Oh, Happy Gay!

Discuss

158 Responses to “Oh, Happy Gay!”

  1. Tim says:

    Xopher, have you ever attended or actually tried to learn about the LDS church?

    Your arguments are remarkably similar to those I hear from people who are anti-Islam.

    You have every right to be angry about the actions of the church on this matter; this is clearly a deeply personal issue for you. But please keep in mind that those of us on this forum who are LDS are saying “We agree with you” and have argued with many that we know–our families, our friends, people we have known our entire lives in some cases–that you should have the right to marry who you want. I have made your exact argument to my brother, my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my coworkers, my former girlfriend, and to each of my friends who supported Prop 8. We are not your enemy.

    We disagree with the actions of many of the church members and the leaders of the church. But just as you probably don’t move to a different state or country every time your government does something you don’t like, we don’t change religions that quickly either.

    You mentioned you weren’t raised or were ever a Mormon, which I’m not surprised by since you seem to have a very one-sided view of the church and it’s teachings. As I said in a previous post, ignorance is what creates homophobia, xenophobia, and ignorance is why Prop 8 was passed to begin with. And I honestly think ignorance is why you believe the LDS church is your enemy.

    I’m not saying you have to like the church or agree with everything it says, but you seem so adamant about hating it and fighting it that I can’t imagine you actually know the vast majority of what it does or teaches.

    Please, don’t perpetuate the very same kind of ignorance has caused you so much pain; before declaring the LDS church your sworn enemy, learn what it is actually like and actually teaches from real members and real sources, not anti-Mormon sites. (And there are a LOT of them; at a bookstore I worked at, there were 7 LDS books, one was actually written by a church leader, 3 were anti-Mormon, and 3 were about the FLDS church and Warren Jeffs.)

    • Xopher says:

      Actually I grew up with a Mormon kid who tried to explain to me how it all worked (he couldn’t remember the technical names for the three heavens, IIRC), and who took me to a few sessions of his after-school religious program. Those were the first time I’d been in a church of any kind, so it was pretty fascinating.

      I also have a good friend of many years who was raised Mormon, though you’ll probably discount her because she got herself excommunicated.

      I think Joseph Smith (the founder of your religion) and Gerald Gardner (the founder of mine) had a lot in common. Both were charismatic con men, and both were in it for the women. The main differences are a) while Joseph Smith concocted a fairly preposterous story about his acquisition of the ancient texts, Gerald Gardner wrote them himself and claimed to have copied them out of Ye Auncient Bookes of Lore, forsooth, and b) while Joseph Smith wanted to marry lots of women, Old Gerald just wanted them to get naked and whip his pasty English buttocks with silken flails.

      Obviously I don’t think a complete charlatan (or even a madman) as founder invalidates the whole religion, or I wouldn’t be a Wiccan. I had Mormons pretty much listed under “kinda crazy but pretty harmless,” and in fact thought the Mormon take on the afterlife of non-Mormons was relatively kind and gentle: you just go to the second-best heaven, which sounds OK, especially since the first-best heaven sounds like only an insane power-mad freak would even want it.

      So the actions of the CJCLDS in California made me change my behavior. They amount to a declaration of war on the gay community. I’m amazed that I keep on hearing Mormons talk like we’re not allowed to fight back. Well, hell with that. What do you all EXPECT us to do?

      So that’s another thing: the evil men (and they are ALL men) who are running your church right now are bringing your religion into disrepute. Do you have any way of getting rid of them? What pressure can rank-and-file Mormons bring to bear to stop them from using your money to disgrace your church and everything good that it stands for (and it does stand for some good things—just not my job to mention them in the middle of a war)? The only thing I can think of is “don’t tithe.” If there’s a movement within the church to stop this crap and get rid of alleged-Prophet-and-actual-scumbag Monson, I haven’t heard of it.

      If you know of anything, let me know. I’ll tell Mormons to join up with Mormons for Same-Sex Marriage if I know it exists.

  2. Xopher says:

    If you pay taxes in your country, are you responsible for or complicit in every act that is done by your government? Are all Americans responsible and complicit for the innocent lives that are lost in Afghanistan?

    Yes. Yes it does. And that’s why it makes me so angry. They’re doing these terrible things, committing these atrocities in my name. I DO think it makes me complicit, and it DOES make me feel guilty and dirty.

    There’s an important difference though. I have no legal right to withhold my taxes because I don’t agree with how they’re spent. You can withhold your tithes without legal consequence (yes, you will have social consequences; nothing is to be bought without paying a price).

    And yes, I’m being kind of hard on tithing Mormons. Remember that your Church is my enemy; depriving it of funding is one tactic I’m using to fight it.

    • Xopher says:

      Should say “Yes. Yes we are.” My answer failed to match the syntax of the question, probably because I was looking at another paragraph when writing it.

  3. Xopher says:

    I guess this is why I don’t usually get into these arguments on the internet; logic and rationality are always trumped by anger and rhetoric.

    This is true. You’re not on the side of that you think you’re on, though.

    And be honest, how long do you think it would be before a gay couple insisted that they be allowed to have a marriage ceremony performed in a Mormon temple, and brought suit to bear?

    They would lose, and rightly so. That’s why we have a First Amendment. If you believed in what America stands for at all, you would know that.

    What about nocturnal emissions? It is very rare that a primate masturbates to orgasm, but I’m pretty sure that a monkey who has gone months without a sexual release would still be fully functional if he found a willing partner.

    (emphasis added)

    O. My. Gods. You don’t get out much, do you? GO TO THE ZOO and stop making idiotic pronouncements. Your ignorance is truly monumental.

    And no, nocturnal emissions are not adequate, according to my urologist, for anyone over the age of 14 or so. The gods gave us hands (different from any other primate’s), and that’s what they’re for.

    It does change my life. It forces me to acknowledge that marriage, something I may hold sacred and dear as it is, is something else.

    For heavens’ sake, stop whining. You’re pathetic. And…so, it hurts me that Mormonism, which I firmly believe is just a nut-cult, is acknowledged as a real religion. So that means I can try to get a law passed which strips the CJCLDS of its status as a church, right? So it would become the for-profit corporation it’s always been anyway, and my definition of ‘religion’ will be protected. And of course my right to my definition of ‘religion’ trumps your right to freedom OF religion, so you really can’t object at all.

    I don’t really feel that way, but if I did your “logic” would indicate that if the CJCLDS prevailed in court, that would hurt me, because a definition I hold dear has been legally changed.

    That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said yet, a significant achievement.

    The crucial point you seem to be missing is that the church isn’t imposing anything different upon gays that it imposes upon any other member.

    …and you top it almost immediately. Yeah, the law bars rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges.

    A tithe payer voluntarily gives his or her money to the LDS Church under the express agreement that it will be used at the church’s discretion.

    And now you’re trying to redefine ‘voluntarily’. Sorry, but if you’re raised from birth to believe that you can only get into heaven if you tithe (or only if you get married in the Temple, or whatever), that’s an extension of the term ‘voluntary’ that I think is unwarranted. Maybe I’ll sponsor a referendum in your state to define ‘voluntarily’ as “without coercion, including but not limited to lifelong brainwashing,” and that your church should therefore be banned from collecting tithes.

    And I think Antinous was right. You’re too twisted and delusional to argue with. Good night.

  4. Xopher says:

    Just in case there’s any ambiguity: When I said “I don’t really feel that way” above, I meant that I don’t really believe that Mormonism is just a nut-cult and should not be called a religion.

  5. Quiet Wyatt says:

    YES! Eat it, homophobes!

    And, uh… whatever you do, the next time you’re having lawful married heterosexual relations, try not to think of all the lawfully married homosexuals doing it at the same time as you. Yep, you definitely won’t want to be thinking about all that hot, steamy, man-on-man, woman-on-woman action taking place within legally recognized marriages while you’re dutifully trying to bang one out for The Big Guy. Do NOT allow salacious thoughts of moist, throbbing, same-sex genitals in passionate frottage to distract you from your Godly mission…

  6. Xopher says:

    I haven’t seen any news about the requested stay to the judge’s decision yet. Someone said it was granted, but he’s not a reliable source and might have been confusing the injunction against Prop 8 for the stay.

  7. Kayjayoh says:

    Hurray!

  8. GeekMan says:

    Huzzah! Huzzah!

  9. Antinous / Moderator says:

    You’re telling people that homosexual behavior is acceptable and moral and forcing them to accept a legal sanction of such behavior.

    Ah. The fundamental flaw in your world view. You believe that humans are fundamentally devoid of rights,and human rights only exist when granted by the state. Now that we understand that, we can just completely ignore you.

  10. Davin says:

    Justice!

    Also, there’s a two-day period for the proponents to argue why there should be a stay on the ruling. Given their track record of arguments… hopefully no stay.

  11. gman says:

    It won’t last, unfortunately. Get ready for the wingnut brigade.

    • Xopher says:

      Does the ‘g’ in your name stand for Gloomy Gus? Let us have the moment.

      • gman says:

        Cynicism: it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

        So yeah, that was a bit glib. It’s a cool moment alright, one of those civil rights watershed moments that will go down in history. Just expect Tea Party Central to send in the douchebags as soon as they can.

    • AirPillo says:

      It won’t last?

      Countless dollars were spent to get the measure passed in the first place, and when it was challenged it went before a republican judge who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and who as a lawyer represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit against athletes who tried to form a “gay olympics”. The defendants of the ban made their case for it so incompetently that they were getting some pretty devastating questions from the bench even in preliminary sessions. In the ruling, the presiding judge pretty openly condemned the defendants’ arguments and their motivations.

      I’m fairly cynical about government tolerance of rabid xenophobia but even I doubt this overturn will see a competent challenge against it.

      The judge remarked that proponents of the ban had failed to explain their objections in any terms other than simple animus towards gays… and any higher court is going to see the same trend, because it’s the truth. It’s a simple, bare-faced attempt to institutionalize a prejudice, and after that’s drug right out into the open and condemned by a judge you can’t win a case with that kind of bullshit as your justification.

  12. Xopher says:

    Suck it, Utah.

    Sck t, Mrmn Chrch!

  13. vendorx says:

    This makes me so freaking HAPPY. And maybe, just maybe, enough SCOTUS justices will still retain the shred of humanity necessary to combat Robert’s inevitable push to uphold this horrible bill.

    • Xopher says:

      I hope you’re right. But for Alito and Scalia and Thomas, I’m afraid the word ‘retain’ has an inaccurate presupposition.

  14. Manooshi says:

    Woohoo!! Yeah, suck it, Utah!!!

  15. Xopher says:

    By the way, if the Mormon Church worshipped rhubarb and believed that every room in a good Mormon house must contain an image of a penguin, but didn’t do anything to hurt me and the people I care about, I wouldn’t have a bad word to say about it. And I wouldn’t be denouncing it if “Prophet” Monson had just SAID the church opposed marriage equality, instead of spending $20 million spreading lies.

    In other words, I don’t give a flying fuck what the CJCLDS believes. It’s what it does that concerns me. I’ll stop making fun of Mormon beliefs when the CJCLDS stops trying to hurt me and mine.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh brother….

    Tell me, why is it that the Mormon church gets singled out when numerous churches (including the largest Christian religion — Catholics) also strongly supported Prop 8? Why not say “Suck it, blacks”? After all, the African American vote is what swayed the tally in favor of Prop 8. I mean, if you’re going to single out one group amongst 52% of voters who shared the same opinion, is that really fair?

    Flames away…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      why is it that the Mormon church gets singled out

      It’s a valid question, albeit an infelicitously phrased one. I certainly regard the Vatican as a bigger problem than Salt Lake City, but on the other hand, there are a lot of Catholics who are very pro-gay. I haven’t seen many Mormons step up and support gay marriage. Or evangelicals.

    • Xopher says:

      Tell me, why is it that the Mormon church gets singled out when numerous churches (including the largest Christian religion — Catholics) also strongly supported Prop 8?

      Because the CJCLDS spent $20 million on ads that lied about gays, gay marriage, and the effect of Prop 8′s failure.

    • irsean says:

      The reason the Mormons got singled out is because the Mormon Church itself bankrolled this piece of crap xenophobic nonsense.
      Suck it Utah!

    • Davin says:

      The black vote wasn’t very swayed by all the publicity. White families were, though. The stats are interesting, and up at AFER and the like.

    • Anonymous says:

      While 75 percent of voting black women supported Proposition 8, blacks only accounted for 2.3 percent of the total Prop. 8 vote.

  17. Phikus says:

    I have it on good authority that Utah also swallows.

  18. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Fantastic news. I’m happy for gays (and just a wee bit busting at the seams with schadenfreude thinking of the homophobic wingnuts gnashing their teeth over this).

    I also love that the judge who overturned this hateful law is a Bush appointee (even though it was George H.W. Bush, who now seems almost normal after seeing how his son fucked the country over).

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Ted Olson, Bush Jr’s Solicitor General, has become the Norman Schwarzkopf of the battle to legalize gay marriage. Even Dick Cheney supports it now.

      Of course, all this just reminds me that I haven’t had a date since the Eisenhower administration.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hey… not all of us who live in Utah are LDS or supporters of Prop 8!

    Just saying.

  20. Christovir says:

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    Well, that’s one less injustice to worry about. :)

    The judge was not just appointed by GHW Bush, but first nominated by Reagen. Not that cognitive dissonance ever stopped the Troglodytes of Hate before, but it is still a wonderful irony.

  21. I less than three mermaids says:

    Marriage just leads to increased rates of divorce. Tru-fact.

  22. Teller says:

    Lest we forget: “The campaign for Proposition 8 spent $39.9 million, while the campaign against Prop 8 spent $43.3 million.” It’s obviously an issue with deep support on both sides. I don’t understand demonizing a particular group for putting its money where its mouth is. That’s what everybody else did. Grow up with this Fuck the Mormons bullshit.

  23. adammtlx says:

    Someone who opposes gay marriage is not necessarily a homophobe. The Mormon church believes homosexual behavior is immoral and hence the church is, in that sense, obligated to oppose a legalized sanction on that behavior. If an adulterer wanted a legal sanction on his relationship with his mistress, I’m sure the Mormon church would oppose that as well. Our society opposes polygamy, right? We don’t allow children to get married to other children or adults. There are certain things that both society and religion AGREE are immoral and are lawfully disallowed. There are other things which society and religion disagree on.

    Let’s use pornography as an example. The Mormon church considers all production, distribution and promotion of pornography to be immoral. Society does not. Society considers only certain FORMS of pornography and its presentation to be immoral (and thus illegal). Right now, the Mormon church and the porn industry exist in the same society with a rather uneasy truce–the church recognizes that abridging free speech and expression is also immoral and is willing to let people make their own choices with regards to pornography, and the porn industry recognizes that the church will oppose any efforts to make porn more visible, more accessible or more acceptable to society. If the porn industry lobbied to allow pornography to be shown on network television, it would meet resistance similar to that which met gay marriage.

    The Mormon church has a similar relationship with homosexuality. Homosexual behavior is considered immoral, just like pornography (and adultery, and pre-marital sex). The Mormon church doesn’t expect homosexual behavior to be considered socially immoral (and hence illegal) because that would infringe upon the rights of individuals to conduct themselves in a way they see fit. Allowing gay marriage, however, is further societal sanction on (moral judgement in favor of) what the Mormon church considers to be immoral behavior. In that sense, it has nothing to do with bigotry, merely moral authority.

    And of course you can ask, in that case, who are the Mormons to force their morality upon anyone else? But the same question can be asked of the inquirers. If gay marriage is allowed, our society and hence everyone who participates in it has essentially agreed that homosexual behavior is morally permissible, and you’ve then forced your morality upon them. It goes both ways.

    It’s entirely possible to oppose gay marriage on moral grounds, not because you hate or are afraid of gays. The cause of gay marriage gets a lot of press because it’s sexy, it’s an activist thing, it’s a minority thing, it’s about “oppression” and “equal rights.” Unfortunately, we need to examine it away from the passion and emotion and realize the debate is much more subtle than simply branding the opposition as bigots and hate-mongers.

    • Brainspore says:

      Someone who opposes gay marriage is not necessarily a homophobe.

      They are if your definition of “homophobe” is “someone who doesn’t believe that homosexual relationships are as valid as heterosexual relationships.” If you use another definition then individual results may vary.

      To address your pornography analogy:

      1. I have no problem labeling someone who wants to outlaw pornography as a “pornophobe.”

      2. To the extent that it is outlawed and/or regulated, the people who passed those laws have at least been able to put together a semicoherent argument as to who would be hurt by unregulated pornography; It will forever warp the minds of children and whatnot. In the case of gay marriage it’s not even clear who the victims are supposed to be. Is it straight married couples? Another person’s marriage doesn’t affect my own. Is it “the children?” Gay sex is already legal and so is gay adoption, so it’s hard to understand how. Is it religious people? Atheists have had the right to marry for centuries.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Someone who opposes gay marriage is not necessarily a homophobe.

      I don’t think that you understand what the word homophobe means. Perhaps we should just replace it with bigot. You’re defending a church which only decided a few years ago that black people were human enough to become members, that still opposes mixed-race marriages.

      The Mormon church believes homosexual behavior is immoral and hence the church is, in that sense, obligated to oppose a legalized sanction on that behavior.

      If you don’t want separation of church and state, find another country to live in. I hear that Saudi Arabia is quite big on confusing the two.

      There are certain things that both society and religion AGREE are immoral and are lawfully disallowed.

      Your ‘society’ is obviously limited to those who agree with your prejudices.

      If gay marriage is allowed, our society and hence everyone who participates in it has essentially agreed that homosexual behavior is morally permissible, and you’ve then forced your morality upon them.

      Unless I’m breaking into heterosexual homes and forcibly sodomizing the menfolk, I’m not forcing my morality on anyone. Maybe you should spend less time obsessing on what other people are doing in their bedrooms.

      Unfortunately, we need to examine it away from the passion and emotion and realize the debate is much more subtle than simply branding the opposition as bigots and hate-mongers.

      You give me equal rights and I’ll be dispassionate about the discussion. Until then, I’ll continue to call you a bigot and a hate-monger.

      • inqydesu says:

        Antinous / Moderator

        Your description of the Mormon Church is incorrect and misleading, which I am sure is not intentional. The Mormon Church does not oppose mixed-race marriages and has always allowed black members. While past attitudes leave much to be desired, including a shameful restriction on extending priesthood in the Mormon Church, this is not indicative of current attitudes or opinions.

        Second, your understanding of the separation of church and state is mistaken. Separation of Church and state arises out of the establishment clause of the Constitution, as well as free exercise arising out of the First Amendment. It does not preclude a church from expressing its opinions.

        adammtlx’s point is that the mormon church’s actions re gay marriage do not arise out of an attempt to punish, but their sincerely held moral beliefs. An analogous position would be support for the abolition of the death penalty because of a belief in the sanctity of life (as opposing to just loving criminals so much).

        You said “Your ‘society’ is obviously limited to those who agree with your prejudices.” I think you misunderstand. Adammtlx said “there are certain things that both society and religion AGREE are immoral and are lawfully disallowed”. I think a preferable way to say this is that a religion’s belief that something is immoral is not sufficient basis to make something not be illegal. (Ie Cause the pope says “Thou shalt not kill” does not render murder legal).

        I think adammtltx’s comment about “forcing morality” is off the mark. I think i understand the point he is getting at, but think it is not the best way to express it.

        But the point remains that a person can oppose same sex marriage without being a homophobe. At least in the sense that a homophobe is a person with an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals”.

        This doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be law. One can acknowledge the difference between male and female without being sexist, but some distinctions rise to the difference of discrimination precluded under law.

        Ultimately, the sad truth is that there will be some on both sides willing to discuss rationally, and others who resort to demonizing the opposition with loaded words and labels.

        • Xopher says:

          Separation of Church and state arises out of the establishment clause of the Constitution, as well as free exercise arising out of the First Amendment. It does not preclude a church from expressing its opinions.

          No, but it doesn’t exempt a church from criticism when its expression of its opinion amounts to doing evil. And I believe Antinous’ point was that the Mormon Church is trying to take over things which are properly left to the State (e.g. defining who can LEGALLY marry in the eyes of the state.

          The CJCLDS is perfectly free to disallow same-sex marriages in the Mormon Church, and even to forbid their own members from doing so. They have absolutely no right to tell me (I am not now nor have I ever been a Mormon, thank gods for that) that I can’t marry another man. They definitely have no right to tell lies about me in order to further their political agenda.

          Wallow in your 19th Century morality if you want to. I feel sorry for your youth, especially but not only the gay ones (boys being told not to masturbate is a form of physical abuse and should be forbidden by law in my opinion), but all I can do is hope they leave when they’re old enough to think for themselves. Just stop trying to remake the world in your own image.

          But the point remains that a person can oppose same sex marriage without being a homophobe. At least in the sense that a homophobe is a person with an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals”.

          Bullshit. Not having same-sex marriage IS a form of discrimination against homosexuals. It has a huge economic impact, just for one thing. You’re either massively ignorant of the troubles suffered by gays by not being able to marry, or just lying through your teeth.

  24. shakeyquant says:

    For the record is was the voters of California not Utah that passed the law. Clearly the LDS church was very active financially in supporting this measure. I also think that the high African American turnout for Obama was the deciding factor that tipped the scales.

    I think a suck it Mormons would have been more appropriate.

    Shakeyquant
    (liberal exmormon living in Utah)

  25. Felton says:

    Woohoo!

  26. el_oyente says:

    Great news! Little by little the ball is moving forward. If this ruling goes to SCOTUS eventually and is upheld, this could be a watershed moment.

  27. jphilby says:

    Who’s the LA Times got writing stories now? Are the editors ninth-graders???

    “Voters approved the ban by a 52.3% margin six months after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was permitted…”

    Really, a 52 percent MARGIN? So the vote was like, 72% for and 20% against?

    Damn. These *must* be the end times. Pick up your final paycheck in my office.

  28. Anonymous says:

    @ Teller #91

    No.

  29. inqydesu says:

    Xopher – most of us who believe that the LDS Church is less than the very incarnation of evil have had this conversation before, probably more times than we like. I for one have set my sights on only trying to obtain an atmosphere of tolerance. Thus, reasoned, respectful and measured discussions on the value of religion in the public sphere, the effect of one’s religious belief on action or the particular doctrines of the church are ok. “Suck it Mormons, your pedophile prophet just led a conspiracy to send all the gays to Dachau”, yeah not so much.

    Good luck and good night.

  30. Xopher says:

    Is this thread closed, or did I just vanquish all comers or something?

  31. Tim says:

    (For this post and my previous ones, please forgive the formatting; I don’t know the ins and outs of the comments section here to take advantage of the formatting to make it more legible.)

    Antinous / Moderator:
    “I was Completely Unaware that the Mormon Church could actually imprison you for not paying your tithe. Now that I know that, I can see that what’s done with your taxes and what happens with your tithe are Exactly The Same Thing.”

    No, they don’t throw me in jail. But if I am not a full tithe payer I will be unable to receive a temple recommend which is necessary to be married in the church. It is also necessary to receive what would be considered the “Heaven” afterlife. As such, by not paying tithing, I am also denied the right to marry in my own faith.

    And on the same grounds: I can choose to not pay my tithing or change my faith. You’re free to move to another country or state that does allow you to live as you wish. Iowa is a rather nice place.

    Xopher, I’m sorry for what the church did in this. I hope you do understand that. You’re clearly enraged by this and justifiably so. I was also enraged because I have very close friends who are in a position that I imagine is very much the same as yours.

    I am very sorry that this feels like a personal attack on you. I know my words and what I say mean nothing to you, but for anyone else reading this: I have grown up in the LDS church. For a period of about 2-3 years in college I didn’t attend church and considered myself agnostic. I still do in many respects, but I also see an importance of having something to believe in my life. I suffered a severe crisis of faith over Proposition 8 because I disagreed so strongly with the actions of the church. But as I said, within actual church meetings I have never once heard anything about politics or Proposition 8 stated. Not one time in a church meeting has politics ever come up. Not one time have I heard my Bishop, my teachers, or anyone else declare anything political in church meetings.

    Xopher, I can’t relate to what you experienced in this event. I honestly can’t. While I do feel strongly on this, it is blatant that I don’t feel as passionate about this as you do because while it does effect some of my friends, it does not effect ME like it does YOU.

    You’re free to hold whatever opinions about the church that you wish. But it does make me sad to see you declare such hatred towards something that does do a lot of good in this world and does provide a lot of people with security and the faith that they need (faith in humanity, faith in goodness of mankind, faith in god).

    At this point this feels it has become attack/defend, and once debates reach that level they rarely provide any education on subjects as each side is more concerned with reciprocating blows than with understanding.

    Believe what you will about the LDS church. And know that I’m happy you won this court case. Congratulations. All men are created equal, and now we’re one step closer to actually showing we believe that.

    • Xopher says:

      No, they don’t throw me in jail. But if I am not a full tithe payer I will be unable to receive a temple recommend which is necessary to be married in the church. … As such, by not paying tithing, I am also denied the right to marry in my own faith.

      Now I did not know that. Not paying your tithe would really be putting your money where your mouth is on marriage equality, then. It would amount to deciding not to get married yourself (in the Temple, with the Garments and the whole I-of-course-don’t-know-what) until the Church drops its opposition to letting gays get married (in the City Clerk’s office, legally but NOT in the Temple OR even the Mormon Church, with NO expectation that the Church would or should recognize such a marriage now or ever). That would be a welcome display of solidarity, but it’s more than I (for one) am willing to ask of you.

      This makes me angrier at the Mormon Church, because it seems like they’re really running a particularly vicious money-sucking racket. It makes me much more sympathetic to you, though.

      I am very sorry that this feels like a personal attack on you. I know my words and what I say mean nothing to you

      On the contrary, it means a lot to me. It means a lot about you and what kind of person you are. It doesn’t change my opinion of the LDS Church as a whole.

      But then I’ve never done anything worse to a Mormon than say “your church is my enemy.” I felt horrible when, right after Prop 8 passed, I saw some Mormon boys on mission and had a strong urge to hit them (a friend explained their situation to me, and that evil desire went away; now my inclination is to feed them, not assault them). I suppose some Mormons might take my derisive comments about Joseph Smith and Mormon doctrine as worse than that, but I don’t. I’m not going to try to keep Mormons from getting jobs, or say they shouldn’t have marriage licenses, or deface their property (or that of the church, for that matter).

      But as I said, within actual church meetings I have never once heard anything about politics or Proposition 8 stated. Not one time in a church meeting has politics ever come up. Not one time have I heard my Bishop, my teachers, or anyone else declare anything political in church meetings.

      So, then, it appears that what’s really going on is that Monster took $20 million of the church’s money to spend on his personal crusade. Is there any method short of assassination for getting rid of a Prophet once he’s elevated, or installed, or whatever? He sure seems to be a bad one.

      You have made it harder for me to make strident pronouncements about Mormons and the LDS Church. I actually appreciate that; thank you. Someone else in this thread is going to make it easier, though!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, Tim, if you ever come back please consider reading your own holy books — no one not alive during Joseph Smith’s lifetime gets to go to the good heaven.

      In fact, your description of the tithing rules sound more like scientology than mormonism.

      The LDS produces some excellent literature, and most mormons I’ve met are thoughtful, intelligent people. The opinions of the church leadership, however, are strictly 19th-century.

  32. adammtlx says:

    @Brainspore:

    They are if your definition of “homophobe” is “someone who doesn’t believe that homosexual relationships are as valid as heterosexual relationships.” If you use another definition then individual results may vary.

    Well, you personally can define things any way you wish. I can define a duck to be a typewriter, but I believe that a commonly accepted definition of homophobia–one which connotes bigotry, paranoia and unwarranted discrimination–does not fit every last individual who opposes gay marriage.

    2. To the extent that it is outlawed and/or regulated, the people who passed those laws have at least been able to put together a semicoherent argument as to who would be hurt by unregulated pornography; It will forever warp the minds of children and whatnot.

    Oh, there are semi-coherent arguments similar to that with regards to gay marriage. The Mormon church believes that a functional, two-parent, opposite-sex home is the right place for a child to be raised, and it believes this for many different reasons. It will thus oppose legislation to legitimize that which could encourage people to depart such a situation. I think honestly the church would rather a child be raised in a same-sex couple home than in a single-parent home, for whatever that’s worth. The point I’m making is that the Mormon church wishes society to be held to a certain standard wherever possible, and other groups in society wish society to be held to a different standard. And hence you get a conflict. It’s not about hatred or even all about homosexuals specifically, it’s about standards and morality and the way those concepts are understood by respective segments of our society.

    @Antinous

    I understand the definition of “homophobe” just fine, but you can interpret it however you wish. As for defending a “racist” church, you clearly have a poor understanding of the Mormon church’s history and the reasons for its policies. Not only that, but your facts are wrong. Blacks were always allowed to become members. They were treated with more equality in the church for over 100 years than they would have received in almost any other organization in society. The only thing they were not allowed to do is become members of the priesthood, and the reasons for that have a purely historical, pragmatic–though unfortunate–precedent. Do a little more research before you simply fire away with hearsay and falsities about something you don’t understand, lest you be guilty of the same offenses of those you consider your enemies.

    Separation of church and state has nothing to do with opposing legislation on moral grounds. As I said before, we don’t allow polygamy. Why? It’s not for religious reasons, I can tell you that.

    Unless I’m breaking into heterosexual homes and forcibly sodomizing the menfolk, I’m not forcing my morality on anyone.

    Yes, you are. You’re telling people that homosexual behavior is acceptable and moral and forcing them to accept a legal sanction of such behavior. You can bet they will oppose it because they are morally obligated to do so.

    You give me equal rights and I’ll be dispassionate about the discussion. Until then, I’ll continue to call you a bigot and a hate-monger.

    It’s not an equal rights debate. Marriage is benefits-extended from the state to opposite-sex couples. Why does society, in effect, subsidize marriages? The state can extend marital benefits to whomever it wishes under the conditions that have been set forth–i.e., adult, consensual, opposite-sex couples. The Mormon church, and others, will oppose a redefinition of those conditions on legitimate, moral grounds. You can get angry, emotional and call them whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the actual, rational facts of the debate.

    • Brainspore says:

      I believe that a commonly accepted definition of homophobia–one which connotes bigotry, paranoia and unwarranted discrimination–does not fit every last individual who opposes gay marriage.

      That’s a vague idea of what a homophobe is, not a definition. Besides, I don’t see how banning gay marriage doesn’t fall under “unwarranted discrimination.”

      So let’s try this: tell us your definition of “homophobe.” Try to avoid subjective terms like “bigot” and “paranoid” since we obviously have different ideas of what constitutes bigotry and paranoia.

  33. jh says:

    Here is my concern with this post as it is worded on Boing Boing:
    The comments here are moderated (which is fine), and have rules that go along with them including “Please do not make racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.”

    Is it unreasonable to read in to this phrase that we should not be bashing other people’s religions or backgrounds?
    I feel that you might be behaving a little hypocritically telling mormons to ‘suck it’.

    It’s possible I’m reading too much in to your headline and story…

    However, I am kind of tired of constantly being put down simply because of the religion that I belong to… granted, I don’t think that boing boing is more aggressive to mormons than any of the other media sources out there… (hello ‘this american life’!)

    But just because I’m a mormon doesn’t mean that I’m against gay marriage. I think you do a disservice to everyone when you wrap people up in to a group simply to put them down and treat them dismissively.

    Thats all – I think it’s been bugging me for a while on this site… and I’ve been a fan here for a long time. Figured it was time to say something about it.

    I wish I didn’t have to come right out and say, ‘hey would you mind not insulting my personal beliefs.’ But I think it needed to be said.

    (in case I wasn’t clear in this post – I’m personally not against gay marriage… I just got tired of feeling that even though I enjoy reading boing boing, that boing boing doesn’t want me reading them.)

    • snakedart says:

      But just because I’m a mormon doesn’t mean that I’m against gay marriage.

      But your church is — passionately, actively, politically — against it. So, while you might be a swell person, and in no way antagonistic against gays, you follow, attend the services of, and tithe a portion of your income to an organization that is fighting tooth and nail to stop gays from achieving equal rights. If you’re just sitting idly in your temple every Sunday, listening to the bigotry of your church’s teachings, and doing nothing — thinking you’re innocent because you’re not doing anything personally to harm gays — I’m sorry: in the eyes of most, you’re still complicit in their bigotry.

      And, if that’s the case, … well, suck it.

      • Delaney says:

        Eeeegh…

        Yeah I’m gonna have to defend Tim and jh a little bit here.

        You’re right that if they give money to the church that makes them complicit in the church’s active suppression of a group’s civil rights…but frankly that argument could be made pretty much just as strongly for any one of us.

        If they are Mormon presumably they believe LDS have a pretty decent handle on the truth and that there is more reasons to be in the church than not…it’s no inconsequential thing to leave it therefore and tithing is serious among Mormons as it is among a few other sects. It is still voluntary…but pretty strongly encouraged.

        Arizona likewise uses taxpayer dollars to restrict the basic civil rights of a certain segment of it’s citizens. You can leave Arizona…but that’s not nothing either. So are all Arizonians (Arizonae?) complicit in that bigotry? Maybe. True, tax isn’t voluntary. But you can leave.

        Likewise the federal government is complicit in all kinds of disequal treatment…what is okay for one group of people to do (us) is not okay for another (everyone who dislikes us). Are we complicit from paying taxes? True…it’s a huge undertaking to leave a country permanently, much huger than not paying your tithe…but for some truly, honest in their beliefs folks perhaps not any huger of an undertaking than leaving a church. And yes, taxes aren’t voluntary…except they sort of are.

        There are plenty of tax protesters out there who, for example, don’t send part or all of their taxes in for one reason or another…anti-war etc. Now, those people suffer some inconvenience…but typically the protestors (as opposed to the merely self-interested dodgers) more or less get away with it. They suffer, they require courage…but the government doesn’t lock them up generally. Now it’s easy for some people (including myself) to say…well heck even the threat of getting locked up is much more of a burden than anything a Mormon will suffer from leaving the church…but then we’re not Mormon. What if you feel that you will be denied heaven? To some, that would be quite significantly more of a burden than a little stint in jail…something they might undertake without a second thought rather than lose the kingdom.

        snakedart, I’m not saying you’re wrong…I’m saying your argument is problematic and I wouldn’t make it as strongly as you’re making it. We’re all complicit in terrible things to a greater or lesser extent…and living in the United States I’m complicit in worse things than the average.

        I’m just saying watch out for glass houses.

      • Tim says:

        Two things: one, Mormons don’t use temples for Sunday church meetings. Temples are used for different purposes. Two, while I cannot speak for every LDS church in the world, of the ones I have personally attended, not ONCE–not a single time–have I ever heard anyone say anything about Proposition 8, gay marriage, or anything relating to it while in a standard Sunday church meeting. I don’t even think it’s come up in any of the bi-annual church sessions where the Leaders of the Church speak. Maybe like once?

        If you think we’re sitting around and being told that God Hates Gays likes the Westboro Baptist Church, or that if we don’t donate $10,000 to the anti-gay-rights foundation we’ll burn in Hell, then I strongly encourage you to find a nearby LDS church to attend one Sunday and just see what it’s like.

        Ignorance is what creates homophobia and xenophobia. A lot of Mormons are ignorant on the facts of gay marriage and homosexuality in general. And it sounds like you’re ignorant on Mormons.

      • gravytop says:

        hey — aren’t you the guy that was just busting my chops in another posting for pointing out that Islam is, um, by and large rather sexist? Just thought I’d check out your other posts on the hunch that, you know, I might find a tasty trail of hypocrisy. Lo and behold! NOW the game is over. Check. Mate.

  34. adammtlx says:

    @Antinous:

    Ah. The fundamental flaw in your world view. You believe that humans are fundamentally devoid of rights,and human rights only exist when granted by the state. Now that we understand that, we can just completely ignore you.

    Wrong. And you have, it seems, purposely misunderstood the point I was making in order to twist it into me being a villain. How extraordinarily unsurprising. I guess this is why I don’t usually get into these arguments on the internet; logic and rationality are always trumped by anger and rhetoric.

    @Xopher:

    The ads paid for by the CJCLDS (your tithes, Tim’s, many other people’s) told knowing, deliberate lies about what the failure of Prop 8 would mean.

    I don’t have access to the content of the ads, so I can’t speak with 100% accuracy, but it was my impression that the ads were a matter of speculation, speculation on what the legislation would mean directly and indirectly and what kind of precedents it would set. I don’t know about performing, but as far as forcing the church to recognize gay marriages? That’s exactly what would happen. LDS Church adoption services, work services, etc etc would all be required to acknowledge homosexual unions as marriages, wouldn’t they? And be honest, how long do you think it would be before a gay couple insisted that they be allowed to have a marriage ceremony performed in a Mormon temple, and brought suit to bear?

    So I’m willing to concede that the church, intentionally or not, may have misrepresented the opposition in terms of what the gay marriage meant directly, but I’m not convinced that they blatantly lied about anything.

    No, it harms them physically. Sperm retained in the body for too long cause harm to the testes, seminal vesicles, and prostate.

    What about nocturnal emissions? It is very rare that a primate masturbates to orgasm, but I’m pretty sure that a monkey who has gone months without a sexual release would still be fully functional if he found a willing partner. Anyway.

    Bullshit again. If I have the right to marry, that doesn’t change your life in any way. If you get your way and I don’t, it has a huge impact on me socially, economically, and legally. You don’t see that because you don’t want to, and you don’t want to because you’re a homophobe

    It does change my life. It forces me to acknowledge that marriage, something I may hold sacred and dear as it is, is something else.

    You’re complaining about something that is, quite simply, not an inalienable right given to an individual. It is a set of benefits extended to couples of the opposite sex. As far as the state is concerned, that’s what it is, particularly in cases where it’s become codified (as in Prop 8). Society has a vested interest in such unions. We, as a society, have agreed that if two opposite sex people want to get married, they can and will receive benefits. There’s nothing anywhere that mandates the state extend marital benefits to any other type of union, and no rights are associated thereto.

    Let me quote the LDS Church’s official position:

    The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.

    The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a husband and a wife united in the bonds of matrimony.

    This makes it pretty simple. The LDS Church believes that gay marriage infringes upon the sanctity of the family and marriage itself–and whether or not you disagree is beside the point, they have every right to believe so and fight for that belief. The church also believes gay marriage sets a dangerous precedent in how organizations opposed to gay marriage conduct their business. I don’t think the church would oppose civil unions that grant the equivalent benefits, but calling it marriage and insisting that it be “marriage” is what they oppose.

    Is that wrong? Because I think anyone who wants that kind of power is a twisted freak.

    Yeah. Most of what you said isn’t considered doctrine, and even if it were, it’s not entirely accurate. If you really want to discuss this, we can do it elsewhere.

    No, you’re not making a joke. You’re being disingenous, which is slightly different; and in an especially idiotic way. (My first draft used a different term; it has the same consonants as ‘so so ha la’.) The idea that you would find it acceptable if told you could only marry someone from a pool of people who you couldn’t possibly find attractive or fall in love with is absurd in the extreme. That you are perfectly OK with imposing that on gays proves (if we needed more proof) that you’re a homophobe.

    The crucial point you seem to be missing is that the church isn’t imposing anything different upon gays that it imposes upon any other member. It holds everyone to equal, identical standards. Men who are attracted to women before or outside of their marriage are forbidden from acting upon their desires. Women who are attracted to men before or outside of their marriage are forbidden from acting upon their desires. Men who are attracted to children are forbidden from acting upon their desires. Women who are attracted to other women are forbidden from acting upon their desires. Men who are attracted to other men are forbidden from acting upon their desires. Acting upon these desires is forbidden because the church believes to do so is harmful both to one personally and to society and families in general. Any attempt to further legitimize and force others to accept as legitimate that which the church believes is harmful and immoral will be met with opposition. That’s exactly what gay marriage is–an attempt to further legitimize and force others to accept as legitimate what is supposedly harmful and immoral behavior.

    That’s actually even more warped than I thought. So the Church engages in politics, and you’re OK with that, and there’s never any discussion in any official venue of how, what kind, in what way the Church will engage in politics, and you’re OK with that too? So the Church’s politics is entirely decided by this ugly asshole Monson? And you’re OK with that? Even though he’s using your money to do it?

    A tithe payer voluntarily gives his or her money to the LDS Church under the express agreement that it will be used at the church’s discretion. So, yes, you’re okay with it because you agreed to it. In this case, the church does not see itself as being involved in politics, but rather involved in a fight to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman. What the church does not do is endorse political candidates or political parties. The church only becomes involved when morality is in question: pornography, abortion, gay marriage, etc. And again, that’s as much morality as it is politics.

    I might add that you’ve assumed what my position is, but I haven’t actually given it. I believe strongly that marriage as between a man and a woman should be preserved. But I also strongly believe that gay people should be able to receive all crucial societal benefits granted to married couples. I believe that children should, whenever possible, be raised in functional, opposite sex, two-parent families from which they can learn and understand and benefit from strong gender roles. I believe that since many children will never have a chance at such a family, functional same-sex parent families are a better alternative than dysfunctional or one-parent homes–but that doesn’t mean that just because we can’t have something ideal we must necessarily change the standard.

  35. Brainspore says:

    It’s not often that the named defendant in a Federal lawsuit (in this case, Governor Schwarzenegger) takes the time to hold a press conference after the verdict to praise the court for ruling against him. Kinda weird. Cool, but weird.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Not all of us in Utah. The Mormon Church put it’s money where it’s bigotry was, and did a huge population of the state a gross disservice. There is an active gay rights movement here that demonstrated at the capitol and the church office building and temple.

    I’m so glad Prop 8 got well and truly shot down. Huzzah.

  37. Anonymous says:

    An even better victory would be to get the state out of the institution of marriage altogether. true equality is not treating married people any differently than two individuals. you want your spouse to have power of attorney, or to get your stuff when you die, or any other legal issue, draw it up and sign it. it’s none of the governments business whether or not two people are married. or three people. that’s between them and (optionally) God.

    while im elated that the rediculous prop 8 is overturned, one nasty side effect is it cements the idea that government somehow has any god damn right to say who can and can’t get married in the first place. it’s sets precedent that the government has the authority to regulate the personal business of consenting adults, and to alternately grant favors like tax breaks to some people based on their private life but not others.

    • Caroline says:

      Anon, do you know how much it costs, in money and time, to separately recreate each of the protections of marriage? Our local independent paper researched this a while back, and found that it is really expensive and complicated. It’s easy to glibly say that people should just do that, but it effectively means that only rich people could access those legal protections for their partnerships.

      People want to form a household and a family unit, and there really is a need for a legal package deal for legal recognition of that chosen relationship, for the protection of each participant as well as for the state’s interest in keeping track of property ownership.

      Furthermore, for better or worse (no pun intended), marriage serves the important social function of ensuring social recognition and acceptance of committed partnerships, in which the partners want to become family.

      Obviously, married people aren’t better, and the marriage relationship is one of many valid kinds of relationships. But it’s one that requires some legal framework, and social recognition of the new family unit is a valid thing to want.

      And there is no reason it should be denied to any consenting adults, regardless of gender.

      • marilove says:

        Thank you! I’m tired of this, “Well, marriage should be abolished. Just get a lawyer!”

        It’s a privileged sort of view that generally comes from straight people who either are already married, or will eventually get married. They may also have the ability to get a lawyer. Or maybe they are someone in a “domestic partnership” that has successfully done a lot of the legwork with lawyers, because they could afford it.

        But they forget a few important facts: It’s not cheap, it’s not easy, and it likely does not and likely will continue not to give the same full benefits and privileges that actual married people get.

        This “marriage should be abolished” argument has no basis in current reality, and I’m tired of it. Gay marriage is on the table right now. Gay marriage is the important issue. Abolishing marriage is not going to happen. It’s a fantasy. And even if it were to happen, it’s certainly not going to happen now. But gay people will continue to be discriminated against, while you wistfully wish, upon your privileged stool, that marriage would be abolished. Real people every day are affected by the inability to get married. They are what is important. Not some fantasy of abolishing marriage.

        There are actual people out there who either do not vote for pro-gay issues, or specifically vote against them, all the while claiming not to be anti-gay. Yet they are specifically speaking out against or voting against the issues that affect people they claim to care about, because of some extremely ridiculous view that their actions are going to somehow abolish marriage. In reality, they are supporting the bigots. The bigots don’t give a flying monkey why someone votes against gay issues. It’s a vote for them, either way.

        Maybe the way marriage is perceived by society will be changed one day, but that can only happen if marriage is expanded to be equal for everyone, and not by keeping it exactly as it is by voting with the bigots.

  38. matt blank says:

    Hey don’t bag on Utah. Some of us are here fighting the good fight on the front lines. Bag on Mormons where it’s deserved.

  39. zootboing says:

    “Why is it that the Mormon church gets singled out”
    Okay, the reason why us Anti-Prop 8 Californians are so gleeful is because the Mormon church, not satisfied with running it’s own damn state, actively meddled with California politics by generally chivvying, harassing and demanding that their church members in California give money to the pro-8 campaign, sent out pre-scripted pro-8 statements for their church members to post on their Facebook pages and blogs, and generally doing all they could to push their own anti-gay agenda in another state. The demand for donations actually meant that hats were passed in church every Sunday and the hat WOULD. NOT. PASS. a church member until a sufficient amount was given.
    Those of us in California resented it mightily, taking the view that the Mormon church could have (and keep!) Utah for all we cared, but that they needed to keep their hands and views off of California’s business. Lots of hostility there.
    Yes, the black vote was a factor. There is a tremendous hostility and taboo against homosexuality in the black community, and since there’s still a large amount of right-wing Christian fundies who still haven’t decamped to Colorado with the Focus on the Family crowd (dammit), we already had a large in-state voting block that was against gay marriage.
    But those folks are OUR conservative wingnut haters, and as such, Black and Fundy factions have their right to a say in California politics.
    The Pro-8 push in the Mormon faction was perceived as being directed and funded by the church head office in Utah, and thus was considered to be one state meddling in the affairs of another and deeply resented as such.
    (We don’t know why the Mormon church fathers found the idea of legal gay marriage in California far more upsetting than legal gay marriage in, say, Vermont. I suspect that since their church’s beliefs all hinge on the eternal marriage between a man and a woman that the gradual acceptance of marriage between man/man or woman/woman would require some pretty fancy liturgical editing.)

    • jesseg says:

      Hats? Really? Care to back that claim up? I spent the first 17 years of my life going to Mormon church every Sunday and hats were never passed around. I’m having a really hard time imagining that that system has been implemented since I bailed.

      Also, California has the second-highest Mormon population in the country, so you might as well count the Mormons there amongst your conservative wingnuts.

      • freshacconci says:

        I think he’s referring to fundamentalist or black churches in California in this case, not Mormon. The Mormon church was collaborating with California-based non-Mormon churches who were doing the collecting.

        • jesseg says:

          Well, I re-read what zootboing said and it still looks to me like he or she was talking about Mormons passing around hats.

          By the way, I’m as happy about this ruling as anyone (well, maybe not as happy as the people who will hopefully be able to get married because of it), and I’m in no way defending Mormons’ support of Prop. 8.

  40. adammtlx says:

    @Xopher:

    No, but it doesn’t exempt a church from criticism when its expression of its opinion amounts to doing evil. And I believe Antinous’ point was that the Mormon Church is trying to take over things which are properly left to the State (e.g. defining who can LEGALLY marry in the eyes of the state.

    Criticism is fine. But at least try to represent your opponent fairly. This is something almost no one here seems able to do. Your definition of “evil” is different than others. Who’s right? Doesn’t matter. Like you said, some things are properly left to the state to decide. And decide it will. This is not a theocracy. The Mormon church is putting its opinion out there, just like you are, and both sides hope the state decides in their favor. You can’t fault the Mormon church from getting involved when you’re just as involved. And don’t say “I only get involved because the Mormons got involved!” The way our society works is that we get involved. We don’t just sit back and let bureaucrat decide whatever they want. That’s ridiculous.

    The CJCLDS is perfectly free to disallow same-sex marriages in the Mormon Church, and even to forbid their own members from doing so. They have absolutely no right to tell me (I am not now nor have I ever been a Mormon, thank gods for that) that I can’t marry another man.

    They’re not doing any such thing. They’re asking society to decide that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Wallow in your 19th Century morality if you want to. I feel sorry for your youth, especially but not only the gay ones (boys being told not to masturbate is a form of physical abuse and should be forbidden by law in my opinion), but all I can do is hope they leave when they’re old enough to think for themselves.

    This is beside the point, but telling boys not to masturbate is a way of encouraging them to grow into men who have a measure of self-control over their strong, instinctive desires. Heaven forbid, right?

    Just stop trying to remake the world in your own image.

    What, kind of like what you just said you’d do if you had your way?

    Not having same-sex marriage IS a form of discrimination against homosexuals. It has a huge economic impact, just for one thing. You’re either massively ignorant of the troubles suffered by gays by not being able to marry, or just lying through your teeth.

    No, that’s simply wrong. Opposing gay marriage is not necessarily a form of discrimination any more than maintaining border security is discrimination against Mexicans. Or Canadians.

    The Mormon church thinks that the definition of marriage should be between a man and a woman. You disagree. Whoever convinces the state of the validity of their position has forced a portion of their morality upon the other.

    • Xopher says:

      The Mormon church is putting its opinion out there, just like you are, and both sides hope the state decides in their favor. You can’t fault the Mormon church from getting involved when you’re just as involved.

      The ads paid for by the CJCLDS (your tithes, Tim’s, many other people’s) told knowing, deliberate lies about what the failure of Prop 8 would mean. For example, they claimed that churches would be forced to recognize (possibly perform, I can’t remember now) same-sex marriages. That’s impossible in this country, and I would oppose changing that with every fiber of my being. I want to live in a country where churches decide what marriages they will perform or acknowledge. Religious freedom is a critical quality-of-life issue to me.

      This is what I meant before then I said that Monster and his minions were bringing the church into disrepute. They used its money to bear false witness against their neighbors. Or don’t Mormons believe in the ten commandments? It seems to me I read that they do.

      So yeah, I certainly can fault them. If all they said was “Hey, we’re the Mormon Church and we think marriage should be between a man and a woman” I would shrug and say “jerks” and not have all this anger. But they didn’t. They deliberately lied and used scare tactics to get more people to vote the way they wanted them to.

      This is beside the point, but telling boys not to masturbate is a way of encouraging them to grow into men who have a measure of self-control over their strong, instinctive desires. Heaven forbid, right?

      No, it harms them physically. Sperm retained in the body for too long cause harm to the testes, seminal vesicles, and prostate. It can cause long-term fertility damage, and lead to prostate problems later in life. The male sexual apparatus is made to produce and expel semen two to three times a week at minimum. “Blue balls” doesn’t hurt for nothing (and the pain alone is reason enough to call this physical abuse); the body is taking damage.

      The anti-sex brainwashing is beside the point, as you say.

      The Mormon church thinks that the definition of marriage should be between a man and a woman. You disagree. Whoever convinces the state of the validity of their position has forced a portion of their morality upon the other.

      Bullshit again. If I have the right to marry, that doesn’t change your life in any way. If you get your way and I don’t, it has a huge impact on me socially, economically, and legally. You don’t see that because you don’t want to, and you don’t want to because you’re a homophobe and/or too stupid to see the difference between actual harm and “wahh, I didn’t get my wayyyy” fake childish tantrum “harm.”

  41. osmo says:

    Congratulations from Sweden! (personally Im never gonna marry my boyfriend even if we can do that here but thats just me not believing in marriage at all)

    …. wohoo none the less!

  42. zootboing says:

    Thanks, Dave- I’ll have to go take a look! :-)

  43. Tim says:

    *facepalm*

  44. The Morgan says:

    This is good news. Yet another reason to be embarrassed that my country (New Zealand) only allows for gay civil unions rather than gay marriage, though. Even if it gives the same legal status, words matter.

  45. Xopher says:

    *facepalm*

  46. muteboy says:

    The ruling itself makes great reading. Lots of discussion of evidence showing that gay marriage is not harmful to economies, children or hetero marriage. Several points in there which made me say, “Exactly!”

  47. Xopher says:

    Dear Mormons in this thread, and reading it:

    No, of course we don’t mean YOU. Unless you pay your tithes, in which case you are funding the evil activities of the Mormon Church.

    Remember that it’s a hierarchy. It has leaders, and they do evil things. If you can’t get rid of the evil leaders, you can at least withhold your monetary support. You are not required by law to pay your tithes. If you feel you must set them aside, put them in a separate account until the Church stops bearing false witness against its (gay) neighbors, and otherwise intervening in matters that are none of its damned business.

    If you keep giving money to an organization that is doing this kind of evil, than you are the support and prop of that evil. I know you don’t make the decisions, and that you’d rather they didn’t, but don’t ask me to pretend that you aren’t complicit, because you are.

  48. Ugly Canuck says:

    Mon francais est seulement un affectation.
    Nous sommes un pays “multi-culti”: en prive, je ne regarde pas la couleur de la peau, ou les differences de la langue, ou de la religion. Mais malheureusement, je ne peux pas parler pour tout mes compatriotes.
    Il y a eut les peuple chinoises qui ont habite en Canada pour plus de un 130 annees.
    Mais, il y a plus de trente-trois millions gens dans Canada, and we do have some real brutes up here, too. Both in physical strength, and in the strength of their prejudices.
    Having long had two major, somewhat separate, cultural-linguistic groups has meant that we Canadians have always and ever been constrained and forced to accept how different we can be from each other in order to get along. We can be literally incomprehensible to each other!
    To that mix, we have added sizable ethnic minorities from all over the world to our cultural mosaic throughout the 20th century and on, even to this very day, and our attempts to recognize, honour and empower our First Nations peoples also continue (though neither as quickly nor as whole-heartedly as I for one would wish), and all of these processes taken together have instructed and guided us in our ongoing attempts to work and live together in our harsh yet beautiful land.
    That many of our relative newcomers are refugees from wars and civil conflicts from all over the globe (the older waves of newcomers included a large contingent who fled the American Revolutionary war, and many blacks who came here to escape US slavery) also means that we, as a group, are pretty savvy and wary of those things amongst us which could possibly lead to strife or even violence.
    And if need be, we can be a very violent people.
    I’ll leave it to others to judge of our fighting capabilities.
    In light of all that, most of us are pretty cool about our differences between us, particularly the young.
    The Chinese people who labored to build our railroads in the 19th century were present at the creation of our country, so to speak.
    Nevertheless, we have always had our share of bigots and prejudiced cranks. And some can be quite brutal in their comments, for we are a free-speaking people, once we feel comfortable enough to open our mouths.
    But… we also have laws against hate speech, and those laws are broadly supported. That helps to moderate any tendency towards that kind of speech in non-anonymous public fora. And that helps to damp these sentiments down over time, since people lack examples.
    Bigotry, hatred and prejudice are, after all, learned behaviors. Canadians are by and large forced to learn those things at home now, rather than in the public spaces and places. Sadly, some yet find teachers.

  49. adammtlx says:

    @Xopher:

    Obviously I don’t think a complete charlatan (or even a madman) as founder invalidates the whole religion, or I wouldn’t be a Wiccan. I had Mormons pretty much listed under “kinda crazy but pretty harmless,” and in fact thought the Mormon take on the afterlife of non-Mormons was relatively kind and gentle: you just go to the second-best heaven, which sounds OK, especially since the first-best heaven sounds like only an insane power-mad freak would even want it.

    Your personal opinion of the validity of the Mormon church and Joseph Smith aside, your ideas about the doctrine are wrong. I just wanted to point that out because I’m here and making an attempt to represent the underrepresented side fairly.

    So the actions of the CJCLDS in California made me change my behavior. They amount to a declaration of war on the gay community. I’m amazed that I keep on hearing Mormons talk like we’re not allowed to fight back. Well, hell with that. What do you all EXPECT us to do?

    No one is saying you can’t fight back. But again, at least understand your opponent before you go charging in guns blazing. You might actually find yourself more effective with FACTS in hand.

    By the way, if the Mormon Church worshipped rhubarb and believed that every room in a good Mormon house must contain an image of a penguin, but didn’t do anything to hurt me and the people I care about, I wouldn’t have a bad word to say about it.

    What if the Mormon church suddenly instituted a policy of polyandry? Would you oppose that? What if the church start started removing the clitorises of its young girls? What if they even waited til they were 18? What about polygamy? What if the church started requiring its members to give their children up for adoption to live in communes in the desert? I can think of about a hundred things the Mormon church could do that would get the rest of society in an uproar, things that people would have every right and reason to fight on moral, legal or common-sense grounds. They would fight with money, with words and anything else. That’s the way things work.

    And I wouldn’t be denouncing it if “Prophet” Monson had just SAID the church opposed marriage equality, instead of spending $20 million spreading lies.

    Let’s be clear, the Mormon church has no problem with gays getting married, as long as it’s not to someone of the same sex. I’m not making a joke. Legally speaking, this is a very important distinction that should be made.

    I want to quote something Tim said:

    “But as I said, within actual church meetings I have never once heard anything about politics or Proposition 8 stated. Not one time in a church meeting has politics ever come up. Not one time have I heard my Bishop, my teachers, or anyone else declare anything political in church meetings.”

    This is standard. Politics are, as a matter of policy, not mentioned during church meetings or in any official function. If they are, it is to be stopped immediately and the offender reprimanded and possibly disciplined.

    @Brainspore:

    That’s a vague idea of what a homophobe is, not a definition. Besides, I don’t see how banning gay marriage doesn’t fall under “unwarranted discrimination.”

    That’s why I said “connotes.” I wasn’t giving a definition. If you want to understand why I don’t believe that all gay marriage opponents hate or fear gays, read what I’ve said.

    • Xopher says:

      Your personal opinion of the validity of the Mormon church and Joseph Smith aside, your ideas about the doctrine are wrong. I just wanted to point that out because I’m here and making an attempt to represent the underrepresented side fairly.

      My understanding was that a good Mormon man who goes to Heaven essentially gets to be God of his own planet. I also understand that our God (per Mormon theology) was a good Mormon back on his original planet, orbiting (or just near) the star Kolob (not to be confused with Kobol, though there’s certainly a connection), and went to Heaven, and that that’s how He got to be our God.

      Is that wrong? Because I think anyone who wants that kind of power is a twisted freak.

      Let’s be clear, the Mormon church has no problem with gays getting married, as long as it’s not to someone of the same sex. I’m not making a joke.

      No, you’re not making a joke. You’re being disingenous, which is slightly different; and in an especially idiotic way. (My first draft used a different term; it has the same consonants as ‘so so ha la’.) The idea that you would find it acceptable if told you could only marry someone from a pool of people who you couldn’t possibly find attractive or fall in love with is absurd in the extreme. That you are perfectly OK with imposing that on gays proves (if we needed more proof) that you’re a homophobe.

      This is standard. Politics are, as a matter of policy, not mentioned during church meetings or in any official function. If they are, it is to be stopped immediately and the offender reprimanded and possibly disciplined.

      That’s actually even more warped than I thought. So the Church engages in politics, and you’re OK with that, and there’s never any discussion in any official venue of how, what kind, in what way the Church will engage in politics, and you’re OK with that too? So the Church’s politics is entirely decided by this ugly asshole Monson? And you’re OK with that? Even though he’s using your money to do it?

      I find it hard to credit that people can be so brainwashed that they think this sort of thing is OK. It staggers my mind.

    • Brainspore says:

      That’s why I said “connotes.” I wasn’t giving a definition.

      Is such a definition forthcoming? Because it’s hard to tell who is or isn’t a “homophobe” if you won’t even define the term. I gave you mine, now it’s your turn.

      BTW, I have read what you’ve written so far and all the arguments in support of Prop 8 work equally well for banning interracial marriage. But hey, just because someone thinks marrying outside one’s race is “morally wrong” (as many churches once taught) doesn’t mean they’re a “racist” who hates or fears minorities, right?

  50. Delaney says:

    Anyway, to get back to the cheering…

    WOO HoooOO! Take that Salt Lake Temple! I’ve got a temple recommend for ya: Go home and get your fckin’ shine box!

    I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to hear those judge’s words. We’ve had wins up to now, but it’s always on this or that or the other rationale. When the words should have been the glaring violation of the 14th amendment.

    Congratulations to Olson and Boies for having a pair. No guts no glory (You listening HRC? ACLU?). Congratulations to the gay community for finally having a day in federal court and receiving the too long awaited verdict they deserved so much. Congratulations to us all for being enriched by another segment of society joining us as first class citizens, even if it is only in California. Today the Northern District. Tomorrow the 9th Circuit. The next day we state our case before Justice Kennedy.

    There will be those that say this was too big a risk. There will be those that tell us to temper our celebration as too much depends on Justice Kennedy.

    In the words of Nina Simone…”I don’t trust you anymore…you keep on sayin’ go slow!”

    I say let us have our day in court. We speak the truth and we should be proud, joyful and fearless as long as there is breath in our lungs to speak that truth in any room that can be devised to hold us. We will fly through the Ninth Circuit like a jove and arrive at Kennedy’s bench and display our truth with a clear conscience. If he wishes to damn his own with lies that’s between him and his god, but we will not be deterred.

  51. Tim says:

    While I understand the sentiment and mentality, I would like to point out that not everyone who lives in Utah and is Mormon is anti-gay marriage.

    Yes, I live in what is often known as the most socially conservative state in the nation.

    Yes, I belong to a religion that is often known as the most socially conservative religion in the nation.

    No, that does not mean I’m a social conservative who thinks that marriage is only between a man and a woman by definition.

    I have strongly pushed and advocated for people around me to realize that same-sex marriage doesn’t destroy their world or society or spell the downfall of civilization. It means that we believe all men and women should be treated equally. That doesn’t mean we’re creating a tyrannical government to tell them what to think; it doesn’t mean we’re promoting “equality in mediocrity”; it doesn’t mean we’re demanding a “redistribution of wealth” system where we take their money and give it to moochers. It means we believe that everyone should have the same rights to live their life how they choose; everyone should be given the same rights and judged on their actions and on their accomplishments instead of on their sexual preferences; everyone should be looked at as equal in the eyes of the law and the government and no one should be treated preferentially.

    How is that anything but good?

    (I really wish I could move to another state.)

    • Xopher says:

      Long as you don’t give any money to the CJCLDS, you’re fine by me. If you do, you’re complicit in their crimes. You should hash that out with your conscience.

  52. voided says:

    Great news for all califs! This will help to pick up the pace towards justice nationwide too!

  53. Tim says:

    Also one thing to add:

    It’s interesting that a vast majority of people I have spoken with who are adamant in their views of advocating Prop 8 often reference things like protests and rallies outside of church buildings that led to destruction of personal property. A friend of mine has repeatedly told me of a friend of her’s who’s car was vandalized with spray paint and had windows broken because of the Pro-Prop 8 bumper sticker.

    These actions were done out of anger at the feeling of oppression (I would assume). The issue is that all that act did was solidify in my friend’s mind that the Anti-Prop 8 side wasn’t any more mature or civilized.

    It is wholly unfair to apply the actions of a minority (vandals who are Anti-Prop 8) to the entire group, it is also unfair to apply the actions of the supposed-majority (Mormons supporting Prop 8) to the entire group and condemning them all.

    While I understand the feelings of happiness and joy, expressing that happiness by insulting your opponents is not becoming of anyone. I was hoping for more universal happiness at the equality that is being given, not mockery and insults.

    • marilove says:

      It is wholly unfair to apply the actions of a minority (vandals who are Anti-Prop 8) to the entire group, it is also unfair to apply the actions of the supposed-majority (Mormons supporting Prop 8) to the entire group and condemning them all.

      (I wasn’t replying exactly to YOU in my comment, btw; I was actually replying to the general sentiment. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.)

      HOWEVER: It’s not the objection to individual Mormons, but rather to the Mormon religion as a whole. The Mormon religion is not pro-gay marriage or pro-gay in any way, shape, or form.

      That said, Mormon individuals are likely not going to be pro-gay, because the Mormon religion is not pro-gay. There may be a few, but they are rare, and I would be willing to bet that they are not officially recognized by the Mormon church, or are no longer active.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait a second Tim. It sounds like you are saying that gays have never been victimized by anti-gay people? I am sure that the number of cars vandalized because they had Yes on Prop 8 bumper stickers was probably about the same as cars that No on Prop 8 stickers. While I don’t condone acts of violence and vandalism, I believe almost all of the anti gay marriage and pro gay marriage folks also do not condone it. I don’t think it’s representative of either group or thier intentions on the whole.

    • Delaney says:

      We are not condemning all Mormons. We are condemning the church itself. I decry the Catholic church for their hateful statements and actions against gays, lesbians, women etc., but that does not mean I decry Catholics.

      The church is the governing body. They decided to go to war in California against equality, they decided to in effect demand money from their membership to fund this war. I have no idea what percentage of Mormons in their heart supported Prop 8. But I do know that the church elders did and it is in front of them that I throw down my gage. When we say Utah or Salt Lake what we are meaning is the seat of church power, not the citizens within it. There are gay rights activists in Salt Lake that have stood with us bravely just as there are gay rights activists in Rome. We salute them and celebrate with them today. But it is colloquially understood that when one refers to “what Rome said” that one is referring to the Vatican and when one says the Vatican one is referring to the Pope and his officials. You do not, after all, see Italians on the street objecting when the media reports something that “Rome” said when they had nothing to do with it.

      Likewise in this context it is understood that when Xeni says “Utah” or someone says “Salt Lake” we are not implicating all citizens or even a large portion of them. We are referring to those very few individuals that sit in the seat of power of the Mormon church.

      • jesseg says:

        Unfortunately, there are not “very few” people in Utah who oppose gay marriage. An amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman passed with 66% of the vote. I know plenty of non-Mormons from Utah who are more homophobic, or at least more open about their homophobia, than most of the Mormons I know from Utah.

    • marilove says:

      Ahh, the great scare-tactic argument of, “Well, there were a few douchebags that did some damage to others’ properties, and I heard from so-and-so that this gay did THIS bad horrible thing!”

      Yeah, yeah, douchebags exist in every single movement. However, by and large, the movement has been peaceful. Also, a protest outside of a church, in my opinion, is not somehow worse than protesting outside of some other business (yes, a church is a business).

      Furthermore, the violence and horror brought on by the bigots that supported Prop 8 have been far, far worse than a few anti-prop 8 douchebags spray painting a few cars. As has the constant hate-mongering and scare-tactics and the encouragement of violence against the LGBQT population that has been going on for DECADES. And yet, it’s the few douchebags that are inevitable in any movement that are singled out, while the larger problem of violence and hate against LGBQT people is ignored.

  54. benher says:

    The LDS certainly sowed the anti-gay monetary seeds for what amounts to a hate campaign. I didn’t agree with your first comment being disemvoweled for this very reason.

    It’s fine that we all try to be tolerant of our fellow human, but the Mormon church as an entity has been far from inclusive of the GLBT community.

  55. Jacky says:

    Highly recommend people reading the Conclusions of that ruling- fascinating reading that brings the social and religious contexts into a clearly logical and solid legislative conclusion. Don’t see how they’re going to win a stay on that kind of logic. :D

    As for the Mormons… I know several Mormons who were under the impression that this proposition would force their church to marry homosexuals and they didn’t agree with that at all- and hence their support of Prop8. This doesn’t surprise me either; their faith teaches some wonderful things but they follow their head Priests almost blindly- they were given the impression that Prop 8 would force them to go against some of their key religious beliefs. They don’t get that this will not force their church to marry homosexuals but simply recognizes homosexual couples under marital law. The amount of propaganda about this Proposition really was the worst part of it- and it wasn’t just the Mormons spreading or being duped by it.

  56. Brainspore says:

    Fair enough. Why don’t we allow polygamy? Or polyandry? Or any other number of scenarios we could think up that could, in at least one person’s mind, be considered a marriage?

    Because polyamory is not a sexual orientation. We choose what kinds of relationships to pursue, but we can’t choose which genders we are sexually attracted to.

    I think Xopher’s right, we’ve been going in circles forever here. I’m done debating this topic unless someone comes up with an argument for banning gay marriage that doesn’t work equally well for banning interracial marriage.

  57. PapayaSF says:

    My problem with this ruling will likely strike many of you as overly picky or procedural, but here goes. Not everything you dislike is “unconstitutional” (and not everything you like is “constitutional”). I think this ruling stretches the meaning of “equal protection” out of all recognizable shape. This is not at all what the term has ever meant before, and I am always worried about judges twisting the law to their preferred ends. You may cheer now, but remember this the next time a judge twists the plain meaning of the law to reach a conclusion he wants but that you don’t.

    It’s also very socially divisive to go against the voter’s will, and can have long-term negative consequences. Abortion is an example. Most people don’t know that at the time of Roe, abortion was already legal in states representing about a third of the population. Without the decision, abortion rights would probably have continued to spread to many more. I think the fact that the Supreme Court jumped in to trump all state laws helped make it a far more divisive issue than if it had been left up to the states.

    • marilove says:

      “I think this ruling stretches the meaning of “equal protection” out of all recognizable shape. ”

      I like how you don’t actually explain why this is so. Can you explain it without sounding homophobic?

    • snakedart says:

      A little discomfort in the name of justice is small price to pay. (See: Reconstruction, Civil Rights Act, et. al.)

      You may cheer now, but remember this the next time a judge twists the plain meaning of the law to reach a conclusion he wants but that you don’t.

      That doesn’t strike me as picky or procedural, but rather petty and spiteful. But hey — thanks for playing.

    • Xopher says:

      I think this ruling stretches the meaning of “equal protection” out of all recognizable shape. This is not at all what the term has ever meant before, and I am always worried about judges twisting the law to their preferred ends.

      Here’s another person using the “activist judges” dodge. Why don’t you just admit that you hate gays and don’t want us to get the goodies? I’m so sick of this bullshit.

      Equal protection means everyone has the right to be treated equally under the law. California’s law treated same-sex couples differently than different-sex couples; that violates equal protection. Even you can see that, which is why I don’t believe that’s your real problem with this ruling.

    • ChesterKatz says:

      I think this ruling stretches the meaning of “equal protection” out of all recognizable shape. This is not at all what the term has ever meant before…

      You’re ignoring Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court specifically cited the Equal Protection Clause when ruling in favor of marriage equality in that case.

    • Brainspore says:

      It’s also very socially divisive to go against the voter’s will, and can have long-term negative consequences.

      About 50 years ago the California legislature passed the Rumford Act, which made it illegal to discriminate against people of color when selling or renting homes. In response 2/3 of California voters (a much greater majority than the one which passed prop 8) voted to pass Prop 14, re-legalizing discrimination. Guess what? That action was eventually ruled unconstitutional too.

      In our system of checks and balances the voters’ will is not the be-all and end-all. Judges are (nominally) insulated from the electorate for good reason, so they can be free to make unpopular decisions when the situation calls for doing so.

    • Delaney says:

      Frankly, the time I spent in law school told me that almost any ruling that has ever been widely studied was a judge twisting the law to their preferred ends. The law is capricious and cruel and even if this were stretching equal protection or due process further than it has been stretched before (and it really REALLY isn’t) it would not be setting a dangerous precedent…(you seem to imply that it is when you warn us of upcoming rulings)…because that precedent was set in every federal court room in almost every case that got published. Stare decisis is, at this point, a great big joke. If that was in question before Ashcroft v Iqbal it certainly isn’t now. There is court precedent for any result you want, just as there is biblical support for any assertion you might want to make.

      Today we win. There will be other issues in other court rooms where we lose. The idea that judges shouldn’t be activists is essentially the idea that judges shouldn’t be judges…cause that’s all judges have been ever since Marbury v Madison (actually it happened a long time before that in some common law court room in England, but it’s more fun to cite Madison).

      The courts of law have no real legitimacy. If they did every President who has served to date would have been under indictment before their first week of office was complete. All we can do is celebrate the rare occasions when we win, it won’t affect the numerous occasions when we lose.

      • PapayaSF says:

        Well, you’re right that that particular horse left the barn long ago, but it still seems wrong. (Not the idea of judicial review, just the excesses of it.) I still see it as undermining the idea of an independent judiciary: if they’re just going to be politicians in disguise, what do we need them for? We already have enough politicians, so it seems like needless duplication of effort.

        Snakedart, if I like the concept of an independent judiciary (politicians don’t judge court cases and judges don’t write laws), it’s because I think we have different branches of government for good reasons. I don’t think that’s “petty” or “spiteful.”

        Xopher, you obviously don’t know squat about me. You are way, way off, and rude. My best friend was a sometime gay activist who died of AIDS, and we were friends for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

        As to “equal protection,” there are always limits on marriage. You can’t marry your parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, pet, automobile, more than one person at a time, or any combination of the above. Aren’t all those restrictions violations of this new definition of “equal protection”? If not, why not? I’m not trolling, this is a sincere question. Even if you restrict marriage to consenting adults, then you’ll be approving a good chunk of that list.

        • Delaney says:

          I don’t think judges are politicians in disguise. They may serve similar functions at times, but they do it meaningfully differently. First of all they are required to go through some pretty lengthy schooling, and knowledge has a liberal bias. Secondly they don’t have the direct power of politicians, they can’t choose their battles as easily, their fight has to come to them which makes them less attractive to certain parties to, uh, “influence.” And finally the process works slowly, the institution has more of a memory and they have to more definitely put their name on what they create. Politicians can always say they had to horsetrade for something and don’t like everything in the bill…the Judge writes the whole opinion and sticks his name on it.

          No system is perfect and as much as SCOTUS makes me crazy and I want to throw things at Kennedy’s head (preferably a shoe) I still like them better than any other branch of government. Even though that’s not saying much. Power corrupts and there is hardly a soul with any real power who isn’t corrupt. But still. Let’s get rid of the more corrupt before the less corrupt.

          I do not share Breyer’s fondness for the legislature. I would much rather get rid of the Senate than the judiciary. By the way is anyone taking up a collection for that?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          You can’t marry your parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, pet, automobile, more than one person at a time, or any combination of the above. Aren’t all those restrictions violations of this new definition of “equal protection”?

          If marriage confers any benefits by virtue of law, you should be able to marry anyone to whom those benefits might apply. I see no reason why a parent and child or two or more siblings shouldn’t receive the same legal and economic rights as a standard male/female couple. The converse solution, of course, is to remove marriage’s legal status as a bizarre mini-corporation.

          • Anonymous says:

            “The converse solution, of course, is to remove marriage’s legal status as a bizarre mini-corporation.”

            This. Somehow it’s in the zeitgeist that a union between two souls isn’t real if the state doesn’t approve.

          • Weston Renoud says:

            Incest Statutes and the Fundamental Right of Marriage

            [A]ny a priori labeling of a marriage as incestuous tends to preclude objective thought about the permissibility of the particular form of the marriage prohibition at issue. Such revulsion stems largely from the confusion of incest with sexual abuse of children. This confusion is not limited to the general public, but extends to the courts as well.

            Lets have that discussion, but don’t construe this as a new definition of “equal protection.”

            I would agree that marriage can be interprete as a mini-corporation (albeit a very specialized one FF 36) but I do not believe that this ruling supports the idea that anyone can marry.

            The enumerated facts in the ruling make a strong correlation between race and gender (not sex) showing them both as sources of discrimination and inequality in the past, FF 22-28. The facts go on to shows that marital obligations are no longer tied to gender roles and gender is no longer necessary to the institution of marriage, FF 31-33.

            Seperately the facts state that “sexual orientation is fundamental to a person’s identity and is a distinguishing characteristic,” FF 44, which individuals “do not generally choose,” FF 46. Further stating, “no credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may [...] change his or her sexual orientation.” Therefore prohibition of marriage based on sexual orientation is also discrimination.

            Acknowledging discrimination is not a redefining of equal protection.

            Excerpt from the Conclusion of Law section of the ruling

            The evidence at trial shows that marriage in the United States traditionally has not been open to same-sex couples. The evidence suggests many reasons for this tradition of exclusion, including gender roles mandated through coverture, FF 26-27, social disapproval of same-sex relationships, FF 74, and the reality that the vast majority of people are heterosexual and have had no reason to challenge the restriction, FF 43. The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. FF 21. Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.

        • Xopher says:

          Xopher, you obviously don’t know squat about me. You are way, way off, and rude. My best friend was a sometime gay activist who died of AIDS, and we were friends for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

          So now you’re playing the “one of my best friends” card.

          You were talking about “expanding” the definition of equal protection. Clearly you don’t think it should include gay people. I wonder what your friend would have said to that had he lived.

  58. failix says:

    You are part of an organization that was officially racist until 1978, and which to this day is officially homophobic. Either take the criticism like a grown up who has the freedom to associate herself with the organization she wants, or leave and denounce your church and its doctrines.

    “But it does make me sad to see you declare such hatred towards something that does do a lot of good in this world and does provide a lot of people with security and the faith that they need (faith in humanity, faith in goodness of mankind, faith in god).”

    You could say the exact same thing for Hezbollah or similar organizations; does it make them any less reprehensible? The evil religious organizations such as the mormon church cause isn’t to be waved away by occasional works of charity or the comfort it brings to its followers.

  59. adammtlx says:

    Jeez, I’m not sure “homophobia” covers what you’re feeling. That’s sheer homo-paranoia!

    Sigh. No. You’re not following me. You’re all so very quick to insult and ostracize those who don’t agree with you. Understand: I’m not railing against gay marriage here. I’m discussing the likely consequences of overturning the voters’ decision to preserve society’s currently accepted definition and meaning of a term. Very naturally such a redefinition means a redefinition of all services, benefits and statuses of that term, both public and private. Think about it. Now that gay marriage is again legal in California, certain groups have a different definition of marriage than the state. That will, inevitably, cause conflict, and since the state’s definition carries precedence (otherwise why the fight in the first place?), who do you imagine that the likely victor in those conflicts will be? I know it must seem like I’m speaking Chinese, having the audacity to imply that one group might try to force another group to do what it wants, but trust me, it happens all the time.

    I have some other questions. Seeing as marriage is a religious and cultural tradition, I’m not sure what place the state has in it in the first place. In my mind, the state should have absolutely no power to define what marriage is at all. The fact that we’re allowing it to is tantamount to conceding that religious traditions do, in fact, have place in the state. I’m not sure where the line between church and state is drawn here.

    As far as a legal context, from what I understand, the state simply extends certain special benefits to married people, and in most cases state governments have decided that the commonly accepted definition of marriage–that between a male and female adult–is the one to which those special benefits are extended.

    If then we intend to tell the state that it must not discriminate between another type of marriage–that between adults of the same sex, why aren’t we also fighting for certain special benefits to be extended to other types of unions–or all types of unions? Or no union at all? Why can’t a single parent receive these special benefits? Why can’t a lifelong bachelor? Is it our intention to characterize marriage, from the state’s viewpoint, as between a man and woman, man and man, woman and woman and stop there? If so, what is the reason for stopping there? Does that reason carry any legal meaning?

    I’m honestly asking. My opinion is that the state should really have no involvement in marriage at all, let alone in defining it. But then again I guess I’m just a homophobic nutjob.

    • Brainspore says:

      Now that gay marriage is again legal in California, certain groups have a different definition of marriage than the state. That will, inevitably, cause conflict, and since the state’s definition carries precedence…

      No church is legally obligated to perform or recognize mixed-race marriages, so what makes you think same-sex marriages will be any different?

      In my mind, the state should have absolutely no power to define what marriage is at all.

      Then why do you think the state should have the power to restrict it? If you want the state out of marriage then you should be 100% against Prop 8.

      The fact that we’re allowing it to is tantamount to conceding that religious traditions do, in fact, have place in the state. I’m not sure where the line between church and state is drawn here.

      In my entire life I haven’t heard a single person argue that we should outlaw atheist marriages.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        People were getting married long before the birth of Christ. In Rome, in China, in ancient Germany, in Africa.
        The question has always been: do we (whoever “we” are) recognize the validity of that particular marriage?
        Every society seems to have different questions which need to be answered – correctly – for the answer to be ‘yes, we do so recognize it, and shall honor such by granting it validity”.

        Many such questions have been thus asked, many times, in many societies, throughout our social history.

        For examples:
        Were the banns read? Have the proper ceremonies taken place?
        Have the couple passed the course(s) required, if any? Are they of age?
        Are they of the same tribe? The same religion? The same race? The same family? The same nationality?
        Do their elders and/or families object or approve?
        Are they of differing anatomical sex?

        These questions and their importance in the inquiry vary according to the societies which require them answered, and they may vary within the same society over time, or perhaps simply depending upon the social class of the people getting married.
        That one or another of these questions should lose its importance (in answering the question of whether or not a particular marriage is or is not valid) as time passes and human society changes in its cares, concerns and fashions ought not to surprise anybody.

        It does not surprise me. On this particular topic, I cannot say that I “support” gay marriage: but I have no problems with it. I do not “oppose” such, either.

        I’d vote to recognize them, though, because I am in favor of liberty.
        Particularly so, where I cannot see any way by which this increase in liberties would have any negative effects whatsoever upon mine. Or any positive effects either, for that mater.
        But it now seems that the US Constitution itself protects these marriages without any “by-your-leave” required from the voters, or anybody else!:)

        Go liberty!

    • Xopher says:

      I guess I’m just a homophobic nutjob.

      Breakthrough! Admitting it is the first step toward recovery.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      The Law sets definitions, for legal purposes, and always has done so.

      Marriage is a legal relation, amongst other things. The State MUST be involved, insofar as it is in its Courts that these things are to be sorted. And the validity of a marriage can come into doubt even if it is a male-female union, you know. And there are endless property questuins which in law turn upon the marital status of its owner(s).

      In fact, most of Law has historically been about just such relations, their formation, their termination, and the consequences which flow therefrom – legal consequences, without exception – as to propety and who may deal with it and how, and the upbringing and care and control of children.

      The definition of marriage has ALWAYS been a key part of what States and Governments, by the Courts which they establish, DO for their citizens, so that people may arrange their affairs with some (but not total) confidence as to what those legal consequences are likely to be.

      Marriage is and has ever been a legal dis-ability.
      It stops you from doing things which, absent that marriage, you could do with perfect legality and right.
      Just like being a child or an idiot (that is, being legally defined as such) can stop you from doing things which you otherwise would be within your rights to do.

      Marrige is a relation between people. Which people is the question.
      I say all who are not children or idiots may marry. To marry whoever they wish, so long as they consent to such (which leaves children and idiots out of the question).

      Why should gay people be denied marriage?
      Prejudice? Because that’s the only “reason” that I’m hearing.

      • adammtlx says:

        The Law sets definitions, for legal purposes, and always has done so.

        Marriage is a legal relation, amongst other things. The State MUST be involved, insofar as it is in its Courts that these things are to be sorted. And the validity of a marriage can come into doubt even if it is a male-female union, you know. And there are endless property questuins which in law turn upon the marital status of its owner(s).

        I know the state is and has to be involved, realistically. Ideally, things would be different.

        Marrige is a relation between people. Which people is the question.
        I say all who are not children or idiots may marry. To marry whoever they wish, so long as they consent to such (which leaves children and idiots out of the question).

        Great. Then you realize that “gay marriage ban” is actually just another way of saying “man-woman marriage protection.” The question then is why protect marriage as between a man and a woman? Which is exactly what you ask below (and what I’ve already asked), but you don’t go far enough:

        Why should gay people be denied marriage? Prejudice? Because that’s the only “reason” that I’m hearing.

        Why is anyone denied marriage? Because they’re not qualified to be married, that’s why. A man who is already married to a woman is no longer qualified to get married to another woman. A child is not qualified to marry another child, nor is she qualified to marry her pet tarantula. That doesn’t make any one of these five people any less of a HUMAN or a PERSON, it simply makes their situation or personal state unqualified to enter into a particular type of contract. It doesn’t have anything to do necessarily with prejudice against homosexuals specifically, but that’s exactly what it’s become about.

        We don’t call a policeman’s badge a BAN on enforcing the law. If you are not a member of the police force, you are not qualified to enforce the law. We don’t call a ticket to the Super Bowl a BAN on watching live football–if you don’t have the means to buy a ticket, you are unqualified to watch the game. It doesn’t mean that anyone hates you or is afraid of you or that you’re somehow not a person or that you’ve been denied your rights to watch football in a stadium, it simply means that you don’t meet the criteria.

        And the question you’re now asking is “but those examples don’t apply; how does gay marriage have any negative consequences on anyone?” Sadly, that’s not how this works. You don’t fill a vacuum simply because it’s there. You don’t up and take a trip to Australia simply because you can, you examine the question as a whole. Just because people other than a couple consisting of a man and woman want to get married doesn’t mean they should, just because you don’t perceive any harm in it doesn’t mean there won’t be, just because people think the qualifications for marriage are archaic and need to be changed doesn’t mean that they do. You work with the best information you have. What is the compelling case NOT that a “ban” should be lifted, but rather that an established, respected, state-recognized and, since almost the dawn of our civilization, accepted institution should be fundamentally altered to allow whoever wants in to get in?

        Some people don’t want marriage altered. Their reasons vary, but they are perfectly within their rights to defend marriage between a man and a woman only. Think what you want about them, tell yourself that every last one of them is a bigot and hates gays. In the end, you’re still wrong.

        • Xopher says:

          Honestly, at this point you’re just being pathetic. You’ve lost this argument, and to continue to argue with you would just be kicking a downed opponent. That’s beneath me.

          You’re saying the same things over and over. None of your arguments is new, and none of them is persuasive, either.

          I suggest you try to salvage what remains of your dignity by bowing out now.

          • adammtlx says:

            Honestly, at this point you’re just being pathetic. You’ve lost this argument, and to continue to argue with you would just be kicking a downed opponent. That’s beneath me.

            Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware we were arguing to see who “wins.” I thought we were having a discussion. Seriously, how old are you?

            You’re saying the same things over and over. None of your arguments is new, and none of them is persuasive, either.

            Demonstrably untrue and irrelevant in any case.

            I suggest you try to salvage what remains of your dignity by bowing out now.

            If I were interested in having an immature, smug, anti-religious bigot tell me how to manage my dignity I would have attended Richard Dawkin’s last book tour. Thanks anyway.

            @Brainspore:

            We don’t allow children to marry for their own protection. They don’t qualify because we only allow adult humans to make certain decisions for themselves.

            Fair enough. Why don’t we allow polygamy? Or polyandry? Or any other number of scenarios we could think up that could, in at least one person’s mind, be considered a marriage?

            Gay couples over 18 are adult humans, and anyone who says we’re preventing them from marrying for their own good is a big fat liar.

            I never said, suggested or implied anything of the sort.

          • Xopher says:

            an immature, smug, anti-religious bigot

            Wow. I can’t wait to tell people I was characterized that way. The atheists on here will laugh their asses off.

          • Felton says:

            Heehee! :-D

          • Xopher says:

            Yeah, kind of says something about how perceptive he is, doesn’t it? I’m torn between laughing aloud and wondering what kind of universe he wandered in from.

        • Brainspore says:

          Why is anyone denied marriage? Because they’re not qualified to be married, that’s why.

          We don’t allow children to marry for their own protection. They don’t qualify because we only allow adult humans to make certain decisions for themselves.

          Gay couples over 18 are adult humans, and anyone who says we’re preventing them from marrying for their own good is a big fat liar.

          And the question you’re now asking is “but those examples don’t apply; how does gay marriage have any negative consequences on anyone?” Sadly, that’s not how this works.

          It is if you have a Constitution which says rights can’t be taken away without cause.

          • adammtlx says:

            It is if you have a Constitution which says rights can’t be taken away without cause.

            Nowhere does it say that marriage is a right. It’s our government’s decision to extend benefits to a legally established marriage. Any adult can get “married,” but nowhere in the Constitution or anywhere else is the government compelled to extend special marital benefits to anyone it doesn’t deem qualified. Marriage is not necessarily an individual, civil right. Court decisions like Zablocki v. Redhail may be cited to indicate that it is, but the fact remains that such has not been irrevocably established. What marriage definitely is is a joint contract with the blessing of the state. There is a difference between the two. This only makes sense if you consider the fact that the government could just as easily remove extant benefits extended to all married couples. And it could, and quite honestly there’s little we could do to stop it (obviously, this would be impossible in practical terms but hypothetically it’s perfectly possible).

            To me we seem too eager to pick and choose when something is a “right” or not. It gets tougher and tougher to regulate and mediate what we consider improper behavior when more and more types of behavior become protected by law. Like it or not, gay marriage opens such a gate.

            Once again, my entire point in this thread has simply been to establish that opponents of gay marriage are not every one bigots; they do not all hate gay people, and they do not all fear gay people. That’s all.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            The argument is that discrimination under the Law based upon one’s sexual orientation is unjust.
            Just as discrimination under any Law dis-allowing inter-faith or inter-race marriages would be unjust: you are dis-allowing people from doing what other people do based upon State-imposed requirements – requirements which have no logical or necessary connection to whatever the “evil” which the Law purports to be addressed or remedied by such legal dis-qualificvation from marrying is aimed at.
            All other dis-qualifications from marriage are rationally based upon directly preventing some harm or evil.

            ..and what exactly is the “evil” which such discrimination under the Law is out to remedy, anyhow?
            What’s the justification for the discrimination between gays and straights when it comes to marriage? What evil is being aimed at by this particular dis-qualification? And how is that aim or goal rationally connected to the discrimination?

            Inquiring minds want to know….

          • Xopher says:

            Nowhere does it say that marriage is a right. It’s our government’s decision to extend benefits to a legally established marriage.

            You apparently missed the Ninth Amendment:

            The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

            In this country, we don’t only have the rights that are specifically mentioned in the Constitution. We have the strongest protection for those rights, but we have many others, and the state (even the people via referendum!) can’t take those away just by making laws denying them.

            You also missed this part of the Fourteenth Amendment:

            No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

            (emphasis added)

            (Side note: equal protection applies to “any person within [the State's] jurisdiction,” and thus applies to non-citizens as well.) Equal protection is (part of) what gives us the right to marry any other single* adult we choose.
            ____
            *In both senses

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Aaah, so that’s how it works down there.
            Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in contrast, specifically forbids any discrimination based upon gender or sexual orientation, amongst other things. See:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_Fifteen_of_the_Canadian_Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms

          • Xopher says:

            It’s stuff like that that occasionally makes me think I wanna be Canadian.

  60. Ugly Canuck says:

    How bizarre-o, the latter link works but to my eyes the former link seems identical.
    Oh the mysteries of the internet!

    • Xopher says:

      You included the period at the end in the URL for the first one. That broke it.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Fixing.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Ah so.
        Merci beaucoup pour vos elucidation.
        PS – Quelle belle chanson! Et quelle belle chanteuse. Le chanteur aussi, mais c’est ne pas mon gout, si vous me suivez.
        Mais merci aussi pour ca.

        • Xopher says:

          Heureux d’obliger. Je vous suis. Saviez-vous qu’il a obtenu des commentaires sur YouTube en disant “tu n’es pas un vrai Canadien, vous êtes chinois ou quelque chose”? Je suppose que vous avez votre racistes stupides au Canada ainsi, mais pas autant. Je soupçonne même pas un aussi grand pourcentage de la population.

          Mon français est strictement Google Translate, alors pardonnez-moi si c’est faux.

  61. Ugly Canuck says:

    We’ve had gay marriages up here for years, and the heavens haven’t fallen, nor have people sought the right to marry multiple partners or marry goats or cats, etc.

    People who would deny others the same rights that they enjoy are creeps.

    • Xopher says:

      But you see, the current dork would argue that he doesn’t want to deny me any rights. He’d defend my right to marry any woman I want!

      This kind of thinking is what made me stop arguing with him seriously. It can’t possibly be anything but disingenuous, and I feel no obligation to be serious with someone who’s just bullshitting outright.

  62. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU for posting that picture of the LDS girl who supports gay marriage. I am in the same boat as her, and it is hard to reconcile both worlds when they are both persecuting me for what they think I believe. Can’t we all get along? Luckily there are some lds books that talk about this dichotomy.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to say, but this is not the final victory (although I think it will come!). This opinion is a bit sloppy in parts and does not do a very good job of relating who constitutes a marriage partner to the Constitution (although it makes a good common-sense argument). There is a good chance it will be appealed and end up in the SC.

    This is generational fight, and will only be won entirely when the last generation who grew up in a world where anti-gay discrimination was the norm passes from the scene. I’m a case in point…otherwise pretty conservative, but see no reason at all why gays should be treated differently.

    So this is a victory, but let’s not think it’s the end…it’s a battle won.

  64. adammtlx says:

    Because polyamory is not a sexual orientation. We choose what kinds of relationships to pursue, but we can’t choose which genders we are sexually attracted to.

    That’s a good argument, but I there’s still the distinct possibility that, using the gay marriage argument, someone won’t come along and on just-as-certain terms lobby for the rights to more, shall we say, exotic types of marriage… like to more than one person. There are a million arguments that could be concocted for this, not the least of which is freedom of religion. Can you really tell me you don’t see that happening? Historically the courts have denied marriage “rights” precedents of polygamists for years and years, those same “rights” that are being invoked on behalf of the gay marriage argument. It is difficult–if not impossible–to legislate “choice,” and by that I mean it is impossible to determine that someone is not within their rights to petition on behalf of something they claim (true or not) they can’t choose. I could easily claim that I desire two wives and that my attraction to two different women is not my choice, but my religion requires I be married in order to have a sexual relationship. Or whatever. Can the courts reliably beat my argument down once we’ve established that homosexuals can marry?

    At any rate, we’re going in circles because neither argument can be “disproved.” It’s just what you think and what you believe. I only wanted to present the underrepresented side in an almost exclusively “pro” community.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      OH a “million” arguments , sure, but none that the courts would recognize or act on.
      Gays are being dis-allowed bu law from doing what other people do.
      Claiming “discrimination under the law” because one is not permitted multiple wives/husbands or other “exotic” (sic) types of “marriage”
      does not work: because NOBODY ELSE IS PERMITTED TO DO SO EITHER. Hence, there is NO discrimination being practiced against you.

      And claiming that the Law MUST change to accommodate your professed religious beliefs with respect to such “marriages” would be laughed out of Court. Move to another jurisdiction which allows such: or start campaigning to get the law changed by Congress to allow those other types of marriage.
      You are not being discriminated against if NOBODY ELSE can do the same thing, either.

      Want to ban gay marriage? Ban all marriages. Hey Presto! No one’s is then left being discriminated against.
      But then the baby goes out with the bath-water, eh?

      Iceland’s Prime Minister is in a gay marriage, btw. So what?

  65. happyez says:

    @PapayaSF

    “there are always limits on marriage. You can’t marry your parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, pet, automobile, more than one person at a time, or any combination of the above.”

    I’m very curious. Your gay activist friend, what did he/she say to this if you had put the same argument to him/her? Did you get something like “hmmmm, well, oh dear, that really puts a spanner in my activist works….I guess you have a point…”

    I am curious.

    Personally, if you were to marry your….fridge, then I imagine the state doesn’t mind if you hold a huge party, invite all the other whitegoods in the same factory batch, along with all your friends. I doubt it will be legally viewed as an authentic marriage by some authority, but I have no idea which part of the world you live in, so I can’t google that one.

    Legally, being marriage confers economic rights, so your fridge, dog, termine, anime character will probably not be able to conscientously represent themselves if they have a problem with the marriage. Your fridge will probably be your partner for life…awwww.

    I’m saying that your argument doesn’t hold for me (and hopefully most people).

    This is about equal rights for consenting adults.
    But you knew that anyway.

    I’m not gay, and I don’t give a rats arse if two gays get married. Let them do whatever they want, and let one part of society not be burdened by discrimination.

    I’m glad they aren’t feeling phucked around. Aren’t you?……I mean, ….. really?

    Go on. Give it up, and turn your mind to something more productive.

    • PapayaSF says:

      happyez, we talked about this (in a friendly way, as always) around a dozen years ago when “domestic partners” was the new thing. He felt that was fair, because (his words) “gays can’t get married.” My sense was that at that time, he clearly did not feel that gay marriage was some sort of obvious and inalienable right. It was out of the question even to him, which shows you how quickly the opinions on this topic have changed.

      I’ll admit that If he were alive today, he would almost certainly support it. But at the same time, he would not be putting the hate on people who didn’t, because he would have understood what a huge change it would be. I think it would go along with his feelings about discrimination in housing, which we talked about many years previously. He felt (e.g.) it should be illegal for some apartment complex to discriminate against gay couples, but would not support prosecuting some little old Catholic lady who didn’t want to rent her in-law to a gay couple. (He was always a reasonable guy, which was a big reason we were best friends.)

      marilove, I just think there are limits on the term, the same way there are limits on what constitutes “discrimination.” You can’t refuse to serve someone in your restaurant based on how tall they are, but the police department won’t hire you as a patrol officer if you are too short, and the Air Force won’t make you a fighter pilot if you are too tall. I’m not convinced marriage is a “right” in the same way the right to vote is. Marriage is a traditional thing at the foundations of civilization. I am very wary of rapidly changing such things in a Year Zero sort of way. Recent world history is littered with examples of smart people tossing out traditions because they weren’t “rational” or “modern” and suffering unexpected consequences. With perhaps a few exceptions, major social changes like that need to happen at a slower pace and with something close to a consensus.

  66. numike says:

    they (those in power ((straights)) do not want to fork over any money to gays
    when one partner of a gay couple dies the surviving partner gets no social security and none of the deceased partners pension
    If gays could marry that could all change
    yes it is about a whole host of issues but I have always thought a big rarely discussed issue was the money

  67. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to skip the Mormon thing and address something that bothered me until I thought about it.

    My biggest concern was the religious liberty aspect…but then I realized that churches can refuse to marry people on the basis of beliefs. They will not be forced to perform ceremonies for people who do not follow the tenets of their faith.

    If a priest or minister is asked to marry a couple that includes an atheist, he or she can refuse on the grounds that this is a religious ceremony limited to believers. If a non-Baptist (or even two Baptists who declare that they are homosexual) ask for a ceremony, the church can refuse on the grounds that the people are not members in good standing of their faith, which includes the belief that homosexuality is wrong.

    The adoption agencies that will be forced to either shut down or do things contrary to their faith are an unfortunate case, but are providing a service not directly religious in nature. If there are fewer agencies doing adoptions, that is the societal cost of allowing both religious freedom and marriage with no gender limits. Nonreligious groups need to step up to the plate and take up the slack.

  68. Tim says:

    I’m still here. I’ve spent a lot of time debating things online with people though and I’m aware of how, when things get passionate and personal, they rarely make a difference. At that point the best thing you can do is try to find where you agree (and I think we did), try to see the other side’s views and understand them, and then just give it time.

    When people start feeling attacked and get defensive they stop looking at reason and logic and simply look at counter-attacks and counter-arguments. They’re remarkably unproductive discussions to take part in and usually end up making both sides look bad.

    • Xopher says:

      Well, Tim, in addition to finding the points of agreement you actually informed me of some things I wasn’t aware of. I’m no longer comfortable telling Mormons to just bloody well stop paying their tithes, as a direct result of what you told me.

      So thanks a heap. :-)

      No, seriously, I’m changing my approach based on what you said. Henceforth I’ll focus on telling Mormons of good will (and I knew there had to be some, and now I have an example to cite) “aren’t you angry about what that [insulting characterization omitted] Monson is using YOUR TITHES for?”

      So, while it may not be worth it from your point of view, you did significantly change at least one person’s mind about some things. FWIW.

      • Tim says:

        I realize that, Xopher. What I meant was that up until we found that level of understanding, it was becoming a point-counterpoint debate (or at least I felt it was) and I wasn’t sure it was going anywhere. Then, when we found a level of understanding, I figured I had done what I originally wanted in this debate.

        It does make me glad that I was able to educate you a little bit about it. It’s not as clear-cut/black-and-white for LDS members as it may seem to be. Very few things in life are. (Though sadly, a lot of my more faithful LDS friends seem to think it is. That’s a whole different can of worms.)

  69. Xopher says:

    Shorter me:

    1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has, by its actions, made itself my enemy in very real terms.

    2. I have a perfect right to treat that entity as my enemy, and speak* of it as the enemy it is.

    3. If you are a member of that church and do not want me to treat you as an enemy, you can stop giving money to the church.

    4. If you continue to give money to the church, then you are my enemy too.

    5. If you don’t like my saying so*, tough.
    ____
    * I assert no right to say so on BoingBoing, beyond what the Moderators allow. This is not a public space and I don’t have a “right to free speech” here.

  70. adammtlx says:

    They would lose, and rightly so. That’s why we have a First Amendment. If you believed in what America stands for at all, you would know that.

    Adoption services organizations have already been sued–and lost–their right to deny same-sex couples access to their services. It’s not a long trip from that to the other.

    O. My. Gods. You don’t get out much, do you? GO TO THE ZOO and stop making idiotic pronouncements. Your ignorance is truly monumental.

    No, I’m speaking from facts, I just forgot to mention that I meant they rarely do so without direct extraneous physical or visual stimulus. And there are plenty of primate studies done where males have not had sex or masturbated to orgasm for long periods of time and still come out fully functional in the end.

    Your urologist is speaking from opinion, not fact.

    For heavens’ sake, stop whining. You’re pathetic. And…so, it hurts me that Mormonism, which I firmly believe is just a nut-cult, is acknowledged as a real religion. So that means I can try to get a law passed which strips the CJCLDS of its status as a church, right?

    Sure. And you’d lose. It wouldn’t mean you were WRONG. It wouldn’t mean you were acting inappropriately or that you were doing it simply because you hated Mormons.

    So it would become the for-profit corporation it’s always been anyway, and my definition of ‘religion’ will be protected. And of course my right to my definition of ‘religion’ trumps your right to freedom OF religion, so you really can’t object at all.

    Sure, except for the fact that you’ve got it completely backwards. In this scenario, you’d actually be arguing for a REdefinition of “religion.” Because the LDS Church currently falls under our society’s definition of that term, it would require a redefinition of that term to change the LDS Church’s status. Would you be surprised if your proposal was fought on terms similar to that of the fight against the redefinition of marriage? “Religion” and “marriage” mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. That doesn’t mean we should arbitrarily change our society’s meaning, intention and definitions of those terms in the name of “social progress.” Some things simply aren’t progress. They’re just change.

    …and you top it almost immediately. Yeah, the law bars rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges.

    You’re actually calling me stupid for something that is simply true? Really? Where did you learn to argue?

    Then you try to tell ME how LDS doctrine, psychology and eschatology work, when you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    My friend, I’m not twisted or delusional. You’re simply angry that you can’t feel sure that everyone who opposes gay marriage also hates gay people. That upsets you. It’s evident from the fact that you don’t address my own position on the matter that you have no interest in actually discussing it logically and rationally, you’d rather just call me ignorant, twisted and delusional because in your mind marginalizing me as a person makes my arguments inadmissible and hence easier to ignore. I’m not surprised, such a tack is very typical of the “progressive” mindset.

    Believe whatever you want. Gay marriage will, in all likelihood, be made permanently legal in California and several other states. Then the lawsuits will start, small at first and then bigger and more prominent. There will be suits that compel the LDS Church to recognize gay marriages in other, smaller ways, but eventually there will be a suit that intends to compel LDS marriage performers to perform gay marriages. Maybe not in the temple, but elsewhere. Eventually, it’ll probably reach the temple. Will the gay community and their activist babysitters win that one? Maybe, maybe not. But I guarantee you’ll be there cheering the gays along every step of the way, ostensibly in the name of equality. Right now while the fight is simply for marriage, you have no reason to make it seem like it’ll be anything else, like marriage is as far as it’ll go and from there everyone else will be left alone. But you know as well as I do that’s not true. It never ends there. There’s always more. So stop feigning bullshit innocence. This is not just about equality. This is about making people you hate do what you want, and it’s about power. Both sides know it, but your side is the one lying and pretending like it’s nothing more. If anything, that is what sways me to the other side.

    Give it 15 years, and if every word I’ve said isn’t true then I’ll marry a man myself.

    • Felton says:

      Right now while the fight is simply for marriage, you have no reason to make it seem like it’ll be anything else, like marriage is as far as it’ll go and from there everyone else will be left alone. But you know as well as I do that’s not true. It never ends there. There’s always more.

      Jeez, I’m not sure “homophobia” covers what you’re feeling. That’s sheer homo-paranoia!

      • Xopher says:

        Yeah, like we’re going to hunt good Mormon boys down and force them at gunpoint to masturbate, drink Coca-Cola, and suck each other’s cocks. He’s kind of a whacko.

        Also, I’d like to state that I have never forced anyone at gunpoint to do anything, and myself eschew caffeine. I’m within my rights to encourage Mormon boys to masturbate and suck each other’s cocks, but do let’s be rational, shall we?

  71. Tim says:

    For those who make the argument that if Mormons pay tithing then we are complicit in this behavior and bigotry, I have one question for you:

    If you pay taxes in your country, are you responsible for or complicit in every act that is done by your government? Are all Americans responsible and complicit for the innocent lives that are lost in Afghanistan?

    If my paying tithing makes me a bigot, your paying taxes makes you responsible for all the innocent lives lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I was Completely Unaware that the Mormon Church could actually imprison you for not paying your tithe. Now that I know that, I can see that what’s done with your taxes and what happens with your tithe are Exactly The Same Thing.

  72. Antinous / Moderator says:

    adammtlx,

    The system pulled your last comment for having too many links. On review, they don’t all meet our criteria for linkage. You can link to credible news organizations, government sites, theoretically NPOV info sites like Wikipedia.

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