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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

President Obama's Epiphany

This past week or so, I have been devoting almost all of my attention to the anti-Israel circus at UC Irvine, but I did want to say a word or two about President Obama's latest epiphany regarding gay marriage.

Now were I a cynic, I would say that the president is doing this change-over for purely political  reasons. I mean, why now does he come from his life-long belief that marriage is between a man and a woman to advocating gay marriage just as he is "beginning" his campaign for re-election?

On the other hand, I see myself as changing a bit in this regard. I still believe that marriage is a 5,000- year-old institution between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreating and caring for children in a stable family where the child can have both the positive influences from  a male and female parent. I ask why we are in such a rush to change something that was never questioned for all these centuries. In fact, I lost a regular reader because he concluded I was a homophobe for opposing gay marriage.

On the other hand, it looks like this is headed in the direction of acceptance-at least in the West, and I ask if this is really the most pressing issue we have to deal with in the world. Maybe I have become more sensitive to gays seeing that in certain places, they are badly discriminated against. I have more than once asked why the gay lobby is so silent on the fact that their counterparts are being hanged in Iran for religious reasons.

(It's the same reason feminist groups don't say anything about stoning women for adultery or so-called honor-killings. It would be insensitive, you know. Much better to talk about those evil Republicans who are "waging war" on women and gays.)

So as far as I am concerned, I am not going to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If I don't care who sleeps with whom or who loves whom, then why worry about who marries whom? We really do have more important things to engage in.

I still think Obama did it for political convenience.

17 comments:

Anteater said...

The govt should only recognize civil unions and let private religious groups recognize however they define as a marriage.

But since the govt does recognize and gives special status to marriage, it should recognize same sex marriage along with traditional marriages.

I'll agree this isn't much of an issue for me.

A bigger issue to me is the number of kids born and raised in a single parent household rather than in a two parent household.

IMO the ideal environment is having two parents around to raise a kid but it is very difficult to say that without coming off like an asshole.

I am sure there are plenty of examples where a single parent raised a great kid. But odds are that an average kid would be better off with two parents in a happy secure married relationship and I don't think it matters too much if it is a same sex or traditional relationship.

It is too big of a job for most single parents.

On the other hand if it isn’t a happy marriage, I think the kid would be better off in a single household than having two parents always yelling at each other.

I don’t know the solution to this one. I don’t want to stigmatize single household kids but would like this to be brought up more. I forgot the statistic but it about 1/3 of kids are now raised in a single parent household. I’d like that to be lower.

Gary Fouse said...

Well stated, but I think we have not had enough time yet to come up with empirical evidence on how kids in a same sex partnership grow up and what psychological issues they face.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your opinion is evolving.

The only quibble I'd have is that marriage isn't really the same as it was 5000 years ago. Back then, polygamy was the norm and women were property.

Miggie said...

I don't care who lives with or who sleeps with who. Nobody denies that to anyone.

Two questions have been raised. The central unit of society has been the family for thousands of years. It seems to me the State has an interest in defining what a legal marriage is. If it is other than one man and one woman, than what is the basis? If you can be legally married to whoever you love, you could, by the same logic, say you love and therefore want to marry your parent or child or several people or your good looking sheep. Where does it end? What does it lead to?

I have great respect for historical precedent, the lessons that we have learned or should have learned from history. It is presumptuous to believe that we know better now. Our predecessors, like our founding fathers, understood the way of the world and what leads to what better than we do.

Next, I don't believe two men or two women can do what a man and a woman can do for a child. There are times and things that nothing but a mother can fix and other times nothing but a father will suffice. You can just as easily have hypothetical great or lousy gay parents as you can for straight parents so don't tell me about two loving gays.

Last, I don't believe in the inevitability of this movement. Every time it has has put up to a vote, the people have elected to preserve the definition of marriage as one between one man and one woman.
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Anonymous said...

Miggie,

Children and animals can't enter into legal contracts. Not even those police dogs who work really hard to serve and protect. So, that point is silly.

As for the children of gay parents, there is research that has been done on the effects. Studies are showing that it makes little difference, despite what you feel. Do a quick Google search. You will find that there is a lot of information out there.

Anonymous said...

Miggie wrote:

"Every time it has has put up to a vote, the people have elected to preserve the definition of marriage as one between one man and one woman."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/first-time-majority-americans-favor-legal-gay-marriage.aspx

What reason have you to believe that this will never change?

elwood p suggins said...

I am essentially in agreement with Gary and Miggie that as long as it is private behavior which involves consenting adults and no violence, I don’t care who does what to who sexually. Even if I did, I don’t see how that is any of my business. I do believe, however, that the issue may be a little bit larger than he sees it as.

One reason for that is that while times and things certainly change, some of us seem to insist on redefining stuff seemingly for the sake of redefinition, and in order to create more and more “protected classes” of citizens who are more equal than the rest of us (as is the case with the more egregious forms of “affirmative action“), perhaps to the point where at some future date, the only remaining people who are not members of such a class will be straight white males. As I have previously noted, I have yet to hear anyone support heterosexual same-sex marriage for some, even many, of the reasons that they want gays to be able to marry for.

There are also, I believe, economic concerns involving at least taxes and healthcare (and possibly others as well that I have not thought of yet) which, when coupled with revision of not only tradition but fact, also as pointed out by Gary, which in my mind weigh fairly heavily against instituting gay marriage or, for that matter, possibly even “civil unions”, depending on how they might be constituted.

One of the most frequently recurring complaints I hear (part of the mantra?) is that gay partners may not visit their significant other in the hospital. This, if in fact true, could easily be remedied by revisions to hospital policy in this particular instance. If hospitals were not interested in voluntarily doing so, this, as well as many if not most of the other issues and concerns in this area, could be similarly rectified by similar policy changes, regulation, and/or legislation as required, without the necessity of implementing what many consider to be a fairly extreme solution.

Anonymous said...

Actually, male-female conjugal mating went back to 1 million years B.C., as proven by Raquel Welch's portrayal of the female form, in skimpy bikini skins. This is the best empirical proof of such science in this matter.

Squid

Squid said...

Actually, male-female conjugal mating went back to 1 million years B.C., as proven by Raquel Welch's portrayal of the female form, in skimpy bikini skins. This is the best empirical proof of such science in this matter.

Squid

Miggie said...

Anonymous, it mainly relies on the way the question is posed. If you ask, as in this poll, if people should have the same rights, you get a positive response. If, however, you ask as they do on ballots, whether marriage should be redefined, you get the other answer.

This example about hospital visitation has been a long lasting red herring. Gays have all the rights straight people in visitation. Nobody ever even asks you about your relationship when you visit anyone in the hospital.

All the other agreements, like inheritances, can be determined with wills and with other contracts between the parties. The same laws apply regarding child custody and visitation when gay couples separate.

This has been an attempt to impose a Gay Agenda to change the existing societal structure. I'm not interested in that kind of change. I don't know where it will lead and where, if anywhere, it will ever stop.
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fullerton taxpayer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miggie said...

You can have adult (past the legal age) entering into marriage contracts that inappropriate. As far as animals are concerned, why deny them the rights all other beings have? Who knows where this will end if the criteria is someone loves someone or something. There is no logical limit on the number of spouses one could choose if they said they loved each one. Not silly at all.

One of the major societal problems we have is the breakdown of the family. If the biological father doesn't teach what the rules and limits of society are, then it eventually falls upon the jailors and wardens and society to impart that information in a ruinous way. Most of the prison inmates come from single parent homes so the burden of raising them falls on society.

We should give kids the best opportunities we can and I remain unconvinced that two women, no matter how butch, can teach a kid the skills, dynamics and life lessons in football or baseball, or of how a man should conduct himself.

The reverse is obviously just as true with two gay guys trying to educate a girl.

Those are obvious, on the surface, observations.

Anonymous said...

Miggie,

You wrote: "If you ask, as in this poll, if people should have the same rights, you get a positive response."

Did you even read the question? I'm thinking that you did not. The question was, and I quote "Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?"

In 1996, 27% said that they should be. The most recent poll shows it at 53%. In other words, public opinion on this has been rapidly changing. Maybe it will remain a close split like that, but surely you don't think that it will reverse itself, do you? If you look at who tends to oppose it, it's older people, and say what you want about them, they're not exactly the future.

"As far as animals are concerned, why deny them the rights all other beings have? Who knows where this will end if the criteria is someone loves someone or something."

This is so ridiculous that I do not even know how to respond. How, exactly, would a horse (or pick your animal) sign a legal contract?

Is it truly your belief that by allowing gay people to marry that we will completely change all of society to the point where a raccoon will be given full rights as a citizen? This is like saying that if we give women the right to vote, then we will one day give it to squirrels. (I would imagine that people probably said things equally as crazy during the women's suffrage movement.)

As for the rest of what you wrote, it contains much in the way of personal feelings, but few facts (regarding how children of same sex couples turn out).

"I remain unconvinced that two women, no matter how butch, can teach a kid the skills, dynamics and life lessons in football or baseball, or of how a man should conduct himself"

You do not know the women that I know. Being "butch" has little to do with it.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I think President Obama made an error in taking a position on the matter -- particularly since the President of the United States has no jurisdiction over this question. But I suspect he said what he said out of sincere conviction, knowing it could cost him votes, which in the end are more important than campaign contributions.

It is true that the family has evolved over time, but it has always been about male and female, often with children. Many human cultures have honored or accepted homosexuality, but none have considered two of the same sex to be a marriage. Not the ancient Greeks, not the Persian Empire, not feudal Japan, not the plains Indians... Biologically, is is obvious that male and female are complementary, and that sexual impulses exist because our species is male and female. Homosexuality is a statistical outlier.

It is not quite true that every vote in every state has gone against gay marriage. In New York, the Supreme Court turned down the "equal protection" argument, which was proper, and the legislature did it right. The people's elected representative voted for it by statute. If their constituents re-elect them, obviously the people are willing to accept it.

In California, I would have reluctantly voted for Prop 8, a badly worded amendment, because it was the only way to over-rule a Supreme Court badly outside of its jurisdiction.

I remain quite amused at how popular gays have become among what passes for "conservatives" here in America, since they realized that their demon du jour, Islam, shares with the Tanach a strong denunciation of homosexuality, and that the more militantly theocratic Islamist regimes actually execute gays, like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson wanted to.

Miggie said...

Anonymous, the thrust of the question was "...with the same rights as traditional marriages?" My point was that when they raise the same question and ask if the definition of marriage between a single man and a single woman, you get a completely different answer.

I don't agree that it is the wave of the future. When the people get to vote on it directly, you get a different answer every single time.

I purposely made the argument to reduce it to the absurd to point out that the internal logic is badly flawed. If the criteria is that you are in LOVE... there is no telling where it will end LOGICALLY with number of partners, incest, and who knows what else? Look at the logic of it.

People, as a whole don't like to change fundamentally what has worked so well for them in the past. When you change something as fundamental as this, you have no idea of the consequences.

Miggie said...

Anonymous, the thrust of the question was "...with the same rights as traditional marriages?" My point was that when they raise the same question and ask if the definition of marriage between a single man and a single woman, you get a completely different answer.

I don't agree that it is the wave of the future. When the people get to vote on it directly, you get a different answer every single time.

I purposely made the argument to reduce it to the absurd to point out that the internal logic is badly flawed. If the criteria is that you are in LOVE... there is no telling where it will end LOGICALLY with number of partners, incest, and who knows what else? Look at the logic of it.

People, as a whole don't like to change fundamentally what has worked so well for them in the past. When you change something as fundamental as this, you have no idea of the consequences.

Gary Fouse said...

And to that I would add if you legalize gay marriage, how can you say no to polygamy? If I say a marriage is between a man and a woman, how can you accept gay marriage but say marriage is between 2 persons or even two human beings? Where will this end?