New York Rainbow

Last night, the New York state legislature voted to legalize same sex marriage. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law just before midnight. Celebrations began immediately.
Less than an hour after the New York legislature passed a marriage equality bill 33 to 29 during a late session on Friday, Twitter started filling up with messages about how the Empire State Building had "gone rainbow." "OK, pictures of rainbow Empire State Building are getting me misty," screenwriter Diablo Cody wrote. "A rainbow shines on the Empire State and the Empire State building tonight!," another tweet read. And another: "Empire state building goes rainbow. Go us!"

Less than an hour? The Atlantic explains how the display was executed so fast. Link -via @Bad Astronomer

I'm all for the government not telling people how they should behave behind closed doors, but elevating the status of a gay relationship to be supposedly equal with that of traditional marriage is foolish. We are doing our future generations a great disservice just so we can make a few selfish adults not feel left out. A gay relationship may be capable of raising a child, but it will always fall short of the providing for the needs of a child the way a healthy heterosexual marriage can. Our government has a responsibility to hold traditional marriage up as the highest and most desired standard and thus protect our future generations, even if it means denying the title of marriage to a few.

You can now start calling me bigoted, or a homophobe, or whatever other branding you want to put on me, but you know I'm right. If you agree, please speak up.
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Kudos to you, JM for having the courage to speak up. Just remember(as you are being slain for your opinion) that there are many others who agree with you 100 percent. It is unfortunate that a very small minority of the population now makes the policies. Put it to a vote of the people and gay marriage will lose hands-down every time.
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How are they making a few selfish adults not feel left out? Even with a small victory like this, there are people such as yourself who will always make them feel smaller and less worthwhile.

It's not always about raising a child either. Many LGBT are already raising children without being married. Or even just on their own. And many have no plans to raise children, just like quite a lot of heterosexual couples. There are countless reasons why a gay couple would like to be married that go beyond children and basing an entire argument on that is pretty flimsy. (Consider how many unmarried straight people have children..)

How about an American who wants to bring their foreign partner to live with them, or a partner needs to make a critical medical decision, financial benefits, and the list goes on and on. Denying them these basic civil rights goes against so much of what America is supposed to stand for, whether you agree with their personal bedroom preferences or not.

So for the record, no, I do not know you're right and I do not agree with you.
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I agree with V.N. Gay marriage and gay parenting are separate issues. I also disagree with Kaine that policies shouldn't be driven by minorities. What of policies regarding the accommodation of disabled individuals in public areas? I feel I must point out I'm not comparing gay people to the disabled, but few people would argue against policies regarding the rights of the small minority of disabled Americans. Or is it only minorities you disapprove of that shouldn't drive policies?
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You know JM, there's a lot more children that ended up screwed up after having straight parents than gay parents so to say having straight parents automatically is superior to gay parents is just silly. You aren't right, my parents were straight and had a buttload of issues and divorced and I spent from 5th grade onward going through therapy. My dad now no longer has anything to do with me so the way I see it, I have 1 parent, that being my mom. (who is awesome)

That's not to say there won't be issues like that with gay parents but be realistic. Children deserve loving and supportive parents, who cares if their parents happen to be two fathers or two mothers?
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I'm OK with gay marriage. It doesn't effect my marriage in the least. Now could the politicians tackle some issues like the economy, illegal aliens and our declining infrastructure?
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What I find is disgusting is that they can light up the Empire State Building in rainbow colors within hours of this bill becoming law, yet they refused to light it up in blue and white to honor Sister Theresa and her works of mercy for poor and starving people.

I don't care one whit what someone's sexual orientation is, with whom they have sex or how they choose to live their personal lives so long as they don't try to push it off on me. However, changing the definition of marriage from what it has been for centuries (a union of one man and one woman) is just wrong. Provide legal protections for same sex couples all you want, but quit trying to destroy the fundamental unit of our society by changing the definition.
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What is the government doing in the marriage business at all? Marriage was traditionally handled by the church and that is how it should of stayed. If you don't like the fact that this church or that church allows gay marriage, then don't go there. Then there is nothing left to argue about.

The government should only be in the contracts business (i.e. civil unions) between any 2 (or more?) consenting adults.
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With a divorce rate of over 50%, straight marriage isn't exactly the bastion of the sacred commitment (and that's ignoring all the married politicians that claim to be religious and then bangs anything that stands still long enough for them to unzip their pants). So good luck gay people - marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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Apart from what's been said already: if anything, gay couples can probably raise kids better than heterosexual couples.

When hetero couples get kids it's either by accident or because of social pressure.
With gay couples it's exactly the opposite: they can't have kids by accident and all the social pressure is against them raising kids. So if they want to raise a kid they really really really want to.

I think that's a better start than: "I thought you were on the pill."
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Honestly, the way I see it, the trend towards having a casual view about marriage does lot more harm to the so called 'sanctity' of marriage than allowing homosexual couples to marry.

Casual views like: it's not as big of deal if you just live together, even raising kids together, without getting married; or it's impossible to be monogamous to your spouse your whole life so it's okay to cheat; or it's better to just divorce than fight.

Granted, sometimes divorce is necessary -- especially if the relationship is truly toxic. But far too often people just give up on their marriage when things get tough rather than trying to work things out. Divorce isn't seen as big of a deal as it once was.

If a homosexual couple wants to make a serious commitment to each other and marry then why stand in their way? Do you think someone who has fought hard for the right to marry would hold it lightly? Same gendered couples don't nullify the significance of marriage, just as heterosexual couples don't automatically make a marriage 'sacred'.

It's your prerogative if you agree or disagree about homosexuality but this view that homosexual marriage would somehow weaken marriage is just wrong, I think.
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Angieness: Just for the record I never said that having straight parents automatically puts a child in a better position than if he/she had gay parents. I said that straight parents in a "healthy" married relationship (i.e. not headed for divorce) are in a better position to provide for children than gay parents are.

One more thing that saddens me after reading some of the above posts is how some folks seem to discount traditional marriage because of the 50% divorce rate. The high divorce rate in this country is not indicative of the institution of marriage as one of failure, but rather of the selfish nature of many people these days. Don't get me wrong, there are cases when divorce is the only solution, but I don't believe for a second that 50% of the married couples in this country have met that threshold.
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I imagine that some day same-sex marriage's detractors will have grandchildren embarrassed by their opinions, just as I'm mortified by my grandmother who isn't afraid of dropping the n-word from time to time.

You can argue until you turn blue, but at some point (probably not in the too-distant future), same-sex marriage will be uniformly legalized just as interracial marriage was in 1967, and the people who vote it into law will be the kids you've raised. Conversely, I don't believe the children raised by gay couples would vote to take away your rights to marry as you see fit, which is maybe something to think about.
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I love how J.M. characterizes gays as "selfish" for wanting to get married as though all the married heterosexuals held their weddings for the greater good of society.

Newsflash for you, J.M.: anyone who gets married and/or has kids do so for themselves, simply because it's what they want.

And everyone should have the right to do so, regardless of what percentage of the population they comprise.
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J.M is right. This all started when we freed the slaves. Suddenly, everybody wants equal rights.

The reason people are demanding marriage is because of people like you, J.M. - people who said "you have no right to your partner's pension, no right to see your loved one dying in the hospital, no right to adopt your partner's kids, no right of inheritance, no legal rights if the relationship ends, no rights whatsoever; you are non-entities under the law."

Talk about sacred all you want - what matters is legal issues and human rights. And that is the responsibility of the state.

They freed the slaves around the 1860's, but it took a hundred years before they could sit in the front of the bus. It was still controversial to show an inter-racial couple on TV kissing in the 1970's.

I love the comment "I have nothing against it as long as you don't try to push it off on me." That's the same comment as "Don't get me wrong. Some of my best friends are _______ (insert stereotype here)".
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"Just for the record I never said that having straight parents automatically puts a child in a better position than if he/she had gay parents. I said that straight parents in a 'healthy' married relationship (i.e. not headed for divorce) are in a better position to provide for children than gay parents are."

Ah. Convenient. You acknowledge that some straight couples can be worse parents than same-sex couples... but you don't think this disqualifies them from getting legally married. They get a pass (as far as marital law is concerned) because their relationships, problematic though they may be, are traditional.

People who hate each other are not disqualified. Hard drug addicts are not disqualified. Radical white supremacists are not disqualified. Convicted rapists are not even disqualified from marrying their own victims. Do I think you approve of these unions? No, of course not. I'm sure you're not HAPPY that people in these situations sometimes get married. Yet you stop short of saying that they should be legally BARRED from getting married based on their lack of parental merit.

That critique you reserve for me - a happy, healthy, gainfully employed adult in a committed same-sex relationship with no criminal record, no debt, and no desire to have kids.


To be very clear, I don't think you hate me. And I don't hate you - you strike me as a decent, level-headed person. However, given the double-standard you're advocating, I do think your reasoning on this issue is reflects prejudice more than it does logic.
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Heterosexual marriage must be the true, genuine building block of any worthwhile society! That's because... um... oh, okay, let's just come right out and say it. It's the Christian thing to do. Well, I'm glad we got THAT out in the open. Now, where did we get that from? If we try to justify it on the basis of, say, passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, we'll find ourselves imposing the death penalty for doing things like gathering firewood on the Sabbath and wearing clothes made of mixed fibers. Oh, wait I know! It must be somewhere in the Gospels! Yup, we're going to find the prohibition against gay marriage in the words of Jesus.

(flips through Bible)

I just KNOW it's got to be in here SOMEWHERE....

(flip flip)

Well, Jesus MUST have said SOMETHING nasty about GLBT folks..

(flippety flip)

WHAT DO YOU MEAN there's nothing in there??!?

That's right, y'all, Jesus Christ never had ONE word to say about homosexuality. Not one! So that attempt to use actual Christianity to justify prejudice is, as usual, a case of fail fail fail. We'll see you next time on the next episode of Name That Human Prejudice Masquerading as God's Word.
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Miss Cellania- No disrespect, but i can find a poll to support either side of the argument, too. I guess i was referring to prop 8 in california. The people were pretty clear. That vote took place in an area that tends to be much more pro-homosexual. I would guess that a nationwide vote(not an ABC news poll) would be much less in favor of gay marriage. And for the record, i have absolutely no problem with civil unions! Bash away, folks!
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Semantic deception- making taboo the true definition of a word so that it can be rewritten. exactly what has happened with marriage. It is between a man and a woman. it was never a civil union between two consenting adults. it was never two people who loved each other who wanted tax exemptions. its a man and a woman whose benefits to society are recognized by the state.
you cant change the definition of marriage and think people wont notice!!

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That can be said of every evolving social issue, though. All of them start out as minority opinions within the population (because they're new) and remain that way for years as they gather support. During that time, OF COURSE their initiatives fails a the ballot box. But that margin of failure shrinks and shrinks until opinion reaches a tipping point. Then, suddenly, they start to pass.

Yes, Prop 8 passed by a 5-point margin. But in 2000, Prop 22 (defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman) passed by a 23.5-point margin. And in 1990, the concept of putting same-sex marriage to a popular voice would have been laughable. So in twenty years, support for same-sex marriage amongst California voters went from a tiny minority... to a significant minority... to almost 50/50. What do you think will happen in twenty more years, Kaine?

As I said to J.M. - you don't sounds like you're a hateful person and I have no desire to bash you. I'm happy you support civil unions, too! (Another opinion that failed popular votes for years, BTW.) I just think that in this one case, your logic is based on prejudice rather than the other way around.
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Except that you're doing the same thing. The definition you describe - "a man and a woman whose benefits to society are recognized by the state" - is in itself a radical revision.

Four centuries ago, benefits were rendered by churches, not nation states. Those benefits were lopsided - husbands effectively owned their wives (financially, physically, sexually), and women owned nothing that their husbands did not give them. And, of course, they were not extended to mixed-race couples. At the time, these were all time-honored traditions that had rarely been questioned.

Every generation remodels its institutions, trying to make them stronger, more equitable, more beneficial to society. In the case of marriage, this push has gradually redefined husbands and wives as equal partners with equal rights, irrespective of gender, race, or faith.

So yes - people ARE trying to change the definition of marriage... as usual. Because we want to make it better... again. And, I suspect, future generations will accept this change as if it never happened... just like you do now, with all the previous changes.
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Marriage is a legal contract.

The same sort of thing you sign when you rent a house.

What has been approved here has nothing to do with religion. Nothing. As in zero. Nada. Diddly squat.

(And BTW: we all already know what the Catholic Church or other religious fundamentalists do not approve of.)
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Kaine: Bash away? you don't know the meaning of the word "bash", if you think that any of the people advocating gay marriage have been "bashing" anybody here.

You know what "bashing" is? Google Matthew Shepard - just one example of how intolerant society is. Gays can't show affection in public without fear of ridicule or the threat of violence, and you worry about sharing the definition of a word that's been ravaged by heterosexual society into a travesty of its former meaning.

A hundred years ago, women didn't have the vote. If it were left up to the majority of voters at that time to give women the right to vote, would they have gotten it? Hey, majority rules, at least when it's convenient.
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TL;DR at large to everyone. I jest! I read it all.

There are a few pivotal points which the debate on this thread seems to swivel; A) The definition of "marriage", B) The religious meaning or purpose of "marriage", C) The constitutional rights of individuals, D) Moral valuations of paraphilic orientations.

Definitions in general have a colloquial meaning which differs from their professional use. This may be especially true as it pertains to law. If one looks up the legal definition of a "Verbal threat" for example; one may find that it includes hearsay. Therefor it is not surprising to find a dual-use of language between the legal definition and the more colloquial usage.

It is my view, of which I have no personal attachment, that there is virtually no scriptural basis for a marriage "sanctuary". All references to marriage in the Bible are precluded by an air of disapproval. "It is better for a man not to touch a woman" Peter insists, "But if they cannot contain" he concedes, "then they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Cor 7:1,8-9) He then insists that "The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife." (1 Cor 7:4)

In other words, the Bible seems to indicate that marriage is a compromise with "passion". That it is best for a man or woman to be a solitary individual. As a matter of fact, in the "apocrypha" Jesus is quoted as saying "Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber." (Thomas: 75) The imagery of the "bridal chamber" here is to King Solomon's iconography of the divine wisdom Sophia, who alone Solomon would dedicated his heart to. Further sketching out that Christianity is more about reason and truth than it is about egotistical refuge.

Of course this says nothing of the constitutional rights of individuals, unless one sees a reason for conforming one's behavior to the idealism of the Biblical authors, one is likely to pursue whatever most satisfies them. Nor would it be profitable to force anyone to live by such a doctrine without due respect for the doctrine. I wish not to debate consitutional rights myself, but will simply say that if I imagine us to have free-will, it is little more than a will free from social obligation. Without that basic freedom there isn't much freedom to speak of.

As to moral valuations of paraphilic orientations, I would not attempt to justify or cast doubt on the moral character of one of them purely because one was or was not born with said quality. Predilections say nothing of moral character; valuations of morality must invariably supervene on global epistemic certainty or else they are purely subjective fabulations. To establish the rudiments of an 'objective' morality and avoid all the fallacies of whimsy is a difficult task, but we are the much worse without it. Biblically speaking; God dictates moral obligations by their functional anatomy. If it serves no biologically purposive function it is vain and deviant. One may argue that self-satisfaction has a calming effect which may avert serious illness caused by stress, however it is not clear whether this is habit-forming and will result in greater need for gratification later.

Another point of contention, at least for me, is how much of our outward behavior has an effect on cultural norms and mores. I feel a responsibility as an individual to contribute constructively to society, and I do not feel that on the functional/causative level, I am really doing anything independently or with no consequence to anyone else. Even as I stand outside smoking I provide myself as a character model to countless children and adults.
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