Codified Homophobia

A recent poll of 1,028 adults shows more than half favoring a possible law banning gay marriage. What “land of the free” were we talking about again?

I consider our codified, institutionalized intolerance of gay marriage to be an abuse of human rights. Not in the same league as torture or imprisonment for political beliefs perhaps, but we as a nation do punish people for loving whom they wish to love. Imposed morality for its own sake is imposed abuse. We rob others of their pursuit of happiness. Opposition to gay marriage is un-American.

Often in political or religious disputes, I can see the other side of the issue while defending my own, but try as I might, I cannot understand why anyone would oppose gay marriage. It’s just baffling to me. I also have trouble understanding how people can embrace religions that oppose homosexuality. It’s so plainly inhumane. If I ever choose to believe in a god, you can bet it won’t be such a blatantly inhumane god.

The AP had their poll. Here’s my own.

Is opposition to gay marriage an abuse of basic human rights?

View Results

Music: Ernest and Hattie Stoneman :: The Mountaineer’s Courtship

28 thoughts on “Codified Homophobia

  1. MarcoF

    Hmm, the poll question is on-the-edge.
    You say, that a basic human right is to love whom you want.
    Does this count for pedophile feelings? (not uncommon in history by the way, neither was/is incestuous relations, but currently these are taboo in society)

    I’m pro-gay-marriage, but the above “relational” issues get me doubting regarding the “basic human right of loving whom you want”.

  2. David Huff

    Timely post – I was thinking about this again this morning. My take on it is that gov’t shouldn’t be in the business of defining marriage. The civil benefits should be avail to all consenting adults, but otherwise they should stay out of it.

    If a particular church or religious group wants to define it a certain way – fine. They should be free to do so, and to only perform a marriage ceremony for those of whom they approve. The Gov’t shouldn’t be in the business of telling these people what their beliefs should be, either.

    BTW – this idea that marriage needs to be “defended” is just silly. It needs defending the same way white folks in George Wallace’s Alabama needed “defending” during the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s ;)

    The $0.02 worth of a Progressive Christian Episcopalian. http://www.tcpc.org/

  3. i

    I couldn’t figure out where I fit in your poll there. I wanted to check the “no” option, but my problem is that I’m not sure whether or not there are valid reasons to oppose gay marriage. Even being married now I’m not sure how many things are changed as far as my relationship to the government. My taxes are different.

    My question is: for what reason does the government have any stake in marriage? If the answer has anything to do with procreation, then it might make sense not to sanctioning gay marriage.

    I come down pretty firmly on your side of the issue. It seems pretty clear that those strongly opposed to gay marriage are simply opposed to homosexuality in general. I’m just still unsure about what the tax breaks for married people are meant to promote, and therefore unsure of wheather or not they should be expanded to include other types of marriage (what about marriage between family members? is that legal?)

    Okay. ’nuff from me.

  4. Scot Hacker

    MarcoF – I take it as a given that any ethical system includes “but don’t hurt anybody” at the end of each proposition. Pedophilia hurts people, is imposed without consent, homosexuality is not.

    i – You’re right to question what govt’s stake in marriage is. But meanwhile, the problem is gross inconsistency between how the govt treats hetero unions vs homo.

  5. baald

    hey – what about us metro-sexuals? we deserve rights and recognition too! (metrosexual – guy who is into fashion, interior design, cooking, but is sexshully straight). and goddamn right i’ll marry who i want. as long as she doesnt tell me what furniture goes in the living room!

    b

  6. Gwen

    I *swear* they had a poll on sfgate after the story originally came out sometime last month (I assume the AP’s poll was in response to that, but only skimmed this article) came out, and the one time I saw it, it was running about 50-50, which shocked me. In the Bay Area. Online…I thought everyone around here was, you know, all liberal and tolerant. I keep forgetting that once you get outside city limits, it’s back to the same old-same old…anyway. I looked back again and can’t find an archive of the poll I saw earlier.

    The thing that really gets me about all this is that — well, it’s not just an issue that affects gays; it affects the *everyone* in long-term partnerships who, for whatever reason, are not legally bound. And it’s based on religious beliefs, that we have to be together in a biblically-proscribed fashion, or it doesn’t count.

    If something were to happen to my boyfriend, whom I’ve been living with for some time and have every intention of living with until such time as we are physically no longer able to, I have exactly zero rights. If he’s in an accident and unable to speak for himself, I have no say in his treatment, even though I’m the person who best knows what he would want. If he’s in critical care, I cannot visit him, as I’m not legally family, and the rest of his family is across the country. I have no survivors’ benefits; I’m extremely lucky that he works in a liberal city where I’m allowed partnership benefits (which are a godsend, since I’m a freelancer). We pay an awful lot more in taxes than we would if we could file jointly (also an issue in how they treat single parents v. widows, but that’s another rant). And there’s all the social security, credit, and a million other issues.

    And, you know, we’re lucky; we could rectify it by just filling out a couple forms at city hall. It’s just shameful that something so simple is considered a luxury rather than a right and unavailable to so many.

  7. mneptok

    At the risk of sounding Limbaugh-ish, ditto to David Huff. It’s bad enough this is an issue in a free society, but let’s at least get it off the federal level. If California wants to allow gay marriage and Oklahoma doesn’t, well, Oklahoma will just get even less festive.

    The cake is for baald.

  8. Scot Hacker

    I’m not so convinced that it’s any better to move it to the state level. Then we’ll just have a lot of states abusing human rights. I guess I would lay it out this way:

    – I take it as a given that if judges/people look at the issue square-on, they will by necessity come to the conclusion that codified homphobia is an abuse of human rights.

    – We then have to ask whether states rights should extend as far as the right to abuse human rights for arbitrary reasons.

    Furthermore, I take it as a premise that we are all in pursuit of a moral society. I cannot see how we can behave morally and abusively at the same time. Denying gays the right to marry is immoral. Morality requires equality. Ironically, many people feel that their homophobobia *is* the moral stance.

  9. David Huff

    Scot wrote:
    “Ironically, many people feel that their homophobobia *is* the moral stance.”

    Along with this in religious circles, you often hear “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” My take on this is that the people who’re always pulling this old excuse are the ones who want to use the word “hate” and still feel clean afterwards…

    Oh, to mneptok, I’m not Limbaugh-ish – I’m a P.J. O’Rourke/Dave Barry Libertarian ;)

  10. mneptok

    Scot said: “Furthermore, I take it as a premise that we are all in pursuit of a moral society. I cannot see how we can behave morally and abusively at the same time. Denying gays the right to marry is immoral. Morality requires equality. Ironically, many people feel that their homophobobia *is* the moral stance.”

    Ironically, you are telling other people what morality is. Aren’t you forcing your views on someone as much as they are trying to force them on you?

    It’s not malicious, I know. But remember, many people opposed to gay marriage are opposed not because of fear or hatred, but because of their faith. I’m not going to be the one to tell them they’re wrong and there’s no recourse.

    I suspect that at the state level things would fall out pretty evenly. And that would be a win for gay couples who feel the need to tie the knot (this from a str8 that hasn’t asked his longtime gal yet). And it would still allow representational decision making without federally mandated morality, which is what the Founders wanted.

    But it’s not a great solution. If we got rid of taxation, so marital status was less weighty…

    David, I’ve had my LP card for years. Hi!

  11. Scot Hacker

    mnep, I don’t think that saying “Morality requires equality” is the same as imposing my own morality. Instead, it’s a prohibition against inequality, i.e. a prohibition against letting others impose a morality.

    It’s a prohibition against unfair prohibition, rather just a prohibition. It opens things up rather than closing them down. I don’t think these are the same.

    And I know that you personally favor freedom, that you are just representing the likely viewpoint of the fundamentalist here.

    Yes, my position does fly in the face of some Biblical and other religious interpretation. But I’m saying the Bible can’t govern society, rather than their position, which is that it can. These are not diametrically equivalent positions.

    If we want to go down the Jesus and interpretation roads, the whole other can of worms is, if Jesus is the man we believe him to be, how can we square this homophobic position of hatred with everything else we know about him, ie that he represents loving acceptance. The anti-gay position in the Bible just doesn’t square with anything we know about him. Jesus was a moral man, and therefore cannot have been a homophobe. I’m no bible scholar, but if I were I think I would feel forced to look for anti-gay sentiments in the bible having been inserted historically by other forces, not by jesus himself.

  12. gattaca

    If we’re going to talk about inequality in the sense that gays being unable to be legally married denies them benefits (ie medical insurance, tax breaks, etc)that heterosexual married people receive then we also need to say that there is discrimination against people who don’t have children. I pay income taxes and property taxes that go to support our children not only through social service programs but also educational. I do not receive the tax break that people with children do. I pay more in taxes to support other people’s children than the people with children do.

  13. Scot Hacker

    Well, that’s not exactly what I said. I referred to Kant’s Categorical Imperative, saying I think it serves pretty nicely. I didn’t say I adopt his entire writings and teachings (honestly it’s been so many years that I forget a lot of his metaphysics), but the C.I. stuck with me because it crystallizes and refines the golden rule so well.

  14. Robert Barksdale

    OK, other than Kant’s Categorical Imperative, are there any other standards by which you “calibrate” your moral compass?

    You say;

    “Furthermore, I take it as a premise that we are all in pursuit of a moral society.”

    Yet, it appears to me that you are in pursuit of an amoral society. A society that is amoral has no absolutes on which to stand. On the other hand, a moral society is built on absolutes. One is built on shifting sands, while the other is built on a solid foundation.

    Even though our society’s compass is currently being manipulated by the magnetism of amorality, it does not negate the fact that there is a true moral standard.

  15. Scot Hacker

    Robert, on which basis do you connect relative vs. absolute ethics with moral vs. amoral society? Relative and absolute are different ways of calculating morality… it does not follow that one method produces more “moral” morals than the other.

    I agree that society is in the grip of amorality, but fail to see how you connect my interest in justice and human rights as a defense of amorality.

    Further: So you see Kant’s Categorical Imperative as relative? Fair enough. I would agree with that. Now tell me how it differs from Jesus’ Golden Rule. Hmm… maybe Jesus was a moral relativist as well.

    Can you give me an example of an absolute moral? How about “Thou shalt not kill?” Is that an absolute? Can you think of no exceptions? I for one think it was probably moral of us to have tried to kill Hitler. In fact, given the right context, I can think of an exception to each of the ten commandments. Fortunately, the Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative (relativistic moral systems) account for context.

  16. Robert Barksdale

    Scot, you mentioned in earlier comments that: “I take it as a given that any ethical system includes ‘but don’t hurt anybody’ at the end of each proposition.” You also stated: “Furthermore, I take it as a premise that we are all in pursuit of a moral society.” Based on these comments, it appears to me that you see a connection as well.

    To answer your question, I believe that it comes down to building one’s beliefs on shifting sands or building one’s beliefs on a solid foundation. If there is no known truth, we have no way of calculating morality as you suggest.

    I don’t see how the two cannot be connected. Since the Categorical Imperative is based on Kant’s beliefs that morality cannot be taught or learnt, and therefore must arise spontaneously from within the individual, how can they not connect? For if morality arises spontaneously within me, and morality arises spontaneously within you, and we disagree, we have chaos. Chaos leads to an amoral society.

    Are you saying that if feels good, you can do it, “but don’t hurt anybody”? Surely, this is not what you propose; but isn’t that where we go if we follow this trail?

    When you refer to Jesus’ Golden Rule, are you referring to Matthew 22:36-40? Jesus is asked by a lawyer;

    36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    37 And He said unto him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

    38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.

    39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

    40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    No, Scot, Jesus Christ is not a moral relativist. His Word is consistent and does not change with the winds of time.

    I would have to agree with you that Hitler was worthy of death for his deeds against the Jewish people. However, let us bring it even closer to home. Let’s say that someone decided to do something unspeakable to your son or my daughter. Would we have the right to track down this person and kill him? Maybe we would be justified, but taking into account the Judeo-Christian foundation on which our nation’s laws are built, we could not do so without being accountable to the law.

    I know my failings, and I am sure you know yours. Because of this, I choose not to establish my faith on the shifting sands of man’s wisdom. So, Scot, I cannot give you an absolute moral, but I can point to morals based on an absolute. The Word of God, the Holy Bible, is the only standard which is absolute.

  17. Scot Hacker

    > Scot, you mentioned in earlier comments that: “I take it as a given that any ethical system includes ‘but don’t hurt anybody’ at the end of each proposition.” You also stated: “Furthermore, I take it as a premise that we are all in pursuit of a moral society.” Based on these comments, it appears to me that you see a connection as well.

    I’m sorry, you’ve lost me here. What exactly in the comments of mine referenced above do you see as drawing a connection between absolutes and a “better morality?”

    >To answer your question, I believe that it comes down to building one’s beliefs on shifting sands or building one’s beliefs on a solid foundation. If there is no known truth, we have no way of calculating morality as you suggest.

    So what exactly do you propose that humankind do? There is no capital T truth, so by your reckoning there should be no way to calculate morality. But this is not the case – we have lots of ways of calculating morality. I don’t understand why you’re so afraid of “shifting sands” — that has been the basis of human knowledge since humans existed, and yet we have striven to create moral societies.

    > I don’t see how the two cannot be connected. Since the Categorical Imperative is based on Kant’s beliefs that morality cannot be taught or learnt, and therefore must arise spontaneously from within the individual, how can they not connect? For if morality arises spontaneously within me, and morality arises spontaneously within you, and we disagree, we have chaos. Chaos leads to an amoral society.

    I don’t think it’s correct to say “spontaneously arising.” Ethical systems are prescriptive. In most situations, people in the same context will come to the same conclusion. “I must not litter because I don’t want everyone to litter.” “I must not make advances on this man’s wife because I wouldn’t want him making advances on mine.” I don’t see what the problem is. What “shifting sands” you fear here.

    > Are you saying that if feels good, you can do it, “but don’t hurt anybody”? Surely, this is not what you propose;

    Of course that’s what I propose. Why do you say “surely not?” Anything besides that is a bad case of minding someone else’s business — something the religions of the world seem to be extremely good at. Coming back to our point, someone else’s homosexuality is none of your business. It doesn’t harm you or society. Your church’s repression of it is an arbitrary abuse of human rights. How can you possibly see homosexuality as amoral behavior? It doesn’t make any sense, and it doesn’t square with the rest of Jesus’ teachings.

    > When you refer to Jesus’ Golden Rule, are you referring to Matthew 22:36-40? Jesus is asked by a lawyer;

    I’m not sure where you get that. You know very well that the Golden Rule is Luke 6:31. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, an earlier formulation of Kant’s CI. In fact, Jesus didn’t invent this sentiment. Here’s a great page on the history of this simple basis for morality in all of the world’s most popular religions:

    http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/mt/mt_19.htm

    > No, Scot, Jesus Christ is not a moral relativist. His Word is consistent and does not change with the winds of time.

    Funny then how people have used the Bible to keep women from voting and owning land, blacks as slaves, and any number of human rights abuses. Proscriptions against homosexuality don’t come from Jesus. They come from Biblical interpretation by bigots and other people afraid of anything different from themselves.

    >I would have to agree with you that Hitler was worthy of death for his deeds against the Jewish people.

    Oh, so you don’t believe in “Thou shalt not kill?” Interesting.

    > However, let us bring it even closer to home. Let’s say that someone decided to do something unspeakable to your son or my daughter. Would we have the right to track down this person and kill him?

    Not if we wanted to remain good Christians.

    > I know my failings, and I am sure you know yours. Because of this, I choose not to establish my faith on the shifting sands of man’s wisdom.

    I dunno. At least secular morality can be engaged without dealing with antique and unanswerable questions like “does god exist?,” “which religion is correct?” “which denomination of the chosen religions is correct?,” and “how shall we interpret scripture?”

    Secular morality is FAR more solid and less whimsical than religious morality. And it tends to be more fair and less hateful as well (although religious morality is never hateful as a result of its teachings, but rather of its followers).

  18. Robert Barksdale

    >So what exactly do you propose that humankind do? There is no capital T truth…

    This is where we disagree, Scot. I believe that Truth lies in the Word of God.

    >How can you possibly see homosexuality as amoral behavior? It doesn’t make any sense, and it doesn’t square with the rest of Jesus’ teachings.

    According to the Word of God, it is wrong. When you say it isn’t and those that live this lifestyle say it isn’t, that tells me that neither of you know right from wrong. By definition, this is amoral behavior. How you can say it doesn’t square with the teachings of Jesus. Can you show me in scripture where Jesus sanctions such behavior?

    >In fact, Jesus didn’t invent this sentiment.

    Yes, I know Jesus did not invent this sentiment, that is why I was a bit confused when you called it Jesus’ Golden Rule, and why I asked for your clarification.

    >Funny then how people have used the Bible to keep women from voting and owning land, blacks as slaves, and any number of human rights abuses.

    No, it is not funny that man, at times, has used the Word of God to promote his own agenda.

    >Proscriptions against homosexuality don’t come from Jesus. They come from Biblical interpretation by bigots and other people afraid of anything different from themselves.

    It seems quite strange to me Scot, that you acknowledge that you are not a student of the Bible, and yet you make statements like this. Here are some things to consider. The Bible was written over the course of 1,600 years, spanning 60 generations. It was written by over 40 authors, including a political leader, fisherman, herdsmen, a military general, a cupbearer, a prime minister, a doctor, a tax collector, and a Rabbi. It was written on three continents, and written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Controversial subjects abound within it pages, yet the message throughout the Bible is in harmony and agreement.

    >Oh, so you don’t believe in “Thou shalt not kill?” Interesting.

    It is interesting that you attempt to put words in my mouth, Scot.

    >Not if we wanted to remain good Christians.

    Or, as I stated, if we do not want to be held accountable under our nation’s laws.

    >I dunno. At least secular morality can be engaged without dealing with antique and unanswerable questions like “does god exist?,” “which religion is correct?” “which denomination of the chosen religions is correct?,” and “how shall we interpret scripture?”

    So, if I understand you correctly, it is easier for you to say that God does not exist; that we evolved from an apes; that the order of our universe and the forces that hold it together are the result of a big bang; and that man has all the answers. I disagree.

    >Secular morality is FAR more solid and less whimsical than religious morality. And it tends to be more fair and less hateful as well (although religious morality is never hateful as a result of its teachings, but rather of its followers).

    Yes, mankind is selfish, self-centered, and self-indulgent. And yet you would like us to believe that those that follow the “less whimsical” secular morality are not.

  19. David Huff

    Robert wrote:
    > Controversial subjects abound within it pages, yet the message throughout the Bible is in harmony and agreement.

    Umm, excuse me ? are we talking about the same book here ? The stuff in Leviticus and Deuteronomy is in “harmony and agreement” with the Gospel ?!

    And when Scot wrote about slavery, sexism and racism in the Bible, Robert responded:

    >No, it is not funny that man, at times, has used the Word of God to promote his own agenda.

    Indeed, it is distinctly not funny. Your response was also a bit of obvious hand-waving. Approval of these things is found all through the Bible (certainly not in Jesus’ own words, but in the New Testament as well as the Old – see Paul for examples).

    As to mention of gays and lesbians in the New Testament, Biblical scholars continue to debate what Paul really wrote. In the original Greek, he mentions disapproval of ritual temple prostitution (using the specific Greek words for males and females who engaged in such), he did *not* use the common Greek words for regular homosexuals.

    Of course, you’ll have a hard time finding an English translation that reflects this accurately. It wouldn’t sell to conservative, dogmatic “literalists” (I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that they take a bad translation literally, simply because it feeds their hatreds and fears).

    > How you can say it doesn’t square with the teachings of Jesus. Can you show me in scripture where Jesus sanctions such behavior?

    Show me a place in scripture where he doesn’t. Jesus never mentions gays and lesbians specifically one way or the other. He *does* spend quite a bit of time talking about the great commandments and their implications.

  20. Scot Hacker

    Robert, for clarity, there are two distinct discussions going on here and we should be careful to keep them separate.

    1) Whether the Bible can be used as a basis for morality in a pluralistic society.

    2) If so, what does the Bible say about homosexuality. Or more specifically, what does Jesus say about homosexuality?

    > This is where we disagree, Scot. I believe that Truth lies in the Word of God.

    “I believe” is the problem here. Because god lies in the realm of “I believe,” we are not talking about capital T truth. Capital T truth is consensus reality. “The cup is on the table.” No room for disagreement. Solid premises. Solid conclusions. Humanity has never agreed on whether there is one God or many, what s/he looks like, what s/he decrees, which religion, which interpretation of his/her words is correct. Thus religious beliefs are all small “t” truths and cannot be used as a basis for morality in the real world, where we require consensus on premises.

    >According to the Word of God, it is wrong. When you say it isn’t and those that live this lifestyle say it isn’t, that tells me that neither of you know right from wrong.

    I think I know that oppression is wrong and freedom is right. I think that that particular truth is self-evident, but if it needs explication for some reason, well, we’re getting into it, aren’t we?

    > By definition, this is amoral behavior.

    Not “by definition.” You talk as if YOUR intrepration of ONE religious text (and not even the words of Jesus) can somehow stand in for THE definition used by society. This makes reasonable communication impossible.

    >How you can say it doesn’t square with the teachings of Jesus. Can you show me in scripture where Jesus sanctions such behavior?

    Are you saying that anything not expressly allowed is forbidden? I guess the Old Navy Cargo Pants I’m wearing are a sin, since Jesus didn’t allow them. Same with the Macintosh I’m writing this on. Oh, and don’t forget chocolate – Jesus didn’t allow for that either.

    >>Proscriptions against homosexuality don’t come from Jesus. They come from Biblical interpretation by bigots and other people afraid of anything different from themselves.

    >It seems quite strange to me Scot, that you acknowledge that you are not a student of the Bible, and yet you make statements like this.

    Well, if I’m wrong, then show me where in the Bible Jesus implied that homosexuality was wrong?

    >Here are some things to consider. The Bible was written over the course of 1,600 years, spanning 60 generations.

    EXACTLY!!! So you’re saying that things that random people who walked through the history of Christianity and ended up being transcribed into the Bible should be the basis for the morality of modern society? It’s an absurd notion, when you think about it. This is why the Bible is full of stufff about eating shellfish, and stoning misbehaving children, and never shaving your beard (how’s your beard coming along, by the way?)

    >>Oh, so you don’t believe in “Thou shalt not kill?” Interesting.

    >It is interesting that you attempt to put words in my mouth, Scot.

    Put words in your mouth? Here are your words: They came out of your mouth:

    “I would have to agree with you that Hitler was worthy of death for his deeds against the Jewish people. ”

    That’s the part where you agreed that morality is relative and that there are no absolutes in this realm.

    >So, if I understand you correctly, it is easier for you to say that God does not exist; that we evolved from an apes; that the order of our universe and the forces that hold it together are the result of a big bang; and that man has all the answers. I disagree.

    You’re free to disagree, but I am saying that our challenge as a pluralistic culture is to find a way to live that is fair to all and not repressive and that is kind. Coincidentally, I think our goal is to find a way to live that is Jesus-like.

    Let’s not get into the creationist stuff – that’s a conversation for another day.

    >Yes, mankind is selfish, self-centered, and self-indulgent. And yet you would like us to believe that those that follow the “less whimsical” secular morality are not.

    We are talking about how to determine the right path : How shall we live? It is our responsibility to figure it out, because religion cannot be used as a basis for ethics/morality. It just doesn’t work in the real world. Interpretation is too problematic, and there are too many religions. Each with its own small “t” truth (which looks like a big T from the inside).

  21. Mark Odell

    Since this subject is in the news again recently, I’ll post.

    but we as a nation do punish people for loving whom they wish to love.

    Just exactly who is this “we as a nation”? I don’t recall ever being given the chance to vote on e.g. laws criminalizing sodomy.

    try as I might, I cannot understand why anyone would oppose gay marriage.

    Here are some possible reasons why:
    http://www.sobran.com/wanderer/w2003/w030904.shtml
    http://www.sobran.com/columns/2003/031120.shtml

    Here’s my view:
    http://blog.lewrockwell.com/lewrw/archives/003560.html
    (follow the links for explication)

    I also have trouble understanding how people can embrace religions that oppose homosexuality. It’s so plainly inhumane.

    At the risk of sounding Clintonian: That all depends on what you mean by “oppose”.

    David Huff wrote: It needs defending the same way white folks in George Wallace’s Alabama needed “defending” during the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s ;)

    Bad analogy, David:
    “Most Southerners, however, understood that the federal government wanted to do more than end legally sponsored segregation. They understood that the federal government wanted to take charge of their schools and communities, not only ending legal segregation but also managing their lives by prohibiting voluntary choice in the exercise of private property rights. This is what they predicted and this is what occurred.”
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/lott.html

    i wrote: I’m just still unsure about what the tax breaks for married people are meant to promote,

    They’re meant to promote taxpayers jumping through hoops, as a means of training us to accept centralized State control. What else?

    Scot wrote: I’m not so convinced that it’s any better to move it to the state level.

    It’s vastly better to move it to the state level, for the simple reason that the American system of federalism properly places it there.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/kinsella/kinsella11.html

    Then we’ll just have a lot of states abusing human rights.

    How many is “a lot”?

    Ah, but it’s far easier for people to move from a less-free state to a more-free state (or vice versa) than it is to leave the entire country because of a “one-size-fits-all” rule imposed by a tyrannical central government (e.g. the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which was why the Underground Railroad had to go all the way to Canada). That is called “diversity” and “freedom of choice”.

    - We then have to ask whether states rights should extend as far as the right to abuse human rights for arbitrary reasons.

    Bear in mind that the phrase “states’ rights” is yet another of those Jeffersonian coinages, just like “separation of church and state”, which appears nowhere in the Constitution proper and which has been misinterpreted to serve statist ends.

  22. Scot Hacker

    > Just exactly who is this “we as a nation”? I don’t recall ever being given the chance to vote on e.g. laws criminalizing sodomy.

    Every aspect of law is ultimately up to us, either via representation or via election. You didn’t get to vote on this particular one because it was law before you were born. But you may be fortunate enough to vote on whether marriage should be redefined. And that’s what really bugged me about Sobran’s posts – he kept talking as if the notion of gay marriage was nonsense because it violates the definition of marriage, when the whole goal is to redefine marriage.

  23. orlin

    codified homophobia might be read as”homeophobia”,a codified phobia for home,and that`s the first thing that I with my double English(especially when we talk about the net) thought of.Can you feel so imprisoned to develope a phobia about home considreing the world to be your home.(sometimes)

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