Gay and Lesbian Marriage

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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:55 pm

James wrote:The 'emotional' component you've discounted is important. Whatever law is drafted to combat discrimination must necessarily combat discrimination. And when you outwardly express that you turned a customer away specifically for discriminatory reasons and then double-back to a technical explanation after speaking to a lawyer, how can you still expect people to take you seriously when discussing your decision?

Whatever form the law takes it should be one which does not make it easy for the shop owner to openly discriminate while at the same time hiding behind a technicality.


These 'technicalities' matter, as I'm sure Shikanosuke would tell you, precisely because we live in a society based on the rule of law, and not the rule of charismatic personalities or the mob. If you can't come up with a law that does what you want it to do, that abides by the spirit of the society and conforms to the preservation of the common good, that law will be useless (at best) no matter how good the intentions of those writing, promoting or enforcing it. I've already shown you how the legal definition of discrimination you are using has the potential to be abused, to the possible detriment of people who are substantively innocent of discrimination (the Jewish deli owner). You can call this a 'technicality' if you want, but it was on such 'technicalities' that a number of the worst civil rights abuses were justified in this country. Think of the WWII Japanese internment camps, for example - however well-intentioned the law (who wants to be the victim of sedition during wartime?), and however strong the emotions of Americans during WWII to defend their country, the ultimate targets of the law were not actually guilty of the crime of which they were suspected.

James wrote:Bringing us to your Jewish deli example. Honestly, it feels a bit like a straw man to me. Kosher delis have been operating for quite some time now alongside discrimination laws and problems such as this have not come up. I doubt any court will view it as 'discrimination' when a deli refuses to combine meat and cheese for any customer, nor is that anything remotely approaching comparable to denying products to an entire group of people based on sexual orientation.


This largely elides the way American case law actually works. If a precedent is set for suing a bakery based on what services they cannot or will not provide, based either on their technical inability or on their religious beliefs, and defining that non-service as 'discrimination', that precedent can become fairly dangerous when used later. There's technically, under this interpretation of 'discrimination' that you're using, nothing that can stop a judge from handing down a ruling against our hypothetical Jewish deli-owner.

James wrote:Secularist violence. I cannot fathom how you could support your opening argument here, outside perhaps turning to specific regional or individual examples. Both sides of the discussion are responsible for a fair amount of animosity, but I wouldn't read too much into that as it is a discussion dominated by the outspoken minority.


The war in Iraq, from which so many Iraqi Christians have suffered and continued to suffer, was the work of a neoconservative government supported largely by secular, non-religious intellectuals. Kristol. Krauthammer. Hitchens. Savage. Chait. Friedman. Kristof. Goldberg. Saletan. The unquestioning editorial staffs of The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic, The Washington Post - none of them well-known for their support of any religion whatever. That's secularist violence, right there, committed by American liberals who still go around pretending their hands are clean.

James wrote:And none of this suggests to me, to any meaningful extent, that Christians would react violently to their church's gradual acceptance of gay marriage. Although they may certainly branch the church. And if it were actually true that they would react violently I'm not sure how I could view them with anything but disgust.


All groups are capable of violence, and I don't hold Christians exempt from that scrutiny. Personally, I try not to judge anyone unfairly, but a bloodsoaked history is a rather sobering tutor. But then, I didn't embrace Christianity just because I thought Christians were better than anybody else.

James wrote:This is nothing but speculation.


Speculation is the one thing it's not. I was simply repeating some (what should be) well-known historical facts about the movements to end slavery and Jim Crow. Honestly, James - if you can't tell the difference between facts and opinions, there's no point in continuing this discussion.

James wrote:If you want to believe that these people wouldn't have organized and fought back through their communities (keep in mind that a common feature of their communities was segregated church—and served as an excellent means through which they could collaborate) if not for religion itself, fine, but it's an unsubstantiated position.


This is speculation.

You're engaging in 'what-if' history. Whether or not black people 'wouldn't have organised and fought back... if not for religion itself' is a question which I can't answer, which you can't answer, which nobody could possibly answer due to lack of available data, and which it's useless for people to try to answer because we just don't know what would have happened if Christianity had not been a factor. But we do know what motivated Harriet Tubman - it's there in all the accounts we have of her. We do know what motivated Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass. We do know what motivated the SCLC and Dr. King. It's all there in their speeches and writings. Discounting their intellectual roots and motivations, as you are doing here, does them all an immense disservice.

James wrote:And I'll reiterate that civil rights, the concept, does not require religion. I do not require religion in order to be concerned with civil rights concerns...

Or maybe you've misunderstood my position? Maybe there are some areas where civil rights becomes a religious concept, but in the United States, and typically in many countries exploring these issues, a civil rights concern is one which religion is just as welcome to participate, for or against, as groups or individuals of other interests. And the ultimate product—African American equality, women's rights, gay rights—is not one tied to religion.


That's fine. I don't believe I ever suggested that you need to be religious in order to be concerned with civil rights. Only that the concept itself has a religious provenance, which is an observation based on available empirical records and evidence.

Which I thought you were concerned with?

James wrote:And please don't confuse it with the gay marriage discussion. It pertains directly to your vaccination argument. One which doesn't relate meaningfully to gay marriage in the first place and shouldn't be further correlated.


That's not the way these arguments work, James. As you know.

If you're defending a general legal principle like non-discrimination, then you need to be able to defend it in all possible instances of its application, not just the ones you like. It can't selectively apply to homosexuals just because you agree with them, and not also to religious people just because you disagree with them.

James wrote:And many things have no right solution.


If that were true, you wouldn't argue the way you subsequently do. Obviously there is a right solution to the problem of abortion, we just disagree about what it is and how to achieve it. We also disagree about some of the assumptions going in. I don't believe in a Panglossian world where the current setup is the best possible one for all people involved - I think there are things we can do as a society to, for example, make rape less common. I think there are things as a society that we can do better to support mothers so that they don't have to give up or kill their children. I think we absolutely should crack down hard on illegal abortion providers and even legal providers who abuse their licences to operate outside the proper boundaries of the law (e.g. Kermit Gosnell), and we should do it well before they get as far out of hand as Gosnell's clinic did.

James wrote:And a 'freedom' to choose a life predominantly dedicated to work or starve? It's a really awful choice to make, and one many people get to make. It's a little disingenuous for someone to label that choice positively as doing so ignores the problems which created that reality (such as income inequality), but it's another example of a concern which government must address. Certainly the lack of government in terms of addressing it leads to this very extreme.


I agree. But I see many libertarians making exactly this argument on a regular basis.

And above, it's relatively easy to see how the argument you made about abortions can slip into something very similar - 'label[ling] that choice [to abort one's child] positively' and 'ignor[ing] the problems which created that reality (such as income inequality)'.

James wrote:I'd also take issue with a position that unions are a matter in which people should have a black or white position. Here in Utah they are remarkably weak entities under weak workers' rights laws, and unions absolutely should be strengthened. In, for example, the Bay Area of California Unions are heavily protected and are extremely powerful. For example, it can be extremely difficult to fire even terrible employees, and that does significant damage to a businesses. And there are other concerns, aside from retaining employees who treat customers poorly. Your union, for example, might fight to keep intact the retirement package they negotiated under pressure even as it becomes apparent that it is unsustainable.


This hasn't been my experience with unions, though I grant I've never owned a business. But I'd probably have far more sympathy with this general line of argument if the recent legal and social history in the United States (since Reagan) hasn't been going all one way - in favour of big corporations and against unions, with very few exceptions. Even if it isn't a black-and-white issue, even a nuanced approach to the realities of collective bargaining ought to acknowledge the realities on the ground that unions are losing what little they have.
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:10 am

Sooooo...

Sir Elton, Dolce and Gabbana.

Not sure where else to post this. It doesn't really fit neatly into any other category.

Looking at what Dolce and Gabbana actually said, I can definitely see how people are angered by it. The entire point of opposing things like surrogate motherhood, sperm donation and in vitro fertilisation is precisely that, as the wisdom of the Church has it, '[the associated] ideological system assumes that the sexual and social self-fulfilment of a person has a priority over concern for the future of a child, the spiritual and physical health of society and its moral sustainability. There is a growing attitude to the human life as a product which can be chosen according to one's own inclinations and which can be disposed of along with material goods.' This capitalist-consumerist ideological system is what we need to oppose, not the people who are objectified by it.

So yes, I also oppose paid surrogacy, sperm donation and IVF, but Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana missed the point of such opposition rather drastically. I would never express my opposition in such a way as devalues the lives of the children conceived by such methods, because it's precisely because of the value of their lives that I don't think the conception of a child should be reduced to a series of loveless commercial transactions. Technically speaking, we are all 'children of chemistry', and children who are unfortunate enough to have been conceived by unnatural means, are no less human than anyone else. I take it as granted that what Dolce and Gabbana said was motivated by valid moral concerns; it was still a wrongheaded thing to say.

Also, I really neither understand, much less do I patronise or even care about, the entire European fashion scene. (It's kind of beyond my barely white-collar pay grade.) That said, Elton John calling for a boycott because of an opinion they expressed, and not because of something the two of them actually did, strikes me as troubling. Boycotts are a tool which should be employed against businesses which misbehave economically against their employees, against the environment or against other standards of ethical business practice. The private opinions of the founders of a company don't (and shouldn't) really matter that much to me unless they make it a point of advertising or market niche, or unless they abuse their power as employers to make unreasonable demands on their employees. Elton John's boycott strikes me as a form of judgemental thought-policing of the sort we ought to discourage.
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun May 24, 2015 7:56 am

Republic of Ireland votes for gay marriage, 60% turnout and 62% for it. Was rather surprised that it was only 60% particularly as some returned to Ireland to vote
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby SunXia » Mon May 25, 2015 7:25 pm

Probably the "awk it'll be grand" attitude of the Irish??

I' so proud to be Irish right now, not so proud to be the only state in these isles to be still held by religious fundamentalists despite thousands demanding a referendum too!!
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:56 pm

Not marriage perse but LGBT march this weekend, think it used to be called Gay Pride?

I'm fine with such marches usually. It can celebrate the achievements of the year (I do think homosexuality has turned a cornerstone in terms of TV for example) and there is homophobia that still needs combating in areas of the country. Also if marching across London gives people joy, good for them.

However this one will be a sad one. UKIP's group are not going to be allowed to take part in the main events due to "security concerns" at how people will react since there have been threats of violence against UKIP members. I have a smidgen of sympathy on that (though why isn't there better security) but some homosexuals do face violence in their lives and the march is surely meant to be about hope, being able to stand up against the violence. Instead the march's signal seems to be "be out and proud. Unless your facing violence, in which case your on your own". Shouldn't the marchers be fighting for the right of UKIP homosexuals to not face violence?

Even worse are those who are going "Ah that is wrong to ban them for security reasons. They should be banned for supporting UKIP!". A mainstream political party who got 12% of the vote, a party with homosexuals (the wrong kind of homosexuals obviously :roll: ) in high positions should be barred becuase they don't have the right views. Because they voted wrongly. That LGBT should not fight bigotry, you know the thing they suffered for so long, but instead use it against people for having political belief's, for having views. That gay rights is only for the goodly as defined by the high priests of homosexuality, not for all. Surely this is an act of vile bigotry and any calling for the ban of UKIP homosexuals should be disgraced as vile bigots seeking to suppress freedom of thought?

Leaving aside morality: I would think that the areas where UKIP are strong are the kind of areas where homosexuality may need the most help (I could be unfair sterotyping there, in which case I apologize). I would also think that the desperation, the feeling isolated and left behind, the fear that UKIP taps into might be something that a lot on the march might remember. Is the message to homosexuals in UKIP areas "You need help? Well stuff you, homosexuality is only for the metropolitan elite! No warm embrace for you, your fault for not being born in London, know the cold harness of rejection and isolation! I'm alright and screw you"

LGBT Pride, a march of cowardice and bigotry? Is that the message that they want to send?
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby DragonAtma » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:09 pm

Good news -- the supreme court legalized gay marriage 5-4!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/2 ... 70036.html
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:33 pm

DragonAtma wrote:Good news -- the supreme court legalized gay marriage 5-4!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/2 ... 70036.html



Indeed. I wasn't too shocked by the ruling, but I was semi surprised they went as far as they did. I figured it was either going to come down to leaving it to the States but prohibiting other States from refusing to recognize the unions or to outright making it a 'fundamental liberty'. They went with the latter. The majority's reasoning was a tad murky in my opinion, and did absolutely nothing to address the (in my opinion) logical legal arguments of Justice Alito's separate dissent, but overall it was enough to be a sound ruling. At this point I'm just glad the debate and lobbying is over.

Now unfortunately the nation has to contend with the expected backlash of angry and aimless rants of those who opposed this decision. Lot of calls of moral bankruptcy, reminiscent of nearly every other similar SCOTUS ruling.
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby James » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:05 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:Now unfortunately the nation has to contend with the expected backlash of angry and aimless rants of those who opposed this decision. Lot of calls of moral bankruptcy, reminiscent of nearly every other similar SCOTUS ruling.

Hopefully it dies out relatively soon as politicians move on in realization that there's no merit in campaigning on something they won't be able to change (just make a big fuss so their opposition is known and move on so as to alienate fewer people) and religious leaders realize their legal battle has ended.

I imagine, before terribly long, there'll be less fuss than would have been the case if it were still a hotly contested legal issue across the country.
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:08 pm

James wrote:
Shikanosuke wrote:Now unfortunately the nation has to contend with the expected backlash of angry and aimless rants of those who opposed this decision. Lot of calls of moral bankruptcy, reminiscent of nearly every other similar SCOTUS ruling.

Hopefully it dies out relatively soon as politicians move on in realization that there's no merit in campaigning on something they won't be able to change (just make a big fuss so their opposition is known and move on so as to alienate fewer people) and religious leaders realize their legal battle has ended.

I imagine, before terribly long, there'll be less fuss than would have been the case if it were still a hotly contested legal issue across the country.


I'm hopeful as well. I've actually be surprised by the lack of resposnse I've seen (I was expecting worse). However, I wonder if that is because many conservatives figured this was an eventuality and have simply prepared for it or if its a sign of the changing times.

However, I did see that Cruz has planned to make it his platform for 2016. So, that will be fun watching that ship sink.
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Re: Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Unread postby James » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:38 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:I'm hopeful as well. I've actually be surprised by the lack of resposnse I've seen (I was expecting worse). However, I wonder if that is because many conservatives figured this was an eventuality and have simply prepared for it or if its a sign of the changing times.

I wonder how many level-headed Republicans were really all that worked up prior to this ruling? Heck, I would argue that supporting gay marriage *should* be part of a platform based on reducing government involvement in our lives—it just doesn't jive with the fact that supporting Christian ideals has become a part of the Republican platform and essential to an important political demographic. Most of the level-headed Republicans I've known tossed out half-hearted answers something along the lines of, "I'm opposed, but it's going to happen anyway."

On the other hand, the people I know who get *really* worked up about the talking points on FOX and Talk Radio hardly missed stride. They went on to explain how SCOTUS doesn't actually have authority to make this ruling, complained about the United States forgetting it's roots as a Christian nation founded on Christian ideals, railed against the liberal judicial system, and generally failed to note that the matter of gay marriage is now essentially settled (insofar as government is concerned). Some tossed Confederate battle flags into their profile pictures and shared upbeat articles celebrating that the gay marriage ruling legalized concealed carry across the country (it was fun backtracking how that interpretation came about).

Shikanosuke wrote:However, I did see that Cruz has planned to make it his platform for 2016. So, that will be fun watching that ship sink.

If there's anyone who should support gay marriage, it should be someone who claims a libertarian foundation. But Ted Cruz? Not surprised in the slightest here... I'm more interested to see if the issue fades out of his conversations as pollsters point out that he's essentially guaranteeing himself no nomination. But maybe a nomination isn't actually his goal? I wonder if some of these people are more interested in increasing their profile within the demographic they play to—or if they really believe they have sufficient national support to carry these views to the White House.
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