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June 25, 2006

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McKenzie Wark

Perhaps Hegel had it wrong: it is not women, but sexuality in general, that is the "eternal irony of the public sphere."

111

RE:
http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2006/75/dean.htm

Bill White is not a "libertarian-socialist;" he is perhaps a national-socialist, or nazi, or some related authoritarian, fascist offshoot, but not a libertarian-socialist. This is important as outside N. America libertarian-socialist essentially means anarchists, a philosopy/group which Bill White certainly despises and wishes would go away. It is also important as many neo-nazis like Bill White are trying to recruit youth who may be intersted in left politics by presenting themselves as some sort of individualist anarcho something or other in defense of racism,facism,nationalism,etc.

111

More info here about White's relations to anarchism,etc:

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:f07CKKKX5JkJ:eyeonhate.com/white/bw1.html+outrage+libertarian-socialist+bill+white&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1


check toward bottom, such as:

As has already been noted, he had received some cold shoulders from the anarchist crew who already viewed him at best as a racist and at worst as a neo-Nazi. Realizing that his brand of anarchy was not going to garner him much in the way of anything other than guffaws at his absurdity, White decided to become a "Libertarian Socialist." While to some this may appear to be an oxymoron, to the Libertarian Socialist, quite the opposite is true. There are many discussions online in reference to the term and we shall leave it to the reader to research, perhaps starting with this link to a rather cogent discussion - Libertarian Socialists.

White pretty much abandoned his Utopian Anarchist Party in favor of his new organization Libertarian Socialist News. White began publishing online "news reports" that were virulently anti-Semitic in nature. This drew harsh criticism once again. It seemed that White just couldn't get it right.

111

As a final note I will mention that on Bill's current site (not outrage as stated but close, I will not give it traffic) he does mention L-S, calling it "l-s news" however right at the top a link it featured to "Join the National Socialist Movement"

The jig is and has been up. I just hope no others are fooled, if only for a moment.

eugene chavez

Maybe the gay marriage lobby believes marital status, marriage; happens between two persons by legal writ only. We already know gays/lesbians can feel love; but for love to be true, they shouldn't need marriage.

I love my house; it's lovely enough. It belongs to me, I'll never let it go. But I can't just wake up one morning and find myself married to a house. No matter if a certificate of marriage is conned out of the marriage license bureau someplace. Because I'm male. The house isn't female.

I have a deed to the house, to call it my own, and not someone else's. This deed is very similar to the so-called civil union we hear of, between gays. Within this context, they are free to make love to one another. They have their title to one another; but not marriage. There's no question of having any basic right denied, such as rights to marry. They already HAVE these rights if they care to marry heterosexually, with a member of their opposite sex.

It's absurd to think a man is capable of marrying a man, simply on account of legal papers and the act of bodily fluid exchanges. He certainly can be united to that other by civil and/or emotional bonds; distinct from a marriage bond.

Men who take their pleasure with a prostitute do not marry her. But they could. If she's a woman. Why marry, when they can reach their separate, equitable ''arrangement''--? Nor is a gay man denied a right because he isn't married to his friend. Together they've made the necessary arrangement; privately.

The clear fact is; no one prevents access, either to gay men or lesbians, to marry; they can and do. They marry the opposite sex because they have access to that right. No society bars them or stigmatizes them for it. Arianna Huffington, for instance, was married to her ex-husband. Because she had access and so did he. And nobody knows or cares why they broke up. (We know she's made out just fine.)

These gay marriage demands are preposterous because they trivialize the natural order. Everybody knows that.

Craig

Your posts are really attracting the special interest commenters this week...

But this Eugene person raises a point I've seen in a number of other places: gay marriage disturbs a natural order. The problem with this formulation is that it reduces a social fact - marriage - to a natural phenomenon. It precisely ignores the issue at hand: marriage is a particular form of social relation imbricated in an extensive array of governing programmes: taxation, reproduction, health, insurance, property and ownership, etc.

If Eugene's counter-examples are the best that the anti-gay lobby can find - comparing gays to houses; that is, a human to a material object - then not only are they morally bankrupt, but they're also intellectually bankrupt. An extremely dangerous combination.

Jodi

Craig--yeah. It wasn't intentional. I should go back to theoretical esoterica (or esoteric theoretics?). Anyway, I agree with you fully. What makes marriage, a social institution, natural? Nothing. Even an analogy with a house. (Although it did make me wonder if he could marry a female dog since the only thing keeping him from marrying his house was its gender.)

I'll add the following more seriously: marriage is a religious and a civil institution. As a civil institution, it should be open to all citizens. As a religious institution, it comes under particular religious constraints that are part of congregants freedom of association.

eugene chavez

Dear Craig:
Please don't say I'm anti-gay. I never said so; I said clearly that gays are free to follow their own impulse, and have equal rights to marry, if they marry their opposite sex.

What I said above was fairly simple: you misrepresent the title married, to mean something it can't mean: a homosexual act as ''marital act''--.

That can't even happen. The marital act per se is something natural, leading to new life when possible. Any sane physician will tell you the homosexual act is akin to masturbation, not the natural marital act. One man being stimulated by another one to orgasm. Whether by fellatio or doggy-style or hand-job. It cannot be equaled in either dignity or love to the marital act.

But ''gay-rights'' protestors think it's easy, just have a wedding! That kind of mentality is infantile!

peBird

Craig - yep - natural order of a closed mind.

I think what happens is that there is some "think" (to use the word loosely) tank puts out these talking points, then someone plays with Google to find every site that comes up with "blog+gay marriage" and mass posts the talking point.

But the concept that the natural order is the law - wow.

Sounds like spam to me.

eugene chavez

Dear Jodi:
Because I said marry a house, you conclude something devious? I well might've said, marry my dog. I have a dog and I really love him. He loves me, in fact.

But to have used that in a post here TRULY would've shown hatred for and total insensitivity to gays and lesbians. For which I could not forgive myself. I love all human persons; and gays are human. That ought to show you how FAR I am from demonizing any gay. I merely explain WHAT a true marriage has to be; for either gays or heteros. Male and female. No other.

Jodi

Eugene--but why? what makes marriage between a man and a woman natural? that's the problem. You can say 'no other' but that doesn't make it so.

eugene chavez

Craig:
You're making a very lame effort to discredit my logic and honesty. Why would you even have to deny the natural order, if your premise had societal validity? If it was honorable? If it were wholesome?

Are you saying unnatural is as good as natural? pretend is equal to what's real? That's all ''gay marriage'' (as opposed to civil unions, or common law marriage) that's all it really is: Pretend Marriage. Hell, you can do that without any difficulty. Just live together.

eugene chavez

Jodi,

It's gays who make a big deal out of this. Not ''anti-gay'' straights.

''-but why? what makes marriage between a man and a woman natural? that's the problem.'' As I stated up there. Orgasm does not make a marital act. Marital acts make orgasm natural and legitimate for real spouses.

A physician can explain it. Gay-lesbian pride is one thing. If you feel proud, more power to you. But if you feel married because the papers say so, you're fooling yourselves. A certified civil agreement is enough to save you from discrimination. If you commit to a union, that hasn't made your relations in bed marital.

A man and woman who simply fornicate together are not married in the eyes of the law. But nothing bars them from making a marriage. They can marry.

Gays are able to legalize their status. They have that right, just don't confuse it for Mom and Dad's married status.

eugene chavez

To Craig, once more:

I see what you seem to believe here; ----''Eugene's counter-examples are the best that the anti-gay lobby can find - comparing gays to houses; that is, a human to a material object - then not only are they morally bankrupt, but they're also intellectually bankrupt. An extremely dangerous combination.''

Just because my words irritate you is no sign (much less proof) that I came by way of some ''anti-gay lobby,'' or that it's just talking points from those who oppose gay marriage. My own feeling is, these ''think tank'' types and the fundies you detest-- do a bad job of proving the ''marriage defense'' point. I strive to make the OBVIOUS point to you.

It's ironic you'd call that intellectually or morally bankrupt. You demonstrate hardly any intellectual depth and even LESS morality. You mainly want to make your own rules, and whoever sees that they're indefensible is your enemy. Defend the truth; not a foolish agenda.

eugene chavez

I agree on principle (ordinary, but not morally) with Jodi;

that ''marriage is a religious and a civil institution. As a civil institution, it should be open to all citizens.'' --That's already so. It's called legal recognition of a union between same sex partners; i.e., civil union. (Not a true marriage of spouses.) --Whereas,

''As a religious institution,-----marriage between man and woman, it comes under particular religious constraints-- And what are they?--

These things we call vows; certify to society that man and woman are a FAMILY, and have legitimate rights to love each other in the marital act without reproof from that society.

Since gay to gay marriage is never ratified in any marital act physically or psychologically, but just in giving and taking of pleasure, it requires no vow. It forms no lawful marriage and no family relationship. To pretend it does, for purely social reasons, trivializes the real conjugal nature of marriage.

Jodi

Eugene--your arguments are pretty circular: you say that gave people can commit to each other in love relationships, but then you say their acts are only in the giving and taking of pleasure. Also, you say gay relationships form no lawful marriage, but the issue being discussed is whether gays should have the right to marry. To say that the nature of marriage is conjugal does nothing for your point--again, the matter is why are some activities considered conjugal and others not?

If the matter is one of love, then you have granted that same sex commitments can be rooted in love.

If the matter is one of children, then anyone without children would not be married--straights included.

If the matter is one of vows, and both women and men are capable of making vows, then it makes no sense to say that they can only make a vow to the opposite sex. Why? For what reason? To say that's what marriage is results, again, in tautology.

For you, it boils down to the simple assertion of a man and a woman. But there is no argument or explanation as to why this must be the case. You only follow with tautologies and assertions.

Susan Henking

Well. This is amazing. In Geneva, when we published the letter, we didn't get this much response (except for a few business people who asked us about changing their forms to recognize other types of couples and a few thank you notes). People here seem, on the every day level, to be less than excited about all this. And, I have to admit, they seem to have more of a sense of humor. Maybe it is just the folks I know? For the record, neither of the co-authors of the letter are particularly pro-marriage, for either hets or non hets. But, I admit that I am at least pro-being-able-to-leave-my-social-security (should Bush leave it alone) to my partner, and there are several other economic rights that go along with what the state allows for those who are permitted to marry these days. . . Tax law, health care, etc etc. Too much to ask? In order to have the product of my social security (accrued since I was working at 16) pass to my partner after my death, do I have to marry some random guy (hmmm) and have him give it to my partner? Hmmm.Or should I marry a house? Or a dog? Just as long as it is an opposite sex house or an opposite sex dog?

Seriously: the state's interest in marriage is a product of a particular historical relation of government and church. (And I mean church, not religion. Let's face it.) And, it actually a relatively recent (and thus ahistorical link; cf. John Boswell's well documented argument that marriage, initially, was between same sex couples. . . . . . )

Whether or not choice itself is undertheorized (of course), whether or not citizenship rights to the most conservative institutions of marriage and the miitary is a good thing or not (Why make these consewrvative institutions the center of debate;do we really want to just join the existing rat race or do we want to change it), if you want me to act like a citizen, treat me like one.

If not, well, then. . . . . back to America. Love it or leave it. (And you try to figure out, is Americaa guy?If so, guys, watch out for that love. If not, women -- you be careful out there.)

A bit silly but, then again. . . .


peBird

Actually Eugene's logic is pretty clear - he wants to institute a state religion. He says as a civil institution it (something like marriage but not marriage) is open to all citizens.

Whereas religious institutions are able to provide "legitimate rights to love each other in the marital act without reproof from that society."

Notice how "religious institution" and "society" are so neatly put together, almost so you don't notice it.

And the "without reproof" - as if the argument is that straight couples are experiencing some kind of accusation or blame.

Total unadulterated bullshit.

Jodi

'unadulterated' is a great term in this context, the underlying fantasy of pure, straight, marriage

eugene chavez

You may indeed commit yourselves to the pursuit of illicit pleasures. You may even feel an attachment to your significant other.

I'm commenting on the very apparent truth that a marriage is not in effect between consenting adults just because that's what they demand of their government. You can't gain added respectability because you pay taxes --equal to the straight couples' --Because they married in the normal sense. They had nothing to prove; and no quarrel with the gay world over rights. What's the reason they married? In return for their tax dollars? To have visitation rights?

You have these rights; within your particular legal status. Those who tell you this would be somehow enhanced by a wedding and certificate have lied to you --You'll still be gay partners. And that should suit you. It suits you not to have a straight wife, or a straight ''breeder'' husband. So, take your own sort without legal prejudice.

Work for the establishment of just tax and inheritance laws. Leave marriage to those who care about it. Who respect it. Make the best of your situation.

Jodi

Still don't have an argument, eh Eugene? Who cares about marriage? How do you know? Who respects it? How do you know? What situation do you mean? I could easily say that straights need to make the best of the fact that marriage laws are changing--deal with it.

eugene chavez

Ms. Henking--
Can't make out a lot of sense in your post; --This:

''(Why make these conservative institutions the center of debate; do we really want to just join the existing rat race or do we want to change it), if you want me to act like a citizen, treat me like one,'' --is BS.

Who cares if you act like a citizen? DON'T. Just don't involve conservatives in your jeering club. Don't tear down what you purportedly desire; marriage. You already have equal rights to a wedding and marriage certificate and social acceptance in your community.

Marry a man. Then, invite anyone else you desire into your private bedroom and leave the rat-race behind. It's been done so since time immemorial. By a means we've called DISCRETION.

eugene chavez

A Pe bird said this:

"religious institution" and "society" are so neatly put together, almost so you don't notice it.

And the "without reproof" - as if the argument is that straight couples are experiencing some kind of accusation or blame.

Total unadulterated bullshit.''

Umarried cohabiters have always been seen as reprehensible. It once led to that ''bastard'' and not today's ''love child.'' Like it or not, a married woman is an honest woman. Her husband is the father of her children, not of bastards.

This is the moral importance that marriage stands for. But it means nothing to those who would ''marry'' under the sleaziest of circumstances, sodomy. That's no marital act. And as for the childless couple, they don't marry to avoid children. It's just their misfortune.

Funny you favored the expression, ''totally, unadulterated bull shit,'' pe-Bird --A bed shared out of desire for the most adulterated form of love sure is a propos to your bed, if you're devoted to THAT kind of shit.

Jodi

Some straight couples choose not to have children.

Some straight couples practice sodomy. Some straight couples are celebate.

A married woman may or may not be honest. An unmarried may or may not be honest. Honesty has no intrinsic connection to marriage.

The category 'bastard' is a legal construct that can be accepted or rejected, changed, altered, etc--there is nothing natural about the category.

You have, however, provided an argument: Marriage is important in ensuring paternity. Without marriage, a man has no ability to claim children as his own.

My response: adoption. That's a way that men can claim children as their own without having to rely on marriage. A better solution is to have multiple possibilities so that people who want to marry and to have or adopt children are free to do so.

If marital relations are important for social stability, shouldn't those relations--or the opportunity for those relations--be extended throughout the social field?

eugene chavez

Without any concession as to just causes, my answer is no. A cohabiting couple can't easily adopt. Why should an ostensibly married gay couple be better suited? It has to be left up to a court, naturally.

Being arbitrarily awarded an apparent title of married wouldn't make a gay couple suitable. You can't adopt an innocent child under ''multiple'' solutions to the parent problem. But one FIRM requirement ought to be married parents. It's well-known a child benefits most having mother and father, married and responsible.

Gays and lesbians of good will should think of the child above all. Not their ''right'' nor any self-absorbed wish to be a parent. If a woman wants to be a real mother, she should marry a man. (Not a turkey-baster, either.) If a man desires children, let him take a wife. Too much priority here is given the selfish motives, not very much for the child's benefit and future. These aren't pet parakeets. They're little human beings starting out in life.

Gays and lesbians, I'm sorry; should keep their hands off children. They have the means of raising their own DNA; let 'em get married if they want a child. I hate to seem chauvinistic. But these things are no-brainers to decent people.

Jodi

Eugene, Eugene, Eugene--saying no brainer and invoking decency won't get you very far in these parts. They aren't arguments. In fact, what is disputed is what counts as decent: in my view, sexual orientation is not linked to decency. That someone can be deemed indecent purely on the basis of sexual orientation is ethically objectionable--it relegates gay men and lesbians to a lesser status than that of straight people.

Because adoption is legally regulated, it is a matter of debate. Laws can provide different options. The data on child rearing is more complicated than you allow. What seems clear is that children thrive who are well loved and cared for, and that their health, nutrition, and safety requires a minimum of economic well being. Single parents, particularly in the current economy, often have a hard time providing for the children. And, they have a hard time in part because childcare provisions in this country are inadequate.

I doubt most conservatives would accept your FIRM requirement--it seems to require that a widowed parent be married off immediately and to disallow for divorce.

I don't know why the 'realness' of a woman's status of a mother has anything to do with whether or not she is married, to a man or another woman. That seems to confuse one's intimate relationship with an adult with one's parental relationship to children.

pebird

Shorter Eugene:

I don't like gays.

That's not a good enough argument.

Let me make something up.

Repeat.

eugene chavez

The latest of peBird's posts is a typical defensive accusation, what was it? Homophobia.

When will gays understand this is not about loving, hating, hurt feelings or attacks? I have no quarrels with a marginalized gay man or woman. They're independent Americans. They deserve my good will.

I think I deserve a place at the table, too. --Just because they yearn for another kind of life, free of worry or apprehension, doesn't mean that their present estate can replace the established order. It's the clear and untainted order of biological necessity. Man for woman, for survival of the species. Otherwise it's artificial love.

This stands out even without a reference to God's natural creation. It goes without saying homosexual reason excludes a God who governs or even understands. He does rule; but I haven't brought Him into this. Only reason was invoked.

Here is human reason: Of what use is marriage for gays? Name an advantage resulting from such over-heated efforts; when there is no natural issue expected from the ''marriage'' of a man to another man? It was all for self-satisfaction and pointless argument. Why not restore reason and the inevitable rules of nature? Save your breath and try to cope during this brief life!

pebird

Eugene - whatever.

As long as you don't support the right of the state to make decisions for individuals, then I'll support the right for religions to criticize gay marriages, and the right for the state not to dictate to religions what they believe.

Sounds a little better than Eugene's Rules of Nature.

Caspere

Eugene (and all others concerned),
I think it has come high time to give up. I will add this post as a series of points in order to more simply illustrate for you, the arguments laid out here by you. It is painfully clear to all who are reading this that you are not very well versed in the art or craft of debate (saying nothing of your horrible grasp of other concepts including but, I gather, not limited to: constitutional law (citizen rights), statute (rights of married parties), biblical hermeneutics, and biological science (what you call 'nature').

First of all you are homophobic, the most sinister kind; the kind that wants to appear to be permissive or such "aberrant" behaviors. Do not assume that those of us that you debate with are so unexcepting as you may be. Feel free to flaunt your prejudices, as they will 'out' themselves in time. What I mean is that by declaring the following- and I shall quote you here- you are clearly stating your position with out having the courage to directly state it. You are predisposed to find homosexuality wrong- even unable to be considered as anything other than a purely selfish for of sexual gratification.

Here are your own words:
"It was all for self-satisfaction and pointless argument."
"Gays and lesbians...should keep their hands off children."
"...these things are no-brainers to decent people"
"it means nothing to those who would 'marry' under the sleaziest of circumstances, sodomy."
"You may indeed commit yourselves to the pursuit of illicit pleasures."

I think you get the point, however if you don't, please feel free to say so and I will gladly try to make your own words more clear to you.

Next I will illustrate the falsehoods that make up your argument which, please correct me if I am wrong, is based upon this premise.

1)Same-sex relationships are unnatural and only a perverse manner for selfish sexual gratification.

2)While you do not state this directly, you find them contra biblical scripture, which I assume for you should be the law for all as it is divine law, the law that is above and that supersedes human law.
3)Homosexual marriage can only be an effort to legitimize a "behavior" that is not widely, socially accepted.
4) Those that disagree are just intellectually insufficient.

As for your misunderstanding of the law and the -as you say- marital act, what it consists of far extends beyond anything so one-dimensional as you have attempted to present it as. While the discussion here is about public policy of OUR (as in all of us, collective)government and the rights we as individuals are entitled to, under the law. The marital act is not limited to copulation, and it is destructive to your argument to concentrate on just one singular aspect of it. However this form of single issue concentration is something that has come to be expected from the conservative lobby.

In the act of debate, you are required to address the actual points that your opponent has stated, and one is not expected to rely entirely on reaction-causing talking points and overwrought cliché (that is, in substance, usually MEANINGLESS).

Here is a simple link listing a FRACTION of the benefits (federal, 1,049- and state-*number not listed)that are exercised by married couples. These are the rights that committed, same-sex couples are demanding; and oddly enough pederasty and sodomy are not listed. Maybe those might not be rights that aren't really that important? Maybe? Ya Think? Maybe?

http://gaylife.about.com/cs/mentalhealth1/a/benefits.htm

Rights under the law are also to be considered as separate from the dictates of scripture, or the constraints of dogma. The separation of church from state is imperative to the health of both institutions. When mixing the church in legal matters, or legal matters with the church, unfortunately both suffer. This is not Going to mention the fact that Jesus Christ Himself is quoted clearly, and in unequivocal terms, as demanding upon the separation of the two laws. The famous passage from the synoptic gospel "...render unto Caesar", clearly sets as separate the church and the state (as well as other places in the synoptic gospels) and ironically enough establishes this separation of church and state with the position that it is the Christian duty to pay their taxes to the government as Christ's kingdom is separate that Caesar's Earthly one. Hmmmm. Funny how the same Conservatives that want to limit the rights allowed by the state, and the benefits provided by the state to its people, yet they also want to cut taxes. Seems that the dogma is antithetical to the actual scripture. But I will not get into a debate on scripture or your stand on anything other than same-sex marriage as it is unfair of me to assume your position on other issues than this current concern.

This brings me to a side point that I find distressing. I, immediately preceding, have admitted to my flaws in adhering to the structures of debate, as well as admitting, somewhat sheepishly, to my own personal prejudices; prejudices which I am not altogether pleased with having. I find my antagonism with the points of view of intolerant, theocratic debaters ill-equipped with actual positions or facts, to be both boorish and banal followers. I equate anyone that doesn't question, on a consistent basis, the validity and rationality of their beliefs in a harshly devastating manner is nothing short of the greatest of all dangers to liberty as well as the most singularly destructive force that is possible within a democracy.

Back to the problems within your argument.
-----
You wisely choose not to rely upon your personal religious beliefs in order to establish your position. While this gives the illusion of thus placing you firmly within the bounds of reason and not just belief, you would have done better, and been more forthright by situating yourself strictly back into belief, as that is all that you really have. But please do not confuse this statement. In my personal opinion belief is a wonderful position, and has been utilized by many a brilliant thinker from Kierkegaard to Merton. Even Jodi's friend Zizek comments on belief and the failures of concretized belief in the guise of knowledge. If we imagine belief as a fluid concept with no evidence, that is unable to appear as self-evident to others, but is a concept that we might find as integral- imperative even- to the manner in which we live our lives. Knowledge is a not as powerful as belief, because with knowledge we can always defer the responsibility of our actions to an external, observable or quantifiable source. Belief is far more powerful because it is not externally derived, and therefore also requires of us GREAT responsibility, as well as, GREAT accountability for our decisions based upon belief.

To root this argument in belief is what you are doing and that is perfectly fine. Just do not expect to pretend to exist within a democracy that prides itself upon its inherent freedom and liberty while demanding others to be accountable for your personal decisions concerning belief.
By the way your guy even says it- Matthew 7:1 "1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Seems like even if you did find homosexuality to be wrong, according to scripture, that you are being a bit selective in the reading of scripture. Another person's sin, if that is what it is according to your belief, is absolutely NONE of your business. And we shall assume that you do not find it appropriate to portend the right to issue judgment upon others. That is a safe assumption- yes?

So by eliminating the idea that same-sex marriage is for either selfish gain, or that it is against Christian dogma- we will address the only other point that you have hobbled out into this public square.

The completely incorrect idea that homosexuality is some aberrant, unnatural behavior. I will just add a link here in the hopes that you will check it out on your own. It will lead to further readings, and hopefully, then you will present to us your position in a more articulate manner.

Homosexuality DOES exist in nature. It is natural. It is actually fairly common in THOUSANDS of species in the biological world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_homosexuality#Homosexual_behavior

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

In closing, I do not have a problem with you holding your position, I have a problem with you trying to force everyone to hold it.
No more red herrings,
no more straw men,
no more unrelated points,
no more cliché,
no more rhetoric
no more talking points.

If you want to continue, you must address each point in a manner that actually utilizes reason as if it were an actual tangible tool, not merely some rapid fire retort intent upon belittling a counterclaim. OK?
My hope is that you are interested in dialog for the purposes of attempting to arrive at a position that acquired through a rigorous and rational dialectic.
Try to not attach yourself to a position with such a firm grasp, for if that position is eventually proven to be inconsistent or false, you will not be "wed"(pun intended) to it, to your own detriment.

Same-sex marriage is a civil question, unrelated to sex or morality; and like it or not, it is a right that should be afforded ALL under the law, or the very principles that we have are flawed.
If I may pervert Bataille (pun not intended), when he states that a ‘dilemma in love is not a dilemma, as both choices are thus wrong’(not a direct quote) –
ANY debate over universal rights and liberties, negates the very idea of rights and liberties.
Have a nice night all.

Susan Henking

Several points (responding to various above):

1. Even the Catholic Church recognizes that marriage (for opposite sex couples) need not merely be for procreation. Otherwise, all infertile couples, all postmenopausal women, etc would be ruled out. They call it unitive love. (Not, by the way, that they do NOT call it fornication.)

2. On the relation of religion, morality, and the state, I recommend Janet Jakobsen, Love the Sin.It does a good job of showing the reasons that morality has been claimed by some folks and othrs are ruled out by their (apparent) logic.

3.As a side note, all the arguments offered against gay marriage here were marshalled by other bigots around mixed race marriages (aka miscegenation laws). A scholar I know has written on a case in California where Catholics claimed such laws were discriminating against them on the grounds of religion, since the church wanted to ALLOW mixed race marriage. Since some religious groups want to permit gay marriage (e.g., MCC and also reconstructionist jews), perhaps refusal to recognize those as marriages is unconstitutional.

4. There is a very odd sense of public and private going on in some of the comments above.

And, the whole conversation seems surreal, since only some are truly "listening" to others. ..

eugene chavez

Dear Caspere,

These statements are why you think I'm ''homophobic:
Here are your own words:
"It was all for self-satisfaction and pointless argument." Reply: I refer to the puruit of legal marriage equal satus with a married hetersexual couple. No use, Caspere.
"Gays and lesbians...should keep their hands off children." --That's too harsh, I admit. I only meant adoption of them. It's not
"...these things are no-brainers to decent people"--Reply: Exactly. But I actually consider YOU a decent person, as long as you desist from depraved sexual acts. (Hate the sin only, not persons.)

"it means nothing to those who would 'marry' under the sleaziest of circumstances, sodomy." ---Hard to face; yes. But the marital act is nothing like sodomy. You wouldn't marry your fist to indulge in married masturbation.

"You may indeed commit yourselves to the pursuit of illicit pleasures." ---What else are they, Caspere? Marriage can't be bought at the City Hall. Do what you have to do, and don't vitiate the marriage bond. It's the sacrament that joined your mother and father together in one flesh. Have respect for them and for the dignity of marriage. Because; you're already free to pollute yourself; they won't incarcerate you the way it was once.

NOW- Having reduced that to its basics; stating the no-brainers doesn't make one a homophobe. If I believed in hating you; persecuting you, and in a 2nd class citizenship for you; discrimination;

I'd be guilty of homophobia. You shouldn't have to live in that closet, not for my enjoyment. Nor should a lesbian. We can be friends; we can exchange compliments and rib one another-- without malice. All of that NOW, without you're having to ''tie the knot'' in a wedding ceremony. (Going to that extreme is ludicrous, the world laughs at you.) If I were a homophobe, we could NOT be friendly. And at this point it's only YOU who display animosity. It's you who feels hatred for me; not me for anyone. (Continued.)

Craig

EC: "If I were a homophobe, we could NOT be friendly."

If Eugene pulls out the sophomoric argument that conclusively proves that one is not bigotted in any way - "I sat on the bus to school with [minority x]" - then this conversation should be closed. For good.

eugene chavez

Caspere in serious mood:

''I have a problem with you trying to force everyone to hold it.''

Have I? I merely explain what true marriage is. It is NOT the same thing for heterosexuals as it would be for homosexuals. The legal status you'd really enjoy is a civil arrangement. Marriage is a joining of two human beings, man and woman, in one flesh. And one whole, as complete persons. Biologically and spiritually.

No more red herrings, --Don't practice it with me.

no more straw men, --There hasn't been any that I can identify as such. All I said before is true, some of it metaphorically, or concrete examples.

no more unrelated points, --Man and woman are related. Man and man is an arrangement.

no more cliché,-- To you this seems to be ''love'. To me love is better than a pseudo marriage arrived at from pseudo-law and ''rights.'' All these are cliches. You argue for the manipulation of social acceptability, not true marriage.

no more rhetoric --Reply: --Unless it's defense of the truth. Rhetoric in order to score cheap shots is nothing but calumny.

no more talking points. --You can keep yours, if they're specious arguments. I won't belabor you with any.


''If you want to continue, you must address each point in a manner that actually utilizes reason as if it were an actual tangible tool, not merely some rapid fire retort intent upon belittling a counterclaim. OK?'' Reply: Let's see if we can speak only the truth, and do it charitably. ''Points'' as you call them are sometimes mere matters of opinion. When I venture an opinion it's invariably reasonable. I couldn't hope to sway anybody here with unreasonable assertions.

And, while I'm thinking all this; I want Jodi to know how I feel toward her.

My observation so far is that she's a very sweet girl. She isn't abrasive, she tries to be honest, and her heart is in the right place. She deserves everybody's respect. I'll be frank about all the others, when we converse some more. Jury's out until later.

eugene chavez

Here is Craig:
''If Eugene pulls out the sophomoric argument that conclusively proves that one is not bigotted in any way - "I sat on the bus to school with 'craig'- then this conversation should be closed. For good.''

Isn't it you, Sir; who plans to argue under the preconception that I'm bigoted? You've already made up your mind.

Recall what my argument here is about. Not about bigotry nor homophobia. Both of which you're attributing to me unreasonably. My only cause in this place is to disabuse gays and lesbians of an error.

Thinking they're actually married when they aren't. Just an example:

Two males, both gay. One enlists in the Navy. The other is a civilian. The civilian ''marries'' another guy. He isn't married; it's only a pretend marriage.

The Navy guy is really a sailor. He's not pretending. Both have documents to prove it. Documents in the civilian gay's case, are not enough. However; had this same man married a woman; he'd have entered into real matrimony. (He has that right.) SHE would be married to HIM. For certain.

Jodi

Eugene, you really are missing the point. The question is what sorts of arrangements should be included under the legal definition of marriage. More precisely, we can say, who should be allowed to receive a marriage license. As I understand it, in Massachusetts and Hawaii (didn't Hawaii say ok), as well as Canada, England, and a handful of European countries, the laws say that 2 consenting adults of a certain age, who are not married to someone else, may receive a marriage license.

So, folks who get the license and go through the requisite ceremony or signage are really married. That's it.

Interesting complications can arise after the fact and these will become evidence for anulment or divorce.

But, in Massachusetts and England (to narrow the examples) same sex couples are just as married as anyone else.

People of course may make all sorts of personal remarks about these marriages, criticizing them, being snippy etc, but from the standpoint of the law, these couples are married. They aren't just living together, they aren't just sexual partners, they are just coparenting, they are married.

Craig

Anyone know what happened to that radical feminist critique of marriage - of the whole institution? It seems strangely absent in the present climate.

eugene chavez

Dear Jodi:
In just the perfect kind of irony, you make my point:

''folks who get the license and go through the requisite ceremony or signage are really married. That's it.''

They fill the overt requirements for a civil union and call it a marriage for appearance sakes. The covert requirements for true marriage, sperm and egg; can't be brought together by bureaucrats. They only PRETEND it's not irregular.

Some officials legalize what is patently, flatly irregular, and call it a marriage; to avoid the charges of ''bigotry'' --which minorities continue to level at heterosexual society. Yet, realistically stated, for appearance sakes, and to avoid charges of bias and unjust law, the officials sanction something they couldn't really sanction with any real authority. But they carry it out as if it were a marriage. All it CAN be is a legal arrangement. Because you cannot create a contract that negates gender reality. You can sign it, but it won't be true.

I'd hope and expect this sham marriage certificate held up in a court when property was inherited. Because it's official, the law might not challenge it.

A victory it IS, for the ''oppressed.'' By going through a sham marriage, you and a significant other bypass the legal challenges that might arise someday. That makes the documents USEFUL. But not true. Whereas, no court anywhere can deny *man to woman marriage* is not only legal, but genuine. In my own home I'd refer to it as ''in the eyes of God and man.''

Here, where only secularism counts, I say it less in a religious sense. Nevertheless, genuine. All else being correct, there's no sham about the marital act between husband and wife. That's something that can't be matched in same-gender reality.

peBird

What I take from this discussion may be relevant to the thread on privilege.

I've never understood the strong reaction against gay rights. The gyrations, rationalizations, inability to articulate what exactly it is that bothers them so. The descent into "natural" this and "sham" that. It’s as if right before God died he elected these folks supreme arbiter of what is natural and good.

What Eugene demonstrates is a frustration at the heart of anti-gay ideology. I think it is based on a notion of sexual privilege - at its root a principle of inequality and one-sided freedom. His statement that marriage exists primarily for the purpose of reproduction is revealing. This is his defining characteristic of marriage – the ability to reproduce, the most basic function – one could say the lowest form – of life. This is how his god defines humanity (love is apparently something else). He can keep that god for himself.

The offset to privilege is resentment – see Nietzsche – the American South conducted itself with shame after the Civil War due in part to the resentment they felt when their privileged position was eliminated. Gays are experiencing something similar (not to equate but to illustrate) through this anti-gay (should be called anti-human) ideology.

This is scary stuff – the basis of this ressentiment is that feeling of inferiority generated when an inferior position and failure is realized. The intense frustration and pain fuels this “irrational” behavior and drives acts against the other “responsible” for this trauma.

So, those that complain about gay marriages are driven by the realization or unconscious dread that their own (their parents?) marriages are failures, that their privilege never really existed, and that therefore their problems could remain hidden if these gays would just go away.

Thanks for the help in figuring this out, Eugene.

Jodi

Craig--Susan (author of the letter and commented above) accepts that critique; I do, too. To my mind, that's an 'internal' debate about tactics that unfortunately has been side swiped by efforts in favor of marriage. So, my preference would be to weaken marriage altogether, disconnecting it from temporary assistance programs, custody, adoption, benefits, inheritance, taxation, visitation rights, etc. Still, in the present climate, not to fight for full legal equality strikes me as a political and ethical failure.

Pe Bird--I think your use of Nietzsche above was insightful. Thanks.

Eugene--from your last comment, it seems that you actually have no problem, ultimately, with changing the law to recognize same sex marriage. Insofar as the civil law cannot determine what true marriage is (what you hold it to be), then civil law is not at stake. True marriage, then, is not threatened but remains a sacred trust. Your distinction between true and legal marriage, then, as far as I can tell, fully supports the rights of lesbians and gay men to marry each other.

eugene chavez

peB,
You could've saved all the psycho-babble and said ''those who complain about gay marriages are wrong to even come here.''

But I didn't complain, I didn't execrate. I lent you an insight which you reject. Marriage isn't for everybody. Gays are capable of love. They are incapable of the marital act. (Love in a married state.)

This was in answer to a false premise at the start of the discussion. *Taxes imposed* on those who truly have become man and wife; in order to level the playing field for --? ? ? --

--Those who COULD marry and won't. Why? They won't marry a member of their opposite sex. Because you refuse, you need the playing field tilted in YOUR favor. Or, you ask that those who are truly married pay extra taxes; since your taxes don't tilt the field enough for you.

If this isn't a classic example of the self-absorbed total narcissist, it's just paranoia. (Paranoia is real; it's not psychobabble.) I do NOT complain about ''gay marriage''. I simply call it what any sane person can see. It's a sham for elevating those who can't love in a normal context, up to a social rank that they reject. *Normality in marriage.*

They won't marry, so they demand TRUE marriage become irrelevant, compatible to their private agenda. If you won't have it; you're ''complaining about gay marriage'' -- ! ! ! Pardon me, but where is your self-respect, that you lower yourself this way?

eugene chavez

Clarify that:

--It's a sham for elevating those who can't love in a normal context, up to a social rank that they reject, *Normality in marriage.* Normality rejected because for a gay man, women are for breeding, not eros. That's why you won't marry a woman.

You aren't interested in marriage, you're interested in homoerotic love. But you demand it both ways.

Caspere

Eugene- I feel like it pretty much boils down to the fact that you don't comprehend anything that is being said to you.

I am not saying this in an attempt to be offensive. I honestly think that you do not understand the parameters of the topic, or the statements that have been presented.

Marriage is a right controlled by the state. This is NOT in reference to anything that may be considered what God would recognize- that is an issue for the respective spiritual institution. The discussion here is the rights afforded to a spouse: rights denied to same-sex couples. It is that simple. There is no question of what YOU consider to be normal, or aberrant; or what you think God's edicts control. This is not a question of religion or morals.

I think that you are muddying the water for the purposes of furthering your own bigotry. But I am fallible, and that is merely my opinion. I will defend YOUR right to YOUR opinion, but you have no right to limit the rights of others. That is all. You do need to realize that your personal religious beliefs are yours. But they can not change biological science, which continues to prove that homosexuality is a 'natural' occurrence. You don't have to like it, I do believe (and agree with) the Nietzschean idea referring to the loss of privilege/resentment.
- side note for the rest of the people here- I wonder how much of this resentment is actually tied to the schism between the 'perceived' right to privilege in the male in the society, and the 'experience' of the public loss of inherent privilege. Meaning-- if the power structure has been ingrained with the idea that they are somehow, inherently, more justified in their right to power in the culture. That there is some birthright to the labor market that is being denied by the rapidly shifting culture. This is then reflected in their aggressive attacks upon simple symbols- threats to their virility, threats from foreign force stealing the security of labor (I see the Same-Sex marriage debate as linked at the hip to the immigration debate in that they are both some sort of reversal of a symbolic oedipal issue- the father afraid of his virility being usurped.) I realize that this is not very solid thinking but I am trying to work through thoughts in a public forum, something I consider to be a great use for the theory/blogging world.

Back to the issue at hand. I think all that needs to be done to win any debate is to allow Eugene to talk for a while. He seems to punch himself out.
You do have to admire his tenacity; he keeps fighting.

The only thing that I am troubled by is a comment I read earlier today:
"There is a very odd sense of public and private going on in some of the comments above.
And, the whole conversation seems surreal, since only some are truly "listening" to others."

I chewed on this all day. I wonder what a discussion of politics is if it is not a negotiation of the personal and private in relation to the public sphere. What is the politic if it is not the interaction between the individual and the whole that they are situated among? I realize that there are as many interpretation of this as there are interpreters, yet I can not help but think of the political decision as the utmost personal one.
My own personal situation is that I am a man in my thirties, and in a long term committed relationship with a woman that I love dearly. Yes, Eugene, I am heterosexual. We have both agree that we will not marry until our friends can marry - legally. We have decided upon this because of political reasons, we don't want to talk our political beliefs if we do not also walk them. I can not begin to tell you the difficulties that we have already encountered. Recently I needed emergency medical work, and was denied full coverage because of insurance policy difficulties for NON-married couples. We are also currently, jointly, organizing the estate of an old professor of mine, and we have witnessed the boundaries of those NOT married, when dealing with the law.

And most painfully, my 'wife' was not allowed to make decisions for me while I was unconscious. It could have been a matter of life and death, (slight hyperbole-SLIGHT) and that created a sense of urgency to this debate. I feel that we understand, if only in a small manner, the difficulties of being unable (unwilling in our case) to marry. I can not believe that rights to a legal marriage could even be a discussion in a country that prides itself upon its freedom and liberty.

As far as listening to others, I feel like we are, excluding those blinded by dogma and bigotry, as interested, first and foremost, in listening and understanding all parties involved.

I only hope that I do listen, and fully comprehend all those whom I find myself opposing on political issues. More important than all of my views is the right to express ones views. That is my only hope here, a sort of hope beyond hope's boundaries, that Eugene would be capable of listening and understanding. I refuse to abandon the belief that there is a chance that someone might think differently about something, that their minds may open.

Idealistic, utopian, I know- I just don't think that those are bad words.

eugene chavez

Caspere;

I'm not ''fighting'' for a cause, as much as for your souls and your humanity. It's something called ''tough love,'' obliging me to be my brother's keeper. Yes, this arouses your resentment. You must compensate for your guilt, promoting the idea that I do it in the Nitzchean mode. But it's just my Christian obligation.

I'd like you to realize that I'm not blind to your pain and suffering. I get no pleasure out of another man's misfortune. I only know that your soul is very precious; and that God sees your goodness behind the arrogance.

You can trust in Him, he knows you and understands you better than anybody.

In reference to the nature of homosexuality in the natural realm, I also know many animals are given this unbearable itch. But how can that give a man comfort? To send out flagrant signals during his life that he's nothing more than a salacious animal? Caspere is NOT an animal. He's a man!

He has a tremendous cross to carry. Do you think I don't know that? You yearn for a companion, and the love of a good man like yourself. And that orientation in itself is blameless. It's the sex that condemns you--both of you. Even so; your life has value. Greater value sometimes than the usual straight man's, who does evil himself in other ways. But he repents, if given a chance. Or, he detests his own unworthiness, because he aspires, at least. He knows he can't whitewash his disgrace.

You must think you can wipe out the evil you cling to by telling yourself it's natural.

The urge is natural, Caspere; the sex drive. The immoral pursuit of pleasure isn't. It has to be corrected interiorly, you are called to a life of chastity. You must govern yourself, not exonerate yourself. Only a great man is able to change his life for the better.

The legal redress you claim is denied you is strictly a right to marry only a woman. You shouldn't hope to make deviant laws to suit your personal disgrace. If you must live in a corrupt state of homoerotic license, you have nothing to complain about; as long as the ordinary rights of a tax-paying citizen aren't taken away from you. Gay marriage legislation is not an ordinary right, and never should become law. Not any more than pimpdom and prostitution and drug addiction should be. Your country is better than that.

peBird

Caspere:

Refusing to marry until all can marry is a beautiful gesture - I commend you for it.

For me the issue is not about universal rights imposed by someone else (unless its Eugene) - but getting the damn state off our backs.

They are NOT the arbiters of culture or personal relationships - history has shown that governments are excellent at screwing those up.

I wonder about those that want the state to enforce their religious ideas - is it because their religious ideas can't stand on their own? I guess Jesus should have asked the Roman Emperor to enforce the rule of love.

eugene chavez

Caspere,
Of course the above is meant for the active homosexual; not if you're heterosexual.

And I understand the problems unmarried as well as gays people have in the legal arena. Life is unfair.

There is no reason a civil union obtained under that stipulation; rights of heirs to inherit, hospital visits; etc., can't be enacted as law. Marriage as you know perfectly well, is not a matter for chattel courts and litigations. Marriage is for men and women. And even if a document says gays have made their union a full marriage, it never will be. There are profound differences.

eugene chavez

peBird falls back on the specious argument again.

It was not Eugene, Bird; who created man and woman for the fulfillment of married love. They have in their very hormones all that defines marriage and connubial responsibiltity. Homosexuality is not a factor. It's a deviation from the norm.

A man can't pass life on for the human race without a woman. His ''mate'' if you will. For you to call it the state-- or a statute, which governs the vital force imposed on us by NATURE (I suspect you reject God) is indicative of your ignorance and selfishness.

Jodi

Caspere, thanks for your comments. I interpreted the 'odd sense of public and private' as a reflection on Eugene's inability to distinguish between the conviction that he holds as a person and the conventions established in law and available for change and reconsideration.

What was odd was that Eugene was never able to say something like: I believe X and, while I recognize that law is malleable, I believe that the law should not allow for Y for the following reasons. To my mind, it's indicate of the resentiment and larger collapse of symbolic identities such that he can't find a place from which to speak and this lack of a place manifests itself in a kind of circular rage, we might even say in terms of a drive that can't escape the jouissance attaching to its frustration.

eugene chavez

Dear Jodi,
I have to admit law can be manipulated for political motives. You can treat it as malleable.

My view, however, isn't how the law has been defeating gay-lesbian ''rights'', but why gays and lesbians never had the right in the first place, to flaunt their hatred of the existing law, by demanding extraordinary latitude. By circumventing natural and normal marriage definitions in order to have social respectability.

That's really the agenda. The matter of gaining civil permits for inheritance, medical, or other mundane ptoblems isn't being opposed by the marriage protection movement. These things are easily made feasible with civil union recognition under law.

It's blanket APPROVAL for a counter-cultural lifestyle (diversity) they demand. The title of married-- just like you guys; the old, ''gay, lesbian pride'' issue! For THIS, heterosexuals will have to step aside. It's transparent and vulgar.

No matter what your law professor told you.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Caspere

I honestly do not know why I continue in this discussion, but I do. I enjoy the comments on this site, I have been a reader for quite a while, it took something that I find so unpalatable (bigotry disguised as "saving our damned souls"), for me to finally issue comment.

In regards to your other posts about theory blogs- It is our responsibility as (thorough) readers to provide questions for clarification or rebuttal. That is the key characteristic that differentiates the theory blog from the more traditional methods of discussion ideas. The blog allows for the amateur to not only witness the creation of ideas, but also to participate in them. I see it as a very 21st century style Marxist revolution. IN the post-industrial age, power is in the hands not of the owners of the means of industrial production, but in the hands of those of intellectual production. For that I appreciate the ability to interact in this form. My (more than obvious) handicap is in my inability to be succinct.

Eugene, I appreciate your gesture, but I pray to the God of reason for your soul. I guess that is the irresistible force and the immovable object.

My underlying question is one of society. Is Eugene's appeal to the external (All-powerful God) for justification of power, (the resentment of the loss of power) the inherent destructive force within a society that claims itself a free society. We surrender our natural freedom in order to acquire the benefits that a society provides. My questions is- the more that we equalize (or move towards the equalization) of power* within a society, are we condemned to the increasing attack of those that are forced to surrender their social and cultural power?
*for the purposes here I mainly try to focus the definition of 'power' as the power to define- social structures, laws, cultural definitions, etc. This cultural and societal defining process is the intellectual means of production that I was describing above.

peBird- I couldn't agree more, that is the impetus of my gesture. It is not so much altruistic, as much as it is a pointed political statement. All governments must continually justify, to their populace, their necessity and right to exist. A government should only exist to the point that it is a net benefit to its people, and not, as you stated, arbiters of culture. Another issue that I have had with the same-sex marriage debacle is the question of “spouse as property,” so to that point neither I nor my ‘wife’ can support the ownership of the other-even if only in symbolic manner.

Jodi- I am sincere in this question, and I hope that you do not assume it to be rhetorical; as a student I would appreciate your response (as well as any other’s).
DO you think that the difficulty is that people in the position of shifting role definitions, is that they can not find a position from which to speak (or even for which to define themselves in a consistent manner)? Or could it also be that the very movement towards concretizing identity is the action of a soon to be bygone era? The dependency upon external reference for justification, sort of a perverse form of the mirror stage on a cultural scale. I wonder if reference to external, observable data in science isn't too far removed from the deference of infallibility of the God to the believer. An inverse of the avatar of belief that Zizek talks about. "I don't really believe in it, but they do" reversed in a sort of Eichmann model of “I don't have the power of God, but I represent his will."

As a student- how far off am I?
Thank you everyone for your time and response.

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