Essay: The Anatomy of a Queer Change


The unequal treatment of black Americans in this nation’s past was a result of an inconsistent application of the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To wit, all men are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Even though we began with equal liberty for all, we singled out people with darker skin color and decided they did not have equal liberty. We unjustly discriminated because the principle was not applied equally.

Now, liberty for all is not the liberty to do whatever one wants. A man does not have the liberty to rape, murder, or extort. So, why is this discrimination just? Because, the principle of liberty comes with an inherent exclusion. Liberty does not provide for all acts, it only provides for some. All principles (even definitions) have boundaries, outlines, and invisible shapes that cannot be smudged, changed, or crossed.

In an atmosphere of equal liberty, marriage is applied the same way to everybody. Marriage, being the life-long union of man and woman as one flesh, comes with boundaries, outlines, and invisible shapes just like liberty. And it is available to all. If a certain group of people were not given the same opportunity to marry, say, everyone in the state of Maryland, we would be guilty of unjust discrimination. But, everyone everywhere has the opportunity to get married. Even those in the LGBT community have the same opportunity to marry, keeping in mind what marriage is. The principle is equally applied, and always has been in an atmosphere of liberty, to all no matter the race, color, or sexual orientation.

How does marriage justly discriminate? Given its boundaries, outline, and invisible shapes, we can justly prohibit children from marrying. Also within that prohibition are multiple partners, animals, and material things. Marriage simply doesn’t provide for these. What about the union of a man and a man? Whatever this union is, it is not marriage; it is not within its scope. Marriage essentially states A and B equals AB, where AB is a new and distinct entity. A same-sex union is: A and A equals AA, where AA is a new and distinct entity. On the pain on logic, AA is not AB; and where marriage is only AB, AA cannot be recognized as marriage. AA is, indeed, a union but it is not marriage.

This does not mean that there can never be a union AA. It can exist as long as it is provided for within the scope of equal liberty. Being that liberty does not encompass all acts, but only some; the American public must decide whether this act should be encouraged or merely tolerated.

However, we have not been given a chance to decide that. The acceptance of the same-sex union follows upon the sexual freedom and expression that burst its way into the American consciousness a few decades ago. Without the sexual revolution which liberated the sexual act from the confines of marriage, same-sex unions would not be given consideration. The acceptance of same-sex unions is parasitic upon the sexual revolution. But, this revolution did not find its freedom within the limited principle of liberty expressed in the Declaration of Independence. It found its expression within the freedom of doing what one wants. This type of freedom is not a principle or a definition; it is rather, a non-principle and a non-definition. It has no boundaries, outlines, or invisible shapes, but is rather a rejection of them.

As much as these behaviors have latched themselves onto the culture lately, it’s fair to say that we will not be given a chance to decide whether to include these behaviors within the scope of American liberty. That it already is within the scope of liberty is a foregone conclusion which is taken for granted. And as the definition of liberty has expanded within the American consciousness, so too will the definition of marriage expand to include same-sex unions. The courts need not decide this at all. Even as the momentum of the sexual revolution has not subsided, neither will the momentum of same-sex unions; for it is parasitic upon that revolution.

The revolution did not ask permission; neither did it present reasons and arguments for public consideration. It came with bald assertions and passionate declarations of new-found liberty, and rejections of established definitions and principles. The new course of action in the service of same-sex unions, however, is now to shape a new definition of marriage to replace the old. But, how will they do this?

Reason finds the natural shapes and boundaries of a definition, and arguments attempt to establish them. But, the arguments given for this redefinition are sometimes emotional. Envy and jealousy have found their expression in the form of entitlement complaints and tax benefits. Because union AB is given benefits by the government, union AA should be given the same benefits. But, the tax code is not the target for a change. The method of change is a redefinition of a foundational institution of society. AA is to be defined identically to AB.

Another emotional appeal is the accusation of marriage discrimination toward same-sex couples. They aren’t allowed to marry and this is unjust discrimination. But, is it really unjust? Union AB has always been available to everyone everywhere. The principle has been consistently applied to all. No one is denied the opportunity to union AB. So, if the appeal is not valid, why is it so effective? Because, it foists the new definition of marriage upon the collective consciousness without us realizing it. As a consequence, the opposite sides talk past one another, using the same words but meaning different things. The language has been changed. This has been repeated long enough that proponents of traditional marriage have to specify what they mean now or risk being misunderstood.

A third argument is that same-sex couples share the same burdens of society and so should share in the benefits as well. If the same work is put in, there cannot be an unequal distribution of benefits or the government is unjustly discriminating against a certain group. This particular argument could have merit if it didn’t expand the boundary line and shape of the definition so much that one cannot see where it ends. A man who wants to marry a beast still carries his share of the burdens of society. A father who wants to marry his 18 year old daughter shares the same societal load. An AB couple with a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend carries society’s burdens. So would a man who marries two women. In fact, it might be shown that polygamy carries an even greater share and deserves consideration over same-sex unions. As we have seen, this principle applies to much more than same-sex couples.

The biggest hurdle proponents of same-sex marriage have to overcome is to provide an argument that clearly establishes a definition of marriage allowing the addition of union AA while clearly excluding all other possible unions. Until they can show this, its redefinition opens the door to the legitimization of other unintended unions and weakens their position.

Even if only the tax code is changed to add union AA, the reasons for doing so would be reasons to open it up to the other unions. The amount of money to be paid to the newly legitimized unions would significantly drain the few pots of money the government has left not already assigned to paying off the debt. This is especially poignant considering the potential abuse of the new unions in order to get more money. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the military. Military members get a basic housing allowance on top of their basic pay. And if both married members happen to be military, that allowance is doubled. The temptation to form a union for the sake of money is quite tempting. What’s to stop two friends of the same sex from forming a union for the sake of the housing allowance and still continuing to have sexual relationships with the opposite sex? After all, they can take up the slogan repeated by so many today that the government should have no interest in what goes on in the bedroom. The money that will be given to the civilian population who form genuine unions and ones for convenience is staggering. If we are to say that the government should enforce the conditions of the union and make infractions punishable by law in order to save money, then we should dispense with the previous slogan altogether and admit that the government should have been punishing offenders of AB unions all along. The adulterer should have been punished alongside the abuser and the one committing fraud. Apparently, boundaries do matter.

There is one final argument to consider. Proponents of traditional marriage say that male and female are complementary in a way that, say, male and male, is not. This natural fit is obvious and any argument that would expand the definition to other unions is always going to be less obvious. Thus, they use nature to argue for the legitimacy of union AB to the exclusion of all others, calling them unnatural. But, the other side points out that homosexual behavior is found in animals. It is, therefore, natural. Moreover, for the person with those types of desires, the natural attraction is to the same sex. They can try to be attracted to the opposite sex, but they fail miserably and end up going where their bodies naturally lead them. They are essentially born with a natural homosexual leaning.

We can grant that homosexual behavior is found in nature, but that is not an argument for homosexuality. Rape and incest is also found in nature. Should we do that too?  Lions kill off the other male lions in the struggle for establishing a pride. Should we do that too? The female praying mantis has sometimes been known to kill the male during sex. Should that be a natural practice for us? Proponents of AA unions are looking at this backwards. We should not ask, what is found in nature so that we can mimic it; but rather, what is natural sexual behavior for human beings. That is the prime question that needs an answer with real definition and a clear boundary.

Moreover, we can also grant that, for the person of a homosexual orientation from birth, attraction to the same sex is natural, of a sort. But, principles and definitions are always selective of human nature. People throughout history have never said that everything we do is good. After all, the schizophrenic, the psychotic, and other folks psychologically disordered are born that way and we do not call their condition good. Rape is a thing found in human nature, but we do not call it good. Humanity selects certain behaviors, calls them good, and wraps definitions and principles around them. It’s not hard to see that a small amount of people born homosexual is not very harmful to society; but if a large percentage of the world population were born that way, the human race would be in danger of extinction. We would no longer be fit for survival. This natural inclination could wipe us out. However, there’s little evidence that homosexuality is on the rise. But, how much of a harmful thing should we tolerate? To encourage homosexual behavior is to encourage the extinction of that respective family’s genetics. It’s an abrupt stop to the survival of their genes.

Given the possible harm to the human race, this behavior seems to be a malformation of human psychology, a harmful mutation, rather than the way humanity should naturally operate. To be natural is to survive. Some people are born with physical deformities, and we recognize the harm that disposition is to their survival. We help them out, and we do not require them to fix their deformities. We take special care of our invalid, weak, and mentally and physically ill-developed; but we do not ask them to change first. Society needs to realize this applies to the homosexual community as well and stop treating them as outcasts because they don’t change. They simply cannot change. Some members of the human race can no more change their sexual orientation than a lame man can fix his legs. The only legitimate issue society might have with the homosexual community is this: that people born with deformed legs acknowledge that people normally walk straight. The person inclined toward addictive behaviors acknowledges that people should not naturally be this way. But, the homosexual does not acknowledge any such thing. To him, straight is an option, not the way humanity naturally ought to be. As long as the lines are blurred concerning what is good for society, certain members of society will find it hard to accept those who blur it.

Some understanding needs to happen on both sides of this discussion. But, the road to peace should not be paved with hurtful and accusing words. Much more can be debated, even alternative methods of conceiving a child available today and what exactly constitutes harm, but let us acknowledge each other’s faults. Let us realize the wrong in us and then may we see clearly to fix the wrong in others, if it can indeed be fixed. And let us also remember this, that love does not bend with the remover to remove before it loves. It loves while we are yet in the wrong.

72 thoughts on “Essay: The Anatomy of a Queer Change

  1. It is difficult to respond adequately to this gish gallop.

    But I will make a single attempt on the core argument, namely, that maintaining legal discrimination is not discrimination.

    Consider Dan’s argument:

    Denying people who want/need/have to do X the right to do X is not discriminatory because they have the same right as everyone else to do Y.

    Denying people who want to marry a same-sex partner is not discriminating because they have the same right as everyone else to marry an opposite-sex partner.

    This is a bad argument. This stands apart from any good or bad arguments that Dan presumes may be made for or against ‘X’, for or against same-sex marriage. You can’t say it’s a good or bad argument simply because you are for or against ‘X’ as Dan describes the issue to be.

    Being against same-sex marriage must address why the discrimination is necessary for a positive value to be upheld that adds to the greater good. Proponents have tackled this head on and shown in court why the basis is not true in fact, in practice (but I won’t go into all the details here, suffice to say that they have been the basis on why the discriminating law against same-sex marriage has been struck down repeatedly). Opponents have failed in this task and nothing Dan adds here has changed this.

    1. Tildeb,

      Sometimes I wonder if you’re capable of understanding what I write. I did not say that legal discrimination was not discrimination. Is the only way you can understand an argument to boil it down to something it is not? If you consider this the core argument, you have just argued against something I didn’t write. And you’re right, it is a bad argument.

      1. Dan you wrote “In an atmosphere of equal liberty, marriage is applied the same way to everybody. Marriage, being the life-long union of man and woman as one flesh, comes with boundaries, outlines, and invisible shapes just like liberty. And it is available to all.”

        This is exactly what’s under discussion, namely, that the definition of marriage automatically means opposite sex, which is available to everyone. But it’s not if you’re talking about same-sex marriage. That’s the discrimination.

        Then you say “But, everyone everywhere has the opportunity to get married,” and this is the point where you switch away from ‘marriage’ and assume the answer, namely opposite-sex marriage. Yes, all opposite-sex couples can get married. But same-sex couples cannot. Marriage is allowable only for opposite-sex couples.

        Under this definition, you are making a thinking error, namely, substituting ‘marriage’ – the very notion under discussion – to mean only what you want it to mean with your assumption of it meaning opposite-sex marriage. But that’s exactly what’s under consideration: whether this discrimination is justified!

        You argue that marriage cannot be two things, namely AA and AB. But that maintains the discrimination of your assumption; the point you seem determined to avoid is that marriage – as defined as the legal union between two consenting adults – is simply one legal state and not two. But it’s NOT one legal state (marriage) when only some couples can marry based on your assumption of mandating a gender bias, one aimed at allowing only opposite-sex to enter this union. It discriminates solely on the basis of gender so that some people cannot enter a state of marriage.

        Your task is to show how this feature of gender alone is a justifiable legal discrimination because only opposite gendered couples can be causally linked to producing a social good and a same-sex couple cannot. You have not done this; what you have done is try to vilify and make into a disease same-sex attraction to justify the discrimination you assume defines marriage correctly. It doesn’t.

  2. Poetic, Dan. As always.

    And let’s not forget that the government has plenty of interest (and responsibility) in promoting healthy lifestyles and habits and deterring others. We already have many examples. Smoking in public places is banned in many nations because it causes health problems and lowers life expectancy. Obesity isn’t banned (yet), but it is frowned upon.

    Sadly, CDC statistics show that homosexuals (as well as bisexuals) are more likely to contract or pass along HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B, and various other diseases. Add to that the general complacency about those things prevalent among the homosexual community (which even the CDC noted in its press release linked above!) and you’ve got a behavior that shouldn’t receive government / social approval via legislation.

    For what it’s worth let me say that I’ve met several homosexuals over the course of my young life. They are typically very hurt, extremely sensitive individuals (as we all can be at times for various reasons). In fact, I even recently read a biography of a former homosexual who came to the conclusion that his attraction to men stemmed from an uncaring / unloving father. According to him, what was once a young boy’s emotional need for his father’s approval and interaction, later became a physical one as the lines between the two (his emotional and physical needs) blurred with the onset of puberty.

    Of course, they, like every one of us, have a lot of things to deal with. So your last thoughts on reaching out to homosexuals (with genuine interest and care) is important, not forgetting our own fragility. In fact, it may be the very key to true healing and change through Jesus, as many ex-homosexuals can attest to.

    Joshua

    1. Josh, you equate the negative behaviours found in the marginalized non married homosexual community to be an argument against mainstream gay marriage.

      *sigh*

      This is yet another in a very long line of thinking mistakes you make – in spite of them being pointed out to you again and again and again – that you presume supports the righteousness of your faith-based belief position. It doesn’t. The facts do not support your faith-based belief position. Reality does not support your faith-based belief position. It’s the freaking THINKING MISTAKES that support your faith-based belief position.

      You do a great and intentional disservice to other real human beings when you refuse to accept reality as the arbiter of your faith-based beliefs. You and your advocacy for legal discrimination are very much part of the problem that must be surmounted to achieve a social good, to achieve legal equality rights for all. You are an impediment to establishing exactly that which will reduce the kinds of harmful behaviours you cite. Because the world is filled with people equivalently devoted to denying reality in favour of their faith-based beliefs (and assume it’s virtuous), its effect is to marginalize and excuse and promote hatred, bigotry, bullying, and discrimination against a sizable minority not because of any genuine interest and care for their welfare but to continue to support faith-based beliefs diametrically opposed to attaining these values in practice.

      Only when homosexual and lesbian and transgendered and bisexual people can walk down the street holding hands with whomever they choose in the same way as any opposite-sex couple without attracting the kind of moral hypocrisy you specialize in will we advance the genuine concern you pretend to have towards the welfare of others. Only when you can see yourself in others and receive the same respect you think YOU deserve will you have finally arrived at practicing the moral principles of fairness and equality, caring and compassion, you mistakenly assume you now exercise. You’re not exercising these principles at all; you are acting contrary to them.

      And the way to get your moral compass back on line oriented with reality rather than on the relativistic pole of faith-based belief is not to continue on the path you are currently on but to at least stop and get the right directions. And a good beginning starts today, right this minute, where you fire the guide that has mislead you to this relativistic black-means-white place of healing-by-harming, respecting-by-discriminating, reaching-out-by-marginalizing rationalizing you excel at. All this excellence at rationalizing you do means has achieved one goal: you’ve fooled yourself.

      You have that right to fool yourself. But you don’t have the right to impose such foolishness on others through abusing secular law to do your pious bidding. That’s why your position against same-sex marriage is doomed. But it would by far and away be preferable if you woke up to that reality yourself without requiring others to beat you around the metaphorical head and shoulders to get you start THINKING CLEARLY.

      1. Apparently, Joshua, the earth talks to Tildeb but it doesn’t talk to us. It’s his arbiter, and we’re delusional.

        Tildeb, the CDC statistics that he cited aren’t about negative behaviors, they are about the prevalence of disease in male to male relationships. You have yet to address that subject.

        Also, I don’t think Joshua came here for a secular sermon from you.

      2. Not the earth, Dan; I talk to reality and listen to what it tells me with a greater respect than what I wish to believe about it.

        The reality under review here is how any risky sexual behaviour – not based on gender but based on risk – has adverse consequences. Trying to use this information to suggest that homosexual behaviour causes a greater risk than heterosexual is not what the information means, although people who have engaged in more risky behaviour are more likely to suffer adverse consequences.

        Men – like woman who have had multiple partners and engage in unprotected sex, or drug abusers who use non sterile equipment – are at a higher risk of contracting blood borne diseases. A perfect example is the Vancouver needle exchange where rates of transferred blood borne diseases dropped dramatically once clean needles were freely available. In the same way that drug abuse does not cause higher rates of blood borne diseases – but increases the rate of risky behaviours that exposes people to blood borne diseases – so too do we find that homosexual behaviour does not cause higher rates of blood borne disease – but increases the rate of risky behaviours that exposes people to blood borne diseases. Individuals who have participated in risky sexual behaviours increase the exposure to these diseases for those with whom they have risky sex.

        This is not rocket science. This is the reality. But you jump to a conclusion that is not warranted by reality, namely, that you believe sexual behaviour by gays is inherently more dangerous because it’s gay sex… rather than what’s true, namely, that riskier sex is inherently more dangerous because it’s riskier. That’s why disease rates correlates with same- versus opposite-sex behaviours but cannot be shown to be causal.

      3. Dan writes, Also, I don’t think Joshua came here for a secular sermon from you.

        When we’re talking law and legal discrimination, we’re talking secular values and principles in action. When someone introduces broken thinking based a broken epistemology from a broken faith-based belief system, then they are in desperate need of a secular lesson in why their faith-based belief has no place at the grown-up’s secular discussion table. And when it drips with condescending moral deepities about supporting legal discrimination because of concern and caring when it’s anything but, then they are in need of clear and concise criticism for their virtuous hypocrisy.

  3. Following your reality TildeB I’ve decided that I need multiple wives, or maybe I think I should be married to both a man and a women. Should that be allowed? Moreover why does it need to be adults? I think i should be allowed to marry a 14 year old. Isn’t just as true that pediophiles are being discriminated by bigotry crazed Christians? At what point does the definition of marriage end?

    1. Another person who assumes personal belief is equivalent to reality.

      If I thought you were prepared to consider and discuss a serious answer, I would provide one. But I think you’re already convinced that anything other than the current discriminatory law is simply unacceptable (saving accusations about me wanting to allow marriage to corpses and animals for another zinger of a comment). You ask questions that you can adequately answer without involving me, but you aren’t even trying without first establishing a false dichotomy – either ‘traditional’ marriage or pedophilia, yada, yada, yada – and thinking well of yourself and poorly of me because I supposedly support pedophilia.

      Only in your mind, Allen.

      Only in your mind does this dichotomy exist, and it is entirely based on your misguided belief. But that belief – not reality, not what’s true, not what is independently verifiable, independently confirmed – is good enough for you. And that is all that informs your opinion about ‘my’ reality that you assume you are following. The problem, Allen, is that your belief is not synonymous with reality and until you can wrap your head around this fact you will continue to remain befuddled by your beliefs… and that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.

      1. Is this your belief, that personal belief is not equivalent to reality?

        Can you independently verify that Allen thinks his belief is synonymous with reality, or that he even exists?

        That fact remains that the reasons for accepting AA unions are also employed in the service of other types of unions. And in so far as society does not accept the other types, those reasons tend to weaken, not strengthen, the same-sex union position.

  4. Following your reality TildeB I’ve decided that I need…

    Slippery slope.
    Slide away.

    The arguments against same sex marriage are bad.
    Woeful, in fact.
    It’s just not possible to dress discrimination up as something acceptable any more, no matter how much faux algebra you throw randomly into the air.
    Society has moved on and we are better for it.
    People just don’t fear gay people any more like they used to.

    ****** video removed by admin ******

  5. ****** video removed by admin ******

    You removed Betty Bowers (America’s Favourite Christian) explaining traditional marriage to everyone else?
    Ok, I have to ask.
    Why? On what grounds? It’s salient comedy, for goodness sake.

  6. Tildeb posted a quote where a man said gays want “the same responsibilities as straight people,” Dan replied: “So, it’s about entitlements and benefits then. Hmmm….”

    On Josh’s blog, if someone points out that people used to use the same arguments he offers to argue against inter-racial marriage, he huffs: “We’re talking about gay marriage, not inter-racial marriage”. And yet he says nothing on the same blog when Dan starts talking about polygamy and incest. There’s no “We’re not talking about polygamy and incest”.

    “The only legitimate issue society might have with the homosexual community is this: that people born with deformed legs acknowledge that people normally walk straight”

    So what’s the argument – that people with deformed legs must be discouraged from walking with limps? That left-handed people must acknowledge they’re not normal and therefore must use their right-hands to write (which is actually what used to happen in schools)?

    Your argument about rape being natural in nature ignores that people only ever bring up the ‘homosexuality is natural in nature’ point in answer to the talking point that ‘homosexuality is unnatural’. It’s not brought up as a justification in itself, so the ‘so is rape’ reply is attacking a strawman.

    “To encourage homosexual behavior is to encourage the extinction of that respective family’s genetics. It’s an abrupt stop to the survival of their genes.”

    Likewise anyone who becomes a priest, or a monk or a nun. Or anyone who just chooses not to have kids. At any rate, the facts are against you there: the sisters of gay man tend to have more kids than the average, meaning if you have a gay son it is unlikely to lead to you having fewer grandchildren than the average. You might as well moan that if everyone became a shoe-mender there’d be no-one to work in farms, therefore we should shake our fists at cobblers.

    “The amount of money to be paid to the newly legitimized unions would significantly drain the few pots of money…”

    Well legalising gay marriage would actually boost the economy, so that argument is a non-starter.

    “This particular argument could have merit if it didn’t expand the boundary line and shape of the definition so much that one cannot see where it ends.”

    No, you’re just offering slippery slope. People used to ask where it would end if we let women vote, servants vote, black people voteIs – “Is it to mean that children and monkeys can vote?” Bad argument then, bad argument now.

    1. RE: Claims

      Andy, why not provide some references for your claims?

      1) Number of children had by sisters of gay men.
      2) Legalizing gay marriage would boost the economy.

      RE: Monk Lifestyle & Homosexual Lifestyle

      The point about people becoming monks and priests… Surely you see the major differences? In addition to the atheist Chinese Communists during the cultural revolution, which society ever denounced the lifestyle of monks et al. as immoral and unnatural? Is not engaging in sexual behavior the same as engaging in sexual behavior considered by many societies as immoral and unnatural (and which we know from CDC statistics and common sense is harmful)?

      RE: Natural Behaviors for Humans

      You say that people “only” bring up “homosexual is natural” in response to those of us who point out that there are a lot of acts which are immoral for sentient creatures that make moral choices (i.e. humans) to do. That’s not true. Maybe some do, but I’ve heard news reports and read comments from people online using it as justification for its naturalness.

      RE: Polygamy and Incest

      Discussing polygamy and incest (and worse) is perfectly reasonable in the context of gay marriage, since there have been people openly advocating their legalization in public using SSM rhetoric. (ref: Slate article ‘Legalize Polygamy, I Am Not Kidding’) It gets worse. According to Solas, there is even a lobby group in the Netherlands (one of the first areas of the world to legalize SSM) that is pressing to legalize adult/child “marriage”. (Apparently it was at one time composed of over 600[!] people.)

      Joshua

      Joshua

      1. “but I’ve heard news reports and read comments from people online using it as justification for its naturalness.”

        Josh, why not provide some references for your claims?

      2. “Discussing polygamy and incest (and worse) is perfectly reasonable in the context of gay marriage”

        What a hypocrite! As soon as anyone brings up inter-racial marriage you get a huff on and say people are trying to change the subject. What a joke!

      3. Can’t say I appreciate a non-answer…

        Surely you know that inter-racial marriage is no longer illegal?

        If you want to continue to harp on the argument those of us who promote natural marriage use — that homosexuality is harmful and unnatural — as being the same argument used against inter-racial marriage (a subject I’m well acquainted with), then listen to the words of Professor John Corvino (paraphrased): “A bad argument then does not equal a bad argument now. You have to look at the details.” (He wasn’t talking about this specifically when he said this during a friendly dialog with Michael Brown.)

        Besides, it is your side that maintains that the only requirement for marriage is that 2 (or more) people love each other, no? So polygamy and incest are a natural extension of such logic, especially in light of the fact that there are public calls and legal cases to legalize them.

      4. “I asked first.”

        Dan admits as much in his own blog above: “Proponents of traditional marriage say that male and female are complementary in a way that, say, male and male, is not. This natural fit is obvious and any argument that would expand the definition to other unions is always going to be less obvious. Thus, they use nature to argue for the legitimacy of union AB to the exclusion of all others, calling them unnatural. But, the other side points out that homosexual behavior is found in animals. It is, therefore, natural.”

        So it is Dan offering the ‘It’s natural argument’ in the first place, to support traditional marriage. It is therefore entirely legitimate for people to respond that homosexuality is also natural. For Dan to reply that ‘Rape could be seen to be natural’ only points up the problem with his own ‘traditional marriage is natural’ argument.

        On this blog it was HIM who offered the ‘natural’ argument. If you’ve a problem with it, take it to him.

      5. Josh 1: “since there have been people openly advocating their legalization in public using SSM rhetoric”

        Josh 2: [endorsing the following quote] “A bad argument then does not equal a bad argument now. You have to look at the details.””

        Well which is it then? You say it is an indictment of arguments for gay marriage that incest supporters (supposedly) use the same ‘rhetoric’, but when SSM opposers use the same arguments that opposers of inter-racial marriage used, that’s different because you’ve got to look at the details?

        More hypocrisy, Josh.

      6. No, it’s not. Again, the details matter. Let’s take the claims of the unnaturalness of certain behaviors. In the case of inter-racial marriage, what was unnatural about it? (A biblical perspective concludes that there is only one race. Moses himself was married to an Ethiopian woman.) Contrast that with homosexuality. What is unnatural about it? It’s a perversion of nature, like drinking with your nose. You can’t pervert nature and expect no consequences. It’s curious to me that there is even a new sex superbug that has risen among the homosexual population. Some say it’s worse than HIV. A side question would be: Why are monogamous, heterosexual couples typically unaffected by these types of things?

      7. “Andy, why not provide some references for your claims?”

        I answered regarding the ‘gays’ sisters have more kids’. Here’s just a few references for “SSM marriage would boost the economy”. Fill your boots:

        A widely-cited 2004 analysis from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide would have a small, net benefit to the national budget’s bottom line.
        http://www-personal.umich.edu/~adamstev/research_files/Stevenson_same_sex_taxes.pdf

        Legalizing same-sex marriage would bring in between $20 million and $40 million more per year in taxes, according to a December paper from University of Michigan economist Adam Stevenson.
        http://www-personal.umich.edu/~adamstev/research_files/Stevenson_same_sex_taxes.pdf

        It would alleviate payroll headaches for many businesses: According to PBS, many companies argue that by not legalizing same-sex marriage, the U.S. is hindering their competitiveness by creating more administrative hurdles. For example, states where same-sex marriage isn’t legal have different tax laws for same-sex versus opposite-sex couples.
        http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/03/the-e.html

        If, to take one example, California were to legalize same-sex marriage, it would generate $123 billion for the state economy during the first three years same-sex marriage is legal, according to a 2005 Stanford study cited by the Fiscal Times.
        http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/03/26/How-Gay-Marriage-Can-help-Reduce-Americas-Deficit.aspx#page1

        It will cut spending on government safety net programs: Marriage makes people more financially stable and less likely to qualify for government assistance, Bloomberg reports. Therefore, legalizing same-sex marriage would save the government hundreds of millions per year in welfare funding, according to Bloomberg’s Josh Barro.
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/what-is-the-fiscal-impact-of-gay-marriage-.html

        A recent study from the Williams Institute at UCLA estimated that same-sex weddings would boost the economies in Maine, Maryland and Washington by $166 million over the next three years.
        http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/estimating-the-economic-boost-of-marriage-equality-in-delaware/

        More than 60 companies, including Apple, Nike and Morgan Stanley, signed onto a brief submitted to the Supreme Court supporting same-sex marriage in February, according to Fortune. The companies argued that keeping same-sex marriage illegal made it difficult for them to recruit and hire top applicants. One major executive at Goldman Sachs almost considered leaving the country because states’ differing same-sex marriage laws put his partner’s student visa in jeopardy after they married.
        http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/26/corporate-america-gay-marriage/?hpt=hp_t3

      8. I’ve posted a whole bunch of references for the ‘SSM boosting economy’ claim. You’ll just have to wait for them to clear moderation.

      9. “Andy, why not provide some references for your claims?”

        Well, it’s two weeks since I posted seven references to back up the second claim, and more since I gave you info to find the study backing up the first.

        Response? Zilch…

      10. Prepare for a shock, Andy: I’ve got a life.

        Truth be told, among many other things, I’ve been busy these past few weeks translating some Mandarin short stories and a novel into English and trying to spend more time with real people. (Time consuming, as you can imagine.) I’ve even gotten a week behind on my own blog and nearly a month behind on another online project!

        So, in simple English: This thread is extremely low on my list of priorities.

        But thanks for the links anyways. Now I and others can see the basis for your claims and then come to a more informed conclusion. Besides, the whole idea was to get those sources out on the table so I and others could do just that.

        In other words: Please don’t wait for an in-depth critique of each one. When I have the time, I’ll check them out. If that bothers you or anyone else, then that’s your problem, not mine.

        Again, this thread — and interacting with atheists online in general anymore — is way down on my list of priorities.

        Joshua

      11. …which shows that his asking for references is nothing more than a rhetorical and oft-repeated ploy rather than an honest request for information… he only wants to appear as if he might actually change his mind with better information when this is simply not true. Josh has no intention of changing his mind if it is based on his religious beliefs. That’s why Josh doesn’t care about what’s true; he cares about supporting only his beliefs and accepts only ‘evidence’ that does this task – no matter how poorly informed it may be, no matter how much compelling and contrary evidence there may be available.

  7. “That fact remains that the reasons for accepting AA unions are also employed in the service of other types of unions. ”

    By that logic you must also accept that the reasons AGAINST AA unions used to be used against inter-racial marriage. And in so far as society DOES now accept inter-racial marriage, that tends to weaken those arguments against the same-sex union position.

  8. “The unequal treatment of black Americans in this nation’s past was a result of an inconsistent application of the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence”

    I’d say that it was a result of completely CONSISTENT application of the US Constitution, which explicitly stated that a black person was worth 3/5 of a white person.

    ” The principle is equally applied, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN [my emphasis] in an atmosphere of liberty, to all no matter the race, color, or sexual orientation.”

    This is false – inter-racial marriage was explicitly outlawed for quite some time in the US, and was only allowed in every state in 1967.

  9. As for cites for the study showing sisters of gay men are more fertile, if for no other reason than it would save time in these back and forths, why not try Googling ‘study gay men sisters more fertile’? I don’t know if I can post links here, but the study was by Camperio Ciani, got lots of media attention and is thus very easy to look up.

    “which society ever denounced the lifestyle of monks et al. as immoral and unnatural?”

    What’s that got to do with the price of fish? Aside from being a straightforward argument from popularity, it’s got nothing to do with the Dan’s argument – that we can condemn something on the basis that if everyone in the world did it there’d be no more children. The whole point of my refutation is that there are groups who YOU would support, but who would spell the end of the human race if everyone joined the group. It wouldn’t be much of a refutation if I offered another group you didn’t agree with like. “What if everyone killed themselves at age 12?” You’d just say, “Well yes, people shouldn’t do that either.”

  10. “Surely you know that inter-racial marriage is no longer illegal?”

    Right, and gay marriage is getting legalised in lots of places. New Zealand and France last month, plus more US States. So what? What’s that got to do with the argument anyone was making?

    “So polygamy and incest…”

    More hypocrisy. Soon as we bring up inter-racial you moan on about that not being the subject of the discussion! But you bring up incest! Try just a little consistency.

    1. Andy, I think you’re either partially / half-heartedly reading my comments, or you’ve just stopped giving a crap. You’ve thrown out the word “hypocrisy” three times. Maybe use some other 4 syllable words? Or, better yet, read my comments.

      I thought the point about monks was pretty clear. Where was it ever seen as immoral? Contrast that with homosexuality. And how is abstaining from sex on the same level as engaging in perverse, unnatural forms of it?

      Furthermore, people becoming monks doesn’t cause epidemics as careless homosexual and heterosexual intercourse have. (Even now with this new “sex superbug”.)

      Who brought up polygamy and incest higher up in the thread?

      As for the “huff” over inter-racial marriage, well, it’s because it’s not an issue now. I don’t know where it’s illegal. That is in contrast to polygamy, incest, and homosexuality, which there are current trends to legalize in different locations around the world. A current, as-yet-unresolved legal issue.

  11. Arguments against gay marriage don’t get any better that the samples here.
    That’s not an endorsement; it’s an indictment.
    O’Reilly was right about the bible thumping thing. That’s all it boils down to.

      1. And non sequiturs. Don’t forget the statements that aren’t even arguments and have nothing to do with the issue being discussed.

      1. Why point out that he’s an atheist? Why not say “Here’s a communist against gay marriage, who wrote for the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Christian Science Monitor, and worships Karl Marx?

        That aside, his arguments amount to assertions that support for gay marriage is led by ‘the elite’, which a) he never backs up with facts, and b) is irrelevant anyway. He also says we don’t see violent demonstrations for gay marriage involving water cannons. So what? Why would that legitimise the arguments either way? He used the same argument against efforts to combat racism in soccer – saying it was ‘driven by the elite’.

        In other words he sees everything as a plot by the elite because he’s a Communist who thinks ‘the man’ is always trying to stick it to the working class. As if there are no working class gay people who want to get married. So sure, secular his case may be, but it’s driven by Communist ideology.

      2. “Why point out that he’s an atheist?”

        I think the answer is obvious, isn’t it? Cedric said opposition to SSM was simply a case of “bible thumping”. I’ve provided evidence, one piece of many, that such a conclusion isn’t the product of genuine reading of his opposition.

        Well, I won’t speak for the author or defend his presentation. You can take that up with him. However, highlighting as he did that there is no mass of physical violence against SSM proponents is evidence enough to show that comparisons between it and the civil rights movement falls flat.

  12. Andrew Ryan,

    The issue of inter-racial marriage and gay marriage is not the same issue. I’ve already said why that is in my essay, but I’ll make it more explicit here. In an atmosphere of equal liberty, where all rules are applied equally to all people, no matter the race, sexual orientation, or gender; prohibiting inter-racial marriage is UNJUST discrimination because marriage allows for that activity in the definition. A prohibition of gay marriage, which is like talking about a square circle, is JUST discrimination because the exclusion is inherent in the definition. In other words, AA is not AB; and where marriage is only AB, AA is justly excluded. Inter-racial marriage is still AB, and a prohibition against it is not JUST because it’s going against the rules set forth in the definition of marriage.

    All laws are discriminatory. And just because I know some people don’t get this, I’ll say it again. ALL LAWS ARE DISCRIMINATORY. If you are claiming a law is unjustly discriminating, you’ll have to show how it’s not applied equally to all. But, as it now stands, and how it always stands in an atmosphere of equal liberty, gay people can get married. No one is stopping them. No one has ever stopped them. Marriage is applied just the same to them as it is to me.

    To find the proper answer to the question “can a gay man marry a gay man?”, ask yourself “can a married man be a bachelor? can there be a square circle?” This is basic logic.

    So, concerning polygamy and incest… These things are also obviously excluded in the definition of marriage. To form unions of these kinds is to leave marriage behind. But, the problem here, Tideb and Andrew Ryan, is that the reasons given for amending the definition of marriage to include AA unions, can and are used in the service of polygamy and incest. The biggest hurdle proponents of same-sex marriage have to overcome is to provide an argument that clearly establishes a definition of marriage allowing the addition of union AA while clearly excluding all other possible unions. And up to now, they have not shown this. Until they can show this, their arguments weaken their position. But, the complaint that marriage is discrimination is off the table. Of course marriage discriminates. That has always been the case. ALL LAWS DISCRIMINATE. But, if it is applied equally to all, then that discrimination is not unjust. It is just.

    I don’t think any of this is going to change any of you. You’ve already made up your minds and will not really listen to me. I may as well ask a blind man to see. Your problem is that your beliefs are formed entirely by you. If you are blind to certain things, so will your beliefs. The good thing is, I know someone who can make blind men see. And he can make you see too. I hope that you will come to know him. Arguments rarely, if at all, are a catalyst for change in people. Things must be changed in the heart. So, my arguments really aren’t for you. They are for people who still have the ability to see. People who are still able to change. I hope things fare better with you from here on.

    1. You’ve already made up your minds and will not really listen to me. I may as well ask a blind man to see.

      Or…your arguments are no good. Society is changing and reform is happening now. One day, religious people will be very busy airbrushing out their bigoted opposition to gay people and pretending it wasn’t representative of “real Christians”.
      A shameful past.

    2. “that the reasons given for amending the definition of marriage to include AA unions, can and are used in the service of polygamy and incest”

      …And could also be used against interracial marriage. Swings both ways.

    3. “prohibiting inter-racial marriage is UNJUST discrimination because marriage allows for that activity in the definition”

      “polygamy and incest… These things are also obviously excluded in the definition of marriage.”

      Your argument is backward – you’re defining marriage with reference to the law, and then saying the law should match up with that definition. Polygamy has been and IS legal in some countries, and therefore in those places it is included in their definition of marriage. Regarding incest, some people include cousins in that definition others don’t – Einstein and Charles Dickens both married their cousins.

      In the 1960s people in Virginia could argue that because inter-racial marriage was illegal, it was therefore not included in the definition of marriage and was therefore not unjust.

      I’ve no idea whether anyone ever defined voting as something done by men (Certainly people have said democracy is ‘one man, one vote’), but it’s irrelevant to the issue of whether women can vote. When women’s suffrage was being discussed, the question of whether it was just of not had nothing to do with whether this involved ‘changing the definition of voting’ or simply extending voting rights to a new group of people. Likewise with inter-racial marriage and likewise to gay marriage.

      The whole ‘changing the definition’ argument is a complete red herring’.

  13. “Inter-racial marriage is still AB”

    It was YOU who came up with the whole ‘AB’ argument in the first place, and it was a question-begging argument. You started with the premise that only male/female was permitted, and then used that to prove the same premise. Someone could equally just assert “Marriage is AA, or BB, where A=white and B=black”, and because an inter-racial marriage is AB or BA it therefore can’t be legitimate”.

    “This is basic logic.”
    Sorry but no. If you tell someone you’ve got a square circle they have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t know anyone who is baffled by the concept of gay marriage – your assertion that it is a contradictory notion simply fails. Your assertion that it only makes sense if the spouses or opposite genders fails too.

    “while clearly excluding all other possible unions”
    Nope, simple slippery slope. You might as well say “If we allow women to vote we have to allow children, monkeys and dead people to vote”.

    “Arguments rarely, if at all, are a catalyst for change in people. Things must be changed in the heart.”
    Possibly true. We’re seeing acceptance of gay marriage happening at a huge rate, and it’s because hearts are being changed. People see with their own eyes that gay couples are no different from straight ones. Right-wing senators find out their own kids are gay, or their neighbours are gay, and that the comparisons to bestiality are simple nonsense. By contrast, we never hear a senator saying “Well, I just found out my neighbours are pedophiles and they’ve changed my mind on the issue”, or “Well, turns out my son sleeps with our horse, and now I agree with man/horse marriage”. I’m pretty sure Josh even said he knows gays and maybe even has one or two gay friends (correct me if I’m wrong). I can’t imagine him saying he’s friends with necrophiliacs or pedophiles. So I don’t reckon any of you genuinely believe these comparisons.

    “I hope things fare better with you from here on.”
    Things are faring fine for me Dan. I hope your own eyes are opened too.

  14. “Why are monogamous, heterosexual couples typically unaffected by these types of things?”

    Monogamous gay couples are typically unaffected too. You’re making an argument for monogamy and contraception.

    As for ’causes disease’ = unnatural = immoral, I’m a meat eater, but I accept that eating meat, especially red meat, makes me more likely to get many types of cancer than vegetarians. Does that mean that eating meat is morally wrong? Further, does it mean the government should legislate against it?

    “Would you read a secular case against gay marriage?”
    Would you read a Christian case FOR gay marriage? Googling ‘Christian case for gay marriage’ throws up loads of results. Be my guest.

    1. “Why are monogamous, heterosexual couples typically unaffected by these types of things?”

      Well, monogamy and sexual exclusivity are NOT typically associated with homosexual couples. Why do you think that is, Andy?

      I listened to a panel of people about a month ago who just sat and mocked monogamy and sexual exclusivity. As I’ve told you before, some outspoken gay activists think that gay marriage should be the catalyst for change in the idea of what marriage is. The first two pillars to go would be monogamy and sexual exclusivity.

      “As for ’causes disease’ = unnatural = immoral, I’m a meat eater, but I accept that eating meat, especially red meat, makes me more likely to get many types of cancer than vegetarians. Does that mean that eating meat is morally wrong? Further, does it mean the government should legislate against it?”

      Let me think about this point some more. I think that’s a good point to bring up here. My first thought is: The types of cancers and the directness or indirectness of each is different. Let me think about this some more when I’ve got time…

      In the meantime: Who, aside from Buddhists and strict vegetarians (as I used to be), would assert that eating meat is morally wrong?

      No Christian or Jew could say that eating meat was morally wrong.

      “Would you read a Christian case FOR gay marriage? Googling ‘Christian case for gay marriage’ throws up loads of results. Be my guest.”

      Well, I listened to a long (2 hours I think) lecture by a young gay man claiming to be a practicing homosexual and Christian. He didn’t convince me because his appeals were mostly (but not exclusively!) emotional.

      Joshua

  15. “A biblical perspective concludes that there is only one race. Moses himself was married to an Ethiopian woman.)

    Abraham and Jacob both practised polygamy. So what?

    “What is unnatural about it? It’s a perversion of nature, like drinking with your nose.”

    For a start, the ‘perversion of nature’ assertion of yours is just that – an assertion. For all the evidence you provide to back it up you might as well say “Inter-racial marriage is a perversion of nature, like drinking with your nose”.

    And for a second, now YOU are the one making the natural/unnatural argument. Remember what Dan said? “Rape and incest is also found in nature. Should we do that too?”

    Either you accept arguments from nature or you don’t. You can’t make the ‘it’s unnatural argument’ to support your argument, and then give the “Rape and incest…’ response to attack the other side. It’s one or the other.

    1. “Either you accept arguments from nature or you don’t. You can’t make the ‘it’s unnatural argument’ to support your argument, and then give the “Rape and incest…’ response to attack the other side. It’s one or the other.”

      No. You have a very binary way of looking at things. It’s either all bad or all good. We either copy all of what we see in nature or we don’t copy any of it. It’s either all good or all bad. No. We make distinctions where distinctions should be. Humans are sentient beings with the ability to make deliberate, informed decisions on morals.

      “Inter-racial marriage is a perversion of nature, like drinking with your nose.”

      Ridiculous misreading and misrepresentation of my point. You throw in “inter-racial marriage”. I wasn’t talking about “gay marriage”. I was talking about homosexual intercourse being a perversion of nature. So your comparison falls dead.

      1. “I was talking about homosexual intercourse being a perversion of nature. So your comparison falls dead.”

        I know exactly what you were talking about and the comparison still works fine.

        “We make distinctions where distinctions should be.”

        Right, and Dan was making no distinction between two consenting adults having sex and an animal raping another animal*. Now, either we’re making distinctions, in which case Dan doesn’t get to make argument ad absurdems about animal rape, or it’s a straight-up case of “Arguments from nature are bad”, in which case it’s pretty suspect people arguing: “It’s bad because it’s unnatural”.

        “I’ve got a life.”

        Me too. But why even ask for links if you’re that busy? Like Tildeb said, it comes across like a rhetorical ploy. If you’re not that bothered, don’t ask. For myself, I only ask for links and sources if I’m REALLY certain the other person is BS’ing me. Otherwise, I’ll do a bit of research myself – the ‘more kids from gays men’s sisters’ study was very easy to find.

        * Dan: “We can grant that homosexual behavior is found in nature, but that is not an argument for homosexuality. Rape and incest is also found in nature.”

      2. “I know exactly what you were talking about and the comparison still works fine.”

        No, it doesn’t. You have to compare actions (having homosexual intercourse) with actions (drinking through nose).

        “But why even ask for links if you’re that busy? Like Tildeb said, it comes across like a rhetorical ploy. If you’re not that bothered, don’t ask. For myself, I only ask for links and sources if I’m REALLY certain the other person is BS’ing me. Otherwise, I’ll do a bit of research myself – the ‘more kids from gays men’s sisters’ study was very easy to find.”

        Well, you, like the rest of us, have been wrong before. You are wrong again. I see you are continuing your habit of not reading posts as carefully as you should. I already told you why I wanted the links. Re-read my previous comment. Furthermore, let me remind you that when I asked for the links, I wasn’t engaged in the projects I am currently.

        Give me a break!

        Joshua

  16. “However, highlighting as he did that there is no mass of physical violence against SSM proponents is evidence enough…”

    It’s not evidence of anything! Who says there has to be violence in both cases for comparisons to be valid? It depends on exactly what comparison is being made. The author doesn’t say. And sure, it’s possible to find a communist in the UK making bad arguments against gay marriage too. I note the same website was in the news today for arguing the age on consent should be lowered to 13. Lovely…

  17. If you want to make an argument against gay marriage then you have to talk about …gay marriage. You can’t talk around it. You can’t talk about something else via bad analogy. You have to actually talk about gay marriage. If you can’t do that then you are spinning around in circles and wasting people’s time. Meanwhile, (shrug) the legislation changes.

    “Sadly, CDC statistics show that homosexuals (as well as bisexuals) are more likely to contract or pass…”

    Don’t care. Stick to the topic. Gay marriage.

    “I even recently read a biography of a former homosexual who…”

    Don’t care. Gay marriage.

    “I’ve decided that I need multiple wives, or maybe I think I should be married to…”

    This is the “What if I get married to a duck?” argument. However, the topic is…gay marriage.

    “Can you independently verify that Allen thinks his belief is synonymous with…”

    Don’t care. Gay marriage. Make an argument against gay marriage.

    “Is not engaging in sexual behavior the same as engaging…”

    Gay marriage. Sometime this week would be nice. When do you start?

    “Discussing polygamy and incest (and worse) is perfectly reasonable in the context of gay marriage, since there…”

    Only you are not. You are discussing everything else EXCEPT gay marriage. It’s almost like you really want to avoid the topic entirely.

    “Let’s take the claims of the unnaturalness of certain behaviors.”

    Let’s not. Gay marriage. Make an argument.

    “It’s curious to me that there is even a new sex superbug that has risen…”

    No doubt, no doubt. So..um..gay marriage. When did you want to make an argument against it?

    “Would you read a secular case against gay marriage?”

    Hey, you mentioned gay marriage! Well done. Oh, you were talking about someone else? Not actually you? Ah. Pity that.

    ” The Nazi society was going through change and reform too.”

    Yeah. Gay marriage. You really need talk about it to make an argument against it. It’s kinda a requirement. Can’t avoid it forever. It’s not going away and it’s either already law in your neck of the woods or it soon will be.
    Your woefully bad arguments sealed that deal. You don’t actually have anything. You can’t even talk about it.
    Every happy, normal gay couple out there in the public eye doing routine stuff with other people calmly minding their own business is a PR disaster for the aging bigots. Your words will fail you and you children will read them with discomfort, embarrassment and heavy-handed eyerolling.

    Gay Women Will Marry Your Boyfriends

    1. Yawn. You’ve got nothing but pitiful, Family Guy-inspired, terse little asides in you. No substance. No depth. No consideration. No basic civility. Nothing. And I’m not entirely certain how good your grasp of English actually is, since you fail to comprehend that GAY marriage implies homosexual behavior.

      Because of that, you’re off my list of people to interact with. You’re adding nothing to this thread or to anyone’s understanding.

      Bye, Cedric!

      1. “…GAY marriage implies homosexual behavior.”

        You can talk about homosexual behaviour forever but it doesn’t magically transfrom into talking about gay marriage.
        If you want to make an argument against gay marriage then you have to talk about …gay marriage. You can’t talk around it.
        You have nothing.
        A big fat hairy nothing.

  18. “Who, aside from Buddhists and strict vegetarians (as I used to be), would assert that eating meat is morally wrong?”

    Buddhists are the only religion that proscribes against eating meat. I travelled in large areas of (Non-Buddhist) India where no-one ate meat. There’s the Jains, for a start, and there are others too. Also, your question appears to be: “Who’s saying eating meat is wrong apart from multiple religions the strict vegetarians”, where the strict vegetarians are virtually defined by the fact they think eating meat is wrong! You could rephrase it as “Who thinks this, apart from the people who think it?”.

    That aside, my point is that I don’t think many people seriously argue that ‘Causes disease = immoral’. Lots of things we do might not be healthy, yet we don’t assume they are immoral – just perhaps unwise.

    I’ve already gone into reasons why gay men might be more promiscuous. In fact I’ve gone over it several times. Gay men don’t seem any more promiscuous than straight men who get the chance to screw lots of women – rich, famous or good-looking men, or just straight men who get good at pulling.

    Further, I don’t see anyone calling for promiscuous straights to be forbidden from marrying. I don’t see anyone saying open marriages for straights should be illegal. So I don’t think the argument is being applied equally.

    1. Sorry, I meant Buddhists are NOT the only religion that proscribes against eating meat. I believe the following religions at the very least encourage vegetarianism: Buddhism, Hinduism, ISKCON (the Hare Krishnas), Jainism, Sikhism, Seventh Day Adventists, The Society of Friends (Quakers).

    2. “Gay men don’t seem any more promiscuous than straight men who get the chance to screw lots of women – rich, famous or good-looking men, or just straight men who get good at pulling. ”

      There are LOTS of promiscuous men. Yes. But I think statistically gay men are far more promiscuous. The nature of the lifestyle — short intercourse periods — are the likely key difference. For example, I just heard a homosexual guy talking last night about his life before becoming a follower of Jesus. He said he had many multiple encounters A DAY. And that went on for years. If we do simple math, the numbers would be astounding.

      “Further, I don’t see anyone calling for promiscuous straights to be forbidden from marrying. I don’t see anyone saying open marriages for straights should be illegal. So I don’t think the argument is being applied equally.”

      Well, I thought you’d hung around me long enough to know that I’m just as much against promiscuous heterosexual intercourse as I am against the homosexual variety. Usually people involved in those lifestyles are secretive about it, aren’t they? I can’t think of anyone who walks around saying they’re in an “open marriage”. (The one instance I know of it was when I was told about it by a someone having to deal with the wife who was depressed and opened up about it to her.)

      Side note:

      I think you’d have to make even more distinctions: “Do all the groups you mentioned object to meat eating on moral grounds or health grounds or both?” I live in a majority Buddhist country and most people don’t eat meat only for health reasons.

      1. “But I think statistically gay men are far more promiscuous.”

        Right, because gay men get more opportunity, because they don’t come up against the pickiness of women. In the main, the straight men who get the opportunity to be promiscuous, take it.

        “He said he had many multiple encounters A DAY”
        Yup, and you’ll get the same story from Russell Brand or Mick Hucknell, or the bloke from that Athena ‘Man holding a baby’ poster. All straight men who say at their height they’d be sleeping with several different women a day. Comes down to opportunity.

        “I’m just as much against promiscuous heterosexual intercourse as I am against the homosexual variety.”

        But no-one’s arguing that those straights shouldn’t marry. Or that them acting like that is an indictment on straights in general.

        “I think you’d have to make even more distinctions”
        My point would hold even if there were no vegetarians in the world at all. My point was that I don’t see anyone saying that one can tell eating meat is immoral because it increases your risk of cancer. If you were being consistent in your use of that particular argument about (unprotected) anal sex, you’d need to consider the same argument about eating meat.

        Plus, of course, not all gays even like or practice anal sex, and many straight people do. It’s not particular fair to say monogamous gays who restrict themselves to oral sex or completely non-penetrative activities should be prevented from marrying because of what other gays get up to.

      2. I just heard a homosexual guy talking last night about his life before becoming a follower of Jesus. He said he had many multiple encounters A DAY. And that went on for years. If we do simple math, the numbers would be astounding.

        It’s an old standard.
        The idea is to show how profoundly sinful you were so as to make the conversion experience story that much more “miraculous”. People like to pad the ol’ “sinners resume” a bit. Makes it more scandalously exciting when you finally get to the Jeebus part. There’s usually no way for someone to skeptically fact-check any of it so it’s safe to tell a tall story or two.
        Happens a lot yet people still lap it up.

        No. 10: MORAL ARGUMENT (II)
        (1) In my younger days I was a cursing, drinking, smoking, gambling, child-molesting, thieving, murdering, bed-wetting bastard.
        (2) That all changed once I became religious.
        (3) Therefore, God exists

  19. Laying aside the moral issue of homosexual unions, I submit that we go back to the origin of marriage. I think the answer may be imbedded in the statement “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Equality for both homosexual couples and heterosexual couples could take place in civil court by a civil union, not called a marriage. If a couple wanted to actually be “married,” they could do so in whatever church they found that allowed that. Let’s keep marriage a function of the church, and civil unions a function of the government. A civil union therefore would involve the benefits of the government and both kinds of couples could partake. Marriage, on the other hand, would be strictly accountable to God, as sanctioned by the church. There are churches that perform homosexual marriages, and that would be between the church, the couple and God. Same with the heterosexual couple.

    1. We’ve already got marriages happening outside of churches, so why not include gays in that? Also, are non-Christians not meant to marry?
      As for the ‘original’ meaning of marriage, it was mostly about property and uniting families. The romantic associations are pretty recent.

    2. Laying aside the moral issue of mixed race unions, I submit that we go back to the origin of marriage. I think the answer may be imbedded in the statement “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Equality for both miscegenated couples and same colour couples could take place in civil court by a civil union, not called a marriage. If a negro and a white person wanted to actually be “married,” they could do so in whatever church they found that allowed that. Let’s keep marriage a function of the church, and civil unions a function of the government. A civil union therefore would involve the benefits of the government and both kinds of couples could partake. Marriage, on the other hand, would be strictly accountable to God, as sanctioned by the church. There are churches that perform mixed race marriages, and that would be between the church, the couple and God. Same with the heterosexual couple.

  20. Just checked back in after half a year… still no comeback on all those links I posted!

    “Show me the evidence!”
    “Sure, here you go…”
    “I’m too busy to look at your evidence!

  21. Tildeb,

    It is you who refuse to understand. You take a word that has a specific meaning, a meaning recognized and identified throughout history, the word “marriage”, and you redefine it to mean something it has NEVER meant. Then you demand everyone accept your new definition under pain of being labelled a bigot.

    I have two male friends who are a couple. One evening at a dinner party they hosted I got into a discussion with one of them about gay “marriage.” We usually avoid such topics. My point to Jody was just the semantic distinction Dan is making here (although he said it much better than I did). I said, “What you and Dennis have together may be wonderful, but it is not “marriage.” You have hijacked the word because you want what its several thousand year history and tradition mean and imply and impart. You want to bootleg its spiritual and religious value by stealing the word and applying it to your union and you are wrong to do it. It is semantic theft. You are calling black white and red, green. Try that at the next crosswalk and you’ll get yourself killed (hat tip to Douglas Adams).

    What’s in a word? Why are words so important? Because words have meanings and it is with words that we make out world.

    George Orwell called it Newspeak and Big Brother used it to oppress and control all of the people who used to be free.

    1. You have hijacked the word because you want what its several thousand year history and tradition mean and imply and impart. You want to bootleg its spiritual and religious value by stealing the word and applying it to your union and you are wrong to do it. It is semantic theft.

      No, I haven’t hijacked the word: I recognize the inherent discrimination in the typical definition. It is this typical definition that is under legal review because it contains unwarranted legal discrimination. This is what all those court cases continue to point out and why the law must be changed.

      It is you who are trying to import a religious (spiritual) value and pretending this is justified. I presume you are a christian, so let’s revisit and review review what scripture tells us about this ‘several thousand year history’, that (I) have hijacked the word because (I) want what its several thousand year history and tradition mean and imply and impart. (i) want to bootleg its spiritual and religious value by stealing the word and applying it to (my) union and (I) (am) wrong to do it. It is semantic theft.”.

      Now, which one possesses the religious and spiritual values you think it contains?

    2. Hilarious to see someone cite Owell to justify suppressing gay rights. And to mention double speak when accusing people of ‘changing the definition of marriage’.

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