Gallagher, Wolfson debate gay marriage

Photo by Nicolas Kemper.

An outspoken advocate for gay marriage and a lobbyist against it, both former Yale Political Union members, brought their clashing views back to Yale for debate Wednesday night.

Evan Wolfson ’78, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, and Maggie Gallagher ’82, former president of the National Organization for Marriage, joined about 250 students and guests in Sudler Hall for a YPU debate titled “Resolved: Same-Sex Couples Should be Allowed to Marry.” After they spoke, students and guests in the audience gave philosophical arguments about the institution of marriage and shared personal anecdotes.

“[Wolfson and Gallagher] have worked against each other in the political sphere for years now,” YPU Speaker Adam Stempel ’11 said prior to the debate. “It will be interesting to see them on stage.”

In her speech, Gallagher made the distinction between “adult relationships,” which she said can be hetero- or homosexual, and marriage, which she said must be heterosexual because children need a mother and a father. She said she thinks heterosexual marriages are a crucial pillar of society.

No matter how many kinds of sexual relationships exist, she said, the definition of marriage should be kept separate.

“Homosexual people don’t make children because somebody looks kind of cute on Saturday night,” Gallagher said.

She said she does not think it should not matter to the children of gay couples whether their parents are married, or in a civil union.

Gallagher said her position is not denying equal rights, because everyone has the right to marry, so long as that marriage is heterosexual. Her argument was met by a mix of hisses and applause from the crowd.

“It is not discrimination to treat different things differently,” Gallagher said.

But Wolfson argued that denying gay couples the right to marry is discrimination, and that marriage is not fundamentally about procreation but about loving commitment. He added that several scientific studies have shown that the children of gay parents can lead happy, healthy and well-adjusted lives.

“When women began practicing law, there was no new word for lawyer, or change in what a lawyer was,” he said, likening the ongoing campaign for gay marriage to the women’s suffrage movement. “When they were allowed to vote, there was not change in the definition of voters.”

The speakers did not discuss the morality of homosexuality itself. Gallagher said she was making no moral distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex unions.

Both guest speakers presented their positions in 15-minute speeches, then addressed each other in five-minute rebuttals. Then Stempel opened the floor for questions and speeches from students and guests, which spanned both extremes of the political spectrum.

Ken Cornet, a justice of the peace in Washington, Conn. who spoke at the debate, said marriage is about more than the social advantages the government grants.

“Should my vows be ‘Does this penis take this vagina for a bundle of rights? Tax advantages?’” Cornet asked.

Cornet said he has issued marriage licenses to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and thinks same-sex commitments are compatible with the universal vows to love, honor and cherish a partner for life.

Al Riccio, a guest speaker from Southern Connecticut State University who identifies as male and transgender, said the work of the National Organization for Marriage has contributed to high suicide rates among LGBTQ teens. Children who are victims of homophobia are now a public health disaster, he said.

“If you’re concerned about children,” Riccio said to Gallagher, “it’s clear you’re only concerned about the straight ones.”

Mitchell Conery ’14, who said he has a transgender, bisexual father, said unconventional marriages damage children, who respond by trying to prove their heterosexuality and gender identity.

This event was the first YPU debate with two guest speakers in over five years, Stempel said.

At Yale, Wolfson was a speaker of the YPU and a member of the Liberal Party, and Gallagher was the chairman of the Party of the Right.

After the event, the political right held a reception in the common room of Timothy Dwight College, and the left headed to Yorkside Pizza.

When the debate ended after 10 p.m., the count among those who remained was 49 for gay marriage, 16 opposed and 7 abstaining.


  • goodasyou

    I just want to focus on the claim from Maggie that she makes no “moral distinctions.” This is so completely disingenuous, it’s not even funny.

    Just this past August, in an appearance on a conservative radio show, Maggie said that gays can always “control” their “behavior,” before then going on to label that “behavior” as “unfortunate.” She has also invoke biblical passages like Genesis to lash out against courts that side with *civil* equality. Oh, and when in Catholic forums like the “Catholic Answers Live” radio program, Maggie has gone so far as to say that even supporters of marriage equality are committing “serious sins.”

    But don’t just take my word for it. I have audio clips of all of it:

  • Bob

    I have to agree with ***goodasyou***, Ms. Gallagher presents a mild-manner public face, one that flies under the radar, not to appear as radical as her extreme right wing Christian fringe group. But venture over to her [NOMblogs][1] where every myth and lie about homosexuality is regurgitated over and over again. NOM wants you to believe that it’s the wild and wooly world of blogs with “drive-by” postings. Until you notice that Ms. Gallagher herself partisipates, she both reads and responds. Interesting with all the censoring and deletions that go on on **HER** blogs, that she doesn’t have the false posts on pedophilia, AIDS or abuse removed?

    And let’s not forget that while on her watch, NOM Rhode Island supported Governor Don Carcieri veto so that same-sex couples could not claim their partner’s body or make funeral arrangements. I think Maggie and NOM make plenty of **”moral distinctions.”**


  • ltuttl20

    as a straight american, i find it disgusting how far people can take the idea that denying rights to a group of citizens is not discrimination. how is this even a legitimate argument? blows my mind…

  • mc14

    A pity that Al Riccio decided to turn a civilised debate into an *ad hominem* attack on a guest speaker. Especially as his speech was entirely peripheral to the motion…

  • VitoHernovich

    Al’s comments were in no way Ad Hominem. I would implore the above poster to explicitly state how pointing out that Maggie’s stance is NOT hurting queer youth. By telling someone they are less then and not equal to the same rights, you hurt them. He was not attacking Maggie’s character but her argument.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Ho hum: this debate gets so old. “[A]s a straight american, i find it **disgusting** how far people can take the idea that **denying rights** to a group of citizens is *not* discrimination. how is this even a legitimate argument? blows my mind…”

    SoooOOoooo… you defend, by extension, [the right of brothers to marry their sisters and reproduce?][1] If not, why not? What if they promise *not* to reproduce? Why couldn’t Greg Brady marry his STEP-sister, Marsha (exclusive of his fictional status). [Can an unadopted step-son marry his mother?][2] If not, why not? If so: can a son marry his father? If not, why not? In your opinion, should [a mother be “allowed” to marry BOTH her son and his father?][3]

    This is NOT “slippery slope”: all these are real cases, real questions (check the links!). My question to YOU is: is there ANY “group of citizens” whose “rights” you might deny?


  • pablum

    @Hieronymus’ Bosh: your reductio ad absurdum argument could be used to refute Enlightenment humanism altogether.

  • DavidHart

    It is spectacularly disingenuous for Gallagher to defend her bigotry with “children need a mother and father.” it is nonsensical.

    First of all, it’s not true. Aside from the fact that half our kids grow up in single-parent households the peer reviewed research is both compelling and abundant. Children of same-sex parents are as happy and successful as those of “traditional” parents. Moreover, most of the children of same-sex couples are adopted. Absent the gay couple, these kids might have **no** mom and **no** dad.

    In order to complete the “argument,” Gallagher has to posit that the children of same-sex parents do not benefit from the marriage of their parents. That is ludicrous and entirely unfounded. It is an indefensible position. Would that logic apply to unmarried heterosexual parents?

    At the end of the day, there is no coherent argument that supports the notion that marriage equality affects anyone else (except, apparently, for producing lower divorce rates). The “marriage for procreation” argument is absurd. So now it’s some manufactured nonsense about kids. This is about religion. NOM is financed by the Mormon Church, Opus Dei, various Catholic organizations and the usual suspects from the Christian right like FRC and Focus on the Family. Take God out of the equation and there is no reason to oppose marriage equality. The very purpose of Maggie and NOM is to oppose marriage equality without godly arguments from authority.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Pablum: My very point is this is NOT *reductio ad absurdum*: these are all **REAL** cases, REAL human experiences (that’s why I offered the links). Are you so bigoted/ethnocentric/narrow-minded you consider, e.g., Islamic polygamy–or any of the more “acceptable” forms of ***[polyamory][1]***–in the same light? Would you DENY THE RIGHTS of Muslim wives to travel as such to the US with their husband??? Do you think that, as is now legal/possible, [two *or more* “parents” of the same sex][2] can appear on a “birth” certificate (the current *biological* impossibility of listing two females is NOT a legal impossibility in the US; in Canada, THREE parents can be listed…)

    Gay marriage? I really don’t care. I am simply pointing out the HYPOCRISY of decrying denial of rights of ONE (small) group while simultaneously being perfectly willing to deny the rights of OTHER groups (some similarly small but others *quite* large). At *least* be consistent!


  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Speaking of (logical) absurdities: here’s [Canada’s thoughts on birth certs.][1]


  • AsianAdvantage

    The next logical steps after gay marriage is made legal are 1) Polygamy, which has existed for thousands of years and persists to this day; and 2) Child marriage. I’m not a bigot, but just pointing out the obvious.

  • Bob

    @ Hieronymus’ Bosh and Asian Advantage. Back in the 60s the same “slippery-slope” arguments were brought up when concerns of legalizing interracial marriage was on the horizon. It was nothing more than a scare tactic that appealed to the weak minded. And as you can see, no one’s predictions of legalized incestuous marriage has come to fruition.

    That being said, should we worry about our freedom of religion? Should those who wish to sacrifice humans be denied their religious rights? So far it hasn’t happened, but the insistence of faith over civil law may turn this issue.

  • Yale12

    The argument here is about *gay* marriage. If people want to marry several women, marry children, or marry their siblings, they can go before a court of law and argue that it would not be detrimental to society to deny them the right to do so. Clearly, it is very difficult to argue that marrying a child is not detrimental to society; similarly with marrying siblings (incest creates deformed babies, which is clearly detrimental to society). Say what you will about polygamy.

    It is valid to deny the rights of a group of citizens (“FIRE” in a crowded theater, for example, or the rights of pedophiles to privacy) because it is detrimental to society for people to exercise those rights. It is impossible to prove that gay marriage is detrimental to society because it quite simply is not true.

    Hieronymous’ Bosh, the difference between denying the rights of gays to marry and denying the right to another small sect, like people who want to marry their siblings, is that one is not inherently sexually attracted to one’s sibling, or son; that specific attraction is a choice, or that is, somebody who is attracted to their sibling can also be attracted to other non-siblings and thus still marry somebody they love. I cannot simply “choose” to be attracted to somebody of the opposite gender (just as you cannot choose to be attracted to somebody of the same gender). I cannot, right now, marry the person I love.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    I’ll ignore your red herring re:miscegenation laws, which had no realistic foundation. Further–you keep missing the point that I am not speaking against same-sex marriage, I am merely highlighting the hypocrisy of those who consider themselves free of ill- and pre-conceived notions.

    Bob wrote: “And as you can see, no one’s predictions of legalized incestuous marriage has come to fruition.”

    Exactly! I infer from your response that you have no problem if “incestuous marriage” and other currently illegal marital unions STAY illegal. I am not saying that it *should* change, I am asking *why not*, and I gave examples of current relationships and ask: why discriminate against SOME classes but not others?

    Then Yale12 brings up the old “We’re not talking about THAT kind of discrimination, we are talking about THIS kind of discrimination.” Gee… go visit the article about how Yalies only “rise up” when bad things happen to THEIR group… Insight is not portable, I guess. Yale12 then IGNORES the BILLIONS of Muslims who would, I bet, prefer to have their marriages recognized in THIS country just as they are in their HOME country… but whatever.

    Also: Who said marriage has anything to do with “love?” Sheesh, get over your “me me me” self, huh? (Although, you bring up a good point: YOU want to marry the one YOU love but you are PERFECTLY WILLING to deny that same right to brother and sister “James” and “Maura” of Ireland… Selfish much?)

    And who are YOU to decide what union is “permissible?” Is NH law, which allows for marriage of those aged “14 for males and 13 for females, in cases of “special cause” with parental consent and court permission?” Why should CT be able to outlaw the same class of people from marrying? (Go ahead, cite “States’ rights,” I DARE ya’; I DOUBLE-DOG dare ya!).

    Again: do not read judgment into my comments, merely try (TRY) and understand that there are numerous analogous types of “discrimination” that ppl here are PERFECTLY WILLING to accept–it is only their “preferred” discriminations that they fight. Bigots.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Ugh! Yale12 rationalizes SOME discrimination with the trope that “one is not inherently sexually attracted to one’s sibling.”

    Oh yeah?

    ‘I had been with other people but it was different with [what turned out to be my brother] James. It was **more intense, more passionate**. I wanted to get married because I wanted to push things along. I was happy with him but I wanted more stability. I wanted to make a commitment.’

    Read more:–having-second-baby-Siblings-defied-law-plan-start-new-life-abroad.html#ixzz11hTFRU7C

    Also: ppl get married for any number of reasons. Pretty narrow-minded of you to think that there should be some special pass for YOUR cohort (and *only* your cohort) because of “love.” Narrow your focus just a little more and you’ll be so far Left you’ll be Right.

    Sad–but not surprising–that so few can make the logical–but non-judgmental–connection.

    Oh: And none of you has proffered a REASON for your selective bias, i.e., none has offered a REASON to continue the outright and absurd discrimination of certain groups, some large, that may wish to marry. But I guess asking one to “engage brain” is expecting too much.

    Here, I’ll make it easier on your outrage: Why can some states allow marriage to first cousins, but other states forbid it. Isn’t this a form of arbitrary discrimination? (My fave is WI, which allows “First cousins once removed, but only if they are over a certain age or cannot bear children.”)

  • Yale12


  • Hieronymus’ Bosh


    Present your argument then. As I see it, you wish for some “right” to marry “the one you love,” but would deny that right to others not befitting legal recognition, in your opinion. What did I miss?

  • yalie13

    @Hieronymus’ Bosh
    “SoooOOoooo… you defend, by extension, the right of brothers to marry their sisters and reproduce? If not, why not? What if they promise not to reproduce? Why couldn’t Greg Brady marry his STEP-sister, Marsha (exclusive of his fictional status). Can an unadopted step-son marry his mother? If not, why not? If so: can a son marry his father? If not, why not? In your opinion, should a mother be “allowed” to marry BOTH her son and his father?
    This is NOT “slippery slope”: all these are real cases, real questions (check the links!). My question to YOU is: is there ANY “group of citizens” whose “rights” you might deny?”

    Yes I would support all those rights. I wouldn’t care if a man wanted to marry his toaster because it’s not hurting me, isn’t disrupting my life, and who am I to judge him. It’s his life, not mine. Obviously, that’s an unrealistic example used to make a point and these examples you raise are hardly prevalent issues in society the same way gay marriage is. They’re isolated cases that you’re blowing out of proportion. People aren’t being discriminated against, ostracized, and being bullied literally into a psychologically suicidal state on the same level because they want to marry their siblings. Gay marriage and discrimination against gays is a very serious issue that is no different from discrimination against any other group.

    You know, there’s that old hash where people ignorantly use the Bible to legitimize their claims against gay marriage, saying stuff like “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Well, you got to stop and realize for a moment that a hundred fifty years ago the Bible was used the same, exact way to discriminate against blacks, I’m guessing with a modified slogan of “It’s Adam and Eve, not Jamaal and Taniqua.”

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Yale13: don’t infer to much. I am not sure that a man should *not* be allowed to marry his toaster (assuming the toaster gives consent).

    You think siblings who marry are not ostracized? Even jailed (which, last time I checked, is no longer a punishment for homosexual activity in the U.S.)?

    I would hazard that the rate of so-called “underage” marriages (by CT standards) is on par with same-sex marriage rates. Hold on… Here it is (kinda outdated, but I’m busy): In 1998, a little over 1% of women aged 15 to 17 were married. Sooooo: 3 million marriages is an “unrealistic example used to make a point?” (I will ignore for now the ostracization, bullying, and rampant suicide rates to which you allude but the degree of which I doubt).

    You want more populousness? How many polygamist unions do you think go unrecognized in the U.S.? But whatever. No one here has yet justified their bigotry, nor have you identified any bigotry in me that needs justification (Oh, I have ’em though! You should *see* some of my scores on Harvard’s Project Implicit! Interestingly, I scored “neutral” on its vanguard test of implicit racism–and framed the results for my amusement. But I digress… Gotta go — late )

  • FailBoat

    > your reductio ad absurdum argument could be used to refute Enlightenment humanism altogether.

    The irony contained herein is hilarious.

  • yalie13

    @Hieronymus’ Bosh
    hahah your points are valid but they don’t really contradict what I’m saying. I don’t think you got what I was saying.
    Firstly, I said that they are not ostracized, bullied, etc. “on the same level” because it’s not as an impassioned and prevalent a situation. People talk about LGBT rights, make LGBT groups, and talk about it in the national forum because it’s a more widespread issue that is very serious and needs to be concerned. Secondly, I say that the other examples you provide, too, have the right to marry and should not be discriminated (hence my toaster analogy), so I don’t see why you’re bringing up more examples of people being ostracized as if I argued that those issues aren’t legitimate.

    The reason why I said those examples are blown out of proportion and would be like comparing apples with oranges with respect to gay marriage is only because some of those examples (they are each different in that some are more prevalent than others) do not have the same stance in society as gays. In other words, people do not hold rallies for sibling marriages or mother-son marriages because it’s not a large issue. So to compare their rights with gay rights in the political forum would be unanalagous.

    But this issue you bring up is a bit irrelevant because they all should have the right to marry. Underage women should have the right to marry. polygamists should have the right to marry. siblings should have the right not marry. none of these people should be jailed, discriminated, threatened, ostracized, bullied etc. just because they are different. We are all equal human beings. They harm no one and don’t impose their beliefs anyone (unlike those who mandate that homosexual marriages are only to be tolerated).

  • Yale12

    I never said I would deny that right to others. I said that they have every right to present their case in front of a court of law. Essentially, I agree with Yale13; I don’t care what they do as long as it is not detrimental to society. What you are trying to engage me is indeed a Straw Man argument: Gallagher and Wolfson were debating whether gays should be allowed to marry, not whether or not sisters or toasters should be given those rights. To try and get me to talk about my views on those marriages (or to “justify my bigotry”) is simply not pertinent to the actual fact of whether it should be legal to deny marriage rights to GAYS; the issues may (or may not) be interconnected, but they are still separate.

    But I find it absolutely ridiculous, and offensive, that you would compare the so-called persecution of people who marry their siblings to the discrimination and bigotry faced by gays. This is where the line is drawn between a statement to prove a point on a comment board and something deeply offensive. In September, FIVE teenage boys committed suicide because of harassment, bullying, and homophobia. You say you doubt these statistics; I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but all surveys (even those done by conservative groups who use the information to point to something being inherently wrong with homosexuality) have shown that gay teenagers have 3 and even 4 times higher suicide rates than their straight peers. It’s very easy for straight people to say that gay bullying does not exist because they do not see it; as a white person, I might say the same thing about racism, because it flies under my radar. But it DOES exist, and to deny its existence is deeply offensive to the memories of these 5 boys and the thousands of people like me, who themselves considered suicide in high school and middle school because of the bullying I was forced to endure.

  • RexMottram08


    Perhaps there is something inherent in gay culture that makes these adolescents more likely to commit suicides.

    In the San Francisco gay community, there are young men known as “bug chasers” who intentionally seek HIV/AIDS exposure so they will never grow old. They will die young to avoid this fate.

  • Yale12

    Let’s see, RexMottram. If you had been told since your childhood that the way you were born was a sin, made you less valuable than other people, was inherently evil, was morally wrong, was going to destroy the fabric of society, made you less worthy of God’s love and affection–if your life had been made a living hell by peers for your entire youth because of the way you spoke, walked, and who you loved–would you attribute your suicidal feelings to something inherent within your culture, or something within the culture that has made you feel worthless for your entire life?

    In the straight community, there are some men who beat and kill their wives. Does this mean there is something inherently wrong with straight people? Should we blame their murders on there being something inherently wrong with straight men’s sexualities?

  • FailBoat

    > In the straight community, there are some men who beat and kill their wives. Does this mean there is something inherently wrong with straight people?

    Yes, actually. Studies have found that heterosexual males are on average more aggressive than homosexual males. I guess it could be some weird societal power structure thing, but it could just as easily be biological.

    But your whole “not thinking critically” thing is cool too, I guess.

  • RexMottram08

    Yale12, I assume you object most strongly to religious opponents of gay marriage. You might be surprised to know that these opponents of gay marriage are likely to:

    1- believe than everyone (gay or straight) is born into sin (Original sin)

    2- **NOTHING** makes someone less *valuable* than other people (inherent dignity of the human person)

    3- believe that you (gay or straight) are inherently good (as a product of God’s good creation)

    4- believe that gay people are capable of morally wrong ACTIONS (Christian sexual morality is a comprehensive and quite reasonable system of thought)

    5- that society has a foundation in marriage and the family and that these ontologically PRE-DATE the State, and that the State has no authority to change these.

    6- that God loves everyone and pours out His love most abundantly during moments of great suffering, but also calls us beyond our passions and urges. Free Will can be disciplined for our greater flourishing.

    Given the amount of gay-friendly pop icons, and the number of teenagers who embrace “fad” homosexuality for a few years, it seems that being young and gay in America is a great life by modern measurements.

  • Yale12

    You would be incorrect in your assumption. I am also a Christian. I understand that it’s very difficult to argue with peoples’ religious beliefs because they are so deeply engrained; I don’t quarrel with somebody who may think that, according to their particular interpretation of Christianity, the way I was born is somehow “wrong” or that I am making a choice to live in sin because of who I love. They have every right to hold that belief. However, I would never want anybody’s personal religious beliefs to dictate the laws of our country, and to regulate the civil rights of those who do not believe the same things.

    Either way, having a few gay-friendly pop icons does not balance out hate and homophobia. At the peak of their turmoil, almost every gay teenager in this country would tell you that they desperately wished that they were straight, sometimes to the point of killing themselves because they were not. I have certainly gone through that period in my life, and honestly, even now, I am not sure that, given the choice, I would not choose being heterosexual simply because it is a much, much less painful road. If you are curious as to understand some reasons that young gay people might be driven to suicide (apart from your ridiculous assertions about the tiny, tiny minority of ‘bugchasers’), I suggest you watch this man’s story: His experience very closely mirrors my own, although I did not ever actually climb up onto a bridge.

  • Ebonyman

    Marriage is between one man and one woman, pure and simple! A man and a woman make two halves, and together, they become one-flesh! Gays cannot create that reality of “oneness” because two men does not make “two halves”. Almighty God will judge all sexual perverts and sexually immoral people. I will forever stand for marriage the way that God designed it back in the Garden of Eden: one man and one woman for life!

  • Bob

    @ RexMottram08

    Let look at this at another angle; the FBI Hate Crime Stats for 2008 (2009 is not available at this time).

    **Victims by class:**
    Anti-Black — 2,596
    Anti-Gay — 1,413 ( Anti-Male/921, Anti-female/156, Anti-homosexual/336)
    Anti-Hispanic — 711
    Anti-Jew — 353

    **Compare to:**
    Anti-Catholic — 35
    Anti-Protestant — 34
    Anti-Heterosexual — 25

    You make it sound as if being Gay is just a walk in the park. In reality, you have to fear for your life.

  • Yale12

    As I’ve said, Ebonyman, you can believe what you want. I believe that God made me the way I am and loves me the way I am, but I won’t argue with your interpretations of our faith. Just don’t let your religious beliefs dictate my civil rights.

  • pablum

    @Ebonyman: Lot’s daughters got him drunk and raped him. Family! *Sheds tear*.

  • jdb

    @HB – In order to justify limiting the rights of a specific group, you must provide (at a bare minimum) a rational basis for the government to intervene.

    Raising the unlikely spectre of legalized polygamy, legalized incest, and/or legalized appliance love has no bearing on legalizing gay marriage. If the only reason that polygamists, siblings, and appliances couldn’t receive marriage licenses was because gays cannot, our laws would state as much.

    Instead, lacking all rational basis with which to attack supporters of gay marriage, you’ve seized upon the *ad hominem* assault of crying, “Hypocrite!” and pointing a self-righteous finger at those mean activists who are ignoring (in your eyes) other marriage-less worthies. Yet we are to believe that you’re a ***supporter*** of marriage equality. If anyone is **truly** that gullible, I have a bridge and some bottom land to sell them for cheap.

  • kittykatsays

    > Blockquote @HB – In order to justify limiting the rights of a specific group, you must provide (at a bare minimum) a rational basis for the government to intervene.
    Raising the unlikely spectre of legalized polygamy, legalized incest, and/or legalized appliance love has no bearing on legalizing gay marriage. If the only reason that polygamists, siblings, and appliances couldn’t receive marriage licenses was because gays cannot, our laws would state as much.
    Instead, lacking all rational basis with which to attack supporters of gay marriage, you’ve seized upon the ad hominem assault of crying, “Hypocrite!” and pointing a self-righteous finger at those mean activists who are ignoring (in your eyes) other marriage-less worthies. Yet we are to believe that you’re a supporter of marriage equality. If anyone is truly that gullible, I have a bridge and some bottom land to sell them for cheap.

    Thank you jdb! Very well said.

  • RexMottram08


    I fail to see any serious religion claiming that gays are “born wrong.”

    Serious religion with deeply considered moral philosophy often concludes that sodomy is not an ideal sexual practice. This does not make them irrational or bigots.

  • Yale12

    Well I mean, if that’s all you got out of what I’ve been saying, then I guess it’s probably time to stop trying to explain things to you. Or do you continue to pick at smaller and smaller details of my posts because you simply have no way to argue with my post itself? It’s hard to hold onto your own stereotypes about the gay community when you’re confronted with gay people who don’t conform to them, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I never said religious people were irrational or bigots because of their beliefs (and yes, pretty much every conservative Christian church tries to tell me that being gay is wrong, and since I was born gay, that’s exactly what they’re saying). I just don’t think anybody’s religious beliefs should dictate government action. You would agree, no?

    So, would you like to continue to tell me that being young and gay in America is “a great life”–or address any of the actual content of my post?

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > Raising the unlikely spectre of
    > legalized polygamy {? unlikely? It *exists*!], legalized incest [how is two brothers marrying *incest*? Why is it weirder then two *un*affiliated men marrying?]
    > Instead, lacking all rational basis
    > with which to attack supporters of gay
    > marriage, you’ve seized upon the ad
    > hominem assault of crying,
    > “Hypocrite!”

    I am interested in understanding how ANY case can be made for restricting marriage in ANY way, given the clearly arbitrary nature of marriage laws (discrimination based on age, blood affiliation, legal affiliation, financial status, and so on). If one can restrict ANY of these, then it seems to me to be within a state’s rights to restrict ALL of them.

    BTW: I am not *attacking* gay marriage (and I never said I support it–I likely said “I don’t care,” which is different), and my cry of “hypocrite!” is not even meant to be limited to this particular topic. I am trying to get others–even or especially so-called liberals/enlightened/progressives–to think outside their own little boxes.

    For those seeking some rationale to limit *something*, I find the following interesting:

    > The indiscriminate promotion of
    > various social groups’ desires and
    > preferences as “rights” has drained
    > the moral authority from the civil
    > rights industry. Let us consider the
    > question of rights. What makes a gay
    > activist’s aspiration to overturn
    > thousands of years of universally
    > recognized morality and practice a
    > “right”? Why should an institution
    > designed for the reproduction of civil
    > society and the rearing of children in
    > a moral environment in which their
    > interests are given pride of place be
    > refashioned to accommodate
    > relationships integrated around
    > intrinsically non-marital sexual
    > conduct?

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > One must, in the current discussion,
    > address directly the assertion of
    > discrimination. The claim that the
    > definition of marriage as the union of
    > one man and one woman constitutes
    > discrimination is based on a false
    > analogy with statutory prohibitions on
    > interracial marriages in many states
    > through much of the 20th century. This
    > alleged analogy collapses when one
    > considers that skin pigmentation is
    > utterly irrelevant to the procreative
    > and unitive functions of marriage.
    > Racial differences do not interfere
    > with the ability of sexually
    > complementary spouses to become
    > “one-flesh,” as the Book of Genesis
    > puts it, by sexual intercourse that
    > fulfills the behavioral conditions of
    > procreation. As the law of marital
    > consummation makes clear, and always
    > has made clear, it is this bodily
    > union that serves as the foundation of
    > the profound sharing of life at every
    > level–biological, emotional,
    > dispositional, rational, and
    > spiritual–that marriage is. This
    > explains not only why marriage can
    > only be between a man and a woman, but
    > also why marriages cannot be between
    > more than two people–despite the
    > desire of “polyamorists” to have their
    > sexual preferences and practices
    > legally recognized and blessed.
    > Moreover, the analogy of same-sex
    > marriage to interracial marriage
    > disregards the whole point of those
    > prohibitions, which was to maintain
    > and advance a system of racial
    > subordination and exploitation. It was
    > to maintain a caste system in which
    > one race was relegated to conditions
    > of social and economic inferiority.
    > The definition of marriage as the
    > union of a man and a woman does not
    > establish a sexual caste system or
    > relegate one sex to conditions of
    > social and economic inferiority. It
    > does, to be sure, deny the recognition
    > as lawful “marriages” to some forms of
    > sexual combining–including polygyny,
    > polyandry, polyamory, and same-sex
    > relationships. But there is nothing
    > invidious or discriminatory about laws
    > that decline to treat all sexual wants
    > or proclivities as equal.
    > People are equal in worth and dignity,
    > but sexual choices and lifestyles are
    > not. That is why the law’s refusal to
    > license polygamous, polyamorous, and
    > homosexual unions is entirely right
    > and proper. In recognizing, favoring,
    > and promoting traditional, monogamous
    > marriage, the law does not violate the
    > “rights” of people whose “lifestyle
    > preferences” are denied the stamp of
    > legal approval. Rather, it furthers
    > and fosters the common good of civil
    > society, and makes proper provision
    > for the physical and moral protection
    > and nurturing of children.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Now *that* is an argument!

    I am interested, truly interested, in the argument that can carve out a waiver for same-sex marriage *without* including other restricted classes. (By the same token: I find those arguments that do away with “waivers” entirely OR do away with government interest/licensing/regulation of marriage *entirely* at least philosophically consistent.)

    As a total aside: life will be quite different for *all* of us under our demographically-dictated future theocratic overlord (who shall remain nameless, PBUH), and all of this precious debate will have been for naught

    Y12: Life is indeed unfair. Congratulations on triumphing regardless! (I refer to your academic–and, one assumes, future life success). Best of luck–and I mean that.

  • RexMottram08

    Yes, but I also know cheats and drunks and violents. My concern for them manifests opposition to their actions. I do not excuse them on the basis of genetics, or culture.

  • JoeNCA

    @Ebonyman: If marriage a religious sacrament ordained by God, please explain why atheists get married, and why their marriages are recognized by our government, or at the very least, why their marriages are not also banned.

    The truth of the matter is that any heterosexual couple can run down to the City Hall, stand before a judge, get married, and never involved a member of the Church. Gay couples just want the same. It has nothing to do with the church, and if your church chooses not to recognize it, it doesn’t have to anymore than a Catholic Church has to recognize a marriage between people of different faiths or those who’ve been previously divorced. My own sister had to convert to Catholicism to be married in a Catholic Church, and the Church wouldn’t have been forced to do otherwise. And if you don’t believe gay people shouldn’t get married, don’t marry a gay person. But it’s not within your right to deny that to someone else.

    As soon as you bring your Bible into the courtroom, you’ve lost the argument, which is why time after time, it’s lost there as well.

  • JoeNCA

    @RexMottram08: Imagine there was something so deeply ingrained in you, something so incredibly difficult to change, and admitting so meant risking the complete loss of your friends, your family, and even your community, every around you that was your support, everything you’d ever known. You may consider ending it all before admitting it to others as well.

    Remove that fear and you remove that risk. As society has grown more accepting, the fear has reduced, and so has the risk. But the fear is still there, and thus also the risk.

    So when you teach it’s okay to treat people as less than your equal, you teach that it’s okay to treat people as less than human. Yes, I’m talking to you, Rex.

  • JeffreyRO5

    What needs to happen is that people like Maggie Gallagher, who make a living at fighting marriage equality, aren’t taken seriously anymore. At some point, a person does not represent a serious point of view, even one that is widely held. The straight supremacist movement has no more legitimacy as the white supremacist movement. Stop giving people like this a forum for their illegitimate points of view. Who’s next at Yale? Fred Phelps?

  • JoeNCA

    @JeffreyRO5: Considering the people at the forum who opposed her beliefs outnumbered those who supported hers 3:1, when her Summer for Marriage tour brought out less than a score of people at each stop, when even her calls to Republicans to resurrect the Marriage Amendment failed, if would appear that day has arrived.

  • sigh

    Some guy above wants to marry teh one he loves.
    I want to marry the one who will bear my children.

  • JoeNCA

    @sigh: Is it a requirement that all marriages must bear children? I wasn’t aware of this regulation.

  • Yale12

    Hieronymous’ Bosh, *that* is not an argument, that’s just a list of bigoted and ignorant statements that have nothing to do with fact and that you happen to agree with.

  • Yalie

    Yalie13: “Well, you got to stop and realize for a moment that a hundred fifty years ago the Bible was used the same, exact way to discriminate against blacks, I’m guessing with a modified slogan of “It’s Adam and Eve, not Jamaal and Taniqua.”

    Jamaal and Taniqua was fine: the problem for the lawmakers then was the prospect of Adam and Taniqua, or, even more horrifying to them, Jamaal and Eve.

  • RexMottram08

    Marriage is for the procreation of children. The state has a vested interest in ensuring the continuation of the populace.

    The state can regulate this by restricting marriage certificates and benefits to heterosexual relationships. This is a way to avoid intrusive meddling into fertility and procreative intentions. (The state cannot restrict marriage itself since marriage ontologically pre-dates the state)

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