A Reply To Michelle S.

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


I was just left a comment by someone who wanted to give me feedback on my blog and what I believe. I have zero problem with this, and I will respond to her questions and concerns here instead of replying in a comment and hoping she will take the time to return and read it (no slam there, Michelle, you just never know...) Michelle's comments will be italicized and mine will be in bold just to keep things easy to understand...

Andee, I just want to propose a thought to get your feedback. I swear I'm not bashing, I just want your thoughts and those of others.

No problem. Propose Away.

As I've said in previous posts, I think all of your efforts on behalf of informing people about the truth of the church are courageous and inspiring. But I want to challenge what you said about people who are against gay marriage. You say that if you don't like it, you should just not do it. That it's that simple. That we as a society shouldn't be able to make that decision for the rest of humanity.

Sorry, but it *is* that simple. You don't have to like gay marriage, you don't have to approve of it just like I don't approve of Mormons baptizing people for the dead. I disagree with it, so I choose to not take part in it. I don't agree with stuffing 6 chickens into a cage for their entire life to the point that they can't flap their wings ONCE, so I buy eggs that are from cage free animals. I am a vegetarian because I don't agree with the way animals are brutally killed on a mass scale. I don't agree with eating animals who died this way, so I don't do it. Would it be okay for me to contact all the wealthy vegetarians in the world and ban together to ban the world of meat? I am sure some have thought of it, but honestly, it's a decision everyone has to make for themselves. I am not going to try and tell people how to live their lives... the church, however, went head first into a political battle that is a civil matter.

I think that is way oversimplifying the issue. There are many things that we as a society have judged to be unacceptable that we don't allow people to participate in and also punish those who do.

I am sorry you feel that way, but I disagree. For many reasons including those I have listed above.

Murder is the big one in my mind (no, I'm not putting gay marriage on the same plane as murder, it's just an example).

Okay, you just said that you are not putting gay marriage on the same plane as murder, yet you just did! If you are going to choose an example, pick one that you can use that makes your point without making my blood pressure rise :)

The reason murderers are in prison or jail is because they hurt an innocent person. They broke the law. However, gay marriage isn't going to hurt you, your straight marriage, or anyone
else's for that matter.

There *is* no good reason for everyone to not have the same rights as their neighbors in the United States of America.


Gay marriage isn't going to hurt straight marriages or relationships at all. The television commercials that did their best to scare people into voting for Prop. H8 LIED. There was no chance that California schools would have to teach kids about homosexuality in school among other obvious half-truths.

I don't believe in it, therefore I don't practice it.

Glad to hear it. :)
But to say that it should be left up to individual choice would be absurd obviously. As a society, norms have been established by the influence of the greater desires of the society as a whole (this applies both to murder and gay marriage).
Why in the world is that absurd?

What is so horrible about homosexuality even though it doesn't hurt you, your family or the world in general?

Gay marriage was legal in California for a short while... did the rivers turn to blood? Did a large number of straight marriages break up because of gay marriage? What is it that you think will happen if gay marriage is legalized? Please, let me know. What is your giant worry? Your giant concern?


In my humble opinion, the only reason proposition 8 passed is because people who believe homosexuality is wrong (mostly due to their religious reasons) banned together and raised tons of money to pass the stupid thing. 77% of this money came from Mormon Church members, and a good part of them don't even live in California! Do you see the point there? The church butted into something it shouldn't have.
Separation of Church and State is important in the United States of America. What you believe and what I believe are different, and as long as we don't force others to live by those beliefs there is no problem.

Banning gay marriage, however, is saying, "I don't care what you think, this is what I think and you have to follow my religious rules." I know I am not alone in saying that there is nothing wrong with two consentual adults who love each other to marry and live their lives.

Do you think that they are going to force gay marriage on you? I mean, what exactly is the big problem? I keep asking that because I can't think of one reason gay marriage shouldn't be legal due to the fact that it isn't hurting anyone else directly. Please point out what I fail to understand...

Marriage is not a civil right like so many try to say it is.

Says you.

I would like to point something out that Tom wrote in a blog post I shared on
WindySydney... Atheists can get married and they don't believe in God. They are allowed the same rights as a religious citizen. Why is it, then, that you want to limit the rights of another person who isn't in agreement with your religious beliefs?
And I mean marriage of any type to any person. It is a societal privilege that has been established under certain guidelines.
I would hope they would want to marry another person.

Look, marriage isn't a privilege that people earn. Marriage is available to anyone as long as they are male and female. Even those pesky murderers you mentioned are allowed to get married in prison to their uber-needy female pen pals. If you want to make marriage a privilege, please tell me the rules I have to follow to get married. Do I have to take a marriage exam? Do straight couples do that before they walk down the aisle?

I think people who try to say that marriage is a civil right do a great disservice to the many movements that have established true civil rights (rights of blacks, rights of women to vote, etc.).
Umm... I totally don't get what you mean there... Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered because he was fighting for the rights of EVERYONE. Not just black people.

Equality is equality.


Again, what is your giant concern about what would happen to the world if gay marriage were legal? What in the world is so horrific about it? I am interested to hear why you are so worried about it...


Thoughts . . . Michelle S.
Thanks for the comment, and even though I definitely disagree with you on your statement I agree that you have the right to share it. What you don't have the right to do, is to force everyone else to live how you think they should. Andee


15 comments:

  1. Demand More Says:

    I think people who against gay marriage have a tendancy to forget that banning gay marriage does not ban a gay relationship. The relationship itself is already in place and changing a relationship from being unrecognized by the state to being recognized officially does not change the social status of their relationship in any negative way. The only effect marriage has is a positive one both for the individual and society. Do people think that these men and women go "Oh, well I guess I just have to be sraight now"?!

    I think the other reason religious people are so against marriage is out of fear for the loss of tax breaks, which most likely will never happen. But isn't human rights and equality worth that?

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Great response! Also, for people who claim marriage is a religious union... what happens when 60% of you get divorced? Do the divorce proceedings occur at the LDS temple? or the synagogue? or the Catholic church? No the divorce is a civil matter which takes place in a civil court with civil proceedings and paperwork. You don't go to the LDS temple to legally divide your assets and decide who keeps the kids and the house. pfft, that whole "marriage is a religious right" argument just holds no water whatsoever.

    Temple marriage is a religious union. Reserved for upstanding Mormons. Marriage in an orthodox catholic church is a religious union - reserved for orthodox Catholics. You get my drift. There are religious ceremonies that are reserved for certain religions, only. Marriage, however, starts as a civil contract that begins (and often, sadly ENDS) in a civil jurisdiction.

  1. Mere Says:

    If marriage is such a sacred privilege, why is there divorce? Annulments? Why can you marry a stranger in Vegas at 3am and legally get out of it at 5am? Why does American culture treat it like something you can throw away if you don't like? Why is it something you can win on a game show?

    If we're going to say that marriage is a sacred privilege, maybe heterosexuals should start treating it like one and respect the damn thing. Instead of finding a scapegoat for our problems with marriage and stripping away their rights to make us feel better about our sh*tty attitudes and divorce rates, maybe we should leave the gay community alone, give them their civil rights and fix our own heterosexual relationships.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    Vegetarians Unite! I'm with you on that one 100% sister and for all of the same reasons. Let me tell you how much it irritates my John Deere employed, meat and grits, husband though! He says if the world went vegetarian, he would lose his job because most grain that is grown is to feed livestock that are destined for the dinner table. I tell him that's a false analogy because if the world did stop eating meat, all of that grain that is grown for dinner table destined animals will now go to feed us!

    First let me say that I am completely aware of the issues that surround being gay in America. My brother is gay and it has been a huge struggle for him his entire life. Although most would assume his struggles would have been societal in nature, they were really more with himself than anything else. He fought his homosexuality for years because he could not get over that although he knew he had the tendencies, it still felt morally wrong to him. He has finally come to a point in his life where he has been able to at least live with the contradictions in his own mind and is in a very stable and loving relationship (with a man). I have supported him in his struggles from day one (I actually think I knew he was gay before even he did) but he knows how I feel about the issue. The reason I bring him up is that he is a gay man (in a committed gay relationship) who doesn't believe in gay marriage. For him, I think he doesn't support it because of his own internal struggles. I don't know, maybe in the future if he becomes more comfortable with it, he may change his opinion.

    When I intially read your response, a had a hundred thoughts and comebacks ready to shoot back at you. But as I really sat and thought about what you said, I decided that I can't, on an intellectual level, really argue with them. I say I can't on an intellectual level because admittedly, my feelings against homosexuality and gay marriage are emotional. It's really hard to have a battle where the issues are seated in your heart, not your brain. You can't really defend a feeling because by nature, they are usually inexplicable.

    What I want to say is that gay marriage should be banned because it goes against what the original intent of marriage is and that is for procreation. Two people of the same gender obviously cannot engage in this practice. But to say that marriage is only intended for procreation would obviously be faulty because that would presuppose that the only time married people have sex is to get pregnant - obviously not the case. So to say it goes against the whole procreation thing is slippery at best.

    I also wanted to say that gay marriage does hurt society in that it normalizes a practice that is, even you have to admit if you are truly honest, not normal. But then you have to look at other issues throughout time that weren't accepted as "normal" that we now accept as being ok. My best example for this is interracial marriage. There was a time in this country where a black and a white literally put their lives on the line for having a relationship. And Lord help them if they wanted to get married and have children. We now accept interracial couples as a society and understand that skin color doesn't make the person - it's what is on the inside that counts. But this opinion has taken a long time to take hold in our mainstream society and I recognize the significance of the obvious shift.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that emotionally, I don't agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, but, as much as I want to, I can't really come up with any intellectual arguments against it. It just doesn't feel right to me, but neither does eating meat, which anyone who doesn't hurt me in their endeavors to consume it, should be able to do - as much as I have a right not to.

    I don't really think my feelings about homosexuality are religiously based because I'm not firmly attached to a belief in God yet (although I'm working really hard to get there because I am truly jealous of people who take comfort in their belief in God). I know that it is said by some that if homosexuality was against God's word than he wouldn't allow it to go on. So it must be ok with him. But there are many things that go on in this world that I don't think he is real proud of or intended. But none of us know what he really intends for us as a race because we just aren't on the same playing field with him - that I do believe.

    So in closing, I guess I will have to say that on an intellectual level, I agree that allowing gay marriage won't hurt me but I don't think the emotional part of me will come to that conclusion for awhile.

    Michelle S.

  1. Andee Says:

    Michelle,

    My brother is also gay, and I have seen him struggle as well. This is one of the reasons that I fight for gay marriage... because he has beat himself up over who he was compared to who everyone else wanted him to be. There is nothing wrong with who he is, and we need to take a step back and realize that being gay isn't something that needs to be fixed. You might think it's not "normal" but I disagree. I think it's quite normal, but people are too afraid to step out of the closet due to fear.

    Gay marriage doesn't hurt anyone, but banning gay marriage does.

    Andee

  1. Andee Says:

    Demand More,

    I agree. Banning gay marriage isn't going to stop people from being gay. It isn't going to solve any problems. Very good point.

    Everyone deserves the same rights in this country. Period. I don't get why more people don't understand that? Seems kinda simple?

    Andee

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    The divorce angle is something that never crossed my mind. If marriage is so sacred, why are there so many f***ing divorces?

    Thank you for the comment!

    Andee

  1. Andee Says:

    Mere,

    Good point with marrying someone in Vegas and getting divorced or annulled the next day. Britney Spears anyone? Was she really aware that marriage was sacred? She sure as hell didn't act like it.

    If people are going to make marriage "sacred" then they better be willing to fight harder against divorce as well.

    Good points!!

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    With regards to defense of Marriage... I am from California, and full disclosure, I voted No on 8 because the libertarian in me doesn't think marriage is a state function. I would be more than happy to say civil unions for all. But I can't resist the devil's arguement:

    There are several caveats that society has stated are against the norm in marraige and are considered okay to vote on. For example, polygamy. Assume that someone, anyone can be in a polygamous union and be an adult and not on government assistance (I would gather those are some reasons one could ethically be against polygamous unions, because the children get single parent tax coverage and eligiblity for extended welfare since there paternal income isn't counted) We as a society have stated that polygamous unions are not okay... and there is no real fight to change that, it is not considered a civil right to be married in a multiple marriage. Another example would be a "youth" + adult marriage (for sake of argument, I am suggesting youth means 14, 15, 16) which is illegal without complicit expressed concent. Those are some of the few examples that I would suggest, at the minimum hint of marriage being societal privilege. If we are saying that marriage is available to all as long as there is love, how do we define whose love is real and whose is not... what if someone wanted to marry 4 other adults, what if someone wanted to marry someone young (assuming young again means 14,15,16) what if someone wanted to marry a puppy. Marriage provides monetary benefits, including but not limited to tax credits. I think the thing that the yes people were concerned about (again full disclosures, I know many many Yes on 8 people) is where does it stop, do we degenerate into a society of whoever loves anyone or anything can get married to it, not to mention to co-opting of a religious term. All of these arguments can intellectually be used to argue against the legalization of marriage period, civil unions works better from a civil perspective since unions become a matter of contract and contract can only be betwix two consenting adults.

    But I think that is what people are afraid of... where does it stop.

    The Black civil rights movement (disclosure, I am biracial, black and white)didn't arise from the right to marriage. Are you are suggesting that somehow marriage is on par with being forbidden from walking along streets or being hung or shot and/or jim crow laws, I would say that seems presumptuous, I would also say that it seems odd to suggest that marriage was even the smallest of things that moved the civil rights movement.

    As far as interacial marriage being the same as same sex marriage... the Majority opionon of the NY court of appeals in Hernandez V. Robles rejected that Loving v. Virginia should be used as a litmus in same-sex marriage because the issues were not the same or equal historically stating:
    "T[T]he historical background of Loving is different from the history underlying this case. Racism has been recognized for centuries — at first by a few people, and later by many more — as a revolting moral evil. This country fought a civil war to eliminate racism's worst manifestation, slavery, and passed three constitutional amendments to eliminate that curse and its vestiges. Loving was part of the civil rights revolution of the 1950s and 1960s, the triumph of a cause for which many heroes and many ordinary people had struggled since our nation began. It is true that there has been serious injustice in the treatment of homosexuals also, a wrong that has been widely recognized only in the relatively recent past, and one our Legislature tried to address when it enacted the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act four years ago (L 2002, ch 2). But the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a by-product of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind. The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude."

    Further "Plaintiffs' reliance on Loving v. Virginia (388 US 1 [1967]) for the proposition that the US Supreme Court has established a fundamental "right to marry the spouse of one's choice" outside the male/female construct is misplaced. In Loving, an interracial couple argued that Virginia's antimiscegenation statute, which precluded "any white person in this State to marry any save a white person, or a person with no other admixture of blood than white and American Indian" (id. at 5 n 4), violated the federal Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. The statute made intermarriage in violation of its terms a felony carrying a potential jail sentence of one to five years. The Lovings—a white man and a black woman—had married in violation of the law and been convicted, prompting them to challenge the validity of the Virginia law. The Supreme Court struck the statute on both equal protection and due process grounds, but the focus of the analysis was on the Equal Protection Clause. Noting that "[t]he clear and central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate all official state sources of invidious racial discrimination in the States," the Court applied strict scrutiny review to the racial classification, finding "no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification" (id. at 10, 11). It made clear "that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the [*12]Equal Protection Clause" (id. at 12). There is no question that the Court viewed this antimiscegenation statute as an affront to the very purpose for the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment—to combat invidious racial discrimination."

    From a historical context, same-sex isn't the same as interacial because the court goes further in the decision noting " Far from recognizing a right to marry extending beyond the one woman and one man union,[FN3] it is evident from the Loving decision that the Supreme Court viewed marriage as fundamental precisely because of its relationship to human procreation."

    I think it is unfair to characterize the same sex issue to be fundamentally an easy one to navigate. I also disagree with the assertion that same-sex and interracial are the same issue.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    When I first saw your response to me, I didn't initially recognize what the symbol at the top of the blog entry meant. I intuitively saw it as a symbol of equality but didn't really take in any further in my mind. Then when I was watching news coverage of the demonstrations that have begun all over the country by advocates for gay marriage, I saw the symbol on some extremely hateful and awful signs. Some were so raunchy that the stations clouded out the words. I tried to be very respectful in my discussion with you and thought you would return the favor. Before I go any further, I wanted to ask what your use of that symbol meant.

    Michelle S.

  1. Andee Says:

    Michelle,

    It's an equal sign. It symbolizes equality. I have no idea what else you might think it means... ?

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    The sign that I saw the symbol on was just very hateful, and as you have rightly stated, that type of behavior is not going to further anyone's cause. It just struck me because the symbol was drawn exactly as it looks on the posting and I was unnerved by it and hoping that what was written below it on the sign wouldn't be something you'd align yourself with. Even as you've disagreed with people on religion and sexuality, you've always been thoughtful and respectful, which is why I like reading your blog. If more people could express their thoughts and frustrations about what they view as inequality in this world, maybe they would be taken more seriously.

    Michelle S.

  1. Andee Says:

    Michelle,

    Is there a web link to this sign you saw? I am interested to see it.

    I am a firm believer that everyone has the rights to say what they want to say, even if it's hateful and spiteful. It's when those beliefs and actions hurt others that I draw the line, and that is exactly what the Church did in Prop. H8 IMO.

    Would you mind explaining it? I am curious because I can't imagine what you are talking about...

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    The sign was shown during television coverage of a rally in Chicago. The sign had the symbol on it and then below it was the caption, "All Bigots Should Die." And like I said, most of the signs held by this group were blacked out so you couldn't see what was written. Given how lax the guidelines have gotten about what is appropriate on television these days, it must have been pretty bad if it didn't pass muster.

    If a person held up a sign that said, "All Gays Should Die" people, at the very least, would have snatched it away from the person holding it in a nanosecond! So I found it odd that a group that is so against being judged and shown such intolerance would then sling that type of language against others in their quest for equality. And I agree that everyone has the right to say whatever they want, no matter how hateful or spiteful, but if you are trying to engage people in meaningful conversation in order to affect a change in attitude, slinging such awful statements around is not the way to do it. Civility in ones language and attitudes will go much further in keeping lines of communication open in order to get ones point across and hopefully be able to affect the change they are looking for.

    Michelle S.

  1. Andee Says:

    Michelle,

    I hope it would be fairly obvious by the things I have said on my blog that I wouldn't want anyone to die.

    I have stated over and over that everyone has the right to their opinions as long as those opinions don't harm the rights of others.

    I have to say that just because they used an equal sign and I used an equal sign doesn't mean I agree with their agenda.

    It saddens me that you would even think that, for many reasons...

    Andee