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Old Jul 30, 2003, 01:36 PM   #1
BaghdadBob
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Bush finally speaks out on gay marriage...

OK, for disclosure very quickly here, I'm all for gay rights, but I've been scratching my head about the gay marriage issue for a while. Because, while I respect a gay couple's right to live like any other couple, and would like for more family values to flourish in the gay community, I also have some respect for the religious argument about marriage, and have had some difficulty figuring out how to please both sides.

So Bush speaks today, saying basically he still thinks marriage should be reserved for hetero relationships, but says (have to paraphrase because I can't find the quote, oddly) "don't talk about a spec in your neighbor's eye when there's a log in your own." Apparently that's a biblical saying...

<---- Doesn't read the Bible

He did talk about some manner of gay union in his campaign. I hope he leads the Republican party to the right way of thinking on this subject, as a right-winger is, like many controversial liberal issues, the best suited to find a solution. But on to the quote.

To me, this makes a point that I have thought about much myself: that marriage between a man and a woman is not necessarily any more religious than that between a gay couple. Certainly, marriage in this country, not only in this country but probably especially here, has lost most of it's significance.

Hopefully this is Bush's way of opening the door to resolving the issue later, even though he is sticking to his guns on the religious basis.

OK...discuss....let's try to keep it civil, I don't want to see my first political thread (an area I tend to steer clear of) get locked down
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 01:48 PM   #2
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Gay marriage is inevitable. It is a question of when.

"don't talk about a spec in your neighbor's eye when there's a log in your own." is based on a biblical quote. The actual quote is something like this: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

I would disagree that marriage has lost most of its significance in this country.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 01:59 PM   #3
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Gays can already be "married" in some churches, but these unions are not recognized by the states. I believe that requiring the legal recognition of civil unions of an individual's choosing skirts the entire concept of "gay marriage" by addressing some if not all of the issues faced by people who have formed households that aren't currently sanctioned by the state.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by macfan
I would disagree that marriage has lost most of its significance in this country.
Well, on an individual basis it may be true that people still hold it to be sacred, but what's the divorce rate? What's the multiple marriage rate? How widespread is infidelity?

These are the things I'm talking about. In light of them, I don't think homosexual union is any less Biblically moral than what has become the average marriage. That's what I think Bush is trying to say. For that, kudos, I think that hypocrisy should be pointed out.

"Oh, your marriage is automatically immoral, but ours take effort to make immoral."
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:01 PM   #5
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I'd like to invite Bush to 21st century.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:17 PM   #6
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I think that gw and the right is out of touch in regards to gay marriage. Society is increasingly saying that gay unions are valid and desirable and newsworthy. Businesses offer health benefits for partners, some churches will marry same-sex couples, newspapers post gay marriage announcemnets, etc.

Why are they so afraid of this? Is it considered an insult to their brand of religion? If so, why is religion dictating government policy? It's time to move on.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:21 PM   #7
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Sorry, I can't make heads nor tails from the Bush quote. As to the issue of Gay marriage, I think whatever is decided will not change the ability of a given religion to determine whether it sanctions such marriages. It is purely a question of civil marriages. It is also long overdue. The decision of the Supreme Court in its overruling of Texas' sodomy laws gives me hope that some folk are waking up to reality. As a society we should be about strengthening the loving ties of people not forbidding them.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:23 PM   #8
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Let me preface my comments by stating that while I am not gay, neither am I homophobic. I am for equal protection under the law, but not an activist for specific "gay rights". That said...

I think for most of the super-right-wing and/or super-religious types, the key here is the word "marriage". Even though people get married for many reasons and not always out of any sort of religious ideology, the simple fact is that "marriage" is a cornerstone of the Judeo-Christian values this country was formed on. Most other religions also see "marriage" as a union that relates to the diety in one way or another.

So marriage is viewed by most groups as being something clearly tied into religion, and most religions have opinions about homosexuality that are not particularly favorable among the gay community. So you can see why trying to promote "gay marriage" is going to be a hard sell to the meat and potatoes American mainstream, who overwhelmingly identify themselves as religious people. It may not be fair, but it's a fact.

For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.

For civil purposes, entering into a "civil union" would be identical to being married. Tax law, insurance, inheritance, power of attorney, you name it...would work exactly as they do with married couples. And this is exactly what monogamous gay couples who enter into a legal partnership with one another deserve from our government.

But just as the government should not allow it's religious foundation to disallow gays from getting the same rights as married couples, the gay activist groups should NOT insist that the government redefine the word "marriage". By doing so, gay groups are only further alienating themselves from the vast majority of Americans who feel that gays and religion don't mix. (As completely "un-Christian" as that notion is, however.)

Give it a new title, and slide it in under the noses of the religious. Let them keep the word "marriage" for themselves, while letting the government give "civil union" a chance at life without the intense scrutiny that trying to redefine the word "marriage" is bound to create. Insisting that gays deserve the right to "marriage" is an academic argument they can't win...the country simple isn't there yet. "Civil Union" is far less controversial, and gives gays everything they want/deserve without forcing the religious to "admit defeat" on the "marriage" issue.

I defy anyone of either party to explain why this solution can't work in the United States of America. Just as I don't feel the phrases "God Bless America" and "One Nation, Under God" should be so offensive to atheists, I don't see why a Civil Union should be offensive to anyone.

-- Ensoniq
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ensoniq
For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.
This is exactly what I was suggesting, so it must be right...
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ensoniq "Civil Union" is far less controversial, and gives gays everything they want/deserve without forcing the religious to "admit defeat" on the "marriage" issue.

I defy anyone of either party to explain why this solution can't work in the United States of America. Just as I don't feel the phrases "God Bless America" and "One Nation, Under God" should be so offensive to atheists, I don't see why a Civil Union should be offensive to anyone.

-- Ensoniq
Marriage certainly has many different connotations to different people. Each religion has its own interpretation as to what it means, but in the US we have something called the "seperation of Church and State." While the government recognizes the ability of religious institutions to preform marriage ceremonies, it also requires that such rites be registered with the state. This is, of course, in the form of a marriage license. What possible reason should we have for letting religious institutions determine who can get a marriage license? I got married in a civil ceremony before a judge at City Hall and have no need for a church to tell me that my marriage is valid or not.

As to why a seperate "civil union" would not be acceptable to gay couples, one only has to go back to "seperate but equal" to know why this would be offensive. Equal access to the same civil ceremony hurts no one. Let each religion struggle with this question on its own, but as a secular society we need to include all consenting adults in these simple, basic rights.

Last edited by Sayhey; Jul 30, 2003 at 02:48 PM.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ugg
I think that gw and the right is out of touch in regards to gay marriage. Society is increasingly saying that gay unions are valid and desirable and newsworthy. Businesses offer health benefits for partners, some churches will marry same-sex couples, newspapers post gay marriage announcemnets, etc.

Why are they so afraid of this? Is it considered an insult to their brand of religion? If so, why is religion dictating government policy? It's time to move on.
It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."

BaghdadBob,
You might be living up to your namesake! I think the divorce rate peaked around 1981 and has been declining. Marriage is still seen as the ideal.

In any event, it is more difficult to make an argument against homosexual "marriage" that doesn't include a religious element, although not impossible. (Similarly, it is difficult, although not impossible, to make an argument in support of marriage of any kind without a religious component). Indeed, without a religious element, it is very difficult to argue against bigamy (the penalty for bigamy being two mother-in-laws).
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ensoniq
For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.

For civil purposes, entering into a "civil union" would be identical to being married. Tax law, insurance, inheritance, power of attorney, you name it...would work exactly as they do with married couples. And this is exactly what monogamous gay couples who enter into a legal partnership with one another deserve from our government.

I think that is a perfect solution. Marriage is tied to religion and procreation and I don't feel that it is the best term to use when describing same-sex unions. Civil unions are the way to go for everyone and marriage is something that can be conferred by a church.

In Germany, the legal union is performed by a civil servant. It is devoid of religious overtones and marriage, if a couple, gay or straight, wants it then it takes place in a church. There are no exceptions to this rule. Muslim, Christians, Jews, Hindus and all other religions follow the same path.

My bet is that the US Supreme Court will be hearing this in the next five years. With procreation becoming less and less a part of many marriages and many being performed outside a church, they will have a hard time telling the US that the govt. should not condone gay unions. Equal rights means equal rights across the board.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:50 PM   #13
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There is no federal register of marriages or civil unions now. I see no reason to create one.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by macfan
It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."
Yes it is, and it also means that 55% of the americans are "out of touch".
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by macfan
It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."

There is a huge generation gap when it comes to this issue. I don't have figures at hand but an overwhelming majority (2/3, I believe) of the under 35 crowd support gay marriage. So yes, when it comes to younger voters, he is out of touch.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:53 PM   #16
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Originally posted by cc bcc
Yes it is, and it also means that 55% of the americans are "out of touch".
Out of touch with what? Rather, those who support homosexual marriage are "out of touch" with the American mainstream. (Rightly or wrongly).
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sayhey
As to why a seperate "civil union" would not be acceptable to gay couples, one only has to go back to "seperate but equal" to know why this would be offensive. Equal access to the same civil ceremony hurts no one. Let each religion struggle with this question on its own, but as a secular society we need to include all consenting adults in these simple, basic rights.
Well yes, and that's where civil union comes in. The state takes a neutral position with respect to who can enter into what is essentially a legal contract between adults. If a couple desires to have that union sanctified in the church of their choice, then this is their option. Churches are then free to sanctify whatever unions they feel fits within their doctrines, but now that decision is made irrespective of what the state recognizes. If a gay couple desires to call themselves "married," that is their prerogative; either way, they'll have the same legal rights and protections (and responsibilities) as a heterosexual married couple.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:07 PM   #18
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I think it's the governments job to educate the people, not just simply doing what the mainstream wants. It is possible to make people think deeper about things through education and information.
Bush should not follow the mainstream thoughts on gay marriage, he should make it legal and explain the motives to the public.
And if Bush was pro gay marriage, that 39% figure would rise to above 50% I think, just because many people simply eat what they are fed.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:14 PM   #19
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cc bcc,
Are you saying it's the job of the government to make moral judgments and enforce them on the people through "education?" Interesting. Should the government be educating people that homosexual marriage has no significant historical or cultural tradition and little if any societal benefit? Or should the government only "educate" people in the way that you happen to think is right?
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:16 PM   #20
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Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Well yes, and that's where civil union comes in. The state takes a neutral position with respect to who can enter into what is essentially a legal contract between adults. If a couple desires to have that union sanctified in the church of their choice, then this is their option. Churches are then free to sanctify whatever unions they feel fits within their doctrines, but now that decision is made irrespective of what the state recognizes. If a gay couple desires to call themselves "married," that is their prerogative; either way, they'll have the same legal rights and protections (and responsibilities) as a heterosexual married couple.
Not sure if I get your points. It seems to me that there are two seperate but important points here.

1 - that all the rights of heterosexual married couples be avalible to gay couples. That is not the case in the US as of now. The closest we come to this is the civil unions in Vermont. A gay couple cannot "call themselves 'married'" and have the same rights at the present.

2 - That the language used to discribe the marriage of straight and gay couples be the same. This may seem a minor point to some, but it reflects an attitude of "second-class" on folks who have been told that their loving relationships aren't as important as heterosexual ones. It cost nothing to make this change, and though I know politically it is harder is seems to me to be an important sign of respect.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:16 PM   #21
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Out of touch with what? Rather, those who support homosexual marriage are "out of touch" with the American mainstream. (Rightly or wrongly).
If you ask the question that way, sure, you'll get a majority of Americans to say they're against it. The "gay marriage" question is loaded, though. I'd wager that if you asked people whether gay couples should be accorded the same rights and responsibilities under the law as heterosexual couples, you'd get a very different answer -- around two-thirds in favor, I'd guess. The vast majority of those still against would probably be religious conservatives who view homosexuality as sinful or see gays as making a "lifestyle choice" that can be changed. Take religion out of the equation and you're left with a basic civil rights issue upon which most Americans can agree.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:32 PM   #22
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Originally posted by IJ Reilly
If you ask the question that way, sure, you'll get a majority of Americans to say they're against it. The "gay marriage" question is loaded, though. I'd wager that if you asked people whether gay couples should be accorded the same rights and responsibilities under the law as heterosexual couples, you'd get a very different answer -- around two-thirds in favor, I'd guess. The vast majority of those still against would probably be religious conservatives who view homosexuality as sinful or see gays as making a "lifestyle choice" that can be changed. Take religion out of the equation and you're left with a basic civil rights issue upon which most Americans can agree.
What would you like to wager? A new ipod?

If you ask the question what way?

This way?

"Would you favor or oppose a law that would allow homosexual couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of married couples?"

That one comes up with 57 percent opposed and 40 percent in support.

Right now, about the same number of people think that homosexual relations should be illegal (44%)as think they should be legal (46%) answering the question: "Do you think homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal?"

Opinion is divided about 50/50. It's hard to call anyone's position "out of touch."
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:35 PM   #23
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cc bcc,
Are you saying it's the job of the government to make moral judgments and enforce them on the people through "education?" Interesting. Should the government be educating people that homosexual marriage has no significant historical or cultural tradition and little if any societal benefit? Or should the government only "educate" people in the way that you happen to think is right?
Nice way of twisting words.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:41 PM   #24
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Not sure if I get your points. It seems to me that there are two seperate but important points here.

1 - that all the rights of heterosexual married couples be avalible to gay couples. That is not the case in the US as of now. The closest we come to this is the civil unions in Vermont. A gay couple cannot "call themselves 'married'" and have the same rights at the present.

2 - That the language used to discribe the marriage of straight and gay couples be the same. This may seem a minor point to some, but it reflects an attitude of "second-class" on folks who have been told that their loving relationships aren't as important as heterosexual ones. It cost nothing to make this change, and though I know politically it is harder is seems to me to be an important sign of respect.
I think you're assuming that the state must endorse a freestanding institution called "marriage." I don't see why. All the state needs to recognize is the legal domestic contract. Now everyone is on the same footing, and can call their relationships whatever they so desire. If they want to say they are married before God in the Roman Catholic Church, well, then they will have to deal with the Roman Catholic Church on that matter -- not the state.

I am in a very long term heterosexual relationship, but we've never been married -- not that most people even know it. The only difference between our relationship and that of a "married" couple is that we lack the legal rights. This has always seemed ludicrous to me, since we've been together longer then virtually all the legally married couples we know. We are "second class" by virtual of legal rights only.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 03:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by macfan
BaghdadBob,
You might be living up to your namesake! I think the divorce rate peaked around 1981 and has been declining. Marriage is still seen as the ideal.
Shut up

I still see values declining in the current generation. See if divorce rates don't go back up as this generation "matures".


bc ccc, you need to open your mind to other people's POVs sometime. We live in a representative government. If it was the government's job to do things that were unpopular by the majority standard then they would have no need to win majority support for anything. They could just wait for things to prove to be the right thing to do. The majority of the American public is not in support of gay marriages, and there are legitimate issues that are behind this other than "homophobia".

Bush, in my eye, is trying to knock down some of those walls so that, when it happens, the majority of Americans are behind the solution.
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