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Same-sex marriage

Philosophers and rhetoricians, Welcome!

Should same-sex marriage be legal?

Yes
43
68%
No
20
32%
 
Total votes : 63

Same-sex marriage

Postby echomikeromeo » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:24 pm

So you lot, I want to test the waters of the Textkit community, as it were. I'm vehemently for same-sex marriage, believing same-sex couples should have the same options and rights as heterosexual couples, but I'm interested to see what everyone else's opinion is.

I think it all comes down to whether homosexuality is a choice or not -- and, of course, it is not. You can no more chose to be homosexual than you can to be of a particular skin colour. Therefore denying same-sex couples their basic rights is no different than denying them to, say, black couples. It's unethical and plain ridiculous.

But don't let that dissuade you from posting your own comment. I'm willing to take on any arguments to the contrary, but let it be known that I condemn contrary views to the utmost.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:40 pm

I agree wholeheartedly, though I am at a loss as to why anyone would want the "right" to be married. :?
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Postby Turpissimus » Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:26 am

I agree wholeheartedly, though I am at a loss as to why anyone would want the "right" to be married.


Watch it! You'll have you very own file in the PATRIOT act archives with that attitude. And I bet if you were a gay woman you wouldn't say that. Those guys seem to be particularly uxorious.

Actually Benissimus' attitude seems to be held by quite a few gay rights activists in the UK. Peter Tatchel for example has always been against extending the institution of marriage to homosexuals (and he's not to happy about heterosexuals using it either - he says it's oppressive). The reason for the difference between the countries is, I suppose down to your equal protection clause in your constitution, and the federal system.

In the UK gay people seem to be content with civil partnerships because:

(i) we have no equal protection clause in the ECHR/Human Rights Act. This means that merely giving the institution the same name won't confer any additional rights that won't have to be fought for in the legislature.

(ii) we seem to have a more gradual approach to reform in the UK. Women over 30 were given the vote before the age became equal for both sexes. Slaves in the UK were freed in 1796, some 37 years before slaves in the rest of the empire were released. So reform in the UK seems to start early and finish late.

(iii) in the UK, if a particular local council (and this is, in England, the only level of government below the national parliament) dislikes civil partnerships there's not much it can do about it. But, absent a USSC decision, if a US state doesn't like SSM it doesn't have to implement it. I suppose this is why gay rights groups seem to be so keen on litigating.

French style civil partnerships come into effect into UK law in November of this year. Looking at the EU generally it seems the pressure groups place less of an emphasis on getting the institution called marriage than their American cousins.

Looking at the poll results it appears as if the secularist wing of the textkit membership are the only ones chiming in at the moment. The religious types should be along soon....
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Postby classicalclarinet » Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:40 am

Oh no! I thought the election was over! :P

This might have Rhuiden and PeterD come back.
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Postby Eureka » Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:42 am

Turpissimus wrote:Looking at the poll results it appears as if the secularist wing of the textkit membership are the only ones chiming in at the moment. The religious types should be along soon....

The Koine board will empty, and this thread shall fill.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:42 am

I agree with Benissmus. Personally, I'm not fond of marriage at all, but legalizing gay marriage means a lot more than marriage - it is symbolic for legally empowering homosexuals.

On a slight tangent, Newsom is a political genius. San Francisco is a two party town - the liberals, and the radical liberals. Newsom (liberal) won the mayorship in a close run-off election against Matt Gonzalez (radical liberal). He knew from the start gay marriage was going to be taken down by the court system. However it a) cost him almost no money and b) boosted tourism, and therefore the buisnesses who supported him in the first place and c) made him so popular among the radical liberals that he is almost certainly winning his next election. The Democrats may blame Newsom for causing Kerry to lose the election (I do not believe this), but on a local level he is damn smart.
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Postby cweb255 » Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:14 pm

Don't know why anyone would be so nosey as to bother themselves with other people's business. Sounds like something a hypocrite would do...
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:25 pm

Turpissimus wrote:
Looking at the poll results it appears as if the secularist wing of the textkit membership are the only ones chiming in at the moment. The religious types should be along soon....

The Koine board will empty, and this thread shall fill.



And I'm hoping that some people from the koine forum will come over and show people that they are not all just the 'sterotypical religious guy'.
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Postby Deses » Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:02 pm

I don't like half-measures. The problem with this issue is in the fact that social status, benefits and tax situation of individuals are viewed as dependable upon what they prefer to do with their genitalia. The terminology of gay marriage intends to show that it is OK to do whatever one pleases as long as another person is somehow included. Traditional marriage is of the conviction that only particular uses of genitalia are correct and should be rewarded by the society on the basis that such uses are bona fide capable of producing children and keeping the society alive (not all that irrational, if you think of it). But the biggest problem is that both approaches seem to deny any protection to people who for some reason do not engage in unions where the use of genitalia is taken for granted. For instance, two (or more) male scholars can choose to live together. This may be a long term commitment. To write a book, for example. Should we deny them the right to form a civil union on the grounds that they are not "doing something special" with their genitalia, or at least pretend to do so in order to look like "a nice gay family"? Keep in mind, that homosexual unions and scholarly unions are equally useless in terms of procreation and that for at least 50 more years humans will still have to primarily depend on traditional means of procreation. Until then, I suggest that our definition of marriage sticks closer to the biological specifics of our species, but civil unions are defined as broadly as possible to include all possible situations when such unions are feasible.
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Postby Turpissimus » Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:47 pm

Until then, I suggest that our definition of marriage sticks closer to the biological specifics of our species, but civil unions are defined as broadly as possible to include all possible situations when such unions are feasible.


I think the reason why sexual partnerships are "priviledged" over other kinds of relationship is that monogamy and sexual fidelity are seen as socially useful practices that promote social stability, discourage the spread of venereal disease, and allow children to be brought up in an efficient manner (quite a number of gay people have kids). Since people are always going to be involved in sexual relationships, and since the government - at least for those of us who don't live in an Ayn Rand novel - always promotes behaviour that is "good for society", we probably should be encouraging this kind of behaviour. That's probably where your scholar analogy falls down - I believe there is something special about relationships that involve a romantic/sexual bond.
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Postby Carola » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:49 pm

I'm no longer a great believer in marriage myself, however if people want to be married, let them! And why do those from the religious right wing object to same sex marriages? Surely they should condone stable and committed relationships over promiscuity?
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Postby Episcopus » Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:12 pm

As a bishop I see it only appropriate to condemn those american bishops who bat for the other team shall we say. As Alan Partridge says God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. There is always this view that is indeed offensive to gays but shared by many. I will quote my good clinically insane friend Zhi Hao, "I'm a homophobe and proud of it!" is by truth such an attitude. Marriages are tight bonds to enable couples to have more security as they embark upon a journey of creating and raising children. There is something special about a wholesome family even if it does in the end terminate itself with a divorce wherein there are little mischievous children a husband and wife and perhaps a nice daughter. I also saw a great joke from my physics teacher who took us iceskating. It was extremely funny. Anyway the point is homosexuals should not be allowed to marry themselves since it is ODD and ABNORMAL and UNNATURAL and REPULSIVE and even though I don't mind lesbians I believe that marriages between such beings are wrong as are those between males who for some reason are attracted to eachother. Now didn't THAT sound odd? Try and sing that song the boys watch the girls bla bla bla the boys watch the girls go by 'the boys watch the boys watch the boys watch the boys watch the boys go by' argh doesn't work. Lastly take an electron. Take another electron. Shoot the electrons at eachother. They repel. Electrons are the key to the universe all chemistry. Electrons are nature the symbol of God's will. Those with the same charge REPEL they REPEL. Psalm 75 justifies my point appropriately.
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Postby Deses » Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:28 am

Turpissimus wrote:(quite a number of gay people have kids).


I'd like to see that. Preferably in a form of an age-appropiate illustration from a biology textbook :) Must be one heck of an effort.

And if you mean raising children, the possibilities are indeed endless. I know a few kids raised entirely by particular TV networks. Some kids are raised by the state. Then we have Romulus and Remus... I find it most palatable when children are raised by scholars in asexual civil unions. As far as the spread of venerial afflictions, it would most advantageous if each individual married himself or herself. Really, this whole genitalia-based concept of marriage is quite odd in this light.

I believe there is something special about relationships that involve a romantic/sexual bond.


Well, many people believe that there is something particularly special when such bonds are of the kind prescribed by.... well, nature, I suppose. I just fail to see how a group of people can accuse another group of people of making arbitrary distinctions while at the same time making distinctions that are no less arbitrary. I happen to believe that kinship of minds is the purest and holiest of all bonds. A scholar capable of demonstrating some illustrious affinity with the mind of Plato should receive tax credit. But apparently such bond is not special enough. PhD - maybe. Tax credit? We'll have to see about that. A scholar would be better off finding a living philosopher - someone whom he can actually do every which way in all available orifices. That would be a special and romantic bond. Even if they are both dudes. Mind you, this philosopher would be offended if we noted that someone aspires to be called a philospher because he can also do something with his head - bang it against the wall.

Let's just admit that this is all politics and has nothing to do with whatever rationales we can come up with. I bet if Plato scholars were as motivated as gays we would see some REALLY funky stuff going on.
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Postby messalina » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:00 am

i wonder what business it is of the government recognizing "marriage" being rooted in religion (seperation of church and state anyone?)...? if *insert organized religious group here* doesn't choose to recognize certain types of unions within their own church (or what have you), that is the affair of *same organized religious group as above*. However, since (i believe, at any rate) all people should be entiltled to the same rights under the law regardless of what any individual religion or religions has to say about it, i'm all for the transferrence of "marital rights" to "civil union rights" (or something to that effect) for everyone, and doing away with the legal institution of "marriage" altogether, insofar as it is a religiously based practice - it basically gets into semantics at this point, and we could call it whatever we want.

("bill and i are engaged to be Potatoed, did you hear?" :lol:).

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Postby annis » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:28 am

I vote for Messalina's option.
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Postby mingshey » Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:25 am

Homosexuality is disgusting to me. But for right's sake, it should be legal. It's not worse than "no sexual activity" to the country's population management plan, if there's such thing. Religious opinions must be reduced to each one's own choice, not a thing to press upon others.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:57 am

Deses wrote:
I believe there is something special about relationships that involve a romantic/sexual bond.


Well, many people believe that there is something particularly special when such bonds are of the kind prescribed by.... well, nature, I suppose.

It is a huge assumption to assume that because men and women have interlocking parts that nature intends for only them to have a psychological romantic bond. If nature did not intend for homosexuals to bond, evolution would have eliminated whatever the cause is long ago (but of course many people who are against gay marriage do not believe in evolution :)). It is so aggravating to hear people (not unlike Episcopus) arrogantly dictating the will of nature when nature has no will. If anything, homosexuals exist because nature has some purpose for them.

A scholar capable of demonstrating some illustrious affinity with the mind of Plato should receive tax credit. But apparently such bond is not special enough. PhD - maybe. Tax credit? We'll have to see about that.

I see your point, we can't just give marital priveleges to any two people in a long-term situation (romantic or otherwise). However, this rule makes it utterly impossible for homosexuals to get the same break as heterosexuals, since they are obviously never going to have a traditional marriage (with a member of the opposite sex) which will allow those benefits; this is clearly discrimination.
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Postby Deses » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:54 am

benissimus wrote: If nature did not intend for homosexuals to bond, evolution would have eliminated whatever the cause is long ago (but of course many people who are against gay marriage do not believe in evolution :)). It is so aggravating to hear people (not unlike Episcopus) arrogantly dictating the will of nature when nature has no will. If anything, homosexuals exist because nature has some purpose for them.


Would that be the same evolution that brilliantly left us with us with the stupid appendix and did not bother to eliminate cancer or develop immunnity towards the common cold? I prefer to see this matter in the most unpopular terms of norm and aberration. I hardly believe that evolution has much use for an individual born, let's say, completely blind or with only one leg. It's just a genetic mistake (now, if these individuals were also born with acute aversion towards members of the opposite sex - that would be a nifty evolutionary device). As a society comprised of more or less compassionate beings, we should do our best to help such people have a good and creative life. But I ain't getting on a plane with a blind pilot who got the job after winning a law suit. I understand that it was not his choice to be born blind. But this fact in no way improves the situation. But I will vote for the blind person's right to have a well-trained dog provided by the state even though nobody else would get a smart puppy for free. That's fine with me.

However, this rule makes it utterly impossible for homosexuals to get the same break as heterosexuals, since they are obviously never going to have a traditional marriage (with a member of the opposite sex) which will allow those benefits; this is clearly discrimination.


I suppose it would also be discrimination if we denied the propsed Plato tax break to an individual who does a great job with Playdough... The whole fuss about innate rights is bizzare. Rights and priveleges are contingent. Never fear though, homosexuals will soon have their way. The most interesting thing is that they might get more rights than heterosexuals. There is no reason whatsoever why they could not marry their siblings and cousins, for instance.

Once again, the whole thing is purely political. If you really want something to ponder: why certain privileges and rights are going to be denied to some groups of people just because no lobby represents them?
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Postby benissimus » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:57 am

Deses wrote:
benissimus wrote: If nature did not intend for homosexuals to bond, evolution would have eliminated whatever the cause is long ago (but of course many people who are against gay marriage do not believe in evolution :)). It is so aggravating to hear people (not unlike Episcopus) arrogantly dictating the will of nature when nature has no will. If anything, homosexuals exist because nature has some purpose for them.


Would that be the same evolution that brilliantly left us with us with the stupid appendix and did not bother to eliminate cancer or develop immunnity towards the common cold? I prefer to see this matter in the most unpopular terms of norm and aberration. I hardly believe that evolution has much use for an individual born, let's say, completely blind or with only one leg. It's just a genetic mistake (now, if these individuals were also born with acute aversion towards members of the opposite sex - that would be a nifty evolutionary device).

How can you knowingly say that homosexuals are aberrations? Homosexuals exist in many other species and are speculated to fulfill specific social roles in them (primates and canines for example). I don't see why it would be any different in humans. Of course it is harder to tell the direct effects in human society due to our myriad complexities, which is precisely why no person can determine whether or not homosexuals have a purpose or not, and thence whether they are intended or aberrant. There are adaptations other than those that produce viable offspring.

I think that the more relevant argument lies in the definition of marriage, rather than whether or not homosexuals are mutants. I have always thought of marriage as a ceremony to celebrate the love between two people, first and foremost. Some people seem to find the "union between a man and a woman" very important, but it seems rather arbitrary to me.

As a society comprised of more or less compassionate beings, we should do our best to help such people have a good and creative life. But I ain't getting on a plane with a blind pilot who got the job after winning a law suit. I understand that it was not his choice to be born blind. But this fact in no way improves the situation. But I will vote for the blind person's right to have a well-trained dog provided by the state even though nobody else would get a smart puppy for free. That's fine with me.

No one is forcing you to get on the homosexual's plane. :wink:
Last edited by benissimus on Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rhuiden » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:58 am

classicalclarinet wrote:Oh no! I thought the election was over! :P

This might have Rhuiden and PeterD come back.



I am still around, just have been very busy the last couple months. Have just started to get back to my Latin studies. As for the poll, I am against gay marriage.

Now that wasn't so bad, was it?

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Postby classicalclarinet » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:33 am

No, it wasn't. :)

I think that for 2 people to have civil unions they need to have a lifelong commitment towards each other. That would rule out most aromantic relationships. I agree that the symbolistic marriage should be granted by appropriate religious institutions.
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Postby Episcopus » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:48 pm

I can't believe that so many people are accepting the apparent attraction of two similiarly charged particles it is not natural. The universe is based on electrons and imagine inner electron subshells attracted outer orbital electrons instead of repelling them? Atomic radius down a group would decrease and that would be the insane inverse world that we meet once again. If you say yes to gay marriage you are also saying yes to pink giant quark 9.11x10^31kg headed chickens and tangents of inverse proportion to constants of our days.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:26 pm

Episcopus wrote:I can't believe that so many people are accepting the apparent attraction of two similiarly charged particles it is not natural...

Oppositely charged particles attract eachother, ‘tis true. However, this is only because similarly orientated electric fields have an affinity toward eachother.

To simplify, think of one dimension. Here is our electron and its field:

-----> - <-----

And our proton with its field:

<----- + ----->


The charges are only in physical contact with eachother through their electric fields. Therefore, the root cause of any attractive (or repulsive) force between them must be due to the interactions between their respective fields:

-----> - <----- <----- + ----->

Clearly therefore, the underlying physical fact here is that alike electric fields attract eachother. (Among the many consequences of this is that oppositely charged particles attract eachother.)

In this universe, it is alike things that attract (think of gravity).



Hence proof that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. :P
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Postby mingshey » Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:56 am

Dear Episcope,
You are generally right. But nature also allows electrons of same charges make a pair in some situation(extremely low temperature, to say), and bring up the extraordinary phenomenon of superconductivity -- The pair is called "Cooper's pair". It is extraordinary, but not unnatural.
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Postby Eureka » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:10 am

mingshey wrote:Dear Episcope,
You are generally right. But nature also allows electrons of same charges make a pair in some situation(extremely low temperature, to say), and bring up the extraordinary phenomenon of superconductivity -- The pair is called "Cooper's pair". It is extraordinary, but not unnatural.

Let's not forget the pairs of electrons with equal energy found in atoms, and the fact that protons will bond together.


(Not that any of this is actually relevant.) :)
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Postby benissimus » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:17 am

Is there a gas leak in here? :shock:
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Postby Deses » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:31 am

benissimus wrote:How can you knowingly say that homosexuals are aberrations? Homosexuals exist in many other species and are speculated to fulfill specific social roles in them (primates and canines for example). I don't see why it would be any different in humans.


Well, the funny thing is that you can make all sorts of arguments about various kinds of abnormalities claiming them to be evolutionary useful mutations. But not about homosexuality. What can be more aberrant than inability or unwillingness to procreate?

I think that the more relevant argument lies in the definition of marriage, rather than whether or not homosexuals are mutants. I have always thought of marriage as a ceremony to celebrate the love between two people, first and foremost. Some people seem to find the "union between a man and a woman" very important, but it seems rather arbitrary to me.


If by 'love' you mean doing something special with their genitals, that's understandable. Otherwise every man should marry his mother. Platonic love is not a bona fide reason for getting married. Homosexual relations, by the way, are in their biological sense strictly Platonic. Which is why I propose that they should be equated with Platonic kinship of minds between Plato and a scholar. :) It is just silly to refer to both as 'marriage.' It's not about rights and taxes. It's just pragmatic semantics. The sad fact is that semantics is being negated by the "hugs and kisses" approach to marriage in order to achieve those rights and tax breaks for homosexuals. It is nothing but a shortcut. But this shortcut only works for select groups of individuals, excluding many others.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:09 am

I see marriage as a way to try to control another human being. I am not completely negative about this - if you love someone, of course it makes sense that you want to attach them to you to they do not wander elsewhere (of course, marriage is no guarantee of this). But throughout history marriages have not all been about love - it could also mean trying to control the other person's social status, money, or for other non-romantic reasons. Historically, women have gotten the rawer deal than men in losing all legal rights to their husbands. In times past in the United States a woman could even be legally forced to marry under certain cicumstances. It can work the other way too - gold-diggers looking for a rich husband for example.

Just as a marriage can exist without a special bond, so can a special bond exist without a marriage, and last just as long. I have never experienced any trauma as the child of parents who never were married, so I laugh when people talk about how marriage is essential to preserving family values - it is not.

I believe 1) that married couples should not recieve any more legal benefits than any other two people living together (including those Platonic scholars) , especially since it encourages people to get married for the sake of marriage rather than for the sake of who they are marrying and 2) homosexuals will not get much directly from being allowed to be married, but it is a symbolic struggle for homosexuals to be legally recognized as equals, and it is this latter cause which I support.
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Postby echomikeromeo » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:34 am

Marriage is an iffy thing: I'd be happy to see it done away with all together. However, the way our society works, we sort of need some sort of civil union/marriage to give families the benefits they qualify for as families. The best answer I can think of is to legally just have 'civil unions': same thing as marriage, except without the name. Then, if you want to go get *married* in a religious sense you can go do that at your church/synagogue/temple/other place of worship. They'd be two completely separate ceremonies/contracts, see.

Me, I don't want to ever get married. (Maybe at this point I should mention I'm heterosexual, and so actually have the option.) It seems to me, in my teenage perception of the world that it's much too easy for the man to start to control the woman. I don't want that ever to happen to me. I don't want to find all my will and sense of self evaporate out of supposed love for my husband. But I can understand how some people might want to get married. My parents, as one example, seem to get along fine in that situation, and it certainly helps if you want to have a family.

On a slightly different note, I don't see how you can say that a homosexual relationship is 'wrong' or 'unnatural' because it doesn't allow for procreation. I'm straight. I don't intend to have kids. I don't want a family. Does that make my sexual orientation unnatural, then? Besides, how can you say something's abnormal if it's a trait shared by 10% of the population? It may be a minority, but it's hardly a random mutation or genetic disease like Down's Syndrome. It's just like being left-handed: in fact, the same percentage of the population is gay as is left-handed. In short, I can equate the prejudice against homosexuals to a prejudice against blacks or against women. These are hard-wired traits that can't be changed, and we know now that just because someone's got dark skin doesn't mean they're immoral or unnatural. The only excuse for a prejudice against homosexuals in this modern age is ignorance and a reluctance to get with the picture!
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Postby Eureka » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:44 am

benissimus wrote:Is there a gas leak in here? :shock:

:) It's Episcopus' fault, he brought electrons into this.
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Postby annis » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:55 am

echomikeromeo wrote:It's just like being left-handed: in fact, the same percentage of the population is gay as is left-handed.


As an interesting neurological aside:

Right-handed people tend to do everything with their right hands. Left-handed favor the left hand, but are not as likely to be exclusive about it. There are tests you can give having people light matches, open stuck cans, doorknobs, keys, etc., and there's a good chance a lefty will do one or two of those with the right hand dominant.

It turns out the incidence of left-handedness and mixed-handedness (by scoring from the test above) among both gay men and women is higher than in the hetero population.

(It has been years since I've seen any of the papers about this, but a search through any good psych or medical journal database on "sexual orientation" and "handedness" will give you plenty of puzzling reading. I miss working with neurologists.)
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Postby Rhuiden » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:14 am

annis wrote:As an interesting neurological aside:

Right-handed people tend to do everything with their right hands. Left-handed favor the left hand, but are not as likely to be exclusive about it. There are tests you can give having people light matches, open stuck cans, doorknobs, keys, etc., and there's a good chance a lefty will do one or two of those with the right hand dominant.


That is interesting. I am right handed but I do many things left handed. I use my mouse with my left hand, I fire my guns left-handed, I am left eye dominant, when I played basketball in school, I used my left hand as often as my right (except on longer shots). I taught myself how to switch hit. Some of these things came natural to me and others I had to put a little effort into.

Does this mean that I am abnormal....wait don't answer that.

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Postby Deses » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:20 am

echomikeromeo wrote:
On a slightly different note, I don't see how you can say that a homosexual relationship is 'wrong' or 'unnatural' because it doesn't allow for procreation. I'm straight. I don't intend to have kids. I don't want a family. Does that make my sexual orientation unnatural, then? Besides, how can you say something's abnormal if it's a trait shared by 10% of the population?


Let's get this straight (no pun intended). Just because you don't want to have children it does not mean you won't as long as your sexual practices involve what it takes to have them. I hope you don't learn this the hard way :)

There is a big question as to how many out of the 10% of the population actually are genetically predetermined to be gay (which, I believe, was your argument in the original posting) and how many simply joined the club for other reasons. Similarly, you can be born blind, but there are many ways to become blind or simply to start acting as if you are blind without ever loosing sight. At any rate, 10% seems like a pretty believable number for an aberration.

The left-handed argument is curious. I bet a lot of right-handed pitchers would like to be considered legally left-handed. Sure, they can throw the ball with their left, but it's just not the same... Is left-handedness an aberration? Probably. (I am somewhat left-handed too, like Rhuiden) You have to understand that I do not propose to discriminate on the grounds of abnormalities. In fact, sometimes just the opposite takes place, and that's OK. It is just simply best to take things at their real value while deciding what is to be done in the society. If you want to give groups of people protection under the law you first have to realize how different they are from other groups of people. But if you just want to do politics, then directing attention to "hugs and kisses" is more than enough.
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Postby Kasper » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:59 am

Since we are on the topic on unnatural blindness, I will take the liberty of reminding you of a man who also became blind unnaturally, although a certain Tereisias already opined him to be so previously. This man was also highly rational, perhaps modern, and his intellect and high sense of pragmatic reason allowed him to overcome the superstitions and such sphinxes of the past.

Marriage is not merely a contract that creates legal rights and obligations. If it was it should indeed be applicable to all who have contractual capacity. It is an ancient and traditional institution of human society, one that our modern society in fact is based up on. Although to the inexperienced mind it may often seem that tradition is but an obstacle to progress and social advancement, tradition is in fact a major stabilizing factor of society. Perhaps it is comparable to a nations constitution. If you would examine your constitution you are likely to find many clauses which are outdated and which appear to have little bearing on modern society, that might indeed stand in the way of rapid change. But rapid change means instability and the greatest necessity of human society is stability.
This is the purpose of traditions, to provide order and certainty. Only when order and stability have been achieved it becomes possible for a nation to develop further.

Although I am personally undecided on whether gay marriage should become possible, I think this first requires a thorough consideration of what a marriage is, particularly in regard to raising children. Many aspects, and legal obligations, of marriage relate to the upbringing and security of children. Ask yourself what the consequences would be for a young child amongst his peers when it is known that his parents are a gay couple. What are the chances of the child being bullied for this reason etc.
A marriage is more than a vow of romantic love, it is also platonic love, friendship and support when the heights of passion have lessened. It is much more than sexual relations, all animals have sexual relations, marriage is a moral and intellectual, as well as a passionate relationship.

Glottal - when you say you think marriage is just a method of controling someone or that you think marriage is unnecessary, I can only wonder whether you are currently in a relationship. Do you believe this to be the case with all romantic relationships or only when they have been sealed by marriage? To some extend of course you are right about mariage in the past, certainly arranged marriages, but, certainly in Australia, arranged marriages are no longer recognised by the courts. Free-will is an essential prerequisite.

I’ve just become engaged on new years eve, and to me marriage is something sacred, something I cannot explain in rational terms, but then again, love is irrational.

Although we have progressed beyond a society where the traditional family unit is the core society, marriage, or so I believe, is a sacred thing. Something indeed between a man and a woman and intended to last a lifetime. It is a tradition, and traditions should not be done away with lightly.
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Postby Eureka » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:10 am

Kasper, you’d have to acknowledge that marriage began as just another form of property right. It was a long time before a man was limited to owning just one woman. From there it eventually evolved into an equal partnership (under the law, at least). In my opinion, the logical next step is obvious.

The institution has already been altered into something completely different from its original form; I don’t see anything frightening in altering it further. It’s only a slight change, after all.
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Postby messalina » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:51 am

Deses wrote:
echomikeromeo wrote:
On a slightly different note, I don't see how you can say that a homosexual relationship is 'wrong' or 'unnatural' because it doesn't allow for procreation. I'm straight. I don't intend to have kids. I don't want a family. Does that make my sexual orientation unnatural, then? Besides, how can you say something's abnormal if it's a trait shared by 10% of the population?


Let's get this straight (no pun intended). Just because you don't want to have children it does not mean you won't as long as your sexual practices involve what it takes to have them. I hope you don't learn this the hard way :)


If a monk (or anyone, for that matter) takes a vow of celibacy, that person is swearing not to ever engage in the practices that will result in children (amongst other things :wink:). would you therefore say that the desire to make such a vow is an unnatural aberration? or is it the physical act that is considered to be the 'problem'?

People do not just choose homosexuality - you either are or you aren't, and whether or not a person 'practices' does not make them any more or less so.

Many heterosexual couples choose not to have children (or can't, for that matter). If we must make a distinction between homosexual 'hugs and kisses' (not my words :) ) and heterosexual 'marriages that produce children', then the heterosexual 'marriages that don't produce children' should therefore logically be classified with homosexual 'hugs and kisses', as non-procreational long-term commitments. Does this mean that heterosexual, married-under-the-law (as it stands now) couples without children should have less rights/freedoms/recognitions than couples with children? :shock: how much time would they have before being labeled as 'non-productive' and subject to this discrimination?


Deses wrote:Well, the funny thing is that you can make all sorts of arguments about various kinds of abnormalities claiming them to be evolutionary useful mutations. But not about homosexuality. What can be more aberrant than inability or unwillingness to procreate?

just playing devil's advocate here, but we could make an argument that this desire for exclusive homosexual relationships acts as an innate sort of 'carrying capacity' for the human population - that is, the resources (in mathematical terms) currently available to the population are not sufficient to maintain our current growth, and therefore it acts as a sort of 'limit' to how much we can feasibly continue to multiply (thanks, population modeling and differential equations! :lol:). i don't believe this myself, but it's an argument about the 'genetic usefulness'.

But is genetics even relevant here? As far as i understand it, the theory is that evolution is an unguided, continual process. Certain traits within a species manifest, and if they happen to be adventageous to the individual or individuals they have manifested in, those individual(s) are able to procreate and their offspring (hopefully) continue with those useful traits manifested as well. It remains to be seen whether or not homosexuality is genetic (and i don't even want to get started on that debate... :)). However, our species has a significant lack of predation - but we have disease (and some other things). Perhaps as evolution continues with this as a 'predation' we will develop resistance (i.e. through genetic mutation) to this 'predator', which will in turn develop other features (i.e. different strains that we are not yet immune to, etc.), and the cycle will continue.

yikes, i'm off topic (and i wrote a novel :oops:)- basically i'm trying to say that i think the "useless genetic mutation" argument is not really applicable until it is known for sure whether or not homosexuality is a genetic trait. (and then do we get into the discussion of eugenetics :shock: ?)


Deses, i don't mean to offend you (or anyone) here, and i appreciate having such a good ground to debate such a topic, thanks for debating your side. :) i don't want to be the one to spark the match that lights the gas leak that benissimus and eureka are talking about.. there should really be a "peace branch" icon here..
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:08 am

First of all, I am not going to crusade against the cause of marriage. To some extent, it is other people's buisness, and to another extent, there are other causes which are much more important to me. I also think it is very much a case-by-case thing - especially since different cultures define marriage in different ways. But I maintain that marriage can be a bad thing for some human beings, especially in sexist societies.

I also have nothing against marriage in the religious sense. It is the legal aspects which I do not support.

As far as married people I know well, most of them have good marriages, though the level of happiness varies. The only divorce from my memory of anyone I know was my uncle's - he did not want kids, his wife did, and I think there was some other conflict, and they split. I was over a thousand miles away at the time, so I do not know a lot of details. Perhaps I should not be arguing about marriage since most of my knowledge comes second hand, or through the values my parents have (which is not pro-marriage).

On the bully issue 1) Marriage or no marriage, gay people will have kids and 2) the more common it becomes, the more acceptable it is. I'm not saying gay people should have kids just for this reason, but bullies should not bully gay familes into not having children.

Marriage has been an major feature is social structure for a long time, that does not mean it should not change, and I do not believe that American society would be much worse off without it. Probably some social equivalent to marriage would arise (marriage would not have come in the first place if it did not satisfy a social need), but the legal entailments would not necessarily be replaced. American slaves, lacking the legal right to marry, certainly wanted to marry, and did so without involving their masters (notice that many slaves referred to their wives and husbands).

Speaking about African slaves, it used to be illegal for different races to intermarry (which is stupid in terms of evolution, due to the incentive for genetic diversity). That has certainly changed, and at around the same time a lot of the reforms of civil rights were in progress (though I conceede that many African Americans were just as against inter-racial marriage as their European American counterparts). I doubt this was coincidence, hence my point that gay marriage is really about gay rights period.

I congratulate you on your engagement.

At present, I am not in a relationship. Yet I am immensely curious to know how you would react if I said I was in a homosexual relationship.
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Postby Episcopus » Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:43 am

I am also happy that most blacks marry blacks and most whites marry whites here. If they all mixed then the purer races of each would disappear that's to say we would have no blacks, we would have no whites, two races which are different and this is a good thing. We would just have a mixture which is boring as less people would be visibly different. Michael Moore's idea of 'let's mix to stop racism!' is foolish and would cause pandemonium in our society.

I wish I knew more about electrons :( So much talk thereof and I've ne'er even seen one! :cry:
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:59 am

Deses wrote:
echomikeromeo wrote:
On a slightly different note, I don't see how you can say that a homosexual relationship is 'wrong' or 'unnatural' because it doesn't allow for procreation. I'm straight. I don't intend to have kids. I don't want a family. Does that make my sexual orientation unnatural, then? Besides, how can you say something's abnormal if it's a trait shared by 10% of the population?


Let's get this straight (no pun intended). Just because you don't want to have children it does not mean you won't as long as your sexual practices involve what it takes to have them. I hope you don't learn this the hard way :)

There is a big question as to how many out of the 10% of the population actually are genetically predetermined to be gay (which, I believe, was your argument in the original posting) and how many simply joined the club for other reasons. Similarly, you can be born blind, but there are many ways to become blind or simply to start acting as if you are blind without ever loosing sight. At any rate, 10% seems like a pretty believable number for an aberration.

The left-handed argument is curious. I bet a lot of right-handed pitchers would like to be considered legally left-handed. Sure, they can throw the ball with their left, but it's just not the same... Is left-handedness an aberration? Probably. (I am somewhat left-handed too, like Rhuiden) You have to understand that I do not propose to discriminate on the grounds of abnormalities. In fact, sometimes just the opposite takes place, and that's OK. It is just simply best to take things at their real value while deciding what is to be done in the society. If you want to give groups of people protection under the law you first have to realize how different they are from other groups of people. But if you just want to do politics, then directing attention to "hugs and kisses" is more than enough.


You said 'genetically predetermined' - weeell... I do think that most gays if not all are born that way, that it's not some choice they make... but there can hardly be such a thing as a gay gene... i mean it doesn't really make sense that such a gene would survive, or if it were just genes, you might expect some families to be 'more gay' than others, which doesn't seem to be the case. I think i read an article were it said it may have something to do with the pregnancy...
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Postby annis » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:32 pm

Random comments:

First - I am not a subatomic particle! I am a free man! Comparing human behavior to particle interractions is an extreme metaphorical stretch. This may be intolerable hubris, but I think I'm a bit more complex than an electron.

Second - everyone talking about reproductive fitness, or rather the lack of same, for gay people is making another extreme simplification, this time of genetics. Most things about our bodies and thus our minds are complex interractions among many genetic components. There is no reason to believe the whole complex mass of behavior of physiology that goes with reproduction is located on a single gene.

So, if we assume for the moment a genetic component to homosexuality, it's not necessarily the case that a single genetic switch has caused it. It could also be the result of a particular combination of genes, or perhaps some recessive allele. So long as those separate components result in greater reproductive fitness for people who get them separately, the occasional lesser fitness will persist in random individuals who get the double- (or triple- or however-many-) whammy.
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