October 22, 2004

No on 3

It’s pretty clear that most people in the United States are uncomfortable with gay marriage. I have no idea why, other than ignorance and fear. I’ve not heard one valid reason why consenting adults shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

This year, the religious are going crazy, crazy, crazy with legislation to keep marriage “as we’ve always known it.” An amendment to the State Constitution is being proposed. If the initiative passes, it will be overturned, but nevertheless, the conservatives feel their marriages are threatened.

Even crazier, the Mormons are all about limiting the marital rights of others, even though at one time, certain states passed an extermination order to kill Mormons precisely because of their marital doctrines, amongst other things.

It is the opinion of Blurbomat that consenting adults should be allowed to enter marriage. Gay or plural, marriage is the right of the citizenry. Not “civil unions” or any other such thing. Marriage. Despite common sitcom plot structure and media stereotyping, marriage falls under the “… and pursuit of happiness” part of what is left of the Constitution. If one brings God up into the discussion, it doesn’t make the argument against gay marriage stronger, because God’s will is subject to wide debate and not known for certain. Blurbomat doesn’t need the state to “protect” my marriage. That’s between me and my spouse to figure out, not the government. Or your God.

Open, tolerant cultures do better than closed, scared ones.

Sadly, it is in such times that great opportunity to lead and rise is lost. Those that preach intolerance and forgiveness and faith miss a wonderful opportunity to include others when they marginalize those who believe differently. It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds into the debate over marriage rights to see that it’s about God. If you believe in God, why don’t you want your brothers and sisters to be happy? If they want to marry, to show their love, why would you deny them this? Because of stories from an old book, which may or may not be true, despite what you might think? We don’t live in ancient times. We live today.

These are dangerous times, but Blurbomat believes that it’s time to stand up and say let go of fear. Time to stand up and say that people deserve to be happy. People deserve to not live in the margins. People deserve to be accepted into the mainstream. Except for the indie fundamentalists who are always hipper than the rest of us and living in the mainstream is totally selling out.

In our lifetime, people have died for freedom, whether we want to see it as such or not. When people died in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania, they died because they live in a free country. They died not to celebrate fundamentalism. Not to celebrate religious intolerance or partisanship. They were taken prematurely from this life because of freedom. Freedom to not believe in one God but many. Freedom to not even believe in God. Freedom to say that our elected leaders are morons. Freedom to say that the system is flawed. Freedom to go to any church they wanted or none at all. Are their lives for naught?

We should imagine a future that is full of hope not fear. And to make that future happen. With our vote. I’m voting against Proposition 3 in Utah. Gay marriage should be allowed in this country.

Has anybody heard an argument against gay marriage that makes any sense? Is there a valid reason to stop consenting adults from marrying?

  • Mia

    Beautifully said, Jon. Thank you for those words. A threat to the rights of one American is a threat to us all.

  • http://bethology.blogspot.com Beth

    Dude, goosebumps. I live in England but just mailed off my Absentee Ballot to Kentucky and I voted NO against the proposed state constitution changes regarding marriage. I didn’t do the absentee ballot last time around, and look where that got all of us. I decided this year, I can’t complain if I don’t do something about it. Makes me sad to think that I am voting despite living an ocean away – and how many people just won’t bother going to the polls on the day?

  • http://www.anjaskoglund.com Anja

    Thank you for saying this in a time of ignorance and fundamentalism. And we over here in Europe are crossing our fingers for the election.

  • http://www.anjaskoglund.com Anja

    ElectionS, plural!

  • http://www.spacemonkeys.ca/blogs/tamara/ Tamara

    I live in Canada, and the debate seems to have been a bit more open up here. I totally agree that people should be free to marry whoever they want to, so everyone please keep in mind that the next paragraph is NOT my personal opinion, just an argument I have heard that at least, on the surface, makes more rational sense.

    Some people say that allowing gays to marry is the start of a “slippery slope” – if it were allowed, others could make arguments based on the freedom of religion or freedom of association (both are guaranteed in Canada) that they should be allowed to enter into polygamist marriages, marriages with minors without parental permission, marriages with their dog. Changing the definition of marriage to include many different permuatations places a strain on the tax system, the immigration system (if people are using it to get green cards), the social security system, health and dental insurance rights (would you bring a friend into your marriage who needed an expensive operation), etc. etc. in having to deal with the legalities of who has what rights in what cases. As most conservatives are in favor of smaller government, they don’t want to hire all those extra civil servants to redo all the forms and rewrite computer programs and deal with everything.

    Now I don’t agree with this at all – the argument is based mostly on hypothetical consequences that I think are quite far-stretched. No one is actually proposing polygamy or child marriages or anything like that, so why bring it into the argument? I think the fundamental reason they are against it is, as you say, a religious one, but they know that they’re not allowed to actually say that up here and so they get into these crazy hypothetical arguments.

  • http://www.filemagazine.com/ beerzie yoink

    > Has anybody heard an argument against gay marriage that makes any sense?


    > Is there a valid reason to stop consenting adults from marrying?


  • http://cursingmama.blogspot.com CursingMama

    Wonderfully said.
    I have yet to hear a non-religious, non-biggoted valid reason why gay marriage should be banned; other than corporations complaining about the increase in benefits which is really not so much my problem.
    I wish I lived in Utah so I too could VOTE NO TO PROP 3

  • http://jbsides.blogspot.com/ Jodi

    Amen to that! ;)

    I don’t know what people have against other people getting married. It is in no way going to affect you or me if the gay neighbors finally get a legal paper stating they are married.

    It really irks me that people hide behind religion to stop this from happening. The truth is they are afraid but not willing to admit it.

    Stand up for our country and our pursuit of happiness and VOTE on Nov 2!

  • http://heather-anne.com Heatheranne

    Thank you! My husband and I have spent a lot of time talking about this issue because we both get so pissed off about it. It really blows me away that it’s even an issue.

    I find it ironic that all these people who oppose it try to paint this picture of gays being promiscuous when statistics show that gay relationships last longer than straight ones.

    Why the fuck shouldn’t gays be allowed to marry and raise kids? Why deny another human those joys?

    I used to believe that America stood for equal rights.

  • HazelEyedPisces

    Spoken like a TRUE leader, Jon. Bravo!

  • http://stingthebee.nu Jim Renaud

    I could make a devil’s advocate point that gay people have a right to marry now. Any gay man could marry a woman. So that right isn’t taken away from anyone. That’s about the only semi-rational argument that I’ve heard.

    Honestly, gay marriage doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable. A gay couple raising children kind of makes me feel uncomfortable, but I do realize that this feeling isn’t really rational and probably a prejudice that has been engrained in me. This is an area I have to work on in overcoming stereotypes and my personal prejudices.

    With all that being said, it doesn’t matter if people think gay marriage is right or wrong or makes them comfortable. A ton of things make me (a neurotic freak) pretty uncomfortable like episodes of Fear Factor when they have to eat all that crap. I’ll never watch that show. I even think those shows are dumbing America. I can even make points that those shows are “wrong.”

    However, it shouldn’t matter what some 29 year old neurotic white guy like I thinks or even more scary, “believes” when it comes to regulating people’s rights to their pursuit of happiness.

  • http://www.babywhiteley.com/ Courtney

    I have also heard this argument before. But what blows my mind is the thought that there are people out there that may actually believe that someone would want to marry an animal. I mean, can they honestly think to themselves…”I’m just afraid if gay marriage is allowed, then my daughter will come home with a squirrel she met and want to take it’s paw in marriage. She is quite fond of animals. What would our grandchildren be like?” I mean, is this actually happening? Are there people seriously thinking this? If this is the case, then we have major problems. And they’re worse than we thought.

  • Tammie

    Right on… Even if I wasn’t for gay marriage, I would still vote no. My boyfriend and I share domestic partership rights (he works for a pretty progressive company) and I know we’re not the only ones. This issue affects everyone. Besides, the “sanctity of marriage” thing is a crock of shit. I know plenty of so called “christian republicans” whose marriage I wouldn’t want to emulate in a million years. Hypocrites!

  • http://www.babywhiteley.com/ Courtney

    Oops…sorry, it took a while for me to post that. The argument I am referring to is the point made by Tamara.

  • http://www.secondnegative.com Greg

    Why is it that conservatives preach smaller government and less regulation right up until the time they want to restrict you from doing something?

    Hetero’s have already made a travishamockery of marriage, which makes it difficult to listen to all the recent crap about sanctity. They want to use the law to exclude. Where I come from, thatís par for the course.

    In other news, I’m considering kicking my girlfriend out and marrying my cat.

  • http://rachel_wilder.livejournal.com Rachel

    Excellent entry. This is such an important subject and I hate to see civil rights being hijacked. It’s like they’ve blown it so out of proportion that we have a progressive candidate like Kerry having to back away from marriage. I think it’s really interesting that an administration like Bush’s that’s so obsessed with family values has stopped both of my siblings from being married: my sister because she’s gay and my brother because he and his SO can’t get jobs that would offer health insurance to cover them and the baby they’re having any day now. The only way they can be covered is if they aren’t married. That’s great family values.

  • http://humanwrites.blogspot.com Daniel

    Doesn’t is make you wonder what it is in our elected officials’ minds that empowers them to believe they can stiffle the rights of others to marry who they choose? Where is that intolerance and arrogance coming from?

    And I totally agree with Greg: the heterosexual version of marriage about which these folks are so psychotically defensive is not what it was in the 50s. We now have swingers and deadbeat dads and dozens of other variations on the same themes. Is this worth alienating the gay world?

  • Brandi

    As an openly gay american, all of this is SO important to me. I’m glad people care. Jon you could be the spokesperson for the tolerant and sensible set.

  • http://www.joh3n.com joh3n

    We here at joh3n industries support the blurbomat platform on this issue.

    Also, we would like to point out that ‘travishamockery’ is an awesome word, and that Greg should get props for it.

  • Abby

    “It is the opinion of Blurbomat that consenting adults should be allowed to enter marriage.” That’s also the opinion of my 6 yo daughter. We were discussing what a family is (got on that topic because we were talking about policics and what people believe) and she was VERY vehament about the fact that people should be able to get married to anyone that they want. She was upset when I told her that this wasn’t the case in most places. She has 2 friends who have 2 mommies, and has naver known anything different.
    Well said, to both Jon and my daughter!

  • Tracy

    Well, gay marriage would *totally* invalidate my hetero marriage because… um… well, see, they’d be GAY, and yet they’re married, and so you can clearly see that… um… well, it’s just bad. I know it is because W told me so, and he’s a good Christian man. I know he’s a good Christian man because he tells me so All. The. Time.

  • http://ozzilynbean.blogspot.com Oz

    you won’t get any arguments from me. My partner and I are seriously considering moving to Massachusetts at some point in the future–the only state that has gay marriage. Vermont and others with civil union are considerations, but we really groove on Massachusetts going ahead and calling it marriage.

  • Angie

    You write beautifully.

    I am with you on the idea that gender shouldn’t be an issue in determining who is allowed to marry, but I’m stuck on pluralism. With the way rights, benefits, and marriage are tied together in this country how would logisitics play out for a more-than-two marriage without an unlikely overhaul of the system? I can too easily imagine a situation where one working person has 8 or 10 spouses and wants employer paid benefits for all of them. Allowing two women or two men to marry doesn’t change how we do business very much as we are used to the idea that ever person gets a spouse. Allowing groups to marry would instigate some larger changes that I don’t think we’re ready for. Yet.

  • Laura

    Amen, Jon! We can use all the straight-ally help we can get…

  • Steve

    Someday someone is going to have to explain to me, a gay white male, business owner, educated, financially secure AND in a most wonderful relationship, why I can’t have the same legal rights others have as far as marriage.

    I personally could care less what word you use. I could care less if we have to make up a new word for it, but for me having the legal right to make decisions concerning the well-being of my partner means more than a word. He and I have taken every step possible to make sure that we are responsible for each other as much as the law would allow. But … there’s still that stigma that is attached to our relationship that it’s bad.

    As for children, why is it that you feel that a gay couple can’t raise a child? My partner and I would probably raise a child better than most straight couples. We could surely provide a very loving home, a stable home. A home that gives just as much, if not more considering the situation, than any other family.

    When you preach to me about how Brittany, or any other public figure shouldn’t be chastized for a 55 hour marriage and then get it annuled just because they were drunk is freakin’ crazy. Santicty of marriage is bullshit defense for uneducated, homophobic losers.

  • http://smithsinflorida.blogspot.com Karry

    I don’t agree with Gay marriage or plural marriage (keep reading, I have a point) BUT I do believe that everyone should have the choice to live how they wish to live (pursuit of happiness blah blah blah) because I have no right to enforce my beliefs on someone else. I disagree with abortion too, but hell, I am sure GLAD that the choice was available to me.

    This country is FOUNDED on the principles of having the freedom from oppression and persecution. I am sure gay marriage was never thought about by our founding fathers, but I think that dictating with whom someone could marry based on gender alone falls under the definition of discrimination. Outlawing it falls under oppression.

    Am I comfortable with the idea? NO. Am I willing to fight for the idea? SURE, it’s a basic human right. Why can I marry a man and not a woman? That doesn’t make sense – we are all equal, except for gender. WHY?

  • TracyR

    The only thing I have to add to the commentary on what is a fine statement of my shared beliefs on gay marriage is that I don’t even buy the one main secular argument I’ve heard, which is the one Tamara mentions about what a “strain” the extra marriages would impose on the government, health insurance, etc. If all these people were straight and got married, wouldn’t the same strain exist? And yet, no one would be stopping them then – the system would simply adjust to accomodate them.

  • http://mattambrose.typepad.com/ Matt Ambrose

    The things that pisses me off the most is that the Christian right says absolutely nothing about protecting the sanctity of marriage from television shows like, “Who Wants to Marry a Complete Stranger Who May or May Not Be a Millionaire, And Who Will Pick His Bride From a Whole Stable of Ho Bags (One of Whom May Actually Be a Lesbian or a Man in Drag) Based On A Season’s Worth of Televised Dates and Votes Called in by American Viewers.”

    Clearly those are the sacred ties that bind, but my 29 years with my partner are a danger to society. I’ve got the Canadian immigration forms, people.

  • http://chanelbaby.typepad.com/chanelbaby Chanelbaby

    What I like about this post is its balance, its clarity of position, and its total lack of polemical bashing of the other side. If we could only talk about all of these issues without over-simplifying and with mutual respect, the possibilities for reconciliation would be huge. And we should all vote.

    Also (because just can’t refrain), I absolutely 100% believe that if two people are willing to raise a child and they are proven mentally and financially fit to (you know what I mean) they should absolutely be allowed to. It is folly to think that same sex couples are somehow hindered in this regard.

    Did I just break my own rule? Sorry, I mean illogical, not folly.

  • http://midwestgrrl.blogspot.com midwestgrrl

    Right on. Also, word.

    I’m very proud of the city where I live — last year, our domestic partner registry was the first pro-gay legislation (incidentally, it also benefits us heteros who want to cohabit) ever passed by voter initiative. It’s small, but it’s something, and it gives me hope. If I ever have a child who is gay, I don’t want to be stuck explaining that this marriage amendment nonsense happened on my watch.

  • http://dramaqueenchronicles.blogspot.com Drama Queen

    Fabulous entry and to Matt Ambrose above, fantastic point. I haven’t heard the Fundamentalists make a peep about all the celebrities who get married and divorced within days.

    It makes no sense to me that Britney Spears and the slightly less skanky Hilton sister can get married and then annuled over and over again, but a gay couple who has been together for 10, 15, 20 years can’t enjoy that same right.

  • http://dishingitout.blogspot.com Dyanna

    The thing that the government keeps selectively forgetting for the sake of ‘morals’ is the fact that married couples tend to pay MORE taxes overall than individuals or domestic partnerships. If anything, I cant understand why they wouldnt be all FOR it! Money Good. Gay Bad. Therefore, Gay Money Bad. Puhleeese. They need to get their priorities straight (no pun intended.)

    F’in let them marry, already!!

  • Lisa

    I’m so happy to see the significant number of responses to your post, which I wholeheartedly agree with. I am happy because people who feel as I do care enough to comment, because a woman living in England cared enough to vote NO on an amendment in KY where I live (in fear that the ban on gay marriage will pass), and because the entire exchange serves as a good example for what can happen on the internet. A student of mine has been working on creating a space for the same sort of dialogue: http://www.campusforce.org/ (shameless plug on my part, but I am proud that he’s gotten the site up and running).

    All best to you and Dooce!

  • http://www.electricboogaloo.net tiffany

    Personally I don’t understand why they government affords special rights to single people anyway. Why do we need ANY marriages, beyond civil unions? If you want to add something special to your legal agreement by going to a church, go for it. If not then you simply have a civil union.

    Consenting adults should be able to form civil unions with any consenting adults they want to. Including platonic family members, good friends, and yes – including multiple romantic partners if they are all consenting adults. The argument that people will want to marry dogs or kids does not apply, since both dogs and kids are minors who can never be consenting adults. I knew this one shetland sheepdog that lived to be 19, but trust me, no one wanted to marry her. She was blind and only had about half her fur. Very sad.

    I do think we will have better luck if we try to respect and acknowledge why the idea of gay marriage might be wiggy to some people. Calling them crazy and ignorant is only going to further the divide. The fact is that they have NO rational argument against gay marriage. Their arguments sound crazy because they are trying to explain something using logical terms that is simply very upsetting on a gut level.

    A lot of arguments are that way. Death penalty arguments usually boil down to: Look, I just find it upsetting, okay? Arguments over limiting abortion, arguments over gun control – these are things that people have very strong gut-level feelings about. Then we try to put words on those opinions, and the words make no sense because the words aren’t able to explain the real reason. Usually the real reason would be better expressed with a nervous “AHhhhhhHHHH!!!!” or “Eeek” or “Urgh, I dunno, I just… Urgh.”

  • http://zettgrl.blogspot.com zettgrl

    Jon, I can see why Heather loves you.

    While I am not gay, I do live in a gay household. My roommates have been in a loving committed relationship for longer than my marriage lasted. Why shoudn’t they be allowed to have it be legal and be recognized by “the powers that be”??? I truly belive that if you are lucky enough in this life to find someone that loves you and that you love in return why is it ANYONE else’s business what sexual orientation you both are???? Can the constitutional amendment read that marriage is defined as a union between two humans? Isn’t it time?

  • http://www.writingortyping.com Jill Smith

    On the plurality/strain on health insurance issue: what is there about a person with 8 spouses that places more of a strain on their company’s health insurance than a person with one spouse and 7 kids?

  • http://stephensimon.net Stephen

    I thoroughly embrace Karry’s opinion in the comment above. I very comfortable supporting gay marriage and I volunteer at Planned Parenthood and take a woman’s right to choose very seriously.

    I’m not afraid to listen to someone whose beliefs are in conflict with mine and obviously Karry isn’t either and I think that should be celebrated.

    In the end I believe gay’s and lesbians will have the right to marry because that is what is fair and just and given time our country always gets around to embracing what is fair and just. But fairness and justice always stand at the door and many times the door will not be opened from the inside. It takes people pushing from the outside to make that door open.

  • http://nowhere.com moose

    Jon, I don’t live in Utah. I won’t be voting with you. I would if I did.

    Tamara, I understand these are not your arguments.

    >>polygamist marriages, marriages with minors without parental permission, marriages with their dog

    1. Nobody is talking about these. 2. There are reasons I see to be concerned about these that don’t apply to gay marriages, namely the likely inequality of power in these relationships. Marriage between two consenting adults is different for that reason alone.

    >>places a strain on the tax system…

    We’re talking about a minority here! How much of a strain could this change produce? And anyway, a financial strain doesn’t justify denying a group of people their rights. (Would we refuse to care for our children based on finances? Shouldn’t homosexuals have the right to care for each other? … in both sense of the word!)

    As to sanctity, others here have already pointed out the inconsistency in the objection when marriage is already treated so cavalierly by heteros.

    Ach, it all makes me sad.

  • henry

    i agree with your sentiment but feel you’ve come at the argument from a few strange angles.

    you have no idea why people in the US are uncomfortable with gay marriage? really? people *are* uncomfortable with homosexuality and this is about as far removed from rationality as can be, drawing as it does on gut instinct. it is in some sense only natural to be uncomfortable with the act and the concept when it is alien to your own desires.

    it is those people who allow rationality, humility, and selflessness to transcend these feelings that really earn my respect. so have a little consideration for those who want to make this choice because they feel it is the right thing, not because it’s the most comfortable call for them.

    it’s a bit weird to dismiss the influence of religion – the ‘old book’ straw man is a cheap shot as well. especially when marriage is, essentially, a religious institution. at the moment we have many ways of entering the legal state but all, as I understand it, pass through a religious filter. what we require is the establishment of a non-secular marriage ceremony that everyone can enter into. if we’re being thorough about this, do we need to consider the prospect of marriages involving many people? or one person having many marriages? these are not supposed to be inflammatory suggestions – they may be perfectly reasonable but you have to consider the limits of your arguments.

    anyhow, i’m not so sure this is a freedom issue as one of equality. the lines between the two are faintly drawn but you have necessary state mandated restrictions on your absolute freedom. however, discrimination on arbitrary distinctions remains a poison and there is nothing to suggest that men and men, or women and women, are worse suited to maintaining a loving healthy relationship than the more traditional pairing. *this* is the crux of the argument.

    sorry this was so long.

    (as an aside i feel that martyring the victims of 9/11 to the cause of freedom is in bad taste, but i am sure you did it with the best of intentions, and that is a different debate.)

  • http://newage.htmlplanet.com Aimee

    I absolutely agree, Jon. As the comments kept posting, I was noticing a trend. Several people mentioned health care and the argument that people would marry for health benefits and other domestic partnership benefits.
    I think by effectively dealing with the issue of gay marriage (really listening and figuring out where the government should stand) the government would have to acknowledge how f*d up other aspects are. Like healthcare. Why should someone have to get married or enter into a domestic partnership to afford something like healthcare which can affect whether they live or die?

    On the parenting issue, everyone should realize that in most cases (particularly in gale male family households) these men had to go through rigorous questioning and investigation and checking and whatever else in order to be able to pay a bazillion dollars to raise a child who needs a home (I’m speaking of adoption here….) Which, after passing these “tests” probably makes them better suitable to be parents than a lot of us. Whereas Suzzy Slutbag can go out and get knocked up by her pimp and be considered a parent.
    It just seems unfathomable that it is okay to be a crack-mom (just be careful because after the 6th mess up you’re kids might go to the government) but it’s not okay to be a great parent who has a legitimate job and love their family, if you are gay.
    ::stepping off my soapbox now::
    Have a great day everyone. :)

  • Wendy

    I live in the Bay Area and watched with pleasure and pride in my community when thousands of same-sex couples got married at San Francisco City Hall earlier this year.

    My argument in favor of the right to marry is simple: How is it possible to be against something that brings such joy to so many of your fellow human beings?

  • dusty

    But what about Plural Gay Marriage?

    In all honesty after living in utah for 25 years, and the (believe it or not) even more conservative (if not ran by any individual church) state of Nebraska.

    Alll negative talk on gay marriage always comes down to “my God or our God” — how can any constitution, state or national who claims to follow the little tid-bit about seperation of church and state even consider this an issue???? When in fact it comes down to the religeous right?

  • http://www.josephbloggs.com Joseph

    Excellent post John.

    I think the common argument against gay marriage is that gay relationships are a perversion which are against nature and therefore against God.

    I don’t agree with that at all, but I could understand the sense if the logic was that if you allow gay marriage, you legitimise a form of perversion.

    This then seems to suggest is that what they really want is for being gay to be illegal.

    so no, there’s not really any sense there, but it would be interesting to ask:

    ‘do you think being gay should be illegal?’


    ‘if not, why should gay marriage be illegal?’

    Reminds me of Robin Williams’ Col. gaddafi ‘you cross this line, you die’ skit, but I digress…

  • http://gfmorris.net/ Geof F. Morris


    I’m Methodist. Have been all my life. I do believe the Bible’s teachings that homosexuality is immoral, but I also remember all the bits that talk about the law not being salvific. :)

    That said, I have never had a problem with marriage between any two consenting adults, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

    What I do have a problem with is the fact that the state deems it necessary to sanction marriage, place bounds upon it, and give married folks breaks. I’m one of those annoying people that thinks that the state should deal with us all as individuals.

    But that’s just me.

  • henry

    wendy – i admire your pride in your community. but your argument is so naive and intellectually bankrupt as to be entirely untenable. sheryl crow sang ‘if it makes you happy / it can’t be that bad’. all of us sometime have to come to terms with the fact that sheryl crow can sometimes be wrong.

  • The kids and dogs and rocks are safe

    The whole “What if people want to marry a dog or a six-year-old” argument makes no sense at all. We have laws about consent. You can’t marry someone who is in a coma, even if s/he’s already engaged to you, because the person can’t consent. A dog can’t consent to get married. We have laws that say that fourteen-year-olds are not of an age where they can consent. Very young people can’t legally consent to get married, or enter into a contract, or all kinds of things.

    Allowing consenting, of-age adults of the same sex to marry in no way opens the door to marrying children (who are under age-of-consent) or rocks or pets (incapable of consenting).

  • mcd

    Change is hard for some people… and people who base their faith upon the “Word of God” often won’t negotiate
    a re-wording of the text. In my life, I’ve seen segregation,
    state/church separation issues, teaching of evolution and more all subjected to the compaint that they are attacks on the word of god. This is one of those polarizing issues that matches the pattern… The word of god is lengthy and can be applied in a variety of ways… but most humans apply the interpretation that matches their prejudices. The people of Utah will probably want a law to prevent folks from putting certian body parts into certain orfices and they will justify this legislation of recreational activity becuase it offends their sensibilites… Shit, this frist time anyone learns the mechanics of procreation it offends them.
    It’s only after they practice a bit do they see the true beauty of the design… sweet Jesus that’s nice. well,
    these poor homosexuals get that feeling with some slight variations to the missionary position. Big friggin’ whoop, get over it. Everyone deserves the right to love and be loved (as long as it’s mutaul and no one is hurt… seriously hurt… love hurts). – McD

  • http://www.electricboogaloo.net tiffany

    Wow, I just re-read my post. That first sentence says the exact opposite of what I meant. I have a toddler who talks to me CONTINUOUSLY. All the time. I was trying to respond to your post while being told about measuring cups and something to do with a toy fish.

    What I meant to say was that I don’t think that marriage should give anyone special rights. You should be ale to designate any consenting adult as your number one ace who can see you in the hospital if you’re sick, who gets your health benefits, who files jointly with you on your tax returns, who shares your credit, etc. Those things should have nothing to do with whether or not the relationship is romantic or sexual.

  • http://daxohol.typepad.com Daxohol

    “Has anybody heard an argument against gay marriage that makes any sense?”


    “Is there a valid reason to stop consenting adults from marrying?”

    Vaild if your looking to grant freedom to only heterosexuals. Other than that? No.

    Jon, you’re so awesome. Very well said. Heather should reconvene with you on principle.

    It sickens me to hear your government (I am a Canadian) talk a big game on freedom (even wage a battle in it’s name’s sake) while only granting limited freedoms.

    You’re free to marry, but your government will tell you who too marry.

    You’re free to speak freely, as long as it isn’t against your government.

    So many hypocracies. Too many to list.

    I fear for the future. What world will Leta and my son be left with?

  • http://www.simzgirl.com Carrie

    Finally! Thank you for being the one to come out and say it. I am totally supporting the Blurbomat platform on this one.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com taryn

    I agree with you Jon. The same proposition is on the ballot here in Michigan.

    It annoys me when Kerry and others say that marriage is between a man and a woman, but gay couples may be granted civil unions. That’s not good enough in my opinion. That’s discrimination.

  • Russ

    Thanks for the great post! It honestly kills me to hear the argument of gay marriage will cause a financial drain on the govt and create more bureaurocracy (sp? sorry). Not only did the Congressional Budget Office find that allowing gays to marry would result in a positive financial effect, all anyone has to do is look at the neighborhoods in which gays and lesbians live in any city or town. Boston, for example, has the south end which before the lgbt community lived in was a total combat zone. The gays moved in and the community continues to thrive, not to mention property values. City after city we see this happening. Ask any decent realtor and they’ll tell you, go with the ‘mos . Any financial argument against gay marriage is complete and utter crap.

    This year made me incredibly proud and feel incredibly lucky that I live in Massachusetts. Signs like “God Hates Fags” and all the nasty slogans and bigoted people behind them were really only things I saw on TV until earlier this year when demonstrations were being held outside the state house while they were debating ammending the constitution (remember, the fight still isn’t over in MA). I was proud because I lived in the first and only state to, at least for now, consider me as an equal. But at the same time, it scared the bejesus out of me. Most, at least 90%, of the people there screaming hateful words and were from other states! To highlight the ignorance, hypocracy, and irony of some of these people, there was this one dude from Arkansas that had 2 poster boards tied to his body. One on his chest that had his interpretation of a biblical verse, and one covering his rear end that said “Do Not Enter”, and he was standing in front of a group of lesbians most of the time. I gues my point to this paragraph was that while I was proud to be from MA, where I’m recognized as an equal, I was horrified and saddened to be reminded that above all, as an American, Not only and I not considered an equal member of this society,but also for no fault of my own I’m reviled by this segment of America that the government and politicians pander to, when all I’d really like to do is buy the world a coke and teach it harmony.


    GO SOX!

  • http://biggaysam.blogspot.com Big Gay Sam

    Being a active member of the LDS and gay as well I think I can offer some insight into this conundrum.

    It’s about religious freedom. If gay marriage becomes legal then the courts are going to be inundated with gay couples fighting churches that preach against homosexuality. Add to the fact that some ex-mormons would love nothing better than to try and force the LDS church to grant temple marriages to gay couples. The LDS church would never allow that. This would be an excuse for government to step in and damage religious freedoms.

    I agree though. Do we really need legislation to do the right thing? The right thing is equality.

  • http://tkblaich.blogspot.com Tamara

    Well said. So tell us, when are you running for office? I’m serious. We need more people like you in the Capitol. The irrational fear that the anti-gay camp has boggles my mind. How is GdubB protecting marriage by keeping people from being married? Blurbomat for President! I would love to see Dooce as First Lady and Leta as First Baby and Chuck as First Dog!

  • Beth

    Well said Jon.

    Sadly, I don’t think many of the people voting here in Utah realize how confining Amendment 3 is. (Okay, I would like to think that others would think Amendment 3 is confining, but perhaps I live in Fantasy-land.) Utah legislators are pulling a fast one. Not only is Amendment 3 against gay marriage, it is against any non-legal union. If you are not what they define as legally married, then you are screwed. Say if I live with my boyfriend for ten years and then he dies or is sick, because we are not married, I probably will lose my legal rights to anything in his name or the ability to perhaps be with him in the hospital.

    I am 100 percent for gay marriage and I am completely for protecting relationships of any kind. (Wait, unless it is an abusive one.) That said, even if for some bizarre reason I wasn’t for gay marriage, like my very Mormon mother says, “It is not our business to decide what people can and can not do regarding their relationships regardless of our personal beliefs. We should not mix God and politics.”

    See: http://www.dontamendalliance.com — It’s all there.

  • http://r80o.com mark

    The funny thing to me is that with all of the knee-jerk reactions and arguments that the religious right poses to this issue they keep forgetting one fundamental question…


    Frankly, I tend to believe Christ would consider this whole brouhaha moot.

    But then again, Christ was a liberal, and we all know how the “right” feels about liberals.

  • Nobody

    This posture of confusion over how anyone could disagree with you is entirely rhetorical. Seriously, the Christian theology of marriage and the secular conservative reluctance to tamper with social institutions have been detailed in extensive literatures. If you donít know why conservatives or Christians oppose gay marriage, or how they can do so without ìbigotryî, you havenít bothered to find out.

    Still more ignorant is the cavalier dismissal of theological arguments INSIDE A THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK. ìIf you believe in God, why don’t you want your brothers and sisters to be happy? If they want to marry, to show their love, why would you deny them this? Because of stories from an old book, which may or may not be true . . . .î

    Wow. “Stories” which have motivated millions of people to fight, die and kill for the very freedoms you celebrate; “stories” which are crucial foundations of those very freedoms and indeed the morality that constantly protects you and your family; “stories” which have been regarded by billions of people throughout history and geography as pathways to God, wisdom and truth? THESE are the stories which should be entirely dismissed ñ by those who believe in God, mind you — as providing any guidance to the common wisdom on this question? You cannot possibly be serious.

    You can be sure that if you donít want to know why someone disagrees with you, you never will know.

  • http://www.tanglebones.com/ Jemaleddin

    I agree with what you’ve written here, but please try to remember that “the pursuit of happiness” is not in the constitution, and is therefore not guaranteed to Americans. It’s in the Delcaration of Independence.

    The constitution (if I understand the logic correctly) starts with the assumption that you have no rights, and then grants you the ones that the founding fathers (and authors of various ammendments) thought you ought to have.

    So nobody actually has a right to gay marriage until it’s spelled out in the constitution. Why? Because all such rights are reserved for the states. Which leads us to proposition 3….

  • http://uniquelyalike.com Marie

    “Has anybody heard an argument against gay marriage that makes any sense?”

    Never. Not once in my life.

    “Is there a valid reason to stop consenting adults from marrying?”

    Of course there is. Who else would homophobes have to look down on if not for homosexuals? Otherwise they might be forced to — shock! horror! — join the rest of us in 2004, not 1904.

  • ella’s ma

    When you find it’s the right time for you to run for office, you have my vote.

  • Angie

    Jill Smith –

    Naw. You’re right. It’s the same.
    I didn’t mean to imply that the current system is fair.

  • Tracy

    “it’s a bit weird to dismiss the influence of religion – the ‘old book’ straw man is a cheap shot as well. especially when marriage is, essentially, a religious institution.”

    No, it’s not. Perhaps it was once, but it is now a contract between you, your spouse, and the government that allows you all sorts of benefits – the right to make decisions about your SO’s medical care, the right to *both* be legal parents when a child is born to one of you (thinking of lesbians here, obviously), the right to prevent your immigrant SO from being deported, the right to inherit property even if there is no will… there are a plethora of benefits provided to spouses that have nothing to do with religion, and it is naive to think otherwise.

  • http://aredeaf.blogspot.com Coelecanth

    Wow, I’ve never read so many articulate, well reasoned comments on such a hot button issue. What a great readership Blurbomat has!

    One point to add:
    I’m Canadian and I’ve been watching what’s been happening in your country since 9/11 with trepidation. It appears from the outside that your civil liberties are disappearing. I transfered planes in LA this year and saw things that chilled me. The customs hall was a fine example of the architecture of intimidation. High ceilings, massive columns, huge flags, guards dressed in black. All of which wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t photographing and fingerprinting everyone who wasn’t white. Scary stuff and just a small example of what seems to be a systemic problem.

    This bill, if I’m understanding it correctly, is a chance for you folk to stand up and be counted. A chance to say: “It stops here. We won’t allow this anymore, we are *all* equal and demand to be treated so.” There’s that old saw about how they came for the jews but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t jewish (and so on) until they came for me and there was no one left to speak. You want a slippery slope? That one is the greater risk.

    Stand up, be counted, let your voices be heard before it’s too late.

    {looks around bewilderedly wondering how he got up here, climbs down off soap box}

  • henry

    tracy – good try but let’s try and get all the way through the paragraph next time, ok?

    actually, i wasn’t nearly as clear as i wanted to be. the ceremony remains, i believe, religious (in a variety of guises) practically however you do it. although feel free to contradict, but the legality is non-secular. hence my desire for a non-secular ‘catch-all’ ceremony. separation of church and state. didn’t someone once say that was a good idea?

  • JENN


    Great post. You made me cry. Let me tell you that I am an openly gay American. I have voted in each election. I pay my taxes. I write my governor, my senators, even my president. I speak my mind, tell the elected my rights as an American are being jeopardized. Yet nothing changes, I think things might actually be getting worse.
    Let me tell you how hard it is to be a gay American in this day and age. I live in Arizona. We have the second largest group of Mormons here next to your Utah. Almost weekly I read in our papers about the billions of dollars being raised against people like me.
    People who just want to live their lives. People who feel lucky enough to have found someone they love. Someone who has the same core beliefs as they do. Someone who loves them back and who wants to share a life with them.
    I am lucky enough to have found a wife. We stood up in front of 50 of our friends and family and in front of what we believe to be our God and we exchanged our vows. Nothing leagal came of it. We just believed in our love enough to want to share it with friends and family. To have witnesses to our lives and love. My own parents decided we were disobeying their God and therfore could not be a witness to our love and commitment.
    As a gay Ameican I would like to challenge people to place themselves in my shoes and live thier lives as we gay American’s do. I think they too would find it hurtful and harmful to have to live their lives in such scrutiny every single day as we do. I am so tired of turning on the TV or opening up my local paper only to read that millions of people who are not gay, who don’t know what it is like to be gay feel the need to tell me what my life means and what I should be doing with my life. I don’t spend my hours and my money telling them how to live their lives. Just leave me, my wife, and other gay alone to live our lives.
    I don’t know of a God that teaches hate and judgement, and if that is what these people are learning I am so glad to not call him my God.


  • http://www.electricboogaloo.net tiffany

    This seems relevent here… If you’ve never seen Noah’s artwork or heard his story you owe it to yourself to spend a little time on his site. His essay on the topic of gay marriage is simply beautiful:

  • Joy

    Was this post a combined effort between yourself and Heather? or have you two become one in the same?

    Well put, WOW.

  • lily

    i really liked what you said and wish EVERYONE could read it; there aren’t many open-minded people in this world. things like these are the ones that make me think, we’re actually not “free” are we?

  • Jen

    Letter to the Editor by Sharon Underwood,from the Valley News (White River Junction, VT/Hanover, NH)

    As the mother of a gay son, I’ve seen firsthand how cruel and misguided people can be.

    Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I’ve taken enough from you good people.

    I’m tired of your foolish rhetoric about the “homosexual agenda” and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

    My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

    He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called “fag” incessantly, starting when he was 6.

    In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn’t bear to continue living any longer, that he didn’t want to be gay and that he couldn’t face a life without dignity.

    You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don’t know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn’t put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it’s about time you started doing that.

    At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won’t get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don’t know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

    If you want to tout your own morality, you’d best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I’m puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that’s not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

    A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I’ll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for “true Vermonters.”

    You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn’t give their lives so that the “homosexual agenda” could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

    He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn’t the measure of the man.

    You religious folk just can’t bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

    How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

    You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

    The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about “those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing” asks: “What ever happened to the idea of striving…to be better human beings than we are?”

  • Susie

    In answer to your question, “has anybody heard a valid argument . . . that makes any sense?” A constitutional amendment either FOR or AGAINST gay marriage could save the taxpayers a lot of money and lessen the likelihood of the already poorly functioning court system being overloaded. My point: when one state (or city or county) is presided over by judges whose opinions favor gay marriage, and the neighboring states (counties, cities) do not, we’re in for a legal quagmire when those gay people begin divorcing just like straight people do. It is difficult enough to resolve issues of property, custody, alimony, “no-fault,” etc., between legal entities who both recognize that a marriage has occurred, even though those entities may have vastly different laws governing how they handle the dissolution of that marriage. For example, what happens when Jane takes the kids and moves to the neighboring state, while June remains behind in the state in which they were gay-married? June has no standing for custody or even visitation in Jane’s new state because according to the new state, they were never married. The potential for legal boondoggles is staggering. This is perhaps more an argument in favor of doing the preparation necessary to get everyone on the same page (whichever page that is), before changing laws here and there to reflect community standards. It’s not a zoning issue. It really will affect the whole culture, the whole society. Hearts are in the right place here (this blog) clearly, but we have to zoom out and big-picture this. There’s more research, more work to be done.

  • http://www.aaanet.org/press/ma_stmt_marriage.htm Z

    From the American Anthropological Association Website:

    “The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.

    The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.”

  • jen

    what, then, do you say to those to whom the persuit of happiness is protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage structure? are they wrong? the persuit of happiness was extended to all.. even the fundamental wackos. you can’t say one group can persue happiness and bollocks to the rest because you don’t happen to agree with their convictions. it’s a tricky thing, this freedom we have. a fine balance. while it’s inappropriate for one group to foist thier beliefs and positions on humanity as a whole, practicing intolerance toward them is counterproductive and hypocritical and, quite frankly, perpetuating the problem.

  • Jen

    Oops I cut off the last sentence of the article….

    “Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?”

  • Tracy

    “what, then, do you say to those to whom the persuit of happiness is protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage structure? are they wrong? the persuit of happiness was extended to all.. even the fundamental wackos.”

    Well, first, as someone pointed out, pursuit of happiness is not a right. It’s not in the Constitution. Second, even if this were an issue, those who are against gay marriage would have to prove that it hurts them somehow. Simply saying “it bothers me knowing someone is doing that” doesn’t cut it. After all, I would be much *happier* if my neighbors would take down their tacky wooden cow lawn ornament, but that doesn’t give me any rights regarding it.

  • http://kaiso.typepad.com karen

    how exactly does my marriage affect yours? your marriage is exactly as sanctified as you make it. i have no effect on your marriage. they are free to marry who they want – we are not obstructing their happiness at all, except that the way i live my life angers them. too bad for them, really. but no valid reason to take away my rights.

    to the guy who said “homosexuals are free to marry… someone of the opposite gender”, give me a break. black people had the right to marry other black people, but that doesn’t mean that preventing inter-racial marriages was ok.

  • http://whatxthexfuck.blogspot.com Michael Moore


    Regardless of the Declaration/Constitution issue, the constitution starts on the premise that we live in a state of nature, with rights do what we like. We give up some of those rights for mutual protection from the government. So, I give up the right to kill you for stealing my pig, and the institution of the government gives me the protection of the laws. So I can sue you for stealing my pig. It protects you from getting killed for your pig filching actions.

    Silly analogy, I know. And not to be confused with the government taking all your rights. The framework is such that laws should be made to protect your rights at all costs. Only 1 ammendment has been passed to limit rights, and that was prohibition… look what happened there.

    Since the right is reserved for the states (10th ammendment), people living in Mass. have that right. Thats the federalist way.It’s all based off of Lockes “Two Treatsies on Government”–a bit dry, but a great resource to know about. (and I dont mean to sound like im on the attack here. Its just me being nit picky and kind of bitchy).

    NOW, on to the praise of Jon. –Run for elective office. I dont know if you would be able to secure a congressional seat right away, especially with your super liberal exterior (somewhere inside you beats the cold heart of a Utah conservative…. ok, maybe its a warm squishy liberal interior too, but I digress). Start with mayor. City council. Work up to being beloved state wide. Then, off to the president’s seat. Im voting Obama-Blurbomat in 2024!

    Maybe you could get Chucks endorsement. The opinion of a a former congressman could carry you quite a ways.

  • Tracy

    “actually, i wasn’t nearly as clear as i wanted to be. the ceremony remains, i believe, religious (in a variety of guises) practically however you do it. although feel free to contradict, but the legality is non-secular. hence my desire for a non-secular ‘catch-all’ ceremony. separation of church and state. didn’t someone once say that was a good idea?”

    Anything that defines a relationship as “separate but equal” to marriage is doomed to fail. Because as we know from experience, separate is never equal.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~lex.alexander/lexblog.htm Lex

    As I read the First Amendment, the government has no business in the marriage business anyway. Marriage, understood in the context of the Constitution, is a purely religious function that churches should be free to grant or deny to whomever, but the government has no business treating single people differently from married people on any basis whatever.

  • Lucy

    Your comment about sucky comments being deleted seems ironic. I just think the words gay and suck go so well together. The oral fixation that never ended. If only they could just suck their thumbs instead, maybe then we could all get some peace and quite.

  • Russ

    Oh, BTW, I have some nominees for the WHORES section of the Blurbomat:

    Ann Coulter
    Bill O’Reilly
    Mary Cheney. Esp. Mary Cheney. How she could work for a company that screams hypocracy especially in regards to LGBT issues (see: http://www.washblade.com/2004/6-25/view/editorial/coors.cfm ), but to also lobby for a campaign that not only wants to discriminate against her, but uses such hateful language about people like her in their platform. Have you read the RNC’s platform….I think if half of the people supporting GW read it even they’d be freaked out.

  • peach

    The Constitution does not “grant” rights. The constitution merely lays out the plan of the government and grants the government rules and regulations.

    All rights are reserved by all people and the amendments to the Constitution merely legislate specific reasons why certain rights cannot be infringed upon.

    For example, the “right to marry” is not in the Constitution, in fact, it is likley not in any single state’s consttuion either. There are simply laws that cover how to recognize certain unions — and that’s what’s under debate now. It is every person’s inherent right to join in any union (religious, secular, civil, or other). The issue is how, or if, that union will be recognized.

    In our nation’s history, there has never been an exclusionary federal law that was not based on some punishment of breaking current laws (for example, federal prisoners are excluded from voting — but only because they broke the law). Homosexuals have broken no federal laws, and therefore to propose an amendment to EXCLUDE them from this right is unprecedented and unconstitutional.

    You may not like it, it may offend your religious morals or what not, but it’s not hurting you personally. Move to a community where you can be surrounded by like-minded individuals, if you don’t like it. But simply because you have a religious vs. a federal and historical basis, you can shove it.

    Otherwise, I’ll be starting a petition to have all churches outlawed because they offend MY sensibilites.

  • peach

    Right, Prohibition was the first ever exclusionary amendment. And yes, look at how that turned out.

  • http://tkblaich.blogspot.com Tamara

    “The oral fixation that never ended. If only they could just suck their thumbs instead, maybe then we could all get some peace and quite.”

    Um, Lucy? I’m straight, and I give blow jobs… So, what was your point?

  • http://mihow.com mihow

    Lucy, I think your suspenders are on too tight.

  • Russ

    ” I just think the words gay and suck go so well together. The oral fixation that never ended. If only they could just suck their thumbs instead, maybe then we could all get some peace and quite.”

    Sure sounds like YOU know how to make a man happy, Lucy. My condolences to your S.O.

  • henry

    tracy – the point being that they are legally equal, with exactly the same privileges. what else are you recommending, that we force the church to marry gay couples? that seems implausible… seperate the ceremony from the legality.

  • http://traciesmusings.blogspot.com Tracie

    You know Jon- this is a wonderful post.

    There was once a time when blacks and whites could not marry.

    There is a passage SOMEWHERE in the bible about being ‘equally yoked’- are we going to start requiring couples to be the same religion to marry also?

    If the gov’t is going to use the bible to make their argument about gay marriage- because being ‘gay’ is immoral (I’m straight, btw, but have a gay brother)…then what about the OTHER things in the bible that are immoral – such as adultery- that isn’t punishable in this country.

    I’m so sick of the self righteous RIGHT worrying about this issue right NOW- we are losing countless young men and women EVERY SINGLE DAY in this ‘war on terror’- and THIS is what the administration is worried about? Two guys who want the right to tend to each other in the event something horrible happened? There was an article advocating gay marriage that I read some time ago about a gay male couple- one was in car accident. Because his partner was not legally related to him, or his ‘wife’/’husband’ they would not allow his partner in to see him. He died. The partner got NOTHING of his that wasn’t in both their names. And for what? It makes no fucking sense at all.

    I work in the welfare industry- and I can tell you that the ‘sanctity’ of marriage is being ruined just fine by the multitude of heterosexuals out there- let’s see, what was that divorce rate again? 50%? You have hetero’s glorifying ‘starter marriages’?

    Come ON.

  • http://www.agirlandaboy.com Leah

    What I don’t get is why some people think that outlawing gay marriage will stop gay people from being together and loving each other. What they don’t seem to understand is that with or without marriage, they will still have sex, they will still live together, they will still have children and buy new cars and go on vacation and have a big Thanksgiving dinner, JUST LIKE STRAIGHT PEOPLE. What legal marriage gives them is the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital, benefit from their insurance, and enjoy all the basic freedoms adults should have. Legal marriage does not, and never will, be simply a license to love. People will love who they love no matter what the law says.

  • Tracy

    “tracy – the point being that they are legally equal, with exactly the same privileges.”

    Yeah, like I said, separate but equal. We’ve been there before, and it didn’t work.

    “what else are you recommending, that we force the church to marry gay couples? that seems implausible… seperate the ceremony from the legality.”

    Why is it implausible? Who says a marriage has to be performed according to any religious standard? Hetero couples can already have a completely secular wedding – they just have to go to the justice of the peace. Why shouldn’t homosexual couples have that same right to a secular wedding?

  • Tracy

    I may have misunderstood what you said… yes, I *do* think you can, and should, separate the ceremony from the legality. For hetero and homosexual couples alike – I know many hetero couples who don’t believe in God and don’t want any kind of religious ceremony. Also, I don’t think *all* churches would refuse to marry homosexuals.

  • http://burritoville.blogspot.com Carny Asada

    OK, let’s see if we can sum up the arguments against gay marriage:

    1. “It squicks me out. And it squicks a lot of other people out, too.”

    I can sympathize. Wives promising “to obey” squicks me out –and a lot of other women, too. Still, it’s legal to have that in your marriage vows, and I have worked alongside “obeyers” without bloodshed or ugliness.

    2. “Despite No. 1 above, I am terrified that so many people will be tempted to enter a gay marriage that heterosexual marriage will be threatened.”

    Dude. Only the spectacle of Brittany Spears-like disposable weddings and morally bankrupt dating shows could possibly tempt masses of heterosexual Americans to go gay.

    3. “It ain’t permitted by the good book.”

    As my priest pointed out to my husband and me during premarital counseling, divorce ain’t permitted by the good book, either. And yet: Legal.

    4. “Next they’ll be forcing churches to perform gay weddings.”

    That will only be possible if John Ashcroft succeeds in his campaign to repeal the First Amendment. Until then, just remember: Divorce — it’s forbidden by many churches, and the state can’t do a damn thing about that.

    My six-year-old daughter saw the picture of the 80-year-old lesbians getting married in San Francisco and asked what it was about. When I explained to her that the law kept men from marrying men and women from marrying women, she frowned and said:

    “Marriage is all about love. It’s got nothing to do with what the law says.”


  • Tracy

    I think the biblical aspect is possibly the weakest argument against gay marriage. If we’re going to stick to what the bible says, not only is divorce illegal, but adultery is punishable by stoning. And Teresa Heinz would have been forced to marry her husband’s brother after she became a widow. And is it safe to assume that every single one of those “If it’s not in the bible, it can’t be done” folks is *tithing*? I think not.

  • Frannie

    Okay – first of all I am a Christian. (ouch! stop throwing things!) Second – I am a Republican (would you- I said stop!)
    – I do not hate gay men and women.
    – If I loved someone I would want to be with them regardless of sex. – BUT I wouldn’t ask someone to change the definition of something just to suit my alternative lifestyle.
    – I believe it IS a religious issue. God created marriage and marriage has a definition. Let’s say marriage = blue and “gay marriage” = green. Can green therefore say, “let’s change the definition of blue to include me.” instead of saying…green is good, green is okay. Let’s just call it green. It doesn’t mean it’s worse, it’s just different. After all – man + woman is different than man + man. You can’t deny that it’s different. Just come up with a different word. I know that my marriage is between my husband, myself and God…BUT you get into a slippery slope when you start changing the definitions of things. And the argument: “How is it possible to be against something that brings such joy to so many of your fellow human beings?” is silly…killing brings joy to some people…should we allow people to die just because it brings some people joy? That’s not a reason to make a change like this…
    Also – “you have no idea why people in the US are uncomfortable with gay marriage? really? people *are* uncomfortable with homosexuality and this is about as far removed from rationality as can be, drawing as it does on gut instinct. it is in some sense only natural to be uncomfortable with the act and the concept when it is alien to your own desires.
    it is those people who allow rationality, humility, and selflessness to transcend these feelings that really earn my respect. so have a little consideration for those who want to make this choice because they feel it is the right thing, not because it’s the most comfortable call for them.
    it’s a bit weird to dismiss the influence of religion – the ‘old book’ straw man is a cheap shot as well. especially when marriage is, essentially, a religious institution. at the moment we have many ways of entering the legal state but all, as I understand it, pass through a religious filter. what we require is the establishment of a non-secular marriage ceremony that everyone can enter into. if we’re being thorough about this, do we need to consider the prospect of marriages involving many people? or one person having many marriages? these are not supposed to be inflammatory suggestions – they may be perfectly reasonable but you have to consider the limits of your arguments.

    -Well said!

    And – “It annoys me when Kerry and others say that marriage is between a man and a woman, but gay couples may be granted civil unions. That’s not good enough in my opinion. That’s discrimination”

    -it’s NOT discrimination! it. is. different. Can you not see what you’re asking us to do? Saying to take God out of the equation is saying to give up the very fiber of my being…my faith…the reason to live. If there was no God and no afterlife…if I didn’t know that He was in control…I would have no reason to live. If this life was it??? Scary.
    (You are a brilliant mind and a brilliant writer. Please continue to do what you’re doing. Please continue to open up conversation and encourage debate…otherwise how could we possibly understand the other side of things? I’m not a hatemonger. I just believe differently than you)

  • Julie

    Earlier this year some friends and I went to a protest in front of a huge fundamentalist group event. My friend wore a shirt that said “God Hates Bigots”.

  • Tracy

    “Saying to take God out of the equation is saying to give up the very fiber of my being…my faith…the reason to live. ”

    YOUR being. YOUR faith. YOUR reason to live. YOUR definition of marriage. No offense, but this is not about you. God is a very important part of your marriage. That’s great. But I know many athiests who have wonderful marriages. Does that affect your marriage? Does it affect your faith? Not in the least.

    And what about homosexuals who do believe in God, who believe He made them what they are and He had a good reason to do it. Do they not deserve to follow their faith, the fiber of their being, their reason to live? All you’ve really said is “this is not what I want marriage to be, and therefore, it should not.” Well, I think Fascinating Womanhood (look it up) is not what marriage should be. It goes against everything I believe in. Does that mean it shouldn’t be legal?

    Quite honestly, I think most of the arguments against gay marriage echo the arguments against racially mixed marriages.

  • http://www.biggaysam.blogspot.com Big Gay Sam

    For Frannie:

    I too am a republican and a christian (although a lot of christian sects will disagree with that). I am also gay. As to you saying that people are uncomfortable with homosexuality sounds familiar to people in the 50’s and 60’s saying they’re uncomfortable with “black people.” Usually that kind of discomfort is due to ignorance. Lack of interaction and knowledge will create an uncomfortable atmosphere. Take some time to get to KNOW a gay individual. We don’t bite. Much.

    I agree that marriage is a religious issue but secular marriage is available and it should be available to all since there really is no constitutional amendment banning marriage between anyone. It’s prejudice plain and simple. I remember when african americans weren’t allowed in white churches or drink from white fountains or marry a white person. Why? prejudice, plain and simple.

    It really upsets me when people try to equate homosexuality with some kind of despicable act or criminal behavior. Comparing the “joy of killing” to two loving people wanting a formal union is disheartening. I can’t go through a thread on the internet regarding homosexuality without some brilliant individual comparing homosexuality to pedophilia or something just as sickening. Gay couples are two consenting adults.

  • http://www.bushlover.com Bush lover

    God’s will CAN be known — for example, the 10 commandments reveals His will. In Romans chapter one, God’s will is very clear: He does not accept certain behaviors as being okay with Him.

    There are lots of way to sin — if I murder someone you love, you would call that a sin probably. But perhaps in my own mind it wasn’t a sin because without that person in MY world anymore, MY world would be a much better place to exist.

    Sin is not relative to anyone’s particular situation. Period. That’s why murder is never okay.

    In the same way, the list of sins goes on and on. Everyone sins. The homosexual sins when he lusts after the same sex, and the hetrosexual sins when he lusts after a female he is not married to.

    I don’t expect to change your mind, but you are definitely wrong when it comes to whether or not anyone can know the will of God.

    Jesus died for all our sins, was buried and raised on the third day to life again — He did this for the homo as well as the hetro — we’re all in the same boat, only our ways of ‘sinning’ differ.

    You probably think my post sucks, but everyone has the right to believe and think the way the want — but remember: the consequences are eternal.

  • Kimberly

    I live in Ontario where gay marriage is now legal. I’m proud to say that I have several gay and lesbian friends who have finally been allowed to exercise this right. ANd they are some of the most lovng, committed partners–and parents–that I know.

  • http://beastlysum.blogspot.com jenn

    I’m from Missouri. We recently voted for an amendment to our constitution to make gay marriage irrevocably illegal. Apparently, the “if gay marriage passes, it may never stop! what is next, incest? horses and goats?” argument is enough for this swing state. You shouldn’t think with what you have swinging, I say.

    We still live here, but Finland is starting to look really, really good.

  • Tracy

    “You probably think my post sucks, but everyone has the right to believe and think the way the want”

    That’s true. You have every right to believe and think the way you want. If you think homosexuals are all going straight to hell, it’s certainly your right to think so. But no one has to agree with you. And laws should not necessarily be determined by what *you* think and want. Nor should the laws of a supposedly democratic state be determined by what the bible says. Because, like I said earlier, the bible says adultery should be punishable by stoning. Do you really want to go there?

  • bunny

    As much as I love you and Dooce, this is one train I can’t get on board with you.

    And before you jump on me and say i am a homophobe let the record show my date to the senior prom was a gay guy.

    One day we wlll all understand everything. Till then I hope we can all get along.

  • http://www.anti-aliased.net Jaia

    I am uncomfortable with vaguenesses becoming law. Because of this, I am both opposed to Proposition 3 and and opposed to feel-good statements about letting anyone marry anyone they want.

    I know I’m oversimplifying that a little, but legislating that anyone should be able to marry anyone they want does open the door to some scary things. Anyone hear of Colorado City? They’re already marrying their cousins/parents/children down there, illegally — I would hate to see some ambiguous wording give them a foot in the door to make it legal. I think if gay marriage is going to be legal, that law needs to be CLEARLY defined before I’ll be comfortable supporting it.

    And yet, I’m just as afraid of what Prop 3 would do to us if it were passed. I live in Salt Lake and I have a lot of friends (both gay and straight) that cohabitate with a significant other and share insurance benefits. The companies they work for already kick ass for giving them domestic partner benefits, but under Prop 3 they wouldn’t be legally able to do that any more.

    Locally there have been really absurd commercials on the network stations that talk about how Prop 3 is only going to preserve marriage as we’ve always know it, blah blah blah. I’m not sure this is a healthy or adaptable mindset — after all, marriage as we’ve known it in the past used to be, for some people, a financial arrangment made by the couples’ families before the couple was of age. Is it really right to argue that we should press the pause button on the evolution of our society, that the current form is as good as it’ll ever get? Hardly.

    Utah already has three laws on the books preventing homosexuals from marrying. We don’t need another one, especially not one that discriminates against such a wide array of people. The cynical part of me says that it’s just the LDS influence on the state again, trying to mold the perfect cookie cutter for what families should look like. Once you do that, you cut off transracial families, blended families, single-parent families, and a whole host of other family forms. Those people are already more likely to have significant financial problems — let’s not make it worse.

    I’m voting No, even though as a resident of Utah I’m sure I’m with the minority on this one.

  • Frannie

    We don’t bite. Much – I had to laugh out loud at this. Funny.
    I don’t equate homosexuality to killing or to being afraid of african americans. I can love you as a person and still think you’re doing the wrong thing. No worse than I. Not everything I do is right, either. I have counted gay women among my friends. But I can think they’re wrong and not be a monster.
    And Yes – My faith, my fiber, My God. I’m not saying this is all about me…I was just responding to the original post. When it’s said that we have to take God out of this argument – I can’t. He’s the very core of all of my arguments. He gave me life.

  • Kyllikki

    god did not create marriage–humans did though politics and civil laws and whatever existential and new spiritual ideas we decide to apply. marriage in its most basic form is a contract. who you decide to witness it is up to…you!

    if god is everywhere, if god is so big, so huge–how do we beings even dare apply ideas like gender in god’s name? the bible did not fall out of the sky onto an ecclesiastical platter. people from long ago, with ideas and opinions as strong and diverse as expressed in these comments decided what goes in the bible, which has determined so much to this point. it’s called “the effect of first dibs.” if a misogynist had first dibs, thousands of years later we have a holy tome based and interpreted on these first dibs. that’s a hell of a lot of power based on another human’s opinion.

  • http://www.adriennefelt.com/blog/ Adrienne

    It makes me mad when people argue that allowing gay marriages would somehow make their own heterosexual marriage mean less.

    Excuse me, but I don’t think that having unmarried gay couples makes my own unmarried state mean any less.

  • Frannie

    And I’m not saying that gay people can’t be committed to each other. I said myself earlier…if I loved someone I would want to be with them…I would just not ask people to change the definition of marriage to suit me. Why do you need to change it?

  • http://www.wellred.blogspot.com redpanda

    I’d just like to remind some of ya’ll out there that this is not a religious issue. If your religion wants to say that gay marriage will not be tolerated in its midst, that’s fine. (Well, not really “fine”, but only an eye-rolling kind of annoying…)

    This IS a legal issue. Marriage, as it is now, is a legal state. THAT is what is being addressed here.

    In the Catholic church, you cannot remarry if you have been divorced. You can’t even really legally divorce. Should we base your state’s legislation on that doctrine?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  • http://froghollow.typepad.com Gabrielle

    Why are religious arguments even taken into consideration? This is not a religious issue, but a legal one.

    “Dysentary– Guaranteed to cure constipation, religious or otherwise!”

  • Tracy

    “I would just not ask people to change the definition of marriage to suit me. Why do you need to change it?”

    So, because the definition of marriage already suits you, you don’t see the need to change it. And you think people who would like it to suit them as well as it suits you shouldn’t have that opportunity. Are you under the impression that your marriage is what marriage was like in Christ’s day? It’s not. The definition of marriage has already changed many times.

  • Tracy

    Posted too soon! :-)

    “Why do you need to change it?”

    This would be obvious if you had read all the posts. Married people have legal benefits that same sex couples are not currently entitled to. And that’s just *one* of the reasons.

  • Frannie

    The definition of marriage has changed from one man and one woman? when? why did no one tell me this?
    I don’t like to argue…I agree with a previous poster that this is a gut level issue that I cannot express well enough in words. And I do not believe joe schmoe wrote the bible according to what suited him. I believe it was divine.
    redpanda – YES If I was a Catholic I would believe that divorces should not be allowed. If I am promising under God never to divorce I wouldn’t. I think too many people make these promises and then just *forget* about those promises when that marriage is no longer convenient. (Obviously if you’re being abused or routinely cheated on…this doesn’t apply)

  • http://www.biggaysam.blogspot.com Big Gay Sam

    What about other religions or spiritual beliefs? I know of some native american cultures that see gay unions as perfectly normal. Some native people feel that gay people are sacred. Are you saying their beliefs aren’t as valid because they don’t believe as you do? It’s normal for them just as it’s abnormal for you. There’s a bigger picture here.

  • http://www.givingago.blogspot.com/ Nancy

    As a lesbian, it is really a breath of fresh air to hear a straight man make these arguments for doing what is right. Thanks, Jon.

    I learned today that my partner’s employer will be providing same sex benefits this spring (after a long lawsuit, they caved). She and I both cried when she called me. I’m delighted, and yet it just isn’t enough. I want my eight year relationship to be recognized as marriage by the laws of this crazy country I live in and love with all of my heart.

    I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone thinks giving us this right would somehow adversely affect their own marriage or relationship with god. Is it purely fear? insecurity?

    As a younger woman, I pretended that I didn’t want to be married, that we didn’t need to mirror “hets” to have happy, fulfilled lives. Now, I long for it. For what it means to be *legally* as well as spiritually married.

    And for the ability to have children together without fighting the courts, to be able to plan for our deaths without worrying etc. etc. I had surgery last year and in between all of the preparation. We had to get documents notarized so that if something went wrong she could make medical decisions for me.

    I just want to go in front of a judge and say I love her and want her for all of my days and have that mean something legal and real in my country.

    This is not theoretical to me. It is my life.

    Sorry to have rambled, it really moved me to read this.

  • Stephanie

    The government can’t deny gays the benefits of marriage and then tell gays that they can’t marry. To do so is to deny gays equal protection under the law.

    Given the original purpose of marriage – a stable family unit within which to raise children, it seems to me that gay marriages (green) should be included in the definition of marriage (blue).

    However, it IS a serious problem in our society that marriage is entered into too lightly. While I’m all for everyone doing what makes them happy so long as it doesn’t infringe on my right to do my thing, once children are introduced ito the picture, I think it should be much more difficult to dissolve a union – OR, maybe more difficult to enter in the first place.

  • Frannie

    See, the very core of my belief and religion is that the road to heaven is narrow. There can be truth and then there can be truth as we want to believe it. But only one will get me to heaven. I would like to be tolerant of everyone all their views. But – again, that darn religion of mine. I can’t be a Christian and not believe in the bible. sorry.
    The native american thing? See that’s just it – I’m not native american. I don’t believe that.

  • Nancy

    See Frannie, that’s just it. Your personal beliefs should not get to decide the law in this country where we live. That’s what differentiates us from a theocracy.

  • Tracy

    “The definition of marriage has changed from one man and one woman? when? why did no one tell me this?”

    Okay, you can pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about if that makes it easier. You can pretend there were no laws against miscegenation. Or perhaps you could just point to me where the bible says first cousins cannot marry. Or that 13 year old girls cannot get married.

    “I don’t like to argue…I agree with a previous poster that this is a gut level issue that I cannot express well enough in words. And I do not believe joe schmoe wrote the bible according to what suited him. I believe it was divine.”

    The inspiration was divine, but the actual writing was done by men. And then men translated those writings. And then more men translated those translations. Hundreds of years after they were actually written. By people who weren’t there when the inspiration was happening. But, again, you can pretend not to know this if it makes it easier for you.

  • http://traciesmusings.blogspot.com Tracie

    I think it goes back to the same arguments (as has been pointed out here) that whites had before about the ability to marry another race. It was not allowed. And guess what, when it was- did it change the ‘face’ of marriage? No. There is still divorce, there is still adultery, there is still abuse. Whites were terrified of ‘their’ people marrying blacks. TERRIFIED. Feared the worst. Did the world come to an end? No.

    Frannie, I see your point. You believe what you believe with all your heart- and that’s great. I believe in God as well- but I also believe that most of what is in the Old Testament is changed in the New Testament. It ‘used’ to be hand for a hand, eye for an eye- then Jesus came along and said to turn the other cheek.

    Point is, GOVERNMENT is not in a position to take on the morality of marriage.

  • Tracy

    “See, the very core of my belief and religion is that the road to heaven is narrow. There can be truth and then there can be truth as we want to believe it. But only one will get me to heaven. I would like to be tolerant of everyone all their views. But – again, that darn religion of mine. “I can’t be a Christian and not believe in the bible. sorry.”

    It is a sad religion that encourages – nay, demands – intolerance. Please do not paint all Christians with the same brush. Many of us are very tolerant, and even loving, toward our homosexual neighbors. In fact, some of us really don’t think “tolerate” is a good word to use in this situation, since it implies they are doing something bad that we must put up with.

    “The native american thing? See that’s just it – I’m not native american. I don’t believe that.”

    Well, thank God we have you here to tell us which religions and spiritualities are correct and worth believing. I’m not a Catholic, so I don’t believe they should be able to get married either.

  • http://ladymadaysia.blogdrive.com Amber

    Wow. You have an inspiring message. That totally knocked me off my socks.

    For me, I don’t believe that gay marriages are right. I am unsure where I stand about the government legislating rules on marriages.

    On one hand, we legislate morality, and on the other hand, we don’t. Our system is quite confusing if you ask me. Whatever happens, I’ll just go with the flow. Whatever happens, happens.

  • http://cursingmama.blogspot.com CursingMama

    I know some people who’ve been “married” even though they don’t believe in my god and don’t plan on having children (ever). Because they are heterosexual they were allowed to get married even though they don’t meet the traditional definition. The ceremony was performed by a judge, okayed by the state and didn’t take place under the confines of anyones religion whatsoever.
    Why were they afforded this right/privlege and gay people are not? That is the base issue. You can take religion out of the argument, because people who do not believe in any god get married every day whether christians like it or not.
    I would like to see a “legal partnership” for EVERYONE choosing to get “married” EVERYONE goes to city hall, fills out the papers and poof you’re legal partners (just like a corporation). Then, if you want to have your church bless it – fine, whatever. Why does this have to be so hard?

  • http://www.bitter-girl.com Shannon

    “Jill Smith says: On the plurality/strain on health insurance issue: what is there about a person with 8 spouses that places more of a strain on their company’s health insurance than a person with one spouse and 7 kids?”

    Amen, Jill. That’s so true. And as for the threat to domestic partnership benefits…my (straight) best friend’s husband only had health insurance the few years before their marriage because her company was very cool and offered them.

    As a writer / small businessperson who works from home and couldn’t possibly afford “real” benefits of my own (29 years old, healthy, never goes to the doctor unless loss of a limb is involved and you want HOW MANY hundreds of dollars per month?!), I wish my boyfriend’s company offered them, too. We’re in a committed relationship, we plan to get married someday, but…nope. Nada for me. I contribute money, time, effort and everything else to this household, yet I have no inheritance or legal rights to it without drawing up special legal paperwork. The only city nearby that offers a domestic partnership registry, Cleveland Heights, is at risk of having it shut down thanks to the IDIOTIC Issue One (just say no!), which seeks to ban same-sex partnerships statewide…

    I just moved back home to Ohio from Massachusetts…where dear friends of mine have been marrying right and left since May. I can’t stand to think that the state I grew up in is about to get it so terribly, terribly wrong.

  • jana

    I come from a very old-fashioned Christian family. Actually, my husband and I both do. We were raised to believe that homosexuality was morally wrong, i.e. a sin.

    However, I’ve come to challenge these presuppositions. I don’t even see where this condemnation fits in with the message of Christ. Maybe with the message of Paul, but he also said women weren’t supposed to speak in church or cut their hair, and HA HA! to that.

    So I don’t think there’s any good reason, no. Not anything that doesn’t involve religion.

    What I honestly think is that Christians like my family think that if they allow THOSE SINFUL GAYS to DEFY GOD’S LAW that God will personally punish them. Yeah. I’m not buying it.

    That made it really awkward, however, when I refused to sign my mother-in-law’s petition to add the protection of marriage amendment in Michigan. Sunday dinner was a little strained.

  • http://mysecondchancesinlife.blogspot.com Messed Up Mama

    “actually, i wasn’t nearly as clear as i wanted to be. the ceremony remains, i believe, religious (in a variety of guises) practically however you do it. although feel free to contradict, but the legality is non-secular.

    Religious ceremony is not REQUIRED for the marriage to be valid. In fact, you can be just as married with out any ceremony at all.

    I wish I could find the book I read a couple of years ago, it was about marriage through the centuries. Up until a couple of centuries ago marriages didn’t even take place in churches. A BLESSING could be had in a church after the marriage was legalized.

    The Church didn’t “sanctify” marriages, because the belief at that time was that sex was a sin, and marriage incouraged sex. Many marriages were preformed on the steps of the Church and then they might have gone into the Church for a blessing.Since people were going to get married and have sex anyway, the church used the blessing to gain some control over the choices people could make. For example: if you married someone your family didn’t approve of the church might not give you the blessing. In those days that kind of thing ment alot to people. Excommunication was the way The Church could control a King, withholding a blessing gave the church control over who married who.

    Eventually that is why marriages were preformed in Churches, for the most part. It gave the Church control over marriage. Now marriages are preformed outside of churches again, they do not have to be religious to be marriages.

    I believe that any two consenting adults should be allowed to be married. No need for all the religious bruhaha, unless the two people want it to be that way.

    Can anyone give me a non-religious reason why two people should not be allowed to be married, if both of them consent and are other wise legally able to be married?

  • reader from time to time

    If you die your wife gets everything you worked for. If my lesbian partner in life dies I get nothing because the “government” says I don’t. So I’m sorry but the GOVERNMENT does have a say in YOUR marriage.

  • http://line-noise.com/journal jackie

    yeah, yr right “reader from time to time”. hell, the only reason marriage licenses were even brought out were for tax purposes, and our nation wasn’t even founded on the idea of government legislating marriage (hetero or homo). washington didn’t even have a marriage license… married was just married. i’m strait but involved in a (hopefully) lifelong domestic partnership without any intent to get married. i think it’s a shame that the queer population and even strait folks who don’t necessarily believe a license is a good idea, can’t benefit in the same way others do (who live the exact same lifestyles as us — only registered). recognition should be made all across the boards, inspired by choice and life rather than a piece of freakin paper. too much paper, people. there is too MUCH PAPER.

  • You’d Never Guess . . .

    Political propaganda in principle is active and revolutionary. It is aimed at the broad masses. It speaks the language of the people because it wants to be understood by the people. Its task is the highest creative art of putting sometimes complicated events and facts in a way simple enough to be understood by the man on the street. …
    Propaganda must be creative. It is by no means a matter for the bureaucracy or official administration, rather it is a matter of productive fantasy. The genuine propagandist must be a true artist. He must be a master of the popular soul, using it as an instrument to express the majesty of a genuine political will. …

  • isma

    “And I do not believe joe schmoe wrote the bible according to what suited him. I believe it was divine.”
    I know this is a whole new subject, and I do accept religions, but COME ON, it’s a BOOK, some one ( a person) wrote it, just like the Torah, or the Q’uran. I won’t argue whatever divinity INSPIRED those books. But the books are just objects written by people, people with views and diverging opinions just like us. This is regular common sense.

  • Gingernuts

    To Courtney who disbelieves there are people who believe it is a slippery slope to marrying animals: Honey, I’ve actually MET them. I have been presented with this argument several times. If only I could dismiss it as unreal. But it is one of the scare tactics the conservative religious right uses, specially on talk radio shows. It’s out there & it’s believed, even by people who declare they don’t hate gays or aren’t homophobic.

  • Sarah

    For the religious people (I hesitate to say Christian, because it’s not only Christianity) who believe gay marriage is the biggest threat to families today — they’re wrong. There are much, much worse things happening that are causing the ‘breakdown of the family’. society should look to those.

    One thing I find strange, though, is that one can be a Christian and be thought of as well as the next person. But the second one says something that others don’t agree with, he or she is a bigot, fundamentalist etc etc etc. Doesn’t this go against freedom of conscience? Doesn’t a person in the US have the right to believe what he or she wants without being put down for it? By doing that, aren’t you just as intolerant as those you’re slamming? (generic you)
    Just because someone thinks it – on either side – doesn’t mean it’s right. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, either.

    Just something to think about.

  • http://shenuts.com Sarcastic Journalist

    I have to say as a Christian, and a “Born again” one at that, that I believe in Gay Marriage. I don’t understand why anyone doesn’t. Gay people are people and citizens as much as the next person and they DESERVE the right to be treated as such. I’m sure my conservative parents are crapping their pants right now, but I believe I’m right.

  • Heather

    I’m a Christian, and though I don’t agree with the idea of gay marriage, I don’t think the government has the right to regulate it. To me it’s a moral question, not a legal one. I can care about people and not agree with what they do, and it’s something I work on in so many different areas of my life. I don’t think that any church or temple or mosque should be forced to perform the ceremony though. They too have the right to their own opinions.

  • Gern Blanston

    I believe that the biggest threat to the institution of marriage is DIVORCE, not gay marriage.

    Why isn’t the fact that nearly half (or is it more now?) of the marriages in this county end in divorce an issue to conservatives? I’m not saying divorce should be illegal; it just seems like a far, far bigger threat to the “institution”.

  • http://picanuttalli.blogspot.com Ilsa

    I can’t believe that anyone truly believes (in the same way they believe things that are holy to them) that gay marriage hurts other people.

    I’ve heard logically sound, opinion-based arguments about how gay marriage hurts the particpants of it.

    But they are wrong. The non-legitimized gay marriages that I have known are some of the most loving, productive marriages I have witnessed. And children that have the good fortune to be raised by a gay couples are some of the most loved people I have ever met. The most loved.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com Natasha

    Amen. Amen a thousand times. This was a wonderful entry.

  • http://www.anti-aliased.net Jaia

    “I believe that the biggest threat to the institution of marriage is DIVORCE, not gay marriage. ”

    Well said, although the prevalence of divorce has a lot to do with relatively new but cherished freedoms that we have in the U.S. (like women in the workplace, & marriage as a source of self-fulfillment rather than a traditional, almost mandatory institution).

    I’m a Christian as well, but (as my earlier note indicates) am opposed to legislation like Prop 3 that attempts to define what is and is not an acceptable type of family. And I do have a question for those of you who believe that homosexuality is a sin and should therefore be legislated against:

    Since (as I have always been taught) all sins are wrong & so theoretically equal in their badness — how is lusting after a member of your own sex any different than lusting after a member of the opposite sex? Or, for that matter, how is having homosexual intercourse any worse than lying or gossiping or NOT loving your neighbor as yourself?

  • http://www.thehighsign.net lizpenn

    In 20 years, sentences like the one both Bush and Kerry have been repeating throughout this campaign : “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman” — will sound just as bigoted as racist white Southerners in the 1960s sound to us now, when we see clips of them saying, “I have nothing against black people; I just don’t want my children to go to school with them.” Homophobia is the last accepted outpost of pure, unquestioned bigotry. Somehow, public figures are allowed to deny people their full civil rights and still come off as tolerant; how does that work again?

    Though straight, I’m not a marriage person myself and will probably never marry (partly because of this gay marriage issue; I’m too creeped out by having to ask permission from Big Daddy to be with the person I want and servilely hope that others will someday be able to do the same. Why don’t we just do away with Big Daddy altogether?) But if straight people should be able to choose it, gay people should be able to choose it.

  • http://www.caipenar.net caipenar

    I’m new to the site, very nice i might add. I don’t understand why government even has a say when it comes to social issues. The constitution has nothing in it that would merit the federal government even getting involved. It is an issue that should left up to the states individually. I mean we can look at the failed “war on drugs” as another example of government bureaucracy that limits personal freedoms and put non violent offenders in jail. People are sometimes afraid of choice.

  • paul

    nice work – should get you some serious procedural reconvening.

  • Lauren

    what i’d like to know, and what no one has been able to answer for me, is what does someone elses marriage have to do with yours? how does gay marriage “undermine” straight marriage? when gay couples were getting married in massachusetts and california, did all the up-tight, conservative, bigoted marriages spontaineously dissolve?! i think its such bullshit to act like sharing freedom among others will somehow lessen it, or make it less valuable, or less important. on the other hand, we saw what “operation iraqi freedom” did to our “unalienable” constitution rights…

  • Sarah

    I’m Australian, and we have the gay marriage fight going on here too. While I’m 100% for gay marriage, I think it’s unfair for people to force churches into marrying them. Religion is like a club, if you don’t believe what they believe, unfortunately as hard as you try it’s just not the club for you. The only problem is when the churches have an effect on the government, therefore affecting those who don’t subscribe to their beliefs.

    I assume it’s the same in America as it is here – you can still be legally married without partaking in a religious ceremony. While I’m not religious and disagree with so many religious fundamentals, I realise that you can’t change religion to suit every modern life.

  • JAM

    I don’t know if anyone will read this far down this gigantic list of comments, but I had a couple of things to add.

    First, you should REALLY go into politics. Like, for serious. We need articulate people like you, with diverse life experiences, even if it means you have to move to a more progressive state to get elected.

    Next, I was also very ticked off that Kerry felt the need to say marriage is between a man and a woman only. But when I thought about it, I realized there is no possible way he could get elected if he said anything else. Just like he couldn’t get elected if he were an atheist, like me. The fact that he even MENTIONED atheists in his debate was amazing to me, and probably a little dangerous.

    It’s a process, people. And although it’s not moving as quickly as it should, we are moving in the right election. People like Kerry need to be elected before people who openly support gay marriage can be. Atheists will probably never be able to be president, but this is a separate issue.

    I’m from Oregon, and we have one of those ridiculous gay marriage bans on the books too. In response to all the gay marriages performed in Multnomah County this year, no doubt. It did my heart good to read one of the “Opposition Arguments” that you can buy in our voters’ guide for $500 to express yourself. It was by a 19-year old straight guy from a small town. He had the guts to come out and say this is stupid and wrong.

    In general, younger people are more understanding of the gay lifestyle and more likely to see it as normal. So don’t worry, the majority of people who oppose gay marriage will probably die off soon and then we can all live in peace.

  • JAM

    Correction … gay marriage ban is NOT on the books, it’s on the ballot. Ooops.

  • http://konzadiary.diaryland.com Juli

    I am a lesbian who (gasp) doesn’t bang the drum for gay marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it, nor am I in favor of any regulation that bans it. I just have no desire to participate in the farce that marriage has become these days. Now I’m in a position to feel this way because via the use of money, lawyers and a whole helluva lot of documents, my partner and I have the protections that would be afforded us could we simply participate in a single ceremony that millions take for granted.

    And boy do they take it for granted. There are people who have no business marrying and procreating.These are the folks who end up messing up each other and their children when life gets a little rough and they aren’t tough enough or invested enough to find solutions and make it work. The serial bride or bridegroom who just can’t wait to get it right so they take on and cast off partners like a shoe sale at Kmart.

    Rather than making it so that one group can’t marry, why don’t we make it harder for EVERYONE to marry? Why don’t we make it so that the forever and ever ’til death do you part really means something? Why don’t we make it so that both parties in a divorce pay through the nose financially and that money goes to help the children of divorce?

    Maybe we should just ban marriage altogether. It seems to cause just as many problems as it solves.

  • http://ladymadaysia.blogdrive.com Amber

    Wow. Juli.

    You pack some powerful words there. And you know what? I can pretty much agree. There are too many people out there that take marriage for granted. They get married and tell themselves they can still get out if they don’t want to be married in a few years. This has always pissed me off. If you do not intend to stay married forever, then don’t get married at all.

    I am a child of a divorce and I can most certainly say that my parent’s divorce completely turned my life upside down. They got married when they really didn’t want to! The didn’t intend to stay together!!! And who get brought up into all of this? Me! And I didn’t have a say. Divorce is horrible for everyone.

    Till death to us part is a vow that is made, and I believe that vow should be kept, even under court of law. Marriage should mean something.

    I have to say that if two homosexuals get married, that does not destroy the meaning of my marriage to my husband. I think marriage is a very personal thing. And it is also something to not be taken lightly.

    Now I can understand in some instances where divorce is ok. Like when a spouse beats on the other or keeps them trapped like a dog inside of the house. But still, most of the time, these people go into the marriage knowing this. Sigh. Our values ARE out of whack.

    We should certainly make marriage harder for everyone. Make them understand what it means. And make divorce so much more difficult. And agreed, all money should go towards the children of divorce.

    Love in Christ,
    Amber <><

  • http://none Shay

    An arguement I hear (and hate) is that gays are not denied the right to marry. A gay man can marry a woman, and a lesbian can marry a man. But if these people are fighting for the supposedly threatended sanctity of their marriage, you would think that the idea of people entering into what would essentially be a pretend marriage would bother them. You’d think that would be hurting the sanctity of marrage. Marriage thse days doesn’t seem to be ‘sacred’ to most people. Not until you mention something about gay marriage, anyway. And what about all those very sacrosanct marriages they’re making on reality tv? In short, arguements against gay marriage just don’t make sense. I don’t have a vote, but if I did, you can bet I would be saying no.

  • http://debisis.proboards29.com debisis

    Btw, I consider myself more so a libertarian.

    First off, marriage was purely designed for children and the wealth of a family. Can you honestly tell me that a child will be adequately brought up by both mothers…or two fathers? Really? Do you think that child will be emotionally mature without a mom for proper nurturing and a father for a firm disciplinary lifestyle? No? Two women or two men can do all that including what’s in between?

    Sorry dude. But I just can’t stand the typical arrogant and zealous issue on allowing gay marriage. It seems to me that libs oversee the kids themselves while focusing on the ideology of liberating all people to do all things. Seems pretty obnoxious and selfish to me.

    Children are our most important assets to this world as you personally understand. I understand that homosexuality is a biological way of life. Fine with me. But seriously, we already have a lot of apathetic personalities in the world along with many women and some men who deal with anxiety and depression…many of who are from single woman house holds.

    So in a fat nut shell….don’t think so fellow libbies. Gay couples can always hang out with their other relatives and provide a variety of love and support to them.

    Allow the benefit of marriage and children to male/female parents. Think smart about this…children have a big stake in this.

  • http://H.com H

    Apparently, I am one of the last undecided people in America on this issue. If I weren’t so creeped out by each of the two sides, I might actually have an opinion.

    The left side is telling me to take my religion (also known as my major belief system) out of my decisions and the right side is telling me to impose them on other people.

    Frankly, I’m not comfortable with either argument.

    I wish that two groups of people who are busy talking about love and commitment didn’t sound SO HATEFUL while they were doing it.

  • http://deann.blogspot.com DeAnn

    Jon, that was really really well-written and a great argument. Thanks for that.

  • Jen

    debisis ~ Ok so you think two Daddy’s or two mommy’s is wrong but what about only ONE parent? Do you think a kid with two mommy’s is any worse off than a kid with one mom and NO dad??? What about two dads as apposed to ONE dad and NO Mom??? The way Hetero marriages have been breaking up there are plenty of the ONE parent only scenario. Or what about those kids that end up with a step-parent? One that doesn’t particularly like them? Is that kid STILL better off with a Mommy that hates her/him and a Daddy instead of two parents that love them(whether thats two daddy’s or two mommy’s)???

    I can tell you that I’d much rather have two same sex parents than have one of those situations I just brought up. In parenting it really only matters that the child is loved and taken care of. If a child is being brought up by two men and there is a situation in which a women would handle it best I am sure they would call on their female friends or their mothers to help. That is the EXACT same thing a single father would do. So please explain how or WHY two parents of the same sex make any difference other than that their child will probably end up a lot more open-minded and accepting of peoples differences.

    You are right.. children have a big stake in it. However you seem to not be realizing that parents of opposite sex can fuck up their children just as easily and as often and parents of the same sex can. There are plenty of Opposite sex married couples having a child or children that they didn’t want and thus treat the child like it wasn’t wanted and they are allowed to have childrean YET a gay couple that badly want a child and will treat them with love and care for them shouldn’t have a right to have kids?? Tell me please how that makes any sense whatsoever.

  • http://zucchinibikini.blogspot.com/ Kathy

    As an Australian, I can tell you that much the same debate is bubbling along here at the moment, although it hasn’t progressed as far as legislative amendments (in either direction) as yet. We have a politically and socially conservative government which is not sympathetic to the idea of gay marriage, but also seems reluctant to firmly come down on the side of banning it forever and ever per se. (Probably because they’re too busy reducing the public health, education and welfare systems to tatters and finding new ways to give millionaires tax breaks).

    My personal view on this is that is manifestly absurd that gay couples can’t legally marry. Marriage is, first and foremost in today’s society, a legal state. Some people may also attach other meanings to their own particular marriages – cultural ones, religious ones etc – and good luck to them, I have no problem with that.

    But those meanings are particularised and have no direct connection with the shared legal rights accrued by *all* married couples. How in logic can we deny any person of legal age and sound mind access to those rights without justly being labelled discrimminatory?

    I’m a married heterosexual, mother of a toddler and pregnant with a second child. My marriage was performed in a church, although my husband and I wouldn’t describe ourselves as traditionally Christian. As a church-wed, still-married mother, I find the idea that gay marriages (or gay parenting) are some sort of threat to my own life choices simply amusing. How? In what possible way?

    Rather, I think that extending the full protections of the law to all people enhances the value of my marriage – and my childrens’ future – because it makes my society that much less vulnerable to dangerous demagogues and their platform of the day. Everyone should be equal under the law, or else we’re none of us safe, ultimately.

  • Tracy

    “First off, marriage was purely designed for children and the wealth of a family. Can you honestly tell me that a child will be adequately brought up by both mothers…or two fathers? Really?”

    Can you honestly tell me it can’t? What is your evidence?

    “Do you think that child will be emotionally mature without a mom for proper nurturing and a father for a firm disciplinary lifestyle? No? ”

    Do you really think that only mothers can provide nurturing, and only fathers can provide discipline? How very sad for you.

    “Sorry dude. But I just can’t stand the typical arrogant and zealous issue on allowing gay marriage. It seems to me that libs oversee the kids themselves while focusing on the ideology of liberating all people to do all things. Seems pretty obnoxious and selfish to me.”

    What’s obnoxious and selfish to me is trying to force *your* beliefs about parenting down other peoples’ throats. If you require that all children have a female and male parent, you’re going to have to outlaw divorce as well as gay marriage.

    Of course, your entire argument is moot anyway, because the purpose of marriage is *not* simply to raise children. So whether two people could be good parents simply isn’t the issue.

    “But seriously, we already have a lot of apathetic personalities in the world along with many women and some men who deal with anxiety and depression…many of who are from single woman house holds.”

    And your point is what… women are more likely to have anxiety or depression than men? Doesn’t that mean that two men would statistically be better parents than a man and a woman? Or are you saying that coming from a single woman household causes anxiety and depression? Again, doesn’t this address divorce more than it addresses the union of *two* people? And finally, are you saying people with anxiety and depression are bad parents? Are you sure you want to post that on *Jon’s* blog?

    “Gay couples can always hang out with their other relatives and provide a variety of love and support to them.”

    What a condescending statement. Don’t worry that you can’t make decisions about medical treatment if your partner is incapacitated. Don’t worry if you can’t get insurance because you’re not allowed to marry. Don’t worry if you fall in love with someone from another country who cannot stay in the U.S. with you because you can’t legally marry them. Just hang out with your straight friends and family and enjoy *their* lives.

    “Allow the benefit of marriage and children to male/female parents. Think smart about this…children have a big stake in this.”

    Well, I guess someone had to say it. “Won’t someone please think of the children!” :-D

  • Graham

    There are four common arguments I hear on this subject, each one about as silly and illogical as the last.

    1. Because God said so.

    In a debate using reason and logic this is about as useful as merely saying “Because *I* say so.” or “Because my friend Frank said so.” It’s a matter of opinion being used as factual evidence to support another opinion, let alone the fact it’s an opinion as to whether God actually exists in the first place.

    2. It’s a slippery slope. What’s next? People marrying dogs, chairs, small children?

    No, because the operative words is “consenting adults”. Dogs and chairs are right out because they can’t say “I do”, and children? We allow adults to drive, to drink, and we allow opposite sex adults to marry; none of these things has led to the loss of innocence in children. Adults can buy alcohol, and it didn’t lead to children being able to buy it (mainly). Equally, an adult man and marry an adult woman; but not an adult man marrying a juvenile girl. The ‘slippery slope’ argument doesn’t work because it assumes extreme consequences to every decision based on nothing factual. Again.

    3. It destroys the sanctity of MY marriage.

    Much the same as above, this assumes that allowing same sex couples to marry somehow cheapens in the institution as a whole. Suddenly MY marriage means less because two men or two women can get married. “My marriage doesn’t mean anything, because marriage has been turned into a joke.” This is rubbish. For one, it’s based on plain old bigotry against homosexuals – regardless of reason. Secondly, it falls down when you consider things like drive-thru chapels in Las Vegas and a high divorce rate. If anything is going to destroy the sanctity of marriage it’s not going to be gay couples.

    4. Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

    Despite common belief, the point of marriage is not purely to help raise children. Marriage is about standing up in front of friends and family – and sometimes God – and making a commitment to another person. I imagine it was originally started to recieve the blessing of God upon your union, but considering how many atheists get married these days that’s not really the case anymore. Nowadays it’s more done as part of tradition and for the “in front of friends and family” part. I could get a license and marry people, after all, without being a priest, a minister or a man of God, and plenty of people forego the church element as well.

    On top of this, children can be raised just as effectively by a same sex couple as by an opposite sex couple. Single parents don’t struggle to raise children because they’re lacking the inherent qualities their partner would normally have had. They struggle because they don’t have the time to appropriately devote to their child. Because the single mother has to work two jobs to feed and clothe her family and can’t devote the time and attention to her toddler that he needs, and because when the toddler grows up into a teenager he loses respect for his mother as he sees her struggle and fail to manage him and her jobs at the same time. Too young to understand the hardships she has to undergo and yet losing that impression all of us have that Our Parents Are Perfect at an earlier age than normal. It’s not because a mother can’t discipline, or that a father can’t nurture. That’s just naive.

    Inevitably, it’s arrogant to tell others what to do, and as always bigotry is based on fear and ignorance.

    To each their own, my friends. Two men or two women want to get married? Good for them, no skin off my nose. I wish them all the best, and may they have all the rights and advantages any other married couple receives.

  • Joan

    My friend in Salt Lake sent me this blog. I was very touched by everyone’s passionate comments. Thank you!

    I live in Utah & my partner of 10 years & I went to California last February & got married. I never imagined it would be such a wonderful, memorable event & the support & love from everyone there brought me to tears numerous times. The world is a great place when we embrace each others differences instead of fearing each other. How a committed, loving, family event can be misconstrued into fear & legislation is beyond me.

    When Senator Hatch was spewing nonsense in Congress regarding our need to protect America against people like myself, I wrote the following to the Salt Lake Tribune. (Of course it didn’t get printed.)

    To the editor:

    It was of no surprise to read Senator Hatchís frenzied proclamation to the U.S. Senate on Friday that we must hurry up & ban gay unions by passing a constitutional amendment protecting the institution of marriage. What is shocking are the obtuse arguments he uses to justify keeping a large segment of Americans as second-class citizens.

    My father proudly served our country as a United States Marine. My mother immigrated to this country as a teenager. They raised me to be a proud American who is respectful & tolerant of others. I studied languages, lived abroad & represented our country in two Olympic Games. They have given me the strength not only to stand up for those who canít, but to stand up for myself when necessary.

    Marriage isnít simply about procreation as Senator Hatch seems to believe. Itís about love & commitment & the 3,000+ rights & privileges that are granted by the government when two people enter into this contract. Itís the right to social security benefits, inheritance, adoption, medical care, fair taxing & basic freedoms that straight people take for granted every day. Itís the right to select the box ìmarriedî instead of ìsingleî when youíve been in a loving, committed relationship nearly a decade. Itís about being recognized & supported in a community and not silenced.

    In February my partner of 8 years and I were married in California. We would like to thank the wonderful, loving & tolerant people in Utah who have given us their blessings & who have encouraged us to live openly & unapologetically. The sun still comes up & the sky hasnít fallen. Perhaps Senator Hatch should focus on more impending problems.


    Joan Guetschow
    Park City, Utah

  • JADO

    I think Bobcat Goldthwait said it best when he was talking about gay bashers.

    “I hate you and want to beat you cause your gay, and cause you like gay sex….and cause I think you’re kinda hot….”

    People afraid of or opposed to gay marriage are afraid of options.

  • http://www.talkingcrow.com/blog/ rebecca


    any additional commentary has been covered quite well above. :) you rock. as does the mrs.

  • Kate

    I’m surprised no one has yet brought up the process of getting married in other countries–such as France. In France, a strongly Catholic nation, the process of getting married is a two-parter for some people. The LEGAL union is performed by a government official (i.e. a Justice of the Peace) and then the SPIRITUAL union is eprformed, if desired, in a church by the clergy. BUT, in the eyes of the law, it is only the first ceremony that makes any difference.

    The advantage to this is that it makes clear the distinction that misses so many of us here in the US: mainly, that a religious marriage and a legal union are different. Why don’t we try that here? That way, YOUR RELIGION is free to make chioces about who can and cannot be married in the eyes of the CHURCH, and that has no effect on the legal rights of two consenting adults in the eyes of the government.

    And please don’t even try to bring up any ideas about “the children” or anxiety and depression somehow being related to single parenthood (or womanhood in general). Anxiety and depression are ILLNESSES and no one demographic group has a monopoly on them. And plenty of kids in two-parent religious households are abused, both physically, mentally, and sexually. No one has a monopoly on treating kids badly either. In fact, one might argue that, since homosexual couples have to work much HARDER to have a child join their family (rather than making a little “oopsie”), children of homosexual partnerships have a greater likelihood of being loved, valued, and cared for than children of many heterosexual couples.

    Thanks for the post, Jon. :-)

  • Jenna

    My husband teaches 1st grade at a fancy private school where the kids have every material possession possible and the little girls with “two mommies” or just one mommy and no daddy cling to him so much that he has to gently disengage them and they BEG him, BEG him to be their daddy/let them come spend the night at our house/ etc. Not a one time thing. Daily. Daily. I make no comments on this just reporting this.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com Natasha

    Tracy is right. There is more to marriage than raising children. My husband and I don’t have children yet. Does that mean our marriage is “less valid than” or somehow pointless compared to those people who DO have children?

  • E.

    that’s been my question. i mean, we’re protecting the “normal family unit” right? well, what if you’re sterile/barren? does that mean you get less rights, since you obviously won’t have the “normal” family unit and you shouldn’t be allowed to enter into marriage? if it’s all black and white, that’s how it goes, right? and divorced people? should they be forced to return to their marriages, because the whole divorce thing ruins that idea of “sanctity” as well.
    there is so little logic in denying people the freedoms to live as they choose. i thought that was what this country was founded upon. guess they only had rich, heterosexual white dudes in mind, eh?

  • http://www.biggaysam.blogspot.com Big Gay Sam

    I’m sorry. I was going to stop posting comments but I had to respond to something said earlier. Quote:
    “My husband teaches 1st grade at a fancy private school where the kids have every material possession possible and the little girls with “two mommies” or just one mommy and no daddy cling to him so much that he has to gently disengage them and they BEG him, BEG him to be their daddy/let them come spend the night at our house/ etc. Not a one time thing. Daily. Daily. I make no comments on this just reporting this.”

    I know you’re just “reporting” this but I really don’t understand the relevance. If you’re a child and you’re told constantly that parents consist of a mommy and a daddy. Constantly. Daily. This is pounded into you by everything and everyone around you. Books you read talk about heterosexual marriage, t.v., radio, class lessons, fellow classmates, relatives, all of this information coming from all directions and it’s telling MOM AND DAD ARE THE RIGHT WAY!!!. Wouldn’t you be desperate to “have a daddy?” What you’re describing is a symptom. NOT the underlying problem.

  • http://verymom.com Very Mom

    Not all Mormons are trying to limit marital rights of others – this one isn’t, anyway.

    I registered to vote for the first time in my life this year. For the sole purpose of voting no on Prop 3.

  • http://www.bankhead.8m.com/ NewReality

    Has anybody heard an argument against gay marriage that makes any sense?
    A qualified yes.

    Is there a valid reason to stop consenting adults from marrying?
    A similarly qualified no.

    Government has historically involved itself in marriage, by giving benefits/resources/etc. to its married constituents because doing so is in its self interest. Government, as an entity, is interested in the protection and preservation of its people and society. Here’s where the discussion naturally splits.

    Government has has sufficient self interest to only give its benefits/resources/etc. to man-woman marriages. Also, our wonderful Constitution provides us all the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In this case, that means that homosexual couples should have the same rights to life, liberty, and happiness as it relates to marriage.

    So, logically, here’s where I take these two ideas, which can easily coincide. Amendment 3 has two parts. The first part says “marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.” This makes sense only if it means that the gov’t will only give its monetary/etc. benefits to hetero- couples. However, the second part of the ammendment says “no other domestic union may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equal legal effect.” This is where it gets sticky.

    I’m voting no on the amendment because part 2 frames part 1 such that the rights of citizens are unConstitutionally limited.

    In my ideal world, this amendment would get shot down, and a new one written that satisfies both gov’t’s interest in procreation and the people’s freedomt to marry as a means to pursue happiness. It would look something like this:
    1) marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. Civil union (or however nomenclature-ed) consists of the legal union between two men or two women;
    2) Marriages will receive all governmental, institutional, and legal benefits according to current law and statute. Civil unions will receive all institutional and legal benefits of marriage except for any benefit received directly from the government.

    Now, I’m no lawyer, and the wording would have to be really really carefully crafted to withstand all the litigation that would naturally work the kinks out. But here’s what I’m saying, the rights and benefits of hetero- marriage would stay the same. No change there. The change would be that an official moniker be given to other marriages, and they would have the same legal rights and privileges except for anything having directly to do with the government – like taxes, blah blah blah. But everything else having to do with the private sector, hospitals, legal firms, private businesses, everyone then has to, by law, recognise “civil unions” the same as marriage when it comes to treating homosexual spouses as “immediate family” etc. etc. etc.

    Now, when it comes to children, the government has self interest in children, so homosexual couples who have children, adopted or in vitro-ed, would get governmental benefits associated with having children. Litigation would have to work that one out in all the specifics, but those are the logical principles as I see them.

    I hope that answers your questions Jon! Thanks for the post!

  • liz

    I just sat here and read all 160 comments. Whew. Two points I wanted to comment on myself, because everything else has been pretty well taken care of:

    1) In resposne to Jill Smith’s comment that a person with 8 spouses is the same as a person with 1 spouse and 7 kids: Not quite. While it’s POSSIBLE that a person would just have 8 spouses, it’s much more LIKELY that each spouse would then have children… So while each additional child brought into a two-spouse family is sort of a flat-rate addition, each additional spouse brought into a family is potentially increasing the family exponentially. (Potentially and exponentially rhyme. How awkward.)

    And as far as I know, the reason for LDS polygamy is not just to have multiple wives, but to have more children. I’m not LDS myself, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong there.

    I’m still not saying I agree or disagree with the law. I’m just saying I understand that multiple spouses and multiple children are horses of different colors.

    2) To debisis: How ridiculous. A father can only be the disciplinarian and a mother can only be the nurturer? In my family, my firecracker mother and softspoken father reversed those roles. So if your concern is for a well-balanced upbringing, then you’re going to have to start giving couples personality tests or something before they marry. Kids raised by my mother and (apparently) your father would have been lacking in the nurturing department, even if they were heterosexual, but kids raised by a man like my father and a man like your father would have had the kind of balance you’re looking for. Hmm…

  • http://blurbomat.com/wordpress Jillian

    Don’t force your definition of marriage down other people’s throats.


    Pro-gay-marriage legislation DOES force a definition of marriage down other people’s throats. In a case of mutually-exclusive definitions, why is pushing one side OK, and pushing the other “bigoted”? To Tracy, that “no offence, but this is not all about you” comment is telling. Neither is it all about you. If it is not “all about” one side, why is it all right for it to be “all about” the other?

    Gender is more than skin-deep; what we’re talking about here is nothing like the question of interracial marriage, which still involves (at least according to the current definition) one man and one woman.

    Why change the meanings of words? “Marriage” already has a heterosexual definition. You want a different concept; find a different word.

    Mutually-exclusive definitions, folks. This is not just a question of expanding a definition to become “inclusive.” Re-defining marriage to include homosexual unions destroys the definition of marriage as it already exists. The what’s-true-for-you-doesn’t-have-to-be-true-for-me relativism prevalent in our age just doesn’t work here, and that is what is really being debated.

    The argument that heterosexuals shouldn’t consider their marriages’ sanctity affected by how others define it is both off-purpose and yet indicative of the issue’s core. I don’t consider my marriage’s “sanctity” threatened if homosexuals are allowed to marry, BUT that doesn’t mean that homosexual unions are sanctified or sanctifiable. If marriage is defined as man + woman, then homosexual unions don’t fall within the limits of the definition, let alone become candidates for holiness (which is what “sanctity” means).

    All this talk of sanctification leads me to this: holiness is intrinsically a religious issue. The idea of marriage as a sanctified thing stems from a religious worldview–not just a Christian one, but Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu as well. You think fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity is anti-gay: try being gay in a fundamentalist Muslim culture. Try even bringing up the idea in a traditional animist African tribal culture (it is an unmentionable taboo). At least Christians who follow the Bible’s teachings try to love those who disagree with them, regardless of sexual practices. At least, in our post-Christian society, we can debate these concepts in an open forum. A lot of the comments on this post suggest an anti-conservative/Christian/religious intolerance that would be truly frightening in its bigotry if allowed to control our country’s zeitgeist.

  • http://abookseller.blogspot.com/ Bookseller

    I just don’t understand why everyone is not entitled to the same rights enjoyed by my husband and I.

    What is wrong with re-defining marriage or family? Through the ages, don’t we learn and become more enlightened? For instance, the Puritans burned witches at the stake. Thank God their thinking changed!

    For many decades rationalization was used to deny blacks the right to vote, and to keep schools and public facilities segregated. Now it seems as if many are using the Bible to rationalize denying privaleges to an adult, consenting couple just because they happen to be the same gender.

  • http://www.crazylife.org/users/cosmo_drazi/ Tim

    “In a case of mutually-exclusive definitions…”

    I’m quite sorry Jillian, but can anyone explain to me how expanding the definition of ‘pastry’ to include the eclaire would “mutually exclude” Krispy Kreme donuts from the same definition?

    Has my drivers license lost all its value since women are also able to obtain a drivers license? No. Has my vote competely lost value since the Jim Crow laws were repealed? No.

    Allowing gay commitments to be legally recognized does not mean that every heterosexual marriage would no longer be legal or valid. This isn’t “black or white”, this is a “black or black-and-white” situation, here,

    The only exclusion I see here is that which is proposed by Amendment 3.

    Freedom, unlike most everything else, is not a limited resource. There’s no need for any one group to hoard all of it and prevent the rest from having a fair share.

    (As a side commentary, if all the hubbub is about the potential change of the definition of a word, then where was all this righteous indignation when Prez Bush redefined the words ‘manufacturing industry’ to include the ever-industrious McJob?)

  • Messed Up Mama

    “Pro-gay-marriage legislation DOES force a definition of marriage down other people’s throats. In a case of mutually-exclusive definitions, why is pushing one side OK, and pushing the other “bigoted”?”

    The word BIGOTRY infers discrimination. A view that discriminates against any group can and will be seen as bigotry. The view that Homosexuals should be allowed to be married does not discriminate against anyone. Therefore it isn’t bigotry. On the other hand, the view that Homosexuals should not be allowed to be married does discriminate and so IS bigotry.

    “To Tracy, that “no offence, but this is not all about you” comment is telling. Neither is it all about you. If it is not “all about” one side, why is it all right for it to be “all about” the other?”

    No one is saying that ONLY HOMOSEXUALS should be allowed to be married. That would be making it all about Homosexuals. Those who are want to limit marriage to only heterosexual couples are making it all about themselves. They say “ONLY HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES shall be allowed to be married.” Can you see the differance?

    “Mutually-exclusive definitions, folks. This is not just a question of expanding a definition to become “inclusive.” Re-defining marriage to include homosexual unions destroys the definition of marriage as it already exists.”

    How does it DISTROY the difinition as it exists? I’ve seem several difinitions of the word marriage which state that marriage is the union of two people. Some of them go so far as to say a man and a woman, but not all of them. Does adoption DISTROY the diffinition of Mother? In some dictionarys Mother is defined as the woman who gave birth to a child. Is an adopted Mother less of a mother to her children? Does it distroy the difinition to include her? I don’t think so. It inlarges it, it adds to it, it might even make it stronger.

  • http://quixotical.org Anna

    No, none of the arguments against marriage equality make sense. Every argument I’ve heard against it were purely religious in nature. If you don’t believe in gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, then attend a church that doesn’t allow it. It’s another thing to think it shouldn’t legally be allowed with the separation of church and state.

    I live in Utah, too, and will be voting no on 3. But – this is Utah and people like us are a minority, so it will probably pass.

  • http://www.writingortyping.com Jill Smith

    liz: In resposne to Jill Smith’s comment that a person with 8 spouses is the same as a person with 1 spouse and 7 kids: Not quite. While it’s POSSIBLE that a person would just have 8 spouses, it’s much more LIKELY that each spouse would then have children…

    Personally, I think having more than one spouse would be a mindfuck I couldn’t possibly cope with. However, consider defining “person/spouse” as something other than “husband/wives.” It could be “wife/husbands.”

    It would be pretty hard to get to a great many kids per “spouse” under that definition. My point is, if we limit our definitions by the worst possible case (e.g. the biggest potential strain on resources), we come up with a pretty limited society.

  • http://www.biggaysam.blogspot.com Big Gay Sam

    perspective. there seems to be a problem with perspective. Being gay in America is no picnic. It’s hard and at times terrifying. Especially if you have been targeted as an “undesirable.” I have lost jobs because of being gay. Denied housing. Denied Insurance for awhile during the AIDS outbreak. I have been beaten to a pulp on three different occasions just for saying, “Im gay.” I have been called an abomination. Spit on. Harrassed. Vandalized. Ridiculed. Told on many occasions that I am headed for hell. I have had friends kill themselves because of this treatment. I had a lover murdered by rednecks who found out he was gay. You heteros are very comfortable in your America. You feel safe and content. You have your families, your marriages and your family benefits. Some of you just see us gays as whiners and malcontents. Your freedoms and your liberties are not something I have the luxury to enjoy. Growing up gay was a nightmare. Coming out was a nightmare. I am harrassed and ridiculed on a daily basis. DAILY. At work, in my community, in my state, and in my country. I have no safe place. You bitch about hate crimes yet can never understand what it’s like to be a victim of a hate crime. The fear and pain continues. So much so that I’ve been hospitalized on several occasions for anxiety and depression. This is my reality. Constantly fighting for a quality of living that you take completely for granted. I am a human being, a chiild of God, a person. I’m not an entity or an organization of home wreckers. I want what you want. Security. A decent living. To not be afraid. To know in my heart that there is a place for me in this country. Please people, look at what you have and thank whatever you worship that you have it. Not everyone is as lucky as you.

  • http://ayola.com/blog Brooks

    Well, Big Gay Sam. I can’t for the life of me figure out why you chose to be gay with a life like that!

    Sam’s post is the perfect answer to anyone who thinks being gay is a choice. I use the word “thinks” lightly.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    oh sure. it’s not good enough that the gays are already better dressed, better dancers, better artists, better looking and generally better people than the rest of us. now you want them to have better marriages too.

  • http://moedee.blogspot.com Moedee

    I live in Oregon, where we’re fighting ballot measure 36. That ballot measure would amend the state constitution to define marriage as between “one man and one woman”. Oregon has been fighting anti-gay legislation for *years*. I just saw documentary on the fight against ballot measure 9 (in 1992) that would have amended the state constitution to read as follows:
    All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon’s youth which recognizes that these behaviors are abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided.

    Imagine having your lifestyle written into your state’s constitution as abormal, wrong, and perverse.

    I’m a hetro woman with a wide circle of queer friends. It hurts my heart to think that I (part of the 50% divorce rate statistic) could marry, simply because, if I were ever to marry again, the other person would have different genitalia.

  • http://www.bankhead.8m.com/ NewReality

    I know where you all are coming from in focusing the debate here on the religious/moral issues, but it makes me sad because … well, it doesn’t have to be, and I think that by focusing on the religious/moral side of this, it’s only playing into the far-right agenda, and only hurting the “No on 3″ side of things.

    I tried in my earlier post to throw my ideas out about how this discussion can be totally non-religious and non-moral in its scope. It can be just political, governmental, constitutional. That’s where the meaty principles are. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Anyone?

    I really think the power to change marriage laws for the better doesn’t lie in the religious or moral concepts.

    Oh, and I live in Utah and am a member of the LDS church. I just wish that the conversation would turn. This link gets right at what I’m saying: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_marr.html

  • Joan

    I agree with NewReality. Canada and other countries have figured out how to do this. Lots of straight couples don’t want the religious aspect of marriage & lots of gay couples do. It’s not mutually exclusive one way or the other. The government should just be involved in the contractual aspect of marriage. And it should ensure that the law is applied evenly to all Americans.

  • http://www.anmatcoburn.blogspot.com Annie

    Okay, Jon, I’ve never posted here, but the sheer excellence of your cogent argument has FORCED me to do so.

    I went to college with a woman who has two moms, and is featured in today’s New York Times magazine. From what I gather, her moms met and had her in the early ’80s, late ’70s. She is an artist, a filmmaker, a snappy dresser and hellaciously charismatic. Her parents have been together for over twenty years, and have supported both Ry and her sister through college. I wish to God that my parents supported my artistic ambitions to the extent that Ry’s parents do.

    My point is: yes, a marriage made up of two mothers, or two fathers, can produce a productive member of society. Gender may and probably does play a role in the development of someone’s character–but I sincerely believe that genuine concern and attention to a child’s well-being is much much more important than the orientation or race of the individuals involved.

  • The Food Whore


    John for President.


  • jenna

    Cruelly mock me, but I do believe in God’s Word, and when She issues an amended version of the Bible, I’ll support gay marriage. PS Mock me viciously as being a fat polyester Bush supporter, I expect that. But you know what? You could not pick me out of a crowd at the local cool hangout. And I am voting for Kerry.

  • http://none Shay

    The purpose of permitting gay marriage is to break down unconsitutional social barriers. I don’t believe civil union is an option because they’re trying to build barriers to break barriers, and the concept just doesn’t work for me.

  • Tracy

    “To Tracy, that “no offence, but this is not all about you” comment is telling. Neither is it all about you. If it is not “all about” one side, why is it all right for it to be “all about” the other?”

    You’re missing the point. It’s not about me, because I’m not a homosexual. It’s not about you, because you’re not a homosexual. It’s about giving other people a fundamental (no pun intended) right that you already enjoy, and that you cannot justify keeping from them, other than the fact that it’s against YOUR religion. Well, some people would disagree that it’s against YOUR religion. And other people would say that since they don’t share YOUR religion, the opinion of YOUR religion on the matter is irrelevant.

  • catapax

    Jenna: I don’t want to mock you viciously (I’m sure you wear very nice outfits to the “local cool hangout”) but just to ask: which of the following documents do you believe should be the source of legislation in the US: the Bible, or the US Constitution? Because the latter specifies that this country is founded on freedom of religion and on a separation of chuch and state.

    If you’re proposing that our country be transformed into a theocracy which makes its laws based on religious doctrin, that’s another matter (and if Bush wins, that wish may come true.). But for the moment, we’re still functioning on the assumption that the beliefs of any one group should not become the basis of law for everyone else. Hence, your personal Bible-based opposition to gay marriage has zero to do with whether or not the practice should be made legal or not.

  • reenie


    “Since (as I have always been taught) all sins are wrong & so theoretically equal in their badness — how is lusting after a member of your own sex any different than lusting after a member of the opposite sex? Or, for that matter, how is having homosexual intercourse any worse than lying or gossiping or NOT loving your neighbor as yourself?”

    You’re right – those are ALL equal in God’s eyes. The difference is that homosexuals are embracing their sin…everyone knows gossip and lying and not loving people is wrong.

  • Tracy

    Hmmm… not loving people is wrong. But if those people happen to be homosexuals, it’s okay not to love them. I wish God had been more specific about that when He wrote the bible with His own hands.

  • http://misha-pooh.blogspot.com Mish

    I am getting married (to a man and i am a woman) in a few weeks (EEEK!!) and changed our vows from “man and woman” to “couple” or maybe it was “pair”. Dont really remember, but it felt damn good to cross out “between a man and a woman” and all those god references.

  • http://www.detourdesign.com Rick Moore

    Unfortunately, what this really comes down to is numbers. You will never change my beliefs, and I will never change yours; we must all agree to disagree, I guess. What will end up passing is what the majority believes. Which in a way is sad, because it never really changes anything.

    I am waiting for a bill, or a law, or an amendment that is so compelling as to bring everyone in agreeance. But that would be utopia, and will probably never happen in my lifetime. I guess the _only_ thing that will bring peace to the world is when Christ comes again (or doesn’t come, depending on your own beliefs) and lets us know where we stand.

    Just my two cents.

  • Erin

    I am a mormon and I am voting no on 3. I think we need to be careful how we stereotype people. Their are “open minded mormons”!!!

  • PsychoChick

    Off subject a little, but being a bit of a perfectionist freak, I am involuntarily compelled to make a tiny correction. Though I believe we should all be *happy*, neither the Constitution NOR the Declaration of Independence *really* mention anything about this. The ìpursuit of happiness,î as it was defined by the founding fathers, actually referred to the pursuit of *propertyî. (This is well documented ñ ask your old history professors.) I believe homosexuals and heterosexuals alike are afforded this right.