Sunday, October 14, 2007
Marriage Mayhem Redux - The Return of Sushi
My pal Sushi Boy replied to some of my questions in Marriage Mayhem. He was a bit put off by some of the snarky comments he received, although I am continuing to extend the olive branch on my own behalf and continue the bitch-sl....er, conversation.
Following are some further thoughts and responses and I would very much like to hear from Sush once again. (I call him "Sush" sometimes on accounta we're becoming friends & all.)
1. Sush, while I appreciate the time you took to provide thoughtful responses, one central question remains for me. In my opinion, you have as yet failed to provide one concrete example of how my marrying Poor George would hurt you in the slightest. Please elaborate, because I really would like to know.
2. Wow, I've been called a bigot before I've even said anything, I wish that was something cool. But its not, It kinda sux.
Sush, we've already been through this. I want you to think of this conversation on substantive issues as a beautiful woman standing in front of you. And think of the angry comments from my Gentle Readers as her boobs. Now, the beautiful woman is saying to you "hey, Sushi! My eyes are up here! Eyes up here!"
3. I'm not going to invite anyone to my house and say, “Would you mind not being gay while your here?” I'm not going to ask the smoker to pretend not to be a smoker, just not to smoke.
I'd have to agree with Vikki - the smoking analogy is inappropriate. Gay people are tired of having our lives compared with sins such as smoking, drugs, incest, bestiality and child molestation. Talk about hurling insults! We really don't appreciate that.
4. Coaster if Poor George is in the hospital I think one person has the right to say who visits him. George does.
You are correct. Same goes for your wife. But you are missing the point here. If your wife is in a car accident and is unconscious and on life support, you get to see her, hold her hand, spend all your time with her if you want and consult with her doctors on treatment. If I am in an accident like this, what does Poor George get? Squat.
Sure, Poor George can spend $300 an hour visiting a lawyer to try to get every single possible future circumstance wrapped up to ensure I am protected and given the same privileges as a spouse (where even possible.) But you don't have to do that. And neither should Poor George. Why are you so much better than him that you deserve this and he doesn't?
5. If [marriage and law are] so intertwined, shouldn't we we look before we leap?
I believe we have been debating this topic in earnest for at least 10 years. Do you think that's sufficient time for us to have flushed out the pros and cons of allowing us equal rights? Furthermore, we on the pro side are still waiting for one - ONE - convincing argument that gay people must remain second class citizens. If you have one, I'd really like to hear it.
6. I don't want Homosexual person to eat in a separate restaurant. Ride in a different bus , or forced to ride in a different part of the bus. But I do not think that Equal means identical. Man marrying a woman is not identical to a man marrying a man. Or a woman marrying a woman.
No, they are not identical - but what is? Consider that these EXACT arguments were made back in 1967 before the Supreme Court finally decided it was unlawful to forbid civil marriage between blacks and whites.
And please, stop calling us "homosexuals." That's such a clinical term - appropriate for a biology lab where you are studying the behavior of mice, but not so much in talking about your friends. "Gays and Lesbians" is fine, thanks.
7. There is also the issue of children.
Not sure what your point is here. Yes, children can result from sex between a man and a woman, but last I checked there has never been any requirement that married people reproduce or even try to. Therefore the ability to procreate or not has absolutely no bearing on this conversation or the right to marry.
If where you are going with this involves arguments in the "children of gay people will be teased on the playground!" variety, might I remind you that our society should not encourage or tolerate mob rule by poorly behaved school children?
8. Now I think most everyone here can agree that the KKK is intent on keeping (unsuccessfully) the black race down....
Yes, and as you recall so was the LDS church until 1977 or 1978, when black men were finally granted the the priesthood. Not this has anything to do with marriage - but since you brought up the topic, I thought our Gentle Readers should be aware of this for context.
Note that while I personally see this former policy as abhorrent, I am in no way suggesting that the LDS church should ever have been forced to admit blacks, gays, women, Indians or anyone else as members or holders of the priesthood. Within the confines of your faith, you all get to make the rules and stick to them as you see fit. The rest of us can find other churches.
9. We see it as a lifestyle that we do not agree with.
Fine. Then don't live a gay lifestyle. And tell your members that if they live a gay lifestyle, they will be excommunicated. No arguments from me.
But you still haven't answered me: why aren't you satisfied with that? Why do you have to insist Poor George and I continue to be denied rights because we live a gay lifestyle? How are we interfering with you in the slightest? I really would like an answer here.
10. Do I think you should lose your house/loft/apartment if PG needs the care of a nursing home. I think if you are kind enough to foot the bill, you should receive some financial safety net, some protection from the government. Put it on the ballot and I'll vote yes.
Sushi, I will go to these troubles if you agree to forfeit your automatic rights as a married spouse and do the same. I would like you and your wife to spend the same amount of time, money, trouble and worry as Poor George and I will have to to protect ourselves. Agreed?
11. My point in studying that court case it that the LDS church limits its political opposition strictly to the issue of marriage. No ad campaigns nothing.
Since you brought up the issue of ad campaigns, I'd like your opinion on the ads the LDS church paid for in Alaska and Hawaii that said things like "I can't marry my dog. I can't marry my sister. Please protect traditional marriage in Hawaii." Can you imagine how offensive that is? We make a few underwear jokes, while you are comparing us to dogs. Maybe we can call some kind of truce?
12. I've been informed that saying “homosexual lifestyle” is what all the 'haters' say, sorry my goal isn't to offend anyone in the gay community (I hope that is a better term).
It is, thanks.
13. OK, who is against teenagers either contracting an STD, or conceiving a baby before they are emotionally and financially ready? Any Yeas? Any Neighs? Has anyone here supported a campaign to hand out condoms to High School Students? How is this not a moral stand? What makes supporting your Moral stand more worthy than a religions?
There are solid, incontradictable arguments that all of the examples you cite above are things that can and do harm people. STDs are bad - people get sick and die from them. Early life pregnancy can be devastating in so many ways. Of course any reasonable person, religious or not, would speak out against these things and do what they can to prevent them. Condoms, although not foolproof, can and do prevent STDs and pregnancy when used correctly. Abstinence is also a great thing to teach and encourage.
You are helping prove my point. Moral stances on all of the above are warranted and necessary to protect the health and welfare of teenagers and other people.
Denying the right to marry to consenting adults does not do anything to protect anyone. It only hurts the people who can't get married. I'm still waiting for just one example of the harm same-sex marriage will cause.
14. Studies also indicate that condoms slip off the penis....
I have absolutely no argument with you that "safe-sex only!" education is not the end-all be-all for kids. I think abstinence is a great thing to encourage. However, I do think kids are better served having the facts about sex and what it can do. It is well established after thousands of years that kids will sometimes find it next to impossible not to surrender to their overwhelming sexual urges. Knowing how to protect themselves is a good thing. Whether teaching safe-sex actually encourages sex instead of abstinence is a matter of debate beyond the scope of this discussion, but it is an interesting topic that I wouldn't mind exploring with you in the future.
The context you bring it up in seems along the lines of "religions teach abstinence and you agree it can have value - why do messages you disagree with have no value?" At least that's how I interpret the gist of what you're getting at.
Short answer is that I find no value to society in telling people outside one's faith whom consenting adults can and cannot marry. Until I hear a convincing argument on how Poor George and I are hurting you or society by getting married, I will continue to see no value in such a message.
15. So every church is forced to perform gay marriages. Now you've forced the Jew to sell Pork in a Kosher shop.
I can guarantee you that this statement is 100% wrong. Our Constitution provides for the free practice of religion as well as protection against having religion forced on you. Mormons will always be able to say who and who isn't married in their temples. I would bet my life on this.
If this is the message your church leaders have been pushing on you, and if you've been convinced by it, I beg you to reconsider this - and see it for what it is, which is a shameless scare tactic designed to promote a mean-spirited point of view against gay people.
16. I've heard this over and over. Gay marriage will never hurt anyone.... The point is I've gone out of my way to not hurt anyone, and people have gone out of their way to hurt me..... I'm done being insulted, and I'm done making myself an easy target for people to insult. What does my underwear have with civil unions? Why attack me in completely unrelated areas?
Sushi, I agree with you on this. But see point #2 above: Eyes up here, young man! I have acknowledged and will continue to do so that fighting words aren't going to help us find common ground, which is why I've agreed to stop using them with you. I really appreciate the time and effort you've taken to have this conversation.
That being said, my regret is that these fighting words enable you to drop the focus of what I'm trying to talk to you about. You opened this paragraph with the exact statement I want you to try to convince me is not true: "Gay marriage will never hurt anyone."
Instead of addressing this issue, the fighting words have allowed you to dodge it by saying "well you hurt me too with all your jokes" etc. I agree. But I would still like you to address the issue, if you wouldn't mind.
(Not to mention the fact that you have a funny definition of "not going out of your way to hurt anyone" when your church has done, and is doing, exactly that.)
17. What is Mormon Watching all about?"
"Mormon Watching" is exactly that: keeping an eye on the LDS church to see what they might try to do to me next.
So again, even if you would like to discuss this in private on email so that my (not always so Gentle!) Readers won't insult you, I am more than willing. Maybe we will eventually find some common ground.