The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Gay Marriage Losses Actually Wins?

I was to busy yesterday to post about Dan Savages New York Times op-ed as I intended. But I couldn’t get it out of my head until I did blog it because, though Savage handled so many issues so well in such a short piece, there were one or two things that needed to be expounded upon a bit further. He tears into into the New York and Washington state court decisions, much in the same way as Kenji Yoshino’s earlier Times piece, and picks on the hidden insult to heterosexuals in both rulings.

What the New York and Washington opinions share — besides a willful disregard for equal protection clauses in both state Constitutions — is a heartless lack of concern for the rights of the hundreds of thousands of children being raised by same-sex couples.

Even if gay couples who adopt are more stable, as New York found, don’t their children need the security and protections that the court believes marriage affords children? And even if heterosexual sex is essential to the survival of the human race (a point I’m willing to concede), it’s hard to see how preventing gay couples from marrying increases heterosexual activity. (“Keep breeding, heterosexuals,” the Washington State Supreme Court in effect shouted, “To bed! To bed! To bed!”) Both courts have found that my son’s parents have no right to marry, but what of my son’s right to have married parents?

A perverse cruelty characterizes both decisions. The courts ruled, essentially, that making my child’s life less secure somehow makes the life of a child with straight parents more secure. Both courts found that making heterosexual couples stable requires keeping homosexual couples vulnerable. And the courts seemed to agree that heterosexuals can hardly be bothered to have children at all — or once they’ve had them, can hardly be bothered to care for them — unless marriage rights are reserved exclusively for heterosexuals. And the religious right accuses gays and lesbians of seeking “special rights.”

Savage is right on the money, but there’s something he touches on that I feel the need to rant talk about for a bit: the strange obsession with reproduction among marriage equality opponents.

It’s an obsession I don’t understand at all. Sure, sure. I’ll chime in with Dan on reproduction and the survival of the human race. But has anyone noticed a population shortage of late? Maybe I’m wrong, but humanity doesn’t seem to be on the verge of extinction due to under population. (Though some of our other activities may be nudging us close to the edge of extinction.) And we’re don’t seem to have that problem in the U.S. specifically. The “red states” are making sure of that with their soaring teenage birth rates. (So much for abstinence-only actually working.)

It comes down to a basic question. Which is most important in the long run: reproducing or raising children? The answer is something I understood early on, but have learned in my bones since becoming a parent. I learned it first by seeing some men prove very good at making babies, but less than stellar at being a good husband and father afterwards. Lesson: almost anyone can make a baby. Almost any 12 year old boy who can pee straight can make a baby. Any 12 year old girl who can achieve puberty can make a baby. But there slim chance either will make great parents. So much for making babies being the only thing. Once they get here they need stable homes and good parents.

And another thing. All this “gays can’t reproduce” crap is rather idiotic anyway. As I’ve said before, of course the hubby and I can’t reproduce with each other. But we didn’t check our gonads at the closet door. Thanks to science, we can reproduce. (And no that doesn’t mean, as one wingnut actually assumed when I said this once before, that I want to get pregnant and deliver a baby.) When we discussed having a family, one of the options we considered was a combination of IVF and surrogacy. But ultimately, neither of us felt it was that important to have a biological or genetic connection to our child. Neither of us felt the need to “bring a child into the world.” After all is wasn’t reproduction on our part that would make us parents. It was the daily business of caring for and raising our child.

It’s what happens after conception, gestation, and delivery — once the child gets here— that makes the biggest difference in how they turn out. Raising and caring for a child is at least as important as the act of reproduction, perhaps moreso given the length of commitment (at least 18 years vs. nine months if one isn’t raising the child once its born). And there’s nothing that shows. gays & lesbians to be worse at it than heterosexual parents. In fact, all the studies and evidence says just the opposite. Our kids do just as well in every way as the kids of heterosexual parents. And even the New York court realized that most of us only become parents after much consideration and effort on our parts, because we want to, rather than by happenstance or accident.

It’s not a question of whether our kids have good parents. They do. It’s a question of whether our kids should have married parents, and the protections and benefits that go along with having married parents.

Of course, the right wing answer to that is that if we cared about that we shouldn’t have become parents in the first place. In other words, if we really loved our kids then we wouldn’t have had them or adopted them in the first place.

I tend to agree with Dan. If these are now the best arguments the opponents of marriage equality can come up with …

These defeats have demoralized supporters of gay marriage, but I see a silver lining. If heterosexual instability and the link between heterosexual sex and human reproduction are the best arguments opponents of same-sex marriage can muster, I can’t help but feel that our side must be winning. Insulting heterosexuals and discriminating against children with same-sex parents may score the other side a few runs, but these strategies won’t win the game.

Maybe sometimes it only looks like you’re losing when you’re actually winning.

25 Comments

  1. I never understood this. For a country so big on “family values” and “moral compassion”- very few people actual participate in the act of raising a family. It not enough bang them out- that is the easy part. Once children are out of the womb- these so called compassionate people through children to the wolves:

    “I don’t want my taxes raised to fund schools, medical assistances, and food assistance for children. How dare people get maternity leave- they are hurting companies and the great capitalist way! Time off or subsidizes child care- that cost too much!” Nice to see these people only think of life in terms of money….

    Funny how morality only enters the picture when if comes to the marriage- as if that is the magic bullet that solves family issues.

    Children should be born to or adopted to families who want them- regardless race, class, or sexuality. Because the most important thing in a family is love- not how much money one has or the gender of the parents.

    Coming from a broken family- I would have loved for the government to have stepped in and placed me in a loving home- instead of thinking it was better to leave me with my biological mother and step father- who clearly looked at me as an expense. Heterosexual couples are not superior solely based on what is between their legs.

    Real parents/guardians of all genders are superior because of the love, attention, and guidence, they give their children. Really families take work.

  2. You raise a great point. As a hetero woman who is the mother of two biological children, I agree completely that creating children and parenting them are entirely distinct. Given all the stringent guidelines in place for adoptions, it makes sense that gay parents who’ve adopted chidlren are more stable, etc. than a sizable chunk of the hetero population, who after all, don’t have to prove a damn thing to reproduce. Of course, many of us heteros make the decision to be parents and do a good job of it, but quite a few just don’t bother to use birth control, and while some of those also rise to the occasion and become good parents, there are many who clearly don’t. and you’re right, none of this has a thing to do with marriage, since married people certainly have the choice to reproduce or not, unless medical reasons prevent them. I guess it shows how illogical all this anti-gay marriage crap is. The reality must be that people who oppose it are just weirded out by it; otherwise why would they such bogus arguments?

  3. All I know is that if Dan Savage is writing op-eds in the New York Times, the country is moving in the right direction.

  4. Actually, I think it was in The Stranger and got picked up by the Times.

  5. Terrance,

    I have to say I’m not impressed, not by you or Dan Savage. It is pretty clear neither of you read the ruling.

    Let me see if I have it right. For both you and Dan seems to be that there is some unspecified assistence that is required for stability in homosexual homes for the children’s sake? First, you should specify what assistence is required.

    Then you should explain why homosexual couples raising children need that stability and not other households.

    Consider the example of two sisters who have teamed up to raise their children. How about a mother-daughter team up? How about two friends? How about a young woman with a child moving into a supportive elderly couple’s home for assistance?

    As a whole there are far more of those arrangements than homosexual headed households. Why are you and Dan excluding them, while making such a passionate argument to help homosexual couples in that situation?

  6. “Consider the example of two sisters who have teamed up to raise their children. How about a mother-daughter team up? How about two friends? How about a young woman with a child moving into a supportive elderly couple’s home for assistance?”

    Anybody raising a child should be able to get access to federal help or social services if available. I’m not sure how you can connect a homosexual relationship with two sisters teaming up to raise their children.

    In the homosexual instance, it is two legal, consenting adult taxpayers, the exact same as in a heterosexual example. And like the heterosexual couple, it is a home, a family founded on romantic love.

    The difference, in your analogy is that the two sisters have the option of marriage available to them, they can marry opposite sex partners with which they are capable of being in love, they just choose to not use that benefit, but instead raise children together. Their ability to get the benefits is not denied, they just elect to not use it.

    That option of marriage is not available to the homosexual couple, their ability to get the benefits are denied. One of the assumed prerequisites of marriage is love. Your example puts a relationship of love against a relationship of convenience and asks for equal comparison and treatment.

  7. Those examples also do not hold because two sisters or other siblings are related to one another by blood, as are a mother and dauther or other parent-child combinations. As blood relations they already have rights and protections that same-sex couples don’t have (and when we do get them through various legal methods, some state seek to take even those away).

    And, of course, in all of the above situations — assuming all parties involved are heterosexual, marriage is available to them in the legal sense and in every other sense, provided they find suitable partners.

    And in most cases, what On Lawn seems to be seeking is already in existance or can easily be brought into existance. Where domestic patnership is available to same-sex couples, it’s often made available to heterosexuals too, either automatically or after legal claims of discrimination are successful. The same may also happen where civil unions in the states are concerned.

    The outcome is that while same-sex couples still don’t have the right to legal marriage and the benefits and protections thereof, heterosexuals not only retain that right but gain one or two alternatives to marriage.

    But honestly I think On Lawn merely brings all this up as a diversion, to change the subject. It’s like I said here:

    So I start to wonder, given all the above, why they’d want to waste their time in a dialogue where both parties are immovable. It’s then that I wonder if, for the third group, engaging in dialogue or at least pretending to is a tactic because if you’re talking to them you’re not talking to the people in the first and second group. And if you’re not talking to the people in the first and second group, spending your energy arguing with the third, then you aren’t making any progress on your goals.

    Thus, I don’t see the point in continuing a dialogue with On Lawn, Chairm or others like them.

  8. The difference, in your analogy is that the two sisters have the option of marriage available to them, they can marry opposite sex partners with which they are capable of being in love, they just choose to not use that benefit, but instead raise children together. Their ability to get the benefits is not denied, they just elect to not use it.

    You bring up many problems…

    1) I’m not interested in the government being the romance enforcers.
    2) You are saying that homosexuals are incapble of loving a segment of society, thus they should be allowed their segregationist tendancies. That is an argument that I thought was already debunked in the civil rights era.
    3) The family is founded on more than romantic love. Where children are involved it is founded on breaking up other families. In Massachusetts as well as nations that have neutered marriage, the state sponsers an alternate procreative story. One that is not based on romantic love, but romantic enterprise. People are payed for their children, to disolve all contact and the government erases the children’s heritage for the sake of this alternate procreative story. This violates UN recognized rights of heritage preservation, and our common sensibilities about human trade.

    And probably most importantly 4) you assume that the daughter has the ability to marry. One dark corner of the argument that people who are inable to become sexually oriented towards a class of people are those that are inable to have people become sexually interested in them. There are also issues of lack of eligable marriagable males in many corners of society.

    Essentially what we see here is not a passive “let them be equal” but an active subsidization of a sexual lifestyle. It is a preferential treatment, as noted above, for segregationist ideals.

    Now, just to show this segregationist mentality lets look at Terrance’s last statement:

    I don’t see the point in continuing a dialogue with On Lawn, Chairm or others like them.

    I don’t believe that both sides are immovable and should stick to each other. Look how that kind of ideological segregation works in the middle east. I believe in building bridges of mutual understanding, Terrance. I’m actually rather saddened by what appears to be your openly proclaimed predudice on this matter.

  9. I don’t believe that both sides are immovable and should stick to each other. Look how that kind of ideological segregation works in the middle east. I believe in building bridges of mutual understanding, Terrance. I’m actually rather saddened by what appears to be your openly proclaimed predudice on this matter.

    I fail to see where we have common ground from which to “build bridges.” You appear to support a status quo that means inequality and a lack of rights and protections for me and my family. I seek equal treatment under the law.

    How exactly do we have common ground from which to “build bridges” unless one of us moves away from our positions? (Which, in my case, would mean an acceptance of the status quo and its inherent inequality.)

  10. You appear to support a status quo that means inequality and a lack of rights and protections for me and my family. I seek equal treatment under the law.

    Spreading falsehoods is not an egalitarian pursuit, Terrance.

    I am for equality, I’ve noted that without challenge from you or your readership. (Although I did see some mockery on Kos from you, but that isn’t a challenge that is simply a week attempt to seek social solace in prejudice)

    I am for a programs that would give all households rights and protections. On that we should be seeing middle ground here.

    I specifically promote marriage as a program unique in its capacity to promote responsible procreation before it happens. I promote RB’s as a program to promote responsible raising of children where the procreation already happened and now two or more mutually dependant adults are raising children. Two adults that are eligable for marriage but for some reason or another, either biological or otherwise circumstantial do not plan on getting married.

    I would like to know that if that isn’t middle ground, what is?

  11. Then what are we arguing about? I don’t have any problem with giving rights and protections to other household configurations. As I’ve noted before, domestic partnership and civil union usually end up being open to heterosexuals, because not doing so usually invites discrimination lawsuits. I don’t have any ojection to legal arrangements that afford non-marital households rights and protections.

    However, I also can’t deny that those other arrangements aren’t marriage, and don’t offer the same rights and protections as marriage. In fact, I’ve blogged about several cases in which those various legal arrangements haven’t protected same-sex couples who are already accessing them as options. The problem is that if you create a category separate from marriage, it’s automaticall vulnerable to being downgraded in terms of the rights and protections it offers.

    So, no matter how you slice it, it ends up being less than marriage, and less than equality. It also ends up threatening marriage in that it offers marriage elligible heterosexuals an alternative to marriage. Same-sex couples, who can’t marry, end up with fewer options. Again, the inequalty is inherent.

    On the other side of the coin, you could create a new leagal status that affords all the legal rights and protections of marriage, but has a different name. At that point, I’m not sure what the purpose is, beyond semantically reserving the term “marriage” for heterosexual use exclusively. Seems a bit silly to me.

    So which is it? An arrangement that’s close to marriage but not quite marriage? Or a legal status identical to marriage, except for its name?

    Ideally, it isn’t an either/or question. Ideally we could “get the government out of the marriage business,” and give everyone civil partnerships. It’s not impossible to have same sex marriage and have what you advocate in your comment. The problem is that marrige itself is not going to go away, neither is the priviledge afforded it. People have a tendency not to want to give up privileged status. It’s a battle to even get them to share it. So, an alternative automatically ends up being less than.

    What it boils down to is this. I want my family to have all the same rights and protections as every other family. Not many of the same rights and protections. Not most of the same rights and protections. All of them. Tell me how we get there under what you propose, and I’m willing to listen.

  12. However, I also can’t deny that those other arrangements aren’t marriage, and don’t offer the same rights and protections as marriage.

    So what do lesbians, or gays for that matter, need with presumed paternity? I’m not sure the same rights and protections as marriage means much sense without a more meaningful discussion on which rights and protections you wish to see.

    The problem is that if you create a category separate from marriage, it’s automaticall vulnerable to being downgraded in terms of the rights and protections it offers.

    I see. The ability to evaluate the relationships ability to benefit society, and find specific needs society can help them with is a flaw, not a feature. The promise to evaluate and see over time is not a bad-faith attempt to stick it to people. After the civil rights movement, and the progress of society I believe you don’t give your fellow neighbors enough credit.

    Same-sex couples, who can’t marry, end up with fewer options.

    As far as options go, there are RB’s, CU’s, DP’s and legal contracts. I’m not sure that I see a lack of options.

    At that point, I’m not sure what the purpose is, beyond semantically reserving the term “marriage” for heterosexual use exclusively. Seems a bit silly to me.

    I agree.

    Ideally we could “get the government out of the marriage business,” and give everyone civil partnerships.

    One thing I do worry about, and that is extending true understanding to the nature benefit marriage is to society. People value marriage, not just for tradition but for precident. To say that you don’t care about marriage as long as everyone gets the same title doesn’t make much of a case that you really care about marriage at all.

    I’ve outlined many things I care about marriage. I hate to see those taken away because some segment feels that it oppresses them. If its benefits, those benefits can be argued and extended — end of story. Leaving the question of homosexuality aside, the neutering marriage is bad in and of itself. It devalues motherhood and fatherhood, it equates procreative responsibility with white supremacy, and it creates a unwanted child industry. It also attempts to present homosexuality for the benefits of the disabled for the sake of equality. That is not equality, that is disability fraud.

    I am homosexuality agnostic, but I care about children and I care about helping out the handicapped. Because the parents who concieve the children have such a unique position to benefit those children, I value marriage highly.

    Don’t get me wrong, I value equality. I just hope I’ve matured beyond drawing a line between any two groups of people and demanding they be equalized. Passively removing barriers to equality is good, actively tearing something down to homogenize them is not so good. I’m pro-equality, but not state mandated homogenization.

  13. You’re not talking about equality. You’re advocating a separate status. If what I’m seeking is equality — my family having all the same rights and protections as other families — what you propose doesn’t get me there. What it effectively says is “this far and no further.” Thus, to accept what you propose means accepting inequality for myself and my family.

    You also seem to assume that same-sex unions, and for that matter heterosexual unions that do not or cannot produce offspring, are of less value to society. I’ve addressed this elsewhere, but gay people can reproduce. No, not with each other, but we’re as capable of reproduction and many of us choose to do so through the use of IVF and surrogacy.

    What’s more, many of us adopt those “unwanted children” you mentioned (seeming to suggest that we’re responsible for creating them in the first place), and it’s been shown that at the very least same-sex couples are no worse than heterosxual couples at parenting, and that our children fair just as well as the children of heterosexual couples in terms of their development, etc. So both in terms of reproducing and sending well-raise children into society, we benefit soceity as well.

    But beyond that, even couples who don’t reproduce benefit societ in numerous ways, from taking care of one another in illness to supporting one another economically, so that that state doesn’t have to. We probably also tend to be healthier and live longer, as do our married heterosexual counterparts. Bottom line, whether they produce children or not, couples in stable relatioships — gay or heterosexual — benefit society.

    But what bothers me most is that your arguments, particularly the earlier ones seem to suggest that gays & lesbians, purely by virtue of our sexual orientation, are “bigoted” and “discrminatory” against the opposite sex.

    As far as i’m concerned, that undermines just about everything else you seem to be saying, unless you can explain to me how I’m misunderstanding you.

  14. You’re not talking about equality.

    I’m not sure that is fair to say. I’ve said I’m not for homogenization, an intrusive and costly act of government. And I’m not for neutering marriage.

    Equality is as equality does.

    what you propose doesn’t get me there.

    Neither does neutering marriage. All that does is take away priveledges and rights from everybody that homosexual couples cannot have, and give special pleadings to homosexual couples. That is not equality. To put salt in those wounds, anything that acknowledges an important role of something homosexual couples are not capable of is painted as the moral equivelant of white supremacy. Thats definately not equality.

    You also seem to assume that same-sex unions, and for that matter heterosexual unions that do not or cannot produce offspring, are of less value to society.

    I can assure you that your assumption is wrong. It assumes that by calling something unique and beneficial for a particular circumstance that I am devaluing something else. This presumption of oppression because people don’t say homosexual couples are all things to all people underlines a shrill appeal to something other than reason.

    An honest and circumspect evaluation is required. I hope you can extend faith to your fellow citizens in their part in that process.

    I’ve addressed this elsewhere, but gay people can reproduce. No, not with each other, but we’re as capable of reproduction and many of us choose to do so through the use of IVF and surrogacy.

    Gay people can reproduce, I challenge you to find where I’ve said otherwise 🙂

    A gay couple cannot, your IVF and surrogacy are ways of purchasing babies from parents, or at least paying parents to have nothing to do with their children.

    Children are severed from their parents by course of life. I challenge you also to point out where severing children from parents is anything but making best of tragedy. In the case of a homosexual couple purchasing medical technology and assistance of parents willing to sever ties from their children, that in and of itself is a reason to question the venture of neutering marriage. Helping children out in need is one thing, creating them in need so you can help them out is crossing the line.

    and that our children fair just as well as the children of heterosexual couples in terms of their development, etc.

    That would be a bad interpretation of scientific data. Jon Rauch points out that the data shows that children in same-sex households can be raised as well as children in gender-complete households. There is no data that suggests this is by-in-large the product. As a statement, to say that children can turn out just as well as another set ofchildren says much about society and the children themselves. It says nothing about the advantages or disadvantages of their being raise.

    Also, the line being drawn in those studies is not between children in in-tact households and homosexual households. The line is between homosexual and heterosexual households that may or may not be in-tact. Social evidence strongly suggests that in-tact families have more capacity to help their children than severed but re-constituted families.

    Even children in well off families seek to know who their parents were. Even Rosie O’Donnel’s adopted son wishes he had a father.

    Bottom line, whether they produce children or not, couples in stable relatioships — gay or heterosexual — benefit society.

    Hold on there. Homosexuality is not a handicap, and your equating the two is not very enlightened. It is true that many handicapped can be assisted to be great citizens and neighbors. They play a great role in society, both in encouraging our service and understanding for them and in what they can still accomplish. No one is questioning that, that I can tell. But to say that homosexuality is a handicap and deserves the same government status might be equality in your eyes, but it is by no means humanitarian.

    particularly the earlier ones seem to suggest that gays & lesbians, purely by virtue of our sexual orientation, are “bigoted” … against the opposite sex.

    I’m not out promoting bigotry or calling names. However when people tell me that they require a special pleading based on their inability to love a segment of society, I call it as I see it. It is asking to institute and promote in the government level bigotry and prejudice in pampering minority at the expense of others. If you wanted to have white-only public schools, even if just as a choice along integrated schools, I’d feel the same way. No matter how you slice it, it is between sex-segregation and gender integration. Marriage is the worlds oldest institution of integration, and I have no reason to believe that integration is somehow oppressive. Unless you have the adolescent attitude that anything enforced is oppressive, that is.

    I’m all for acknowledging the devotion and mutual reliance that homosexuals have in their romantic pairings. I even find their aptitude for fostering children to be useful for society. I want to extend them benefits as I do mother-daughter pairs, or even two women friends helping raise each other’s children. Thats equality, is it not?

  15. oh, but the idiocy continues.

    Onlawn says:

    “1) I’m not interested in the government being the romance enforcers.”

    But you are interested in them rewarding some relationships and punishing others.

    OnLawn says:

    “I specifically promote marriage as a program unique in its capacity to promote responsible procreation before it happens.”

    Has anybody REALLY read this sentence? Hmmm?

    OnLawn says:

    “Marriage is the worlds oldest institution of integration”

    And mankind is SO grateful that you created an institution to help men and women integrate. HOw did they ever get by in the 10 million years before goverment was invented?

    Oh, Terrance, how do you refrain? How do you refrain?

    This is why my blog isn’t political. The idiots work me up.

  16. but the idiocy continues.

    Or the immaturity 🙂

    But you are interested in them rewarding some relationships and punishing others.

    I’ve stated I’m for “rights and priveledges” for same-sex couples. Now it seems to me that you call it a punishment when you don’t get what you want. I’m not here to speak much on mentality but one wonders what mentality reminds us of people who think that not giving them everything they want is oppressive to them.

    And mankind is SO grateful that you created an institution to help men and women integrate. HOw did they ever get by in the 10 million years before goverment was invented? … The idiots work me up.

    You are correct when you say that government didn’t create marriage. It recognizes it. But you are wrong, I didn’t create it either.

    Whatever force decided that there needed to be two sexes to species and that integration was required for procreation, you decide. But I can’t think of anything else to attribute the formation of the ideals of marriage to other than that. Can you?

    Or, are still getting too worked up to reply rationally?

  17. While I'm still wondering if there's a point to continuing this conversation, let's take another approach to this.

    What rights and protections do you think same-sex couples should have? Which do you think they shouldn't have?

    Were it in your power, which would you grant them? Which would you withold?

     List them by category ("should have"/'shouldn't have").

  18. “Or the immaturity”

    Well, OnLawn, you certainly nailed that one on the head. You must be snickering sitting there at your computer with a golden halo of self-righteousness circling your head. How dare a family with children seek for and expect equal treatment in regards to federal and state matters. How immature they must be, for they clearly do not deserve, parents and children alike, the same protections that you enjoy. Damn them for being immature. Snicker away in your self-righteousness and let the world see the harm you would inflict on families and children.

    “Now it seems to me that you call it a punishment when you don’t get what you want. I’m not here to speak much on mentality but one wonders what mentality reminds us of people who think that not giving them everything they want is oppressive to them.”

    That statement makes sense if I ask for something above and beyond what you have. I am simply asking for equality and so that statement sounds clueless and condescending. Somebody asking for EQUALITY is dismissed as asking for ‘whatever they want’. I’m the type of fag that would bitchslap your sorry ass if we were ever in the same room. You and your bigotry harms families and children and I won’t tolerate it in my presence. You are pure evil.

    Heaven forbid, someone should ask you for equality, and you go on snidely about somebody wanting everything. Do you realize how pathetic and evil you sound?

    I can see someone someday asking you to let him live and you just roll your eyes and say ‘gosh, you want it ALL don’t you?”

    Whatever. You are evil and not worth negotiating with.

    “Whatever force decided that there needed to be two sexes to species and that integration was required for procreation, you decide.”

    You missed my point entirely. Nature made there be two sexes and nature made them both needed for procreation. NOBODY IS DISPUTING THAT. What I am disputing is your insistance that goverment needs to enforce and forward it because you believe nature can’t do it on it’s own. Nature has created families for millenia without marriage. There are six billion people on this planet. SO MANY IN FACT, THAT 10,000 DIE EVERY DAY FROM STARVATION. So how fucking long do you think you need to keep helping make sure guys and girls can procreate? And how long do you think denying gay families benefits will help men and women procreate?

    Whatever.

  19. Terrance,

    Thanks for the invitation. I’ve appreciate the question as I’ve asked what rights and priveledges you are asking for your family so such a conversation can happen. I have wanted to engage in such a discussion for a long time. The most I’ve seen from anyone who wishes to render marriage gender-neutral is a pointing to a survey of 1,000 legal incidents regarding marriage. I looked into the legal incidents and found them, item for item, to be not equatable to the points you are wishing to discuss. Some were, some weren’t.

    Were you to provide such a list I’d appreciate it quite a bit. Much of what I will note in this post is just a summary of what I’ve already outlined above.

    I have brought up one point, presumed paternity, which is something that doesn’t make sense for lesbian or even gay couples. But beyond that I’ve stated other rights and priveledges not neccissarily for hetero v homosexual couples, but certainly have an impact on our assessment of this debate. In fact, that is my main argument, that we need to approach this debate not by drawing a line between two points (hetero v homo) creating some divisive war between them. We need to look at this more circumspectly, we need to look at other groups and classifications and see their interest in the outcome of marriage.

    I’m thinking about children when I think of marriage. I’m for preserving their link to their parents wherever possible. There are many medical, cultural and humanitarian reasons to preserve these links. Because of that I’m against turning birth certificates into ownership reciepts, reflecting a legal composition of parenthood and completely dissolving the biological and cultural reality. This argument was one that convinced me about neutering marriage, and was provided by Prof Velleman of NYU. He takes it more in depth here.

    I’ve also noted how I am for protecting the priveledged status of the disabled. People who are disabled have a condition where they cannot do what we normally expect from a person. As a society we try to give them extra resources so that they can, for their own life, achieve everything that others can. This is discriminatory in their favor but it is humanitarian. It is homogenization, but I believe in their case for it, and I’ve outlined its humanitarian needs above. It is a special pleading, and one that I see abused in the argumentation to neuter marriage. Again that is outlined above.

    As far as the rights that should be given? I believe the state might have an interest in a relationship of mutual trust that two people might engage in. When I say “might” it is my believe there is but I await the public debate on this point before declaring what the state has interest in or doesn’t have interest in.

    But looking at homosexual couples I see that two people can form a reciprocally beneficial relationship with someone they trust to make decisions for them on matters of mutual interest. That is a freedom they can express, a freedom of association on personal matters of interest. They are people who share a dependancy and trust between them. So hospital visits, even making medical decisions for each other, etc… I believe that matters of sharing pensions, health insurance, are a problem that should be better addressed. It should be addressed in such a way that people can choose who they assign their benefits without anything but their own desire to do so. I don’t believe forcing companies to do so is the way to do that, I believe a new economic model is the absolute best way to achieve that kind of freedom. But that gets into Dan Morgan’s “No Speed Bumps” advocacy.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I am very happy to see you wish to discuss nuts and bolts rights and priveledges. Lets get real, not vague. I believe that although not exhaustive I’ve already laid the foundation for this discussion in my posts above.

    I am interested in, before discussing your take on my points, your answer to your own question. I’ve only taken on a few specific points and others I feel can be generally addressed.

    And while I like taking on every point from every challenger, I don’t think SteveS made comments a person of your calibre and poise would have condoned. I’ll kindly let them lie for now.

  20. I’ve taken the discussion to a new post entitled “What Rights Should Same-Sex Couples Have?” That details some of the broad categories of right’s and protections under the marriage umbrella.

    One note. The likelihood of launching an entirely new economic model in order to obtain the rights and protections being discussed strikes me as pretty slim, or so far into the future that putting off rights and protections for same-sex couple until that’s achieved strikes me as putting it off permanently. I’m interested in how we achieve them under our current socio-economic system, in as little time as possible.

  21. It appears my comments there are in moderation? Perhaps it is just taking a bit to update.

    On the note of the ecomonic model, wasn’t it Ralph Waldo Emerson who noted that for a thousand people attacking the branches of a problem, only one is attacking the root?

    The most immediate solution is not neutering marriage, as the examples on that post show. They support the argument found in the dissent of the second Goodridge decision where the justices pointed out that even calling both relationships by the same name was not enough to homogenize them.

    The only way to fix those problems is to make their case, each individually to the public and get them granted inspite of their title. You can do that by making a case for them as RB’s, or you can do that by changing the economic model they are based on to afford more freedom to the recipients. But nothing short of that will give you what you appear to be after.

  22. Yeah, let my defense of families and children lie, OnLawn, like the good man you are.

    I’m tired of negotiating with people who have no power, and I agree with your initial comment to me Terrance, and I’m sorry to have vented on your thread.

    I think just one thing should be addressed in all fairness, to any continued discussion.

    Who is OnLawn? I think if someone as Terrance is going to sit down and discussion which rights, benefits and privileges he is entitled to, he should at least know who he is discussing them with, no?

    In a court of law, you are entitled to face your accuser. Should we not at least get to know more about the person who so graciously is offering to throw us a few civil liberties out of his own generousity?

    Or else he should answer on what grounds he’s qualified to make a negotation on this.

  23. He needs to say what qualifications he has to have this discussion. Isn’t that fair?

  24. Terrance,
    I have to say that there are several rights that same sex couples should have. I won’t bother listing them on here because you have basically covered all the rights here on your page. I don’t know what it is like to be gay, but I suppose that knowing a few gay friends who went to high school with me isn’t so bad.

    Let me explain just a little bit about a few of my friends and your opinion will be appreciated if you feel that you must give it. Two of my friends, Rysuke Ryo Takashi and Hunter Knight, had just recently gotten back together with their other soul-mate, Mitchell Li, and I was actually glad for them; however, Hunter’s mother can’t accept the fact that he’s quiet happy with his boyfriends. “I have tried my best to reason with her; telling her that she should be happy for me and so on, but she still shuns me each time we talk on the phone. My dad was surprised, but still told me that he loved me no matter whether I was gay or not.” was what my friend Hunter had said to me. The only question I have is why is my friend’s mother being so hateful towards her own son for being gay?

    Two other friends of mine just recently got married as of July 9, 2006. They were good buddies in high school and really didn’t know that they were so close like lovers until two of our other friends, Kenzaki Kazuma and Tachibana Sakuya, had told them during christmas break of 2004. At first I was a little uneasy seeing my friends, Hajime Aikawa and Mutsuki Kamijou, together but after a day or two I just told them that as long as they were happy then that’s what counted. Sometime before their marriage, they had adopted their son, Ryu Kamijou Aikawa, when he was only 5 years old. I don’t know the story with what happened to Ryu’s biological folks, but my best guess is that they must’ve been killed if my two friends adopted him.

    I’m sorry if all of my babbling has taken up your entire time though, but I’ll get right down to the point. When it comes to same sex couples and what rights they should have, I strongly believe that “they should have the same rights as any heterosexual couple.” I don’t know why, maybe i’m weird because it shouldn’t matter whether a person is gay or not, they are human beings and should be treated with equality and have the same rights as straight married couples.

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