TED Conversations Admin

This conversation is closed.

Debating Equal Rights for GLBT Americans

These comments have been moved from LZ Granderson's TEDTalk, where they were going off-topic.

  • Jun 28 2012: All these discussions about sexual orientation, studies on sexuality, and debates surrounding whether being gay is bad/good and real/lie. Who cares? It really doesn't matter to me why someone wants to be or do something. If it is what makes you happy, then go for it! We should all support each others life-long struggle for happiness. We're all beautiful people. Its our mean and hateful actions that make us ugly.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Jul 5 2012: If you are sooo extremely attractive -even compared to the sporty-gay men standards, which are quite high- that gay men just can't help looking at YOU in changing rooms, that is making you basically a sex symbol. You should't be waisting your time writing in these intellectual sites. You should pursue a career as a male stripper and get paid for it. be clever my friend!
      • thumb
        Jul 7 2012: Good Lord Steve....Buck up. Women straight and other wise deal with unwanted attention all the time.

        If that attention is bothering you go to the desk at the gym and file a complaint like a grown up. If it's true what you are saying - ALL GAY MEN are not looking at you...but one man....He's the problem....not the entire group. And why drag the lesbians into it?
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: The real debate is not about GLBTs. There are two debates: 1) Religious; and 2) Insurance. Religious surrounds the defination of marriage and acts of sodomy. The second and most hotly contested is the insurance effects. If the term spouse becomes legitimate and "marriage" is attached to same sex couples, then insurance coverage by state and private sgencies would have to cover all medical costs. This is a big deal. The life style includes the possibality of AIDS which is super expensive to treat and usually ends in death which is another high impact to insurance.

    It always seems to boil down to religion and money.

    All the best. Bob.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: So does this mean that Americans are fighting to save money for the insurance companies again? That is so scary!
      Did no one read "Deadly Spin?
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: No. It means that insurance lobbies are fighting to ensure the wording is to their advantage. They could care less if men or woman live together they just do not want them to be called spouses or legally married.

        Good to hear from you. Bob.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: In reality the debate over gay marriage etc is quite different in the US to here. In Australia, for the vast majority of legal matters (insurance included) a "couple" is defined by behavior. Whether you are married in a church or a civil service or even just living together (homo or hetero) you are legally a couple. I hadn't realised until now the difference between the two situations.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: I can't agree more with you, Robert. For example, to Mormons GLBTs are insane and unbelievable. They generally have homophobia and cannot stand act of GLBTs. And all the insurance companies are already facing some big pressure in medical aspect because they'll have to cover everybody regardless of their preexisting conditions in 2014. The debate about GLBTs is easily politicized or fall into practical causes.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: Wow! Do you even begin to see what your words mean to others and how they boomerang on those groups?. Most of America would happliy ship the Mormons off as "insane and unbelievable" and most Americans are having their lives interfered with and their health interfered with by insurance companies who were happy to rake in huge profits while this same huge demographic was young and healthy and now that it is their turn to pay up - did they not know people would age?- they whine - no fair - it is too expenisive. To which anyone using logic in a business sense should reply 'pay up!"
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Haha. It's true. They shouldn't turn the insurance industry into an ugly business. Mr. Obama would panic!
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: This is a big world Hugo and we are not just listening to Obama who has no control over our lives as citizens of other countries. In this case he happens to be right. Just read a book by one of the insurance industry's insiders who had enough of the cheating and deception and wrote :Deadly spin". What they are doing to steal profit and kill people is unconscienable. You cannot put your head in the sand and play ostrich and expect those who are better informed to call red green.
        You and they cannot do that.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Yeah, I know. I was just joking about him... I don't really care whether he's gonna panic. Like Robert said above, what those insurance companies most concern about turns out, ironically, to be just a wording. That this is pretty sad.is an understatement.
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: Agree that faith based arguments have no validity in themselves for broader society.

    Your faith may endorse slavery and genocide but so what.

    You are welcome to your religious views and how you want to lead your life (within limits like not harming others) but you need secular reasons to force something on broader society. Personal religious preferences or opinion about what is acceptable or normal is not a rationale.

    All the arguments I have seen fail to provide a non religious rationale against providing equal rights for GBLT.
  • Jun 25 2012: I have a simple question.

    Should those who are attracted to more than one person at a time, be allowed to marry both of them?

    If your answer is yes: Does that make the anti-bigamy laws unconstitutional?
    If your answer is no: Isn't it discrimination to not let them?

    fyi: not a troll question. I am very curious what the LGBT community thinks?

    What about poly-amorous people? Shouldn't they all be allowed to marry each other? If not, why not?
    • Jun 25 2012: Polyamory is very intriguing to me, I've thought about it a lot, and I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing morally wrong with it, but human beings simply cannot practice it without being morally corrupt in other ways. It is an idealist idea of love which cannot be achieved because we're imperfect people. It creates more problems than it is worth, and although perhaps it shouldn't be "illegal", I still don't think it should be practiced.

      The main issue I have with it is a husband or wife usually barely gives enough of their love, attention, affection, and time deserved to their monogamous spouse, so how could you expect them to be capable of giving it to more than one? You see how it works in certain cults where the dynamic of the relationship is different, i.e. The man has a complete dominant position over the woman and they are not in an equal loving relationship; instead in a relationship built on power and servitude, usually brainwashed extremist religious devotion.

      Also, humans are naturally jealous and in need of devotion, and if any two people could perfectly overcome this kind of feeling (perhaps some 'polyamorous' people have), then the relationships could work, but most of the people I've met who practice as such are usually young and perhaps too progressive in their ideologies, and the relationships they've had end badly, or they eventually switch to monogamy.

      Finally, there is not a need for the legality because there is not a demand. We still live in a world where people want monogamy, even if none of us usually practice it perfectly. But the idea of commitment to one other person is a big part of what love is all about. Gay marriage entails this quality.
      • Jun 26 2012: While you may have "thought about it a lot," I think you need to do some reading to correct the bundle of unexamined generalizations and incorrect conclusions you've reached about polyamory.

        First of all, I think monogamy is just as "idealist" as any other mode of romantic love, as evidenced by the high divorce rate and the frequency of cheating among monogamous couples -- because we're imperfect people.

        As for the "morally corrupt" angle, as I find that simply absurd. Consenting adults in mutually loving relationships do not require monogamy to be morally pure -- and monogamy does not magically lend moral purity.

        Also, people are different. People require different levels of attention and different levels of alone time, and seeing a partner a few times a week works just fine for them. Just because you can "barely give enough" love, attention, and affection to one person, that doesn't mean that's the natural state of things. Maybe you're just not very good at managing your time and attention.

        I don't believe humans are "naturally jealous" at all. Functional adults who are secure in themselves and capable of communicating like grown-ups can function just fine without getting jealous or playing juvenile head-games... and, as long as we're relating anecdotes and passing them off as evidence, most of the people I've met who practice are in their 30s and 40s and have very happy, equal, drama-free relationships.

        And yes, I've met young people too in poly relationships that ended badly... but I've met way more young people in monogamous relationships that ended badly. Because young people frequently don't have their heads screwed on straight when it comes to relationships (I sure didn't.)

        I have nothing against monogamy, I think it can be a beautiful thing when two people devote their lives to one another -- but I don't think the formula of 1+1 is the only path to a successful, loving relationship.
        • Jun 26 2012: This is my opinion, my personal evidence, I've been in a polyamorous relationship before, and although that is not "scientific evidence", I am by no means trying to pass it off as fact.

          We said the same thing, as in it could work under certain circumstances, except, what i meant by "morally corrupt in other ways" is not that monogamy is exclusive with moral purity, but that polyamory adds additional complexities to the concept of love, commitment, and relationship - because you're dealing with more than one person who you have to get to know thoroughly, and you're dealing with a balancing act of time and commitment - that it is a more difficult way to practice and stay ethical.

          My opinion has more to do with the safest way to practice a relationship. It's like using drugs, some people can handle it, are functional users who contribute to society, but although the act of using drugs is not immoral, there is a high risk involved. Some people can handle it, but "I believe" most people can not. I think the way you pointed out how bad people are at practicing monogamy is even more evidence to how if we cannot handle being committed to one person, how even more badly would we be at committing to more than one?

          Please don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking in absolutes here, but in generalities. Like you said, I agree that there isn't a formula to a successful relationship, but I do think there is a safer route to finding it and making it work.
        • thumb
          Jul 1 2012: Threading is a mess... This is actually a reply to your reply to me below this one... ARG!

          It's interesting that you have the LDS experience, and though that is one model - which may have it's own - um struggles within the "form" of polyfidelity - I don't think it needs to be representative. As you know there are poly people outside of that form..unbounded by a lot of the religious layers which IMHO distort the idea... Anyway - I think consenting adults over age 25 should be able to do what they like and that there should be legal and civil structures which accommodate variation. Why 25? Well our brains are not really fully functional until then .... That said I don't think you should be able to vote, sign up to the army, drink, have kids or marry until after 25 either - but that only refers to Planet Liz :D That said... I do think the age line for marriage is really important...

          Poly - is not for me like I said because one serious relationship is all I can handle having OTHER interests and all.... I sympathize with the idea that it's hard enough to get one relationship going really well... the mind boggles at two or three! That said - people can and do and my limitations should not define theirs....
      • thumb
        Jun 27 2012: No demand? Really.... you need to pay more attention. There are many people who are polyamorous now and many polyfidelitous people who basically live "underground" because the mainstream has power to suppress them. There are of course traditional Mormons...The even have a few TV shows!

        It's not for me mainly because I just don't like people that much!
        • Jun 28 2012: Perhaps I am biased because I was raised LDS and left the church. But you do have point, Being a homosexual makes you a minority, but that doesn't mean you don't have a right to practice and love whoever you want. I'm not sure how large the polyamorous community is, but maybe they should have the right to practice anyway they please.
        • Jul 9 2012: And this is a reply to your comment above haha.

          Interestingly enough, polygamy in the LDS church is not condoned or encouraged although it is apart of its past. It is the traditional mormons, like the FLDS who practice as such although their marriages are not recognized by the state. I've met some very nice and loving FLDS people, but their culture is very foreign and different from that I was raised in in the mainstream LDS church.

          But I digress. The point I wanted to make is that laws are generally formed with a balance in mind between protecting the general population from being self destructive and also allowing freedom. Using drugs is a right I believe we should all have, (the right to do with ones body as he pleases) but I understand its illegality because of the fear of its destructive nature. It is an argument used against legalizing gay marriage as well - i.e. is it more destructive to society to allow gays to have the right to marry than it is to take away that right? (although it is a ridiculous claim of course). The same question would be raised for polyamory. Would its legality cause more harm than good? I really have no clue.
    • thumb
      Jun 25 2012: The simplicity of one human married to one other human makes the contract clearer for laws to relate to it. If you have more than one spouse this would complicate issues over tax, child custody, welfare benefits and inheritance. Perhaps, as far as the legal system is concerned, there should only be one version of civil union based on the signing of a contract or register. Just as I'm convinced there should be only one, non-religious, way to affirm in court proceedings. People can marry beyond what's offered by the state but how the state relates to their marriage still needs to be registered and written into a legal contract to which all parties within the marriage and state agencies can refer.
    • Jun 25 2012: Since you asked what the LGBT community thinks, I feel obligated to reveal that I am not LGBT, but I consider all LGBT part of my community. So here is my two cents worth:

      "Should those who are attracted to more than one person at a time, be allowed to marry both of them?" Yes.

      "If your answer is yes: Does that make the anti-bigamy laws unconstitutional?"

      No, that doesn't make the anti-bigamy laws unconstitutional. What makes the anti-bigamy laws unconstitutional is that the laws violate the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.

      "What about poly-amorous people? Shouldn't they all be allowed to marry each other?" Yes.

      Of course all of these answers refer to marriage as it is now defined and prescribed in current law. I believe that marriage should be completely removed from the law books and that relationships among adults should be a matter of contracts. Laws would still be required to protect children. Marriage should be considered a strictly religious practice.
      • thumb
        Jun 27 2012: I agree that marriage should be strictly a religious practice.

        How do you judge that polygamy should be allowed and therefore encourage it?

        If you think it, in itself, is bad, what is the good you hope to achieve by allowing it?
        • thumb
          Jun 27 2012: We live in a country - or at least I do...where we enjoy a Separation of Church and State... What you think about my marriage options should not be relevant to me or mine. I am not ruled by your priests....
      • thumb
        Jun 27 2012: @ Liz - And yet there is frequent political debate surrounding opinions of marriage. Despite the declared separation there are connections.
        • thumb
          Jul 1 2012: No. I am not bound by your religion in the US.
      • Jun 28 2012: I don't see how equal protection would apply to bigamists. Equal protection simply means the law must apply equally to everyone. No one has the right to marry multiple people at once, so bigamists are being treated equally. They have every legal right to marry one person just like everyone else.
        Gay people have a legitimate claim. They're being denied the right to marry at all.
        I actually don't have a problem with bigamy, but I don't think the 14th amendment is going to end the ban.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ Liz - Why is "In God we Trust" on your money? Why is there a debate about marriage going on? Why do politicians say, "God bless America"? You may not be bound by a religion; however, you do live in a country whose politics are bound to one.

        These types of debates are not about what the State should do given the scientific data regardless of anyone's beliefs. They are about what people believe.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: "In God We Trust" was put on the money in the 1950's around the time of a wave of anti-communist hysteria.

          "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


          "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

          No - I do not live in a country bound by a religion. I live in a constitutional republic which has a separation of church and state and a profound system of protections for minorities. Majorities cannot easily defend taking the rights of minorities away - especially when those minorities understand how to assert them under the constitution. Please don't toss around terms you clearly don't understand with regard to the United States.

          Politics at this time my be influenced by the money behind fundamentalism...and there is a lot. But we are also well endowed with a progressive religious wing who are not promoting this retrograde thinking.

          "What people believe" is not generally a good guide - as we believe different things. We are however protected by the same principles wrapped up in the constitution.... which is by no means a religious document.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." - Treaty of Tripoli - signed by John Adams...

          About 16% of Americans have no faith and do not subscribe to any religion. Another 5% are not any form of Christian. You do not just get to claim everyone.... You don't even get to claim the Protestants.
          After all you folks were at war with them for about a thousand years.

          That fact is what gave birth to this country.... so do not get it twisted.

          For the record - having "In God We Trust" on the money is not in line with the Constitution.... but you have to have money to fight this sort of thing.
        • Jul 9 2012: Big fan of you Liz.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: @ Liz - So you admit that your country's Constitution has no hold over something as simple as its own currency design?

        I agree the Church and State are separate on paper, and yet that is not how the country operates.
    • Jun 27 2012: As a gay libertarian my perspective is we depend on government for too much. We all make good & bad chooses in life but how do you think that you can save someone from themselves by force of law? Set up yet another over paid bureaucracy like the GSA & task them with enforcing the public morality?

      I think we are all best served when free & open markets are combined with personal liberty & responsibility. Based on that reason, I think people should be permitted the relations they want as long as it's between consenting adults, no one gets killed., and no one is forced into acceptance.
      • thumb
        Jun 28 2012: Does your view point exclude incest?
        Also, how do we determine conclusively who is an adult? (Since currently different places vary on the age of consent.)
        • Jun 29 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          Why should the law disallow incest? On what grounds? If I, as an adult, wish to have sex with one of my other adult family members, why should the law care about it, as long as I am not raping?

          What is an adult? Good question.
          I think of "childhood", in legal terms, as a kind of grace period given by the law to individuals. Such individuals are deemed incapable of making judgments that either recognizes their own safety or the rights of others. Once they reach a certain age (the exact number is just a convention, and varies from 16-21), I think of the law as saying "look buddy, your grace period is over. From now on if you screw up your life, you're on your own. If you harm others, you will be held accountable for it."

          I fight for the right to screw up my own life. I acknowledge that if I physically harm others or engage in acts that puts them in imminent risk, they will act to restrain me.
        • thumb
          Jul 1 2012: David - it is completely offensive to put incest in the same category as LGBT relations, same sex marriage please reconsider using that line of argument.

          As for the libertarian argument against incest among consenting adults... usually incest starts within a family structure with power relations which are not equal. Children have a right to grow up in a home that is not sexualized in that manner. Your freedoms aside the freedom of the people within your home are also at stake. Should a brother and sister meet at age 25 after been raised in separate homes meet and fall into relationship/love - generally who cares? But the home is a different matter. Those waters are complicated enough to navigate without adding incest to the mix. To repeat a point made earlier your moral person isn't even really formed until your whole brain comes online at age 25.... Also what if only one member of the home is a libertarian.... and it's the guy who wants to sleep with his sister?
        • Jul 2 2012: @Liz - I'll answer the last question first :-).
          Libertarians generally have great regard for their own choices in life and for the choices of others. Libertarians would not force themselves on others (unless have screwed-up minds, or are just paying "libertarianism" lip-service). One can easily be a lip-service religious person. Lip-service libertarians? I have not seen those.

          I sympathize with incest the way I sympathize with burquas -- for women or for men! I could go into reasons why women or men would want to wear burquas or sleep with their siblings, but that's for another day.
      • thumb
        Jun 30 2012: @ John Frum - This is my main issue: people supporting things with no contemplation of the unintended consequences.

        Consider applying your basis of justification to all laws.

        If consenting adults decides to plan a murder in the privacy of their home, does the government have to arrest them? They have not hurt anyone, but we assume that people who plan things sometimes do those things. So, the action of planning is not the issue; however it is still illegal because of the known connection to something that is destructive.

        I do not want to have to wait for the fallout to determine whether something should be allowed or not. [‘Popular opinion of the day’ is not even scientific evidence.]
        • Jun 30 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          Can you please lay off with bit about "people supporting things with no contemplation of the unintended consequences"? It broke my ironymeter.

          Whether they should be arrested or not would depend on how imminent that action was. I have come across idle talk about how exactly one could kill some famous crook of a politician.At the end of the day, that's all it was -- idle talk. Are you proposing that should be illegal? Have you come across the term "thought crime"?
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: This last objections fit into the category that we call in italy "climbing up the mirrors". Is just playing around with abstract concept. Why don't you just say clearly "i don't like gay people, it bothers me that they have the same right that I have". You'd be more credible
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: My main issue - is someone assuming grown people around them lack concern for "unintended consequences" just because they do not share the religious outlook...and that yo would allow your religious outlook to interfere with the MANY long term deeply committed relationships of my friends and family.

          I think David - you are the one not fully considering "unintended consequences" of interfering in the lives of other adults.
      • thumb
        Jul 1 2012: @ John Frum - Is that what the law says? If someone witnessed that conversation and that crook ended up murdered, it would take the sentence to first-degree murder.

        And if I planned with no real thought of committing the crime, I could still be charged for planning it. Even just saying it is illegal, i.e. death threats.

        There are levels of severity and charges to match; however, it stands that an action done in private between consenting adults with no negative impact on anyone can be illegal.
        • Jul 1 2012: They would get arrested on grounds of suspicion. They will not get sentenced for the talk. The same goes for death threats. Many of my friends and family have uttered sentences that literally sound like death threats but were either spoken in jest, or just to express that one of them is angry with another. So, where do you draw the line about what should be arrested and what shouldn't? I drew my line earlier: depends on how imminent the proposed action was.

          Here, a public declaration of intent to kill: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101861149. I found it via Google. I came across several other such threats.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ Sem Rossi - I would hope being homophobic would not make me "more creditable".

        @ Liz - I am sorry to offend you. I brought incest up to question the justification of homosexual acts. If people determine that those acts are good, then does the same reasoning also allow other things like incest? If so, we should be aware that while we accept the one, we also accept the other. If you cannot accept the second, then you need a better justification that allows only the first.

        @ John - You are partly right, there are certain threats you can make in the privacy of your own home legally. However, there are still certain things that are illegal to do as consenting adults in the privacy of your own home, so your rights have limits. Yes, these actions are typically illegal because they have known connects to harm things outside the home; however, I believe that the spiritual issues of actions also have an outward damaging effect and so should likewise be discouraged.
        • Jul 2 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          Another way of looking at what I've been saying all along is that I don't like the idea of victimless crimes. Especially when there are not even imminent risks to third-parties.

          As long as it stays out of law and order, I take far more kindly to people preaching against homosexuality, or for racism or slavery. At least then they are individuals like myself, and I know if I don't like some individuals, I am not compelled to deal with them.

          As for spiritual issues of actions, I don't really object to your trying. However, I seem to get the impression that you view homosexuals as people who have strayed from what is good for them. I ask out of curiosity: how do you feel when people look at YOU as if you have strayed from what is good for your life?

          You might ask me that question yourself. Sure, a few on TED, including you, probably, see me as someone who has strayed from what is good for me. Beyond some mild amusement, I don't feel much.

          There's another reason I asked that question. Many people don't like it if you look upon them as if they have gone astray. They feel some combination of insult, disrespect, hatred, pity, feared, etc. And some of them don't get why they must be feared, pitied or hated just because, for example, they are men who are sexually attracted to men. Many of them are tired of being told again and again, that they are not "normal".
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ John - Many people do things that I believe are harmful to them. If this were a video about adultery I would address that issue.

        Let me be clear: I believe that homosexual people are lovable. I believe ALL people have strayed and need forgiveness of a Saviour. I believe that homosexual acts are wrong, based on my trust of the New Testament and understand of the scriptures as a whole. I believe all straying is damaging to the person performing the "stray". Homosexual acts are not special; they are simply the current topic.

        If someone confronts me, concerned with my well being, I don't enjoy it but I respect it because I accept it as love. I realize the person really just wants what is best for me, even if we don't agree on what is best.
        • Jul 3 2012: I get that homosexual acts are probably a deviation according to the Bible. So why preach against it to those who don't believe in the idea of The Saviour? Isn't it more appropriate to convince people of that idea first?
      • thumb
        Jul 3 2012: @ John - You have a good point. However, the topic here is homosexual people and acts.

        Regardless of beliefs, I hope to help people understand Christians and other believers. Since the majority of “Christian” responses to this topic are hateful or received as hateful I want to bring a message of understanding each other by displaying both sides.

        Also, I am genuinely concerned that many people do not accurately justify their ideas. They throw open the doors to include something, and by doing so also end up allowing things that they believe are terrible and un-allowable.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: You would have to convince me of the Bible and the validity of a supernatural reality which you base all your argument on for it to be taken seriously.

          As for incest it is understood generally not to be something that happens between consenting adults. IF it is consenting adults generally no law prevents the act itself as abhorrent as most of us find it. The law prevents relatives from getting married because generally speaking the outcome of that union is a child and often that child has genetic defects which often require full time care. I am not at all sure the state has an interest in preventing people from marrying at all.

          I know the state has no interest in preventing the marriage of a gay or lesbian couple however which is not based on a religious objection.

          Now.... please put all this energy into cleaning up the child rape and cover up which goes back decades in the Catholic church. You have the potential to do some good there by exposing the filth that powerful institution is to this day trying to cover up.
  • Aug 2 2012: Here is an example of the "gay-rights" leadership in America.

    Larry Brinkin is not just anyone. He is a "hero of the gay-rights movement", who coined the term "domestic partner".

    It turns out he's a pedophile and nazi-like sadist, who enjoyed watching sexual torture of toddlers.
    Read down towards the bottom :

    Incredibly, San Francisco let him out on bail while they delay his trial. This incredible monster is allowed to walk around free. There's been remarkably little condemnation or even coverage.
    • thumb
      Aug 2 2012: So if all gay-rights leaders are sickos then so are all college football coaches by your "reasoning"
      • Aug 3 2012: ...

        I didn't say "all" ; I said "example".

        I think your point is largely valid ... except that Jerry Sandusky is in prison, while Larry Brinkin walks free. The gay establishment in SF is protecting and excusing this monster. I'd sincerely like to hear your comment on that.

        And re media coverage: If the ceo of Chik-Fil-A states that he's against same-sex marriage, that's national news. But if the former head of the SF "Human Rights Commission" is exposed as a pedophile, racist, sadist (again, please read at the link above to understand the depravity), then that's not national news ... and brings no clear national condemnation from most gay organizations.
        • thumb
          Aug 5 2012: The matter is being heard in court, so hopfully the court will do its job. Brinkin is obviously a weirdo but there is a clear distinction between the two cases. As an analogy if you have a collection of snuff movies that isn't the same as being a murderer. If you don't make that distinction then writers of crime thrillers should all be charged with conspiracy to commit whatever crime is planned in their novels.
      • Aug 6 2012: ...

        I understand your first point; but you lost me on the second one.

        It's less of a distinction than you think, because Larry Brinkin wasn't just watching snuff movies. The sadistic torture of babies was being performed for him, for his paid consumption. It was not simulated, or something that existed independently of him. The torture happened only because he demanded it. He indirectly caused it.

        HOW is it that he is uncharged, walking around free, and it's not national news?? Why do we let these people mock civil rights while they flaunt their danger to society?

        If you still think he is an anomaly, read here in the Examiner how another gay rights leader says that gays should support Larry Brinkin, EVEN IF HE IS FOUND GUILTY (!!!) :


        " ... gay community should stand along with him. Even if the charges are true and the state is able to establish the burden of proof, does a man not have the right to make a mistake? One arrest does not diminish ... "

        I'm really flabbergasted. How can ANYONE not believe this: that the gay community, AS A WHOLE, has an AMBIVALENT attitude towards pedophilia, at best. They embrace pedophiles (unless we're looking).
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: If you have a collection of snuff movies that you payed for aren't you encouraging their production? They are illegal but would a charge of posession even make the news? Also, according to your first link he is charged. Regarding your last paragraph, I would argue that society as a whole has an ambivalent attitude toward paedophilia as long as the people imvolved are different sexes. How many adult males have sex with underage girls or vice versa and it is completely ignored?
      • Aug 6 2012: You seem to have missed the *MAGNITUDE* of his crime. This isn't like "sex with an underage girl" (where the girl factually was consenting but legally was below the age of consent). This is sadistic torture of multiple 2 year olds.

        My understanding is that (allegedly) Larry Brinkin was in contact with and chatting with the perpetrator. That's what I meant by the sadistic sexual torture of toddlers being done specifically to satisfy his demand; i.e. that he willfully caused it to happen. Also please note and take in the nazi-like racial content and sheer depravity of it all, before explaining to me why this monster was released.

        My understanding is that he is *not* charged (the title of that article is misleading). The SF elite, and our national media, appear to be protecting him, as is the writer of the Examiner article I cited.

        I don't think society as a whole is ambivalent about pedophilia. I think the gay community is ambivalent about pedophilia (citations above).
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Just to be clear, I'm not defending brinkin in any way. I didn't even know who he was until this discussion. But we do need to be very careful with the facts of a legal matter. All the press I can find says he is out on bail. You dont need bail unless you've been charged with something. Also all references to communication are about emails with the images attached. There is no indication that he was in direct contact.
      • Aug 7 2012: You seem like an informed and reasonable guy, so I won't debate those points. Let's wait to see what the charges are -- that is, if there is ever any real news coverage.

        If this matter goes to "a jury of his peers", and the gay elements of the jury let him off, I'll ask that (in your reasonableness) you adjust your view to comprehend the ambivalence of the broad gay population towards pedophilia and every other depravity.
  • Aug 2 2012: I think that intersex and transgender people are the forgotten ones. It is a very real physical and psychological spectrum that make up this group. We are still not ready to fully accept people who don't fit into the main 2 categories. It blows the lid off of the whole gay marriage debate as well as many religious beliefs about homosexuality and marriage. If the arguments against gay marriage hold true, then the same arguements wouldn't allow intersex or transgender people to marry anyone. Unless they marry another intersex or transgender person, they are marrying someone who is at least partly the same gender. I have been a teacher for 15 years and I have had at least 5 kids that were transgendered. I have no idea about intersex because that is more of a protected medical issue.
    These are very real people who often times suffer from depression from living in a world where they feel they don't belong. I think that we need to put focus on transgender and intersex people's issues because they lag even further behind the problems that exist for gay people.
  • Jul 30 2012: I simply wanted to say L Z's talk about the myth of the Gay Agenda was so articulate that even me; a person raised in the Bible belt of our county, a member of the most homophobic ethnic culture and from the same kind of family was moved to understand finally understand the similar lives we lead. And this experience has changed me, Thank you
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: Those that are the NOT church were the main focus of Christ's teachings. HE LOVED THEM.


    I cannot imagine what there is to debate EXCEPTerhaps the definition of 'human RIGHTS!'
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: We should all love all people.
      • thumb
        Jul 12 2012: Absolutely and we should all reflect upon whether or not our actions are not only sincere but receivable.
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: To those who think homosexuality is learnt behaviour or similar why shouldn't 2 people of the same sex (who may or may not be attracted to each other) be able to make a life long legal commitment to each other and start a family just like couples of mixed sexes?

    What harm in this?

    Isn't opening up marriage to others actually going to strengthen commitment in society.
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: Your logic does not follow Brent. People are not killing Christians because they vocally oppose gay rights on the other hand their violent discourse encourages discrimination and in some cases actual violence.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: "Christian family should feel comfortable" - is that at any cost or there is a limit to what people should do in order to make some religious group feel confortable?
        Shall we make all women wear burkas?
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: IT is REALLY annoying that TED moderators felt it appropriate to chop the thread up.... Context is important and you are undermining the flow of the conversation by deciding arbitrarily what YOU think the boundaries of the discourse are.... *really* bad moderation choice.
    • thumb
      Jul 14 2012: I didn't even realize the conversation was limited to Americans.
      Feels like when we non-americans, great consumers of hollywood productions, watch a disaster or alien movie, -a comet is about to hit the hearth and all the characters are only referring to "America being in danger, America needing to be saved, America ceasing to exist" etc... It has always felt quite awkward.
      But thinking about it it looks like in the long term, this US self obsession and celebration has actually resulted counterproductive. It has been decades since the US had stopped being a point of reference in emancipation and human rights, but the american public didn't seem to notice and is missing the opportunity to learn from other countries that are much more just and emancipated on many levels, in the present times.
      I love american people, their optimism, enthusiasm and good intention. Yet i feel right now a certain dose of humbleness and self criticism is overdue.
      The whole world is addressing the problem of the LGTB community, till the day, the US haven't really been shining with its emancipation and human right policies.
      But then again, if this thread is only about LGBT Americans, I should't interfere...
      • thumb
        Jul 16 2012: Couldn't agree more Sem. You should, of course - "interfere"! We can learn a lot I am sure.

        I do have a tendency to hyper-focus on the US context - always willing to be enlightened!
  • Jul 9 2012: "Lint Porter" -
    " I can't confirm Steve Jones' numbers; but yes, it's safe to say that gay men are much more likely to be pedophiles. They're much more likely to selfishly damage another human being."

    - You are a complete f'ing-ftard!! You don't know what in the hell you are talking about! In your "little world" all Asians do karate, all Italians are in the Mafia, all Muslims are terrorists, are Germans are Nazi, all young black guys are in gangs, all Mexicans are illegal aliens, anyone with long hair does drugs, all Jews are Zionist fanatics, all Mormons are polygamists, all blonds are stupid, all people from Japan take pictures, all Feminists are misanthropic Lesbians, all Environmentalists are tree huggers, all Oh, and of course........ all Catholic Priests are Pedophiles!

    You are insane! I could'nt be in a room with a person like you for two minutes before I'd want to punch your smug ass face! You make me Sick! All of you Homophobic fanatics out there should be rounded up and stuck on some remote island in the Pacific where they could then use it for nuke testing!!!!!

    • Jul 10 2012: You're a great example of what we'll all be faced with if the liberal activists ever get their way. All radical movements are eventually taken over by mindless, oppressive maniacs like you. They eat their young. Just ask Robespierre!
  • Comment deleted

    • Jul 4 2012: I am sorry, but I do not understand your argumentation. Would you please go more thoroughly into why based on those numbers? as I do not see the link. Ty.
      • Jul 8 2012: I think he's assuming that essentially all pedophiles are men (probably not that far off). So if that's true, and only 1-2% of men are gay, then you'd expect that only 1-2% of pedophilia victims would be boys. But actually (he says) 30% of pedophilia victims are boys ... because gay men are far more likely to be pedophiles.

        I'm just explaining what I think Steve Jones was stating.

        The gay apologists (like Sem Rossi below), will say that pedophiles don't act according to a male/female sexual orientation; but that's a bit specious. I can't confirm Steve Jones' numbers; but yes, it's safe to say that gay men are much more likely to be pedophiles. They're much more likely to selfishly damage another human being.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: Lint,

          I expect it's a bit more complicated, but so what if more or less same sex orientated people are paedophiles than the general population? Why should the non pedo's be denied equal rights?

          You might find minority races are over represented in crime statistics. Should everyone in these minority groups be discriminated against? No.
        • thumb
          Jul 31 2012: SPARTA!
          I think you will find that the majority of paedophiles are "straight" men who experienced similar treatment as children. Like much child abuse it tends to occur in clusters of the abused becoming abusers. Regarding your 1-2% of men are gay. In an Australian survey 1.7% of men identified themselves as gay but 19% reported feelings of attraction or sexual activity with men. Its not as black and white as you think
      • Jul 12 2012: Yes, Obey, that's actually a reasonable response. Actually, we could agree that overall men have much higher pedophilia rates than women. So it's not like straight men are the height of perfection in this regard -- not by any means.

        And of course I agree with your second part.
        • thumb
          Jul 13 2012: Appreciate your response to my response.
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: You need to do further study on paedophilia my dear, what you just said doesn't make any sense. Most paedophile are attracted to children regardless of their gender. In fact the majority of offenses on young boy are perpetrated by their heterosexuals fathers or close relatives.
      But hey, nice try, you are closer to prove to yourself that "you are not a homphobe, you are just being rational".
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: Extra bonus answer for Steve, en extract form a study:

      "For the present discussion, the important point is that many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals (in the usual sense of those terms) because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women.

      Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as "fixated;" 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that "in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women....There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males..." (p.180). "

      Is looking bad my friend, looks like again the scariest members of society are heterosexual men. LOL
    • Jul 8 2012: Here's a similar "logical" argument for all to puzzle through: Since about 30% of female crime victims are girls, yet only 1% of women are lesbians, lesbians are FAR more likely to be violent criminals than straight women). Please DON'T discuss it.
      • Jul 8 2012: Boba, the statistics Steve Jones presented at least made sense at face value. No need to pretend it's irrelevant.
        • Jul 9 2012: Ben, the statistics made NO sense in anyway.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Boba, something is wrong with your statement:

        30% of female crime victimes are girls. -what kind of crimes? any crime?-
        1% of women are lesbian.

        Where is the connection?
        Where does sexual orientation became a factor?
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Well, not exactly... you assume that a peadophile targeting a boy must be homosexual. Is that so? Isn´t it more likely that in statistics many peadophiles are in the "heterosexual category" regardless of their actual sexual orientation?
      • Jul 9 2012: I addressed that!
        A man who targets a boy is a homosexual -- a homosexual pedophile -- by definition!
        This attempt to neuter the targeted victim of the pedophile -- as you and Sem are doing, as well as some gay-sympathizing shrinks -- and try to say that those pedophiles are somehow actually straight, is an attempt to distract from the glaring fact that SO many gays are pedophiles.

        Don't be tricked. The "gay rights" movement is a mob with many well-rehearsed rhetorical tricks.
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: So according to you, all the datas and all conclusion that all the recent scientific studies came to, are just a conspiration. This incredibly powerful 1% of gay men - still not sure where you got this number from- are conspiring in order to....... what? Take over the world and paint it all fucsia?
  • Jul 1 2012: The entire premise of this talk is ludicrous. Of course there is a gay agenda: the gay agenda is for acceptance of homosexuality as normal by the mainstream [despite wide opposition], and for same-sex relationships to be sanctioned by government as marriage [despite them running counter to our common reproductive biology]. Both of those propositions are rightfully very contentious.

    That's probably why fully 25% of (self-described) gay men are against same-sex marriage. They understand that they are different. They (and sometimes their children) are products of heterosexual relationships. I'm astounded that such a banal point needs to be repeated.

    Finally, the attempt to claim the mantle of civil rights by this self-identifying group is insipid and insulting. How can "progressives" out there accept the equation of the so-called gay-rights movement (a self-identifying trait, for which ANYONE can sign up) with actual civil rights (addressing race, gender, disability, etc) ? If you support this movement, you're not being a "progressive". The progress on this topic happened 3500 years ago.
    • Jul 1 2012: His argument is rock solid. The "gay agenda" is quite simply to have the same rights as everyone else, which is enshrined in the constitution, nothing else. Regardless of whatever fiction you espouse as fact (widespread opposition, 25% of gay men against gay marriage, etc), it's impossible to get past basic constitutional rights and the inequities you wish to impose on certain individuals, simply because of your disagreement with some of their beliefs.
      Pretty simple, I don't have to respect your religion, your beliefs or your choice of lifestyle, I do however have to respect your right to pursue your beliefs, to pursue your life. That is all the "gay agenda" asks in return, not for you to believe, but for you to allow them to live their lives, just as others allow you to live yours.
      So I don't have to agree with a bigot, but I do have to allow them to espouse their ignorance. See the difference?
      • Jul 1 2012: You used the term "individuals"; maybe without thinking. Nowhere are we talking about individual rights.

        The gays are equal as individuals. But their relationships are not equal. Their relationships are not equal because (unlike heterosexual relationships) they are non-positive for society, contrary to our biology, anathema to the main currents of human culture, and in many respects destructive. That is why -- though they can "live their lives" as you say -- under no circumstances should we sanction their relationships as marriage.

        And stop throwing around the word 'bigot' -- that word has an actual meaning. It is you who are displaying ignorance by introducing a word like that into a discussion about a self-identifying (!) group.
        • Jul 2 2012: This one thing you said struck me: "they are non-positive for society, [...] That is why [...] under no circumstances should we sanction their relationships as marriage"

          So, from what you are saying, any quadriplegics, any retiree, any person autistic person (like Rain Man), any one on the welfare (like really addicted to welfare, lazy, fat unwilling to work) and any homeless people.... CAN'T marry?
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: "self-identifying" You keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
        • thumb
          Jul 3 2012: @Lint: So I guess the only humans who are 'positive for society' are those who reproduce? What an abominable sentiment.
      • Jul 4 2012: None of you are making valid points, so I'm not going to get into responding to hysterical misrepresentations about, and false extractions from, what I wrote.

        The most perplexing is Liz's. Is there really something debatable about gays being "self-identifying"?? If I, or anyone else, wanted to self-identify as gay, we could not be challenged on it. People regularly change their minds about their orientation. I'm not the one who is confused here.

        [Instead, I'd like to COMMEND the TED EDITORS for (refreshingly!) not deleting my posts this time. They used to automatically capitulate to the liberal mob and delete any flagged posting. I applaud them for allowing the voice of sanity to be expressed here.]
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: the voice of sanity. SELF-IDENTIFING as the Voice of Sanity, that's very sane, right.
      • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jul 2 2012: I know a lot of very intelligent heterosexual people who find marriage -traditional marriage- unnatural.
      Personally I don't think nature is always the best teacher, in fact in nature, preservation of the spece happens in the most twisted ways. Poligamy is more natural in a way, like in the arab countries, as it resamble more to the mammals model of a macho alfa inseminating all the females of the bunch.
      Then again, if we want to claim that we are human and more evolved, then we should really face the fact that uncontrolled procreation of the human race is threatening the equilibrium of the planet. -See the unsetteling one child policy in china, jut to mention a case-.
      So I don't really understand what you are talking about when you say homosexual relationships are non-positive for society.
      On your individual right comment my sense of logic suggests me that if 2 adult and consenting individuals decide to create a family entity together they should have the same rights and opportunity of any other consenting adult individual.

      In other words, your arguments to me seems just like a twisted self convincing discourse to justify the fact the you personally don't think homosexuals are people just like you. That's ok, I probably wouldn't find a lot of affinity with you either if I met you, but I still should try not to decide what you can or you cannot do. ciao!
      • Jul 4 2012: Hi Sem. I'm not taking much issue with what you wrote.
        But let me make one point about polygamy -- something almost everyone misunderstands.

        Even with polygamy, marriage is still one-man-and-one-woman. If a man marries 2 women, those women are not in the same marriage. It's not a marriage of 3 people. It's two marriages, each of which is one-man-and-one-woman; except that each one is not exclusive for the man, who gets to be in two separate marriages concurrently.

        I think most people misunderstand that point : polygamy is not a counterexample to the one-man-one-woman tradition of marriage.

        And I agree with you that polygamy is part of historic mainstream human culture. I would endorse legal polygamy much more readily than the absurd notion of same-sex marriage.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: "Hi Sem. I'm not taking much issue with what you wrote"
          So , either you do, or you don't.
          But if you do, at least say something intelligent. Or try at least to understand where I'm going. We were addressing your definition of "natural" and "non -positive".
          I wasn't preaching for poligamy at all.
          You completely missed my point ....-??-
          And yeah, I don't really take much issue in explaining it to you again so, go read it again and come up with some more coherent reply.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: Lint.... that is but one form of polygamy. Your information is limited and non-inclusive of other doctrines on the topic.
    • thumb
      Jul 3 2012: @Lint: I want you to cite a source for your statement about 25% of homosexuals being against gay marriage. I'd like to verify it independently, because as of right now I think you're pulling that statistic out of your rectum.
      • Jul 4 2012: I can't find it right now; but here is something closely related: 24-30% of gays vote Republican : http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44743.html

        I assure you that I did not make it up. (Of course, polls on that probably vary widely, because the polled have to both identify as gay on that day, and identify their positions on that day; they can choose to change their reporting of either at any time; that's what you get with an ambiguous, self-identifying, trait.)

        Let's just realize that many very reasonable people, some of them self-identified gays, believe that same-sex marriage is a very bad idea, and for valid reasons.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: Why do you hate the LGBTQ community so much? That's the only explanation I can find for you spending so much energy working to deny them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Happy 4th of July!
        • Jul 6 2012: Gay people vote Republican because the differences between the dems and reps on Gay rights is (for them) overshadowed by other political issues where the difference between the two parties is more important to them. After all, Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a Clinton-era law! Certainly not because they don't think they should have the right to get married.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: (This is a response to Lint's post below...threading is not functioning very well) Lint... we redefined marriage a long long long time ago. You can't sell your daughter into another family to extend your property boundary or to solve a dispute with the man down the road. Or for a donkey.

          Your radical far right lunacy aside... I find your comparison of my friends and family members to those practicing bestiality disgusting and unacceptable. I find you calling my friends and family "non-positive" and "destructive" - revealing. HATE is non-positive and destructive...as is spreading hate. We do not live in a theocracy...I am not bound by your definition of marriage. As for not denying LGBTQ people life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness....You're correct...You're not able to because we won't let you. Retrograde thinkers such as yourself are more and more isolated and generally not accepted in progressive groups...That probably sucks for you...but there it is. If you could....you obviously would deny LGBTQ people all sorts of things and prefer they just oh go away...but they are not going to be doing that. You are the reason dumb kids beat up and harrass kids they perceive as gay....You sanction hate and you act it out in polite terms in forums like this. You dress it up in pretty language and references to things YOU think are holy...and some crappy pseudo-scientific sounding rhetoric for good measure. It's sad.

          As for biology....crack a book, Jack - over 400 vertebrate species engage in homosexual acts - therefore it is quite natural and quite common. We are not talking about sex though - why are you guys so obsessed with other people's junk and what they do with it??? It's pretty weird to be honest.

          Happily - the tide has turned and people like you have less and less influence. Fewer and fewer people listen...all to the good.

          If at any point you realize your crusade is hopeless - feel free to crack a brew and relax. We ain't going back.
      • Jul 10 2012: We're not really as different as you think, Liz.
        We're both progressives; and we both care about civil rights.
        The difference is that I'm not tricked by the gay activists' attempt to cloak themselves in the (legitimate part of) the civil rights movement.

        If some other group of self-identifying misfits came along -- one that you felt was farcically and disingenuously attaching itself to the civil rights movement -- you'd feel the same way about them as I do about the gay activists. You'd be rightly outraged.

        Your assumption that "gay rights" is on an inevitable forward trajectory is the same confusion that places them with the civil rights movement. But we don't need to argue about that. Let's just see what happens in November: Republican sweeps of governorships, the House, and Senate are guaranteed; and we even have a shot at the White House -- largely as a reaction to our government's recent perverse social direction. The people will reject it, the way the body rejects poison. I'm not the one who's out of touch.

        Good day to you, Liz.
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: You are not my ally. Lint. Do not pretend you are.
        • thumb
          Jul 14 2012: "If some other group of self-identifying misfits" ....-?-

          TED moderators have been removing comments of mine for much less offensive definitions describing those hateful and unethical position like the one expressed in your comment.

          "Misfits"? really Lint? Is that how you feel?

          May your own god bless you, and may you receive the full consequences for it.
    • Jul 4 2012: "Of course there is a gay agenda: the gay agenda is for acceptance of homosexuality as normal by the mainstream [despite wide opposition]..."

      I see nothing wrong with your analysis above. While I think the concept of a unified gay agenda is a stretch, "acceptance" is absolutely a common goal among LGBTQ and equal rights activists. What bamboozles me is why that isn't understandable, admirable and just.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: God, I was thinking exactly the same thing about you. I mean, the mental illness thing.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: Steve....reverse all that you said and point it at yourself. I have no desire to be around a hateful ignorant person such as yourself...but I don't go around trying to deny you ....life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....except where it might interfere with the freedom of say...barn animals and underage girls.
        • Jul 5 2012: Liz, what is this "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" refrain of yours?
          No one is denying gays life, or liberty, or pursuit of happiness. We're denying them the right to redefine marriage (in this grossly unnatural direction, contrary to their own biology) -- and then use that legitimacy to: present unnatural acts as normal to our kids; twist various institutions; and generally coarsen society ... and finally, to set the stage for the next, even more deviant, self-identifying "sexual minority" to proclaim new "rights". (Zoophiles argue that animals can consent; I think even you would find that abhorrent.)

          If at any point you realize that your position is wrong, you should change it.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: @Lint Porter -"generally coarsen society?" Really? referred to the gay community? Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dalí, Garcia Lorca down to Versace, Christian LaCroix, to your favorite dancers, hairdressers, make up artist, -just to mention the cliche- "coarsen society?"
        Or is it maybe the medieval cultural crap still imposed to half the planet in places like afghanistan, where the people in power think just like you, that "coarsen society"?

        Please explain what you mean by "contrary to their own biology". Is there something that I didn't understand about my biology and you are concerned about it for me? Because I feel just fine.

        Kids don't care of who is kissing who, come to barcelona where gay public display of affection are normal, and you will see that for children is equally un-interesting when two people are kissing, regardless of the gender combination. Their mind is innocent and clean from all your prejudice. You shouldn't use children as a shelter for your intolerance, is not working and is very bad taste.

        And about the zoophilia thing. When your hamster will be capable of saying "i do" and sign the marriage paper, we will let you merry to it, don't worry, we are all for equal rights :)
    • Jul 6 2012: Let me see if I have it right. Gay relationships are:
      non-positive for society
      contrary to our biology
      anathema to the main currents of human culture
      in many respects destructive
      Those are some pretty bold statements. I'm trying to reconcile them with the reality of every gay relationship I have observed. Let's see:
      Non-positive - I don't know what this means... how does one even judge the "social positiveness" of any relationship? How is your marriage positive for society in a way that a gay marriage wouldn't be? Hint: gay people work, pay taxes, raise children and contribute to communities...
      Contrary to our biology? Not to put too fine a point on it, but straight couples do and have done everything that gay ones do in bed... and male parts fit together just fine with a little lube :)
      Anathema? Is that just an attempt to look smart by using a $0.25 word? Anathema means loathing, so gay relationships are "loathed by the main currents of culture" What does that even mean?
      Destructive? How?
      When my husband and I got married in 2009 (in Melrose, MA) 120 friends and family showed up to celebrate with us. 6 of the guests were gay. The other 114 straight folks clearly didn't think it was non-positive, anathema, destructive, whatever...
    • Jul 6 2012: Uhm, LINT, what is ludicrous about people having equal protection under the law? What is ludicrous about gay people wanting the 1,100 protections, rights, benefits, privileges, etc that straight people are entitled to by their marriage? Why is it ok for your spouse to visit you in the hospital, but it isn't automatic for the committed partner of a same-sex couple to be guaranteed those same rights without having to go through the extra hurdle and expense of filing for those visitation rights which can then be contested by even the most distant of relatives? Why is it fine for hundreds of thousands of kids that need a home to be neglected and left unloved because people like you don't want to see gay couples adopt?
      And what the hell is this "Self-identifying" nonsense? That would mean that you would have no issue of any kind being able to switch your relationship to one of that with a same sex partner. Is that true? you would be able to live with, go through the emotional highs and lows with, fall deeply in love with and have sex with someone of the same gender just because you wanted to ? Is it that easy? And what benefit do those people who just "flick a swtich" and decide to become gay get out of that? Ridicule? Scorn? the hate and smugness of people like you who think you have all the answers? Is that really worth just waking up and deciding one day that "why not, I'll become gay and live that way from now on."? That is one of the most ludicrous, uneducated, most unfounded statements I have ever heard.
      Since that is the assertion you are making, there is obviously some kind of proof you would have to back up that claim? Where are the throngs of people coming out saying that it is a choice? Where are the people who are yelling, we just think it is more fun to be gay so we are going to try it for awhile? What are all of those people chanting "Born This Way" really trying to do? Pull the wool over everyone else's eyes? But you have found them ou
      • Jul 10 2012: It's a mixed phenomenon. That's why there is so much disagreement.
        Some people are born with hermaphroditic traits -- i.e. unclear gender -- that should be recognized and respected (in India they are recognized with a third gender category).
        Others may have a hormonal abnormality.
        Others are victims of abuse (by the disproportionately many gay pedophiles).
        Food pollution may be a factor (pesticides mimic female hormones).
        Others may be otherwise straight, but got attached to a specific individual.
        Others may have just fallen into a particular social circle; or are rebelling; or thought it was cool.
        Others are just experimenting.

        That's why the nature-vs-nurture debate will never be resolved. Everyone is right.
        Anyway, not a reason to change traditional marriage laws. Responsible citizens need to toe the line, or our once good society will be unrecognizable.
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: Oh man, I didn't read this comment of yours yet. This one is really a good one. HIlarious. Food pollution make us gay? hehehehe. It reminds me of my old grandfather trying to give scientific explanation of genetic traits. -The food is just not good anymore, is turning people into gay!-, hehehe. So cute.
          And here's another really good one of yours:
          "Responsible citizens need to toe the line, or our once good society will be unrecognizable".
          "once good society"?
          Good? are you sure? have you studied the history and looked at the statistics?
          Not too long ago we were violent barbarians killing each other when not ding of some now laughable virus. Just very recently we have came out with concepts like democracy and human right. And you are worried and regretting the "once good society?"
          Show me where is this good homosexual-free society, please, I want to see it
    • Jul 6 2012: (cont) you have found them out. Good for you.
      So all of those kids who are 5 and 6 years old who are getting bullied for being gay when they aren't even old enough to understand what sex and committed relationships are have made the choice to "Self-identify" as gay so they can be bullied and beaten and spit on and scorned so that hopefully they can live long enough where they will be able to have a relationship some day with a person of the same gender?
      Do you know how ridiculous you sound?
      Find me one Shred of evidence to support what you are saying that isn't some bitter Bible beater thinking they know it all. How about asking, oh, I don't know, ANYONE from the gay community about this.
    • Jul 9 2012: I actually think you fancy yourself as an intellectual....ahem.
  • Jun 27 2012: The key words in your statement are: "I believe"

    Which is to say that while I do not condemn you for believing in bronze-age superstition, I condone you for projecting your beliefs on others.

    I do not feel that this is relevant to the discussion. If it is for you, so be it... then don't have a homosexual relationship. But why shove that belief on others?
    • thumb
      Jun 27 2012: Because if I honestly believe that something will damage someone, I should not keep it to myself.

      Imagine I believed there was a deathly side effect of a popular cancer drug; should I allow people to take it without warning them? Should I be more concerned about not shoving my beliefs on them, then saving them from liquidation of their bones? I obviously would not take the drug, but I would also speak out against it.
      • Jul 1 2012: What if instead of a drug the poison was religion. Would you be so willing to accept people slamming your belief, or better yet your right to your belief?
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: Brent, if you think my beliefs are damaging me and if you care enough, then you should warn me.

          If we are not free to choose our beliefs then we are just cogs in a biological machine playing out our organic programs. It is not a "right" as if we accomplished something or exist to deserve it. To choose what we believe is a gift.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: David...threading is a problem I am replying to your comment below.

          Start with yourself. I find your concern for others path to hell...well... dishonest.

          Step one. If you are obsessed with others.... you are ignoring your self.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: @ Liz - I am not talking about hell, or any other outcome after life. I speak of "the best thing" for people right now. I'm talking about "life abundantly" not afterlife abundantly. Abundant in every true and lasting way; not in material things nor worldly pleasures, but in God, peace, perseverance, love, community, blessings, etc.

          You are right; I am obsessed with others, because they are amazing.
          You are wrong; I have not ignored myself. I work each day to put away my broken desires and put on the life that Jesus the Saviour bought for me.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: Consider while you are sorting all this out for your young self - you are at the same time messing with other people's lives in ways that you are too young to comprehend. If you truly believe in this path - pluck the plank from your eye. There are ten thousand sins you are probably committing without thorough self examination. If you are sure you have cleared that deck then perhaps start working on other people...

        I understand you feel compelled because of your faith to "save" people from eternal damnation. I feel compelled to tell you - that may be sign of mental illness and a desire to run from one's own issues.
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: Thank you. What steps can someone take to assess if they are running from their own issues?

          [I realize this may sound like sarcasm, but I am serious. If I honestly have issues I want them addressed.]
      • thumb
        Jul 3 2012: David, what is *inherently* wrong with homosexual acts? Other than the fact that some book says they're wrong? And don't reply with something along the lines of, 'Homosexual acts don't lead to procreation.' That's a non-answer, and simply begging the question.
        • thumb
          Jul 3 2012: I believe that homosexual acts cause spiritual confusion of one of the most persistent and profound truths of God in His relationship to humanity. This means people that persist to act in those (and other) ways miss out on something that enriches life, esteems what is good, restores people, creates peace, breathes joy, and is by far the best thing ever.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: Why in the world would I want to marry say... a man who loves men - but by your ignorant counsel has decided he needs a woman to be closer to "God"... We are not interchangable parts and you are incredibly presumptive....

          Again....sort out your own issues.... those that drive you so intently to focus on others must be deep and mighty indeed...and I don't believe it is love or compassion.
        • thumb
          Jul 6 2012: @Liz - He does not need a woman, the truth I mentioned could be accessed directly if the person remains single for God; however the act of joining two of the same causes the confusion and prevention of entering into the most amazing thing ever.

          You are free to believe what you want; however, I believe you encourage things that ultimately hurt and confuse people away from the Truth.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: And I believe your professed beliefs get people beat up, killed, kicked out of their parents homes, raped because they have been kicked out of their parents homes, treated like less than by their peers and genrally shat on by people who presume an unearned superiority.

          What's worse is the facts are on my side. LGBTQ people do not run around hurting Christians but the reverse is true.

          I believe you are part of a harmful cult with a body count.
        • Jul 8 2012: Liz, if Christianity is a harmful cult, so is the LGBTQ community. Both are composed of many individuals. Among those individuals are those who self-identify for bad reasons: "Christianity makes me better than those heathens," or "Acting gay makes me edgy and hip."
          Those who rape.
          Those who hurt.
          Those who are smug.

          Westboro Baptist Church is an extreme example of people who use a religion as an excuse for hate - in fact, they don't embody any principles of the faith. The main crime from the LGBTQ community is generally disrespect, mocking people who are more conservative. Both sides are imperfect but with generally good intentions.
  • thumb
    Jun 27 2012: The Church needs to live out Jesus’ actions of loving the person regardless of their actions.

    The Not-church needs to realize that the Church is also going to encourage Jesus’ command, “Die to your natural desires.”

    The Church (as it is, not as some pretend it is) believes acting on certain desires are damaging to the person, and/or destructive to their relationship with God. Part of the love they are commanded to give is encouraging what is good and discouraging what is bad; the Church believes that homosexual acts are bad and therefore discourages them.

    Certain things should be changed to give people protection and respect, other things should not be changed so to discourage certain behavoiurs. The law should reflect what the majority of citizens believe to be good behavoiurs worthy of pursuit, or against bad ones worthy of prevention.

    The Church’s view: 1 Corinthians 6
    • thumb
      Jun 28 2012: David, OK but the truth is that some sins are thought to be far more heinous in the church than others when that is clearly not what is in the text. You might sit next to a vicious adulterer but you might not be quite so comfy sitting next to a gay guy in the pews - at least that is the way it usually is. Why is the church not having a fit about the rate of adultery and divorce and yet they are having a fit about homosexuality. If God is no respecter of persons, can you say that is true of the church?
      Before you hand me a line about being saved and not perfect, I have to ask you why this stuff does not gall you more than it does? It sure galls me.
      • thumb
        Jun 29 2012: You are absolutely right.

        People do highlight homosexual acts as something worse than other sins, and that is wrong. For this it is simply that this talk and discussion feed is surround the one issue.
        • thumb
          Jul 2 2012: the church claim to be based on the bible, being the bible the word of god. Well, if you really read the bible and its moral rules/laws. you'll find you can be stoned to death for being an homosexual. Also you should be stoned to death for working on a saturday or for eating shrimps. You can also kill your neighbour if he doesn't recognize that your god is the only true god.
          So that's the bible for you my friend. Now love it and live it
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ Sem Rossi - Yes, that is the Old Testament, and yes much of it is physically brutal and absolute. However, there is an obvious addition to the Old T and its focus is more about the spiritual impact and truth of our beliefs and thoughts.

        E.g. In the Old T they are told to not murder, and then in the New Testament Jesus says that it is wrong to even think about murdering someone, because is was actually always a matter of the heart.

        The Bible shows a Process of God revealing himself to human beings, and shows the choices they made in response to God.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: David, I am aware of the hippie turn the bible had with the coming of Jesus. I think in the given circumstances of the barbaric world of that time, he really did the trick, he and his message definitely were a step forward in the evolution of colture ond society -at that time-.
          But if we want to really use the bible as the book to delegate our decisions and thinking to... here we go:
          2 Timothy 3:16
          All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
          "all the scripture" not just the new testament.
          Plus you will find in the new testament a lot of places where those apostoles and disciples of Jesus who wrote it came up again with "physically brutal and absolute" laws and judgments. Because after all they where culturally jewish and they belonged to their times. -I've red the bible from the beginning to the end infinite times during my upbringing- I'm lazy now to go find those absurd hateful bits of the new testament, but I'm pretty sure you can google them-.

          Don't get me wrong, I respect the loving message of Jesus, -is a pity it has never been applied by any religion-, but it is still obvious to me that the bible is just a collection of writings of more ore less educated, intelligent, well intentioned, limited PEOPLE.
          Consider that till recently only very few of the mankind could read or write, imagine what kind of power and megalomania this would give to those priests.

          I really advice to all the people who believes in the bible to actually READ IT. From the beginning to the end. Not free-interpreting, and not discarding anything. Then we'll talk.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: OT and NT -- the acts of reconciling them would shame the Cirque du Soliel for the moral acrobatics....

          I cannot take you or it seriously.
      • thumb
        Jul 7 2012: Reply to Sem Rossi - “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.” Hebrews 10:1
        The law displayed the truth, but it was not the actually object worth looking at. It was a step in understanding something else. [The Law was given in the OT, and this explanation in the NT.]

        “The Pharisees said to [Jesus], ‘Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’ He answered, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?’”– Mark 2:24-25
        The Pharisees were right according to the letter of the law, but then Jesus reveals the heart of the law: The Sabbath was to benefit people not be a burden to them (Mark 2:27).

        “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment [Exodus 20:13]’. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” – Matthew 5:21-22
        Here Jesus expands on the OT and stabs the issue the law was addressing at its root cause.

        “Don't suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures— either God's Law or the Prophets. I'm not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama.” – Jesus. (Matthew 5:17-18)

        The OT was the beginning, and the NT was the next step. Yet we see that homosexual acts are still addressed as wrong along with many other actions. So while stoning people for sins is replaced by public rebukes, (Matthew 18:15-17) to ‘complete the law’, other laws remain more like the OT versions, [like ‘do not have sexual relations with the same sex.’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)], to complete the law.
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: So basically
          "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"
          Except when there is a good reason to dismiss it. But you have to self proclaim the son of god -which by bible definition we all are- to do so.

          Your reasoning IS in fact acrobatic my friend.

          You wanna play bible cherry picking then?

          here we go. Matthew 5:17-18, which you mentioned in a very hippy fusion "vast panorama" , here's the official and literal translation of the last part of the verse:
          17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
          ... it sounds quite different no? -"not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law "

          another one from your friend Matthew, 23:1-3
          23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

          underline: you must be careful to do everything they tell you.

          again, Jesus accusing the pharises to not follow the OT literally, since the weren't applying literally the death penalty to children who would course their parents:
          Matthew 15:3-6
          3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

          Jesus cherry picking the legitimacy of the OT?
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: @ Sem Rossi - "You wanna play bible cherry picking then?" No. I want you and others to understand context, meaning, and the heart of the Christian Scriptures.

        Yes, the Law remains. Which raises the questions: What is it?, Why was it given?, and How does it remain? - A collection of rules to live by. So that they may live with God and too prosper. It contains eternal, remaining truths.

        The last verse you mentioned is about how the Pharisees ignore God's word "for the sake of [THEIR] traditions. In other places we see Jesus superseding (ignoring) parts of the law "for the sake of God". The point here is that they were being self serving with everything, even the law, and it is their selfishness that is wrong.

        "Jesus cherry picking the legitimacy of the OT?" - I am uncertain what you are asking. Jesus does supersede certain laws, (Sabbath law example) with other ones, (take care of the poor) because He understands the heart of the law, and follows the Father's leading.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: I don't find this last answer of yours fulfilling your position validity.
          I do entirely understand the context. Do you?
          Modern Christians clinging to a 2000 years old text self proclaimed to be the "literal transcription" of a dead profet speech, just to accreditate their discriminating position does look a lot like those Pharisees attachment to tradition (traditional marriage, traditional sexual orientation) more than to the overwhelming basic principle of love.
          And I am speaking from a non religious perspective. If mine was a religious perspective I could probably compare you to those Pharisees,
          "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? mat 7:2
          What is it your plank? Your judgment. The way you appoint yourself the right to act upon other people's lives applying your perception of right and wrong.
          You may object that is not your own perception, but god's one. But even if what your claim was true. Did god ask you to be his judge? did your god tell you to speak against the sinners? Has he given you the licence to be the interpreter of his will? Are you a profet?
          “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you". mat 7:1-2
      • thumb
        Jul 13 2012: @ Sem Rossi - To discern right from wrong and to voice my beliefs about it is not judgement. To give punishment with the discernment is judgement; in the sense of this text.

        God has given me the "license" to interpret his will, AND He was given every person the call to seek and understand His will.

        My planks are "lack of will", "destruction over mercy", and "selfishness". I work to remove them each time I notice them in my life.
        • thumb
          Jul 13 2012: Well, the text says "Why do you look ", not "why do you punish" , and you have to take responsibility for the possible outcome of your actions.

          Voice your position against a person, even just as part of a category or type of behavior, will strengthen and condone the discrimination and the hostility toward this person.

          First try with your christian benevolent heart, to understand what is more damaging. The supposed harm an homosexual is doing to himself with his sin, or the material, real and consistent harm and persecution that he has tu suffer as a human being from people using your arguments to legitimate their hate?

          You have to take responsibility for the indirect result of actions you take upon your judgment, if you are such considerate and loving person.
          I'm sure there are a lot of "christian good deeds" that you can do that are more urgent and needed, and don't have those dangerous side effects.
          Insisting on this topic is obsessive of you, and your good intentions are irresponsible where not dubious.

          Words are like stones. And you should be reminded the episode of maria magdalena.
      • thumb
        Jul 14 2012: @ Sem Rossi - You switched text sections, the 'deliver no punishment' was for the 'judge not' text.

        I have never voiced against a person. My main point has been the separation of person and action: "Love the person; and as a part of that love, encourage good and discourage bad." I do not condone illegitimate means of discouragement; it must be from the initial love.

        "Insisting on this topic" - this is a discussion about "...this topic".
        • thumb
          Jul 15 2012: Funny, this same argument was used during the inquisition. They would burn the witches and torture the "sinners" so the Evil would abandon them. The fire would purify their soul. Cause "the hate the sin, not the sinner".

          You ARE voicing against the person, when you condemn this person very nature.
          Is like saying "i don't hate you because you have freckles, I just hate the freckles". This is plain nonsense and a very hypocrite way of being judgmental.

          Your pettiness about switching words around also doesn't make any sense. The concept Jesus express is crystal clear, by any angle. "Do not LOOK at your brother speck of dust".

          I really feel you are looking for an excuse to feel superior and judgmental. I don't trust your good intentions at all.

          And yes. you ARE insisting on this topic in a quite obsessive way.:
          You have already made your opinion clear. You believe in the bible and the bible tells you homosexuality is wrong. We do understand it, we got the message. Thank you.

          I don't see you making any valid contribution on the topic except from trying to justify over and over your obsession with it.
          You are not offering any constructive strategy to resolve the conflict between judeo-cristian homophobic tradition and LGTB rights. You are just repeating what is a known and reiterating topic: The bible against the gays.
          All you wanted to say is that you as a christian you are against homosexual acts? Well, that's nothing new. We got it. Thanks for the reminder.
          Now, how are you going to improve the current situation?
      • thumb
        Jul 16 2012: @ Sem Rossi - No, it is not the same. The Inquisition was so far off from how Jesus instructed others to spread the news of salvation. I am not forcing anyone to believe; I am presenting it and standing for it.

        No, but it is like saying, “I love you, but I hate obesity.” I hate the negative effects it has on the person, and that it restricts people from a better life. I still love my over-weight friends, but I will not encourage any behaviour that adds to the hurt. It is ‘who they are’, but it does not need to dictate their actions. I believe everyone’s “very nature” is already condemned, and needs saving. We are all born lost, and need to be found; and the good news is that Jesus is seeking us out, and we just respond to His call.

        This is not a matter of looking at my brother’s speck, this discussion is about what should be allowed/ encouraged.

        I don’t expect you to love me or trust me, but I would prefer it you did.

        Replying to your replies is not obsessing. (Especially when you ask questions.)

        I did present a “strategy to resolve the conflict”. [See the first comment I made. It starts with: ‘The Church needs to live out…’]
        • thumb
          Jul 16 2012: Ok, your arguments have always so many flaws that I never know where to start.

          -your first comment is contradicting itself, since in the last part you say
          "Certain things should be changed to give people protection and respect, other things should not be changed so to discourage certain behaviors."

          -The church shouldn't in any case interfere in the critical analysis by which we create and apply the legislation on human rights. As we are not all christian nor we want to be, and the church doesn't have the credit history to have any weight on the issue of human rights-.
          If you don't think so, then we shouldn't be debating LGTB rights, we should be debating the legitimacy of the influence of religion in the law, in general.
          Gay people need to have exactly the same rights as straight people. No more. No less.
          If you think marriage is a predominantly religious concept or ritual, than it shouldn't have any legal implication or validity for straight people either. Otherwise, it should be accessible to non-religious and non-straight people too.

          Obesity is a clinically proven pathological condition. You can easily enumerate the physical dangers and damage that obesity provoke. You cannot do any of that with homosexuality. Since the alleged damage is only "spiritual" and only by a religious, not medical or scientific point of view. That, and the following statement of how we are all condemned, more than a answer to my objections sounds like a religious' delirium.

          Last one: " I am not forcing anyone to believe; I am presenting it and standing for it."
          When you aim to influence a legal decision on somebody else's life , you ARE FORCING your religious beliefs on others. That is a fact.

          I'm not really asking you questions, I'm just pointing out the obvious flaws of your arguments.
      • thumb
        Jul 16 2012: @ Sem Rossi - Do you believe that science can determine the difference between right and wrong? By what standard can we determine if science is correct?
        • thumb
          Jul 17 2012: Funny how you became all philosophical and abstract when confronted with the lack of consistance of your arguments.

          Science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world."

          Contrary to religion, a scientific belief IS wrong, when proved wrong. That makes science automatically more accountable than religion.

          About morally right or wrong? We can only rely on our empathy: the human capacity for compassion. A concept also remarked by jesus, according to our old friend Matthew.
          "do to others what you would have them do to you". Just one of this rare and blissful moment of common sense that we can find in the bible.
          In science they are called mirror neurons. Is this function -we share with some other species- to project on ourselves other people's experiences and feeling. As social animal, a well functioning and emotionally balanced individual, have encoded the instinct and capacity for empathy.

          That capacity, as in matthew words sums up all the principles of moral. "do to others what you would have them do to you".

          Maybe you would want to be warned against a danger. You may say.
          But you wouldn't want to be denied your rights- in order to protect you from some imaginary danger, based on a literal interpretation a couple of sentences taken from a 2000 years old book full of contradictions. As you wouldn't want some cult believers to dictate who you should mate to and on what terms.

          So who will determine right and wrong?
          You? Your religion? Your government? The majority? The most powerful lobby? The most intelligent elites?
          We can open a new thread on this, add to the innumerable literature about it from hieroglyphics to Nietzsche and so on. But that's a different topic.

          “Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”
          Matthew 7:30
    • Jun 29 2012: @David Van Drunen: "The Church" is an institution created by mortals such as you and me. The Church (catholic?) has been committing heinous deeds for couple of millennia. Even now, the church preaches against homosexuality but turns a blind eye to its members raping young boys.

      Quite apart from this, the church has reversed its views on so many things: geocentric universe, evolution, slavery, etc.

      What grounds do you have to bring the views of the church into this discussion?
      • thumb
        Jun 30 2012: On the grounds that you, LZ, Debra, and everyone else matter. And on the grounds that I have not seen anyone here mentioned a suitable other ground on which to stand to determine the situation.

        "The Church" is the unification of all believers of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. You are right, there are human institutions that bear the same name, and contain many of the same people. However, there is One and there are the others.

        You are right; the institutions have changed their views on many different things. Even God changed what the focus was during the process of revealing himself to human beings.
        • Jun 30 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          I don't get it. Debra, LZ, you and I matter, so the church's views on things matter? I don't see a connection!

          "I have not seen anyone here mentioned a suitable other ground on which to stand to determine the situation."
          LZ brought up the constitution. So many people brought up the word "rights". Are you saying that a person's right to his own life is an insufficient basis to determine the morality of a situation?

          I see that when you say "the church", you really mean "christians", and possibly "muslims". The church is just an institution: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/church

          Anyway, the basis of your comments seems to be one or both of these:
          1. An institution that has a very bloody history, and currently has a pretty despicable standing.
          2. The views of all the people who believe that JC was reborn.

          Why should the views of either of these be pertinent to the discussion?
      • thumb
        Jul 1 2012: @ John Frum - You matter enough for me to spend the time to discourage what I believe is harmful. The views of #2 are pertinent because they are involved in this situation.

        My first comment here was to address two major issues at play in the issue of homosexuals being fired or evicted for being homosexual: #1. People who believe biblical ideas need to love people regardless of who they are. #2. People who do not believe need to realize that part of that love is to discourage behaviour that is believed to be negative, but in the right way.

        Can you say where a “person's right to his own life” comes from? Or where it extends too in relation to another life?

        “Are you saying that a person's right to his own life is an insufficient basis to determine the morality of a situation?” – Yes; good or bad is not dependent on anyone’s desires.

        If you can be taxed on the money you made using the time from your life, what right do you really have to your own life?
        • Jul 1 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          how are Christians involved in a situation between two men who want to have sex with each other? The only way I see is if Christian men want to have sex with other men. If so, it is up to those men to resolve it. I have no say in it.

          A person's right to his own life comes from the recognition that just as I have certain ideas on how to lead my life, others might have their ideas too. Just as I wish to be left alone to pursue them, the others too might wish the same for themselves. And just as I get to keep what I find/make without harming others, the others too might wish the same.

          By no means am I saying that this is the only way to be. For a long time women and people of certain other races were considered inferior human beings. What I AM saying is that a society that recognizes the rights of individuals is the one I want to live in. I don't care for societies that don't recognize my "rights", as I outlined above.

          There are many of us who don't like the idea of mandatory taxation, and see it as a violation of our rights to our own property. Does this mean I have no right to my life? No. Just because I get assaulted or raped does not mean I lose the right to my life. Even if it is done under the cover of the law. Correction: depends. If the state recognizes fundamental human rights, it is a violation of those rights, even if other laws made by the same state permit it. So, it is a violation of individual rights if the US does it. It is not a violation of rights if North Korea does it -- because NK does not recognize any such rights.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ John Frum - In North America, who in the limelight stands against homosexual acts? And on what do they stand?

        As a member of a country you either contribute to it or only take from it, and if you only take from it you infringe on the very right you are citing by being a negative impact to the overall system of the country that envelopes other members other than yourself.

        You are correct, if you had full right to your life you should not be able to be taxed. However, as members of a society/ country we are not privy to that right.
        • Jul 2 2012: @David Van Drunen. I do not understand what you mean by your first two questions. I am not in the Americas. I'm in Europe. I don't really know about the limelight in Canada or the US.

          I don't know what you are talking about in the second paragraph either. I have great regard for individual rights. The society has no rights. The society is not an entity -- when "the society" gets special rights, it's usually some individuals that are granted some benefit by interfering with the lives of other individuals. This happens every time. When the lawmakers get away by chipping away at some rights, the newer ones chip at rights some more. You saw this happening with the PATRIOT act. Now, the feds are snooping into our lives online too. The psychology behind it is already well understood. Dr. Philip Zimbardo gave a talk about that on TED too. All in the name of "the greater good".
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: @ John: I thought you mentioned something about being American, plus your profile says United States, NY, hence the confusion. Anyways, I should have just given answers, not questions: In the majority of Canadian and American media the people standing against homosexual acts are professing Christians who stand on trusting the bible. My hope was to address the two groups, Christians and people who do not understanding Christians.

        I'm not talking about "the greater good", but rather the idea that the educational systems, infrastructure, judicial systems, product markets, and emergency response systems existed before you. So, if you use them, you own it back to the society/ country/ community that made and sustains them. [In most cases that are through taxation.] And anything you do to pay back the debt will most likely use a system and thereby incur more debt. [Even the monetary system existed before you.]
        • Jul 3 2012: I don't like my location or identity known, for various reasons.

          I don't see what you're getting at in the second paragraph. I'm not out to destroy any of it unless they interfere with my life. (I wish half the institutions you mentioned would just go away!) Whatever I owed the states, my family and I have more than paid my dues. But why did you bring it up now? How does this have anything to do with homosexuality or individual rights?
      • thumb
        Jul 3 2012: @ John - You brought up the idea of your personal view of "having the right" to do as you see fit. You were using it as a way to defend a person's choice of their private actions. I am looking for an answer on what basis people justify their notion that we should let people do as they want.

        I see people changing the law with no idea of what to replace it with that would not also include things that we currently believe are bad. There needs to be a solid idea to stand on to safeguard us from accepting things that may later be discovered to be harmful.

        People have only delivered standards that also allow everything, with a total disregard for country; or also allow polygamy with a disregard for the commonly associated issues; or also allow [respectfully withheld as not to insult anyone here].
        • Jul 3 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          "on what basis people justify their notion that we should let people do as they want"
          Who gets to decide what people should be "allowed" to do? Let's say I now reveal myself and I turn out to be a distinguished professor of ethics, who is also a social worker in his spare time, helping the disadvantaged and the oppressed. Should I take up the job of the supreme allower/disallower of the country?

          2nd. paragraph: religious views have shown themselves to be harmful, delusional and counterproductive (refer China's stance). Should we now disallow all religions on exactly this basis?

          When did I argue for allowing everything? I have always spoken against violent coercion. That Is Not To Be Allowed. (This follows logically if one recognizes individual rights. No "authority" needed for this.) 1. What gives you the right to disallow polygamy? 2. How will you go about disallowing it? 3. There is nothing respectful about what you are stating, despite the fact that you're not being explicit. It has been tried before. Read up about the life and death of Alan Turing, if you want a famous example.
      • thumb
        Jul 4 2012: @ John Frum - “Who gets to decide what people should be ‘allowed’ to do?” Since I live in a representative democracy the politicians the people elect have the duty to decide. The politicians then decided based on what the country stands for, and what the people say they desire.

        I looked into China’s stance: “China's constitution explicitly allows ‘freedom of religious belief’” & “31.4 percent of Chinese adults are religious”*
        *http://www.cfr.org/china/religion-china/p16272 accessed July 4, 2012

        I’m sorry for the confusion; “everything” in context of things between consenting adults.

        As a member of my country I have the “right” to vote for politicians who create laws that may “disallow” things, (including polygamy).

        You may have noticed Liz was offended at a previous comment so I withheld other examples. My messages to you are directed for you but are written for everyone here to read, since it is a public forum.

        I’m unsure what you are referring to with, “It has been tried before.” What has been tried before, and how am I trying it now? Unless you think I am trying to chemically castrate people, which I am not.
        • Jul 4 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          Is anything OK as long as it is democratically voted on?

          In whatever way a government chooses to disallow something, it is done by some kind of force or threat of force - jail, fines, or castration in this case - each hurting and/or humiliating the "offender" in its own way. Which method did you have in mind?
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: @ John Frum - No, popular vote does not guarantee "correctness". That is what I believe we all need a suitable basis and standard to guide, protect and safeguard our laws, communities, and lives.
        • Jul 9 2012: @David Van Drunen:
          Now we get back to LZ's mention of the constitution, and the other commenters' mention of "rights". I'm afraid there's very little else that all of us could agree about irrespective of our religions. The modern idea of "separation of church and state", was a result of each Christian sect in the US being afraid of impositions of other Christian sects. (This was pointed out to me by an American student of history.)

          As an aside, incest (between adults) is not considered to be a crime in most western countries, and even some eastern ones.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOPyZ0CMxiI&feature=player_embedded

    A brand new TEDx talk that might add some light (for the impatient among you- please be patient- this man seems to have cerebal palsey.)
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: Maybe some clinical psychology methods might work on people not apt to accept LGBT Americans as equals. I propose all who oppose equal rights go talk to LGBT Americans at least once a day or at least walk in areas predominantly a LGBT community, this method is called exposure....which is the basic concept of learning something new. Try it out, you might be surprised that humans with different orientation are still people and not an entity from depths of hell.

    Just a suggestion.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: And it is an excellent one.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: I wonder how long this will string along before any real progress is made with this topic as a world? =/
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Human rights legislation made ALL the difference in Canada so I think just until that happens.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I wonder if the opposition gets that....maybe they should live in Canada for a year. ;)
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: I thought you liked us! The moon maybe where the air is thinner or AntArctic so the scenery might not distract them and the weather reflected people's approval rating for them.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I do like this! I make my winky face, because that would be what my suggestion above refers to. Trust me, I would like to be in Canada as well, so no intention of sarcasm or misleading.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: You'd be welcome! Bienvenue au Canada!
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: Merci!
  • Jul 10 2012: "3 hours ago: uh-huh. As I said earlier, the gay activists rely on a set of tired and well-practiced rhetorical tricks. It's only through the repetition of, and farcical feigned belief in, those rhetorical idiocies that they can mock-believe the things they do.
    We are all straight.
    The only exception is the ~ 1% of children who are born with hermaphroditic traits. That is the only legitimate part of the movement. The others are, as you've repeated, self-identifying misfits; with no legitimate civil rights movement.

    If you think you're going to shut me up with senseless mockery, you're wrong. You can play that game with your dumb liberal buddies."

    You are a perfect candidate for the "Homophobic Register"! Families, schools and businesses in your local area need to be warned of your presence. Proponents of hate crimes such as yourself, need to be taged and monitored to protect the general public!

    I feel sorry for you Lint. I'm sorry that you might have been abused as a child or that someone close to you was abused by a sexual preditor. Unfortunately, these kinds of vicious "wolves" exist out there and should be punished and or exterminated. But there's hope Lint, I can get you in contact with some friends of mine who can council you back from the edge of hate and self-destruction.

    "We are all straight"
    "WE"? We??? Yea, you and rest of the bipolar schizophrenic buddies that live in your inculcated island
    universe! You truly are mentally ill pal! It is indicative of shadow casting mentally dysphoric individuals such as yourself to habitually commit "Pejorative Association Fallacies" where you continuously demonize the "other" - meaning any anyone or anything that doesnt fit snugly into your little mental template!

    Where is your respect, where is your tolerance, where is your rationality? That's right, you left it in your playpen this morning with your other toys! GROW UP!
    • Jul 10 2012: I've never agreed before with those that say that the gay radicals are Nazi-like. But what you've described above is very Nazi-like.

      The phobes are the majority out there who quietly resent you; not ones like me who stand up and point you out. Real progressives must reject the farcical "gay rights" movement.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Hehe, that makes a lot of sense coming from you Lint.

        I think you have a very distorted perception of "the majority out there". Out there is a much bigger place than you can imagine and the majority's feelings towards any subject change radically from colture to colture.
        I was born in a latin-mediterranean colture where homosexuality is not considered a big deal. There weren't laws to protect homosexuals because the gay community hardly felt the need for it, as they could live their lives openly with almost no discrimination from their community - it wasn't perfect, but far from being seriously problematic-. You would find people who would discriminate you but you wold have the support of the community at large.
        Then travelling the world I sadly find out that there are places where it is actually as you describe it. Where the majority of people are homophobes and culturally hostile to homosexuals. It was hard to accept that in the modern days we still need laws and activist groups to guarantee basic rights and protection against the discrimination from the "majority", just as it happened with so many minorities throughout the history...

        The "Majority" you are referring to today, is comparable to this majority that fought a 4 year civil war against the abolition of slavery in america.

        I'm sure you surround yourself of like minded people that will share your views on homosexuality, but that, even statistically speaking, is not making you the relevant majority, is just making you part of the decreasing fraction of society that still cling to their homophobic cultural values.

        You are annoying with your comment and I came to the realization that you nurture yourself of the disgusted reaction of the intelligent and emancipated people in this forum. There could be so many ways to silence you and to make you look cu cu, and laughable. But I thing the "majority" of people in this forum, have decided to ignore you. Kind people don't shoot at the ambulance.
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: Guys!
    I got it! I finally got it, it hit me and is so clear now.
    I'm talking about Lint Porter and the "Self-Identifying" agenda.
    Think about it. If Lint Porter strongly believe sexual orientation is a matter of self-identification, he must be, clearly, so confident about this theory because he is supported by his own personal experience.
    This means: he actually had the choice to self-identify as either gay or straight, and he decided to self-identify as straight.
    Conclusion: Lint Porter is Bi-Sexual
    Welcome to the LGTBQ community Lint.
    • Jul 10 2012: uh-huh. As I said earlier, the gay activists rely on a set of tired and well-practiced rhetorical tricks. It's only through the repetition of, and farcical feigned belief in, those rhetorical idiocies that they can mock-believe the things they do.

      We are all straight.
      The only exception is the ~ 1% of children who are born with hermaphroditic traits. That is the only legitimate part of the movement. The others are, as you've repeated, self-identifying misfits; with no legitimate civil rights movement.

      If you think you're going to shut me up with senseless mockery, you're wrong. You can play that game with your dumb liberal buddies.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: You are not straight. Your thinking is not straight, your reasoning is not straight, your feelings are not straight. And I honesty doubt your sexual orientation is straight.

        You rely on a set of tired and well-practiced rhetorical tricks. It's only through the repetition of, and farcical feigned belief in, those rhetorical idiocies that you can mock-believe those neo-nazi doctrines you are looping on.

        What is it that is tormenting you? Do you have fantasies that you are afraid of? Where does your irrational fear come from? Have you ever talked to a professional about it?
      • Jul 11 2012: What rhetorical tricks are those, Lint? Data? Facts? Discrimination is documented, and institutionalized as law in most states in the union. As a self-proclaimed "progressive" what is your justification for allowing landlords to evict LGBT tenants based on orientation? What is your justification for allowing employers to fire LGBT employees based on orientation? What justification could you possibly have for allowing discrimination of LGBT citizens - including their right to marry? None.

        There are no rational reasons to oppose equality and equal treatment. That leaves your position un-defendable - unless of course, you believe homosexuality to be wrong or harmful, a premise also unsupported by reality.
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: Reality and Lint have a very tenuous relationship....not your best move Counselor.
        • Jul 12 2012: ok, Grumpy, I'll answer you:

          Landlords should be able to evict anyone they want for whatever reasons they want, as it is their property. They should get to enforce their standards, whatever they be (otherwise, it's not really their property). If this means that I, as a minority, gets evicted, that's unfortunate for me; but it's the landlord's right.
          An employer should be able to fire an employee for any reason or no reason; this is codified (with some well-known exceptions) in at-will work states like mine. This is the way it should be.

          Democrats love binary divisions like gender, race, "sexual orientation", etc, and concocting special protections for each one, as a way of dividing us and gaining power. What about he more common reasons for which people are discriminated against? What about being SHORT? What about being LESS ATTRACTIVE? What about being WEAK? You'll never see a special protection for those, because they are not *binary* -- the Democrats can't cleanly divide us by, say, height -- so they don't have a special non-discrimination statement on those. You see, it's not about protecting us from discrimination -- it's about dividing us (men from women; by race; etc) and them gaining power and legal fees from our division and conflict. If you think differently, you've been tricked by the Democrat politicians, who are essentially all lawyers by the way, and benefit from any sanctioned protection that can result in a crisply-defined legal claim. (And the attempt at a special LGBT protection is especially nefarious, because ANYONE, any shameless rich white guy, can apply for it!)

          Don't you think protecting SHORT PEOPLE (who face extreme lifelong discrimination in all aspects of life) is a bit more urgent than some ill-defined, self-identified trait like LGBT?? Why don't you answer that, clearly and rationally, in your response.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: Lint, again you are talking nonsense.
          Short and unattractive people? Short people can marry, adopt children if they want to.
          Nobody will evict them from their home when they find out they are short!
          Nobody freak out when they see two short people kissing in the street. They don't risk to be beaten up for that.
          They will not loose their job for being unattractive, because they were unattractive from the moment of the job interview.
          Maybe it will be harder for them to get a job as a bar attender in a trendy disco, but no company will ever fire a skilled employee only because of their physical appearance.
          And more important, all the civil society is aware and speak against this kind of discrimination, discrimination based on physical appearance exist but nobody condone it of defend it with religious or political argument like you are doing for the sexual orientation. In fact discrimination based on genetic traits has been condemned vocally from the whole world as part of the nazi "artificial selection" scheme after WW2.
          Plus, do you think there are no short unattractive people in the gay community? Do you really think the gay community is just those gogo boys dancing in their underwear in the gay parties and parades? Wrong.
          There is the same amount of short and unattractive people in the LGBT community as in the rest of the population, in fact they are discriminated for being short AS WELL as for being gay.
          There are parabolas and fairy tails addressing discrimination against unattractive people, from the beginning of literature. Nobody would be ever supporting or defending discrimination on the basis of physical appearance and there are in fact activist movement battling against those agents, like fashion photography etc, that effect the self perseption of young girls in a damaging way (anorexya etc). Some bully broke your nose as a kid. But now as an adult you can get married, have all your right respected, no?
          Will that happen to bullied gay teenagers?
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: Lint, let me explain to you the gay wealth.
          Gay people born in every type of family, of every type of socio-economic background. So the starting point of the income level potential is exactly the same as anyone else.
          Now we can split the outcome into 3 main factors.
          1) LGBT people from very poor backgrounds tend more to stay in the closet, as their coming out as LGBT would be much more traumatic and in many cases literally dangerous. A poor gay kid is much more likely to be exposed to bullying and bashing, beginning in his own family and fiends.
          2)The job market and the business world in general will favour people who don't have burden of family duties. Gay people access easily to professions that for straight people would represent enormous sacrifice. Like travelling constantly, not having a routine, not having regular holidays and weekends off. The majority of gay people won't mind to work late hours or on weekends, move to a different city or country, not coming back home for weeks travelling for work, because they don't have kids who demand them, get sick, needing to be collected from school or partner to emotionally blackmail them if they accept this promotion that will take them to another city, or extra work.
          So do you really want to stop with the privileges of gay people? Let them get married and raise children! that'll do the trick.
          Which take us directly to point
          3) Not having a family to support and a big house rent or mortgage to pay is what is making the gay community purchasing power duplicate.
          Even with the same income, a gay person can spend in leisure, travel, clothes, or any high standard lifestyle all that straight people spend on their family. That is why it seems to you they are more wealthy. Again. You want to stop gay people wearing expensive clothes and enjoying themselves in nice restaurant? Let them get married and have children. They will be saving up for their kids education all their budget of Armani shirts, you will see.
      • Jul 12 2012: Short people... blue eyes... sure. They are subject to equal protection under the law, and should be. But your slippery slope is not your argument. You are arguing that LGBT are "self-identifying", and that somehow invalidates their legal protections.

        Your premise is flawed. Those seeking equal treatment under the law are not looking for "separation to gain power". They are looking to stop persecution and unfair treatment. This is a legitimate and expected response to social persecution, marginalization , and outright hostility.

        Are you suggesting that LGBT are not persecuted, treated unfairly, and marginalized?
        • Jul 12 2012: What are you saying? Short people have no protection under the law, nor in company non-discrimination statements. Neither do less-attractive people, weak/frail people, etc.

          And you're misstating my premise. My premise is that, although things like shortness are much more prevalent and extreme sources of prejudice, the Democrat lawyers choose only *binary* divisions (like race, gender, etc) for special protections, because they make for well-defined divisions (and lawsuits). They also try to concoct new ones (like sexual orientation).
          And they even try to take continuums (like wealth) and make them binary through an arbitrary threshold (the mythical "1%"). An analogy for this one would be if they chose an arbitrary height threshold, like 6 feet, and decided that the over-6-feet were victimizing the under-6-feet.

          It takes time to wrap your head around the scope of the scam that the Democrat lawyers are perpetrating. Once you appreciate it, you might be as outraged as I am that they're taking a self-identifying trait like sexual orientation and trying to make it a new sanctioned victim class, where the only price of admission is shamelessness.

          ... And to answer your question: no, I don't think that gays are persecuted, treated more unfairly than the rest of us, nor marginalized, in the US. Gays are the wealthiest demographic in the US. They are not readily identifiable as gay unless they *choose* to be. You know who IS treated unfairly and marginalized? Short people. Unattractive people. They have zero protections, and no liberal cheering squad.
      • Jul 12 2012: And that's the heart of your argument - you believe LGBT are not persecuted or treated unfairly. This is contrary to the data (hate crimes and discrimination cases are on the rise, not fall), and frankly, reality.

        All of your examples (short, unattractive, etc) are irrelevant. I'm happy to discuss persecution of those groups as well, but that's not what this discussion is about.

        You are a denier. Just like those who claim women or minorities "don't have a discrimination problem anymore..." - and just as incorrect. You believe it's ok to deny a person rights because of their sexual orientation, and you deny the realities of the persecution of the same. It's hard to argue rationally from where you stand. In fact, it appears to be impossible. You may as well say "I don't like the gays". It would save you a lot of typing.
        • Jul 12 2012: You keep repeating 'sexual orientation' as if it's a real, objective trait, rather than what it is -- a self-identification available to every shameless rich white snob -- and trying to mix it in with gender and race ('women and minorities') for civil rights cover. That's a tired game. Astute people are not going to be tricked just because you and Rachel Maddow keep repeating it. No wonder blacks have low support for 'gay rights' -- I'd be outraged by that association, too.

          I had my nose broken in high school by an older bully. I'm not asking for some special category of protection because of it.

          Yes, I'll say it again: gays have all appropriate rights, and are not persecuted or treated unfairly in the US. In fact, they are the wealthiest, and proportionally most powerful demographic! And they (or rather the activists among them) shamelessly scream victim!
      • Jul 12 2012: Genetics, choice, "self-identification" - these are absolutely irrelevant. Is it ok to discriminate against red-heads? How about against those who choose to dye their hair red? You see, the choice issue makes absolutely no difference. Either it's ok to treat people unfairly, or it's not. By our social standards, it's not.

        You say it's ok to discriminate against orientation, and then you say they are not discriminated against. Both of these points have no rational basis I can see.

        Your claims that homosexuals are "the wealthiest, and proportionally most powerful demographic" are based on what exactly? Here are the actual base lines.
        "As of April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—approximately 11.7 million Americans."
        The representation in positions of power show no increase over those baselines.

        As for hate crimes (in 2011):
        48.2 percent were victims of an offender’s bias against a race.
        18.9 percent were victims of an offender’s bias against a religion.
        18.6 percent were victims of an offender’s bias against a particular sexual orientation.
        13.7 percent were victims of an offender’s bias against an ethnicity/national origin.
        0.6 percent were victims of an offender’s bias against a disability.

        So they show around a 3-4% density in population, yet 18.6% of hate crimes are perpetrated against them.

        That data took me less than five minutes to dig up. Feel free to look up workplace and landlord discrimination suits, unfair firings, etc... Though I suspect you will not.
        • Jul 12 2012: unfair firings: 0% - employers can employ and fire whoever they want.
          And you don't measure discrimination by the number of lawsuits (haha). The lawsuits is what you and the Democrat lawyers are trying to increase.

          If someone makes their 'sexual orientation' an issue at work -- with all the farce, self-absorption, distraction, and divisiveness that that entails -- then that's not an unfair firing. I would fire someone who chose to create conflict at my business -- in a heartbeat.
      • Jul 12 2012: So, according to your logic, "there is no unfair treatment of homosexuals because it's ok to treat them unfairly". I'm not seeing any rational basis for that approach.

        As for "employers can fire whoever they want..." No, they can not; even in most at-will states. Forty-three states have what is referred to as "public policy exceptions" - meaning: "an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute." Even if that state is at-will.

        We can protect people from unfair treatment. You chose to believe that it's ok to treat homosexuals unfairly. You also choose to deny evidence of unfair treatment based on your impression that it's impossible to discriminate against homosexuality. That position is clearly indefensible by any rational standards.
        • Jul 13 2012: You don't want to protect people from unfair treatment. You want to protect people who deserve to be fired from being fired, which is the opposite of fair.

          If some shameless privileged white guy shows up at work, says "I'm gay!", and proceeds to act farcically and foment division, I don't *just* think the employer has a right to fire him -- I *want* that jerk to get fired!

          He should have no special protections. It's up to him to do his best to get along and fit in, just like the rest of us. That's equality. For those that keep personal things personal, respect the sensitivities of others, do their job, and get along ... well, they don't need special protections. There again is equality.
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: Lint,

      How do you define what is a civil rights issue, equality etc and what isn't?

      Is equality of the sexes a civil rights issue?
      Is race equality an issue?

      Why not sexual orientation?

      Also, while you are entitled to your opinion, to limit freedom and equality you need a rationale beyond your own prejudice. No one is going to convince you GLBT should have equal rites as heterosexuals, but how do you convince everyone else that there is net harm from giving GLBT people equal rights?

      Rights and freedoms are generally limited when they start to harm broader society. Adults have a right to drive, but not children and blind people, because of the risks. How does it hurt anyone if GBLT have the same rights as others and is this any worse than the harm from heterosexual rights?
      • Jul 12 2012: Yes on gender, race, disability, and age.
        No on "sexual orientation" (and also no on religion, btw), because they are self-identifying traits.
        You don't want to create a special protection for which any shameless rich white guy can apply.
        I think most people can see at least some sense in that, even if they think the gay lifestyle is a good thing.

        Our position is that GBLT already have equal rights. This is a well-trodden debate, so we don't need to revisit it here. (In short: a gay man can marry the same set of people as a straight man; the marriage laws discriminate based on gender, not based on orientation, which is never asked about; the conservative position is that this is a proper, natural distinction. Again, I'm not revisiting this with you here.)
        • thumb
          Jul 13 2012: Thanks Lint.

          I guess we disagree on whether we should be able to discriminate in general based on religion (as opposed to religious organisations hiring people belonging to their religion).

          I don't think we should discriminate negatively based on sexual orientation (regardless of whether it is like being left handed or environmentally driven or some mix).

          I get your point on marriage. We probably disagree on whether same sex marriage should be allowed. I have thought about whether this would have a net negative impact on society or the interests of others, and in my view it doesn't. It is not stopping or harming hetero marriage, I see it strengthening society rather than undermining it.

          Perhaps a key point is whether SSM would lead to more same sex couples raising children and whether this is significantly more detrimental than what we have with heterosexual marriage now. I doubt think it is much worse than what we have already. Suggest a gay couple might be more beneficial than a single parent. Open to being swayed by evidence, but needs to be significant if limiting right for SSM.

          We can agree to disagree. However, I'd need to understand what the basis is in terms of harm to society for stopping what seems to increase freedom and equality, rather than accept the status quo.

          If no one challenged the status quo, women might not be able to vote, we'd still have slavery and some races might not be able to vote or inter marry, homosexual sex might still be illegal, and the US would be a British colony etc.
      • Jul 13 2012: Thanks, Obey.
        I'll tell you what: you don't make the false analogy between 'sexual orientation' and legitimate race/gender/etc civil rights causes ... and I won't make the analogy between homosexuals and more extreme forms of abnormality like pedophiles (who argue that children can consent) and zoophiles (who argue that animals can consent).
        • thumb
          Jul 13 2012: Do you think people self-identify as frail, unattractive and short? And do you think the abuse they suffer because of that, makes them do be more hateful and vengeful towards other minorities?
          After all a short person can wear heels, an ugly person can do plastic surgery and a weak person can go to the gym. But yet they insist in this self identification...
  • Jun 23 2012: LZ does not seem to be very well informed about History. That is not unusual these days, so I'm not blaming him in particular. But if you look at the range of societies throughout recorded history, while there have been Gays forever, of course, I have not heard of ANY society in which Gays have had as much of a coherent lifestyle, and organized program, as what we have witnessed in the last couple of generations. Some Joker said Gays have evolved from the" Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name, " to the "Love That Won't Shut UIp".. In What other society has this organized minority power had the ability not only to promote itself from criminal status to a group actually protected by Law in a very short time, and all the while insisting that it is "Normal". Since Gays do not reproduce themselvesl, it certainly cannot be said to be the norm. However, this is a great sociall achievement, or I would say, a new invention . What I cannot understand is, while achieving all this, why not carry out the thought, and give this new social arrangement its own unique name ? Why settle for "marriage"? IIn the view of the majority , Gay affairs are never going to be seen as "Normal" (meaning nothing more than "what most people do") , so why create endless conflict by not observing the real situation.?
    There doesn't seem to be much dispute about the details , benefits, etc. of legalized cohabitation, so why not give up the idea of depriviing all those romantics who like the idea of "Marriage" in its classic sense? Gays shouuld be more creative than that.
    • Jun 23 2012: Surely, Shawn, you're baiting someone for a trolling match?

      Take Athenian society.... homosexuality, not unusual at all. Shame about the slavery though......How can you make such an outrageously sweeping statement!?

      "Gay affairs are never going to be seen as "Normal" ........ so why not give up the idea of depriving all those romantics who like the idea of "Marriage" in its classic sense? Gays should be more creative than that."

      You have clearly, fantastically, missed the point. The Gay Agenda states that all citizens are EQUALS.

      Science shows us that there is a broad spectrum of gender and sexuality..... so, yes, homosexuality will indeed be considered 'normal,' and is in other nations already. Catch up America... you're falling behind!
    • Jun 23 2012: I liked your comments Shawn, especially where you pointed out how quickly being gay has been not only decriminalized but actively courted as a voter/consumer block. I sincerely hope that the gay public heed LZ's call to the constitutional argument and take up the cause of all humans. Just as women, once acquiring equality, now share an equal burden in maintaining the freedoms we have long struggled for, I would hope the gay community continues to fight for the rights of other alienated groups now that they appear to have achieved official acceptance as equal and respected members of society.

      REN DELF

      Where are all the tales of the openly gay exploits of gods, demi-gods and mankind in Athenian mythology? If it was so acceptable they should be common knowledge even to those who only have a basic knowledge of the myths.

      Being gay, if you stick to the genetic argument where there is no choice, will always be considered a "fringe" lifestyle. They will always be looked at as a minority because they will always be a minority. If some celebrity mouth piece starts saying that people can now chose to be gay as part of a lifestyle choice, well, then we go back to square one right? Which raises an interesting question. If it's a matter of being born that way then aren't we really saying that under "Normal circumstances" no would ever even consider same sex relationships. At least not as a permanent lifestyle choice.

      Gays should open their eyes to the fact that they are fighting to become equal members in a society that is slowly flushing itself down the toilet. If they could see past that they could be strong contributors to helping to make things right for all of us instead of merely trying to fit in.

      We all need to start coming out of the closets of our closed minds.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2012: I really liked the last part of your answer. I'm gay and I don't really understand the struggle of the gay community to fit into a society that need so desperately to evolve and improve. But then again, we do not born all heroes, and some pople just want to live a simple ordinary life. If gay people want to do so and fit in this aberrant society, well, go ahead then.

        About the "fringe" lifestile. You are not getting it right. I live in spain, really the vast majority of people I know -straight, families, elders, religious, everybody- don't really precieve gay people as any peculiar kind. At all. And that's not me being blind, I lived in the states, in italy, and UK, so I know what you mean about the perception of gay people. But where I live now is the proof thay it will not always be like that. Is just a matter of time.
        • thumb
          Jul 7 2012: "we're not all heroes"

          Yes! That's the thing.... most gay people I know are quite mundane folks....and that's the point of the talk... They would really like to be left alone to live their lives, pay taxes, get married, join the army, fight over who has to take out the garbage this week etc... BUT a minority of very vocal angry small people simply cannot get enough of messing with their lives....
    • Jun 23 2012: "But if you look at the range of societies throughout recorded history, while there have been Gays forever, of course, I have not heard of ANY society in which Gays have had as much of a coherent lifestyle, and organized program, as what we have witnessed in the last couple of generations."
      Alright so the reason for this is because "gays" or more accurately, homosexuals have not been around for more than a couple of generations. I know this sounds moronic, but the term - and in fact the entire concept - of homosexual did not come around until the late 19th century. Of course homosexual behavior existed, but one's sexual orientation, or more appropriately how one engaged in sex, was attached more to gender than as its own distinct group. The man in ancient Rome who was the "top" or who penetrated was considered a man and as manly as the guy who had sex with a woman. While the guy that was the "bottom" or was penetration was more of a woman than a man. The idea that sexual orientation was its own category of defining a person did not come around the beginning of the 20th century, and our present idea that homosexuals were a significant portion of the population (and not a rare disease) did not occur until WWII.

      "In What other society has this organized minority power had the ability not only to promote itself from criminal status to a group actually protected by Law in a very short time, and all the while insisting that it is 'Normal'."
      Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Denmark, Greenland (kinda), Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Andorra, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Australia are all countries that recognize the rights of LGBT individuals in a manner equal to or greater than the United States. Civil rights for LGBT people is not a national issue, it's a global one and we can take a lot of other nations as examples of the right thing to do.

      I'm gonna have to continue my response in another comment section...
    • Jun 23 2012: "However, this is a great sociall achievement, or I would say, a new invention."
      It's not so much a new invention; granting equal rights to the LGBT community is based in legal precedent. It is based on the principles of the Constitution and previous civil rights movements that have been fought. It is not a completely "new invention" that a government should protect certain "suspect" classes. Now gay people are not currently considered a suspect class, and that is where a lot of controversy comes from, but the current laws in place that deal with LGBT people take their wording and their spirit from past policy that dealt with people of color, people with disabilities, and women. Recognizing that the state should not unduly discriminate against a person based on prejudice or the values of a portion of the population is a principle that is, essentially, the benchmark of a strong democracy.

      "IIn the view of the majority , Gay affairs are never going to be seen as "Normal" (meaning nothing more than "what most people do") , so why create endless conflict by not observing the real situation.?"
      Okay, so by "gay affairs" I'm guessing you're meaning the fact that gay people have relationships with members of the same sex, because beyond that fact there isn't anything else that separates "straight affairs" from "gay affairs." In almost every way, we are the same and act in the same "normal" way as the straight population. The real situation is that we fall in love the same way you do, we live our lives the same way you do, and we are citizens just like you. We should not be deprived of engaging in a legal institution (remember, judges can marry people without any religious affiliation), just because the person we fell in love with happens to have the same sexual organs. Left handed people, by your definition, are not "normal." But they are not discriminated against in the eyes of the state. Being "normal" is not the benchmark for equal rights.