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Queer As Rights - No Religion Allowed

Vagabond DavotchkaVagabond Davotchka BannedPosts: 156Banned Users
Can you continue to deny homosexuals the right to get married, join the military, or any other civil right without quoting anything from scripture, without mentioning the bible/Koran/Torah, or without mentioning God or Jesus?

I'm just wondering how many people would be able to do that.


An essay that might be of interest to some -
'Gay is NOT the New Black'
/home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fthevitalvoice.com%2Fnode%2F2142" class="Popup

An except
There is an ever-increasing popular notion and phrase that haunts me: "Gay is the New Black.".....
To apply Elle Woods’ feeling about orange being labeled "the new pink," whoever called gay "the new black" is seriously mistaken.

Let me be clear, I see the gay rights struggle as part of the civil rights struggle. To miss that point is to allow the struggle for civil rights to remain fragmented, incomplete, and under the ownership of one particular group... The Civil Rights Movement encompasses gay individuals, women, racial minorities, class struggles, citizenship issues, gender identity, and many other varying categories...

My quarrel with the idea that "gay is the new black" is that it is insulting to me as a gay black man who is politically, socially, and culturally engaged and active inthe (white) gay community, black community, and gay black community. Gay can never be the new black because first and foremost this phrase does not acknowledge the fact that there are those of us who are already gay AND black. We live within the margins, not because we choose to but because society places us there.

What is labeled as ‘black culture" frequently does not acknowledge our homosexuality.... does not overtly accept homosexuality as readily as mainstream (read white) culture, largely due to the proportionally larger role that conservative Christian religion plays in African-American households...

The fact is that black culture is homophobic because America is homophobic.

What is not talked about to the same extent as "black homophobia" is that gay culture is just as racist as black culture is overtly homophobic—because America is still a racist country. And yes, I am aware that I am writing this at a time when our president is a man who looks more like me than any other president we have had, but contrary to the hype, the election of President Obama does not signal the dawning of a post-racist America...

Since gay racism is rarely if ever addressed, it has allowed gay individuals to view gay culture as devoid of racism and therefore it might seem natural to label gay as "the new black."

Indeed, after a few quick comparisons it may seem like a common-sense proposition that homosexuals have taken the mantle of acceptable bigotry from African-Americans. Once upon a time a black person and white person could not marry; now it is not a person’s race that prevents two people from being legally wed but their gender; blacks at one time served in the military under different conditions and pressures than their white counterparts, now gay men and women must serve in the military under different conditions and pressures than their heterosexual counterparts; housing has historically been an issue for both blacks and gays and the list can go on. Yet, I refuse to allow gays to co-opt an identity so frequently discriminated against by gay people...

Queer As Folk, the supposedly monumental breakthrough for gay visibility did not have a single significant character of color during their entire run. When I brought this up in a chat room years ago, this is the resounding response I received: Be glad that we have a gay television show at all! But "we" did not have a gay television show. For me, and the millions of others who looked similar to me and not at all like Ted, Emmet, Mikey, or Brian, we still did not see ourselves represented on television. We had not arrived, our time had not come---it felt like we were still in the back of rainbow bus....

The final sin that gay racism commits is it makes gay culture apathetic and through this apathy, gay racism can become deadly. Alternatively, ignoring or paying attention to an epidemic simply because the face of that epidemic is changing is immoral. Blacks and whites, gays and straights all share in this guilty behavior. For heterosexual black communities to finally start addressing AIDS simply because the face of AIDS has become the face of a young black woman is almost unforgivable—what about all those gay black men who died before? For the gay (white) community to put the AIDS pandemic on the political and social backburner and focus on legislation-gay marriage.. when the face of AIDS is now the face of gay black men...well, that is criminal.

Consider the film industry, when AIDS first hit, there were many movies that dealt with the subject and usually starred white gay male characters. Now that the image is shifting, the number of AIDS-themed films are decreasing and the number of gay romantic comedies and tragedies are increasing. When I spoke to one of my white friends about this he said, "Don’t you think people are getting burnt out on it? I mean people know what to do, wrap it up, what more can you do?" Now at a time when people who look like me are dying... I say no to my white friend, people are not getting burned out, people are dying and still dying. The only difference, my white friend, is that many of them do not look like you...

Gay will never be "the new black" because it does not respect blackness nor does it embrace blackness. Gay cannot love blackness because it does not recognize the complexities and variances of blackness and black experiences....

For too long the voice of the gay community to America has been blindingly white; for too long the image of black America for gay people has been a heterosexual image--neither community has sought to listen to the voice of those of us who are gay people of color.
Veteran Napp! 12 years Strong!


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Comments

  • riotkittyriotkitty Posts: 1,307Registered Users
    Hopefully this will be interesting. I once asked someone on the politics board to give me a non-religious answer as to why gays can't marry and I got the "sanctity" and "institution" bs. I want a real reason, or a the very least an admission that is is their own personal issue.

    Last night, there was a segment on the news about how there's going to be some kind of government incentive program for people to get married because "no one wants to get married anymore". All I could do was think about all these very much in love and devoted gay couples and how they do want to get married, but they can't. Makes me so angry.

    And your article was very interesting. My step-brothers (twins, btw) are gay as is my best friend from high school. They are all Hispanic, and man has Catholic and cultural guilt done a number on them. I hate to say it but my culture (Spanish/Mexican/Native American Hispanic) is pretty homophobic. I think thats why I feel I have to step up and be very vocal about how this homophobia has to stop already.
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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    There are parallels between the gay rights struggle and the civil rights struggle, but I agree that it's not the best comparison. There really is no comparison. Every argument I have heard against gay marriage is based in religion, or individual reasoning that just seems more visceral than logical (for example, saying, "it's just not right.")
  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    gemini wrote: »
    There are parallels between the gay rights struggle and the civil rights struggle, but I agree that it's not the best comparison. There really is no comparison. Every argument I have heard against gay marriage is based in religion, or individual reasoning that just seems more visceral than logical (for example, saying, "it's just not right.")


    On the first, I agree. I frequently draw comparisons between the two, but I realize they aren't the same. They carry a lot of similarities, though.

    On the second, that's most of what I hear as well. I have one friend who is politically conservative (hardcore rightie) who's also an atheist, and opposed to same sex marriage. Essentially what I've gleaned from talking to him about it is that same sex couples gross him out, therefore they should not be encouraged to exist. *headdesk*
    "And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
    Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
    Stolen.
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    It's based in fear, there is no logical, rational reason. So people use religion to explain it, because they cannot just come out and admit they are afraid of people different from themselves. It's the same for racism and sexism and … pretty much everything.

    And being fearful of people and exaggerating differences is the opposite of everything I learned in church [Catholic] growing up, but whatev …

    This is not a bashing of religion, just sayin' that people mess up the true message therein all the time.
  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
  • Misses_JaiMisses_Jai Posts: 97Registered Users
    what puzzles me most about those who like to quote "scripture" - even though they LOVE to take it out of context (there's a great book out there /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhat-Did-Jesus-Say-Homosexuality%2Fdp%2F1440478988%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26amp%3Bqid%3D1236638551%26amp%3Bsr%3D1-1" class="Popup about this) is this - for those who use Jesus as their rationale, then how Jesus-like is it to ostracize this group? i mean, doesn't this go directly AGAINST the teachings of Jesus? wasn't his message to love everyone? didn't he love everyone - the lepar, the prostitute, etc?

    i can't ever seem to get an answer from the opposition about this......maybe because there isn't one but then again........
    common sense is not common.....
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  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    riotkitty wrote: »
    Hopefully this will be interesting. I once asked someone on the politics board to give me a non-religious answer as to why gays can't marry and I got the "sanctity" and "institution" bs. I want a real reason, or a the very least an admission that is is their own personal issue.
    Makes me angry too. I guess churches can do whatever they want as far as refusing to marry gay couples. However, states refer to the union of a couple in the same way - "marriage" and thus I believe it represents a civil contract as well. For that reason, gay couples should be able to get a "marriage" license at City Hall - just like straight couples.
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  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?

    Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

    And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.
    "And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
    Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
    Stolen.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    I've read that essay in full...it's actually pretty long (unless I'm mistaking it for a different one).

    I didn't reread the excerpt you posted, but his overall argument--that gay marriage should remain illegal--is BS. The only valid point he makes is that the gay rights movement has a history of focusing on white middle- or upper-class males, to the exclusion of others. And yeah, obviously the "Gay is the new black" slogan is going to alienate people.

    A better analysis of homosexuality among African Americans can be found in bell hooks' books.
  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?

    Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

    And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.


    That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.
  • Misses_JaiMisses_Jai Posts: 97Registered Users
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?

    Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

    And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.


    That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.

    i see where you're coming from. it is true regardless of what side of the issue you're on - no argument will be sound enough - no matter how sound one might think it is.....
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  • iaraiara Posts: 1,199Registered Users
    Misses_Jai wrote: »
    Myradella3 wrote: »

    Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

    And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.


    That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.

    i see where you're coming from. it is true regardless of what side of the issue you're on - no argument will be sound enough - no matter how sound one might think it is.....
    Myradella and I had this discussion on the politics board so I will avoid repeating myself too much.


    How I see it, there is never a good enough reason to take away someone's civil right. I see marriage between two human beings a civil right.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage, but what difference does it make whether the arguments are religious or not? Someone for gay marriage isn't going to accept any argument against it. And why is religion any less valid grounds for holding a position than anything else?

    There are also religious arguments FOR gay marriage and gay rights - so would those be also unacceptable?

    To compare Blacks and gays is just silly and betrays a complete lack of understanding of history. Why would gays need to piggyback on Black struggles? Just make your case without trying to attach it to something that's not relevant.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • iaraiara Posts: 1,199Registered Users
    Amneris wrote: »
    As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage,
    Like what? I have not heard a sound-non-religious argument. Usually it is pseudo-science-grasping-at-straws argument. I know of non-religious people against same-sex marriages, but they were also homophobic.

    I do not think religion should be the basis for making laws, but if there is a religious argument that will help alter people's bigotry, that is OK with me.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    iara wrote: »
    Amneris wrote: »
    As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage,
    Like what? I have not heard a sound-non-religious argument. Usually it is pseudo-science-grasping-at-straws argument. I know of non-religious people against same-sex marriages, but they were also homophobic.

    I do not think religion should be the basis for making laws, but if there is a religious argument that will help alter people's bigotry, that is OK with me.

    The OP didn't say the argument had to be sound,just that it had to be non-religious, and what is a sound argument will depend on the person evaluating it, but some of those arguments were already touched upon in this thread.

    I agree that religion shouldn't be the basis for making laws.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I also think that when you say "gay is the new Black" you imply that the gay struggle has displaced the Black struggle - that there is no need for a Black struggle or the gay one is more serious, pressing or worthy of attention, and certainly it suggests that the two cannot co-exist. So yes, that will alienate people.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?

    thats what i was thinking. i think im the one riotkitty is talking about regarding her previous thread. to me, saying "well thats not a real reason" isnt much of a rebuttal.
  • JillH410JillH410 Posts: 594Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm not going to try to come up with an argument because well, I'm for gay marriage and I'm not religious.

    But, it seems like the author of the article is perpetuating the ostrasizement (is that a word? doubtful) of gay black men from being able to identify with any sort of group. He says they struggle to identify with the black community because the black community is homophobic. They also struggle with being able to identify with the gay rights community because they are typically white. By singling out one particular group - gay black men - doesn't that just continue to make it difficult to be able to come together with either the black community or the gay rights community? Or am I totally missing something? I would think that if you joined with both the black community and gay rights community to try to bring about change it would be more beneficial that just saying "Hey, here I am over here all by my lonesome complaining about being by my lonesome. No one wants to play with me."
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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?

    thats what i was thinking...

    Those reasons are very easily argued against (what about intersex people, people who are infertile, and computers and clothing and all the other things we use that aren't "biological"? what about slavery, voting rights, and miscegnation laws?). Not only have I never heard them cited prior to reading this thread, but they're so weak that I would have to assume that anyone presenting them is simply trying to cover their homophobia.

    The non-religious arguments that I have heard are: All marriage should be abolished, and providing gay marriage rights delays the achievement of that goal; and, Gay marriage will raise taxes for everyone.

    When Prop 8 was put up for vote, it was officially found by the CA government that gay marriage would not increase taxes. As for the first one, like it or not marriage is currently an extremely important institution that affects social status, visitation rights in hospitals, and more. While that's not a direct rebuttal, it's something important to consider before you deny a particular group of people rights based on your radical sociopolitical views.
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    <
    doesnt have radical sociopolitical views, for the record.

    its easy to not be homophobic and not support gay marriage. i think automatically coming to that conclusion is a very elementary way of thinking.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    JillH410 wrote: »
    But, it seems like the author of the article is perpetuating the ostrasizement (is that a word? doubtful) of gay black men from being able to identify with any sort of group....Or am I totally missing something?

    Here's his overall argument. The gay rights movement has been focused on white middle/upper-class men (which is true). This means that gay marriage, like straight marriage, would be tainted by societal racism. Therefore, gay people should not be allowed to marry. He uses the "marriage is bad, so gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry" argument I wrote about above.

    On the other hand, some queer rights activists believe that marriage perpetuates a number of oppressive systems, including the gender binary, misogyny, people as commodities, etc. (And yes, "queer" is the correct and non-offensive term to use in this context.) They say that marriage should not be the main goal of the queer rights movement, because it represents everything that queer people have the opportunity to reject. However, I don't believe that most people who subscribe to this argument are against gay marriage, per se. They're just against the idea that the goal of the queer rights movement should be so bourgeois and traditional. They'd prefer something more revolutionary and less restrictive.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    <
    doesnt have radical sociopolitical views, for the record.

    its easy to not be homophobic and not support gay marriage. i think automatically coming to that conclusion is a very elementary way of thinking.

    When an issue is controversial and involves a lot of bigotry on one side, and someone on that side comes up with arguments that are very easily dismissed, then it's hard not to think that the arguments are just an attempt at hiding bigotry.

    Also the biological argument that was cited earlier is something that I would consider to be homophobic. I have no idea if it's something you believe in, though.
  • riotkittyriotkitty Posts: 1,307Registered Users
    I see what you are all saying about how no reason would be a good reason to not to support gay marriage to someone who's already decided to support it.

    I'll admit, that's probably true and the reason I feel that way is that should gay marriage become legal, it will NOT affect anyone personally, and more importantly no one will lose any rights. Feeling uncomfortable about it is not a loss of rights. Should gay marriage be allowed straight people will be still able to marry and still enjoy the same rights and freedoms in marriage that gays have.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I think there is a difference between not opposing a government law and in personally agreeing with something as well. I agree that civil marriage laws should not be based on peoples' religious beliefs or prejudices. Religious marriage laws are up to the authorities and the members of the religion in question. What people personally feel about the issue may not reflect what the government is doing, or what the religion is doing, however. This discussion seems to be focus on changing civil marriage laws and on that issue it is difficult to find a legitimate objection to why it should not be done, but there may well be personal objections or discomfort with it.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    Amneris wrote: »
    I think there is a difference between not opposing a government law and in personally agreeing with something as well. I agree that civil marriage laws should not be based on peoples' religious beliefs or prejudices. Religious marriage laws are up to the authorities and the members of the religion in question. What people personally feel about the issue may not reflect what the government is doing, or what the religion is doing, however. This discussion seems to be focus on changing civil marriage laws and on that issue it is difficult to find a legitimate objection to why it should not be done, but there may well be personal objections or discomfort with it.

    i agree with this entire post.

    i also agree with subbrock in that opposition to gay marriage and homophobia do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. i don't have a fear of polygomists. i understand why they feel their lifestyle is appropriate or normal for them, but i do not agree with their ideals and do not think it should be legal.
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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    There is no logical reason. If it's not fear, then what is it? What was the reason for not allowing interracial marriage?
  • MarMar Posts: 3,003Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    There is no logical reason. If it's not fear, then what is it? What was the reason for not allowing interracial marriage?


    I agree.
    Fear and ignorance.
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  • lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
    Amneris wrote: »
    I think there is a difference between not opposing a government law and in personally agreeing with something as well.

    What's the difference?

    Not opposing something is condoning it. You're allowing it to happen while standing by and watching.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    (Not saying this situation is "evil" per se; substitute the word evil for "injustice" if it bothers you.)
    Not all who wander are lost.

    Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls
  • TrenellTrenell Posts: 3,562Registered Users
    lauraloo wrote: »
    Amneris wrote: »
    I think there is a difference between not opposing a government law and in personally agreeing with something as well.

    What's the difference?

    Not opposing something is condoning it. You're allowing it to happen while standing by and watching.

    I'm thinking that whole quote : I may not agree with what you say but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it. (or something like that)


    I'm of the opinion that thinking the civil marriage of a same sex couple should be against the law (not that you just merely disagree with it) is flat out discriminiation. We, as a country, are denying a population people the right to marry. This should not even BE a voters issue. It really does make me sick. I cannot wait for the day to be able to say "Are are a free nation" without adding "except" to the end.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    lauraloo wrote: »
    Amneris wrote: »
    I think there is a difference between not opposing a government law and in personally agreeing with something as well.

    What's the difference?

    Not opposing something is condoning it. You're allowing it to happen while standing by and watching.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    (Not saying this situation is "evil" per se; substitute the word evil for "injustice" if it bothers you.)


    I mean that you (gy) can accept civil marriage for gays but personally not "approve" of it. People accept that there should be rights for common-law heterosexual couples and their children, in order to do justice, but they may still not think that it is an ideal situation in principle... and it doesn't really matter what someone personally THINKS if they are not opposing peoples' legal rights, when it comes down to it. Their views may be distasteful to some - others may not want to associate with them - but as long as those views are not doing a social injustice they are entitled to them.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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