Friday, April 03, 2009

Marriage Equality In Iowa

This just in from the NYT:
DES MOINES — Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The decision was the culmination of a four-year legal battle that began with a suit filed on behalf of six same-sex couples in the lower courts.

The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days, making Iowa only the third state in the nation, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize gay marriage. While the same-sex marriage debate has played out on both coasts, the Midwest — where no states had permitted same-sex marriage — was seen as entirely different. In the past, at least six states in the Midwest were among those around the country that adopted amendments to their state constitutions banning same-sex marriage.

“We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law,” the Iowa justices wrote in their opinion. “If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded.”

“The concept of equal protection, is deeply rooted in our national and state history, but that history reveals this concept is often expressed far more easily than it is practiced,” the court wrote.

Iowa has enforced its constitution in a series of landmark court decisions, including those that struck down slavery (in 1839) and segregation (cases in 1868 and 1873), and upheld women’s rights by becoming the first state in the nation to allow a woman to practice law, in 1869. Iowa Court Voids Gay Marriage Ban

The story is quite thorough and long, if you are following this topic you will want to read it. I think it's a perfect way to end your work-week.


Anonymous Robert said...

Yay for Iowa. Radar would be proud.

So would Klinger.


April 03, 2009 3:18 PM  
Blogger Tish said...

It's also the perfect way to celebrate my 50th birthday.

April 03, 2009 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

This is great news for marriage equality!

Happy 50th, Tish!

On a sad note, though, another teen committed suicide due to anti-GLBT bullying at his school in OH.

Here´s the link:

April 03, 2009 4:56 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

A sad day...and while it appears that some are willing to pretend that marriage "equality" being made legal is the same as marriage, those that are morally discerning know better. One can call a chair a table, even to the point of getting a judicial opinion affirming such, and it will not diminish the nature of the thing redefined.

April 03, 2009 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Happy birthday, Tish.


April 04, 2009 4:21 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Alas for you Orin, that you can not see your way through to this.


April 04, 2009 4:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

“A sad day...and while it appears that some are willing to pretend that marriage "equality" being made legal is the same as marriage, those that are morally discerning know better. One can call a chair a table, even to the point of getting a judicial opinion affirming such, and it will not diminish the nature of the thing redefined.”

I have to admit, you deliver the talking points much better than most.

some are willing to pretend that marriage "equality" being made legal is the same as marriage,

The focus on the word and definition of "marriage," is a PR attempt to avoid the very heart wrenching emotion of the issue, Love.

They don’t want their foot soldiers to come across as insulting.

As Dr. Dobson often says, “If marriage can mean anything, then it means nothing.”

Touche’ Dr. Dobson, touche.’ If “marriage” really were destroyed, everyone currently married would automatically just get up and leave their spouses and children (even if they were perfectly comfortable right where they were).

So clearly, Orin, it’s not directly about a definition of a legal contract, no matter how many “rights” it may or may not confer, agreed?

In other words, if you’d just tell us that you believe that our love isn’t real, and that THAT’S why we don’t deserve to be married under the law, then it would make much more sense. We’d reject it of course, but it would at least make sense.

Then I can see how one might get caught up in the need to “protect” the symbol of Love -- marriage -- from those undeserving radicals who would cheapen it’s value as a symbol of the most important things in life, spouse and children.

It’s clear that the real issue is not about some symbol, it’s about what lies behind it, Love. All I’m asking is that you someday have the fortitude to admit that you think our Love is inferior to your own.
“those that are morally discerning know better.”

Now, that one you’ll have to explain.

From my Microsoft Word dictionary: Morality:

--ethics, morals, principles, standards, scruples, mores
--goodness, decency, probity (formal), honesty, integrity, honor, virtue, godliness, saintliness

--antonym: wickedness

How would you describe what you consider to be morality, Mr. Orin? If that is your real moniker.

My “moral discernment” is contingent upon my understanding of the Golden Rule. But I don’t consider myself “moral,” because I break that rule ALL THE TIME. I don’t deny it, and I certainly don’t defend it.

All in all, words mean nothing without a foundation of understanding.

What kind of “moral” were you speaking of?
“One can call a chair a table, even to the point of getting a judicial affirming such, and it will not diminish the nature of the thing redefined.”

You can call a _____ a marriage, even get others to agree, but it will never be a “real” marriage. I think we get that part of the argument, it’s the meaning behind it that we’re looking for.

I guess I’m saying, if it’s the truth, you need to admit it. Our Love is inferior to your own, and be willing to face the consequences.

That’s how I would want to be treated.

P.S. Get well soon Trish! (thumbs up and big smile)

April 04, 2009 7:29 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Nice post, Emproph. From what I’ve read here though I don’t think the fundies ever considered that gay people might actually love each other. As far as they’re concerned it’s all about sex.

I found the text of the court’s decision here:

There are a lot of interesting points in it, so I encourage folks to read it for themselves. I thought I’d paste some notable passages from it, but it’s hard to narrow it down to something poignant and precise – it’s 69 pages long. But here are a few good points:

“Therefore, with respect to the subject and purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, we find that the plaintiffs are similarly situated compared to heterosexual persons. Plaintiffs are in committed and loving relationships, many raising families, just like heterosexual couples. Moreover, official recognition of their status provides an institutional basis for defining their fundamental relational rights and responsibilities, just as it does for heterosexual couples. Society benefits, for example, from providing same sex couples a stable framework within which to raise their children and the power to make health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones, just as it does when that framework is provided for opposite-sex couples.

In short, for purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, which are designed to bring a sense of order to the legal relationships of committed couples and their families in myriad ways, plaintiffs are similarly situated in every important respect, but for their sexual orientation. As indicated above, this distinction cannot defeat the application of equal protection analysis through the application of the similarly situated concept because, under this circular approach, all distinctions would evade equal protection review. Therefore, with respect to the government’s purpose of “providing an institutional basis for defining the fundamental relational rights and responsibilities of persons,” same–sex couples are similarly situated to opposite–sex couples.”

And later:

“So, today, this court again faces an important issue that hinges on our definition of equal protection. This issue comes to us with the same importance as our landmark cases of the past. The same-sex-marriage debate waged in this case is part of a strong national dialogue centered on a fundamental, deep-seated, traditional institution that has excluded, by state action, a particular class of Iowans. This class of people asks a simple and direct question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Iowans from civil marriage?”

Yeah, and what about that line from our country’s Declaration of Independence that states “all men are created equal?”

Later we find an answer to Anon’s bogus claim that:
“Preventing others from marrying.”
(List of other items deleted)…
“No one's preventing any of this, improv.
You can do what anyone else does.
You're the one that wants to do different things than everyone else.
Oh dear, they won't let me make up my own definition of marriage and endorse it!”

The Iowa court states:

“It is true the marriage statute does not expressly prohibit gay and lesbian persons from marrying; it does, however, require that if they marry, it must be to someone of the opposite sex. Viewed in the complete context of marriage, including intimacy, civil marriage with a person of the opposite sex is as unappealing to a gay or lesbian person as civil marriage with a person of the same sex is to a heterosexual. *** Thus, the right of a gay or lesbian person under the marriage statute to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all. *** (Emphasis added.) Under such a law, gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship, as influenced by their sexual orientation, and gain the civil status and attendant benefits granted by the statute.

Instead, a gay or lesbian person can only gain the same rights under the statute as a heterosexual person by negating the very trait that defines gay and lesbian people as a class—their sexual orientation. In re Marriage Cases, 183 P.3d at 441. The benefit denied by the marriage statute—the status of civil marriage for same-sex couples—is so “closely correlated with being homosexual” as to make it apparent the law is targeted at gay and lesbian people as a class.”

And later…

“By purposefully placing civil marriage outside the realistic reach of gay and lesbian individuals, the ban on same-sex civil marriages differentiates implicitly on the basis of sexual orientation. See Kerrigan, 957 A.2d at 431 n.24; Conaway v. Deane, 932 A.2d 571, 605 (Md. 2007). Thus, we proceed to analyze the constitutionality of the statute based on sexual orientation discrimination.”

Have a nice day,


P.S. Happy Birthday Tish!!!
(My gift to you is that I won't sing you the birthday song!)

April 04, 2009 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Happy Birthday Tish!

Here's another passage I found to be helpful to understand this unanimous opinion:

In the final analysis, we give respect to the views of all Iowans on the issue of same-sex marriage—religious or otherwise—by giving respect to our constitutional principles. These principles require that the state recognize both opposite-sex and same-sex civil marriage. Religious doctrine and views contrary to this principle of law are unaffected, and people can continue to associate with the religion that best reflects their views. A religious denomination can still define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and a marriage ceremony performed by a minister, priest, rabbi, or other person ordained or designated as a leader of the person’s religious faith does not lose its meaning as a sacrament or other religious institution. The sanctity of all religious marriages celebrated in the future will have the same meaning as those celebrated in the past. The only difference is civil marriage will now take on a new meaning that reflects a more complete understanding of equal protection of the law. This result is what our constitution requires.

Religious marriage is not diminished in any way, civil marriage is simply added so that we may follow our founding father's expressed principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

April 04, 2009 1:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin, this decision means a huge amount to those couples that wish to be married, it is a profound change and improvement to their lives. And what does it change in your life? Nothing whatsoever. That you think its a fair trade-off to deprive gay couples of this life changing event to satisfy no need in your own life is one of the most profoundly selfish displays I can imagine. Shame on you Orin - you don't know the meaning of morality.

The whining and crying of bigots like you on this joyous day does however bring a little smile to my face. I'm glad you're upset - you deserve to feel bad.

April 04, 2009 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moving as quickly as he can to gut the USA and then divide its body parts amongst like-minded globalists, the USA’s Supreme Leader Barack Hussein Obama used the G-20 conference to begin his turnover of USA sovereignty to said internationalists and start the move toward a one-world government.

Obama has signed off on international legislation—the Financial Stability Board—that would regulate ALL firms, including those within the USA and places them under the responsibility of an international governmental agency.

Author and columnist Dick Morris noted “literally from April 2nd of this year, that is, today, it’s a whole new world of financial regulation in which, essentially, ALL of the U.S. regulatory bodies and ALL U.S. companies are put under international regulation, international supervision. It really amounts to a global economic government.”

Called the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the pending international body’s legislation—which will of course override the US Constitution—states: “We agree to a framework of internationally agreed upon high standards. We will set up a financial stability board with a strengthened mandate to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets”—including hedge funds, all—anything that they decide is important to the system—to endorse and implement tough new principles on paying (ph) compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of ALL firms.”

The international community will now be able to determine the salaries and compensation of us all.

During this same conference, Obama officially announced the reduction in US nuclear weaponry, so that Iran will be more amenable to sitting down to talk with the US.

In other words, he’s again announced to the world that the USA is no longer a threat to anyone—let alone terrorists.

Never before in our soon to be short-lived history has the United States of America had this sort of a leader who has now announced—in no uncertain terms—that it is his plan and duty to dismantle and destroy the country he represents.

He, his administration members and his Congress (with extraordinary assistance from most notably Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd and their friends) have devastated the US economy, are in the process of eliminating the First and Second Amendments—and the entire US Constitution—have ended free enterprise, established his national youth indoctrination—if not police—force (via the GIVE—Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education—Act) and have begun the process of taking over virtually all private companies.

In not yet 100 days, Obama and Company have almost destroyed this country.

Under this constant and increasing onslaught and devastation from within—by our “leaders”—can the USA stand much longer?

Seriously, can it?

April 04, 2009 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Oh good god. What extremist "news organization" was that from?


April 04, 2009 5:12 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

It is fascinating that now that we have come out of eight years that will probably be known in history as a dictatorship, the nuts have decided that President Obama is part of a conspiracy to overthrow our free society. I guess that's just how it will be, they have to blame somebody for their problems.

The Financial Stability Board was originally set up in 1999. The Guardian explains what it is and what it will do in the article I just linked, if you're interested.


April 04, 2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I googled it: it's from a Christian fundamentalist, biblical literalist website, founded in support of Alan Keyes, called RenewAmerica, which has as one of its major platforms opposition to the separation of church and state.

I think you're right Jim, when you say there is a reason to allow all views on this blog, unless they are personally insulting or threatening. If it weren't for anonymous, I would never even have imagined that stuff like this existed.

I'm amazed.

April 04, 2009 5:24 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I'm with you, Robert, I never would have imagined that anybody believed those kinds of things.


April 04, 2009 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just another go around in the GOP spin cycle, trying to ratchet up some negatives for Obama about "the new world order" because the President we elected to bring about change still has approval ratings above 60%.

April 04, 2009 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Ex-Klan Supporter Seeks Forgiveness
Facing His Mortality, Former Klan Supporter Wants to 'Get to Heaven'

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 5) - Elwin Hope Wilson leans back in his recliner, a sad, sickly man haunted by time.

Antique clocks, at least a hundred of them, fill his neat ranch home on Tillman Street. Grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoos and Westministers, all ticking, chiming and clanging in an hourly cacophony that measures the passing days.

Why clocks? his wife Judy has often asked during their 49 years together.
He shrugs and offers no answer.

Wilson doesn't have answers for much of how he has lived his life — not for all the black people he beat up, not for all the venom he spewed, not for all the time wasted in hate.

Now 72 and ailing, his body swollen by diabetes, his eyes degenerating, Wilson is spending as many hours pondering his past as he is his mortality.

The former Ku Klux Klan supporter says he wants to atone for the cross burnings on Hollis Lake Road. He wants to apologize for hanging a black doll in a noose at the end of his drive, for flinging cantaloupes at black men walking down Main Street, for hurling a jack handle at the black kid jiggling the soda machine in his father's service station, for brutally beating a 21-year-old seminary student at the bus station in 1961.

In the final chapter of his life, Wilson is seeking forgiveness. The burly clock collector wants to be saved before he hears his last chime.

And so Wilson has spent recent months apologizing to "the people I had trouble with." He has embraced black men his own age, at the same lunch counter where once they were denied service and hauled off to jail as mobs of white youths, Wilson among them, threw insults and eggs and fists.

Wilson has carried his apology into black churches where he has unburdened it in prayer.

And he has taken it to Washington, to the office of Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta, the civil rights leader whose face Wilson smashed at the Greyhound bus station during the famed Freedom Rides 48 years ago.

The apologies have won headlines and praise. Letters have poured in, lauding Wilson's courage. Strangers, black and white, have hailed him as a hero.

But Wilson doesn't feel like a hero. He feels confused. He cannot fully answer the lingering questions, the doubts. Where did all the hate come from? And where did it go?

This inspirational story continues at AOL News for those who care to read it.

I hope all the Anonymouses who revel in their hatred for LGBT folks and liberals here on Vigilance can someday overcome and make amends for their hatred like Mr. Wilson is.

April 06, 2009 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy committed violent acts against people based on the color of their skin.

The anons have argued against special protection and advocacy for a class of people based on their desires and actions. Against liberals, they have disagreed. Against neither have they committed or advocated any violence.

To assess any type of equivalency between this epitomizes the moral confusion of crazy old bats in homes.

April 06, 2009 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

To assess any type of equivalency between this epitomizes the moral confusion of crazy old bats in homes.

That's great barryo. Keep your hatred and tell us again how hatred for blacks differs from hatred for LGBT people and hatred for liberals.

Liberals, conservatives, whites, blacks, and straight folks share marriage equality, and eventually LGBT folks will too.

I will hang onto my hope one day you'll overcome and seek forgiveness for your hatred.

April 06, 2009 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Liberals, conservatives, whites, blacks, and straight folks share marriage equality, and eventually LGBT folks will too."

More from the crazy old bat belfry.

Thanks for the laugh, Aunt Harriet.

LBTG people have the same opportunity to marry lawfully as everyone else.

That we don't change the law to indulge their illicit desires doesn't amount to inequality.

They are equally required to abide by the law.

April 06, 2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

We don't have the same opportunity to marry lawfully yet, anonymous.

But we are working on it.

April 06, 2009 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure you do

marry any woman you want

you simply want to turn the unlawful into lawful

April 06, 2009 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all religions bar same-sex marriage. We just want the same religious freedom everyone else has.

April 06, 2009 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, symbol of the hypocritical Obama administration, was on display last month when he let Congress kill a District of Columbia voucher program even as he was sitting on evidence of its success.

President Obama's stimulus is sending some $100 billion to the nation's school districts. What will he demand in return?

The Obo administration sat on a performance review of the D.C. voucher program while Congress debated its future in March.

The latest annual evaluation was finally released Friday, and it shows measurable academic gains.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program provides $7,500 vouchers to 1,700 low-income families in D.C. to send their children to private schools.

Ninety-nine percent of the children are black or Hispanic, and there are more than four applicants for each scholarship.

The 2008 report demonstrated progress among certain subgroups of children but not everyone.

This year's report shows statistically significant academic gains for the entire voucher-receiving population.

Children attending private schools with the aid of the scholarships are reading nearly a half-grade ahead of their peers who did not receive vouchers.

Voucher recipients are doing no better in math but they're doing no worse.

Which means that no voucher participant is in worse academic shape than before, and many students are much better off.

"There are transition difficulties, a culture shock upon entering a school where you're expected to pay attention, learn, do homework," says Jay Greene, an education scholar at the Manhattan Institute. "But these results fit a pattern that we've seen in other evaluations of vouchers. Benefits compound over time."

It's bad enough that Democrats are killing a program that parents love and is closing the achievement gap between poor minorities and whites.

But as scandalous is that the Education Department almost certainly knew the results of this evaluation for months.

Voucher recipients were tested last spring.

The scores were analyzed in the late summer and early fall, and in November preliminary results were presented to a team of advisers who work with the Education Department to produce the annual evaluation.

Since Education officials are intimately involved in this process, they had to know what was in this evaluation even as Democrats passed (and Mr. Obama signed) language that ends the program after next year.

Opponents of school choice for poor children have long claimed they'd support vouchers if there was evidence that they work.

While running for President last year, Mr. Obama told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that if he saw more proof that they were successful, he would "not allow my predisposition to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn . . . You do what works for the kids."

Except, apparently, when what works is opposed by unions.

Mr. Duncan's office spurned our repeated calls and emails asking what and when he and his aides knew about these results.

We do know the Administration prohibited anyone involved with the evaluation from discussing it publicly.

You'd think we were talking about nuclear secrets, not about a taxpayer-funded pilot program.

A reasonable conclusion is that Mr. Duncan's department didn't want proof of voucher success to interfere with Senator Dick Durbin's campaign to kill vouchers at the behest of the teachers unions.

The decision to let 1,700 poor kids get tossed from private schools is a moral disgrace.

It also exposes the ugly politics that lies beneath union and liberal efforts across the country to undermine mayoral control, charter schools, vouchers or any reform that threatens their monopoly over public education dollars and jobs.

The Sheldon Silver-Dick Durbin Democrats aren't worried that school choice doesn't work.

They're worried that it does, and if Messrs. Obama and Duncan want to succeed as reformers they need to say so consistently.

April 06, 2009 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Obama is helping the image of the USA, something that will take a lot of work to fix since Bush only wanted to work unilaterally, isolating us from our much-needed allies.

# Survey says 79 percent think President Obama has helped foster positive U.S. image
# Obama wrapping up first overseas trip as U.S. president
# CNN polling chief: Obama seems to have made good impression on world stage
# Forty-five percent say Obama accomplished fair amount on trip
# Next Article in Politics »

Check it out:

April 06, 2009 8:54 PM  
Anonymous oh-bomb-a said...

sure, they love him

he surrendered U.S. sovereignty, signing agreements which make us obligated to follow laws none us will have a chance to vote on

he's going to eliminate our nuclear arsenal, hoping that will make North Korea so delighted they'll stop working on nukes too

in the G-20, he caved to the other leaders the same way he caves to Congress at the first sign of resistance

why wouldn't they love him?

April 06, 2009 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Who would think Iowa would be more progressive than Maryland?

Hey, current crazy anon- Better get those big buckets of ready to eat meals from costco and start living underground now.

April 06, 2009 10:42 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Priya Lynn writes,

I'm glad you're upset - you deserve to feel bad.

You know how I feel? Wow, your powers of observation do not serve you well.

While I may feel many things, bad is not one of them. Now I do things from time to time that make me feel bad...a harsh word spoken when comfort was sought, getting angry over a slight, or even entertaining an impure thought (you know, like Jimmy Carter once confessed).

Nor am I upset, though I guess I should be, though I do not see how that helps, which would explain why I try not to get upset about such news.

So, in addition to sad, I guess I am resigned...resigned to the fact that an ever growing mass of my fellow citizens are tossing aside, like last week's trash, what has sustained our civilization. What is depressing about this loss is that it comes in the "heartland" where people's connection to the land, to agriculture, should teach them that certain ways of living are better than others...that it is better to plant seeds in rich soil, not sterile soil.

And not to worry...the consequences for this fecklessness will likely not come from God in any sort of divine retribution. It will come as naturally as the Civil War followed slavery.

Emproph writes,

All in all, words mean nothing without a foundation of understanding.

Actually words do have a certain fixed meaning for those of us that understand that our feelings are not, no should they be, the measure of all things.

I do understand that the love of two men or two women can be every bit as real, but that does not mean that what is best for the Common Good ought to be violated.

Ok, I will amend and request removal of the modifier morally and simply state,

“those that are discerning know better.”

(I guess less is really more).

April 07, 2009 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

It will come as naturally as the Civil War followed slavery.

And as naturally as eight Civil Rights Acts followed the Civil War, yet blacks still suffer from discriminatory treatment and hate crimes here in America. How many Civil Rights Acts do you think it will take to get people like you to understand that allowing LGBT people to settle down and marry the person they love is so much better for society than forcing them into closets.

April 07, 2009 7:58 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 07, 2009 3:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 07, 2009 3:24 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 07, 2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin said "While I may feel many things, bad is not one of them...Nor am I upset...So, in addition to sad, I guess I am resigned....What is depressing about this loss is..."

LOL, that's a good one Orin - you don't feel bad, you don't feel upset, you feel sad and depresssed. Yeah right, not the same thing at all - feeling bad and upset aren't remotely synonymous with feeling sad and depressed. LOL.

I know you better than you know yourself. Deep down inside you know your stand is immoral and you keep that emotion strangeled with a clenched fist so you can try to avoid acknowledging your wrong-doing. There's cognitive disonnance going on in your brain, you believe contradictory things and your attempting to deal with it by compartmentalizing your thoughts - you tell yourself you don't feel upset or bad but admit you are sad and depressed. You try to claim the bans on gay marriage really aren't bans on gays getting married, they're merely "affirming opposite sex marriage - you have trouble dealing with the fact that you're hurting gay couples and keeping them apart. It won't work, eventually you're going to have to face your inner conflict and repent of the evil you're promoting.

Orin said "people's connection to the land, to agriculture, should teach them that certain ways of living are better than others...that it is better to plant seeds in rich soil, not sterile soil...I do understand that the love of two men or two women can be every bit as real"

There's that cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization again. Superficially you don't, as Emproph said "believe our love is real" but deep down inside where you hide from what you know is right you know your superficial beliefs are evil.

Orin said "I do understand that the love of two men or two women can be every bit as real, but that does not mean that what is best for the Common Good ought to be violated.".

Its you and yours who've violated what's best for the common good. What's best for the common good is to treat all equally and fairly. Loving gay couples support and help each other, thus making them more productive citizens and benefitting the society they live in and despite your hyperbole about "planting seeds in rich, not sterile soil" many same sex couples have children. For these reasons its only right and good that society acknowledge these relationships as marriage. We know that for all your disingenous talk about marriage being for "children" as far as you're concerned the children of same-sex couples deserve to be squashed under the heel of your boot.

I'm glad you're sad and depressed, you deserve some pain for the pain you've caused LGBTS. Of course the two types of pain are in no way comparable. Yours could hardly be more trivial compared to the massive pain you've caused those you've kept apart. That you consider inflicting this on them to spare you a trivial "depression" once again demonstrates an astounding level of selfishness. May your decendants never know the hateful position you've taken that they might be spared the shame of being related to you.

April 07, 2009 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like Priya the Ditzo Comment Deleter

April 07, 2009 10:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh shut up.

April 09, 2009 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"looks like Priya the Ditzo Comment Deleter"

April 09, 2009 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh brother, barryo.

Oh brother, barryo.

I've got to say I agree with Priya Lynn. It takes a great deal of cognitive dissonance to believe "the love of two men or two women can be every bit as real" but to also believe that people who share such love should not be allowed to settle down and marry one another.

This is America where we hold dear our founding fathers' principles that all men are created equal and have the same unalienable right to pursue happiness.

April 09, 2009 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they were talking about the right to pursuit not the right to a guaranteed outcome

you got hand it to the crazy old bat:

at least she's not a ditzo comment deleter

April 09, 2009 2:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Actually Bad anonymous I find it hilarious that you've been reduced to complaining that I deleted some comments. It emphasizes your intellectually poverty and childishness. By all means keep up the epic fail at saying anything of substance.

April 09, 2009 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

they were talking about the right to pursuit not the right to a guaranteed outcome

What guarantee is there that ANY marriage will remain happy, barryo? Check out the US **heterosexual divorce rate** and you will discover that there are plenty of unhappy marriages that fall apart. Marriage doesn't mean happiness, it's just a route people use to try to reach it. Every American deserves access to that route. Every American has the right to try to obtain happiness by marrying the person they love.

April 09, 2009 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, they can call themselves married but there's no right to have the government, which is, essentially the rest of us, endorse it

marriage, which is by definition heterosexual, is preferenced for the good of society

that recognition is not a right

any statement by a founding father that homosexuality is a right, Bea?

btw, there's no proof that pursuing homosexuality is the equivalent of pursuing happiness

homosexuals have a higher rate of depression and suicide

April 09, 2009 5:17 PM  
Anonymous ha-ha said...

that's right

there's no proof homosexuality makes one happy

April 09, 2009 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's ample proof trying to get gays to live in the closet causes misery and worse.

Vanderbilt conference examines reparative therapy

Gene TeSelle, Witherspoon Issues Analyst

When Focus on the Family announced a February 7 conference on therapies that promise to cure homosexuality, to be held in Nashville at the Two Rivers Baptist Church, a mega-church near Opryland, it seemed an opportune time to examine the issue as a whole. A different conference was held on the same day, sponsored by Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, and the Nashville chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. By various counts there were between 150 and 200 in attendance.

Chris Sanders of the Divinity School welcomed the group, commenting that the subject is an issue not only in "civil society" but in "public policy," entering into electoral races, legislative battles, and lawsuits.

Analyzing the religious context of reorientation therapies, Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament and director of the Carpenter Center, suggested that the debate is not only about what the Bible says but about the authority of the Bible, for it is used in political, legislative, and legal argumentation as well as religious discourse.

Mark Jordan, a Catholic professor and author of The Invention of Sodom in Christian Theology and other books, recalled an episode in Boston during which gay activist Charley Shively read from Leviticus and then burned the Bible, prompting other gays to protest, telling how the Bible had comforted and encouraged them. Jordan called reparative therapy "deeply anti-Christian," "theologically incoherent," and "a pop version of psychotherapy." By setting up a moral norm that contradicts human flourishing, it makes people think that the way they are is offensive to God. If homosexuality has negative effects, he said, these are largely created by social and religious persecution with its self-fulfilling expectations of unhappiness and destructive behavior.

James Hudnut-Beumler, dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and a historian of American religion, called the therapy movement the product of a religious culture that has obscured the central message of the Bible. It grows, he said, out of the 1950s image of the family, which became "a stand-in for all other aspects of morality." The family ideal was symbolized by Pat Boone, depicted in the "Ozzie and Harriet" series, and encouraged by Billy Graham's over-simplified "conversion model" of the Christian life. It is a cultural model that lays down clear gender roles; those who do not fit are regarded as abnormal, and they themselves often internalize the same judgment.

Daniel Helminiak of the University of West Georgia, a psychotherapist, theologian, and author of What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, surveyed the scientific literature on reparative therapy (he suggested the more neutral term "reorientation therapy," and several other participants adopted this terminology).

Helminiak noted the difficulties of designing appropriate research projects C the need to differentiate between gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender roles; the statistical skewing that occurs when subjects are gathered through self-selection; and the unreliability of memories and self-evaluations if they are not tested against journals and other kinds of documentation. Studies of males, furthermore, far outnumber those of females, probably because male homosexuality is viewed as more of a cultural and psychological threat, and because women tend to be more comfortable with diverse sexual expression. There are important questions about who finances these studies. And the public is in serious need of background information and careful analysis, while the media too often take the course of simply printing the latest press releases.

One part of the literature, Helminiak noted, tries to find causes for same-sex orientation. Studies of twins and siblings tend to indicate that "genetic sharing" is a factor; but the highest correlation, in the case of identical twins, is only about 50 percent. Treatment with male and female hormones tends only to intensify same-sex behavior. Close examination of family experience indicates no significant role for bad parental relationships, unpleasant heterosexual experiences, early homosexual seduction, or labeling as "gay" or "lesbian"; sexual orientation seems to be set before adolescence, and biological bases are the most likely explanation.

More to the purposes of the conference, Helminiak examined studies of reorientation therapy. Change is usually claimed after a period of 2 to 5 years or even longer. In the Spitzer study (2003), about two-thirds of people who claimed to have changed reported good heterosexual functioning. A parallel study by Shildo and Schroeder (2003), however, found that the "honeymoon" stage is often followed by struggle and lapse, with 10 percent recovering a "guiltless" gay identity and 77 percent an "injured" gay identity; about 4 percent were confident about a shift to heterosexuality, and many of these were ex-gay counselors or other persons in paid positions. Doubt has been cast on this kind of self-report, Helminiak said, in the wake of highly publicized lapses like those of John Paulk of Exodus International; Michael Busse and Gary Cooper, founders of the same organization; and David Caliguiri of Free Indeed, who reported that many leaders were actually pairing up with each other in hotel rooms.

Carlton Cornett, a Nashville social worker and therapist, emphasized that attempts to change sexual orientation often increase shame and undermine self-esteem. He noted the judgment of a committee of the National Association of Social Workers that many attempts at conversion therapy could more accurately be called "brainwashing, shaming, or coercion" C methods that violate professional ethics.

Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight, told about his experiences when he went under cover and joined reparative therapy groups. He discovered the theme for his first chapter, he said, when he was called to Mr. P's, a gay bar in Washington, DC, where a major leader of Exodus International was said to be "hitting on" other men. Besen accused major ex-gay and therapy organizations of being unconcerned about truth, covering up lapses and continuing their same propaganda. Books, programs, and videotapes are marketed by exploiting the fears of gays and especially their anxious parents.

Too often, Besen said, the "therapy" makes people feel scared and unhappy about the way they are and encourages them to "bear false witness to gain favor from God." Insofar as they succeed, he said, they do it through disciplines of avoidance and distraction, using rituals that amount to quackery. Often the result is despair, followed by suicide or by "binge behavior" when they return to same-sex activity. They are "actors playing a role," he said, bringing others into their play until they can no longer pretend.

Putting the therapy movement in political perspective, Besen said that it is manipulated by well-funded conservative organizations that spend their own money, not on reparative therapy (which they don't really care about) but on political crusades that promote laws banning same-sex behavior, deny the need for civil rights legislation, and challenge in court any laws or decisions that question their ideology.

April 12, 2009 5:50 PM  

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