Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Online Debate

This will be a long post, so I apologize in advance.  But I've spent much of today debating with a very unhappy anti-gay person.  You can read the article and the comments (where the debate took place) here.

And now, here were my responses:

"Frankly, Link, nobody cares because heterosexuals, having had marriage for as long as they have, realize that it's not the panacea that the gay community insists that it will be."

But I thought that marriage was so fragile, so important, so sacred to society that the concept of same-sex marriage would destroy the United States of America and then the entire world?

If all heterosexuals believed that, there wouldn't be any opposition. But there is. A lot of opposition so some straight people must regard marriage in high esteem.

And NGT, you're damning an entire group of people based upon the actions of a few. For every misguided gay parent taking their kid to a leather convention, there is a well-rounded gay parent taking their kid to a park. This is true of STRAIGHT PEOPLE as well. People, regardless of sexual orientation, make bad decisions.

And some of us gays actually DO work for HIV charities and try to help the indigent and the sick. So NGT, please keep your self-righteous anger in check.

As for the Dan Savage comment, everyone seems to take his ideas out of context. He's not saying monogamy that is hurtful, it's the illogical expectation of it. Meaning for most people, it's not realistic, and for all people, it's difficult. Considering the 50-plus percent divorce rate in this country, I'd say that's fair assessment. 

Regardless, it is odd that the White House has made no comment on the actions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Iowa, and the only time our President mentions gays or lesbians is in a joke. Forgive us if we take a little offense to that. As if discrimination against gays and lesbians is nothing more than a nuisance. Is it so awful to ask for a little respect from the government, who seems to have no trouble at all taking our tax dollars? 

And "Don't Ask Don't Tell" needs to be repealed. It's a stupid law, one that promotes homophobia, and is completely outdated.

Re: North Dallas Thirty

1) NDT, gays aren't sneering at the virtues of marriage, they're sneering at the HYPOCRISY OF SELF-RIGHTEOUS STRAIGHT PEOPLE. You can't use the argument that gays are not worthy of marriage because they are promiscuous and self-destructive when some married heterosexuals are guilty of the same type of behavior. 

But again, this is damning an entire group of people based upon individual actions. ANYBODY, regardless of sexual orientation, can have self-destructive and promiscuous tendencies. If these actions do not disqualify heterosexuals from marriage, then it shouldn't disqualify homosexuals.

2) The stereotypical "gay lifestyle" is misnamed. It should be called the POPULAR LIFESTYLE. All of pop culture is shallow, hyper-sexual, and excessive. This is, again, not homo-centric so you can't keep using it as an argument that gays are inherently irresponsible because of their "lifestyle." 

3) You're missing the other benefits of marriage. Gay couples are owning property together, joining their finances, and raising children. They have no federal protections for their property, their money, or their children. Straight people do. This is where the inbalance lies. The fact that a straight couple can cohabitate for 7 years and have a commonlaw marriage but a gay couple can be together for 50 years and not have ANY federal protection is bullshit.

Re: TS

Yes you are subjected to different laws in different COUNTRIES. This is the United States of America. There is a big difference. Also, I'm not sure why gay marriage is a "forceful" issue. The United States grants personal freedom to all its citizens as long as they are unobstrusive to others. If gay marriage were legal, churches would still have the right to refuse certain unions (as they do now), parents would still have the right to tell their children they believe gay marriage is wrong (as they do now), and businesses would still have to treat all of their employees, regardless of sexual orientation, race, or gender, with equality (as they do now). So what exactly would change?

One of the prices we pay as American citizens is that other citizens will believe and live their lives in ways that we don't approve. But just like we have religious and personal freedom, so should our neighbors.

It's easy for the majority to tell the minority to wait for their rights and be thankful for what they are given. If everyone would put themselves into a situation in which they are the minority, I think it would alter their worldview dramatically.

"Marriage is two things to the gay community: a convenient excuse and a useful proxy fight."

Well, isn't that true of the Republican Party as well? Haven't they used it as a divisive issue for years to gain votes and win elections?

"how willing they are to trash it when doing so allows them to attack heterosexuals and religious people." 

And by your words here, aren't you guilty of the same sin? Aren't you using marriage as a way to trash homosexuals in the same manner that you're claiming homosexuals are using marriage to trash heterosexuals?

"How can you call opposition to gay marriage a divisive issue when the Obama Party and its candidates proclaim their public opposition to gay marriage and support state and Federal constitutional amendments to ban it?"

Last time I checked, it was the voters who elected politicians, and the issue is divisive amongst VOTERS. 51% voted for Prop 8 in California, but 49% did not. I therefore call the issue divisive. 

And it's not the Obama Party, it's the Democratic Party. Saying that is just as assinine as me calling the Republican Party the "Limbaugh Party."

"it's hard to argue that homosexual couples are identical to heterosexual couples when homosexual couples are completely dependent on heterosexual couples to produce them."

So homosexuals are inherently lesser than because we were simply born? Wow. 

"In other words, heterosexual couples have the capability to provide something of value to society that homosexual couples don't."

My aunt and uncle were barren. Should their marriage be annulled because they didn't produce any children i.e. any value to society? My grandfather is almost 70 and won't be producing any children. Should he also not marry? 

"The best that can be hoped for in regards to gay marriage is that it might keep gays from irresponsible behavior, even though it doesn't do so for straights."

You still haven't addressed the issues of shared property, shared finances, and shared children. Adopted children who were abandoned by (ahem) straight people. And what about lesbian couples who use the same fertility treatments that naturally infertile straight couples use?

"Liberalism has made of marriage an inconvenience, something that you do for the tax writeoff with the current sexual partner"

Since gay marriage is illegal in 45 states, you are referring to the actions of straight people and, once again, damning all homosexuals for the actions of some, ***not all*** heterosexuals.

"your only concern is what marriage does for you and you alone, and my concern is what marriage does for society"

And what does gay marriage do to the society? That point you've never made. You've talked about how it's not essential to gay people but you've only argued that citing extreme behavior that is not limited to homosexuals and does not represent all homosexuals. 

And I guess homosexual couples spending money on houses, vehicles, education, insurance, entertainment, travel, food, clothing, and other items don't contribute at all to a capitalist society such as this one.

"Hence, it's pretty obvious that your behavior won't matter as long as you have the right opinions, and if you don't have the right opinions, everything you say will be wrong anyway."

You are airing your opinions in a public forum. Anytime you do that, you will be subject to praise, agreement, disagreement, and criticism. This is the price of a public forum. The Dixie Chicks and Miss California found that out the hard way so it hardly follows to a conservative or liberal bias. If you don't want your opinion judged, then simply don't give it. Or grow a tougher skin. 

Or how about don't comment on a gay friendly website. I don't comment on extreme right-wing websites because no one is going to be open to my opinion. Practice a little self-awareness next time.

"Therefore, I don't give respect under the belief that it will be reciprocated or thatit adds any value; I give it when I feel like doing so."

If you expect confrontation, you will always find it. It seems that were burned by the actions of a few extreme, misguided gay activists, and for that, I'm sorry. But you've taken those past experiences and made a hatred for an entire group of people and no matter what religion or philosophy you follow, I promise you none of them would condone it. 

As I've said before, you are damning all homosexuals (including me, by the way) for the actions of a FEW. I have not resorted to name calling at all during this thread, nor have I sent you hate mail or hateful messages. I have just criticized your opinion, which you stated in a public forum. Therefore, do not link me or others like me to the negative experiences you have had in the past.

Let's agree to disagree. It's apparent you are not open to my opinion and I do not agree with yours. I do hope you grow less vitriolic over time. Hate ages the soul but it does not make it wise.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful responses, though the abjectly ignorant words of the person to whom you have responded did make my stomach cringe more than a few times.

    we could write an entire dissertation replete with the many valid claims and points our side makes backed up by logic, humanism/hu-person-ism ;), and scientific findings. the majority of the folks working against us could write an entire volume of encyclopediae but the vast majority of their "evidence" is anecdotal at best, or is influenced by scare tactics of previous administrations and the media, or is completely biased by personal privilege (often that of political and religious standing on top of sexuality).

    i think it's funny that a common argument is "obama is anti-gay so you should just give up and change your opinion to mine." i understand that the obamas may personally believe in heterosexual-only marriage (though i can't say if they do), but they have on more than one occasion explicitly stated how strongly they believe in equality and how important it is for individual states to decide this -- probably because they know that, in this political climate, we won't prevail on the federal level, but once we've won over the majority of the states the story will dramatically change.

    anyway, thank you for keeping a level head in your responses and hopefully making at least this one person reconsider how they think of queer people. :)