Comments

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Bob 10:24 AM on 19 May 2007

It trivializes the issue. It doesn't nail it.

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Ray 11:09 AM on 19 May 2007

"It trivializes the issue. It doesn't nail it."

For you, maybe it does.

I'm glad it was posted.

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Ned Batchelder 11:48 AM on 19 May 2007

Bob: it certainly isn't a serious presentation of the issue, but as far as I'm concerned, he precisely points out the hypocrisy and absurdity of the opponents of gay marriage. He does it in a comic manner, which of course will not convince anyone, but I don't think there's any convincing to be done anyway. One's position on gay marriage tends to be based on deeply felt beliefs, not reason, so there's little that can be done to move people from one side to the other.

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Glyph Lefkowitz 11:58 AM on 19 May 2007

This guy is hilarious! Better yet, he even talks like Tom Lehrer. I can't resist mixing politics here: please tell me his albums are RIAA and DRM free (and where I can get them).

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Manuzhai 3:32 PM on 19 May 2007

I found this so great that I put it up on reddit for everyone to see. See here.

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susan senator 7:09 PM on 19 May 2007

I would like to know (really, I'm not being a bitch) what Bob means. How much more could this thing have been nailed, seriously? Bob? You still there?

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Bob Congdon 1:10 AM on 20 May 2007

Different Bob here... Funny that the first two posts are by "Bob" and "Ray" and we're talking about satire. Bob and Ray, I loved those guys. But not enough to marry either of them. Not that there's anything wrong with that... ;-)

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Gheorghe Milas 10:40 AM on 22 May 2007

There is not need for reason. Point. You don't have a reason when you marry someone, now, do you, is love, the same should go about me not having a reason but firmly not wanting my kids to play with other kids from gay marriages, going kissing themselves because their fathers do. Yes teachers have to go tell kids that boy kissing boy is not what the should do, or maybe they should, what's wrong with that. "Daddy, you know that only boy kissing girl is allowed and only on the chick but not a boy another boy or girl another girl" my 5 year old told me one day coming back from daycare. And if is about "reason", maybe one "deeply felt believe" is that kids in gay marriages should have a right to be raised in an environment that is not biased towards being gay but be biased towards not being gay, if for no other reason then just masses (numbers).
So, because I am not gay but I might be, being given other contexts to grow adult, let them marry, but please, please don't let them adopt those easily manipulable kids.

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Ned Batchelder 4:17 PM on 22 May 2007

Gheorghe, I think you are saying, "I don't need a reason to feel that being gay is bad, and so I have a right to not want gay people to get married." Can you explain how this differs from "I don't need a reason to feel that being black is bad, and so I have a right to not want blacks and whites to marry"?

You are trying to protect "easily manipulable kids", but what are protecting them from? From thinking that gay is OK? I think gay is OK, so I am alright with them learning that.

I think it is also a misconception to think that being raised by gay parents will pre-dispose children to being gay.

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Gheorghe Milas 12:42 PM on 23 May 2007

This arguments are indeed all not based on infaillible reasoning, I am mostly guessing here, but that does not mean that if we don't know for sure (or you say that we do?), we should try experimenting see what might it brings us.

Did we need to experiment on communism for just one stupidly extreme example? it was after all a sound and humanly idea, it just turned out that we people are not made for living equal? Now do we need to experiment having kids be exposed to all kinds of uncommon social trends? What's the psychological difference, between gay exposure, pedophile is ok, sex between family members is ok? What's the social difference?, sure there is no anatomical anomaly, it's my brother, what's wrong with that, we can't have kids anyway so no harm there.

I don't want to seam unreasonable, because I don't really think that gay do something bad in a felony sense of way but it does disturb social values some other people have come to assume stable.

As far as black/gay comparison the difference is that black was bad when it was a social disturbance, black==slave so black-marry-white == white-slave, baaaaad. It wasn't the black that was bad, it was the slave that was bad, but slave was a wrong and criminal concept. Well that is not the case now, there is no social need to say black is bad, it's just xenophobic, I would say though that murderer==bad and infer daughter-marry-murderer==wrong.

Again I don't compare gay with criminal but just like criminal, gay is a learned social behavior not a given attribute, so while they don't do anything bad in itself to threaten human life it does in my view threaten social stability as we know it, and again do we need to experiment the social path of gay acceptance see what might it bring us? Maybe we do and maybe we will, I just don't see it's value. I would expect from them to understand that we would not want to promote gay behavior as normal behavior so I would not want my kids to be exposed to it more then socially necessary for peaceful coexistence, but unfortunately, in my opinion, they are being exposed more then what I believe to be necessary.

You might say that gay is today what slave was yesterday but slave was a pre feudal activity of power a human invented activity to exercise power, it can not be compared with homosexuality. Anyway is actually all just about the right balance and while we learn to accept them they should also learn to escape their mind set of being the "banned minority" and learn that they can not and should not enforce society to change and suddenly view them as just the next neighbor without sound research on social impact.

I am sorry I was raised in a manner that would see gay as not normal, but I can not easily be made to see it that way and even more so I see it as a threat when someone tries to tell me that my kids should not be raised this way but be raised in an "open mind" way, the "new fashion" way.

This is already too long and perhaps without much insight so I stop here saying that the issue is bigger then just "what's wrong with that" and should not be simplified or trivialized but taken seriously and researched comprehensively before jumping the wagon with "innocent requests" like what's wrong with us marrying or us adopting kids and even more, to expect us promoting it because "what's wrong with that".

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Jeff Winkler 12:47 PM on 23 May 2007

He's brilliant.. and love the slogan "Funny Songs about ignorance, war and greed".

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susan senator 12:53 PM on 23 May 2007

Gheorghe -
I see that you are struggling to explain a belief you hold, with which you were raised. Perhaps your difficulty here is that you are arguing rationally about something you merely feel. There have been studies that have shown that being gay is not, as you say, "learned behavior," but is, instead, something one is born with. Being exposed to the gay lifestyle does not automatically make one gay or want to be gay.

And I take offense at your statement that gays should not be allowed to raise or adopt kids. What makes you think that the gay lifestyle or gay sexuality is the worst thing a child can be exposed to? If there is love and respect and appropriate boundaries, there is no problem; unlike, let's take for example a straight couple who sexually abuse a child! You're saying that the gay couple is the worst parents simply because of what they practice in the bedroom with each other!

I happen to know of at least three people, very dear to me, who were raised by a gay woman, all of whom are married to people of the opposite sex, and happily so. All of whom are contributing to society and are wonderful, openhearted people. I wish the same for your children.

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Gheorghe Milas 1:38 PM on 23 May 2007

Susan, you are right I am trying to "argue rationally about something I merely feel" but the truth of it is that I am not yet ready to accept it. You are also right that "gay sexuality is NOT the worst thing a child can be exposed to" it's definitely better than them living in Romanian's (my birth country) orphanages where they have even more chances to become gay (but here I go again believing in gay as a socially learned behavior) or criminal etc.

I too know of a few gay people whom I value as great people and I would trust that if they have kids they would too be wonderfully educated people but I just can not think that them would not have any social problems being of gay parents and they don't seam to see it that way, sure maybe there is going to be a time (or maybe I don't see it that now is the time) when it will be perfectly accepted but let's just not rush it and let's balance the decisions in a rational way. Perhaps my problem is that I come from a country where this I believe would be much worse and I didn't completely learned that at least in american cities this is much better socially? so I probably just need some more time to learn that, and probably more exposure to american society because most of my friends are still romanian.

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Paul Downs 3:56 PM on 23 May 2007

George,

I don't agree with you, but I can certainly respect your reasoned and open minded presentation of your argument. The crux of the matter seems to be whether being gay is a choice or the way people are born. Personally, I think that an individual's sexuality falls on a spectrum from pure gay to pure straight - many people have some of both, and for a certain number of them there is a choice as to whether to act straight or gay. However, this needn't affect their parenting abilities one way or another. There are many awful straight parents, and many good gay parents. Demonstrating a particular kind of sexual behavior isn't a huge part of parenting, at least in the early years. Any a gay parent would presumably be open to the possibility that their kids are straight, since most gay people have straight relatives (I would imagine). Teaching people how to love is different from teaching them the mechanics of straight or gay sex. The first is a done by a lifetime of demonstration, the second is most likely done by the child on his/her own, with some further embarrassed parental explanations at random intervals.

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Marcel Popescu 2:30 AM on 26 May 2007

What I find funny is that the actual reason for the opposition is not mentioned once anywhere - not in Roy's "song", nor in the comments. The guy is funny, I laughed at his antics even though I consider him an idiot [and NOT because of this subject] :) However, the main reason for the opposition to homosexual marriage is that marriage is - especially in the US - a mostly religious institution. People who take their beliefs seriously don't want to see them mocked. [Disclosure: I don't really care. I consider male homosexuality disgusting, probably because males are generally ugly (grin) but there's very little that I consider to be anti-Christian.]

Of course, in my opinion the gay community mostly knows that - they're not asking the state for social co-habitation contracts, they're asking to be married, knowing that it's going to inflame a lot of people. Some people believe this to be a good tactic, and given the usual "everyone else will be left behind" philosophy of most of the conservative community, it might even be.

Incidentally, it appears that you have two Romanian readers. Again, funny :)

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Ned Batchelder 7:29 AM on 26 May 2007

I don't believe that the desire to be married is a cynical tactic. In the case of segregation, "separate but equal" was ruled to be not equal at all. The same principle applies here: same-sex couples want to be treated the same as opposite-sex couples. Any difference between how couples are paired is a distinction fueled by a bias against homosexuality, and infers a second-class status on gay couples.

The fact that opponents are inflamed by the push for gay marriage does not mean that the goal was to inflame them. The goal is to receive equal treatment.

As for me, I welcome all Romanian readers!

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Marcel Popescu 9:13 AM on 26 May 2007

Wanting to be treated the same is an inflammatory tactic. Next after state marriages will be church marriages (treated the same, right? opposite-sex couples have church marriages), which will serve to further piss off the conservative community.

As for second-class - why? Why don't they (different treatments) infer a first-class status for gay couples and a second-class status for heterosexual ones?

For some reason, public opinion in the US is against sex with children, so this is not yet a viable attack against Christians. I'm assuming it will be tried sooner or later, though; same as marriage (church marriage even) with animals.

I am very cynic when it comes to human motivation, mine included :)

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Ned Batchelder 4:40 PM on 26 May 2007

Marcel, I can see that you are cynical about human motivation. Simply because a goal inflames opponents, that does not make it an inflammatory tactic. Bigots were inflamed when blacks demanded to be treated equally; that doesn't mean blacks were choosing inflammatory tactics.

Society's views can sometimes be hard to change. That doesn't mean they are right. In fifty years, we will look back on this time, and wonder what people were thinking when they opposed gay marriage.

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Marcel Popescu 5:13 PM on 27 May 2007

Your position is the to see the actions of the gay community in the best possible light. It continues to ignore, in my opinion, the main point I made earlier. Let's try this: say that same-sex marriages would be approved, with the condition that they both get a written ok from the protestant priests of the parishes where they lived for at least six months.

Can you imagine the explosion that would happen if someone would dare to seriously suggest such a thing? The lawsuits about violating the separation between church and state? (A statement that, incidentally, does NOT appear in the constitution.) And yet, the whole same-sex marriage thing is asking the state to interfere with a religious institution.

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Ned Batchelder 7:34 PM on 27 May 2007

Marcel, I think you are right that the issue is complicated by the mixing of state and religion. But you are wrong about same-sex marriage being the cause of the mixing. The state has always had a hand in the shape of marriage (requiring licenses, for example, or legalizing divorce). State laws took positions on interracial marriage until 1967 when the US Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forbidden.

This is one of those ill-defined concepts: what is marriage? Is it a social construct or a religious one? Different people have different opinions, and these opinions will put people on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage issue.

Earlier you said, "People who take their beliefs seriously don't want to see them mocked." I don't understand why serious adults wanting to take part in marriage is perceived as mocking marriage. Britney Spears and all the Elvis chapels in Las Vegas are doing a fine job mocking marriage. Committed gays who want to have their relationship are not mocking marriage, they are trying to participate in it. As Roy points out in the song, Bob Barr, one of the most vociferous "defenders of marriage" is in his third marriage, to a woman he started dating while he was still married to wife #2. How is that not a mockery of marriage?

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Gheorghe Milas 2:23 AM on 29 May 2007

In an ideal orthodox society, marriage is an act of communion with Jesus, a way of life outside of monastery to be in communion.

"marriage in the Orthodox Church is not a contract - a legal agreement with the exchange of vows or promises - between two people. Rather, marriage is the setting up, by two people, of a miniature church, a family church, wherein people may worship the true God and struggle to save their souls. It is also a family church that is in obedience to Christ's Church. As Saint Basil the Great says, it is natural to marry, but it must be more than natural; it must be a yoke, borne by two people under the Church" (link)

Of course, that's not what people do today, they just get married in church because that's what everybody does, most people have no idea about what the meaning of Christian marriage is. There are priests in Romania, Grece, Russia etc. that would not allow marriage without proper "preparations", people must know what they are doing and do it right before a priest will marry them, just like getting into monastery means preparations and for people to know what they do before they are accepted.

I don't really know what the meaning of today's civil legal marriage is, but it has a social value completely outside of it's Christian meaning (link). I believe what homosexuals ask for is civil legal marriage because for sure they won't get orthodox Christian marriage and I don't believe neither other Christian marriage be it Catholic, Lutheran or newer protestant like Baptism or what. Of course there's been many times when people have protested from their church and created a better one. I am sarcastic, of course, and orthodox by birth and by marriage but not a good or real one, although I tried once.

Anyway outside of this aspect there are other aspects more contemporary that still are to be discussed, like I tried above.

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