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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Congratulations, America…

Posted by Andy Welfle on November 5, 2008

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We’re taking a step in the right correct direction. Now, with a left-leaning house, a left-leaning Senate, and a left-leaning President, maybe those who are different from the midde-class, white, heterosexual Christians will get a chance to shine, or even live their life the way they want to.

We still have a long way to go. As of 10:30 AM on November 5th, CNN is predicting that California’s Proposition 8 will be passed (It’s 52% to 48% with 95% precints reporting), effectively taking away the already exisiting rights of same-sex couples to get married. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, Californians have already had the chance to see same-sex marriages, and this didn’t affect the general population adversely in any way, but they’re still going to yank it out from underneath them. The same goes for Arizona’s Proposition 102 and Florida’s Amendment 2, denying same-sex couples any legal recognition of their relationships. Likewise, shame on you, Arkansas, for denying gay couples the right to adopt a child.

So celebrate our new president, celebrate the fact that Indiana seems to have gone blue, but then throw away the champagne bottles and realize that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

United they Stand in Fear

Posted by dystressed on November 3, 2008

Blogger/Journalist Rex Wockner chronicles “The Call” in San Diego, a religious rally to get people to vote yes on California’s Proposition 8. Proposition 8 will re-ban gay marriage in California by amending the state’s constitution.

Wockner is gay, and a former religious person himself. He likens his attendance at the event to a Jew taking a look at a concentration camp.

If I hadn’t once upon a time been a Catholic seminarian and hadn’t emerged from those days with near certainty that all this God/Jesus stuff is pure myth and mass delusion, it could have been dangerous to be there. It would have been dangerous for any gay person struggling with internalized homophobia or religious guilt, I think.

The proposition 8’s supporters feel that children will be forced to be indoctrinated into thinking gay is okay. The most damning (pun intended) thing about this event is that they don’t have any real evidence that gay marriage will ruin anything. They just drive everyone to think the way they do because they want everyone to be scared. It’s the same tactic religion has used for millennia to force people to believe in something that isn’t real.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dobson’s Fib Factory

Posted by dystressed on October 25, 2008

I found this column on 365gay.com. I know Andy has blogged about this blithering idiot before, so I thought I would point this out. Dobson is getting inducted into the radio hall of fame.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pop Song Riles the Faithful

Posted by dystressed on September 6, 2008

The Rev. Dave Allison said the churchs sign, which plays off the lyrics of a hit pop song, reflects the Scriptures unambiguous stance on homosexuality.

The Rev. Dave Allison said the church's sign, which plays off the lyrics of a hit pop song, reflects the Scriptures' unambiguous stance on homosexuality.

The latest controversy over the “I Kissed a Girl” song comes straight out of Ohio.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Choice vs. Nature (and something about homo-dolphins)

Posted by Skeptigator on June 23, 2008

I’ve had this post half-start/half-finished for some time but a recent post over on, FriendlyChristian.com, prompted me to finish this thought all the way through. My problem lies specifically in an argument used, implicitly or explicitly, by many pro-gay activists and bloggers. That argument is the following:

Homosexuality should be accepted because no one chooses to be gay. We shouldn’t victimize gays for the same reason we shouldn’t victimize someone because of the color of their skin.

On it’s face this seems like a perfectly correct statement, one I’ve used many times. Unfortunately, I’ve come the realization that this argument is fundamentally flawed. Yes, it’s an easy shortcut when arguing with someone who states that homosexuality is a choice and then you say, “Nuh uhh, they can’t help that they were born that way” and then they say “Yea huh, it’s a choice” and then you say, “Yer stupid”. Ok maybe my debating skills have something to be desired.

I’ve seen a subtle shift, particularly within Christian circles, in the arguments against homosexuality away from whether or not it’s a choice or not and many are beginning to concede that homosexual desires may actually be natural. The argument I see more and more often is that, “Regardless if homosexuality is natural or not. It is not a sin to be gay, but practicing homosexuality is a sin.” (The reasons we shouldn’t practice homosexuality are to my knowledge only religious. I think the only time that I’ve seen any secular arguments against homosexuality comes from the “It ain’t natural” argument. )

There are 2 points regarding the Natural vs. Unnatural/Choice argument that I’d like to make. The first is that there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that within (at least) mammalians species homosexuality is practiced and almost always warrants some kind of off-hand-by-the-way, dolphins might be gay.  I think this body of evidence has helped to shift the objection against homosexuality away from the more secular “It ain’t natural” arguments. Unfortunately this very shift has highlighted the very weakness of the argument from a natural cause and thus to my second point.

If we root the argument for the “rightness” of homosexuality in natural origins of the behavior (whether that’s neurological, evolutionarily-selected-for, whatever argument you want to pick) then we also open up much deeper issues that erode the entire foundation for rational thought. Is pedophilia good because it comes naturally to some. What about sociopaths and psychopaths? They are born with the “wrong” wiring but it is natural. We can circumvent these arguments and say that psychopathic and pedophiliac behaviors are not right because they deviate from social/cultural norms. But unless you have information I don’t have homosexual behavior is not a societal norm and is only at best practiced by 10% of the population. You can see the big mess this whole “natural” thing gets into. I won’t even mention all of the good and unnatural things we as humans do, like build shelters, reengineer our environment, practice medicine and care for the elderly and weak. We simply cannot point at homo-dolphins, wash our hands and expect fundamentalist Christians to revise their theology.

Let’s come at it from a different perspective by using a thought experiment. Let’s say that by some scientific method we can prove with near absolute certainty that homosexual behavior is a choice. Not just a subconscious choice influenced by whatever environmental factor but an actual conscious choice. Never mind that this makes most homosexuals liars or at best self-deluded. We realize that homosexual behavior in bonobos, dolphins and other mammals is shown to be mankind trying to imprint a sexual explanation for non-sexual behaviors, for example, what looks like homosexual behavior in dolphins are really attempts by male dolphins attempting to assert dominance over the other members of the pod. You get the idea. Would that change your opinion of the rightness or wrongness of homosexual behavior?

You’ll have to answer that question for yourself but answer is No. I don’t care if homosexuality is found to be a choice. I don’t personally believe that it is a choice but it really doesn’t matter. Consenting adults who are able to make this choice of their own free will have every right to express their love for one another in a loving, unharmful (well, you know, unless you are in to that) way. 

I’ll leave you with an appropriate excerpt from the Humanist Manifesto II published in 1973, they can sum it up more eloquently than I,

In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered “evil.” Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, a civilized society should be a tolerant one. Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire. We wish to cultivate the development of a responsible attitude toward sexuality, in which humans are not exploited as sexual objects and in which intimacy, sensitivity, respect and honesty in interpersonal relations are encouraged. Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity (1973, section 6).

Posted in FreeThought, Philosophy, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I now pronounce you chuck and larry

Posted by dystressed on June 15, 2008

There’s a lot of talk lately about gay marriage. I find marriage kind of an interesting topic, mainly because as a kid I never thought I’d be able to marry the man of my dreams, seeing how I was and still am a man. Yep, that makes yours truly a gay.

I have been politically active and active in the local gay community, but I’ve never been too sure about the gay movement. As I get older, I realize that there is something to this whole equality thing. Marriage has been a main goal of the gay groups for decades, and I’ve come to agree that it is a worthwhile cause.

In school, I learned all about the role religion plays in civil rights, specifically the 60s civil rights movement. Because religion is such an ingrained thing, both sides were using it to further their platforms on either side of the argument. Historians have pretty much concluded that African Americans and their advocates would not have been as successful if they hadn’t successfully engineered more rational and scriptural stances for their cause.

That’s what is strange about the gay movement. Along with the Women’s movement, the Bible specifically (depending on your interpretation of course) condemns gays and subjugates women to their husbands. The vague references against blacks (i.e. the ‘curse of Ham’) were abandoned because they were so faulty.

Though religion may have been one of the most or the most successful tactic of the civil rights movement, women and gays aren’t really able to use the same arguments without throwing out the parts that denigrate them.

Gays owe a lot to the sciences and skeptical thought. It was the APA who finally removed homosexuality from the DSM4 list of mental disorders: people thinking critically and challenging long-standing notions and fears. Other research continues to break down barriers for gays.

Sexism, Racism and Homophobia are still largely practiced openly thanks to the patriarchal religious systems to which the world still clings.

I would argue that women’s and gay rights movements could benefit from aligning themselves more assertively with freethought and skepticism. I found a great link that seems to agree with me.

First of all, the institution of marriage is largely based in religion. The problem is that the religious people irrevocobaly tied marriage to state licensing centuries ago, which clearly contradicts the modern secularist notion of separation of church and state.

The problem with many religious people is that they believe homosexuality is a sin, and sin cannot be love. Marriage is the ultimate social, public expression of love, so why should two sinners be allowed to express their sin? It is more offensive because society welcomes marriage. Society is largely based on it, both with traditional families and because marriages are essentially partnerships that create a more productive population. Marriages create stability on all fronts, economically, socially, politically, and emotionally.

I think civil unions are a great alternative in the battle for equality, because they are based on the legal benefits of marriage. They take away all of the religious overtones that are ingrained in the word “marriage” and replace it with a simple, legalese term for the bond that two people share.

But then, that’s the problem. It goes back to a matter of semantics. The state should not simply have the power to write-off homosexual couples with a politically correct term. The state should recognize that love between any two people, regardless of the sexes, should be allowed to be recognized with a marriage.

Equal marriage should be allowed because it is the best system our society has for maintaining stability. Equal marriage should also be allowed because there is simply no reason for religion to have a monopoly on the term.

Posted in FreeThought, Humor, Philosophy, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »