Want to help support Obscanity.com?
Use my Shopping Portal to make your holiday purchases! It won't cost you an extra cent, but it'll help support this site. Doing all your shopping at Amazon.com? Go there now!

Netflix, Inc.


  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • News & Politics

  • Refer a Friend

  • The Social Network

  • Kenyan Police Disperse Gay Wedding – NYTimes.com

    February 15th, 2010 [Civil Rights, LGBT, World]

    Kenyan Police Disperse Gay Wedding – NYTimes.com.

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan police officers broke up a gay wedding on Friday and arrested several wedding guests, saying they had to intervene before an irate mob could stone the wedding party to death…

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    A Missing Culprit, but Culpability All Around – Forward.com

    August 6th, 2009 [Civil Rights, General, LGBT]

    A Missing Culprit, but Culpability All Around – Forward.com.

    p.s. This was no nightclub shooting.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Shooting at Tel Aviv YOUTH CENTER, not “GAY CLUB”

    August 1st, 2009 [General, LGBT]

    CNN is reporting 2 dead, 11 injured at a Tel Aviv club Saturday night. They called it a “gay club.”

    “Gay club”? Try community center for gay youth. Way to get the facts straight, CNN. These were kids who were targeted, not night-clubbers. Not that a night club attack would be any less horrific, but come on, try to at least act like you care.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Dem Congressional Candidate’s Event Raided By San Diego Sheriffs | TPMDC

    June 29th, 2009 [General, LGBT]

    Dem Congressional Candidate’s Event Raided By San Diego Sheriffs | TPMDC.

    Well clearly somebody must have grabbed an ass somewhere along the line.

    OR NOT.

    When’s the last time YOU heard of the cops breaking out the pepper spray for a noise complaint – at a fundraiser, no less? Please. Yet another example of raids for the sake of raids.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Commentary: Chastity, ‘Good luck, brother’ – CNN.com

    June 16th, 2009 [General, Health & Wellness, LGBT]

    Commentary: Chastity, ‘Good luck, brother’ – CNN.com.

    Before the word "transsexual" had been coined in English, an intrepid young person whose family belonged to the British nobility set out to transform herself from female to male. He received a medical school education, obtained hormones — relatively new substances that were poorly understood at the time, and independently began living as a man in the early 1940s. Read more….

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Michael Rowe: KRXQ Sacramento Radio Hosts Encourage Violence Against Transgender Children

    June 4th, 2009 [Civil Rights, General, Health & Wellness, LGBT]

    Michael Rowe: KRXQ Sacramento Radio Hosts Encourage Violence Against Transgender Children.

    There are no words for the way I feel about these talkshow hosts. Well, there are, but I’m certain they aren’t appropriate for a facebook post. Next time somebody tells you (or you tell yourself) they’re voting against LGBT rights to protect children, you just reread this article and remember all the children who have DIED because of attitudes like this.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    YouTube – Republican Congresswoman calls Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder “a hoax.”

    April 29th, 2009 [Civil Rights, General, LGBT]

    YouTube – Republican Congresswoman calls Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder “a hoax.”.

    Yeah. And Emmett Till just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Is Perez Hilton a Problem For the Gay Community? / Queerty

    April 27th, 2009 [General, LGBT]

    Is Perez Hilton a Problem For the Gay Community? / Queerty.

    This is a bunch of bullshit aimed at trying to get people to shut up and conform. I agree that Perez Hilton could stand to shut his mouth purely because it would give us a break from his drivel. But the true test of whether a person really believes in civil rights is whether they agree that the lowest of the low in a given group should still be entitled to rights. If people don’t support gay rights because of Perez Hilton, they didn’t really support them in the first place.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Joe. My. God.: Report: Masters & Johnson Faked Their “Gay Conversion” Study

    April 24th, 2009 [General, Health & Wellness, LGBT]

    Joe. My. God.: Report: Masters & Johnson Faked Their “Gay Conversion” Study.

    The religious right loves to cite a famous claim made by noted sex researchers Masters and Johnson that they had "successfully converted 70%" of their gay patients to heterosexuality. However Scientific American is now reporting that assistants who worked with the duo back in the 70's never saw any evidence of the research and believe that Masters made up the work.

    There’s more in the New York Times.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Pro-Gay Sites Filtered From Tennessee Students | Threat Level from Wired.com

    April 16th, 2009 [Civil Rights, Education, General, LGBT]

    Pro-Gay Sites Filtered From Tennessee Students | Threat Level from Wired.com.

    Public schools in Tennessee are filtering access to online websites discussing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, but are not blocking sites advocating “reparative” therapy to change their lifestyle.

    School officials are blaming the filtering company. The filtering company is blaming the schools. (and Amazon.com is blaming a glitch… yeah.)

    Meanwhile, what scandalous information was being sought when the filter came to light?

    “When I found out about this web-filtering software, I wasn’t looking for anything sexual or inappropriate, I was looking for information about scholarships for LGBT students, and I couldn’t get to it because of this software,” said Andrew Emitt, a 17-year-old Central High senior in Knoxville.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Bilerico Project JUST learns of Planet Unicorn… heyyyyyyyy

    April 14th, 2009 [General, Humor, LGBT, YouTube]

    The Bilerico Project | Planet Unicorn.

    Looks like somebody’s been grazing in the ambrosia fields for too long… how is Bilerico JUST NOW discovering Planet Unicorn? Seriously? What’s next – are they going to reveal a fabulous new cartoon called Lizzy the Lezzy?

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Miller v. Jenkins: One Gay Couple’s Custody Battle | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com

    December 14th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, LGBT, Marriage & Family, News]

    Miller v. Jenkins: One Gay Couple’s Custody Battle | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com.

    This is absolutely disgusting. This is no different from those old Lifetime movies where the father would kidnap the child and remove her to some foreign country where women (and therefore mothers) have no custodial (or any) rights. It’s absolute bullshit. When you and another person bring a child into this world, you are both parents to that child, and it is absolutely abhorrent to cut one parent out of the child’s life like that, and then try to brainwash her into hating her other mother, which you KNOW this lady is doing. Family values, my ASS. It makes me want to scream.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Nepal SC approves same-sex marriage- Hindustan Times

    November 23rd, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, LGBT, Marriage Equality, News, World]

    Nepal SC approves same-sex marriage- Hindustan Times.

    Fascinating. So let me get this straight (so to speak): a country in which gay people were not even recognized as citizens a year ago now recognizes same-gender marriage… but America doesn’t? What’s it going to take for America to get its act together???

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Ex-Gays Demand Non-Discrimination Inclusion, File DC Suit / Queerty

    October 14th, 2008 [General, LGBT, Religion]

    Ex-Gays Demand Non-Discrimination Inclusion, File DC Suit / Queerty.

    This is just bullshit. It’s like including “Jews for Jesus” in protection aimed at reducing anti-Semitism – counterproductive at best, subversive attempt to destroy the population from within, at worst. It’s inviting the wolves in just because they’re wearing a nice woolen coat. Why should they be protected when their whole purpose is to annihilate the group they claim to be part of?

    Now, to be fair, most “ex-gays” really are gay and closeted, whereas most “Jews for Jesus” were never Jewish to begin with, and are just faking it to try to convince actual Jews that their “choice” is a valid one. So really, protection for “ex-gays” would be more logical than protection for “Jews for Jesus.” But I think it’s kind of funny that by asking for protection as “ex-gays,” these people are admitting that in fact they are still gay – because if they weren’t, they’d be calling themselves “straight,” and wouldn’t need protection. But that should come as no surprise, because we all know that most “ex-gays” are just self-hating gay people who have somehow been brainwashed by the religious right into believing that they are doing the right thing by denying themselves the gift that God has given them. But you can’t lie forever, and many of the most high-profile “ex-gays” have been caught doing exactly what they claim they’ve given up. Yep – men.

    And if you’re calling yourself “ex-gay” and are now in a satisfying hetero relationship? Hey, guess what? YOU WEREN’T GAY IN THE FIRST PLACE. Call yourself “bisexual” and get off your self-righteous martyr trip. You didn’t do anything special.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    ‘Bride’ and ‘groom’ being restored to California marriage forms – San Jose Mercury News

    October 6th, 2008 [Civil Rights, LGBT, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, News]

    ‘Bride’ and ‘groom’ being restored to California marriage forms – San Jose Mercury News.

    Wow, I’m sure all those people out there who were worried about losing the right to heterosexual marriage will be so relieved that they don’t have to vote yes on Prop 8 anymore!

    Seriously, though. There were a lot of people who were put off by the Party A and Party B forms, so hopefully this will assuage their concerns.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Regarding CA’s Proposition 8

    September 29th, 2008 [Civil Rights, Election 2008, Law & Politics, LGBT, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality]

    I felt compelled to re-link to this blog entry after the recent comment on my entry about Google’s taking an official stance against Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment which would literally dissolve thousands of legal marriages across the state of California (and they say LGBT Californians are trying to destroy marriage?).

    In my article, Five Myths About Same-Sex Marriage, I discuss some of the common arguments folks will make against same-gender marriage in California. One of the key arguments put forth by most Prop 8 supporters is the “overwhelming” passage of Prop 22 in March of 2000. Do not believe them. Prop 22 did pass, and at first glance it passed with a hefty majority – but once you look at the numbers more closely, you’ll see that it definitely didn’t pass with the level of support claimed by proponents of Proposition 8.

    This shouldn’t surprise you, though – these are the same people who brought you Proposition 22 in the first place, and if they were willing to lie about the motives and goals of Prop 22 in order to confuse voters into supporting it (it was supposed to be about marriages from other states), then they’re certainly not going to balk at lying about its outcome and its passage rates.

    If people start throwing Prop 22 in your face, I encourage you to either direct them to the article or show them the numbers so they see the truth about Prop 22. Odds are they will refuse to see the truth, but if even one mind is changed, then that is better than nothing.

    As for the “bride and groom” issue raised by the commenter in the Google entry, here is the response I sent:

    It’s not “illegal” for you to marry as bride and groom. You are still a bride and groom regardless of what title the form gives you. If you are a woman, you are a bride. If you are a man, you are a groom. That doesn’t change. It wouldn’t make sense for a same-gender couple to have to decide which is the bride and which is the groom – contrary to popular jokes and beliefs, there isn’t that kind of gender dichotomy in a same-gender relationship.

    It’s the same as with parents; a child’s parents are still mother and father (or mother and mother, or father and father), even if the birth certificate says parent 1 and parent 2. Listing them as the first and second parent of the child doesn’t change the fact that they are a mother or a father. It’s not like the child is going to run around saying, “Hey Parent 1, Parent 2 said to ask you if I can go outside and play with my friends!” It’s not like Hallmark is going to start putting out “Parent 1’s Day” cards. A man is a father, and a woman is a mother. Reality is reality, and a form is just a form, for bureaucratic purposes and nothing else.

    If you have a church wedding, I am quite certain your clergyman will be more than happy to refer to you as bride and groom. As for me, my rabbi referred to us as kallah v’kallah (bride and bride), and that’s exactly how we wanted it. We didn’t need to strong-arm the government into giving us a special form that says “bride and bride.” We wouldn’t want it. The state license simply does not discriminate, and that is the whole point. There is no reason for a state form to impose or mandate specific gender permutations, because the gendered titles are pretty self-explanatory by themselves. If you need a form to tell you whether you are a bride or a groom, or a mother or a father, then you have bigger problems than I am trained to address.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Gay Republicans are delusional – no surprise there.

    September 3rd, 2008 [Civil Rights, Election 2008, General, Law & Politics, LGBT, Marriage Equality]

    Gay Republicans: GOP on ‘wrong side of history’ – CNN.com.

    They are SO. DELUSIONAL. McCain has said OUTRIGHT that he supports California’s hateful Proposition 8, a mean-spirited and truly anti-family ballot initiative that will literally dissolve marriages into thin air and destroy lives in the process. He also promised Jerry Falwell he would support the Federal Marriage Amendment if federal courts strike down state constitutional marriage bans. And Palin, this “mostly unknown” quantity? Palin explicitly stated that she would oppose extending benefits to same-gender partners of state employees (“No, I believe spousal benefits are reserved for married citizens as defined in our constitution”). She is adamantly opposed to expanding hate-crime legislation, offering up the ridiculous old party line that “all heinous crime is based on hate.” She also listed in her THREE TOP PRIORITIES AS GOVERNOR, “Preserving the definition of “marriage” as defined in our constitution.” No, she didn’t list health care. No, she didn’t list the environment. No, she didn’t even list the energy crisis. But protecting the definition of marriage? That is a top priority. On what planet does this constitute “mostly unknown”?

    Look, I realize the Log Cabiners are mostly gay men – but does that mean they have to walk around with their heads up their asses?

    Bookmark and Share

    Sad news for the LGBT community – Del Martin passes away

    August 27th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, LGBT, Marriage & Family, News, US]

    From EQCA:

    August 27, 2008

    It is with great sadness that I share with you that today, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community lost an iconic leader and a beloved friend.

    Del Martin, 87, passed away in San Francisco with Phyllis Lyon, her lifelong partner and spouse, by her side. Martin was one of the nation’s first and most visible lesbian rights activists who dedicated her life to combating homophobia, sexism, violence and racism. Martin’s many contributions to the LGBT movement will resonate for decades to come.

    We are saddened to lose such a wonderful friend to our community and our love goes out to Phyllis and her family during this most difficult time. We would not be at this incredible moment in history, where all couples have equal rights under California law, if it had not been for Del’s lifetime of courage and leadership.

    Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married in California on June 16, 2008 after 55 years together. EQCA honored Del and Phyllis with the Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Marriage Equality Award in 2003, an award the organization gives every year in their honor.

    Read more about Del Martin.

    Gifts in lieu of flowers can be made to honor Del’s life and commitment and to defeat the California marriage ban through the National Center for Lesbian Rights NO on 8 committee at www.nclrights.org/NoOn8.

    Our community will forever honor Del’s life and legacy.


    Geoff Kors
    Executive Director
    Equality California

    Equality California is dedicated to achieving equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

    Our work depends on individual financial contributions. Donate now using our secure website or download a donation form to send via fax or mail.

    Donations to EQCA support our political work and are therefore not tax-deductible as charitable contributions.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Massachusetts leaders support repeal of marriage restriction

    July 14th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, Law & Politics, LGBT, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, News]

    Massachusetts legislative leaders, along with Governor Deval Patrick, are supporting an effort to lift the ban on same-sex marriage for non-Massachusetts residents. Currently, couples cannot marry in MA if the marriage would be illegal in their home state (you can imagine why that 1913 law probably originated, considering that MA allowed interracial marriages more than 100 years before Loving v. Virginia came down).

    The repeal would allow MA to cash in on some of the tourist market generated from the legalization of same-sex marriage in California, which does not have the same restriction on out-of-state couples. Without the repeal, only couples from MA, RI, NY and CA can marry in Massachusetts.

    I’m all for repealing the residency requirement, but I still think it’s a shame that so few states are allowing the marriages in the first place. Aside from the obvious arguments, which I’ve already discussed in depth, there’s also the whole problem of the right wing shooting itself in the foot. Marriage, fidelity and monogamy are supposed to be huge conservative values, right? Children fare better when their parents are married, right? You would think encouraging these things would be a numero uno priority, regardless of who the partners are. (Not to mention that “Not Having Sex, Never Ever,” seems also to be a conservative value, and we all know married people have less sex, right? *wink* Juuuust kidding.) So I really don’t get the conservative opposition to same-sex marriage. Or rather, I do, but I just think it’s totally illogical given their general platform.

    p.s. This is a joke, right? FAUX News reports that MA will be the first state to legalize human/robot marriage, because it allows same-sex marriage? With no sign of satirical intent? Seriously? They still call themselves a news network???

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Another one bites the… um…

    July 10th, 2008 [General, LGBT, News]

    The blogosphere is buzzing with rumors that Alabama’s rabidly prudish anti-gay attorney general, Troy King, is about to resign from his post after being caught by his wife in bed with another… man.

    Is it true? I don’t know – but I’m sure it’ll come out (so to speak) eventually. The loudest, most hateful ones always do, albeit rarely of their own accord.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Wisconsin Couple Could Face Jail Time If They Marry

    July 10th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, Law & Politics, LGBT, Love & Relationships, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, News]

    What on earth? Are we still in the 1960’s, pre-Loving v. Virginia? If this same-sex couple travels to CA to be married, they could face JAIL time if they return to Wisconsin. Sounds to me like a good case for the Supreme Court – if it hadn’t been stacked by the rightist White House.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    The Onion Celebrates Gay Pride

    June 29th, 2008 [Blogs, Humor, LGBT, News]

    The Onion is celebrating San Francisco Pride weekend with a front page laden with gay-themed stories. Here are a few gems from over the years:

    Happy Pride, everybody!

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    Five Myths About Same-Sex Marriage

    June 29th, 2008 [Blogs, Books, Civil Rights, Coupons & Discounts, Editorial, Financial, General, Humor, Law & Politics, Leisure & Recreation, LGBT, Love & Relationships, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, Movies, News, Rebates, Religion, Shopping, Technology]

    I published this article over at Hubpages, and thought you might like to read it. I’ve included the text for archive posterity.

    Five Myths About Same-Sex Marriage

    Over the past several weeks I have seen a huge number of articles spring up in protest of last month’s CA Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriages. I want to address some of the arguments and claims that I’ve seen in those articles.


    Myth #1: Four liberal activist judges overruled the will of the people.

    What You Should Know
    : The California Supreme Court, a conservative court, struggled with the issue, looked to the CA Constitution, and concluded that equality means equality for ALL – and that includes those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

    Many have argued that legislatures, not judges, should be responsible for making marriage law. The CA legislature has twice passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act, which equalized civil marriage rights among couples but explicitly stated that no religious institution shall be compelled to preside over a same-sex marriage. The bill was passed by two different assemblies of the legislature, since one passage was prior to a major election and once occurred after. The bill was twice vetoed by the Governor specifically because he believed it WAS an issue for the courts, not for the legislature.

    Of the seven CA Supreme Court Justices, six were appointed by Republicans. The CA Supreme Court is traditionally known for being fairly conservative. If you think “CA” and think “liberal judges,” you might be mistaking the CA Supreme Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Circuit. They are two very different courts. Incidentally, one of the dissenters is personally in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. Judges can and do go against their own personally-held beliefs in favor of upholding the CA Constitution.

    The Supreme Court decision did not create a “new right” – rather, it acknowledged prior decisions stating that every person has a right to choose his or her life partner, and determined that this right cannot be abridged based solely on sexual orientation, which the Court views as akin to race and religion as far as discrimination practices are concerned. The judges did not come to their decision easily; they struggled with it, and that struggle is documented in the extremely lengthy opinion released last month (most court decisions are NOT this long – the Massachusetts marriage decision was less than a third of this length). If you think all it took was a stroke of a pen, I challenge you to read the 172-page opinion. I did.

    Myth #2: The people of CA already spoke on the issue of gay marriage by passing Proposition 22

    What You Should Know: Only 29% of registered California voters (21.5% of eligible voters) voted in favor of Prop 22. Is that an overwhelming majority?

    Supreme Court Cases You Should Read

    Perez v. Sharp (CA, 1948)

    Loving v. Virginia (US, 1967)

    Baker v. State (VT, 1999)

    Lawrence v. Texas (US, 2003)

    Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health (MA, 2003) [PDF]

    Lewis v. Harris (NJ, 2006)

    In Re Marriage Cases (CA, 2008) (PDF only, due to length)

    While Proposition 22 was a statewide ballot initiative, it was not an accurate reflection of all of CA, for two major reasons:

    First, contrary to popular belief, Prop 22 was not approved by an overwhelming majority of CA voters. Prop 22 was passed by an overwhelming majority of the voters who came out in March of 2000 to pick between John McCain and George Bush, since there was no true competition in the Democratic race, with Vice President Al Gore being the assumed winner. True, more Democrats than Republicans voted in the election, but if you count by who they voted for instead of their party identification, you get 2,654,114 voting Democratic and 3,702,487 voting Republican. In a consistently blue state, these statistics are not representative of the true population (about 30 million people). Overall, the election had a pretty low turnout rate. That primary election had around 7 million voters out of about 15 million registered voters. This past February primary (2008) had about the same number of registered voters, but more than 9 million actually turned out – and THAT was with closed primaries, which we didn’t have before, and no real contest in the Republican race.

    In a state of more than 30 million people, only 4,618,673 voted in favor of Prop 22, and 2,909,370 voted against it. With only about a third of eligible voters, and barely half of registered voters, having voted on Prop 22 (that’s overall, not just in favor), it’s hard to use the word “overwhelming” to describe the outcome. Basically, 29% of registered voters (21.5% of eligible voters) voted in favor of Prop 22 – and that was eight years ago. The world has changed since then. People have changed since then. I know a LOT of people who voted for Prop 22 and are, in retrospect, utterly ashamed of themselves for it.

    Second, Proposition 22, while appearing simple, was actually quite misleading. It came as a response to DOMA, which allowed states to refuse to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, and the entire campaign was centered around the notion that CA should not be forced to recognize other states’ marriages. The argument was framed in such a way that many people who had no particular opinion on same-sex marriage voted for Prop 22 because they believed CA should be allowed to make the decision for itself and not be forced into it by another state. While this same Supreme Court ruling ultimately determined that Prop 22 did apply to all marriages and not just those performed out of state, the “yes” campaign intimated otherwise, and countless voters were duped in the process.

    Even if Proposition 22 HAD passed with the approval of most Californians (which it didn’t), the CA Supreme Court had the responsibility to ensure that it complied with the CA Constitution (which it didn’t). The Court here didn’t ignore Proposition 22; it attacked it head on and found it to violate the spirit of the California Constitution. Courts have declared other initiatives unconstitutional as well, and in the 1960’s the US Supreme Court even invalidated a voter-approved CA constitutional amendment which sought to overturn a recently-passed legislative act banning housing discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, sex, marital status, physical handicap, or familial status. Propositions don’t just glide into law just because the voters approved them. They still have to meet the rigorous standards of our great state and federal constitutions, and Proposition 22 violated what both the CA and US Supreme Courts have called a basic human right, the right to marry and create a family with your chosen spouse.

    Myth #3: Marriage is a sacrament and has always been between one man and one woman.

    What You Should Know: Read Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz. You’ll learn things you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

    I could go on for pages about the ways in which marriage has changed over the years. One man can no longer have eight wives. Women are no longer subsumed by their husband’s identity and viewed as property. Couples are no longer barred from marriage based on their racial makeup. Most importantly, however, couples do not have to have their marriage blessed or sanctified by a religious institution, and they do not have to be married by a member of the clergy. This is the key to the constitutionality argument for same-sex marriage. The court cannot, and must not, and WILL not force religious institutions to officiate marriage for same-gender couples. Religions have the right to dictate their requirements for marriage, and the government may not interfere.

    However, the state does not “recognize” religious institutions’ marriages; it creates the official status itself, and it officiates marriages outside the religious sphere. We call this civil marriage. It is an entirely different institution from religious marriage; it just happens that the state grants clergymen the status to officiate civil marriages at the same time as religious ones, for convenience’s purpose, so that a couple can be married in a single ceremony. A couple that goes to church and exchanges vows before witnesses is NOT married unless they fill out the necessary paperwork for a civil marriage. Likewise, a couple can obtain a civil marriage license and be married by a judge, a marriage deputy, or other civil servants acting as agents for the state, and never even interact with a religious institution.

    Religious institutions can discriminate against certain couples; for example, most rabbis will not officiate at a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew, because Jewish law only recognizes as valid a marriage between two Jews. However, the STATE cannot discriminate in the same way and purport to be upholding the Constitution, state OR federal. If the STATE offers civil marriage, it must allow it to all adult couples, not just those who fit religious descriptions of propriety. After all, can you imagine the chaos if the state refused to issue a marriage license to a couple because one of them was Jewish and one was not? It is not the state’s business to uphold or enforce religious restrictions on marriage. (In fact, considering the VAST number of religious institutions and clergy who submitted amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in support of same-gender marriage, I would argue that the state would have been in violation of the Establishment Clause had it NOT allowed the marriages to take place, since barring same-gender couples would have been equivalent to expressing a preference for some religions over others, at the expense of individual civil rights.)

    If you want Biblical proof that it hasn’t always been about men and women, read I Samuel, not just the lines I have provided below, but the entire story – and read a translation that is as close to the original Hebrew as possible, as modern versions have diluted the story, often explicitly changing words entirely to tone down the relationship. Think about what it means to make a “covenant.” In nearly every other case in the Bible, the word “covenant” refers to the relationship between God and people, or to people promising to serve God. A covenant is an eternal promise – why else would some states institute “covenant marriages,” which are not as easy to dissolve?

    1 Samuel 18

    1. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

    3. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

    1 Samuel 23

    18. And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

    Myth #4: Allowing same-sex marriage will lead to legalization of incest, pedophilia, and polygamy! Next thing you know, people will be marrying their dogs!

    What You Need To Know: It’s far too late for that.

    Let’s get this one over with: A dog is not and will never be a consenting adult. Nor will a goat. In addition to being morally and utterly repugnant, sex with animals is always rape, because an animal cannot consent. Likewise, a paw print does not suffice as a signature on a marriage license – and no matter how sure you are that your dog is trying to tell you something, absent a licensed dog-to-human translator, “Arf arf” cannot be properly construed to mean “I do.” Get your mind out of the gutter and stick to the issue at hand.

    Incest is already legal in the 26 states where individuals can marry their first cousins. Cousins are the next degree of siblings; they are the children of your parents’ siblings. The great irony of today’s marriage laws is that I can marry my black cousin, the son of my aunt, but I can’t marry my wife. Or rather… I couldn’t. Now I can.

    Pedophilia is already legal in the 1/3 of states that allow children under age 16 to marry, with some allowing marriage as early as age 13 with permission from the court. I’d be willing to bet that in most cases the men marrying adolescent girls are not also in their teens. If you want to protect children, you can start by lobbying states to prohibit children from getting married before they are old enough to see R-rated movies.

    Polygamy is a separate issue because it doesn’t involve marital prohibition so much as it involves individuals trying to “double-dip” on the marital property and tax systems, among other things. A marriage is a union of two individuals into one economic unit. You can’t “become one” with one person if you’re already “one” with another person. There’s an argument to be made for allowing “threesomes” of people to marry, but I highly doubt anybody would take the economic risk, considering that one individual could wind up paying alimony to everybody else in the group if s/he decided to leave. I think the specter of alimony would be enough to prevent anybody from seriously raising this concern – not to mention that it’s an extremely rare arrangement in the first place.

    Myth #5: Gay couples don’t need marriage in order to get their legal matters in order. Calling it “marriage” does nothing but devalue the sanctity of marriage.

    What You Need To Know: Allowing committed couples to marry encourages and promotes monogamy and family responsibility, two crucial family values. As a result, federal and state governments have instituted a system of rights and responsibilities that have become necessary and irreplaceable for two people sharing their lives together. These rights are not replicable in private legal arrangements since most of them have to do with third-party or government recognition.

    First, I have to point out that same-gender couples can’t possibly do more harm to the institution of marriage than that already inflicted by the heterosexuals who have held a monopoly on it for so long. (Hello Britney; hello “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?”) With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, marriage needs all the good role models it can get. Many of the couples that are getting married in California this week have been together longer than most heterosexual marriages ever last. In fact, some social scientists believe that studying the way same-sex couples communicate and deal with conflict may actually help decrease the divorce rate among heterosexual couples by helping them overcome conflict.

    Whether you like it or not, same-sex couples will have children. Children fare better in life when their parents are married. Why would you deny these children the right to be raised by married parents? Studies show that there is no substantial difference between children raised by gay parents and those raised by straight parents. They do, however, show that two parents are better than one. Marriage encourages two-parent childrearing, and provides economic safety-nets for situations where one parent abandons the family. Without marriage, the protections are substantially reduced. Marriage also encourages personal responsibility and shifts economic support responsibilities from the government to the individual and the private sector; with gay marriage legalized, many people will no longer have a need for state-provided benefits because they will be eligible for benefits through their spouse.

    Children tend to thrive when they have one parent at home and one parent working to support the family; in an ideal world, families could afford to live on the salary of only one working parent (this is becoming less common as the cost of living skyrockets). Federal marriage recognition encourages parents to stay home with their children; spouses are entitled to their deceased spouses’ Social Security benefits if their own are insufficient. Gay couples do not receive this benefit, effectively removing this incentive to keep one parent at home. Additionally, federal marriage recognition keeps families from being uprooted in case of the death of a spouse; the property passes from one spouse to the other without tax repercussions, which means that in the tragic event of one spouse’s death, the other spouse and their children will not be forced to sell their home to pay estate taxes. Gay partners are taxed on bequests as though they were granted by any acquaintance; a partner of 55 years could be forced to sell her home to pay the taxes on property inherited from the deceased partner. Finally, the federal tax system actually penalizes gay couples who choose to have one partner remain at home to care for the children; the wage-earning partner is taxed on her income as a single person even though her salary is supporting both partners and their children. Stay-at-home moms should relate to this – imagine if your husband had to pay taxes as a single person!

    I could go on forever, but I think it’s time to wrap up this article. However, I am happy to answer any questions you might have. As for me, my wife and I got married this past Tuesday, on the one-year anniversary of our religious wedding. We were already married in the eyes of God – it was time for the state to catch up.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    At long last!

    June 17th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, Law & Politics, LGBT, Love & Relationships, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, News]

    Lesbian pioneers wed at San Francisco City Hall

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share

    New York Times: Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage

    June 16th, 2008 [General, LGBT, Love & Relationships, Marriage & Family, Marriage Equality, News]

    Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage

    For insights into healthy marriages, social scientists are looking in an unexpected place.

    A growing body of evidence shows that same-sex couples have a great deal to teach everyone else about marriage and relationships. Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples, but the differences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of conflicts that can endanger heterosexual relationships.

    No Comments » |
    Bookmark and Share