90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Gay Marriage On The Docket

An epic week on gay marriage before the Supreme Court. On Point sums up the arguments, the history, the outlook on gay marriage and the court.

Demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. (AP)

Demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. (AP)

The US Supreme Court takes on huge issues. But it takes a giant issue to fill the steps outside the court – and the whole country – with the kind of passion we’ve seen this week.

Gay marriage has gone from deep outlier to broad public acceptance with amazing speed. Now it is in the hands of the court. States’ rights. Federal obligations. History. Morality. A shifting culture. And individual rights and liberties under the US Constitution, all before the court.

This hour On Point: the arguments, the outlook, and the history of social change and the law as the Supreme Court weighs gay marriage.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Savage, covers the Supreme Court for the Los Angeles Times.

Suzanne Goldberg, Clinical Professor of Law, Director for the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University Law School.

Teresa Collett, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas.

Tom’s Reading List

National Journal “The big news comes from the valuable wonks over at SCOTUSblog who are predicting that there’s an 80 percent chance … that DOMA gets struck down.”

Washington Post, Dana Milbank “Only nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage, and the majority of Americans favoring gay marriage is a narrow one, but there can be no mistaking which side has the energy. The most the Supreme Court can do is slow the inevitable march toward an idea whose time has come.”

Los Angeles Times “Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who probably holds the deciding vote, said in the day’s most poignant moment that he was troubled by the effect of Proposition 8 on the nearly 40,000 children in the state being raised by same-sex couples. The court should hear “the voice of these children,” he said. “They want their parents to have full recognition and full status” that goes with marriage.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Unfortunately, given America’s deepening rejection of God and His Biblical precepts, legalizing homosexual marriage is probably just a matter of time.  But 10 million years from now, those who engaged in and/or supported this detestable arrangement will know with certainty that it contradicts God’s very obvious design and that God provided a way of escape from this sinful addictive lifestyle choice (like drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography) through Christ’s death on the cross.  Every knee will have bowed before Jesus the King, and those who refused to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior will clearly understand that they rejected the light of truth that was given them.  Those who rejected the message of the free gift of salvation through repentance for sin rather than justifying it will spend eternity separated from God in the lake of fire regretting their foolish immoral choices.  But you have been warned, and these words will ring in your ears for all eternity.

    • LianeSperoni

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

      (U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1)

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        That legal precept will provide no relief 10 million years from now for those in the lake of fire. And moral values are infused in many laws. Congress begins with prayer, God is acknowledged in our constitution. Legalizing gay marriage is establishing a religion: the religion of perverted liberal atheism.

        • LianeSperoni

          Marriage to animals is not consensual- so it would never be allowed under the US Constitution.

          Polygamy has been practiced, NOT by homosexuals, but by religious folks, christian, heterosexual men so keep the lesbians out of your perversion.

          In fact, the more I think about… straight marriage is more like a slippery slope to polygamy because historically, polygamy has been practiced by heterosexuals- men with many wives.

          So should we outlaw straight marriage?

        • Ray in VT

          Well, that didn’t take long for someone to go the marriage to animals route.  Thanks for playing the gay marriage equivalent of the Nazi card.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            And those of you who equate opposition to gay marriage based upon Biblically-based religious convictions to supporting racism is playing the Jim Crow card.

          • Ray in VT

            No matter what the foundation upon which discrimination and prejudice is based it is still discrimination and prejudice.

          • Don_B1

            Bigotry is bigotry, and all you say will not wipe the stain of your comments from your record.

            May God forgive you!

        • Bluejay2fly

          Marriage is a legal contract whereby both parties have to meet certain requirements. In short, when a goat can understand a life insurance policy then you can marry it. Polygamy is forbidden because it would be too complicated in divorce court. Let alone some jerk would marry 100 women just to put them on his health insurance or get then green card status. Limiting it based on those criteria makes perfect legal sense.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            We can just redefine marriage to not require agreement on both sides just as we are redefining it to be between two people of the same sex.  And if we can enact Obamacare (1100+ pages), then surely we can unravel divorce for legal purposes in the case of a polygamous marriage.  So you are being very selective in what you are willing to redefine.  Typical liberal.

          • Bluejay2fly

            The concept of marriage as one man and one women is  the product of social EVOLUTION and not something a blonde haired, blue eyed, non arab, looking Jesus gave to us. 

          • Bluejay2fly

             I get called a liberal all the time by people who never watched Firing Line, never read The National Review, and know nothing about Eisenhower, or John Maynard Keynes.

          • Ray in VT

            My former boss has said similar things.  He’s a big fan of William F. Buckley, and he reads the American Conservative among other ideological publications.  He just thinks that there is very little about the modern GOP or the TEA Party that is conservative in the sense of mainstream American conservatism from the 1950s to the 1970s (or so).

          • Bluejay2fly

            I refuse to even call myself conservative for that reason.

          • Ray in VT

            My former boss still does.  He just refuses to call some of these other folks conservatives.

          • Acnestes

            Strictly speaking the tea bags and their ilk are radicals in reactionaries clothing.  The supposed Golden Age that they want to return to never actually existed apart from the Donna Reed Show and Leave it to Beaver.  Where they want to go has never been before, and that by definition makes them left wing radicals.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Agreed about agency and self-determination.

            Plus, who would write a life insurance policy to something so tasty as a goat?

        • 1Brett1

          So far, this morning, you’ve compared same sex marriage to being addicted to drugs, being alcoholic, compulsive gambling, pornography, polygamy, and bestiality…I’m sorry but there is nothing about what your saying that is accurate and isn’t a harsh, bigoted judgement of others. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Thanks for taking the shortcut to “man on dog”.

    • BenGjones

      You do realise that this sounds like absolute barking madness, right?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        You have the choice to reject it.  But you will live with your choice for eternity.

        • keltcrusader

          you live, you die, your body rots in the ground – what eternity?

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Me thinks you missed the point of ‘judge not lest ye be judged’.

    • J__o__h__n

      You make Ed look sane. 

    • Don_B1

      As demonstrated by several mainstream protestant churches, accepting homosexual marriage has NOTHING to do with the rejection of God.

      Get over it!

      • notafeminista

        Except God isn’t around to ask – He makes the final decision whether or not he’s been rejected.  Not Man.

    • Jim978

      With regard to “God’s very obvious design,” did God not design gays and lesbians?  Did he create people with the capacity to form caring, supportive and loving relationships in the hope that they would not be caring, supportive, or loving?

    • nj_v2

      Hahaha!! Great satire! Thanks, F_R! You really wound some people up!

  • Ed75

    Man is created male and female, and marriage is the great bridge between the two halves of humanity. Without sexual complementarity, one doesn’t have marriage. (See Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae.)

    It seems clear that the main goal of the same sex marriage movement isn’t benefits, etc., but for society to accept same sex activity. And establishing a second path to marriage is a big change in society.

    But many people, like with abortion, will never and can never accept it as normal, no matter what laws are passed. Of course there are many ways to misuse heterosexuality also.

    • Bluejay2fly

      If marriage is all about being sacred and religious then you should not recognize marriages performed by a judge outside of a church? In this sense you should not care about who gets married outside of religion anymore than Jesus cared about how the Roman’s ran their empire. He did not say do not pay your taxes because it supports polytheism. Christianity has a large enough job  keeping it’s flock from becoming evil, greedy, and unkind. If Americans were even average examples of practicing Christians than slavery, peonage, and jim crow would not have existed in the deeply “religious” south. Render unto Caesar what is his.

      • Ed75

        People who are married in a church have to have their marriage registered in the civil state, what the civil state does is important. The civil state should be organized within the teaching of natural law, which like the ten commandments applies to everyone.

        Jesus did care about the Roman Empire – it set up a system of organization which the Church would use when it overcame that empire. All power, theologically, comes from God, so there is a reason they had been given that power.

        The Pope Eugene in the 1400s issued a bull stating that anyone who practiced slavery based on race was excommunicated. The Church said that slaves had to be taught to read and write so they could learn their religion. But the U.S. wasn’t Catholic.
        Some day others will wonder how we allowed abortion. (See Mark Noll ‘Slavery as a theological conflict’.)

        • Bluejay2fly

           If I marry outside of the church 3 times do you think the Catholic church would recognize those marriages? It is true that for administrative purposes you must register your marriage with the civil state but that has no bearing on how religion views that marriage. My point is that Jesus did not speak out against policies in which the Roman Empire practiced beliefs contrary to church teaching. He basically recognized that the civil government concerns the city of men and that the church concerns the city of God. Stating that our government should be based only on Christian doctrine flies against the interests of US citizen who are not Christian and does not align well with the history of our government. We are not a theocracy and the mixing of religion and the civil state never ends well.  

        • TELew

          Ed, you do know that there are denominations that perform marriage ceremonies of same-sex couples?  So what happens when they try to register their marriages in the states that currently ban or do not otherwise recognize the marriages of same-sex couples?

      • sickofthechit

        It’s not their flock they need to spend time keeping from becoming evil, greedy and unkind, it is their priests, ministers, and evangelists they need to work on first.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, you don’t have to like what gays, lesbians or anyone else does in the privacy of their own bedrooms, but quite frankly to a certain extent you do have to accept it, Ed, because it is not up to you, the Church or any church to dictate the personal and private sexual behaviors of consenting adults.  No one is asking you to like it or support it, they’re saying that others don’t get to choose for them.

      • Ed75

        You’re right, people under privacy have the right to do what they want in the privacy of their own homes (within limits – one can’t beat one’s children, for example), and that’s why the sodomy laws were struck down. But making it an institution in society is a different thing, it’s encouragement and validation.

        I would think they would turn it down on public health grounds.

        • Acnestes

          That is a vile and disgusting comment.

        • sickofthechit

           What would you say if the incidence of STD’s was higher among heterosexual couples than homosexual couples?  That heteros should then be prohibited from marrying?

        • nj_v2

          Please seek professional counseling. There really is something wrong with you.

        • TELew

          Ed75,

          “Encouragement and validation”? Oh, the horror.  To think that gay people might actually be treated like human beings!  For shame!

    • 1Brett1

      Same sex couples would settle for the “benefits’ part, though, Ed. 

      • Ed75

        I don’t think they will ever be satisfied.

        • TELew

          You’re right.  I will never be satisfied until I can hold my partner’s hand in public and not be subjected to harassment and stares.  I will not be satisfied until I can kiss him and not have people yell nasty things at us.  I will not be satisfied until my marriage is accorded the same respect as everybody else’s.

          All these things are taken for granted by heterosexuals.  I will not be satisfied until I am treated equally. 

    • TELew

       As a gay man my goal is to live my life free from approbation and discrimination, a life free from fear.  To accomplish this I do what I can to change public opinion.  Not to fight against this means to passively accept the humiliation, harassment, threats, hatred, shame, etc. that gay people are subjected to by a hostile society.  I view my cause as entirely patriotic, an example of pursuing the American dream at its finest.

      • Ed75

        The best I can do is to quote the Catholic Catechism #2358:

        The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

         

        • TELew

          Ed,

          Homosexuality is not a “condition.”  It is a sexual orientation, the way God made that certain persons.  And having made that person homosexual, I would think that God’s will in their lives would be for homosexual persons to love within their capability.

  • LianeSperoni

    Congress passed DOMA in 1996 after a judge in Hawaii ruled that a ban on marriage was unconstitutional. It was not about marriage “uniformity.” The bill’s language speaks for itself. 

    The argument that Chief Justice Roberts was making at the end of yesterday’s hearing is ludicrous- the idea that political winds are shifting so rapidly that it is not necessary for the Court to view this case with heightened scrutiny. The vast majority of states have not passed gay marriage – to the contrary, many of them have passed  amendments to prohibit it.  Congress could repeal DOMA anytime they like but they have nt done so.

    I know justice is blind, but Justice Roberts needs to open his eyes and see that the plaintiff seated before him is 83 years old. How can he ask her to wait? And is that the proper role of the courts?

    • TELew

       As a gay man in the South, I can assure you that the winds of time take a lot longer to blow through my region than it does in the northeast and west coast.  Roberts’ argument that gays have political power–at least where I live–is absurd.

      • LianeSperoni

        I have been thinking about this all week.  I’m up in Massachusetts so I was thinking…
         …you know there are going to be states that won’t ever pass gay marriage. So won’t gays who really want to marry (and who are financially able) move to another state making it even more unlikely that their home state will pass gay marriage? For the gays that remain, their political power and visibility will be dimished.

        This is why a fundamental right should not be left up to states. States can establish guidelines, just like they do for voting, but they can’t prevent people from marriage or voting.

        • TELew

          You are right.  I know people who left my state (Arkansas) following its adoption of a law denying same-sex couples both marriage AND civil unions in 2004.  However, the issue that people do not usually think about is, why should people not be able to live where they prefer to live and enjoy full civil rights? 

          My family is from Texas, I spent my earliest years in Texas and Oklahoma, my dad got a job in Arkansas when I was about seven.  I grew up in central Arkansas and was educated in an Arkansas college and went to graduate school at the University of Arkansas.  After finishing my education, the job I found was in Arkansas (although I applied to positions throughout the United States), and I made my life there.

          Furthermore, I am at heart a country boy, I have no interest in living in a city, and as I have gotten older cold weather has affected me more.  The more urbanized an area is, the less I care for it.

          I have visited places like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston, and all have their charms.  But I have no desire to live there.  Why should I have to move from where I prefer to live–which is a beautiful country–to be treated with the same dignity and regard that any human being deserves by virtue of simply being human?

          • LianeSperoni

            I hear you. I would love to see the Justices rule on the Prop 8 case because that could potentially legalize gay marriage everywhere.

            There is a provision in DOMA which allows states not to recognize gay marriages performed in other states- so if DOMA gets shot down that could mean couples who legally wed in Massachusetts or New York may challenge Arkansas’s ban on gay marriage if that is where they choose to settle down.

            But I agree with you- if it shouldn’t have to be so difficult.

          • TELew

             Thanks.

            I loved my trip to Boston–historical sites, whale watching, and Sam Adams beer.  I certainly can’t say no to that!

  • Bluejay2fly

    Leaving aside your religious beliefs, here is the issue. You have a legal precedent of Separate But Unequal as established by the many attempts of the “bible belt” to relegate black Americans to second citizen status. Brown V. Board of Education eliminated that practice forever. Civil unions and gay marriages do not hold the same benefits as straight marriages thereby being separate and unequal. It’s a clear violation of their 14th Amendment rights. There is no legal argument that can defeat this logic. If no state ever allowed any type of gay marriage or civil union then you could suggest that marriage only can be between the opposite sex but the door was open wide by doing so acknowledging the societal legitimacy of a same sex marriage. If they vote against this it will be because of politics not legal argument. 
     

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      By your logic separate but unequal applies to the Federal tax rates and therefore the progressive tax rates violate the 14th amendment.  Different behaviors are taxed at different ‘rates’.  Not ‘equal’ treatment in any book.

      • Ray in VT

        I see where you’re going with that argument, but I don’t think that it is quite the same.  I mean would drinking, smoking and driving ages also therefore a violation of the 14th Amendment?

        • Bluejay2fly

          Your age, how much you make, etc are things that change over time. Your race, gender, sexual orientation, for many do not. Besides public safety issues and economic fairness drive the discourse for those issues. The only argument against gay marriage stems purely from a religious point of view.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             What is the argument against polygamy?

          • Bluejay2fly

            There are many. Would your health insurance provider be OK with you having a family plan and having 14 wives and 30 children? How would your retirement be divided in case of divorce? How would SS work and personal income tax work? Could I marry 20 Muslims from Pakistan so they could all get visa’s. It’s absurd marriage is a financial contract primarily for division of property, insurances, financial assets, income distribution and inheritance rights otherwise you can just live together. 

          • notafeminista

            All perfectly acceptable questions to ask of the gay community as well.  Although apprently to do so is anathema.

          • sickofthechit

             I can’t afford it?

      • Michiganjf

        Your comment doesn’t consider in the least all the tax and earning (but especially tax) advantages enjoyed by the wealthy, and unavailable to the poor and middle class.

      • TELew

         I find it disconcerting that you are equating an issue of basic civil rights with taxes.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The 1% are a minority — by definition.  Don’t they deserve to be treated equally?

          • TELew

             Are you talking about the people who are so ungodly rich that their toilet paper is made of cloth of gold?

            Boo, hoo, I feel so sorry for them.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    This is a interesting legal case. Much more complicated than it looks on the surface.  Even if you desire gay marriage there appear to be consequences on ‘how’ the courts rule. I found Sotomayor’s questioning of the treatment of polygamy and incest very thought provoking.

     There has been a lot of commentary that the court does not want to deal with the case directly and many justices question the standing of the parties involved.

    The commentators go on to say that the lower court ruling would stand if SCOTUS punts.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the lower court’s ruling being vacated by the same logic? — there was no standing in those cases as well.  Anything else would be inconsistent — legally.  Hopefully, someone would answer this one today.

    • sickofthechit

       Polygamy and incest are choices.  Being gay is not a choice.  Letting people know you are gay is a choice.
      charles a. bowsher

      • TELew

         Sickofthechit,

        Letting someone know you are gay is a matter of survival.

  • 1Brett1

    DOMA needs to be struck down. However, that is only one small issue in marriage equality. DOMA has prevented same sex couples–who married in states where same sex marriage is legal–from all the legal rights that heterosexual couples enjoy…Federal Law trumps State Law, so therein lies the major problem with DOMA. Striking down DOMA, while a start, does nothing to make same sex marriage uniform from state to state.

    Some may find same sex marriage morally reprehensible, but they are on the wrong side of history; they are also on the wrong side of morality. Same sex marriages do nothing to undermine the “institution” of heterosexual marriage. They don’t invalidate anyone else’s marriage or legal rights within those marriages.  So anyone who is against same sex marriage isn’t against it on any legal grounds.

    Same sex marriages also don’t cause heterosexual folks to lose faith in their own sexuality, nor in heterosexual marriage itself, nor do same sex marriages prompt a deterioration in heterosexuals’ intentions and desires to have their own relationships in any way. So, the only reason anyone is against same sex marriage is because they think it’s immoral or repugnant in some way. Any other argument they may bring up as a concern is just a smoke screen for their intolerance and moral outrage of the idea itself, no matter how much they say they are concerned it will damage society in some way. 

    Those against same sex marriage are against it based on bigotry, pure and simple. If they feel threatened in any way by same sex marriage, they have an irrational fear. If they are against it based on their religious views and something from the old testament, they are doing so based on an interpretation of a document written by a few men when the world was very primitive, even savage, a long time ago. To believe that God’s direct words make up the old testament and direct humans to find homosexuality immoral is to really stretch an idea that is not based in fact but a belief and faith of something that can not be proven, no matter how much they say they “know.”

    But make no mistake, morality can’t be legislated, really. Lack of it can be punished under law, especially that which brings harm to others. No one can prove same sex marriage would cause harm to others, however, because it wouldn’t harm others. There is no causal relationship between same sex marriage and a decaying society; there is no correlation between same sex and what is held up by some as an immoral society. All those who think same sex marriage is wrong can cite as reasons are beliefs; all they can point to is a society they feel is crumbling under moral deterioration. Neither one is causal nor correlative. They are basing their opinions on a very narrow view of the world and the relationships between the past and the present. 

  • Ray in VT

    “The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals.  That’s where the compelling argument is. ‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.” – Bill O’Reilly

    • 1Brett1

      …and then, of course, there was Rush’s response to Bill…

      • Ray in VT

        Was it this:

        “So how many of you who watch Fox are Bible thumpers? Do you think there
        are any Bible thumpers that watch Fox? Because last night you were sort
        of marginalized on ‘The Factor’ as not having a compelling argument and
        just being a bunch of Bible thumpers,”El Rushbo also said this:”The country is changing and you better get with it and understand it. The genie is not getting put back in the bottle.  And I think that’s right.  I don’t care what
        this court does with this particular ruling, Proposition 8. I think the
        inertia is clearly moving in the direction that there is going to be gay
        marriage at some point nationwide.”  That might not be all one continuous quote.

        • keltcrusader

          ah, eating their own I see.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Sometimes his stream of consciousness is quite hard to follow, if you can tolerate listening to that blowhard spew his devisive vitriol for more than 30 seconds.

          • Ray in VT

            I can’t, so I just read the transcript sometimes.

        • Gregg Smith

          I saw O’ Reilly and heard Rush’s critique the next day. I thought they both made good points as did Megyn Kelly who was debating O’Reilly. Regarding Rush’s comment I think he is correct to question that the issue is all about religion. I’m not a bible thumper but I support DOMA. To O’Reilly’s defense he was mainly talking about the dynamics of debate and the message that gets through. In that sense he was also right.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I thought that liberals felt that anything associated with Fox News is worthless.

      One of my main problems with gay marriage is that their ultimate goal is to take away my right to lead my life based on my religious convictions.  I should have the right to not rent an apartment that I own to gays, cohabitators, etc. based upon my personal convictions.  I should have a right to turn down a booking for a gay wedding reception at a resort that I own based upon my religious convictions.  I should have the right to state my position that homosexuality is immoral without fear of retribution.  The ultimate goal of those who support gay marriage is to force me to violate my religious convictions and to force their immorality upon all of society.  In other words, to force their irreligious beliefs on everyone else.

      Of course, the response to this email will be name calling.

      • 1Brett1

        You are saying that if you own a business that caters to the public, you should have the right to be discriminatory in your actions in running that public business…you can cloak that in religiosity, but it’s still discrimination against a whole group of people. 

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t think that everything on Fox is worthless.  O’Reilly can be a real jerk sometimes, but he has his moments, and I’m not really specifically referring to this quote.  I’ve generally found their actual news to not be that bad, it’s just that one seems to really have to search for it so that one isn’t getting their partisan opinion-based talking heads.

        I not sure if in the modern era the courts have upheld one’s right to discriminate against others.  You are free to hold and speak about whatever beliefs you may hold, but we’ve largely done away with the massive discrimination that Jim Crow most notoriously represented.  I’m sure that many held deep and sometimes religiously based opinions regarding the inferiority of certain people based upon the color of their skin, but those days are long gone, as should be the days of discriminating against someone for who they choose to love.

        The Civil Rights movement certainly didn’t outlaw racism against African Americans, so don’t worry, you’ll still be free to hate who you want. Just don’t be calling for some sort of violent acts against gays and lesbians, and you should be able to easily avoid any sort of hate crimes entanglement.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        I think the point is that the wall of discrimination is crumbling. The arguments against hold no water without a bible.

        Either Bill O’Reily is achieving some form of social enlightenment or he recognizes that the GOP cannot continue to thrive as the anti-gay party.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Fox and everyone associated with it IS propaganda as is MSNBC. However, your point about liberals wanting to censor argument and paint people’s beliefs as bigotry is quite valid ,but conservatives also commit the same sin as well. Free speech comes with the obligation and duty to listen which is something that is lacking on both sides.  

        • Don_B1

          @Bluejay2fly:disqus @rayinvt:disqus @Fiscally_Responsible:disqus @1Brett1:disqus @MadMarkTheCodeWarrior:disqus @jefe68:disqus 

          I am sure that there are “liberals” who paint people’s beliefs as bigotry when sometimes they are not. But let’s look at what bigot is as defined in Wikipedia:”A bigot is someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, language, socioeconomic status, or other status.”Under this definition, bigotry would appear to be a fundamental violation of one of the foundational tenets of all religions: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As such it would appear that further discussion, beyond discussion of what is bigotry and whether a particular action meets the definition, is subject to dismissal. In other words, the subject of tolerating bigotry should be off the table.But is not tolerating a bigot bigotry? i do not think so for this reason: a bigot is someone whose attitudes are friction to the workings of human cooperation, so necessary in a close environment of the workplace and other areas where humans of diverse status interact. The people that exist in such environments have the right to exclude bigots from their environment.Note that excluding someone who demonstrates or argues for acceptance of bigoted public interactions does not mean that their arguments should necessarily be “censored,” but they can and should be strongly refuted as bigotry when they meet the above definition. When the vast majority of people agree after considering all the arguments, closing the case seems justified.

          But when people speak or act with bigotry then call people who call them for their bigotry bigots, that is a dog which should not be allowed to hunt.

          Free speech is guaranteed ONLY against government prohibition. Individuals and businesses have the perfect right to dissociate from anyone expressing ideas that are generally abhorrent to their associates or customers. It is a difficult area to navigate as ideas abhorrent at one time or circumstance can be found, with further discussion, to be worthy of adoption after more discussion and less emotional involvement. Homosexual marriage is just one such issue.

          Fiscally_Responsible can buy up a gated community and set up memberships and rules as he wishes for those he wants to share living with in that gated community. But when he wants to engage in commerce with the general public, it has been decided that discrimination based on an individual’s status is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, period.

      • jefe68

        The words of a bigot. And guess what, he’s hiding behind the vail of his “religious convictions”. 

        • sickofthechit

           His religion is “Bigotry”.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Want to discriminate based on your religious beliefs?  Move to a theocracy.  You have a right to say and think whatever you want – that is part of being American.  You do not have a right to do whatever you want, especially when it interferes with the rights of others to live, work, worship-or- not.  Don’t want to have to rent to people without discriminating?  You have the right to not own rental property.  Don’t want to serve people in a restaurant based on your notion of morality?  Don’t become a restauranteur.  I see people of all sorts in my business, whether or not they hold personal views I disagree with. For instance, when I have a patient who is spouting off obnoxious BS, I am still morally obligated to serve them to the best of my abilities. Even pseudo christian bigots.

      • nj_v2

        [[ One of my main problems with gay marriage civil rights is that their those black folks' ultimate goal is to take away my right to lead my life based on my (misappropriated) religious convictions.  I should have the right to not rent an apartment that I own to gays, cohabitators, blacks, colored folks,  etc. based upon my personal convictions.  I should have a right to turn down a booking for a gay black or interracial wedding reception at a resort that I own based upon my (phony, cowardly, fear-based) religious convictions.  I should have the right to state my position that homosexuality mixing of the races is immoral without fear of retribution.  The ultimate goal of those who support gay marriage racial integration  is to redefine personal convictions that homosexuality being black is an immoral lifestyle choice as an illegal hate crime and to deny me my delusional prejudices masquerading as legal religious rights. ]]

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          You can play all of the cute word games that you want.  It doesn’t change the bottom line regarding the difference between race, which is genetic, and gay marriage/homosexuality, which is an immoral lifestyle choice which God will judge as detestable sin.

          • nj_v2

            It’s sad, really, to see people like you trapped by your delusions, unable to either experience the world fully or grant other people their freedom because of your irrational “beliefs.”

        • TELew

           Exactly what I was thinking.

      • adiggins

         Fiscally_Responsible, you have the legal religious right to believe whatever you want, but it was always wrong for laws like DOMA and Prop 8 to give you and other religious traditionalists the right to veto gay citizens’ choice of spouse.

        Leave others to their consciences (and their different religious beliefs) as you wish to be left to yours.

      • TELew

        Speaking as a gay man, I have absolutely no goal to take away your right to lead your life based on your religious convictions.  In fact, if I knew your convictions I would not rent from you, I would not stay at any resort you own, nor would I denigrate my marriage by allowing you to have anything to do with my marriage ceremony.  I would also actively discourage anyone from accepting services from you based on your discriminatory practices.

        You live by your convictions, I live by mine.  But to think there will be no consequences from such discriminatory practices is naive.  I am not going to give my hard earned money to someone who treats me and my loved one is such a manner, and nor should my family or friends.

    • nj_v2

      Holy s**t! Blowhard O’Really actually said something that makes sense?! Guess it had to happen sooner or later.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, but I don’t trust him to actually believe it. I don’t know how much this is his “I for one hail our new ant overlords” moment.

        Colbert play a clipshow of the batcrap BillO pulled on DOMA in the last decade and a half, and the reflection in the mirror is not pretty.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    If five of the justices seem to be questioning the constitutionality of the DOMA one wonders why it took so long for a challenge to get there. 

    • Ray in VT

      Well, the change in broad popular attitudes regarding gay rights has been pretty rapid in recent years, and I suppose that like it or not popular sentiment does play some role.  Laws allowing discrimination along racial lines stood for some 100 years after such treatment was theoretically outlawed.

      • Bluejay2fly

        In 1979 the Holy Mosque in Mecca was taken over by radicals who did not like the secular changes going on in the nation and saw Islam slipping away in societal importance. In a sense this is one of the last battles of religion in America dictating social policy. As late as the 60′s homosexuality was listed in the DSM 4 as a mental illness. Roberts in one way is right it is fast moving. So the Supreme Court must now decide something that strikes at the core of religion’s entanglement in our law and the rights of a recently legitimized social group. It’s monumental. 

        • TELew

           I think it is premature to talk about “last battles.”  What do you think all of these anti-abortion laws being passed are about?  Furthermore, from what I’ve heard the decisions in the two current SCOTUS cases will only affect the lives of gay people in California and those states which already allow same-sex couples to marry.  The rulings will do nothing to help gay people living in the 30+ states that have state laws outlawing such marriage as well as civil unions.

          I live in a southern state, and conservative Christianity is so entrenched that it will be decades–if ever–before the straight people might do the decent thing and acknowledge the basic humanity of the gay citizens of the South.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Well said. I was under the impression that SCOTUS could declare the Ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and allow for Federal recognition of gay marriage. If Texas has no gay marriage but two soldiers marry in NY wouldn’t they have to recognize that via the interstate marriage compact? If they choose which NYS marriages to except would that not be discriminatory? How could federal employees be married on base in Fort Hood, Texas but not out in town? Abortion is still legal in all 50 states although many restrictions apply. If the Federal Government recognizes gay marriage as a right I don’t see how the state could ban it. But than again SCOTUS are only human and prone to making cowardly decisions.

          • TELew

            I am under the same impression.  But the pundents seem to think that SCOTUS is probably not going to make any bold move on it, and the  court has four conservatives and the swing vote (Kennedy) is big on “states rights” (obviously ignoring the humanity of the issue).

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Fascinating. It’s almost as if a tipping point was reached by people realizing “Hey, I’ve got nothing against gays”.  

        In this shift, questions of fairness become persuasive – and arguments in support of discrimination or harm – never well articulated to begin with – silenced.   

        • Ray in VT

          Some people have commented that perhaps the changing ideas are due to more people knowing gays and lesbians.  I know that I didn’t know anyone who was out in high school, but I’m sure that at least someone in my high school class was (based upon statistics).  I knew a number of people who were out in college, and it was just no big deal to almost everyone.  One of my wife’s roommates from the dorm is married to a lady, and they seem perfectly happy, and that union in no way affects my marriage.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Well, a gay couple invited for dinner, could deliver a devastating critique of the decoration. 

          • sickofthechit

             …or color scheme!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Tangent: What was the phrase in a poll in the news?

            “Do you know someone who is gay or lesbian?” might not be the question that does it best. It indicates that many more Americans know gays/lesbians now than 15 years ago (12% increase? I forget).

            But it doesn’t touch on how Americans know more. Geographical distribution? Gays or lesbians coming out of the closet? Straight Americans just becoming more aware of LGBTs who aren’t very demonstrative?

            Questions for some social scientist to geek out about, I guess.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Whether you like it or not, I think we’ve reached the point of no return.  Keep fighting it, and you’re on the wrong side of history.

  • NewtonWhale

    Justice Roberts said that if the President thinks DOMA is unconstitutional he should “have the courage of his convictions” and stop enforcing it.

    That’s absurd.

    The President is the chief executive. If he refused to enforce a law, congress would impeach him.

    On the other hand, it is the role of the Supreme Court to determine constitutionality and the President is simply asking them to do their job.

    This was a shameless attempt by Roberts to avoid making a tough decision.

    Moreover, Roberts did the same thing when he was acting solicitor general:

    Back in 1990, Roberts was acting solicitor general when the Bush I administration concluded that a rider which purported to force the Federal Communications Commission to maintain certain racial preferences was unconstitutional. Instead of putting forward the best argument in favor of the law, the Justice Department filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Metro Broadcasting v. FCC urging the justices to reject the legislation. Roberts was the leading name on the brief and an internal memo disclosed in 2005 said he was “reluctant” to support the statute. 

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2013/03/despite-critique-roberts-once-failed-to-defend-a-law-160383.html

    • J__o__h__n

      This is more proof that Roberts is intellectually dishonest.  His calling balls and strikes metaphor was nonsense from day one. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Even The Politico is noticing this about Roberts?

      Wow. “Once you’ve lost Politico…”, as the saying goes.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    The conservative half of the court – stuck somewhere in the early 19th century –  seems to worry about the unknown consequences of same sex marriage.  

    Granted many Americans exercise a stubborn resistance to any change deemed progressive,  but they don’t need to look far for evidence that a total acceptance of gay rights doesn’t send a country into a tail-spin. 

    Canada – as evidence of a place not far away – has sanctioned same sex marriage for more than a decade* and I can tell you the whole subject is a non-issue. 

    *formally legalized in 2005

    • Ray in VT

      We heard plenty of prophesies of doom and gloom here in Vermont when Civil Unions was being debated back in 2000, including the whole people marrying animals, etc.  I can assure you that 13 years on, including a few years of gay marriage, things are just fine here as well.

      • northeaster17

        I lived in VT during the Civil Union debacle. It was some battle. I started out against the measure. By the end of it all I had completly changed my mind. In the end it does not matter who is with who. Even today though, on a few old barns, one can still see the “Take Back Vermont” battle cry off those long gone days. I just wonder why we have to keep reinventing the wheel.

        • Ray in VT

          It got ugly in some circles back then.  There was some pretty harsh language used against gays and lesbians, and there were some instances of Vermonters who were traveling in other states having their property damaged or being insulted.  I still know a few New Yorkers who call Vermont the “gay state”.  I’ve still seen a few “Take Back Vermont” signs, and I’ve always thought “take it back from what?”  I supported Civil Unions at the time, and I am from here, so who were they taking it back from.  It really ticked me off to have heard some 2nd generation Vermonter talking about taking things back, because that apparently trumped my 7 generations.  It was very irritating.

          • notafeminista

            And the Native Americans?  Ready to give back whatever you have right now?

          • Ray in VT

            Considering that my father’s family has quite a bit of Native American blood, I think that I’m in a solid position there. I was only counting generations in terms of my ancestors of European origin.

          • notafeminista

            Yes I know.  Hence my comment. And you didn’t answer.

          • Ray in VT

            If my land is land that was acquired by Europeans in violation of some recognized treaty, and there can be proven to be descendants whose ancestors claims were violated, then perhaps some restitution could be due, although I think that ancient claims to lands that have belonged to others for decadeds or centuries is a difficult thing to try to rectify if that entails taking land from people who have more recent claims that were acquired through existing legal channels.  If it worries you so much, are you going to give up any spot of land that you may own to whatever local tribe you can find.  I’m sure that I know some people in the native community who would be more than happy to help you relieve any guilt that you may have.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Isn’t a “second generation Vermonter” also known as a flatlander?

          • Ray in VT

            Often, but I wouldn’t want to insult someone so gravely out of hand.  Just because a cat has kittens in an oven, it doesn’t mean that they’re muffins. I think that a lot of times being a Vermonter can more be about a state of mind rather than a place of birth, although I’ve certainly met people from old families that disagree.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Just because a cat has kittens in an oven, it doesn’t mean that they’re muffins.”

            If this were real life I’d have bet someone a dollar you’d say that :-).

          • Ray in VT

            Strangely I have never heard a native say that.  The person who related that to me is a long time resident of Vermont who is originally from Philadelphia.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’ve read it, never was told it.

            It goes on the list of apocryphal Vermontisms, I guess.

          • northeaster17

            It still is irritating. I’ve moved just over the western border and the gay state stuff is hardly heard around here anymore. Mostly from old folks like me. Ah the grisly genius of mortality. 

          • Ray in VT

            I think that part of it is that my brother just likes to rib his book worm brother.

        • Ray in VT

          Also, I had a classmate then try to argue that homosexuality brought down the Roman Empire.  That was one of the funniest moments of my college career.

  • DeJay79

    Finally! 

  • J__o__h__n

    My prediction is that the Court will dismiss the Prop 8 claim due to lack of standing and the lower court’s ruling against it will stand but will be limited to CA.  DOMA will be struck down on states’ rights grounds in order to secure Justice Kennedy’s vote. 

    • jefe68

      Which will mean the Prop 8 will stand, and in that you have tow steps forward and one back.

      • J__o__h__n

        No, the lower court ruled against it. 

        • jefe68

          And yet it’s still the law.
          So it goes back to the lower court and then it’s back again to the SCOTUS?  

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think so.  I think that if it gets sent back, then the lower court ruling would stand, but I may be wrong.

          • J__o__h__n

            correct

          • jefe68

            Lets hope so.

    • MrNutso

      I think it will more likely hinge on the fact that gay marriage was legal in CA before Prop 8 banned it.  t’s one thing to preemptively prevent a class of people from getting rights that currently don’t have, but another to take away rights they do have.

      • J__o__h__n

        No, that would be an equality based theory which Kennedy isn’t ready to embrace. 

    • jefe68

      I agree, it puts it back on the states.

  • notafeminista

    The DOMA case would have a whole lot more credibility for me if the respondent wasn’t a 1 per center asking for her money back.

    Love my foot.  This is economic argument plain and simple.

    • J__o__h__n

      The Republicans finally found someone they think should pay the “death tax.”

      • notafeminista

        If she can afford to pay 367,000 in taxes then clearly she’s made enough money.

        Again, if she wasn’t asking for her money back, she’d be a lot more believable.

        • J__o__h__n

          Why should a spouse not inherit without taxes?  I support estate taxes but spouses should be exempt since they helped build that asset.  Are you also opposed to heterosexual spouses from not paying taxes when they are widowed?

          • notafeminista

            Then it ain’t about the love man.  It’s about the money.

          • J__o__h__n

            We let Anna Nicole Smith get married. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I guess what tickles me is Nota’s idea that gay people should be so determined to marry that they put up with second-class treatment from their own government.

            It falls right in line with the idea that if black Americans want to vote, they just have to overcome the hurdles the GOP has put between them and the ballot box.

            “They just have to want it more and accept less than staight, white Americans. That’s proving to us they’re worthy of what other people take as a right.”

            Same mindset at work.

          • J__o__h__n

            I love how gays should be held to a higher moral standard than heterosexuals despite the same people claiming that they are immoral.

          • notafeminista

            I hold them to exactly the same standards that I hold you.

          • notafeminista

            Shame on me for expecting someone to have the courage of their convictions.   Subversive I know.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            More pathetic hackwork from you.

        • sickofthechit

           I think it means she inherited in excess of $5,000,000 since that is the current estate tax exemption.

        • LianeSperoni

          Yesterday she said she had to sell her possessions in order to make that tax payment- even after just suffering a heart attack and the loss of her wife.

          This isn’t about money, it’s about equality.

          • notafeminista

            Gosh, what on earth did she have worth that kind of money?  You have “possessions” like that laying around?  I bet not.  It’s about money.

    • LianeSperoni

      Almost any case against DOMA would involve financial loss. In order to bring a case you have to show you have experienced harm. And since we are talking federal benefits, we are talking about financial loss.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Sorry, too busy going over my list of RepublicanPosterChildFails to do anything but laugh at your idea of “more credibile plaintiff”.

    • Don_B1

      The opponent had to have “standing” and that kind of money is one of the best ways to have “standing!” But winning the case will help those in the 99% more than it helps the 1%.

      It will also remove a disgusting blemish on this country.

  • Gregg Smith
    • Ray in VT

      Maybe not politics, just changing times and social values.

      • Gregg Smith

        Possibly but I think one’s beliefs are one’s beliefs. The reasoning behind them, in my view, hasn’t changed. The politics has. 

        • Ray in VT

          So one’s beliefs don’t change?  Can we reasonably then conclude that anyone and everyone who opposed interracial marriage both prior to and in the wake of Loving must still feel the same way today?

          • Gregg Smith

            I didn’t say that, I said the reasoning  behind them hasn’t changed. To take your example, if someone opposed interracial marriage on the grounds of purity of race then that hideous reasoning still stands. 

            We are not seeing the flip-floppers explain why there prior reasoning was wrong only why there new reasoning is right.  

          • Ray in VT

            You’re making an assumption there, Gregg.  Again, you seem to be assuming that people do not change.  George Wallace, for instance, was quite a despicable during the late 1960s as far as I am concerned, yet he radically changed his tune, and from what I’ve read that seems to have been based upon a true change of heart, not petty politics.  Did Jesse Helms go into detail about why he gave up the ghost of segregation, and if so, then how long did that take?  You have several times mentioned knowing people who have come to change their views regarding the inferiority of people of African descent.  Are those people disingenuous or flip-floppers?

          • Gregg Smith

            Ray, you are reading more into my comment than what I said. Let me be clear, people change. People change their minds. 

            To stick with the example, interracial propagation dilutes the purity of race. If people decide to weigh that factor less, it does not change the fact. 

            Unfortunately many still do think blacks are inferior. They think they can’t succeed with out Affirmative action. They think they can’t get an ID to vote. I would be very happy to see people change their mind on that because the reasoning is dead wrong.

            Who are the politicians who have explained why their reasoning was wrong on DOMA? The polls have shifted and more people support gay marriage, is that a reason? I think so. If so they should have the guts to say so.

          • Ray in VT

            And what if people decide to weigh that factor not at all.

            I find it interesting that you once again repeat your lines about how oh liberals (presumably) think that African Americans are inferior, and that’s why they need a helping hand.  I think that it’s nonsense.  Affirmative Action I think did serve a valid purpose at one time, but that time may have passed.  The fact remains that prejudice, personal and institutional, still exists, although it is much less than it once was.  The “Jew quotas” are gone, and I think that the legacies are much reduced.  So long as we can provide financial avenues, then that should probably be enough at this point.

            As for voter ID, that isn’t necessarily about race.  I don’t buy much into the argument that there is massive voter fraud, and it has seemed pretty apparent in some cases the some people want to discourage certain types of voters from showing up by putting obstacles in their way.  Maybe they just want to keep out all poor and old people, and that keeping out black people is just side effect that mostly white conservatives who have pushed voter ID are willing to live with.  Certainly we saw in Ohio that GOP officials tried to limit extending hours in Democratic areas and the former head of the Florida GOP said that keeping people away from the polls was just a part of their strategy.  Maybe none of that is racially motivated.  Maybe it’s just disgusting partisan politics.  Either way I don’t like it.

            Some of the politicians may have voted for or supported DOMA because opposing it at that time would have been political suicide, and politicians want to get elected.  That’s what I think is likely the case with some people.  It wasn’t that long ago that gay marriage was a divisive wedge issue that the GOP used pretty effectively to turn people out to the polls.  Some of those people may not have cared about the issue, just about winning.

            I’ll say one thing about some of the steadfast opponents of gay marriage:  at least they’re willing to stand up and say things that they believe, even if those things make them sound like bigoted jerks, and there’s some places where such statements will still help you win elections, but I think that that is less true almost by the day.

  • LianeSperoni

    politicans are also falling over themselves to denounce gay marriage- except they now use the language of states’ rights- doesn’t that sound farmiliar?

    • OnpointListener

      And look for more of the same as the so called “libertarian” Rand Paul begans a run for the Presidency.

      • sickofthechit

         I saw him speak yesterday, and on this issue I think he will surprise you.  Make no mistake, I would vote for a yellow dog before I would vote for him.  But he is slick and calculating.  He is after the youth vote, the youth energy, the future…the youth is in favor of gay marriage and he knows it.

        • J__o__h__n

          He is anti gay marriage.

        • OnpointListener

          Yes and the new wedge issue is going to be this:  old people are stealing from the young and we need to reduce entitlements for them.  That is how he is going to go after the youth vote…… since he is anti-gay… he will just rely on “state rights”.

    • notafeminista

      Maybe you should ask the northern states.

  • Grav22

    The arguments against marriage equality are the same ones that were used to defend the anti-miscegenation laws in the 1960s.  Under those laws, Justice Thomas’ marriage would have been illegal, but I don’t pretend to think he will vote to declare DOMA as unconstitutional.

  • LianeSperoni

    the decision is going to be made public during pride week…

    • sickofthechit

       Let’s hope they give us something to be proud of.

  • adiggins

    It’s so simple.  The only opposition to recognizing gay marriage is tradition, specifically religious tradition.  Therefore, those who use the law (through DOMA and Prop 8) to block gay marriage are forcing other citizens who do not share the same beliefs to conform to their conservative religious prohibitions.

    Laws like Prop 8 and DOMA infringe on other, more liberal citizens’ religious freedom.  It amounts to a back door of establishing one group’s religious practices in a piecemeal fashion over others and it’s unconstitutional.

    • notafeminista

      Well of course its not.  So  Heather has two mommies.  One works, one doesn’t.  Non working mommy wants to be on working mommy’s employer supplied health insurance.  Now employer has to pay for two people, one of whom offers zero contribution to the employer.  Why would anyone jump on that band wagon?

  • julie s

    Please ask your guests to discuss what the expected dissent will be by the 4 conservative judges re: DOMA. I am curious to know what the constitutional argument might be (and is it contradictory to their previous positions re: states and federal law?).

  • Steve Schell

    The conservative justices didn’t have the same hesitation about affecting culture when they declared corporations are “people”. 

    • sickofthechit

      Hey, can I marry a corporation?

      • Ray in VT

        As long as it’s more than 18 years old, but maybe 16 with the consent of it’s board.

      • jefe68

        That could be a huge wedding. You’ll need a large ring…

      • glenn keefer-mcgee

        Yeah, but you can’t work there.

  • Boston_mom

    Overreach? Are we calling segregation overreach? Defining who may marry is a violation of civil rights. The court strikes down laws that promote inequality, of which we have a long history of creating in this country. It’s why we women are allowed to vote, and why we’re not allowed to own other people, for example. The crux of this issue is, Why does this frighten so many people? What are they so scared of? Ironically, many who have this deep-rooted fear seem unafraid to put war artillery into the hands of the mentally ill. That’s not scary, but gay people…. TERRIFYING. All about less government and rights protection… unless we don’t like what someone is doing. That’s different. At least I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I was on the right side of history.

    • William

       Where do you draw the line for marriage? Anything that you can put a ring on, you can marry it?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        C’mon, William, say “Man on Dog”. I dare you.

        • William

           Your mind is in the gutter.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            So you use Santorum’s argument, but not his words?

            That’s a rhetorical winner right there.

          • William

            So you agree.

      • Boston_mom

        The same argument used against mixed race marriages. Drawing a line from two consensual, non-related adults becoming married to a person marrying, say, a dog, or a sock, is too unintelligent to rebut. But answer this for me: Why is it so scary William? No one is saying, you must be in a gay marriage. People are only saying, give us the same chance you have. You might be scared of The Gays, but they’re out there. Careful, one might even be sleeping in your bed. 

        • William

          Don’t you think society needs some set of norms or guard rails?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep JAQing it, William.

          • William

             Limited train of thought you have once again.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Dude, you’re going down your well-trodden dead0end street. I’m just pointing out the obvious.

          • Boston_mom

            Who gets to choose them? Might allowing a small group of people to define and apply “norms or guard rails” that exist within their comfort zones to everyone create a potentially dangerous environment? It seems when this concept has been adopted in the past, it hasn’t worked out so well. Again I ask, why is this so scary? Nobody is mandating you enter into a gay marriage if you choose not to. They’re simply saying they want equal treatment. So I guess I am going back on what I said earlier. I think the concept of equality a good benchmark for the American “norm.” That is the concept that sets this country ideologically apart from so many others, and when upheld, makes me proud. 

      • jefe68

        Well you could put a ring in your nose and marry it, just to spite the rest of your face.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    (Here are some statistics… by some accounts, they are low.)

    In the United States, between 15% to 25% of all women and 5% to 15% of men are sexually abused as children. Over 15% of all children are physically abused. Then there are the wife beaters and husband beaters…

    So what sacred nature of marriage is being defended here?

    • adiggins

      Exactly!  It’s all about traditional religionists imposing their religious tradition, their religious understandings on everyone else.  It’s about social conservatives wanting to keep calling the tune and forcing everyone else to dance to it.

    • notafeminista

      Incidentally (and what you left out) is that same sex intimate partner abuse occurs in almost exactly the same numbers.

  • Scott B

    It’s always “judicial activism” when their on the losing side.

  • M H

    You know what I don’t understand?  Lower courts have said that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court is now looking at it.  But the proposition was voted into place by a majority of citizens in CA.  Why does it matter if it’s “constitutional” or not?  It’s what the people want.  Why can’t we leave it at that?  The government is supposed to work FOR The People, but instead, they’re trying to tear down the decision OF The People.

    Matt H.
    Cedar Falls, Iowa

    • J__o__h__n

      The Constitution protects individual rights from the tyrany of the majority. 

      • notafeminista

        Well.  Sometimes.

    • Anita Paul

      Part of the constitution is the protection of the minority from the force of the majority.  By minority I mean the people who have the least amount of power. 

    • adiggins

      Here’s what you are missing, Matt H.:

      In our system , the majority passes laws, but minorities are entitled to protections and exceptions from those laws.

       Constitutional rights exist to protect individuals and minorities from the tyranny of the majority.  That’s why  our leaders take a pledge to uphold our Constitution.  They are obligated to consider fairness, not simply rubber stamp the majority’s rules.

    • M H

      The way things are playing out, we are leaning towards tyranny because of the minority.  What’s the difference?  If the court says the minority’s view should succeed, then all we’re doing is turning the tables.

    • TELew

      You really don’t understand the system of checks and balances that our government is based on.  Basically, there are three branches of government–executive (president), legislative (Congress), and judicial (Supreme Court).  Each branch has certain powers that “check” the powers of the other branches to prevent them from abusing their powers.

      Also built into our Constitution is the principle of minority rights.  That is why each state has two senators.  The senators place a check on states that have a large population.  If not for this provision, small states like Rhode Island, which had a very small population and thus feared its voice would never be heard, would not have joined the union.  At the same time, the “people” were to be represented by population in the House of Representatives.  That is why a state with a small population has only a few representatives, while states with very large populations, like New York, California, and Texas, have very large delegations in the House.  Also, as initially written, senators were not chosen by popular vote.  They were selected by “electors,” who were in fact the members of each state’s delegation in the House of Representatives.

      Our founders very much understood the principle of the tyranny of the majority (they read the commentaries of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who considered popular democracy or “mob rule” as the worst form of government), and they took steps to prevent it.  That is why most (all?) of the states had property requirements for people to be able to vote.

      Of course, there have been many changes over the decades that have given the people greater power.  But tyranny of the majority remains a big problem because of the majority’s tendency to oppress despised minorities.  Perhaps the best most recent example has been the rash of anti-gay marriage laws adopted in the United States, where overwhelming majorities selected to deprive gays of a right that they did not possess in the first place.

      The idea that a court decision is a “tyranny of the minority” is absurd.  It is part of the system, with well established precedents dating back to the days of the Founding Fathers.  And unfortunately, as good as the American people can be, they have a very poor record of recognizing the basic rights of minorities.

  • Ray in VT

    I would like to know what aspect of her personal rights and/or civil liberties Professor Collett believes should be subject to a popular vote.

  • Boston_mom

    This says it all: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/–NwDI-9-w8w/T58bILSkfPI/AAAAAAAAAV0/10_ZbD1AWO4/s1600/race+mixing+gay+marriage+protest.jpg

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.krause.144 Tom Krause

    Your guest is absolutely wrong on one point. Right now, for example, the Social Security Administration has 50 informal policy statements telling claims representatives how to determine whether a couple is married. DOMA does not make that any simpler. 

  • OnpointListener

    The US Supreme Court is not charged with deciding whether a decision is “too far ahead” of itself, as Tom and others imply.  Their job is to determine whether marriage is a constitutional right under the equal protection clause.

    Sexual orientation is inherently biologically variable and is not strictly related to gender.  Like intelligence and other traits, sexual orientation lies on a spectrum.

  • http://twitter.com/banter2345 Drew Bowler

    If you are Christian or oppose this on moral grounds, do not obtain a state sanctioned marriage.  A license, as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary, is “The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.” They actually think that they can regulate a Godly institution? Only if you let them. 

    You are giving the State jurisdiction over your marriage.  You can have the same protections by making a last will and testament, giving your wife and children the father’s last name, and proper estate planning.  Common law marriage is the Godly way of marriage.  When were marriage licenses first issued in the U.S.?  Here’s a little background.

    Historically, all the states in America had laws outlawing the marriage of blacks and whites. In the mid-1800’s, certain states began allowing interracial marriages or miscegenation as long as those marrying received a license from the state. In other words they had to receive permission to do an act which without such permission would be illegal.

    Blacks Law Dictionary points to this historical fact when it defines “marriage license” as, “A license or permission granted by public authority to persons who intend to intermarry.” “Intermarry” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as, “Miscegenation; mixed or interracial marriages.”

    So let them keep their “licenses”.  You can keep the fee and keep them out of your lives. Bankrupt this little part of their overreaching system.

    • notafeminista

      The state is given jurisdiction over marriage because it takes the state to dissolve one.

  • Scott B

    It’s going to be interesting to see what retroactive benefits will be granted, where and how, when DOMA falls. 

  • J__o__h__n

    Why didn’t Congress require states to deny same sex marriages before admission to the union?  This is the silliest argument I have heard so far.  Where did On Point find this nut?

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Because in the days when states were still being admitted to the union, the vast vast majority of people recognized homosexuality for the perversion that it is.  It’s only recently that people have tried to redefine it as something that is normal and acceptable.

  • MrNutso

    But that is not what Congress was doing.  Congress was making a moral judgment on homosexuality when they passed DOMA.

  • Anita Paul

    Why do people who are against gay marriage always go the polgamy route.  Why compare gay marriage to something so perverse. 

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      If no one has a right to limit marriage to consenting adults of the opposite sex, then the same argument applies to any attempt to limit it in other ways.  Any limitation is arbitrary and the imposition of one’s beliefs on others.

    • M H

      Where do you draw the line to define, in your mind, what is “perverse?”  The idea of gay marriage is the epitome of perversion, in multiple senses of the word.

      People use this example, in part, to see where one “draws their own line.”  So you think polygamy is perverse?  And gay marriage is not against the norm?  Do you think someone marrying their cousin would be perverse?  Do you think someone marrying their brother or sister would be perverse?  Where is the line?

      • TELew

        I have nothing against people who would prefer a polygamous marriage, and I have no desire to marry my cousin, brother, or sister.

        People who compare my loving another consenting adult of the same sex–that is my capacity to love, I am 49 and have NEVER had sexual attraction towards members of the opposite sex–to bestiality and necrophilia are perverse.

        Your argument about “drawing lines” is a red herring.  This is not about polygamy or those things–this is about a consenting adult loving another consenting adult and nothing else.

  • LianeSperoni

    Congress passed DOMA in the wake of a same-sex decision in Hawaii — which means they were thinking about gay marriage not polygamy.

    • MrNutso

      They cannot defend banning gay marriage on its merits, so they have to jump to the slippery slope argument.  The issue is that two people of the same sex want same rights as two people of the opposite sex.  Not multiple marriage of any number of people of the same or opposite sex or animals or any combination there of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.krause.144 Tom Krause

    To Matt H in Cedar Falls: The Constitution is the foundation of our government. It is the Supreme Law of the Land. It is not subject to change by a simple popular vote. 

  • LianeSperoni

    Uniformity is not the same as “concern for children.” If it is about children, then why doesn’t their lawyer argue that point directly?

  • jim_thompson

    If DOMA is struck down-hopefully-and I am married in a same sex union in Massachusetts, Maryland, DC et al and move to and/or live in South Carolina will we still be entitled to the federal benefits extended to legally married couples?

    • glenn keefer-mcgee

      I reckon you would.  But why would you ever move to SC while gay?  The state would deny you everything they could, though.

      • TELew

        Perhaps because you are offered a good job there.  Charleston is a wonderful city with a rich history.  And the beaches are beautiful.

      • TELew

         It could also be that a person has family there, or may even originally be from there

  • dallas rolnick

    What took decades for black americans in that civil rights movement should take a year now.  That is progress.  We should recognize when a group is asserting its humanity and equality should follow fully and immediately.  And we should recognize bigotry in all of it’s costumes and ignore it.

    • notafeminista

      And forget about the unintended consequences.

  • Kathy

    Ms. Collett isn’t against gay rights because of some nonsense about uniformity, she is a religious fanatic who is attempting to enshrine her particular religion’s attitude towards gays into law. 

    • adiggins

      Yes, and since when is “uniformity” more desirable than fairness, kindness, justice, constitutionality?

      Unbelievable.

  • DeJay79

    the SCOTUS is not ‘sweeping away’ state laws. it is not even looking at that issue.

    Teresa Collett, please focus on what the supreme court is actually doing

  • LianeSperoni

    slavery was legal in the constitution until public opinion changed… that and a civil war

  • manganbr

    The legal case of Utah, polygamy, and uniformity that Teresa cites doesn’t seem to offer a clear analogy for gay marriage. It’s not clear that defining polygamy outside the bounds of marriage violates that equal protection clause. No  particular aspect of one’s identity (gender, race, sexuality, etc) is being discriminated against, unless one is willing to go so far as to contend that polygamy is itself a form of sexuality. And I’ve never heard that case being made. So any concern that legalizing gay marriage will produce a “slippery slope” (logical fallacy) toward other more radical conceptions of marriage do not seem convincing. The state can define marriage as a monogamous institution without barring any particular citizen, on the basis of his or her identity, from entering into the institution. Those who would counter that gay couples do have the right to enter into heterosexual unions simply refuse to acknowledge that homosexuality is a facet of one’s identity as a citizen. That’s why the issue of homosexuality as a fixed identity characteristic came up, and was questioned by (Alito? Scalia?). If homosexuality is accepted as a fixed trait, I don’t see how heterosexual marriage would have any legal foundation.

    • Scott B

       The “problem” with polygamy in the public’s eye is that they have the image, from TV or their imagination, one of three things:
      -The dramatics of a heavily edited, and often contrived, TV show.
      -People living like every night is the grotto at the Playboy mansion.
      -The polygamy practiced by people like Warren Jeffs, where the men can have dozens of wives, marry young teen girls, drive their sons out of the society, and the women have to dress like it was the late 19th century while the men are free to do as they please. 

      There are lots of people living some kind of polygamous relationship, and not labeling it as that, or just laying low for fear of the law.

      This “slippery slope” that gay marriage leads to people  being able to marry a turtle (ala Santorum and O’Reilly) is a logic fallacy of hyperbolic proportions.

  • MrNutso

    Theresa:

    Where in the constitution does it say that marriage is not between two people of the same sex.  You are applying your views to a constitutionally silent issue.  You don’t like gay marriage so you think it’s all right for the government to discriminate against gay people.

  • bleeclark

    Tom,  these were not Justice Alito, but rather Justice Scalia, and he wants to know this because of his originalist views.  They require that he determines what the law was at the time it was enacted.  It highlights a difficulty with originalism.

  • Anita Paul

    Ok so for the women who just spoke. Maybe we should get rid of the Supreme Court all together.  I mean what’s the purpose.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Actual votes at the ballot box” (Collett? at :44) cannot be talked about without discussing how badly referenda are written when voted on at the ballot box.

    Why do popular votes on human rights and dignity always seem to be the touchstones for people who don’t have to worry about theirs?

  • Kristina Fontanez

    I don’t understand why Teresa keeps saying that there is nothing in the Constitution suggesting that DOMA is unconstitutional.  

    Who cares if 41 states have kept a traditional definition of marriage? Discrimination is not allowed in the US and the Supreme court should rule on THAT point. 

    • notafeminista

      Not about discrimination.  It’s about money.  It’s about Heather’s stay at home mommy who can’t get on Heather’s working mommy’s dental plan.  Period.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yep. Discrimination.

        You’re serving up some weak tea, even by your standards.

        • jefe68

          I’ll say.

        • notafeminista

          Then why all the hue and cry about federal benefits?   It’s not about who you do or don’t love.  It’s about money.   The respondent in the DOMA case wants her money back.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You got your talking points. Keep repeating them; you’re doing yourself proud.

          • MrNutso

            Well, then instead of repealing DOMA,  lets eliminate all the benefits married people get.

          • notafeminista

            Now that ..is a good idea.  And I’m not kidding.

  • Boston_mom

    I have many married friends who are not parents and do not plan to become parents. Maybe their marriages aren’t recognized in those states that want to limit marriage to those who procreate.

    • MrNutso

      How many people get married rather than living together in order to get benefits such as company provided health insurance, married filing jointly on tax returns, automatic inheritance?

      • glenn keefer-mcgee

        I’m pretty sure that number is closer to 0 than 100.

        • Boston_mom

          I think MrNutso’s point is that when you start qualifying who deserves to get married and why, you risk running down a pretty slippery slope. Correct me if I’m wrong…. I wonder what Ms. Collett thinks about couples that adopt if marriage is simply an arrangement to merge genetics. Marriage material or not?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Tangent to another slippery slope: There’s a whole segment of married straights not “doing what nature intended” (sic) by not having children.

            One of the folks before the court this week got smacked down pretty hard (by Sotomayor?) about how marriage is for procreation.

            By that reason, allowing 50+ year-olds to marry because they can’t procreate, or letting straights of childbearing age wed without promising to procreate, diminishes marriage.

            (I don’t know if that exchange made it into this hour.)

          • MrNutso

            It did.  I also remember a news story from 20 or 30 years ago about single seniors not in love with each other  getting married to get better benefits.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I personally know a Navy wife, widowed young, who’s been with another partner for 25 years and not marrying because of the pension she’d stop getting.

            So it can go either way depending on circumstances. I don’t judge “the straights” on it.

          • notafeminista

            No, but you did confirm its about the money.  Not about who you love. By the way, should this widow’s partner pre-decease her, will she receive any of his benefits?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            No idea.

            They’re a straight couple who can get married with all the benefits that entails.

            But sod off anyway: You’ve used up all the “honest mistakes” of your “thinking”.

          • notafeminista

            Tsk.  Hit a nerve didid I?  Sod off is ucte though.

        • notafeminista

          Meaning you have no idea.

      • notafeminista

        What’s that you say?  Are you suggesting heterosexual couples who live together without the institution of marriage don’t get couples’ benefits?

  • nj_v2

    It’s disturbing how much Ms. Collett has to twist and spin to defend laws that are unfair and discriminatory and deny people equal rights.

    States once had laws—with full public support—laws which enabled slavery, which discriminated against entire classes of people, which prevented “interracial” marriage.

    Current anti-homosexual rationale, whether legally or religiously based, represents just so much fear and biogotry.

    • DeJay79

       ’disturbing’? or interesting. I find it almost amusing how she can’t just say what she wants “Gays cant marry because I don’t want them too”

      Ms. Collett discrimination is discrimination. call it what you want but we all know what it is.

  • MrNutso

    Teresa,

    You have revealed your self.  You want to create a social nanny state to prevent implied or theoretical harm that may occur.

    • notafeminista

      Did you type that with a straight face?

  • notafeminista

    Oh and by the Newton Whale – I lost your comment somewhere – however President Obama’s administration already stopped defending DOMA.  Two years ago.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20035398-503544.html

  • whiteryanc

    Ms. Collett, how in any way does Gay marriage affect anything in your life? At all? This is outright discrimination towards a group of people that were not recognized (but still very much there) at the founding of the country. Just as traditional religious practices are out of touch with the current social climate, so are many of the concepts on which this country was founded. Times change, there’s no point in fighting it because you’re afraid of different people.

  • Ray in VT

    Can’t we just solve this whole problem by rounding up this class of people in question, wall them off and let them naturally numerically diminish as that pastor suggested?  (I am being satirical of course).

    • TELew

       I understand that you are being humorous, but there were Congressmen (William Danemeyer for one) who pushed for such a thing in the 1980s and 1990s.

      • Ray in VT

        I’m not familiar with that instance.  I was making a reference to the more recent incident, as I said, and the amazing view that this man was promoting that homosexuality was some sort of communicable illness and that we could just quarantine it.

        I was thinking about this over the weekend, and I thought “what would people say if we were to talk about a dirty and diseased people, who we could get rid of by rounding them up, walling them off and letting them die out” and then apply that description to, say, the Jews.  It amazes me, to a certain extent, that people will say some really horrible things about gays and lesbians (in this case), and apparently not think about what the implications would be were we to apply that same description to an ethnic or religious group that has historically faced such discrimination.

        • TELew

          Ray,

          I know the incident you were referring to.  It’s incredible, but not unexpected, that we still have people pushing for these things.

          As for me, I am 49 and I came out to myself in 1986–that was not easy at all!  I lived through the Reagan era, when the Religious Right proclaimed that AIDS was God’s punishment for homosexuals, and that the thing to do was to put all gay men in camps as potential disease carriers.

          In 1987 I attended a speaking engagement featuring Paul Cameron, the discredited psychologist who is the Religious Right’s primary source for “facts” about gay people.  During the course of his speech he made a joke about how homosexuality should be a crime punishable by death.  Ha, ha, how funny!

          The problem is, he was serious about that.  And even though they generally don’t speak about it in mixed company, a large number of the conservative Christians agree that homosexuals should be put to death.  It is biblical, after all.

          Also, you probably already know this, but homosexuals were one of the groups other than Jews that were routinely sent to Nazi concentration camps where they were systematically starved and worked to death.  Homosexuals as a rule were not exterminated in the actual death camps like Treblinka and Sobibor (Auschwitz included both work camps and the extermination camp), but they were also a menace that the Nazis targeted.  In fact, one fact that is seldom mentioned by historians (a lot of them probably don’t know this) is that a large portion of the books destroyed by Nazi book burnings were in fact materials from a sexual institute (Weimar Germany actually had a thriving gay community) whose goals included promoting a more positive understanding of homosexuality.

          As a gay man I consider these to be issues of personal survival.  I reject all this talk about theoretical possibilities.  When I grew up the popular culture proclaimed that the correct response to a gay guy showing interest in a straight guy was physical violence, and people commonly talked about killing homosexuals being a good thing.

          I view a forum such as this as an way to combat the anti-homosexual sentiment so prevalent, not just a bull session where ideas are batted around with no consequences.

          But I did not take offense at your comments.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m glad that you didn’t take offense, and I thought that I should include some reference to the fact that I was making a joke, as I saw a number of people posting with whom I was not familiar, and I did not want to convey the wrong impression.

            I am aware of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals (the pink triangle), but I was not aware of the sexual institute to which you referred.  One of my undergraduate professors was a Medievalist who also specialized in Holocaust studies.  She was just great.

            I’m only in my mid-30s, so I was just a kid in the mid 1980s.  I admit that it was pretty common to make gay jokes back then, and it was quite accepted.  I don’t think that I knew anyone who was out until college (where I heard that one of the danseurs rather fancied me), but it was no big deal to my circle of friends, with perhaps one exception.  My great uncle was gay, although it was never talked about in the family, and I’m pretty sure that that is why he was dishonorably discharged from the Army during World War II.  He was a dance teacher, and he was with his partner for some 40 years prior to his passing away.

            I was somewhat shocked by some of the audio that All Things Considered played the other day.  They had some tape from out in front of the Supreme Court, and one woman was speaking against, and please pardon my usage here, “fag marriage”.  It was rather shocking.  I hear people use such language around my brother’s barn, but it shocks me to hear it in public.

          • TELew

            There is no reason to pardon your usage with regard to the “f-word.”  That is the language the opposition uses, at least behind closed doors.  It’s funny, because it was on in the 1990s when members of the Religious Right began toning down their rhetoric.  All of a sudden they realized that people disapproved of their hate-filled speech.  So they developed the public position of “hating the sin, not the sinner.”  But from where I stand, there really isn’t a lot of difference between hating the sin and hating the sinner.

            When the history is written, it needs to be told truthfully.  And that means including their rhetoric in all its vitriolic nastiness.  If I write the history, you can be assured I will not be reluctant to quote them as saying “fag this” and “fag that.”

  • burroak

    Then, Teresa what ideas would you suggest for giving federal benefits for people who, currently, are denied based on who they love. And, what are your reasons that same-sex couples cannot be good parents?

          Humans come in all shapes sizes, colors, and sexuality; but these do not prevent them from dreaming, failing, succeeding, working, or loving.

          Someone should not suffer because of sexuality.

          And your comment about 41 states, there was a time in this country when, in many states, women were second class citizens, they could not vote, or become a doctor; but that did not stop or cripple the social currents and movements that enabled women to be treated with equality.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    This whole “looking at couples who’ve come to regret they got a (no fault) divorce” sounds a lot like the anecdotes about the “vast number” of women who’ve come to regret getting an abortion: Some people just don’t count very well.

    The more I hear from Collett the less I trust her. But she does sound polite.
     

    • notafeminista

      So in your estimation, purely anecdotal, how many women have regretted getting an abortion?

  • MarkVII88

    I would think that the best “defense of marriage” is to keep people from getting married for the wrong reasons.  Abuse, poverty, and divorce are the biggest threats to marriage, not the sexual orientation of those who love each other and want to enter into a marriage.

    • MrNutso

      I think she thinks that gay people want to get married for the wrong reason.  She shares the same view of those defending the law, marriage should be for the benefit of children.  She let her views slip out with her no fault divorce comment.  She thinks that gay people only want to get married for love and in the DOMA case financial benefit.

      • notafeminista

        Why wouldn’t she think that?  The gay community has made this about being discriminated for who they love. And in the DOMA case…$367,000.

        • TELew

           It is about being discriminated against for whom a person loves.  The case of the woman who had to pay such an exorbitant amount of money is a blatant example of the effects of this discrimination.  That she should become a plaintiff in the case is only natural.

          • notafeminista

            No it’s not.  See TF’s post about the Navy widow.

          • TELew

            So one instance defines the entire issue?  That’s nonsense.

            Besides financial benefits, a major component of the desire of gay people to have their marriages officially recognized is to gain primary relation benefits, i.e., being admitted to hospitals when the loved one is sick or injured.  It is fairly common for a gay person to be excluded from visiting his/her partner because of either hospital policy or because biological family members who do not approve of the relationship refuse to allow the partner to visit.  This does not happen for heterosexual spouses.

            These are issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

            Finally, lack of recognition of the marriage of same-sex couples makes theirs lives much more complicated than they should be. To beat an old horse, there are some 1100 legal benefits to marriage that heterosexuals have but same-sex couples are not allowed to have.

  • 65noname

    What gobbly-gook espically from savage.  The supreme court’s job is to apply the law.  If gay people have a constitutional right to marry, it should say so.  If DOMA is unconstitutional, it should say so.  It is not the supreme court’s job to determine how politically acceptible any particular right is or, for that matter, how particularly acceptible any group is.  For instance, imagine if the court said that interacial couples have a constitutional right to marry but we aren’t going to say so until we think that all racists agree. 
     
    The idea that bigotry should be played to is ridiculus, similarly to the idea that Afro-americans should not have the rigght to use public bathrooms until racists are comfortable with the idea.

  • Matt Wade

    In a couple years we are gonna look back on this issue and laugh at the fools who defended DOMA just like we laugh at the fools who defended segregation in the 1950s and 60s.

  • Jerome Flaccus

     As a bisexual I think when it comes to the ban in california everything
    seems problematic. Because we the LGBT -Community complain about that
    people in California decided that gay marriage should not be allowed in
    2008 . We’re sayin’ it was not right that the voters took away our
    rights …but in 2012 we started popular votes in Maine, Maryland and
    Waschington State and won .For sure we don’t like that we lost in 2008
    and say that people took away our rights and for sure we like that we
    won the popular votes in maine, maryland , wa-state. But then also the
    popular vote in california was right because you cannot only accept
    popular votes when you won , you also have to accept popular votes when
    you lost otherwise all popular votes (maine, maryland, waschington state
    , california…)could be right or wrong . Why we the LGBT -Community is
    so angry about california and about popular votes about our rights but
    on the other side we also started new popular votes (maine, maryland,
    wa-state)…? I think the gay marriage ban in california was right at
    the time. The only way to get there sames sex marriage in a fair way
    back is with a new popular vote like in maine, maryland, wa-state.
    Otherwise it ‘d be not fair.

    • TELew

       Your talk about “fairness” is delusional.  When my home state adopted its anti-gay marriage AND civil union law in 2004, gay people did not start the move for a popular referendum, the Religious Right did.  And the vote was 75% for the measure, including 7 out of 10 Democrats. 

      It reminded me of school children taking a vote of who the most unpopular child in class was.  The poor child had no power in the situation, because everyone dislike him.  That is what happened in my home state.

      John Stuart Mill recognize the inherent flaw of rule by popular vote alone.  Despised minorities always received the short end of the stick.

      Gay people were despised long before they ever tried to change things by popular referendum.  The situation is not now nor ever has been “fair.”

      • Jerome Flaccus

         And it also won’t bet better with A LAW . A law can’t change people . A Law can a little bit protect you . But to feel real acceptance  A LAW will do nothing .

        • TELew

          Wrong. Laws codify norms and give the individual recourse against wrongs committed. Codified norms are important in changing how society deals with issues. That’s a pretty big SOMETHING.

  • Fred_in_Newton_MA

    Based on the tenor of their federal representatives, the good people of Ms Collett’s home state, Oklahoma, might be moving far enough to the reactionary right that a future legislature could rescind protections against sex discrimination.  How about it Ms Collett, if your home-folks decided you could be fired because they wanted you in the kitchen & out of the court-room, are you all for it ’cause it ain’t in the Constitution?
    No, I thought not.

    • J__o__h__n

      The people’s respresentatives didn’t pass the Equal Rights Amendment so she shouldn’t be able to seek a remedy though the courts. 

      • Ray in VT

        To a nunnery with her I say!

      • notafeminista

        She already has the 14th amendment.  As does the gay community.

        • J__o__h__n

          She limited that to race. 

          • notafeminista

            Everyone has the 14th amendment.  All it says is citizen of the US.

          • J__o__h__n

            I agree but that isn’t what she claimed.

  • Serious68

    Prof. Collett said there was a time “when all states ‘knew’ that marriage was between a man and a woman and the offspring created through their sexual activity.”  I wonder if she recognizes that states have gotten past that already — offspring “created” by adoption, not to mention IVF, are given full rights too.  So if states have changed their minds about that, why not about the first part of her statement?

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    What’s fascinating about this debate is both sides have legitimate and heart-felt arguments.

    But it comes down to the sweeping arc of time and the inevitable change it brings. 

    Those most ready for change are quick to accept it, but risk endangering half-understood ties of tradition and it’s role in holding society together. 

    Those who resist this change must make their argument persuasive by understanding the true roots of their beliefs – and be willing to let them go if they’re based on prejudice and personal commitment to values unlikely to be shared by a considered majority.  

    • notafeminista

      Yes it would be far too much to ask those who do want the change to more fully understand the ties of tradition and its role in holding society together.  Blasphemy I say.

      • jefe68

        That ice you’re skating on is getting thinner by the comment.

        • notafeminista

          You can always hope. Diversity is in the eye of the beholder apparently.

          • jefe68

            Yes, one can, can one.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        The irony Nota is, the failure to understand – or failing to make an honest effort to do so – is the fault of both sides.

        • notafeminista

          You’re so right.  Too bad the Left can’t see that.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Your loose use of the term “Left” implies abundantly that you are the pot calling the kettle black. 

          • notafeminista

            You’d prefer a more narrow usage?

  • Jerome Flaccus

    We don’t like popular votes about our rights but then we start another popular votes(maine, maryland, wa-state) ? Why? When we do not like popular votes about gay marriage why did we start new popular votes in maine, maryland,wa-state?  It is just like Oh voters took away our rights per popular vote that’s why we gotta go to court and complain about it because we lost . But at the same time we started new popular votes to take our rights back , to legalize gay marriage through popular votes…because some of them ( in maine) we lost once. So now after we won the popular vote in maine and gay marriage is legalized no one is saying such a popular vote was also wrong …no one’s sayin ‘it because we feel comfortable with it . But then we have also to accept popular votes that we lost(california) . Gay marriage in california can only come back through a new popular vote .

  • ThirdWayForward

    The clearest analogy is with miscegenation laws. Teresa Collett says that the court should not contradict votes in a majority of states. We wonder whether a majority of voters in red states even now would approve of “mixed race” marriage were it still prohibited. Roughly a quarter of our electorate are hard core Cro-Mag cultural conservatives and they are concentrated in the South and Great Plains.

    The issue parallels whether there can be slavery in some states and its prohibition in others. We look back with derision at extremely bad Supreme Court decisions on that issue, such as Dred Scott, that attempted to avoid the issue.

    Regarding whether the Supreme Court should worry about its legitimacy by “getting ahead” of the general population, the Court lost its legitimacy long ago when it threw the 2000 election to George Bush. It also doesn’t help that there are clowns like Scalia, Alito, and Thomas in that body. We take the Supreme Court seriously, not because of any perceived intellectual gravity or consistency, but because of the raw power it wields.

    • Jerome Flaccus

      But then we the LGBT Community should not have started other popular votes to take our rights back if we don’t like populat votes because we could lose or lost our rights trough popular votes .When it comes to gay marrigae it would be maine ( we lost once) , california…

      • J__o__h__n

        Advancing rights (through elections) where they are not yet recognized isn’t the same as seeking to ban rights through elections. 

        • Jerome Flaccus

          It is not like that ! You’re sayin’people should not forbid things per referndums, just only allow more rights? Then why we need referendums? Just to only advance rights? Then the result of referendums would be always known . People then all decide to advance rights per referendums. The case is we the LGBT -Community don’t like to lose. We don’t like that . No one likes that but then we shouldn’t have started new referendums in maine, maryland etc.

          And in some state’s there’s civil unions or domestic partnerships… but we the LGBT Community will also complain about it if we lose advancing of cvil unions or dp to gay marriage.

          • J__o__h__n

            Rights shouldn’t be determined by referendums.  Using the referendums is a way to bring about the rights being recognized in the same way bringing a court case is.  People have to assert rights as even though they are inherent to the Constitution; they aren’t passively granted. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yep, especially “not passively granted”.

            The next stage, ten years down the road or so, is the predictable rewriting on how right-wingers led the charge to marriage equality rather than being dragged kicking and screaming, with bleeding nails scraping the ground in resistance, down the course of history.

          • Jerome Flaccus

             Nope .I don’t think a court can decide waht people want. What will be chnaged if a court decides somethin is unconstitutional ? Nothing. A Court can also legalize gay marriage nationwide , allow full adoption etc. people won’t change. Wjat will it change for me as bisexual man if a decides I can marry my boyfriend? If people do not change  so I can then legally marry my boyfriend but I’ll be still attacked on the street and everywhere else. So then you can get married but still can’t go outta your house or be openly a same sex couple cause people do not want it! If all people will fight gainst homosexuality /bisexuality then the right to marry will change nothing (for me). Democracy also means communication . Because we communicate with people we can change  a lot and it works now …example maine, md, wa.

          • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

             So. We shouldn’t have passed the Civil rights laws in the 60′s because you “can’t change people’s minds”. Really? Hmmmm…no one is trying to change minds. If you’re not LGBT, no one is going to FORCE YOU TO BE LGBT and then FORCE YOU TO MARRY. My god, so many Americans are stupid and full of irrational fear. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

             And what is so complicated about DOMA? It was passed by old straight white men (including Clinton) who fear LGBT community. F ‘em. Get on the bus or stay in your cave.

            (And I’m not LGBT by-the-way. I just stand with FREEDOM & EQUALITY)

          • J__o__h__n

            Clinton didn’t fear gays.  He was pro gay but he was more pro-Clinton when the issue got politically dangerous. 

          • TELew

             As a member of the LGBT community, you do not speak for me.

          • Jerome Flaccus

            Yes . I never said that . But the LGBT -Community speaks for other LGBT’s  that are not even involved with them too much . There might be others that dislike that some LGBT Groups wanted to do new referendums but that’s the point. There is a powerful movement that decides we decide for all LGBT’s that we think a referendum is the right answer. And they did start referendums in MD , Maine ect. It wasn’t even Republicans or Democrats . There was LGBT Groups that wanted to start the referendums. That’s the problem. The US Surpreme Court will ask about that there are also LGBT’s that still like referendums , they did that in maine, maryland etc. and after 2008 they already organized another referendum for california. I am pro referendums but do not belong to any group (INDEPENDENT) because I know there’s also LGBT’s that do not like to be represented from other LGBT -Groups or want referendums. You got me wrong I guess :)

          • Jerome Flaccus

             You also don’t speak for me . So I don’t like that the US Surpreme Court takes away freedom of people that decided against my marriage with my boyfriend. But we respect it. We fight for equality and our marriage but also have to point out that others also have the right to enjoy freedom , also people that do not like us. A Law will chnage nothing . In many countries homosexuality /bisexuality is legal and there are registerd partnerships for LGBT’s but did it change the people that live there ?Did it change their views about LGBT’s ? No way. Turkey for example or other neutral countries…it is not possible to be openly LGBT there.

          • TELew

            I never claimed I spoke for you.  But you keep saying “we, the LGBT -Community.”

        • Jerome Flaccus

           We could’ve lost the referendums in maine (again)in 2012 …we also could’ve lost advancing our rights per referendum in maryland and waschington state. And after that we would complain and go to the court like:”Ah they don’t want us to have more rights , they didn’t like it to advance our rights or to advance our SITUATION…etc.”

  • ThirdWayForward

    The clearest analogy is with miscegenation laws. Teresa Collett says that the court should not contradict votes in a majority of states. We seriously wonder whether a majority of voters in red states even now would approve of “mixed race” marriages were they still prohibited (there will always be about 20-30% in the middle who will approve or disapprove based on the current legality or illegality of the thing). Nationally, roughly a quarter to a third of our electorate are hard core Cro-Mag cultural conservatives, and they are concentrated in the South and Great Plains.
    The issue parallels whether there can be slavery in some states and its prohibition in others. Are gay couples equal or not? Should it depend on the state in which they live? We look back with derision at extremely bad Supreme Court decisions on that issue, such as Dred Scott, that attempted to avoid the issue by leaving it up to individual states to decide. Fortunately with gay marriage there are not huge economic incentives for one section of the country to fight progress towards equality. This is why we have hope that reason and fairness will ultimately prevail.

    The problem is inherent in the division of control in a federal system. When it comes to issues related to citizenship (who is allowed to vote) and personal freedom (freedom of speech, privacy, reproductive freedom, freedom from arbitrary discrimination), laws need to be nation-wide and uniformly enforced. When it comes to issues related to possession of things (houses, cars, drugs, guns), legislative control should be exercised at state and local levels.

    Regarding whether the Supreme Court should worry about its legitimacy by “getting ahead” of the general population (Collett’s fear), the Court lost its legitimacy long ago when it threw the 2000 election to George Bush. It also doesn’t help that there are buffoons like Scalia, Alito, and Thomas in that body who are transparently obvious tools of corporate wealth and power. We take the Supreme Court seriously, not because of any perceived intellectual gravity or consistency or Solomonic wisdom, but because of the raw power it wields.

    • Bruce94

      Correct and on point, and to the extent that SCOTUS fails to affirm marriage equality as a Constitutional right and hands down a narrow decision that throws it back to the individual States to decide, I would hope gays who happen to live in those States with the most restrictive anti-gay statutes and state constitutions, vote with their feet and relocate if they have the wherewithal.  The States practicing the most egregious discrimination against gays, of course, tend to be those deadbeat Red States that receive more federal dollars than they pay in federal taxes.  If gay couples and individuals with more disposable income leave for more progressive States that will treat them more equitably, you might witness at least one impact on these discriminatory Red States: further eroding of their tax base leading to greater dependence on scarcer federal dollars and continued economic stagnation (especially if their conservative political leaders succeed in pushing more austerity measures thru Congress). 

    • SeaLioness

       Our adherence to strict Federalism boggles the minds of anyone who didn’t grow up with it. The maintenance of what-is-now 50 separate city-states has become ludicrous. No, your basic rights should not change as you cross state lines. We went to civil war the last time this country tried to maintain that state of affairs; California’s Prop 8 is out of line with the founding principles of this country, and I don’t give a crap about how you “personally feel” about gay marriage itself.

      • notafeminista

        California is not out of line, nor is any other state asserting states’ rights.  Check out the line in the Constitution address rights not already enumerated.  It is the reason the 14th amendment had to be added.  Slavery was (in part) a states’ rights issue.  The Constitution did not address it.

  • Bruce94

    The rights, privileges and prerogatives granted to married couples (as distinct from civil unions and domestic partnerships) have been well-documented on this forum and elsewhere.  The denial of these benefits imposes an unwarranted burden on gays that results in huge economic losses due to higher costs associated with among other things:  legal fees; estate taxes; income taxes; health care; health insurance; home ownership; citizenship.  This doesn’t include the losses associated with denial of govt. benefits including SS, Vets, Disability, etc.  IMO the fed. govt. has at the very least a compelling interest, if not Constitutional mandate, to end the discrimination that causes an entire class of citizens to be penalized for no other reason than their sexual orientation.

    I would also argue that the social costs of this type of discrimination should be weighed.  To the extent that straight marriage makes sense for society as a whole and serves purposes other than procreation and child rearing, gay marriage serves the same ends, that is, to civilize and settle young adults, and to provide reliable caregivers in old age.  These two social values of marriage are critical to the functioning of a humane and stable society, and are probably advanced more by marriage than any other institution.

    Legally speaking, marriage creates kin.  I’d asked those who are opposed to marriage equality the following question:  why isn’t it in society’s best interest to promote kin-creation for those people who are least likely to be supported by children in their old age and who may have been rejected by their own parents in youth?

  • ThirdWayForward

    In reply to Nutzo below, we agree that benefits are not the main reason the vast majority of couples get married.

    But we think shared health insurance IS the biggest immediate incentive for most people who have lived together for many years to become married.We know of couples who happily lived together and raised children for decades while they were unmarried. They do not feel that their relationships or their children are illegitimate. But as they aged and getting health insurance became uncertain because of changing job situations, marriage was an easy remedy.Couples do not stay together merely because they are married (look at divorce rates); they stay together because of bonds of love, companionship, shared history, and familial responsibilities. The legal institution of marriage has little or nothing to do with loving relationships; it mostly has to do with sharing of common property and benefits (hospital visitation rights being an exception).Of course, there is a great deal of cultural meaning and psychological baggage associated with the ceremony and the legal status of being married, but this is just the conflation of being legally married with the mutual acknowledgment of two people that they want to stay together for the foreseeable future. The latter is the important reality, the other stuff is hollow legalism. But while hollow legalisms do not guarantee love, they do permit sharing of tangible benefits and there is no reason that some couples should be excluded from those beneficial arrangements.

  • dogmeat2

    Introduction: A city situated along the SE boundary
    of Canaan. (Ge 10:19; 13:12) Often mentioned
    along with Gomorrah, Sodom seems to have been the most prominent
    of five cities, all of which were a located at the Low Plain of Siddim. (Ge
    14:2, 3) (pron.: /ˈsɒd.əm/;[1] pron.: /ɡə.ˈmɔr.ə/[2]) were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the  Hebrew Bible,
    the New Testament and Deuterocanonical sources, as well as the Qur’an.
    According to the Torah,
    the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah were allied with the cities of Admah, Zeboim and Bela. These five cities,
    also known as the “cities of the plain”, were situated on the Jordan river plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan.
    The Jordan river plain (which corresponds to area just north of the modern day Dead Sea[3])
    has been compared to the garden of Eden,[Gen.13:10] being a land
    well-watered and green, suitable for grazing livestock.

    Divine judgment by Yahweh was passed upon Sodom
    and Gomorrah
    along with perhaps two other neighboring cities that were completely consumed
    by fire and brimstone.
    Neighboring Zoar (Bela) was the only city to be spared
    during that day of judgment.[Deut.29:23][Gen.10:19]  In Abrahamic
    traditions, Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and
    their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God’s wrath.[4][5] [Jude 1:7
    ] Sodom and Gomorrah have been used
    as metaphors for vice and homosexuality, deviation. The
    story has therefore given rise to words in several languages, including the
    English word sodomy,
    used in so-called sodomy laws to describe a sexual “crime against nature”
    consisting of anal and/or oral sex, either homosexual or heterosexual.[6]

    Location: Possible candidates for Sodom or Gomorrah are the
    sites discovered or visited by Walter E. Rast and R. Thomas Schaub in
    1973, including Bab edh-Dhra, which was originally excavated in 1965 by
    archaeologist Paul Lapp, only to have his work continued by Rast and Schaub
    following his death by accidental drowning in the waters off of Cyprus in 1970.
    Other possibilities also include Numeira, es-Safi, Feifeh and Khanazir, which were also
    visited by Schaub and Rast. All sites were located near the Dead Sea, with evidence of burning and traces of sulfur.[17][18] Archaeological
    remains excavated from Bab edh-Dhra are currently displayed in Karak
    Archaeological Museum (Karak Castle) and Amman Citadel
    Museum.

    History & Judgment: In Genesis 18,
    three men came, thought by most commentators to have been angels appearing as
    men,[27] to
    Abram (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre.

    After the angels received
    the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, his wife, the LORD (JEHOVAH) revealed
    to Abraham that he would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, because their
    cry was great, “and because their sin is very grievous.” [Gen. 18:20]
    In response, Abraham inquired of the LORD if he would spare the city if 50 righteous
    people were found in it, to which the LORD agreed
    he would not destroy it for the sake of the righteous yet dwelling therein.
    Abraham then inquired of God for mercy at lower numbers (first 45, then 40,
    then 30, then 20, and finally at 10), with the LORD agreeing each time.[Gen 18:22-33][28] Two of the angels proceeded to Sodom and
    were met by Abraham’s nephew Lot,
    who convinced the angels to lodge with him, and they ate with Lot.

    The city showed it deserved
    destruction, as Genesis 19:4-5 (KJV)
    described what followed, which confirmed its end: (4) But before they lay down,
    the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house
    round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: (5) And they
    called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this
    night? bring them out unto us, that we may know
    them. (NRSV: know them, NIV: can have sex with them, NJB: can have intercourse with them).

    The vile mob of residents of Sodom,
    including boys and old men, surrounded Lot’s
    house, attempting to rape his angelic guests. The next day, after Lot, along
    with his wife and two daughters, left the city, Sodom
    and Gomorrah
    were destroyed by sulfur and fire. (Ge 19:1-29; Lu 17:28, 29) Thereafter
    Sodom and Gomorrah became a proverbial figure of utter destruction from God
    Almighty (De 29:23; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Jer 49:18; 50:40; La 4:6; Am 4:11; Zep 2:9;
    Ro 9:29) and of extreme wickedness.—De 32:32; Isa 1:10; 3:9; Jer 23:14; Eze
    16:46-56  

    Prophetic Significance: Jude mentions that “Sodom and
    Gomorrah are
    placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of
    everlasting fire.”  7 So
    too Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner
    as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after
    flesh for unnatural use, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example by
    undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire. This would not conflict
    with Jesus’ statement about a Jewish city that would reject the good news: “It
    will be more endurable for the land of
    Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that city.”
    Sodom and Gomorrah
    were everlastingly destroyed as cities. 
     but this would not preclude a
    resurrection for people of those cities.—Jude 7; Mt 10:15; compare Lu
    11:32; 2Pe 2:6. 6 and by reducing the cities Sod′om and
    Go·mor′rah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of
    things to come; 10 especially, however, those who go on
    after flesh with the desire to defile [it] and who look down on lordship.

    The thoroughness of the destruction of these cities was
    afterward used as a symbol of complete and everlasting annihilation. (De
    29:22, 23; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Jer 49:18) Jehovah figuratively expressed the
    depth of wickedness to which the rulers and people of Judah and Jerusalem
    had sunk when he addressed them through the prophet Isaiah: “Hear the word of
    Jehovah, you dictators of Sodom.
    Give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.”—Isa 1:1, 10; Jer 23:14.

    The apostle Peter said that by reducing Sodom
    and Gomorrah to
    ashes, God condemned them, “setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to
    come.” (2Pe 2:6) This mention by Peter and references by Jesus Christ and Jude
    prove that Jesus and his disciples acknowledged that these cities of the
    District had actually existed and that they accepted the Biblical account of
    them as true. Though the cities underwent “the judicial punishment of
    everlasting fire” (Jude 7), Jesus indicated that people of Sodom
    and Gomorrah
    would experience a resurrection to stand for judgment. He contrasted them with
    a city that rejected his disciples in their preaching of the Kingdom good news,
    saying: “It will be more endurable for the land
    of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that
    city.”—Mt 10:7, 14, 15;  

    Revelation 11:3, 8 says that the corpses of God’s “two
    witnesses” lay in the broad way of the great city ‘called in a spiritual sense Sodom and Egypt.’
    Isaiah’s prophecy (1:8-10) likens Zion or Jerusalem to Sodom and
    calls her rulers “dictators of Sodom.”
    However, about 96 C.E. when John was given the Revelation vision of events
    to occur in the future, the typical city of Jerusalem had been destroyed long before, in
    70 C.E. The reference therefore must be to a “great city” or organization,
    an antitypical Jerusalem, pictured by unfaithful
    Jerusalem of
    old.

    Paul refers to men with men and
    women with women at Romans 1:26 “That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual
    appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into
    one contrary to nature; 27 and likewise even the males
    left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust
    toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in
    themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.  28 And just as they
    did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a
    disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting; 32 Although
    these know full well the righteous decree of God, that those practicing such
    things are deserving of death, they not only keep on doing them but also
    consent with those practicing them.” 

    SO:  Is there any significance in this for us today?  If your belief system places you among
    Christians, Muslims or Hebrews it must. 
    Passages sited above are explicit, perhaps uncomfortably detailed and
    are intended to educate 2Timothy 3:16, 17, to warn: Luke
    17:28 “ just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were
    buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. 29 But
    on the day that Lot came out of Sodom
    it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 The
    same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.

    If we are the product of evolution it doesn’t matter what is
    written or why.  “Eat, drink and be merry
    for tomorrow we shall die.”   However,
    if there is a purpose and a future in store [Rev. 21: 3-5] then just perhaps
    the ‘same sex approach’ desired by some should be thought over very carefully.   Jude 5 (Half brother
    of Jesus Christ) wrote “I desire to remind YOU, despite YOUR knowing all things
    once for all time, that Jehovah, although he saved a people out of the land of
    Egypt, afterwards destroyed those not showing faith. 6 And
    the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own
    proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness
    for the judgment of the great day. 7 So too Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about
    them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed
    fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed
    before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of
    everlasting fire.  

    Man has been given FREE WILL; however, how we use that
    freedom ultimately determines the approval or disapproval of God. . . unless of
    course this is just all one big accident, simple as that.  There are only
    two thoughts on the matter to consider.   

    • TELew

      Thanks for the Sunday school lesson.  But I would like to point out that there is a line of reasoning accepted by many Bible scholars that the major approbation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah actually concerns hospitality–how one treats strangers in ones midst–rather than homosexuality.  Of course, this position is supported by a plethora of other  passages in the Bible.

      I take it your background is not in literary criticism, comparative religions, or philosophy.  There are actually many thoughts on the matter to consider.

      • Bruce94

         I would add that dogmeat2′s background probably does not include scientific reasoning or empirical analysis either–disciplines which would seem more appropriate in a discussion of public policy and the role of the state in regulating individual behavior.

        Injecting the Bible or anyone’s favorite Holy Scripture to frame a public policy debate is a  tactic used by those who fail to recognize the Separation of Church and State and who are panicked by their sense that they are on the wrong side history…not to mention that Biblical passages (Old and New Testament) have been used to justify slavery, cruel and unusual punishment, oppression of women and children, polygamy, antisemitism, etc.

        I think for rational discourse on this issue to proceed, we need to consider not only Biblical scholars and experts in comparative religion, but also the longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences as well as the health and medical professions, namely, that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexuality.  We need to be mindful of the research conducted in this field and the steps, based on that research, taken by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and many other respected, authoritative groups, to eliminate the kind of stigma, prejudice and discrimination that dogmeat2 epitomizes. 

        • jefe68

          Well said!

    • andic_epipedon

      You are not in a forum where any of that means anything.  What’s your point?

  • ThirdWayForward

    In response to NrthOfTheBorder, we agree that both sides have heart-felt opinions, and the reality of those feelings needs to be acknowledged, but feelings don’t constitute arguments (thinking and feeling are two very different things).

    Many people had heartfelt prejudices against “mixed race” marriages until they were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967. Were ANY of the arguments in favor of prohibiting “mixed race” legitimate?Because some people have strong feelings about something doesn’t legitimize their arguments. Their feelings are real, and we need to address those, but more than just strong feeling is needed — coherent moral and logical reasoning and supporting evidence are also required. Plenty of people have the strong feeling that evolution and global warming are false ideas, but these feelings don’t constitute legitimate arguments, either scientific or political.Unexamined, half-understood traditions are not what holds our society together. On small scales of organization, families and friends hold things together. On larger scales, economic cooperation, shared language, and common basic legal understandings and political frameworks keep things going. We normally don’t think of any of those things as “traditions” per se.We agree that each of us should examine our own beliefs and moral precepts, but commitment to values not shared by a considered majority is not necessarily a bad thing. It was not so long ago that those who believed that slavery should be abolished or that women should be allowed to vote or serve in the military were minority opinions. The majority are not always right simply because they are the majority. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Considering the state of families in the USA, ALL marriage is a very good thing and deserves support!

    The hypocrisy of the DOMA supporters is amusing. They claim that their interest is in “uniformity” of the law. OK, so why didn’t they call it the “Uniformity of Marriage Act”? Give me a break. Their agenda is obvious.

  • TELew

    Probably, but not ones that deprive people of basic civil and human rights.

  • TELew

    Probably, but not ones that deprive people of basic civil and human rights.

    I know–let’s try “love ones neighbors as oneself.”

  • TELew

    Society would probably benefit from some sore of norms or guard rails, but not from ones that deprive people of basic civil and human rights.  

    I know–how about, “love ones neighbor as oneself.”

  • TELew

    You are aware of the “signing statements” that George W. Bush used so artfully to prevent the enforcement of sections of bills he did not like, aren’t you?

  • TELew

    These four statements were in reply to other posters’ comments.  For some reason they did not post with the appropriate comments. I don’t remember the posters, but the signing statements referred to a poster who said that a president who chose not to enforce a law (Obama with DOMA) would be impeached. The one about “norms and guard rails” was one commenting on the need of society for “norms and guard rails.” Sorry for the confusion.

  • davecm

    “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural(against nature), and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire towards one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper”
    Romans 1:26-28
    This issue has been settled long, long time ago!
    Beware the foolish man who goes against God’s standards!
    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousnes of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
    Think about it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/todd.trimm.7 Todd Trimm

      yea, well if you read the bible, it’s full of crazy rules no one follows.  Some of the passages are just immoral and wrong. 
      But you need to live in a country where religion can be forced (though I always notice the passages about divorce is never focused on by religion)

      • davecm

        Malachi 2:16…. “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord,

        • TELew

          Then why are you people not trying to make divorce illegal?

          I’m sure that would go over well.

    • nj_v2

      “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind … nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      “[The Jews] both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets,and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 2:15

      “Stone disobedient children” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
      “Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted [sic] , brokenhanded [sic], Or crookbackt [sic], or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.” (Leviticus 21:17-21)

      “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

      “If a man also lieth with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13)

      “Censuses are immoral – and God killed 70,000 innocent counted Jews to punish David for counting them… “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel, And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. . . . And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. . . . So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men” (1 Chronicles 21:1-14).

    • andic_epipedon

      Please.  I’ve heard it all before.  Roman historians also talk about a religious practice that took place around the time of the new testament that involved paying for prostitutes at the temple in order to worship other gods.  Have you ever thought that perhaps the issue was not people in a loving relationship, but people paying for sex to worship idols.

      I would submit that gays having sex in a loving relationship,  is the same as loving the lord your god with all your heart as opposed to the temple prostitution of the Romans. 

    • TELew

      Davecm,

      I come from a very traditional Christian family, and for many years I tried very hard, praying to God, every day, usually several times a day, for God to remove my homosexual feelings.  He never did, nor did He grant my prayers that I develop heterosexual feelings.  And please note, I NEVER acted on these feelings.

      This verse is simply not a true reflection of what gay people go through.  I was an extremely devout Christian, I went to church every Sunday, I did NOT act on my homosexual feelings, I prayed constantly to change to heterosexual, and I never did.

      When I was 22 I finally confronted my demons. I spent seven months contemplating suicide, but I eventually came to the conclusion that it was not God or even Christianity that had betrayed me, but how people interpreted and presented Christianity and God.  I resolved to live the best life I could AS GOD CREATED ME.  That means seeking the love of another man with the fullest meaning of the notion of love.

      The only ones possessed of a depraved mind are those who cling to such verses to justify their prejudices and to prevent others from receiving the basic civil and human rights that all are entitled by virtue of being human and being as God created them.

      • davecm

        TELew
        It is not I that made the rules to live by.
        God created the world and all that is in it, it belongs to Him, He makes the commands we are to abide by. What He commands is the standard and not by what we feel. We all have a choice.
        God states that homosexuality is a sin.
        I cannot change that, you, nor the public, nor the Supreme court can change that fact.
        God did not create you to be homosexual.
        It is a choice as the verses I used stated.
        “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 1 Pet. 3:9
        Jesus stated, “If you love me you will keep My commandments.”
        We are to “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us,” Heb.12:1
        Worldly, we can make rules to live by.
        Spiritually, God is the only ONE who makes the rules.
        I personally have only one choice, I cannot force any of you to live by what I have faith in, only relay the info.
         

         

        • andic_epipedon

          First, What makes you think you know what God says?  I lost a decade of my life thinking I knew what God said when I really didn’t.

          Secondly, have you seen the scientific evidence that shows that there are physiological differences between gays and straight?  Or do you think science is of the devil?

          • jefe68

            I guess he has issues with how some flowers procreate. 

        • TELew

          Davecm,

          The problem with the religion you choose to practice is that it makes no allowance for personal revelation.  You believe a whole bunch of things because someone you trusted told you these things were true.  At the same time you chose to not believe anything that contradicted this “truth” you were taught.

          I assume you are not homosexual or transgender.  Hence, you have had no experience of what it means to experience–and fight–the feelings that homosexual and transgendered people have. 

          Your experience does not contradict these “truths.”  But my experience does, and I believe that my experience is a more valid revelation of the will of God than what other people tell me I should believe.

          You would benefit greatly if you expanded your horizons, if you became educated with regards to how the Bible came into existence, and how other cultures understand the divine.  As it stands, you have chosen a very narrow understanding of the nature of God, and you naively believe that all of God can be contained in one book.

          You are not responsible for what your religion tells you, but you are responsible for not seeking God any further than you have.  Your religion is only a beginning.  There is a much larger revelation of God contained in every tree, flower, animal, person, the planets, the stars, than is contained in the religion you practice.

          • davecm

            When we stand before God in judgment we will be judged by His word and not what we create for ourselves. There is one revelation of God and it has been once and for all delivered to us. We cannot create new understandings or revelations to suit our desires.
            God states homosexuality is a sin!
            Nobody can change that, we either abide by His will or we disobey His will.
            God makes things simple, He states that their are some things that are wrong and somethings that are right.
            He lets us choose!
            You have made your choice and I have made mine. I pray you will make the right one.

          • TELew

             Davecm,

            You would benefit greatly if your only broadened your horizons.  I suggest you read Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus for a start.

            There is still hope for you.

          • jefe68

            And what if you’re wrong?

          • dogmeat2

            Is
            there any significance in this for us today? Does it mean a thing?  IF your belief system places you among Christians, Muslims
            or Jews it must.  
            Passages sited above
            are explicit, perhaps uncomfortably detailed and are intended to educate 2Timothy 3:16, 17, to warn: Luke 17:28 “just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were
            buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. 29 But
            on the day that Lot came out of Sodom
            it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 The
            same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.”

            IF WE ARE THE PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT IS WRITTEN OR WHY!  “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die.” 
            However, if there is a purpose
            and a future in store [Rev. 21: 3-5] then just perhaps the ‘same sex approach’
            desired by some should be thought over very, very carefully.   HISTORY is interesting  stuff. How we are made is even MORE so: Jude 5 (Half brother
            of Jesus Christ) wrote “I desire to remind YOU, despite YOUR knowing all
            things once for all time, that Jehovah, although he saved a people out of the
            land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those not showing faith. 6 And
            the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own
            proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness
            for the judgment of the great day. 7 So too Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about
            them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed
            fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed
            before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of
            everlasting fire.  

            Man has been given FREE
            WILL; however, how we use that freedom ultimately determines
            our approved or disapproved state in the eyes of The Creator of the Heavens and
            the Earth, Almighty God, unless of course this is just all one big accident,
            simple as that.  There are only two thoughts on the matter to consider.   

          • TELew

            So according to Luke 17:28 “just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. 29 But
            on the day that Lot came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30″

            No mention of homosexuality.

            It wouldn’t hurt you to broaden your horizons either.

      • dogmeat2

        Davecm, I, for one, would not attempt to enforce a change in behavior on anyone.  The whole point is the attempt to legitimize.  If it’s about money, as has been claimed by some, simply attend to business and form legal partnerships to cover your assets.  

        My concern is for those who bring the name of our Creator into the argument.  Doesn’t matter what we ultimately say or do: we WILL bear the consequences.  I had one very dear friend who was homosexual; he is gone now, AIDS.  When we met–now members of the same congregation–he no longer practiced what he fully believed to be deviant.  When diagnosed with AIDS his response was “What have I done to myself.”  

        We loved him and miss him.  I do believe that ours is a wonderful, loving God and I look forward to the resurection, when those asleep in death “will hear his voice and rise.”  After a WHOLE BUNCH OF RESEARCH, I believe that will happen. Rev. 21:3-5.

        Almighty God truly does not want ANY to be destroyed.  Our Creator gave us a wonderful home and asked us to take care of it and each other.  

        Ezekiel 18:21 is so clear on this:‘Now as regards someone wicked, in case he should turn back from all his sins that he has committed and he should actually keep all my statutes and execute justice and righteousness, he will positively keep living. He will not die. 22 All his transgressions that he has committed—they will not be remembered against him. For his righteousness that he has done he will keep living.’  23 ‘Do I take any delight at all in the death of someone wicked,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘[and] not in that he should turn back from his ways and actually keep living?’

        As the days get worse we are seeing proof positive of what is coming next.  Take care.  L

  • JONBOSTON

    Marriage has been defined by western civilization since the beginning of time as uniting a man and a woman. I’m 61 years old. I admit to being stuck in my ways. I am trying to have an open mind about the issue but nevertheless have a very hard time believing that civilization has had it wrong all these 2000+years. Sorry but I just can’t fathom the idea.

    • nj_v2

      Incredible how people cannot see beyond their narrow, personal vision.

      For how did people think the earth was flat?

      For how long did most people think slavery was a justifiable institution?

      For how long were women institutionally relegated to second-class status?

      You’ll have to come up with another lame excuse for your cloistered world view.

      • andic_epipedon

        Take it easy on your elders.  He/She wasn’t being mean.

        • TELew

           I have to agree with andic_epidedon here.

        • JONBOSTON

          Thank you. I meant no ill will. I just wanted to voice an honest view that I’m sure many feel but will not express. Look, the future appears to be on the side of same sex marriage. Allowing the democratic process to proceed in the states without S.Ct interference is the better way and will avoid the unsettled discord caused by Roe v Wade.

          Jon

    • andic_epipedon

      While the institution of marriage has been around for 2,000 years, social security etc. has not been around for 2,000 years.  The original Greek and Roman laws were put into place to protect women and retain family property.  There have always been gay relationships.  Think of the Spartans.  The State has never been this involved in marriage before so the problems that come from treating us differently have  only really become a problem more recently in human history.  Also, with today’s technology, it has become easier for gay folk to have kids and that adds another element that wasn’t around before.  

    • TELew

       JONBOSTON,

      I respect your honest efforts to get a handle on the issue of same-sex marriage.

      However, speaking as an historian (Ph.D.), I think if you make a concerted effort to study marriage throughout the ages, you will find diverse manifestations of the one man-one woman form of marriage. 

      It has only been very recently in history that marriage has not been primarily a compact made between families for the purpose of political and financial alliance.  A dowery (whether it was pigs or lands or whatever) was also included to sweeten the deal; this survives today in the custom of the bride’s family paying for the wedding ceremony.  It was common for older men to marry young girls who had barely experienced puberty.  It was also common for these young brides to take young lovers (clergymen were notorious for this), as is evidenced in the literature of courtly love.  Love between husband and wife was not really expect, but obedience of the girl to her family’s and husband’s wills was demanded.  This political marriage is a much more “traditional” form of marriage than the current marriage for love that prevails in America today.  It is evidenced in the various Levitical codes concerning things like the violation of a virgin being an occasion for financial compensation, etc.  This kind of marriage was common among Jews, Christians, Muslims, and pagans.

      Also, up until the twelfth or thirteenth century marriage was considered profane, and hence marriage ceremonies were NOT performed in churches.  The higher state was for people to remain celibate (after the writings of Paul), as done by the Catholic clergy.  Of course, the establishment of the norm of celibacy for Catholic clergy really was not achieved before the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and before these times it was not uncommon for priests to be married OR to have concubines.

      One other thing to consider is the Song of Solomon.  Although it is commonly viewed as an allegory, the marital norms it provides are far from the one man-one woman model that prevails today.

      • Ray in VT

        I was a history major as an under graduate, but I chose not to pursue a more advanced degree.  If you don’t mind me asking, what is your area(s) of interest or speciality?

        • TELew

          My research has been primarily in state (Arkansas) history, with an focus on race relations as well as religion (two separate topics).  My master’s thesis was on fundamentalism in Arkansas during the 1920s (anti-evolution and anti-Catholicism–yes, it wasn’t that long ago that fundamentalist Protestants thought that Catholicism was a plot of the devil to destroy true Christianity.  I think the Baptist (?) minister in Dallas supporting Rick Perry caused a stink about his (the minister’s) continued belief in these ideas during the Republican primary).

          My primary interest is in religious studies, again with Christian fundamentalism as the focus of my research.  My hobby interest is medieval Europe and the Middle East.

          • Ray in VT

            That all sounds very interesting.  I just stumbled across the book The Protestant Crusade by Ray Allen Billington the other day in a box of books that my undergraduate adviser gave to me.  It looked interesting, but my casual reading time is very limited.  I did a lot of my undergraduate work in the area of American civil liberties and Nazism (two separate topics).  I thought about pursuing a teaching career, but then I thought about how we treated some of my high school teachers and decided that it was not for me, so I went another way instead.

          • TELew

             I also hoped for a teaching career but it did not materialize.  As for teaching in high school, it was not even an option for me as a gay man, given the attitudes of parents.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that your last statement falls into the category of sad but true, although that is probably less the case now and likely varies greatly from place to place.

    • jefe68

      You might want to study how the Ancient Greeks thought about sexuality. It was all about power, not gender.

  • andic_epipedon

    After listening to the full audio of both Supreme Court cases, I am overwhelmed by the difference in the quality of the arguments for the different cases.  I wonder why the Supreme Court even bothered to listen to the Prop 8 case knowing they were going to use the baloney procreation argument.  I am also not sure where the federal nexus is in this case.  It was possibly the dumbest thing I have ever listened to.  I was expecting a lot more.  I think the anti-gays should lose based on sheer stupidity.  

    Tom did not go into details on Justice Kennedy’s mullings over the ramifications of DOMA, which I think are important to keep in mind.  The fact is that the government and in particular the Department of Defense is very keen on this concept of uniformity.  The DOD is also not known for their forward thinking.  So, whatever the Supreme Court decides will apply to all military personnel, which means that if a gay couple is married in one state the employer, the DOD, is going to apply whatever outcome happens uniformly.  You may think that that is just the military, but the DOD is the largest employer in the world.  And the DOD moves its staff around a lot.  While the court may be able to stay out of Prop 8, they have been placed front and center in the DOMA case and no matter what they do it is going to have huge ramifications.  

    Unfortunately, Congress did not stay out of the evolving difference of opinion on the issue when they passed legislation in 1996, therefore the Supreme Court cannot stay out of the issue and retain legitimacy.  We now have a problem of discrimination under the law that the Supreme Court must rule upon.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.conley.33 Jeremy Conley

    I’m surprised no one mentioned that part of the point of the constitution is to protect minorities from the will of the majority. This idea of reliance on the democratic process for everything just isn’t part of our history. From the very start, our founding document recognized that on some issues principle had to come before opinion.

    • northeaster17

      Agreed, rights are still rights

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.conley.33 Jeremy Conley

    The real issue at the heart of these cases is whether people choose their sexual orientation, another issue that didn’t come up in the discussion. If it’s a choice, then the argument that same-sex marriage is like polygamy holds up.  If it’s not a choice, then the argument that same-sex marriage is like mixed-race marriage holds up. This is fundamentally what the justices have to grapple with, and it seems like they are going in all sorts of bizarre directions to avoid confronting that issue.

    • TELew

       I can’t speak for others, but in my case sexual orientation was not a choice.  I chose to be heterosexual, but it never changed the fact that I was really homosexual.

      What I did choose is (a) not to kill myself, and (b) to live my life honestly.  In the beginning it was hard, but after more than two decades as a gay man I have it down pretty well.

      • notafeminista

        No, you chose to behave as a heterosexual.  Not the same thing.

        • TELew

           No, I chose to be a heterosexual–to believe that as a man I was supposed to be attracted to girls, to expect to marry a woman and have children, and to regard my homosexual feelings as alien to me.  Heterosexual was the identity I chose.  I rejected a homosexual identity.

          As for “behavior,” there really wasn’t a lot of this.  Let’s see, I had a girl friend on two occasions.  We held hands, we talked, we hugged, and we french kissed once.  We even talked about sex once.  But that was as far as it went.  Not a lot of behavior.

          • Bruce94

            Joe Grace’s theory that you refute above has been debunked by the preponderance of scientific research showing that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE’s like conversion therapy) are ineffective and likely harmful to clients precisely because sexual orientation is not learned, but rather innate.  As you point out, what may be learned or chosen is sexual identity–the way we view ourselves or want others to view us.  Identity often entails a role, behavior or affiliation that we can choose.

          • TELew

             Thank you.

        • Bruce94

          Joe Grace’s theory (refuted by TELew above) has been debunked by the scientific research conducted on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE’s).  The preponderance of evidence clearly shows that these efforts are ineffective and likely harmful to the client precisely because sexual orientation is not chosen or learned.  I think you and TELew may be confusing the terms sexual “orientation” and sexual “identity.”  An “identity” in this context is the way we view ourselves or want others to view us; it often involves a role, behavior or affiliation that IS chosen or learned.  Not the same thing as “orientation” which is innate.

          • TELew

            No Bruce, I fully understand the difference.  My sexual orientation has always been homosexual.  The identity I chose when I was a teenager was that of heterosexual male. The identity I adopted after I came out 26 years ago and maintain to this day is that of a gay man. And my gender identity has always been that of male.

    • andic_epipedon

      I’m not sure I understand that whether people choose to be gay or not is at the heart of the issue, although I agree with TELew that in my experience being gay is not a choice. The issue of polygamy did come up in the Supreme Court and I can see your concern on the issue.  I lived in rural Nevada for a time in an area with polygamists.  The problems that I saw were similar to forced prostitution, tax evasion and people who had more kids than they could afford.  I think these are the reasons why polygamy is really taboo in this nation.  I’m not saying that polygamy is right.  I’m just saying that it is different than simply being gay.  I think there is enough room for the Supreme Court to maneuver the issue.  The government really hasn’t successfully prosecuted polygamists on the basis of marriage, but on the basis of child abuse, tax evasion and welfare fraud.  Even if polygamy were to become legal the cults of this world that thrive on this sort of thing would have to come to terms with the other problematic issues they have created.  There is no concern with gays.

    • joe grace

       Jeremy Conley says, “The real issue ..is whether people choose their sexual orientation..” I agree. The answer is they do choose it but without realizing it. I mean they think thoughts in an habitual way, forming a pattern, a habit. This thinking is combined with masturbation.It becomes ingrained.Any thoughts that are combined with emotion can be very powerful forces. Most people know that emotion can help you remember events.To “cut to the chase,” let me say bluntly that the same-sex orientation comes from self-sex activity. If a man is attracted to other males, where did this attraction come from? When did it begin? Who was the first male that he had sex with? The obvious answer is: himself. He is a male, so when he had sex with himself that was his first same-sex experience. When a boy has never masturbated, his private parts are nothing special to him, just another part of the body.But once he has started masturbating, he looks at his privates  differently. The pleasure he gets from them becomes like a lens. He now sees his body thru “rose-colored glasses,” so to speak. Because he thinks highly of his privates, it is only logical for him to think favorably of others that have a copy of what he himself has. In short, he comes to think of the genitalia of other males the same way he thinks of his own. Why? because it is a copy of that which he already is impressed with, enamored by. My point is what? Same-sex attraction is an extension of self-sex activity. And since self sex action is LEARNED, the extension of it is also something you learn and reinforce thru repetition.Homosexuality is LEARNED behavior…………… Of course masturbation doesn’t result in everyone becoming gay.That is why it’s role in the creating of the homosexual mind is overlooked. Just because marijuana doesn’t lead everyone to heroin doesn’t mean its not a “gateway drug.” For almost all the people that go onto heroin do start with it, marijuana. Likewise with masturbation.Not everyone who does it goes on to become gay. But everyone who is gay did definitely start out with masturbation.They LEARNED homosexuality via masturbating. So we can say masturbation is the “gateway” habit leading to same-sex attraction.  Why doesn’t masturbation make everyone a captive for homosexuality? Instead of just some people. Because there is more than just one type of masturbation. Focusing on yourself, using mirrors, is one type. Looking at photos of females and not focusing on yourself – that is a quite different type of masturbation.Contact me at joegracegrace@gmail.com for the rest of my explanation (of my claim that gayness is learned, unwittingly chosen).

      • TELew

        I had crushes on boys from as early as the first grade. Not so with girls.

        Your statements are utter nonsense.

  • Nujawh

    The DOMA argument is really pathetic. One the children argument in particular is total hogwash and irrelevant. Getting married is separate from having children – this is about two gay partners enjoying the same legal rights as straight. Two, even if we were to involve the question of children, straight couples have a divorce rate of over 50%. That is a travesty which ought to justify a law of permitting only 50% of the straight population the right to get married or have children. It may sound absurd, but it is actually logical if we were use the main DOMA argument. Give gay couples a chance at something that straight American couples have clearly failed at.

    • joe grace

       Nujawh says “the children argument..is hogwash…Getting married is separate from having children..” Society has a compelling interest in raising kids in such a way that they turn into productive taxpayers. Rather than layabouts that live on welfare, like parasites live on the blood of the host animal. With good parents, the kids can turn out OK. But with parents that are stunted themselves, the kids will turn out as cases of “arrested development” – boys that don’t develop into men. Or women that are neurotic, Adults that have the minds of children. Because the raising of kids is so vital, you are a fool to call that argument “hogwash.” Everything else is secondary. Kids are primary.

      • TELew

        I’m gay, I have had the same full time job for more than 15 years, and I pay my taxes!

        Your argument is utter nonsense.

      • jefe68

        “women that are neurotic”???

        Someones belief system is a tad underdeveloped.

  • frtw4

    By overthrowing DOMA, we would open up “Pandora’s Box” causing a very dangerous precedence. Polygamists are now demanding similar equality, stating if homosexuals are allowed marriage, that they deserve such privileges as well.  What would be next?   Gays are not being discriminated against, nor is this a violation of the Equal Protection Act.  But just as the aforementioned polygamists along with other demographics (ie: close family members such as a brother and sister) cannot currently marry as they are socially reprehensible, so is the case with gay nuptials.  In California, two propositions passed prohibiting gays to marry; the majority of other states also prohibit this. We must honor the traditional view of marriage as simply the sacred union between one man and one woman – and nothing more.  Doing otherwise undermines this union and will inevitably lead to the described domino effect. 

    • northeaster17

      Be afraid, very afraid…..

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t want my biblical right to take my brother’s widow as a second wife if my wife fails to produce an heir to be infringed upon by this new-fangled one man-one woman thing.

    • TELew

      You know, if the polygamists are fully consenting adults, then God bless them.  They are merely adopting a form of marriage prevalent in pre-Christian Hebrew culture.

      The idea that the Bible in any way uniformly advocates a one man-one woman arrangement is a myth.  It is based on interpretation of the Bible that is very selective in the verses it quotes.

      (Of course, the practice found in ultra-fundamentalist Mormon sects of old men “marrying” large numbers of very young, non-consenting female children is abhorrent and should be suppressed.) 

  • andic_epipedon

    I thought there was only one proposition?  Does that mean another court case?

  • dogmeat2

    ”Those who attempt
    to explain away the biblical condemnations of homosexuality claim that the sin
    of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality. The men of
    Sodom and Gomorrah
    were certainly being inhospitable. There is probably nothing more inhospitable
    than homosexual gang rape. But to say God completely destroyed two cities and
    all their inhabitants for being inhospitable clearly misses the point. While Sodom and Gomorrah
    were guilty of many other gross sins, homosexuality was the single reason God
    poured fiery sulfur on the cities, completely destroying them and all of their
    inhabitants. To this day, the area where Sodom
    and Gomorrah
    were located remains a desolate wasteland serve as a powerful example of how
    God feels about intentional and unrepentant sin in general, and homosexuality
    specifically.”

    Jude mentions that “Sodom and Gomorrah
    are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment
    of everlasting fire.” (7) So too Sodom and Gomorrah and
    the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had
    committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural
    use, are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial
    punishment of everlasting fire.” 

    • TELew

       Scholars who developed the hospitality thesis were not trying to “explain away” anything.  Rather,  they sought to find a more accurate understanding of these passages, not for the purpose of making homosexuality something to be acceptable to society, but rather in search of a truer understanding of past events that motivates true scholarly historians. Their conclusions are based on a large number of other passages in the Bible concerning hospitality as well as passages referencing Sodom and Gomorrah.  The website Religious Tolerance .org has an essay that includes a discussion of these passages. 

      I think it would be wrong to argue that the author of the Lot Story (btw, it wasn’t Moses–that’s another subject that scholars have studied exhaustively) was tolerant of homosexuality.  I think the position that the author was hostile towards it is a reasonable position given the Levitical condemnations.  Nevertheless, the position that the story of Sodom is evidence of God’s hatred for homosexuality is not a timeless position.  It is an interpretation that appeared at some point in history, hundreds, maybe even more than a thousand years after its writing.

      The interpretation of the destruction of Sodom as a punishment for homosexuality was developed by people with a definite agenda.  It remains the favored interpretation of people unwilling to consider alternative explanations.

  • ExcellentNews

    You gotta hand it to the corporate oligarchy. They have us exactly where they want us.

    While we the people argue gay marriage (really – is that the #1 problem in America?), the bankers have transformed our education system into a $1.2 trillion indentured servitude profit center, CEOs are raiding the pension funds to pad their bonuses, and industrial  cartels are working hard to repeal clean-air and clean water regulations. 

    I wonder what will be the next divisive non-issue the Republican party will manufacture, once gay marriage has been beaten to death. Outlawing knit sweaters for pets? No blue hair for grandmas? You can be sure that whatever next issue their fatly paid consultants dig up, it will (1) rile the people, and (2) be completely irrelevant to profits.

    • TELew

      The marriage of same-sex couples may mean nothing to you, but for those of us who are gay it is about our very lives.  It affects gay people in committed relationships every day, and the fact that these relationships have no standing before the law can have devastating consequences in the lives of gay couples.

      If you want this to become a non-issue, then support marriage equality.  Once gay people have this, they will no longer ask for it.  But Pandora’s Box was opened a long time ago, and we will not rest until such time as we have the same rights and respect (I don’t care if you “approve” of my “lifestyle” or not) as everyone else.

      As for priorities–we are all adults here (or at least claim to be), and that means we can do more than one thing at a time. I am not a big fan of the corporate oligarchy either–I’m pretty much a “little people” person, and I consider the issues you brought up to be extremely important.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment