Gay Marriage Perspective

First there’s this.

Wow

Wow! Nineteen-ninety one!

Then, there’s this.

Gay marriage opinion

First of all, I take from the gay union poll that Obama needs to pursue repealing DOMA’s provision that prevents the Federal government from recognizing unions. I think this should be a high priority as well. Secondly, the more I look into any civil rights issue (slavery, suffrage, marriage issues) the more it becomes obvious that the movements succeed by influencing generational changes in opinion, and few people actually change their mind once their political identity has formed. As you can see from both polls, there are obvious sharp generational shifts. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that interracial marriage was accepted by a majority beginning in 1991, but then skyrocketed in the next decade. That coincides with the 60s-70s crowd becoming the ascendant generation. Civil rights is just a war of attrition and for gay rights in general, the changes are occurring far faster than any previous rights movement and in twenty years these battles will look silly. I guess the gays really are after your children…just slightly different than the fear mongering context that statement normally has.

Actually I think one of the reasons why gay rights has had it so “easy” is that homosexuals are of all races and creeds, so once the relatively low bar of people admitting they were gay to friends was reached (I’m talking about in the grand scheme of things, it’s obviously hard for many people) then very quickly it became hard to think of it as “not normal.” I’ve certainly seen this reaction a ton in my own life.

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Author: MIKKEL FISHMAN, Economics Editor

  • http://www.patrickjames.co.uk/ p_a_t_r_i_c_k

    As a gay person in the UK I find your posting very interesting.

    It is true that it is relatively easy for a caucasian child in the US or Europe to be brought up isolated from people of a different race. However when that child's brother or sister comes out as gay then this issue is really brought home.

    However gay people do have a major obstacle at present which fortunately does not exist for those subject to discrimination on the basis of race. This obstacle is that general society still considers it legitimate for religious organisations to express and exercise discrimination against gay people.

    We now accept that racism is always wrong and I hope that we will come to see that homophobia is always wrong as well.

  • mikkel

    While there is that religious angle I'm not sure it's much different than it used to be for sexism and racism. At the risk of getting flack, I'm going to go ahead and point out that a lot of overly religious justification is just a mask for socially reactionary views. When it came to slavery or woman's rights, the religious conservative movements tended to oppose them based on Biblical grounds. Even the “traditional marriage” that they are now proclaiming to be fighting for was opposed by religious movements when marriage started to become more of a coequal and individualistic instead of gender structured and community oriented (or cynically, contract based) decision.

    Even amongst the religious organizations that discriminate, there has been a rapid change. It was only a few years ago that the Supreme Court ruled that states couldn't legislate against homosexual sex and at the time the groups were livid. Now they always have to add the caveat “Well of course people can live the way they choose privately” before saying why gay marriage is wrong. I think in general religious groups hold universal values on which the rhetoric doesn't change, but the way they apply those values is very socially determined.

  • Manchester2

    Whether a person is gay or straight has little bearing on their ability to do a certain job. It's irrelevant, and to refuse hire or promote on that basis alone is misguided. Our laws more and more include language prohibiting such a practice, and so they should. But should marriage be redefined so radically? On that question, there is an emerging negative consensus. There are many people of faith, myself included, who consider this the “bridge too far.” It's hard to see how – having granted this right to same-sex couples – there would be any basis in law to deny it, for example, to those wanting to marry multiple spouses. Historians may one day look back at the approval of Prop. 8 as a defining moment when Americans reached a judicious compromise in a prolonged debate.

  • mikkel

    How is there an “emerging negative consensus” based on the poll excerpt I displayed. Fifty-eight percent of people support either marriage or union, 40% of the youngest demographic supports marriage outright (68% for either) and those numbers have risen modestly in the past decade.

    However, your lead in caveat goes back to what I referred to in my previous comment and those numbers have shifted enormously in the last two decades. Seventy-five percent of people support gays serving openly in the military, compared to 44% in 1993.

    On private behavior:

    Between 1973 and 1993, more than two-thirds of the public considered homosexuality to be “always wrong.” The proportion responding “never” or “only sometimes” wrong ranged around 20%. Since 1993, however, a shift has been apparent in responses to this item. The proportion saying homosexual behavior is “always wrong” began to decline in 1993, dropping to 54% in 1998 and 53% in 2002, then rising slightly to 57% in 2004.

    But even more recent than that “And for the first time in the 21st century, less than the majority of Americans say homosexual relations are morally wrong (49 percent).”

    As homosexuality is seen as more normative, it'll become impossible to deny gays marriage rights. There will always be a large chunk of religious people that are against it and that's OK, it's their right to not have those religious ceremonies. However, I don't believe that religious argumentation will be seen as a valid political justification, just like it's not seen as one for a myriad of other topics. The only reason why it is now is because enough people are against it because of social upbringing (as opposed to religious conviction) that it just slightly tips the balance and it is convenient for them to let the religious arguments shield them from having to profess (or even explore) their real logic. That doesn't exist very much in my generation and I think over time my generation will see the union and marriage groups merge while the no benefits group stay the same. Even fifty years from now there will probably be about 30% against gay marriage..

  • AustinRoth

    mikkel – the discussions on this board have focused almost exclusively on gay marriage, and that civil unions are not sufficient. I have stated my support for civil unions, but not gay marriage (at least not by judicial fiat), but that has not prevented a lot of people on this board as tarring me as a bigot and anti-gay.

    So, while increasing, the support for gay marriage is still only 30%, not exactly overwhelming yet, and less than the percentage that say no legal recognition at all.

  • Silhouette

    “I guess the gays really are after your children”

    ****

    As absurd as this sarcastic remark sounds from the article, it has a grain of truth.

    In The Ten Reasons Gays Chase Straights, http://www.thefreelibrary.com/10+reasons+gays+c… reason #10 does indicate a double-message in that on the one hand it seems to plead to gays to be reasonable and buck the urge to recruit heteros, but on the other hand it leaves off, cryptically, with a question mark? as to whether or not that is a bad idea. Coupled with the reference to blinders at the end, it makes one wonder whether instead is is a plea to urge recruitment.

    I've said before that it is strange that gays want the paramount example of a condoned implied sexual relationship, “marriage”, to now apply to them? The real thrust is that they want society to condone their gayness. They want nothing short of that. Apparently th equal rights of their civil unions aren't enough, they're after something more…something on the surface that appearce innocent, born of benign intentions..yet on further examinations takes on a smokey nature.

    As long as society upholds only a man and woman as able to be married, our youth will see homosexuality as it is: deviant from the norm. Once we uphold it as a paramount example of a sexual union between two people (of the same gender), it will become the norm. Once the norm, youth will aspire. Once youth aspire, more partners to choose from. (Again, read the opening lines in Reason #10 of The Ten Reasons Gays Chase Straights).

    The facts are that gays should be content with their all-else-is-equal civil unions…but they aren't. And they want society to condone their deviant union to normalize it. In normalizing it, they will increase its prevalence. In increasing its prevalence, they will without a doubt be praying on our children.

    Advertently, inadvertently. Overtly, covertly…Consciously, subconsciously….the net result is that they will..

  • Silhouette

    BTW, I'd like to comment on that ad you have up today “Asian girls for love and marriage”.

    It is SO walking a thin line of the child-prostitutioin problem in Asia. I'd like to see it immediately removed from this website. Honestly. How can you expect to maintain a reptutation where readers will take you seriously if you are dancing around the line of child-prostitution? Has deviant sexuality really become this normalized already? Evidence at hand….

  • mikkel

    I think this highlights the difference between social and political argument…which personally I feel are way too intertwined. I think that gays should have marriage and be treated like everyone else completely, and find the arguments against that stupid, but that doesn't mean that the government should. On the other hand, there are so many laws and policies that apply only to marriage that the argument that civil unions aren't the same from a government services standpoint does matter, so I find it hard to support civil unions until they are explicitly equated. This means either rulings (or preferably laws) that say civil unions are the same or making the government deal only in civil unions and leaving marriage up to religion…which is what many countries do. Repealing DOMA and having all unions recognized as equal for federal regulations is a good step that I think marriage proponents should accept, but it doesn't mean that they can't feel that people that are against marriage are bigoted. I just think that the social acceptance issue should be separate from the political rights one.

    I assume your objections are more process oriented than anything so people are wrong when they say you are a bigot. I'll go one step further and say your type is necessary for smooth social progress and is something that liberals don't appreciate.

  • mikkel

    Thanks for the link, it was very ironic. Nearly every single reason was saying that many gays and lesbians have emotional and psychological hangups due to feeling ostracized and that's why they pursue self destructive behavior by chasing someone that won't be interested in them. Even the ones that say the suitor is well adjusted, the problem is the assumption that perhaps the love interest isn't. And the final one wasn't about “recruiting” it was about the idea that it's so hard to find love that to close yourself off to possibility is self defeating.

    Or in other words, the entire thing was about wanting companionship, love and respect, and often the world seems like you're all alone and you'll never find the right person. Gee that doesn't make gays sound very devious at all, it makes them sound like every single other person on the planet. I don't know one person that's never felt those things or displayed that behavior. Which is how my generation generally sees it…and if you're straight and someone gay has a crush on you then it's exactly the same as a crush from someone of the opposite gender that you didn't have a thing for. Slightly flattering and — if it's a friend — slightly uneasy because you don't want to hurt their feelings, but annoying if they make too big of a deal out of it.

    BTW this was the “previous” story from your link, and as you can see this 18 year old was very deviant.

  • http://www.patrickjames.co.uk/ p_a_t_r_i_c_k

    Well Silhouette, The “Ten Reasons Gays Chase Straights” is a humorous piece.

    I think that the “gays are after our children” argument probably benefits gay liberation because it is so paranoid, bizarre and funny.