Judge to Rule on Prop 8 is Gay Himself


This explains a lot.

Wait...a gay judge gets to decide if Prop 8 is unconstitutional?

In a story this Sunday (Feb. 7), the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker is gay and called his orientation, “The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage.”

We have no idea whether the report is true or not. But we do know one really big important fact about Judge Walker: He’s been an amazingly biased and one-sided force throughout this trial, far more akin to an activist than a neutral referee. That’s no secret at all.

Protect Marriage, the defendants in this case are effectively being held hostage by Judge Walker and cannot really comment.

But Judge Walker’s bias from the bench includes:

A series of rulings permitting deep and deeply irrelevant “fishing expeditions” into the private and personal motivations and secret campaign strategy of campaign proponents. It wasn’t six guys at Protect Marriage that passed Prop 8 it was 7 million Californians. But Judge Walker went so far as to order the Prop 8 campaign to disclose private internal communications about messages that were considered for public use but never actually used. He even ordered the campaign to turn over copies of all internal records and e-mail messages relating to campaign strategy.

Even though the Prop 8 supporters were forced to turn over private, internal documents and emails, Walker has refused to demand the same from opponents of the measure. In fact, Walker has refused to even rule on a motion to compel the discovery of this information, even though he has already closed testimony in the case. That alone is an unbelievable tilting of the playing field.

Walker has presided over a show trial designed to generate sympathetic headlines and news coverage for gay marriage supporters. Witness after witness was allowed to testify about their “expert” opinion that homosexuals have been discriminated against, that they feel badly when society does not validate their relationships, and that the passage of Prop 8 was simply an echo of historic prejudice and bigotry foisted on society by religious zealots.

To show the lengths that Walker has gone to create a “record” favoring the plaintiffs, he even allowed one “expert” witness — a gay man from Colorado who has never lived in California and was never exposed to any Prop 8 campaign messages — to testify that his parents’ efforts to change his sexual orientation failed.

But the most egregious, and damaging, of all of Judge Walker’s rulings was his determination to violate federal rules to broadcast his show trial worldwide. The US Supreme Court eventually blocked Walker’s efforts (and rapped his biased knuckles sharply!) finding that he improperly changed the rules “at the eleventh hour” in violation of federal law. (Unfortunately, however, but by the time the Supreme Court issued a permanent stay two days into trial, the supporters of Prop 8 had already lost two-thirds of their expert witnesses who feared retaliation from the publicity).

Judge Walker’s bias has been so extreme, he’s earned a rare judicial “twofer.” Key elements of his “fishing expedition” rulings were already reversed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (notably one of the most liberal in the nation) and the Supreme Court had to step in to block his illegal attempt to broadcast the trial.

It is highly unusual for a higher court to have to intercede in a trial judge’s handling of a trial while it is going on — yet Walker has had that “distinction” twice in the same case — and we’re not yet even at closing arguments.

There’s only one saving grace to Judge Walker’s bias. It’s so big, and so obvious, not only the American public but the Supreme Court itself is already aware we have bias in the trial judge presiding.

[NOM]

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219 Comments

Filed under Gay Marriage

219 responses to “Judge to Rule on Prop 8 is Gay Himself

  1. Lisa~

    Of course all the gays are screaming that he can be impartial. Yea right and Hitler was fair and decent! No way can this guy be impartial. Yet he had not the decency to recuse himself and that alone tells me that he had an agenda.

  2. Funny, I used to think this guy just had it out for Christians, but now I see that–yeah, he has it out for Christians.

    • J. Stone

      Because all gay people hate Jesus?

      • J. Stone

        Analyze cura’s statement logically: “I used to think this guy just had it out for Christians” (based on his rulings), “but now I [know . . .] he as it out for Christians.” What was the deciding factor, that allowed cura to [know], and not just think, that Judge Walker has it out for Christians? It wasn’t his actions–those were around before, back when cura just THOUGHT the judge had it out for Christians. So I’ll ask again–on what basis does cura now [KNOW] that Judge Walker has it out for Christians? Answer: sexual orientation. “Oh, he’s gay. Well now I know he’s anti-Christian.”

        So, no, I don’t troll. I try to expose the error and reveal the prejudice tucked away into just about every single sentence on this site. Cura’s comment implies that being gay is itself evidence of being anti-Christian. My statement calls that into question.

      • Analyze cura’s statement logically…

        Oh, please do. Let’s see some logic from you.

        It wasn’t his actions…

        Bzzzzzzt. That is a supposition, not logic. Better luck next time.

        So, no, I don’t troll.

        The comment trail speaks otherwise.

        I try to expose the error and reveal the prejudice tucked away into just about every single sentence on this site.

        Oh, yeah, that’s not a troll. Apparently you missed the most bigoted statement in this thread: “You know, Hitler killed people for being gay. I would have thought he would be a hero of yours.”

        So now prove you’re not just trolling. “Expose the error and reveal the prejudice” in that particular whopper.

        Cura’s comment implies that …

        Wait a minute. I thought you said it was a logical conclusion. Now it’s just an implication?

        My statement calls that into question.

        No it doesn’t, Troll.

  3. Wow, I can’t even believe this. Well, actually I can. I haven’t checked up on the trial in a couple weeks and it looks like I missed a doozy. I totally agree with Lisa. The judge should have recused himself. Just shows how twisted and wreck-less the gay, liberal agenda is. I hope this guy has enough integrity to stand up for the voters of California. We shall see….Thanks for the post. Love the new blog!
    ~journalista

  4. J. Stone

    Oh, no–the judge is one of those evil gay people. I didn’t know we let gays be judges. What is this world coming to?

    • I for one do not think of “evil gay people”.

      But Walker is clearly one of those incompetent, gadfly judges out on an agenda. And while gay does not mean bad judge, in this case incompetent and on his own agenda is.

  5. Hilarious Stone. You don’t see a bit of conflict of interest here?

    Intellectual honesty requires you to leave your biases at the door and examine the situation from a neutral point of view. Try the test of reversing the parties in the situation and imagining what would happen. How would you feel if the judge was a heavy donor to the “Yes on 8” campaign? Do you think there would be outrage on the other side?

    • J. Stone

      I missed in the news article where it said Judge Walker was a heavy donor to the “No on 8” campaign. Because it wasn’t there.

      You are saying that the bare fact that Judge Walker is gay should disqualify him from hearing this case. Just like black judges must recuse themselves when a race-discrimination case comes before them, right?

      When Prop. 8 was up for a vote, the question was “What should government do?” In the court case over Prop. 8’s constitutionality, the question now is “What can government do?” A person can oppose Prop. 8 at the ballot box yet still conclude that nothing in the federal constitution prohibits Prop. 8. If you’re not able to understand that distinction, that’s your problem, not Judge Walker’s.

      • No one has brought race into this issue except some gay activists trying to muddy the issue. Stop placing the race card where it doesn’t belong.

        The fact is that Judge Walker has called for several outrageous actions that even the 9th circut court has struck down. He has gone to extraordinary measures to stack the deck against and publically ridicule the “Yes on 8” side. Now, I wouldn’t expect you to cry foul because you are, as you put it “a foot soldier” for the gay cause, but anyone with any intellectual honesty would admit that Judge Walker should have recused himself from the start for his blatent conflict of interest. I can’t imagine he has done the “No on 8” crowd any favors by these shennanigans. It is just one more example of how gay activists are willing to do whatever they can, whether right or not, to get their way.

      • J. Stone

        This-is-marriage,
        you say that Judge Walker “should have recused himself from the start for his blatent [sic] conflict of interest.” “From the start” means that it doesn’t matter how he ruled on any legal questions once the trial began–the bare fact that he is gay means that he can’t be trusted as a judge in this case. And I’m pointing out that you’re wrong. It’s like saying that a black judge cannot be trusted to be fair when race is an element in a case. You are familiar with analogy, right?

      • No, I said Judge Walker should have recused “himself” because he obviously has biased feelings in this case and cannot judge it impartially. This has nothing to do with my perceived (on your part) prejudice and everything to do with his. His actions have shown that he is unfit to decide this trial. However, ultimately this does not matter too much since the case will be appealed either way. If, however, he had had his way in violating the privacy rights of “Yes on 8” staff and jeopardizing their safety by televising the trial, he could have cause very serious damage.

        An analogy becomes disingenuous when it does not represent well the reality of the situation. You are trying to draw emotional and philosophical parallels into the argument that do not follow. Gay people have never been denied the right to marry. Gay people are not being segregated, lynched or discriminated in the work place. Please show me how Prop 8 compares the fight for African American civil rights or stop trying to “pull the race card” and muddy the waters.

      • J. Stone

        Really, you’re among the “[g]ay people have never been denied the right to marry” crowd? If the situation were reversed, and straight people could only marry someone of the same sex, would they not have a legitimate complaint? Gay people are not being lynched? Have you never heard of Matthew Shephard? Brandon Teena? Gay people are not being discriminated against in the workplace? Is ENDA not a piece of legislation being fought for in Congress right now?

        Have you even read the transcripts from the Perry trial? Or do you just go by the press releases sent out by NOM? Your contented ignorance is awe-inspiring.

  6. One of my favorite scenes in Support Your Local Sheriff happens to be right when the new Sheriff is hired. The city fathers hand the new Sheriff a badge, that was dented by a bullet.

    This moves the new Sheriff to note something along the lines, “This probably saved his life”. The founding fathers soberly reply, “It probably would have if it weren’t for all those other bullets flying in from everywhere.”

    Good movie, I highly recommend it.

    My thoughts on this issue are reminiscent of that scene. The fact that Walker is or isn’t gay in and of itself probably poses no overbearing concern for bias. His status gives him protection from that one bullet.

    But then, as TIM mentions, there’s all those other bullets to consider. Really egregious actions that the Judge has made which have seriously compromised any trust in his objectivity. TIM is likely right, this is such a mis-trial waiting to happen that its going to tie things up for a while.

    Throw in the fact that he’s gay, and the next time around people will be less likely to trust a gay judge to be objective. Fool me once…

  7. I love questions like these. I know I’m not the one they are directed at, but I hope I’m allowed to play at this party too…

    J. Stone wrote:

    > Really, you’re among the “[g]ay people have never been denied the right to marry” crowd?

    Thats a trick question. If you mean that the law has never denied the right to marry, you are correct.

    Think of it this way. If a gay person realizing what marriage really is, and wants to love, honor, and cherish the person who gave birth to his children, who says he can’t? The law or some other voice?

    Consider sites like ex-gay watch, stalking and harassing gays who make that choice.

    > If the situation were reversed, and straight people could only marry someone of the same sex, would they not have a legitimate complaint?

    I’m glad you ask, because the way I see it that is what neutering marriage does. It means my relationship, the one that means to the state an attempt at equality among the people who combine to have children and the children themselves, is no longer recognized.

    You are right, the situation is reversed, and I’m fighting to preserve marriage equality.

    > Gay people are not being lynched?

    A statistic I read showed that gays are far more likely to suffer abuse and violence from another gay then a heterosexual lyncher. At Opine we’ve brought up this fact on a few occasions, only to have no one condemn these actions. We’ve also not seen censure of the violence and vandalism against Prop 8 supporters and other marriage defenders.

    As the statistics read, gay people are being harassed. By heterosexuals, and lesbians, and other gays. (cf: stalking through ex-gay watch above).

    As are heterosexuals being abused by gays and other heterosexuals. For every Mathew Sheppard, there are many such rape cases which never make the news.

    So, do you really want to pull out this victim card?

    Or I should ask it this way. Do you want gay marriage to be your own Israel the country — an act of pity that supposedly ends conflict by the highest governance edict? Does this really have anything to do with gays?

    I support gay rights. I defend them often. But Marriage is about the equality of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. Because that is the place to first ensure equality for everyone.

    You can say that gays cannot integrate with the other gender in any meaningful marital way. You can say that their identity precludes such integration. But I won’t join you in that, especially when real marriage equality is so important for children’s sake.

    Gov. Wallace may be jealous that such arguments might work for you. But they don’t work on me.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t run around calling others here ignorant. You may need such a favor extended to your incompetence someday.

    • J. Stone

      You cannot be reasoned with.

      • Or you just can’t reason and want to cover your tracks for a quick exit. Either way, eh?

        But rather then arguing about me or you, why not take on the points I offered. Forget about me and my ability to reason with you, perhaps others here who might be conned into the same way of thinking if it weren’t for your insight and wisdom. I mean I see your attempts here in discussing with TIM and others who I doubt you hold in much more favor.

        If they are that unreasonable, then all the easier for you to expose as such.

        Yes, I’m chuckling as I write this. Yes, I’m calling your bluff.

    • J. Stone

      By the way, ignorance is not the same as incompetence. It’s also not the same as stupid. Get a dictionary and look them up.

      • The mistake is yours, it would seem.

        You said, “Your contented ignorance is awe-inspiring” about TIM.

        And you are the one executing incompetence in this thread (ignorance too, but that is another issue). No where was that said to be the same thing, in case you need more examples of your incompetence.

        But they both can be overlooked in the sake of bridging differences, and judging your performance since, I can tell you would have done well to have taken that offer.

  8. I’m among the “gay people have no right to force everyone else to change their beliefs on what constitutes a marriage so they can feel better about themselves” crowd. Your argument holds as much water as “legalizing” marriage for “polyamorous” “relationships,” bestiality, incest or the whole state of California for that matter. Marriage is not a vehicle for social acceptance, nor a rubber stamp for who “really loves each other.”

    I associate with same-sex-attracted individuals on a daily basis. Some of them have chosen to buy into the “homosexual lifestyle” you are promoting and some have not. I do not see a socially “held-down” and persecuted class. The gay friends that have confided to me speak more of internal daemons. Every one of them has admitted to me that they wish they did not have same-sex attractions. I feel very sorry for them, but destroying the important institution of marriage in a ill-fated attempt to help them with their self-esteem is not the answer.

    Prop 8 was not about preventing gay people from having their relationships or punishing them for them. Prop 8 took no right away from anyone.

    Prop 8 ensured that gay activists would not be able to take away the rights of individuals to recognize marriage according to their religious beliefs and conscience. It was an attempt (though it may not do much) to prevent children from being indoctrinated with pro-homosexual agendas in the public schools. It protected the rights of churches to consecrate marriages according to their religious beliefs and not be sued for “hate crimes.” Most importantly, it ensured that the fundamental unit for raising children would be recognized as much more socially benefiting than a couple of sexually charged gay or lesbian individuals who want to prove that they are just as good.

    Let’s try some of your questions turned back at you:

    Why do you want to destroy the institution that gives children the best chance to succeed in life?

    Why do you hate religion so much? Why do you want to limit the right of people to practice their religion?

    What makes a gay relationship equal in societal benefit to a “real” marriage?

    What makes a gay relationship better than incest, bestiality, polyamory or any other sexual perversion?

    Why are you willing to overturn the democratic voice of the people to make 10% of the population feel better about their sex lives? What kind of president do you think this will set for democracy in our state and country?

    Why are you willing to encourage more children to participate in a lifestyle that is mentally, emotionally and physically abusive, described as unhappy by those who participate in it, and carries with it a much higher increase of drug abuse and disease?

    Why do you support teaching impressionable children moral issues in the public schools that are in opposition to their own religious and moral values?

    Why, if you cannot get your way and legalize marriage, do you then support doing away with the institution of marriage? What is your goal with marriage?

    Those are some good questions to start with. I have plenty more if you can go through those…

  9. J. Stone

    We’ll see how everything turns out. We’ve got the young, and you’ve got the old. You all can’t live forever.

    • I like that you considered the young in this.

      For in the not-to-distant future neutering marriage will be scene with abortion and slavery as some of the most heinous things that one group of individuals did to another.

      TIM outlined a number of reasons why future generations will not look kindly back on those who supported it. I can add a few more.

      1) Seperate is not equal. You can have a segregated school, or a gender segregated marriage. Each for the alleged needs of those involved who say they are damaged by integration. Such a blow against that ideal is always eventually seen as a step backwards for those charting humanitarian progress.

      2) Marriage is a program focusing the parents on the needs of the children. Neutered marriage replaces that beliefs centered solely on the sexual fulfillment of the adult. Adultery and divorce show the road that takes us. But neutering marriage makes that road the one with the interstate marking and maintenance.

      I have no doubt that the children of today, who for the most part are well enough taken care of by their parents, may not feel the wolves at the door. But I don’t imagine the kids of tomorrow who’s parents used marriage for their own romantic needs will not be so unmindful of the pain caused by such adult-centered enterprise.

      • Wow. Very good point. Children will be hurt the most by the neutering of marriage, so it is completely reasonable that they will not look favorably upon it, contrary to what “social progressives” are saying.

    • The tooth fairy has the young. Should I expect the Tooth Fairy to be elected President?

      Children believe lots of things they won’t believe once they understand the world better. The “we’ll win the children” argument is no argument at all. It is an admission that the arguer has no rational point to make so instead has decided to inject wishful thinking about the future.

  10. This is your response?!!

    To paraphrase: “You’re too stupid to keep talking to.” and “We’re going to endoctrinate your children whether you like it or not.”

    And you wonder why gay marriage has failed every time it has been voted on by the people in any state?

    I agree, “Most revealing.”

  11. J. Stone

    TIM and On Lawn,
    You two are like an echo chamber. “Neutering marriage”–what in the hell are you talking about?

    If you really believe that years from now, people will view SUPPORTERS of gay marriage rights as akin to proponents of slavery, well, there’s not much I can say to you. Time will tell.

    I’m not going to respond to a barrage of loaded questions, each more incomprehensible to the uninitiated than the last. If you want to have a debate, ask me a serious question, and I’ll see if I can’t respond.

    Don’t you see the difference between the ways you all “communicate” and the way I try to communicate? The questions I posed in my comment were related to specific points raised by TIM. It was a dispute over factual claims made by TIM–that gay people don’t face discrimination. Now let’s look at the questions posed by TIM: “Why do you want to destroy [marriage]? Why do you hate religion so much? Why do you want to limit the right of people to practice their religion?” These questions are not seeking a response; they are hyperbole, useful only for eliciting cheers from dimwits. They don’t further understanding. I may as well ask you, “Why do you hate babies?”

    The rest of your questions are a little better, so I’ll supply brief answers. But in the future, remember that when you ask 10 questions in a row, it suggests that you really aren’t hoping for or listening to answers.

    “What makes a gay relationship equal in societal benefit to a “real” marriage?” Ignoring the insult, I’ll say that marriage benefits society by stabilizing relationships. People in stable relationships tend to do better–they’re happier, healthier, more financially secure; by leaning on each other, they enrich each others’ lives and help each other through the difficult patches. Society as a whole benefits from this. Allowing gay couples to marry yields all those same benefits, to the couples themselves, and to society more generally.

    “What makes a gay relationship better than incest, bestiality, polyamory or any other sexual perversion?” Whatever makes a heterosexual relationship better than any of those things, the same would apply to gay relationships. I know you disagree; your question makes clear that you consider homosexuality a perversion. That’s your opinion; not much I can do about that.

    “Why are you willing to overturn the democratic voice of the people to make 10% of the population feel better about their sex lives?” First, it’s not about gay people feeling better about their sex lives; as stated above, it’s about benefitting all of society by promoting stability in relationships, gay and straight alike. Second, not everything is up for a vote in our society. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “tyranny of the majority” before.

    “What kind of president do you think this will set for democracy in our state and country?” I think you mean “precedent.” Our society is already arranged around principles of equal protection and due process. Giving expression to those principles will not overturn the applecart.

    “Why are you willing to encourage more children to participate in a lifestyle that is mentally, emotionally and physically abusive, described as unhappy by those who participate in it, and carries with it a much higher increase of drug abuse and disease?” I reject the premise of your question. Social stigmatization is the root of much of what you describe. Being hated for no good reason is hard for some people to deal with.

    “Why do you support teaching impressionable children moral issues in the public schools that are in opposition to their own religious and moral values?” I said no such thing.

    “Why, if you cannot get your way and legalize marriage, do you then support doing away with the institution of marriage?” I said no such thing.

    “What is your goal with marriage?” To extend its benefits to gay couples as well as straight, thereby benefitting society as a whole.

    Now, On Lawn, as for what you wrote, I really can’t say much in response. I must admit it is mostly unintelligible to me. Neutering Marriage? Gender Integration? Governor Wallace? You are talking your own language. Since you like movie analogies, here’s the one that came to my mind: You are like Russell Crowe in the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” out in that shed in the woods, covering the walls with news clippings, then connecting them all with string. It all makes perfect sense to you; but to an outside observer, it’s just craziness.

    And here’s the point I’ll end on for now: Your crazy talk gets a lot of “Amen”s from fellow initiates, but when it comes to persuading the general populace, it is unavailing. That’s why proponents of Prop 8 couldn’t rely on your rationale to carry the day; instead, they had to get Bill Tam and so many others to distract voters with talk of pedophilia and indoctrination of school children and the erosion of religious liberty–none of which is implicated by gay marriage.

    I wasn’t chuckling while I wrote this, On Lawn, but I hope you and TIM both can see that I’m not intimidated by your volume. I say that “we have the youth,” not because they are being indoctrinated (spelled with an “i”, by the way), but because our position appeals to reason, while yours appeals to irrational fear of the other. I know you can’t see it that way; and that’s why I pity you.

    • Hello again J.

      Thanks for your constructive criticism. Much of it is very valid and warranted.

      So at the end of the day, when you said you felt I couldn’t be reasoned with you really meant to say, “I am lacking in reading comprehension”. Its better to admit your own faults, and we can be happy to readily admit ours.

      Allow me to help you with your comprehension deficit…

      Websters dictionary provides two definitions for marriage. These are, oddly enough, not two independent definitions which may cause an amphibology, but one in relation to the other.

      The first is simply a legally recognized relationship of a man and a woman. Referenced in that relationship is the a biological reference to the sexual (as in reproductive) relationship. Referenced as ‘legal’ to indicate that it is recognized by the government for its purposes.

      The second simply references the first, saying it is a relationship that is like the first. But while there are similarities, the real core of what it is lost. The definition changes from “man and woman”, which are specifically gendered terms to “two people” without reference to gender.

      Removing the implied gender reference of a term is appropriately described as “neutered”.

      There is more, but for the sake of understanding I want to make sure that, whether you disagree or not, you at least understand the use of the terminology. Please let me know and we can further a mutual understanding which I think will go far to bridging any differences we might have.

      • J. Stone

        On Lawn,
        I have to admit, I’m impressed by your use of the word “amphibology.” Not much else, though.
        A dictionary definition is your ace in the hole? The dictionary reflects; it doesn’t dictate. It’s descriptive, not prescriptive. No one is disputing that gay people have historically been excluded from the institution of marriage; that’s reflected in the dictionary.
        Look, I’m not going to learn to talk “crazy” to please you. If you want to communicate with me, you can leave the spin and buzzwords behind and speak directly to the issues.

  12. No one is disputing that gay people have historically been excluded from the institution of marriage…

    No one is disputing that “gay people” have not been excluded, you mean?

    I’m not going to learn to talk “crazy” to please you.

    If you wanted to please me, you’d stop talking crazy. You cannot dismiss On Lawn’s use of accepted definitions and accurate terminology by misusing terms like “spin” and “buzzwords.”

  13. Stone: Ignoring the insult…

    What insult?

    I’ll say that marriage benefits society by stabilizing relationships.

    Marriage benefits society by much more than just “stability.” Home ownership provides stability, but it’s clearly not marriage.

    Paring marriage down to “provides stability” is like paring hospitals down to “provides jobs.” If that were all hospitals did for society they would be indistinguishable from, say, casinos, but I’m sure you’d rather live in a community without a casino than in a community without a hospital.

    Allowing gay couples to marry yields all those same benefits…

    “Gay couples” are “allowed” to be as stable as they choose. Redefining marriage won’t change that.

    Even if redefining marriage could make “gay couples” more “stable,” what potential harm would it cause? After all, you are converting a historically child centered institution into one centered on adults, albeit adult “stability.”

    Whatever makes a heterosexual relationship better than any of those things, the same would apply to gay relationships.

    No, it would not. Your answer presumes that a same-sex (your buzzword was “gay”) relationship and a bride-groom (your buzzword was “heterosexual”) relationship are identical. Even someone with the most cursory understanding of human biology would know that.

    • J. Stone

      Besides enhancing the stability of the couple, what are the other essential benefits of marriage that you have in mind?

      • If its okay that I field this real quickly…

        I believe stability is a means to an end, not an end itself.

        But can I safely assume from your question that you feel stability of the couple is an essential benefit for your proposal? Or is it a means to other benefits?

      • J. Stone

        Stability can be viewed as a means to an end, if you like. I was using it as a shorthand for all things that flow from enhanced stability; I can’t come up with a comprehensive list right now, but earlier I mentioned better emotional support, more financial security, healthier lifestyle, etc.

        A side note: I think that last one–healthier lifestyle–might also include monogamy as a component. This is part of what many refer to as the “conservative argument for gay marriage”–that promiscuity in gay culture is partly attributable to gay couples being denied the right to marry.

  14. J. Stone

    Anyone serious have anything to say?

    • Interesting question.

      Are you looking for help? Someone to come in and give your opinion in a way that is more serious to handle the scrutiny of Op-Ed?

      In that case, I think you are alone in that one. Either you have a good case to make or you don’t. If you aren’t serious, or have a serious reason to neuter marriage, then that is your own fault.

      I doubt anyone has any better ability to state your position then you do.

  15. Stone: Anyone serious have anything to say?

    A clear admission that Stone doesn’t.

  16. J Stone wrote:

    > I have to admit, I’m impressed by your use of the word “amphibology.”

    A great term for this discussion, no? It is a logical fallacy where one ambiguously flips between two different definitions of a term.

    That happens with marriage a lot. People might conflate what a same-sex couple with what marriage is meant to address. But that contradiction and fallacy is evident when you look at it, sex-segregation is not marriage equality any more then an all-white school is education equality.

    > Not much else, though.

    I know, you are a bigot on a ten foot pole, prejudging the situation and ignoring our attempts at helping you understand us.

    Its your prejudice which is really showing by your attempts to argue about people in this thread, and the poor attempts — easily discredited attempts — at reason you’ve mingled in it.

    That you’ve abandoned reason at the slightest hint of scrutiny is a reflection on your lack of confidence in your own position.

    > A dictionary definition is your ace in the hole?

    I’m not sure what a vague statement like “ace in the hole” means. But if you want to ignore something as authoritative as a dictionary, because you cannot accept any evidence contrary to your pre-drawn conclusions, again that is your problem not mine.

    > The dictionary reflects; it doesn’t dictate. It’s descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Exactly. It is descriptive and not prescriptive. And what it is describing you seem to be ignoring. Ignorance is your own problem, not mine 🙂

    > No one is disputing that gay people have historically been excluded from the institution of marriage; that’s reflected in the dictionary.

    No, that is reflected in everywhere gays call marriages between people of opposite genders a sham, and harass gays who do get married. I don’t think you’ll find that kind of bigotry and prejudice in the dictionary, even by your own admission…

    > Look, I’m not going to learn to talk “crazy” to please you.

    Call it what you will, no one is asking you to do otherwise. I’m describing a change in marriage, that it is neutered, and that change is not good for marriage.

    That isn’t crazy talk, perhaps you had something more reasonable to say in dispute? Then again, perhaps not 🙂

    > If you want to communicate with me, you can leave the spin and buzzwords behind and speak directly to the issues.

    Actually I am communicating with you, and speaking to the issues. I’ve directly answered your questions above, for instance.

    As you admitted, it is your reading comprehension (inability to understand, and from what I see you writing in response, your direct desire to not understand) which is breaking down the communication.

    Again, that isn’t my fault.

  17. J. Stone wrote:

    > I think you mean “than you do.”

    If it helps you answer the question then sure allow me to fix it. To be honest I usually make at least 8 grammar and spelling mistakes a post.

    The corrected sentence would read…

    I doubt anyone has any better ability to state your position then you do.

    And since you are abandoning the discussion of your position to talk about grammar, then I can conclude that your position just isn’t worth articulating.

    Seeing the problems exposed in it so far, I would probably do the same thing if I were in your shoes.

    As TIM said, no wonder you’ve lost every election on this issue so far. You don’t really have a reasonable position to offer the voters.

    • J. Stone

      On Lawn,
      you just made my day. If you’ll look closely at your last post, your “corrected sentence” contains the same error as your uncorrected sentence.
      Just a typo, you say? As a genius once said, “Fool me once…”

      • All too funny. If giving you something to talk about which is nothing to do with the subject at hand is “making your day”, then by all means grab the opportunity to run away brave Sir Robin, run away 🙂

        Every post you make that avoids the issues, makes my point 🙂

  18. And just to note, there are at least 8 mistakes an English teacher would mark down for you to discuss about that post too. Just because it makes your day.

    And because it makes my point too about how little you want to talk about the issues.

  19. J. Stone

    Every post you make, period, proves my point: I’m dealing with some white-hot intellects here. I’d better run for cover!

  20. I can only imagine then what it must feel like being so impotent in making your own points against us “white-hot intellectuals” then.

    As I said, I can only imagine.

  21. Folks,

    Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a person like J. Stone on the Internet.

    There are many on the Internet willing to hunt down grammar mistakes (though few desperate enough to make as much hey about it as J. Stone did).

    So lest we get too off track, lets remember some of the highlights of this conversation…

    J Stone: You know, Hitler killed people for being gay. I would have thought he would be a hero of yours.

    Hitler also killed people for being Jews. He also killed his top Generals. Hitler also had high ranking gays in his government, killing Jews, etc…

    His co-founder of the storm troopers was openly gay. Today we’ve seen many gay activists obstructing places of public debate, churches, and vandalizing property.

    And, like killing people for being gay, even if Hitler didn’t do it, that would still be wrong.

    But when given the opportunity to condemn such actions, J. Stone stated simply, “You cannot be reasoned with”. And has since admitted to playing a game of grammar nazi instead 🙂

  22. J. Stone

    On Lawn,
    I’ll address any serious point you want to raise. I won’t waste my time responding to Op-Ed. As I wrote before, my purpose here is to expose faulty logic and questionable assertions of fact. Op-Ed’s comments are self-executing in that regard.

    • Stone: …my purpose here is to expose faulty logic and questionable assertions…

      Clearly false since Stone spends most of his time kvetching about English usage. Grammar and spelling are not analogs for logic and assertions.

      Op-Ed’s comments are self-executing in that regard.

      Stone here is simply whistling in the dark.

  23. I’ll address any serious point you want to raise. […] my purpose here is to expose faulty logic and questionable assertions.

    You seem to be confusing your own faulty instinct for seriousness, with your equally faulty instinct for logical errors.

    You’ve only pointed out grammar errors, and made logic errors of your own.

    • J. Stone

      Well, of course that’s going to be your take on this discussion, On Lawn. If a fair-minded individual who happens upon this site reads this thread and agrees with you, then you will have carried the day. Let me just say, though, that I like my chances.

      I’ll go back on my word and respond to this one sentence of Op-Ed’s: “Even if redefining marriage could make ‘gay couples’ more ‘stable,’ what potential harm would it cause?”
      First, even the expert witnesses offered by the defenders of Prop 8 at the Perry trial testified that allowing gay couples to marry unquestionably WOULD make those relationships more stable. [I’m the only one here who has actually read the trial transcripts, aren’t I? Anyone else?]
      Second, I’ll note that Op-Ed left it to me to identify harm resulting from allowing gay couples to marry. I see none; perhaps neither does Op-Ed, since no examples are given.
      And third, I’ll draw attention to Op-Ed’s use of quotation marks around “gay couples” and “stable.” Does Op-Ed not believe in the existence of gay couples? Even more shocking, does Op-Ed not believe that stable is a word?

      • Let me just say, though, that I like my chances.

        I appreciate the honesty.

        You’ve stopped making assertions about the debate about marriage. Chances are that probably is going to be better off for you … in case a fair minded person reads this thread.

        Now more on faulty logic:

        Op-Ed: >> Even if redefining marriage could make ‘gay couples’ more ’stable,’ what potential harm would it cause?

        J. Stone: First, even the expert witnesses offered by the defenders of Prop 8 at the Perry trial testified that allowing gay couples to marry unquestionably WOULD make those relationships more stable.

        Feel free to provide the portions of the transcript from these “witnesses” that “unquestionably” “would” make those relationships more stable.

        I know of an example where one agreed with a statement provided by the prosecutor that deemed such a thing as likely. No doubt someone as schooled in faulty logic as you understands the difference between “unquestionably WOULD” and likely. And the difference between plural and singular.

        I could be wrong, I don’t recall every portion of the testimony and transcript. Feel free to provide the quotes…

        I mean, did you read the transcripts? Did you even read what Op-Ed wrote… Read it again just for my sake.

        If you did read it, you may also be realizing that a statement starting with “Even if [X]” in no wise disagrees that “X” can or will happen. The statement clearly says that there is a flaw in the reasoning whether or not X happens.

        You then move to your second point, having failed to make a substantial first point.

        > “Second, I’ll note that Op-Ed left it to me to identify harm resulting from allowing gay couples to marry. I see none; perhaps neither does Op-Ed, since no examples are given.”

        He left it to the fair minded reader, actually. I can’t logically or even rationally state definitively if you are a part of that group or not. Nothing personal, but I don’t know you that well and you’ve not provided evidence to establish that yet.

        But lets say that you are, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. As a fair minded individual, you could still agree with the statement that even if it did cause a benefit, that benefit might be at the cost of harm to others. It then illicit the question, what harm would it cause?

        You right, that question should be answered. As a potentially fair minded reader, you even picked up in that point. That was Op-Ed’s point, and apparently you agree with it. It isn’t sufficient to show it would help one set of individuals. It should also show that it does not harm others.

        Going up the ladder of that thread, one may see that is the exact question TIM was asking, at what harm to others are you willing to give a small benefit to an already protected, well-to-do group of individuals?

        In short, you failed to answer the questions probing potential harm (complaining they were loaded), and Op-Ed was rightly pointing out that both should be considered, as your evasion about concerns for anyone else but gays may have unintentionally painted the picture that you only cared about benefiting gays.

        > Does Op-Ed not believe in the existence of gay couples? Even more shocking, does Op-Ed not believe that stable is a word?

        False dillema brought on, once again, by your lack of reading comprehension.

        The use of quotation marks does state the author believes something doesn’t exist. From the readily accessible Wikipedia:

        In this application, quotation marks are placed around a single word or phrase to indicate that the word or phrase does not signify its literal or conventional meaning.

        […] When the enclosed text is a quotation from another source, scare quotes may indicate that the writer does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself)

        So three for three, you’ve provided statements of faulty logic and questionable assertions in attempts to supposedly find them in another’s writings.

      • Stone: First, even the expert witnesses offered by the defenders of Prop 8 at the Perry trial testified that allowing gay couples to marry unquestionably WOULD make those relationships more stable.

        Based on what evidence? Stone’ fallacious appeal to authority is no substitute for actual evidence.

        Second, I’ll note that Op-Ed left it to me to identify harm resulting from allowing gay couples to marry. I see none;

        What I left to Stone was to admit that he has not considered the potential for harm, and he willingly obliged.

        perhaps neither does Op-Ed, since no examples are given.

        That is an argument from silence, and it is also a fallacy. I’m sure you who are so dedicated to exposing fallacies were just getting around to calling yourself on that one.

        The harm of making a child centric institution into an adult centric one is clearly to the needs and rights of children. Obvious as that is, Stone admits he did not see it.

        Does Op-Ed not believe in the existence of gay couples? Even more shocking, does Op-Ed not believe that stable is a word?

        Actually, in English, quotation marks are used to denote that one is quoting someone else. Any other basic facts about the language you’re having trouble with?

    • J. Stone

      grammatical errors / logical errors

      OR

      errors of grammar / errors of logic

      BUT NOT

      grammar errors / logic errors

      • Wait a minute. You said you were “here to expose faulty logic and questionable assertions of fact.” Oh, wait! I already pointed out that “questionable assertion.”

        “Clearly false since Stone spends most of his time kvetching about English usage. Grammar and spelling are not analogs for logic and assertions.”

      • See, when I don’t telegraph it, he takes the bait.

        Good job J Stone. You are just making my point for me.

  24. Another contradiction:

    my purpose here is to expose faulty logic […] Op-Ed’s comments are self-executing in that regard.

    Simply put, if your purpose is to expose them, then you would. If you could.

  25. And note J. Stone dodged the opportunity to condemn the violence caused by gays, again for political disagreement and intimidation. While we’ve condemned violence people because they are gay.

    • J. Stone

      Note that On Lawn has not stated that he is opposed to sucker-punching geriatric women in the gut. Why is he in favor of such vicious attacks on sweet old ladies?

    • J. Stone

      See, there is an example of me pointing out a logical fallacy. And again I have to point out that neither of your “sentences” really hang together as such. You consider it nitpicking, but it has a cumulative effect. Who would you find more persuasive–a person who can communicate in complete sentences, or someone who doesn’t know “than” from “then”?

      • or someone who doesn’t know “than” from “then”?

        Actually, it is not logical to assume that one does or doesn’t know the difference from just this conversation. Especially when what you are talking about is a one-letter typo.

        These questionable assertions of fact of yours really do have a cumulative effect.

        Lets review. You’ve abandoned the field of ideas and persuasive arguments, and now can’t seem to make a post without executing faulty logic and bad assertions — the playground of your choice.

      • On Lawn: You’ve abandoned the field of ideas and persuasive arguments…

        Abandoned the field? When was he ever on the field? Point to one idea or persuasive argument J. Stone has made.

      • J. Stone

        Oh, burn!

  26. Three problems in that post that I want to point out.

    Note that On Lawn has not stated that he is opposed to sucker-punching geriatric women in the gut.

    That is his opener on a subject that hasn’t come up until now.

    Why is he in favor of such vicious attacks on sweet old ladies?

    1) It is illogical to conclude that no comment on a subject is endorsement.
    2) I’ve not gone so far as to say your lack of condemnation is an endorsement.
    3) I do condemn it, in no uncertain terms at my first opportunity. Now your questionable assertions to the contrary are invalidated.

    You are doing a better a much better job of providing “faulty logic and questionable assertions of fact” then exposing them.

    • J. Stone

      Man, you’re smart!

      • Aww, aren’t you taking a new tack.

        Flattery won’t avoid the fact you seem uninterested in condemning the actions of gays when they cross the line.

        This has a cumulative effect, you realize.

        The issue isn’t me, it never has been. While more polite, I care as little if you think I’m smart as if you think I’m not.

        The question is whether you recognize their actions as wrong or not. Weren’t you once claiming that gays are victims, as if that should mean something unique in this debate?

        That isn’t and endorsement, or even tacit endorsement. It is simply fairness and equally recognizing the plight of everyone.

      • J. Stone

        What are you talking about again?

      • Well, Stone isn’t even trying to defend his “questionable assertion” about marriage being just about “promoting stability in relationships.” Now he’s just giving us his rendition of Monty Python’s Black Knight.

  27. note, I made the “then” instead of “than” there too, just so J Stone has an easy out 🙂 We’ll see if he cares more about his logical fallacies being exposed than grammar.

    • J. Stone

      I’m calling b.s. You saw your error after you posted.

      • Stone: I’m calling b.s.

        Now there’s some stunning “logic” for you.

      • You keep thinking that.

        I celebrate that you didn’t take the bait this time, but that was after I telegraphed it.

        Or did you … 🙂

        I mean, I haven’t seen you make any real replies yet, for all your effort to look like you are replying.

        Yes, I’m chuckling again as I write this. You know how to make it fun.

      • J. Stone

        Oh, you’ve been baiting me? All along? You really CAN spell and speak and think? What a dope you’ve made of me!

      • Stone: What a dope you’ve made of me!

        Credit where credit is due, Stone. He couldn’t have done it without you.

  28. while there are a number of errors in that last post, there was only one which may cause confusion…

    (I apologize, I had to post that comment quickly).

    “The use of quotation marks does state the author believes something doesn’t exist.”

    Should instead read “The use of quotation marks does not mean the author believes something doesn’t exist”.

    Again, sorry for the confusion.

  29. What a dope you’ve made of me!

    As Op-Ed says, you do it yourself.

    I offered this opportunity earlier…

    Or you just can’t reason and want to cover your tracks for a quick exit. Either way, eh?

    But rather then arguing about me or you, why not take on the points I offered. Forget about me and my ability to reason with you, perhaps others here who might be conned into the same way of thinking if it weren’t for your insight and wisdom. I mean I see your attempts here in discussing with TIM and others who I doubt you hold in much more favor.

    If they are that unreasonable, then all the easier for you to expose as such.

    Yes, I’m chuckling as I write this. Yes, I’m calling your bluff.

    Now I chuckle as I read it.

  30. J. Stone

    Any other questions before I go? I have some yard signs I need to destroy and straight people I need to rape. You see, I’m an evil, evil gay–and under no circumstances should you assume I’m opposed to wickedness in any of its forms, unless I expressly disavow it.

    On a serious note: I appreciate you allowing these comments to appear. If you’ll leave them up for that stray visitor with a fair mind to see, I will appreciate it. You all may not believe in the 14th Amendment, but at least you believe in the 1st. That’s a start.

    • Hey, take all the rope you need.

      For the record, I don’t care if you are an evil gay or not. You could at least distance yourself from the ones clearly out of line. Instead you simply mock the victims.

    • You have a disturbing sense of humor.

      Yes, you can answer the question that On Lawn and Op Ed have been repeating for the last dozon posts or so. You have been playing the part of the child covering his ears and yelling “I’m not listening” and then claiming that nothing was said. You can’t honestly believe that that won’t be obvious to any future readers of this “enlightening” thread.

    • You all may not believe in the 14th Amendment

      I suppose it is fruitless to expect J Stone, if he had a 14th amendment argument he felt confident enough in, to share it…

      But for the record, I see marriage equality — the real marriage equality which has bettered the lives of women by making them even more of an equal partner in marriage — as leading to the conclusion that marriage is best when it expects the integration of one man and one woman.

      I see no conflict with the 14th amendment in that assertion.

      Separate is not equal. Segregating based on gender in marriage is no more a path to equality then segregating based on race for schools.

  31. Excuse me. “Dozen.” I suppose you will ridicule my ability to spell now in lieu of addressing the actual issues?

  32. J. Stone

    Q. And you believe that legalizing gay and lesbian marriage would benefit gay and lesbian couples as well as any children they raise, correct?
    A. I believe it would be likely to do so.
    Q. Well, you believe it would be almost certain to do so, correct, sir?
    A. I do believe it is almost certainly true that gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage.

    –from David Boies’s cross-examination of David Blankenhorn at the Prop. 8 trial, Perry v. Schwarzeneggar

    (If I can find the other defense witness’s relevant testimony soon enough, I’ll post it. Thanks, again. Bye.)

    • During the NH House public hearings on HB 436 homosexual marriage, Citizens Leadership of NH testified on the detrimental effect of this legislation to children. Though the pool of children being raised by homosexual partners is still relatively small, the report below confirms the impact to children raised in same sex homes. Deliberate fatherless or motherless homes are a lose-lose situation for all children and in the end a lose-lose for society.

      France has been down this road of destruction. In 2006 a Parliamentary Commission studied homosexual marriage and it’s affect on children. Their findings concluded that homosexual marriage should not be recognized by France; homosexual marriage created ” fallacious and fictitious” relationships for children. France has two generations of “citizens” who feel they have no identity, are half a person, suffer with depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide. The Commission also recommended prohibiting adoption or artificial insemination to same sex couples. They see a big problem.

      It’s important to note that acceptance of homosexuality does not deter the ills that the homosexual movement in the US claim is caused by non acceptance or lack of normalization, ie depression, suicide.

      Here is a link to the studies done in France and New Hampshire : http://www.marriagefactsnh.org/mf/resources.cfm

      Below is an article with the latest US studies on children of homosexual partners:

      “‘Gay’ family kids 7 times more likely to be homosexual
      But report shows researchers concealing information”

      By Bob Unruh
      © 2009 WorldNetDaily

      A licensed psychologist with both clinical and forensic practice outreaches is warning that it appears children of homosexual couples are seven times more likely to develop “non-heterosexual preferences” than other children, but lawmakers establishing policy often don’t know that because the researchers have concealed their discoveries.

      “Research … although not definitive, suggests that children reared by openly homosexual parents are far more likely to engage in homosexual behavior than children raised by others,” said the online report by Trayce L. Hansen.

      Studies she reviewed suggest children raised by homosexual or bisexual parents “are approximately seven times more likely than the general population to develop a non-heterosexual sexual preference.”

      The “studies thus far find that between 8 percent and 21 percent of homosexually parented children ultimately identify as non-heterosexual,” the psychologist wrote. “For comparison purposes, approximately 2 percent of the general population are non-heterosexual. Therefore, if these percentages continue to hold true, children of homosexuals have a 4 to 10 times greater likelihood of developing a non-heterosexual preference than other children.”

      However, those researchers who found such differences “nonetheless declared in their research summaries that no differences were found,” the report said.

      “Many believe they concealed their findings so as not to harm their own pro-homosexual, sociopolitical agendas,” the report said.
      For example, Among the numerous studies Hansen reviewed was the 1996 work by Golombok and Tasker.

      The authors of the study specifically looking at children of homosexual parents found “the large majority of children who grew up in lesbian families identified as heterosexual.”

      However, Hansen said in the study, in order for an adult child to be classified as non-heterosexual, “the adult child had to currently identify as non-heterosexual and commit to a future identity as a non-heterosexual – a very unusual method for coding non-heterosexuality.”
      She continued, “The authors didn’t mention this point or offer any explanations or comments about it. Nonetheless, 16 percent of those reared by lesbians had homosexual or bisexual levels of same-sex attraction, while 0 percent of the children of heterosexuals did. That’s 16 percent compared to 0 percent. Additionally, 67 percent of the children from lesbian family backgrounds said that they had ‘previously considered, or thought it a future possibility, that they might experience same-gender attraction or have a same-gender sexual relationship or both’ compared to 14 percent of children from heterosexual families. That’s 67 percent compared to 14 percent.”

      Eight percent of adult children reared by lesbians “had a homosexual relationship even though they weren’t sexually attracted to same-sex partners,” Hansen wrote.

      Hansen, who works with marriage, parenting, male-female difference issues, told WND that there is little scientific research on the long-term impact of homosexual parenting on children, and no definitive conclusions can be drawn.

      However, she said what information is available suggests children raised by homosexuals have different sexual orientation, gender identity and gender role behaviors from those children raised by heterosexual couples.

      The concealment of information is no surprise, either.

      “Most of the researchers involved in the study of homosexually-parented children are self-proclaimed pro-homosexual parenting researchers,” Hansen told WND. “Many of these researchers, as well as others, admit that acknowledging differences between homosexually- and heterosexually-parented children would be detrimental to their goals of wide-spread social acceptance of same-sex marriage, homosexual adoption, homosexual foster parenting, etc.

      “Concealing and/or downplaying research findings that suggest differences between children reared by homosexuals and those reared by heterosexuals, changes the way some citizens vote and judges rule on issues related to same-sex marriage, homosexual adoption, etc. And many of those who conduct those studies know that,” she continued.

      Policymakers need that information to make reasonable policy, too.

      “The circumstances under which children are reared are immensely important to a civilization. Earlier social experiments, such as no-fault divorce and the broad acceptance of single motherhood, resulted in disaster by increasing the number of fatherless children, many who now fill our prisons and welfare roles. Policy makers, judges, and citizens need to know the truth: children need fathers and changing legal standards such as the definition of marriage will deliberately deprive even more children of them,” her report said.

      “Homosexuals, and others who support their cause, understandably desire social and legal acceptance of their lifestyles and partnerships. One of the methods for achieving that goal is to convince the public that homosexual parenting isn’t detrimental to children. Concealing and/or downplaying research findings which reveal that children raised by homosexuals are different in fundamental ways from other children, is part of that socio-political agenda intended to sway voters and judges,” she said.

      Hansen suggested all scientists have biases – especially when such an “emotionally-charged” issue is at hand.

      But if the authors of these studies want to be regarded as scientists, and not activists, “they must set aside their biases and straightforwardly present their findings,” she wrote.

      “No one should be surprised that homosexual parents are more likely to raise homosexual children. As one of the few forthright pro-homosexual advocates proclaimed, ‘Of course our children are going to be different,'” Hansen said. “No one knows for sure by what complex mechanisms homosexual parents disproportionately rear homosexual children. But regardless of how, it appears they do. The public needs to be made aware of the findings of these studies so that when courts adjudicate and citizens vote on issues related to homosexuality, they’re fully informed as to the possible consequences of those decisions on children.”

      Hansen’s review encompassed nine studies, virtually all of the documentation available on the subject for her selected class of children.

    • J Stone before:

      First, even the expert witnesses offered by the defenders of Prop 8 at the Perry trial testified that allowing gay couples to marry unquestionably WOULD make those relationships more stable. [I’m the only one here who has actually read the trial transcripts, aren’t I? Anyone else?]

      Having read the transcripts, I was quite certain he was wrong. I mentioned the problems as such…

      Feel free to provide the portions of the transcript from these “witnesses” that “unquestionably” “would” make those relationships more stable.

      I know of an example where one agreed with a statement provided by the prosecutor that deemed such a thing as likely. No doubt someone as schooled in faulty logic as you understands the difference between “unquestionably WOULD” and likely. And the difference between plural and singular.

      I could be wrong, I don’t recall every portion of the testimony and transcript. Feel free to provide the quotes…

      In the above comment by J Stone in another discussion thread, (though that may or may not mean anything) we learn who was right.

      Blankenhorn (only one expert witness so far) purposefully did not go so far as to say “unquestionably WOULD”. The furthest he went was “almost certainly true”.

      Since Stone rested much on his confidence in his own self, and so little in his confidence in his own arguments, it is good to scratch the surface to see just how much he himself can’t cash the checks his ego continually writes in this forum.

      Bluster, sarcasm, mockery, dismissal, and grammar nit-picking doesn’t make up for a lack of foundation in one’s own arguments.

      • J. Stone

        You got me there. When I said that both of the pro-Prop 8 expert witnesses contradicted Op-Ed’s statement, I was wrong. Miller didn’t speak to the subject; only Blankenhorn–the only expert witness to testify on the matter–contradicted Op-Ed.
        And when I said that Op-Ed was unquestionably wrong, according to his own side’s expert witness, I got carried away. The truth is that Op-Ed is only “almost certainly” wrong. What a coup for you, On Lawn.

      • Stone: I was wrong. Miller didn’t speak to the subject; only Blankenhorn–the only expert witness to testify on the matter–contradicted Op-Ed.

        You’re more wrong than that since “stability” doesn’t appear anywhere in Blankenhorn’s quote. It was your thesis that neutering marriage would stabilize “gay couples.” You then claimed Blankenhorn agreed.

        So, was there anything you were right on?

        Blankenhorn: I do believe it is almost certainly true that gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage.

        Stone, do you “almost certainly” agree that currency counterfeiters “and their children would benefit by” treating counterfeit dollars as currency? Would it therefore “stabilize” their relationships?

  33. J. Stone

    Gay Judges and Conservative-Christian Privilege
    ============================
    Judge Vaughn Walker, presiding over the Prop 8 trial in San Francisco, is gay. Conservative Christians hate that. Anti-gay activist Matt Barber writes,

    This is no different than having an avid gun dealer/collector preside over a Second Amendment case – or a frequent user of medical marijuana deciding the legality of medical marijuana.

    First, given the good ole boy network of American politics, does Matt really believe that no huntin’, gun-totin’ judge has ever presided over a gun control case? But I’m more interested in the comparisons he didn’t make:

    This is no different than having a black judge preside over a civil rights case, or a woman preside over an abortion case, or a Jew preside over an Islamic fundamentalist’s case.

    Why do you suppose he didn’t go there? Because it would show how offensive his reasoning is? But there’s only one comparison that would give his argument any credibility:

    Having a gay judge preside over this case is no different than having a conservative Christian preside over it.

    See, Matt has said the “homosexual lobby” poses a direct threat to the religious freedom of conservative Christians. If so, then the “textbook conflict of interest” facing a gay judge would face a conservative Christian judge, too. Surely Matt have to agree if I turned his anti-Judge-Walker conclusion around to read:

    Any decision favoring [a ban on gay marriage] in this case will be permanently marred and universally viewed as stemming from [a conservative Christian judge’s] personal biases and alleged lifestyle choices.

    I doubt Matt’s planning to state that any time soon. I doubt he can even see the logic of it. He’s blinded by Conservative Christian privilege (let’s call it “CC-privilege” for short).*

    You may know of white privilege — the idea that whites in our culture have advantages they’re not even aware of, advantages they consider normal and natural. And then there’s straight privilege, like holding hands with your partner in public without fear of being attacked — and never thinking about gays and lesbians who lack this privilege. It’s an unconscious trait, because its owners have a hard time imagining their lives without it: “Co-workers are offended because I mentioned my [opposite-sex] fiance? That would be ridiculous!”

    Here’s how CC-privilege works: If you took Matt’s comparisons to their logical and full conclusion — if you suggested all CC judges should recuse themselves from cases involving gays, or cases about religious freedom or religion in the public square — conservative Christians would think you insane.

    * First, they’d (correctly) point out that our legal system would fall apart if we kept benching CC judges.
    * Second, if they were honest, they’d tell you such an idea would contradict their strategy of advancing judges who are willing to issue rulings based on their CC beliefs.
    * Finally, they’d tell you that their strategy is good and right and normal, because conservative Christianity is good and right and normal — while homosexuality, of course, is a disgusting, foul, degraded condition.

    Here’s the privilege part: They take this last point for granted, and they expect you to do the same, expect the whole national dialog on marriage equality to do the same. And for a long time, that’s exactly what America did. A very long time. That’s changing now, and it’s rocking the CC comunity. You’ve seen how abusive our opposition leaders become when you challenge their beliefs. You’ve seen this discrepancy:

    * Their attempts to strip us of our of rights, and to deny the benefits of a married family to the kids of gay and lesbian couples? That’s just the democratic process.
    * Our attempts to question their motivation, our emphatic disagreement with their condemnation, our efforts to secure simple equality? That’s a hateful, intolerant attack.

    This is so ass-backwards you can’t even call it a double standard. The logic is so wrecked, the only good explanation is a psychological one: They’re reacting against a threat to their privilege. In their eyes, we’re mounting a frontal assault on the very ideas of “moral” and “good.” That’s why we get insane and otherwise inexplicable statements from the likes of Pat Robertson:

    I don’t really believe homosexuals want to get married. What they want to do is destroy marriage.

    To us, that’s paranoid delusion. But to a CC extremist like Pat Robertson, any threat to your privilege is an attack on morality itself.

    CC-privilege is useful. It lets you abandon logic and assign evil motives to your opponents, no matter what the evidence. For instance, Matt writes of Judge Walker,

    He even violated federal rules by deciding to allow the trial to be broadcast worldwide, but was subsequently shot-down and sharply rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court for doing so. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. Prop 8 supporters lost around two-thirds of their expert witnesses who, naturally – based on homosexuals’ violent reaction to passage of Prop 8 – feared for their own safety and for that of family members.

    Matt can only say this if he ignores a whole slew of facts:

    * It was a close Supreme Court decision — four heterosexual justices sided with Walker.
    * During pre-trial depositions, our attorneys demolished their witnesses’ testimony.
    * One of their witnesses who dropped out, William Tam, was so damaging to their own side that we called him to the witness stand ourselves.
    * During cross-examination, the other side did everything they could to distance themselves from Tam. They didn’t want him to speak for them.

    These facts creates a compelling narrative for why these pro-Prop 8 witnesses were dumped dropped out. But go ahead and ignore them. And it’s easy because OH MY GOD JUDGE WALKER IS GAY. That solitary fact shines so brightly it obliterates the ability to see anything else, like snow blindness in the frozen Arctic of Matt’s brain.

    Matt writes further,

    [Judge Walker] also allowed plaintiffs a parade of “expert” witnesses who viciously maligned Christians and other observers of natural and historic sexual morality as “prejudiced,” “bigoted” and “homophobic.”

    Why the scare quotes around “expert” ? Because anyone who doesn’t respect CC-privilege automatically violates all that is natural and good, therefore is wrong, and therefore couldn’t possibly be an expert.

    Matt sees disagreement with conservative Christians and equates it with maligning Christians in general. He ignores a few more facts here. For instance: many Christian churches opposed Prop 8. For instance: gay marriage won the support of 47.76% of California’s voters — that’s a whole lot of Christians. You can be Christian and favor civil marriage equality. Can Matt see that? Can Maggie Gallagher? Can Bishop Harry Jackson? Every time Maggie says marriage equality is an attack on Christianity I wish someone would tell her, “Maggie, you are not Christianity.”

    But Matt’s grievance against gay Judge Walker is scary on a deeper level.

    He also allowed plaintiffs a parade of “expert” witnesses who viciously maligned Christians…

    Allowed?

    Forget what I said before. Pretend Matt is right when he says our side maligned Christians. Is Matt saying Judge Walker shouldn’t have allowed witnesses who are critical of Christianity? Is he saying a normal judge wouldn’t — and shouldn’t — allow such witnesses? That such voices simply shouldn’t be…allowed? Is that what Matt’s fighting for?

    I doubt he’d say it out loud. And I hope he doesn’t agree with it on a conscious level. But underneath — lord, his words betray him. He’s upset, not just because these witnesses disagree with him, but because they offend the core of his conservative Christian privilege. And his reaction to that, really, is profoundly chilling.

    * The first C in CC-privilege is crucial. Conservative Christians will see this blog post as an attack on religion, even though it only addresses a small subset of Christianity, which in turn is only a subset of all religion. But that’s the nature of CC-privilege: Disagreement with them is of course an attack on goodness itself.

    • Oh wow, here comes the christian boogey man to divert away from J Stone’s lack of sincerity and lack of meaningful dialog.

      Okay, I’ll bite.

      First, given the good ole boy network of American politics, does Matt really believe that no huntin’, gun-totin’ judge has ever presided over a gun control case?

      Fundamentally, it seems that the author doesn’t disagree with the statement that the choice of judge in each of these cases is any different.

      The author of this article pre-supposes has a pre-judged conclusion, which apparently involves keeping judges from overseeing such trials. But when his first quote doesn’t exactly fit, the author pretends it does anyway with a rhetorical question.

      At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if Matt feels that it hasn’t happened in the past or not. The question is, is it really different?

      The author then tries to extend the anaology:

      This is no different than having a black judge preside over a civil rights case, or a woman preside over an abortion case, or a Jew preside over an Islamic fundamentalist’s case.

      That may be true. Lawyers build dossiers on every judge, and hope to land a case with one has a lenient or sympathetic case for their own case.

      But it may not be different, the author gives examples where bias may be present. I believe his point is that bias doesn’t preclude the ability to judge fairly. But given that Judge Walker has already been ruled against twice mid-trial, he is already shown by his peers as not ruling fairly.

      Add that fact to any of the cases above, and it is plenty of suspicion to raise an eyebrow. And yes, it would be if the judge was a “CC” (conservative christian).

      A judge can, and often do, take special precautions to alleviate the specter of bias in cases such as those mentioned above. In short the author may be able to argue that it is possible to put aside bias and rule fairly. But that is clearly not how Judge Walker is behaving.

      Also, I don’t know that our court system has a very large degree of tolerance towards the kind of bias that Judge Walker is showing. Our court system is built to remove bias also. Jurors are selected through a pain-staking process to build as fair a panel as possible in the current circumstance. Lawyers can ask for a change of venue, or even appeal a judgement based on a detected bias of the judge.

      A recent case involved Microsoft in their anti-trust trial. There, after a judgement was made the judge wrote something that showed he had an opinion on the matter already. The case was then moved to another judge for a new hearing.

      But suffice to say, this author is clearly going after a straw man, bolstered only by his off-topic rhetorical questions. Matt certainly could have gone there, as the judicial system goes there all the time.

      The author then goes into a woe-is-me rant. I’ll dissect one little snippet…

      “Co-workers are offended because I mentioned my [opposite-sex] fiance? That would be ridiculous!”

      There are opposite sex couples who are ridiculed at their office. There are opposite sex couples who fear holding hands walking down the street. There are also gay couples who apparently have no fear of bringing the children in their care to the Folsom Street Fair dressed in leather collars.

      But to the author, it is their own problems which cause pain. So much so that the author winds up either mocking the pain shared by others, or denies the very existence of such pain through sarcasm.

      The authors point here is that some have a privilege that gays do not. One wonders what privilege that the author is seeking, because said author is in far larger company then such commentary suggests.

      The author then dismisses without any commentary any supporting evidence that Matt brings of an anti-christian bias. To the author, this is not bias but the due process of removing privilege. Its all in how the meat is cut.

      But on the other side, what does the author think of sites like ex-gay watch. A place where heterosexual marriages are mocked, harassed, and reviled on a routine, updated daily basis.

      Now to take on a few other points…

      * Their attempts to strip us of our of rights, and to deny the benefits of a married family to the kids of gay and lesbian couples? That’s just the democratic process.

      Actually rights are decided by a democratic process, or at least through a process of democratic representation. This is a fact.

      However, the author is also completely mistaken in his supposition. In California, there is a program called “Domestic Partnerships”, and it does exactly this, it extends (not denies) “the benefits of a married family to the kids of gay and lesbian couples?” Now, with all of the domestic situations out there that are not gay or lesbian, but also denied marriage benefits. Wt is a wonder why gays and lesbians are so exclusive with this program when a mother-daughter pair needs stability and recognition for the sake of the children they might raise together. Or two divorced or widowed friends who need stability and don’t want to have to marry again to get what support they already trust between them.

      It is evidence like this that tells me (though I have no idea of the authors take on this anomaly) of the self-centered approach these gays are taking. I’ve already mentioned how the author’s woe-is-me rant was short-sighted. And while he seems to be ignorant of the DP program, it also shows the same short-sightedness.

      * Our attempts to question their motivation, our emphatic disagreement with their condemnation, our efforts to secure simple equality? That’s a hateful, intolerant attack.

      Motivation means nothing. There are people who’ve actively stated they want marriage to be abolished, and fully support neutering it for the sake of homosexuality. Does that invalidate any reasons that the author might find legitimate to the cause?

      The fact that Judge Walker turned this into a witch-hunt for hate (and came up empty, btw) shows complete disregard for our legal process which looks at results. Nothing shows the anti-social and anti-democratic process here then the direct look at the theories of motivations (which are unverifiable, and unenforceable) rather then what the law would actually do.

      The author was wrong about it stripping marriage benefits from gays. The author is also wrong in endorsing a witch-hunt for motivations. If one really thought they found a better way then the fanatical religionists, they would have stepped more carefully before emulated one of the darkest moments of puritanism.

      Because there the superstition, those ideals which are unprovable, held the day also. In fact, I could read just such an argument as the following made in a witch-hunt, as opposed to a fair trial…

      I doubt he’d say it out loud. And I hope he doesn’t agree with it on a conscious level. But underneath — lord, his words betray him. He’s upset, not just because these witnesses disagree with him, but because they offend the core of his conservative Christian privilege.

      Besides, it is also revealing that he is so narrowly focused on Christianity. 1935 Germany started narrowly focused on removing the rights of one group, the Jews, and then removed the rights of everyone around them. Including Christians and gays.

      But what rights protect Christianity, though the author seems willing to put such beliefs on trial, also protects the other religions and even homosexuality. Because even if we disagree, we protect the right to disagree. And we protect the right to believe as we wish. While I’m not saying the author is making such a fallacy, the article lends to it by apologizing for putting a particular faith on trial — claiming not to do so would be a unique privilege that no one else shares. Which clearly isn’t true.

      • J. Stone

        “Actually rights are decided by a democratic process,” says On Lawn. Terrifying thought.

        I just wanted to highlight that for anyone who didn’t want to slog through the entirety of his poorly written screed.

  34. “Actually rights are decided by a democratic process,” says On Lawn. Terrifying thought.

    Please explain 🙂

    I’m not going to make your argument for you.

    • J. Stone

      Why not? You’ve been doing a wonderful job of it so far.

      • #Fail

        Please explain why that is a terrifying thought.

      • J. Stone

        You’re not sharp enough to realize the implications of your statement, On Lawn? That rights aren’t rights at all if they can be voted away by a bare majority?

      • While J Stone struggles to avoid defending his anti-social stance, I’ll refer to a person uniquely qualified in this discussion. I’d say he is making my point for me, but in truth I’m simply making his point.

        Thomas Jefferson:

        “Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches.” –Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815
        “But the Chief Justice says, ‘There must be an ultimate arbiter somewhere.’ True, there must; but does that prove it is either party? The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress or of two-thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our Constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823.
        “But, you may ask, if the two departments [i.e., federal and state] should claim each the same subject of power, where is the common umpire to decide ultimately between them? In cases of little importance or urgency, the prudence of both parties will keep them aloof from the questionable ground; but if it can neither be avoided nor compromised, a convention of the States must be called to ascribe the doubtful power to that department which they may think best.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.
        “The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” –Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804.
        “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820.
        “In denying the right [the Supreme Court usurps] of exclusively explaining the Constitution, I go further than [others] do, if I understand rightly [this] quotation from the Federalist of an opinion that ‘the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.’ If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de se [act of suicide]. For intending to establish three departments, coordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scare-crow . . . The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” –Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819.
        “This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825.
        “My construction of the Constitution is . . . that each department is truly independent of the others and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases submitted to its action; and especially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal.” –Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819

      • J Stone:

        [R]ights aren’t rights at all if they can be voted away by a bare majority

        Sounds like you mistook “unalienable right” with “right”. If so, that is your mistake and not mine. There is a whole doctrine about unalienable rights, but fundamentally the doctrine of the Declaration of Independence relies in the fact that no government of any nature can take away an unalienable right. Hence the word “unalienable”. They can only punish people for exercising them, or refuse to protect people who exercise them. And only if the people let them.

        You failed again.

        Now please, this time try to explain your point. Don’t assume what others do or don’t know as your argument. I’m far more authoritative on myself then you are. And such assumptions wind up highlighting your own incompetence in the process.

        This is your point — not mine. Go ahead and make it.

      • J. Stone

        First, I want you to tell me what “unalienable” means. I know what it means, but I don’t believe that you do. Take a stab at it, without consulting a dictionary or the like. On your honor, now–what does “unalienable” mean, smart guy?

      • #fail

        Again you just look lazy and evasive.

        Go ahead, allow me to cede the floor for you to make your point.

        No need for you to start baiting diversions with quizzes on random words you pick up on my posts.

        Yes, it is chuckle time again. Your evasions are truly entertaining to watch.

      • J. Stone

        Reread your post. “Unalienable” was a random word in there? Here, to help I’ve excerpted for you:

        “Sounds like you mistook ‘unalienable right’ with ‘right’. If so, that is your mistake and not mine. There is a whole doctrine about unalienable rights, but fundamentally the doctrine of the Declaration of Independence relies in the fact that no government of any nature can take away an unalienable right. Hence the word ‘unalienable’.”

        So come one, smart guy. On your honor–no cheating by looking it up (of course, we’ll never know–but you will)–what does “unalienable” mean?

      • #Fail,

        The controversy here is your inability to back up your own comment.

        Thomas Jefferson knew how to make an argument. Why not read through that comment again and see if you can’t pick up on what I mean by that.

        I mean really, did Jefferson banter about with the same sophomoric behavior you are now? Go ahead, if you feel you can defend your statement, do so. Otherwise, I’ll just keep watching you avoid doing so, tacitly acknowledging you have no confidence in any argument you might make at this point.

      • Another example of a well made argument…

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

        Emphasis mine. The Declaration of Independence was authored primarily by Thomas Jefferson.

        I can make my point all day. You keep trying to evade having to make yours. I can see why you go to such lengths. Sure your tactics make you look silly, but judging by the arguments you have made, that probably is cutting your losses.

      • Another example of a well made argument. This time from Abraham Lincoln. Remember Abraham Lincoln had to deal with a Supreme Court which upheld a slave-owner’s “right” to own slaves.

        If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court… the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? — Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

        Of course, that argument might only have limited appeal. It appeals to those who value freedom and self-governance.

        So what was so scary about what I said again?

      • Stone: That rights aren’t rights at all if they can be voted away by a bare majority?

        Hey, Stone, what are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution called if not “The Bill of Rights?” How were they ratified if not “by a democratic process?”

        You fail!

      • Stone: First, I want you to tell me what “unalienable” means.

        Why do you care? What “unalienable” right is under discussion?

  35. When I said that both of the pro-Prop 8 expert witnesses contradicted Op-Ed’s statement, I was wrong.

    Misquoting is your own error, irregardless of the debate.

    And yes, you were wrong. On a number of levels. The one I pointed out at the time was…

    If you did read it, you may also be realizing that a statement starting with “Even if [X]” in no wise disagrees that “X” can or will happen. The statement clearly says that there is a flaw in the reasoning whether or not X happens.

    You then move to your second point, having failed to make a substantial first point.

    Op-Ed noted:

    Stone’ fallacious appeal to authority is no substitute for actual evidence.

    […]

    What I left to Stone was to admit that he has not considered the potential for harm, and he willingly obliged.

    I don’t find it very honest to take the problems in your logic and reasoning, and ascribe them to others. That is a straw-man. And repeating the same straw man just lends to questions about your honesty and comprehension skills. But we’ve raised plenty of those already, so what do you have to lose trying one more time, eh?

  36. J. Stone

    Are you really that obtuse, On Lawn?

    What was the sentence immediately preceding (that means to come before) the one I quoted?

  37. J. Stone

    So you’re saying you can’t define “unalienable,” on your own, without looking it up? Look, you brought it up, not me.

    On Lawn, I don’t think you’re dumb. I just don’t think you’re as smart as you think you are. And it’s embarrassing to watch you carry on like you’re God’s gift to the debate.

    According to you, I have to make Op-Ed’s argument about harms flowing from allowing gay couples to marry; I have to respond to every bit of craziness you type, or it’s chalked up as a concession; I have to quote in full every post to which I’m responding, because you can’t be expected to remember context.

    But the fact is, I don’t have to do any of that, because I’m not really speaking to you at all; you are a lost cause, as far as I’m concerned. I’m speaking to anyone who might be reading this thread with an open mind. When someone with an open mind sees you or Op-Ed claiming that gay marriage segregates on the basis of gender–when they hear you compare supporters of gay marriage rights to racial segregationists of the past–BOOM, you lose, because that’s just INSANE.

    I know you don’t see it that way. In your mind, gay people CAN marry, supporters of gay rights are the modern day George Wallaces, and Christians are the ones being targeted for discrimination at the hands of gay people. Up is down in your world.

    So play Glenn Beck all you want. Neither TJ nor Honest Abe believed in the sort of mob rule you espouse. Be snide and smug and condescending. Be absolutely certain that everything you believe to be true actually is. I condemn violence, I value religious liberty, I respect the form of self-government enshrined in our federal constitution. But you can’t accept that. In your eyes, I hate Christianity, I want to destroy marriage, I want to threaten the very continued existence of humanity.

    It might surprise you to know that I’m not entirely sure how I would vote on this Prop. 8 case, if I were a member of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing it on appeal. I recognize that there are competing constitutional principles involved. You and yours are the ones who fail to see that, not me.

  38. J. Stone

    What harm comes from letting gay couples get married? Everything I’ve heard from you all so far relates to parenting or adoption, rather than to marriage.

    • I don’t know you are the one that said it is foolish to think gays can get married. What harm do you see if they do?

      On the other hand, re-defining marriage to remove the “man and woman” expectation would undermine marriage equality. Separate is not equal, only though integration can we hope to provide the equality that every child deserves, and their mother and father deserve.

    • Stone: What harm comes from letting gay couples get married? Everything I’ve heard from you all so far relates to parenting or adoption, rather than to marriage.

      What harm comes from letting water producers call their product milk? Everything I’ve heard from you all [sic] so far relates to nutrition or commerce, rather than to milk.

    • J. Stone

      This was your chance to give a reasonable answer to a direct question.

      • Stone: This was your chance to give a reasonable answer to a direct question.

        And now its yours.

        I’ve already answered your question. You “all” admit as much in your comment. Now you can answer my question.

        Actually, while you’re getting all wound up about unanswered questions there’s dozens of them, above, that you have failed to answer. I particularly like the ones about the Bill of Rights, although the one where I ask you to identify any persuasive argument you have made anywhere in this thread is also pretty good.

  39. So you’re saying you can’t define “unalienable,” on your own, without looking it up?

    False. I’ve only said it is not meaningful to the discussion. You can try to show it is meaningful, but so far haven’t done so. Childish taunting like this won’t do that 🙂

    Besides, I know what it means. Thomas Jefferson knows what it means. You are one who claimed, “[R]ights aren’t rights at all if they can be voted away by a bare majority”. Clearly you are the only one who is confused that unalienable rights are a subset of rights.

    And it’s embarrassing to watch you carry on like you’re God’s gift to the debate.

    Oh pshaw, I’m not that good. You can only discredit yourself (more on this below). I’m humbly pointing that out.

    As I said earlier, who I am has no meaning in this debate (ad-hominem is a fallacy). But the arguments do. Keep making it about me and you’ll miss the point, every time. Again, I’m just pointing that out.

    But I’ll note that your following prima donna routine shows just how self-important you think you are…

    According to you, I have to make Op-Ed’s argument about harms flowing from allowing gay couples to marry;

    False. Another of your growing list of errors (and one that was corrected previously).

    In short, you failed to answer the questions probing potential harm [given by TIM] (complaining they were loaded), and Op-Ed was rightly pointing out that both should be considered, as your evasion about concerns for anyone else but gays may have unintentionally painted the picture that you only cared about benefiting gays.

    In short, TIM provided the points of potential harm. You ignored it, and Op-Ed pointed out that no matter how much good you think it will do, you can’t ignore the harm it can do in justly determining this case.

    Again, your poor reading comprehension is not a mistake on my part.

    I have to quote in full every post to which I’m responding, because you can’t be expected to remember context.

    False, your problem was that you couldn’t remember the context. Such gaffs like saying you’ll reply to “one sentence” then complaining that you really meant the one before, then two before, only to find out you are still hung out to dry even with the whole post.

    While quoting the whole post may have saved you some embarrassment, it would only be if by doing so you read it again and realized your mistake before committing it to the site.

    I’m speaking to anyone who might be reading this thread with an open mind.

    You’ve made a very questionable assertion there. Because if you were, you’d be more impressed to present your comments to win over those with an open mind. I think I’ve said that before 🙂

    Instead you’ve kept your cards close to your vest, bluffing that you have a good set of arguments. That is a bluff, or a way to protect your arguments. I do not see how you can reasonably expect to persuade others that way.

    When someone with an open mind sees you or Op-Ed claiming that gay marriage segregates on the basis of gender–when they hear you compare supporters of gay marriage rights to racial segregationists of the past–BOOM, you lose, because that’s just INSANE.

    Again, that is a very questionable assertion after claiming you are trying to impress those with an open mind. I doubt that anyone looking for persuasive reasoning would be impressed with “BOOM, you lose, because that’s just INSANE”?

    I think you are confusing a play-school mind with open mind.

    Weren’t you the one saying you have the youth? Seems like you are targeting the middle-school and below with reasoning like that.

    But even the youth know “same-sex” means segregating based on sex. So I’m not sure if your arguments could work even then. Oh well, what epithet will you come up with next to appeal to them, I wonder?

    In your mind, gay people CAN marry

    In my mind, and even in my world, people decide their destinies. I do not subscribe to a identity model of segregation, where your identity means you cannot integrate with someone of the other gender in any meaningful marital way. Something about that argument being discredited by the civil rights movement just makes me want to pass on that notion.

    Whether or not you are a George Wallace or not, I refuse to be. Though I have little doubt he would be jealous if that argument works for you and not him.

    Christians are the ones being targeted for discrimination at the hands of gay people.

    Actually, the post you provided showed evidence of that. For all of the religions supporting marriage equality (meaning one man and one woman, and the child they potentially create together) he complains only about one. He targets only one. Just Christians. That is discrimination.

    Judge Walker’s witch hunt, among Christian dominations only, shows it also (Matt described that in more detail).

    the sort of mob rule you espouse.

    What sort of “mob rule” do I espouse? I espouse democracy, and those aren’t the same thing.

    Be absolutely certain that everything you believe to be true actually is.

    If I wanted to be that way, I’d clam up and not give any arguments. The only way to be certain you’ll never be proven wrong is to keep it safe, to yourself.

    I’m not certain about my arguments, but I am sure that through a dialog we will all have the opportunity to find out what is right, ourselves. That is why I share my arguments. Because to me, it is more important what is right, not who is right.

    The more I engage in real honest discussion, the more I find what is right. You might try the whole open-mind thing yourself.

    In your eyes, I hate Christianity, I want to destroy marriage, I want to threaten the very continued existence of humanity.

    And that is another danger of making personal attacks, rather then discussing the arguments. You’ve now made attacks on myself repeatedly, so much so that counter-arguments reflect entirely on your person. I offered at the beginning to make this a square ground on reasoning and human dignity. You chose a different way.

    I never said, or even pretended to read your thoughts and emotions to determine what you want to do. I’ve argued only that neutering marriage (removing the reference to “one man and one woman”) removes our ability to truly protect and nurture marriage equality. Because children have rights too, and so do wives (their mothers), and so do their husbands (their fathers).

    We’ve made real strides in increasing marriage equality over the past century. Lets not move backwards to separate but equal (two men or two women being considered the same as integrating a man and a woman).

    Four quarters may not be the same thing as a dollar bill. You can only use some vending machines if you have quarters. But they are equal. It doesn’t have to be the same thing to be equal. And no one will be well served by re-defining marriage away from what it is meant to protect — women, chidlren, and men. And who does that leave out?

    You and yours are the ones who fail to see that, not me.

    Seriously, you’ve worn out the “Emperor’s new clothes” argument in this debate. If they never existed before, they’d clearly be thread-bare by now.

    I remember you claimed that you were here to point out faulty logic, and questionable assertions. Except of course when it came to Op-Ed and myself. Then you claimed you didn’t need to because it was “self-executing”.

    Instead resorted to personal attacks, grammar nit-picking, trying to re-write the history of the discussion (e.g. “one sentence” above), as with many other displays faulty logic and questionable assertions on your own account.

    Every one of your attempts to actually show faulty logic backfired or questionable assertions. Even your attempts to revive already discredited assertions didn’t work.

    I don’t know, do you have anywhere left to go in this debate? I can defend my positions all day (especially if all you want to attack is myself). But where does that leave you? More importantly though, where does that leave what you are trying to convince others of?

  40. J. Stone

    Op-Ed/On Lawn,
    Are either (or both) of you guys Christians?

    • J. Stone

      Geez–I hope that was a “No.” Otherwise, you guys are some pretty sorry representatives of Jesus Christ.

      • Wow.

        You presume to know quite a bit.

        Is that a gift of yours, or just your way of saying you are bigoted and prejudiced?

        Just saying… 🙂

        Stick to the facts, Stone. Stick to the facts.

      • J. Stone

        I don’t mean to be presumptuous. My question about whether you are a Christian was sincere. I could not tell from your comments here. Neither you nor Op-Ed nor I have modeled Christ-likeness here, and I was wondering if that is because none of us are in fact Christians.

      • Sincere, sure. Presumptuous and off-topic, also.

        ” […] because none of us are in fact Christians.”

        Keep twisting in the wind on that one. I hold great solidarity with Christians in this movement, and if it takes you butting up against someone who isn’t arguing the way you expect from Christians, so be it.

        I really couldn’t care less what attributes you are expecting from Christians, or myself. I do care about any arguments you’d like to make, because I’m open to the discussion.

        You’ve yet to do anything but complain about others here, their views, their values, and their concerns for society. Oh, and grammar, you seemed to occasionally find refuge making a discussion on that topic also.

        I’m here when ever you want to try to be persuasive. I’m also here to defend your numerous attacks in a very personal manner towards myself and others defending marriage here. You really should have taken that offer in the beginning to discuss the subject matter at hand rather then people. Imagine the time you wasted on that sideline of yours.

  41. Sorry J. Stone.

    You asked a question, I answered it. You simply called it unreasonable.

    I’ve seen that trick over and over again, you simply substituted a judgment for an argument.

    This isn’t about what you think is reasonable or not, you’ve clearly shown to be in poor judgment over and over in this thread.

    Starting to ask if we are Christians, (especially since we’ve given no theological arguments on this matter), was laughable.

    Keep trying though. Its always fun to watch a magician pull something out of thin air, its always amazing to watch someone run over hot coals, and it is entertaining to watch someone try to do everything they can — but produce arguments — in a debate.

    That is what you are trying to do, no? I suppose that shows who has arguments to make, and who wished they did.

  42. Good catch on the “stability” misquote from J Stone, Op-Ed.

    It is important to note that stability doesn’t just mean they are together for a longer time. It means they are more stable in their monogamy while they do so.

    It means fidelity in the relationship, which the New York Times writes, simply isn’t there…

    New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

    That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

    The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

    None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.

    So gay relationships last longer if they are openly bouncing between sex-partners. Yet that is less stable.

  43. I just went back to check what J Stone thought was unreasonable and was shocked. J Stone has just called “the equality that every child deserves, and their mother and father deserve”, unreasonable.

    Just another of the humanitarian concerns that J Stone is throwing under the bus in a determined effort, I suppose.

    I guess we can add “Machiavellian” and anti-equality to the list of qualities J Stone is trying to appeal to in this discussion.

    • J. Stone

      I do not remember using the word “unreasonable” anywhere in this thread. Could you point me to what you’re talking about?

      • Interesting. I’m happy to let you back peddle away from calling such humanitarian cause unreasonable. Here is your opportunity to do so.

        After reviewing the answers you said…

        This was your chance to give a reasonable answer to a direct question.

        So what did you mean by that? I can’t imagine that you were ignorant of the answers we provided. All that is left is that qualifier “reasonable”, and if you felt the opportunity was not met then that seems to be the quality you judged missing from the answers.

        So what is it. Do you think the answers don’t exist, or that to you they were unreasonable?

        Take your time. I’ll make sure and come back to this since at this point you find it important to discuss 🙂

  44. By the way, I think its obvious but I want to point out explicitly that “This isn’t about what [J Stone] think[s] is reasonable or not […]” would have conveyed my point better written as, “My values do not hinge on what [J Stone] thinks is reasonable or not”. If he gave a good reason I could reconsider, but as that post noted, he’s just giving an unexplained dismissal.

    I think what he called unreasonable in and of itself “show[s] to be in poor judgment […] in this thread.”

    • J. Stone

      I “don[‘t] know . . . [w]here” any “[o]f these [quotes] are coming . . . [from].”

      • You obviously don’t know how to follow the provided links, either.

      • J. Stone

        Those links took me to posts of yours. Are you quoting yourself?

      • Really? When I follow those links they take me to On Lawn’s posts. You clearly don’t know how to follow links.

      • Op-Ed,

        He’s shown problem cutting and pasting his own sentences, looking up definitions to words, and so forth.

        Is it really surprising that we are dealing with an intellect which has problems following links?

        I think he can, most of the time, but that he’s sulking now. Reminds me of a child who starts sulking, and suddenly forgets how to walk to the car when its time to leave the park 🙂

      • J. Stone

        Sorry, thought I was talking to On Lawn there.

        You guys have really taken a rabid turn.

      • Stone: You guys have really taken a rabid turn.

        There Stone goes again. He screws up and somehow that’s our problem. Good grief.

  45. J. Stone

    Will allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised by gay couples? If so, how exactly? If not, isn’t all of your talk about children needing both a mother and a father seems beside the point?

    • J. Stone

      Oops–poor editing on my part. Last sentence should read: “If not, isn’t all of your talk about children needing both a mother and a father beside the point?”

    • Stone: Will allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised by gay couples?

      It will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father.

      If so, how exactly?

      Why, exactly?

      If not, isn’t all of your talk about children needing both a mother and a father beside the point?

      No.

      Now, you still haven’t answered my questions.

      • J. Stone

        If you can’t explain how allowing gay couples to marry leads to more children being raised without a mother or a father, it wipes out that portion of your argument. That’s why I’m asking.

      • Okay…

        Do you agree that the following are tenants of “gay marriage” or not…

        Two people can raise a child as well as any other two, as long as they love the child.
        It is more important to be in a committed relationship with a person you are sexually oriented towards, then the mother or father of your child.
        Paying someone to help have, and then abandon their child, is an admirable service for people of the opposite gender to render to gay and lesbian couples.
        The end product of paying someone to have and abandon a child for the sake of a same-sex relationship, is no different then when the two people who combine their identity to have a child, love honor and cherish each other in commitment as well as the child they have together.

        A simple yes or no to each question will suffice, though you can explain as much as you wish. But note that we have quotes on each of these tenants from high profile supporters of neutered marriage that may or may not contradict what you feel your own answer might be.

        Having either accepted or denied these tenants, I can explain how re-defining marriage to adopt these tenants will lead to more children being raised without their father or mother (or without a father or mother period) — though I believe it is pretty straight forward and obvious. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. What of those tenants do you agree or disagree are part of the same-sex marriage message?

      • J. Stone

        On Lawn,
        thank you for the opportunity to respond:

        “Two people can raise a child as well as any other two, as long as they love the child.”
        No, I do not consider this to be a tenet of gay marriage. Nor do I agree with this statement as written.

        “It is more important to be in a committed relationship with a person you are sexually oriented towards, then the mother or father of your child.” No, I do not consider this to be a tenet of gay marriage. The statement assumes the existence of children, which gay marriage does not require.

        “Paying someone to help have, and then abandon their child, is an admirable service for people of the opposite gender to render to gay and lesbian couples.” No, I do not consider this to be a tenet of gay marriage. I do not consider this to have anything to do with gay marriage at all. Nor do I necessarily even agree with this statement.

        “The end product of paying someone to have and abandon a child for the sake of a same-sex relationship, is no different then when the two people who combine their identity to have a child, love honor and cherish each other in commitment as well as the child they have together.” No, I do not consider this to be a tenet of gay marriage. Again, I do not consider this statement to have anything to do with gay marriage at all.

        You can quote others who disagree with me if you like, but I’m asking you to talk with me, not them.

      • J. Stone

        I meant to close by restating my question: How does allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father?

      • Hey! I’ll respond a bit more in depth, but I want to say in the most sincere terms that I am thankful you even didn’t try to make a side issue of my misspelling of “tenet”.

        I also appreciate your answers and also disagree with those statements (which is, as you well know, different then accepting them as part of the same-sex marriage message.) I think we can build on that agreement at least for now?

      • J. Stone

        Happy to do my part. I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

      • Here’s a few quotes. I have plenty after so long in this debate. This evidence is noted where it is a media sponsored commentary built to facilitate neutered marriage.

        * Two people can raise a child as well as any other two, as long as they love the child.

        This was the outcome of a study presented at the same time as the Prop 8 trial. It was written by noted neutered marriage advocates. I have my own bone to pick with that study, but for now it is sufficient to note that there is a very active movement working to establish that point to assist implementing same-sex marriage.

        * It is more important to be in a committed relationship with a person you are sexually oriented towards, then the mother or father of your child.

        A good example of this is the reaction to Gov McGreevey’s divorce. There we are told his marriage to a woman was a sham, and he was justified not only in divorcing, but McGreevey even sued to keep sole custody of the children. The reason he wanted his wife entirely out of the picture was that she might not have as favorable view of his new relationship (which was same-sex) as she likes.

        Imagine if any other adulterer was treated with the privilege that McGreevey sought just because he was now practicing a gay lifestyle.

        * Paying someone to help have, and then abandon their child, is an admirable service for people of the opposite gender to render to gay and lesbian couples.

        Relayed through this link about an HBO joint venture with Rosie O’Donell, that they wish to educate children.

        Rosie O’Donnell knows that cute kids can sell anything. When she hosted her afternoon talk show back in the late 1990s, she put out two books of children’s jokes titled “Kids Are Punny.” That same principle is at work in her new HBO documentary, titled “A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration.” […]

        There is also a strange cartoon about in vitro fertilization, with O’Donnell singing about how “my science project is me” and even boasting “don’t you wish you’d started life in a dish?” […]

        Then viewers see O’Donnell having a chat with her youngest daughter, Vivienne, age 6, who is actually the biological offspring of O’Donnell’s former partner, Kelli Carpenter. Despite this fact of life, Vivienne actually calls Rosie “Mom,” and her mother “Kel.” O’Donnell underlined that those are the usual titles used when asked about it on her blog.

        […] In reading the publicity clips surrounding the show, it’s obvious that O’Donnell’s four adopted children are angry and confused. O’Donnell has now moved on to a relationship with a Texas mother of six, and hopes to merge the 10 children into what she calls the “Gay-dy Bunch.”
        Is this a game?

        There are whole fertility clinics devoted to just gay couples, and even a lesbian law suit brought against a Dr. won’t provide the services (because it deprived the child of a father).

        * The end product of paying someone to have and abandon a child for the sake of a same-sex relationship, is no different then when the two people who combine their identity to have a child, love honor and cherish each other in commitment as well as the child they have together.

        Ibid.

        Now, J., can you really say this isn’t a tenet of the message of same-sex marriage? You asked me to talk to you after these quotes. So I’m asking you, who should I believe … you or them? Why should I believe you?

        Note that is a different question then if it has to be, or required to be. That is an academic question for people who deal with imagination and not reality. I’m asking if it is or not, even just for a few people who wouldn’t otherwise have done these actions which deprive a child of their mother or father, or any mother or father for that matter.

        How does this happen? People hear that message, and in a fit of convenience for their own sakes, they act on it.

        Its the wrong message.

      • How does allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father?

        You may not realize it, but there is a lot of dust you just swept under the rug of “allow”. Technically, gays and lesbians have been having weddings and living together in relationships they call marriage since the 70’s that I’m aware of. Likely longer then that.

        Allowing that to happen at that level isn’t a big deal, is it? I don’t think so. No government jackboot has come down and declared that as illegal or anything.

        So what is wrong with that liberty? If that isn’t enough, then please explain what needs to happen if you could make the changes you wanted.

        You can answer that if you wish. I’ll point out that I’ve already offered the following in response…

        On the other hand, re-defining marriage to remove the “man and woman” expectation would undermine marriage equality. Separate is not equal, only though integration can we hope to provide the equality that every child deserves, and their mother and father deserve.

      • J. Stone

        On Lawn,
        thanks for getting back to me. Tell me if I am understanding your argument correctly:
        1. There are people advocating for the rights of gay couples to marry.
        2. Some of those people also are advocating for the rights of gay people (individuals or couples) to adopt/create-through-IVF(etc.) children.
        3. A gay person who is already married to a straight person should remain in that marriage, especially if the couple has children.
        4. Children raised by gay couples/individuals are thrust into a confusing situation, causing the children harm.

        Like I said, If that’s not an accurate summary, let me know. Now, in response, I’ll say this:

        I agree with #1 and #2 as written; however, I reject your conclusion that this shows that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. Those are two separate issues. I’m sure the people from #2 also are advocating for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; that does not mean that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more openly gay people joining the military.

        As for #3, if the married couple in that situation wants to stay married, I fully support that decision. I would point out, though, that sometimes the gay person in that situation does not have a choice–his or her straight spouse may seek a divorce. And, again, I see nothing in statement #3 that shows that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father.

        As for #4, while I agree that Rosie O’Donnell’s situation sounds messed up, I do not agree that children raised by gay couples/individuals are necessarily thereby harmed. But even if I did agree with statement #4, it in no way shows that if gay couples are allowed to marry, more children will be raised without a mother or a father.

        Is your argument that if gay couples are able to marry, more of them will seek to raise children through adoption, IVF, or some other means? While that could be true, it could also not be true. It doesn’t follow logically from the four statements above, one way or the other.

        And the fact is, all of that (Rosie, McGreevey) is happening now, in the absence of gay couples marrying. The issues you raised are separate from the issue of same-sex marriage.

        Gay couples are already able to legally adopt-create children. Denying gay couples the right to get married does not change that. If you want to prohibit gay couples/individuals from raising children, your focus needs to be on adoption laws, not marriage laws.

        To illustrate my point, imagine that the laws were changed so that gay couples could marry but could not adopt-create children. Every gay couple in America could get married, and it would lead to no more children being raised without a mother or a father. Marriage does not create children all by itself.

      • J. Stone

        On Lawn,
        I’m talking about legal marriage. Those gay couples you mention are still outside the law’s protection. So that if one of them dies without a will, the other one gets nothing. If one of them is in intensive care, the other one is unable to visit. And on and on.
        So if allowing gay couples to marry will almost certainly benefit gay couples and their children, as your side conceded at the Perry trial, the only argument for not allowing gay couples to marry is that that benefit is outweighed by some harm. I’m waiting to hear what that harm is.

      • Stone: If you can’t explain how …, it wipes out that portion of your argument.

        False. Whether one can explain something or not doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. We don’t know “exactly” how gravity works. That doesn’t make us fly up off the planet. Why no-fault divorce has resulted in more children being raised without a mother or a father is still a matter of debate, but debating “exactly how” that happened doesn’t magically grant any of those children their missing parent.

        That’s why I’m asking.

        No, it isn’t. You are asking because you want to turn this into a contest to see who can see the least. You will simply deny every explanation (because you have to) with a chorus of “I don’t see how…” or “I don’t see why…” Well, I have no intention of getting into a contest with you over who can be the most myopic. As the saying goes, “Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience!”

        Yours is just a variant on the 3-year-old’s proof that the sky isn’t blue. Start by asking why the sky is blue and then greet every answer with the question “why?” Once the answerer can no longer explain, the 3-year-old has therefore proved that the sky is not blue.

        I have already answered your question, incidentally, and within this very comment thread. Read back if you are having trouble remembering, but I’m not going to sink to engage at this level with you.

        Jane Galt has an excellent post on why we shouldn’t hand control of marriage (or anything else) over to whomever is the most blind.

  46. J. Stone

    Guys,
    I felt bad last night as I went to bed. The tone here had turned quite nasty, and I had participated in that, if not initiated it. I raised the issue of faith, believing that you all (sorry Op-Ed, that’s just how I talk) might be Christians, and hoping that we might calm things down a bit. It appears, though, that you both are stuck in battle-mode. That’s why I said I hope you guys aren’t Christians, because whatever you are, it certainly doesn’t resemble the gentleness and humility that I’ve always associated with followers of Christ.

    I’m trying to refocus on central questions. The claim has been made that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. And I’m asking, “How exactly?”

    • And I’m asking, “How exactly?”

      Lest the threads get separated too far, I just want to link them back together. So you and others seeking the answer can find it.

      I’m sorry you felt bad. But I also know that at least some of the humble people in this thread have long since written you off. I’m happy to see your overtures to a better tone. I’ve often pointed out the real turning point in this discussion (for myself) where I suggested you stick to the subject matter and not people. I’m happy to start at that point with you at any time. That offer has no time expiration.

    • Stone: I felt bad last night as I went to bed. …It appears, though, that you both are stuck in battle-mode.

      That’s not how guilt or remorse works. If you felt bad it is for what you did, not for anybody else’s participation. If you are trying to blame someone else or spread out your guilt then you are feeling bad only that you got caught. Certainly continuing to wail on those you attempted to victimize shows a lack of true contrition. Nevertheless, you have the opportunity to show you really changed, not just by how you respond around us (where you got caught), but in the rest of your debates where only your conscience is witness.

  47. J. Stone

    Op-Ed,
    You’ve been asked to give a reason for your view, and evidently you can’t. Then you say that that’s okay, because there are lots of things we accept as true but can’t fully explain, like gravity.
    Do you want to know why gravity was accepted long before it was understood? It was observable. If you want to rely on observation rather than explanation in making your argument, then allow gay couples to marry for a few decades and get back to me.
    Now, as for why no-fault divorce has resulted in more children being raised without a mother or a father, that’s quite simple to explain: No-fault divorce makes it easier for married couples to split up, which means more of them do; the more divorce there is, the more children there are being raised without a mother or a father.
    See how easy that was? That’s all I’m asking for. On Lawn said he could show how allowing gay couples to marry would lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. He hasn’t yet. If you think you can help him, take a crack. Otherwise, take a hike.

    • J. Stone

      Here, I’ll even start the ball rolling:
      1. Currently there are gay couples raising children.
      2. In order for those children to be raised by a mother and a father, instead of two mothers or two fathers, one of their “parents” would need to be swapped out for someone of the opposite gender.
      3. For one of the parents to be swapped out for someone of the opposite gender, the gay couple would need to split up.
      4. Splitting up gay families could reduce the number of children being raised without a mother or a father, therefore we should try to destabilize gay relationships.
      5. Denying gay couples the ability to marry destabilizes them, whereas allowing gay couples to marry has the opposite effect.
      6. Therefore, we should not allow gay couples to marry, because if they can marry they’ll be less likely to split up, and if they never split up, then the children they are raising will never be able to be raised by both a mother and a father.

      IS THAT THE ARGUMENT YOU’RE WANTING TO MAKE, YOU ASS?

      • Stone: IS THAT THE ARGUMENT YOU’RE WANTING TO MAKE, YOU A**?

        No, that is the argument you are “WANTING TO MAKE.” It is a straw man of your own creation. I have not argued anything of the sort and in fact, have disagreed with many of the premises in it.

        The argument I did make, though, is there were many reasons to doubt your statement regretting your behavior as genuine, and that I therefore doubted whether your behavior would actually change. What your “A**” statement here does is to prove my doubts well founded. I will just point out that you had equal opportunity to disprove my doubts by your actions, as I had said at the time, but that is not what you chose to do.

      • mike willoughby

        Since I don’t trust TIM or On Lawn or Op-Ed to be able to find anything wrong with this sample argument I offered, I feel it would be reckless of me to leave without first demolishing it.

        The flaw is in my statement #4: “Splitting up gay families could reduce the number of children being raised without a mother or a father, therefore we should try to destabilize gay relationships.” Not only would one of the gay parents have to leave the scene, but the remaining gay parent would have to magically turn straight. Then, that person would have to find a person of the opposite sex to marry (we all know how easy the dating scene is for ex-gay people who already have kids–everybody wants to date them!). Even then, the children aren’t being raised by both of their biological parents; but hey, at least they’re not being raised by a couple of f@&$, right?

        I tried to return the debate to a discussion of ideas. Op-Ed is incapable of going there, and On Lawn is incapable of parting ways with Op-Ed, so the discussion is derailed once again.

    • On Lawn said he could show how allowing gay couples to marry would lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. He hasn’t yet.

      Actually, all you are showing is that you are doing the exact denial routine that Op-Ed predicted you would. After your motions for a more meaningful dialog yesterday, I find this tack to be disingenuous. Perhaps even egregious considering you asked for a better discussion.

      Need I remind you that for all your denial, you already acknowledged (though with many errors) that I’ve presented “how”.

      I’ve not seen an argument that you’ve made to say that is not a way “how” that would happen. If I am in error, please do me the favor of cutting and pasting that argument in reply, right here.

      • mike willoughby

        From: J. Stone @February 24, 2010 at 1:48 am
        ———
        “Tell me if I am understanding your argument correctly:
        1. There are people advocating for the rights of gay couples to marry.
        2. Some of those people also are advocating for the rights of gay people (individuals or couples) to adopt/create-through-IVF(etc.) children.
        3. A gay person who is already married to a straight person should remain in that marriage, especially if the couple has children.
        4. Children raised by gay couples/individuals are thrust into a confusing situation, causing the children harm.

        Like I said, If that’s not an accurate summary, let me know.

        . . . .

        Is your argument that if gay couples are able to marry, more of them will seek to raise children through adoption, IVF, or some other means? While that could be true, it could also not be true. It doesn’t follow logically from the four statements above, one way or the other.

        And the fact is, all of that (Rosie, McGreevey) is happening now, in the absence of gay couples marrying. The issues you raised are separate from the issue of same-sex marriage.

        Gay couples are already able to legally adopt/create children. Denying gay couples the right to get married does not change that. If you want to prohibit gay couples/individuals from raising children, your focus needs to be on adoption laws, not marriage laws.

        To illustrate my point, imagine that the laws were changed so that gay couples could marry but could not adopt/create children. Every gay couple in America could get married, and it would lead to no more children being raised without a mother or a father. Marriage does not create children all by itself.”

      • J. Stone

        On Lawn,
        did you not see my response to your post? Here it is again:
        “Tell me if I am understanding your argument correctly:
        1. There are people advocating for the rights of gay couples to marry.
        2. Some of those people also are advocating for the rights of gay people (individuals or couples) to adopt/create-through-IVF(etc.) children.
        3. A gay person who is already married to a straight person should remain in that marriage, especially if the couple has children.
        4. Children raised by gay couples/individuals are thrust into a confusing situation, causing the children harm.

        Like I said, If that’s not an accurate summary, let me know. Now, in response, I’ll say this:

        I agree with #1 and #2 as written; however, I reject your conclusion that this shows that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. Those are two separate issues. I’m sure the people from #2 also are advocating for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; that does not mean that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more openly gay people joining the military.

        As for #3, if the married couple in that situation wants to stay married, I fully support that decision. I would point out, though, that sometimes the gay person in that situation does not have a choice–his or her straight spouse may seek a divorce. And, again, I see nothing in statement #3 that shows that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father.

        As for #4, while I agree that Rosie O’Donnell’s situation sounds messed up, I do not agree that children raised by gay couples/individuals are necessarily thereby harmed. But even if I did agree with statement #4, it in no way shows that if gay couples are allowed to marry, more children will be raised without a mother or a father.

        Is your argument that if gay couples are able to marry, more of them will seek to raise children through adoption, IVF, or some other means? While that could be true, it could also not be true. It doesn’t follow logically from the four statements above, one way or the other.

        And the fact is, all of that (Rosie, McGreevey) is happening now, in the absence of gay couples marrying. The issues you raised are separate from the issue of same-sex marriage.

        Gay couples are already able to legally adopt-create children. Denying gay couples the right to get married does not change that. If you want to prohibit gay couples/individuals from raising children, your focus needs to be on adoption laws, not marriage laws.

        To illustrate my point, imagine that the laws were changed so that gay couples could marry but could not adopt-create children. Every gay couple in America could get married, and it would lead to no more children being raised without a mother or a father. Marriage does not create children all by itself.”

        How does Jim McGreevey leaving his wife and suing for sole custody of his children demonstrate that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father? Can you answer that direct question, for a start?

    • Stone: You’ve been asked to give a reason for your view, and evidently you can’t.

      Evidently I did, I simply did not do so in response to your false assertion. Look back through the comment trail if you are having trouble remembering. What I will not do, and did not, is engage in your contest to see who is most myopic.

      If you want to rely on observation rather than explanation in making your argument, then allow gay couples to marry for a few decades and get back to me.

      What I want to rely on, is reason, and gravity is the case that disproves your assertion that “If you can’t explain how …, it wipes out that portion of your argument.” There is no reason to discuss your theory further, since it is known to be false.

      Engaging in experimentation that could result in irreparable harm to its participants, particularly if they are defenseless and coerced into participating, is highly immoral. We don’t need any new, immoral experiments to observe the harm of making marriage adult-centric. No-fault divorce provides all the evidence needed. Before that, adult selfishness provided all the necessary evidence even though advocates for no-fault divorce refused to accept it.

  48. J. Stone

    Just to clarify: Op-Ed is the ass, not you, On Lawn. I hope you’ll be as quick to chide him for his behavior as you were me.

  49. J. Stone

    I just realized that my last two posts were from my partner’s account (I was using a work computer, and didn’t see it had auto-filled his information, not mine). I hope you’ll respect his privacy; it’s not a lot to ask, but somehow I’m not comforted by that thought. If you need to make trouble for someone, send it my way. My name is Ronald J. Jenkins (“J. Stone” is my nickname).

  50. J. Stone

    On Lawn,
    how does Jim McGreevey leaving his wife and suing for sole custody of his children demonstrate that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father? Can you answer that direct question, for a start?

  51. J. Stone

    On Lawn,
    What is your evaluation of this statement by Op-Ed?
    “–’That’s why I’m asking’ [Op-Ed quoting me].

    No, it isn’t. You are asking because you want to turn this into a contest to see who can see the least. You will simply deny every explanation (because you have to) with a chorus of ‘I don’t see how…’ or ‘I don’t see why…’ Well, I have no intention of getting into a contest with you over who can be the most myopic. As the saying goes, ‘Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience!'”

    Do you stand by him?

  52. J. Stone

    I’ll do an impression of Op-Ed. Ask me anything.

    “I don’t have to answer that. And besides, I’ve already answered it. I’m not going to tell you where. But I did. And why are you always asking why? I don’t have to support my claims to you! And besides, I already did support them. I’m just not going to say where. Oh, and you’re an idiot. But I’m not. I’ve got my own website. You’re always kvetching, asking for things like ‘proof’ and ‘reasons.’ Well, we don’t need reasons to believe in gravity, do we? I mean, can’t you just see things my way, for no particular reason other than that’s how I see it?”

    • J. Stone

      Now, here is an impression of Op-Ed responding to my impression of him:
      ———————————–
      “I don’t have to answer that. And besides, I’ve already answered it.”
      Bzzzzt. False.

      “I’m not going to tell you where. But I did.”
      OMG. Fail.

      “And why are you always asking why? I don’t have to support my claims to you! And besides, I already did support them. I’m just not going to say where.”
      Here he’s just whistling in the dark.

      “Oh, and you’re an idiot. But I’m not.”
      I know you are but what am I?

      “I’ve got my own website.”
      That’s like saying 2% milk is skim milk.

      “You’re always kvetching, asking for things like ‘proof’ and ‘reasons.’ Well, we don’t need reasons to believe in gravity, do we?”
      No.

      “I mean, can’t you just see things my way, for no particular reason other than that’s how I see it?”
      I don’t have to answer your questions. Now, on a completely unrelated topic, why won’t you answer my questions?

      • Stone: I’ll do an impression of Op-Ed. …
        Now, here is an impression of Op-Ed responding to my impression…

        Putting words in your opponents mouth and then attacking those words is the definition of a straw man fallacy.

        There is a reason why you choose to argue with your straw man rather than with what I actually wrote.

        While you are busy doing impersonations, you are actually doing a pretty good one of Monty Python’s Black Knight. Pay particular attention to the part as King Arthur is walking away.

        You want to engage in a pointless contest based on a false theory. I will not join you. If you have a legitimate argument to make I will be happy to discuss with you further, but at this point you are only hurting your credibility, flopping around in the sand and threatening to bite my knee caps. 😉

      • J. Stone

        I hope that kneecaps-thing is from Monty Python also. Otherwise, that’s just weird.

        Indulge me, Op-Ed–I’m a little slow, I guess–tell me again: how does allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father? I really want to know.

      • J. Stone

        And Op-Ed, if you could avoid using the term “straw man” in your reply, that would be awesome.

      • Stone: I hope that kneecaps-thing is from Monty Python also.

        Figured that one out, did you?

        Indulge me, Op-Ed–I’m a little slow…

        What do you think I’ve been doing?

        …tell me again: how does allowing gay couples to marry lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father?…

        What do you think I’ve been doing?

        Tell you what. I’ll do you one better. I’ll help you figure it out for yourself.

        First question: Does marriage lead to more children being raised with a mother and a father?

        I really want to know.

        If that were true, you’d have looked in the comment trail by now.

        …if you could avoid using the term “straw man” in your reply, that would be awesome.

        Don’t use them, and I won’t mention them. 😉

  53. J. Stone

    This is what I’d like to return to, On Lawn:

    How does Jim McGreevey leaving his wife and suing for sole custody of his children demonstrate that allowing gay couples to marry will lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father? Can you answer that direct question, for a start?

  54. J. Stone

    Op-Ed asks: Does marriage lead to more children being raised with a mother and a father?

    My reply: Not every marriage leads to children, of course; but if you’re asking whether children born in wedlock are more likely to be raised by both a mother and a father than children born out of wedlock, my answer is yes.

    Next question?

  55. Stone: …children born in wedlock are more likely to be raised by both a mother and a father…Next question?

    So should couples marry before having children?

  56. J. Stone

    Op-Ed asks: [Since children born in wedlock are more likely to be raised by both a mother and a father,] should couples marry before having children?

    My reply: Ideally, yes.

    Next question?

  57. Stone: Ideally, yes. … Next question?

    Will that understanding be strengthened or weakened by dissociating marriage from procreation.

  58. J. Stone

    Op-Ed asks: Will the understanding [that couples should marry before having children] be strengthened or weakened by dissociating marriage from procreation?

    My reply: That depends on what you mean by “dissociating marriage from procreation.” If you mean “negating the very understanding in question,” then yes, of course the understanding will be weakened. If you mean “allowing that marriage is not solely about procreation,” then no, the understanding in question is not thereby weakened (or strengthened). If you mean something else, you’ll need to let me know what that is.

    Next question?

  59. Stone: That depends on what you mean by “dissociating marriage from procreation.”

    I mean removing the link between marriage and procreation.

    Next answer?

  60. Didn’t close my tag. Hate that.

  61. J. Stone

    Op-Ed,

    Just to bring the masses up to date, I want to summarize the ground we’ve covered before moving on:

    I asked how allowing gay couples to marry leads to more children being raised without a mother or a father, and you undertook to answer that question by way of the Socratic method. Through your line of questioning, we’ve established, first, that children born in wedlock are more likely to be raised by both a mother and a father than are children born out of wedlock; and second, that, ideally, couples should marry before having children.

    Currently we are addressing this question: Would the understanding that couples should marry before having children be weakened by “removing the link between marriage and procreation”?

    In reply I can only say that, because the only link so far established between marriage and procreation is the understanding that couples should marry before having children, the answer to your question has to be yes. This doesn’t get us anywhere, though; it’s tautological to say that removing [the understanding that couples should marry before having children] weakens [the understanding that couples should marry before having children].

    Is there some other link between marriage and procreation that you’ve failed to establish? If so, you’d better get to it. I’m losing interest in this exercise, Op-Ed, because your line of questioning appears to be going nowhere.

    You seem to be advancing the view that if gay couples are allowed to marry, more straight couples will have children out of wedlock; but you’ve shown no reason why that would be the case. As alluded to before, the messages “marriage is not solely about procreation” and “couples should marry before procreating” are not in conflict; both can be true (and are true) at the same time. Affirming one does not negate the other.

    Your argument, then, reduces to this syllogism:
    1. All procreative couples should be joined in marriage.
    2. No gay couples are procreative couples.
    3. Therefore, no gay couples should be joined in marriage.

    The fallacy of this argument is easily revealed by retaining its form while substituting terms:
    1. All children should obey the law.
    2. No adults are children.
    3. Therefore, no adults should obey the law.

    The form of the second argument is identical to the first (“All X should Z. No Y are X. Therefore, no Y should Z.”); only the values for X, Y, and Z have been changed. In both instances, the premises (#1 and #2) are true. A true conclusion (#3) should follow automatically if the form of your argument is valid. As the second argument makes clear, the form of your argument is NOT valid.

    Now, Op-Ed, I can already hear you shouting “Straw Man!” at the top of your lungs. However, you have yet even to hint at an argument made of anything more substantial than straw.

    The time to make your case is past due. When confronted with the expert testimony of your own side’s witness that “it is almost certainly true that gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage,” you argued that any such benefit would be outweighed by harm. When pressed to identify that harm, you claimed that allowing gay couples to marry would lead to more children being raised without a mother or a father. The time has come to support that claim or abandon it.

    • Stone: …because the only link so far established between marriage and procreation is the understanding that couples should marry before having children, the answer to your question has to be yes.

      Saying something is obvious doesn’t make it false.

      …but you’ve shown no reason why that would be the case.

      That is the myopia contest that I am not engaging.

      As alluded to before, the messages “marriage is not solely about procreation” and “couples should marry before procreating” are not in conflict…

      Is it your contention that the only way to harm the link between marriage and procreation is to contradict it outright? If not, then you need to explain how “the messages… are not in conflict” is relevant to the discussion at hand.

      …the form of your argument is NOT valid.

      You mean your argument. I never made the argument you are attacking.

      Now, Op-Ed, I can already hear you shouting “Straw Man!” at the top of your lungs.

      If you are hearing anything, it is the voices in your head. I am not shouting, or even speaking. I applaud the voices in your head, however, for noticing an obvious straw man, however.

      …you have yet even to hint at an argument made of anything more substantial than straw.

      Obviously false. As is typical when you try to divert into a straw man argument, there’s a reason you are not arguing against what I have actually said.

      • J. Stone

        You’ve said nothing, and your continued silence belies the fact that you have nothing of consequence to say. I’m done wasting my time on you. Thank you for so clearly demonstrating your ineptitude. I’m not even sure if you’re bright enough to realize that you got your “A**” handed to you; in the final analysis, I guess I don’t really care. Go back to your little website and spout your indefensible insanity to the lemmings.

      • Stone: You’ve said nothing…

        You need to work on your reading skills. I said quite a bit, including asking you questions which you are not answering.

        …your continued silence belies the fact that …

        Your perception belies only your deafness.

        I’m done wasting my time on you.

        If you had responded to what I had said instead of to what your straw man had said you wouldn’t have been wasting your time.

        Thank you for so clearly demonstrating your ineptitude.

        What exactly demonstrates “ineptitude?” Is it answering your questions instead of dodging them? Is it responding to what you say instead of inventing straw men to argue against? Is it not using curse words?

        I’m not even sure if you’re bright enough…

        “Bright” enough? Given your definition of “ineptitude,” dim enough is more like it.

        …you got your “A**” handed to you…

        Is that what the voices in your head are telling you now? They must be the ones that explained “ineptitude” to you.

        Go back to your little website and spout your indefensible insanity…

        Indefensible? Insanity? I’m not the one hearing voices. I’m not the one dodging questions, including questions I asked in my most recent comment. I’m not the one heading for the exits hurling curse words over my shoulder. Face it. There are legitimate ways to leave a debate. Yours was the opposite of all of them.

  62. Chairm

    But who has said that “marriage is solely about procreation”? Only the SSMers who would flog that strawman.

  63. J. Stone asked how allowing gay couples to marry leads to more children being raised without a mother or a father. Many children of same-sex couples come from previous relationships. Many of these children had both a father and a mother, but unfortunately the relationships broke up and a same-sex couple was formed. Either the kids live with the same-sex couple, or with the other single parent. Either way, they do not have both a mom and a dad.

    We need to strengthen these marriages. I belong to a group of other men with same-sex attractions who are married to women, also known as a mixed-orientation marriage. Many of them thought that their same-sex attractions made them inferior husbands. They would often hide their orientation from their wives, creating a wall of dishonesty which ultimately hurts the relationship. Some even thought in order to come out, they needed to leave their wives. Our group provided an alternative so that they could be true to themselves while creating a faithful and fulfilling marriage with their wives. Many have since come out to their wives and have reported that the honesty has strengthened their marriage.

    One of the biggest problems I see with same-sex marriage is it perpetuates the myth that it is the only type of marriage available to gay people. People in mixed-orientation marriages become ashamed and leave their marriages, creating fatherless or motherless children. More same-sex marriages mean less mixed-orientation marriages.

  64. J. Stone

    Joshua,
    you might be right that, over time, “[m]ore same-sex marriages [will] mean less mixed-orientation marriages.” Of course, that does not mean that more children will be raised without a mother or a father if gay couples are allowed to marry; indeed, the likely outcome is that less children would be raised without a mother or a father.
    In your view, the break-down of mixed-orientation marriages is the cause of children being raised without a mother or a father (there are others, but that’s the one you’re talking about). If those marriages never existed in the first place, neither would their children; so, less children, not more, being raised without a mother or a father.
    Allowing gay couples to marry does not cause mixed-orientation marriages to break down. Divorce is the culprit there, not marriage.

    • J. Stone

      Joshua,
      I just reread my reply to you, and don’t want to send the wrong message. I’m not saying that mixed-orientation marriages should never exist, just that they shouldn’t be entered into lightly (as is true of any marriage); and that, to the extent that young gay people don’t feel compelled to enter into mixed-orientation marriages, there will be fewer mixed-orientation marriages breaking up ten years down the line, after the arrival of children.
      Some people who are sexually attracted to members of their own sex ignore it or deny it and marry someone of the opposite sex in the hope that this will make the issue go away. Those are the people who often create a big mess for themselves, their spouses, and any children they might have. You appear not to be one of those people; you have faced your orientation head-on, and (I read on this blog) have chosen to marry a woman who also is fully aware of your orientation. The road you both have chosen will not be an easy one; but, again, the same is true of any married couple’s path. Marriage is never easy.
      Anyway, I wish you and your new wife all the best.

      • Stone: …to the extent that young gay people don’t feel compelled to enter into mixed-orientation marriages, there will be fewer mixed-orientation marriages breaking up…

        In the United States, no people are compelled to get married, let alone “young gay people.”

        Fewer marriages means just that, fewer marriages, and more children being raised by those non-marriages.

      • J. Stone,

        Thank you. I really appreciate your comments. I agree that too many people enter into mixed-orientation marriages for the wrong reason. I am of the opinion you should marry the one you love and love the one you marry. I think we should do all that we can to be open and loving, so those who cannot develop a sexual attraction for a member of the opposite sex do not feel inferior for it. They should not feel pressured at all into getting married for the wrong reason. I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to marrying someone they don’t love.

        That being said, I think the same-sex marriage movement has gone too far. I feel the message is that these marriages never work. I think this makes it really hard for those who are already in them. Why you shouldn’t make people feel inferior for not marrying someone of the opposite sex, you shouldn’t make someone feel inferior for marrying someone of the opposite sex.

        I know of someone who left his wife because he thought he was supposed to be gay. He went out and got a boyfriend, but realized what a huge blessing he missed out on. He left his boyfriend and went back to his wife (who by some miracle forgave him, not that I recommend that for every case) and worked hard to get their marriage back on track. They now have a great marriage. This is one very real, specific case where the same-sex marriage movement almost destroyed a family and made some kids fatherless.

        It doesn’t seem that you think that way. It seems you are okay with supporting people in mixed-orientation marriages. But the thing is that other people don’t, and that is what is causing the damage.

        When Iowa legalized same-sex marriage they said:

        “The right of a gay or lesbian person under the marriage statute to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all. Under such a law, gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship, as influenced by their sexual orientation, and gain the civil status and attendant benefits granted by the statute.”
        Basically they are saying that gay people will never be able to have a fulfilling marriage with someone of the opposite sex and they were born that way. That invalidates mixed-orientation marriages, and says that they aren’t fulfilling. I would be much more comfortable if they said some gay people won’t have fulfilling marriages.

        Everywhere where same-sex marriage has been legalized, they have said that gay people can’t get married unless they legalize it. But that isn’t true. Gay people go on to have happy and fulfilling marriages in all 50 states. Nowhere are they banned from being married. Now if they said that gay people should be able to marry whoever they chose, whether of the same-sex or the opposite-sex, that would be one thing. But the message is that gay people have no option of having a fulfilling marriage without same-sex marriage.

        To me, that is the most damning message you can send to gay people.

    • Stone: If those marriages never existed in the first place, neither would their children…

      Insanely naive. People have children all the time without marriage.

  65. Chairm

    That’s nonsense J. Stone since the big message of the SSM campaign is that ‘mixed orientation marriages’ are shams by definition. The purity of gayness is declared as the basis for special treatment, by SSMers in courtrooms and legislatures and in other public forums like those in the blogosphere. Your own remarks show that you would reduce these marraiges on the false assumption that you know more about these marriages than the married people themselves.

  66. J. Stone

    Chairm to J. Stone: “Your own remarks show that you would reduce these marraiges [sic] on the false assumption that you know more about these marriages than the married people themselves.”

    J. Stone to Chairm: “Actually, my own remark shows otherwise. Sorry to disappoint you, Chairm.”

    • Chairm

      J. Stone, you could not disappoint because your comments have met low expectations.

      • J. Stone

        Good one! You are such a quick one, Chairm!
        The fact remains: your black-and-white view of the issues and of those who disagree with you on the issues does not square with reality.

  67. Chairm

    That’s not a fact. But you won’t disappoint.

    Facts haven’t gotten in the way of your pronouncements before so the expectation will remain that facts won’t get in the way again.

  68. J. Stone

    I said to Joshua:
    “I’m not saying that mixed-orientation marriages should never exist, just that they shouldn’t be entered into lightly (as is true of any marriage); . . .
    “Some people who are sexually attracted to members of their own sex ignore it or deny it and marry someone of the opposite sex in the hope that this will make the issue go away. Those are the people who often create a big mess for themselves, their spouses, and any children they might have. You appear not to be one of those people; you have faced your orientation head-on, and (I read on this blog) have chosen to marry a woman who also is fully aware of your orientation. The road you both have chosen will not be an easy one; but, again, the same is true of any married couple’s path. Marriage is never easy.
    “Anyway, I wish you and your new wife all the best.”

    Chairm said to me:
    “That’s nonsense[,] J. Stone . . . . Your own remarks show that you would reduce these marraiges [sic] on the false assumption that you know more about these marriages than the married people themselves.”

    To which I replied:
    “Actually, my own remark shows otherwise. Sorry to disappoint you, Chairm.”

    To which Chairm has responded with insults.

    Rather than confront the reality before him, Chairm resorts to beating up on a bogeyman of his own creation, the dread “SSMer”!!

  69. Chairm

    J. Stone, despite the generous reply you received from Joshua, you’ve continued to fulfill the low expectations set by your own previous behavior and comments.

    If you, J. Stone, support SSM then you, J. Stone, are an SSM[support]er. You have called yourself a bogeyman. That is your self-inflicted insult.

    • J. Stone

      Chairm,
      I wear your disdain as a badge of honor. Try responding to what someone says instead of how you feel about them sometime. Then the discussion might get somewhere. Or is that what you’re afraid of?

      • Try responding to what someone says instead of how you feel about them sometime. Then the discussion might get somewhere.

        Hahahahaha!!!! Oh J. “Doesn’t Pass the Sniff Test” Stone, I can’t believe you have the nerve to go after chairm for speaking on feelings rather than facts. You still haven’t given a real answer to his extended explanation on the 30% in 30 years statistic. The only thing you’ve gotten across clearly is that you don’t like what implications it has.

      • Chairm

        J. Stone your overwrought reaction to being wrong is noted.

        Fear not:: you need find only a little courage and humility to live up to your own stated standards and embrace the facts rather than cling to your hunches or “sniff test” or disdain for the CDC’s data and the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS.

  70. J. Stone

    Joshua,
    thanks for responding. I agree with you that the language used in some court decisions is overly broad. We also seem to agree that for some–I would say most–gay or lesbian individuals, the “right . . . to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all.”
    There are a couple of things you wrote that I want to respond to. First, you wrote that you “think we should do all that we can to be open and loving, so those who cannot develop a sexual attraction for a member of the opposite sex do not feel inferior for it.” I appreciate the sentiment and wish that more people shared it; I would only tweak it a bit so that it sounds a little less like charity or pity. Gay people should not feel inferior, because they are not inferior; referring to them as “those who cannot develop a sexual attraction for a member of the opposite sex” sort of reinforces the notion that they are having to settle for second best–i.e., that they are inferior.
    The other thing I want to respond to is your paragraph about the man you know “who left his wife because he thought he was supposed to be gay” but later returned to his wife and worked things out. You conclude that “[t]his is one very real, specific case where the same-sex marriage movement almost destroyed a family and made some kids fatherless.”
    Again, I would start by tweaking the language a little: the man didn’t think he was supposed to be gay; he was gay, and thought that meant he was supposed to leave his wife. The bigger point I want to make, though, is that this man’s situation does not implicate the issue of same-sex marriage. He did not leave his wife to marry another man, nor could he have married another man, had that been his desire. Everything he did, he did under the current legal regime, under which gay couples are not allowed to marry. His family was almost destroyed because of his own ideas about what being gay entailed for him. The issue of same-sex marriage had nothing to do with it. If a man leaves his wife for another woman, his marriage is not destroyed by opposite-sex marriage; it is destroyed by him.
    You believe that gay individuals should be free to marry individuals of the opposite sex without being scorned or made to feel inferior; and that being gay is not in itself sufficient reason for leaving one’s opposite-sexed spouse. I agree with you. I’ve seen nothing from you yet that shows why you should be opposed to allowing gay couples to marry.

  71. Thanks J. Stone. I appreciate the civil conversation.

    You and I agree that the language used by the court is overly broad. I see this as a real problem, not something to be overlooked casually. Perhaps because I am from the segment of the population that it overlooks, I am more sensitive to it. I belong to a group of men in mixed-orientation marriages. I can’t tell how many times guys come into the group with the exact same story. They were coming to terms with the fact that they were attracted to other men, and were freaked out that they would lose their wife and kids. When they find the group they all say they thought they were alone and were so grateful to find a group saying that it gave them hope to save their marriage. I read these comments over and over again. It isn’t a small or insignificant portion of the population. Many gay people fall in that category. However, society only has one option for those who are “openly gay”. If you love your wife and kids (or husband for lesbians) you have to be in the closet, because openly gay is reserved for those pursuing same-sex relationships. The closet is a horrible place to be.

    I agree that same-sex marriage doesn’t have to conflict with mixed-orientation marriages, but the fact is that it does. Every single time it has been legalized, it has been legalized under the assumption that mixed-orientation marriages are either not possible, or not fulfilling. Throughout the airwaves and on TV ads, come commercials that say things like “Prop 8 bans gay people from getting married.” This message that gay people can’t get married if Prop 8 passes really discourages gay people who do want a mixed-orientation marriage and invalidates those of us who already are in one. It was when California legalized same-sex marriage that my friend left his wife. I can’t say for sure that all of the rhetoric about gay people not being able to marry was the reason he left his wife, but I can’t help but think it played a major role. I personally think the ruling simply reflected a change in mindset of the people, a mindset which is very dangerous.

    I think that more gay people would find happiness and fulfillment in a mixed-orientation marriage if they were given the proper love and support. However, I do agree that for some gay people, the “right . . . to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all.” But I can also say that for some straight people, the “right . . . to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all.” There are straight people who look for love with someone of the opposite sex and never find it. There are also straight people who like sleeping around, and think marriage isn’t a right, but a prison. There are both gay and straight people for whom a man/woman marriage isn’t a right at all.

    Granted, I think being gay adds extra challenges to a man/woman marriage that straight people don’t have to deal with, but there are lots of things that adds challenges. Marriage is tough. I know people who have to deal with their spouse being ADD, or who battles depression, or is diabetic, or is constantly in the hospital, or doesn’t speak the same language natively, or is from another culture, or another religion. There are lots of things that create stress and strain on a marriage. Being gay is certainly one of them, but sometimes dealing with the strain actually works to strengthen a marriage. That certainly is the case in our marriage. My sexual attraction to men has strengthened our marriage. As we have dealt with it, she has gone with me deeper into my soul than most couples ever go.

    I don’t like feeling like “the exception”. I want my marriage to be on equal footing as everyone else’s. I do appreciate your willingness to see it that way, but most same-sex marriage supporters, including activist judges, do not.

    • J. Stone

      Joshua,
      thanks for responding again. I value what you have to say. There is a lot to chew on in your most recent post. Rather than fire off a quick reply, I’m going to mull over for a while what you said.
      In the mean time, there are two questions I’m curious about; they are rather personal, though, so I will understand if you’d rather not answer them. First, why have you elected to go against your grain, so to speak? (I’m not meaning to imply that it was wrong of you to do so; I’m just curious about why you chose the path you did.) And second, if you could wish away your sexual attraction to other men, at this point in your life, would you?
      Again, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. I’m just seeking to understand.

      • My mom always categorized me as being independent, not rebellious, but independent. Rebellious is going against what people tell you. Independent is doing what you want regardless of what people tell you. To me, being rebellious is still being controlled by other people.

        I have received a lot of conflicting messages. Much of society says that peace and happiness comes through acting on your desires. They say a gay man can only find happiness in the arms of another man. I tried that, and it just didn’t work out for me. Don’t get me wrong, I felt more alive than I ever did before. It was a powerful feeling that I cannot deny. But at the same time it left me empty. I am very religious, and there is a peace that I have found when following what the Lord wants. For some reason, I could not feel that peace when I was romantically involved with other men. I had to chose between the peace and the passion. I chose the peace.

        I was perfectly willing to accept this peace without the passion when I met my current wife. I was interested in her when I met her, but the passion just wasn’t there. As things progressed, the passion started to develop, but it still wasn’t as strong as my passion for other men. However, I had a very strong impression from God that I should marry her. Eventually, my passion for her eclipsed anything I felt for another man.

        I do realize that isn’t everyone’s experience. God created a variety of people. There is variety even within the gay population. I realize that many people out there don’t believe in a God, and chalk up my experience to superstition. Whether it is superstition or not, I have found peace. At the bare minimum, I think people should be able to follow the same path that I have. No one should be forced, but they should be able to follow it. I think being gay is very difficult in today’s society. I think the choice I made is a very hard one and no one should be forced into it. However, since it is so hard, I think we should support people if they do decide to take it, not dash their hopes and say it is impossible.

        Would I wish away my sexual attraction to other men? There was a time when that would have been a resounding yes. Now, I’m not so sure. I look back in my life and look at all of the blessings that I have received because I am attracted to men. I think it made me dig deeper into myself and who I am. It changed me, and prepared me for my wife. I don’t think we would have gotten married if I were straight. But as for the future it is hard to say. Part of me hopes I learned the lessons I need to move on, but there might be much good to come of my same-sex attractions in the future. Who knows? I think my answer is I leave it up to God. Too many times He has showed me what I wanted out of life was not what was best for me. I will let Him be my Captain, and He will guide me along the path.

    • J. Stone

      Joshua,

      I want to begin by saying that I am enjoying this conversation with you very much. Thank you for being so open about your own life experiences. I respect and appreciate your sincerity.

      I was moved by what you had to say about society having only one option for those who are “openly gay.” You wrote, “If you love your wife and kids (or husband for lesbians) you have to be in the closet, because openly gay is reserved for those pursuing same-sex relationships. The closet is a horrible place to be.” I can see how you, and other gay people in mixed-orientation marriages, would feel caught in a sort of no-man’s-land, reviled by a certain percentage of both the straight community and the gay community. It is not right that you should be made to feel that way.

      I was also moved by your account of growing to love your wife and experience with her a bond eclipsing all others you have known. You believe that “more gay people would find happiness and fulfillment in a mixed-orientation marriage if they were given the proper love and support[,]” and I believe that you could be right on that point. We both also agree, though, that not all gay people can find happiness and fulfillment in a mixed-orientation marriage. As you wrote: “I do realize that isn’t everyone’s experience. God created a variety of people. There is variety even within the gay population. . . . At the bare minimum, I think people should be able to follow the same path that I have. No one should be forced, but they should be able to follow it. . . . I think the choice I made is a very hard one and no one should be forced into it. However, since it is so hard, I think we should support people if they do decide to take it, not dash their hopes and say it is impossible.”

      Now, if I am understanding you correctly, that last part of your quote identifies your real beef with the campaign to allow gay couples to marry: it dashes the hopes of gay people seeking to live in a mixed-orientation marriage; it says that such a thing is inauthentic or undesirable, and that the people involved are deluded or insincere. You concede that “same-sex marriage doesn’t have to conflict with mixed-orientation marriages[;]” your problem is with the rhetoric used by some of those campaigning for (or ruling on) the rights of gay couples to marry: “Every single time [same-sex marriage] has been legalized, it has been legalized under the assumption that mixed-orientation marriages are either not possible, or not fulfilling. Throughout the airwaves and on TV ads, come commercials that say things like ‘Prop 8 bans gay people from getting married.’ This message . . . really discourages gay people who do want a mixed-orientation marriage and invalidates those of us who already are in one.”

      We are in agreement that the language of those adds, those rulings, is imprecise. And I do not mean to be one who casually overlooks the pain caused by such language to individuals in your position; I apologize if my brevity before suggested otherwise. You, and others like you, are proof that measures like California’s Prop 8 ban only some gay people, not all gay people, from getting married. (It is at this point in the conversation when someone always says, “But gay people aren’t banned from getting married”–by which he or she means that no gay individual is prohibited from marrying someone of the opposite sex. However, I know that we understand each other, for you have already acknowledged that “for some gay people, the ‘right . . . to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all.'” (The examples with which you followed that acknowledgement, of straight people unable to marry, aren’t really similar, though, since the inability of those straight people to marry is not the result of the state of the law.))

      In short, from what I’ve heard from you so far, your dispute is not with those who would marry someone of the same sex, but with those who would criticize or demean mixed-orientation marriages. In your own words, “same-sex marriage doesn’t have to conflict with mixed-orientation marriages[.]” It is possible to oppose the hurtful message that mixed-orientation marriages aren’t on equal footing with other marriages without also opposing the ability of gay couples to marry. No one likes “feeling like ‘the exception.'”

      Thanks for reading this. I still intend to reply to the things you’ve shared about your beliefs and how they have affected your journey. Faith has been of central importance to me in my life, so I feel the topic merits some extended reflection.

      • Mostly right. In addition to protecting mixed-orientation marriages, I also want to protect religious organizations that support mixed-orientation marriages. The Mormon and Catholic Church are one of the few places where mixed-orientation couples can go for support, which is sad because many aren’t Mormon or Catholic.

        I favor a nationally recognized civil union with all the rights and benefits afforded to opposite-sex marriages. I think this will balance the very real need for same-sex couples to have the rights and benefits necessary to protect their families while still recognizing the unique contribution that male and female parenting has.

        Recognizing this distinction will protect religious organizations which believe in the importance of having both a father and a mother, especially when they run adoption agencies or church run schools. You saw what happened in Massachusetts with the Catholic adoption agency. Massachusetts says in order to receive government funds, adoption agencies could not take into account whether or not kids will have both a mom and a dad, which caused Catholic adoption agencies to close down. While I personally believe same-sex couples can be great parents, and support same-sex adoption, I think with all things being equal, kids do better with both a mom and a dad.

        My dispute is most definitely not with those who would marry someone of the same sex. I think they should try to get all the benefits and rights to protect their families. I am too. I fully supported a girl from my ward growing up who married her girlfriend back East. My main objection is how marriage is defined by the government, not individuals. I think the government should recognize the unique contribution of having both a father and a mother has to a child, while still protecting families that don’t fit that mold.

        I do hesitate to bring this up because I am fully aware that many people in mixed-orientation marriages also support same-sex marriages. I do not want you to think that people in mixed-orientation marriages are your enemy. I really do want those in same-sex relationships to have all the privileges and benefits that I enjoy.

      • J. Stone

        Joshua,

        I appreciate your reply, and was glad to hear that I was mostly right in my understanding of your position. Protecting religious liberty is something I also care deeply about. I fully believe that churches–individuals, for that matter–should have the right to believe and proclaim whatever their faith and/or conscience tells them. Churches should not be coerced into solemnizing or recognizing marriages which run counter to the tenets of their faith. I believe the First Amendment already provides the necessary protection, though, and see no viable threat to religious liberty from allowing gay couples to marry.

        You mention the decision of Catholic adoption agencies to cease operations in Massachusetts; I believe something similar is taking place in Washington, D.C., now as well. For me, the issue of marriage is separate from the issue of adoption. The public policy of those jurisdictions evidently is that there is no basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples when placing children into adoptive homes; that judgment stands apart from the question whether those same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I appreciate the services provided by Catholic Charities (and others) nationwide. However, no one, including the Church, has the right to receive government funds to run an adoption agency; if they want to do so, they must do so in accordance with public policy.

        To bring it back to marriage, I guess what I’m saying is that the government does not need to prohibit gay couples from marrying in order to disfavor gay couples when it comes to adoption.

        I appreciate that you support a nationally recognized civil union “with all the rights and benefits afforded to opposite-sex marriages.” I, too, would rather have that than the status quo. I definitely do not consider you, or people in mixed-orientation marriages more generally, to be my enemies.

        I’ve thought a lot about the answers you gave to my two questions, as well the testimony you shared elsewhere on this site. (I left a brief comment about some books I think you might find meaningful under that post, by the way.) In the end, I don’t know that I have much to add, other than to thank you for your honesty and your evident compassion. I wish you well in your journey.

  72. Chairm

    J. Stone said: “Again, I would start by tweaking the language a little: the man didn’t think he was supposed to be gay; he was gay, and thought that meant he was supposed to leave his wife.”

    Your tweaking the language does not make it more accurate. But it does confirm that you feel you know their marriages better than these married people.

    While same-sex sexual attraction may, or may not, it is not one and the same as gay identity.

    “Gay” is a socio-political identity and is not inborn but rather constructed through submersion in group identity. Gay identity politics routinely conflates “gay” with same-sex sexual attraction. It is an unscientific conflation; it is a political and sociological construction.

    The existence of mixed-orientation marriages demonstrates that there is no inelibility criterion that prohibits marriage for SSA people (same-sex attracted). Neither is there a heterosexual (nor “straight” identity) criterion for eligility.

    The SSM campaign emphasizes the mixed orientation marriages which bust-up. Meanwhile those that remain intact and successful remain out of the spotlight. The men and women in these marriages suffer social prressures from all sides of the marriage debate. I do think they get more support from the pro-marriage side, but that is always offered in very discrete ways. The big pro-SSM message has always been that these marriages are absolutely “shams” and not to be supported by public policy. That’s the gay identity politics speaking in its megaphone.

    Please note that the sexual basis for marriage is opposite-sexed and it is the basis for the marital presumption of paternity. And that legal presumption, vigorously enforced, protects the children of mixed-orientation marriages. If such marriages are encouraged to bust-up, as per the big pro-SSM message, even then the marital presumption of paternity protects those children and both parents.

    Most children, by far, living in same-sex households are from mixed-orientation relationships — typically marriages. This accounts for the higher number of female same-sex households even though there are numerically more openly male homosexual persons (as per pro-gay estimates and social surveys); and it is in such households that most of these children reside. They are children of divorced or estranged parents and have the protections accorded such children — including those living in the “gay” subset of nonmarriage.

    Social surveys in Australia, and elsewhere, indicate that the men who form mixed orientation marriages do so with feelings of sincere love and affection and, yes, sexual attraction, toward their wives. The female SSA are much less studied in this regard.

    If more people, such as Joshua, are supported by society as having bonafide marriages that are well worth forming and maintaining, as per the defense of marriage, then, the individuals in such marriages and their children will have a greater context in which to flourish.

    The SSM campaign argues for segregation of the sexes, in the SSM idea, and segregation of the sexual orientations, in the SSM idea, and barely shows tolerance for the core meaning of marriage which integrates the sexes and provides for responsible procreation. That’s unfortunate, because if the gay identity politics was removed from the SSM campaign’s rhetoric (which would mean dropping 90% of that rhetoric), there is a humane call for protections for vulnerable families outside of marriage. At every step the SSM campaign has chosen to emphasize gayness over marriage and over justice.

    For the hardline SSMers their big messages are not about justice but rather, “just us”.

    • Chairm

      Typo correction: While same-sex sexual attraction may be inborn, or may not be inborn, it is not one and the same as gay identity.

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