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Churches and Gay Marriage: Why Don’t They Mix?

(NOTE: My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of terrorism in Mumbai. Such a terrible tragedy. I just can’t write more about it today.)

Why Is This Scary?

Why Is This Scary?

After the passage of California’s Proposition 8,  I’ve been shaking my head over why many religious institutions are virulently against gay marriage. This interview with Richard Rodriguez, an author, fervent Catholic, proud Hispanic, and “out” gay man, has a very interesting take on the subject. According to him, it’s all about the family and the wimminz, and how the church is afraid of losing its power over them both. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of this theory before, but Rodriguez makes a convincing case for his point of view.

The first couple of paragraphs pack quite a wallop.

For author Richard Rodriguez, no one is talking about the real issues behind Proposition 8.

While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, Rodriguez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

Rodriguez goes on to say this about how the feminist movement and the gay rights movement are linked, in the minds of those who are invested in religious institutions:

American families are under a great deal of stress. The divorce rate isn’t declining, it’s increasing. And the majority of American women are now living alone. We are raising children in America without fathers. I think of Michael Phelps at the Olympics with his mother in the stands. His father was completely absent. He was negligible; no one refers to him, no one noticed his absence.

The possibility that a whole new generation of American males is being raised by women without men is very challenging for the churches. I think they want to reassert some sort of male authority over the order of things. I think the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women.

Monotheistic religions feel threatened by the rise of feminism and the insistence, in many communities, that women take a bigger role in the church. At the same time that women are claiming more responsibility for their religious life, they are also moving out of traditional roles as wife and mother. This is why abortion is so threatening to many religious people — it represents some rejection of the traditional role of mother.

In such a world, we need to identify the relationship between feminism and homosexuality. These movements began, in some sense, to achieve visibility alongside one another. I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society. The possibility that we can form ourselves sexually — even form our sense of what a sex is — sets us apart from the traditional roles we were given by our fathers.

Rodriguez says that religious institutions are intensely invested in defining the idea of what constitutes family, and that is why they are against feminism, since it empowers women to choose their own definition of family, and even decide to refrain from having children should they so desire. Additionally, gay marriage threatens the idea of the traditional family unit of man, woman and children.

It seems to me that the correctness of this idea cannot be disputed. If you look at the rise of the right-wing frame “Family Values,” it has a special resonance in the religious community. Some of the most powerful religious leaders have the word “family” in the title of their organization; for example, James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family,” or Tony Perkins’ “Family Research Council.” If you even glance at their sites, you will see what an important recruiting tool this idea of religion defining family is. In addition, the pro-Proposition 8 movement called itself the “Protect Family” movement.

Rodriguez goes on to discuss sexual hypocrisy in religious institutions. He mentions the irresponsiblity and violence towards women that exists, unremarked by the Catholic church, in the Hispanic community. Then, he talks about the Mormon church, which embarked upon a multi-million dollar campaign to stop gay marriage.

The Mormon Church has this incredible notoriety in America for polygamy and has been persecuted because of it. The very church that became notorious because of polygamy is now insisting that marriage is one man and one woman. That is, at least, an irony of history. But as a number of Mormon women friends of mine say, the same church that espouses the centrality of family in their lives is also the church that urges them to reject their gay children.

The abominable sexual behavior of the Catholic Church does not escape his condemnation either.

Then there is the Roman Catholic Church, my own church, which has just come off this extraordinary season of sexual scandal and misbehavior in the rectory against children. The church is barely out of the court and it’s trying to assume the role of governor of sexual behavior, having just proved to America its inability to govern its own sexual behavior.

Amen, brother! The hypocrisy is mind-blowing if you step back from the propaganda for even a small second. But the churches do not want to look at themselves and take responsibility for what is happening to them – their loss of power and influence in American society. Instead, they would prefer to blame the gays and the wimminz. It’s so much easier than changing with the times to attract more followers, isn’t it? You know, doing things like admitting there is no reason whatsoever to exclude women from the priesthood, or allowing priests to marry, or letting go of the desire to control womens’ bodies, or recognizing that Jesus loved all people and didn’t care whether they were gay or straight.

There is so much more in this interview to digest. But I’d like to highlight one more quote on how he believes gay activists should proceed in their efforts to gain equality. It’s called RESPECT.

I think gay activists should be very careful with this issue. We should not present ourselves as enemies of religion. I am not prepared to leave the Roman Catholic Church over this issue. The Catholic Church is my church. I was a little concerned about the recent protests outside the Los Angeles Mormon temple. I’ve seen this sort of demonstration escalate into a sort of deliberate exercise of blasphemy.

For example, in the most severe years of the AIDS epidemic, activists from ACT UP went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, took the communion wafer and threw it on the ground. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. One should be respectful of the religious impulse in the world. If we decide to make ourselves anti-religious, we will only lose.

I could not agree with this more. We liberals often offend our fellow Americans’ deepest beliefs when we protest without respect; when we burn flags and throw communion wafers to the floor, we are getting attention, but not in a way that helps our cause.

May we all learn to talk to each other with more dignity and respect.

145 Responses

  1. …posted a response to you madamab on the other thread, but I don’t know if it figures in here. So, to avoid repetition, I’ll leave it over there to make acqaintances. Now, back to reading your post……

  2. May we all learn to talk to each other with more dignity and respect.

    Such a simple solution in its coherency yet it is seldom practiced.

    Great post once again, madamab! So much time and effort put into a topic that needs to be properly addressed. And as long as “religion” relegates women to the back row, this will continue.

  3. I’m not gonna try to guess where religious groups get their beliefs. They are free to believe the moon is made of green cheese if they want.

    I just don’t want anyone’s religious beliefs being imposed on me.

  4. Myiq – I know what you mean…but if we don’t understand them, how can we win them over? Or help neutralize their harmful effects?

    Just sayin’.

  5. Oh, and thanks, PJ!


  6. Amen.

  7. Anytime people are discriminated against we all lose.
    No matter what the cause of the discrimation the lack of talking and exchange of ideas is diminished and we all lose.



  8. madamab:

    “Separation of church and state”

    Civil rights shouldn’t be put to a vote.

  9. I agree, helenk.

    It was only this year that I realized how culpable I was in promoting an atmosphere of dismissal and disrespect. Every Republican was a moron and a traitor, according to moi. No one could POSSIBLY have a good reason for voting Republican.

    Oh, the humility!

  10. myiq – Absolutely not. The haters are always more organized than the non-haters.

  11. but myiq…easier said than done. As I said in an earlier thread, Bush and Obama both got elected by pretending they were religious figures to be worshipped (and election fraud helped).

    I hope Obama throws those evangelicals under the bus, or we will see a lot more intolerance and hatred under his regime.

  12. This is just one of my many opinions about some organised religions , but it does seem to me they are shame guilt , blame and power based systems . One of the power systems is as ancient as controlling who had whose children , as one type of hierarchy > gay marriage does not fit this system , and is therefore anathema .

  13. am in moderation was it something I said?

  14. swannie, let me see what I can do…

  15. madamab
    don’t hold your breath waiting for O to throw the Evangelicals under the bus.
    the DNC wants their money.

  16. Swanspirit, here is your comment – you used the word “contr0lling,” which has the word “tr0ll” in it. Spammy doesn’t like that word.

    This is just one of my many opinions about some organised religions , but it does seem to me they are shame guilt, blame and power based systems . One of the power systems is as ancient as contr0lling who had whose children, as one type of hierarchy > gay marriage does not fit this system, and is therefore anathema.

  17. THANKS Madamab LOL spammy strikes again LOL

  18. catarina – It seems that Obama is pretty comfortable with mixing religion and government. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m getting my burka ready.

  19. Someone would die before they put me in one of those things ….even if it were me ………….

  20. Hey, raising a whole new generation of males without men in the house? Maybe there is hope for human beings after all!


  21. kalll – LOL!

  22. Before claiming that churches and gay marriage don’t mix check out these guys:


  23. Excellent post, madamab. Gene Robinson, the only gay Episcopal bishop, has advised gay RC priests that they should work to have women priests first, because he believes that the anti-gay bias in some churches is actually a bias against all things feminine. I think he’s correct.

  24. Nijma – The article you linked said that certain individuals within the Methodist Church are defying the church’s authority and performing gay marriage. I applaud them, but the Church is threatening retaliation because….the Church is against gay marriage.

    I never said religious individuals did not support gay marriage. I said some religious institutions don’t. And your article proves me right.

  25. grayslady – I am so glad I read this Rodriguez interview. I think Gene Robinson is right too.

  26. Then check out the “reconciling congregations”:
    There are some 300 of these groups–I belong to one.

  27. Nijma – Come on. Seriously. Are you claiming that religious institutions like the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church, which I named in the post, support gay marriage?

    What is your point?

  28. This is impressive.
    Too bad the Catholic, Mormon, and other gay-paranoid churches don’t have similar groups:


  29. Right, catarina. That’s what Nijma was linking to. I like the idea, but I don’t see how it proves that the premise of my post is wrong.

    Maybe what the Mormon and Catholic churches need is for women and GLBT folks to create their own sub-churches within the larger group. Those churches are in serious need of reform.

  30. I have been gay for forty three years. I was married to another woman by the same UU minister who married my sister and brother-in-law two weeks later. That was a huge mistake, but that’s another story.

    I have no intention of marrying again. It isn’t necessary in any state where rights are protected by partnership laws, civil unions, etc..

    I am. however, in favor of gay marriage. Why?

    It is simple. If a toothless, barbaric, neanderthal from some backwoods, jerkwater town has the right, then I should have the right. Equality, nothing more.

    That said, I will point out that I worked in politics for years, some of them as a paid lobbyist for gay and women’s groups. This particular battle is going to be horribly hard to win, and I’m not sure that we should be trying to win it in it;s current incarnation. We are trying to overthrow people’s religions. That is an uphill battle, and if we win it, it opens the door for abuse of religion, and for backlash.

    I truly beleive that the best way to proceed, would be to try to move marriage out of government. Let marriage be a religious symbol, and stop having government sanction it. The only thing government should be is set-up legal entities, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. If a couple gets “married” in their church, they would still have to go to the government and get a civil union, or domestic partnership to be entitled to legal benifits.

    I think it is time that we stop wasting energy fightin religions that have been around for two to three thousand years and get back to insuring equal rights.

    It would do some good to move religion further away from government. Then, government could focus more on protecting all of its people, and less on not making enemies in the clergy.

  31. Churches by their nature have top-down leadership.

    And that leadership is usually ossified.

    Don’t expect them to change anytime soon.

  32. I’ve been nabbed by the spammy-could it be that he wants my chocolate?

  33. myiq – the only way they’ll change is if their congregants demand it. Even then, it will take a lot of congregants to make anything happen.

    You’d think the Catholic Church, at least, would have instituted some reforms after the molestation scandals, but they remain as dedicated to their misogyny and homophobia as ever. And the Mormon Church isn’t much better…

  34. 54% of Catholics voted for Obama … so much for ‘that’ institution …


    this link is to all the articles on google that state 54% of Catholics voted for Obama

  35. ooooops .. I got caught in the spam filter ..

    was saying/proving that 54% of Catholics voted for Obama …

    the links probably did it …

  36. warrior princess – IMHO, this is exactly right, from a practical standpoint.

    I truly beleive that the best way to proceed, would be to try to move marriage out of government. Let marriage be a religious symbol, and stop having government sanction it. The only thing government should be is set-up legal entities, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. If a couple gets “married” in their church, they would still have to go to the government and get a civil union, or domestic partnership to be entitled to legal benifits.

    If my husband and I, who were married at City Hall and not in a church or temple, are entitled to legal benefits, then why wouldn’t a gay couple married at City Hall be entitled to the same benefits?

    It makes no sense.

    Let’s have civil unions carry the same weight as marriages sanctioned by religion. That way, the churches can be as against gay marriage as they want and it won’t deny anyone civil rights.

  37. “…sub-churches..”

    Just populate the seminaries and produce an elite that doesn’t recognize all of the beliefs of the institutions to which they now belong (they know what is best). Then, once ensconced with enough power, “reform”. [It works well with governments too.]

    The good old Anglican communion is looking pretty these days with churches being torn apart, whole Diocese being torn apart, people losing their churches (building and keys too!).

    Ironically, one faction has all the money and the other all the members when it comes to the church internationally. LOL!

  38. myiq2xu- “Churches by their nature have top-down leadership.
    And that leadership is usually ossified.
    Don’t expect them to change anytime soon.”

    Word. My problem is not with religious freedom. People should be able to believe whatever the hell they want. However, their beliefs should not be codified into law. Their religious institutions should not have special rights. Religion should not have a special place at the table, like for instance religious folks claiming moral authority and advising the president, because it should be something that is respected as a personal freedom, not as a larger sacrosanct institution. I have no end of respect for personal spirituality. I’m sick to fucking death of being told that their spirituality is more valuable than my personal morality because theirs derives from the sky-bully and mine is self-imposed.

  39. Catarina – I don’t see your post in moderation. Can you try again?

    And do you really have chocolate?

    (drools a little)

    Briana – If you post more than one link, Spammy will eat your post at first.

  40. Interesting NYT Op-ed:


  41. Madamab- the problem is that these churches can’t get rid of misogyny, its their major selling point. Churches need to market themselves just like any corporation. They are hesitant to change because its a strong meme they’ve been riding for hundreds of years. If they became more egalitarian, only a very small percentage of their churchgoers would follow, I suspect. The rest would find a new misogynistic, punitive religion to follow.

  42. defying the church’s authority

    This sounds really odd when applied to the Methodists. Not all churches have an authoritarian structure, and the Methodists certainly can’t be compared with Catholics in that regard, or even Lutherans.

    For example, a Lutheran pastor is assigned to a church by a central organization and equipped to come into a church and provide all functions and services. But the Methodists have committees that do everything from reading the Bible to making the decision of when it’s time to search for a new pastor. The annual conferences are made of half clergy and half lay people, so when you see that a certain conference made a certain decision, it means they had a majority of votes at that conference, not that there was consensus.

    From my experience, I would say the divide is deep and there is a huge discomfort with gays–but only on the part of some people. One comment I have heard is about one individual who only cross dresses on Sunday and attends various churches in rotation. Another comment was about some gay newsletter with sexually explicit language that was left in a church. I didn’t see it, but that would not have been appropriate IMO no matter if gay or straight.

    IMO the policies will not change until the comfort level or individuals changes, and that will take an ongoing dialog. In the meantime, I don’t see a consensus in the GLBT community itself about marriage (as opposed to civil union and social recognition of partners)–at least I haven’t seen any discussion of it anywhere.

    The real discussion should not be why those nasty churches (and why never the mosques?) aren’t doing x, y, and z.. The discussion that should be taking place within the GLBT community is whether marriage is the optimal solution and and why.

  43. Charles Blow has coined the term “Afropublicrats” in his NYT piece linked above. He also says logic doesn’t work against the bible. True that.

    mad, I broke into the dark chocolate truffles I bought for one of those *emergency* holiday gifts in case I forgot anyone or had an unexpected guest. After reading a few pages of The Zone book you recommended and lets just say it was an *emergency* 😉

  44. SOD:

    Some Correntians took objection to your NOW post from yesterday.

  45. Nijma, on November 30th, 2008 at 2:21 pm Said:

    The discussion that should be taking place within the GLBT community is whether marriage is the optimal solution and and why.


    What is the problem for which marriage is a solution?

  46. Today’s Doonesbury is teh funny

  47. UTC, don’t look at me, I’m not married.

  48. myiq
    I know the Corrente people are your buds but are they serious about single payer health care?
    where’s my fucking pony?

  49. catarina:

    I was kicked out of Corrente.

  50. I used to like Doonesbury, but this one I found upsetting.


    Language Log just won some kind of blogging award, I’m upset about that too.

  51. myiq
    good for you!

  52. catarina – That is fascinating. Some really good stuff in that article.

    Something that bothers me, though, is this: Why don’t these journalists and pundits ask instead of speculating about motives? The author says that 75% of black women voted for Prop 8, but then he engages in pure speculation as to why. Why didn’t he ASK the black women why they voted as they did?

    This is a pattern I’ve seen over and over again when it comes to women and the media. Very few pundits actually interviewed PUMAs as to why we were supporting McPalin or Clinton or why we were against Obama. Because we are “only” women, it was perfectly acceptable for opinion-makers to pull reasons out of their butts and attribute them to us.

    Certainly, the interviews could have been done. But it’s so much easier to make sh*t up. After all, people will believe anything about women, won’t they?

  53. it’s their loss, myiq.
    you might have been able to explain to them that if they hold out hope for UHC they’ll most likely be disappointed..
    couldn’t find the comment’s about SOD’s article but after the pony stuff I didn’t care any more.

  54. exactly SOD exactly exactly exactly ….

  55. sod

    the universal *KMA* symbol, for future reference, is

    ( I )

    and if you’re feeling particularly feisty, follow the symbol with the letters *RITC*, for Right In The Crack.

  56. But nijma, you write that “the discussion that should be taking place within the GLBT community is whether marriage is the optimal solution and and why.” I do not think you can question whether marriage is an “optimal solution” without telling us what you think is the problem to which marriage is a solution (let alone an optimal one). I may be mistaken – it seemed to me the words were implying that GLBT folk have a “problem” which they think can be “solved” by marriage. I imagine, just like regular folk, many of them simply want to get married. If I got it wrong I apologize.

  57. (_(_

    omg PULL YOUR PANTS UP myiq cheesh

    averts eyes

  58. mad
    do you think if those AA women had been exit polled they might have said Obama called them on the phone and told them how to vote?
    Blow didn’t mention the robocalls.

  59. I’m an acquired taste

  60. UTC – I think the problem is that gay people are not awarded the same civil rights as straight people when they marry.

    SOD – You posted links. Sometimes they have to be posted twice. I am reposting for you:

    We interupt this thread for an important message:
    Check out “The View from Under the Bus” with angienc, afrocity, regencyg, madamab and SOD on PUMA United Radio (PUR) at Blog Talk Radio

    Begins: December 10th @ 9:30PM

    Get ready folks…it’s gonna be a bumpy ride on that bus! Join us for serious and snarky “dish” about women’s issues, sexism and other related topics.

    –We’re coming out from under the bus and giving them hell!
    VISIT OUR WEBSITE: http://theviewfromunderthebus.wordpress.com/

    and TAKE THE POLL “The Top 10 sexist/mysogynistic events of the 2008 election”
    We return now to your regularly scheduled program!

  61. I suspect the opposition to gay marriage is not so much about women’s roles as it is about sexuality. Historically religion has had a bad opinion of sex, since at least when Augustine was a Mannichaean. Back then the neo-Platonists were bad rapping sex because the products of sexual reproduction weren’t immortal, but over time the meaning got changed. There are some who do believe sexuality is a gift from God. If so, God must have a tremendous sense of humor to create something so silly and make humans seek it out so aggressively.

  62. Actually, Lambert and VastLeft were approving of SOD’s post.

    T’was others who t’were critical.

  63. catarina – LOL! You turned to chocolate after reading “The Zone,” didja? Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.


    You asked: do you think if those AA women had been exit polled they might have said Obama called them on the phone and told them how to vote?
    Blow didn’t mention the robocalls.

    Sure. But this reason made my husband laugh:

    “(3) Marriage can be a sore subject for black women in general. According to 2007 Census Bureau data, black women are the least likely of all women to be married and the most likely to be divorced. Women who can’t find a man to marry might not be thrilled about the idea of men marrying each other.”

    Um, if they’re gay, why would women want to marry them?

  64. myiq – How did Mandos feel about SOD’s post?

    Oh wait. I don’t care.


  65. lol madamab! a husband is a husband and sex is overrated?

    and yes, The Zone freaked me out so badly I’ve decided to just quit food altogether starting tomorrow..

  66. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Mandos since the election.

    He’s probably back in his glibertarian cantata class

  67. catarina – Oh NOES! Don’t do that!!!


    Here’s the non-scary version: just go 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fat at every meal. If you have dessert, split it with a friend. If you have alcohol, um, forget it and make your next meal a Zone one.

    The hardest thing is eating more vegetables and fruit, and fewer complex carbs. It does work, though.

  68. myiq – LOL!

    He sings the low notes.


  69. Corrente is starting to resemble Atrios – each post is little more than a cryptic sentence and a link.

    I never liked Atrios much either.

  70. Madamab-
    “Um, if they’re gay, why would women want to marry them?”

    a la Jack Lemmon- Security!

    The problem is inequality. The solution is full equality, not some bullshit separate but equal status, and thus MARRIAGE rights.

  71. Yay, you brought it over here, madamab!


  72. madamab:

    It’s all about the meta meta

  73. what about the coffee, mad? please don’t take my coffee!

    I read that there is an Italian version of the Zone and it’s adapted for the Italian diet. If I can find that I might survive, as there is no way Italians would go on a no coffee/no pasta diet!

    A few years ago a local newscaster went into Boston’s little Italy
    and asked the locals what they thought of some study results that *proved* bread was bad for you.
    They laughed at him and said it had to be wrong because bread is so good!

    I did like it that the Zone plan doesn’t forbid all carbs like south beach..

    anyway, sorry to be so OT

  74. myiq – I liked Atrios for the commenters. When they started dumping all over Hillary, I left.

    meta meta – sounds like “pizza pizza”! LOL

    scrubs – 🙂

    Sandra S. – I don’t know if civil unions means “separate but equal.” To me it is more like “separation of church and state.”

  75. catarina – Oooops – forgot about the coffee. D’oh!

    I’m going back on it tomorrow. I’m going to decaf, but slowly….

  76. Maybe the Correntians would like to sign the NOW petition.
    Lets send 500 signatures to Kim Gandy:


  77. Must get going now. Later Conflucians!

  78. madamab- they’re only separate but equal if only gays get them. If straight folk can still get married but “non-traditional” couples can only get civil unions? That’s separate but equal.

    My ideal situation is to give everyone legal civil unions and let churches handle the marriage part. Legal rights for all, church sanctioned relationships only for those who want them and who the church is willing to sanction.

  79. So basically exactly what you said. I’m just against the use of two different terms with different levels of legal rights.

  80. Sandra S. – your idea is what many are proposing. I agree very strongly with it.

  81. ciao, mad! thanks for the post

  82. UTC: many of them simply want to get married

    Many of them simply want to marry more than one wife.
    Many of them simply want to marry their dog.
    Many of them simply want to marry their first cousin.

    “simply want to” is not a very good argument.

  83. “different levels of legal rights”

    How is this different for civil unions as opposed to church marriages?

  84. What aggravates me is that the churches seem to cherry pick. I was taught as a Christian that we are all sinners and God has the power of forgiveness. Who are they(religious leaders) to decide who is and isn’t going to Hades and who should and should not be allowed to receive sacrament? That’s God’s job, not theirs. My biggest problem with religion is their seems to be something almost haughty and vain(which by the way is a sin) to assuming that you know God’s will better then others and you can determine which of his words take precedence or contain more importance than others.

  85. NOW can bite me. After their behavior this primary cycle, it has become apparent to me that their version of feminism is way different than mine.

  86. CWaltz

    sign the NOW petition and include “NOW can bite me” in the comments section after the signature field.

    NOW can bite me, too.

  87. There is currently only one type of marriage legal in the United States, and that is civil marriage.

    A couple can participate in civil marriage by obtaining a marriage license and living together and identifying themselves as spouses; by obtaining a marriage license and going through a civil ceremony with a judge, notary or other civic official; or obtaining a marriage license and going through a religious ceremony of their choice. All three hinge on the civil instrument of the marriage license. With it, any of the three arrangements is a legal marriage. Without it, none of them is.

    There is a great deal of deliberate obfuscation on this point, coming from all sides. Any couple, gay or straight, is entitled under the Equal Protection clause, to a civil marriage. (It may take a while to get the courts and the citizenry to recognize this fact, but the legal foundation is there.) Whether any couple is entitled to a specific religious ceremony is up to the religious body to decide. Attempting to re-brand civil marriage as civil union or some such other semantic dodge does not address the issue of equality–it simply widens the category of separate but equal.

  88. myiq, you handsome devil
    maybe you’ll put a post up with a link to the NOW petition.

  89. There is currently only one type of marriage legal in the United States, and that is civil marriage.
    Technically, okay, if you don’t count common law marriage which is recognized by several states, but also the states determine who can sign the papers. They recognize clergy as people qualified to say that the marriage has been performed and sign the certificate. In the ceremonies you used to hear “by the power vested in me by the state of ____ I now pronounce you….”

  90. okasha skatsi-

    I agree that “attempting to re-brand civil marriage as civil union” doesn’t address the issue of equality, really. Except that having the US government recognize gay couples as being equally as deserving of legal rights and a legally recognized union is a major step forward. That way at the very least it isn’t the COUNTRY discriminating against us, it’s only the churches (and we’ve known they weren’t on our side for ages).

  91. arg…. I had to stop reading comments about half way down. The comments on this thread are reminding me of the abject ignorance of the dkos community on the topic.
    1… SOME religions object to gay marriage
    2…SOME religions are top down and NOT by nature but by design.
    3… I do not worship a sky bully thank you very much
    4…”marriage” is a legal contract. Where it is sanctified and the intent of the couple is what determines it’s religious nature or lack of same.

    pwarrior princess, plenty of atheists get “married” at all sorts of venues and they like the word marriage. Lots of people who are not terribly religious get married in churches and they too like the term “married”. Taking the word away does NOTHING to change the status of the legal contract and will only piss off straight people.
    If I ever get married again it will be in a church and I will be damned if I have to then go have another ceremony at the court house.
    The best and only workable solution to this problem is to give all people the right to marry, same or opposite sex and let the churches determine which marriages they will perform. Believe it or not there are also many religious gay and lesbian couples who would like to get married in a church and call it marriage.
    In fact churches have no say in who does or does not get married except in the fact that we keep going to the polls and voting for politicians who do not have the balls to admit it and change the damn laws.

  92. badbones:

    Keep insulting people around here and you’ll be asked to leave

  93. I don’t see how gay marriage can continue to be illegal any more than slavery could continue to be an institution. It’s an equality issue. As long as the government gives heterosexual couples certain rights (tax, inheritance, right to decide for partner under special circumstances) not available to other couples, there will be discrimination. As long as the military treats gays and heterosexual singles differently, Americans will continue to believe that discrimination is correct. Another way to equalize all citizens would be to remove all laws that give special rights to heterosexual couples, but that’s not going to happen.

  94. For starters, Congress should pass legislation that allows same sex couples to file joint federal tax returns.

    Most states adopt the Internal Revenue Code, so this would push many states to address same sex rights.

  95. Nijma, on November 30th, 2008 at 3:17 pm Said:

    Many of them simply want to marry more than one wife.
    Many of them simply want to marry their dog.
    Many of them simply want to marry their first cousin.

    “simply want to” is not a very good argument.

    nimja, who wants to marry their dog? What “simply” meant in my comment was that many gay people are not trying to “solve a problem” by getting married – they just want to get married. Are heterosexual people solving a problem by getting married? If not, then why is marriage solving a problem for gay people? I am simply not getting it.
    Why would I think that you think they are trying to “solve a problem”? Because you wrote about marriage as a “solution”. A solution to what problem? I do not see what the problem is (apart from madamab’s clear explanation).

    I do not see GLBT folk as having a problem. Some people may have (do have) a problem in not accepting them for what and how they are, and that does, indeed, create problem for them, but not problems of their own creation, and not problems that marriage would “solve”.

  96. myiq2xu, your comment to me is hysterically ironic.
    That is exactly my point. Do you KNOW who your fellow PUMA’s are or do you just assume that we all walk in lock step on every topic?
    In fact there is a massive amount of ignorance and insult in this thread directed at plenty of PUMAs.
    Let me repeat.. I do NOT worship a sky bully. Not ALL churches are against gay marriage. Not ALL churches are top down and those that are are NOT that way “by nature”.
    Care to address my disagreements rather than just threaten me?

  97. Gary Davis and urgetocompute
    you wrote about marriage as a “solution”. A solution to what problem?

    What part of “I am not married” do you not understand?

    Those who are looking for a dogwhistle insult in every utterance are bound to believe they have found one, whether the subject is homophobia or racism.

    No one has answered the questions 1)what rights are conferred by church marriage that are not conferred by civil union 2) should people who “simply want to” marry any person (s) or any creature (s) be allowed to? What is marriage? What is not marriage?

  98. BTDB is correct, there is a lot of generalizing about religion on this thread, and by people without any firsthand knowledge.

  99. New Post Up!

  100. I leave and everyone gets testy!

    Oh well, this is a controversial topic. If people would not take things so personally, it would be very. much appreciated. Insults are not welcome, and comparing us to DKos is really uncalled for.

  101. badtodembones-

    I’m sorry if you’re offended by the term sky-bully. I’m offended by the idea that religion is deserving of some special level of respect beyond that accorded to any other personal beliefs (and obviously we’re not always respectful about say, the political beliefs of O-bots around here). Not all churches are opposed to gay marriage. I was raised in the United Church of Canada- very open-minded. In Canada, gay marriage works by the state saying who can form a legal union referred to as a “marriage” and the churches decide if they’d like to perform the ceremony and recognize that union or not.

    I do think its noteworthy that people disagree on this blog all the damn time. Recently there was a thread with a lot of condemnation of young feminists doing things that were considered vulgar or inappropriate. I thought that thread was a load of shit. People make sweeping statements that bug me. My option is to argue about it, not to condemn the entire blog for being insufficiently respectful of my point of view. This is just a tiny hint of the enormous amount of entitlement surrounding religion. Do you get my point?

  102. And Nijma, I have no clue what you’re trying to say. You have no right to speak of anyone else’s firsthand knowledge. Do you really think you’re the only one here who has experience with religion?? Then you talk about people marrying their dogs??

    I don’t get where you’re coming from. And saying you’re unmarried is not an answer.

  103. Nijma, I’m also confused by your point. If it helps, I was raised religious, have since become an atheist, I’m married, and I’m queer. So I have firsthand knowledge of everything in this thread. And nobody wants to marry their fucking dog.

  104. Marriage was a religious construct first and a governmental construct second. I agree with warrior princess that trying to battle long established, very wealthy religions on this issue is not the wisest course.

    I agree with the idea of making all unions civil and allowing people to “marry” in a religious ceremony if they choose to do so.

    To play devil’s advocate, why do “couples” get to define a family? Marriage does confer on two people financial benefits that single people don’t receive. If gays marry or are given job benefits because of a civil union, it will increase the cost to my employer. If my employer pays more for group health insurance, there’s a likelihood that my benefits will decrease. Where’s the benefit to a person who chooses not to marry?

    I have a family. Some are relatives and some are very close friends but they are the people with whom I live my life. I depend on them and they depend on me. Because we don’t sleep together, none of them can get insurance coverage through my job or continue to receive my pension if I die.

    I think that the law should recognize a “one person” rule. To be fair, we should all be able to designate one other adult as our family and that person should receive the benefits that are currently restricted to marital partners or, in some circumstances, partners in civil unions.

  105. badtodembones:

    Your comment was specifically offensive and insulting to me.

    I wasn’t making a threat, I was asking you do abide by the rules for commenting at The Confluence.

  106. Marriage was a religious construct first and a governmental construct second.

    Actually, that’s got it exactly backwards. In most early societies, the marriage “ceremony” consisted of the bride leaving her father’s house to live with her new husband, accompanied, where the families could afford it, by feasting, drinking, dancing and a public procession. It was a civil contract whereby the father handed over a piece of his property–his daughter–in exchange for specified consideration. It was no more religious than the sale of a mare.

    In other early societies, where there was a more equal relationship between the sexes, the gifts were exchanged between the married partners; it was, again, the formation of a civil contract.

    In Christian Europe, marriages were not routinely performed in churches until the late Middle Ages/Renaissance. The Roman Catholic Church did not require that a priest officiate until the middle of the 16th century, under the provisions of the Council of Trent. While local priests frequently did perform marriage ceremonies prior to that date, bear in mind that the local clergyman also tended to be the local government bureaucrat, charged with record-keeping and census duties as well as his obligations to the church.

    I agree that historical perspective is necessary and desirable in this discussion. But I think it should be accurate history, not a revisionist reading designed to “prove” Teh Eeeevilll of Religion or exaggerate the already demonstrable shortcomings of the patriarchy.

  107. A lot of people here have already left blogs because they were expected to bash women in general and Hillary in specific. Anyone who protested about that was being “offensive and insulting” to teh Precious.

    Now it looks like everyone here is expected to bash religion.

  108. Nijma:

    Bash religion all you want. Just don’t insult the other commenters when you do.

  109. okasha,
    I’m not trying to rewrite history or prove religion evil. I loathe revisionism and I’m a rational religious person who sees the good and the bad in organized religion.

    I was referring to the Old Testament where marriage was defined by religious law. You’re absolutely right that it involved a civil contract as well. I suppose it’s just an early example of the intertwining of religion and government.

    I’m not bashing religion. I do object to the patriarchal nature of some religions including the LDS, Islam and the RCC.

  110. Oops, bash or defend religion – just don’t insult other commenters.

  111. Jean Louise–

    True enough that under Judaism, marriage was heavily regulated by religious authorities. Under a theocracy–and early Judaism, which dates from the 7th Century BCE, was a theocracy–virtually all social institutions are regulated by religious authority. But OT practice didn’t influence early Christianity nearly as much as Greek and Roman customs and laws did, much less the development of the institution in Western Europe through the Middle Ages and the Reformation/Counterreformation. (Christian fundamentalists are an exception here, of course, from the Puritans to the Falwellites.)

    Apologies if I mischaracterized you. I have been seeing just such a trend in several threads here, where a mythologized women’s history/history of religion takes the place of dealing with the actual historical facts, which are unpleasant enough without the extra dollop of romanticism on one hand and demonization on the other.

  112. Boy, this is a thread where my opinions are probably best left to myself, since I’m certain most here would vehemently disagree with me. It is interesting though to read people’s thoughts and examine their thought processes on the issue.

  113. elderj:

    Discussing religion is always a touchy subject.

  114. elderj, we had a major discussion of religion on a previous thread. I couldn’t find it though. It was more diverse than this one. I found it liberating, but then I’m a Unitarian Universalist at heart.

  115. elderj,

    I take it elder is your position and not your name?


    I googled Greek and Roman marriage. It appears that our marriage customs are very closely related to Roman customs and some commonality with Greek customs.

    I think fundamentalist religion is driving the anti-gay marriage fervor in this country, combined with a fear of the unknown.

  116. purplefinn,

    It went on for a couple of days, didn’t it? That was one of the first discussions that I joined. There are a lot of people with strong opinions, pro and con, on this blog. It’s hard to avoid grating on someone else no matter what you believe. UU is probably the best bet here, though.

  117. Okasha-

    “I have been seeing just such a trend in several threads here, where a mythologized women’s history/history of religion takes the place of dealing with the actual historical facts, which are unpleasant enough without the extra dollop of romanticism on one hand and demonization on the other.”

    This is beautifully put. I see a lot of this and it drives me nuts. Thanks for the dose of reality.

  118. I am a born again, evangelical, Episcopalian, and I am Gay. Imagine the eyebrows I raise in a Red State!

    All this arguing has taken me on a roller coaster of emotions and right now I am crying…

    I want to be able to say to the man I have lived with, built a home with, and loved for more than 6 years, that I will be by his side “until death do us part” and given that he has had HIV for over 15 years we may not have that much time to let everyone argue their point of view….

    Is that simple enough for ya?

  119. Jean-Louise–

    I agree that fundamentalist religion is one of the major drivers of homophobia in our society, including the campaign against equal marriage. The other, I think, is the way our society constructs masculinity, which can have religious overtones but mostly tends to be a reflection of class structure and the power that goes with it. If you look at the places where homophobia and misogyny are most strongly expressed in our culture, you also find such things as gang identity, anti-woman music, heavy alcohol and street drug use, a propensity for violence and promiscuity with extra points for begetting (not fathering) as many offspring as possible. In other words, you find a cadre of economically and educationally disadvantaged young men who have no one to “be better than” but women and LGBT’s. This is not a particularly religious population, and it cuts across all ethnic groups.

  120. Topher: in LA not L.A. said: “Is that simple enough for ya?”

    Yes, and poignant enough too.

  121. Sandra S.–

    Thanks. It drives me nuts, too. I’ve seen more of it than I ever want to at some of the other “liberal” blogs I frequented up till the early primary season. (DU was a primary offender.) It takes me back, it does, to a place I found very unpleasant. The Confluence has certainly been better than that, and I hope it will continue to be.


    Indeed. You and I both should be impossible in some worldviews. I’m no longer a Christian–I was a once-born Episcopalian–but I certainly continue to respect my former faith and those who still hold it. I left it for my ancestors’ traditional practices, but it was a thoroughly amicable separation.

  122. I am a born again, evangelical, Episcopalian, and I am Gay. Imagine the eyebrows I raise in a Red State!

    I don’t believe it is my job to go out and convert people, I believe it is my job to let my faith live through me and if the opportunity arises to spread the Good News of God’s love, I will follow my heart in doing so.

    In my view proselytizing should be similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan: Easy Does It! Very few are actually led by God to speak his word, most are led by hubris.

    When the church, and I am speaking universally here, stops being a beacon of hate, discrimination, and hypocrisy… and begins to live up to the tenets of the two basic instructions that Christ left us with; and become a beacon of faith, hope and love, they will have more credibility.

    Those two tenets are: Love thy neighbor as thyself; and to love God as he has loved us.

    Sounds simple enough right? But, those hardheaded zealots cannot get the simple message of loving thy neighbor as loving thyself, as this world has become increasingly smaller; that means everyone in the world is our neighbor.

    But the rub is that many cannot love their neighbor because they don’t love themselves. They are too busy judging, which they are not supposed to do and oftentimes that judgment comes from the way they judge themselves.

    They should remember when pointing a finger at someone else, there are three other fingers pointing back at them!

    They have an even harder time with loving God as he has loved us. Judeo-Christian faith is based on the belief that God sent his only son to be a sacrifice for our sins. This kind of unconditional and selfless love is an anachronism to many Christians, their heads and hearts can’t encompass this type of self sacrificing love.

    I for one struggle with these two daily and I have been a Christian for most of my 40 years… I am perfectly fine with anyone not being believing…really!

    Please don’t let a few annoying zealots make any of you feel bad about yourself.

    Faith is a choice for a person to make on their own, regardless of your choice; God loves you and so do I!

  123. Yes, Topher, it is. And it breaks my heart that anyone would try to stop that from happening.

  124. Hope that wasn’t too preachy…but it was from the heart…which I wish more people would tap into and speak from!

    And, it is my heart that keeps me from being more angry than I am at homophobes and bigots and women-haters…

    I know somewhere deep inside of those people something is fundamentally flawed if not broken…this helps me to temper my anger…

    But, and I hate quoting him, our President Select, said that “we have a righteous wind at our backs”…only I believe that women and gays have that wind…he was only feeling the breeze!

  125. This is not a particularly religious population, and it cuts across all ethnic groups.

    okasha, I agree that homophobia tends to have a significant connection to feelings of powerlessness but the organized opposition to gay marriage appears to be coming from fundamentalist churches. They believe that God made Tab A to insert into Slot B and they’re not amenable to redirection.

    My heart goes out to you and your partner. OTOH, I recall the thought that I had when a gentleman wrote about his sense of loss at losing his wife of sixty years. You and he have both had the gift of true love. Honestly, how many people can say that?

  126. madamab:

    It breaks mine too; daily…

    Spousal Equivalents are just as high maintenance as a spouse if not more; we don’t have the luxury of being married, so we have to spend lots of money setting up wills, living wills, powers of attorney, trusts, etc…

    We have to provide proof of our “financial dependence” through documentation of our bank accounts, credit cards, and on and on, just to get domestic partner health insurance!

    The only thing we’d have to provide if we were married would be our word and a date, sometimes the certificate is required, but not often.

    OT-I hate the term domestic partner!!! It makes it seem like we clean houses together, when I can’t get him to put his socks in the hamper!

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but please be happy with your spouse and realize how lucky you are, or anyone is, that has someone that pledges before God and everyone to love and cherish you till death do you part.

    Some of us don’t get that, we get to go to a lawyer’s office, and sign papers on a cold marble conference table, which in our state, if the constitutional amendment stands (passed 2 years ago and now in the courts), may or may not hold up in court!

    I am lucky, because my parent’s have promised they won’t challenge the will as has my Spousal Equivalent’s…but not all are so lucky.

    Even with their promises, the state may challenge it, under the amendment if it stands, because the amendment nullifies any documents that confer any “benefits of marriage” including inheritance by someone who is not a legally married spouse.

    The amendment is being challenged due to it addressing more than one issue in its wording. This is a definite violation of our state constitution which states an amendment must only address one issue only, even if it requires multiple amendments to address an entire issue.

    And, as for the death do you part, part; my Spoual Equivalent will definitely slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God, long before I do…

    So I cherish each day, even when he pisses me off and I call him an ass, he still knows I love him, because I know that I will think of that when he is gone and beat myself up for it…

    But, if I don’t treat him as though he didn’t take thousands of dollars of medication a month to keep him alive, he’d know I am thinking about that; and that would really hurt him, plus he is an ass so that is a bonus!

    Much love and wishes for all of you to have a long and happy marriage!!!

  127. JeanLouise – Yes, that is where the organized opposition is coming from – from conservative (not just evangelical) churches.

    If we are not going to admit that uncomfortable truth, which Prop 8 made abundantly clear, then we are not going to have an honest discussion about gay marriage and how to help our LGBT sisters and brothers gain equal rights as citizens.

  128. Jean-Louise–

    Yes, much of the organized opposition to equal marriage comes out of conservative churches (and synagogues and mosques, etc..) They’re the ones who have the infrastructure and funds to wage an organized campaign, after all. The gangsta or skinhead doesn’t have those resources.

    Conservative religious bodies are not, however, the only source of homophobia. Most actual gay-bashing is done by that contingent of alienated young men who do it to prove their own masculinity or feel affronted by lack of adherence to their construct of it. That’s the group that produced Matthew Shepherd’s murderers, and it’s the group that beat a gay man I know so severely that he has permanent brain damage.

    For any straight folk who want to “help [their] LGBT sisters and brothers gain equal rights,” it would be useful to take the whole reality into consideration and not just the parts that conform with their own worldviews.

  129. Okasha – this post specifically addressed the role of the Mormon and Catholic churches in opposing gay marriage, and the source of that resistance possibly being a fight against the rising role of women in religion and America.

    There was no claim by me or anyone that the entire opposition to gay marriage comes from this source. If you are offended by my post, I apologize; but I did not intend to cover every source of homophobia in society, nor would it be possible to do so in 1000 words or less.

  130. madamb:

    The Mormons are the original epitome of the alternative family in America. Not so long ago the mainstream Mormons had multiple wives and to this day follow the preaching and writings of a psychotic who literally got his religious philosophy out of his hat and ended up in Utah because they were not welcome anywhere else and got ran off from wherever they set up camp.

    The Mormons also have a bloodied history within their own church; only recently was accountability assigned to the leaders of the church at that time, for the St. Valentine’s Day massacre that was perpetuated upon a wagon train headed to California, but had made the mistake of crossing what was considered Mormon land. The Mormons’ did indeed massacre the wagon train and blamed it on the Indians. It is also interesting to note that Blacks were not fully allowed into the Mormon Church until the ‘70’s.

    However, and understand when I say this; if Gays picketed any other churches besides the Mormon and Catholic, there would be a shit storm to rival the riots in Watts. Gays although angry, are not stupid, they are going to picket and fight against those that they can.

  131. The deepest cut is the cut from other Christian’s who say I am a mistake, and God would not bless my life or my union…

    Can’t reply to that, it is an onion that I care not to peel; right now.

    I can reply to the history of marriage…it has always been a civil institution and it started with nomadic tribes as a means of survival, by joining one tribe with another it ensured that when a rival tribe made trouble there would be double the warriors on the side of the encroached upon tribe…

    Often times there were not enough men for women and this gave rise to polygamy, and polyandry is one of the more interesting institutions of marriage, one woman, multiple men, none knowing the paternity of the children, but all providing for them the same…

    Marriage was also used as a social normative to discourage sexual intercourse within kinships, one note where this norm was broken was when Lot’s two daughter’s got him drunk and had sex with him because they believed the world had truly ended and it was up to them to carry it on…ah, the good old bible…what one can learn by reading it…

    In biblical times a deceased man’s brother was expected to sire children for his brother with his brother’s widow

    Marriage then became a means of securing wealth; through heir ship… it has also been used as a means of making treaties between countries…France and England, to name two…

    And of course there are the arranged marriages of the Victorian era…

    As late as this mid-century marriages were arranged by studio executives between their “stars” to boost movie sales and sales of movie magazines, and to hide the sexuality of their leading men and sometimes their leading women…

    And, let’s not forget the drunken nuptials of Brittney Spears that lasted less than the life of a fruit fly…

    Yes, this is the institution that people are so vehemently trying to protect…It makes me wonder why we are fighting so hard for the right to do it

  132. that contingent of alienated young men who do it to prove their own masculinity or feel affronted by lack of adherence to their construct of it.

    I’m the last person who will defend this group. On this, I agree with Bishop Robinson. It’s fueled by fear or hatred of the feminine. These are the KosKidz types who hate and fear women, too.

  133. You cannot imagine the hurt gay people feel knowing that state after state, commonwealth after commonwealth and union after union falls to hatred and bigotry with amendment after amendment to “protect” marriage… And I am not framing my comments through a paradigm of victim hood!

    Homosexuals are treated as second class citizens because hetero males are and always have been afraid of them -because of their own misunderstanding and insecurities- and allowing gays to marry would be mainstreaming them, accepting them as equals.

    This would absolutely challenge the status of hetero males in society -as would the accepting of females as equals- thus misogyny and homophobia is perpetrated to uphold the status of hetero males!

    40 years ago, in the year of my birth, a white man named Loving took his civil rights case to court after court and ultimately the SCOTUS…

    What was his cause, what was his motivation to stand in court after court and be denied a right?

    He simply wanted to have his marriage upheld!

    His cause was his marriage to a black woman; which court after court had told him was illegal because interacial marriage was illegal in his state and many others.

    40 years later and gay people are being denied the right to marry not because the courts say it is illegal, but because their neighbors say it is illegal.

    How lonely and ostracized those loving gay couples out there must feel. Some are holding each other tonight with tears in their eyes or pain and anger in their hearts; from the knowledge that their neighbor said that they were not only separate, but also not equal.

    Will gay marriage happen in the next 40 years or in our lifetime? Will the next generation of gays know the sacrifices and courage it took to fight for equality, like our generation remembers Stonewall? Will they know, in 2008, that it took gay partners thousands of dollars in legal fees to ensure their relationship was recognized in wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, but not by their Government?

    While the world watches and celebrates the election of a bi-racial/black president; your gay neighbors in Arizona, Florida, Arkansas and California-joined by their gay brothers and sisters in other states- find it difficult to join in the revelry…because for them a new day has not dawned…for your gay neighbors it is still dark and they have only the flicker of a candle of hope that one day they too shall overcome…

    God Bless and Comfort All Those Who are Hurting Tonight…and know that this is not pain given by him, but by those misguidedly acting in his name…Peace be with you all!

  134. I’m sorry if I hijacked this thread or if I offended any one of the dear people on this blog…

    Sometimes I can get so passionate about a topic close to my heart that I can’t help myself and don’t know when to shut up…

    Thank you all for your graciousness!

  135. Topher: in LA not L.A., on November 30th, 2008 at 9:24 pm Said: Spousal Equivalents are just as high maintenance as a spouse if not more; we don’t have the luxury of being married, so we have to spend lots of money setting up wills, living wills, powers of attorney, trusts, etc…

    Power of attorney- I have gotten this without charge for a bank account. All you do is sign a little form. If you go into a hospital, you can sign a power of attorney for heath care for free. Do it while you are conscious and unmedicated.

    Wills–marriage is no guarantee of inheritance. I once saw a wife thrown out of the house as soon as her husband died by his children from a previous marriage. A lawyer could do nothing. She was struggling with cancer as well. One of my coworkers retrieved her clothes from the street where they had been thrown.

    Can’t you basically just get a joint bank account? Property like houses can be held jointly as well by people who are unrelated. I don’t think marriage is a guarantee of anything. Women had so much trouble trying to get the marriage law to work back in the 70’s, I’m not sure if it does even yet.

  136. An interesting read – some good tips here

  137. Nijma, I think you’re mistaken. I’ve had gay friends who literally weren’t allowed in to see their partners in hospitals. Straight married couples have so many privileges that they don’t know about. Not all of these problems have simple solutions. And more than that, queer folk should not HAVE to scramble to put together back-up plans because the federal government is discriminating against them. It is just fundamentally WRONG. So while discussing the pragmatic stuff has its place, I kind of feel like now is the time for moral outrage. As someone deeply affected by this stuff, I don’t understand people who don’t get it. What part of INJUSTICE are they failing to parse?

  138. The reason the Church is against homosexuality has evolved over the thousands of years, honestly.

  139. Sandra S.
    You are spot on in your assessment. Due to HIPPA laws medical POA is essential for a gay couple. While my partner and I haven’t had any major problems, we did encounter a hostile doctor in a late night walk in clinic, and as sick as he was with walking pneumonia, my SE put him in his place.

    Shortly thereafter, we got the legal stuff done.

    Nijma: Please read my post at about 9:54 to give a little more background… Thanks for the tips and I wish it was that easy…and I am sorry about your friend and I hope we have fixed ourselves so that wont happen.

    You’re right about those things being available, but in emergency situations, such as my auto accident that left me unconscious; that presigned POA came in handy, especially when the police tried to question me after I had come to, and had been given pain meds… it gave my SE the right to tell them to leave me alone and I’d talk to them when I wasn’t medicated, dazed and confused.

    The will and the trust keep me and my SE from being “tossed out” into the street upon the others passing, as well as helping to protect from exhorbitant inheritance taxes when I inheret half of a house! The taxes on his car alone would be more than its worth!

    To get everything iron clad and such, it runs around 4k to 5k for the basics and super dooper iron clad cost even more.

    Trust me, you get over 1,000 rights conveyed with marriage that you don’t get with just wills and docs. A prime example is the defference between receiving a heavily taxed lump sum of what your SE paid into a retirement fund instead of a monthly check for the rest of your life; as widowed people get.

    My sister will get her husbands pension check and have his military insurance for LIFE!

    Straight people have it easy and they just don’t know it… this is the message we need to get out!

  140. Karen:

    You are right, the original opposition was against prostitution because men would have sex with male hookers and therefore not with their wives, so no kids.

    This is why the church opposed this practice because they needed little brains to train!

    The church once believed a mans sperm contained a teeny tiny microscopic fully formed baby and the woman was just the recepticle for the baby to grow in.

    This was the initial objection to masterbation and spilling ones “seed.”

    I am not making this stuff up…you can look it up!

  141. Karen-

    Is that a Mormon or a Catholic belief? I was taught that the verse on onanism was an “obey God” verse, not an anti-masturbation verse. Of course, I learned that in a sort of liberal fundamentalist chuch. None of the other churches I’ve attended has ever mentioned masturbation.

  142. madamab–

    No, your post didn’t offend me. No need to apologize.

    I think that the role of conservative religion in anti-LGBT discrimination should certainly be addressed; it’s a large and in many ways a decisive one. As a number of posters have noted, it’s what tends to drive the organized resistance not just to equal marriage but to adoption and other rights. Conservative religious organizations have the money to wage advertising campaigns and the numbers to put boots on the ground.

    But they weren’t the sole cause of the passage of Prop h8. One of the uglier revelations of this election season has been the depth of misogyny and homophobia among liberals and other traditional Democratic demographics, of whom the KozKidz are only one example. Prop h8 would not have passed without the collusion of “liberal” voters. It’s been a rare liberal commentator and a rare poster online who’s been willing to acknowledge that homophobia exists within the ranks of the allegedly socially enlightened. (Same thing goes for misogyny; it’s the flip side of homophobia.) Until the liberal community confronts its own bigotry, pointing fingers at its religious bete noire is going to be litte more than an exercise in hypocrisy.

  143. Okasha-

    Thank you so much. Your commentary is consistently insightful and astute. We (the Queer community) have been pointing fingers at the conservative religious factions forever. What has that changed? Nothing. Because they’re religion, they get a free pass from everyone. It’s time we targeted misogynists and homophobes who don’t have that to hide behind. Especially the traitors in our midst.

  144. JeanLouise:

    I think you meant to address your question to me about masturbation.

    “No masturbation” is a Morman and Catholic belief as they both believe it is a sin to “self abuse” and it also falls under the purview of sex before/outside marriage and lustfull thoughts…

    because one cannot act upon those urges without premarital/extramarital sex or abusing ones self…

    and your supposed to have more self control…

    tell that to a teenage boy, or Eliot Spitzer for that matter!

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