Same-sex marriage

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Should same-sex marriage be legal?

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

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Emma_85
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Post by Emma_85 » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:43 pm

I'd also like to add something... I can totally understand why gays in the US want to have the right to marry - it's about more than just tax stuff and all, they want to be recognised. Here's an article that made my mouth drop - when gays are treated like this in the US, it's no wonder they are doing all they can to fight back:
Group gives grant to expelled gay student
Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network
Wednesday, January 12, 2005 / 05:53 PM

SUMMARY: James Barnett made headlines when his Dallas-area high school expelled him after he admitted he was gay. Now an LGBT scholarship organization has pledged to help the honor student.

High school senior James Barnett made headlines in December, when Trinity Christian Academy, a Dallas-area private school, expelled Barnett after he admitted he was gay. Now a national LGBT scholarship organization has pledged to help the 18-year-old honor student.

On Tuesday the Point Foundation, which supports academic achievement in higher education for LGBT students, awarded Barnett an academic honorarium to help him attend college later this year.

"We are pleased to present this honorarium to James, an outstanding student turned away simply because of his sexual orientation," said Vance Lancaster, executive director of the foundation. "This is a sadly common and very real example of why Point Foundation scholarships are necessary."

The grant amount will be determined after a financial review in the spring, the organization said.

In an interview with the PlanetOut Network, Barnett spoke of the recent hardships he faced at school and at home because of his sexual orientation.

"Private schools need to let it be known where they stand on the gay issue," he said. "Had I known that Trinity was going to expel me, I would have moved to (a different school). Life does really get rough in high school."

"About a year ago, I was suicidal from the pressures of being a gay kid in a private school," Barnett revealed. "I felt like I was the only gay kid."

Then Barnett discovered gay chat rooms on the Internet, which lead him to one run by XY magazine. At last Barnett could talk to people his own age, he said. But when XY told its Web site users it planned to charge for the service, Barnett panicked. "If you haven't told your parents (you're gay) you can't have them see a credit card charge to XY magazine," he said.

So Barnett created his own Web site, my-boi.com, which doesn't charge users. Barnett insists the site is not for "hook-ups" but to alleviate the sense of isolation many people his age experience when they first come out.

Word of the Web site got out around the campus of Trinity Christian Academy, and soon Barnett found himself summoned by the school's chaplain.

"The chaplain asked me if I was gay and I said, 'Yeah,'" Barnett said. "I had no idea that this was going to get out because I thought this was simply counseling."

Barnett waited until his parents were summoned. "When I saw my mother she said, 'What did you do?'" Barnett said.

The school principal then told Barnett's parents their son was gay and told Barnett he could either leave quietly or be expelled for violating the school's "immoral behavior" clause of the student code of conduct.

Brian Chase, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, told the Dallas Morning News the school was within its rights to force Barnett's expulsion. Texas, Chase noted, has no law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"Trinity did what they did for image and political reasons," Barnett said, claiming he harbored no ill will toward Christian conservatives.

"The Christian conservatives I've met have only loved and embraced me." Barnett considers himself a Christian conservative, and revealed he voted for President Bush during the November election.

After being expelled, Barnett's parents took him to counseling in the hopes they could change their son's sexuality. "And they got shot down. They were told they are the ones with a problem," he said.

Despite the obstacles he faces, Barnett believes his story is very important for other LGBT students. "I didn't know this was happening to other kids across the nation. I thought this was a unique case. But apparently not."
----

The school principal then told Barnett's parents their son was gay and told Barnett he could either leave quietly or be expelled for violating the school's "immoral behavior" clause of the student code of conduct.
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Eureka
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Post by Eureka » Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:45 pm

Episcopus wrote: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.
Now you're just baiting. :evil:

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klewlis
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Post by klewlis » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:37 am

Socially:

I have no problems with the idea of a "civil union", granting various benefits, as distinct from a religious "marriage". However, that causes me to ask the following questions (and I am simply pondering, not announcing my verdict):

what is the purpose of the benefits enjoyed by marriage anyway? Aren't the tax breaks and other laws meant to benefit a family for the purpose of raising children? These things are meant to make it easier to support many people on 1 or 2 salaries, and to enhance the lives of the children involved. In that case, I don't think it should matter WHO is raising the children. If there is a single parent, two heterosexual parents, two homosexual parents, a group of involved family members, etc, they should receive benefits for the sake of the children, not simply for whether or not they are married.

And I speak as a single person who is quite miffed at the fact that my friends' auto insurance rates drop the day they get married--regardless of age or driving record--while mine remain unchanged simply because I am still single. That is unfair and discriminatory in my mind. Am I less responsible than my friend because I am single? I think not. Regardless of sexuality, why should a couple with two incomes and no children receive certain financial benefits, while a single person does not? In addition, my roommate is a single mom with a child. If I am committed to this child (as I am) and am involved in his life and growth and am one of his caretakers, then why shouldn't I receive financial aid for that, even though my friend and I have a purely platonic relationship?

Socially, in my mind, it is not "marriage" that matters but the children, for whom all of this was created anyway.

Theologically:

Marriage was never created to simply be a financial or civic benefit to the parties involved, although those have always been side effects. Marriage was created to be a reflection of God himself, and his love for his people. The Bible repeatedly compares God and his People to a Man and his Wife--complete with unconditional love, respect, teamwork, joy, nurturing, and growth. The ideal human marriage (unattainable of course but an ultimate goal) would be a reflection of that. The children produced in such a marriage would be happy, healthy, and safe. This is the ideal. And of course we are not able to attain that to perfectly, but we can certainly try. In any case, there is no room in the picture for a homosexual relationship, nor for an absentee parent, or any number of other possibilities. These things will definitely happen, but only because we live in a fallen world where perfection escapes us. We simply have to make do with what we have and attempt to follow God as closely as we humanly can.



Should all of us have the same rights and privileges as citizens? Absolutely. But then I should get some tax breaks too. :P At least separating the ideas of "civil union" and "marriage" would solve part of the problem.

Then I wonder why that seemingly reasonable solution is not acceptable to many people. I think that many homosexual couples are looking not just for equality, but for absolution by religion, and that is what they are usually not receiving. But that is a matter for the Churches, not for the government.

just my random thoughts. :)

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Post by Emma_85 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:19 am

annis wrote: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.
i think the whole thing is still being debated. there are quite a few theories on this at the moment and everyone claims their theory to be the correct one. eg.:
Italian geneticists may have explained how genes apparently linked to male homosexuality survive, despite gay men seldom having children. Their findings also undermine the theory of a single “gay gene”.

The researchers discovered that women tend to have more children when they inherit the same - as yet unidentified - genetic factors linked to homosexuality in men. This fertility boost more than compensates for the lack of offspring fathered by gay men, and keeps the “gay” genetic factors in circulation.

The findings represent the best explanation yet for the Darwinian paradox presented by homosexuality: it is a genetic dead-end, yet the trait persists generation after generation.
or

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns? ... 723884.900
uh... I hope this link works for non-subscribers... :?
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Emma_85
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Post by Emma_85 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:26 am

klewlis wrote:Socially:

I have no problems with the idea of a "civil union", granting various benefits, as distinct from a religious "marriage". However, that causes me to ask the following questions (and I am simply pondering, not announcing my verdict):

what is the purpose of the benefits enjoyed by marriage anyway? Aren't the tax breaks and other laws meant to benefit a family for the purpose of raising children? These things are meant to make it easier to support many people on 1 or 2 salaries, and to enhance the lives of the children involved. In that case, I don't think it should matter WHO is raising the children. If there is a single parent, two heterosexual parents, two homosexual parents, a group of involved family members, etc, they should receive benefits for the sake of the children, not simply for whether or not they are married.

And I speak as a single person who is quite miffed at the fact that my friends' auto insurance rates drop the day they get married--regardless of age or driving record--while mine remain unchanged simply because I am still single. That is unfair and discriminatory in my mind. Am I less responsible than my friend because I am single? I think not. Regardless of sexuality, why should a couple with two incomes and no children receive certain financial benefits, while a single person does not? In addition, my roommate is a single mom with a child. If I am committed to this child (as I am) and am involved in his life and growth and am one of his caretakers, then why shouldn't I receive financial aid for that, even though my friend and I have a purely platonic relationship?

Socially, in my mind, it is not "marriage" that matters but the children, for whom all of this was created anyway.
As I said, I think this is not about tax breaks really... the gay population in the US is fighting for this because they think it will help them to be accepted in society. And gay couples could adopt children just as men and women get married without ever having any children.
The tax breaks and all that were of course put in place for the children, but I think the whole system needs an overhaul. Get rid of those tax breaks and just give some for each child sort of thing, here the state gives you money for each child, like 300 a month for each child? something like that anyway, maybe less now...
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Turpissimus
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Post by Turpissimus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:04 pm

what is the purpose of the benefits enjoyed by marriage anyway? Aren't the tax breaks and other laws meant to benefit a family for the purpose of raising children? These things are meant to make it easier to support many people on 1 or 2 salaries, and to enhance the lives of the children involved. In that case, I don't think it should matter WHO is raising the children. If there is a single parent, two heterosexual parents, two homosexual parents, a group of involved family members, etc, they should receive benefits for the sake of the children, not simply for whether or not they are married.
Some benefits are meant to do this, others not. In the UK for instance if someone holding a lease in their name dies then their unmarried partner could easily be chucked out of their home at a time when they're going through great personal distress. Also, if someone dies intestate (that means without a will, for the laymen) then their partner gets nothing. If someone has an accident and is critically ill in hospital, their partner won't be able to see them. Since humans do quite often fall in love with another member of the species, and want to share life's ups and downs with that one person, it seems to me to be sensible to have an institution set up to deal with this fact of human nature. Deses wants to bring up polygamy or scholarly unions or whatever, and it seems that he doesn't think people arrange a good deal of their lives to care for the partner with whom they have a sexual and emotional bond. I disagree.

Bear in mind, klewlis, that marriage raises your tax/benefit liability as often as it cuts it. Previous to 1984(?) in the UK, and until very recently in the US, the income of married partners was aggregated and treated as the income of one person - you can imagine this pushed you into a higher tax band. In the UK still, if you live with a partner of the opposite sex, you're treated as living with them "as if in a marital relationship" for benefit law purposes. This means that their income is treated as if it were yours, potentially cutting your access to, for example, housing benefit. For same sex couples, oddly, this restriction does not apply. For capital gains tax, a great many of the anti-avoidance provisions are set up to catch married couples who might otherwise transfer assets around in circles to avoid paying taxes. Making these rules apply to homosexual couples would plug a tax loophole that a sufficiently commited couple could exploit. Ironing out the laws and making sure they apply to everyone equally would seem to me to be a sensible thing to do.
And I speak as a single person who is quite miffed at the fact that my friends' auto insurance rates drop the day they get married--regardless of age or driving record--while mine remain unchanged simply because I am still single. That is unfair and discriminatory in my mind. Am I less responsible than my friend because I am single? I think not. Regardless of sexuality, why should a couple with two incomes and no children receive certain financial benefits, while a single person does not? In addition, my roommate is a single mom with a child. If I am committed to this child (as I am) and am involved in his life and growth and am one of his caretakers, then why shouldn't I receive financial aid for that, even though my friend and I have a purely platonic relationship?
I'm sure you know this but this has nothing to do with the government. Actuarial scientists probably know that married men/women take fewer risks and adjust premiums accordingly - in just the same way that men get cheaper annuities and women get cheaper car insurance.
The Bible repeatedly compares God and his People to a Man and his Wife--complete with unconditional love, respect, teamwork, joy, nurturing, and growth. The ideal human marriage (unattainable of course but an ultimate goal) would be a reflection of that.
You are aware of course that the institution of marriage is not limited to those societies who base their moral code on that of the ancient hebrews.
;)
Then I wonder why that seemingly reasonable solution is not acceptable to many people. I think that many homosexual couples are looking not just for equality, but for absolution by religion, and that is what they are usually not receiving. But that is a matter for the Churches, not for the government.
As I said earlier, SSM seems to be a dead proposal in the UK. Noone pushes for it, not even gay rights activists. Thinking about your "religious absolution" idea, I wonder whether this is because the UK is a more secularized society.
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Post by Turpissimus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:46 pm

Interesting, but fairly irrelevant

Personally, I agree with many of the posters on this board:

(a) separate religious and civil marriage. One can be called civil partnership or whatever, the other stays in church. If the society, like the UK, is fairly secularised, it doesn't matter if the institution is called marriage.

(b) give tax breaks based on children, rather than the marital status of their parents. If you require a tax break to stay married, your relationship is probably too messed up to be worth saving.

Finally, it occurs to me that I was probably quite insulting to klewlis' religious beliefs in my last post. I apologize.
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Post by Deses » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:52 pm

Emma_85 wrote: As I said, I think this is not about tax breaks really... the gay population in the US is fighting for this because they think it will help them to be accepted in society.
That's a very strange aspiration. Personally, I would prefer if gay people put their minds together and solved some big problem. Achieved world peace, or something. Surely, the society would then shower them with blessings and privileges they never dreamed of. Imposing their own semantics on an established institution? Yeah, that's a real good way to gain acceptance. Not to mention that people don't like paying more for their health insurance etc. and ultimately seeing increased taxes.
And gay couples could adopt children just as men and women get married without ever having any children.
So that at a tender age a neighbor tells little Johnny (son of Adam and Steve) that he is actually adopted? :)

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Post by Turpissimus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:44 pm

Not to mention that people don't like paying more for their health insurance etc. and ultimately seeing increased taxes.
True, but I doubt gay people are happy about the moderate subsidy they give us. And, as I say, the tax advantages of marriage, at least in my country, are grossly overstated. This would appear to be more about tenancy, inheritance tax (which of course, doesn't affect those in the US), hospital visits, next of kin issues - that kind of stuff.

The idea that heterosexual couples will be up in arms because gay people suddenly have the same rights they do...well, maybe you live in a different kind of society than I do. Perhaps the people who surround you are ignorant selfish fools.
And gay couples could adopt children just as men and women get married without ever having any children.
So that at a tender age a neighbor tells little Johnny (son of Adam and Steve) that he is actually adopted? Smile
Firstly, most adoptions are carried out quite late in life, often after quite serious sexual of physical abuse. I think these kids would be all too aware of the facts of life by the time they meet their first gay couple.
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Post by Deses » Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:35 pm

Turpissimus wrote:
The idea that heterosexual couples will be up in arms because gay people suddenly have the same rights they do...well, maybe you live in a different kind of society than I do. Perhaps the people who surround you are ignorant selfish fools.
It is strange that the well-informed unselfish smart people that surround you rarely grant you the simple pleasure of hearing and intellegent word. :)

Hopefully, my position is clear. I support human unions that would be recognized on a much wider basis than genital interaction. Such unions should be diversified depending on their actual needs and capacities. It would be very nice if we could stay away from semantic conundrums.

Firstly, most adoptions are carried out quite late in life, often after quite serious sexual of physical abuse. I think these kids would be all too aware of the facts of life by the time they meet their first gay couple.
Sure, unwanted little babies are better off in orphanages. Who wants to deal with diapers and all? Clearly, no well-informed unselfish smart person.

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