GAYS = 21st century SLAVES???
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I couldn't believe my ears on my way to work this morning.

I had my radio tuned to our local country music station. The commentator was discussing the situation in California where the legal right of gays and lesbians to marry was taken away by the electorate. Apparently a whole bunch of homosexual couples in the Golden State have already tied the knot, and the big question now is this:

Are those marriages performed when such vows were legal still valid now that Gays are officially designated as second-class citizens by the California Constitution?

According to the Sage of the Local Airwaves, they aren't for the following reason:

"When slavery was abolished after the Civil War, a slave owner couldn't keep his slaves just because he owned them before it became illegal."

Help me out here, folks.
Does that statement take us back to the days before the Emancipation Proclamation?
Or does this statement accurately reflect the future of a nation that just elected a President named Barack Hussein Obama?

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/6/2008).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
That's really not where I thought this thread was headed.

Too much South Park I guess.
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Posted by Wilbur Cain (+152) 14 years ago
I don't know. Ask ABC.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Whether the marriages that occurred before Prop 8 was approved is actually a good question. I suspect that there will be a lawsuit to settle that question. But using the slavery comparison is just goofy.

gvc's wife
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I dunno Mrs. GVC. I agree its a valid legal question, but in the words of the immortal Mae West: "Good has nuthin' to do with it."

As for the word "goofy" - that's debateable, too. The Smothers Brothers were 'goofy'. My computer sometimes acts 'goofy'. But using a slavery analogy to argue FOR a discriminatory law strikes me as the apex of irony. 'F'n goofy' might fit, though.
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Posted by Kacey (+3161) 14 years ago
"With many gay newlyweds worried about what the amendment does to their vows, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said he believes those marriages are still valid. But he is also preparing to defend that position in court."
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+614) 14 years ago
Proposition K is an offense to any person of conscience, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which reads:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.

It won't stand. And get this: Proposition K amends the California Constitution with a simple majority (51%) vote, whereas a two-thirds majority (66.6%) vote is required to raise property taxes.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Oh, I forgot to apologize to Rick for not making the subject matter of this thread more titalating. Sorry for getting your hopes up there, Pal. If I knew how to paste photos into these threads, I'd plaster a pic of the Madonna/Britney Spears liplock on here for ya. Maybe next time...
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
But using the slavery comparison is just goofy.

GVC's wife - I disagree. I believe the comparison is very apt, given the fact that the rights of a minority have been decided by the majority.

There is no reason why consenting adults shouldn't be able to marry one another. None.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1286) 14 years ago
Brian, your are right on the money. Why does the electorate even have the right to vote on what a couple of people do in a free society. Someone once said they have as much right as the rest of us to be miserable, let them marry. I was very surprised with this vote.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
Another way to look at the situation is to ask this question:

Is it right to force two people to marry each other?

If the answer to that question is no - and I believe an overwhelming majority of people would agree that it is - then one's answer to the question of whether or not it's right to deny marriage to consenting adults should also be no.

It really is that simple.
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+614) 14 years ago
Proposition 8, rather than "K". My mistake. Sorry for the confusion.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Brian - I agree with what you say, but your disagreement with Kacey's comment is based on a false understanding of the issue. If you read this thread from the beginning, you'll see that the injustice/irony that Kacey and I are talking about is that the radio talkingbutt was using the slavery analogy to JUSTIFY discrimation rather than to expose it. That's the idiocy we were pointing out, so please don't get the wrong idea.

The "why shouldn't gays be as miserable as the rest of us" is just one of several gems of wisdom uttered by Kinky Friedman, an author, musician, and proud "Texas Jewboy" (self-described), during his run for governor of the Lone Star State in 2006.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
Steve - my post was in response to (Mrs.) GVC's post. Her comment about the comparison to slavery being goofy didn't specify whether she was addressing the title of the thread or the text of your post.

Without a clarification from (Mrs.) GVC herself, I don't see any reason why she couldn't have been writing about the title of the thread, too.

I wasn't trying to insinuate that (Mrs.) GVC and I (or you and I) are/were in disagreement. I realize we're of a like mind in regard to this issue. Either way, I think my point is valid.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 14 years ago
What is really ironic is that gay marriage is pushed as a "civil rights issue" and yet it was largely minority groups in CA responsible for Prop 8's passage.

" the results for the second most expensive campaign in the country after the presidency itself are not yet official. According to the No on 8 campaign, as many as 3 to 4 million absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, and gay activists are rightly refusing to concede until they are. But there is little reason to expect that those votes will tip the scales. Other numbers paint an even grimmer picture. If exit polls are to be believed, some 70 percent of African-Americans voted Yes on 8, as did 53 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Asians; each of these demographics went heavily for Obama; blacks by a 94-to-6 margin. Los Angeles County, heavily minority, went 50-50 on Prop 8. These results have shocked gay activists, who knew from earlier polls, for example, that black voters favored Prop 8, but they were seeing much smaller margins, closer to 50 percent."
http://www.alternet.org/r...e_ban_won/
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Posted by ABC (+383) 14 years ago
IMHO, this proposition passing is a good thing.

Why? Because it is illegal under the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the United States of America. You can't just take rights away from people.

Now, this law will be appealed until it finally reaches the Supreme Court of the United States. Of course such appeals will take years to work their way to that court. By that time, a few new, socially liberal judges will have been appointed by President Barack Hussein Obama. They will of course deam it illegal, thus freeing up gay marriage in many states at once and for all.

It was bound to happen, so I'm glad California is once again pushing back the envelope of intolerance, even if it appears on face value to be quite the opposite.

ABC
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12372) 14 years ago
Leave us not forget that interracial marriage i.e. the marriage of our President-elect's parents--was illegal in many states until 1967!!!!! The same arguments were used against interracial marriage are being used against gay marriage and are every bit as valid.

People need to remember that the legal aspects of marriage and the religious aspects of marriage are two completely different things. No church has to perform a marriage for persons they feel don't meet their standards now and that will not change so religion should not be an issue. LEGAL rights should be.

I wish we had the French system. Yes, you heard me correctly. The French system has a civil ceremony that counts for the legal aspects. Church ceremonies are strictly religious and have no legal standing.

For that matter, don't get me started on wasting money on fancy weddings. . .

Anyway, I like to think that in my lifetime, just as banning interracial marriage is now seen as an extremist and outdated proposition, banning gay marriage will be seen that way, too.

Did that sentence make sense? You get my drift, anyway.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
Very well said, ABC and Amorette. Even though there may be a positive outcome to this whole issue, it will remain a sad commentary on people's inability to mind their own business.

Richard - (overwhelmingly Catholic) Latino and (predominantly Evangelical) African-American support of Prop 8 really isn't all that surprising.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Matt W (+10) 14 years ago
Equal Protection has not yet been found to apply to sexual orientation. The ongoing debate as to whether or not sexual orientation is a choice or genetically determined will eventually lead to determining whether or not homosexuals will recieve protected status under the Equal Protection Clause. If science proves it to be genetically predetermined, the rights associated with the 14th amendment will surely apply. However, if there is any degree of choice involved the Equal Protection Clause will not extend to this class. The 14th Amendment was meant to protect classes of people that had no control over their situation. One can't choose his or her race or gender. I would never suggest sexual orientation is a choie, but until it can be proven that it is in fact genetically predetermined the 14th Amendment does not apply.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Sorry, Brian. All I meant was that using the slavery comparison to justify dissolving pre-Proposition 8 marriages didn't make any logical sense. There are lots of times previous conditions are grandfathered in when a new law is passed. Guess my writing skills need a little brushing up.


Hey Amorette, at least in Montana there doesn't have to be a ceremony of any kind, much less a religious one. The marriage can be either solemnized by an approved official or done by written declaration. Religious leaders can do the solemnization which seems to mean they just need to sign the marriage license but there are lots of officials allowed to do it.

gvc's wife

[This message has been edited by GVC (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by ABC (+383) 14 years ago
>>until it can be proven that it is in fact genetically predetermined the 14th Amendment does not apply.<<

Could you please provide a legal reference for this?


ABC
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 14 years ago
You know Matt, if you talk solely on "making a choice", just because someone "choses" to be gay (in your example) doesn't mean that they should be discriminated against.

A person who "choses" to say extremely inflamitory and discusting things IN PUBLIC is protected by the first amendment. Why should we discriminate against people who chose to do things IN PRIVATE?

It all comes down to one person believing that their views should be hoisted on the rest.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
ABC - Whether one's sexual orientation is by birth or by choice, it shouldn't matter. They're adults. They're not hurting anyone. They're not imposing their personal beliefs on anyone else.

They're being denied rights afforded to other people whose only difference is sexual orientation.

Imagine that - not hurting anyone and not imposing prejudices via force of law ...

On a different note, can you imagine the paradox evangelicals would face if it were scientifically (not that science really matters to them) proven that homosexuality was genetically predetermined? I would think that their opinion of abortion might change.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Abraham Lincoln - "The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court . . . the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

MC.com Lefties - [i]"Yeay, Eminent Tribunal! Rule over us all! (so long as you're liberal)"
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I received the following from a friend here in Miles City. I'm posting it here in its entirety with one exception - I have removed the identifying details to allow her the anonymity she desires and is entitled to. However, I think she states a very clear and simple ethos for our society:

Steve, I read your post on the California gay issue. ... I [once] worked with two men who were gay and consequently my friends. One day I went to work early ... and one of the guys was sitting alone and I joined him. After 30 minutes he had to go join a group of men seated at a very long table .... I asked him what they were here for. He said, "I trust you ..., so I'm going to tell you what we are doing. We are here for a Bible study, we are all gay and we are studying the Bible to see what God has in mind for us." My husband's family is born again Christians and they believe they are here on earth to judge people. They told my husband and me that Catholics, Lutherans and gays were going to burn in hell. We, ...., became white sheep in a family of black sheep. I have no time for intolerance. I have no time for Christians who don't live their lives as good examples of how God would like all of us to be. I believe if I have to tell you I am Christian, am I? You should be able to know I am a Christian by my deeds, by my example I set. I have a couple gay friends here in Miles City . We have personal talks about our relationships; one in particular seems to get his feelings hurt often by his friends, .... We are not different from one another; we share the same thoughts and feelings and emotions. We are individuals living on the playground (Earth) God has provided for his children, we are all God's children.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1882) 14 years ago
Rick. I'm pretty sure you don't understand what in the hell you just posted.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
Rick - How is an adult's choice of who he or she chooses to marry a "vital question affecting the whole people?"

Seems to me this question affects two people at a time.

It also seems to me that if the registered voters of Georgia were to have voted in 1860 on whether or not slavery should be allowed ... well, you know what the outcome would be.
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Posted by Matt W (+10) 14 years ago
ABC and Cory -

Here are the legal references for the post I made earlier. First and foremost the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution has been interpretted in too many cases to mention. The major landmark decisions include Brown v. Board, Loving v. Virginia, Washington v. Davis, Bolling v. Sharpe and most recently Grutter v. Bollinger. Cases more on point for this discussion include Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas. Each of those cases centers around homosexual discrimination. The Supreme Court refused to extend suspect class status to homosexuals in both of those decisions.

The purpose of the 14th Amendment is to protect individuals who have no control over the circumstances they've been placed in. If one day science does in fact prove genetic predetermination I believe the Supreme Court will take action and extend suspect class status to homosexuals.

My postings should not be thought of as reflective on my personal opinion. I am just trying to provide this forum with the proper constitutional law precedent regarding this matter. I am more than willing to answer any other questions one may have.

[This message has been edited by Matt W (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by ABC (+383) 14 years ago
You still didn't answer my question. Which case specifically states that it must be genetically encoded in our DNA for the 14th Amendment to apply?

ABC
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Posted by Matt W (+10) 14 years ago
Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas both refuse to apply suspect class status to homosexuals. Does it say in either one of the opinions that this refusal is because of the lack of scientific data to suggest genetic predetermination? Absolutely not.

However basic legal reasoning and an understanding of 14th Amendment jurisprudence clearly shows that the Supreme Court is focussed on protecting individuals from discrimination based on circumstances they have no control over. This is the same reason the Supreme Court has yet to apply suspect class status to the poor.

If you look at the classes of people the 14th Amendment gives the most protection to you clearly see a pattern of physical traits that are genetically controlled. Race and gender are at the top of this list. If it is determined that sexual orientation is also controlled genetically it would fall under the same umbrella as race and gender.

I hope this clears things up. There is a clear difference between classes based on uncontrollable science and classes based merely on lifestyle choice. Would you be willing to say that the 14th Amendment applies to vegetarians and that government sponsored school lunch programs are in violtion of the 14th Amendment if they don't offer an equal number of vegetarian meals as traditional meals? I would hope not, because being a vegatarian is a lifestyle choice.

I am not saying sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice. However there are those in the world that believe it is. Until that debate is resolved one way or another this issue won't progess in the courts.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Brian, I think you're trying to read a little too much historic context from Abe's quote.

We're talking about being married here, not about being a slave. And yes, despite what many of the guys in the room might say, there is a (subtle ) difference.

But I could quote many others on the dangers of Judicial Supremacy. Jefferson was probably the most hostile to the idea. I definitely don't want to get into the merits or no of the "right" to marry again.

Just wanted to say that those who so eagerly look to the courts to circumvent the law as written by the people are slowly digging their own graves. The fact that they're now calling for Constitutions themselves (as in CA) to be circumvented by Judicial Activism is a blaring alarm telling us how close we're getting to letting them knock over the whole apple cart.

If they believe in their cause, then their argument should be with the people around them and their representatives. Believe me, progressive-types take those victories when they can get them. But then every time they lose, they cry foul, and go to the courts to change the rules. It's getting to where the rules of the game don't mean anything anymore. Very dangerous.

There is a reason these decisions were intended to rest with the people and their representatives. It's not perfect. But there's no better alternative.

The most interesting part though about Prop 8 in CA is the irony. Through quotas, preferences, and hate crime legislation, progressives have taught many minorities that "equal protection" really means some are "equaller" than others. Now they've taken that lesson, and thrown that logic right back in the face it came from.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Rick: You stated progressive-types take those victories when they can get them. But then every time they lose, they cry foul, and go to the courts to change the rules.

This may be asking for you to use too much imagination and creativity, because I doubt as a white, heterosexual male, you've ever been truly discriminated against. But, imagine for a second that some of the most basic human needs - for companionship, love, and a sense of belonging - in short, for a sense of self-worth - are denied to you by the tyranny of the majority for no other reason than "we've always done it that way."

Then imagine the shackles that keep you from meeting those basic human needs are removed.

Now, imagine that you are once again bound in those shackles. The shackles hurt even more now because you've felt what it is like to be free of them.

If you aren't filled with a sense of outrage yet, then picture the above scenario only instead of you, place the person you love most in that situation.

NOW - are you going to sit back and just say, well, lost that round. I guess we'll wait another 20/30/40 years until society in general catches up?

Or are you going to cry foul and look to the third arm of our government that was created specifically for the purpose of leveling the playing field when the majority unduly flexes its muscles?

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 14 years ago
I believe your theory to be flawed at it's base. Your statement (I'm not going to call it your belief right now) still assumes that a group of people don't deserve the same as the whole of people.

Your theory seems to say that until everyone is on the same page and believe the same way, the court shouldn't intervene and set a standard? Because if that were the case, I have a seat at the back of the bus for President-Elect Obama.

Just because some people (no matter the size of the group) believe one way does not mean that it does not deserve the direction of the high court.

While I believe that a veggie guy wanting to sue because he is not getting offered veggies in a government supported meal is totally stupid, I can see the point. Thankfully, school lunches are well-rounded and include something from that food group. If you don't like the hot dog, don't eat it. There are still other things offered to you. Your description of being gay sounds like you are saying "If you want to get married, don't be gay!"

If a gay person wants someone to be involved with decisions in their lives if they were to become ill, that is their choice. The government shouldn't have the power to tell them otherwise. However, that's just the way it is. Gays don't have other things offered to them to choose from like the veggie guy. They are just SOL.

You wrote: "However basic legal reasoning and an understanding of 14th Amendment jurisprudence clearly shows that the Supreme Court is focused on protecting individuals from discrimination based on circumstances they have no control over. This is the same reason the Supreme Court has yet to apply suspect class status to the poor.

How about if a poor person was told that they couldn't marry because both parties were poor? How about if that poor person was told that they couldn't rent an apartment because they are poor, even though the poor man could afford it? How about if the poor person's spouse was told that she couldn't be involved with medical decisions while the poor man is dying because he can not afford 'good' care and he was getting what he gets?

I mean, come on, find one VALID area, not based on someone's bias, that is a good reason to keep a gay person from having the same things straight people are entitled to.... I dare you and I will bet large sums you can't do it--because there are none. The only thing keeping any of this from happening is discrimination.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 14 years ago
Just wanted to say that those who so eagerly look to the courts to circumvent the law as written by the people are slowly digging their own graves. The fact that they're now calling for Constitutions themselves (as in CA) to be circumvented by Judicial Activism is a blaring alarm telling us how close we're getting to letting them knock over the whole apple cart

Rick, that is EXACTLY why there is a Supreme Court. To read the Constitution, to evaluate it, and to make sure that it is fairly adminstered to every person. Not just the largest group that voted that year. Just because the majority believes it to be fair does not mean it is.

Steve, wonderful example. However, I do not believe that any of the opponents will ever 'get' it. They just don't see how their belief is so skewed. I truely think that they think that it is just their belief and that in itself is not hurting anyone.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Here is a letter that my cousin, a Lesbian in Colorado who joined the Church of Latter Day Saints nearly 40 years ago, wrote earlier today to the bishop of her Mormon Temple in Canon City, Colorado. I think it says it all:

*****

To:
Bishop Joseph Spencer
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Canon City First Ward
1435 Elm Ave.
Canon City, CO 81212

Dear Bishop Spencer,

I am writing to ask that I be removed permanently from the records of the Church.

As most issues are handled locally, I figured that this request would need to go through you and not be sent to Church headquarters in Salt Lake. If I am mistaken, then please let me know if there is anything else that I need to do.

I do not wish to have a face to face discussion over my decision as my point of view will not be changing. I discovered many years ago, after serving a successful mission and holding many positions of leadership with the Young Women's Organization, that I am gay. My friends and home/visiting teachers within the church are aware of this and that I would not be returning to the church unless the policy towards gays in the church changed..which I am sure that it never will.

After the Church's very vocal support to ban gay marriage in California and other parts of the country, I no longer wish to be a part of the church membership. I believe each church has a right to set their terms and principles for membership. If I don't like the rules, then I don't belong to that Church. However, when their beliefs spill over into the government, basic civil rights and laws being made to support one church's belief over the general population, I have a problem with that. I think that the separation of Church and State is there for a reason. To tell me I may not marry in the Mormon Church or in the temple is your right. To tell me that I may not marry ever is not the right of any church.

Equal rights for all are guaranteed in our constitution. A few years back a black and white couple could not marry legally. Now they can. It was not rational that the color on one's skin could keep them from marrying, but it did. In today's world to say that by me marrying my same sex partner harm will come to your marriage says more about your marriage than mine.

So for these reasons, I formally request to be removed from the records of the Church.

Thank you,

Melanie
Canon City, CO

PS- For the record Bishop Spencer. I have many wonderful memories of my time in the LDS Church. The people to this day have been great and very kind to me. I just wanted you to know that I do not make this request with bitterness or hate in my heart. I leave to support what I believe is my basic civil right and to take a stand as another child of God.

*****

If that doesn't put a human face on the issue, then I don't know what will. And for the record, Melanie is and always has been the sweetest, kindest, most nurturing person I've ever known. All her life she's been a law-abiding, tax-paying, well-educated citizen who (with the exception of being a member of the Republican Party) has also always displayed good common sense.

I love her a lot. The only reason on earth that she is being denied equal treatment under the law is that the law is being crafted to follow the constricting doctrines of someone's Church rather than the liberating principles of our United States. And that just ain't right, no matter what the popular vote tally is.


[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 14 years ago
I think that this gay marriage ban crap was started by the Republican party ala Karl Rove, in order to have a hot button issue to bring folks to the polls..What heartache it has created!!...Ironically Karl Rove's real father was gay I understand...How screwed up is that!!!

I just don't understand the politics of hatred...We have seen it practiced for many years now and the gay community has paid a steep price indeed...It is all really unfair...

[This message has been edited by howdy (edited 11/7/2008).]
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10255) 14 years ago
Very well said Cory.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
This issue has been at the forefront of our news for months. The LDS church has done what it could to influence the outcome of the California vote, spending millions of its memebers' dollars in the process. That is its right. What is sad is that its members too often simply march in step with the church's edicts without really thinking about what the results will be. Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation for young men, many of whom are gay Mormons who are made to feel somehow unworthy of full membership in the church. Melanie has made a hard choice between her church and her truth. I admire her for that.

gvc's wife
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12372) 14 years ago
The Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that several states could not outlaw interracial marriage. The majority of people in those states sincerely and truly believed that interracial marriage was against "God's Law" but they were forced to accept that the tyranny of the majority cannot deprive the minority of their rights in the United States. Had the Supreme Court not so ruled, I am sure some states would still outlaw interracial marriage in order to "protect" marriage.

I have been married for more than 30 years. I do not need my marriage "protected" by depriving others of the right.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
You are right, Mrs. GVC. It was a very difficult choice for her. Thank you for recognizing that. The struggle between a home for the spirit and a home for the heart is difficult. She is very clear about what is right for her. I think there are thousands - maybe even millions - who are still struggling with that decision.

Amorette, you make the most basic point of all. How in the world is anyone's marriage "threatened" or "endangered" by this. I can see where narrow views of the world are going to be disturbed. But if someone's marriage hits the rocks simply because two men exchange vows, then the only explanation is that "someone's" marriage was pretty rocky to begin with.
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Posted by Jerry David Cornelia (+5) 14 years ago
Perhaps the most disturbing issue raised in this thread is the fact that in 2008, the issue exists at all. As a gay man, and one of three gay brothers, I find the idea that whether or not I should be entitled to my civil rights remains a matter of discussion, disheartening to say the least. I am a fourth generation Montanan, a taxpayer, and a contributing member of society. What does who I love have to do with deserving to be treated like a full fledged citizen of these United States of America?

According to the 14th Amendment....
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.

Try as I might, I don't see how I can be excluded from those protections.

Earlier this year, in California, I attended my younger brothers legally recognized wedding to his partner of four years. And now because of the religious beliefs of 52 percent of voters, the status of that marriage is in question. During the ceremony the minister gave what was called a "Charge to community" where he called upon those attending to support the newly married couple in their endeavors, and to support the effort to assure them of their equal rights. Although the full impact of that plea took a while to sink in, I see the part that I play on a daily basis when I allow those who believe that I should be denied my civil rights to hold those beliefs unquestioned. I would not count among my friends those who were opposed to equal rights for women, or African Americans, or Jews, or any other minority, and I will no longer count among my friends those who would deny me my civil rights.

I sincerely doubt that those not directly affected by this and similar decisions made around the country (including a 2004 referendum in Montana) can fully understand the impact of having their civil rights continually being put up for referendum. These laws do not deny me the right to marry, I have an ex-wife who would attest to that fact. The law denies me the right to choose who I would marry. The argument is often made that I can enter into contracts with a partner that would equal marital status, in fact this is not true concerning a variety of issues involving marriage, inheritance and tax laws. The idea that domestic partnerships should suffice, leaves us with the inherently second-class status of "Separate but Equal."

Imagine that the wording was changed to; "A marriage shall be defined as a union between two non-Mormons." or "A marriage shall be defined as a union between two people determined by the state not to be overweight." Ridiculous, right? Hopefully one day this whole debate over whether one groups religious beliefs can be imposed over the entire country will seem just as ridiculous.

[This message has been edited by Jerry David Cornelia (edited 11/8/2008).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Exactly, Jerry. I loved ALL of the paintings at your last show here at the Custer County Arts and Hertitage Center. As I recall one of your subjects was a sheep in cow's clothing (i.e., a ram decked out in full leather regalia). I think the Flat Earth Society is afraid that if they allow us humans to marry the PERSON of our choice, marrying the ANIMAL of our choice is sure to follow.

To that I have to echo (and amend) John Scheuering's (sp) post from the "When did you choose?" thread: When did these people choose to be so friggin' stupid?
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Posted by Jerry David Cornelia (+5) 14 years ago
Thanks Steve, glad you enjoyed it... Actually I'm surprised the Flat Earth Society hasn't brought up that age old "next thing you know you'll want to marry your dog" argument. Unable to discuss the point on it's merits, it seems that changing the argument is the only way they can actually think they're winning.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3747) 14 years ago
I think I've brought this up before somewhere but I'm a little, I guess traditional (outdated may be a better word) and think that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I support full rights for same-sex couples and civil unions but if the law says they can marry then why the hell shouldn't they be allowed to do so?

If they're happy and the law says they can marry and if somebody's willing to perform the ceremony then marry away. What business is it of mine or anyone else's anyway?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I'm appalled at the action of the Mormon Church in promoting the ban in CA. Marriage is defined as between one man and ONE woman for them, too?

The above irony about the California election was pointed out to me by a wonderful woman in Texas named Susan Toomey Frost (who I will love dearly until the day I die). For many years Susan, her neighbor Molly Ivins (God rest her pugnacious soul!), and other great Texas women, have mobilized many resources to fight ignorance and promote justice - struggles they never shy away from. Their only weapons are intelligence, confidence, and razor-sharp wit - which they gracefully and expertly wield in Texas-sized portions.

This is off the point, but I gotta tell it. Susan once led the charge to expose a stupid and arrogant politician who was padding his pockets and ego at the expense of the public interest and environment. When Susan and her army of well-high-heeled ladies confronted him on his actions at a meeting that was being broadcast live on the public access TV channel, he lost all control and began spewing four letter words from the dais. Then he looked directly at Susan and uttered the words, "You Goddamned Mother-F---ing Bitch."

Susan wore her new title with pride. In fact, at the next meeting Susan and the entire Austin Chapter of the Junior League showed up wearing large badges with the initials GDMFB in huge bold print. Susan's badge was gold, and all the others were a very pretty shade of pink. The women primly sat across the front row of the Council chambers, smiling but never uttering a word. They made their point to everyone in attendance as well as to the largest audience that the Public Access TV station ever pulled.

The crooked politician lost his seat by a landslide margin in the next election.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/8/2008).]
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Posted by Jerry David Cornelia (+5) 14 years ago
It should come as no surprise that the Mormon Church lead the zealots to ban gay marriage in California. It was not until 1978... a mere 30 years ago that the LDS lifted it's ban on people of color joining the priesthood.

Ironically, that same church is perhaps best known for it's early belief in plural marriage.

http://www.mormonstories....lacks.html

[This message has been edited by Jerry David Cornelia (edited 11/8/2008).]
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 14 years ago
For a group that likes to remind others of how they were persecuted in their beginnings, it is interesting to see how they have swapped roles and are now the persecutors..It is amazing how they don't see the extreme irony in that...Also the AA community voted in large part for this in Calif...more irony, etc.??

http://www.comedycentral....oId=209418

[This message has been edited by howdy (edited 11/8/2008).]
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Posted by Kathleen Dotson (+3) 14 years ago
I am Jerry's sister and cannot agree more with his post.
It sickens me that my 3 gay brothers are being denied the same rights and priviledges that my straight brother, sister and I have. I have been married 3 times and no one would think of denying me the right to do so again and again, if I so chose.
I, too, attended and participated in our brother's wedding in California. I was proud to stand before the guests assembled and show my love and support for my brother and brother-in-law.
It's time for all of us to stand up and say ENOUGH to all those who would put their personal beliefs and prejudices ahead of the rights of ALL citizens of this country.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
For those who want to help but are wondering where to begin, I recommend the following organization that was started by a married, straight mother of three children to fight for the rights of all to marry:

Stand up and be counted

It is time for us to stand up and stand with our gay and lesbian friends who are being systematically denied the most basic rights and recognition - the very things we, in the heterosexual world, take for granted day after day.

It is time for all children, regardless of their parents' sexual orientation, to share the same rights and protections.

And it is time for our country to acknowledge that the right to love a partner, be a parent and build a family is a fundamental, equal right for each and every one of us.

Today we need your help to win this "civil rights battle rooted in love." We need you to add your voice to the growing number of our friends who say, "This just isn't right." We invite you to come into the Atticus Circle and stand with others who say, "I'm ready. What can I do?"


http://www.atticuscircle.org/
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 14 years ago
Just added my voice and thanks for the information about this group...
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Posted by ABC (+383) 14 years ago
It does my heart proud to see that there are so many MC people who support equality. For those of you who would like to take a greater step, you may go to:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/ir...f13909.pdf

There is a grass-roots effort to get the Tax-Exempt status of the Mormon Church taken away. To complete the form at this link you enter:

Name of Referred Organization: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Address: 50 East North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150

Date of referral: November 6, 2008

Check box: Organization is engaged in excessive lobbying activities.

Details of Violation:
Thomas Monson, et al.
President
January-November 2008
Description of activities: The Church repeatedly encouraged its members to donate money to Proposition 8 and was a major organizer in this initiative. More than $20M in funding has been attributed to the church's efforts.

The rest is your personal info, should you choose to divulge it.



ABC
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Nice idea ABC, but I really think churches and their members have every right to enter into public debates and movements regarding social and moral issues. My church (United Church of Christ), for example, has a history of fighting discrimination in the public realm, including abolition, suffreage, and human rights. Therefore, I don't want to punish the LDS Church for pursuing what it considers a worthy cause, even though I disagree with that cause.

I went to the LDS website and found several interesting articles. The most illuminating factoid was this, which I have excerpted from an article entitled "Church Responds to Same-Sex Marriage Votes":

"...Homosexuality ... is not a noun that describes a condition. It's an adjective that describes feelings or behavior."

That belief tells us a lot about how the Mormon church views the issue - and its view is obviously 180 degrees away from reality.

I submit to you that it is next to impossible to turn anyone's thinking completely around - and because it's impossible, it isn't a winnable strategy.

I suggest that the more effective route is to identify and work with that part of 52% of Californians (and similar people in other states) whose beliefs are within 45 degrees of reality.

It isn't easy (nor should it be), but it is possible to get people to correct their course by a few degrees when they're headed in the same general direction as you in the first place.
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Posted by ABC (+383) 14 years ago
I'd generally agree with you Steve, but from what I've heard from my friends in CA, the Mormons really did not observe Church/State separations. As an atheist, that really chaps my a**.

ABC
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Church and State should not cross over into each others realms. Any church that pursues a political agenda, no matter how well meaning their efforts, should lose its tax exempt status. Just my humble opinion....
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I agree with a separation of Church and State - there should be no formal religion, our tax policy should not favor one church over another, etc. But how do you separate Faith and Ethics, and what are laws if not ethics transformed into a code of behavior? Enforcing a strict line there would be tricky, and would also hamper our ability to debate the issues from a full spectrum of perspectives.

I also think that it would hamper society from evolving in a positive direction. I would rather slow that evolution down than stifle participation in the process and discussion of the possible ramifications of the change under consideration.

Right now tax code prohibits churches from endorsing candidates and participating directly in campaigns. I'm sure we'll see that line better defined in the aftermath of the LDS church's role in the California election. As much as I disagree with the Mormon church position (and apparently several members of the church itself are concerned about it), I will defend its right to fully participate in ethical matters, even when those matters become part of the political process.

Geez, I never expected for this thread to twist around to where I was speaking out in defense of the LDS church... strange world, eh?
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Seperation should consist of NOT using the pulpit as a captive, closed soapbox. If you insist in that then I contend that every opposing view be given equal time FROM that pulpit. I agree that the church can play a positive role but not as a lobbying arm. Remember when Fundimentalist were urged to boycott Procter &Gamble because of their belief the P&G symbol was Pagen? Speak to me again about Christian tolerance and how well we are practicing it! I am just urging sensible restrain in the messages that are delivered from the churches.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
As a resident of Utah for the last 14 years I have observed a lot about the "dominant religion." It is first and foremost a great source of comfort and support, spiritual and financial, to many, many people. It is an organization that tries to be true to its tenets and core belief structure. It does a massive amount of good in the world for millions of people.

On the flip side, it is not perfect. The church is run by old white men. Women are precluded from the priesthood, a position that is given to 18 year old snot-nosed boys without much thought. Its theology is interesting but definitely patriarchal in nature. A woman cannot reach the highest level of heaven unless married. To a man, of course. Polygamy is prohibited because the prohpet (the name for the president of the church) had a revelation after it became clear that the US would not give Utah statehood because of it. But even though polygamy is barred on the earthly plane, it is still a desirable thing on the spiritual plane, that is, in heaven.

Gays are not ex-communicated as long as they don't put their desires into action and the pressure to marry is so great that there is a local support group specifically for the ex-wives of gay men.

As with many churches which present themselves as the one true church, members can be and have been ex-communicated for publically disagreeing with church doctrine or actions, and all the rest of us are doomed to the lower level of heaven. And its superior attitude about other religions has led to fundamentalist factions which occassionally cause trouble. And then there is the baptism of the dead.

But in defense of this church I have met many wonderful people who are members and I live in a mixed neighborhood where we all feel that each of us can rely on the other. I occassionally resent its presence in my everyday life but I'm in its territory so I can't really be surprised when it takes action on a matter it feels is important to its members' moral and spiritual compass. I don't have to like it, though.

gvc's wife

p.s. I promise to never post anything this long again.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Hey Mrs. GVC - That was all very interesting. I didn't even realize it was long until you mentioned it. But then, almost everything I post here is 5X longer than the average posting, so I guess my opinion on the matter doesn't count much.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Just a question. Are state bans on Cousins marrying Consitutional?
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
This is a good question. To my knowledge the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed this issue although it has a long line of due process cases that indicate laws regarding family issues such as marriage require a very significant justification by the state. Several states ban this outright. Many allow it with no restrictions and some allow it but require that the participants be of a certain age or infertile.

Why do you want to know? Should your cousins be frightened?

gvc's wife
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
Rick - I know where you're going with this. You should know better.

There is, after all, a valid (scientific/medical) reason why cousins marrying (and having children) isn't a good thing.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
There is, after all, a valid (scientific/medical) reason why cousins marrying (and having children) isn't a good thing.

Actually with Cousins the risk is marginal, at least in a single generation. But that's beside the point.

Is a state ban on gay Cousins marrying Constitutional?
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Posted by Schmitz - Matt (+404) 14 years ago
The more I learn about this "church" that seems to want to dominate every aspect of lives it "controls", the more tempted I am to ban the state of Utah from existence. I would just pronounce an edict! What a bunch of freaking morons. I can't believe anyone would live under someone's thumb like that. It's pretty convenient that the "prophet" can get his "edicts" with no confirmation. "Sorry folks, but today all tall redheads must die" God said so. I heard him. I really did. No really. Just 20 minutes ago. Honest!
Not just a joke of a religion, but much more closely aligned with what we here in the real world call a cult.
It astounds me that actual people can attend a church like this. I thought a church was meant to enhance one's life? Not control every aspect of it. You can be gay, as long as you don't act on your desires? Read that again people. You can be gay, as long as you don't act on your desires. Flat out beyond freaking belief!
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 14 years ago
Anyone know Reverand Wrights stance on gay Marriage?? If so, post it here.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Matt - If B.H.O. for any reason decides not to run for President in 2012, I'm going to nominate you for the office, and I hope you'll select Brian Reed as your VP running mate. We can probably write off Utah's electoral votes, but I think the other 49 states will embrace your platform without hesitation!

Rick - RE: your question on the cousins marrying thing - Has that issue seriously arisen in a political context? To my knowledge, the answer is NO. If and when it does, it will deserve serious consideration. But for today, it makes for a great distraction (along with similar questions about antelopes and koala bears), but is less than meaningful in terms of discussion.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/9/2008).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Well, I thought the argument was equal protection. I wasn't aware that "equal" protection only applied to whatever politicians were talking about.

Anyway, you didn't answer the question
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Your question has been answered. It has no merit nor does it pertain to this discussion. This is a perfect example of the 'sleight of hand' political rhetoric that has brought our country to crisis. Stay focused Rick.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
C'mon Rick - get real. People brought up the same "well, if we "give" equal rights to _________ (fill in with the name of your favorite oppressed group from the past - blacks, women, people who didn't own land), then where are we gonna draw the line? It's a ridiculous circular exercise and a waste of time - one may as well ride a merry-go-round.

I didn't answer the question for two reasons: 1) it isn't my place to answer it, and 2) if the motivation behind the question is what I think it is (i.e., create a distraction), then it isn't worth the effort.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 14 years ago
Rick is just afraid that if you recognize gay marriage you have to recognize all variety of other marriages and before you know it the finest ewes are asking for long term commitments.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (edited 11/9/2008).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
OK, here is a very real letter and follow-up story that exposes how ridiculous it is to make believe people "choose" to be gay. The letter home, written several years by young man away at college, is longer than your typical MC.com post but I think anyone who reads it will find it's a quick read. His heartfelt words illustrate how truly painful the process of "coming out" is. While the letter itself is timeless, let's pray that its topic isn't.

I would have posted the letter earlier, but it took me a few days to catch up with the author to get permission. Finally, because Travis (the person who wrote the letter) makes some statements that would be otherwise difficult to understand, I'm going to inform you now that he was born with a physical disability. And the answer is yes, he is a very strong, intelligent and determined individual.

So, without further ado, I'll let Travis take it from here.


*********

my coming out story - by Travis


I first came out in when I was 19 to my resident advisor, Colette, and though I feared that my college friends would hate me, I received positive reactions. When I decided the next year that I was ready to tell someone in my family. I chose my older brother, Chad, figuring that since he was in college at the time, he'd be pretty open-minded. I wrote him a short, blunt e-mail. His response was not positive.

Though he later apologized for his initial reaction to the news that his "little brother was a faggot," he still advised me against telling our parents. So when I got the assignment in English class to write an essay on "who I am," I took the opportunity to write the coming out letter to Chad I meant to write in the first place.

Dear Chad,

I am writing you this letter to tell you many things. I feel myself being torn in two, ripped into halves. One part is kept hidden and the other remains known, but I am both. I am struggling to incorporate the halves to form a whole and complete self. I have feared writing this letter. I feared the truth and its possible consequences, but I cannot continue to live with my insides corroded with shame and guilt and my life controlled by fear. I am ready to accept myself and the reactions of others.

I admire you very much. You have always been my hero. I have never resented you or been jealous of the things you have done. I have been happy for all you have accomplished. I cannot walk well and I am unable to run, but I am always telling people how my brother is a runner. You have a passion, which is something I lack. You have found a joy and love for running, and you have pursued it. Your dedication amazes me. I cannot seem to find anything that supplies me with the sheer pleasure of life and the drive to exist.

You are handsome; I feel ugly. My face is pale, disproportional and twisted. My body is skinny and sickening. I have often gazed into the mirror with pure hate for the ugly person staring at me. I learned to avoid mirrors and cameras. Mirrors stole any self-esteem I managed to build; pictures immortalized my ugliness. I dreamed of having money to get surgery to change myself and not be so ugly. I am now realizing that I am not ugly; I am in fact quite attractive. That awareness has taken a lot of work. My self-image was not based on external things, but rather was an internal hatred manifested into an outward one. The hatred was a tree of unhealthiness. With tough roots of guilt and shame, it stemmed into contempt, despair, apathy and depression. Each of these stems bore black and rotten fruits, thoughts of suicide. It was safer to hate the way I looked because looks are changeable, but this didn't rid me of the real hate. The hatred of my existence was buried deeper, where the hate tree's roots had a strong hold in the soil of my being. I now understand this and am working to release myself from the limiting hold of those roots.

I grew up knowing that I was different. I did not understand how, but I knew. When I was in the fifth grade, puberty stole my innocence and left me confused and alone. I had girlfriends, but I was physically attracted to other boys. I was mystified by these feelings, although they seemed natural. I remember hearing about faggots, the men who slept with men. These gay people were evil and hated by God, the God I loved and followed. I wondered if others felt the same attractions. I was even curious if you had gone through the same thing. I hoped it was a common part of puberty that would soon pass. After a few months, I realized that others did not feel the same, and I was isolated by my abnormality.

I refused to mentally associate myself with the gay people that we'd been warned about. They were doomed to burn in Hell. I believed all the warnings, I learned to hate the disgusting perverts also. It seemed impossible for me to be one of them. The rationalization generated by my fifth grade brain was that I only looked at other boys because I envied their bodies. But my strange desires did not subside and by the seventh grade my mind began to yearn for a new explanation. When I was twelve, I finally put the two together, me and gay.

The world did not crumble and God did not strike me dead, but I was scared. I agonized for weeks over a solution to my predicament. I decided that God would still love me if I never acted upon my homosexual feelings. I prayed that He would have mercy upon me and change me. Seven years passed and God did not change me, though I was faithful to my plan and to Him. Depression became a part of me, and now there was an addition to my prayer: death. I wanted release from the shameful and hidden feelings. I knew I could not kill myself because suicide was a sin.

I fantasized about it, though. Maybe I could slit my wrists and pray for forgiveness as my life flowed down the drain. But I was never brave enough to carry out any plan. Most nights I cried in my pillow as I prayed for death.

I tried to be like you. I tried to be straight, normal and worthy of love. Consciously, I struggled to masculate myself. I made sure I sat with my legs open, kept my hand movements controlled and stiff, and did not hug in public. My voice sounded like a faggot's (nasal, weak and effeminate), so I tried to avoid speaking and spoke softly when I did.

In high school, I strove to gain your acceptance. I joined clubs and made good grades, but still there was the unspoken rule that I not talk to you at school. You were a grade above me and too good to associate with me. I imagined how you must tell your friends that I was not really your brother. It hurt, but I never broke the rule. I treasured the nights when we talked as we waited for sleep, our parallel beds a big equal sign.

I remember many things from our youth together. I recall the times when we would roam the woods for hours and pretend we were great explorers. We would discover caves and mossy beds under trees and fantastic swinging vines. Many years separate us from the expeditions in the woods, but we are still explorers. Now we search for something greater than caves and vines. We practice living as we explore ourselves. Life has taken hold and given us many obstacles. I do not believe that all obstacles must be overcome and forgotten, but they must be embraced and incorporated into our being. Then we learn that they are not mere barriers; they are blessings to ensure growth.

I have not written this letter to hurt you. I know that at first you will probably be devastated by the news that your little brother is gay, but I pray that in time you will understand. I am trying to help you see the whole me. There are many different sides to me, and they must all fit together to form one.

I am a 19-year-old college student. I am disabled. I am gay. And I am a Christian. I do believe that God loves me as I am. There is no more denying because that road leads to despair and death, and I do not wish to travel that w
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Steve, good post.

Rick, The US is one of the few cultures that has applies the icky factor to cousins marrying. In some cultures a fair amount of marriages are between cousins and many cultures encourage marriages between related people. The problem with birth defects among cousins is actually extremely low and more recent info has come out that shows such risks as not statistically higher than in the regular population. It may be that if a case is brought up to the Supreme Court, it just might not find that the state has a strong enough justification to find that it is unconstitutional. There has been no such case. Now if by cousin you mean sheep, I suggest you get a blow-up one and have your little ceremony in the privacy of your own home.


gvc's wife
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+236) 14 years ago
Hate the sin , but not the sinner!
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
The US is one of the few cultures that has applies the icky factor to cousins marrying

Now I think we're starting to head down the right road. A strong argument could be made that current marriage laws are essentially based on 'ick' factors.

But what I keep seeing argued is that under the umbrella of "equal protection" the "ick factor" should be amended to the "ick factor minus me"

As we all know, ick factor is entirely subjective. Some (especially old-schoolers) would put incestuous and same-sex relations on the same (high) level of ick. Others see them as apples and oranges. But many people's answer to the question seems to be "Who am I to judge?" while in the meantime, they go on judging those to which the "ick" factor still applies for them.

So who decides what is the right level of "ick" to enforce? Historically, majority ruled in each jurisdiction, through legislative bodies. Now we're told that is inadequate. Who should decide? The Eminent Tribunal? Why is their "ick" factor better than mine? Can the "ick" factor even translate into equal protection? Is it compatible? Why is "ick" involved at all? Why can't a gay brother "marry" another gay brother? Why can't a straight brother marry his straight brother? I can think of, and have personally seen examples where it would be beneficial.

It seems to me, under your argument of "Equal" Protection the State shouldn't care about the difference.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
This is a perfect example of the 'sleight of hand' political rhetoric that has brought our country to crisis.

Bruce, if you want to see sleight of hand, you need to listen to Obama/Biden's position on gay marriage.

http://www.youtube.com/wa..._0HMo5EQxU
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
That "Hate the Sin" approach is a pretty slippery slope, as illustrated by many over the years, but Martin Sheen did it best as President Josh Bartlett giving a Sunday school lesson to Dr. Jacobs (a blonde female radio talk show host that was closely based on Dr. Laura Schlesinger) in this scene from "The West Wing":

*******

Bartlet: "I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality `an abomination.'"

Dr. Jacobs: "I don't say homosexuality is an abomination Mr. President. The Bible does."

Bartlet: "Yes it does. Leviticus-"

Jacobs: "18:22."

Bartlet: "Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?

[silence in the room]

Barlet (continuing): While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief-of-staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police?

[another short silence]

Bartlet (continuing): "Here's one that's really important, 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

[very short pause]

Bartlet (continuing): Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side-by-side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?

Bartlet (leaving the room): Think about those questions, would you.

*****

Methinks that is good advice for the "Hate the Sin" crowd.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/10/2008).]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9469) 14 years ago
Actually, Rick has managed to shamble his way towards the root of the problem.

While from a religious perspective, Marriage = Boinking, it doesn't follow that the same equivalence need hold for the civil institution.

Unwrap the religious aspect from the civil aspect, restrict churches to supplying a "solemnizing" function for those who want it, require that legal unions be conferred solely by the state, and now you've got something that can be argued for under "equal protection" grounds without having to elide some sort of "ick factor", as Rick so helpfully puts it.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Just call me "The Shambler"
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
On behalf of Mrs. GVC, allow me to ask the question:
What's "Boinking"?
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Ha, ha, Steve. I know what boinking is.

And Great Honk, Rick, the "ick factor" is not a legal doctrine in our country and good thing, too. Not so long ago interracial marriages were considered icky but not everyone thought so and thank goodness those laws didn't hold up to Constitutional scrutiny. I think jello is icky but I don't think a law banning it would hold up to constitutional scrutiny.

gvc's wife

[This message has been edited by GVC (edited 11/10/2008).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
There's a good avenue to get back to my original point though... if the Constitution were amended to ban Jello...

can a Jello-loving court overturn it?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Thank you for proving my "merry-go-round" point, Rick. I knew that was the ride you were taking us on! Can't blame you for wanting to stay close to terra-firma after that roller-coaster ride you must have been on throughout the campaign and election.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Just having a little fun, Mrs. GVC. Hope you didn't mind. Actually, I didn't know what MILF meant either until the day before you asked.

Now, Rick and I have had our fun (I really don't mean it to sound like that), so now we can get back to having a real discussion here....
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
You're right Steve, let's go back to the beginning

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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 14 years ago
Do shamblers do it with animals?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Hey Rick, I'm not going with you anywhere if you're dressed like that.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Just thought I'd illustrate a 21st century slave for you. Get the thread back on message...

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 11/10/2008).]
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Rick said

There's a good avenue to get back to my original point though... if the Constitution were amended to ban Jello...

can a Jello-loving court overturn it?


The answer is yes if it is a state constitution that is amended. Then the US Supreme Court could still hold that the Jello ban is unconstitutional. States can offer more rights but not fewer rights than the US Constitution.

The answer is no if it is the US Constitution that is amended. The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution as it is written. It can't claim the Constitution is itself unconstitutional!

Geez. I feel like I should be charging Rick a fee for my legal advice. What's the going rate in Montana now?

gvc's wife
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution as it is written. It can't claim the Constitution is itself unconstitutional!

But the first challenge being raised appears to be in the California Supreme Court, and much of the pining from members above appears to be in the hope that they will overturn their own constitution. A dangerous precedent.

As others mentioned before you, there is a possible remedy in the federal courts, although it would defy standing precedent (where the courts have said the federal government has no cause to be involved), and would likely affect the other (29 I think) State Constitutions with similar bans.

Many LGBT advocates would cheer another federal imposition on the nation as a whole, but one of these days one of these one-size-fits-all "ram it down their throats" solutions is going to backfire. You might just end up with a Constitutional Amendment that'll take away any compromise on the issue.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
How does this set a dangerous precedent? As I recall we have had several constitutional conventions to examine and update our state constitution but I dont remember anything real dangerous due to them.

A little common sense would go a long way with this.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Bruce, when they did that, did they appoint a group of 7 or 9 people to draft, compose and ratify the constitution, never allowing a vote on the final product?

That hardly resembles democracy, or what's supposed to be our Republic.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9469) 14 years ago
Howdy - while in most cases Comedy Central runs rings around the tradition news organizations (and how sad is that statement?) - in this case they may have overstated their case by assigning responsibility for the passage of Prop 8 to the African-American and Latino communities: http://www.fivethirtyeigh...myths.html

Until someone can come along and demonstrate that Nate Silver & 538.com have been really wrong about well, anything when it comes to analysis and interpretation of the polling data, I'm going believe pretty much whatever it is they're peddling.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Rick, the point is that in our state, at least, there is a process to allow change to the constitution. It is not some definative, 'sacred' document never to be altered or challenged. Times, and interpetations change. The court system is just one of the avenues.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Rick, the point is that in our state, at least, there is a process to allow change to the constitution. It is not some definative, 'sacred' document never to be altered or challenged. Times, and interpetations change. The court system is just one of the avenues.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Rick said:
But the first challenge being raised appears to be in the California Supreme Court, and much of the pining from members above appears to be in the hope that they will overturn their own constitution. A dangerous precedent.

My understanding of this challenge is that the plaintiffs claim that the new amendment would directly conflict with more general rights guaranteed by the rest of the constitution. It would be like adding the statement "No resident shall possess, make or eat Jello" to a constitution that already states "All residents of California are guaranteed the freedom of possessing, making or eating whatever dessert item they wish." There is room to argue that the two statements are in conflict. This conflict needs to be resolved by the courts. It's not a dangerous precedent. Courts do it all the time. That's why they exist.

gvc's wife
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Posted by Bob L. (+5096) 14 years ago
GVC's wife:

As a great man (J. Dyba) once said, in another thread:

"I think this analogy requires too much critical thinking for your target to grasp. I suggest you use pictograms and purple crayon perhaps to better connect intellectually with your intended audience."

http://milescity.com/foru...fpid=48917
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
I love Harold and the Purple Crayon!

gvc's wife
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
It would be like adding the statement "No resident shall possess, make or eat Jello" to a constitution that already states "All residents of California are guaranteed the freedom of possessing, making or eating whatever dessert item they wish." There is room to argue that the two statements are in conflict.

I don't think implied repeal is a gold standard in US law, but it is clearly given weight in cases of conflict like this. I'm not sure about California, but generally speaking, prior Constitutional language cannot be used to undo the clear intent of a newer (higher priority) amendment. The only place there is room for argument is in places where intent of the new amendment is not clear.

It could never reasonably be argued though that an old standard of "eating whatever dessert they wish" could be used to completely disregard a later amendment of "no resident shall make or eat Jello"

The implied meaning of the new Constition would become "All residents of California are guaranteed the freedom of possessing, making or eating whatever dessert item they wish, except Jello because it's nasty"

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 11/14/2008).]
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
This is indeed why we have 3 branches of government. Checks and Balances...
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
I think we need a fourth branch which exists solely to prevent people from making Jello.

gvc's wife
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
"The very purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities... Fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote, they depend on no elections." Justice Robert Jackson

That thought, so eloquently put into words by former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson (key architect and then lead prosecuter of the Nuremberg Trials), is the key to settling this whole argument. The entire effort to rob gay and lesbian human beings of the right to wed is a travesty in that for the first time the Constitution will be used to rob individuals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness - rather than in its historic role as a tool to extend those inalienable rights to historically oppressed people.

The flaw in deciding who gets to enjoy "fundamental rights" via popular vote on referendums rooted in religious doctrine should be evident to every freedom loving American, be they conservative, moderate or liberal. The Constitution is a key to open the gates of liberty, not a key to lock the cellblocks of discrimination.

btw and fwiw: Using "Jello" as an analogy for the basic human rights being discussed on this thread is patently stupid and really didn't deserve any response from anyone. Those who humored Rick in his diversion only bit into the bait that concealed the hook of his ridiculous ruse. Be more particular next time, OK?

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/18/2008).]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9469) 14 years ago
Don't we all love a bowl of hot & sweaty jello though?

Anyways - State constitutions have always been an source of rather blatant discrimination, whether it be Alabama's constitutional ban on miscegenation, or Maryland's requirement that all statewide officeholders be Christians. In the end, all of these clauses have been invalidated once it's been determined that they prohibit something that the federal constitution allows, whether it does so expressly or not.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
I think you're misallocating the Jello analogy a little Steve. It's not about a ban on Jello being equivalent to a gay marriage ban. It's an example that anything, once expressly enshrined at a Constitutional level, becomes inarguable by the courts bound to that Constitution. No matter how arbitrary.

We could write an amendment to ban free speech outright, if we wanted. In a free society, no court could undo it.

And I don't agree that the Constitution has always been used as a tool of liberation. At least not from my perspective. This speaks to what I see as a bias regarding what is and isn't 'liberty' The liberal's concept of liberty centers around behavior. The conservative's concept centers around property.

http://www.washingtonpost...83_pf.html

You continually argue that the courts should defend and the Constitution protect freedom of action. Yet we've all seen in recent times those same courts twisting the Constitution to enable confiscation of property. And the Founding Fathers clearly agreed, there is no real freedom without right to property.
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Posted by GVC (+517) 14 years ago
Sorry, Steve. I didn't mean to imply that gay rights are on a level of importance equivalent to Jello. I was just trying to simplify a complicated legal argument. Sometimes you have to laugh or else you'll cry, you know?

gvc's wife
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Hey Mrs. GVC - I understand more than I care to admit. The Brazilians have a saying that is beautiful when spoken in Portuguese (which I can't do) but it translates roughly to "I laugh to not cry". And you know -- It works!!!
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 14 years ago
Rick, your last post offered a very clear view into your thought process and value system. So much becomes clearer now.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
It isn't to say, Bruce, that Conservatives don't value freedom of action or Liberals freedom of ownership...

We just prioritize them differently.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Rick, I had to eat my dinner as well as chew a bit on your last post, so please forgive the delay in responding.

I'm aware that one of the biggest arguments regarding the Declaration of Independence was whether it should say "life, liberty and property" or "life, liberty and happiness" - which Jefferson adroitly settled with the poetic and well-reasoned "pursuit of happiness" during his hermitage at the Inn. And I'm sure there are all sorts of academic analyses and treatises on the subject of property vs. behavior (actually "thought", to my way of thinking ) --- But I'm going to use an Ockham's Razor approach with two simple responses.

First, the premise of your argument doesn't fit the issue. We are not talking about behavior (or thought, for that matter) - we are talking about human nature. (Before you say it, pardon me, but the folks who are still arguing "nature vs. nurture" re: sexual orientation are still waiting for definitive proof that cigarettes increase the likelihood of cancer.) "All men are created equal" is the pertinent text here. Our Country is founded on the principle that all human beings have the right to BE - first and foremost, plain and simple. The issue of property vs. behavior is secondary, if even that, to that core principle.

Second, if we were talking about what is more essential to liberty - the right to own and hold property vs. the right to think and/or behave as one chooses -- then I would argue that freedom of thought and action is by far the more important of the two for this simple reason:

I can own property, a grand house perhaps... but if I am confined in that house like a prisoner and prevented from thinking and doing what I want (or loving who I want), then I have no liberty. (Some might say Solzhenitsyn argued differently in "The Gulag Archipelago" - but I would disagree.)

On the other hand, if I have the freedom to speak and act as I please, even if I own nothing, then I do have liberty. A miserable and miserly liberty, perhaps, but still better than even the most luxurious prison.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Steve, I guess when you say you'd rather be a hobo than a cellmate, you're not taking the torch as much to your side of 'freedom' as the other.

Without property rights, there's no guarantee you'd even be sustained as a hobo. Pay (liquid property) is essentially what separates the slave from the employee. Sure, you could say you'd be free to leave your slavemaster, but when left with nowhere else to go, history has shown you'd more likely stay put.

Which I guess is the longhand way of saying you'd think alot more of your property rights if they were being adequately infringed.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 11/20/2008).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
And I bet you'd think of your human rights a lot more if you, or someone you love, had to live without them or give them up. Just ask anyone who has lost them recently - like, say, gays and lesbians in California....

Speaking of which, I couldn't believe what Michele Malkin wrote the other day. She was upset because the gays and lesbians in California aren't taking their loss as well as the Republicans who, after all, just lost the presidency and a few more seats in Congress. Hmmm... let's see: Loss of political dominance for 4, maybe 8 years vs. have the right to marry the one you love ripped away from you for possibly forever. Gee, can't imagine why the those silly queers are more upset than, say, John McCain (who has to go back to being a mere Senator).

The woman has the analytical ability of a dog turd. I used to think Michele was at least better than Ann Coulter, but now I admit I was WRONG. Ann writes what she does because it helps sell her books. I don't admire her for doing it, but I understand why she does it. But Michele really seems to ardently believe the hogwash she writes. That's pathetic.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 11/20/2008).]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 14 years ago
I think it's time for me to weigh in on this thread. I just want to say that I don't think that gays OR lesbians should be allowed to own slaves and frankly I can't believe we're even discussing it.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 14 years ago
I wonder how Ms. Malkin would react if Filipina-Americans were denied the right to marry. Would she take the "loss" graciously?
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Posted by Kelly (+2816) 14 years ago
I was surfing my usual news sites, and saw this article...Calling in Gay to protest Prop 8. Interesting idea, but will it be effective? I think not, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

http://www.huffingtonpost...49434.html
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Posted by Nancy Drew (+290) 14 years ago
Are those marriages performed when such vows were legal still valid now that Gays are officially designated as second-class citizens by the California Constitution?

I feel this thread is based upon an OPINION underlined above that is not shared by a majority and is not a truth or in any way factual. Just because you cannot be married to a same sex person does not mean you are a second class citizen or as the thread continues 'a slave'. It is a law that same sex people cannot be married just as it is a law that children cannot be married or you cannot marry a piece of furniture. When the majority of the population feel that 2 people of the same sex can marry, the law will pass. At this time, the majority of the population does not feel same sex should marry so the law does not pass. There is no slavery or 2nd class citizens.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12372) 14 years ago
The majority of the population used to believe interracial marriages were wrong. The Court had to overturn that prejudice. The legal system exists partly to prevent the tyranny of the majority because, believe it or not, the majority can be wrong and what they do the minority can be evil. What they do to the minority is to classify them as second class citizens who do not deserve the full rights and privileges of the rest of humanity.

I also do not equate gays with children, who must be protected because they are not capable of mature judgement (by the way, 50 years ago, children could marry as young as 12 in some states in the U.S.A and whites and blacks could not because most people thought that was A-okay.) People also do not want to marry animals or furniture.

(You know, I was used to people comparing gay marriage to beastiality but furniture fetish is new. I have a couch I am awfully fond of and I know my husband loves his recliner but we aren't getting divorced to marry them.)

Do try to use logic in your arguments. Here are some pointers:

Denying a person a right granted to another who is essentially the same is creating a second class of person.

No one wants to marry an animal or a sofa. Using that as an argument is specious. (Look it up.)

Letting the majority decide in an election is different from letting the majority decide a basic right.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Nancy Drew, you're a mystery to me! Furniture? Where in the world did you come up with that? And just for the record - I didn't introduce the slavery analogy - one of your cohorts did - so I thank you for pointing out that it is idiotic to do so.

Amorette - you've done your good deed for the day. I sure don't have enough Christian love in me to treat the various "points" in Nancy Drew's post as if they are worthy of reply. Waste of time...

Rick - Nancy Drew's post explains why I hold the power of the Supreme Court so dear. When people like that vote, referendums tend to turn into referendumbs.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 14 years ago
Don't worry Steve. It could be worse.

http://www.youtube.com/wa...r_embedded
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
I'm with ya, Rick. Now, why is it that you wonder why I'm skeptical of a democracy without a strong Court system?

On a different note, 8 years ago I had to endure hearing folks justify their vote for Bush because they thought he'd be a nice guy to have a beer with - which at least was true. The real atrocity was all those idjuts who voted for him because they thought he would bring "honor, integrity and character" back to the White House. Talk about misinformed! Now I suppose you know how I felt then. So, nonny nonny nonny!

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 12/9/2008).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 14 years ago
"Denying a person a right granted to another who is essentially the same is creating a second class of person."

- The right for Bob to "marry" Steve instead of Eve has not been granted by society, nor (IMO) should it be. So there isn't a second class issue here.

-Your argument is the exact argument the lefties of this country use to demand that CEO's shouldn't make as much money as they do. It is all based on class-warfare and making certain that no one has the ability to make substantially more than those around them. The burning smell in the room is your hypocrisy.

If life were fair, horses would ride half the time.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
If life were fair some folks would have more horse sense and less self-righteousness.

Actually, Richard, I don't see you as self-righteous. I view you as ardent in your beliefs. And I respect that - though it may not always appear that way.

I just happen to think that mores that have more to do with religious beliefs than empirical facts should be dealt with in the church, synagogue, mosque, etc. - and not in the County Courthouse, State Capital, or Washington DC - no matter what the history.

Justifying something because "that's the way we've always done it" sometimes only means that we've been wrong a long, long time - and only underscores the need to act quickly to right that wrong.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 12/9/2008).]
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1728) 14 years ago
Oh great! The way that I am feeling for my easy chair means that I will have to move to Utah for sure! Don't make me choose!

...not that there's anything wrong with that, you "furnophobe".

Cheers!
FH
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Don't fret, Frank. Surely Arkansas provides another option for furnophiles.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 14 years ago
Please don't tell my bed that I occasionally sleep on the couch or in the lazy boy.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 14 years ago
Frank, please keep yourself and your chair out of Utah. We have enough troubles.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 14 years ago
Taking a lesson from Chad, maybe we should start a new thread entitled "Furniphiles vs. Furniphobes"

That could be furn!
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