Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:32 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:
Silknor wrote:And the author doesn't believe that the children would be raised as well. Now that's an empirical point and it's debatable, it's also probably not that easy to study. I don't think he's comparing it to a broken home as much as he's saying that children need parental role models of their own sex, which yes, is debatable, but it's not an entirely unreasonable belief.

It's debatable at best, and more to the point you are the one trying to deny someone rights, so the onus is on you to prove that homosexuals cannot effectively raise children. If you can't produce evidence to justify the idea, then the idea is not something we can use to stop people from marrying.

Oh hey there, interesting thing I missed. No, it isn't debatable, and yes, it is fairly easy to study. Several studies on this exact subject have been done in the last few years. No credible evidence exists to indicate that children of homosexual couples are any less well-adjusted than those of heterosexual couples, and a couple of studies have found the opposite.

Saying something is debatable does not a debatable thing make.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

If you have a good study in mind, could you link it?

And no, in general, 20+ year longitudinal studies on something that would've probably gotten significantly less interest 20 years ago isn't easy. And since it's at best a natural experiment (unless there's some done with randomization I'm not aware of), that's not really easy to draw conclusions from either.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:
Silknor wrote:And the author doesn't believe that the children would be raised as well. Now that's an empirical point and it's debatable, it's also probably not that easy to study. I don't think he's comparing it to a broken home as much as he's saying that children need parental role models of their own sex, which yes, is debatable, but it's not an entirely unreasonable belief.

It's debatable at best, and more to the point you are the one trying to deny someone rights, so the onus is on you to prove that homosexuals cannot effectively raise children. If you can't produce evidence to justify the idea, then the idea is not something we can use to stop people from marrying.

Oh hey there, interesting thing I missed. No, it isn't debatable, and yes, it is fairly easy to study. Several studies on this exact subject have been done in the last few years. No credible evidence exists to indicate that children of homosexual couples are any less well-adjusted than those of heterosexual couples, and a couple of studies have found the opposite.

Saying something is debatable does not a debatable thing make.


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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

@Princess Marzipan: I have to keep this short because I don't have enough time to tackle everything. Here's my points:

1) You describe supporters of Prop. 8 as either hateful or ignorant, and largly the latter. I wish others agreed with you. I don't care so much if you want to call the opposition ignorant, even my fellow friends at my church. But more often people paint them as not just wrong but bad bordering on evil (using labels like hateful). I think this happens for political reasons and it's a source of breeding hate and intolerance. The other side does it too and I find both equally wrong. (Beyond highlighting my opinion, I don't want to expand on this because I already spent a lot of time doing that in another thread.)

2) My thesis in this thread is that Prop. 8 is not out to target gay people as individuals, rather it's to target the acceptance of gay marriage as OK and more generally the practice of homosexuality. I get that this creates disproportionate harm, and I even accept that it's unjust harm. But people want to compare motives of yes voters to people that support racist laws. No one supported racism to make blacks become white. Rather it was an expression of feelings of superiority, hate, and ugly intolerance. Some might support Prop. 8 for these same reasons, but I think there's a big gap in the evidence to show that this is the majority view.

3) Fortunately, we don't need to demonstrate this to establish that the law is unconstitutional. Legal restrictions aren't the right avenue to promote moral opinions since it gives the moral majority too much power over the minority. This is a good argument and it doesn't unfairly cast the other side as hateful. (Actually before this overturning, I wasn't convinced that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.)

Jesse wrote:That's cool, because I wasn't advancing a political cause right there, I was just explaining why I was fine with them being called morally inferior.

Well I presume you're still fine with it when you are advancing a political cause. If not, then I suppose the harm is minimized.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby RandomString » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:06 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:The author can value what he wants about society.

The point is, the arguments against gay marriage in this Prop 8 case involve arguments like "marriage is primarily a vessel for government to encourage procreation." All those points netcrusher raised CLEARLY disprove that, because if that WERE the primary purpose of marriage, there would be more restrictions on it than there are.


Possibly. Or possibly even if it were the only reason, we still wouldn't have restrictions as draconian as netcrusher suggests. Seriously, that would require medical testing to make sure no one infertile gets married, lie detector tests to make sure people who don't want kids get married, tremendous expense and cost. I'm not saying society only views marriage as a way to have kids, I'm saying that if it did, then we still wouldn't see marriages be restricted as far as netcrusher suggests.


Dare I suggest... economies of scale?

Silknor wrote:Again, you clearly don't have a very good comprehension of what I'm saying. I'll make it very clear: I support gay marriage. I even like the idea of an Equal Protection clause that forbids states from restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. But I'm not convinced that we have such a clause. That is regrettable, but wishing doesn't make it so.


And this is why I've been silently laughing this entire thread. I thought you made it pretty clear earlier on, but it's been pretty obvious that people didn't notice it (or didn't look back that far). Even still, your general wordings seem to suggest it, thus laughter.

And I'd be so sad if trans people couldn't marry. I'd probably just give up all will to live. :(

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Jesse » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:49 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
Jesse wrote:That's cool, because I wasn't advancing a political cause right there, I was just explaining why I was fine with them being called morally inferior.

Well I presume you're still fine with it when you are advancing a political cause. If not, then I suppose the harm is minimized.


I think it's a stupid argument to advance a political cause. My philosophy and ethics inform what political causes I advance, but not the arguments for doing so. I apologise for dragging a side conversation off topic.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:40 pm UTC

guenther wrote:@Princess Marzipan: I have to keep this short because I don't have enough time to tackle everything. Here's my points:

1) You describe supporters of Prop. 8 as either hateful or ignorant, and largly the latter. I wish others agreed with you. I don't care so much if you want to call the opposition ignorant, even my fellow friends at my church. But more often people paint them as not just wrong but bad bordering on evil (using labels like hateful). I think this happens for political reasons and it's a source of breeding hate and intolerance. The other side does it too and I find both equally wrong. (Beyond highlighting my opinion, I don't want to expand on this because I already spent a lot of time doing that in another thread.)

2) My thesis in this thread is that Prop. 8 is not out to target gay people as individuals, rather it's to target the acceptance of gay marriage as OK and more generally the practice of homosexuality. I get that this creates disproportionate harm, and I even accept that it's unjust harm. But people want to compare motives of yes voters to people that support racist laws. No one supported racism to make blacks become white. Rather it was an expression of feelings of superiority, hate, and ugly intolerance. Some might support Prop. 8 for these same reasons, but I think there's a big gap in the evidence to show that this is the majority view.

3) Fortunately, we don't need to demonstrate this to establish that the law is unconstitutional. Legal restrictions aren't the right avenue to promote moral opinions since it gives the moral majority too much power over the minority. This is a good argument and it doesn't unfairly cast the other side as hateful. (Actually before this overturning, I wasn't convinced that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.)
.

Hang on. what's preventing interracial marriage preventing, or trying to prevent. bi-racial babies! or black babies, since I've always noticed it's possible for black people to be light but not white people to be dark... and, it's also trying to prevent the mixing of class systems of course. Not sure that bit is analogous here though, so:
discouraging the procreation of black people is not the same as discouraging homosexuals from being homosexual! how so?
discouraging families from being created, both places. People want to create families, that's what marriage if for. saying that some people can't is, imho, kindof hateful.
And at the very least it's ignorant. Homosexuality is not a disorder, according to the APA, i'm fairly sure. it is a valid sexual orientation and as such discrimination on the basis of it just isn't logical.
It is impossible to divorce the concept of the individual from the homosexual 'practice' in the real world.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:03 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:discouraging the procreation of black people is not the same as discouraging homosexuals from being homosexual! how so?

Do you mean the same in terms of intent or effect? Do you have an example of policy aimed at discouraging the procreation of blacks?

Meaux_Pas wrote:discouraging families from being created, both places. People want to create families, that's what marriage if for. saying that some people can't is, imho, kindof hateful.

Hateful as in sourced by hate? Or deserving of hate? I got in trouble last time I tried to make an educated guess.

If you mean that they're acting on feelings of hate, then that could be true. But I'd like to know what your evidence is that hate is the main motivator for most voters. Unless you're just saying it's true by definition. But then you're using a non-standard definition.

And it's not impossible to separate the gay individual from the act of homosexuality. It's just an unpopular thing to do. But people should get to construct their identity however they want, so if they identify as a gay person rather than a person that does gay things, that identity should be respected.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:29 am UTC

guenther wrote:2) My thesis in this thread is that Prop. 8 is not out to target gay people as individuals, rather it's to target the acceptance of gay marriage as OK and more generally the practice of homosexuality. I get that this creates disproportionate harm, and I even accept that it's unjust harm. But people want to compare motives of yes voters to people that support racist laws. No one supported racism to make blacks become white. Rather it was an expression of feelings of superiority, hate, and ugly intolerance. Some might support Prop. 8 for these same reasons, but I think there's a big gap in the evidence to show that this is the majority view.
One moment, I need to reread your post while wearing my monocle.

*inserts monocle into eye*

Here we go.
guenther wrote:2) My thesis in this thread is that Prop. 8 is not out to target gay people as individuals, rather it's to target the acceptance of gay marriage as OK and more generally the practice of homosexuality. I get that this creates disproportionate harm, and I even accept that it's unjust harm. But people want to compare motives of yes voters to people that support racist laws. No one supported racism to make blacks become white. Rather it was an expression of feelings of superiority, hate, and ugly intolerance. Some might support Prop. 8 for these same reasons, but I think there's a big gap in the evidence to show that this is the majority view.
*pops monocle out*

I beg your pardon, good sir!?

Do you think things like the Carlisle Indian Industrial School were founded on the basis of white people just really wanting to spend a lot of time with brown people? Do you think 'White Man's Burden' is the name of an ironically all-black all-female indie band1? Do you think the 'Good Jew' is an alternate title for Jesus Christ?

Of course people supported racism to make black people white. That's the whole point--be more like me or GTFO. I find the idea of demeaning racism by saying that it's way more abhorrent than homophobia to be incredibly unfair to racism--they're both operating under the same underlying notion, the same basic idea--they want people to act like them (either be more "white" or have less "gay sex"), and, if those people refuse, they want them to go away.

I don't doubt that many of the people who support Prop 8 are wonderful, caring, compassionate folk who smell like rainbows and poop nothing but solid gumdrops. Hell, I know a few of these people--I even admire some of them (for reasons wholly unaffiliated with their perspective on homosexual marriage). But let's not pretend for one minute that their perspective on homosexuality--on the way they're addressing this matter--is not harmful, demeaning, and ultimately a demand that people act less like themselves and more like them.

1 I actually kind of wish it was, because that sounds like it would rock.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:23 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:Like I said, freedom of assembly is a much better Constitutional grounds for gay marriage than equal protection.


No, it isn't, and a "strict constructionist" would be ashamed to write such an expansive interpretation.

Freedom of assembly is not "the right to have the government give you benefits for having a permanent romantic partner". The right to freedom of assembly has to do with getting together with like-minded people to promote an agenda, or lobby, or protest the government. It has nothing to do with state-recognized marriage.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:26 am UTC

Silknor wrote:If you have a good study in mind, could you link it?

And no, in general, 20+ year longitudinal studies on something that would've probably gotten significantly less interest 20 years ago isn't easy. And since it's at best a natural experiment (unless there's some done with randomization I'm not aware of), that's not really easy to draw conclusions from either.

Study performed by University of Virginia and George Washington University, finding developmental ability not hindered. Articles: Lez get real, WaPo blog. There have been similar studies performed, I believe this is the first one to use metrics from third parties (teachers and the like) rather than doing the measurement. Which is a different thing, a bit.

25-year study (spanning the lives of many subjects) indicating children of gay parents no less well-adjusted and those of lesbian parents specifically to have in general fewer behavioral problems. CNN. I believe Judge Walker cited this one in his decision. Possibly others too.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby squareroot » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:32 am UTC

Marbas wrote:Hey, that's my birthday!

Fuck yes.

Best. Birthday present. Ever.

It was my mom's on the 8th.

I think she'll be very happy about this too, somehow it seems she hasn't heard yet. :D

I know I am!
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

@The Great Hippo: You have an interesting view on racism, but seeing as that's off-topic I don't really want to go there. And I didn't even mention homophobia, so I'm not sure how you are divining my moral comparison between that and racism.

The Great Hippo wrote:But let's not pretend for one minute that their perspective on homosexuality--on the way they're addressing this matter--is not harmful, demeaning, and ultimately a demand that people act less like themselves and more like them.

You should put the monocle back on. In the section you quoted I already admitted that it creates harm and comes from a desire to increase conformity. So I'm not sure if you don't understand my position or if you're just expressing agreement. And I don't have a problem with saying it's demeaning either.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Reaper » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

guenther wrote:@The Great Hippo: You have an interesting view on racism, but seeing as that's off-topic I don't really want to go there. And I didn't even mention homophobia, so I'm not sure how you are divining my moral comparison between that and racism.

The Great Hippo wrote:But let's not pretend for one minute that their perspective on homosexuality--on the way they're addressing this matter--is not harmful, demeaning, and ultimately a demand that people act less like themselves and more like them.

You should put the monocle back on. In the section you quoted I already admitted that it creates harm and comes from a desire to increase conformity. So I'm not sure if you don't understand my position or if you're just expressing agreement. And I don't have a problem with saying it's demeaning either.

I figured the "make blacks become white" part was a typo. Was I mistaken? Maybe I'm just not in the right mindset to understand your phrasing... :\

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

Something about making blacks act more like white-folk, and less like them uppity tribal folk.

Unless we're going full-on Michael Jackson here where Clorox is your best friend?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Reaper » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Something about making blacks act more like white-folk, and less like them uppity tribal folk.

Unless we're going full-on Michael Jackson here where Clorox is your best friend?

Hence part of my general confusion.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Jessica » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

off topic note: both, actually (as in, changing actions, behaviors and appearance were all things that were desired). People do bleach their skin to look more white/attractive. And those with whiter skin are given more leeway in their interactions with the dominant culture.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:54 pm UTC

guenther wrote:And it's not impossible to separate the gay individual from the act of homosexuality. It's just an unpopular thing to do. But people should get to construct their identity however they want, so if they identify as a gay person rather than a person that does gay things, that identity should be respected.


What is "the act of homosexuality"? What are "gay things"? Holding hands with a member of the same sex? Expressing a fanboy/girl crush on a same-sex celebrity? Having romantic feelings toward a same-sex person? Or is this a euphemism for anal sex between men?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:13 pm UTC

guenther wrote:And I didn't even mention homophobia, so I'm not sure how you are divining my moral comparison between that and racism.
I don't know any word that means 'anti-homosexual behavior that involves believing homosexuality is a self-destructive choice and homosexuals should choose not to be homosexual', so I went with homophobia. I think it's apt enough; I'd be happy to use a better word if presented with it, though. Of course, I understand the word comes with some extra baggage.
guenther wrote:You should put the monocle back on. In the section you quoted I already admitted that it creates harm and comes from a desire to increase conformity. So I'm not sure if you don't understand my position or if you're just expressing agreement. And I don't have a problem with saying it's demeaning either.
In that particular part, neither (though I do agree, and I'm glad to hear you reassert that you do too). I think racism and homophobia (with the definition I used above) are very similar beasts, but I also think that, even if they weren't, it wouldn't matter. The motivations of the people supporting Prop 8--whether they ultimately are altruistic or sadistic--are irrelevant. What's important is that Prop 8 has the same result as a racist law. Not to call up Martin Luther King's ghost, but it's legal segregation--different laws for different people.

I understand you're responding to people who are asserting that the Prop 8 crowd are a bunch of terrible people--and I'd actually agree with you that all of them aren't (knowing a few of them myself). But I also think that the discussion about whether they're morally repugnant or just misguided is largely silly and unhelpful. The answer to that is immaterial; what is important is what they are doing, and what they are doing is unquestionably wrong. I think it's important that we keep ahold of that point.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:I figured the "make blacks become white" part was a typo. Was I mistaken? Maybe I'm just not in the right mindset to understand your phrasing... :\

No it wasn't a typo. Though maybe that part could have used more explanation. Basically I was distinguishing between being hateful and intolerant of people just because of who they are, and making efforts to shape what (not who) is acceptable in the culture. Pressuring someone out or to the margins because you don't like them is different than pressuring someone to behave differently. The effect can be the same, and I don't have a problem with people comparing the two in terms of measured impact. But it's inaccurate to use the word hate without taking into account people's emotional basis for taking action. And if someone does want to make a claim that a majority of yes voters on Prop. 8 were motivated by hate, I want to see evidence. I'm sure that some people used their vote to target the gay community, but I claim that it's not well supported to say that the Prop. 8 bill targeted gay people.

When I said that racism isn't about getting blacks to become white, I was saying that the effort was to marginalize people because of who they are. Because of physical qualities they were inferior people and inherently didn't deserve the same rights. As The Great Hippo pointed out, there were efforts to stamp out certain elements of ethnic culture (or even the whole culture). And while this can be described under the banner of racism, that's not what I was talking about.

mythago wrote:What is "the act of homosexuality"? What are "gay things"? Holding hands with a member of the same sex? Expressing a fanboy/girl crush on a same-sex celebrity? Having romantic feelings toward a same-sex person? Or is this a euphemism for anal sex between men?

Well, everyone who's trying to influence culture to limit homosexuality gets to decide for themselves. It most certainly includes gay sex, and probably includes any sort of romantic attachment to someone of the same sex.

The reason I say that distinguishing between homosexuality and the person is possible is because people do exactly that. I know someone that identified as lesbian when she was younger but now describes those years as when she practiced homosexuality. She doesn't describe herself as changing her sexual identity, but rather that her behavior has changed. For those that do want to include their sexual preferences as part of their identity, I think we should respect that. People ought to be able to construct their notion of themselves however they want.

The reason this point is important is because one can't really understand the Christian conservative stance against homosexuality without decomposing homosexuality and the person. The Bible is very clear that the Gospel message is for everyone. If it said that people of born of a certain race were an abomination, then we'd have a different picture. But it's clear that the Bible is talking about behavior (though of course there's debate if that behavior is homosexuality as we know it today). We don't all have to agree that viewing homosexuality through this lens is healthy or right. We can oppose it as a bad thing. But we should recognize that when people do oppose the behavior, they don't necessarily believe the individual is an abomination or inferior in any way. And it's certainly not grounds to logically conclude that they must hate.

The Great Hippo wrote:I don't know any word that means 'anti-homosexual behavior that involves believing homosexuality is a self-destructive choice and homosexuals should choose not to be homosexual', so I went with homophobia. I think it's apt enough; I'd be happy to use a better word if presented with it, though. Of course, I understand the word comes with some extra baggage.

I generally don't use the word homophobia because I don't know how people define it. But for the sake of debate I'm happy with this definition. In which case I think racism (as defined in the dictionary) is inherently worse than homophobia. And hatred and feelings of superiority based on sexual preference (whatever we call that) is equally as bad as racism. Basically if you take racism and swap out race for anything else, I consider it all equally and inherently bad. But beliefs about how others should behave aren't inherently bad, but they can be quite awful (and even worse) depending on how people treat others for non-compliance.

The Great Hippo wrote:In that particular part, neither (though I do agree, and I'm glad to hear you reassert that you do too). I think racism and homophobia (with the definition I used above) are very similar beasts, but I also think that, even if they weren't, it wouldn't matter. The motivations of the people supporting Prop 8--whether they ultimately are altruistic or sadistic--are irrelevant. What's important is that Prop 8 has the same result as a racist law. Not to call up Martin Luther King's ghost, but it's legal segregation--different laws for different people.

It's not different laws for different people. It's a law that applies equally to everyone with disparate impacts. DADT is a law that treats gays and straights differently.

The Great Hippo wrote:I understand you're responding to people who are asserting that the Prop 8 crowd are a bunch of terrible people--and I'd actually agree with you that all of them aren't (knowing a few of them myself). But I also think that the discussion about whether they're morally repugnant or just misguided is largely silly and unhelpful. The answer to that is immaterial; what is important is what they are doing, and what they are doing is unquestionably wrong. I think it's important that we keep ahold of that point.

I'm responding to people that don't have a solid case to demonstrate intent, but are persistent in using words that imply intent. I don't have a problem with comparing racist laws to Prop. 8 based on measured impact because they might be comparible in some cases. (Though clearly I don't agree with how you compared them above.)
Last edited by guenther on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

guenther wrote:I'm sure that some people used their vote to target the gay community, but I claim that it's not well supported to say that the Prop. 8 bill targeted gay people.


I'm sure some racists used their vote to target the black community, but I claim that it's not well supported to say that grandfather voting laws targeted black people.

You are an adept mental gymnast, my good man. Do you employ a net during your performances, or are you truly daring?

guenther wrote:
mythago wrote:What is "the act of homosexuality"? What are "gay things"? Holding hands with a member of the same sex? Expressing a fanboy/girl crush on a same-sex celebrity? Having romantic feelings toward a same-sex person? Or is this a euphemism for anal sex between men?

Well, everyone who's trying to influence culture to limit homosexuality gets to decide for themselves. It most certainly includes gay sex, and probably includes any sort of romantic attachment to someone of the same sex.

The reason I say that distinguishing between homosexuality and the person is possible is because people do exactly that. I know someone that identified as lesbian when she was younger but now describes those years as when she practiced homosexuality. She doesn't describe herself as changing her sexual identity, but rather that her behavior has changed. For those that do want to include their sexual preferences as part of their identity, I think we should respect that. People ought to be able to construct their notion of themselves however they want.


Cool anecdote, bro. You're awfully close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy - something widely denounced by the medical community. You tell me I should make a distinction between people who try to deny me rights based on their hatred of me as a person, and others who simply hate me for living my life as I do. The end result is exactly the same - I'm being oppressed by some group of assholes, and the "Hate the sin, not the sinner" distinction is pretty fucking difficult to make when you're the sinner. Feels pretty identical to me, really.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:03 pm UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:I'm sure some racists used their vote to target the black community, but I claim that it's not well supported to say that grandfather voting laws targeted black people.

You are an adept mental gymnast, my good man. Do you employ a net during your performances, or are you truly daring?

So does that mean you don't have any evidence? And let me guess, you don't believe you need any evidence?

Nordic Einar wrote:Cool anecdote, bro. You're awfully close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy - something widely denounced by the medical community. You tell me I should make a distinction between people who try to deny me rights based on their hatred of me as a person, and others who simply hate me for living my life as I do. The end result is exactly the same - I'm being oppressed by some group of assholes, and the "Hate the sin, not the sinner" distinction is pretty fucking difficult to make when you're the sinner. Feels pretty identical to me, really.

I'm not close to supporting conversion therapy. You're now just making up baseless accusations.

Second, your dichotomy just involved people hating you for two different reasons. I find both of those equally wrong, and it's not at all what I'm talking about.

Third, you can choose to remain ignorant of how other people view the world if you want. Personally I believe this sort of willful ignorance is the root of much bigotry and hate. And I think it's precisely what makes many conservative groups lash out so harshly against the gay community.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

guenther wrote:In which case I think racism (as defined in the dictionary) is inherently worse than homophobia. And hatred and feelings of superiority based on sexual preference (whatever we call that) is equally as bad as racism.
Why is it more important whether or not the man who is oppressing me does it because he hates me and wants me to die or because he thinks it's for my own good? Are these not equivalently evil actions? Why is a hate-based oppresion any more evil than a paternalistic one?
guenther wrote:It's not different laws for different people. It's a law that applies equally to everyone with disparate impacts. DADT is a law that treats gays and straights differently.
I beg your pardon, I should have clarified--I'm thinking specifically of marriage licenses versus 'civil union licenses', which is clearly a case of this (it's often the proposed alternative, at least). I'm also not entirely sure about the DADT thing, but that's neither here nor there.
guenther wrote:Pressuring someone out or to the margins because you don't like them is different than pressuring someone to behave differently.
I really don't see a distinction between these two things--one is more 'cerebral', but both represent the same underlying desire--an impulse to create conformity around you (either by expulsion or by conversion). I think that claiming you just want people to change their behavior is more of a justification than anything; would a lot of the supporters of Prop 8 support and embrace homosexuals if they all suddenly stopped having gay sex, but kept everything else? Homosexual affection, a desire to raise children in a same-sex environment, etc? I... really doubt it.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Why is it more important whether or not the man who is oppressing me does it because he hates me and wants me to die or because he thinks it's for my own good? Are these not equivalently evil actions? Why is a hate-based oppresion any more evil than a paternalistic one?

I believe that one of the most important moral rules is that we should care about each other. It should pain us to inflict pain on others. Hate is the opposite of this so it is always wrong. It closes the door on our ability to care about their suffering, which makes it too easy to pile on more suffering. Applying negative pressure for behavior change can be bad. But I wouldn't call the anti-smoking campaign, which works to penalize and marginalize smokers, as an act of oppression. And I don't believe it's evil in any way.

The Great Hippo wrote:I beg your pardon, I should have clarified--I'm thinking specifically of marriage licenses versus 'civil union licenses', which is clearly a case of this (it's often the proposed alternative, at least). I'm also not entirely sure about the DADT thing, but that's neither here nor there.

I am straight, but if I want to marry another guy I will have to do it through civil unions if that's the only option. Thus I am subject to the same laws as a gay person trying to do the same thing. Though as I've been emphasizing, there is most certainly disparate impact.

DADT is Don't Ask Don't Tell, and you can be barred from the military simply for being gay.

The Great Hippo wrote:I really don't see a distinction between these two things--one is more 'cerebral', but both represent the same underlying desire--an impulse to persecute others. I think that claiming you just want people to change their behavior is more of a justification than anything; would a lot of the supporters of Prop 8 support and embrace homosexuals if they all suddenly stopped having gay sex, but kept everything else? Homosexual affection, a desire to raise children in a same-sex environment, etc? I... really doubt it.

You probably don't see a difference because you are guided by different moral rules. I remember debating you in the past when you defended hate that didn't result in oppression, but I find that detestable. So clearly we will have difference here.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

guenther wrote:I believe that one of the most important moral rules is that we should care about each other. It should pain us to inflict pain on others. Hate is the opposite of this so it is always wrong. It closes the door on our ability to care about their suffering, which makes it too easy to pile on more suffering. Applying negative pressure for behavior change can be bad. But I wouldn't call the anti-smoking campaign, which works to penalize and marginalize smokers, as an act of oppression. And I don't believe it's evil in any way.
Why do you value the reason behind an action more than the action itself, though? You're describing the consequences of hate-based actions (shutting off empathy), but I'm asking if you really think that an oppressive action (say, a law wherein people are imprisoned or killed for having gay sex) is somehow less morally repugnant only because its enforcers are doing it out of paternalism rather than honest hatred? If I genuinely think your immortal soul will be endangered by gay sex--and I give a damn about where you'll be spending eternity--I sure as shit will use every tool in my repertoire to save you. But I'm failing to see see how my actions toward this end suddenly become less harmful or morally troubling.
guenther wrote:I am straight, but if I want to marry another guy I will have to do it through civil unions if that's the only option. Thus I am subject to the same laws as a gay person trying to do the same thing. Though as I've been emphasizing, there is most certainly disparate impact.
Actually, I can see your point--I love pizza and this will never change, but a law that outlawed pizza would not be treating me differently than people who didn't love pizza. The end result of civil unions versus marriages is still segregation, though, and (of course) pertains to matters far more important to human prosperity than whether or not I get to eat pizza. But I'd agree that it's not different laws for different people--it's the same laws, but designed to separate.
guenther wrote:DADT is Don't Ask Don't Tell, and you can be barred from the military simply for being gay.
Oh, pardon! For some reason, I parsed DADT as hate-law legislation (don't ask why), not Don't Ask Don't Tell.
guenther wrote:You probably don't see a difference because you are guided by different moral rules. I remember debating you in the past when you defended hate that didn't result in oppression, but I find that detestable. So clearly we will have difference here.
I cannot grip moral systems that are more interested in what you intend than what you do. I suppose if you're someone who believes in an afterlife, intent probably matters a great deal more than consequences--but as a materialist, the only things I care about are the things that I can measure, and the only things that I can measure are actions.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
Nordic Einar wrote:I'm sure some racists used their vote to target the black community, but I claim that it's not well supported to say that grandfather voting laws targeted black people.

You are an adept mental gymnast, my good man. Do you employ a net during your performances, or are you truly daring?

So does that mean you don't have any evidence? And let me guess, you don't believe you need any evidence?


Prop. 8 is a law to define marriage in a way that excludes gay marriage; the need to define marriage this way was never important enough to do until gays decided they wanted to marry. Further, the Yes. campaign talking points, ads, and the case they made in court are all pretty indicative of the desire to deny gays the right to marry their own. In fact, several of the commercials supported by the people who put this measure on the ballot use "My child might have to learn about gays!" as a talking point on why Prop. 8 needs to pass. If this wasn't about targeting the gay community, none of the above would be true.

What evidence do you have that grandparent voting laws targeted blacks in the 1800's, or do you believe that they weren't laws created specifically to oppress recently freed slaves?

guenther wrote:I'm not close to supporting conversion therapy. You're now just making up baseless accusations.

guenther wrote:I know someone that identified as lesbian when she was younger but now describes those years as when she practiced homosexuality. She doesn't describe herself as changing her sexual identity, but rather that her behavior has changed.


If all it takes to stop being gay is to, y'know, stop having gay sex, then yes - this is pretty close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy. Hate to say it, but just because she doesn't have gay sex anymore doesn't make her any less homosexual.

guenther wrote:Second, your dichotomy just involved people hating you for two different reasons. I find both of those equally wrong, and it's not at all what I'm talking about.

Third, you can choose to remain ignorant of how other people view the world if you want. Personally I believe this sort of willful ignorance is the root of much bigotry and hate. And I think it's precisely what makes many conservative groups lash out so harshly against the gay community.


Explain to me how denouncing and attempting to illegalize "homosexual actions" isn't a perfect example of "Hate the sin, not the sinner"? At the end of the day, the Christians you speak of are making value judgements on the way I live my life and attempting to impose their morality on me. Whether it's because they hate faggots or are trying to save my soul, the end result is my oppression at their hands. You tell me to try to understand their side of things? Why don't you step into my shoes and try to understand mine.

Finally, fuck off trying to equate my anger at people trying to deny me the myriad of legal rights that come with marriage to my longterm partner with the bigotry of many fundamentalist Christians. I have every right to express anger, frustration, and dismay with the way the GLBT community has been treated at the hands of people with the views you're defending; that isn't remotely similar to being a bigoted towards Christians.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:If all it takes to stop being gay is to, y'know, stop having gay sex, then yes - this is pretty close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy. Hate to say it, but just because she doesn't have gay sex anymore doesn't make her any less homosexual.
I'm very uncomfortable with the notion of telling someone they don't get to decide whether or not they're homosexual. Honestly, sexuality is something that's so subjective that it's best left to the individual to make the distinction. I'd certainly find it very irritating for someone to look at my sexual history and immediately pass judgment on my sexual preference. Also, what--someone who has had lots of gay sex can't decide they aren't a homosexual, or vice versa? Gateways like this are always problematic, and I don't think whether or not you've had sex with someone of your own gender is a good single qualifier.
Nordic Einar wrote:Explain to me how denouncing and attempting to illegalize "homosexual actions" isn't a perfect example of "Hate the sin, not the sinner"? At the end of the day, the Christians you speak of are making value judgements on the way I live my life and attempting to impose their morality on me. Whether it's because they hate faggots or are trying to save my soul, the end result is my oppression at their hands. You tell me to try to understand their side of things? Why don't you step into my shoes and try to understand mine.
I am just quoting this post briefly to point out to guenther that this is really what I am talking about: When the end result of your actions is oppression, it is still just as terrible. I don't see how the hatred or lack of hatred matters; maybe in some sort of spiritual sense? But I am less interested with the plight of homosexuals (or people in general) in the spiritual realm than I am with their plight in the material one.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Nordic Einar wrote:If all it takes to stop being gay is to, y'know, stop having gay sex, then yes - this is pretty close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy. Hate to say it, but just because she doesn't have gay sex anymore doesn't make her any less homosexual.
I'm very uncomfortable with the notion of telling someone they don't get to decide whether or not they're homosexual. Honestly, sexuality is something that's so subjective that it's best left to the individual to make the distinction. I'd certainly find it very irritating for someone to look at my sexual history and immediately pass judgment on my sexual preference. Also, what--someone who has had lots of gay sex can't decide they aren't a homosexual? Gateways like this are always problematic, and I don't think whether or not you've had sex with someone of your own gender is a good single qualifier.


Truth be told, fair enough. I don't mean to suggest that individuals cannot be more self-aware of their sexualities than outside society, or that I can unilaterally declare her sexuality for her (Though that's certainly what I implied! >.>) I simply wanted to point out that such an anecdote is often used not to describe the shifting or personal subjective sexuality of an individual, but is extrapolated to support ideas like conversion therapy, wherein gays can be "cured" of a condition by simply not partaking in "homosexual acts". I clearly failed to accurately portray my thoughts, however, because first Guenther thought I was accusing him of supporting conversion therapy, and then later you (accurately) pointed out the broad strokes I had painted across human sexuality.

I did not mean to suggest that individuals who have had sex with their same (or opposite!) gender automatically qualify them for homosexual or heterosexual status - I am also not suggesting someone's sexuality can not evolve naturally throughout the course of their life. I only meant to point out the danger of using such an anecdote outside of a very specific, individual context - while she may very well no longer consider herself a lesbian, to apply her story to a broader social context is a dangerous meme that has been used to oppress the gay community for a long time. "It's just a phase" or "just a choice", specifically.

Apologies for my poor communication, today.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:15 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
Meaux_Pas wrote:discouraging the procreation of black people is not the same as discouraging homosexuals from being homosexual! how so?

Do you mean the same in terms of intent or effect? Do you have an example of policy aimed at discouraging the procreation of blacks?

Meaux_Pas wrote:discouraging families from being created, both places. People want to create families, that's what marriage if for. saying that some people can't is, imho, kindof hateful.

Hateful as in sourced by hate? Or deserving of hate? I got in trouble last time I tried to make an educated guess.

If you mean that they're acting on feelings of hate, then that could be true. But I'd like to know what your evidence is that hate is the main motivator for most voters. Unless you're just saying it's true by definition. But then you're using a non-standard definition.

And it's not impossible to separate the gay individual from the act of homosexuality. It's just an unpopular thing to do. But people should get to construct their identity however they want, so if they identify as a gay person rather than a person that does gay things, that identity should be respected.


*I... guess my plain speaking wasn't good enough? I thought I had given you an example. A pretty straightforward concept, in fact. Banning certain people from marriage because of the color of their skin discourages people of that skin color (in our example, black) from procreating in a socially accepted, stable family. Sure, they can procreate all they want otherwise. But that's not what we're talking about here now are we, since once you get to the biological procreation part the analogy falls apart. Oh well.
*I'm talking both intent and effect- discouraging people from creating black families discourages them from having more black babies. Discouraging homosexual people from having families discourages them from having children that they can teach to be accepting of homosexual behavior, while at the same time saying that gay!=normal.
"it's not ok to be black, really, so let's not allow our white folks to marry them"
"it's not ok to be gay, really, so let's not allow them to marry each other"
It's not actually that different.
*Fuck the word hateful. I promise not to use it again. For my purposes I will say 'both definitions' but that's just my opinion and I won't try to defend it as fact. I will use the words ignorant, and absurd. As in, it is ignorant to think that this legislation hasn't been hurting families. It is selfish for one set of people to claim dibs on a legal status. It's absurd to behave as though the defense of Prop 8 has a leg to stand on.
*The fact that you know some people who have 'done gay things' and aren't gay doesn't actually make any kind of fact. Homosexuality is a sexual preference. You can keep trying to say that there's a way to separate the gay person from the gay act, but you haven't actually got any proof of that, and no, your anecdotal evidence does not count. I can simply counter it with my own anecdotal evidence, that I had been solidly not doing gay things for ten years after I realized I was bisexual! Unless, of course, you count not wearing makeup, wearing men's cargo pants, and oh yeah, being turned on by women.
There's a lot of people in this great land of ours that are having fun or not fun deciding what their sexuality is. It's possible that the people who voted for Prop. 8 believe that we can discourage whatever the fuck 'homosexual behavior' is, and that doing so is somehow not being completely douchey to gay people, but they're wrong. So far, I've yet to see a shred of evidence that anything you've said is true. I believe in terms of separating homosexuals from homosexual behavior, the burden of proof is on you. I know I'm queer. When I go to the store, I am queer going to the store. When I brush my teeth, I am queer brushing my teeth. Should I stop going to the store or brushing my teeth to curb homosexual behavior? G'ahead and find me some reason to believe that these two things are separable.
And I shall probably use the word absurd again.
Gay marriage is not for the people who are only gay when they're sucking another man's cock. Those people are straight. They can go ahead and get a straight marriage. Gay marriage is for reasonably sane adult homosexual people, and you can't magic them away. You can't pretend that every gay person is potentially not gay, if they'd just not show it.
My final personal tangent on your hypothesis: The idea that homosexual behavior is something that can be discouraged also ought to be achieved in some way other than attacking marriage, right? Aren't marriages generally situations in which sex dies, hur hurr? The people who aren't getting married, but can turn around and have gay sex whenever they like and still come out straight, now that's the trouble.
guenther wrote:
Nordic Einar wrote:Cool anecdote, bro. You're awfully close to supporting the possibility of conversion therapy - something widely denounced by the medical community. You tell me I should make a distinction between people who try to deny me rights based on their hatred of me as a person, and others who simply hate me for living my life as I do. The end result is exactly the same - I'm being oppressed by some group of assholes, and the "Hate the sin, not the sinner" distinction is pretty fucking difficult to make when you're the sinner. Feels pretty identical to me, really.

I'm not close to supporting conversion therapy. You're now just making up baseless accusations.

Second, your dichotomy just involved people hating you for two different reasons. I find both of those equally wrong, and it's not at all what I'm talking about.

Third, you can choose to remain ignorant of how other people view the world if you want. Personally I believe this sort of willful ignorance is the root of much bigotry and hate. And I think it's precisely what makes many conservative groups lash out so harshly against the gay community.

Hm. Actually, to me and Nordic, those things aren't two different reasons to hate us. It's the same reason. It's that you're trying to separate actions from identity, when being gay isn't now and hasn't ever been just about actions or 'homosexual behavior'. And it shouldn't be.
to your Third:
Quick let's fight ignorance with ignorance! Because to me it's ignorant to think that you can separate the identity from the 'homosexual behavior'. I'm perfectly aware of the fact that people think this, and I'm just interested in finding a quick way to disabuse them of this notion. ...does that make me ignorant, too? Oh, probably.

Well it's ok because at least I can sleep tonight.

...ladies.

EditNinja: THis post took me a really long time because I kept getting distracted and I want to do other things now. To the three posts that popped up since I started, arseholes!
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:I only meant to point out the danger of using such an anecdote outside of a very specific, individual context - while she may very well no longer consider herself a lesbian, to apply her story to a broader social context is a dangerous meme that has been used to oppress the gay community for a long time. "It's just a phase" or "just a choice", specifically.
I absolutely agree--I don't think guenther was attempting to use it in that context, though. I think they were using it in the context we're talking about--the right of an individual to define their own sexual identity. Guenther seems to want to separate the idea of racism from opposition to homosexuality on the basis that homosexuality is a matter of self-identification, and thusly it's possible to 'stop' being homosexual--not because they agree that homosexuality is a choice, but because they're making a moral distinction between organizations that want you to go to hell and die and organizations that want you to change who you are.

Not to speak for guenther, mind, but I think the primary thing here is that they care more about why an organization is doing something (out of hate, vs out of paternalism) more than what impact that something ultimately has. Beg pardon if I am wrong about that, guenther.

Edit: Mind you, I think a necessary consequence of guenther's premise is that an organization that preaches conversion therapy is by definition morally superior than one that doesn't--because the former is evidence of paternalism rather than hate. Even though I think most of us would agree that conversion therapy is, in of itself, a demeaning and repugnant idea.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:03 am UTC

guenther wrote:
mythago wrote:What is "the act of homosexuality"? What are "gay things"? Holding hands with a member of the same sex? Expressing a fanboy/girl crush on a same-sex celebrity? Having romantic feelings toward a same-sex person? Or is this a euphemism for anal sex between men?


Well, everyone who's trying to influence culture to limit homosexuality gets to decide for themselves. It most certainly includes gay sex, and probably includes any sort of romantic attachment to someone of the same sex.


I asked what you meant because you use those phrases.

Someone who identifies as homosexual is, presumably, someone who wants to do, and does do, "gay things". So to say that people regularly and easily separate homosexuals from people engaging "homosexual acts" is not true. It's like saying that people don't have an issue with Jews, as long as those Jews aren't engaging in "Jewish acts" like attending synagogue or observing Passover. What they're really saying is that they are OK with homosexuals who have homosexual impulses that they never, ever act on.

Regarding your lesbian friend, I'm not sure what your point is other than that people often change their self-identification over their lives, and sometimes those identifications have a greater or lesser degree of accuracy.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:18 am UTC

Lots of stuff to respond to, but I can't do everything.

@Great Hippo: I believe we're very emotional creatures, so how we emotionally regard each will have a profound impact on how we treat each other. So when I promote a moral system that places our emotional makeup as centrally important, it's not just because of spiritual reasons, it's because I believe it will have a major impact in the material world. I went to great efforts in a different thread to explain why I believe hate is always bad. I don't want to nor do I have the time to go through it all again. If you're still curious you can PM me about it and I'll share more.

@Nordic Einar: I don't trust analysis of political propaganda to help us divine what intent voters have. The political process will push strategy that helps win, and sadly hate, intolerance, and anger are important factors in getting campaign money and votes.

Regarding the grandparent voting laws, I don't know anything about them. To me it seems reasonable that it was motivated by racism since racism was socially acceptable back then, but maybe I'm wrong. I haven't studied that era well. And if I am wrong, what's your point? If people make bad assumptions in the past, it's OK to do it again?

@Meaux_Pas: You said it was impossible to separate. That means I only need one anecdote to prove you wrong. Unless you want to make the case that I'm wrong about my anecdote. Regardless, just because it's possible doesn't mean that we should. Remember, I said I support people building their identities however they want.

The Great Hippo wrote:I absolutely agree--I don't think guenther was attempting to use it in that context, though. I think they were using it in the context we're talking about--the right of an individual to define their own sexual identity. Guenther seems to want to separate the idea of racism from opposition to homosexuality on the basis that homosexuality is a matter of self-identification, and thusly it's possible to 'stop' being homosexual--not because they agree that homosexuality is a choice, but because they're making a moral distinction between organizations that want you to go to hell and die and organizations that want you to change who you are.

Not to speak for guenther, mind, but I think the primary thing here is that they care more about why an organization is doing something (out of hate, vs out of paternalism) more than what impact that something ultimately has. Beg pardon if I am wrong about that, guenther.

Edit: Mind you, I think a necessary consequence of guenther's premise is that an organization that preaches conversion therapy is by definition morally superior than one that doesn't--because the former is evidence of paternalism rather than hate. Even though I think most of us would agree that conversion therapy is, in of itself, a demeaning and repugnant idea.

Your first paragraph is spot on. Thank you for saying it well.

Second, it's not a moral hierarchy. It's a separate moral calculus. If I say hate is wrong, it means that we should aim not to hate. But just because an organization preaches converting people for the greater good, it doesn't mean that they can't do stuff that's just as bad or worse. Just because I oppose hate, it doesn't mean that I can't oppose it when people do bad stuff with good intentions. It's just that I never find cause to say that hate is acceptable.

By the way, I regard love as the opposite of hate, not paternalism. But saying that we should love each other sounds kind of cheesy, so I generally say that we should extend compassion and respect.

mythago wrote:I asked what you meant because you use those phrases.

I don't know. But I don't support pushing homosexuality out of the culture. I care what people mean more than what words mean, so I'll generally adopt whatever definition works best for the conversation.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby *bird » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:39 am UTC

guenther wrote:I just can't understand this argument. When a policy treats homosexuals differently because they're homosexuals, then it's discriminating. But Prop. 8 treated people the same regardless of sexual orientation. The law certainly causes homosexuals to suffer more greatly than heterosexuals. And if the law existed to target this group out of intolerance, then it would be discriminatory even if the law is written in a non-discriminatory way. But while some might have supported this to get at the gays, I don't think the evidence exists to show that it wasn't largely from a moral belief of what marriage should look like.


Again, marriage is not a moral issue anymore, not after the government got into the business of taxing/treating married people differently from single people. If whomever supported Prop 8 wants to make it into a moral issue, then they'd have to separate the meaning of the two. But as far as I understand, they didn't do that.

guenther wrote:Well, I could have rephrased the tax example as anti-rich instead of anti-white. Then you get a similar picture. But all of them are to demonstrate that if we conflate results and intent, then we get a very unhelpful picture.


But that kinda destroys the argument because taxes do target the rich (in a sense) - rich people are more able to bear the burden of a higher proportion of their income being taxed than poor people, because there's a floor to the amount of money needed to survive. At least that seems to be the intent of progressive taxing. But the results and intent are the same (or maybe the results and intent are different because tax loopholes favor the rich who can hire accountants).

guenther wrote:@Princess Marzipan: My post to you was an evade. My real issue wasn't hurt feelings over what I felt was an inappropriate tone. I get that a lot on here and I can deal with it just fine. What really bothered me, and what I didn't want to get into at the time, is that you called my religion a twisted version of Christianity. In my church I am surrounded by people that would vote yes on an equivalent of Prop. 8 given the chance. I am personally friends with and worship with people that believe homosexuality is a sin and that that way of life should be culturally impeded. But how they express their beliefs towards homosexuals isn't nearly as ugly as you have been to these people whom I consider part of my religious family.

You don't just take a position that these people are wrong, but that they are morally inferior. Their way of life that they regard as just as much of an identity as homosexuality is morally wrong. When people use fear tactics to paint these people as hateful and oppressive, I do consider it equivalent to tactics to paint homosexuality as evil. It's expressing an ugly intolerance out of ignorance across a political divide. I get that one side is trying to lay down restrictions on the other side, and in that regard it's asymmetric. But that doesn't justify the ugly intolerance which I regard as always equally wrong.


There's a problem here. They aren't just expressing their beliefs, they're actively taking action to deny others the ability to do things and make that law. That's way more active than just expressing their beliefs. Just because they're polite doesn't mean they're not being harmful.

Is saying they're morally inferior not nice? Sure. But actively causing harm is also not nice, and they believe they're not doing that. It's like stepping on someone's foot and being defensive and accusing the other side of not being nice because they dared exclaimed that their foot was hurt.

guenther wrote:I believe that one of the most important moral rules is that we should care about each other. It should pain us to inflict pain on others. Hate is the opposite of this so it is always wrong. It closes the door on our ability to care about their suffering, which makes it too easy to pile on more suffering. Applying negative pressure for behavior change can be bad. But I wouldn't call the anti-smoking campaign, which works to penalize and marginalize smokers, as an act of oppression. And I don't believe it's evil in any way.


Meh, if lit tobacco didn't emit any smoke in the air it wouldn't even be an issue. Most smokers then defend it by attacking people for driving (never mind we have emissions standards), eating excessively, etc. Note that drinking doesn't get attacked in the same way except when it causes harm.

I don't think it's possible for every person to care about every other person on earth - some people are just different enough that it won't happen (and people don't really want to care about people who harm either, especially if they keep harming after they get cared about). You can't force people to care if they don't want to.

The problem is that your whole premise is based on your idea that good people can't do harmful things. I reject this notion completely because it causes people who believe they are good to become cognitively dissonant whenever they are told they're doing something harmful - and reject all notion that that harmful thing is harmful.

The Great Hippo wrote:Of course people supported racism to make black people white. That's the whole point--be more like me or GTFO.


Actually I think it's more like, be more like a second class version of me because I can't stand your customs and stuff, but you'll never get the same rights.

Jessica wrote:People do bleach their skin to look more white/attractive. And those with whiter skin are given more leeway in their interactions with the dominant culture.


Yes and no. People bleach their skin to look more white because they perceive whiteness as having power and acceptance. And are given more leeway in their interactions with their own culture, but not necessarily with the dominant one.

guenther wrote:I am straight, but if I want to marry another guy I will have to do it through civil unions if that's the only option. Thus I am subject to the same laws as a gay person trying to do the same thing. Though as I've been emphasizing, there is most certainly disparate impact.


Problem is, that creates a "separate but equal" situation since the rules for civil unions (or DPs which are the version in California) are not the same as the ones for marriage (for one thing, DPs are not recognized everywhere so that may cause problems when moving). See the wikipedia link above.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:05 am UTC

guenther wrote:@Nordic Einar: I don't trust analysis of political propaganda to help us divine what intent voters have. The political process will push strategy that helps win, and sadly hate, intolerance, and anger are important factors in getting campaign money and votes.


I'm not sure what that second sentence could possibly mean if not "Some people voted for Prop 8 out of hate, intolerance, and anger when those emotions were appealed to by propaganda."

Regarding the grandparent voting laws, I don't know anything about them. To me it seems reasonable that it was motivated by racism since racism was socially acceptable back then, but maybe I'm wrong. I haven't studied that era well. And if I am wrong, what's your point? If people make bad assumptions in the past, it's OK to do it again?


His point is that laws can mean things other than what they say on their face. Prop 8 is not a law about the definition of a word any more than the grandfather laws were about voters with extended families. Like poll taxes, grandfather laws were just a fancy way of saying "Blacks may be free, but we're not going to let them vote," and Prop 8 is just a fancy way of saying, "We're not going to let gays marry." Whatever the motives, the intentions are clear.

By the way, I regard love as the opposite of hate, not paternalism. But saying that we should love each other sounds kind of cheesy, so I generally say that we should extend compassion and respect.


Nobody here is saying paternalism is the opposite of hate. They're saying it's an especially twisted form of hate which goes, "I hit you because I love you, I hurt you for your own good, you're too weak or stupid to make the right choices as I see them so I will force you into them." It is fundamentally a lack of respect for another person's autonomy and (therefore) self. It is no different from hate; they are equally born out of a lack of empathy. One has a veneer of compassion, but that only makes it more dangerous, not less.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:56 am UTC

*bird wrote:Again, marriage is not a moral issue anymore, not after the government got into the business of taxing/treating married people differently from single people. If whomever supported Prop 8 wants to make it into a moral issue, then they'd have to separate the meaning of the two. But as far as I understand, they didn't do that.

Yup. Thank you for expressing this. It's the point I've been making over and over. A majority is trying to inflict their morality on others through force of law without any evidence of harm. That's a problem.

*bird wrote:But that kinda destroys the argument because taxes do target the rich (in a sense) - rich people are more able to bear the burden of a higher proportion of their income being taxed than poor people, because there's a floor to the amount of money needed to survive. At least that seems to be the intent of progressive taxing. But the results and intent are the same (or maybe the results and intent are different because tax loopholes favor the rich who can hire accountants).

Again this illustrates my point well. Are people taxing the rich out of spite for them, because they're angry, because they feel the rich don't deserve the money? This is essentially using tax law to express intolerance against the rich; it's classism. But if you set up a tax system where higher taxes are levied against people who can afford it because that's a practical system that will bring about good results, or at least that's the intent. If you are like others that are unconcerned with intent, then this differentiation is unimportant. But when evaluating if the law targets gay people, I'd say intent is important.

*bird wrote:There's a problem here. They aren't just expressing their beliefs, they're actively taking action to deny others the ability to do things and make that law. That's way more active than just expressing their beliefs. Just because they're polite doesn't mean they're not being harmful.

Is saying they're morally inferior not nice? Sure. But actively causing harm is also not nice, and they believe they're not doing that. It's like stepping on someone's foot and being defensive and accusing the other side of not being nice because they dared exclaimed that their foot was hurt.

I believe expressing and propagating a belief that other people are morally inferior harms people too. It's not just a matter of not being nice. It's creates a breeding ground for hate. When there's a big power differential, it's harder for the weaker side to effect harm on the majority, but that doesn't make one of those hates OK in my book.

If you want to make a case about harm, that's fine. That's the case I'm making when I challenge people's use of hate as a weapon.

*bird wrote:I don't think it's possible for every person to care about every other person on earth - some people are just different enough that it won't happen (and people don't really want to care about people who harm either, especially if they keep harming after they get cared about). You can't force people to care if they don't want to.

I don't think we have to actively care about every other person. Rather we need the capacity to care. If we harbor hate, then when an opportunity to express compassion comes along, we'll be less likely to do it. And just because I think people should do something doesn't mean I want to force them into compliance.

*bird wrote:The problem is that your whole premise is based on your idea that good people can't do harmful things.

It's not at all. In fact I've said the contrary many times.

Malice wrote:I'm not sure what that second sentence could possibly mean if not "Some people voted for Prop 8 out of hate, intolerance, and anger when those emotions were appealed to by propaganda."

Then read it that way. I've already said that some people likely do this. And just because ugly emotions caused people to get to the voting booth, it may not be the reason they chose yes. The anti-Prop. 8 side may have spurred some voters to the booth by saying the opposition is hateful, but I suspect those people didn't vote no to stick it to conservative Christians.

Malice wrote:Nobody here is saying paternalism is the opposite of hate. They're saying it's an especially twisted form of hate which goes, "I hit you because I love you, I hurt you for your own good, you're too weak or stupid to make the right choices as I see them so I will force you into them." It is fundamentally a lack of respect for another person's autonomy and (therefore) self. It is no different from hate; they are equally born out of a lack of empathy. One has a veneer of compassion, but that only makes it more dangerous, not less.

The Great Hippo put paternalism opposite to hate. And I find it interesting when people sneer at the opposition's compassion. It generally seems to make people more angry. I think it comes from a sense that the other side is bad and they couldn't possibly be capable of doing something good like caring about people on my side.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:07 am UTC

guenther wrote:
Malice wrote:Nobody here is saying paternalism is the opposite of hate. They're saying it's an especially twisted form of hate which goes, "I hit you because I love you, I hurt you for your own good, you're too weak or stupid to make the right choices as I see them so I will force you into them." It is fundamentally a lack of respect for another person's autonomy and (therefore) self. It is no different from hate; they are equally born out of a lack of empathy. One has a veneer of compassion, but that only makes it more dangerous, not less.

The Great Hippo put paternalism opposite to hate. And I find it interesting when people sneer at the opposition's compassion. It generally seems to make people more angry. I think it comes from a sense that the other side is bad and they couldn't possibly be capable of doing something good like caring about people on my side.


I'm not sneering at their compassion. I respect their compassion very much. I have often used the metaphor of the burning house. You run inside to save the man who lives there, but he is sitting calmly at the kitchen table. "What are you doing here?" he asks. You tell him he has to get out or the fire will kill him. "What fire?" he says.

It takes a lot of good in someone to run in and try to save someone from the fire; but ultimately it takes an even better human being to allow that maybe you're wrong about it being a fire, and that even if you're not, you have to give someone the freedom to choose to save themselves. That's the difference between compassion and empathy; and it is empathy which I require of those who would make me a second-class citizen, no matter how good their intentions.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:25 am UTC

guenther wrote:The Great Hippo put paternalism opposite to hate. And I find it interesting when people sneer at the opposition's compassion. It generally seems to make people more angry. I think it comes from a sense that the other side is bad and they couldn't possibly be capable of doing something good like caring about people on my side.
I didn't put paternalism opposite hate--I pointed out that Prop 8 could be a product of either paternalism or hate. I really don't think there are many people who earnestly support Prop 8 out of love.

Edit: At least, not love for homosexuals.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:45 am UTC

Malice wrote:That's the difference between compassion and empathy; and it is empathy which I require of those who would make me a second-class citizen, no matter how good their intentions.

I agree they're different. And honestly I don't know how much compassion and empathy are shared across the divide towards the gays who are unable to marry. But I suspect it's the political wedge that most hurts empathy, not an intolerance of homosexuality. In fact, I've heard more anger against "Liberals supporting the gay agenda" rather than against gays.

The Great Hippo wrote:I didn't put paternalism opposite hate--I pointed out that Prop 8 could be a product of either paternalism or hate. I really don't think there are many people who earnestly support Prop 8 out of love.

Ah, I did misunderstand. But I suspect a lot of support for Prop. 8 could come from a sense of moral rightness, not "Hey let me make that personal choice for you". Which means it wouldn't be hate or paternalism.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:53 am UTC

guenther wrote:Ah, I did misunderstand. But I suspect a lot of support for Prop. 8 could come from a sense of moral rightness, not "Hey let me make that personal choice for you". Which means it wouldn't be hate or paternalism.
But where does this moral rightness come from? There are many stands we could make--why is this one particularly right? Why is homosexual marriage such a particular sin?

Because homosexuality challenges our standard notion of gender roles--our standard notion of masculine and feminine identity--because it's parsed as an attack on our own nature, on our fundamental heterosexuality. In short, it's a response based on fear.

So let's add it to the list of reasons to support Prop 8: Hate, paternalism, fear.

Are there any good reasons?

Edit: To be clear, I think there are a lot of supporters of Prop 8 who base their response out of hate (otherwise, why would the propaganda ads be effective at all?), and I think there are supporters of Prop 8 who base their response out of paternalism mixed with hate ("I hate these people, but my worldview does not allow me to hate; so I will express this hate via fatherly concern and control rather than making it clear I just want you to disappear forever").

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:34 am UTC

guenther wrote:I agree they're different. And honestly I don't know how much compassion and empathy are shared across the divide towards the gays who are unable to marry. But I suspect it's the political wedge that most hurts empathy, not an intolerance of homosexuality. In fact, I've heard more anger against "Liberals supporting the gay agenda" rather than against gays.

So people pushing for equality bear the brunt of the blame for the continued existence of inequality. Only with more words and more steps so it looks less like victim-blaming until you actually think about it. This has been a theme of your posts in this thread. A theme of Christian apologists in general, on this issue. "Well, people wouldn't be so adamantly against it if you didn't tell them they were wrong to be against it!"
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