3
Votes

Opposition not the same as bigotry

Nicky Riordan’s op-ed, “Rutgers tragedy reinforces need for change” correctly condemns any form of persecution, ridicule or bullying based upon sexual orientation; however, it unfairly generalizes those who oppose same-sex marriage as fear mongers “stoking the flames” of a “brewing culture war.” In particular, she condemns “trusted leaders who knowingly create dangerous divides in the population” as they “demean the lives of others in the defense of traditional values.”

Surely, she is not blind to the irony that it is this very type of provocative, condescending and judgmental language that creates the volatility condemned. Surely, we can express our differing opinions without resorting to name calling, hasty generalizations and inflammatory rhetoric.

For instance, the assertion that opposition to same-sex marriage is simply a form of bigotry based upon fear is demonstrably false. While there may be those who oppose same-sex marriage out of bigotry towards those who live a gay or lesbian lifestyle, it is not true that all people who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they are bigots or suffer from homophobia.

In fact, it is entirely plausible and verifiable that many who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they have cogent reasons to believe society has a compelling interest to protect the definition of marriage as a heterosexual institution.

Furthermore, the assessment that those opposed to same-sex marriage are engaging in “knee-jerk reactions” and oversimplifications of a complex issue seems to be a rather intolerant assertion. Simply because people do not share your particular view does not make them intellectual simpletons.

Tolerance demands that we take another persons’ argument seriously and actually try to understand what they are saying. We may not agree with each other but that does not mean our opposing views are without merit.

As for oversimplifications, the assertion that “the only thing that should matter in marriage is love” may qualify as such. This sentiment may work well in a Beatles’ song (“All You Need is Love”), but it does not serve the institution of marriage well. In fact, in a practical and historical context it is very misleading. There is much more to marriage than love.

As we look over the history of marriage we can identify some well established characteristics that have historically defined the institution of marriage. As we will see these intrinsic characteristics are so intimately tied together we may think of them as the unitary goods that separate marriage from all other social arrangements.

First, marriage has been fundamentally about the male/female relationship and the complementarities of men and women.

Second, it provided a socially sanctioned expression of male/female sexuality in an exclusive, monogamous relationship.

Third, it situated procreation as the ontological intent of male/female sexual intimacy. In other words, sex had a deeper purpose than mere transitory pleasure but was the fountainhead of life.

Fourth, it has encompassed the work of child rearing and therefore is our most pro-child institution. Since child rearing is so fundamental to the success of society governments have wisely demonstrated a vested interested in protecting and sustaining heterosexual marriage.

And finally, marriage has been grounded in the expectation of love and lifelong commitment. This commitment was understood to benefit both spouses and their offspring. Thus it has been on the back of this institution that civil society carried its most important work—the perpetuation of life and the preparation of the rising generation to live in civil society.

While not all marriages may have resulted in procreation or child rearing, for a variety of reasons such as infertility or disinterest, these anomalies did not negate the intrinsic, unitary goods of the institution of marriage. Consequently, while love may have been a necessary component of marriage it certainly was not sufficient to define the institution of marriage.

As a naturally occurring, pre-political union, heterosexual marriage has not only been about love but has served as the very seedbed of civil society. Life exists because of heterosexual unions. As such, governments have always had a compelling interest in providing heterosexual marriage a unique and favored status. By providing same-sex unions the legal status of marriage, the meaning and purpose of marriage is fundamentally altered.

Under the banner of same-sex marriage, gender, sexual complementaries, male/female sexual intimacy, procreation and child rearing all become incidental to marriage. Marriage is thus reduced to a unisex relationship of love and commitment.

This is a radical redefinition of marriage and throws open the door to an endless array of new social relationships that can now be legitimately defined as marriage. Thus if we accept that marriage is simply a unisex relationship of love then free love, group marriage, bisexual marriage, bigamy, polyandry all become legitimate forms of marriage.

Furthermore, if marriage is merely a unisex relationship of love then what argument will be used against the North American Man-Boy Love Association from seeking legal approbation for their particular sexual orientation?

And if age of consent can be challenged, then what argument can be used to bar pedophiles from seeking legitimization of their relationship and calling it marriage? Under Ms. Riordan’s logic this would be no great leap since she wants us to celebrate “the unrestricted equality of all ... citizens” and “put aside our convictions about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ for the sake of justice.” In point of fact, justice may be an incomprehensible concept without some notion of right and wrong.

Many of us in this country are deeply concerned about the condition of our marriages and families; our opposition to same-sex marriage has very little to do with homosexuality per se and very much to do with our concern over the vitality and viability of the institution of marriage itself. For nearly 50 years this institution has been under an aggressive assault.

Divorce, fatherlessness, out-of-wedlock childbirth and a culture of narcissism have undermined the institution of marriage. Many of us believe same-sex marriage will only further weaken this essential institution.

Thus, while same-sex marriage may appear as a politically palatable way to address the legitimate interests and sincere yearnings of same-sex couples, it so radically alters the institution of marriage that it threatens to turn the meaning of marriage on its’ head. Perhaps there is a better way (civil unions come to mind) to address the legitimate interests of same-sex couples without further eroding the institution of marriage itself.

Allan Rau is a Cedar City resident. He can be reached at allanrau2010@gmail.com.

Comments

Silverwolf 3 years, 10 months ago

Here here!!! Bravo! Amen! Motion Seconded! All in favor, say 'I' - I! standing ovation encore encore!

Forward this onto the Washington Post and the New York Times! This is what it's all about!

0

MissMaryContrary 3 years, 10 months ago

*"Aye!" ;)

Well, of course it's okay to bigot against those opposed to same-sex marriage. The same way it's okay to be racist against Anglo-Saxon-Americans and sexist against men.

(This is absolutely brilliant.)

0

Matthew Montgomery 3 years, 10 months ago

After starting what we might construe as well — you're right that some engage in hasty, one-sided opinion; I do not necessarily agree that Ms. Riordan's opinion piece consisted of this, but this is not the substance of my relevant opinion.

No, I take umbrage here: "Thus if we accept that marriage is simply a unisex relationship of love then free love, group marriage, bisexual marriage, bigamy, polyandry all become legitimate forms of marriage."

First, we must wonder about the definitions you are using when you are stating that, should gay marriage be allowed, it will become a "unisex relationship of love." First, you offer no real definition of unisex, so let us refer to a quality source. Merriam-Webster online defines the adjectival form as "1) not distinguishable as male or female, or 2) suitable or designed for both males and females." Further, perhaps we should define love — though this is an arduous task undertaken by the great poets and certainly not the content of a legal or even, dare I say, moral debate.

But it is from this definition that you derive your most controversial points. If marriage is no longer a union of binary, opposing values (literally values, as in a 1 and 0 — though I would very much hesitate to define physiological sex so simply), then it becomes a hodge-podge of moral decay. I hope I do not misinterpret your point too strongly.

I will not quibble with you over whether child-rearing is benefited by marriage. No, this is hardly the point when we speak of legalization of gay marriage. Child-rearing may legitimately (and, you may think, wrongly) take place outside of the bounds of marriage, and there is no legal problem here.

So, let us briefly return to the point at which you find the slippery slope we'll embark down supposing we allow gay marriage to take place. I will approach each point briefly.

  • Free love: Not a form of marriage
  • Group marriage: By what do you mean group marriage?
  • Bisexual marriage: What does this mean?
  • Bigamy, polyandry: In what way would altering the definition from "one man and one woman" to "two people" allow for bigamy?

Is this really your argument? That marriage will become so loose that it will fly in the face of definition?

Further, you derail your entire conversation with this: "Furthermore, if marriage is merely a unisex relationship of love then what argument will be used against the North American Man-Boy Love Association from seeking legal approbation for their particular sexual orientation?"

I hate to be a buzz-kill, but in no way does child molestation become legally permissible simply by the means of marriage being extended to two consenting adults, regardless of sex. It is not currently the case that young children can be married to older adults outside the laws of the states in which they seek to marry.

For being so concerned with knee-jerk reactions, you've really engaged in one here yourself.

1

Kathie 3 years, 10 months ago

Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. The marriage equality debate tests the proposition whether the gay and lesbian Americans among us should be counted as “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment, or whether they constitute a permanent underclass ineligible for protection under that cornerstone of our Constitution. Class-based balkanization and stigmatization of our citizens is flatly incompatible with our constitutional ideals.

Sky will fall argumentation is not enough. Intellectual rigor at a bare minimum requires evidence or proof, much more than unproven assertions and tautologies.

Other arguments suggest that if gay men and lesbians could marry, then a man could marry a horse and a pedophile could marry a seven-year old. Such unvarnished discrimination is unconstitutional even when based on sincerely held and widely shared moral beliefs. Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect. As Justice Kennedy has explained, “Prejudice .. rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.

Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay. A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay. Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society. And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility. The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.

These unproven and unsupported claims lack the intellectual rigor, let alone constitutional muster to isolate gay men and lesbians and their relationships as separate, unusual, dangerous, and unworthy of the marital relationship. This kind of stigmatization leads, often indirectly, but certainly inevitably, to isolation and estrangement.

What can the Supreme Court mean when it says that our Constitution “neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” if a majority can so stigmatize a small, visible, and vulnerable minority and in the process cause such wrenching anguish?

Theodore B Olson wrote "The American promise—and dream—of equality surely means at a minimum that the government, before “drawing a line around” some segment of its citizenry and designating them unworthy of something as important and socially meaningful as the institution of marriage, must have a legitimate and factually tenable rationale for doing so."

1

Kathie 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh the slippery slope in the parade of horribles. Horse and dog marrying to name just a few, but polygamous or incestuous relationships? Perhaps not so much...

States “have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of a potential detrimental effect on a sound family environment.” Marriage Cases, 183 P.3d at 434 n.52; see also Utah v. Green, 99 P.3d 820, 830 (Utah 2004) (upholding ban on polygamy based on the State’s interest in protecting vulnerable individuals, especially underage women and children, from exploitation and abuse, and preventing the perpetration of marriage fraud and the misuse of government benefits associated with marital status); see also Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 166 (1878) (rejecting challenge to polygamy prohibition).

3

Commentmonger3 3 years, 9 months ago

The arguments pertaining to the roles and functions of traditional marriage are far more compelling than the outlying, controversial and much less sustainable arguments of the possible secondary effects of same-sex union on the legalities of incest and zoophilia. As I am in agreement with Mr. Rau for the majority of his article, rebuttals to these all-important points are needed to paint an accurate picture of how LGBT inclusion to the marriage definition would not hurt society and its goal of an ever-extending, naturally replicating human race and the progress that comes therewith.

Blockquote

First, marriage has been fundamentally about the male/female relationship and the complementarities of men and women.

Second, it provided a socially sanctioned expression of male/female sexuality in an exclusive, monogamous relationship.

Third, it situated procreation as the ontological intent of male/female sexual intimacy. In other words, sex had a deeper purpose than mere transitory pleasure but was the fountainhead of life.

Fourth, it has encompassed the work of child rearing and therefore is our most pro-child institution. Since child rearing is so fundamental to the success of society governments have wisely demonstrated a vested interested in protecting and sustaining heterosexual marriage.

And finally, marriage has been grounded in the expectation of love and lifelong commitment. This commitment was understood to benefit both spouses and their offspring. Thus it has been on the back of this institution that civil society carried its most important work—the perpetuation of life and the preparation of the rising generation to live in civil society.

Blockquote

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 7 months ago

This is a fantastic opportunity for SUU students to "hone" their critical thinking skills. These billboard arguments are where minds of mush can turn into real thinking machines. Learning that statements need to be tested and supported with credible facts. Test your critical thinking skills, take each statement and describe how marriage equality for homosexual couples will specifically change the billboard arguments presented above for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Using findings of fact, and mainstream scientific research to support ones analysis.

1

Kathie 3 years, 9 months ago

Traditional practices alone are not sufficient argumentation to justify on-going discrimination on face value. For example, the traditional practice and historical discrimination from anti-miscegenation laws were eventually shown not to serve a legitimate state interest. Dilution of the races was shown not to be a legitimate state interest regardless of the historical precedent and traditional practice. Indeed, past sex based restrictions are intertwined with outdated and unfounded stereotypes about the roles men and women should play in society and the family. The traditional practice of gender restrictions and inequality arose when spouses were legally required to adhere to specific gender roles in the marital relationship (coverture). The state could not then or today prove these practices are substantially related an important government objective.

If procreation is indeed a defining purpose of marriage, it must be shown how the denial marriage equality to homosexuals specifically furthers this purported purpose. Even if raising children in stable and enduring stable units are part and parcel of responsible procreation, then extending the benefits of marriage equality to children of gay and lesbian couples certainly furthers this goal and causes no harm whatsoever to heterosexual couples and their families. Tangible and intangible marriage benefits flow to children of same sex couples in those states and countries where they are allowed to marry. Moreover, the social sciences and our courts have determined that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The state cannot adopt the view that same sex couples provide that are inferior to the offspring of heterosexual couples. There is no proof that permitting homosexual marriage will reduce the number of married heterosexuals, divorce, cohabitation or the number of children produced out of wedlock. Moreover, there is simply no other reason to exclude homosexuals and their children from marriage other than continuing traditional practices of un-varnished discrimination.

3

BroMoBot 3 years, 9 months ago

Historically, until June 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) banned the “Negro” from the priesthood, and condemned interracial marriage. LDS men and women have been generally been expected to follow traditional gender roles, with women as caregivers for children and men as priesthood leaders of the family. Stay at home dads and working moms do not match their stereotypical and “traditional” gender roles. LDS doctrine is sometimes controversial, but no one could force the Church to accept someone with dark skin into their priesthood and interracial couples could not insist upon temple marriages. LDS Leaders faced no legal liability, and “The Church” suffered no loss of their tax-exempt status for refusing LDS rites of marriage to mixed-race couples.

Latter Day Saints at times have observed that “matters of faith, conscience, and theology are not within the purview of the civil law.” LDS doctrine “affecting those of the “Negro” race who choose to join the church falls wholly within the category of religion,” the First Presidency declared in 1969, and “has no bearing upon matters of civil rights.” The Church quite clearly was protected by the First Amendment when it limited marriage on the basis of race – even if it could no longer impose its religious doctrine on others as civil law.

Allowing mixed-race couples to marry outside the Mormon Church presents no threat to Mormons’ religious liberty to prohibit interracial marriages within their Church. Allowing homosexual couples to marry outside the Mormon Church similarly poses no threat to Mormons’ religious liberty. Any law claiming to protect “religious liberty” by banning either mixed-race marriages or same-sex marriages must be deemed utterly irrational and based primarily upon moral disapproval, ignorance, fear, loathing and animus towards homosexuals and especially their children through the denial of marriage benefits.

2

BroMoBot 3 years, 9 months ago

The following statement from 'CommentMonger3' must be updated to reflect a current snapshot of recent history. To be more accurate, the quote must include the outcome of civil rights legal and legislative efforts in the 1960's and the 20 years of marriage equality for homosexuals originating in Western Europe.

"First, marriage is now fundamentally about interracial, homosexual, male/female relationships and their complementaries. Second, marriage provides socially sanctioned expression of interracial, homosexual and male/female sexuality in exclusive, monogamous relationships. Third, marriage situates procreation as the ontological intent of interracial, homosexual and male/female sexual intimacy. In other words, sex still has a deeper purpose than mere transitory pleasure and remains a fountainhead of life. Fourth, it has encompassed the work of child rearing and therefore is our most pro-child institution. Since child rearing is so fundamental to the success of society governments have wisely demonstrated a vested interested in protecting and sustaining marriage equality. And finally, marriage has been grounded in the expectation of love and lifelong commitment. This commitment is understood to benefit these spouses and their offspring. Thus it has been on the back of this institution that civil society carried its most important work—the perpetuation of life and the preparation of the rising generation to live in civil society."

2

Kathie 3 years, 9 months ago

Should we not instead deny convicted felons, drug and alcohol abusers, spouse beaters, and convicted child molesters their right to marry if the goal is to strengthen marriage and families? So then, the best way to strengthen families and marriage is by denying the tangible and non-tangible marriage benefits to children of same sex couples and their parents? Really?

Sounds more like the story of the person who is mad at their boss and goes home and kicks the family dog in order to feel better.

1

Commentmonger3 3 years, 9 months ago

First - the "Negro" issue is a religious one - not a political one as BroMoBot referenced very well, and examples of the same practices may be traced through the Bible. Comparing priesthood responsibilities with a practice(hint: I did not say mentality/temptation/tendency) that has been forbidden since the beginning of human history by the God many in this nation, even possibly a majority, believe in. Is having a majority grounds for discrimination? I dare say not, but they have a say too, even if they don't voice it as vociferously as the discriminated minority.

A couple more questions: Thanks for understanding and answering them all for me!

  1. What is gained by changing status from "civil union" to "married"? Everyone is still free to do as they wish, so far as it does not disturb the public peace, incite riots, etc., and should never - ever - be deprived of that right. Those that are in unions may wear rings, hold hands, show affection in public, everything else a heterosexual married couple may do.

  2. I fail to grasp the third reformed statement's object, as homosexual couples are unable to naturally procreate, rendering the institution (according to the reformed statement) ineligible for the protection of the government's "vested interests" in protecting and sustaining marriage equality. And in an era when birth rates are declining at an alarming rate, this is much more of an issue than before. Is Western Europe's France discriminating against the LGBT community when it gives large incentives for heterosexual couples to have children?

That said, I agree completely that many LGBT couples perform the duties of childbearing marvelously when compared to negligent hetero parents across the country.

0

Kathie 3 years, 9 months ago

I suggest that the term marriage is universally understood and has a societal meaning or recognition and status along with real tangible benefits. Many companies do not recognize civil unions for providing health insurance, only to married couples. For tangible and non-tangible reasons, marriage is universally understood (like making an end of life decision for a loved one in the hospital, no need for extra paperwork or legal hoops for the approximately 1100 state and federal marriage benefits). There is simply no valid state interest to limit same sex couples to a lesser than "separate but equal" status.

Many people find it surprising that homosexuals actually have the capability to naturally procreate. That aside, other than adoption, two same sex couples may need the benefits of modern reproductive technology (e.g., surrogacy) as infertile heterosexual couples also utilize to produce children.

In civl marriage law, there is not a legal requirement to procreate (elderly or infertile for example can marry). In an era where birth rates may be declining, homosexual marriage most likely won't increase or decrease the procreative desires of heterosexuals. Surprisingly, data supports the notion that heterosexuals procreate at the same historical rate and frequency despite the fact that some same sex couples are legally married. Certainly if there were incentives to have children, homosexuals could and should be able to qualify.

Actually, the data does not support the conclusion "... that many LGBT couples perform the duties of childbearing marvelously when compared to negligent hetero parents across the country."

Main stream scientific studies and court findings of fact show that LGBT couples perform the duties of childbearing equally, if not with better child outcomes, when compared to HETEROSEXUAL married parents.

The majority does indeed have say, but when it comes to due process, equal protection and fundamental rights, they need to show a valid reason that specifically furthers a government objective. Moral disapproval, prejudice, animus and religious bigotry generally do not qualify as legitimate interests of the state in matters of civl law.

2

BroMoBot 3 years, 9 months ago

"First - the "Negro" issue is a religious one - not a political one as BroMoBot referenced very well, and examples of the same practices may be traced through the Bible."

I'm not so sure the civil rights movement for African Americans [Negro Issue] was just a religious issue as noted by CommentMonger3. Brown v. Board of Education comes to mind as one political example, where the role of religion was minimal. There might have been political influences in housing and employment too.

"Is having a majority grounds for discrimination? I dare say not, but they have a say too, even if they don't voice it as vociferously as the discriminated minority."

This question might be better described in Benjamin Franklin's example of two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. How are the constitutional rights to liberty, equal protection and due process interests of the lamb protected? Civil rights just may be one of the issues off limits to a majority vote. We are getting early indications from federal district courts that this might be so in the Prop H8, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the Defense of Marriage Act cases before the courts.

0

Kathie 3 years, 9 months ago

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the 9th circuit Prop 8 appellate panel (to be available live on the internet and other media outlets, on December 6 at 10AM PST) will be composed of judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith.

Judge N. Randy Smith holds a both BS from and JD from BYU. Would it be difficult for this Judge to face his ward, stake and the temple recommend renewal process "IF" he ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional?

The December 6th, argumentation (defending marriage as an institution ordained by God to consist of only men and women) should be of interest.

0

Commentmonger3 3 years, 9 months ago

I most certainly hope his ruling would not affect his standing in the church. The ruling is on constitutionality, not on right/wrong. I hope he (being but 1 person on the panel) does vote to repeal Prop 8, if my opinion counts.

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 8 months ago

If he rules Prop H8 unconstitutional, I hope that there will be no discomfort if the judge happens to home teach someone who mortgaged their home or child's college education in full support of Prop 8. No hard feelings, only respect for difference of opinion?

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

Another question, if the ruling were based on morality, whose "right or wrong?" Reformed Jew, Quaker, Buddhist, Episcopal, Unitarian OR LDS, Baptist and Catholic? Like school children voting on the correct sex of the kitten?

0

Commentmonger3 3 years, 9 months ago

@BroMoBot: The reference I made to your previous comment was about the LDS Church's involvement in the "Negro" issue, not the Civil Rights movement.

Though this discussion will be continued in many more places many times over, I think we can agree here that people have different sets of values that they express in far different ways, and no one person, government, or any other group should inhibit that right. Having a value set in itself is an improvement to a startling number of people in this country who irresponsibly could care less about any thing around them.

But the point of the article is that opposition is not bigotry. Bigotry by definition (merriam-webster) states that bigots "regards" or "treats" the members of a group (though here i'm going to add the LGBT community to their definition) with hatred and intolerance. To be opposed is: to place over against something so as to provide resistance, counterbalance, or contrast. Without any opposition, the inhabitants of this world would not be fit for existence, and I dare say we as a species could not exist at all. Thus, opposition (contrast), is most definitely not bigotry (hatred and intolerance).

Offense is relative. I may say something that can be taken out of context, re-defined or mis-construed. But please don't take my opposition (to a practice, not legal rights) as bigotry. That is the farthest thing from my mind, and I suspect authors mind. I cannot soak in all your knowledge, experience and opinions in like a sponge to understand fully your situation, neither can you mine my mind.

There has to be some gray space between agree and disagree. Let's party there. But no bigots! Those guys should all be fenced off somewhere in Wyoming. ; )

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

@ Commentmonger3, re: "Thus, opposition (contrast), is most definitely not bigotry (hatred and intolerance)."

Interesting point, I wonder however, when and even if opposition ever crosses the line into bigotry or prejudice? I suggest that one indication might be when the "contrast" of opinion creates inequality or a non equal level of play in the gray space between agree and disagree. Should we peel the layer of the onion back a bit further in our thinking process when this "counterbalance" results in the denial of hospital visitation, health insurance, pension, social security or 1100 other state and federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy? Or, do we try and accept the "opposition, resistance, counterbalance and contrast" on face value alone as you may suggest?

As Justice Kennedy explained “Prejudice . . . rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.”

Moreover, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently designated the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Family Research Council (FRC) as "Hate Groups." NOM has members of the LDS church on its board of directors. The SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. According to the SPLC, most of these hate groups are religiously motivated, and continue to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at LGBT people.

Theodore Olson once commented "According to The American promise—and dream—of equality surely means at a minimum that the government, before “drawing a line around” some segment of its citizenry and designating them unworthy of something as important and socially meaningful as the institution of marriage, must have a legitimate and factually tenable rationale for doing so." A contrast or counterbalance of opinion simply just doesn't cut it, in my view.

2

BroMoBot 3 years, 8 months ago

Kathie, is "DENIAL" at play here too? If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, the lightly disguised veil of "contrast of opinion" perhaps upon further examination is actually "lipstick on the pig" of raw, unvarnished discrimination, and bigotry.

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

I dunno, denial seems like an extremely difficult construct taking much thought and process in order to effectively address.

An easier benchmark might be that of the highly respected Southern Poverty Law Center whose lawsuits have toppled institutional racism in the South, bankrupted some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups and won justice for exploited workers, abused prison inmates, disabled children and other victims of discrimination.

The question or benchmark then becomes: "Are my values or line of thinking reflective of the philosophies and dictates of designated hate groups?" If so, at the least, they might give one pause for thought.

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

The Los Angeles Times made note of the term "Opposition" and "Resistance" in an OpEd on Sunday. Emphasis in bold below.

"The Americans who most vehemently oppose same-sex marriage today — those with lower levels of education, Southerners, the elderly, the religiously orthodox — fit the profile of the Americans who once most strongly resisted the legalization of interracial marriage. The justifications now used to renounce same-sex marriage — that it is unnatural and ungodly, that children from such unions will be irrevocably harmed, and that such marriages degrade "real" marriage — mirror objections to interracial marriages reflected in earlier survey research."

Perhaps this resistance, counterbalance, and contrast is really nothing more than common garden variety opposition, as CommentMonger said "Thus, opposition (contrast), is most definitely not bigotry (hatred and intolerance)."

Those against ending Don't Ask Don't Tell, may be expressing nothing more than common garden variety opposition, providing resistance, counterbalance and contrast. "Thus, opposition (contrast), is most definitely not bigotry (hatred and intolerance)."

Even the same kind of "opposition" Rosa Parks experienced when she tried to sit at the front of the bus, perhaps marry outside her race, eat at the same lunch counter, use the same restroom or drinking fountain as whites. "Thus, opposition (contrast), is most definitely not bigotry (hatred and intolerance)."

I'm not so sure.. :-(

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

In the December 6, 2010 Prop 8 appeal for the 9th circuit, Judge Smith raised an issue that might support the California initiative. Voters might have a rational basis in thinking: "children do best with a mother and father." Could this be his legal justification for the Prop 8 initiative?

Plaintiff San Francisco attorney Stewart pointed out, homosexuals can and often do procreate, although in non-traditional ways. Plaintiff attorney Theodore Olson indicated that laws need more than attenuated rationale, especially since the behavior of heterosexuals won't change. Perhaps a "more rational law" is one that removes children from single parent and homosexual households.

0

Commentmonger3 3 years, 8 months ago

As this conversation has descended to mindless generalizations and base name calling, I am done. I hoped to be able to carry on a reasonable discussion with reasonable people, and also hoped to reaffirm what few want to believe, the fact that we are with you because society needs to get over their unwarranted homophobia and treat everyone like rational human beings. You will get more respect when you drop the Civil Rights comparison and relate the movement to the Women's Rights movement. You have not come under the fire hose, been refused a seat on a bus or kicked out of a restaurant, given a different bathroom, drinking fountain or school. You have never been generally enslaved, refused voting rights, or legal process. Yes, there are problems that need fixing, but tarnishing the efforts of MLK jr., Rosa Parks and others will not solve them. There are those who aim to harm, unfortunately but thankfully they are in the far, far minority. None of these movements have been finished however, and I suspect it will take at least that long for this one as well. Thank you for your insights and opinions.

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

Will all due respect Commentmonger3, I'm not so sure you're correct with the "MLK effort tarnishing" comparison and his wife explains it best:

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere' ... I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people." - Coretta Scott King

1

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

In November 2010, on the TV show 60 Minutes Justice Stevens responded that LGBT Rights – "could well be the Civil Rights of this Era."

It appears that if LGBT rights tarnish heterosexual marriage, some may extend that thinking to the civil rights efforts of MLK Jr.

1

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Institution of Religion professors could give serious thought about the quality of supporting facts (or lack thereof) intellectual rigor and reasoning that they believe justify the denial of marriage equality for same sex couples. Certainly SUU students deserve supported facts and logic that are based on more than bumper sticker slogans or sky will fall thinking. A few students will develop critical thinking skills and could place their faith in argumentation that won't fall apart like a 'house of cards' upon further scrutiny, investigation and in-depth analysis.

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 8 months ago

@Commentmonger3, A good point for wanting society to get over "unwarranted" homophobia. Does this beg the question about specific cases or examples where homophobia might indeed be warranted?

Lets see about the civil rights comparison... Marriage, Serving in the Military, Employment, Education and Hate Crimes. A quick internet search reveals:

  • Prop 8 appeal Dec 6, 2010. Allowing homosexual marriage is a stain upon the institution and we must look out for the welfare of children. -Crackerbarrel fires employee in 1991, reason for termination "employee is Gay" -Boulder Colorado student expelled because parents are Gay March 5, 2010 -Gay Dallas Teen Kicked out of school January 5, 2005 -SUU denies Transgender student housing circa 2008 -Gay and lesbians still denied adoption rights in Utah and Alabama -Gay and lesbians can still be discharged from the military if they admit to being homosexual. -Mathew Sheppard hate crimes act signed into law by President O'bama March 2010 in honor of a Wyoming college student who was bludgeoned to death by two youths.
    -2003,Southern Poverty Law Center <br Intelligence Report<br "Disposable People: A wave of violence engulfs the transgendered, whose murder rate may outpace that of all other hate killings." -Gay Man Beaten and left for Dead. New York -"I thought I died" Jack Prince, Gay Man Beaten in Queens. -Gay Man beaten in Santa Cruz California. Too many examples to list.....

"Tarnishing the efforts of MLK and Rosa Parks" Really? Is it because Mathew Shepard's attacker did not use a noose, attack dog or fire hose?

Commentmonger3, Do you have any actual facts to back up your claims?

1

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

This question might have some smidgen of credibility in asking: "Is opposition not the same as bigotry" in some cases nothing more than a veil, mask or disguise?

Frank Rich perhaps makes an interesting point in Sundays New York Times OpEd: ".....the ever more absurd excuses concocted by John McCain for almost single-handedly thwarting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are rarely called out for what they are — “bigotry disguised as prudence.”

1

jbluesuu 3 years, 8 months ago

This article is simply brilliant.

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree, a great opportunity for thought and analysis. Always a good idea to ask for supporting facts/data and determine "if" they survive rational basis testing.

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

One may need more than irrational prejudice or bigotry for non supported opinions to pass logic testing. The thinking that marriage equality for homosexuals stains or taints the institution of marriage does not pass constitutional muster or justification in taking away fundamental rights.

Bible waving and self righteous finger waving may be justification for past interracial and current homosexual marriage bans in religious institutions. Testimony bearing is usually not the best standard to meet equal protection and due process constitutional requirements of civil law.

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

If one accepts the argument that a rational basis test is met because homosexual marriage taints the traditional institution, there are under inclusive public policy legal tests that fail with this logic. Generally, laws cannot be over or under-inclusive in accomplishing public policy objectives. An example is passing laws that in order to "preserve traditional home heating" while leaving a back door and windows open, ONLY the front door must be kept closed at all times. This kind of law would be under-inclusive in accomplishing public policy objectives. A law banning homosexual marriage is also under-inclusive in that felons, murderers, child molesters, and spouse abusers still retain their right to marry.

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 8 months ago

Here is an example for evaluating the case when opposition is not really bigotry, prejudice or discrimination.

Have you been a good boy or girl this year, deserving of a visit from Santa? Well if not, you might receive a Lemuel action figure Christmas gift.

The misbehaving Lemuel (dark skin) action figure from Latter Day Designs through Desert Books: "Lemuel was the second son of Lehi and Sariah. He was a lot like his older brother Laman. He too, was stubborn and rebellious. Lemuel was jealous of his younger brother Nephi and was disobedient and spiteful to his parents. He did not believe in the righteous teachings of his father, Lehi. Lemuels example in The Book of Mormon teaches us what happens when we do not choose the right."

Sure, this could be just be simple opposition to bad behavior taken at face value. The thinking has been done, no need to examine this further. The next question might be worth asking is, Why is this action figure not available at Walmart, Toys R Us or Target?

Leaves one guessing what the next action figure might be in this "cursed for being bad" series. A Gay action figure dressed in Abercrombie & Fitch?

1

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

History in the making with the end to Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Someday marriage equality will also prevail all across the United States and the persecution will end. "Free At Last, Free At Last..."

"We righted a wrong," Sen. Joe Lieberman, who led the fight to overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell, said afterward. "Today we've done justice."

Many lawmakers equated the vote to the end of racial segregation in the 1950s and the decision to allow women into military service academies in the 1970s. "It is time to close this chapter in our history," President Obama said in a statement hailing the vote's passage. "It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed."

0

Kathie 3 years, 8 months ago

In Utah, apparently opposition is not bigotry.... (wink)

"Salt Lake City, UT – Senate President Michael Waddoups went on record yesterday saying there’s a chance the Utah Legislature may repeal the non-discrimination laws that have been passed in 10 cities and municipalities in Utah. Waddoups went on to say “I’ve seen no advantage to the laws.”

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 7 months ago

Not the Supreme Court victory some had hoped for. California Prop H8 essentially over or more likely dead on arrival at the 9th circuit federal appeals court.....

According to The Advocate “The California law is quite clear there’s not standing,” David Boies said on the red carpet for the event, whose attendees included Adam Lambert, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, recent Golden Globe winner Jane Lynch, and former Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman, who came out as gay last year. “

Boies indicated that he’s in the national marriage equality fight for the long haul. “If there’s no standing, there will have to be additional cases,” he said. “And we’re already looking for the right places to bring cases.”

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 7 months ago

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed new regulations to stop discrimination against LGBT people who are seeking to buy a home or qualify for government-backed housing programs.

The guidelines would stop lenders from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine whether they qualify for a mortgage. HUD will also be required to consider families in the broad sense, acknowledging that same-sex couples with children do not have the same clear protections as heterosexual married couples with children.

If gender identity is good enough policy for HUD, why isn't it good enough for SUU policy?

1

Kathie 3 years, 7 months ago

In a nutshell BroMoBot, Opposition is not the same as bigotry... :-)

1

Betty 3 years, 6 months ago

Finally, 2011 Utah legislature, the Proclamation To The World is codified with religious freedom to oppose immorality in two new Utah House Bills:

                            **House Bill 109 
                     RELIGIOUS LIBERTY RECOGNITION**

Compelling state interest: Religious liberty is substantially burdened when a person is coerced or required to act or significantly modify behavior contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs and principles and freedom of conscience. The free exercise of religious liberty is a recognized exemption to otherwise generally applicable laws and a valid defense to claims of discrimination by others.

The state or a political subdivision of the state may not: infringe or substantially burden a person's religious liberty, including compel, restrain, or burden a person in their goods and civil capacities; or restrict or deny freedom of religious speech and the free expression of religious and moral beliefs in public.

                          **House Bill 270 
        FAMILY POLICY  2011 GENERAL SESSION STATE OF UTAH**

This bill modifies Title 30, Husband and Wife, by enacting language relating to the family. Highlighted Provisions:

This bill states, as the public policy of Utah, that a family, consisting of a legally and lawfully married man and woman and their children, is the fundamental unit of society; and requires that publicly funded social programs, government services, laws, and regulations designed to support families be carefully scrutinized to ensure that they promote the family.


Single and head of a household, no matter what your sexual orientation is, perk up your ears..... And your local non-discrimination ordinance? "Fuggetaaboutit"

1

Betty 3 years, 6 months ago

Years of history and confirming scientific data may solidly demonstrate:

The ONLY way responsible procreative powers in the great two halves of humanity can best germinate new life, is through hate, stigma and punishment focused on gay and lesbian families.

0

BroMoBot 3 years, 6 months ago

Who'd a Thunk? It appears, in this case anyway, opposition is indeed bigotry... If it walks like a duck...

2/23/11 News Release From the United States Attorney General. STATEMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON LITIGATION INVOLVING THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT WASHINGTON – The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department’s course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman: In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard. Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply. After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

0

Betty 3 years, 6 months ago

It's too bad Mitt isn't in there running things. Where is a theocracy when you need one?

0

Kathie 3 years, 6 months ago

Voting on who can marry or not seems perfectly rational to me, as long as it applies equally to everyone. Once a year, a list of people who want to marry is presented to the voters, where in the privacy of the voting booth, one can exercise the democratic right to vote yes or no for any reason.

0

Betty 3 years, 6 months ago

Republicans (The GOP, God's Own Party) will find someone to defend so called divine truth, no worries.

0

Betty 3 years, 6 months ago

"Now, after gay student Tyler Clementi ended his life, New Jersey's Rutgers University is launching a pilot program that will allow mixed-gender housing."

Sadly, not at SUU where there are NO policy protections based on gender identity that would facilitate such a change. Shrug, prolly need to wait for a tragedy before a housing policy change at SUU.

0

Sign in to comment