Maggie Gallagher on California Gay “Marriage”

Maggie Gallagher on the California Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay “marriage”:

‘If the California decision stands, there simply is no longer any case to be made we have begun to win the war for judicial restraint. If a court can rule that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right (i.e., one deeply rooted in our nation’s traditions) then it can make up anything. Elite legal minds get to figure out what they think and break it to the rest of us once they’ve decided. . .

‘Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to after four-plus years of active participation in the same-sex-marriage debate: Gay marriage is not primarily about marriage. It’s also not about Adam and Steve and their personal practical legal needs. It is about inserting into the law the principle that “gay is the new black” — that sexual orientation should be treated exactly the same way we treat race in law and culture.

‘Gay-marriage advocates say it all the time: People who think marriage is the union of husband and wife are like bigots who opposed interracial marriage. Believe them. They say it because they mean it.

‘The architects of this strategy have targeted marriage because it stands in the way of the America they want to create: They hope to use the law to reshape the culture in exactly the same way that the law was used to reshape the culture of the old racist south.

‘Gay-marriage advocates are willing to use a variety of arguments to allay fears and reduce opposition to getting this new “equality” principle inserted in the law; these voices may even believe what they are saying. But once the principle is in the law, the next step will be to use the law to stigmatize, marginalize, and repress those who disagree with the government’s new views on marriage and sexual orientation.

‘Many of the harshest legal conflicts could be alleviated with religious-exemption legislation. But gay-marriage advocates will fight those religious exemptions tooth and nail (as they did in Massachusetts when the Catholic Church asked for one for Catholic Charities) because, they will say, it’s the principle of the thing: We wouldn’t give a religious-liberty exemption to a racist, so why should someone who opposes gay marriage get one?’

This article is a must-read. You can read the rest here:

“Redefinition Revolution” – by Maggie Gallagher (National Review)

81 Responses to Maggie Gallagher on California Gay “Marriage”

  1. Truth Unites... and Divides June 18, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    Maggie Gallagher: “Conservatives and other people of good will need to recognize the battle we are in. We didn’t choose it, but for better or worse it is here.”

    Martin Luther: “If I declare with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of God’s Truth except for that one little bit which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ no matter how boldly I may be professing Christ. For the soldier to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that single point.”

  2. Paul June 18, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    “Gay-marriage advocates say it all the time: People who think marriage is the union of husband and wife are like bigots who opposed interracial marriage.”

    I don’t. My whole argument stands on three points:

    1) you cannot come up with one thoroughly secular argument against it. If you’re going to claim that this country is a nation of laws, and not of men, if you’re going to claim that we really are a pluralistic society, then you’re going to have to live with the fact that it’s a secular country with religious people living in it, and NOT the other way around. That said, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    2) the government has no business being involved in religious ceremonies. Which a MARRIAGE is. The government should be issuing civil unions, and then, in the case that someone wants to get married in a church, they can be allowed to do so. But right now, the government is telling people who can and cannot enter into a contract. In THAT regard, yes, this is bigotry against new targets.

    2a) talk all you want about how people can get contracts drawn up that can protect them and allow them to pass on property to whoever they choose. It still doesn’t give them right of attorney, it still doesn’t allow them to be in a hospital room in family only situations, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention, those contracts can and have been overturned. A marriage license wouldn’t be. If Adam wants Steve to be the executor of his will, it’s frankly quite pathetic that James Dobson thinks he has the right to stop him.

    3) y’all did this to yourselves. Allow or even welcome civil unions (like Vermont) or domestic partnerships (like California) and this likely would have never become an issue. But when Rove and his RNC cronies decided to make a big deal about it in 2004, it’s now blown up in your face. And let’s face it, even if Maggie Gallagher and Denny Burk go into this with the best of intentions that are completely white as snow, with no guilt to be held over them, when you put stuff like this up for a vote, you can guarantee that the reason y’all win these elections IS because of bigots and morons who think you can catch gay if you go to an Elton John concert.

    Seriously. People are dying in the midwest, people are losing their homes, and you’re more concerned about whether or not gay people can get married in California?

    where is the eye rolling smiley when you need one?

  3. Darius June 18, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Yeah, we should just let our culture and society rot!

  4. Jason June 18, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Paul,

    I’m flying now to Iowa to use my super breath to freeze the flood waters so I can lift up the ice and fling it into outer space. There are some issues that are concerns that can’t be addressed without a cape. For the others, I think blogging about it is a suitable forum. The two concerns require actions of different format to be effective. Helping flood victims requires allocating time & resources to those in need. Standing up for truth can be done through debate. See post number 1 for more clarity.

    Jason

  5. Paul June 18, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Jason,

    a call to prayer can be useful.

    a list of charities and/or churches that are helping out in such regards can be useful.

    being silent helps no one.

    Darius,

    our call as Christians is to spread the gospel, not to force others to live in line with what we think is right.

  6. Darius June 18, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    “what we think is right”… don’t you mean what IS right? Furthermore, no one is forcing anyone. You can live with and have sex with whomever you choose, but just don’t ask a government of the people and for the people to endorse your lifestyle. Homosexuals have as much right as Christians to air their views and push for legislation according to them. In fact, Christians welcome this. If the gay lobby would put their radical agenda before the people, it would get trounced as baloney.

  7. Paul June 18, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    Darius,

    There’s a huge chasm between what’s right for a government to do and what’s right for a person to do. (isn’t that YOUR argument when it comes to charitable acts?)

    For a person, it is right to spread the gospel, live according to it, and in doing so, lead by example to bring more people closer to Christ.

    A government’s job depends on your philosophical viewpoint. But, as I stated in post #2, if we’re a secular nation, and we are, then the secular point of view is to allow those people who want to enter into binding contracts the right to do so.

    It’s not at all an endorsement of homosexuality to allow them to enter into that binding contract giving certain rights to a partner of their choosing.

    And what’s radical about that? Oh, nothing.

    Quit letting James Dobson and Tony Perkins choose your words for you.

  8. Scott June 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Quoting Gallagher on the gay-rights community:

    “They hope to use the law to reshape the culture in exactly the same way that the law was used to reshape the culture of the old racist south.”

    a) Is she claiming that such a reshaping of the “racist south” was a bad thing?

    b) Where is the evidence that the push for gay-marriage is intended to re-shape culture (and please no quotes from single individuals who by no means speak for an entire cultural community)?

    c) Does this mean that all attempts to change culture via the law are necessarily wrong, and, therefore, that pro-lifers should abandon the cause of changing Roe v. Wade?

    -Sctt

  9. Darius June 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Scott,

    b) Why no quotes from single individuals, since they are the ones driving the gay agenda, not the entire community? Many homosexuals don’t care for the politics of the “gay agenda.”

  10. Scott June 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Darius,

    Sure, but no entire community is ever represented by any particular agenda. I added that caveat because Gallagher referenced personal biographies to demonstrate the promiscuity of the homosexual lifestyle.

    On a side note, the difference between homosexual and heterosexual promiscuity, even if statistically different, is nevertheless only a difference of degree.

    Scott K

  11. Paul June 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    “On a side note, the difference between homosexual and heterosexual promiscuity, even if statistically different, is nevertheless only a difference of degree.”

    bingo.

    It’s not like the heterosexual community in America is some sort of guiding light of morality, either.

    And until a lawmaker at least introduces a measure to make adultery a felony, that “protecting marriage” canard is just that. They’re not protecting anything. They’re just using the evangelicals to keep themselves in power.

    Remember, it was your boy Dubya that said in 2000 that DOMA was enough and there was no need for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

    Until it was time to get the evangelicals to the voting booths again.

    And the rednecks that think you can catch gay at an Elton John concert.

  12. Darius June 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    You just made my point. The gay agenda doesn’t care that it doesn’t represent a large portion of the gay community. And if one quotes someone who represents the gay agenda, that’s what we’re discussing here.

    From Gallagher… “But once the principle is in the law, the next step will be to use the law to stigmatize, marginalize, and repress those who disagree with the government’s new views on marriage and sexual orientation.”

    This is the most dangerous part of the issue. Personally, I don’t see the actual amount of gay marriages being all that many. Canada legalized it and they’ve only seen a few handful a year. It’s what it leads to that worries me: a coarsening of our cultural mores, the promotion of other deviant behavior as normal (bestiality, incest, polygamy, etc.), and the repression of differing views. Just look at what Massachusetts did to the Catholic church and gay adoption.

  13. Darius June 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    “It’s not like the heterosexual community in America is some sort of guiding light of morality, either.”

    By that logic (if one dares call it logic), a Judeo-Christian society that has some level of child abuse can’t tell Muslim immigrants that honor killings are wrong.

  14. Paul June 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    “It’s what it leads to that worries me: a coarsening of our cultural mores, the promotion of other deviant behavior as normal (bestiality, incest, polygamy, etc.), and the repression of differing views.”

    Polygamy is the only reasonable argument you bring up here*, and the problem is, save for minors being involved, you can’t stop it. Look at the way the Mormons do it: one wife is legally married to the husband, the others are “bound” to him. Where is the illegality? Adultery is legal, even in Utah, so you really have no leg to stand on. Polygamy is going to exist.

    Now, if on the other hand, you’re worried that polygamy will become ACCEPTED behavior in society, now you’ve got an argument that’ll hold water. But I don’t think it’d get to that point before Christ’s return, frankly.

    *bestiality and incest are both scenarios where consent is a major issue here, and as such, even if Christians weren’t going to stand up against it, PETA and NARAL will, strangely enough.

  15. Paul June 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Darius in #13,

    apples and oranges.

    child abuse is a subjective term that can only have an objective point of no return after a serious beating leaving bruises or scars.

    Some would call spanking a child a form of abuse, while we as Christians can point to a few verses in the old testament that remind us that if you spare the rod, you’ll spoil the child. Completely subjective.

    honor killings on the other hand, are murder, and therefore, illegal all over the world. Even in many Muslim countries.

  16. Mark Gibson June 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    Couple of thoughts:

    1) Why should judges be allowed to set public policy with their personal opinions? Why is homosexuality to be considered constitutionaly acceptable but not polygamy and incest? I’m pretty sure both have been around as long as homosexuality.

    2) Corporations should not have to recognize same-sex marriages when paying for its employees benefits.

  17. MatthewS June 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    From the OP:
    But once the principle is in the law, the next step will be to use the law to stigmatize, marginalize, and repress those who disagree with the government’s new views on marriage and sexual orientation.

    That’s the part that worries me. My son is in Cub Scouts. I greatly appreciate the good that Boy Scouts does for many boys, including ones that don’t have a father at home. Unfortunately, the gay agenda refuses to see it this way. Consider the Boy Scout chapter that is being evicted after being in the same building for 80 years: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91126260

  18. Scott June 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Mark,

    Can you define “personal opinion” as you apply it here?

    You seem to use the label to dispute the validity the ruling, but I don’t understand why. If I looked up the judicial opinion on this case, I expect I would find an explanation of the case, the judge’s interpretation of the law, and the application of that interpretation in the form of an order.

    You may say that you disagree with the legal opinion, but I have a funny feeling that your interpretation (at least as you’ve stated it) is much more personal than the judges. Or, at least, they have offered some legal explanation for their opinion, whereas you have not. Again, you are free to disagree with their interpretation of the constitution, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve created something out of thin air. They aren’t merely saying, “I’m ordering X because I feel like it.”

    It seems that “judicial activist,” as it it is thrown around these days, actually means “judges who make orders with which I disagree.”

    Yet a judge is in the business of making judgments, which is an activity. And those judgments, furthermore, may fit into a moral paradigm. That a judgment ends up supporting an ethical position, however, does not necessarily indicate that the judgment was produced BY an ethical position.

    Scott K

  19. quixote June 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    Paul #14 and #15

    On #15 you write: “honor killings on the other hand, are murder, and therefore, illegal all over the world” and on a side note prove my point that no one previously addressed regarding abortion. If people thought it was murder then it should be illegal.

    On #14, are you serious in saying that incest primarily involves consent? I’m not talking about 2 grown adults in some backwoods county. I’m talking about the multitudes of incestous relationships with minors–mostly children. And speaking of children, and gay culture, a cursory glance at NAMBLA will show what the agenda is…and how damaging it is to our children and thus our culture.

    And you keep repeating a silly comment about Elton John and rednecks. That’s so stereotypical that it’s beneath a reply, but I’m game. No one seriously thinks you can “catch” gay, but I sure as heck don’t want to be around the flamers. And I’ve yet to see a group of people so in your face as gays and lesbians. Not all of them. Not by any means. But is there another group in our society that tries so hard politically and socially to ramrod their lifestyle choices in your face? I can think of none. (FYI: It’s gay pride month around these parts and while I’m not afraid of catching anything, I sure don’t see any other groups of people so grandly recognized by the state and joyfully parading their business in the streets.)

  20. Scott June 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    Matthew,

    Even if your hypothesis was correct, it is a fallacious argument that attempts to deny the validity of a law by supposing the possibility of the law’s misapplication.

    I can easily agree with a law establishing gay marriage, and I can just as easily agree that such a change in the definition of marriage should not infringe on the rights of other community groups like the Boy Scouts. The two positions are not mutually exclusive, neither does the former necessitate the latter.

    I think we should stick to arguing the merits of the issue as we find it in the present. Things become way too hypothetical when we begin to imagine future catastrophes.

    -Scott K

  21. bprjam June 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    Mark (#16):

    If your point #2 is granted, couldn’t corporations deny benefits on any grounds? Such as religion, rate, health (i.e., overweight), education, etc?

    If the fear over homosexual unions is where it will ultimately lead, shouldn’t there be a similar fear over opening the door to corporations denying benefits to those the management doesn’t like?

  22. Scott June 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    Quixote said

    “But is there another group in our society that tries so hard politically and socially to ramrod their lifestyle choices in your face?”

    How about every act of heterosexual, non-marital sex represented on television, film, heck, even video games, in the last year. I bet there’s a lot more of those than representations of “gay acts” in the last ten years.

    My point: “in your face” is just another way of describing “an act that bothers me.”

    -Scott K

  23. Paul June 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    quixote in #19,

    in your critique on my behalf, you say:

    “I’m not talking about 2 grown adults in some backwoods county. I’m talking about the multitudes of incestous relationships with minors–mostly children.”

    in response to me saying that incest was a consent issue. I figured it was completely clear that I was saying that incest would continue to be illegal due to the issue of consent (meaning the fact that with minors, there can be no legal acknowledgement thereof — therefore, there is no consent, therefore, it’s rape.)

    I guess one can’t make things clear enough.

    And, then, lets address this one as well…

    “…I sure as heck don’t want to be around the flamers.”

    I won’t stoop so low as to say that “conservatives” are bigots for wanting a ban on gay marriage, but I will say that calling gays “flamers” doesn’t really bolster your cause in the slightest, and it proves my point.

    Sure, there are plenty of mild-mannered conservative Christians that I respect, like Denny, that want nothing more than what they think is best for the country. I might not agree with them in the slightest, but I’ll agree that their motives are in the right place.

    HOWEVER, you know and I know that the people that carry these votes in state after state are not the even handed evangelicals. It’s the uneducated, ethnocentric jerks who think that anyone who’s not just like them is bad that’ll carry a vote on gay marriage. And those ARE the folks that think you can catch gay at an Elton John concert.

    Now, quixote, I have no idea where you live that the gays and lesbians are flaunting their gayness in your face. I CAN tell you however, that however many gay people you think you have in your area, we in Chicago have more (in pure numbers, we have the largest gay & lesbian population in the country). And, you know what? They keep to themselves. Their alderman is gay, and during the gay pride parade, they do their best to make sure that people know that it’s NOT a family friendly event, and if you’re sensitive, you should probably stay away from the area rightly nicknamed “boystown.”

    And, if you’re looking for a group that gets more in your face about their existence, I’d point you to the Fiestas Boriquenas in Chicago. Not only do you have to drive under two ridiculously large Puerto Rican flags that form arches that mark the entrance and the end of Paseo Boriqua, but there’s also all of the Puerto Rican stuff available, including my favorite, a painting of the three wise men following the star of Bethelehem, with one of them draped in the Puerto Rican flag. NO one pushes their essence on you like the Puerto Ricans. And I love ’em for it.

    Matthew in #17:

    One of the rare instances where we agree. However, I think it’d be better if the Boy Scouts, instead of having a blanket and semi-meaningless belief in “god” would just man up and call themselves a Christian organization. Then, at least, they’d have religious exemption on their side.

    Mark Gibson in #16:

    1) All judges will use opinions. The Constitution is over 200 years old, and without Thomas Jefferson hanging out right beside all nine justices, you’re going to have to make value judgements on what the original framers had in mind, and how they might apply it today.

    I just got into this argument today, as a matter of fact: how many different ways can you interpret “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which we know to actually mean “property”)?

    Now, extend that to the whole of the constitution. Even the habeus corpus issues that came up last week could be considered a handful of ways, even amongst conservatives!

    And, before we go talking about judicial activism, should we consider the civil rights legislation of 1964 congressional activism? After all, what Southern state would have voted for it in 1964?

  24. Paul June 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Scott in #21, is again, a better liberal than I am.

    😀

  25. MatthewS June 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Scott,

    As I read your comment, you dismiss my comment as chasing wild hypothetical rabbit trails and accuse me of a fallacious argument.

    I stated neither hypothesis nor argument. I quoted the author and stated my personal concern in agreement. The author makes a claim: this is not about marriage, it is about agenda. I linked to a current NPR story where something very like what the author describes (i.e., stigmatizing and marginalizing the Boy Scout troop) is, in fact, currently happening. Did you read the link before responding?

    I think we should stick to arguing the merits of the issue as we find it in the present. Things become way too hypothetical when we begin to imagine future catastrophes.
    What future hypothetical catastrophes did I conjure up?
    Did I misread you – perhaps your comment was aimed at the author, not at me?

  26. Scott June 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    MatthewS,

    Thanks for the response. And I apologize for the lack of clarity on my part. Here’s what I was trying to say.

    The issue of gay marriage is a legal issue, thus it is appropriately being decided in the courtroom. If there is an agenda behind it that seeks to disenfranchise other communities, then I think it is fair to oppose such an agenda, and I would even consider joining an opposition.

    But I also think that we may be jumping the gun by emphasizing the “agenda” (a rather opaque and amorphous concept) rather than first considering the ins-and-outs of the law in question.

    The validity of a law should not (necessarily) be dismissed because of its possible misapplication. For example, if some churches take advantage of their tax exempt status, this does not mean that tax exemptions for non-profits should be disallowed.

    In the same way, if I can agree with the gay-rights argument for same-sex-marriage, but I can also agree with you on the Boy Scouts, then your complaint is not (necessarily) with the gay-rights agenda. I have taken a position that allows for the happy co-existence of both possibilities.

    Your complaint should be with the City of Philadelphia for misconstruing gay-rights as requiring some negative action toward the Boy Scouts.

    -Scott

  27. Mark Gibson June 18, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Scott and Paul,

    Personal opinions was a poor choice of words to make my point. In the Chief Justice’s opinion, he writes “does not mean that this constitutional right must extend to polygamous or incestuous relationships.” Because “our nation’s culture has considered the latter types of relationships inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry.” Californians passed the California Defense of Marriage Act 61%-39% in 2000. This is not evidence of our nation’s culture acceptance of homosexuality. The judges attempted to legitimize same-sex marriage when only the state legislature could have properly done so.

    Paul stated in #23:

    “And, before we go talking about judicial activism, should we consider the civil rights legislation of 1964 congressional activism? After all, what Southern state would have voted for it in 1964?”

    Congress has their jobs on the line, federal judges don’t. Also, what Southern state would have voted to make abortion legal?

  28. Mark Gibson June 18, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    bprjam (#21),

    The corporations aren’t denying fringe benefits to homosexuals. The court’s decision would now require benefits to be extended to the spouse of a homosexual.

  29. Paul June 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    “The judges attempted to legitimize same-sex marriage when only the state legislature could have properly done so.”

    Not if the judges see the inability for the LGBT community to marry as an inalienable right. Then it is the duty of the court to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    At which point, what you consider judicial activism, I consider an interpretation (and a valid one at that) of the constitution.

    Re: what southern state would vote pro-abortion? I think you could make a strong case for Florida for sure. And certainly, in light of the attempted abortion ban in South Dakota, that really throws my preconceived notions about people’s thoughts on abortion out the window.

    Remember, conservative evangelicals make up less than half of the Republican base. There are plenty of “I vote w/my wallet” conservatives out there that would gladly vote for a Giuliani, Powell or Bloomberg.

    And THAT’S why popular votes on gay marriage bother me, because it is obvious that so much of that vote comes from a stance of bigotry, and not out of a stance of religious zeal.

  30. Paul June 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    note: second paragraph should read:

    “Not if the judges see the inability for the LGBT community to marry as the obstruction of an inalienable right. Then it is the duty of the court to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

  31. jb June 18, 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    version 1.0 says homosexual behavior should not be practiced.

    It certainly appears destructive, over the long haul, to those who practice it.

    There is no joy in other’s ultimate misery.

  32. Paul June 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    jb:

    I agree. The Bible tells us not to practice homosexuality.

    However, the Bible also tells us that man cannot serve both God and money. Yet there are no laws against being greedy. Even at the expense of others.

    The Bible tells us that it is better to lose an eye than it is to have lustful thoughts about someone that you’ve looked at. Yet, it is not against the law to look at pornography.

    The Bible tells us that those who commit adultery should be stoned to death. Yet, it is not against the law to commit adultery.

    The Bible commands us to love the least of these. Yet, it is not against the law to scoff at the homeless guy asking for spare change.

    Do I bring this up because there’s something wrong with the Bible? No, I bring it up because there’s plenty wrong with all of us.

    But, either we live in a theocracy, or we don’t. And if we don’t, you don’t get to pick and choose according to the electorate’s bigotry or the most effective talking points for elected officials.

  33. Paul June 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    Denny,

    why am I being escorted to the spam folder again?

  34. Mark Gibson June 18, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    Paul,

    “Not if the judges see the inability for the LGBT community to marry as an inalienable right. Then it is the duty of the court to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

    Why isn’t polygamy considered an inalienable right? Is this not bigotry against Mormons?

    On Roe vs. Wade, I meant back in 1973. I don’t disagree with you that several southern states would vote to allow abortion today.

    “Yet there are no laws against being greedy. Even at the expense of others.”

    We have the SEC.

    “Do I bring this up because there’s something wrong with the Bible? No, I bring it up because there’s plenty wrong with all of us.

    But, either we live in a theocracy, or we don’t. And if we don’t, you don’t get to pick and choose according to the electorate’s bigotry or the most effective talking points for elected officials.”

    The first part is very true. The second part is moral relavtism. How long until NAMBLA is considered acceptable?

  35. Paul June 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    Mark,

    The problem with polygamy is the fact that unless minors are involved, it’s impossible to call it a crime. As I said in #14:

    “…the problem is, save for minors being involved, you can’t stop it. Look at the way the Mormons do it: one wife is legally married to the husband, the others are “bound” to him. Where is the illegality? Adultery is legal, even in Utah, so you really have no leg to stand on. Polygamy is going to exist.”

    And, in a situation like that, you can get around family only obligations by being the father of children, yadda, yadda, yadda. The government made it legal, and people have just run around the law. (wow, being a big fan of Big Love came in handy here!)

    Roe v. Wade in 1973, I can’t speak to. I wasn’t even alive then. I would assume that you’re right that plenty of states in the south wouldn’t have gone for legalized abortion in 1973, though.

    Uhh, how effective is the SEC, really?

    I notice you didn’t touch the other examples.

    I don’t see moral relativism in what I say, Mark. I see a fundamental difference in the way we think.

    Personally, I figure that (insert sinning group here) are going to die and face eternal damnation, they should at least be able to live how they see fit while they’re here, as long as their behavior is victimless. And in the case of gay marriage, yes, it is a victimless situation from a secular standpoint.

    We do no one any favors by trying to tell some people how to live while we completely ignore the sins of others. THAT is the real moral relativism.

    As for the NAMBLA quip, as I said upthread, you’ve still got to contend with the issue of consent. And because minors cannot consent by law, NAMBLA will never be acceptable, by right of law. So, please, stop with the fear mongering already!

  36. Darius June 18, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    Again Paul, it’s not a matter of government ALLOWING gay marriage. It is a matter of government ENDORSING gay marriage. Homosexuals can privately marry each other all they want, but they can’t expect the government to promote and endorse it.

  37. Paul June 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    Darius,

    bull. It is a matter of the government allowing people to enter into a contract with whomever they choose.

    They do not have to promote it (that is, encourage it) nor do they have to endorse it (that is, let people know it’s a good idea to support it). They should simply allow anyone who wants to enter into a legally binding agreement with another consenting adult to do so.

    When you say privately marry, that means marry without granting any of the rights of a marriage/civil union/domestic partnership.

    If you allow those private marriages to trump immediate family in lawsuits, then sure. If you allow those private marriages to trump immediate family rules in hospitals, then sure.

    But I’m sure that you’re not at all suggesting that, so I say you’re being completely callous here.

  38. Quixote June 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    Scott #22,

    YOu said, “every act of heterosexual, non-marital sex…” since when is an “ACT” a “GROUP” of people? And since when are there heteropride months with parades and mayoral recognition? Transvestites on billboards talking about their fierce pride is in your face…and it’s not just about my not liking it.

  39. Quixote June 18, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    They should at least be allowed to live as they want here, as long as their behavior is victimless…

    For a group of people whose celebrations are NOT family friendly, I would guess there are victims somewhere in our culture due to homosexuality. And God didn’t wait until eternal hell and let the LGBT live however they wanted in Sodom and Gomorrah. Apparently, there was damage being done. And the damage now is to the family, which is the fabric of our society.

    (Paul, FYI, “flamers” wasn’t in reference to the entire homosexual community. It was in reference to just that: flamers. queens. Jack. Whatever you want to call it. You know what I’m talking about.)

  40. Paul June 19, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    Quixote,

    1) talk to me about the damage done to the family right after we take care of marriages ruined by adultery, greed, lust, 7 year itches and the no fault divorce. Until then, “protecting marriage” remains a canard.

    2) Bikers celebrations are by and large, not family friendly either (I’ve played them). Should we stop bikers from getting married too?

    3) I agree. However, there was not one good person in Sodom and Gomorrah. I would assume that to mean that there was much more evil going on there than made it into the final cut of the book of Genesis.

    4) Oh, so since a derogatory remark only refers to SOME of a community, it’s okay? Please…

    5) “And since when are there heteropride months with parades and mayoral recognition?”

    Since when are heteros in the minority? While heterosexuals might not have a parade, black heterosexuals do. Puerto Rican heterosexuals do. Disabled heterosexuals do. Veteran heterosexuals do. Even heterosexual baloons get their own parade in NYC on Thanksgiving morning!

    In this case, it’s not hetero vs. homo, it’s niche vs. someone who doesn’t like the niche. At which point, I’d say, don’t go to the parade.

    And you still never mentioned where you live that the LGBT community has taken your town hostage. I’m beginning to think you’re playing it up to make a point or something…

  41. Truth Unites... and Divides June 19, 2008 at 1:03 am #

    Paul,

    On the issue of same-sex marriage, why do you harbor and express such anger and hostility towards Christians who are only upholding God’s Word that same-sex behavior is a sin?

    Do you love your Christian brothers and sisters?

  42. Paul June 19, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    TUAD,

    where do I express anger towards Christians?

    Nowhere.

    As a matter of fact, I have been careful to distinguish between Christians who are utilizing God’s laws to try to influence state laws, and stupid bigots who just don’t like people who aren’t like them.

    AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. DON’T FORGET IT.

    Yes, I have love for my Christian brothers and sisters. I’d figure that’s obvious. Otherwise, why would I be here to read and discuss things with them on a daily basis?

  43. Darius June 19, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    Paul, you have called me a bigot before. But maybe the shoe fits… 🙂

    As for the parade discussion, none of those other examples involve sexuality (or perverted sexuality, for that matter). Apples to oranges.

  44. Paul June 19, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    Darius,

    I was figuring TUAD might be speaking about this thread. I mean, in general, we can all agree, I’ve uh, had my moments.

    re: parades: you’ve never been to the southside Irish parade out here. That parade is organized and sanctioned debauchery. In other words, any parade, any carnival, any whatever can involve all sorts of raucousness. At least the LGBT community in Chicago actively works to keep families and sensitive folks nowhere near the gay pride parade. That would be the complete OPPOSITE of what Quixote is claiming.

  45. Darius June 19, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Perhaps SOME gay parades are relatively sensitive to the fact that what they are promoting is disgusting to most of the population. And perhaps SOME other non-gay parades flaunt their debaucherous nature.

    But what is not deniable is how many of the more radical LGBTs (especially in the universities) are loud and proud. Take for example the sex shows that the LGBTs put on at many secular universities around the nation. They place themselves at the heart of campus and put up disgusting signs and lewd advertisements that one cannot help but run into. What many in the gay community are trying to do (much like Hollywood with promiscuity) is make their behavior normative and mainstream, so that by doing so they accomplish two desires: one, to get people to accept them; and two, to assuage their own guilty consciences. Nothing helps rationalize sin more than to see everyone doing it and to hear everyone saying it’s normal.

  46. Darius June 19, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    You know, Paul, regarding past remarks of yours… You have implied in the past that you read The Daily Kos on a regular basis. Perhaps this is not true, but if it is, I would recommend considering putting an end to that habit. The Daily Kos is full of anti-God, anti-Christian hatred and is no place for a Christian to frequent (unless done so occasionally to merely understand what the radical left is saying). I think this could go a long way in helping you be more amicable in dialogues on here. Sometimes you are very pleasant, but other times it seems like you are quoting from a Dailykos blog rant. I know that I learn better behavior/argument style most when I read blogs that generally involve nice discourse between debaters (like this one), and resort to sarcasm more when surrounded by it. Just a thought.

  47. Mark Gibson June 19, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    Paul,

    Polygamy still isn’t recognized as marriage.

    We’ve discussed your list of sins before (except for pornography), so there was no point in getting completely off topic.

    No one here is telling gay people how to live. As far as I’m concerned, they can do whatever they want. Their freedom to do whatever they want does not include marriage. By definition, marriage cannot apply to them.

    As for my NAMBLA quip, some on the left believe that 13 year old girls should be able to get abortions without parental consent. How long until a person below the age of 18 can “consent” to having sex with an adult?

  48. Mark Gibson June 19, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Darius,

    ” What many in the gay community are trying to do (much like Hollywood with promiscuity) is make their behavior normative and mainstream, so that by doing so they accomplish two desires: one, to get people to accept them; and two, to assuage their own guilty consciences. Nothing helps rationalize sin more than to see everyone doing it and to hear everyone saying it’s normal.”

    Well said.

  49. Paul June 19, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Darius in #46:

    if you must know, there are a few blogs/message boards that I frequent on a daily basis:

    a jazz board, so, you know, I can keep up with trends in half of my professional life.

    a mostly Chicago centered jam band board that keeps me in touch with local musicians and fans.

    a handful of liberal blogs, ranging from the occasional peak at Daily Kos, to an almost daily perusing of Mother Jones and Jim Wallis’ blog.

    I actually DO read LGF on a regular basis, I read Michele Malkin’s blog when I actively seek to be upset, and of course, I am here too.

    I see more snarkiness on Malkin’s blog than almost anywhere else. And on that jazz board, no one is a more fervent defender of the faith (in the rare instances where those discussions come up) than I.

    Now, I do agree that in pretty much every place on the liberal web, save for Jim Wallis’ blog, there is some pretty heated anti-Christian sentiment, and it’s almost always not deserved…though Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Pat Robertson definitely give the left some ammunition on a regular basis.

    It bothers me. But, whenever I pray, “God, if these people on the right actually have it right, then please, lead me in that direction,” He never, NEVER does. Maybe that’s part of His plan for me. To be one of those rare guys that squares (or attempts to square) liberal politics with conservative theology. Certainly I’m not the only one (I go to church with a good 300 more likeminded folks), but all I can figure at this point is that God hard wired me the way I am for a reason. I have no other explanation.

    Let the flaming begin on this post, but I’m laying my soul bare here in this regard.

  50. jb June 19, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    “but all I can figure at this point is that God hard wired me the way I am for a reason. I have no other explanation.”

    Paul, we’re all “hard-wired” sinners. God still holds us accountable. I didn’t vote to be born a sinner but here I am and God calls me to account about my sinfulness.

    If you are engaging in sexual behavior outside of a marriage between you and a female wife, you are doing what is wrong and you should stop.

    Respectfully,

  51. Paul June 19, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Darius in #45:

    I don’t disagree with what you’re saying.

    But I think that what Ken Lay did was perverse and disgusting, and yet, his lasting legacy is that he is essentially not guilty, despite having bilked billions of dollars from millions of investors.

    I think what the KKK does is perverse and disgusting, and yet they can march anywhere and everywhere they choose.

    I think what the Westboro Baptist Church does is perverse and disgusting, and yet they can go and make mockeries of the funerals of our men and women in uniform.

    I think that what the RNC (with thinly veiled racist ads) and Moveon.org (with heart tugging cheap shot ads) does is perverse and disgusting, yet, they can do what they choose on national TV.

    In short, Darius, the world is filled with perverse and disgusting things that we don’t like. But this country wasn’t founded on doing what the majority likes. It was founded on providing everyone with the chance to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that means everyone having the right to enter into contracts with whomever they choose, whether Tony Perkins or James Dobson approves or not.

  52. Paul June 19, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    jb,

    ask before you type.

    I am married. with a child. I was speaking purely in terms of political affiliation.

    (pats jb on the head)

  53. Darius June 19, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Again Paul, you’re talking about two different things. No one, at least not I, is suggesting that we LEGALLY ban gay parades, just as I wouldn’t propose criminalizing KKK rallies. Nor, to get closer to the issue at hand, am I desiring that the government ban homosexual activity or PRIVATE marriages between people of the same sex. What I AM asking is that the government not endorse said behavior by writing it into laws and legal contracts. In the past, you have said that what I am fighting for is government involvement in the bedroom. That is not accurate. I don’t want the government in the bedroom, but I also don’t want the bedroom forced onto the government. Gays can marry whomever they want wherever they want, but please don’t ask for a certificate from the government sanctioning that marriage.

  54. Paul June 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Darius,

    then tell me, Darius…how is a gay person supposed to dictate power of a attorney to a non-family member without a major legal battle?

    How is that same gay person supposed to have a challenge proof will that bequeaths the majority oh his or her property to their partner?

    A civil union would do just that, but Tony Perkins and co. fight those tooth and nail as well.

    You cannot deny people the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property because of who they choose to live with. And when you tell them who can and cannot have power of attorney (as you ARE AS A MATTER OF FACT DOING WHEN YOU DICTATE WHO THEY CAN MARRY), you are restricting their liberty. When you tell them that their dying wishes can be challenged because of the recipient of those dying wishes, you are restricting their liberty and their pursuit of property.

    What drives me up a wall about this kind of thing is not who it’s being done to, it’s the fact that it’s a blatant attempt to keep all of our citizens from having the full benefit of the rights promised to us in the constitution.

    Sincerely, Darius, I would be more apt to agree with you if we held the government to Biblical scrutiny on every subject the way that y’all on the religious right want to do with this one subject.

  55. Darius June 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    What is stopping a gay person from making their partner the beneficiary of their will or give them power of attorney? Where do you get this idea that they can’t? This is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, I can’t imagine any hospital actually denying visitation rights to someone that the hospitalized person okays. The gay lobby wants you to think that this is really the issue, whereas I know that it is not the real issue.

  56. Ferg June 19, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    Paul, thank you for making some sense of a lot of questions I had in relation to this matter. And Darius, thank you for questioning it. It makes for good reading and much to ponder on.

  57. Paul June 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Darius,

    I love how you paint the “gay lobby” to be some sort of evil source in the world that holds some ridiculous amount of power.

    Insofar as the will issue goes, wills HAVE been overturned by family members claiming first priority to property. This is an issue that could not happen in the case of a civil union or a domestic partnership being in place.

    And, having a mother who is a hospital administrator, these fun little questions pop up at interesting times, like when my parents decide to go see us at a gay bar because the food is fantastic. Her response was: in life and death situations, it’s spouse and/or family that get visitations and rights to declare intent. Now, granted, Illinois is far tougher on privacy issues than a lot of other states, but do you really think that some overly zealous nurse in Arkansas is going to let someone’s partner through the door if they have ANY legal ground on which to stop them? Sorry, but I’d rather they not have the chance.

    A civil union would clear this all up.

  58. Paul June 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    And Darius,

    how do you know what gay people are really thinking, unless…

  59. Paul June 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    that above post REALLY needs a smiley next to it to indicate good natured ribbing.

    so, here’s a few of ’em…

    🙂 😀 🙂 😀 :p

  60. Darius June 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    When I say “gay lobby,” I mean the radical few homosexuals who want to enforce their perversion on the rest of society and enthrone their disgusting personal acts in the laws of the land.

  61. Paul June 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    enforce their perversion?

    enthrone their disgusting acts?

    prone to hyperbole much, Darius?

    I will agree, there small chunks of people in EVERY walk of life who try to make the majority bow to their will. In that regard, the “gay lobby” is no different than well connected CEO’s trying to keep the Enron loophole open (and according to the Bible, those CEO’s are just as dirty).

    That doesn’t mean that the majority of those people should be punished for the sins of the most vocal among them.

    They should still be able to enter into legal and binding contracts with whomever they choose.

  62. Ferg June 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Paul, do you think gay marriage is wrong? or do you think it is a much bigger issue than that? And is your main point, don’t condemn gay marriage when there are so many other things in society you tolerate that the bible says is wrong and also taking into consideration that america is not run by christians, it is run by a secular government.

    And also, are you intimating that there is no point in arguing against gay marriage from a christian agenda; it needs to be spoken about in terms of its impact on society and the wider implications BECAUSE your government is secular (one nation under god, not necessarily one nation under Jesus!).

    thanks paul.

  63. Paul June 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Ferg:

    if homosexuality is a sin, then gay marriage must be by extension. I’m not about to argue with God, as I’m pretty sure I won’t win.

    That said, I see this as a constitutional argument. Whether you like what a person does or not, whether you see them as “perverse” or “disgusting,” they still ought to have the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property. And that includes being able to enter into legally binding contracts guaranteeing them certain rights to be able to bequeath property to their partner, being able to have power of attorney for that partner (without thousands of dollars worth of paperwork), and the other “priveleges” of marriage.

    And where Darius equates acknowledgement with endorsement, I do no such thing. When a notary public acknowledges a contract by stamping it, they are not saying that the contract is a good or great idea. They are simply saying that it’s been acknowledged by someone in charge of acknowledging things.

    I see gay marriage in the same light.

    That said, had Perkins, Dobson, Falwell, et al, not fought so hard against civil unions and domestic partnerships, this wouldn’t have been an issue in the first place.

    Because now, what you have is the VERY strange bedfellows of marriage (a religious construct) and a marriage license (a secular contract.

    At the end of the day, either this is a secular country whose laws dictate that a just society is one that allows for life, liberty and the pursuit of property, OR this is a religious country whose laws mirror God’s laws. But you can’t have both.

    So, in this crazy attempt to have it both ways, leaders of the religious right want to ban gay marriage on the grounds of protecting marriage.

    But at the same time, they are sure to not make a peep about outlawing adultery, which would also protect marriage.

    At the same time, they are sure to not make a peep about protecting the wealthy and/or elderly from the sheep in wolf’s clothing who are simply looking for a sugar momma/daddy.

    The end result is a 50% divorce rate, even among evangelicals, yet the right wants to talk about “protecting marriage.”

    If there’s a larger negative impact on society to be brought about by gay marriage, we have yet to see it. If those on the religious right REALLY wanted to prove that point, they’d allow states to legalize gay marriage on their own, and use the knowledge gained to be able to form an opinion.

    My thought is that they know that it won’t cause any major damage to American society, so best to clam it up before anyone is given a chance to prove them wrong.

    And the best way to do that? Turn it into a popularity contest. Put it up for a vote, and let the trailer trash and the ghetto rats vote right alongside the informed voters on both sides of the issue, and the holy win the vote with the help of the dirty, uneducated masses.

    If that’s the way that they want to win, that’s fine, but don’t complain when judges see something fishy with the idea in the first place.

    Hope that answers some of your questions.

  64. Ferg June 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Thanks Paul. That makes sense. It’s a hard issue though, because if it comes to a vote – can you vote yes to something you know violates the moral law of God – but also knowing that if you vote you violate the autonomy of people who are gay to choose something the constitution should allow them to choose.
    Obviously God’s way should win out, but I do think it’s a much deeper issue than most christians make it out to be.

  65. Mark Gibson June 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    Paul,

    Do you believe that God created gay people gay? If not, is same-sex marriage an inalienable right?

  66. Paul June 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Mark,

    the question isn’t did God create gay people. He did. He knew them when he knit them in the womb.

    The question is, did God make people gay?

    And to answer that question, I’d say go back on this here blog and find the article that patron saint of the SBC, Al Mohler. He wrote about the idea that homosexuality MIGHT very well be a genetic trait.

    If that is the case, then this debate will take some really interesting twists and turns.

  67. Darius June 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    How does the issue of genetic traits change anything, Paul? After all, I’m created with an innate desire and will to sin, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still have to fight those urges. I am (as are most men) naturally inclined to be a polygamist and sleep with as many women as I can, but that doesn’t mean I should just because I am genetically predisposed to do so.

  68. Mark Gibson June 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    Paul,

    I just read Al Mohler’s article. He states at the end that there is no incontrovertible evidence that homosexuality is a biological trait. If homosexuality were a biological trait and normal, then why wouldn’t adult men attracted to young boys be considered a biological trait and normal?

  69. Truth Unites... and Divides June 20, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    Interesting conversation I had on another blog. The difference between conservative Christians and liberal Christians?

    Conservative Christians are careful to hate the sin and love the sinner.

    Liberal Christians seemingly love the sin and hate conservatives.

    P.S. Seems like this thread and others on Denny’s blog lends firm support to this observation.

  70. Ferg June 20, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    TUAD – don’t forget to add that Conservatives are always right…

  71. Paul June 20, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    TUAD,

    uhhh, examples?

  72. Paul June 20, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    Mark,

    the key word that you leave out is yet.

    I was just listening to a story on NPR this week that was reporting a story on a study that noticed a correlation in brain size between females and gay men. They said that they couldn’t pinpoint causation yet (as in, did small brain size cause gayness, or did gayness cause small brain size), but I can’t assume that being gay causes a brain to shrink.

    And the loaded question about men and boys comes back to the issue of consent once again.

    Not to mention, Mark, I’ll throw this one right back at you: is it ok for us heterosexual guys to be attracted to young girls?

    Of course it’s not. So, quit being coy.

  73. Paul June 20, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    Darius,

    you’re weighing apples and oranges here.

    the nature of sin is not a biological trait, it’s a philosophical argument. Granted, it’s an argument that we know the answer to, but it’s a PHILOSOPHICAL argument.

    On the other hand, if it is a BIOLOGICAL trait that leaves one prone to sin, then on what possible grounds ever could any secular state say with a straight face that it shouldn’t grant the ability to enter into contracts for people that are biologically predisposed to seek each other out?

    That’s right Darius, in a secular framework, you would then have ABSOLUTELY no argument.

  74. Darius June 20, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    Paul, according to quite a few scientists, some people are genetically predisposed to stealing stuff (it’s called kleptomania). But do you think the government should give them a pass every time they shoplift? Your logic is faulty unless you apply it consistently, which I am sure you don’t.

  75. Paul June 20, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    Darius,

    again, it’s apples and oranges.

    theft is a crime with a definitive target.

    homosexuality is not a crime in any of the 50 states or U.S. territories.

  76. Brent June 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Paul, I believe it was Dr. Piper who spoke about the possibility (due to a fallen creation) of homosexuality being a genetic trait.

    It’s “The Other Dark Exchange: Homosexuality, Part 2,” and you can read it here.

    Dr. Piper and I do not always agree, but I have always thought his words in this sermon series were wise.

  77. quixote June 21, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Paul,

    You asked where I live and I don’t feel comfortable telling you, but I’m not making my “parade” stories up. Kudos to you for Chicago having the most gays in the nation. Just to answer your question to me, according to recent statistical reports, the festival I’m referring to draws more than 75,000. To me, that’s a lot. And in one small town, quite enough to be “in your face.”

  78. Paul June 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    Where’s the rolling eyes smiley when you need it? Someone using a pseudonymn with no link to a website or blog is uncomfortable mentioning what town they live in?

    That said, a quick google search would say that you’re probably in Long Beach, CA, and no one can accuse a town of 450K of being small.

  79. Darius June 23, 2008 at 7:04 am #

    Now, to figure out which one of those 450 thousand he is, and his anonymity is gone! 🙂

  80. quixote June 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Do you guys have nothing better to do than to google a gay pride parade? You’re wrong about the town. You’re wrong about the state. But you have proven my point about not wanting to share my information. Even when I DON’T share it, you still google to try figure it out. No thanks.

  81. Darius June 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    I’m guessing your first name is Don and you live in Spain. Am I right?

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