accommodating ephemeral affectivity.”

          So how should it be determined who gets married to whom?  If it’s a political institution, do politicians become the new matchmakers?  Do we create a government agency to approve or deny marriage requests?  How about a plebiscite where the electorate decides?

          What kind of system do you suggest?

          • Greyman

            Jim: I have no system to suggest, apart from reacquainting ourselves with custom and what used to pass for common sense (in the Vichian sense: cf. G. B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern by Mark Lilla and Vico’s New Science) and unapologetic resort to informed prejudice (in the Burkean sense: pp. 183f. in the Penguin edition of Reflections on the Revolution in France). I warrant I am a living anachronism and a sincere anti-rationalist and realist enough not to hold my breath. (It’s not that I fear Progress: I heartily disbelieve in Progress. History is all we have to work with, and our rational sciences and our “rational” politics will never make of us what we are not, not in any lasting sense.) Having an 18th century cast of mind, I hew to Dean Swift’s demonstration that man is not a rational animal in the Augustinian sense: man is an animal only capable of reason. Attempts to make human society conform to various dictates of reason yields dystopias along the lines of Zamyatin’s We and Orwell’s 1984, or bloodbaths like revolutionary France or revolutionary Russia. –You see, I told the truth: I have no system apart from disjointed efforts to recognize where we’ve come from. 

  • Matt Wade

    I’m just gonna leave this here for all the born-again, gay-haters out there.

    Religious Factors and Hippocampal Atrophy in Late Life

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0017006

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      LOL!

      I’m filing that little nugget away for later.  :)

  • Bruce

    Thanks On Point for this timely program.
    Re-elect Obama and he WILL appoint judges to the federal courts who won’t promote the socially conservative agenda of God, Guns and Gays (i.e. homophobia).  While he alone may not be able to get federal laws passed that will uphold our traditions of moderation and tolerance toward minorities, he can nominate judges who will preserve these traditions and prevent the courts from being used for perversely partisan ends.
    Any self-respecting libertarian, young person with an open mind, or truly independent voter should support Obama in Nov. if they do not want to witness an erosion of our civil liberties and rollback of decades of progress ensuring equal rights for racial and ethnic minorities, women, labor and gays.
    Anyone with a modicum of common sense should see through the charade of a GOP that uses “values voters” as a niche marketing tool pandering to the Religious Right in order to win national elections while at the same time putting forward candidates some of whom are serial adulterers and others descended from a long line of polygamists.
    And we’re supposed to listen seriously to their nonsense about family values?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Any self-respecting libertarian, young person with an open mind, or truly independent voter should support Obama in Nov. if they do not want to witness an erosion of our civil liberties”

      Obama has continued or expanded virtually all the Bush Cheney violations of civil liberties, including: 

      continued indefinite detentions at Gitmo

      continued military tribunals

      ordered the killing of U.S. citizens abroad who are deemed terrorists

      asked the Justice Department to draft secret memos authorizing his actions without going before a federal court or disclosing them

      signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which authorizes the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of assisting terrorists, even citizens

      domestic law enforcement has been militarized

      granted legal immunity to the telecom firms

      the National Security Agency is now building its largest data processing center ever

      the NSA is increasingly relying on private firms to mine data to avoid search warrants

      the federal government continues to require backdoor access to software for domestic surveillance purposes

      attacked whistleblowers, including the prosecution of Bradley Manning

      stonewalled Freedom of Information Act requests

      • Bruce

        The point with your litany of complaints is well taken.  Without wandering too far from the subject at hand, which I thought was marriage equality or equal rights for gays, I’d say most of the offenses you list began in the previous administration, and if Romney’s bluster over Iran is any indication, are more likely to continue unmitigated under Republican Neocon leadership than the current administration — a proposition for another day/program on foreign policy or domestic security in the post-9/11 reality. 

        I was referring to the “liberty” enjoyed by adults entering into marital contracts, not the “liberty” of those suspected of conspiring or collaborating with enemies of the U.S. dedicated to wreaking havoc on our society by the indiscriminate killing of innocents.

        I personally don’t feel threatened by gays sharing in the same rights, prerogatives and benefits that straights enjoy by virtue of the institution of marriage (which you detail in your excellent post above).  A jihadist bent on the destruction of our country, whether foreign born or American, is another matter not as easily litigated.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Two points:

          1) Some of the expansion of executive power began in the previous administration, but Obama has continued, extended or expanded most of them, and added others. 

          2) Many of these police state have been used against US citizens, including the Occupy movement, ecological and animal rights activists and those with even the most remote connection to any organization deemed “terrorist” which include Palestinian aid groups.

          Don’t be so naive as to believe that they are intended only for, or used only for, “terrorists”.

  • Guest

    NICE!

    If people want to enter into a private contract that says they’re committed to each other and whatever Deity they believe (or don’t believe) in, more power to them. But PLEASE stop wasting everyone’s time and money to support your public declaration.

    Should’ve been a reply to previous comment, Disqussss :(

  • burroak

    Interesting subject whose time has arrived. Human sexuality is part of being human. It is a vast grey area, interestingly complex. But whatever someone is sexually: gay, straight, bisexual or transgender, what business is it of someone else. Two adults are happy and not hurting anyone, why would a person obsess 24 hours, 7 days a week about someones sexuality.
     Human sexuality is a unique thread that weaves through the variety of ethnicities, race, religions, cultures, etc. It is one of the things that make us human. Therefore why would a country disallow a citizen to be happy with another adult, no matter what there sexual preference is.
    If you legalize gay marriage, it does not weaken what marriage means between a man and a woman. It is a bond, committment, between two human beings.
    An idea: Change the wording of marriage so it states a union between two loving, committed, adults, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality.
     Legalizing gay marriage would be another ingredient in the one-of-a-kind “melting pot” that is America; because of its vast diversity, no other country has such depth of character. People from all over the world wish to come and take part in the great experiment of democracy and share in that legendary sought after, sacred American value: freedom to be. 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “why would a country disallow a citizen to be happy with another adult”?

      Because they’re first cousins?

  • Drew (GA)

    Disqus is mad

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Appease it, by sacrificing a Republican virgin?

      • Drew (GA)

        lol

        Tried that, appears to be working for the moment

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Bristol Palin?

          • Ray in VT

            Hilarious.

          • Gregg

            Why would you attack Bristol Palin? What do you have against her?

          • Ray in VT

            You’ve got to admit that having someone who is the child of someone who supports abstinence only sex ed, which I think that her mother does, get knocked up and then rake in the cash speaking to kids about abstinence is pretty funny.

            She’s an adult now, and she puts herself in the public sphere.  I thought that it was a funny, and rather light, jab.

  • Jesus was accepting…

    As the Bible clearly supports polygamy, sex-slaves (harems, etc.) and
    wife-swapping between brothers we are quite out of touch with “biblical
    sexual mores.”  I, as a life-long, devout and seminary-trained
    Christian, am quite okay with this.  The Bible IS an important document
    that passionately presents various peoples’ experience of God in their
    Lives.  But, it was not a stagnant document; later people updated older
    stories to make them relevant to their time.  Certainly, the Jewish
    Midrashim are good examples of the variety interpretation allowed – even
    thousands of years ago.  Why should the text now be considered
    “set-in-stone.”  It never was intended to be a book of facts (assuredly,
    not ‘facts’ as understood in the modern age). 
    However, I am
    equally disappointed by the anti-religious vitriol being espoused around
    these topics.  The level of ignorance and bigotry of the same-sex
    denying ‘Christians’ is no less than the ignorance and bigotry of these
    spewers of anti-religious hate.  Whether you like it or not, Jesus was
    right: we need to stop the hate and treat all humans with love and
    respect – especially those with whom we disagree.
    Peace. 

    • Billjanis

      Well said! A Christian with who allows his brain to work. I love this.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you.  When I point out the hypocricy of ‘Christians’, I do NOT mean the people truely trying to live that life.   It is about those that claim moral superiority, to DICTATE to others, that prove to actually have better morals!

    • Zero

      The right wing are not Christians, they are pickers and choosers of Old Testament law.  They don’t follow the principles of Jesus.  They go beyond ignoring Jesus; they go against his teachings. 

      • TFRX

        But when it’s The Evening News “interviews a Christian”, you know who they go to. All the time.

        Scientists who aren’t Godless Athiests? The 98% of Catholics who use real-world birth control?

        Not part of the narrative; not in the Rolodex. If mentioned, it’s with the wonder of introducing a water-skiing squirrel.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The 1% HAVE the MONEY, to create the JOBS, that were PROMISED 11 years ago, BY Republicans!  IF the GREEDY rich, which Bay talks FOR, had created those JOBS,  people wouldn’t NEED the ‘Safety Net’!
       How does Bay defend this?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Apologies!  This was for the other show.

  • Witterquick

    It should be an automatic right for all citizens to marry.  Let the gays experience the 50% failure rate like the rest of us.   It is still up to all churches to identify what marriage is in their church. In my mind, gay marriage is similar to flag burning.  It is a red herring that diverts attention away from the real problems of the country (immigration, poverty, undue political influence by the rich corporations, earmarks, government waste, fixing entitlement programs, tax reform etc……).  These are the issues that our government should be trying to fix.  Not spend time on something that is a religious issue.

    • Ray in VT

      Or what isn’t even a religious issue for those of us who have chosen not to have a religious marriage service.  As far as the state is concerned it is really just a contract conferring rights and stipulating obligations.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Not spend time on something that is a religious issue.”

      Excuse me, but this is a 14th amendment equal protection issue, and constitutional issues trump all others.

      • Gregg

        That’s the thing that’s bugging me, especially now since I’ve heard the show. To reduce the debate to an issue driven by “religious nuts”, as one caller said and the comments here reflect, really misses the point.

  • TFRX

    “I know this is a senstive issue.” When Mitt Romney says “I have the same view I’ve had since running for office” my alarm goes off.

    Throw in on top of that the idea that Romney can’t minimize it/ignore it (unlike a GWB, say) or his base will make noises about him being squishy. His need to publicly reiterate his opposition doesn’t jibe with the general voter populace.

  • Billjanis

    We hear from people all the time about founding fathers this, founding fathers that, and Tom, you were right, they were pro slavery. Also, we hear about how they were Christians and followed the bible. BULL! Thomas Jeffferson was so against what was in the bible he took a stand and REWROTE it, and was clear in his disagreement about the parts that are clearly nonsense. So enough of this founding fathers, and bible nonsense. This country protects freedom, not only Christianity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    While America argues about same sex marriage.
    The Philippines and China are in the brink of war to claim a small island 140 miles from the former US base Subic Bay.

    China does not want to take the issue to the UN to resolve the problems. The Philippine government is willing to negotiate to avoid military conflict.

    As you know Vietnam was the first country to be harassed by China in the Spratly islands. Chinese navy murdered innocent Vietnamese navy personnel.

  • Azra

    Can’t wait to see how Mitt spins this. Maybe he’ll suddenly pretend to adopt a Christian viewpoint about everything, and will say that he intends to treat ALL of us fairly, even children, women, poor, sick, elderly, teachers . . . DOGS???

    • TFRX

      Can’t wait to see how he used to think about it, too.

      See this: http://www.rumproast.com/images/uploads/Romney_Bay_Windows_1994.jpg

    • Azra

      Left out Latinos, African-Americans, ^ union workers, gays, of course, people who tell the truth, and everyone else he discriminates against. The list is too long to type here.

      Why does he refuse to discuss his income tax returns? I’m especially curious about that period in 2010, when he was making $26,000.00 a day. Wonder what it is that he’s so afraid of having us find out?

      Any ideas?

      • Azra

        Sorry, we mustn’t leave out the people of Michigan, and the rest of the Country, whose jobs are somehow connected to our auto industry. Mitt is the one who doesn’t care what happens to those Americans, the ones who are working again, and are more successful than they’ve ever been.

    • JGC

      Mitt won’t spin this at all. He doesn’t want to think about that gay thing; if he did, memories would ooze back from his subconscious about how he was a gay-bashing ringleader at his prep school. (Washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-prep-school-classmates-recall)

      Boys will be boys, eh, Mitt?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    You tell me how close can the Chinese boarder can be?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      my bad it’s border

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Boarder MAY be more appropriate!  Repel?

  • Melzer (Pat) Morgan

    The placement of the “Marriage Amendment” on the ballot in North Carolina and the vote succeeded in dividing the African-American community.  It is an electoral strategy. It is a diversion from concern about jobs and how NC invests in teachers and jobs.  It may help North Carolina go Republican in November. Belief in what the Bible purportedly says trumped concerns about the effect of the Amendment on 225,000 unmarried couples in North Carolina.  Former Republican guberntorial candidate Richard Vinroot, former Republican Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr, and John Locke Foundation head John Locke all called it overbroad.  But reason did not prevail.

    Melzer (Pat) Morgan, Retired N C Superior Court Judge

    • Azra

      Thank you for your insight, Sir.

  • Morgan in NC

    Commenting on the recent Amendment One decision in NC, many of us in NC are upset that this Amendment was on a primary ballot.  If this had been on the ballot in November, I am positive that more voters would have turned out and the decision on the Amendment would have been much closer.  What the result would have been, I do not know, but I hope that it would have been voted down.  With that being said, there is a large opposition to this new Amendment, and issue of same-sex marriage and civil unions is far from over in the state of NC.

  • PierreCh

    If we put things in perspective, 30% of voters showed up, and 61% of those approved the proposition. That means a total of 18% of the total voters. This leaves 82% who are either opposed or do not care.  The don’t care part is troublesome, but we should not read too much into that vote regarding Obama’s future.  It is sad, though, that such a small group of fundamentalists can hijack the democratic process.

    • Gregg

      “This leaves 82% who are either opposed or do not care.”

      What about the ones who favored it and didn’t vote? Don’t forget them, you might have. It’s pretty clear there is a general consensus across the nation that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman, at least where it’s come to a vote. 

      • Roy Mac

        No, it’s pretty clear that angry, bigoted people who are rightfully feeling that their uninformed opinions are being overrun by a better-informed populace who understand that slavery, landed gentry, and the denial of voting and property ownership to women and minorities was and is immoral, particularly in a democracy.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Not to mention the demoralization of the amoral-ized (by right wing talking heads) unemployed and poor.

        • Bhbyrum

           I live in a state with a large rural population.  I had a job which took me to the most rural areas.  I really don’t blame these individuals.  Most of them have never met a non-Christian and think they’ve never met a gay.   Because they aren’t well traveled or worldly, they are highly vulnerable to manipulation by politicians and right wing clergy.  They are told homosexuals are promiscuous, child molesters, etc. and because they have no experience which counters that argument, they go along.  It’s the politicians, fundamentalist Christian clergy, and those with a personal agenda who I blame.

      • Bhbyrum

         “It’s pretty clear there is a general consensus across the nation that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman, …”  No this is not clear at all.  The only thing that is clear about those votes is that the Republicans were very clever in stirring up the feelings of the homophobes and getting those people to the polls.

      • PierreCh

         18% is not a consensus. The others don’t care enough to vote. There is also a progression. Time will tell.

        • Gregg

          As one of those 18%, I can tell you it’s not an issue that gets my hackles up.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong


        It’s pretty clear there is a general consensus across the nation that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman”

        Not according to all the current polls. 

        52% of all adults favor same sex marriage, including majorities of both men and women, of whites, of Democrats and Independents, of liberals and moderates, and of all regions of the US except the south. This shows a steadily increasing trend since 2004.

        • Gregg

          There is an interesting dynamic going on with national polls saying one thing and the voters of a large majority of States saying the opposite.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Both the polls and the referenda agree among the southern states. 

            But the polls use a representative sample of the population, while the ones who turn out for these votes are those who are mobilized by the wingnuts, while those without passion on the issue stay home.

          • Gregg

            One group has a say, the other not so much.

  • Azra

    Well, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Republicans are up to their old (and current) dirty tricks, again. Seems that after President Obama revealed his true feelings about gay marriage, Republicans were furiously working on two bills, BOTH targeting gays! Can’t remember one of them, but I do remember the other. They’re hellbent on preventing gays from have anything resembling a wedding ceremony, on any U.S. military base.

    Guess I was wrong in thinking that this might be another “me too” moment for Me Too Mitt, and that he would suddenly feign the same Christian values which guide the Democratic party. They’re going out of their way, more than ever, to discriminate, and they’re making no bones about it!

    What kind of heathens do they expect to vote for Mitt after that?

    • Zing

       So Obama lied before?….got it…

      • Ray in VT

        I assume that you, then, hold the exact same views today that you held 5, 10 or 20 years ago?  People and their opinions change, and I won’t fault someone for that.

  • Julie

    Tom, has anyone considered that legalizing gay marriage would beneficially impact the economy?! Weddings cost a lot of money. Allowing same-sex couples to marry would boost the economy in regard to all the products, services, and companies involved in the production of a wedding.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And on the tail end, much more to one-per-center lawyers in divorce court. ;^)

    • mmaaaxx

       I hope we are not making our laws about morality based on economic forecasts…what if the math when the other way–would you have it banned??

    • Biff

      Agreed. The legalization of prostitution would also generate income for sex workers, tax revenues for governments, and a boom in tourism. The President’s narrow focus on the rather quaint notion of gay-marriage misses the big picture of a truly vibrant sex economy.

  • Wmamiller

    I ran for office in Indiana in the 1980′s as a republican’t twice; the phyllis schaffley outfit grilled me and other candidates just before President Clinton was elected. (In that backlash election against the republican’ts)  They asked me about Gay Marriage.  As an informed  gay man, I had never heard of this.  It is and was painfully obvious that the republican’ts’ manufactured this wedge issue.  Now, it is biting them in the butt! Our current President is one of the most intelligent people to hold this office in a long time.  I fully suppory his decision, and feel that most people who hate him now, will not hate him less as a result of this decision/annnouncement/proclamation. Just read the bathroon graffitti, a lot of uninformed faux news watchers truly despise this man.  Sad.

    • Azra

      So much hatred, and some of them pretend to be religious!

  • Bhbyrum

    The justification used against gay marriage is the Bible.  We do NOT have a theocracy in America.  We do not consult ANY church before we make our laws.  This is one of our founding principles.  There is no reason why civil law cannot allow gays to marry.  If a church disagrees, then that church should not conduct gay marriages.  Why are the Republicans and other conservatives so concerned with what I do in my bedroom with another consenting adult.  I’m heterosexual, but could be doing all kinds of kinky things in my bedroom and they don’t care.

    • J__o__h__n

      They do care.  Gays aren’t their only target.  They are after heterosexual rights to contraception and abortion. 

      • Bhbyrum

         Sadly John I guess you’re right.  But I’d still like to know why those people are so interested in what I do in private, not hurting anyone.

        • Zing

           John is never right. He is, however, completely self absorbed.

          • Warren

            But he keeps trying and trying.Law of averages say he’llo eventually get something right

      • GodAlmighty

        Don’t look at it as your right to abortion. Look at it as murdering a defenseless primate, who may have grown up and discovered the cure to the disease that eventually leads to your slow agonizing death. Not really a fair comparison I venture, as in my opinion a fetus could not possibly be as unconscious as you are.

        • CStig

          Well one thing they have in common is that both he and fetuses are jerk-offs.
          That’s right — fetuses have been found to be mastribating and there are ultra sound films of it on the TED talks.
          I would say that makes them the equivalent of any of the jerk-offs who think that murdering the innocent is a right.

        • Brett

          Or, the fetus, er, “defenseless primate” could grow up to be the next Charles Manson, or John Wayne Gacy, meaning your argument is ridiculous.

    • Gregg

      Speaking for myself, my opposition to gay marriage has zero, zip, nada to do with the Bible. Conservatives have no interest in what you do in the bedroom nor do they have the monopoly for opposition to gay marriage. There are gay, Democrat atheists who oppose it. 

      • J__o__h__n

        Conservatives are constantly trying to involve themselves in what people do in their bedrooms.  The majority of the Republican party doesn’t share your libertarian social views.  There are Democrats who oppose it too but isn’t a part of the party’s objectives and there are far fewer of them. 

        • Zing

           So, as usual there are a few bad dems….but those ‘Pubs are oh so rotten!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            SOOO RIGHT!

        • Gregg

          I hear that a lot but what does it mean? Most of the time it has to do with abortion as if being pro-life means… I don’t know what. Surely being opposed to same sex marriage doesn’t mean the same as legislating bedroom behavior.

        • Warren

          The Left wants to tell me what Lt.Bulbs to use.Next they’ll be reaching into my shower and regulating the water temp.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you for the nonsense scenario of the day.  Sometimes you sound suspiciously like Modavations.  Has anyone ever told you that?

            Okay, so you have issues with efficiency standards for light bulbs.  Do you also take issue with mandatory seat belts in cars, the doing away with of leaded gasoline or government measures to keep lead out of kids toys?

            I am fine with all of those, but I am very much against rules and laws that come right out and say well, if you’re this sort of adult, then you can do this, but not that.  Minors are another issue altogether.

          • Gregg

            Good point, that is far more likely to happen than the likelihood of a Republican trying to legislate what happens in the bedroom.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that it is.  Wasn’t it Rick Perry who this past fall was quite critical of the Supreme Court decision striking down the sodomy law.  Now, while not calling for it’s resurrection, he certainly didn’t seem to care for the fact that it had become legal.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh wait, on the trail he couldn’t recall the case by name, but he was critical of the case when Governor and defended the “Texas Homosexual Conduct Law”.

          • JamesMay33

            lol this light bulb thing never fails to amaze me.  What a sacrifice, god knows we wouldn’t want you to do anything that was different even if it did help you and everyone else.  You know this climate thing is just a ploy to take over the ice cream monopoly in Slovokia.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda, you WHINED so much, that the light bulb efficiency ruling, was dropped MONTHS ago! 
               You going to WHINE now, because you can’t sell the Million 100 Watt bulbs you ‘bought’?
                I question whether you even bought 100 of them, but YOU stated on here, that you bought a million 100 Watt incandescent light bulbs.

          • aj

            That statute was signed into law by the Right’s G.W.Bush. As opposed to regulation from the Left, as you falsely charged.

            However, your gonna love this little doozie Obama’s EEOC slipped into the Federal Register.

            “Bashful Bladder Syndrome” 17 million Americans (men?) affected, could be covered under Americans with Disabilities Act. So urinals will need to be retrofitted for more privacy as to accomodate the ’17 million bashful bladders out there!’

            Estimated cost to bizness, $2-4 Billion! Take your best aim at that one, just make sure you flush afterwards. I am going to start an association to advocate an end to Prohibition of public urination laws.

            We shall overcome.

      • Zero

        I think it may be a stretch to say your last sentence.  There are conservative democrats, but I don’t seeing gay democrats or atheist democrats or gay atheistic democrats being culturally conservative.

        • Gregg

          That’s my point, same-sex marriage is not a culturally conservative issue.

          • Zero

             I’m using the definition of conservativism: a will to keep traditional culture in place.  Democrats generally are culturally liberal and economically conservative  (if you use that actual meanings of the words).  If you are against gay marriage, you are conservative on that issue.

  • mmaaaxx

    Ohh my…I’m soooooo proud of our little Barack….he’s soooo handsome and dignified….

    geeeze, makes me wanna yak!

    I cannot believe how superficial this conversation was. Not once did we question why the federal gov was involved in marriage at all! Is it all about tax breaks? Next of Kin? Liability? Let people define marriage how they will and don’t punish those who do not choose to get married (or can’t find a mate!), by giving benefits to married people.

    This should not be a federal issue!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “This should not be a federal issue!”

      What part of Equal Protection Under Law don’t you understand?

      • mmaaaxx

        Marriage is not a case of “protection.” I am not arguing to take anything away from homo/bi-sexuals, but to do away with the special status of marriage as a government dictate. then everyone will be equal under the law no matter what their sexual orientation.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          You’d be throwing out the entire house with the bathwater.

          As long as government has existed, marriage has been treated as a contract, either between families or between two individuals. In society, we require protection of the legal rights and enforcement of the legal responsibilities that such a contractual agreement entails.

          The reason that same-sex couples want full legal marriage is so that they can enjoy the same protected benefits as heteros, including:

          Tax benefits, including joint tax returns and family partnerships

          Estate planning benefits, including inheriting your spouse’s estate, and tax exemptions for spousal gifts

          Government benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, disability benefits, veterans’ and military benefits for spouses

          Receiving public assistance benefits.

          Employment benefits, including obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse’s employer, taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness, receiving wages, workers’ compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse, taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies

          Medical benefits, including visitation rights and making medical proxy decisions

          Death benefits, including consenting to after-death examinations and procedures and making burial or other final arrangements

          Family benefits, including filing for stepparent or joint adoption, applying for joint foster care rights, receiving an equitable division of property if you divorce, receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce

          Housing benefits, including living in neighborhoods zoned for families only, renewing leases signed by your spouse

          Consumer benefits, including receiving family rates for health, homeowners’, auto, and other types of insurance, and tuition discounts

          Other legal benefits and protections, including suing for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy), suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection, claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage, receiving crime victims’ recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime, obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse, and visiting rights in jails

          • Gregg

            I support civil unions for the reasons you cite but I have a quibble, you wrote: “As long as government has existed, marriage has been treated as a contract, either between families or between two individuals.”

            Isn’t it more accurate to say: As long as government has existed, marriage has been treated as a contract between a man and a woman?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Civil Unions typically offer about 10% of the benefits available to married couples, and none of the federal benefits.

            Among both aristocracy and tribal peoples (including even the clans of Appalachia), marriage was typically a “treaty” between groups. It typically created kinship ties and mutual obligations.

            It is said that the Hatfield-McCoy feud ended with a marriage.

            from Wikipedia:
            There is a long history of recorded same-sex unions around the world. It is believed that same-sex unions were celebrated in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian, and at certain times in ancient European history. The first historical mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire, when Emperor Nero is reported to have engaged in a marriage ceremony with one of his male slaves and Emperor Elagabalus married a Carian slave named Hierocles.

            A same-sex marriage between the two men Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz in the Galician municipality of Rairiz de Veiga in Spain occurred on 16 April 1061. They were married by a priest at a small chapel. The historic documents about the church wedding were found at Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova. 

            In other times and cultures, polyandry, polygamy and group marriage were sanctioned. Today 250 million people live in areas that recognize same-sex marriage.

          • Biff

            If, as you say, polygamy enjoys the same stature as gay-marriage, the President is obligated, for sake of equal protections, to endorse harems, bigamy, and polygamy as acceptable familial relationships. 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            We could, but no one is asking for it. So that’s a straw man. 

          • Gregg

            Alright, I get it and I surely did interpolate incorrectly. Point taken.

            Allow me another try: As long as The United States of America has existed, she has treated marriage as contract between a man and a woman.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            For nearly 100 years, we also considered the ownership of slaves as sacred. Should we not evolve as a nation and expand civil rights to more people?

          • Gregg

            Flawed analogy.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            It’s a perfect analogy, if you’re suggesting that the present should just repeat the mistakes of the past.

          • Gregg

            Mistake is your word. I’m just saying this issue has weight, it’s a fundamental shift.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Afraid of change?

          • Ray in VT

            Not necessarily.  It may be more accurate to say that it has always existed between a man and at least one woman, although there may be historical instances of polyandry or other numerical arrangements.

          • Gregg

            Fair enough.

          • Biff

            So, to summarize your essay, gay-marriage is an economic stimulus. 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You’ve earned an “F” for summarizing. There was nothing in that list about economic activity, only legal rights.

          • Bruce

            Thanks for laying out how marriage benefits the individual(s).  No doubt, when an entire class of citizens is denied the right to marry based on their sexual orientation, an enormous economic & psychological burden is imposed on those citizens.

            I’d argue, moreover, that a severe social cost accompanies the material losses suffered by these individuals.  To the extent that straight marriage makes sense for society and serves purposes other than strictly procreation and child rearing, gay marriage serves similar ends, that is, to civilize & settle young adults, and to provide reliable caregivers in old age.

            These two purposes are critical to the functioning of a humane & stable society, and probably are better served by marriage than any other institution.

            Legally speaking, marriage creates kin as you point out in your post.  I’d ask those opposed to marriage equality the following question:  why isn’t it in society’s long-term interest to promote kin-creation for those people who are least likely to be supported by children in old age and who may well have been rejected by their own parents in youth? 

  • Dccook1981

    Responding to the lady who stated that the downfall of the Greek and roman civilization was due to acceptance of homosexuality. That point has absolutely no merritt. The Greeks were Prone to fighting amongst themselves and were conquered by the Romans. The Roman empire got so big they split it in two. The western empire’s army became flooded with poorly trained soldiers and facing large migrations of barbarian tribes led to the sacking of Rome and the eventual fall of the western empire. That’s why those five fell, not homosexuality.

    • Vigilarus

      And what of the success of Alexander the Great as well? Or did he only become gay after conquering half of Eurasia?

  • Shirley

    Regarding the ignorant person who called in today and referred to “the words of Jesus, ‘Man shall not lie with men’–Those were not the words of Jesus, unless he was living in the ancient days of Leviticus! Ignorant is OK, audacious is Ok, just not at the same time!

    • Zing

       Now…don’t you feel all smug and fuzzy?  …and so SMART….?

      • Ray in VT

        She probably doesn’t feel as smug and smart as you feel that you are.

      • Vigilarus

        Yeah, I bet she’s got her sum of that there fancy-pants book learnin’! We got to go back to when women were not to speak in church or anywheres else but the kitchen and the bible was only to be read by the preachers and explained to folks so that they don’t be gettin’ there own idears.

  • http://twitter.com/cwooley89 Charles Wooley

    Just another example of Obama’s scorched earth campaign against christianity. Our tax dollars are going to be used to pay for gay contraception!!! Stories like this show Obama’s true colors he is not a Christian he is a muslim extremist! Whats next are we going to go from red white and blue to rainbow on the flag??????

    • Ray in VT

      What a crock.  If you think that allowing people to live how they see fit and granting legal recognition to them is destroying Christianity, or any other religion, then you’re cracked.  It would be like arguing that the First Amendment is hostile towards Christianity because it allows me not to be one.

      Also, since when did Muslim extremists, and Obama is neither, support gay marriage?

    • Kismet

       gay contraception?  you know that’s not necessary–right?

      • Ray in VT

        I didn’t even notice that one.  I hope that it was sarcasm, but one never knows.

        • JamesMay33

          Of course it was irony. Score one Ray, people here usually miss that.

          • http://twitter.com/cwooley89 Charles Wooley

            yeah… I guess this one was too much of an obvious troll
            I was really trying to present a caricature of the opposite side

          • Ray in VT

            It’s hard to tell sometimes, unless one has a real track record.  I looked at some of your other comments after I posted, and then I started to think that it might all just be a joke.  I’ve certainly seen crazier claims made here.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Rainbow is good.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The rest of Charles Wooley’s rant indicates it was just ignorance!  Unless it was ALL sarcasm?

    • hugh briss

      The wainbow fwag is so pritty. Allah is Great! (Irony intended)

  • Warren

    When the convict captured 41% of the W.Virginia primary vote,President Obamas handlers freaked(check John Stewart).Realizing the potential of a Romney Landslide(you could replace Romney with any sentient ,being as this is strictly an anti Obama vote),they were forced to play the “Gay”card prematurely.Pres.Obama,every state that has had the option of voting on Gay Marriage has said Nay.The President has been on everyside of this issue repeatedly,it’s desperation politics.By the way,on Howie Carr’s show(Boston’s Proleteriate Radio),the vote was 95% for the convict and 5% for the President.
             I attribute all of societies ills to the disintergration of the Nuclear Family.One in three blacks are in prison,parole,or probation because they had no daddies.Has a study been done as to how children raised by Gay parents ,fare?
        This is a non-issue to me.It’s the jobs,stupid!!(Jimmy Carville)I say let gays marry.Una pregunta jovenes….If I’m Bi-sexual ,can I marry my Girlfriend and Boyfriend?

    • Warren

      Black Males

    • JGC

      Yes, a study has been done, on kids raised in lesbian homes. (in Pediatrics, by Nanette Gartrell prof. psych. UCSF and Henry Bos behavioral sci. U of Amsterdam). And what do you know, these kids scored higher than kids in straight families in areas like confidence, and did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems (like aggression and rule-breaking). The study began in 1986 (Reagan administration) and continued until the kids were young adults.

      To the suggestion that all nuclear family disintegration is primarily because one third of black males are trapped in the “justice” system, please check out “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander.  I could just as easily make the suggestion that there exists nuclear family disintegration because of drug addictions to oxycontin,etc. in any predominantly white, middle-to-lower-class community, a real tragedy. Maybe law enforcement hasn’t quite caught up to them, but they will, thanks to privately contracted prison systems needing more customers to support their shareholder demands.

      And if you are bisexual, I don’t think you can marry both your boyfriend and your girlfriend, because that would be polygamy, not lawful in the U.S.  But maybe check with Mitt Romney on that point since I think his great granddad skedaddled to Mexico to continue the polygamous lifestyle, then Mitt’s father George only returning to the U.S. as a very young child, when their family decided life in the U.S. suited them better.     

    • Terry Tree Tree

      JOBS?  The ‘job creators’ are HOARDING the money for those jobs, UNTIL they can destroy Minimum Wage, unions, Job Safety, and other hard-won work rules!
         ‘Job Creators’ will create jobs, when EVERYONE will work for half day’s food rations?

      • aj

        Tell him who stole your water hoses.

        P.S. Thank you for your service TTT.

  • Trimegistus

    Enh. Guy makes a non-binding “personal” decision. Announcing it wins him support from people who like to think that being “progressive” shows they’re morally superior — but at the same time he’s not going to do anything which will offend his churchgoing black voter base. And we’re supposed to think he’s being brave for this piece of blatant political calculation?

    • Biff

      The President does not have the power to stop the outsourcing of jobs, he cannot close Guantanamo, he won’t stop the war in Afghanistan, he gave up on reforming Congress, and he is embarrassed by the GSA, but he does want us common folk to have sex with anyone in reach as often as possible. Its a heck of a compromise but it seems to be working.

      • JamesMay33

        To bad you ended up getting ridiculous. 

  • Guest!

    Are we still talking about this? This is a basic human right. We all live in the 21st Century. Let’s move on and focus on how to fix the issues that effect all of us, the economy, education, the envirnoment, etc. Written by a heterosexual woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1196011881 Breen Elizabeth Bruder

    I’m 21 year old woman from Northern California, I didn’t know that same sex marriage was illegal until I turned 12. I just assumed that that anyone could marry who they wanted to,It never occurred to me that hetro couples had more rights than homo couples. Gay marriage is a nonevent. This decent over it is pointless. It’s going to happen. It’s unconstitutional to disallow it. If your religion affects your view of it fine, don’t get married to someone the same sex as you. Other wise religion should not factor into this debate. Everyone needs to be reminded of the separation of church and state, a tenant this country was founded on.

    • http://mathema-tricks.blogspot.com/ Mental Math

       This is totally destruction of humanity and civilization. You are now 21. But you will realize it when you will be 61, if alive.

      • Ray in VT

        I whole heartedly think that you are absolutely wrong, and I think that if I reach 61 that I will find my view to be correct.

        There are many threats to mankind and civilization, and same sex marriage isn’t one of them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1196011881 Breen Elizabeth Bruder

        Well, since humanity and civilization have thus far survived the the popularization of monarchy, religion, gun powder, the combustion engine, nuclear technology, TV(still really concerns me),cell phones, internet. I think we can handle gay marriage, just like we handled  mixed race marriages. When I’m 61 I hope I’m able to look back, laugh and tell my grand children how silly people were to support inequality.

      • JayB

        I think perhaps Ms. Bruder and her generation are building humanity and civilization instead.  I have faith that when they are 61 that they will be able to look back on their accomplishments with well-deserved pride.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Hmmm… I’m 60 and agree with Bruder. I guess I have one more year to change my mind to that of a neanderthal.

  • Rene

    LOVE and COMMITMENT… a good thing in life. Thank you President Obama.
    It’s about time! Surprised it took you so long… considering your own
    parents’ marriage would have been illegal in several states not that
    many years ago! But it’s good to evolve.

  • Jim Smith

    One of the points that seems to not be mentioned is that the civil union for heterosexual couples was also banned in NC . which makes no sense . 

    • Ray in VT

      Sure it does.  Some people and groups don’t want gay and lesbian relationships to have any sort of legal recognition.  Is it more complex than that, aside from the suggestion that many voters were not aware of the full text of the amendment.

    • Gregg

      That was my main reason to vote against the amendment.

  • Carlos

    I believe that gays and lesbians deserve the same rights then everyone and I’m in favor of everything about gays and lesbians, but the marriage. Why? The word “marriage” belongs just to the unions between a man and a woman. That’s the point. By the way I need to write down something very important. I’m so glad because Adam wasn’t gay.  

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “The word “marriage” belongs just to the unions between a man and a woman.”

      For the most part it has, but it has been broader than that throughout human history, including same-sex partnerships, polygamy, polyandry, and group marriage – all at various times and in various cultures legally sanctioned and even religiously ordained. 

      It’s a relatively modern Christian fiction that it can include only one man – one woman arrangements, and for most of human history the Church had little or nothing to do with marriage. Even today, in many European and Latin American countries, church marriage is secondary to civil marriage and optional. No church marriage is legal unless it is performed by an agent of the state (“by the powers vested in me…”).

      • Carlos

        I agree with your point, but I still think the same way. Thank you.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          In other words, you’re comfortable with your own mythologically-based bias, even if it denies others their constitutional rights.

      • Jvance23

        Bull

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          No, marriage to bulls was never sanctioned. And answering “bull” only demonstrates your ignorance.

      • RobertFullofIT

        You spew disinformation faster than FOX, there is not enough time in the universe to correct you errors on this site.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Yes, “disinformation” is what fundamentalist ideologues call any historical evidence that undermines their certainties.

        • HimminaHummmina

          And he has been so full of himself since the long-knives taught him to write.

    • Zero

      I don’t think you know how language works.  Communities own the meanings of words, and when the sensibilities of the community changes so do the meaning of the words.  Two people can call their relationship whatever they want.  And their neighbors can respect them or not.  I respect them. 

      Read this: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Difference-Jacques-Derrida/dp/0226143295/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336710715&sr=8-1

  • sy2502

    This morning I purposefully tuned into conservative radio to check if they’d respond to the President’s statement like rabid dogs foaming at the mouth. I was not disappointed.

  • Rose

    Gay people are full fledged citizens.  They pay taxes and deserve all the rights as the rest of us.  Thank you, Pres. Obama. 
    From a swing state,
    rose – Fenton, MO

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Actually, some gay people are more fully fledged than the rest of us.

  • aj

    Free Bradley Manning!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Because he’s gay?

  • SciEd

    I have three beautiful granddaughters.  My daughter and her female spouse were married in Canada.  They provide a home full of love for these wonderful little girls. I don’t see how recognition of their marriage in the United States could be a threat to anyone else’s marriage. 

    I don’t think that Jesus is quoted as saying anything about homosexuality in the Bible.  His greatest commandments to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself suggest that He would bless my daughter’s family. 

    My Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ, encouraged local congregations to consider becoming “Open and Affirming” of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.  My local congregation took that action after prayerful study and discussion over the course of a year.  The congregation has been blessed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks who have since joined. We have a number of same-sex parented families. The only noticeable difference is the gender of the parents.  Not so noticeable are the obstacles posed by laws and constitutional amendments that have limited and taken away their rights for adopting their children, receiving health care and other benefits. On what basis can this be justified? 

    I am glad that President Obama has evolved in his understanding and come out in support of gay marriage.  I hope that the dialog around this issue will help more people come to see my daughter’s family as just as legitimate and healthy as the heterosexual marriages that resemble her’s in every other way. 

  • TekApocalypso

    Personally I have always felt that homosexual couples should have every legal right that heteros do.

    However I feel that the word marriage is a small price to pay, a small
    reward, a small (very small distinction) that could be afforded to
    couples that have gone through the trouble of breeding and rasing
    children. I think it is a very small recognition of the sacrifice, and
    support that have gone into producing the future generations.

    After all a real marrage entrails the blending and marriage of two
    distinct genetic lines which are married to produce a child. That is the
    most important thing about a marriage, and until the technology for
    same sex couples to produce their own children is made publicly
    available (which eventually it will) no matter adoptions, and donors, no
    real blending, no real marriage is happening.

    I do not understand why legal equivalency is not enough. I cannot help
    but feel that the need to have this word change it’s meaning is small
    minded and mean spirited.

    This post was deleted earlier.

    Don’t do it again.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      What is, in fact, “small minded” is believing that 1) you have the only legitimate understanding the the word “marriage”, and 2) that separate but equal (even if it were fully equal) is any more sufficient for homosexuals as it was for Blacks.

      What you’re small-minded perspective fails to comprehend is that, historically, marriage was a secular term for whatever family unit was acceptable to any given culture. And what you also fail to understand is that marriage creates kinship units as the basis for society and it has nothing to do with DNA mixing (as many societies allowed close familiar coupling).

      You’re simply creating rationalizations for your own bias.

  • aj

    Last night, Christopher Street was too loud to ever hear ‘freedom ring.’ 

    Long time coming. Let’s keep it moving people.

  • Ben Baldwin in Washington

    It’s rather telling how every caller supporting DOMA or against Gay Marriage/Civil Unions in the past few days does so while quoting scripture.

    For those who question why Civil Union isn’t enough, it rings back to an era of calls for separate, but equal.  Why is segregation wrong if they are given the same resources.  They get half the bus, what more could they want?  Why were people upset?

    Ironic how the black community sees no hypocrisy in voting to deny civil rights to minorities.

    The same book they quote over and over again on air has almost nothing to say on homosexuality, though does condemn it once.  However, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, speaking about social welfare, justice, and treating people with compassion.

    The Bible has no qualms with slavery, whether this is servitude, or sexual slavery.  They lay out over and over rules and guidelines for slavery, including selling your daughters into sexual slavery.  I think most people would agree that ending slavery in our country was a good thing.  Not something supported by this “moral compass” of a book. 

    The Bible requires killing/stoning people for any number of offenses, including: working on the sabbath, touching pig skin, encouraging the questioning of Christianity, planting different crops next to each other, wearing clothing with two different fibers. These are able to be overlooked in favor of cherry picking from a 2000 year old book to justify current political positions. 

    Priests, bishops, and pastors have decided to jump into politics; using their pulpit to follow an agenda not consistent with the bible; just as imams in Afghanistan use their mosque to spread a dogma not consistent with the Qu’ran, taking advantage of illiteracy.  The Catholic nuns are being chastised for wanting the church to encourage people to support the poor, and those in need; while the bishops want to pursue a political agenda around gay marriage and abortion.

    With separation of church and state, I find it disturbing how churches encourage the denying and elimination of rights based on religious doctrine.  People seem to forget that our country isn’t a Theocracy, get your book of lies and fairy tales out of my legislature, out of my hospitals, and out of my schools.  Feel free to believe any delusions you want, but at least read the source material for what you “believe” before you start trying to insert it into state and federal law.

    Live your own life by your book, don’t try to keep me from getting a blood transfusion, getting contraception, working on Sunday, or restrict my diet because you have decided to follow a book of parables you think justifies your position.

    Ghandi had a apt quote, stating “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

      

  • Ali

    Please comment on the parallels between bans on gay marriage and anti-miscegenation laws of the early 19th century.
    Ali- Seattle WA

    • Ben Baldwin in Washington

      The separate but equal laws in the south were passed to keep black and white students in different schools, using different bathrooms, drinking fountains etc.  Under bigotry masquerading as concern, they justified this, stating that mixing the two populations would be deferential to both groups; white students would learn better if they weren’t in same classrooms as black students (a similar argument made against gays openly serving in our military – though under Don’t Ask, our troops would serve with openly gay soldiers from other countries, and most knew who was gay in their regiments).

      The motto Separate But Equal was used to justify segregation.  While in reality, it created a class of our citizens that weren’t given the same rights, though on the surface, it was argued that no one’s rights were in violation since whites and blacks were both given schools – black institutions were not of the same quality, as a result, it gave the opportunity for Brown Vs Board of Education since the black schools were getting substandard materials, if they got them at all.

      Marriage is a civil institution, separate from the churches.  I have yet to hear a reasoned argument against Gay Marriage that doesn’t stem from religion.  Even if given parallel set of rights, by not giving their commitments to each other the same name as others, it implies that their commitment is not the same, and not on equal footing as heterosexual commitments. 

      Gay parents are every bit the equal of their heterosexual counterparts, their relationships are no more frivolous than heterosexuals, with some having long term relationships, and some not.  Marriage is good for families, and its deplorable that we are not encouraging and recognizing these committed couples.  Meanwhile, ironically, divorce is higher among the “religious” states where they pass these laws to “protect” marriage.

      As a white heterosexual married man, I can’t see how allowing gay couples marry does anything but good for our society.

      • CarmineSangria3

         I happened to meet up with some kids in the park by Emory one day and asked them how come they had all the free time to play frisbee on  weekdays.  It seems that when the school districts merged the black gangs started shaking down the less butch students. Yeh know like in a prison. These kids all dropped out of HS to avoid violence.  They would have been better off separate that’s for sure.  Can I get a knee jerk brother Ben?

        • Ray in VT

          So are you then arguing that in some situations segregating schools based upon race is not such a bad idea?  There are certainly other ways to combat youth gangs and school violence than racial segregation.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          NO white gangs or individuals EVER ‘shook down’ other white students?   ACTUALLY, I was one of MANY victims of ‘shake down’, by white bullies, in an ALL-WHITE, rural school!
             The actions Mitt is being accused of in high school, was white on white bullying!
             He’s NOT being accused of over-powering students, and FORCING MONEY on them?

  • http://twitter.com/TongoRad TongoRad

    Obama did not in fact “back” same-sex marriage. He denied equal protection under the law and affirmed states rights, which is a astonishing move for the first African-American President. It seems the status-quo, powers that be have their perfect executive.

  • NewtonWhale

    A previous comment made me check to see if Mona Charen could actually have said something as mindblowingly racist as calling ObamaCare his “tar baby”. She did. Remarkable.

    Then I read the rest of the article, from November 2011. It is a Grand Slam of Assessments proved wrong. Charen also attacked the stimulus, the car bailouts, and financial regulation.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/252805/obama-trapped-mona-charen# 

    First Base) Obamacare Saving Seniors More than $1 Billion on Drugs
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/health-care/obamacare-saving-seniors-more-1-billion-drugs 

    Second Base) The Car Rescue was wildly successful, saving over a million jobs and returning GM to first in the world status. How successful was it? Mitt Romney is trying to take credit for it.
    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/103040/romney-fehrnstrom-gm-chrysler-detroit-auto-bailout 

    Third Base) The stimulus worked, according to John McCain’s financial advisor, Mark Zandi:

    The stimulus raised real GDP in 2010 by 3.4 percent, reduced unemployment by 1.5 percentage points, and created almost 2.7 million jobs. 

    http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/End-of-Great-Recession.pdf 

    Home Run) JP Morgan is on a mission to prove that banks can’t be trusted and those like Charen who block Financial Regulation are enabling another meltdown:

    J.P. Morgan’s $2 Billion BlunderBank Admits Losses on Massive Trading Bet Gone Wrong

    It comes at a time when large banks are fighting efforts by regulators to rein in risky trading. 

    Banks have been arguing that measures to do that, such as the so-called Volcker rule, would hurt liquidity and raise prices in markets. The rule, set to take effect July 21 if regulators can finalize details, restricts banks’ ability to trade with their own money but would give them at least two years to fully comply.The trading loss “plays right into the hands of a whole bunch of pundits out there,” Mr. Dimon said. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070304577396511420792008.html 

  • Kurt_Jaster

    I thank Al Roney (now on Talk Radio 1300 AM in Albany, NY) for a perspective shift on this.  The government has nothing to do with marriage.  They have no business telling us who we can or cannot marry.  What they have is the obligation to dispense our legal rights.  “Family” should be the decision of consenting adults.  If I want my best friend Joe to have the same legal rights as my brother because we are best friends and I trust him with my life, then I should have that avenue available to me.  I also should have the right to disown any legal obligation to my biological family, maybe I would just choose to disown my father because he is abusive.

    The churches can have marriage, I would be fine with calling my wife’s and my “marriage” a “legal family union”.  This is about civil liberties and vocabulary.  Separation of church and state dictates that personal beliefs have no place in laws that affect choices that harm no one.  This “harm” factor has to be compared to the status quo.  And same-sex unions are no more harmful to society than opposite-sex unions.  If anyone believes differently, they are under the obligation to show proof. On top of it, same-sex unions have enough research to prove they fine in society.

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