Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Proposition 8 and crimson fishes.

What follows was an anonymous comment left on my blog in response to my post on Prop 8.  First off, I think anonymous postings on blogs, if done intentionally as such, are cowardly.  It's like running up to someone and criticizing them and then running away to hide.  I will grant that the individual may not have known or had the capacity to leave a registered comment and if so the anonymity was forced upon them by circumstance.  Even at that, I've disabled anonymous comments.  Feel free to disagree with me, just leave your name. :)

Secondly, the comment fails to address the distinction I make between civil unions and marriages, and consequently isn't really a response.  It's more just talking past what I said and ignoring it.  Despite this I thought it might be worth addressing directly anyway.

I find many interesting comments here. I would like to say something in the interest of people's point of view because of their 'religion'. We all subscribe to values based on whatever we choose to believe or not. Everyone has the right to their opinion (Constitutional 1st Amendment rights) and should not be denegrated [sic] for their beliefs - regardless of why they believe what they do. Freedom of Religion is also part of our fundamental rights. Our nation was founded by 'believers' and has been fundamentally a Christian nation. While we must separate Church and State (meaning the State cannot dictate the beliefs held in the church or govern it in any way) we cannot separate morality in our laws without dire consequences to our society. 

We outlaw stealing, murder, prostitution, drug abuse and a host of other behaviors we deem detrimental to the good of society. This is not to deny anyone their rights, as to allow them would trample on the rights of others. 

While I have to agree that law is predicated on the concept of justice and the common good, I have to point out that it is always a balancing act.  Any given law is subject to secondary unintended (or sometimes intended) effects that run counter to justice and the common good.  For example, the South's support of slavery in the Civil War was not only about the assumption that some human beings are of a inferior status to others, it was also tied to the economics of the South.  They had a model of producing commodities that had come to require cheap easily controlled labor.  Abolishing slavery caused hardship to many people, but it was the right thing to do.  Your argument oversimplifies the situation and simply ignores many of the issues involved. 


Secondarily, this line of argumentation is predicated on same sex unions being a moral evil.  This is not a granted point and therefore needs to be established for it be used as a point.  You build on a foundation that has not yet been shown to be a foundation.   

While Prop 8 is with us in this election because 4 State Supreme court judges overturned the will of 61% of California voters who voted to MAINTAIN marriage between a man and a woman in 2000 (Prop 22), same-sex marriage is the heart of the issue.

A majority vote in no way guarantees justice.  This is why we have the Supreme Court to begin with.  Many groups would have long since been crushed or run out of this country if a majority view was all that was needed to establish a matter of law.  

There was a day when the majority of the population of this land thought it was ok to own other human beings. That didn't make just.  

There was a day when the majority of the population of this land thought half of our species shouldn't have the right to vote.  That didn't make it just.

Increased specificity of a definition is not “maintaining” anything.   Adding an amendment to the constitution is a change.   Regardless of it being good or bad, it is a change.  You fail to describe what is actually happening and therefore the argument does not actually correspond to reality.  It is a fiction.

Just look at this from a common sense standpoint. Extrapolate out from gay marriage [sic] a generation or two. We will have children who don't understand the male/female relationship because won't have been modeled in a same-sex home. You will have children who have come from a sperm bank or surrogate mother or adopted in same-sex 'marriages'. Nature has no way of working in these relationships. 

We have so denegrated [sic] marriage (free sex; easy divorce, infidelity, etc) that, for some, gay marriage isn't a stretch at all. 

Allowing same-sex marraige [sic} into our society as 'equal' to marriage between a man and a woman will confuse children and will create a society of people who don't know who they are. 

I just love it when someone equates their viewpoint with “common sense”.  It's a subtle attempt at social control in that it makes differing with their view on the given subject a divergence from “common sense”.  One of the tricks of dogmatism (be it on the Left, or the Right) is to label those that disagree with you as somehow morally, spiritually, or intellectually flawed.  This is not something that is limited to any given ideology. Both liberals and conservatives do it.  I imagine that centrists like myself do it as well.  It's always dirty pool no matter who does it. 

We already have a huge percentage of the population that has no understanding of “male/female relationships”, whatever that specifically means.  Your comment seems to be predicated upon an assumption of different roles for males and females, otherwise you would probably just say “marriage relationship.”  Such a distinction This distinction between male and female roles in a marriage is something that is  derived from a specific religious tradition, and should not be imposed upon people as a matter of law.  So, one of the major building blocks of your argument is not given.  

I would argue that the way we relate to each other should not be contingent on gender and the marriage relationship, aside from sex and romance, differs in degree rather than nature from our other relationships.  I do believe that sex ideally shouldn't occur outside of a monogamous committed relationship, be it “marriage” or civil union (even if the civil union is heterosexual).  Note, an insistence that people be married (my specific preference) or in a civil union if they are in a committed relationship would be a imposition of my religious beliefs that I am not willing to make because I consider such an imposition as unjust.

Allowing gay marriage won't facilitate people failing to know who they are.  It will not however facilitate the social definitions you consider normative and might wish to see imposed upon the general populace.  Your argument is based on a presupposition that is not granted.  I (actually, as a religious person myself) do not see your assumed gender roles as normative or even moral. 

It would appear that you are not really addressing what you say is problematic.  Prop 8 does not keep same sex couples from adopting children.  It does not make more children born within marriages.  It does not keep  people from obtaining sperm from a sperm bank and having a child that way.  These are all red herrings and have nothing to do with your assertion that Prop 8 should pass.    


Roots are important to healthy growth. Take the root from the plant and you soon have a withered and dried up plant incapable of producing healthy fruit/flowers, etc. (that's just how nature works) Roots are important to people, too. 

Your analogy is inadequate.  Roots are necessary for plants to survive.  A human being can survive  and even flourish in the absence of knowing both (or even either) parents.  Nice try, but the analogy fails to provide the point you hoped it would.   

Genealogy is the number one 'hobby' around the world. People want/'need [sic] to know where they came from, who their families are. It is a huge part of our identity...knowing who we are, belonging, etc. 

The social chaos (not to mention the diseases) that will result from same-sex marriage (promotion of the gay lifestyle) will be our undoing! 

Hunh?  Committed monogamous same sex relationships lead to disease?  What disease(s) is that?  And we've been over “knowing who we are” already.  Asserting “social chaos” will happen is a far cry from showing that it will.  I can make all sorts of claims about hypothetical future universes but that isn't evidence of anything.  

I recently became aware of a 4-year old boy who learned who his father is and was beaming it to his pre-school classmates. He knows his father's name...and now his name...which was a huge piece missing in his life. Now that he knows who his father is, his identity is becoming more whole. (consider how this child might feel if he were to find his father is a nameless stranger from a sperm bank who he will never have a relationship with!? or the friendly next-door neighbor who is a willing donor or who knows? 

I'm glad that the child profited from finding out about his father.  Would the kid get a positive benefit if he found out that his father was a drug dealer or murderer?  Is knowing his father an intrinsic good and necessary?  Or was the result actually more contextual than that? 

One example in no way provides compelling evidence for a point.  I can provide evidence of specific people surviving car accidents because they did not wear their seat-belt.  This in no way proves that people should not wear seat-belts.  It is called anecdotal evidence and in no way indicates the example is statistically significant or anything more than an interesting story.  

Studies show that children do best in homes with a mother and a father in low conflict situations. 
I'm sure that some studies do provide results that probably indicate that.  Now, is that all studies, or just the ones with which you agree?  :)

Those who advocate gay marriage don't want 'equal' rights, they want domination. They want to 'force' themselves to be accepted in places where their lifestyle goes against anothers [sic] beliefs/values - ie. churches, schools, Drs. who don't want to inseminate lesbian women because of their own values, adoption agencies, who for their own values don't want to adopt children to gay/lesbian couples, etc. Same-sex couples want to 'force' acceptance of their lifestyle in our society. They don't merely want to live/let live. 

Just like those african-americans that wanted to “dominate” others by “forcing” people to allow them to have equal rights back in the 60's?  Yeah, they wanted to “force” people to allow them to sit where they wanted on the bus, and use the same water fountains, and use the front door of a restaurant rather than the back.  Those fascists! (Yep, I was being ironic in case anyone was wondering).

Welcome to America my anonymous friend!  It was founded by people that wanted to “dominate others” by “forcing” them to accept their way of seeing and moving through the world as just as worthy of being accepted by the government. 

Your use of language is telling.  You speak of a status, “gay/lesbian couples” rather than a behavior set of homosexual sexual acts.  I find that troubling.  

Let's take a  look at the world I live and work in.  I'm a criminal justice professional who has worked primarily with addicts and the mentally ill for about 15 years. An alcoholic is an alcoholic regardless if they are active in recovery or in active alcohol use.  A oxycodone addict is an oxycodone addict even if they haven't used for years. A schizophrenic is a schizophrenic even if their mental illness is medically controlled.  (No, I'm not equating homosexuality with mental illness or addiction.)

Now, should decisions be made about these people based on status?  “Nope, you can't have artificial insemination, you're an alcoholic.”   “Nope, you can't live here, you're bi-polar.”   This would be discrimination based on a status.  We have laws against that sort of thing, not to mention that it is wrong.

Are the decisions of our hypothetical doctor based on behavior?  Is it any of the doctor's business what happens in the bedroom of her client?  Does the doctor check to see if the prospective parents are liars, adulterers, racists, or even married?  Is it the doctor's job to make moral judgements about her clients' lifestyles and provide or not provide medical services based upon that judgement?  I would say this is outside the bounds of the doctor's professional consideration even if her moral judgements are right. 

And the majority of lesbians/gays don't want marriage at all because it is about SEX (Not children/not families) and they go from partner to partner with great frequency. 

First off, how do you know what the percentages are?  Secondly, who cares what they are?  Why are those to whom this proposition means nothing and has no applicability even being discussed.  Once again, a red herring. 

Marriage is about CHILDREN. We owe it to the future generations to preserve the order in nature - common sense- that perpetuates our human race and creates the best possible chances for healthy human beings/families/identities. 

VOTE YES ON 8. (but with no hate - just common sense)

So, are those who have no children not married?  Are couples that are incapable of having children some how less married? 


Just because you say something “Marriage is about CHILDREN.” (nice job on the all caps.  It really makes it seem...  like you yelled the word. ok.) doesn't make it true.  Who says marriage is about children?  God doesn't.  The Bible doesn't.  Maybe your understanding of the Bible does, but that's inside your head and isn't binding on any of us living outside your head.  Just for fun, look at all the marriages in the Bible and count how many were motivated by a desire to have children.  If there are any that fall into that category (heck, there may be) I'm certain it isn't the majority. 


Nope, I'm not saying that marriage has nothing to do with children, but it certainly isn't “about CHILDREN”.  Please fight the urge to force a false dichotomy on the issue that doesn't exist in the real world or in my words.


And...  I already addressed the “common sense” thing.

Proposition 8 is an attempt for a group to impose their religious beliefs on the entire state of California.

1 comment:

NonCharon said...

Hey San Leandro, my wife says that if you're waiting for someone to put me in my place, take a number.